Hello and I think I'm codependent - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 17 Old 06-21-2003, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I should introduce myself. I lurk here all the time. I have been a single mom for two years. I have a three year old and a 4 month old (that happened on the one night I had sex with ex in two years.)
I just can't seem to separate myself from my ex. I feel bad for him. Like if I don't take care of him he'll just end up old and alone, living in a dirty apartment eating cheetos for dinner. It makes me sad. He doesn't care. He's abusive, mean, manipulative...he'll never change.
I think I might have a little codependency problem. I need to let go...It's just so hard though, I guess part of me still loves him, but if he doesn't give a crap about himself then there is nothing I can do to change him.

Actually no, I'm not in love with HIM. I'm in love with idea of a family. Anyways, hi. I love reading your posts, they're really an inspiration to me.
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#2 of 17 Old 06-21-2003, 10:58 AM
 
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Hi!
I know what you mean about wanting to help him etc. For the most part I've now let go of all that......but there's still a part of me that when he does stupid things that get him in trouble (financially or otherwise) I feel like I need to help him. I talk myself out of it or call my sister who is quick to remind me of our situation & why I'm not in the position to help him.
There is a good book called "Co-Dependent No More" -- I think the author is Melody Beattie? Not sure on that name.
Good luck.
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#3 of 17 Old 06-23-2003, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks L.J.
I feel much better today. Its true, like you said, when he does stupid crap I feel bad for him, like I should help him or something. Not that he doesn't lay on the guilt trip ie, "Well, you took my kids away from me blah, blah, blah...now I'm all alone. Like I'm the bad guy. Like somehow me leaving him allows him to act like an idiot. He's the one that left me with a one year old baby and 2 STDs. Took off with my car, got arrested, felony drug conviction, car was impounded and I had no idea where he was for days...anyways, I had to spend our tax return (which we really needed because we were on welfare) to bail him out of jail and somehow I caused all this!!

I caused him to do drugs, I caused him to abuse me because I'm stupid...Yes, he actually said "if you weren't so stupid (or bitchy) I wouldn't have to do this to you."

I don't know, it's all over now, but its like I'm still traumatized. I can't let go and in some ways he still has power over me. Like, he can't drive, so if he wants to see the kids I have to go pick him up. I know I shouldn't but I want my kids to see their dad.

Anyways, I'm rambling now, and getting all upset again. I'm going to check out that book and I was looking up CODA meetings online. I might go check one out. I just need some confidence in myself, some self esteem. Its been pretty shattered and I think having the new baby has brought up some issues for me as well.
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#4 of 17 Old 06-23-2003, 10:04 PM
 
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The good thing is that you got away from him & are really conscious right now about building your self-esteem and stuff. It's such an important step to take. It shows a lot of strength & courage. Hang in there.
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#5 of 17 Old 06-24-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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I know exactly what it's like to be in love with ideal of what you want your spouse be, or your relationship to be.

But IT AIN'T HAPPENIN' !!! It took me a looooong time to figure that out.

Please love yourself more than that. I would rather be alone forever than be with someone mean-spirited.
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#6 of 17 Old 06-26-2003, 11:14 PM
 
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Hello,
I have had similar problems with my verbally abusive ex (separated for 6 mos) husband. We were together for 10 yrs altogether. He threatened divorce since before we were married, but when I finally gave him what he had asked for-he decided it wasn't what he wanted anymore!
I also feel bad for him-I am also the one who took his daughter away and has left him alone. I go to a va counselor now and have learned so much, that he doesn't get to me much anymore.
I recommend www.verbalabuse.com, they have great discussion boards.
Good luck to everyone, I know it's a hard road.
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#7 of 17 Old 06-27-2003, 01:48 PM
 
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Hi
Sorry-for some reason the link didn't work-but when I typed it in it came up. I have it under my favorites list, so I hadn't tried it.

It is www.verbalabuse.com-by Patricia Evans

Hope it works
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#8 of 17 Old 06-27-2003, 01:48 PM
 
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Hi
Sorry-for some reason the link didn't work-but when I typed it in it came up. I have it under my favorites list, so I hadn't tried it.

It is www.verbalabuse.com-by Patricia Evans

Hope it works
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#9 of 17 Old 06-30-2003, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking today. I've been with my ex since i was sixteen. that's almost 8 years. Its like i don't even know who *I* am. All that I know how to be is his rescuer, his sounding off board. Its become my identity, which is really sad. So, i guess letting go of him is like letting go of part of me. its good, but scary. i mean i've never been an adult out on my own. anyways, thanks for listening to me, and for all the replies. I'm in a tough spot right now, for some reason and it helps to know other mammas are out there...

JenniferJeffery- I've been reading your posts. I think its best you get out of your situation, it sounds so much like mine. hold your little one close to your heart and know that you are doing whats best for you both!

TraceyMC- I also feel bad for taking his kids away. Its also just another part of his manipulations though, and I'm starting to see that.

MidnightMama- you're right, it ain't happenin'!

Just to add one final note. today i was over at his house (actually MY house, that he won't move out of) and i saw a letter from the courts saying that he had a failure to appear, so now he has a warrant out for his arrest. Just confirms for me that he is never going to change and I'm really glad to be away from him. (Even if I do lose my house)
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#10 of 17 Old 06-30-2003, 04:50 AM
 
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hi

i have also finally accepted that i am codependant. i always thot i wasn't cuz i took a test once and "passed". but i guess it's possible to be fiercly independant in a lot of ways and also codependant. heh. whoever said that they're not necessarily in love with *him* but in love with the idea of a family.. that is how i feel too. i am a very dreamy person, and also somewhat naive when it comes to relationships (there were zero positive relationship models for me as a child), so it is hard for me to discern what is healthy in terms of boundaries. but i'm learning!

what's so interesting to me is that i thot that by admiting this to myself, i would feel weak, but it actually makes me feel stronger! at least i know where i am, and i can look at where i have been realistically and see that my fuzzy boundaries were impeding me, even tho they felt appropriate to an intimate relationship. i am figuring out that a good relationship must really *feel* healthy and be mutually supportive. i have tended to gravitate toward those who need a lot emotionally, and i guess i am a 'rescuer' too.. when i see pain i want to make it better! but there will always be people in pain. and i'm realizing that it's only going to drain me if i keep giving to people who don't ultimately want to be healthy. eventually when i am strong enough in myself, i know my partner will be one with whom i can share mutual support, and with whom healthy boundaries are respected.

it'll be an interesting journey to get there!
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#11 of 17 Old 07-04-2003, 07:20 PM
 
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Looking at all of this is like looking onto my life. All of this is new to me, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can use that extra energy that I used on him and use it to focus on myself and my kids. It's nice to know that I am not alone!
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#12 of 17 Old 07-06-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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I feel like you are all talking about me.......

Hi, my name is NAtalia - I have a 2 yr old son and a 4 month old son...the now ex (divorce finalized on June 27th) lived in an apartment that I found for him, eating off of plates and forks that I got him, making coffee on the coffee maker that I got him and heating hot dog buns in the toaster oven - that you guessed it...I got him....and the sheets, and the shower curtain and the....list goes on. And when anything happens and I need him I call...I call for him to get my car washed, to change my oil, to pick up milk after work.....I HAVE TO STOP. And he (since he does not have a place of his own anymore - moved in with a roomate) hangs out at the house to play with the boys, use my computer to balance checkbook (he has a laptop, don't know why he doesn't use that) and so on.....well you can see neither one of us is leeting go......

He is the one that fell out of love...he asked for a divorce when I was 11 weeks preggo, stayed with me because of the pregnancy until I could not take the psychological abuse......

I am not allowing myself to heal since I too love the idea of a family and still find him very attractive and care so much for him....all mixed in with alittle of "hate" because of what he did......
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#13 of 17 Old 07-06-2003, 04:47 AM
 
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i just wanted to say hi and welcome to natalia and leetles!

it's really interesting that this thread was started, cuz this is something i've been thinking about for the last little while. i think perhaps i'll come back here to sober up any time i find myself losing power to my ex (whether in my mind or to him directly). it's so funny how we (don't know anyone else's situation, but imagine we're all similar in this way) have this wonderful image in our minds, and we'll give and sacrifice a lot to try to make it happen.. giving and forgiving constantly, and all that seems to happen is we get taken for granted. i'm trying to take responsiblity for this, thinking, well, it would be pretty easy to get away with a lot if i knew my partner was almost unconditionally commited to me, would do almost anything to make me happy, etc. which is true. but it's also true that he had a responsibility to not take that for granted, and to be honest and integrous (word?).

i guess the silver lining is that now i have learned something, and i'm now understanding how important certain boundaries really are, and that expecting to be respected is really more loving on my behalf than letting a guy get away with sh*t 'in the name of love'. this is a big lesson for me, and i hope to master it, cuz it would be awesome if i could be as loving as i want and need to be someday with someone who will really appreciate it!
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#14 of 17 Old 07-11-2003, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i agree mamabeard; hopefully this thread can be a positive sounding board for us all. its really cool to hear you guy's stories. they all sound so much like mine.

its been so hard to let go of my ex, but i know that i have to. i am starting to realize that part of the problem is me too. i am realizing that just as much as he is destructive to me, i am to myself. i think that there is part of me that is kind of controlling in a weird sort of way. its like, i need to find people that are in a bad spot and "fix" them. i get angry and attached and can't realize why they (insert HE) won't change. what i *need* to do is find the parts of myself that i don't like and change them.

i'm just wondering, you all. where do you think your codependent behavior stems from? with me, i know it has to do with my parents divorce. my dad always played up the fact that my mom left him and we abandonded him, blah, blah, blaggghhhh. Anyway his life was super crappy and pitiful and he always made my sister and me feel like it was our fault. so what did i do? marry someone *exactly* like my dad. and i felt like i coudn't leave him, like i would be abandoning him- same old crap as before .

so that's my story. what's yours?
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#15 of 17 Old 07-12-2003, 02:09 AM
 
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I get it b/c of my mom. My dad is an engineer and he has always made great money. My mom insisted on having a fulll time job to support her going back to school, as well as my siblings and I being in private expensive school. I have no problem with this what soever. But, when times were very stressful, my mom never backed out of something to take care of her family. I am the oldest and in the 4th grade we had a carpool that dropped us off at home. I, as a 4th grader, had to take care of my bro and sis. I had to have dinner ready when my dad came home. I had to have my siblings and myself out of our uniforms and into our play clothes. I also, did the laundry, and ironing(only for uniforms and my dad's shirts)...The funny thing is, I don't think that my dad knew I was doing all of this....

Anyway, as I got older, on family reunions, my mom would tell all of the relatives that I was the one who was watching all of my little cousins. I was left out by the ones who were my age b/c everyone pretty much used me to babysit.

As a preteen, my mom was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. She made sure to tell me all of the horrifying details of the disease. You know, the one in one million chance that she might not wake up if her blood sugar was out of whack. She wouldn't take care of herself, and would pass out on the couch alot after work. I would always have to wake her up and shove peanutbutter down her mouth. When my mom entertained her friends, she would make me serve the drinks and prepare snacks for them.

As a teenager I started to rebel, b/c I realized that it wasn't normal for me to be the care taker.

Then when I was a young adult, I married the first person who told me he loved me.....now I am here.
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#16 of 17 Old 07-14-2003, 11:48 PM
 
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Boy, I needed to read this tonight. I am 100% codependent to an alcoholic dh. We have been together for 7 years. When we first dated and married, he never drank. Not until a little over 2 years ago. It has been downhill since then. he will have short periods of sobriety followed by binges. He just relapsed after almost 6 months sober. he has been drinking for 10 days now and I am at my wit's end. He blames me for everything. He is fun dad when he is drunk. He always wants to play with the kids and spend time with them when he is drunk. When he is sober, he makes very little time for them. I am so sick of being jerked around. I have been in Alanon for over 2 years and I have a wonderful support group there. I think that I have finally made up my mind and I am going to tell him tomorrow that he needs to go somewhere else until he is sober again. I am 4 weeks away from having my 5th child. I am basically a single parent anyway as I don't feel he is responsible enough to care for the kids so I think it would just be easier without all of the arguing.

Anyway, that is the brief version of my story. I am too overwhelmed tonight to type more but I will definately be back here.
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#17 of 17 Old 07-15-2003, 12:16 AM
 
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Tnrsmom,
I can definately relate to the drunk Fun Dad or drunk fun guy routine. That is exactly what my nearly ex verbally abusive husband is like. The nicest guy when he is drunk, but look out when he is sober. It made me want to but beer for him and that is so wrong. I have been out for 7 months, it has always been easy, but I at least it's peaceful!

Good Luck to you!
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