Holy cow! I just discovered that I am codependent. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing.
At just over 40, I have had three big relationships in my life. The first was my only official marriage. I was married to my ex for almost 3 years and we had two beautiful sons. The second lasted 8 years… a live-in girlfriend who was employed in the same industry as me. The third one ended a little over a month ago and lasted for 3 years.
In each one I became more and more codependent. I my first, I married a beautiful 19 year old who was 7 years younger. I guess even though I was successful, I felt a bit lucky to have her. Though she never told me during the marriange, she was molested as a child. I found out later after we divorced.
The second was again a younger woman who was 4 years younger than me. She never made me feel inferior- but she was beautiful too and I sometimes did. She too, was molested by a family member as a child.
My third relationship was with someone who- as you might imagine- was beautiful. She was NOT molested as a child, however, she had serious anger problems. Anger problems I decided to fix instead of running away. She always made me feel inferior in any argument- but would praise me out side of the arguments. She would always tell me how she "told someone today about me and how great I am." I took that for actually personal praise and it was good enough for me.
When I married my wife (#1) I was the happiest man in the world. I was confident and full of zeal.
Things went downhill when she was pregnant with my first child. We had a fight and she went home to mom's for three months. I remember her pleading with her to come home and that I loved her and needed her. I cried like a baby. Her response to me was to tell me that she was sickened by my display and would often hang up on me. She came with her family to get her stuff and was with another guy. She never gave me any glimmer of hope that we had a future together.
Then suddenly, she "gave in" and decided to come home. I gladly welcomed her back.
However, I never really forgave her, Then as she was pregnant with my second child and things started to resemble what they were before, I broke it off with her and immediately began dating a girl who worked for me.
She pleaded with me a few times, but my pride and new relationship would not give in. I guess I quit trusting her after she made her first mistake. I feel like a real jerk, because it is always possible that she could have had some hormone problem during her pregnancy that made her act the way she did. However, I also have given much thought to the fact that maybe I am a jerk who cannot tolerate the normal moodiness of a real woman. However, the truth is the truth and we divorced.
I pay all my child support and bring my kids home every other weekend. They are preteens now and she is on her third husband.
I have never forgiven myself for the way I acted in my marriage. The fact that I carelessly threw away two beautiful kids and no longer feel deserving to be their dad. The fact that I may have hurt their mother in a way I never should have. The fact that I hate that side of my life carried immediately into my second relationship- which began immediately as I left my ex-wife and kids.
That one lasted for 8 years. Part of that I think was fueled by the need to prove that I didn't throw away everything for nothing. My ex-wife was married within a year of our official divorce and I had to make sure that she and my kids knew I was not a horrible man.
That eventually, dwindled into a friendship. No, maybe it became more than that- but it was never really right due to the amount of guilt I had when it started.
She had lots of typical problems anyone has. She was also younger. being the rescuing personality I am and the fact that I started as her boss, I was the default
leader" of the relationship. This was the opposite of the marriage I broke up to get into this and I thought it would be right. However, I soon discovered I couldn't lead all the time. She wanted me to. There were times where I didn't have th enrgy or willpower to get it done. She ws never willing to step up and I felt that I had to.
She went for a visit to her mom's one day and never came home.
Within a month, I was looking for her replacement. Not a few one night stands and notches on my belt- but looking for a new "wife." Five months later I met #3.
She was much different than 1 & 2. While I never thought she was anything but an "angel down deep inside," she had serious anger an communication issues. Whenever she was asked a difficult question, she would get very defensive and avoid the issue. Stupid me would let her get away with it and a pattern was born. Later as I insisted she communicate her points on whatever issue, she would become very angry. Name calling and lashing out were all time favorites. I even got her to hit me and/or throw things at me a few times. She was an expert at planting guilt in me- about nearly any subject and I was powerless to resist. She showed many many signs of not trusting me early on and I ignored them. She was beautiful and I was willing to accept anything she could throw to avoid proving I was the monster I thought I was from my actions at the end of my marriage. She was also very sexy and could have any man she wanted- I needed her more than she needed me and I acted like it.
She went to college- I did her homework. She had lots of cills, I paid em all. She had a hard day, I rubbed her feet.
yet, she was always stressed out. Even the most minute issue would be a mountain to her. Mr. rescuer, always being at the ready, was a very busy guy. While her stress waned on my head- causing to debate my worth, all I did wa to tirelessly pick up the slack by working even harder. There were many times where she would criticize my whole family- even my kids- and I always took her back.
Then, after hours and hours of countless fights about nothing, with me totally working solely to create harmony and an environment of love, she dumped me. Though we had often talked in fights about how we may not be capatable- me often leading the debate- she made the decision in April that we would break up. being my codependent rescuing superhero self- I continued to live in the house for more than a month, payng her bills and keeping her afloat. She was very good running my guilt to extreme levels. I eventually packed the truck on June 9th.
Now I find myself already looking for my next relationship. The thought of being alone, for even a year, is one I can't bear. At the same time, I am communicating with my ex-girlfriend trying to get her to love me again. I am in a state where I will fall in love with any pretty girl who agrees to let me love them. I am accepting of any fault they might have. All they have to do is to tell me they love me- whether or not they really do & whether or not they meet my needs.
I fantasize that I might find someone who is just like me- who will love with all of their soul and resue me at every turn. But I also seriously doubt I could find anyone like that. Accepting that probability makes me very depressed and self hating.
Yet it doesn't slow down my search for a new "wife."
As a moderately sane person, I know:
Being on the rebound is not a good time to find the love of your life.
Needing someone in my life so much is not healthy.
Falling in love with every woman I who will accept is not healthy either.
My recent ex-girlfriend suggested as I was telling her how much pain I was feeling that I write down my feelings. Incidentally, I have told her to do that a million times about whatever drama she had. I have even done it myself & know it can help.
I did that in an email to her tonight- however, after I wrote it out, I deleted it and did not send it.
Yet, I still needed a way to recognize the real problem. The one that keeps me asking "what the hell's wrong with me?!"
I need a pretty woman to live in my house.
I need to be the guy who fixes all her problems.
I need for her to praise me and recognize my worth.
If any woman shows me any kind of attention, I go a few steps beyond interest and proceed to fall in love with her.
I need to be saved.
Am I codependent? Certainly seems so. Am I messed up? Probably.
I have so many physical things about myself I can hate as well. Not particularly attractive, balding and with a moderate form of erectile dysfunction… the list could go on. I feel like any woman who could love me would be a woman I should love. Not like I get opportunities every day.
And now I am lonely, my birthday is a few days away and my kids are here with me during our yearly July visit (all month). I am an emotional wreck.
I just wish that my codependense could work in the right situation. I value myself when I do good things for those I love. I want to over-perform for the one I love. I always want to feel like I am important. But because I undervalue who and what I am, I will always overcompensate. I have to offer her something, right?
Not sure if there is a sex affinity for codependency. Seems like I always heard that most women have such low self-esteems. That alone is enough to add a reson for me to hate myself. I feel like I am acting like a women. My manly pride wonder what kind of wussy I am.
So here I am, at it again. Looking for my next 3-8 year partner…. wishing it would be paradise. Wishing it would start tomorrow. Sure, I wish I could perform like a swingle single guy and move through the ranks of women with ease and no commitment- however, the talk of doing so is so foreign to me. I have no comprehension of seeing a woman as anything but a life mate. Even the ones who other guys have free, easy sex with.
I have problems, no doubt. What I can do about them starts with writing this letter. If you read this thing, you are a remarkable person who may have some of the same problems I do. Maybe there should be a codependence dating site?
Thank you for letting me get that of my chest. Now I can go to sleep tonight.