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BF101
April 24, 2009
11:57 pm
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BF101
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Hi,

I think I may be in a co-dependent relationship but am unsure. By way of background, I experienced ongoing verbal abuse from my father while I was growing up which significantly impacted on my confidence - anxiety, social phobia, etc. The relationship I am in is characterised by cycles of him being nice and him being pretty awful. For example, on occasions when I have told him I don't like the way he's talked to me he will sulk for days at a stretch, give me the cold shoulder, etc.. He will never apologise and basically vents his anger on me and blames me for his moods and behaviour. Having said that, he has never physically attacked me and doesn't generally call me names like I've seen in some of the other emails. When he is being awful I want to leave him but when he is in a nice phase I feel totally confused. All in all he is emotionally unavailable. Any comments would be appreciated.

April 25, 2009
6:47 am
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It No Longer Matters
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Sounds like what many of us here have experienced. You can't change him. You can only change you. What do you want?

One thing I have learned is that people will treat you the way you let them. Sounds as though this is an ongoing thing.

I wish I had more to offer you this morning but I don't. Hopefully more will post to you.

Bitsy

April 25, 2009
2:21 pm
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fantas
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I agree with Bitsy, he is treating you the way you let him. He can be however he wishes to be but you don't have to indulge him. You can just step away from you and tell him to call you when he is feeling better. Eventually he may turn violent, after he has broken you down and made you believe that somehow you are responsible for his bad moods. Keep posting.

April 25, 2009
4:39 pm
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BF101
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Thanks for your feedback. The problem is that I can't seem to identify when enough is enough and move on. When someone is awful then suddenly nice again - it's confusing and there's a whole lot of fear. The other thing I wonder is if I'm being too sensitive and over-reacting (something he also tells me) - how can you be sure in your mind that you're not? I know this sounds dreadful but if he hit me then I would know for sure that the relationship was over.

I find it really hard to step away from him because of strong feelings of being rejected and feeling like a failure. It's also difficult when he doesn't acknowledge his behaviour and expects me to be loving again when he's feeling better.

April 25, 2009
5:28 pm
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fantas
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Well, I would suggest that your gut instinct is telling you the truth about your relationship and your mind is trying to justify it. If everything was great, you wouldn't be here. However, many of us have to reach our bottom in order to change and when you reach there, you will know. Hopefully through therapy, you will sort this out before then.

Research the characteristics of charmer/abusers. They are sweet and then turn on you. Eventually, they will just be mean, when they know you are hooked. Like now, you are hurting and yet you find yourself doubting the truth of your experience. This is what keeps these relationship going. Would you tolerate this attitude from a stranger?

April 25, 2009
6:36 pm
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CAMER
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if the nice/mean phase keeps happening with him...then you know something is not right...and yes, go with your gut on this one.

and if he doesn't acknowledge this behavior, that is not your issue, that is his, and the more you are loving towards him the more he will
think that you will come back to him every time.

Maybe time to set some boundaries.

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