M.A.D. — Mutually Assured Dysfunction

I have a distant acquaintance who is a very self-destructive alcoholic. Watching him is like witnessing a train wreck in slow motion. And it’s even more tragic because when he’s off the sauce, he seems to be able to lead a very successful life. Alas, he’s almost never sober.

A couple years ago he met an absolutely gorgeous woman and they’ve been together ever since. She does not have a drinking problem. At first I really wondered what she could possibly see in this man, but now I think I have it figured out.

The evidence is plain to see on his Facebook page. He never posts on his own page. Not ever. But she does, almost daily. And it always seems to be about what they’re doing together, and how happy they are, and lots of heart icons, and invariably a photograph of the two of them in each other’s arms, in which she is beaming ecstatically and he is quite obviously three sheets to the wind, complete with drool.

It’s really kind of pathetic. He’s all about the booze, but it seems she’s all about the control. If you need to be in control, what better partner to have than a man who’s in a completely passive stupor all of the time? She is clearly calling all the shots. And every Facebook post has this underlying message: “He’s MINE.” She couldn’t be more obvious if he were the fire hydrant and she were the dog.

They are completely intertwined in their own codependent universe. As long as she’s in control, he can drink. And as long as he drinks, she can be in control. It’s almost as if two parasites are feeding off each other. But surely such a system cannot sustain itself forever. It completely lacks protein.



11 thoughts on “M.A.D. — Mutually Assured Dysfunction

  1. Irene

    I see codependency in many relationships, and usually one partner likes to be the main controller. I’d rather live on my own then be in a controlling relationship. Although some people like to be controlled, not a good basis for happiness.

    1. I agree, Irene. But looking at it from the other direction, I was in a relationship for 16 years where I was forced to be the controller because he would not take responsibility or initiative in any way. I felt like his mother. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and got out. Now I’d much rather be on an equal footing with someone or not be in a relationship at all.

      1. Irene

        Agree entirely, never wanted to control anyone, and never wanted to be controlled. You definitely don’t want to be someone’s Mother,lol. You’re having a much better time on your own, plus your lovely dogs.

      1. But, if he stops drinking she’ll lose control and leave him. And if she stops tolerating his drinking, he’ll have no one enabling him, and he’ll leave her. So they’d both have to change at exactly the same time, and what are the odds of that?

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