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Dating a codependent-can't get over ex-wife

UserPost

3:00 pm
March 12, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

Help. I do not know what to do. Leave him until he gets over his codependency issues with ex-wife of 20 yrs. Or stay and help him thru. He wants a life with me, I'm everything he's ever dreamed. All is perfectly set and good to go. But in his heart, he feels sadness at leaving her to a miserable dimise. She is alcoholic and on her last legs. He feels guilty moving on. But knows he should. His heart and logic don't mesh. Any help out there?

3:52 pm
March 12, 2002


gingerleigh

New Member

posts -1

This is hard, but my advice would be to back off for a while. He needs to wrestle with his guilt for leaving her in whatever state she's in, without the added distraction of feeling guilty about being in a happy relationship with you. So that would be good for him.

As far as you go, don't you deserve a little better? Don't you deserve a whole man, one that's in the here and now with you, not still pining for the what could have been? The pining doesn't make him a bad person at all, it's natural and human. But it does make him not quite ready to start a new healthy and loving relationship with someone. Sounds like he still needs some time.

Moving on doesn't necessarily mean moving on to someone else. He needs to make a break and move on with himself, and only then see if maybe starting a new relationship makes sense.

You are everything he's ever dreamed of… hm… is his dream just that you be not an alcoholic? Be careful with this one. Again, not a bad guy at all, sounds like he has a big heart, but he needs to work out the codependency stuff first, before he tries to make a go of it with you. He'll just drag those old patterns into your relationship, and it will drive you nuts.

What do you think?

5:02 pm
March 12, 2002


Molly

New Member

posts -1

why don't you take him to an Alanon meeting. That helps clear up the guilt real quick. Alcoholics take hostages not partners, and he is still in the chains, sad. Hey look at it this way, at least you know you have a loyal person, and that is a good quality. However, you do know that he is co-dependent, and like Ginger said, those behaviors just might drive you nuts, but then again, you might have a touch of the disease, look who is trying to fix who ?

1:58 am
March 13, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

Thank you. I read both of your replies and I appreciate them. His behaviors DO drive me nuts. He is trying so hard to learn about Codependency (he is an ex-alcoholic himself, sober 3 yrs)..and has two teen boys. He has custody and has a great, successful career.He wants desperately to rid himself of these chains around his heart regarding "leaving her in the dust so to speak"..She is helpless, and wants him back. He chose to get sober and move on..she did not. That was one of the reasons he divorced her. I DO deserve a "whole" man as I consider myself healthy. But as an ex-drill instructor/Marine, he is a great disciplined father and incredible man. I never met anyone quite like him. A true man in so many ways. I want to do what is best so that we can start a future together, ..and he probably does need me out of view so he can get thru this. But he knows I am the first healthy relationship he has every had, and I am the kind of woman he has always wanted but never met.
He wants to go forward and gets angry at the sadness in his heart.
If anyone has experience with this, I'd love your opinion.

2:28 am
March 13, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

One more thing. How do I "give him space" or "give him time"?
I tried to end it for a while and it really hit hard. He couldn't reach me for 5 days. Then he started to feel strong in that. He was on his own again but was accepting it for the first time..being without anyone. But he DID miss me and thought about all the qualities that make him want me as a wife, partner in life. I have a 7 yr old daughter and we were already engaged once early in the relationship…a big mistake we both know now. We want to start a life together joining the families. Ready to buy a house and get going.
Do I threaten that I can't wait? I do think he is worth it very much and truly do not want to lose him. Is it ok to tell him I will be here if he needs me but to not see him?
Do I need to be harsh or do I understand and just tell him to forget about marriage and starting a life with me right now. He told me he doesn't think he is ready. But he can be so easily convinced when he is with me and by others that he shouldn't lose me.
Exactly "how" do I give him time. What does that mean?
Thanks:)

8:02 pm
March 13, 2002


Molly

New Member

posts -1

Don't push, that will only leave him with feeling manipulated. As he becomes more healthy he will see right through it. There is always a hang over with guilt, regret, and duh sobriety!!!! If he can allow him self to honor the love and the feelings that he had for this woman, and yet honor and accept that she is ill, and making a choice to remain ill that is great. He must look in the face of his children who are I get basically motherless daily, and deal with that. Be patient, perhaps you are the trigger, for the feeling of what could have been vs the what is, and only he can work through this, if he is as good as you seem to think he is, then he is worth waiting for, and only you know in you heart if this is love, or just the perfect solution to being a single parent.

1:06 pm
March 20, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

molly. thank you for your response.
Blondie. I have been gone and haven't been able to answer. I will soon.

3:28 pm
March 24, 2002


OutoftheLoop

New Member

posts -1

Hey All, I just noticed this thread as being similar to the one I just posted. Some of your advice has seemed to be relevant to my own situation. Any addition to mine, posted 3/24, most appreciated. Thanks much…

12:13 am
March 27, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

Thanks Blondie. We decided to take a break so that he can gain strength back within himself. He told me he feels "the ice around his heart is melting". …(after I took him to a Easter/liturgy Pageant) Getting in touch with his spirituality helped tremendously. It will just take time.
Thanks for all your help.
I will be good to myself :-)

2:24 am
March 28, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

Blondie, Thank you again.
I have not wanted to play games here with him. I am 37, have my 7 yr old daughter, and he is 40 with 15 and 13 yr old sons..I have watched him over these last 10 months that i've known him and he is a terrific dad.

Involved, caring, teaching, and now he wants to teach them about spirituality and introduce them slowly to God. Loves his mom deeply, and was the best thing that ever happened to his ex wife. He talks to her often, helped her move out here to get sober and be near the kids. Bought her a used car and helped with a job. While married, from what he describes to me, he was every womans dream in a good husband. Total self sacrifice for the family…except for his duties as a Marine. And very supportive (they lost their first child/girl at 2 1/2 together.

He is a tough man, yet so sensitive and cries with me alot about things that touch his heart. He told me the other day, "I feel like the ice is melting" because he has tried to end us and say it's not right for many reasons….and each time, I prove him wrong with his concern and I make it right. He doesn't argue anymore, every obstacle he puts up, we overcome…and deep down, he seems pleased.In the end, he is realizing I am what he has always wanted, and he is scared to death. So used to Caos and things that weren't right (verbally volital exwife..yet loved her so much that he can't turn a blind eye and move on…not yet anyway).

He is afraid of disappointing me and yet is the closest thing to a man I have ever seen. Chivary is an understatement (I could honestly say he could be my "hero" if we spent our lives together) I see us rocking in our rockers in our old age holding hands..corny, but true), a provider, wonderful dad, builds, fixes, loves like a passionate tiger, I watch love stories on tv that women coon over, and I HAVE THAT MAN. He earns an excellent living, and as an ex-marine, has alot of discipline and integrity, honor.
Yet, the baggage has been alot to deal with. She wants him back though she is a mess. Not on her last legs really, but He seems to think she won't live all that long. Health is shot,and she still drinks. He took care of her.

He still calls me every day though I told him he probably shouldn't. I want to marry him and start our families together, but he is not sure of his future, to be with me or just him and the boys. This uncertainty is the only reason why I can't think of marrying him.
Deep down, I think rather know he wants a life that he could have with me but the "family life" brings so much pain to him. So much of what I represent to him reminds him of what he wanted so much in his past that he did not get in his own family (divorced parents) and in his marriage of 20 yrs. He wishes he met me first.
I just didn't know if I should disappear completely so he could see what it was like to not have me at all. Or do I stay around and answer his calls, but know we are technically "broken up" for a while.
He is looking for a house for himself and the boys but still looks at how it might work with me and my daughter in it also.
I guess I am just totally torn as to do I "leave him" to put finality on it so he makes up his mind whether he wants me, or do I do the Dr. Laura advice and date him another 8 months before we even get engaged. I can see her point. Know him before you subject your kids to another marriage. It is helping with time going by and going thru so much.
He is most definitely growing emotionally thru all this. I just didn't know if I should let him do it alone, or be there…It seems wrong to just wait til he decides to "have me" or not. Like I am just waiting til he says yes. Isn't that where the playing hard to get works with men? I have talked to many girlfriends who laid it on the line with their man and left….and until he made up his mind, he could call her. Seems men respond better to that dilema. I am very nice and probably too much so.
You say to just lay back and be there. The good deeds I have done have certainly won his heart, I'm a mom to his boys, and a good women to him..(he tells me all the time)
He cries thinking of all of us together, and wants that…yet, is afraid to propose. Probably too much pressure like it is for most men.
But he and I got engaged after 4 months ..silly, I know that now. I was so happy to have met a good man for me and my daughter after been divorced for 4 yrs, I want to get remarried and have that family life that I didn't with my ex.
My parents have been married 51 yrs still. He proposed cuz he thought he was ready, and he wanted to rid himself of the painful feelings/attachment he has/had to his ex wife. He broke it off just as we were to buy a house together. Turned out he was "with" her a couple of times to make her feel better as she cried uncontrollably about their divorce and that all she wanted was "her family back". He felt guilty, He has custody.
He was wise to do that and It has hurt my trust, but I am dealing with that as best I can.
I respected him for that as did my family..calling it off and telling me the truth.
I want to date him without the pressure of "getting married to me" so that it frees up his mind, but how do you do that when HE knows it's something I WANT. Do I date others too?
I have been completely convinced more times than not that he wants to marry me. But he is working on himself, his issues, and his stability before he makes any more empty promises to me.
I agree with that.
Just not sure if I should tell him I'm gonna date others, and do it..or what.
So confused on whether to stay in touch or not.
Now that you know all this, maybe you can tell me more what you think. Thank you in advance for that. I liked you last answer. :)
TS

2:33 am
March 28, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

One last thing, he definitely does not want her back. He knows now it was not only the alcoholism and her lack of wanting to get sober when he did that made them split. He's been sober over 3 yrs.
It was who she is as a person, the things that make her tick…he wanted more from a woman than she could give. So he is more at peace knowing that he could not be happy with her, and the boys don't want her back. They lost respect for her, esp.the older one.

2:39 am
March 28, 2002


ts

New Member

posts -1

P.S.S.
they got divorced 4 yrs ago, but it was for him to get sober. He moved to Calif. She didn't want to get sober. She tried this year while he was with me to get him back. Not to truly get sober so we found out. She came out here for that.
She has since left the state now to live back in her home state.
The boys like me..took a while to accept a new girlfriend, but really like me now. Not a problem. I have given alot of my time for them and they feel that love even if they don't want to say it.
I don't bash their mom at all. Just try to make my guy see where their was disfunction and that he needs to see that. He knows that more so now then ever after meeting me.
I have been the catalyst to a metamorphasis for him.


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