I've been reading a lot about codependency and realize now how much it has affected me and how I dealt with my guy. Previously, I had just been reading about his ADD, never knowing I had anything, which of course is also codependency...trying to fix someone else. I'm not sure where my codependency started. Everything I've read says it can start from something in childhood, but I can't really think of anything there. I have to wonder if it could've happened because my first love/best friend of 9 years ended our relationship by writing a letter and then I never saw him again. I remember the only thing we ever disagreed about in 9 years was one day he wanted to listen to Metallica and I turned it down. That was the only thing...it was one of the last times I saw him. So...moving on to my exhusband...I don't know what I saw in him, but he came around about 6 months after the last relationship ended. What is stupid is I knew he was an alcoholic, his whole family was...I don't drink other than a glass of wine maybe once a month. He was a rock music freak, but not wanting the same thing to happen, I overlooked that. Somehow, we ended up married, had 2 kids, and I have no idea what went wrong other than I was very involved with two little kids and never really had time for him...never noticed he had started sneaking beer on his way home. His mom died and 3 months later, he told me he wanted a divorce. I was sad, but honestly, I didn't care.
I was alone for 5 years when my guy came along. Maybe I was desperate, I didn't feel like I was. I remember thinking he was quite the flirt for being someone who had a girlfriend, but he said they were having trouble. To start with I had told him, he should try to work it out with her, but he kept after me. Finally, I told him he needed to pick and he did...he picked me and said I made him happier than he had ever been. I don't doubt that, but I see now where I tried so hard to keep him happy. The man is not a happy man so as you can imagine, I had my work cut out for me. Once again, I overlooked things that were important to me in order to keep him happy. He hated country music so I never played it...never said anything when he'd cuss...watched all his tv shows....the list goes on. I realize now I should've had boundaries. I gave up so many of the things I loved to keep him happy. His ADD, or maybe it was his Adderall, set him off sometimes. I was always caught off guard because it was always so random so I never thought about telling him he had to treat me with more respect. I always just wanted to calm him down and make him happy so he wouldn't do it again. Eventually, we fell into the pattern of parent /child, which I guess is also a codependency thing. I know I still wanted to make him happy, but I started to fight back and he didn't like it so he pulled in the other direction. He said several times that I was a control freak, but I felt like to many things were spiralling out of control...classic codependency. We struggled so much the last 6 months and I remember wishing he'd leave sometimes, but he never did and neither did I. For all our troubles, I still wanted him around. The last time he blew up at me wasn't even a fight, none of them were really, a lot of times he was actually mad at himself and took it out on me. I had finally had enough and sent him a text that said I'm DONE. He came over that night and was SO SAD about all the things we had planned that wouldn't happen. Knowing what I know now, I could've used that as a time to reset the boundaries. He didn't want to go and I wanted more than anything to kiss and make up, but I agreed to a break instead. For the first time, I actually had boundaries, but then he got so defeated by that and went out drinking, found another woman because he thought breaks never end and totally went off the deep end thinking we'd never get back together. He wa so upset when I actually told him I wanted him back, said he wished I had said it sooner. I think maybe he has a little codependency too. I had asked when he wanted to move his stuff out and he said he wanted to leave it here. So many of the things he said and did just didn't make sense...still don't. He's been with the other woman since last October and last week he brought me his appt card and 3 months prescriptions for his Adderall to keep. I don't get it really, but just put them away like I always have. I am so not sitting here wishing he'd come back, but in the back of my mind, I know that eventually he will. There's a reason he can't tell his family that we're no longer together.
I'm really not sure what to do. I don't think our story is done, which is also a codependency thing, although, I'm not wishing or hoping for it. I just feel it. I'm not chasing him...only text after he does and keep it short. I don't hear from him much, which is ok. I just get this gut feeling that I have not seen the last of him and I want to be prepared mentally for whatever happens. I don't want him to show up one day and I just say welcome back honey and let him walk all over me so he's happy again. It's a crazy thing this codependency does to your brain and way of thinking and acting. I recognize it now so I feel like I have made progress. On the other hand, I know it is what is also preventing me from telling him to take all his stuff and never call me again. I don't think I can do that, but I do think I am getting stronger as days go by.
I can't afford therapy so putting it all out there and asking all of your opinions is going to have to do for now. I've read all I can read online about this. I have been doing more things for myself, painting, developing some new paint colors for the furniture I redo. I've made an effort to not do things for my kids that they are capable of doing. I am learning to let go of some things and make new boundaries for others. But...I am scared that I will just fall right back into happy making if he does come back around. So, for any of you who have been through all of this, what did you read or do that helped? I know some will say I need to move on and I get that, I really do, but I just feel like I need to have all the information possible that will help me to deal with him, no matter what happens.
It is not wrong to want to depend on people in your life
Submitted by jennalemon on
People ARE dependent on each other. That is what even animals show us. We LIKE community and need others in our lives. Loneliness and isolation makes people and animals crazy. So if you are trying to "get over" a person, you need other people in your life to feel connected and cared for. Get into an Al-anon group TODAY! For you, this will be a life changer. You don't need to be married to an alcoholic or even have alcoholism in the family to attend the helpful community where others understand and can help you on your own self to learn better thought habits. Try a few for a while until you find a group that fits you. They are all differently structured and the people attending make it what it is. If for some reason you can't or won't do this, find family and friends to rely on so you can let go of this guy who is using you and making you feel like a little insignificant toy to him. Get his stuff out of your possession. Get more caring, reliable people in your life.
Submitted by summerrhiannon on
When I was pregnant with my husband's first child (my 3rd), my midwife told me she thought I should read "Codepedent No More." I did read some of it and I thought there were definitely parts that fit. My father has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Children of parents with NPD often learn that the world revolves around another person and end up doing everything to make that person happy. I married a man who has ADHD, not knowing it at the time. My world then revolved around him (I can relate about music. I use to listen to other music, but now I primarily listen to what he likes (electronic dance music)). I had to become the parent of not only my 4 children, but also my husband. I did everything to please him, but also tried to make sure he was happy. I even allowed him to have sex with other women because I thought it would make him happy. I just asked that he use protection and be honest with me about it. I thought there is no way he would ever leave me. I thought I do so much for him. Well, guess what. He still said I was too controlling. And he still cheated on me. He fell in love with another girl in 2011 and almost did leave me. Two years later, it happened again and we almost got divorced last year. If it weren't for his best friend giving him some Adderall (because his friend told him it's fun to party on), we would be divorced. The day he started taking Adderall, he admitted the affair to me and had a real conversation that didn't end with me beating my head against the wall. He now has a prescription for it and takes it semi-regularly (I'm trying to get him to take it regularly). It has made a huge difference in our relationship.
I think codependent people like us are drawn to people we have to take care of. Unfortunately, that can end up a very unhealthy dynamic for us. I'm still trying to figure out the right balance in our relationship. Even though he is on meds now, I still do most of the housework, manage everyone's schedules, pay the bills, help run his business, and work. Things are better and I'm afraid to ask him to do more than he is doing, which is more than he was doing before he started meds.
I feel pretty good about our relationship at this point, but my 13 year old daughter has a chip on her shoulder. She has been picking up the slack for a long time. When I needed help, I would usually ask her rather than him since I knew he would never remember. She is his step-daughter. Her dad is super responsible and she thinks my husband is lazy and irresponsible. I'm trying to educate her about ADD as well.