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Newest Member: AnnSar

Wayward Side :
codependency

flame

 soulstuck (original poster new member #82357) posted at 11:16 PM on Saturday, November 12th, 2022

It's pretty clear to me now that I am codependent. My EA was with a self-avowed narcissist. After watching a video about the book Human Magnet, things make so much more sense to me now. I was incredibly drawn to my affair partner. I felt seen, safe, understood, respected, admired, desired. His dominance was irresistible to me. I still am drawn to him. I don't think that will ever go away. I certainly wish it would, because he's not who he presents himself to be, but if I could control my heart right now, I wouldn't be in this situation.

I can't afford therapy. My husband is in IC and needs it more, plus we're doing MC. It's too $$$, and we're pretty much living on savings right now. I've been married for 25 years, and I can look back and see that I was severely codependent in the early days of our marriage.

My husband has always been securely attached, but he is definitely the leader and I am the follower in our marriage. And I want/wanted it that way. I was raised fundamentalist Christian, and that is my default setting. I feel safest in a very strict traditional gender role marriage, regardless of how my views on gender equality have evolved over the years.

I really thought I had matured a lot and even become more securely attached rather than anxiously attached. I ended up feeling (unconsciously) starved for attention and love, and I found it in a narcissist who used me. He became a different person when I stopped being an easy ego boost for him. It was eye-opening. Disorienting. I still have trouble convincing myself to believe his actions more than his words.

What I want to know is, what can I do to not need outside love so much? I can find all sorts of information about what codependency is and anxious attachment and narcissism, and I feel like I am understanding more and more how I ended up where I did. I was faithful for 24 years. But I can't find much to help me not need to be loved so much. This rocked my world, not to mention my husband's, and I don't want to repeat the pain I caused my husband or myself. One safeguard is that I walked blindly into this EA, but I wouldn't be walking blindly into a second. I will know what's going on inside me and can set boundaries WAAAAYYYYYY earlier, before I get into a hot state where my decision making flies out the window.

But I feel like a cup with a crack in it. My husband can't love me enough. He has a prior history of lying to me, and though I can love him and I don't feel like he lies to me anymore, I will never believe he loves me the way I love him. I thought I had found my true soul mate in my EAP, and he broke my heart--- not because he wouldn't have a physical affair, but because he kept jerking me around emotionally when I was trying to return to being "just friends" (I know, now, of course: impossible). I was just a toy to him. My fantasy was to have both men in an open marriage. That was dumb. Naive. Selfish.

I think it's probably hard for some people to believe that I never stopped loving my husband, but it's true. I told my EA partner that during the affair, and I never wavered from that when I confessed to my husband. I never turned my husband into a bad guy to justify my affair. I tried to make it honest by pushing my EA partner to be open and honest.

Things I feel like are making good progress:
-strengthening boundaries
-being able to say no to men
-growing a thicker skin
-not needing to please everyone
-other people's problems are not my problems to solve
-take 50% of the blame for my affair rather than 100% (even my MC and husband are telling me this)
-meeting my husband in the middle rather than molding myself to him or erasing my own wants or needs


What I need help with:
I don't want to need as much love as I do. I want to not need anybody. It bothers my husband when I say this, because he hears it as continuing to be disconnected from him, but he doesn't understand how much love consumes me. I just want to love, to feel love, the way it seems normal people do. Because that's all I get in return. I don't get the same level of love I give. How do I get there? I know, if I don't work on this part of me, a part of me will crave my EA partner for the rest of my life. His bad treatment of me in the end just made me want him more. To prove myself worthy of his love--- that I can somehow make him understand me again and want me again and see that we are soulmates. And that's completely bonkers. But it's freaking true. I wish it wasn't, but it is. Fucked up as it is.

My heart just expanded to include him rather than supplanting my husband. I want to shrink my heart again, and I don't know how.

[This message restored by Webmaster at 11:59 AM, Wednesday, November 16th]

[This message edited by soulstuck at 4:19 AM, Sunday, November 13th]

posts: 5   ยท   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022
id 8764945
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