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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Codependent cycles and partners.
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 3:50 PM, May 23rd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Okay, 22 months out here. Early on, therapist identified me as a codependent in an unhealthy relationship.


Looking back at how I reacted on DD thats a "no duh!" thing...but at the time I thought it was an odd diagnosis.

Thought it odd because I oversee a multi-million dollar budget, have addressed 200 people as I presented at national conferences, fought raging western wild fires......all of this was my excuse why I was not codependent. I was STRONG! CONFIDENT! blah blah blah embarrassing really.

Codependent choices are weak choices...I am not weak!

Therapist was correct. I was codependent.

Then I thought "Well, codependent means I lost myself for my wife, then she would loose herself for me. Thats the "co" part of codependent, right?"

Wrong again.

There is a taker and a giver within this destructive cycle.


Then I had to accept that I was a giver. Sounds kinda noble on the surface....its not. It is among the most self-destructive, undervaluing of oneself as you can get. To better understand this destructive choice I need only put one of my daughters in my shoes and envision watching her choose as I was choosing (or contemplating choosing)

Now, to be fair I am a "high level codependent" and my wife is a high level other-side of this relationship.

That is why it was able to stay hidden for as long as it did. No wife-beater t-shirts involved, no door-mat mousey spouse to be found. It was all very sophisticated.

Now the curtains are gone, the masks are destroyed....and here we are. Naked.

sigh. Wow.

That was us. That was me, that was my wife.

sigh. Wow.


Codependent No More was a key book for me. It started the change.

Dr. Henry Cloud said this at a conference we attended.

"You know you are codependent when you have a near death experience and someone ELSES life flashes before your eyes."

As I work through this I see how parts of me slowly vanished over the past 20-30 years.

Kicker is....that was all my choice!

Not a factor of my wife DEMANDING this of me...that was my own free will at work!

How do I know? I have examined my other relationships....guess what. Same mode of operation.


Sure, it worked well for my wife....fit HER brokenness. So she never really objected to these choices of mine. Her brokenness worked well for me too. Mine fit hers.

See how this cycle starts and continues? Its not sinister....but it is destructive.

Only takes one to change for the cycle to change.

It takes two to change for a healthy cycle to develop.


Thats what our goal in this forum is right? To heal and change....to become more healthy.


Just expressing.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:58 PM, May 23rd (Friday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, May 23rd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"Lost oneself" for another vs. "Give oneself" for another. Subtle but big difference here.

Giving indicates you are aware of your surroundings...an intentionallity to your actions. Healthy fruits are produced.

Lost indicates you are unaware of your surroundings....actions are largely unintentional when you are lost. Unhealthy fruits are produced.


Two key factors to getting out of ruts that entrapped me for so long are....

1. Radical Honesty

2. Intentional Living (loving)


Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out.


....kind of a favorite quote of mine.

Peace.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:57 PM, May 23rd (Friday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
BrokenButTrying
♀ Member
Member # 42111
Default  Posted: 4:50 PM, May 23rd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for this Blakesteele.

I've just finished reading Co-D No More after coming to the realisation that I am co-dependent in my M with BH.

It was a true light bulb moment for me. Life changing in fact. I've been taking massive strides since then which is both scary and wonderful at the same time!

I definitely lost myself, I completely disappeared. But I don't want to find myself again, I want a new improved version.

Still a long way to go but I'll get there. Well done on your progress, marvellous stuff.


Me - 27
Him - 27
Madhatters

My Ddays - 01/10 & 12/04/14
His Dday - 23/12/13

Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.


Posts: 1235 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: UK
hopefull77
♀ Member
Member # 43221
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, May 23rd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh boy ANOTHER book for me to read...for sure!!! I am helping amazon quite nicely I might add!!
Early on I read how we love ...took the test online ...no surprise I was a pleaser he was an avoider...
I also notice that quite a few of my friends have strong personalities...makes it harder for me to say 'no' ...
I have changed my ways these last 18 months...
thanks again blakesteele!


me-BS
him-WS
3 adult children 1D 2S
married-1977
LTA 09-2010 - 11-2012
D-day - 11-11-2012
status - reconciling and very hopeful
"Let Go of Control; Let God's Life Flow" ...Richard Rohr



Posts: 515 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: sunny california
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 2:51 PM, May 26th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can relate to your CoD posts Blake.

From the outside, it would have appeared that I was the strong/tough one in the relationship and in a lot of ways I was. For many years, I know I was more of The Taker than The Giver. We were never really on the same page at the same time. A petty power struggle. You know the dysfunctional dance I'm talking about.

Anyway, then I got sick. I needed my husband perhaps for the first time, and I hated every minute of it. I felt vulnerable. I felt like a burden. Over time, I became stronger again, but I didn't see it. As so often happens in these sorts of dynamics, your perceptions are off and you don't see reality while you are living it.

Instead of encouraging me to do what I could, my husband had begun pointing out what I couldn't do. That helped to keep me feeling less than. When in reality over time, things shifted and I was doing my share AND HIS share (emotional, physical and financial) while still feeling like I wasn't doing enough to pull my weight.

The more CoD I became, just happened to coincide with the more P/A my husband became….I was using my precious energy to work on improving his life and career and tip-toe around his moods (which was futile) while not giving much thought to what I wanted anymore. If there was a problem, I would fix it. If he was bothered by something, I'd have the solution….and then I'd be frustrated when he would sit back and complain over and over again about the same thing, yet do nothing to correct it.

If he was happy, that was good enough for me. If he was successful, I was proud of him and shared in that success (behind the scenes of course) and that was all that mattered. It meant life would be easier and I'd help him achieve his goals. I wanted his life to be the best it could be. What wrong with that, right?

Well, I didn't know what I wanted anymore, and worse yet it didn't really matter to me. The life was being sucked out of me, but I didn't see it and if I did I sure didn't know why. I didn't even look at the fact that I was unhappy and frustrated and that living with him had become just so damn difficult. Trying to work around his P/A moods/behavior, instead of looking in the mirror at myself to realize I was feeding the monster plus depriving myself.

I was so angry after dday when I realized I'd been The Giver for a long time and this is how my husband repaid me. But really that shouldn't have been surprising. The more you give, while you live with a Taker, the more they will take until you turn off the supply.

Only takes one to change for the cycle to change.
It takes two to change for a healthy cycle to develop.

I really like that.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 8:42 PM, May 26th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So I'm still trying to understand this. The way you guys describe it I see my WS in your roles. I'm trying to understand the giver/taker dynamic, though.

So, DixieD, you label yourself the taker, but you describe a cycle of giving. My WS would say many big what you did. She anticipated my unspoken needs (most not really there because I voice them readily) and presented as the strong one without any needs while silently judging me for not anticipating them.

It's also interesting that the BS's seem to relate more to the role my WS had. What's that about?

Help me understand this.


WS: 39--2 EAs
BS: 39--me, faithful
DS: 6
9 year relationship in R.
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013.
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011.
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 609 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:40 PM, May 26th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks DixieD. For years my wife had a small business....worked out well. Satisfied her creative need, challenged her a bit, and she could stay at home with our girls. But I, like you, would give and she would take. Again....not in a sinister mean way at all. I would just do for her and she was happy to take. My brokenness that influenced me to try and anticipate her needs (so she wouldn't abandon me) fit in nicely with her brokenness that influenced her to be uncomfortable expressing her needs.

Since her A I have backed away from doing for her (I was paying her cell phone bill while she was in her A.....texting alert was how I had my first DD). She has stepped up. Result? Her business is growing, I have no resentment, and she asks for help! Breaking this cycle is good for BOTH of us......and our M.....and our family!!!!!

Cycles can be broken without breaking those who were a part of it. Actually, breaking it and starting healthy cycles in their place build us and strengthen us.

Our old cycle was hurting and limiting us both......sigh. I never thought that.....nor did mrs blakesteele.

God help us all.

Peoplepleaser.....I know I am wordy and a bit confusing on this subject. I am sorry for that. Honestly.....I get a bit lost still.

I still have to check my every motive. Am I choosing this for healthy reasons or are my unhealthy internal influences tempting me to choose unhealthy again.

My DD is a prime, concise example of our relationship. Me a flurry of activity, my wife detached and a "take it or leave it" stance. It was the STRONGEST, starkest example of how we operated.....but it was our relationship. Again.....it worked so well.........until it didn't.

WS or BS.....either could be codependent. If I lacked boundaries as my wife did (with regards to interacting with the opposite sex) I believe I could have been a WS.


It takes two to make this relationship "work". Kicker is, it is destructive to both. Unhealthy relationships are destructive.

Resentment builds in both. Mostly subconscious (a bit by choice really, neither of us wanted to hurt the others feelings) resentment existed.

It gets more confusing when you realize you're a "high-level codependent".

Peoplepleaser......might try and just see if you were in a codependent cycle, and forgo who was giver and who was taker.

Seems like the best weapon to break this, and other destructive cycles is to.

1. Be radically honest. Resentment can't breed where truth and honesty are.

2. Intentional living. This is feeling feelings.....but only going to action after real facts are gathered. Sometimes that "action" is simply expressing your feelings to your mate.


Peace.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:48 PM, May 26th (Monday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 9:44 PM, May 26th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Peoplepleaser, the roles are not always fixed or set in stone. They change and develop over time. You can pass the behavior back and forth between each other. Similar to the Karpmann Drama Triangle and how people can move from the role of Victim to Martyr to Pursecutor easily.

Early on in our relationship, I was more of a Taker than a Giver. I was more counter-dependent (or independent) than codependent in a lot of ways. Later on (some 20 years later) for the years leading up to his affair, I was more codependent and more a Giver and he was very much a Taker (he was also because more P/A and an addict, and addicts tends to be self-centered and self-absorbed). My husband also has CoD behavior, but his CoD traits are different than mine. Yeah, I know confusing, right?

It's just what we can look back and see now that we couldn't see then. Reading Codependent No More goes a long way to understanding the unhealthy behavior. At the core it's an unhealthy dynamic.

Blake mentioned this is another thread about CoD and it's very good at explaining it.

I wish I could draw a diagram here......

Picture a box.

Top left corner is "Independent"....acting on our own.

Top right corner is "codependent....acting together but someone is being lost in this interaction.

Back and forth we go....light bonding is all that is ever accomplished. No deep intimacy.

Bottom left corner is "false intimacy".....something that attempts to fill a void not being filled by two spouse going back and forth between those upper corners. False intimacy could be a career, kids, porn, adultery, alcohol, etc. this feels GREAT at first......very liberating. After all you broke away from an aggravating cycle. YOU are "finding what you have been missing". Some stay here.....WS choosing adultery, SA choosing porn, alcoholic choosing beer.

Bottom right corner is "interdependence". This is were two healthy, stand alone people intentionally engage one another. Mutual respect, radical honesty, true vulnerability is expressed back and forth. Real, mature bonding and intimacy takes place and GROWS!

ETA. Blake, we always post at the same time I can also relate to your wife. I had my own business and that's when I would take and my husband would give. Her and I are also ACOA is I remember correctly and have trouble with feelings and all that goes along with that. That's why this stuff is so fascinating with many different aspects about it.

[This message edited by DixieD at 9:48 PM, May 26th (Monday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 10:33 PM, May 26th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

God bless you DixieD.

You are helping me keep some of the clarity I have struggled to gain and hold on to.

I am comforted by the fact you have kept up with my journey....it shows in your posts here.

Thank you.

God is with us all.

P.s. That passing back and forth of roles.....interesting dynamic. I wonder if that is a "healthier self" noticing something is wrong and we try to do something different. That's why I like that "box example" so well.....helps me visualize a dynamic that is not naturally intuitive to me.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 1:29 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I identify with so much of this post blake.

The one thing I don't agree with is this:

"Lost oneself" for another vs. "Give oneself" for another. Subtle but big difference here.
Giving indicates you are aware of your surroundings...an intentionality to your actions. Healthy fruits are produced.

In my case my co-dependent actions were intentional. Perhaps not while growing up (I reckon I became co-dependent in early childhood) but in my marriage, definitely, my actions were intentional.

I never so much "lost myself" as willingly sacrificed myself at the altar of my happy marriage and family....

I grew up watching my mother and her dysfunctional marriages. I vowed I would have a wonderful marriage, wonderful family. I got married and so began the co-dependent dance. The minute either my husband, or later on, my kids, showed any signs of unhappiness, I would manipulate and shift situations to even the keel and make them happy again. The minute there was a threat to our "happy little family" from within the family unit or without, I would manipulate, shift, jump through hoops... to make everyone happy again. I never, ever, considered my own wants and needs, I was completely sucked up in creating this happy, perfect, little family. While I never acknowledged it in so many words, I was definitely intentional about what I was doing.

Weirdly, outsiders would probably say I was the strong one. I was completely calm (cold even) in a crisis, I was always telling my children, and even my husband what to do, I was in control. I was the "puppet master" but underneath that facade, I was running around making sure that my husband and children were happy and content and that their needs were being met, that they were satisfied and that life was proceeding smoothly and "perfectly". I was trying, desperately, to make sure that my kids never experienced the neglect and unhappiness that I experienced as a child and that my husband was perfectly satisfied with his perfect wife and perfect kids...

So, while it may have looked like I was controlling and strong - I was certainly controlling! - it was all directed at THEIR wants and needs, THEIR happiness and not at my own.

A strange, toxic, set-up indeed.

I am working SO hard at stopping the co-dependent behaviours. No easy task when they are SO ingrained! It's causing some very uncomfortable shifts in our family relationships.

I am no longer the "peace-keeper" with the result that there is often friction between the various family members that I would previously have settled by running around behind the scenes and smoothing ruffled feathers.

I am no longer taking on the lion's share of household tasks, I am no longer keeping quiet when a family member says or does something to offend me... it goes on and on.

Probably the most difficult aspect is keeping my nose out of everyone else's issues. The attitude around here has always been "itsaclimb will sort it out", the minute anyone has an issue, no matter how big or small and no matter whether or not it involves me, I would climb right in and fix it. I now have to sit on my hands and steel myself to stay out of it, let them fix it. Finding the balance is SO hard.

I can't say I am loving the friction and air of discontent that sometimes pervades our family home. But I am seeing a new strength and growth in me.

Funny.... about a year ago I would probably not have had the confidence to point out that I disagreed with your comment blake....I would have been scared to offend you.... times they are a-changin'

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 1:41 AM, May 27th (Tuesday)]


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 966 | Registered: Oct 2012
MJane
♀ Member
Member # 40571
Default  Posted: 5:21 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This sounds so familiar - will give the book a read. Like you Blakesteele I am a pretty strong-minded outgoing person so didn't think I fit into the mould of a co-dependent but recently have been thinking a lot about my motivations for staying in this M and also about how I have contorted myself over the years to please someone and have lost a sense of self. I have so wanted a "family" that I would have done pretty much anything to maintain it and that has come at a great cost to me personally. I have resented my husband for choices I have made at times - many times unasked but on assumptions that A,B or C will keep the peace. We are very different people. I wonder if he truly knows who I am some days - but maybe I am to blame for that in part.

Posts: 251 | Registered: Sep 2013
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:50 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Solid post Itsaclimb. Thanks for challenging my thought. No offense taken.

Still working in this dynamic so your comments about intentionality are food for thought.

I see your point....and it does jive with what I know about codependent cycles. I was a bit off base with my comments but was mostly talking about how blind we were to what we were actually accomplishing vs what we THOUGHT we were accomplishing.

Wife and I very much had a "M by default". We knew what it was like to be in a family that lacked peace, nurturing and mature love. We were determined to NOT do as our parents did.

We are realizing there is a subtle but big difference between a peace keeper and peace maker. Best way I can describe it is peace keepers can use rug seeping as a tool, peace makers do not. Rug sweep (deny) our own needs and desires. Rug sweep our own pain. Both spouses do that, at least we did in our M.

Peace makers strive for radical honesty. Peace is made through the use of truth and open expressions. No hidden meaning, no manipulations.

This is why (I think) we feel strangely ok now when we disagree or say no. We know it is healthy. We know that it is honest. This sets the stage for a genuineness to once again be a part of our M. I believe it will result in healthy mature intimacy.

You HAVE changed and grown Itsaclimb. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this process. It has helped us grow too.

MJane. That wondering if your spouse knows you? Totally get that. I take that thought one step further. How well does MJane know herself?

This is a tie into the "unintentional" part of my thought...

I have met parts of blakesteele I didn't know existed! I didn't really know MYSELF all that great. I was so busy I lost parts if myself along the way. So, no I don't think mrs blakesteele knew all of me......and I didn't know all of her.

Codependency is NOT sinister (usually). Not inherently evil....no good vs bad thing. In our case it was done out if what we knew what love was. Ignorance played a large part of this. Still, it's destructive forces don't care about the motivations behind them.....they produce the same fruit.

It's possible your husband doesn't know you as well as he could. It will be for you to decide if you want to show him more of you.....make yourself more vulnerable to him.

It takes courage and faith to do this. Lots of pain involved in all of our M's here on SI. Pain from adultery AND from our other destructive choices and actions.

Thanks for chiming in.

Gid is with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 7:17 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Peace makers strive for radical honesty. Peace is made through the use of truth and open expressions. No hidden meaning, no manipulations.

This is why (I think) we feel strangely ok now when we disagree or say no. We know it is healthy. We know that it is honest. This sets the stage for a genuineness to once again be a part of our M. I believe it will result in healthy mature intimacy.

^^This exactly!


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 966 | Registered: Oct 2012
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 7:35 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ItsaClimb, are we related? I was reading along and nodding my head.

Probably the most difficult aspect is keeping my nose out of everyone else's issues. The attitude around here has always been "itsaclimb will sort it out", the minute anyone has an issue, no matter how big or small and no matter whether or not it involves me, I would climb right in and fix it. I now have to sit on my hands and steel myself to stay out of it, let them fix it. Finding the balance is SO hard.

Oh, how I can relate to that. Yes, ingrained from childhood. It's so hard to reach that balance. I'm the youngest of my siblings and they still look to me first when dealing with our parents for example. My husband says I give off this vibe of just having all the answers, and it's felt like it's my job to take care of it. Yeah, that had/has to stop.

For one thing, I was depriving others of developing problem solving skills and personal responsibility/accountability. I wasn't helping them and it was feeding a twisted KISA issue in myself. My husband didn't have many problem solving skills because he looked to me first too, and I had to step back and let him step up and come up with solutions to fix things that were really his responsibility, like our marriage. If I hadn't done that, how was he going to grow up and emotional mature, which desperately needed to happen.

Wishing both you and I and all the other people who struggle with this, the best of luck with it. It's not easy.

Thanks for another interesting/thought provoking post Blake. It is amazing when you truly start to communicate and resentment, which took root in the middle of a marriage and became the main third party in it, just isn't there anymore. All the best to you and your wife.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:02 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the kind words and well wishes DixieD.


In my last IC session my therapist very firmly reminded me I can't do the work for my brother that he needs to do. I can see him nibbling at it....and that usually starts a full on assist from me! See? No one actually ASKS for my help....I just jump in and do. It is not healthy.

The healthy, loving thing to do would be support those who are choosing to do for themselves while NOT doing a lions share of whatever for them.

I am learning to sit on my hands in staff meetings. In the past I would actively jump into whatever needed done.

I know there is a nuance here....a line between a solid work ethic and codependent choices...still working on that. That is why the therapist nudged me in my choices with my brother.....am struggling to love him in healthy ways.


Dang....I might need to re-read Codependent No More. I THINK I am breaking this cycle....really enjoying my interactions with my wife....but this is really ingrained in me.

ItsAclimb...thanks for the reminder that the roles do move back and forth. A reminder my wife gave me last night too.

I am hopeful that with both of us aware of this that we will stand less of a chance of having the cycle restart in our M. Also hopeful we can assist each other in other parts of our lives to keep this from happening.....kind of like a spotter who has our backs.

That is what a healthy marriage is. We are getting there.


Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:04 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

To me....


sitting on my hands = being still.


Wife got me a wall hanging that says

"Be still and know that I am God"


I look at it every morning. I am learning how to do this.

It is not a natural state for me. But it is a healthy skill to develop.

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For one thing, I was depriving others of developing problem solving skills and personal responsibility/accountability. I wasn't helping them and it was feeding a twisted KISA issue in myself. My husband didn't have many problem solving skills because he looked to me first too, and I had to step back and let him step up and come up with solutions to fix things that were really his responsibility, like our marriage. If I hadn't done that, how was he going to grow up and emotional mature, which desperately needed to happen.

^^ so, so true. One of the problems with co-dependency is that although we might think we are being "good", "kind", "helpful" etc, the motivation to do these things is generally not goodness, kindness, or helpfulness.. it's a twisted, toxic force that is motivating us and to top it, we are actually NOT helping the other person at all, instead we are feeding their helplessness. So messed up!

I can see how I fed this ugly "mother/child" dynamic between my husband and I by always leaping in and being the responsible one, fixing his messes, smoothing his path, guiding him. Not long ago I blurted out in MC that "I want to be his lover, not his mother" and that has become a bit of a mantra for me... I have to wonder if that right there wasn't a small factor in his "why".... I had become the safe, solid, dependable, responsible "mother-figure"...rather like a pair of Bridget Jones panties, whereas OW was the sexy, passionate, exciting "lover-figure"...a really hot thong... not excusing him by any means, but I do think it may have been a (small) factor.


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 966 | Registered: Oct 2012
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 10:58 AM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We definitely had a mother/child dynamic going on and it's related directly to FOO. I was expected to behave like an adult when I was a child. I have a well-established parent role (still ongoing unfortunately) with my own parents -- like that isn't messed up. And my husband was kept as a child. His parents, especially his mother, wanted him to stay her 'little boy' forever. The more juvenile he acted, the more attention/reward he would get from her. Really twisted.

It all fit together like a dysfunctional glove. Although I didn't want to be his mother and it irked the hell out of me and it was something I saw about him early on and I didn't find it attractive. I remember saying many times. -- I'm not your mother. After dday that was my mantra. I wouldn't check his email or monitor him. I wasn't going to be play mother or warden. If he wanted to be a fully engaged safe partner, it wasn't going to be because I forced him. It had to be his choice.

IMO, my husband's affair was tied into a P/A, victim, immature mentality and had a lot to do with rebellion that he'd manufactured in his own mind. His AP was CoD on steroids. I'm very healthy in comparison. AP was very pushy and manipulative. When we first met, I too was pushy (and probably could manipulate him too. I know I can now in some ways and he knows it too, and we watch out for that)….and his mother is pushy and manipulative. There's a pattern there.

I wouldn't engage the way his mother would. He couldn't replay his childhood issues with me to their fullest and that was a disappointment. AP was exactly like his PD mother. It was quite a horrifying shock for him to realize he basically had an affair with his mother.

Not wanting to behave like either of them has been a big motivator for me to change my behavior.

[This message edited by DixieD at 12:12 PM, May 27th (Tuesday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
Althea
♀ Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. So much to relate to here. It is hard to know where to start.
I have met parts of blakesteele I didn't know existed! I didn't really know MYSELF all that great. I was so busy I lost parts if myself along the way. So, no I don't think mrs blakesteele knew all of me......and I didn't know all of her.
< This is the thing about codependency, right? You can be so enmeshed in each other; but have no real intimacy at all. I could pinpoint each one of WH's problems and have solutions ready before he even knew they existed. In my mind this meant I was taking care of him and taking care of the marriage. Ummm, not so much.

DixieD and Blake, thanks for including this:

I wish I could draw a diagram here......
Picture a box.

Top left corner is "Independent"....acting on our own.

Top right corner is "codependent....acting together but someone is being lost in this interaction.

Back and forth we go....light bonding is all that is ever accomplished. No deep intimacy.

Bottom left corner is "false intimacy".....something that attempts to fill a void not being filled by two spouse going back and forth between those upper corners. False intimacy could be a career, kids, porn, adultery, alcohol, etc. this feels GREAT at first......very liberating. After all you broke away from an aggravating cycle. YOU are "finding what you have been missing". Some stay here.....WS choosing adultery, SA choosing porn, alcoholic choosing beer.

Bottom right corner is "interdependence". This is were two healthy, stand alone people intentionally engage one another. Mutual respect, radical honesty, true vulnerability is expressed back and forth. Real, mature bonding and intimacy takes place and GROWS!

It just so clearly describes my marriage. So much enmeshment and back and forth codependency. Then I found false intimacy in our children and he found it in a host of other things culminating in the A.

Codependence was all that was modeled for me; and that was from my one "healthy" parent I have to say that the journey OUT of this way of living has been so liberating. I honestly feel like I can breath more easily.

The boundaries piece of it has been the most difficult for me. They were never modeled at all. Respecting others has been one thing, but voicing my own; and enforcing them with those who don't respect them...that gives me an anxiety attack just thinking about it.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 457 | Registered: Dec 2012
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, May 27th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Itsaclimb....I felt like copying and pasting your entire post. It so resonates with me.


To almost all other posters on this thread....

It appears a common denominator within us all is the "growing up fast" we all had to do....my wife included.

I listened to Dr. Meg Meekers on the radio recently. During her presentation she made the comment that children who are forced to grow up fast are largely normal, but the speed in which they grew up had them skip emotional and spiritual steps in order to do so. The lack of adult nurturing and caring leaves children to their own accord to figure things out.

My wife grew up fast....I grew up fast. We were praised for our maturity, complimented for the many wonderful examples of how we were so competent so early on.

This adds to our confusion......

On the outside we were as the world told us we were. Afterall, that is what our FOO coping mechs do right? They mask our true self.

On the inside there was still this scared, confused, hurt little child.

Visualizations exercises in therapy have helped me work through comforting and healing the 12 year old blakesteele in me that was rarely comforted. It has helped me heal....and get the various parts of me closer together.

It is said the longest journey a man takes on is the journey between his mind and his heart.

I am sorry we all have to go on this journey, but am grateful we have the opportunity to choose to go on it. KWIM?

I could not choose this path pre-A because I didn't know it existed, didn't know I needed to go on it.

Althea....glad this example has helped you too.

I used false intimacy pre-A too....big one was porn, but to some extent my career was too. I also am very task oriented.....taken to extreme it is a form of false intimacy too. Children were going to be another one we both reached for. My wife had her own independent desires that she reached for as well.....reading fantasy books, her business (something she embraced in earnest after my DD...a form of false intimacy), hobby of running (which was used to propogate her affair, and of course....adultery.


"A broken marriage is a symptom of someone who chooses adultery....adultery is not a symptom of a broken marriage"
our current therapist.

Not slamming WS here. replace "adultery" with "porn use" "kid centric" "workaholism" "alcoholism"....any other form of false intimacy and it works the same.

This brokenness within my wife, within me existed long before we even met...let alone married.

I believe we dabbled enough with false intimacy so as to keep real growth from occurring. It kept the uncomfortablness of having to grow at bay. KWIM?

It was "acceptable" by both of us. Again....I think it is a rare case where codependency is born from pure evil.


Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3665 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
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