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am I co dependent?
January 3, 2004
8:23 am
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fire_angel
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Hey all, happy new year (belated),

Ive been reading a bit on co dependency lately and i see to fit the pattern but then i think i might be projecting the symptoms on myself?

For starters, a little bit about myself:my family used to be very close until i was 10 or so.I guess i was too young to realise that my mum was very unhappy.One day, she started taking up for herself instead of just letting my dad control everything, and there would be arguments everyday over the smallest things..my brothers were both adults, at college so i was the only one left at home, and being that young, i couldnt do anything.Years later i realised that most parents dont argue in front of their kids.
Plus, my dad knew i was my mum's "weakness" and he'd always try to put me down just to hurt her.

Anyway, pretty soon , i couldnt wait to become an adult and leave home.I stuck in there for 8 years through the yelling /emotional abuse. My dad refused to pay a dime for college, but my mum came through.

While in college, i met someone who i truly cared for and we started living together. My parents wouldnt approve (culture thing)so i kept it from them.they found out and my dad started calling me a "whore"My boyfriend was from a america, and he had to leave australia. My mum supported me in coming to the states to finish school, and be with my boyfriend cos he made me happy.

However, my boyfriend and I argue a lot.When we argue, he wants to have some space but ill keep wanting to talk right away.For me it's like if we dont solve everything right this instant, the world is going to end. I read a thread about someone who threatened to commit suicide for her husband to come back home from work. I've done that, but this is the first time im thinking that i might be hurting myself just to be "taken care of"..

lately ive been very depressed. I found out a few months ago that my boyfriend cheated on me with someone he used to work with..he said she gave him a blow job once, and then they slept together twice, the second time, he said he was thinking about me, and just stopped and told her they couldnt do that anymore. She still apparently came over, as his friend.she even came to visit last new years(i didnt know theyd slept together then), but she saw me there and was very rude to me...my signals were telling me something was up, but he denied it....anyway, id always felt that if someone cheated on me, id leave rightaway. However, i can't, practically, do this. Being in a different country, parents cut me off etc....plus i dont like being away from him. When he's at home, i want us to spend time together....i feel like he's nicer to other people that to me.am i a horrible person?

Im also a "people pleaser"...i find it so hard to say "no" to someone i care about. I feel like im such a sucker and a doormat,maybe he takes me for granted?It seems like the more i want to be loved and happy, the more sad and unloved i get.Just writing all this out is helping me so much.

thanks

fire angel

January 3, 2004
12:34 pm
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gingerleigh
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Ya know, people throw around the word "co-dependent" like it's this disease, this *thing* that we are always recovering from. In my humble opinion, it is not. Co-dependence is a state of learned behavior. It is not who someone is. It is not a thing that needs to be cured. Being co-dependent is a lot like being, well, out of shape. The longer you have been out of shape, the harder it is to take those first steps to get back in shape. And even people who have been out of shape their entire lives can get in shape as adults. The analogy I'm trying to make here is that just because you had a toxic environment growing up doesn't mean that you have to live that pattern for the rest of your life.

Your behaviors do sound "co-dependent", yes. However, getting cheated on sucks. But, that's his problem. Seriously, he is the one who has to live with the guilt, the why's, the pain he sees on your face. What's left for you now is to take care of yourself.

Keep reading, keep writing. Getting your thoughts down helps immensely.

If this relationships ends for good, because you can no longer trust him, that is Ok. Just because you lived with someone doesn't mean you have to marry him. Just because you fell in love with someone doesn't mean that he is the best person for you. Just because he treated you well when you were 18 years old doesn't mean that he is going to treat you well when you are 23. People go through a lot of changes in their early and mid twenties, and settling down with someone at a young age can often times leave people wondering what else is out there. Years ago it might not have been so much like this, but with TV and the internet, we are flooded with images of people looking for a relationship where the grass is greener.

You've been pleasing people so long. What have you done lately to please yourself? What are your interests and loves? What fires you up?

January 3, 2004
1:34 pm
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fire_angel
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Hi Leigh,

thank you so much for responding, you are so full of good intentions and great advice.

Ill try to answer your questions.

Yes, getting cheated on does suck.His "defence"= he wasnt sure if i was gonna make to the us (and yes, things did go crazy and it was hard to get a visa). The whole thing lasted a week. He said that one time i called when she was there, and he didnt answer. But when i travel across the world, am jetlagged, and the b*tch shows up on new years eve, he cant "not open the door".id been there only a couple of days,and she came by to see what i was like, she sat there for a while, and then basically told me that "i should leave" .When i ask him why, he said that he didnt want me to know because it would only hurt me.

The way it's affected me now is i wonder what the heck i represent to him? just a woman, like "any" woman would do?i dont know where to start to heal. You know the thing about the "guilt" ,amybe so.but he used to be in the army and i think they take your brains apart and remove the function "show emotion". He was also upset the first few days, maybe a couple of weeks but then he made peace with himself i guess, i dunno.He swears he'd never hurt me like that again, cos he saw how completely devastated i was. The doctor prescribed a few xanax (very little) to take when i was feeling especially bad..i didnt like it at all, cos it didnt make the pain go away, just left me feeling "empty" and once it would wear off, id be back to where i was.One day my boyfriend and i were arguing again (its pretty frequent now cos i get broken up over almost anything)and he flushed them out.But i can understand that i guess cos there's substance abuse/addiction to prescription pills in his family.He's seen how bad it can get.

Things i like: i like writing, short stories, poetry. I also play the guitar a little bit and im learning to play piano.

My poems have been pretty dark lately but i do feel better after writing a little...but then "it" creeps back on me.lol, look at that, more about my situation, so little to say about me....ya know i should have more to say about myself.

January 3, 2004
1:50 pm
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strengthishere
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fire_angel,

I've been there and it's a horrible place to be. He tells you one thing but his actions say another....follow your instincts always. Does a man who loves a woman treat her that way?? Your mother sounds like she would support you no matter what. Mothers do that you know, it may take time to come through but eventually they want their children to be o.k. Don't be afraid to leave because you don't know where to go. Stay and plan on saving money and then leave...that's if you want to leave. The reason you feel like your going crazy is because your feeling vulnerable and he's not showing you the love and compassion you deserve. There's a book out there called Romantic Deception it's a good book but it just might help you. Be strong, find yourself and live your life to the fullest......Create your own destiny.

January 6, 2004
3:29 pm
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bmichelle
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i know exactly what you are going through and everything that you have gone through (except for the whole moving to another country thing). my ex and i were on and off for three years and lived together for one year and my parents didn't approve either. i just had a conversation with him today about codependency because he thinks that i'm codependent. he cheated on me and tried to keep his friendship with that girl and we went through a lot of crap and a lot of arguing. i feel like you were telling the story of my life as i was reading what you have gone through with him. even though my boyfriend and i broke up, we are still in some sort of relationship and unfortunately i'm trying to maintain that relationship while he is having a sexual relationship with his boss. it's been really hard and i am almost to that point where i really don't care anymore. i guess i don't really have any advice for you because i'm still trying to sort out this whole thing, but i had to write something back to you because it seems like you and i have gone through the same exact thing. also, we used to fight about the fact that i am a people pleaser. even though we have gone through some stuff that no one should have to deal with, its nice to know that i'm not alone.

January 6, 2004
3:35 pm
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fire_angel
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hey michelle,

yes we have. I dont wanna feel sorry for myself, but at the same time, im at a point when i really dont know what do do..... i feel that even after he cheated, out of respect for me, he should have told that slut not to show up..i call her a slut cos she knew about me, why do women do that do each other?? my first boyfriend was in a relationship when i met him and i told him to sort his stuff out with his current girlfriend before he asked me out which he did.even then i didnt start going out with him until a few months later...why are people wired in such a way that they can treat other women like that?

January 6, 2004
3:51 pm
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gingerleigh
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Ah, this sounds familiar. I understand wanting to pin a huge amount of the blame squarely on the other woman. Honestly, she doesn't really give a rip about you (and really why should she?) She's trying to find the best match for herself. If anything, feel sorry for her that she isn't confident enough to seek out an available man rather than poaching off of someone else's leftovers.

You know why I think we do that, blame the "slut"? Because it gives our partner an out, a reason for cheating. Oh, he would never have strayed if it weren't for so-and-so. You know what? If it hadn't been her, it would have been someone else. He may say that he wasn't, but he was looking outside of the relationship for fulfilment, and that HURTS.

No, the blame for the cheating belongs squarely on the cheating partner. Period, because she's not actually doing anything wrong, other than cheating herself out of a decent relationship. She didn't make a commitment to be faithful, but he did. So who is breaking their promise?

Believe me, I know how it feels, and I myself had a dart board set up with a photo of horse-face on it (as I affectionate like to refer to her). I spent years blaming the cheating my ex did on me because of the irresistable temptations of the other woman, Ms. Horse-face. Ha. My ex had his own brain, he's not some helpless victim being dragged around by his penis. He cheated. Although I think the other woman is pretty pathetic now, I did finally redirect my anger back where it belonged... at him. And as for her? I feel a sort of detached pity for her.

January 6, 2004
3:57 pm
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bmichelle
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i don't know why women do what they do to each other. the girl that he cheated on me with knew that him and i were together also. i ended up calling the girl because she lived in another state and i totally went off on her and thats not the kind of person that i am at all. why is it that i felt bad for hating the girl more than i hated my boyfriend? isn't that how it always goes? these guys are supposed to care about us and not want to hurt us like that. my doctor also prescribed xanax for me after he cheated on me. they didn't help me either and i just ended up mixing them with alcohol. not until recently did i feel that this might actually be a learning experience. it's messed up that you have to learn like this.

January 6, 2004
7:03 pm
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fire_angel
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well in my case, she was also cheating on her boyfriend, apparently she does that quite a bit, thats why i call her a slut. I blame him yeah but i blame her for showing up at the appartment to see what i was like, then telling me to leave....(thats what im pissed off at her for). she knew he wasnt gonna break up with me, btw...i had him call her and tell her never to show her nasty self at my house again. she hadnt shown up after seeing me there, but i wanted it to be clear...and she said "well i knew you were still in love with her, i dont want to break you up" .so if all she wants is to have sex, why not go sleep with some single guy?

xanax does not help me at all, it just stops the crying, makes you sleep but when you wake up, youre still back to where it was.

January 6, 2004
8:47 pm
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gingerleigh
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Gosh fire, I really do see where you are coming from, but reread your post as though someone else wrote it. He was wrong for cheating, definitely a big breach of trust between you two. But. The relationship picture that you are painting here seems very controlling. Essentially the picture I'm getting (and correct me if I'm wrong), is that you basically forced your boyfriend to call her and state your demands. Can you see how this would feel controlling? He definitely acted out, but could it have been in reaction to this sort of suffocation? Controlling and suffocating tactics are the hallmarks of a codependent relationship. It takes 2 people to make or ruin a relationship... could this possibly be the part that you played in it?

On a more personal note: generally speaking, people who harshly judge others also tend not to be very forgiving of themselves. And with the pain you are going through right now, you can't afford not to be tender and compassionate towards yourself. The "slut" isn't worth your time, really.

I remember I wrote Ms. Horse Face a letter telling her exactly what a wretched person I thought she was. She did respond, it was very short, and all it said was that she heard a very different story of the situation from my partner at the time they got together as far as what our committment level was. Ho ho, one of them was lying... so what else was new? At that point, it turns into a he-said-she-said thing, and since neither of them are particularly trustworthy at that point, my entire vendetta against her just fizzled. I mean, what's the point? Getting her to admit that she is a rotten person isn't going to make me feel any better... perhaps it would only make me feel worse, since my partner chose a rotten person over me, which makes me... rottener? You get the idea.

As Molly (another long time poster here) has said before, "Ditch the rage". It's ok to be angry. It's ok to get it out, and acknowledge it, but don't let it consume you.

Best wishes to you for a peaceful evening.

January 6, 2004
9:11 pm
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fire_angel
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Hm, nope. I didnt force him to do anything. I told him that it hurt that he cheated, but his defence was that he cared about me. To that, my feelings were " then why didnt you at least respect me enough to tell her clearly not to come over anymore", and i was upset, feeling that she could basically come over any time she felt like getting laid, that made me feel very vulnerable....and he asked what could he could do, and i said well telling her point blank, not to show up at my house ever again , would help.. we didnt renew the lease after that, i looked for a different place to live.

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