Prodependency Like the Pros

Ina and Her Jeffrey. HH and Me


First of all, who knew prodependency was a word, no less a thing? But sure enough, it is both.

So, now you — and me — know.

This new buzzy psychological term is different than codependency, which most of us are familiar with.

In codependency, one person relies on someone else — often a romantic partner —to fulfill their emotional needs. Example: A Star Is Born’s Jackson and Ally. Not exactly your happily-ever-after couple, right? Addiction or abuse often factor into the equation and so, it’s complicated.

Prodependency Like the Pros

But in a prodependent relationship, attachment is based on a healthy interdependence, where each person’s strengths offset the vulnerabilities of the other.

For example, I am afraid of bugs. Handsome Hubby isn’t. So, when I see a creepy crawler and start screaming like a Banshee, HH immediately rescues me by killing it. I, on the other hand, am good with … Well, there must be something I’m good with that HH isn’t. So, I’m useful to him that way!

Robert Weiss, Ph.D., MSW, a sex, intimacy, and relationship specialist, coined the term prodependence, which makes him the expert on the subject. There are now webinars and books on the topic including Weiss’ own, Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency.

In all likelihood, there are tee shirts too with catchy slogans like “Prodependent and Proud.” Ideal for Valentine’s Day!

Ina and Jeffrey

I first came across the term when I spotted a story about my one-time personal goddess, The Barefoot Contessa “Ina and Jeffrey Garten Are Even More Proof That Prodependence Is Key to a Healthy Relationship.”

In the gushing words of PureWow, a digital media company that publishes women’s lifestyle content:

“Think about it: Ina and Jeffrey met when they were teenagers. They got married fairly young (at 20 and 22 years old, respectively). But instead of falling into an emotionally dependent relationship, they forged their own paths. Ina started as a nuclear policy analyst in the White House…but left her role to start a catering company from scratch. Now she’s a culinary sensation (not to mention a fashion icon).

And doting Jeffrey doesn’t just follow Queen Ina around running errands and telling her she’s an amazing cook He’s also Dean Emeritus of the Yale School of Management, an accomplished writer and global political economist. … Throughout their 50 years of marriage, the two have weathered long distances and independent pursuits while remaining fiercely supportive of one other.

So yeah, you could say Ina and Jeffrey Garten are the ultimate prodependent couple.”

I mean if that’s not pure wow, I don’t know what is!

Chrissy and John

PureWow’s other anointed prodependent couple? Perky TV personality and model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, award-winning singer, songwriter, and record producer John Legend.

And to the list, I would – immodestly – like to add Handsome Hubby and me.

“Why?” you ask.

The reasons are multiple.

Prodependency for HH and Me?

First, we, like Ina and Jeffrey, and like Chrissy and John, maintain busy separate work schedules. HH zooms (and Zooms) around the world with his high-profile energy consulting biz, saving the planet.

Me? I grocery shopping, do volunteer work, AND work my manicured fingers to the bone, churning out columns to hopefully delight my middle-aged readers as they muddle through the day!

Second, we definitely meet the prodependent definition of helping one another. Just the other day, I was feeling blue about a series of minor health woes and HH lovingly looked up from the business section of The New York Times and, without a moment’s hesitation, told me to “Buck up.”

And when HH is rambling on and on and on about some esoteric energy topic in a detailed, complicated technological, jargon-term-filled manner, I quickly put him in place with a simple, “Oh, you’re being so Reno” – a pointed and admitted harsh reference to his childhood hometown which I admittedly incorrectly still view as a tiny quaint, dusty, cowboy backwater burg.

Let Me Count the Prodependency Ways

Our loving and kind ways can be illustrated oh so many times … like when I was trying to discuss something (obviously) really important and he said, “Sorry, I wasn’t listening. I was reading this article you sent me. Now this, this is interesting.”

Or how when we’re out for a romantic dinner, it’s likewise apparent by the loving way we stare deeply into our mobile devices, checking for the latest texts, emails, and news updates from around the world, the state, and street corner.

Or the way we spend quality time together watching the Golden State Warriors together on TV. I mean those hours are truly golden. Of course, with the NBA I do admit worrying slightly worry what the hell we’re going to say to each other when the season starts up, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out. After all, that is what true prodependency is all about, isn’t it?

I mean, isn’t it?

3 replies
  1. Lin allman
    Lin allman says:

    My wonderful prodependent partner and I are more likely to say “ aw” then buck up.!
    Maybe that’s not tough love enough for prodependent. LOL but it works for us❤️


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply