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Codependency & Loving Too Much

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Merida posted 5/19/2017 12:18 PM

Unconditional love was what I was taught growing up.
I have such difficulty with cd dependency.

It goes against my faith.

It sounds so much like tit for tat to me.

OK, if I am thinking tit-for-tat, to me that does mean I am expecting a return on what I do which in some cases is fine so long as the expectations are clearly defined. I work X hours; therefore I get paid/reward for such work

In an energy transfer I am not saying that I am unhealthy for simply giving my energy away when I am in abundance and overflowing, it's where do I put my reliance upon for a refill/re-charge?

Do I go to an eternal wellspring or am I solely focused on using my own limited resources or else taking from others to replenish?


To me it is in realizing I am responsible for my own choices like my own self-care. So I do what I need in a healthy way to feel happy. Go for a walk, swim, run, paint, have a coffee/tea with my (healthy) girlfriends or other fellowship, etc.

The point is I do not use people to get my fix in that I "need"...


I am not saying I don't feel good around people, but I don't depend on the outcome.


I give an extra-amount of tip because I want to extra-tip the waitress not because I am expecting a gushing "oh wow, thank you so much".

That dependence on an outside/other-ness to fill us from within is the co-D and the unhealthy as I see it.

Picture a hole in a bucket. Now try to fill the bucket with that hole. It cannot hold water until the hole is patched.

So until I recognize what I have is an internal problem that has to be fixed internally, it's just a energy drain/energy need cycle. Water/energy drains out the hole so where do I go to refill? Is this imagery making any sense?


That is the difference I think where we often can become dependent instead of conscious and loving, if I keep my focus on external "I need you to X" and the expectation is than like a covert contract. Or a case of doing a tit for tat "Ok, I did X now I expect you to appreciate that I did X and if you don't I'll hold that against you."

All humans are wired for connection, but the co-D with a counter-D or NPD or any other energy "vampire" lets label it, is where the imbalance comes in and a cycle can start.

I believe a marriage is best and healthy when you picture it like two whole circles that intersect and have that third shared (sacred) space. But it is not a problem for either partner to be a whole circle unto themselves.

The proverbial "better together" is like that old commercial mixing peanut butter and chocolate... it's a synergy where it's not a 1/2 plus a 1/2 to be a one = does that make sense? The two together are more than "one".

So yeah, in a healthy relationship I am OK to say it is an unconditional love as in the behavior is giving without a focus on controlling the outcome to get something in return. BUT both partners behave this way :-) so both partners at times in the dance are in the other focus because there is joy in giving for the sake of giving, like the good for goodness sake maxim.

And where there is mutual respect, consideration and honest communication than there are no hidden needs/wounds/agendas that can become a cancer to a relationship


So the faith part as I see it is recognizing that I am not God. I am human and have needs and I need to be responsible for speaking up and addressing those needs in a healthy way. At a spiritual core though I have all that I need because it is a deep and personal relationship with who/I AM and that reliance upon the wellspring that is beyond mere human effort and endeavor

WhatsRight posted 5/19/2017 13:15 PM

In an energy transfer I am not saying that I am unhealthy for simply giving my energy away when I am in abundance and overflowing, it's where do I put my reliance upon for a refill/re-charge?

Merida...

Thank you for this. Seriously. It is the closest that I have ever come to truly getting the concept of codependency.

It has always seemed like a contradiction in terms to me, especially in a mutual relationship like marriage. If I am in love, OF COURSE my happiness would at least partially depend on that of my partner.

But your statement focuses on the refill. What if I rely ONLY on a particular source (outside myself) for my refill, and that source fails me? Then I'm screwed.

That invades the Serenity Prayer regarding "things I cannot change". If I rely solely on my H for my "refill" for, say, happiness - and he doesn't come through for me, then that means I have no control over my own happiness.

It has always bothered me to hear that I shouldn't be sad or angry or whatever just because another person was. For example, I am very sad that my son is in jail. Or, I have been very hurt that my H didn't do the work he should have to help our marriage heal.

I always thought that OF COURSE I will be sad if someone I love is in jail. Of course I want certain things from a spouse or else I wouldn't have married.

The key is that IF I DONT GET THE REFILL I NEED FROM THEM, I should have my own inner source. In fact - I should not even WANT them to provide the refill. THAT is the true unconditional love. Not expecting that from them.

Am I anywhere in the ballpark here?

Anyway, the way you worded it has opened my mind to its meaning for the first time.

Thanks sooooo much for taking the time to make that post!!!

😘

tessthemess posted 5/19/2017 13:27 PM

I feel the pull because I'm moving out tomorrow. This is so hard. He's trying to keep me in. But he's now reading The New Codependency and seeing why I'm doing what I'm doing. He's ok with it. But my mind is screaming. I'm feeling like staying. But I need to separate. I need to. The posts I made in this thread were from March. And here we are 2 months later and it's still the same shit. I need to remember the long term consequences of me staying. This life is worth more. My kids deserve a healthy house.

I need to leave, and I need to remember this is not for him to get healthy. This is for my health. I am doing this not to punish him. I am doing this to protect myself. I set a boundary. He has crossed it too many times. I need to remember that, even when he is being sweet.

I need to remember the cycle and where we are and know that without a change it will continue to perpetuate until I'm ruined.

onlytime posted 5/19/2017 13:38 PM

@tessthemess

I have been following your story in General and Reconciliation, and I know you are struggling.

Please go back and read page one of this thread, it will help. When you feel yourself slipping then read it again. Keep posting here.

You may not want to hear this, but giving him that book and encouraging him to read it was you still being codependent. Think about your rationale for giving it to him. Were you trying to control the situation/outcome? Be honest with yourself.

I know this shit is hard, but the more you work on it the easier it will get.

tessthemess posted 5/19/2017 14:07 PM

Thanks Onlytime.

I didn't ask him to read it, but I did present it and tell him it helped me immeasurably. That it's up to him to help himself, but this is my recommendation. He downloaded the audio version on his own accord, and has been reading it. He was at page 47 this morning.

I've told him I won't hold his hand with help. That I expect more from him and I'm not setting conditions. He needs to be in control of his own learning. And how much he dives into it will influence my decision to go back or not. Today I want to be married. But I also want a long term healthy marriage and I'm not healed yet. I'm still in that unhealthy place, but I KNOW how to not be in that place anymore.

onlytime posted 5/19/2017 14:24 PM

@tessthemess

I didn't ask him to read it, but I did present it and tell him it helped me immeasurably

Can you see how this is still codependent behaviour?
Why did you feel compelled to present it to him? What do you think he would he have done had you not told him about the book?

MissesJai posted 5/19/2017 15:33 PM

onlytime is spot on... still very CoD.

Itiswell2015 posted 5/31/2017 11:39 AM

i relate so much to the post on Co-D and WWLTM. Still stuck and letting my WH treat me like garbage while i try to convince myself that he isnt so bad.

18 months down the line he still isnt going for therapy as agreed. he is used to the repeated threats of leaving that now he laughs or asks me if i am mentally okay when i mention leaving.

To make matters worse i just had another baby! Anyway now trying to work on myself and my CO-D till the point where i am strong enough.

tessthemess posted 5/31/2017 12:50 PM

Fair enough. I guess the biggest difference between that and my past is that I wouldn't have been offended if he chose not to read it.

As it stands, though- I've been out since the 20th, so 11 days. I haven't given him any advice for things he should or shouldn't do. He has asked me what I need, and I just told him to put in the work. I know that I need for him to see an IC before I consider R again, how can I convey that without sounding coD or controlling? At this point I've chosen not to say anything and to just observe. I know he is writing a lot and journaling, which is a new thing for him. He appears to enjoy the reflection. I've been speaking without judging either. At this point our relationship is at a cross roads and I've let go of the outcome to where he wants it to go. For me that will involve the work on himself.

MissesJai posted 5/31/2017 12:57 PM

I just told him to put in the work. I know that I need for him to see an IC before I consider R again, how can I convey that without sounding coD or controlling?
You say just that and then you leave it alone and watch his actions. He will have to find an IC, make the appointments, and o all the work. All you need to do is observe, so continue on that path.
I've let go of the outcome to where he wants it to go. For me that will involve the work on himself.
I can relate. I am working on that myself and I am just about there. They installed the buttons, they know which ones to push. It's up to us to uninstall them.

[This message edited by MissesJai at 11:52 AM, June 1st (Thursday)]

onlytime posted 5/31/2017 13:22 PM

@tessthemess

I know that I need for him to see an IC before I consider R again, how can I convey that without sounding coD or controlling?

You posted just last week that he says he is going to get IC for himself, and he already knows that you expect that, so just wait to see if he does.

You can stress to him all you want that he needs to go to IC, and he may go, but if he really doesn't see the value in it, if he doesn't truly acknowledge he has work to do on himself, then it is pointless.

He has got to have the desire to do it for himself.

Instead of being so focused on what he is or isn't doing, you should be focusing that energy on healing yourself. You can start by asking yourself what emotions of YOURS you are trying to avoid by being CoD with him.

tessthemess posted 5/31/2017 13:31 PM

I am trying. A lifetime of this can not be undone in a few months, and I'm being patient with myself.

I'm reading Boundaries by Henry Cloud right now. It's thick on Christianity which is a little hard to navigate as that's not my religion, but the messages and information is wonderful. It's even helped me with disciplining my children. Instead of just telling them they have to do something, I'm saying "Well yes you can temper tantrum here in the store, but then I'll need to grab you and carry you to the truck and you won't get the dessert you want. OR, you can stop right now and we can keep shopping. Your choice." It seems to be effective.

Also I'm really working hard on my fear. Fear of losing my marriage. I'm allowing myself to feel it, but then bidding it good-bye, reminding myself that the only constant in life is change. I'm keeping myself busy and reminding myself, constantly, that I am ok. And I'm reaching out to others when I need it.

onlytime posted 5/31/2017 13:39 PM

@Itiswell2015

Still stuck and letting my WH treat me like garbage while i try to convince myself that he isnt so bad.

What is the underlying fear that keeps you stuck?

onlytime posted 5/31/2017 13:45 PM

@tessthemess

Also I'm really working hard on my fear. Fear of losing my marriage. I'm allowing myself to feel it, but then bidding it good-bye, reminding myself that the only constant in life is change.

It's good that you are allowing yourself to feel your fears, but are you getting down to the roots of them, really exploring them, understanding them?

Have you read any of Pema Chodron's books, specifically "The Places That Scare You"?

MissesJai posted 5/31/2017 13:48 PM

I agree with onlytime - you've got to get to the root of the fear so you can overcome it.

tessthemess posted 5/31/2017 16:47 PM

No I haven't. I'll look for that book.

I have loneliness issues- my parents were present physically but my mother in particular was neglectful. Not abusive, but never emotionally present. I was also bullied heavily in schools (history repeated itself in a few school environments) from Grade 1-9, until I went to an art school for high school and all the students there were 'misfits' like me. I've always felt very devastated from rejection and this was the ultimate.

MissesJai posted 5/31/2017 17:22 PM

ah, yes. Emotional abandonment by the person who was supposed to do the opposite. That is damaging.

Sounds like you are transferring your unmet needs from childhood on to your husband - looking to him and/or this relationship to heal those childhood wounds. We do this often - I transferred my unmet needs and pain onto my H. I expected him to fix all of it. He couldn't - he never could, TBH.

tessthemess posted 5/31/2017 23:58 PM

I am guilty of forcing the square peg into the round hole too. Knowing he was wrong for me but convincing and pleading in certain fights for him to just be that loving guy when he did not want to be. I just wouldn't give up.

Last year I was finally beginning to break away a bit- I developed more interests out of the home and accepted that he would just be my at home jerk. He then developed a deeper relationship with a coworker. While this didn't cause it, I know our growing separation enabled this. However, my separation took me to healthy interests like hiit classes and paint nights. His went to a fucked up affair.

onlytime posted 6/1/2017 08:19 AM

@tessthemess

While this didn't cause it, I know our growing separation enabled this.

It sounds like you are trying to blame yourself for the fact that the A was "able to happen". That somehow your choice to develop healthy interests for yourself (which is such an amazingly good thing that more of us need to do, btw), gave him the "ability" to betray you.

It didn't.

I know you probably will have difficulty believing that, but it didn't.

It took me a while to get that to sink in myself.

You see, in the months before dday I too had finally begun to develop healthy interests outside of my M. I was volunteering for a number of organizations, admin'ed a few FB pages and had started up my own website, as well as working towards a psych degree.

I was doing things to step away from codependency and towards more independence/interdependence.

When dday happened, and for a long time afterward I connected my steps toward independence as the reason my FWH betrayed me. "If only I hadn't tried to get health; if only I wasn't always so busy he wouldn't have betrayed me" was a thought that played on repeat through my head.

My brain twisted things to link my independence to his rejection and abandonment of me AND to him feeling rejected and abandoned because of me so therefore he was able to betray me.

What a jumbled up, fucked up shitshow that was swirling in my brain.

None of it was true though. Not when you look at it from the perspective of a healthy, non-codependent mind.

Healthy people in relationships encourage personal growth in their partners, they are not threatened by it. Healthy relationships are interdependent.

My FWH was not healthy and was threatened by my personal growth. He could have addressed at any point leading up to his betrayal, but he didn't. That was on HIM. Not me. I couldn't have forced him to do that even if I wanted to, because I have no control over anyone but ME.

It took me a long time to get to that realization, but it was very healing.

It has also been healing to finally really dig into the roots of my codependency and face all that shit head on. A common theme through my codependency (as well as my mental health diagnoses) is FEAR OF ABANDONMENT. There is so much shit beneath that too...so many other fears...attempts to control people and situations...but getting to the roots of it and getting healthier is pretty amazing!

MissesJai posted 6/1/2017 11:55 AM

Knowing he was wrong for me but convincing and pleading in certain fights for him to just be that loving guy when he did not want to be. I just wouldn't give up.
This is so me. I perpetrated this lie to myself for 17 years. It's definitely transference and fear of being abandoned, yet again by someone you love. How was your relationship with your father?

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