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Have your other relationships changed as you became healthier?

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seekingright2013 posted 10/5/2013 14:04 PM

Hello NBers, I've been thinking a lot lately about how becoming less co-dependent is affecting other parts of my life.

I can see NOW that the exSO was way passive-aggressive and I slid into co-dependency. The beginning of the end of our relationship was me expecting him to hold up his end and be more responsible in general. I'd finally had enough and was ready to end it. That's when he begged me to stay in the relationship, give him another chance, be patient etc etc.

I was wiling to do that, and that lasted about a month, until I found out that he had started dating some girl at the same time he was asking me for more time in OUR relationship! There was a few days of back-and-forth drama and then I ended it. It was absolutely the right thing to do.

So, then I started seeing a therapist and reading everything that wasn't nailed down about codependency, FOO issues, PA behavior, etc etc. Very enlightening. I've really seen where I made some major and unhealthy mis-steps in the relationship. Red flags ignored and rationalized away. Next time (if there is a next time, haha) I'll do better, because I know better.

And actually I am doing better now! In my friendships. And hence this post.

I think my becoming healthier is leading to an ending of a 10-year friendship. Part of me is sad about it, of course, but I am also realizing that my friend has exhibited sooooo many unhealthy behaviors, and in the past, when I tried to 'be there' for her as a friend, it was sometimes a sacrifice made at my expense, that I shouldn't have made.

Interestingly, this friend has been the OW twice in the past. The second time my friend was the OW, the AP's BW tried to commit suicide, the BW ended up in the hospital several times, once with a heart attack etc. Finally the AP left his wife and 12yo daughter. At some point, separate domiciles were established, child support started but no legal divorce.

With this second AP, my friend was on-again, off-again for over 4 years. FOUR years. At the time, I had not been through infidelity 101 and was mildly disapproving and still tried to be a supportive friend, especially when my friend would break up with her AP.

Well, guess what -- after a five-year hiatus, and another relationship that ended, my friend was back with her second AP. She hid it from me for several months. She finally told me about it, and said she wanted to end it. She asked me for my support, and I said OF COURSE, call me anytime etc.

The reason she decided to end it this 2nd go-round, was that he has had 4 or 5 FWB going at the same time he is (supposedly) separated legally from his wife. So she felt she couldn't trust him, didn't want to be with someone who wasn't officially divorced etc.

I was VERY honest with her, shared the SI url, encouraged her to get rid of this guy, if it helped HER to contact the f***-buddies, then do so etc.

My friend told me she would be calling me daily to check in and then never called. After a couple days, I tried to get in touch with her, (called 2x and texted 2x) and she has been dodging me. A couple of quick texts saying she'd call, and then no call. I feel pretty sure she's back with him.

So it's been a couple of weeks and I haven't heard from her and also I haven't tried to contact her. I figure our friendship is over.

I don't even know, even with our long history, that I want to continue this friendship anyway. That's really sad to me, because we did go through a lot together as friends. BUT I can look back and see where I was there for her a lot more than she was there for me.

I'm sorry for her that she's making such a terrible choice with her life, but hey, it's her life. I do have other friends, thank goodness, and a lot of good things going on in my own life to focus on.

Curious if other folks have seen 'getting healthier' affect other relationships/friendships.

HurtsButImOK posted 10/5/2013 16:47 PM

it has for me. Becoming a more healthy individual who respects my own self worth has enabled me to set boundaries and enforce them. I have removed a lot of toxic friendships because they are not healthy for me.

I have also worked proactively with my mother to have a healthy relationship with boundaries. She has encroached a couple of times but is respectful when these are pointed out, so I am willing to continue the relationship with her. It is better and more fulfilling now than it has ever been.

Nature_Girl posted 10/5/2013 18:31 PM

It's changing my relationships with my family members (mother, siblings). I speak my truth now. I express my thoughts & emotions. When they try to shame me for not carrying on my normal invisible & silent doormat routine I stand up for myself.

phmh posted 10/5/2013 18:42 PM

Interestingly enough, I was only codependent with XWH, and had healthy relationships with friends and family.

However, I frequently made excuses to friends and family why I couldn't spend time with them (real reason: XWH had no friends and didn't like people, so he'd get sad if I did things without him and never wanted to do anything with my friends together.)

So, as I got rid of XWH and became healthier all around, my friendships have really taken off because I'm able to actually be more of a friend and not just e-mail them when I was at work or see them on the nights when he had to spend the night at the hospital.

Pass posted 10/5/2013 21:11 PM

For sure. The bottom line is that I now have friends, instead of just hanging out with The Princess and her friends. I've become much more open - actually answering the question when people ask how things are going.

And here's what I've learned. People are fucking nice! They want to be my friends.

Apart from the odd snipe or barb from The Princess, and my continuing financial difficulties, life is good.

cmego posted 10/6/2013 09:47 AM

Yes, I've learned to have better boundaries in all of my relationships.

With new friends, I am careful to not be the "savior". I have good friends, but they are all ones that add to my life, not take away. Being supportive is one thing, but if I am doing all of the supporting, and getting nothing back from them...then I distance myself. I don't have the emotional reserves to give to someone without the support in return.

Same with dating. If a guy is "taker", then I am very careful and watch behavior. I want to be supportive, but again, if the relationship is "off balance", then it is time to let it go.

I did the same with my family. I am close to them, but I don't expect them to be my emotional support just because they are my family. They are just people too. Once I realized that I needed to keep that boundary, I stopped being disappointed in their behavior.

So, yes, all of my relationships have become healthier, and I have worked hard to keep it that way. I have amazing, supportive friends and I will wait for a guy who supports me as much as I can support him. I will never be co-dependant/ let a guy use me...again.

seekingright2013 posted 10/6/2013 17:08 PM

To those who replied, thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment! I really appreciated reading everyone's perspectives.

@cmego, yes!! Avoiding savior behavior. Me too.

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