Her Highness Femme raised questions about the narcissistic/codependent marriage? “Why is it so common these days, do you think? Has it always been around or is it a more recent phenomenon?”
It’s an effect that has always been around, because the cause has always been present. However, in our former old school culture the cause was much rarer. Society changed after the leftist revolutionaries brought us the cultural and sexual revolutions, and one result is more narcissistic adults and codependent marriages.
The cause is poor fathering and mothering. When the Baby Boomer generation jumped the cultural track to follow leftist politics, each of seven or eight generations* progressively weakened their ability to parent in the centuries-old traditional mold. Some may remember mottoes like ‘Don’t listen to anyone over thirty,’ which was propaganda aimed against parental leadership. Striking back against parental teaching and traditional values, each generation grew weaker at producing better adults.
Feminism accelerated the move into fashion and mothers especially developed child-raising techniques that work contrary to developing admirable adults.
As poorer kids and adults appeared in society, parents responded by trying to produce better kids, which they measured by how better the parents felt when the kids reflected credit on them. Then, kids started appearing as difficult and unmanageable; boys needful of Ritalin and girls victims of something of their own doing. It’s narrow but an accurate description of the path to narcissism and codependence.
You can see signs of the following in modern mothers. They over-manage to prevent independent play, over-train to make parents look good, over-supervise to prevent kids making mistakes, and over-dramatize their tiredness for having to do too much. Moms, in effect, cancel children’s ability to learn by themselves, to self-develop. They even award prizes for non-achievement, which is the ignorant and self-defeating practice aimed at improving self-esteem and which has the opposite effect. (Ignorant in that self-esteem can’t be upgraded but self-image is adversely affected.)
Momma is always close by and telling them what and what not to do. She insists on directing kids’ lives so that kids learn too little by themselves. Then, mom complains she’s overworked. She does too much for others to make her feel good about herself, but the process ruins kids for adulthood.
Kids have no responsibility placed on them except to be good kids and make the parents look good, responsible, and as over achievers. However, raised for that purpose, they become poor adults. Kids raised to be good adults—while parents absorb blame for all the embarrassing moments—become what parents and other adults hope to see.
Beginning when a child’s conscious mind opens in the third year of life, they become a self-developer and it lasts for life. That’s why people don’t want to be told HOW to do; they want to figure it out themselves. You can see it in toddlers, and it makes the popular technique of over-nurturing harmful to development.
What you see in the narcissistic/codependent marriage is adultolescents. They were denied self-development. They were always told HOW to live, eat, play, relate, dress, talk, not offend, be pleasant when it’s not felt, and do everything else according to parental directives. They were seldom encouraged to earn rewards and released to make and live with their mistakes. Without that development intent, they never learned that recovery is everything, which means they don’t know how to handle much in the way of adult matters.
When they passed through puberty, they lacked adult values, standards, and expectations, and their minds filled up with teenage pop culture values, standards, and expectations. Consequently, they don’t escape adolescence even though they are physically mature. What’s left wives see as narcissism and co-dependence in their mates. Sometimes husbands see that in their mates.
*I perceive a new generation when kids enter first grade and leave home for a time their own, so to speak. Their siblings six or seven years younger will live a sub-culture life very different in toys, music, attractions, values, standards, expectations, banter, chatter, terms, popular vocabulary, and friends. It makes each generation different from the previous, and society changes much more frequently than before prosperity enabled such explosive change.