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Newest Member: howcanyou (44619)

New Beginnings Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: How do you break free of old codependency patterns?
cayc
♀ Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, April 25th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Personally I don't think I fully grasp and buy into the whole co-dependency theory so much.

I define codependency alot differently than most here do. To me, codependency is to become so focused on your partner, or friend, or coworker that you are hyper-aware of how they feel, but you are clueless about how you feel. So you adjust your behavior to suit their feelings, or
worse, in anticipation of their actions/feelings. It gets to the point that you don't know what you think or feel because your entire psyche is caught up in observing the other person.

That's why codependents tend to hook up with abusers. Abusers need that single minded focus, and a focus that anticipates. It goes beyond just jumping when they say jump, it's really you program yourself to orbit that person to placate them, losing all knowledge of yourself in the bargain.

Just the same as if a person feels compassion, hurt or genuine concern for their partner's life doesn't mean immediately they are co-dependent. To me it's called empathy.

I agree completely. Codependency has empathetic elements, but it's twisted because you lose yourself. That's completely different from recognizing someone's pain, identifying with it b/c you yourself has felt it, and thus being compassionate towards the sufferer.

But you can see from both of these how codependency is an orientation that cleaves to the unhealthy. An abuser doesn't want empathy (b/c to them it'll smack of pity) they want codependents to program. A healthy person wants empathy because that means their partner recognizes their feelings too.


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3045 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Lonelygirl10
♀ Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, April 25th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Any patterns of bad behavior you can name in hindsight? Any disrespect or boundary violations you can name in retrospect?

In hindsight, it's all very clear. I discussed and broke down my prior relationships with my IC, and I can definitely see where I lost myself in them. Some examples...

There was a guy I dated for around 4 years. After about 6 months, I learned that he went to strip clubs. I was not okay with it. But I didn't want to seem jealous or whatever. I asked myself and all my friends if I was overreacting. So we made a compromise where he could go but not get lap dances. It was a difficult compromise because he didn't want to make that promise. He saw it as giving up his freedom. But we did, and then from that point on, I was paranoid and jealous every time he would go out with the guys because "what if" he ended up at a strip club. I constantly lived with that fear for four years, even though he actually only went maybe 5 times the whole time we dated. In discussing that with my IC, I learned that strip clubs are one of my deal breakers. Some girls are fine with them, and that's okay. I'm personally not, and I shouldn't try to force myself to be okay with them in order to stay in a relationship with someone. It's okay to have my own opinions, and it means I'm not compatible with that person.

In my last relationship with wxBF, the red flags were practically hitting me in the face for months. My gut said he was lying to me, but every single time I would question myself on whether I was overreacting. I would post here, and get opinions that I wasn't overreacting. But I was still paralyzed by fear that I was overreacting, so I would compromise and listen to him and ignore my gut because I didn't want to appear to be overreacting or not understanding.

The current guy is very, very minor stuff. He will make tentative plans a week in advance, and then I'm sitting by the phone the day of waiting for confirmation. It annoys me. But I noticed the other day that the thought that went through my head is "am I overreacting." So, old pattern even though it's not a serious issue.

To me, codependency is to become so focused on your partner, or friend, or coworker that you are hyper-aware of how they feel, but you are clueless about how you feel. So you adjust your behavior to suit their feelings, or
worse, in anticipation of their actions/feelings. It gets to the point that you don't know what you think or feel because your entire psyche is caught up in observing the other person.

I usually know exactly what my feelings are, but I just think that my feelings are wrong. That I'm being too paranoid, or too critical. And so I try to be understanding, which leads me to compromising and doing what the other person wants. I lose my voice.

I do agree that it's a fine line between co-dependency and empathy though. My xwBF said that in asserting myself, I became a *itch. That I wasn't the same person he fell in love with. And hearing those things sent me back to trying to be overly understanding. It's really hard, and I don't know where that line is yet.


29 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1112 | Registered: Jul 2013
norabird
♀ Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, April 25th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He had to call you a bitch to try to bring you back into line; don't let that judgment hold you back from being assertive. Someone who is worth being with will appreciate that you know who you are and stand up for you.

I still think a little dating hiatus might be a good idea--a time where you aren't letting your focus be taken away from yourself and handed to someone who hasn't yet proved that he deserves it.

[This message edited by norabird at 2:48 PM, April 25th (Friday)]


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4054 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
IWantDoOver
Member
Member # 39440
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, April 25th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My xwBF said that in asserting myself, I became a *itch. That I wasn't the same person he fell in love with. And hearing those things sent me back to trying to be overly understanding. It's really hard, and I don't know where that line is yet.

He was manipulating you and grooming you to take abuse.

Take special note of WHY/WHEN he called you a bitch. Those were your boundaries being violated!!!


Peace

Posts: 212 | Registered: Jun 2013
Lonelygirl10
♀ Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 2:10 PM, April 25th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He was manipulating you and grooming you to take abuse.

Oh yeah, I clearly see that now. But I did not see it at all at time. Just scared of falling back into that old pattern of thinking in my new beginning


29 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1112 | Registered: Jul 2013
Ashland13
♀ Member
Member # 38378
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am working on the same things, not just with men but everyone in my life. It's really hard.

I think your reaction is acceptable, actually, and I've felt annoyed at similar things, with anyone, not just a guy.

What I've learned to do, unfortunately, is to lower my expectations of people in a big way. One part is that I no longer expect anyone at all to do what their words actually tell me and this helps tons. If someone talks about a plan for doing something together, I say ok if I want to, but also plan back up things I can do on my own.

I don't get attached to anyone, either, though that's harder and just go about my day as if I'm the only one around.

For me, the codepency and other theories are "real". They help explain any relationship I've been in or seen, whether male female, or friends, whatever. others like sex addition are "real" in my experience, but have different levels and can be hidden.

ETA that also, these labels help in hard times because I can go read about them and be working on things that way, which is independent! X was so controlling that it swallowed me up and fed his narcissism, so made an ugly pattern that I "see" now.

There are ways to combat this even though it's hard on the psyche for a time.

Things that help are not thinking about people at all and training your mind to think about only what you are doing, a song on the radio...bringing your mind into the room and what you are doing. I wanted to send a pm but it said your box was full because I experience this too.

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 9:16 AM, April 26th (Saturday)]


Ashland 13

A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess

Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.

-George Washington


Posts: 2187 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: New England
Topic Posts: 26
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