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Codependency & Loving Too Much

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Somber posted 3/2/2019 19:23 PM

I have always tried to please others, looked the other way when I was mistreated, made excuses for my loved ones and kept deep dark secrets to myself

Me too Shocked! I never entirely even realized it until now. I knew I was somewhat like this but never saw the root of it and how this affected my life and choices. I also use avoidant style to deal with stress. I just bottle everything up and never deal with anything. This is why I feel so alone. I feel like I I am living a lie. I am realizing I havenít been kind or truthful to myself. I have somehow allowed and enabled mistreatment of myself. We sure are the perfect targets for these types of men, I mean look at what they have all gotten away with and here we are trying to find it in ourselves to work it out with the very person who helped crush our soul.
Wow, sorry that is all so negative but this whole situation really is for me. Some days itís just soul crushing and I find it hard to keep facing this harsh reality. Then I am stuck rugsweeping or just avoiding conflict; hence allowing the same pattern to repeat. Not feeling too strong about it all today thatís for sure

onlytime posted 3/3/2019 07:04 AM

@Shocked123

My theory is that since his massage parlour habit has been curtailed, he is looking for a substitue escape. Presently he's a dry drunk, looking for a substitute habit.†

You are absolutely correct. That's exactly what he is doing! And unless he starts facing and processing the emotions he's trying to numb, he will continue to replace one addiction with another.

I think it's good that you've set a boundary with him and I hope you'll maintain it.

@Somber

I also use avoidant style to deal with stress. I just bottle everything up and never deal with anything. This is why I feel so alone. I feel like I am living a lie. I am realizing I havenít been kind or truthful to myself. I have somehow allowed and enabled mistreatment of myself.

It is this type of insight that is going to help you. Recognizing our roles and patterns in the dynamic is important, because once we get to the root of "how" and "why" we do the things we do, and feel the things we feel, we are able to heal and grow and make better choices for ourselves!

--------------

I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflection lately, and a lot of reading about emotions. I found a really great TED Talk by Susan David, a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, about "emotional agility". I have added it to the list of helpful videos in my profile, and will share the mod-approved link here in case anyone wants to check it out:

The gift and power of emotional courage

https://youtu.be/NDQ1Mi5I4rg

One of the quotes from the video that really resonated with me was this:

when we push aside difficult emotions in order to embrace false positivity, we lose our capacity to develop deep skills to help us deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be

Somber posted 3/8/2019 22:03 PM

Thank you onlytime,

I have thought about your response since I first read it. I am trying to make sense out of my codependent behaviour. I am trying to get to the whys and howís to heal. I also am trying to notice my triggers to shut down. By shutting down I mean accepting behaviour and avoiding conflict.

So my WH was drunk and rude lastnight. All the while he minimized his infidelities while just trying to have sex with me. I feel like my feelings do not matter and he always avoids talking about the affair. Instead he makes comments to make me feel bad about refusing sex. He doesnít know that I am aware of his current affair attempt and plans to meet up with a mutual friend for sex. If he knew he may understand why I donít want to have sex with him, what shocks me is that he still thinks he is entitled to me without doing any of the work to R and while actively starting another affair!!

This morning he apologizes and I feel a bit better and less angry. Then I start wondering what his apology actually means to me. The words are comforting and make me feel safe. Yet I know the meaning is lacking. I feel like a simple sorry leads me to shut down a bit. Tonight, after a third failed attempt to have sex with me he becomes the victim. He explains how depressed he is and how this is no way for us to live. He says even though it is all his fault he canít live in a sexless marriage. Seriously right?! He was planning to have sex with another woman this very day!!! Again though, him playing the victim triggers me to shut down as well. I donít know where to go from there!!

His second attempt was to actually just masturbate while touching my ass (sorry for graphics) and in the past I would do this to shut him up. Today I declined and said that I do not wish to feel like an object. I expressed my feelings and reminded him of the unresolved issues and pain which are the true reasons I donít want to have sex. I stood my ground a bit more than normal and that felt like a small win. Although, I donít think he gets it. Instead of talking through our issues, he ignores all that and tries again later

onlytime posted 3/10/2019 09:33 AM

@Somber

So my WH was drunk and rude last night. All the while he minimized his infidelities while just trying to have sex with me.

If you are going to be staying in this M, is there anywhere you can go (either inside or outside the house) to remove yourself from the situation when he has been drinking? Can you or are you willing to establish boundaries around this to protect yourself? You cannot effectively communicate with someone who is impaired by alcohol, nor can you expect them to understand or respect you, so by refusing to engage with him while he is under the influence, you can start to protect your own emotional well-being.

I feel like my feelings do not matter and he always avoids talking about the affair.Instead he makes comments to make me feel bad about refusing sex.

As long as his addiction(s) remain active, and he doesn't do the work to transform himself, your feelings don't and won't matter to him, and he will continue to avoid anything that makes him feel uncomfortable and try to drag you down with him.

He doesnít know that I am aware of his current affair attempt and plans to meet up with a mutual friend for sex. If he knew he may understand why I donít want to have sex with him, what shocks me is that he still thinks he is entitled to me without doing any of the work to R and while actively starting another affair!!

Please help me to understand - if you know he is planning on meeting up with someone else for sex, why are you still engaging with him at all?

Why are you shocked at his sense of entitlement? He has done nothing to address his issues, so why would that have changed at all?

And given his current state of dysfunction, do you honestly believe he is capable of either understanding, or even caring, how his choices and actions are affecting you?

This morning he apologizes and I feel a bit better and less angry. Then I start wondering what his apology actually means to me. The words are comforting and make me feel safe. Yet I know the meaning is lacking. I feel like a simple sorry leads me to shut down a bit.

If you know that his apologies are meaningless - that they are simply hollow words that are not backed up by any level of insight or action on his part - why do you think you allow yourself to be comforted by them? Given his current and ongoing actions that very clearly tell you that you are NOT even remotely close to being safe with him, what exactly is it that leads you to believe you are safe when he apologizes?

Where do you think this disconnect and denial in your mind is coming from?

Today I declined and said that I do not wish to feel like an object. I expressed my feelings and reminded him of the unresolved issues and pain which are the true reasons I donít want to have sex. I stood my ground a bit more than normal and that felt like a small win.

This is a really good start in asserting yourself and establishing your boundaries! Do you think you can, and are you willing to continue to do this?

Somber posted 3/10/2019 13:51 PM

Only time,

Yes, we have a 3 storey house with a finished basement. So one of us will go to the basement if needed. That gives us space within our home.

by refusing to engage with him while he is under the influence, you can start to protect your own emotional well-being
.
I really recognize the need for this! Sometimes his hurtful words get the better of me and I respond, defend myself, try to have him see sense. Itís uselss in the moment, I know. At some point I realize this and tell him I am done talking to you while your drunk. He is not a violent or aggressive drunk. Just really stupid and self centred!!! I can try to enforce boundaries that he stays downstairs if he is drinking. When he is drunk though I am unsure if he will comply.

As long as his addiction(s) remain active, and he doesn't do the work to transform himself, your feelings don't and won't matter to him, and he will continue to avoid anything that makes him feel uncomfortable and try to drag you down with him.
.
This is so true but hard to see when in the middle of the craziness!!! I feel like from the outside, I would look very weak and stupid to all. On the inside I am blind sighted with gaslighting, minimizing, pathologist lying and empty promises and denial. It has done a number on my mental health, stability and sense of reality. This toxic environment is my normal, when I share it is when I realize how not normal it is.

if you know he is planning on meeting up with someone else for sex, why are you still engaging with him at all
?

Thank you for asking me to help you understand! It may help me understand to answer this. I donít want to engage sexually with him but want to prepare my approach to him about what I know. I want to gain evidence to have when he tries to mess with my mind about it all. It has helped in a way to see how he can so effortlessly live a double life. I donít want to engage further but want to obtain legal advice without his knowledge first. I also want to try not to react and instead build my knowledge around seperation/divorce as well as see my IC before approaching him. Both appointments are Wednesday. The reason for this is that I know his response will be high conflict. It will create more toxicity in my life until it is settled. I am not ready for that. I expect he will drink more, blame me, plead with me empty promises, use the kids against me. Either way he responds, he will be the victim. It will be about his depression, PTSD, child abuse, he may claim to be suicidal. I expect he will not follow a separation agreement, pick his kids up when he shouldnít, blame me for not seeing them whenever he wants, show up to the house unexpected. Rules have never applied to him so I know they wonít in this case either. He has some true narcissistic traits that I fear. Not violence but all the other crazy traits. He already moans around the house when he doesnít get his way saying Ďno one loves me, mommy doesnít want to snuggle meí to our kids who are 5&7. Then I look like the bad one and they ask me why I donít want to snuggle daddy. So I continue to engage until I have the strength and knowledge to leave or ask him to leave. Also, I have been trying to obtain evidence of his drinking and infidelities. Drinking to help with child custody and infidelities to have something to throw in his face when he denies and tries to manipulate my truths.

He has done nothing to change but it does still shock me his sense of entitlement, in his dysfunctional mind he actually believes I should be having sex with him too. How he can think that while carrying on as he does is mind boggling. I feel like most affairs there may be an avoidance of sex due to guilt but not him.

As for his apology, although meaningless, I think I take comfort from feeling validated and heard. As I spend so much time feeling voiceless and discarded. So an apology means he hears and sees the pain he caused. He may actually see it but I donít think he is capable of true empathy. I doesnít make me feel safe but validated and acknowledged instead.

Yea I do think I can stand my ground a bit more and enforce boundaries. Yet I am not ready for the consequence of it. The moodiness, blame shifting, walking on egg shells, trying to parent with him. Today he is at work and sending me pics of camping trailers. So unrelated to our problems. I recognize this pattern now too, when things get rough or he is threatened he plans a trip or big purchase. That is how we ended up going to disney, he planned it months after I found it about his 2 year affair...I am still trying to find a way to say I donít want to buy a trailer. I canít believe he is trying to plan a summer of camping with us at this point. So far I have ignored his texts and now am getting why arenít you responding texts

realitybites posted 4/3/2019 12:07 PM

This website is so amazing. The help we get here is worth its weight in gold. I continue to give back and read and respond where needed, but even "I" get a wonderful nugget of information every once in awhile as I read thru different posts, this came from another post but it was a book recommendation and I downloaded it the other day and decided to just take a quite look thru... WELL.... pretty darn accurate as far as pinpointing a lot of what I have gone thru.

Take a look, it certainly resonated with me.

"The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist" by Debbie Mirza

I have asked a previous therapist if he thought my WS was a narcissist way back in the beginning, I was told no. But I do know that a true narc was not something I thought my WS was as I got further along, he just did not act overly evil or overly angry and so many times others would tell me how wonderful he is but for me at home it was just not the case and it was so confusing... so I believed this therapist but I kept feeling like I could just not answer WHY I felt he had narc tendencies but I just could not really put that label on him as it did not fit.

But BOY does this book break it down further and I was like "WOW" I really did feel this way ALL THE TIME and could not explain why.

Don't know if it will help everyone, but wanted to pass it on as it was an eye opener for me.

[This message edited by realitybites at 12:10 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)]

wifehad5 posted 6/5/2019 09:24 AM

Bump

SheSparkles posted 7/2/2019 15:01 PM

I didn't see any mention of loving a drug addict too much ... codependently. I know that the same applies regardless of the issue of the person we are helping, but drug addiction brings with it even more complications.
My SO cheated on me when he was using meth. Meth is known for increasing sexual appetite and for making users less inhibited and more likely to make poor choices.
My SO is now sober (70 days now) and swears his cheating was only about the drugs and the drug use. He says he will never cheat again because he will never go back to the drugs. I've heard that story more times than i care to admit so I am cautiously hopeful that he will remain sober and remain faithful.
My issue with believing him also stems from the fact that i know he told her he loved her and was even making rudimentary plans to get an apartment with her. He explains it all saying it was just the drugs - that he only thought he loved her and wanted to be with her because he was so high that he couldn't even see what was right in front of him.
There were so many lies over the 2 years they were seeing each other, i just don't know what to believe.
Oh, and then there was the affair he had with his ex-wife during the first 2 years that he and i were together. 4 of the 5 years (or more) he was cheating .. and also doing drugs.
So will this new sobriety make him into a changed man or will I always wonder who the next woman will be (or if it will be the same one as last time)?

DevastatedDee posted 7/2/2019 15:37 PM

Well, it's hard to say. My WH tried to blame it all on crack (supposed relapse from an addiction in his younger years out of nowhere) until I discovered that he had been sleeping with prostitutes for at least 10 months before he started smoking crack with them. Addicts lie. LIE LIE LIE. Even in recovery, some lie.

My WH fucked up hugely because I'm not terribly codependent.

Work on the codependence hard.

Meth and crack both have very high relapse rates and the cheating isn't the fault of the drugs. He, like my WH, are both cheaters and addicts. Either is a reason to leave. Both together are REALLY good reasons to leave. Think hard before you decide to keep your stability dependent upon his sobriety or loyalty. I wish my WH well and I hope that he remains sober this time and can repair relationships with his family and friends, but he disqualified himself from being in my life with his actions.

I know the pain of being with a drug addict and the pain of being with a cheater. I have all the empathy on earth for you because I know how devastating this is. I wouldn't go back to that for anything in the world. I can breathe now. My home is a place of safety and love. What problems I have pale in comparison to what I dealt with in that marriage.

You can stay and keep hoping and shove your needs and healing down because he needs so much support working on his sobriety, keeping him once again in the spotlight, or you can make yourself the most important person in your life and make decisions that treat you with the love and compassion you deserve.

I don't know if he'll relapse, but I bet that he believes that you won't leave him if he does.

Ganondorf posted 7/5/2019 06:21 AM

I'm still only half way through this thread.

I just wanted to post a couple of sudden thoughts.

As CoDs, do you feel it's easy for you to go into the details of the affair? How about your WS?

Ive pretty much been super open and willing to tell anyone even though my situation is probably one of the more embarrassing ones.

Secondly, I saw a few posts that don't like the concept of co dependency

Perhaps we shouldn't look at it as "aha, this is what's wrong with me". I did that and then realized I also relate quite a bit with the people who honestly feel like they enjoy giving.

Maybe a better way is to use this information to help us understand how and why we're feeling unhappy given the type of people we are.

I'm not unhappy because I love too much...I'll think about how to phrase it better when I finish up at the gym and get home.

Edit:

Wanna go to a waterpark with me? (normal)
Wanna go to a waterpark with me?
If not, I'll take a friend or something. (Me)

[This message edited by Ganondorf at 7:19 AM, July 5th (Friday)]

Somber posted 7/7/2019 06:34 AM

Shesparkles

So will this new sobriety make him into a changed man or will I always wonder who the next woman will be

I am faced with this same dilemma. My WH is just finishing rehab for drugs, alcohol and sex. I may see changes but doubt I will ever trust him. I fear I will always wonder who the next woman will be. This is so painful, I empathize with you.
What I have learned is that regardless of him and what he does/doesnít, I need to focus on myself and heal from this emotional trauma. Whether we recognize ourselves as codependent or not, what matters most is how we set boundaries and put ourselves first.

Think hard before you decide to keep your stability dependent upon his sobriety or loyalty
.
I agree with this point, I was dependent on my WH to change. I thought it would fix all our problems. It has fixed some, in regards to my comfort level having him sober with our children. As for our marriage, it hasnít fixed the pain, the anger, the resentment, the embarrassment...I still donít know a direction to go in with regards to D or S or R. I am trying hard to not have that be my focus. A wise poster on SI has encouraged me to put the focus on me and the rest will work itself out. I take from this that the more I focus on my health, well being, interests (along with setting boundaries) I will be in a healthier state of mind to choose my path.

I guess overall, I am saying turn that focus onto you. Detach, do the 180 in the healing library. After months on SI and in alanon , I finally understand what detachment does and means. Itís healthy way to change the focus onto you for once. It doesnít mean you have to make a decision about your marriage right now but a decision to lift the clouds and see clearer while finally being true to ourselves.

Maddylynn posted 7/28/2019 13:51 PM

I am codependant and do not know how to stop. Why can't he just love me the same? He said he did just 6 months ago...I don't understand what happened....

SI Staff posted 4/11/2020 07:26 AM

Cephastion posted 4/12/2020 08:24 AM

I believe that I need some interaction with some folks who have some mileage in the rear view mirror on this issue.

I am recently realizing that I've been codependent for most of my life in one way or another, and I can't easily see the forest that I am in the middle of because of all the tress that are in the way blocking my view.

I process stuff best by taking only so big of a bite/post of info at a time, so this is my attempt to wade slowly out of the hot water of this quicksand-like, swamplike thing that I am only now seeing myself enmired in and entrapped by.

delilah2016 posted 4/26/2020 18:11 PM

I can tell you that dealing with my childhood trauma was as important as dealing with my betrayal trauma.

I discovered that I attract narcissists in all areas of my life. Most of my family members are narcissistic and I have always been the caretaker, the problem solver. It's exhausting. I also attract narcissists at work and that has truly been the hardest for me. I am the person that people come to for help, to solve their problems. I often do more than my share of the work load. The past year especially, I have worked hard to stop doing more than my share and to stop answering questions for other people to help them out. The push back at work after more than 10 years of being the "go to" person has been rough, but I'm starting to see results. I'm less stressed and it's nice to see that other people need to do their own jobs and they CAN do it. I don't have to take care of them!

As for my marriage, we have had two Ddays and on both of them (20 years apart) he said I was more like his mother than wife. I did more than my share, I took care of everything. He would ask me questions when he KNEW the answer just to get me involved in things that I didn't need to be involved in. Such a crappy pattern that I wasn't even aware of. Of course this doesn't in any way excuse what he did. Both of us came from very dysfunctional home and we both needed to do a lot of individual work. My husband still tries to draw me into his family drama and to help him solve problems that have nothing to do with me. I am much stronger though and I can straight up tell him that I am not his mother (I don't always use those words) and he can figure whatever out on his own because I have my own things to take care of. I get push back sometimes that we're married and need to work together. I then remind him that 28 years of dysfunction before Dday 4 1/2 years ago and I just can't work together yet. He needs to take care of himself for now.

A few things that helped me a lot are on YouTube. I listened to Melody Beattie Codependent No More on YouTube. She narrates her whole book. I listened to that at least twice, maybe three times. Two others on YouTube are Lisa A Romano and Ross Rosenberg. Lisa and Ross have lots of YouTube video's and they were so helpful to me.

Cephastion, I hope you're still checking this thread and that the above helps out a little.

realitybites posted 4/29/2020 08:11 AM

As for my marriage, we have had two Ddays and on both of them (20 years apart) he said I was more like his mother than wife. I did more than my share, I took care of everything. He would ask me questions when he KNEW the answer just to get me involved in things that I didn't need to be involved in. Such a crappy pattern that I wasn't even aware of.

Yep^^^^^ same pattern for me. In lots of different shapes and styles of passive/aggressive crap.... but same idea.

onlytime posted 4/30/2020 07:48 AM

I believe that I need some interaction with some folks who have some mileage in the rear view mirror on this issue.

I hope you're still checking this thread Ceph. I've been recovered from my codependency for a few years now and my life and mental health are so much better now!!

I've posted some of my experiences on this thread, and a lot of the books and videos that helped me are listed on here and in my profile.

I found that the key to overcoming CoD for me was focusing on healing myself - I had to get to the root of why I felt I needed to control everything and everyone around me. I had to learn to let go of that drive to control and get comfortable with the absolute groundlessness that is inherent in life. It was really hard at first, but the more I stuck with it, the easier it became.

LadyG posted 5/1/2020 07:11 AM

This has explained a lot about my marriage to STBX H. I have shared a few passages with him today. He either hasn't read it or refuses to acknowledge it. I am tired of trying to fix him. I am far too damaged to even fix myself.

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