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Just Found Out Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Codependency in the Marriage: A BS’s common mistake
♀ Member
Member # 26133
Default  Posted: 2:27 AM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 DDs 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) Feb 09 16 other OW confessed. OW17 tried her unedifying hardest until Aug 09. R'd.

Posts: 5495 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: Europe
♀ Member
Member # 42581
Default  Posted: 9:13 PM, August 29th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


DD-March 2010
TT for 6 months
Unremorseful for 3.5 years

Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson

Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.

Posts: 3776 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
Member # 43477
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, October 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Posts: 203 | Registered: May 2014
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Member # 45409
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, October 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This hits a huge nerve with me. A good one though. Our whole marriage everyone told me how lucky I was to have such a great guy. It's all I have heard for 20 years. No one ever told him he was lucky. I was the one who got the amazing gift of a husband apparently. I gave up so much of who I am to please him. He insisted on no conflict what so ever. He presented himself as flawless. The whole time he behaved very narcissistically. I was a good wife, but he treated me like a ball and chain. He claimed that I never let him go do anything, while I openly encouraged it. He just didn't have any friends because he is a taker. He didn't have anyone to go out with, and I did. But, he blamed me. He broke my independent spirit. He isolated me from friends and family, all while acting amazingly loving. Then, the affairs happened. All I got from everyone is, "Oh, everyone makes mistakes." No one cared about my well being because he has everyone so shammed about what a great husband he is. It seems like everyone thinks it's my fault somehow. It doesn't matter that I have supported him and been positive through everything. I stroked his ego, was physically affectionate, and kind. I gave him sex whenever he wanted it.

When the affair happened, we had lots of sex, because somehow I felt it would keep him away from other women. I chased him. He was emotionally unavailable to me, and I chased while he retreated.

I went to the doctor and he gave me a stern lecture about how I should behave. He gave me some great meds. I turned around emotionally. I realized what a sham this whole thing has been. Once I withdrew, he started chasing me. He can't do enough for me, say he is sorry enough. He started IC. He is reading like crazy. Now, I'm not sure I want to be with him.

Shrugging the monster of codependence changes everything. I am feeling my feelings. I am no longer desperate to hang on or fix things. It's refreshing.

Last night was rough though. The football game would not come up on our TV. He wanted to walk down the street to a bar to watch it. I was all for it and wanted alone time. He yelled at me and accused me of holding him prisoner, even though I wanted him to go. He went. He apologized for his behavior, but I can't forgive him.

[This message edited by franklymydear at 6:36 PM, October 28th (Tuesday)]

BS (Me)-42
D-Day PA- August 29, 2014

"You are not responsible for making other people 'see the light'- Melody Beatty

Posts: 623 | Registered: Oct 2014
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Member # 30079
Default  Posted: 5:51 PM, November 29th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


BS- Me (43)
D-day: 5/18/10, lies and TT till (11/26/10).
Currently in R.
Don't carry others crap. It's your job to fix yourself, not your spouse.

Posts: 2003 | Registered: Nov 2010
♂ Member
Member # 30079
Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, January 7th (Wednesday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS- Me (43)
D-day: 5/18/10, lies and TT till (11/26/10).
Currently in R.
Don't carry others crap. It's your job to fix yourself, not your spouse.

Posts: 2003 | Registered: Nov 2010
♀ Member
Member # 46119
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, February 11th (Wednesday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wish I was aware of this before

Posts: 117 | Registered: Dec 2014
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Member # 14724
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, March 19th (Thursday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bumping. This is a good topic!

First d-day Oct. '06. 3 more after that.
He is working hard. We are R.

Posts: 486 | Registered: May 2007
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Member # 45486
Default  Posted: 5:12 PM, March 19th (Thursday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Codependency, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself. Are you making your relationship more important than yourself? I know I did, prior to the affair and increased that in the aftermath of D-Day. Please let me say this as clearly as possible. You cannot make the marriage work with someone else who’s not. The harder you try the worse it will become; you do it at the detriment to yourself, putting that dysfunctional relationship first

While not all of the defining characteristics of codependency fit me, the above certainly does. As a survivor of a dysfunctional FOO and SA and religion abuse, I have some issues surrounding inability to take care of myself and setting healthy boundaries.

It is only in retrospect that I can see some issues in my marriage that I was allowing and which, ultimately, lead to stbxwh's A and abandonment of our family.

Of course, had I been healthy, I wouldn't have chosen him, I suppose, although he was certainly good at hiding the wolf under his sheep's clothing.

Dday Dec. 2012
Divorced Dec. 14, 2014
M 17 years
1 DS 17

Posts: 1435 | Registered: Nov 2014 | From: Oregon
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Member # 42012
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, April 2nd (Thursday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


"I remind myself of this. I am a survivor. I have taken all this world has dished out and am still here. So there is no reason to be afraid. Whatever happens, I will survive. So now onto living. It is time for me to thrive." - DrJekyll

Posts: 3007 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Northeast US
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Member # 47279
Default  Posted: 9:10 PM, April 2nd (Thursday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This was very informative & helpful for a newbie like me. Thanks for spelling out the truth!

Me: BW
Him: WH
M: 30 years
Confronted: 11/22/14

You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved your way into! - Stephen Covey

Posts: 59 | Registered: Mar 2015
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Member # 46653
Default  Posted: 11:16 AM, April 4th (Saturday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

very well done, OP

“Never love someone beneath your level of evolution. If you want a monkey, you can visit one at your local zoo.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Posts: 378 | Registered: Feb 2015 | From: U.S.
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Member # 45817
Default  Posted: 12:14 PM, April 4th (Saturday), 2015View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

THIS IS ME! Thank you for this post.

Given the devastation that is unleashed on our lives in the wake of discovering that our spouse was unfaithful, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves holding on and attempting to fix the WS or control the Marital outcome.

I can see that I have been trying to control the marital outcome since d-day. WH lost his job two months post-dday and we have been together 24/7 since which has only increased my codependency and attempts to keep him here. As for attempting to fix him, well that has been going on for most of our relationship. Logically I know that I cannot fix him or control the marital outcome yet emotionally I cannot let go. I need to work on this for sure.

Codependency, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself. Are you making your relationship more important than yourself? I know I did, prior to the affair and increased that in the aftermath of D-Day. Please let me say this as clearly as possible. You cannot make the marriage work with someone else who’s not. The harder you try the worse it will become; you do it at the detriment to yourself, putting that dysfunctional relationship first. Many BS’s here wanted my marriage so bad they were willing to negotiate with thier WS to their own emotional and mental peril.

I have made the relationship more important than myself for years. Just prior to his A I had finally let go of the codependency and was focusing on myself, working on making myself a better, stronger person...and it was during this time that he began his A and so on d-day all the old codependent behaviours came back with a vengeance. I am finding myself still stuck in my codependency and I know it has been at a great cost to myself and my mental health yet I cannot seem to find my way back to where I was before d-day. I am trying hard to find my way back but it has been so freakin' hard.

There are many reasons I have seen here on SI for the codependency within the marriage. One partner may have trouble controlling other impulses, or simply not show much interest in the partnership. It can be about controlling outcomes and assuming a motherly/fatherly role with the WS. It can be a historic need by the BS to work the partner’s problem or issue in an attempt to “fix” their problems. But other issues in a couple’s lives can foster codependence, too.

Trouble controlling impulses - that would be a massive yes for both WH and myself as we are both addicts (alcohol/gambling)

Controlling outcomes - again a massive yes on both of our parts.

Assuming a parental role - again another massive yes, moreso on my part. Not so much in the beginning of our relationship but most definitely after he lost his sight. It certainly didn't help that his mother had asked me to "take care of him" on her deathbed, since that definitely fed the codependency.

Codependency issues seem to gravitate around a few common things here on SI. The first being control. Many times the BS grabs control of the relationship and allows the WS to give less and unplug from the Marriage. They do this because they perceive the WS as out-of-control person or to have some flaw the WS refuses to address or BS is not allowing them the space to address. 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. This dynamic also allows a WS to feel less than capable, if they have underlying self-esteem issues it creates a further expansion of the space by which they can spiral that place.

Wow, YES! I definitely took control and allowed WH to unplug from the marriage. I made sure the bills/mortgage were paid, did the groceries, cooked all the meals, made his coffee in the morning and his lunches, drove him to and from work, cleaned up the financial messes he made when he would go on his benders. I was looked at as the responsible one and I thrived on that. I had been so irresponsible for years that when people would tell me how responsible I was it just fed my codependency. All the while I didn't even notice that WH felt less than and that his self-esteem, which was incredibly poor to begin with, took a huge nosedive. How the hell could he possibly feel worthy when I stripped him the ability to take care of his own shit? It kills me to know what I have done to him and that I continue on in my codependent ways.

Ask yourself a few questions regarding your relationship, see if you believe your codependent to the WS or the idea of the marriage. Is this relationship more important to me than I am? While love does have a selfless element, we all want to make partner happy, do you see yourself as “the giver” and your WS “the taker”. If so you might be codependent. Giving a lot for that person because you love them is fine, but you shouldn’t be destroying yourself to give it. If I have to do that, something’s wrong.

WH and I have both taken on the roles of "giver" and "taker" throughout our relationship. When I was full on in my gambling addiction he was definitely the "giver", he would work his ass off and I as the "taker" would spend his paycheques on my habit, with no regard for him or anyone else. Then when I got clean and his alcoholism spun out of control I became the "giver" and he became the "taker". What a mess, right? It makes me incredibly sad that we have both destroyed our own selves in the process of trying to give to the other. There is so much work we need to do on this.

Ask yourself , Am I the only one putting energy into this relationship? If so you are definitely codependent and setting yourself up to be abused emotionally. You cannot make the marriage work with someone else who’s not. You need and deserve a partner, which means they give to you as much as you give to them. There is no couple when only one person is putting forth any effort, it’s a mother/father relationship

Most days it feels like I am the only one putting energy into the marriage and I know that as a result I have allowed myself to be emotionally abused, especially with the TT. The days where I see WH putting in effort give me hope, but those days haven't happened too often. It is so tiring to keep fighting for a marriage that I am not even sure WH wants. I am trying to find my strength again right now and release myself from this codependency. Baby steps right now is all I can manage, but at least I feel like I am trying to find myself again.

Co-dependent marriages are the most abusive form of marriages. They are based on need, but are not healthy. Each partner in the marriage tries to take advantage of his or her hold on the other partner. This can often deteriorate into the sort of marriage where the two partners can neither live together nor live apart. This is where BS’s need to be aware, and stop the marriage from sliding into co-dependency. The individual needs the confidence to become independent, to stand on his own feet. There is no harm in encouraging inter-dependence, but co-dependence in a marriage must be avoided at all costs.

I can see where we both have, at times, tried to take advantage of our hold on each other. It certainly feels right now that we are in a marriage were we cannot live together or apart. It really is a toxic situation to be in and incredibly draining emotionally. I know that I need to become independent again so I can see things more clearly. I know I need to focus on myself. It is easier to know what to do than to actually do it, but I know I have to start.

BS: 43
WS: 50 (brokenfool13)
D-Day: Oct 2014 (7mo EA that incl. a 1mo PA)
Attempting R
"We are not defined by the challenges in our life, but how we face them" ~ Oprah

Posts: 108 | Registered: Dec 2014
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