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Miss Bunny Co-Dependant

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mangomoon posted 6/20/2013 23:27 PM

Before posting here I've checked out the Healing Library briefly, obviously there is a lot there to go through and I do plan to serve myself to it. I've also read the 180. It does makes sense even though I can see how hard it will be! I've also read a number of posts as well, mostly in this forum; some made me cry, a little for myself as I am feeling the same as some describe but also for the others who are clearly in so much painÖ and at the same time, I am amazed at how many absolutely wonderful people there are here trying to help others. Thank you for this.

So my situation, as I see it, is this: 3 years ago I fell in love with a man who does not exist. Iíd split from my previous relationship (of 12 years Ė age 18-30) and had been single, just dating here and there, for about 2 years. No one in that time interested me one bit. No chemistry, no interest, just nothing. Everything felt forced and uncomfortable. Then there was him. We met online of course but I wanted to meet as soon as possibleÖ Iím better in person. And there was instant chemistry, major attraction, major interest. I felt like I was a teenager again. I could not believe that those feelings could still occur as an adult. Absolutely amazing as all first love is I guess. And so we continued to date and things were great. I should note that heíd been officially separated from his wife for 6 months when we met, though from what I understand, prior to her moving out, they were separated while living together still for several months as well since their youngest was a baby. Anyway, an ugly, stressful divorce proceeding began shortly into our relationship and lasted about a year. I met his children (I have none) about 3 months into the relationship and we hit it off. Since they were 1yr and 3 yrs old it was easy to connect with them and we really did connect. Now it's 3 years later and I love them so much.

So before I continue I want to share that he has suffers from depression and anxiety, the onset of which began early in his marriage (about 8 years ago) and appeared in a very severe form. He could not leave the house for the better part of a year (literally) and had attempted suicide. Years of therapy and medication and learning some coping tools (some of which are obviously unhealthy and destructive and unbeknownst to his doctor - in my opinion) allowed him to learn to manage the illness (though he still canít travel beyond an hour or so drive from his home however, and he does still experience some low periods from time to time though I donít believe suicide is any longer a threat) but real discovery of the origins of the illness and true healing I donít believe has ever occurred. He was still seeing his doctor regularly when we met and continued to do so for more than a year later but then it stopped. He felt done. He could control his anxiety, talk himself through episodes, and pushed the boundaries of travel more and more. And he has no insurance or benefits so it costs a fortune and she wrecked him financially in the divorce. Further along in my adventure with this man I have come to believe there is even more going on. I believe there is a personality disorder there, he is without question a narcissist, with, at times incredibly low self esteem and haunted with shame. If I wasn't so damn heartbroken, I'd genuinely be fascinated.

Anyway, back to the beginning, after dating for some time it was becoming apparent that he was not completely honest in the beginning. Certain things like he had upgraded his education to University degree when really it was a college diploma in that field (He is not an Engineer he is an Engineering Technologist)Ö I chalked up that up to being insecure about his position because he is the only member of his family who does not have a degree (frankly who isnít a dentist and as a result extremely wealthy Ė yep Dad, Brother and Sister and Brother in Law, all dentists or dental surgeons). I could tell he felt inadequate about that and I felt sorry for him that he felt that way. Iíve never believed status, wealth or societyís opinion of achievement/success ever really defined you as a person and those things certainly donít mean that you are a better or worse than someone else. But he seemed to believe this rather deeply and felt what seems like shame for what a failure he was. There were other lies that became apparent but all seem to stem from the same insecurity and so it made me see him in a different light. Obviously the man he presented himself to be is not the real guy and to be honest, I became far more attracted to the real guy with all this vulnerability and pain, and much less to the fabricated oneÖ He is extremely affectionate and expressive of love. I was also genuinely intrigued at this manís complexity. So I stuck around and re-fell in love... even more so this time. I tried to be as supportive and encouraging as I could since he clearly still had a lot of healing to do.

Well I don't know if it is summer fever or the fact that he can't be left alone for any period of time or this is seasonal sexual narcissism? I swear I think that's possible! but every summer we've been together he cheats. Usually with at least 2 women. He tells them the same lies he told me and they fall for him like I did. Yes, we are all ridiculous. K I donít mean thatÖ I am having a bitter moment. I don't believe that at all... he is very charismatic, very attractive, and a good lover. Not as great as he believes he is though, tsk. Anyway, he knows exactly what to say. He is an actor and he's mastered his lines. We, all of us, are good women just wanting to give and receive love. They have no idea who he really is. Us silly codependants... we're magnets for the narces. Yes, at least some of my own issues are not lost on me. I spent the entire night crying, screaming, blubbering.... and now exhausted and find this almost funny. He's now out with one of them as I type this, thus the reason for the crying episode earlier.

Anyway, I digress. Wow this is long. I am sorry. But it is getting me through this awful night and keeping me from playing the image of him with another woman. So if youíre not into reading a novel, I wonít hold it against anyone.

Well, anywayÖ I feel it immediately. The change in him when it happens... I get this feeling in my gut. It is strong and tells me something is amiss. I didnít know what it was the first time but now I know, my gut in this situation is never wrong. I feel it before I noticed the behaviours. Then I start to pay attention. The first time I was confused and didn't understand it and was absolutely shocked, he denied it so then I needed to find proof so he couldnít, which was easy cause he doesnít thinks I am dumber than I am. Finally he owns it and says he was lonely and didn't feel enough love from me but it wasnít me that no one could give him as much love as he needed and at the same time he felt the need to be wild. He was in a marriage for so long and separated for 6 months when we met. He didn't have enough time. He loved me and he knew it wasnít fair to expect more from me, no one could give him what he needed, he needed too much. He wanted to feel loved and desired. The first time, we were dating so we didn't see each other daily. I understood the need to sow the oats. I was hurt but didnt think it was the end of the world. I don't think cheating is unforgivable as long as there is honesty and a desire to truly reconcile... which I thought we had afterward. I told him it stops now and he agreed and did what I asked. He seemed genuinely remorseful.

The second time i went away on vacation with friends and without him - remember he can't travel- came home found underwear in the bed...tsk; similar, only the divorce was still going on and it really had been hell, like really bad. He was feeling especially low but at the time I didnt realize how much and so I went cause he said he was fine. I honestly would have cancelled if he wasnt. But of course he wasnt and off he went seducing some poor unsuspecting single mom... Again though he seemed remorseful but he went back and forth between being very cold, almost nasty and then back to loving for a while before he finally got back to Ďnormalí. Trust took a long time this time but somehow I just forgot about it because things were great and the behaviours were gone.

And now.. theyíre BACK. This time i was extremely busy at work, major OT for 2 weeks, no choice and he got lonely and off he went. Back to denying but I already checked his phone and have my proof. But if he knows I hacked his phone then he'll just change his password and make it harder. I don't really need to confront him anyway. I know what he's doing and knew it immediately. All the behaviours are back. He knows I know but he still wants to play this denial game. Itís been icy cold in the house for a week now with sweetness few and far between (sweetness is usually our normal). Ugh thatís hard. I hate the cold. And before leaving tonight he instigated a conflictÖ He is almost blatantly now throwing it in my face going out tonight the way he did. I texted him to come home and to stop what heís doing. Itís wrong and hurtful and I donít deserve this. The response I got wasÖ doing what? Iím not doing anything wrong bunnyÖ. Bunny is my pet name. Sweetness is back. He calls me by my real name ONLY during the cold spell. Miss is when heís just being friendly, but Bunny is our normal sweetness. He must be post-coital.


So now, since I am obviously still not prepared to leave, I feel somewhat responsible for these unsuspecting women who are falling victim to his behaviour. I have to give him credit, heís got great taste in women From what I can see (Iíve never met one just from the evidence trail) they seem to be kind, generous, smart and attractive women just looking for loveÖ and genuinely have no idea that heís got more than one on the go PLUS a live-in girlfriend who heís made a family life with in his home and with his children. Often they are single momís as well so heís got an in there too being a single dad but I almost find that extra mean. Single parenting isnít easy and he has live in help!

Heís getting better at hiding his tracks though. All I have from one of them now is a blackberry bbm pin and I donít have a blackberry so I canít pin her to warn her. And Miss Bunny Co-dependant has basically neglected her friendships for the last 3 years and so confiding in anyone the humiliation I feel is also not going to happen anytime soon. So, basically no warning her. So this will continue and she will get hurt worse the longer it goes one and I will continue to get hurt and on we go on the merry-go-round.


Again I apologize for the length but I am no longer crying and no longer bitter and I think I will actually be able to sleep a couple of hours now, till he gets home.

Dare2Trust posted 6/21/2013 00:19 AM


Welcome, and I'm so sorry for the pain and turmoil your're going through:

I'm hoping your really don't mean this:

Well I don't know if it is summer fever or the fact that he can't be left alone for any period of time or this is seasonal sexual narcissism? I swear I think that's possible! but every summer we've been together he cheats. Usually with at least 2 women.

Since you've been reading the Healing Library...I hope you realize you are dealing with a SERIAL CHEATER...and you've done nothing to deserve this shit!

So, what are you going to do?
Continue a marriage with a man who cheats - when the mood hits him?

You know what he's doing is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG...and he's putting you in extreme danger, health-wise, for one thing.

Personally, I'd kick his butt to curve and divorce him. Cheat once, OK: We talk about it and work things out: But every year with a couple of different OW? I don't think so!!!!

It's your call.
When is enough ENOUGH for you?

UMBL posted 6/21/2013 11:18 AM

Blended families are hard enough without all this extra drama, don't you think? I'm so sorry, I also have a serial cheater/SA for a husband...keep talking - it is helping me. I have read/lurked on SI for the past several years and just started posting and it helps so much more....keep talking.

I saw where you were not married yet...and only you can decide what you are willing to live with/through. I know that my WH has to give me complete transparency, passwords, go to therapy, be remorseful etc. for me to continue.

Has he ever given you what you need to truly heal and will he consider therapy to heal himself?

mangomoon posted 6/22/2013 20:42 PM

Thank you D2T. Yes, I know he`s a serial cheater. And we`re common law, not married so no need to divorce. I would never go after him for assets etc... I can support myself and I don`t need anything from him. I also don`t have the capacity for anger that it takes to go after someone like that (I do understand if it`s necessary then you just need do what you need to). So i leaving, I`d just leave quietly and it would not need to be messy and I don`t think he wants a repeat either so he`d let me go quietly as well.

And no I don`t think I deserve to be treated this way at all. I have a lot of love inside of me and I have been very good to him and his children.

I get checked for STDs every 6 months just to be safe but Iíve also found condom boxes that he thinks he hides so I believe he is being safe. I think he is afraid of a pregnancy more than anything else, actually...

My concern now is, other than I still love him even though he behaves horribly, (and yes I know I have some issues of my own to work out and I`m not there yet)... but what makes this excruciating is that I love his boys as if they were my own. And they love me too. The youngest does not remember a time without me in his life. And the oldest barely remembers it. But they are not my kids. So leaving him means leaving all of them. Forever. Yes, I could try to fight for some rights to see them but I don`t think I`d win, and frankly, it would cause such turmoil in that family just like his divorce did. His oldest son is already showing signs of anxiety, and you can tell the situation with his parentsí divorce and her moving them away from the town has affected him greatly. I fear that would just make things worse. That`s not fair to him. No, it is not fair to me either, I know but a 5 year old with an already fragile state of mental health and with the possibility of a genetic predisposition to a slew of other issues inherited from his Dad is just not something that should be discarded easily. And if he can be helped early on, maybe he can avoid turning out to be like his Dad and continue this legacy of pain and destruction. The grandfather is a piece of work as well. The decision to leave would mean leaving them and that is just not something that is easy to do. There are consequences to staying and there are consequences to leaving.

tushnurse posted 6/22/2013 21:17 PM

Gently- but I feel I have to say. Who are you living your life for? You? Your boyfriend? His kids? Seriously. You need to take two steps back and consider what you NEED, WANT, and DESERVE.

You are putting your own health at risk. What Manogamous adult feels the need to get tested for STD's every 6 months. This is NOT normal. Yes you leaving will have an impact on his kids, but you staying will have an equal of not more detrimental impact. You staying shows them that ia totally unhealthy relationship is "normal". It is showing them that it's the womans job to be a doormat. Their mother saw the issues and did what was right for her and her kids. Perhaps you should consider why she left him. Heck even talk to her about it. If you are having a positive impact with the kids she may welcome you and allow you to continue some sort of relationship with them

Get yourself in IC, get busy reading books about codependency. Stop the cycle. Heal you.

(((and strength)))

mangomoon posted 6/22/2013 21:28 PM

Thanks UMBL. No intention to marry. It`s really not my thing. And I don`t think he would either. He fantasizes about the idea of it I thinkÖ heís like a bit of a dreamer wanting the fairy tale that doesn`t exist and then he behaves in a way that no fairy tale could ever even have a chance anyway. At the same time I think itís more like he fantasizes about me fantasizing about it, like I wish heíd ask me. Which I donít.
The first time I didnít know to ask for access, the second time it wasnít an issue. He stopped all the behaviours. It was fine for a long while. This time, heís still denying. Tonight for example, as heís walking out the door, he asks if I trust him. Iím like, hmmm do I trust that you are actually going to ĎChaptersí to have some alone time and read some books while havng just showered, shaved, put on cologne, passed on dinner, dressed in your hottest jeans, a tight black shirt and your date shoes lol (Heís a khaki shorts and t-shirt guy.) Like seriously? I think Iím more insulted at the fact that he clearly thinks I am the dumbest person on earth more than the fact that heís out again with another woman. Anyway, I told him I had my doubts.

He`s still denying. Saying that he`s going out with a friend but can`t be honest about that because he`s never been able to be honest about his female friends (with past relationships)... that women were always a threat. Just friends. lol He`s deleted everything off his phone already so there is nothing to see.

And yes I think this site is amazing and I think it will help me a lot. I`m not ready to take such drastic actions right now when so much is at stake. I just need a little help with the pain when it becomes hard.

Yes talking helps, since I can`t talk to anyone in my life about it, I`m very grateful for this site.

mangomoon posted 6/22/2013 21:44 PM

His ex is awful. Incredibly greedy, manipulative and she uses the kids to hurt him. She won`t even give his mother an extra day with her grandchildren. She`s not a nice lady. I don`t care how much someone has hurt you, to use your kids for revenge is disgusting. This woman allowing me access to these kids will never happen. I already know that isn`t an option.

I know my situation is not normal. I know it is ridiculously abnormal and unhealthy. And yes, I do agree that I need counseling and I am trying to find some that is affordable.

But I`m not prepared to just walk away from these kids and never see them again. I get sick just thinking about losing them.

HURTAGAIN1981 posted 6/23/2013 09:01 AM

I never usually reply to posts as I am fairly new and other people always seem to offer amazing advice that I just don't have, but here I felt I had to as I feel I am in the same situation as you were a few years ago just before you met this man. I also believe and have been told many times on here that I am severely co-dependent.

Reading your post was a little different to others who have posted in the JFO forum. Others seem so upset, are raging, going crazy etc. That is not to say you are not upset, I know you are.

The difference with you seems to be that you have accepted defeat. You know what he is doing, you know how much it is hurting you yet you seem willing to take a back seat and let him carry on as he wishes. I am certainly not trying to be harsh with you but this post is just so different to many I have read.

Please please do not waste your life being there for this man whilst he continues to hurt and disrespect you in the worst possible way. It seems he has SERIOUS mental issues and he is NOT a good human being to be around, that's putting it lightly.

Like I said, I am in the same situation as you were. I have just come out of a horrible relationship, a person so bad, I have NEVER met anyone like him before. A cheat, pathological liar and I am very sure that he is a narcissist also! I am still in the process of trying to untangle myself from his web of disgusting manipulation and downright obscene attitude towards sex and women. It's sickening.

I am trying my hardest to move on, being so co-dependent really makes it hard to do so but I am getting there. And like you back a few years ago, I am trying to date here and there and noone is sparking my interest right now. I have been advised against dating but I feel it is helping me in some way.

What I am trying to say is, you are 35, YOUNG, like me! You do not have to put up with this misery. I know it will be hard to walk away from the children, but right now, it is either them or you!

I gather that the oldest is 5. You may or may not be able to get visitation rights, I think you should look into this. But if not, does that mean you stay until the children are old enough to have the right to see you if they want to? Will you really wait until they are 18 to do this? By that time you will be 53. You will have sacrificed what could be your best years, you will have lived a life of misery for so many years and it will be harder then to start a new life.

On the other hand, there is no guarantee that he will keep you around. What if he meets someone he really wants a relationship with during this horrible cheating? And then he decides that he no longer wants to be with you and stops you from seeing the children that way? I'm not saying this would happen but it is definitely a possibility.

Please think about what you are doing. Please don't waste your life!

mangomoon posted 6/24/2013 12:27 PM

Thank you HA1981. Posting here helps me get my thoughts in order. Itís also helpful to get the perspective of others. It allows me to obtain lots of information in order to make the best decision for me. I also watch and observe my partner a lot. I look for patterns of behaviour but also for reasons for the behaviour. Please understand, I know there is a difference between excuses and reasons. I am not looking to excuse the behaviour, Iím looking to understand it. I also spend a lot of time reflecting on my own behaviour and how I emotionally and physically respond. This is my process for decision makingÖ it is long and methodical but it actually helps with the pain. Iíve always found it was more painful and way harder to recover from something when you do not understand why it happened. Yes, it means I endure hardship for the time being but when I come out the other end of it, I do not live with regret. I believe regret, and the potential return to a toxic situation, is far worse than enduring it for a while in order to determine how or if it can be managed and eventually healed, or exhausting that, make a decision that I never have to look back on.

My last relationship which was almost 12 years long (began at 18), it took me 2 years to leave. It was different than this one however. There was no cheating or lying. In that situation, it was neglect. WE did absolutely nothing together except for family obligations and didn't want to. We had our own lives, literally. We were together so long that leaving didnít even cross my mind. I didnít even notice the problems at first until they began to manifest physically in me. When I began to look at it and found I was unhappy in the relationship, it felt like I had to leave family. And it made my physically sick to consider it. I couldnít and if I did, I knew that the second I had a chance to go back I would have taken it. So I had to work through it. Figure out what I wanted and how to articulate it and how to get it. Replay it over and over until I no longer felt sick. And when the time finally came, it was hard, but not that hard. I was ready. I was confident. And I knew I would not regret or falter on my decision for a single second. And I didnít. Even when I found out heíd met someone and moved on. I felt it for sure... like a little kick to the stomachÖ but after a few minutesÖ I felt happy for him and happy for me.

I have worked through a bit of the process for discovering my dependency on this current manÖ for years, I was quite frankly starved for affection. Iíd never been affectionate as a child and so as an adult, it did not come naturally to me. I did not realize how much affection I do want and needÖ both to receive and to be able to give it. And in this current relationship there has been an abundance of this. And it is powerful. We also, normally, do almost everything together and enjoy it.

I have indeed gone through the process of thinking whether or not I have it in me to allow this to continue in order to maintain the things I do receive and am allowed to give in return. There are all kinds of relationships after-all, open ones, some with some 'freedoms', people are together for lots of reasons, not just love. However, after going through that exercise I have confidently come to the conclusion that in those successful arrangements, there is either openness and trust or dishonesty and pain. I do not like dishonesty and find that aspect to be the most painful of the situation. And quite frankly, I have no desire to be with others, nor do I wish to share my partner with others. So, I can confidently close the book on that being an option.

But there still remains the fact that this man does have mental issues. A personality disorder, and while I know I am not qualified to diagnose it, I know Iím not wrong. So, here is someone who clearly has a problem that is and will continue to hurt him and everyone around him, who requires help and if he does not receive it (and accept it) will just continue down this path of destruction. Can I walk away without at least trying to help him and feel completely fine about it because, after-all, I will have saved me from the pain he caused. I feel that, at this time, that if I walk away when I am not ready, I will feel the pain of that... feeling as though I gave up and abandoned people I love to save my self only to have caused myself harm in doing so. I will always wonder if it could have been different if I tried. And wondering, is not something I feel I can live with easily. Knowing the answer to that however, is most certainly manageable.

This is simply the way my brain works. I need to exhaust all possibilities, all reasons. I need to be confident in my decisions when I make them. That means doing the due diligence of having tried everything I could to resolve the issue before taking drastic measures. When I think through the leaving process now, I get sick. Vomiting in the toilet. That means Iím not ready. Iíll just come back. I need to make damn sure that this can either be fixed or that it canít be fixed, so that I if/when I go, I will never return.

So, in order to go that I need to let the raw emotions pass a bit so I can get my head together. Gather evidence, make a plan, present the plan and allow him, and me, the chance to try.

[This message edited by mangomoon at 12:31 PM, June 24th (Monday)]

Chunk posted 6/24/2013 14:43 PM

You know your WBF's problems, pains, feelings, and needs better than your own. You've studied him. You know every nook and cranny of him that is available to you. But do you know your needs, pains, feelings and problems nearly as much as his?

mangomoon posted 6/24/2013 14:57 PM

Thank you C. I don't know all of his feelings and pains, etc... no could. But yes, I do spend a lot of time reflecting on my own behaviour and how I emotionally and physically respond situations, this one included. This is my process for decision making, my tool box... major reflection and introspection arguing or allowing for the argument of all angles. Reading and writing on this site. And I am trying to find affordable counseling to help as well.

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