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Codependency & Loving Too Much

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MissesJai posted 5/2/2017 19:02 PM

that level of self-awareness is fantastic progress!!! I too recognize the depths of my CoD and I see it in ALL of my relationships. I have to talk myself out of being CoD - like "MJ that's CoD. Stop it"

One day at a time. Keep it up!

WhatsRight posted 5/2/2017 19:10 PM

I just wanted to respectfully say that I don't get how it is bad to enjoy doing for others.

I hate to be stupid, or out of the loop. I don't think people's whole happiness should depend on others.

But...if I choose to have a spouse and children, I can't imagine that their happiness shouldn't have a effect on mine.

Or that it is bad to get a good feeling when helping others.

Can someone help me understand?

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 10:06 AM, May 5th (Friday)]

delilah2016 posted 5/3/2017 10:05 AM

Whatsright for me it's not about not doing for others, it's about putting others needs and wants before my needs on a continuing basis.

As in, my needs are not as important as other peoples needs because I'm not worth as much as others.

I love my kids and I love doing for them and helping them, but when they don't appreciate the sacrifices that I make for them to have more than I have, it's time to stop.

For me the codependency follows me to work where I help others before I do my own work, and through my life when at the store I would go beyond being kind to put a stranger's needs before my own.

It may not make sense if you're not codependent or not far enough along in recovery. I wouldn't have understood before I started learning about why I do the things I do.

I can say though that my codependency starting with a narc mom that I had to take care of from a way too young age. She taught me that taking care of her needs was more important than taking care of my needs. I don't remember a time that I wasn't taking care of my mom so it started when I was way too young and the pattern has continued my whole life.

Merida posted 5/4/2017 04:41 AM

As in, my needs are not as important as other peoples needs because I'm not worth as much as others

ok... so I am really struggling with than how does one reconcile the duality of the selfishness needed to commit infidelity with the belief that "my needs are not as important as other people..."

I sincerely mean no ill-will to any recovering wayward, I just cannot seem to connect the how can a co-D not connect and empathize with and therefore stop themselves from committing acts that are hurtful to those same others whose needs are said to be more important ??

if it is just the crazy mental gymnastics that waywards use to justify while compartmentalized and in la-la-land, ok, and that there can still be underneath that lie a pre-existing mental "I am un-worthy" co-D imbalance I can wrap my head around that aspect

But yeah, I have to admit I am stumbling with connecting to agreeing that a recovering wayward suffers from putting others' needs ahead of their own... sorry if my black-white thinking offends and if someone could better explain I would be appreciative because some days I think if I saw my WH as co-D in certain situations, instead of just a selfish jerk and /or thoughtless, it would help me understand why he doesn't speak up for himself in those certain situations

MissesJai posted 5/4/2017 10:05 AM

I think there is a really really fine line between enjoying doing things for others and seeking validation from doing those things. For a CoD, we feel worthless, useless, meaningless unless we have others to care for and obsess over.

if it is just the crazy mental gymnastics that waywards use to justify while compartmentalized and in la-la-land, ok, and that there can still be underneath that lie a pre-existing mental "I am un-worthy" co-D imbalance I can wrap my head around that aspect
this is pretty accurate. It's mental gymnastics at its finest.

[This message edited by MissesJai at 10:26 AM, May 4th (Thursday)]

delilah2016 posted 5/4/2017 10:19 AM

Meridia - I am a BS. My WH is a Narc or at least has Narc thought processes. I have allowed WH to have inappropriate relationships with OW (his EA's, the PA ended soon after Dday) due to his gaslighting and my not feeling worth it.

Ross Rosenberg's The Human Magnet Syndrome explains our relationship perfectly. Ross has lots of YouTube video's and the above book.

I'm not sure about what allows codependent's to commit infidelity, I only know what I as a codependent allowed in WH to make it ok for him.

Merida posted 5/4/2017 13:40 PM

interesting you bring up the narc aspect... Katumus tested on the spectrum so his aspergers mimics a selfish-like a narc on some issues but it is honestly he doesn't process and empathize like I do

so it's been a real eye-opener for me that here I have been like asking a blind person to read a book for me

we found it comfortable to call it co-D and counter-D with a bad dance dynamic regarding interrupting over word-definitions

so ... i recognize the work I need to do about saying no and not let my big heart enable an imbalance

but it has helped to see that while our work is different, it shares a re-framing and how we process perspectives

delilah2016 posted 5/6/2017 09:59 AM

it has helped to see that while our work is different, it shares a re-framing and how we process perspectives

This is sooooo true for us too. This morning WH asked me a question about his meds. In the past, I was the caretaker and would have known the answer. Now I know that I have to let go of what's his to take care of and I honestly didn't know the answer. It was a proud moment for me!!

I found this quote a while ago, I don't remember where, but it pops up on my phone every day to remind me:

Today I will work at developing a clear sense of what belongs to me and what doesn't. If it's not mine, I won't keep it. I will deal with myself, my issues, my responsibilities. I will take my hands off of what it not mine.

[This message edited by delilah2016 at 10:00 AM, May 6th (Saturday)]

josiep posted 5/7/2017 16:38 PM

Oh my word, does this all explain everything for me. And whoever said no one was more codependent than she was has never met me.

My husband got fired from a job one time. My twisted mind figured out that it was my fault so I went to his boss and told him everything was my fault and if they'd give hubby his job back, I'd leave town.

Oh, I am so upset with myself for not realizing all this sooner!

marji posted 5/7/2017 17:07 PM

Josie Just wanted to say I've just read all your posts and think you are fantastic!!!! Please get started on writing your book--could call it Free At Last! or should it be in form of a play??? Is there such a thing as both? Oh, yes, right, it's called a movie script from novel. Go for it.

Im a bit older than you, Josie, and have a very different situation but still relate and so appreciate your attitude and spirit. Would that you could patent and bottle it. But hey, let me stop with these suggestions. Just really wanted to say how much I admire--and, yes, envy, your spirit.

I especially related to your comment on being free of the fear of angering or annoying him. My H's main emotion for most of our 37 years together had been anger, annoyance (is annoyance even an emotion??). The man did not shed a tear at either of his parents' deaths. I mentioned that; he said that his dad had really died days before when he went into a coma--ok. but you didn't cry then either. Now I do understand that one can have emotion without tears--maybe that's a function of the ducts not working or whatever--but no other emotion expressed.

So I think maybe your H was similar and that is not much fun to live with. Our therapist has asked many times, how i was able to live with such a mate. But Josie, we do. We have children with them and we have things to do during the day, other things to think about, other things to care about. The days pass, the weeks and the years and hey, things are not that bad. Could be worse. Like now. We're not in Syria.

So I guess what I do not relate to is this "co-dependency" thing. Not sure what it means. Do know that women in our society are second class citizens and ladies in our generation (and forgive me a few years) were even more second class. So I think the whole "co-dependency" thing is too apolitical, too politically naive for my particular taste, so instead of thinking of you that way Im thinking of you as an SI heroine and so appreciate your sharing your story and your take on it.

OwningItNow posted 5/7/2017 18:02 PM

There are so many complicated aspects of codependency, and only some are being touched on here.

For me, my BIGGEST codependent trait is my desire to fix and help. I never even realize that I am exhausting myself in the process, but that is what happens. Codependents run themselves ragged doing for others!

And where are these other people that I am always working double duty to fix and help? What are they doing that they need my assistance? They are:

always the victim, poor them
or SO appreciative and love me lots
or incapable and just can't do it
or selfish and feel entitled
or pretending to be incapable because they are lazy
or damaged and dysfunctional, full of drama
or narcissistic and assume I should want to do it

There are a million reasons why I have needed to fix and help almost everyone I know, but the reasons don't really matter because they could never have taken advantage of my kindness if I hadn't allowed it.I betrayed myself!

Once I understood that, every relationship in my entire life began to look different. I stopped ignoring my fatigue, my need for fun, my desire to relax, my want of some pampering, and my boundaries. I started to feel like, "Damn it, woman--you deserve it! Do it! Enjoy!"

I have so much more energy and sanity now that I am at least AS good to myself as I am to others. Selfish? No, not really. Telling them no sometimes or saving my energy sometimes is not being selfish. Everyone still thinks I am nice.

(Some of the drama queens in my life--mommy dearest, for one--have stopped speaking to me over a boundary I put in place, but I hold steady and wait them out. I pretend not to notice their tantrums when I won't do exactly as they want, and eventually they get over it. I have my own needs to worry about, so too bad for them.)

delilah2016 posted 5/9/2017 10:12 AM

I'm starting to find all kinds of funny things my codependency causes...

Yesterday I was pulling up to a 4 way stop and realized that I will go out of my way rather than possibly delay someone else. Yesterday, I went straight rather than turn left in from of someone coming the other direction. WTF, I didn't want the other person to be delayed 30 seconds so I could turn left in front of them to do what I needed to do.

I did go straight yesterday, but next time, I hope to be able to turn left because I'm important too!!!

josiep posted 5/9/2017 18:18 PM

delilah2016, I do the same thing.

Imagine the traffic jam if 4 of us were at the 4-way stop at the same time!

Good luck to you. :)

josiep posted 5/10/2017 06:37 AM


yes and thank you so much for posting that! I've read it several times and will some more. I'm still reeling so bad, I'm having a hard time putting words in a coherent order to create a sentence.

But, slowly and surely, I intend to get there even if I'm taking baby steps or going backward sometimes.

WhatsRight posted 5/11/2017 22:39 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.

I want to get a grip on it - but no success yet.

realitybites posted 5/13/2017 12:38 PM

Don't know if anyone else has this, but here is an example of what I have:

My H will start to do something...anything...whatever it is...just name something, but anyway, he acts sincere, says he wants to do it, then will make sure he is "always" in front of me, by me, around me, whatever it is and just start to struggle, just start with the "sighing", "oh gosh I just don't understand" then the **mumble, mumble, mumble to himself** then "Hey RB, can you help me with this? I have been trying to do it for XYZ amount of time and I just can't get it" I will seriously TRY to not help, I get that crappy feeling in my gut that I should not be doing it...but he persists, begs, gets defensive, whatever.....and at the end of the day I have ended up helping him, the job gets done. And then he WANTS CREDIT FOR DOING IT! Seriously.

I used to think that love was about doing for others, but when you start to realize that they ALWAYS use you to do things, then after you do it for them they either want credit from you...or find some way of proving you are not good enough....there is CoDep.

When you are always the doer and the fixer. When you cringe before you do it, but then just think, "well it is just easier if I do it" that is CoDep.

Boy I can think of so many, but I am **raising my hand** and saying it took me a LONG time to accept it. Its crazy how we get programmed by a WS to do these things and then they make us feel like we don't love them if we don't do it.

delilah2016 posted 5/15/2017 14:50 PM

realitybites - my wh used to do that all of the time!!! He didn't usually take total credit, but it was always WE did this or WE did that. I'd be thinking "WE who"??? He walked in the room and watched.

Now he's more "helpless" which he is working on with his IC. He can't even decide how to drive to Walmart without asking which way is better. He is actually about 90% better when it's just us. Both kids live out of state and strangely, he reverts back to his helpless, attention seeking ways when they are around, which AGAIN makes me the bitch when I call him out....

I guess he has the topic for his next IC session. Both kids were around this weekend and his helpless, attention seeking behavior ruins my time with them. I try to observe not absorb as Ross Rosenberg suggests but it's soooo hard for me.

[This message edited by delilah2016 at 2:51 PM, May 15th (Monday)]

realitybites posted 5/16/2017 07:05 AM

Wow, yes delilah2016! I just don't understand it either with the kids now being older, its like he has reverted back to being this helpless, whiney, selfish...I just don't know what when they are around? Or is it just when I am in the same room? Can it be that petty that they are childish and selfish when their own children are in the room?

And yes to the "helplessness" mine too acts like he can't remember how to drive to the grocery store? He is getting more helpless and I thought this time of our life would be about us and it has become more about HIM. Which is a huge turn off for me quite frankly. I want him to act like the man, not a child. I want to be treated like a woman, not a mother. I try to back off and he gets angry or sullen.

delilah2016 posted 5/16/2017 10:20 AM

I had another codependent reality check this morning. I have an addiction to diet coke and I like to go to Mcdonalds in the morning to get a large one (they're only $1 ) and usually some type of breakfast sandwich.

I spend so much time these days analyzing everything I do . This morning I figured out that I go to McDonald's because I feel cared for. I could easily get a diet coke and a bagel at home, but I'm so happy when I drive through at McDonalds. They get me what I want, usually with a smile and they are taking care of me. WOW. I really am messed up!! I have to go to McDonald's to feel taken care of.....

lilies21 posted 5/17/2017 10:13 AM

Wow. I knew I was codependent but seeing so much of myself in those lists...wow. I didn't know I was codependent until after leaving Asshat. I didn't even know what codependent meant but read it here and researched it. Looking at the characteristics, I was so much worse when I was with Asshat. Leaving him, reading here, and being in IC have helped to where I can't put a check by every characteristic now but I still hit a lot of them. Knowing how I was then and how I am now, it feels like I'm a completely different person. I was going to post asking the question on how you can NOT be codependent, how to change that for yourself, but in writing I think I just answered my own question: time, awareness, and a desire for change. Dang, that probably fits with my post in another thread about losing weight . In codependency and weight loss, I still have a ways to go!

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