David Richo has a simple test for the question, ‘Should you stay or should you go?’ What you should ask, ‘Am I codependent’?
BY ALEX HAISLIP — There’s nothing more debilitating than staying stuck in an unfulfilling relationship. The need to have somebody, anybody — even an other who is just plain wrong for you — is essentially an addiction. David Richo has a prescription for curing that addiction.
Here are the words of a codependent: “Because you please me sexually, because we have been together so long, because I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I CAN’T LET YOU GO — even though you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”
Here are the words of an adult: “Even though you please me sexually, even though we have been together so long, even though I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I HAVE TO LET YOU GO because you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”
Call it Richo’s brand of tough-love, or spiritual medicine. His penetrating — indeed, devastating — insights make this book both hard to get through, and hard to put down.
Richo’s work isn’t just for emotional adolescents. The book is a great guide for those who want to deepen and improve even the most enduring and loving relationship.
His five operative words have a distinctly Buddhist ring: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. It’s a recipe is guaranteed to tune-up any relationship, at any stage.
More than anything, the book is a call to conscious action. It implores us to take full responsibility for our own thoughts and emotional states, and rise to the challenge of unconditional love. Rather than just falling in love and losing control, embrace a clarity of will and sense of Self — or as Jung might say, allow God or the Force to love an other through you.
Check it out for yourself: How to be an Adult in Relationships
[Image from FarHorizons.org]