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Codependency in the Marriage: A BS’s common mistake
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yep that's me
I have been a codependent for a LONG time. My biological mother was an alcoholic and was never around. I was left home alone on numerous occasions around the age of 4-6 with my younger sister. I also grew up in foster homes. It's really no wonder I have this constant need for acceptance and approval. I've always been a people pleaser, agreed to things I didn't want to do, said yes when I wanted to say no, and avoided conflict at all costs. I always knew that about myself and HATED it but never knew there was a name nor how unhealthy it was. I went from one relationship to another, feared being alone, and stayed too long in bad relationships.
Until my Wh cheated on me. It was at that point I realized how awful I had been to myself. I had given up a career I loved, I had put off school because we couldn't afford my student loans, I overwhelmed myself by cleaning up after everyone and never asking for help, I took care of Wh's four kids from a previous marriage more than he did, I put my own daughter's needs behind Wh's, I accepted the bare minimum while Wh got the best, I gave, I gave, and I gave until I couldn't give anymore. And where did I land???? A sahm, with no job, no dreams or goals, no life outside of motherhood, no hobbies, and a complete shell of a person. Yet, it wasn't enough to keep Wh from straying. As much as I gave, it wasn't enough. I still didn't give him the "attention" he needed.
I'm wide awake now and realize just how pathetic I had become. I allowed that to happen to me. I allowed others to use me. I'm done with all that.
I am at a crossroads, however. Do I try to make my marriage work? Or do I let go and finally focus on ME? I'm trying to do both.
You can do both but it takes fixing and working on you first. You need to get healthy enough that you make the choice to stay not out of obligation but desire to rebuild and have ehte marriage you deserve. Have you found a good IC? one who can help you make healthy choices for yourself?
lordhasplans- I start IC next Wed and we will start MC the next day. My biggest fear is I will continue the co-dependent behavior and never really work on myself. Recognizing it has helped some however. In some situations I have found myself start to behave how I normally would and then I stop myself and put my foot down. Some progress has been made I suppose.
"I'll forgo/put off haircuts and new clothes in an instant if it seems the budget is too stretched for those things yet I didn't complain loudly and directly enough about HIS spending habits."
Yes. Me, too.
And I took his three grandchildren children on a very nice vacation. He whined all the way through. Later I found he was calling OW the whole time and went round to fuck her the day after we got back.
[This message edited by jemimapd at 1:35 PM, October 11th (Friday)]
I didn't read all the responses to this thread, so if someone else has posted what I am about to say, I apologize for making people read it a second time.
I've read several things that have countered the "codependency" label. A better description of the BS response is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. I've even seen it specifically called Post Traumatic Infidelity Disorder, or PTID.
The behaviors a BS manifests line up with PTSD, and we should not be considered codependent, as shock and the other traits that come with it are normal responses to such a traumatic event as infidelity.
The treatment and recovery from PTSD are similar to what is required to "heal" from infidelity.
Wow, gives me some things to think about regarding myself. Not in a self-deprecating way....more of a "how to better myself" kind of way. I appreciate the initial post & will read more of the replies when I have some time.
I am not new but just read this. Right now I am reading Co-Dependant No More.
I saw myself in your initial post....
******This dynamic allows the BS to get to be the person who is in control and thus be respected for being the responsible one or one who steps up. It allows the BS to be the better person, the smarter person, the person who’s recognized as having it all together. They’re defining themselves as strong enough to deal with it, when actually they need to realize that maybe they should be taking care of themselves instead of proving their strength.****
The thing is - my H has owned the A from the get-go. He started taking accountability not just for the A but for things he let go around the house, being more hands on with our boys, standing up more with regards to his family. It was like a switch went off and 10 months later he is consistent.
I find I love the new attention from him and certainly don't want it to stop but I also recognize that I need to be happy with me no matter what.
I am quite relieved to not be controlling so much in our lives anymore. It was exhausting. But I do catch myself doing it every now and then. It's like I need people to go, "Wow! you are awesome!" Or, "if it weren't for LA, this would have fallen apart". Thus, the book.
ps: the woman talking about lugging all the stuff to the game and looking like hell and resenting her H who was being fawned over by all the women was so us. I have a different example but its all the same really.
Good post. Thanks again!
[This message edited by LA44 at 2:22 PM, October 11th (Friday)]