Defeating the Codependent Within
In a recent post I criticized a man for how he handled a narcissistic woman; in fact, I didn’t merely criticize him, I diagnosed him as a codependent, as a covert narcissist himself.
This is precisely how [Reddit User] ToastedCookieOats is behaving. He not only tolerated her bad behaviour (plenty of men might have put up with it to avoid making a scene), he actively encouraged it by praising her the next day. She correctly interpreted his second message as a passive-aggressive attempt to flip the script: instead of conforming to her narrative (popular girl with endless options), he’s the long-suffering Nice Guy Male Feminist™ who’s using her as a prop to prove his virtue. Then – as if this whole situation weren’t embarrassing enough – he went onto Reddit/Cringe (a subreddit named after its users, rather than the links they post) and openly displayed this dysfunctional situation for all and sundry to see, as if he didn’t come off looking just as terrible as her!
The question as to whether or not he’s Beta can’t be answered until his codependence is addressed. Were he to achieve mental health he could wind up anywhere on the hierarchy. At present, he’s actively seeking out women who exhibit bad behaviour; he craves their abuse, because that makes him the good guy – the superior. And by showing off this great ‘virtue’ after weeks of their selfishness, he can drive them into a spiral of rage – and that’s where he gets his identity.
It should go without saying that this diagnosis is tentative. While I have an excellent track record in identifying and predicting the behaviour of dysfunctional individuals, in that case I was working with an extreme paucity of evidence. It’s entirely probable that the codependent that I saw is merely one facet of his personality; the part that goes on Reddit, and which communicates over social media. It is certainly a dysfunctional pattern – but this doesn’t mean that he’s a hopeless Cluster B cypher, doomed to follow a destructive pattern throughout his life.
If anything his behaviour is typical of your modern male. Narcissism is endemic in our culture, and boys are taught to be some sort of demure White Knight; stepping aside while the girls lean in, and then saving her by putting up with abuse. Modern femininity is caustic and vengeful, while masculinity is guilt-ridden and nervous; for both sexes an emphasis on ego and perception dominates. Women are taught that they’re worthless if they don’t have the trappings of a career; that their inner feelings of vulnerability and guilt are a false consciousness implanted upon them by some ephemeral patriarchy – and so they double down on the very actions that are making them miserable. Casual sex, empty careerism, ugliness for the sake of ugliness, or provocative clothing which men aren’t allowed to whistle at – all of these are physical statements that they reject their own inner turmoil, their way of yelling “Fuck you, Dad!” to a man who’s been missing from their life for decades.
Men, in turn, are not being initiated out of boyhood. Every masculine space – even the High School football team – has been colonized by women. Homosexuality is encouraged, thereby disrupting the bonds of male friendship. Without this break from the world of the feminine, and the acceptance and support of the world of the masculine, men remain boys, psychologically dependent upon the nourishment of a sex which has now been taught to resent them.
Never having achieved manhood, they lack self-assuredness. They exhibit the “fragile male ego” which feminists love to harp on about (while completely ignoring their own complicity in creating it). Some of them crack under the pressure, and become an ingrown pathology: they become Gamma males. These are the men who ape the worst forms of female behaviour, while resenting masculinity itself as if it were a slight against their character. They rage like the dispossessed man who wasn’t accepted into the Country Club, despite the fact that said club hasn’t officially existed for decades. They remain hungry for female attention, but because they cannot approach like a husband they must approach as a son; their attempts to win female succour disgust their targets, and their constant apologies and obeisance only inflame the vengefulness of the equally broken woman.
Others make the attempt at achieving manhood, but without that group of elders to guide them and acknowledge their inner struggle, they wind up pursuing the trappings of masculinity. They become gym rats, because a man’s supposed to be strong. They become Pick Up Artists, because an Alpha Male has a hot girlfriend. They focus on money and career, because they saw The Wolf of Wallstreet and mistook it for a guide. Without any real world group of elders, they appeal to the world of fiction, cosplaying their way through life.
With these latter cases, they will eventually find their way into the world of emotional fortitude that is the core of masculinity; their body building, or their finances, or their knowledge of “true” female nature (in reality they’re merely seeing the true nature of the modern female narcissist) they will gain confidence and poise, but reaching this point is such a long journey that they’ve become acclimatized to the present-day state of affairs.
These are the sort of men who are fearless in combat, and yet they blanch at a text message from their scold of a wife. These are the movie stars whom women lust after, but wind up marrying a woman who divorces them six months later, and they allow it to break them. These are the winners who are married to a fat pig, and it is all because they never learned to stop acting like a codependent.
People treat you the way that you allow them to treat you. In the case of ToastedCookieOats, he tolerated behaviour that was utterly beyond the pale, and then rewarded her for it with a “Thank you!” message. If she hadn’t blown him off, he likely would have showed up for a second helping of being ignored. The Navy Seal who’s terrified of his wife didn’t become that way after he put the ring on her and she revealed her true face. There were always warning signs – worse than warning signs, he’d been actively encouraging her to behave this way during the earliest phases of their courtship. Rather than worrying about her emotional needs, he’d been worrying about the trappings of their relationship. He’d chosen appearance over essence, time and again. Maybe he wanted a hot piece of arm candy. Maybe he wanted a Traditional Life™ complete with two SUVs in the driveway, and a McMansion off base. Despite the great instincts he’d developed for operating in the field – or in business – or in the meat market – his personal life was nothing but a consumer product.
A disposable consumer product.
A home is not something that can be purchased at Walmart; you can buy furnishings for your house but they will not give you a home. To actually live in a home you need to take care of it – but you also need to demand that it be of good quality in the first place, and not just in the right Zip Code.
A man needs to put his mission first. He must care for the elements of his life that enable him to pursue his mission – and his wife is certainly one of these – but by putting his mission first he ensures that he only picks up the sort of baggage that will enable him to complete it, rather than slow him down. He doesn’t need gaudy trinkets to impress the neighbours; and he doesn’t need a quarrelsome woman to prove that he made it.
Refined masculinity is a rock gathering moss. Refined femininity is a willow, rooted in the earth. The former stabilizes the other so that she does not fall over, while she shields him from the wind so that his moss can grow. There are yet good people out there who want to experience intimacy, but to find them you must first unlearn the unhealthy habits that were instilled into you, and grow into a complete version of yourself.
Mental hygiene, brothers. We’ve all got a little bit of codependent in us.