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DD/lg and codependency


CuddleMonster89
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"Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and identity." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency )

 

Since DD/lg is a caregiver/little relationship, it seems like would be easy for some forms of DD/lg relationships to turn into a relationship between a someone who is a supporter/enabler and someone who is immature, irresponsible, or relies on the supporter for approval and identity, i.e. a codependent relationship. I want to build and maintain a functional, healthy DD/lg relationship, not a dysfunctional codependent one. I'd like to learn more about codependence and specifically how it relates to DD/lg. I'd like to hear from people in non-codependent DD/lg relationships and from people who have experience with codependence. I have some open questions:

 

Are there good things to look out for (i.e. red flags) to avoid entering a codependent DD/lg relationship?

 

What are some good strategies for preventing a healthy DD/lg relationship from becoming a codependent one?

 

If a DD/lg relationship has become codependent, what are some steps one can take to try to repair the relationship?

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Other people can often see the red flags way before you do. It always helps to have a few friends you trust enough to discuss your relationship with in depth.

 

Sadly people in codependent relationships tend to slowly distant themselves from others. So eventually they have no one to warn them about what's going on. That's why it's important to remember to re-evaluate a relationship if you ever find yourself pushing friends and family away in favour of it.

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An important thing to keep in mind, is it's not always the caregiver enabling the little. A big can do lots of terrible things, to which their little will say "It's Daddy/Mommy/Caregivertitlehere so it's okay right? It's okay". It can definitely happen, and you've asked a really good question here.

 

One good thing to watch out for, is something I've seen a lot of Tumblr. Littles there seem to think a Daddy, or caregiver, is a "sugar daddy". It's all about money, and being spoiled rotten. If a "little" is looking for that, and only that, they're not a little. That's a red flag.

 

There's the obvious signs for a Caregiver being dysfunctional. As stated above, they convince their little that they could "never do anything wrong", and it's "okay because it's me". A true Caregiver should be aware of their flaws. To me, this dynamic is about not only helping your little grow, but learning things about yourself so you too can grow with them. It's mutually beneficial. If either partner insists their negative, toxic habits are fine because it's them, or "I don't have to grow up and stop it", that's a big red flag too. Anyone unwilling to grow is exactly that kind of dysfunctional.

 

Those are the two big things I can think of right off the top of my head. If anything else pops up, I'll be sure to add to the thread!

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Thanks for the thoughtful and informative responses.

 

Other people can often see the red flags way before you do. It always helps to have a few friends you trust enough to discuss your relationship with in depth.

 

Sadly people in codependent relationships tend to slowly distant themselves from others. So eventually they have no one to warn them about what's going on. That's why it's important to remember to re-evaluate a relationship if you ever find yourself pushing friends and family away in favour of it.

 

Good idea, cool I didn't think of it from that perspective before. But yeah I can see how in a co-dependent relationship it would be easy to rationalize and convince oneself and each other what is going on is normal and acceptable, though to an outside observer it could be apparent that something is wrong. I have a kink-friendly counselor/therapist so I would talk to her if I was in a relationship I felt might be codependent or just wanted a second opinion about.

 

An important thing to keep in mind, is it's not always the caregiver enabling the little. A big can do lots of terrible things, to which their little will say "It's Daddy/Mommy/Caregivertitlehere so it's okay right? It's okay". It can definitely happen, and you've asked a really good question here.

 

I didn't really consider before that the Daddy could be the one doing bad things and being enabled by the little, though now that you mention it I can see how that could definitely happen, like if the Daddy has an anger management problem and physically punishes the little while he's angry, and the little trusts the Daddy and believes its okay to punish out of anger, that scenario could quickly go from bad to ugly.

 

To me, this dynamic is about not only helping your little grow, but learning things about yourself so you too can grow with them.

 

I whole-heartedly agree! I would want my little to grow, though I'd also want to grow along side them and become better myself.

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I believe it's important for both parties to consistently try their best and be intent on improving all their life through. If you don't evolve together and help one another evolve, you will grow apart. With my papa bear, he actually helps me forgive myself for I tend to be hard on myself when it comes to my failures. This doesn't enable me to accept my negative behaviors but his support helps me rationalize that I will still be loved if I make a mistake. I feel that's one of the most important aspects of the relationship.

 

DDLG is about mutual nurturing, and not co-depending on a partner in such a way that you expect one or the other to be doing all the work while you reap the benefits. I desire to be nurtured and loved unconditionally, but, I need to be worthy of that love too. The same goes for my papa bear. I wouldn't deem him such if he didn't make me a better person. As someone else mentioned, a lot of people are misconstruing a "little" with a "sugar baby." While I do believe the dynamic implies that the daddy should spoil and provide for the little in some ways it should only be because she or he doesn't expect it. It's a reward for innate goodness and a not a relationship based upon monetary compensation. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

make sure you spend time apart. If you find yourself spending all day every day with your partner you need to step back and make some time to see other friends or family.

 

If you feel you need permission to live your daily life that's a huge red flag to me.

 

if being away from your partner makes you feel intensely lonely and sad and generally rubbish that's a red flag (obviously being apart may well make you sad, but if it stops you having fun/being able to focus/function that's a different matter)

 

if your emotions depend entirely on theirs (this is something I notice myself doing - I'll be in a great mood but daddy will have had a bad day so I'll get all sad and miserable even though I was happy 2 seconds ago) that's a red flag.

 

not exactly on the topic of codependency, but as far as I'm concerned, it's vital that important/real discussions are had out of little space while you're seeing each other as equals. It makes me feel happy and loved when daddy chooses what I wear or what we're eating, but decisions about moving house/having children have to be taken together, as equals.

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  • 3 weeks later...

i am reading this thread and semi in shock about some of the things people are writing.... 

"if you feel you need permission to live your daily life that's a huge red flag to me"  

"as far as I'm concerned, it's vital that important/real discussions are had out of little space while you're seeing each other as equals. It makes me feel happy and loved when daddy chooses what I wear or what we're eating"

 

"DDLG is about mutual nurturing, and not co-depending on a partner in such a way that you expect one or the other to be doing all the work while you reap the benefits"

i get that these are all opinions and not facts, but i feel very sorry for newbies reading this. 

DD/lg is all about co-dependence and not all co-dependency is dysfunctional. DD/lg is like a lighter side of D/s. But the basics of D/s still apply. Being a Dom is only possible through the trust and respect of a submissive. Being a submissive is only possible through the love and care of a Dom. One cannot exist without the other. Their existence is dependent upon the other. i guess if you are playing a part and can be "little" and then not, you are merely role playing. A true little is little in and out of little space. The two bleed together throughout the day. As for the Daddy it's not like they have Daddy space.. so when you come out of little space is he supposed to stop being a Daddy?

The love and respect between a Dom and sub should be unconditional. Once the relationship is formed, He should not have to "earn" her respect. Just like she should not have to "earn" his love. Love and respect between two people should never be based on merit. Everyone has bad days and everyone falls down. So if she messes up and angers her Dom, he doesn't just stop loving her. The same is to be said about the Dom. When he messes up and hurts her feelings, she should NEVER take away the respect she has for Him. She chose Him to lead for a reason. Not because he is perfect, but because trust was built that he would always do his best to have her best interests at heart.

The relationship goes both ways. The Daddy's number one goal should be to love and protect his little. Not just decide what she should wear or what to eat, but to nurture and grow her through well thought-out decisions and discipline. He is in charge of the day-to-day. He is in charge of her well being. That includes loving her unconditionally, even when she is having a hard time loving herself (or throwing a tantrum). She should never fear losing his love. When you live in fear, it is impossible to trust, and without trust, there is no relationship (at least not a healthy one). The sub's number one goal should be to love and lift up her Daddy Dom. If he is in constant fear of losing her respect, how can he make the hard decisions wisely. He will be walking on eggshells, tripping the whole way. Nothing is more damaging to a Dom who loses his little's respect, and a little losing her Daddy's love.

People are not perfect. Every single Daddy Dom will fail and do something that hurts his little girl. The key is what he does with his mistake that will allow him to be the man she trusted him to be. He should learn and grow from the experience and be a better, more-educated Dom for her. Trust me, when he does something to hurt her, it hurts him just as much (if not more), once he realizes his mistake. He will be ashamed and feel defeated. But when his little comes to him with respect, he will feel motivated and compelled to be better, despite the mistakes that he made. He needs her. He needs her respect.

Every little makes mistakes. She will get upset and yell out of anger. She will disobey rules and push boundaries. But when she does this, she realizes how she acted and is heartbroken. She is ashamed and broken. But when he comes to her with love, she will feel valued and wanted, despite her flaws. She needs him. She needs his love.

As stated before, one cannot exist without the other. It is important that i point out the fact that i am not talking about single people who are not in a relationship that identify as Dom or sub. i am not talking about identity. People are who they are. i am talking about the concept of what Dominance and submission is, as well as the core principles of DD/lg. The two people in a DD/lg relationship are, indeed, co-dependent. 

Should each person have the ability to socialize with friends and family? Of course. A Daddy's job is not to hide his submissive away, but to help her grow. There should be rules and boundaries set. If Daddy days no to a hangout with friends, you should respect him and trust that there is a reason that the little may not be aware of. It should hurt emotionally when they are apart, but in all the best ways. They should be thinking of the other, and missing one another. Example: "Would Daddy like it if i did ______?" or "Would this be a wise decision, and is there a possibility of harming my little in any way?" 

None of this is to say that there are not "fake doms" and "fake littles". There are predators, looking to use a Dom or sub, around every corner. Giving the "true" Doms and subs a bad rep in the process. Before going into any relationship, there should always be trust. Trust that each side will hold up their end of the deal to the best of their ability. Trust that the other has their partner's best interests at the forefront of their minds. If you find yourself in a relationship where the trust is broken and is un-fixable, then you should love and respect each other enough to end things. 

A healthy DD/lg relationship will flourish and grow. Love and respect between a Dom and sub should be unconditional. The only thing that should be earned and can be lost is trust. But if you are loving unconditionally and respecting unconditionally, trust will be the cornerstone that grows stronger every day.

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I can see how it's hard to desypher between. You go from one step feeling small and being to am extent "owned" by another that stepping into real life alone it's hard. A codependency is created, whether you want it or not, especially when you put your heart and soul into a sex game. I know I do, that's what make it so appealing.

 

That's why you have to almost have two people living inside you, when I'm with my Daddy I'm the part of myself that is scared, wanting to be protected, that little girl I never wanted to grow up from. When I'm living day to day I go back to "me" I'm

Not that scared little Luna anymore.

 

When we first started ddlg I'll admit that line was hard to live between. I became dependent, thinking about daddy all the time, even creating ideas in my head that he was prob mad at me cause I'm not good enough. It's crazy but I did. So one day daddy sat me down and told me all the reasons he fell in love with me in the first place. Before the ddlg, before any of that. It was my independence, that I wanted to be alone, that I wanted to explain my opinions. Etc.

 

I guess my long answer to the question is at the end of the day, it is a game, you can't make it life. Stay you, and make sure your with someone who know who "you" is.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest littlebubblebaby

My "big" self is recovering from a lifetime of codependency, so in beginning my ddlg journey, I've been careful not to use the relationship as an excuse to act in a codependent manner. Codependency is often seen by those who misunderstand it as a positive personality trait: you're a caretaker, you look out for people, you help others, you put others before yourself, etc. It does sound nice, but it's conflicting because it causes you to ignore yourself, your happiness, and your self image. You can also end up being very manipulative, and either or both sides of a ddlg relationship can struggle with codependency.

 

As I little, I have to remind myself that time away from daddy is healthy. Not only does my daddy need time to be himself, I need time to be myself, whether that means being little or big during our time away. Separation doesn't mean I don't love him or he doesn't love me, it just means we're both "recharging" and taking care of ourselves so we can be better when we see each other next.

 

Communication is a huge factor too. Talking about your ddlg relationship with your partner while you're both out-of-role gives you the clearest idea of each side's feelings. I find that when I talk to my daddy about our ddlg relationship, he notices my hesitancy to let go and fully embrace my role, and that really comes from my fear of translating my big's codependent habits into my little space.

 

My biggest piece of advice is to evaluate yourself, your partner, and have your partner do the same thing, to determine if you're already exhibiting codependent behaviors. If you are and haven't looked for help to recover from those habits out-of-role, it may make it harder to avoid those behaviors in-role.

 

It is hard to avoid some or all codependent behaviors in this kind of relationship because it is a caregiver-based relationship, but the key is to communicate and determine with your partner where these behaviors are truly unhealthy (demanding your partner remain in role for your benefit, distracting your partner from important work or business when they cannot be in role) or are just a normal piece to the ddlg relationship (preparing a snack for your little, driving your little to the park, asking your daddy to play with you and your toys, etc.)

 

I hope this was helpful. Best of luck ^-^

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  • 6 months later...
Guest itsbabygirlbean

I'm slowly working in the confines of what is to be co-dependent. I'm not liking my behavior and I'm working on changing it.

 

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I'm slowly working in the confines of what is to be co-dependent. I'm not liking my behavior and I'm working on changing it.

Bean <3

 

If you don't like the behavior and you want to change it, then you should. Don't listen to anyone who might try to change your mind.

 

<3

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Guest itsbabygirlbean

Bean <3

 

If you don't like the behavior and you want to change it, then you should. Don't listen to anyone who might try to change your mind.

 

<3

Thank you <3

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