"When I saw that I was a failure at trying to "save", "fix", whatever you want to call it, him, I shut down and regressed...
This is when he said he was at his lowest, this is when he had his affair. "
Been there, done that! As I read your post, it was soooo similar to my relationship. However, my EX-WH not only had affairs while I was regressing, but had many affairs prior to the start of my healing....I found out about some of them after the final DDay.
The only way I could even begin to heal from co-dependency was to burn the bridge that the 'source' could cross. I had to completely cut my ex out of my life in order to fully work on myself and give me the attention that I needed in order to "fix" me
He is a SA and has NPD He completely drove me crazy for over 13 years
I am now a happily divorced, recovering co-dependent who is engaged to an emotionally healthy SO. He fell in my lap after my divorce and during the beginning stages of my becoming an emotionally healthy individual.
Minimal therapy for me...and, I just read and read and read...learned and learned and learned.
But, once a co-dependent, always one...it is a daily thing that I deal with, but I can now identify my behaviors that are unhealthy and the ones that are not.
[This message edited by lsccbean at 9:08 PM, December 19th (Saturday)]
I also have been feeling some old codie tendencies lately. The whole people pleasing and not being able to say no. Basically, I'm starting to date now and that means I'm having to say no sometimes to doing stuff with family and I feel very guilty. They were so supportive during the S/D and beyond. I just need to have a life, you know. So this Sun. I'm meeting family but only for a couple of hours instead of the whole day. I feel that is a compromise, I can see them and still do the other stuff I want/need to do. Well, I've felt super guilty ever since saying yes, I can make but no not all day. My mom then wanted to know what things I had to get done - why couldn't I stay longer, etc. I just felt so much pressure. Anyway, feels better to vent this stuff...Need to read more of The Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beattie.
Why didn't I leave after the first affair, the second, the third? It just didn't seem like an option. What would I do without him? A bad day with him was better that a great day with someone else.
I have now put down firm boundaries and am trying to let my anger and controlling behavior go -- that's hard.
I am still trying to talk to him about SA -- he doesn't think he has a SA because his affairs were all EA's. I think he has a SA --- so does my IC.
I know that we can't get better unless he wants to and is trying -- guess time will tell. I am not doing the "reforming" for him that I have always done -- which I guess never worked anyway. Feels strange to let go and figure if he breaks the boundaries, I pack a bag and see a lawyer. I am still trying imagine doing it, but it feels strange and slghtly "dangerous".
I don't hate him or even dislike him -- I feel like he has wasted so many years of our lives and I let him even witht he nagging, bitching and controlling -- I let him. He knew I wasn't going to leave.
The firm boundaries have changed his behavior at least for now -- I think he almost believes that I will do it. Even when I feel scared and upset, I don't show it or confide to him that I feel afraid to leave. I think I also need to own that I have the power to leave without him approval or knowledge.
I have really enjoyed reading everyone else's struggles. It helps to hear that others are also dealing with this.
What are the CODA meetings like? I am not a "hold hands and sing Kumbaya" kinda girl so I am leary of going.
Too much to take in!!
Also, I must vent some. I am on the receiving end of codependent behaviors from well meaning family. Post S/D it seems to have intensified as when I was M it was less often. One codependent behavior is offering unsolicited advice. I know this because I used to do this with xwh (alcoholic). Anyway, my family is really pushing for me to move. My lease expires in the next several months and they hate my complex. They think it's unsafe and not the greatest appearance wise from the outside. I moved 3 times post S/D! I am not in a hurry to move again. Why this pressure on me? Also, brought up that I should trade in my car which is almost paid off - without me asking for car advice, etc. Now they are mad at me and say that I never listen to their suggestions, etc. UGH....Will read some Melodie Beattie tonight. Thanks for reading
[This message edited by Why?? at 4:12 PM, April 25th (Sunday)]
I let him. He knew I wasn't going to leave.
Yep...he knew I wouldn't, but when the time came, he changed his tune from manipulating me into staying with him, to him wanting a divorce, too Narcissism at its finest And, finally breaking free from codependency!
Not until yesterday did I know I was co-dep. Started reading Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. *lightblub*
Great read. WH's PA brought me out of my fog and also brought on my detachment phase, as I had kicked him out. Yay me!!!~
I am just starting chapter 9. Anyone who read this book knows that I have read about (absorbed and identified) with the whole care taking triangle effect. I had to stop there, because I needed to face where I was doing it.
BINGO!! --- I wake each person up at the time they want to get up... WHY!!~ because I take care of them. Do I resent it.... not with my son, but with WH... 90% of the time I am resentful!~
I never realized what this was before (this resentment cycle) until now.
*love to melody beattie ~ ever so thankful*
Button~ you posted a couple weeks ago "what is a codependent?"
for this you will get MANY definitions, there are a great deal of types of codep's (so I am learning...)
GO NOW, RUN don't walk to book store, find "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie, sit down and read the first few pages... do you identify? Can you relate? --- then my friend you probably are a code" and need to buy this book
The definitions did not help me to see if I was or not, but the stories did.. the identifying did...
Here is a quick one sentence definition "A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior"
One of the major things I identified with in the book was this statement ... “have you set a boundry? (I will leave if you do <insert addicts issue here, -drinks/drugs/gamble- ever again --this is usually said in the beginning phases, when you are first finding out about the <issue>) Then have you, moved that boundary line? (He/she did <issue/s> again, and you didn’t follow through with your preset consequence <you didn’t leave> due to any of the following --you can help/they asked for help/they promised not to do it again/you believed them --- THIS IS THEM CONTROLLING YOU and YOU letting them!!
A definition in the book that I relate most to is: “a pattern of copying with life that was not healthy as a reaction to someone else’s <issue>”
How I am today.... I am so hopeful for the life I know I can lead. I am one of the lucky few that was not so deep in my codep acts that I was lethargic and napping and deeply depressed.
Right now I am working on keeping my detachment in love strong -- I am not being obsessed with searching his stuff looking for drugs. I am taking care of my needs first and saying NO! (a word a codep finds hard to say). I am in complete focus to get my codep issues in check. This is my first priority, dealing with his affair is next --- I know I am in shock about the affair, but had it not happened would have I found out I was codep, probably not, the affair brought me out of my fog of being a codep and the cycle would have continued until I was just a complete shell and became the deeply depressed, suicidal codep
I am NOT thankful for the affair--- I am NOT thankful for the hurt and mistrust and anguish
I AM THANKFUL TO SEE WHO I AM WITH DETACHMENT!~
<thank you to threnody for recommending this book to me and helping to recognize my need to help myself, to you I will forever grateful for this> ((hugs))
[This message edited by schmoop at 10:38 AM, September 22nd (Wednesday)]
sorry babble there... back to my epiphany....
it is not just his action that caused my codep reaction <his closed-in stoic ways leading me to believe he is about to use sending me into over obsessive searcher to hunt for signs that he is using> but also his non-action ... <being quiet and watching TV ~ ack, what is he hiding.. i know he is hiding something blah blah blah bringing on the resentment when i find nothing> wow what neurotic behavior, learning so much! and seeing it for what it is!
I thought I'd worked through my codependency stuff years ago, but I now realise I have been moderately codependent throughout this relationship. After TA and a couple of years of trickle truth, half truths and half lies, I am now highly codependent. I want to heal; I don't know what will happen to our relationship, but whatever does happen, I know that I want to heal, whatever that takes. I WANT TO HEAL!
Thanks for being here; now back to the book...
[This message edited by BnDazedNConfused at 12:12 PM, November 18th (Thursday)]
Going to MC on Wednesday, maybe he can help me in determining if I am a codependent. This feels hopeless.
It's all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits.
Through my IC it "appears" I wanted out of this relationship so badly, but was so scared to leave (Due to issues in my past), that I sabatoged my relationship by going out with OM. I didn't like this OM very much, I felt gross the whole time and once XBF found out it was SO easy to cut it off, which tells me I didn't care about him!
Now, I am working so hard to get XBF back, I am obsessed with getting him back. My life is shattered, I feel I cannot go on without him. My life is suffering, my work is suffering. I analze and reanalyze every detail to try and predict if he will call me ever again. It's been 36 hours since I came all out about the PA and not a word. I did try calling him last night and he did not pick up nor has he returned the call.
My friends are worried he will call me again, and that the cycle will start again (when he was mean he would break up with me for a day or two then be so sorry and get me back). They are worried he is very hurt but will start to miss me and start calling again. I feel so hopeful that it will happen!
I am going to my first CODA meeting tomorrow, wish me luck :S
Glad to see more posts :)
It has been over 2 months since I have discovered my issues with being a code (and since my last post).
My path thus far...
Continued reading and understanding of my 'illness'. H has been working the 12 steps for his recovery (really working them). We have for the first time found honesty in our relationship. It is new and scary to hear him talk of his addiction and how it effects him. We are learning how to love eachother by our love languages.
But it is really difficult to know if what I am 'learning' is working and will I put it into action if/when the time comes.
This weekend the time came... he slipped on Friday night. I followed through. I did not try to 'fix', 'help' or 'rescue' him. I loved him in detachment. I didn't loose my mind. I didn't get resentful. I have accepted that my H has a problem. I respect (and see) that he is trying very hard to help himself. I didn't not bash, condemn or shut him out. We talked about what happened and *yay me* I was able to stay neutral when it came to his disease. I followed through with asking him to respect me and not go to his fathers b'day dinner last night as I would not lie and put on a happy face. I was not going to cover up his addiction. I was not going to let him go and tell them I was sick (instead of the truth). I was NOT going to let a lie define what is going on.
I went to dinner alone with my son and had a talk with them about why their son was not there.
His giving in led him to a very dark, remorseful place. He could not hide his emotions about what he had done. He cried most of yesterday. He accepted that for my own healing that I could not lie for him.
Today, we both are going over there to face them. I stand by my man. I have watched him fight this battle for over ten years and this is his first effort to help himself. I believe he can do it. He is a different man today then he was six months ago.
The bad part of this is, they now also know about the affair (like I said, I cannot allow myself to lie to myself or others about what is going on... in the sick mind of a code I know that I would end up with a ton of resentment turned to anger turned to listless flatness and I will loose myself again).
Sorry for the long verbal spewage but today, I feel GOOD. I do not feel resentment that he slipped. I am proud of myself that I have involved the family as I know in the weeks/months/years to come, both H and I will need their support in one form or another ( and I know they will not disappoint me ).
I'm trying to work out whether I want to stay with my husband or not. My problems are that I don't know which bits of us are for real and which are a result of our addictions/dependency issues. Personally, I feel that I would heal better without him there and would certainly feel more confident about his love if he went away and decided to come back but I don't think this would be an option. Even if he managed to stay in recovery whilst living on his own, I don't think he's ever come back. I think he'd either think that I didn't want him (he always assumes, never actually asks) or he'd find it easier to just start again. It's not terrible being together at the moment, just very confusing as we both try to make our way through our messes. But if our marriage is never going to work, I'd rather not spend any more of my life on it.
Has anyone any thoughts? How do you know who your husband really is when you've got used to him wearing a disguise?
I'm not sure why this thread doesn't get more posts. I'm sorry your question didn't get answered.
I'm trying to see if I can tell which parts of me and my behavior are due to co-dependency and which parts are due to trauma (I believe WS is SA).
I'm not sure what my WS would look like without his disguise! Good question. I would love to find out; I think I'd like him. As far as not wanting to work on the marriage because it might not work out, I think what I try to do is just work on me. If I improve, then the relationship can improve from my efforts. If I improve and the relationship ends anyway, I will be stronger for my next relationship, or my journey through life alone.
I hope this helps.
Question: What has helped you the most with co-dependency issues? A certain book? A support group? Counseling? I feel like I am dealing with so much that I'd appreciate an experienced person's perspective on what's worked well.