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How do I become UN-codependent?

UserPost

6:48 pm
September 17, 2006


Co_De_Pen_Dence

New Member

posts -1

I just found out that I have a copendent behavior and I've been this way for years. It explains why none of my past relationships have ever worked. I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol but I have been married to an addict and my father is an alcoholic (on the wagon for over 20 years). I've always wanted to be in control of every aspect of my life and that included my relationships. I blamed everyone else for my unhappiness. I've had the "why me" syndrome all my life. I don't want to be this way anymore. Right now I'm involved in a relationship and it's really rocky right now and I know I'm to blame, how can I save this relationship? How can I be a better person and not alienate everyone because of my destructive behavior?

7:13 pm
September 17, 2006


honeyb

New Member

posts -1

Co,
I too am just realizing that I am codependat..and I believe the first big step is (just as it is with alcoholism or any other addiction) realizing and admitting that you have a problem and are powerless over it. It is great that you have chosen this site to post a thread on. I've only just started, but there are some really wonderful people on here and I've yet to have anyone respond to my postings that I didn't something useful from…you will find alot of wisdom here for sure..good luck to you and I hope you keep posting! I will for sure be checking back to this thread to take advantage of what the others will say – it will be very insightful. honeyb

8:03 pm
September 17, 2006


Co_De_Pen_Dence

New Member

posts -1

Thanks honeyb for responding so quickly. I can't wait to hear from others. Good luck to you as well.

8:21 pm
September 17, 2006


ggfred4

New Member

posts -1

I just found out in June that I was codependent; didn't even know what it was. First, find out what it is, symptoms, etc. Then start on how to make changes and start the process.
Sounds easy, NOT!!! I have a friend on this site that goes to CODA meetings. Not there yet. Good luck and be patient.

10:49 pm
September 17, 2006


moving0n

New Member

posts -1

Hello. Welcome to the wonderful world of recovery!

Codependency is hard to manage, but like all maladaptive behaviours it is a relief when you realise what the problem is and start taking steps to learn new behaviours. Everyone's journey is different, but for myself, recovery is about letting go of everyone else's stuff and letting go of my need to micromanage all of the elements (and people) in my environment. It's a constant struggle, but I am getting better at it bit by bit.

I strive for serenity, focus, centeredness. Doing what I need to do for myself first, aiding others with their needs in a healthy way second… not the other way around.

But as I say, that's my journey. Everyone is different. If you haven't yet, any of the books by Melody Beattie are an excellent place to start learning about codependent behaviour.

11:42 pm
September 17, 2006


Anonymous

New Member

posts -1

CoDA is not an official psych diagnosis. It is a program that is a how to manual for living with a set of common characteristics shared by many people in our cultures. It is not a sickness or an official disease, as it often is referred to.

Realizing you have coda tendencies means you have much in common with the rest of our culture, but you are taking positive steps toward living a better life. You are making a commitment to changing yourself for the better by using strategies that can be applied to your daily life. There is no shame in it. You are the courageous one. And, if you think you are alone, you are not! What makes you special is you are one of the few willing to take care of yourself. It has made a huge positive difference in my life. So, I say go for it and enjoy some positive results from here on out.

Best wishes for peace, love, and serenity,

P&L

12:32 am
September 18, 2006


clownface

New Member

posts -1

Dear friends:

Codepency can be a beast. I am trying my very best to step out of a 6 yr relationship that was destroying me. Biggest problem now is: I miss him tremendously. Is it love or is it codepency?

GOD Bless and my prayers go out to all those that are experiencing the pain that I am going through right now.

12:53 am
September 18, 2006


Anonymous

New Member

posts -1

It is all how you see it, my friends. CoDA is a wonderful program for everyone who wants a better life. Pain is pain. If you have experienced the pain of a relationship or lack of boundaries, difficulty saying no, or needing to control outcomes, CoDA provides life tools for you. Sometimes we just need a devastating event to get us to work the program. The program doesn't work if you don't work it seriously, meaning going to meetings, either in person or online and doing readings. You have to practice daily. IF you do it, you will start feeling better! It is a great gift. Sadly, we only feel ready to commit to the program after we experience the depths of despair, betrayal to the core, or some life altering event that wakes us up and makes us open and ready to help ourselves. From then on out, it is all good…much to look forward to… you will find yourself in the rigth place. Therein lies the silver lining.

It's all good now. It got me through the darkest year of my life.

Peace begins within and radiates outward. You can have contentment.

P&L

1:24 am
September 18, 2006


Dandelion

New Member

posts -1

There are some great books out there about Boundaries. I have found that if I highlight when I read & go back & re-read when I feel that I am needing a "wake-up call" that it really helps me. I try to read at night when there are no interruptions. In the past, I would listen to easy listening music, read & meditate : ) before going to sleep & it helped so much. I am going to try to get back into it.

10:06 am
September 18, 2006


caraway

New Member

posts -1

P&L,

I really liked the way you described codependency in your first post here. I struggle with so many of these feelings and actions.

I can't deal with the meetings. I am sure that all groups are different but the "culture" in the two groups that I have tried has been one of victims. I feel worse after meetings.

I am always trying to control the outsome of my relationships. I have serious trust issues. I suspect that my partner is talking to ex's, looking for opportunities to cheat, not being honest with me….. (I am so frustrated when I hear people say that people who are "jealous" are cheaters. I am monogamous.

I repeat a cycle in every relationship. I am happy and excited about the new love, suspicious of their past relationships and actions, do way too much for them (gifts, gestures, etc.) become resentful that they don't care as much as I do. In the end, I end the relationship because they didn't know how to love, or they can't prove it to me. CRAZY!

Anyone else do anything like this?

Cary

PS. I am in the "You don't really love me stage right now." I should be reporting that I am single in the next couple of weeks.

10:13 am
September 18, 2006


2angelsinmo

New Member

posts -1

Co- I too have just found out that I'm a co dependent and I've been married for about 5 years. Try to maybe take a break from your relationship if it's rocky and spend time on fixing yourself but have plenty of support.

10:18 am
September 18, 2006


revelation

New Member

posts -1

Hi!

Like the others have said, it depends on how you want to become un-codependent. I don't think that you can ever completely eradicate it from your life, I reckon its something you will always have to work on, well some aspects of it anyway.

For me was about learning to trust myself and be self-sufficient, I don't need to rely on others for gratitude, and reassurance, so I am not constantly (I feel) indebted to others (maybe some of them bad people) and trying to make people like me or think I'm a nice person. My recovery means I KNOW I'm a nice person, I know who I am I don't need answers in my relationships with other people.

A great of example of my recovery:
I get on very well with my family, my sisters and brother. We are quite close, but my older sister has made mistakes in the past, and I feel that sometimes she uses my younger sister for money, and baby-sitting and is generally quite a negative influence. I brought up the subject with my younger sister this weekend (purely only to protect her, she doesn't have the money to give you see) and now with the two of them I'm public enemy number one. Before my recovery this would have devestated me, and I would have now been trying to make amends with both of them, being extra-nice and basically being pushed around by them both. This time I'm just ignoring it…let them blow off some steam for a few days, my opinion is my opinion…if they don't like it, thats there problem. I'm too busy living life to worry about whether we'll talk again..thats really not my problem either, I love my sister and will always be there for them…but I don't need them or their approval, so if they are pissed at me SO WHAT…doesn't stop me from living my life and having my opinion!

Rev.

10:26 am
September 18, 2006


StronginHim77

Member

posts 453

Cary –

Your posting has me very concerned. How do you "manifest" this mistrust of your partner? Do you show anger? Do you rage at them? Call constantly when they are at work, etc?

Share. We are listening.

- Strong

10:33 am
September 18, 2006


revelation

New Member

posts -1

Caraway, yes I do recognise your behaviour, how very honest of you…I appreciate it.

I was like that too, whats behind it all is that there is a little gremlin in the works of your brain that keeps telling you that YOU are not good enough for these men…he's not there at the start, its all good, but then you start to doubt yourself and your ability to be loved just for who you are, and you start to question the man involved.

So, the only way to tackle it is figure out what in your past gave birth to this little gremlin, why he's still there, and how you quiet him down.

Most answers you'll get through counselling, and in Melodie Beatty's book. Codependent no more.

Try it!

12:30 pm
September 18, 2006


microchasm

New Member

posts -1

Hi, this is my first post.

Caraway,
Wow, you just said everything I'm feeling. I'm in a 2 month long relationship. I'm in my 30's and have had a history of dating jerks, but for the first time, I actually feel like I am in love.

The guy is actually very nurturing and supportive and just a perfect counterpart for me. We talk/email every day when we're at work and see each other almost every other day.

There is really no sign that he isn't into me, but I also have those trust issues about wondering about his exes.. (even from high school!), and sometimes he says stuff that maybe he doesn't realize is hurtful, but which I really allow to get to me. I wish I could take it all in stride a lot better.

If the first step is realizing it, what's the second step?

1:38 pm
September 18, 2006


Anonymous

New Member

posts -1

Cary

In the beginning, I could not deal with the meetings either for the reasons you reported…that is, until I stopped judging them and let them help me. These same people can be a brilliant source of support, if you let them. Listen carefully to their stories. WOW, they have a saying. "pain is pain." Some of them have survived incredible things, and deserve my respect. They have taught me some amazing things. Some of these people come from very different backgrounds, and here I am, an internationally known professor, learning we are no different.

Your story really is no different from mine or theirs. You cannot tell if who is a good guy from a bad. You cannot tell good love from bad love. You try to control and fix things. When it appears you cannot, you prove that he is bad or you get out. Actually, you don't know when to get out. How did you get to be this way? I don't know. I came from a family where I had every opportunity. It happens in all walks of life.

So, you are at the stage where you don't know if it is real love, because maybe you don't know what real love is, or every time you thought you had real love, it was followed by pain. Now, you say you should be single in a few weeks. Sounds familiar to me. So, why not end it now?

Maybe there are some signs already that it is not real love, or maybe you gave your heart away too fast. Maybe you just don't really know some facets of this guy's personality or life and maybe the foundation for this relationship is not strong enough to bear the weight of a minor test. Would he cheat? Would he be there for you if you got sick? Would he lie to you? Do your friends and family like him? Do you like his family? DO you know everything about his work? How do you both handle conflict? Do you like his friends? DO you approve of his friends? Does he abandon you? Does he verbally abuse you (yell, swear)? Are you best friends?

What are the core things you value in a relationship and has he violated them?

Do you trust him? It sounds to me that you have some trust issues. Maybe these trust issues are deserved, and maybe you have not met Mr. Right yet, but maybe, like me, you are not sure who is Mr Right and who is Mr Wrong, because any guy who is nice, looks good, and looks good on paper, and has no obvious flaws, seems okay….until…until you already have too many feelings too soon and then you start to ignore the bad behaviors that start to show up.

From now on, I am taking it slowly and watching very carefully. I learned that in CoDA. If I don't trust someone, that is just fine. I don't have to…it means I am allowed to back off. You don't have to dump him, unless you know you should, but maybe you need to step back a bit and get to know him a bit more and not share so much of yourself. It is okay to do. Take care of yourself…that is all you can do.

Hugs, P&L

1:47 pm
September 18, 2006


caraway

New Member

posts -1

Strong,

I usually get very quite and feel hurt and offended. I begin to build a case for just "how good" I have been to him and how much I have endured to make this work. The feelings of not being appreciated just flow at that point. I TRY AND CONTROL THE OUTCOME OF THINGS IN MY LIFE. I am more apprehensive about going to parties and aout to bars than I am excited. I get all twisted inside when we are around other people whom he finds attractive.I am not controlling at all about dat to day things like, where we eat, what we do, etc.

I can besome upset about something that I have done a hundred times but somehow when he does it is worse? How dumb is that?

Fortunately, I have never had any desire to lash out or so anything in anger. I always think to leave and start planning my escape. Sort of, "you will miss me when I am gone."

I got mad a couple of weeks ago when he implyed that I was not in the as good of shape as I was a few months ago…. hello, I haven't worked out all summer because I have been playing golf. I think it is hearing someone say what I think and fear is true that upsets me. I totally overreacted and was hurt and felt like I was unattractive and out-of-shape. I am 41, 185lbs., 33 waist, and not in bad shape. I know that on some level but can feel so unattractive with a simple comment.

Cary

2:45 pm
September 18, 2006


caraway

New Member

posts -1

P&L,

So true. I can see it so clearly at times but that visceral feeling just takes over.

Cary

6:57 pm
September 18, 2006


StronginHim77

Member

posts 453

Caraway –

"I always think to leave and start planning my escape. Sort of, "you will miss me when I am gone."

Ok. Here goes. Sounds like a pattern of abandoning your partner, before he can abandon you? Now you have me very concerned. This is a symptom of deep, deep insecurity and low self-esteem. The quiet withdrawal, the easily hurt feelings, being wounded by constructive criticism…you need some help here, my friend.

And the comments about him missing you when you are gone, etc. (paraphrasing here)…that is SHEER manipulation. It is also a tremendous put-off for anyone who IS secure. Unless your partner is into game-playing, it will begin to wear him down. You are coming across as NEEDY, NEEDY, NEEDY. Not healthy at all. You seem utterly lacking in confidence and in need of constant reassurance. I don't think there is ANYONE out there who could measure up.

Therapy is going to be very essential for you, unless you are willing to remain trapped in this groove of alienating, driving away and/or abandoning partners for the rest of your life. Get help now, while you are still young enough to change.

Rooting for ya…

- Ma Strong

9:32 am
September 19, 2006


caraway

New Member

posts -1

Ma Strong,

I totally agree. I have been in counseling through the years and felt that I had reached a dead-end. I called the the shrink to make an appointment. I suppose that I just need to print this thread and take it with me. You and P&L nailed it!!

Cary

4:27 pm
September 22, 2006


caraway

New Member

posts -1

Just had my appointment with the shirnk and feel so empowered. I just need to hang on to this clarity when I begin to slip.

This is a choice!!! I can do this…. ugh, right?

Cary

6:04 pm
September 22, 2006


StronginHim77

Member

posts 453

Yes, Cary –

You CAN do it!! Please keep us posted?

- Ma Strong


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