Image credit: Anna Parini

Image credit: Anna Parini

“But I love new challenges! I need to know that I can wrap him around my finger!" says Veronica, a successful entrepreneur in the entertainment industry as she reports on her new love interest. She's titillated, this could be The One for her!

“Yeah, maybe, he is a little depressed. But I know I can help him change and he will be so grateful!" - she claims. After I press her, she admits she doesn’t really know much about him, yet she has already projected a whole world of wishes and desires -- her wishes and her desires -- on him as if he were a movie screen.

She simply cannot get him out of her head, she thinks about him every day, every hour. This mysterious person, who doesn't appear to reciprocate her feelings, is suddenly at the the center of her attention.

His on-again, off-again behavior is like catnip. They make love one night - and the next morning, he feels without a hug or kiss. He does not call her for days - and then when he does, texts her moving, heartfelt messages.

The other night he mentioned he would be in a bar to watch his favorite band perform, and when Veronica asked more about the event, he insouciantly let it slip that "he didn't mind if she joined".

Excited to spend time with him in a venue other than her bedroom, she dressed to kill and found him hanging out with a big group of friends. This was their second “date”. Instead of waiting for a proper date invite - she had invited herself into humiliation.

His ambivalence towards Veronica, turns Veronica on. She is addicted to the ambiguity he exudes. What is going on here? Their relationship hasn't even started, and it is already a hurtful co-dependent relationship. Sad to say, I have seen people stuck in situations like this one for decades. This ain't no picnic.

Co-dependency means: I only feel alright when you feel alright. The way Veronica feels about herself is entirely dependent on how this New Guy feels about himself.

Since true love can only come from a surplus of healthy self-love; co-dependency is exact opposite of love. And co-dependency plays out in a vicious cycle engaging three of our sub-personalities: the Rescuer, the Persecutor and the Victim.

How do we know? A simple test will suffice:

Do you feel like you have to RESCUE somebody all the time? And when they don't behave like you want them to you start to PERSECUTE them? And when they don’t give you what you need you slip into self-pitying feeling as if you are the VICTIM? Until you want to rescue them again - or spot somebody else to RESCUE?


The cause of the cycle is often a lack of consistent and loving nurturing in our early childhood.  Veronica’s mom most probably wasn’t there for her, or when she was, she was out of rhythm, on-again, off-again. Little Veronica learned that she could not count on her. Sometimes she punished her for doing one thing, the next day she did not. Ambiguity, instability and uncertainty became Veronica’s drugs. Her inner child has developed cravings for ambivalence even 30 years later.

The only way out of the cycle is through self-love and acceptance. In our sessions, we connect Veronica to her inner child and heal her wounds, giving her the nurture, stability and rhythm she missed out on. Whenever she feels emptiness or feels lonely she can connect to her inner child and rock her gently, make her safe.

To be honest, I expect that she will always spot the ambiguous New Guy from miles away. But now, next time she will she will also realize: “This is my inner child’s need for ambivalence. I need nurture her and calm her inside me so I can pursue stability, acceptance, honesty and warmth in a relationship.”

Her addiction to co-dependency craziness is waning after only a few sessions.

Are you in a cycle like this one? Now you know there is a way out. Send me a message today!