May 5, 2021

Victim Blaming Post #7 : Prodependency

 Who here wants a new name for codependency? Oh right, no one. "Prodependency" is another victim blaming term, made up by sex addiction therapist Dr. Robert Weiss. Besides all the other issues I have with Rob Weiss (like the fact he believes porn is healthy for some people and publicly locked Gail Dines and anti porn activists for being TOO anti pornπŸ™„), the problem with Prodependency is that it's basically the same as codependency, minus a few beliefs, and then stealthily rebranded in a shiny new package. Let's break down 1 book, 8 videos, more articles and research papers than I could count, all in just one post. 

What does Rob Weiss say that prodependency IS? :

Prodependence means, "Attachment relationships that are healthfully interdependent, where one person’s strengths support the vulnerabilities of the other and vice versa, with this mutual support occurring automatically and without question."


Prodependency "views loved ones of addicts as heroes for continuing to love and continuing to remain attached despite the debilitating presence of addiction." 


Prodependency "asserts that loving addicts or other chronically troubled people healthfully requires a different form of love than that with healthy adults."


Prodependency is "without blaming, judging, or pathologizing, instead offering empathy, concern, boundaries, comfort, and direction." 


Prodependency means "not addicted to people" - Rob Weiss, Family Recovery Solution 


Prodependency "is not a label" - Rob Weiss, IITAP symposium

πŸ‘† Sounds great so far, right? No huge red flags.. until you dig further into prodependency and see the alarming contradictions/myths, per numbers 1-6 below. These are direct quotes from Rob Weiss in reference to "prodependence" :

Victim Blaming

# 1.Co-addicted. You are addicted to your addict partners….. addiction? πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

"..the word codependency came from a word that Claudia Black named in the 70s, which I really liked and thought that was great, and the idea was Co-addiction. Because where I think codependency goes wrong is it doesn't say "I'm obsessed and addicted with my husband's drinking problem, I can't get the drinking off my mind". That's Co addiction. Where I feel just driven and focused on their problem, and I can buy that" - YouTube

"I don't stick by you as an [co-]addict because there's something wrong with me. I may stick by you as an [co-]addict because I learned how to stick by people in my childhood and so I know how to do it, but that's not pathology." - YouTube 

"I think certainly Al-Anon is a wonderful program. And Al-Anon, by the way, never implied that you were addicted to your husband or wife, it always said you were addicted to the obsession of their drinking. So Al-Anon got it right from the beginning." - Gateway Foundation webinar

πŸ‘† Claudia Black confirmed in an email she did NOT create the label "Co-addict". Also, Robs description of Co-addiction is not entirely accurate, Co-addiction and codependency mean the same thing and come from the same place. And calling a betrayed partner an "addict" (especially saying she's "addicted" to her partners addiction) for any reason IS pathologizing the victim, which puts blame on the victim. 

FYI, Al-Anon thought wives were just as mentally ill as the addict:

"1940s- Early 1950s - Wives of alcoholics are increasingly depicted in the professional alcoholism literature as having chosen alcoholics in order to meet their own dependency needs.." - Bibliography for Studies of the Family Impact of Alcoholism, Al-anon


"Since the middle 1970's, psychosocial theories in alcoholism have advanced the idea of co-alcoholism which views spousal behavior as enabling or supporting of alcoholic patterns in mates. In a pamphlet distributed by the National Council on Alcoholism in 1973, Ruth Fox describes the wife's personality disturbance as being 'even more serious than her alcoholic husband's'." - The Wife of the Alcoholic, by Decker, Redhorse, Green, Starrett.) 

*See my victim blaming post #1 Codependency. All things regarding co-addiction apply to codependency as well. 

# 2. Congratulations, you are just as dysfunctional and emotionally challenged as your addicted partnerπŸ‘ πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

"There's an idea in Psychology that we are probably going to be attracted to people who have emotional challenges similar to ours, I think that's true. And I wrote the last chapter of "Prodependence" called 2's don't marry 7's [*8's].“ - Rob on YouTube w/ AB&E

 “And the reason I named it that is because a lot of people will say 'Oh, well she's just going to end up with someone just like him… if she leaves him and doesn't work on herself.'. And you know, the thing is, that's true for all of us. We are all going to run into people who are at a similar level of our emotional processing and functioning, and that is who we are going to be attracted to." Rob on YouTube w/ Susskind

"As we do with physical appearance, we can also give ourselves and others an emotional rating of one to ten. And once again we can state, rather unequivocally, that twos don’t tend to partner with eights." -  Robs book Prodependence 

"..we find people we can relate to and feel comfortable with, people whose dysfunction mirrors or meshes with our own.... As long as we are “close enough” on the one to ten scale of emotional wellness, we are right for one another." - "Prodependence"

πŸ‘† Out of curiosity I did a poll and asked betrayed partners of addicts to rate their own emotional intelligence on a scale from 1-10, and asked if their numbers matched that of the addicts emotional intelligence (*give or take one number above or below). 98% of betrayed partners said their emotional intelligence did NOT match that of the addict. 

But how could this be? According to Rob Weiss this doesn't happen. Which confirms my theory : How can a woman be just as messed up as the sex addict partner when she didn't know he was dysfunctional to begin with? Most of us thought our partners were healthy and honest. We thought they'd love and respect us. We thought they'd treat us the way we treated them. Like I said in my anti Trauma Bonding post, it's more likely that the odds of finding honest men are against ALL women. It's not a woman's fault the addict partner lied and exploited her trust. 

# 3. Partners of addicts have childhood trauma, and they facilitate and perpetuate the addicts addiction…… but SHHH, we just don't tell them that yet 🀫 πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

**Note:Perpetuate - Dictionary Definition - cause to last indefinitely ; prolong existence of ; make continue 

Facilitate - Dictionary Definition - to make something possible or easier ; to help cause something**

"The primary shortcoming of the codependence model is that it suggests loved ones of addicts are re-enacting unresolved early-life trauma by partnering with or raising an addict. In my experience, that may or may not be the case. Either way, telling these individuals early in the treatment process that they are damaged by trauma and that’s why they’re partnered with an addict and behaving in ways that are enabling (maybe even causing) the addiction is usually not something they’re ready to hear or process—even if it’s all completely true." - Interview w/ Partner Hope 

" Yes, loved ones of addicts are part of the system that perpetuates the addiction, but telling them that too early in the healing process causes them to feel blamed and shamed, greatly increasing the likelihood that they will turn away from much-needed assistance." - Prodependence

".. caregiving loved ones might (and occasionally do), as a way of keeping the relationship intact, behave in ways that enable and perpetuate the addiction." - "Prodependence" 

"Even when caregiving loved ones have been “doing it all wrong,” experience has taught me that it’s usually not a good idea to tell them that or to blame them in any way for facilitating and perpetuating someone else’s dysfunction" - "Prodependence" 

"Basically, loved ones of addicts are told that their efforts to help are counterproductive and facilitating (maybe even escalating) the problem. And that might in fact be the case." - "Prodependence" 

"Living in the extremes—doing too much too often or detaching completely and forcing the addict to struggle without assistance—is not healthy for anyone. Living in one or the other of these extremes perpetuates the addiction, along with insecure attachment, family dysfunction, and an unhappy life." - "Prodependence"

"[Loved ones] are for the most part not ready to look at their deeper personal issues, nor are they able to usefully reflect upon the possibility that these issues might be a contributing factor to the overall problem." - "Prodependence" 

"It's not unusual for people in crisis of any kind to regress into earlier states and ways that they were acting when they were growing up, ways they were acting when they were experiencing earlier trauma. So when I am dealing with a partner, spouse, or parent of an active addict, and I see them doing crazy things, is that evidence of their past trauma? Probably. Is that a sample of what they grew up with? And could that be something they might work on? Sure. But.. what I say in Prodependence is, it's about timing.. If you are in a crisis, it is not the time to work on your trauma history….Get them through the crisis of the addiction. Meaning that their partner is now sober, or they are no longer in a relationship to that person." - YouTube w/ Susskind

"But digging deeper into a caregiving loved one’s history in the early stages of healing is counterproductive. Caregivers don’t respond to this because they’re not ready to hear about it or deal with it. That’s just not where they are." - "Prodependence"

"They [caregivers] may be doing this in unhelpful ways because that’s what their early life family dysfunction and trauma taught them to do, but they’re still trying. And telling them they’re traumatized and damaged and making bad decisions and entering bad relationships and staying in bad relationships because they’re messed up by trauma does not help them or give them a sense of hope." - "Prodependence"

" I don't think anyone stays with someone to act out the trauma from the childhood, I just don't. I think they may end up acting out the trauma from their childhood because of the nature of what's going on in the relationship. But that's not why they're there." - YouTube w/ Susskind

πŸ‘†"Even if it's all completely true"!!!! 😳😲🀣 WTF? I don't know about any of you, but I personally prefer to seek treatment from someone who KNOWS it's not my fault. Who knows I'm not a part of the problem. Not someone who believes I AM part of the problem, but thinks I'm just not ready to "hear it yet"🀦🀦🀦. Can you imagine a rape victim getting help from someone with this mentality "Oh dear, yes the clothes you wore definitely attracted the rapist, but don't worry, I'm just not going to tell you that until you're ready to hear it"... 😳

Victims need someone to BELIEVE them first; then they need validation and encouragement for how they feel. 

# 4. Women, get your crap together so you stop harming and imprisoning your addict partners!! Their sobriety depends on YOU! πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

“Her lack of boundaries and attempts to manage her husband and his alcoholism were a far cry from the healthy, prodependent interaction that he (and she) needed. In time, her “protection” became a prison in which she and her husband were confined." - "Prodependence"

"At the same time, loved ones can work to improve the ways in which they relate to, connect with, and care for the addict. To this end, they must learn to care for themselves as well as the addict, and to set and maintain better boundaries.“ - "Prodependence"

“.. caregivers need to consistently be safe people for this to occur, and in the early stages of a family’s healing, it’s likely that they’re not—usually because they lack the necessary boundaries“. - "Prodependence" 

"In my opinion, caregiving loved ones should be coached to continue caregiving, to continue fighting to stay attached. Because with addicts, healthy attachment is a key facet of recovery." - "Prodependence"

"Facing the dragon alone just doesn’t work very well….addicts turn to addictive substances and behaviors because they’ve been taught that others either cannot or will not support them in healthy ways. A loved one detaching from them when they need that person the most does nothing to counter this self- destructive, addiction-driving belief." - "Prodependence" 

" When an addict finally learns that he or she can trust loved ones to be there in healthy and supportive ways, the addict has a secure base that he or she can turn to in the chaos. And that makes staying sober much easier. It also makes uncovering, processing, and healing from the early life traumas that underlie the addiction (because they’ve poisoned the well of attachment) considerably easier, though that process can still be incredibly difficult." - "Prodependence"

"And on some level, codependency's strong emphasis on detachment and self-actualization, even at the expense of the relationship, I think was wrong. I think if you're not being physically abused, and you're not being mentally abused, and this person is trying to get better, then you probably picked them for the right reasons, and you have every reason in the world to stay." - YouTube w/ Susskind

“Enmeshment and control are not good for the addict or the family, but neither is detaching with love and just plain walking away“ -"Prodependence"

“Is this a situation where the best thing would be to do more and not less? Despite everyone’s desire to see the addict assume responsibility for himself or herself, could this be a situation where more of you (as a caregiver) is needed? Could it be time to hold steady on the reins and not let go?“ - "Prodependence"

πŸ‘† This is called "Addict Centricity", where everything revolves around helping the addict or saving the relationship, even the betrayed partners treatment, instead of being about the safety of the betrayed victim. 

Why is the focus not on helping the injured victim stay safe? Rob Weiss really wants victims to put MORE into the addict? The addict who is lying, exploiting, gaslighting, abusing, etc?? And yes, 99% of partners of sex addicts have been abused in some way by the addict partner, yet Rob wants victims to help the addict abuser? 

Plus, when has love and support EVER changed an addict? There's gotta be some addict out there for whom this has worked, for this belief to stay alive after centuries. WHO ARE YOU!? WHERE ARE YOU HIDING!?!?!?!? 

If love and support helped addicts get sober, then the majority of the betrayed victims I've come across would have addict partners in recovery. I've never met such loving and understanding women in my life. Sadly, all the love in the world DIDN'T WORK. The truth is addicts don't change "until the fear of the problem becomes greater than the fear of the solution". Addicts change through pain and loss, not love. 

# 5. Who in their right mind would want to be called their partner's caregiver!?!?🀦‍♀️πŸ‘‡

Dictionary Definition of Caregiver : "a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.; A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves." 

Our addicted partners aren't disabled. They aren't sick. It's not like some of them wake up and are like, "Oh my, I am just so ill, I can't help but put my penis inside of another woman" πŸ™„. While yes, I do believe sex addicts have a brain disease, it's however a self inflicted disease caused by their CHOICES, not the reverse. The damages they are causing to their brain isn't "making" them cheat, lie, abuse, etc. That's ridiculous. They CAN choose to get treatment if they want to. If we as a society keep treating addicts like wounded birds who can't help acting out or do anything for themselves, they will continue to believe they can't do anything for themselves. 

# 6. Interesting random contradictions πŸ‘‡

Statements by Rob Weiss:

" I don't think anyone is ever prodependent. It is not a label….. " 


" Do we then need to turn around and give them a bad label?" 


"That's the craziness of someone you might call codependent. I would call them Prodependent."

πŸ‘† I thought it wasn't a label? πŸ€” 


Statements by Rob Weiss:

[With Prodependency]

"There are no long looks into anyone’s past…

There is no mention of dysfunction or problems…

There is no mention of Michelle [caregiver] being “part of the problem.”


"..therapists [using prodependency] should avoid attempts to: 

•Look at the client’s role in the addiction and the family’s problems. 

•Explore the client’s childhood and family history. 

•Diagnose the client (as codependent, bipolar, borderline, or anything else) as a way of explaining the client’s distress.

Contradiction :

Everything stated in #3 above 


"..prodependent treatment for loved ones of addicts goes as follows: 

•Assess for any genuine pathology (depression, anxiety, PTSD, mood disorders, and the like). 

•If, over time, the client seeks deeper understanding of his or her trauma history, that door can be opened, but only after the crisis stage has passed and the client’s life is stabilized."

πŸ‘† Wait? I thought Rob said there would be NO diagnosing!?!? 😜


Statements by Rob Weiss:

" Codependence tells loved ones they’re traumatized and damaged and driving the dysfunction in their family"


"Codependency is a trauma-based theory of human relationships, which by definition says that 'if I partner with an addict it's because there's something wrong with me'. It says 'if I'm going to attach to a broken person because of my childhood issues, I'm always going to join with someone that will let me down and hurt me, and that repeats my childhood issues as it is'."

Contradiction :  

Again, everything I stated in #3 above. 


Statement by Rob Weiss: 

"Codependence, as a deficit- based trauma model, views loved ones of addicts as traumatized, damaged, and needing help" 

Contradiction :

"..her highly recommended therapist offers a bit of emotional support, and then does what she’s been taught to do, which is to turn to a disease model for treating loved ones of addicts (codependence) that mirrors the disease model used to treat addicts."

 πŸ‘† First, notice how he says a "Deficit-based trauma model", which confirms he believes victims have a deficit that causes them to be traumatized. Furthermore, Rob Weiss says codependency is a "Trauma Based Model" all the time. However, Codependency is NOT a trauma based model. Codependency is a DISEASE deficit based model. The cause is internal. Even earlier recognitions of some type of "trauma" within codependency (1900's-1970's) were still based in the belief that partners had a mental illness that drove their behaviors. 

TRUTH: The trauma model is the belief that something happened to you that wasn't your fault, and now you're injured and acting normally to an abnormal situation . The cause is external, not internal. There's zero victim blaming in the trauma model. If there's any victims blaming, it's automatically NOT the trauma model. But sadly very little therapists are actually trauma informed, and they love to claim they are (and sadly the CSAT training lies and tells them they are, when in fact it's teaching them victim blaming crap). 

Rob Weiss's "Prodependence" clearly is NOT a trauma model. It's just gaslighting bullsh**. 

Other Articles :

Victim Blaming Post #1 Codependency

Victim Blaming Post #2: Reactive Abuse or Mutual Abuse

Victim Blaming Post #3 The Drama Triangle (Karpman Triangle)

Victim Blaming Post #4 Stockholm Syndrome

Victim Blaming Post #5 "Learned Helplessness"

Victim Blaming Post #6 Trauma Bonded

Victim Blaming Post #7 : Prodependency

Victim Blaming Post #8: Ignoring Red Flags