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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5507
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a spouse who I believe is co dependent with her daughter,

Resolved Question:

I have a spouse who I believe is co dependent with her daughter, and in severe denial. Which forum could help me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

By forum, what do you mean? Are you asking what type of therapy?

Thanks,

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


No, initially, I was trying to find a forum, not direct help, but ANYTHING that can help would help.


 


My wife (maybe soon to be ex) has been married twice before. She is my first marraige. We've been together for 12 yrs, married for 8. She gave me 4 step daughters, now ages 20, 26, 28, 29. I gave her a step son, now age 16.


 


She was molested as a child by her father's brother. Our now 20 yr old daughter was molested by my wife's second husband when she was maybe 10 yrs old. He went to jail and they (daughter/father) have reconciled. I think my daughter has Narcisstic personallity disorder and she and I have had major conflicts, due to her disrepect and the fact my wife won't hold her accountable for her actions. I think my wife has severe guilt over what happened to both herself and our daughter.


 


Yesterday, she moved out to "work on us" but she moved out with our daughter, now 20 and 2 months pregnant. I think my wife is nest building and protecting our daughter from me while being in denial. I only recently realized she was co dependent with both of her ex husbands, especially the 2nd one, and has replaced him (codependant wise) with our daughter...I believe they have a co dependand relationship.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

It does sound like your wife is trying to protect your daughter from any further harm. Her guilt may be the motivating factor here. And she may perceive your daughter as being "vulnerable" and that it is her fault that she is was hurt by the ex husband.

Whenever you have a co dependent relationship like this, it is very hard to get the people involved to see that the relationship is not healthy. They act off each other making it impossible to get them to see that it is harmful rather than helpful.

Unfortunately, there is little you can do to get them to see what they are doing is harmful. Since your wife is willing to move out to be with your daughter, then it sounds like the enmeshment is pretty strong. It may be that they need a while to work this through or they may not be able to cope with it at all.

What you can do is to learn more about co dependency and try to help the best you can to help them see what is going on. Here are some resources to help:


http://mentalhealthamerica.net/go/codependency

http://psychcentral.com/library/id63.html

http://www.coda.org/

http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/codependency.htm

You may also want to try asking other family members for help. Sometimes other family members will have influence and can help.

You may also want to consider counseling just for you. You need support and answers to how to address this issue and options you want to take in order to cope. This is a difficult thing to deal with and the more support you can have the better.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5507
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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