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Codependency in the Marriage: A BSís common mistake
For the past year I have put lots of time and energy into trying to fix my FWH. Our dday is a year out. I was reading everything about his childhood issues to figure out why he did this, what he was looking for and on and on! It occurred to me on the beginning of the dday anniversary that I need to work on me, what a freakin' "DUH!" moment. I grew up believing that I would be selfish if I asked or needed anything..alcoholic home. I honestly thought I had worked out most of the FOO issues and the codepedency stuff. I apparently need to work on my stuff. I feel a little lighter just realizing I can only change me. I am not responsible for my husband's actions,inactions or behaviours.I LOVE THIS THREAD!!
This post has been so helpfule to me. Exactly what was discussed at my counseling appt this morn. I came away today feeling stronger than I did when I went in.
My WS has described our marriage as codependent although I'm not sure which of us is/was in which role. I certainly assumed the lion's share of household tasks while she was simply uninterested in anything connected to the home and struggled with our son in the early years. Friends tell me that she often expressed the feeling that she married too young (24) and had a child too yound (26) I am 18 years older than her. Her A was with a workplace superior (a senior partner in her law firm who is 28 years her senior and in a sexless marriage himself by all accounts). It continued for 3 years before I found out (she was betrayed by a spiteful friend). I want the marriage to continue and would do anything for R, while she persists in justifying her A on grounds she was miserable and trapped in a codependent relationship. More than two months after DD I am still devastated and have totally lost interest in my own life...I cannot seem to do the 180 even though I have been repeatedly told to do so. I hang on for crumbs and scraps from her (nights out occasionally, weekend time, staying over one night a week at her place with no sex but just a bit of cuddling). Until yesterday she gave no indication of wanting to end the A, but has said now that she asked the OM to back off, which he apparently did, but not before saying that he would be her "friend forever". I confronted him the day after DD and he told me that I treated my wife like a child and talked down to her....I was incensed to be told this by a philandering adulterer who in my view took advantage of my wife's insecurity, youth and unhappiness after she had been inappropriately pouring her heart out to him (they had an EA I suspect for at least 6 months before the PA started...at my WS's instigation apparently as he played a little hard to get, the smart bastard).
I know I have to accept what has happened but I have found it impossible to do so...What to do? IC doesn't seem to help, unanimous and repeated advice from friends doesn't seem to affect me, and at the same time I am facing the loss of my employment and worried about my mental and financial future. I often think about suicide but would not do it as I have a seven year old son, but I am totally distressed.
In many ways people from a distance does see my attitude as codependent. I disagree on many accounts. My boundaries had never changed and I didn't settle for what I thought I might deserve.
I was in some high stress positions, and I am a giver by nature but due to growing up in a family of public service, I did learn there has to be a balance of self, family and world. I had my issues but many from unexpected traumas and some issues with my parents. I had been in some counseling off and on due to my own personality traits as a kid (I was raped at 11) but prior to that I dealt with a lot of people in a lot of different states.
I took care of myself while taking care of my husband. I did have nearly total control over him after our last d-day. This included a suicide attempt on his part. He was released in my care to ensure he continued his medical care and his mental health care. He also assaulter a couple of officers on that day. He was legally released into my custody and I was in charge of making sure he did not leave town or miss any legal appointments.
There was a lot of 'should I' when it happened. I had a handful of things and talked to my clergy, IC and his IC and Psychiatrist before I accepted any of the responsibility. Those are parts people don't see. They don't see the part where he understood that he was back home because I cared for him but in no means was it a statement on where our marriage was. I told him it would take me a while to figure that out (Over 4 months) and that in the mean time I was not expecting to deal with it and I would call to have him removed and placed back in jail if he acted out. That was my right and I was not going to endanger myself or anyone in the house.
It's sometimes really easy to think we know what is good or not. I had a full support team (His MH professionals and mine, my family, and church) to help me out and to help out with him if I needed it. Otherwise I doubt I would have even considered it.
I do think those are great ideas to ponder while in the first stages of figuring things out and why IC is so important to help maintain that we are structuring our mindset for healing and not just for getting by or settling.
I was in some high stress positions, and I am a giver by nature but due to growing up in a family of public service, I did learn there has to be a balance of self, family and world.
Many of us are givers and that is how the codependence starts the second part of that sentence is very important. learning the ballance and not giving too much of yourself and loosing your self to a dysfuctional abusive relationship.
I did learn there has to be a balance of self, family and world
Anyone know of a good book on this topic. Me to a t!!!!!
After you finish "Codependent No More" by beady. If you find that it rings true for you, there's an additional book that I would recommend, "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend. It's a Biblically-based guide to personal boundaries. I think the two together help you identify codependency and work to create boundaries to prevent it. Good luck.
bumping to the first page
Co-dependent is most definitely how I have been. Today I took my first steps toward 180, and I liked how it felt a lot. The old habits are going to take a lot to shake, of course, and they crept back in this evening a little.
For years, I've felt like I was the only person putting effort into fixing our marriage. I thought that her mood and lack of enthusiasm for the same thing was what affected me, but after reading the original post here I now realise there's a deeper issue at play. It wasn't my obsession with 'her', it was my obsession with how she was having a negative effect on our 'relationship'. I had been saying to myself that "I don't need her permission to feel happy" but in fact, that wasn't the mantra I needed. The one I needed was to say "I am more important to me than this relationship is to me".
My WW led me to believe she wasn't interested in intimacy with me but was happy with our marriage. I have since caught her red-handed and she is now saying she was not happy with our marriage, and wants to fix her lack of desire for intimacy with me. There's every chance that what she is saying could be true, but there's also every chance that it's not as well. I have to prepare myself for both.
Previously, whenever I considered that this might be a possibility, I felt caught at a crossroads between deciding in my mind I wanted out versus deciding in my mind I wanted in. I have now realised I don't need to do that at all. I have decided not to obsess over our relationship any longer. If she is genuinely interested in me, she will take steps to initiate intimacy. If not, I also know for a fact that she has a sex drive (from what I know she has done recently). If she tries to kid me about that for too long, chances are she will be getting it elsewhere again. She doesn't realise I have the ability to monitor her actions in exactly the same way as I found out before, so I'll know pretty much as soon as she decides to start acting on her urges if it's not with me. If that happens, then I will hopefully be at more of a stage where I don't need the relationship in order to be happy.
From what I have seen so far, she really is trying to turn over a new leaf. She is talking differently to her friends about us. She has told a few that she is trying to fix our marriage. This is reassuring for me.
Maybe it's counter-productive to try 180 and becoming less co-dependent whilst keeping an eye on her private interactions. I might try and cut it back over time. Right now, however, when I have next to no trust and am uncertain about whether she is fully behind this new future, it's the only way I have of really understanding whether she cares or not.
[This message edited by gitch at 4:40 AM, August 7th (Tuesday)]
I have suspected for a long while that my WH and I are in a codependent relationship and have been for a long while, even before DDay. In fact, I was actually trying to actively work on my part in this when DDay exploded on me.
For me, though, I've always felt that both WH and I are equally co-dependent on each other. It wasn't just about one person always taking and the other person always giving. We took turns in this, or in some aspects, WH was the giver, I was the taker, and in other aspects, it was vice versa.
This article sort of summed it up for me http://psychcentral.com/library/id63.html . It said
Co-dependency occurs when two people form a relationship with each other because neither feels that he or she can "stand alone." Neither person feels capable or self-reliant. It is as if two half parts are trying to make a whole. Both partners are seeking to become psychologically complete by binding the other partner to themselves. For example, a female partner may spend most of her attention and time assisting her lover in recovering from drug addiction. She feels a sense of purpose and may appear to be wonderfully self-sacrificing. However, she may also be avoiding her own unhappiness and personal issues -- like her fear of abandonment. Her partner may believe that he can't deal with his addiction without her. He vacillates between feeling grateful for her help and resentful for what he feels is her nagging and smothering behavior. Many co-dependent partners report feeling "let down," "taken advantage of," or "trapped" by their needy partner when they are really "trapped" by their own overwhelming neediness. The addicted partner is also using his complaints about the relationship to avoid dealing with his own neediness and addiction
"neither feels that he or she can "stand alone." Neither person feels capable or self-reliant. It is as if two half parts are trying to make a whole. Both partners are seeking to become psychologically complete by binding the other partner to themselves. <--This.
The irony is that my WH and I sort of joked that we were co-dependents not too long ago. I now think it was a cry for help on both our parts that we were too afraid to admit or act upon... at least not constructively or healthily.
I'm trying to look into counseling options, now. I think before DDay, I kept excusing the need. "We" were still "working", I said. Obviously, I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm afraid to hope one way or the other for our M... but I hope that if nothing else, this is the wake up call for us to figure out our personal issues. My awareness compels me to remind myself that I can't do that for him; I hope he takes the opportunity-- but I know I'm definitely going to try my best to address the issues in myself now.
[This message edited by justjul at 12:59 AM, August 8th (Wednesday)]