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can this be codependency?
February 6, 2006
4:56 pm
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bluetooth
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I'm marriaged, my wife is always trying to control everything. I feel like i have to do things her way or everything goes crazy. To avoid her divorcing me, which she wants everytime things get rough, i break my back to do them. she's never satisfied, and she tells me i'm backwards. this is my 1st marriage and i really want this to work. when i give my input she disregards it. she only wants to drink and we can't communicate until all falls. i feel like i'm living with 1 foot out the door, but i won't go. I think money is standing between us. i give most of what i make and she saves hers to see what i'm gonna do. i don't know i dont communicate well so forgive me

February 6, 2006
5:49 pm
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KIP
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Hi Bluetooth!

Sounds like some codependency going on. How long have you been married? Do you have kids at home?

The best way to start dealing with this is to step back and realize you have no control over how your wife acts, thinks or feels; you only have control over yourself, your choices, what you think and how you feel. When you realize that, and you can learn to detach yourself from your wifes actions and work on yourself and what you need to do to be a happy healthy person, then you can decide how to approach your marriage. I made it sound easy but it's not, but it's worth the effort to do it.

Good luck to you!
Kip

February 6, 2006
7:39 pm
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bluetooth
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kip,
i've been married 4-1/2 yrs, together 8. she has 3 children, i don't have any. i've started dealing with my own feelings and actions, but it seeems to cause a greater problem. the more i work on me the more selfish she thinks i'm being. i just turned 30 and i'm taking steps to establish myself not take advantage of her.
still lost,
bluetooth

February 6, 2006
8:29 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Blue and welcome to the site.

Very often when we become aware of unhealthy behavior and make the decision to start taking care of ourselves, the people around us tend to see this as being selfish.

Most people don't like change and they certainly don't like when you changing stops enabling their bad behavior. Unfortunately this is a very common thing that happens when we begin to recover.

The best advice I can give is to keep the focus on yourself and your recovery. Let her know that you love her but it is time that you start taking care of you. Set boundaries and stick to them.

I read once before that once we begin to recover our relationships WILL change. Sometimes our partners, seeing our progress, decide to work on themselves. Other times the relationship will end. But, one way or the other, it will change.

You deserve to be happy Blue. We all deserve to be happy.

Take care and good luck,
Lolli

February 7, 2006
10:58 am
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KIP
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bluetooth

What lillipop3 has said is true, I've experienced it myself. When your spouse sees you changing it does become more difficult. They will become very insecure and try to pull you back into old patterns (i.e. by calling you selfish, etc.) This is when you get to choose what road you will take, the old road or the new road with that bright light at the end; no you're not going to die, but it may feel like it sometimes. It's worth the trip down the new road. Things will change and they will be for the better.

I was told I was being selfish too, what I found was that I experienced more peace inside and acutually felt more empathy for people around me. I'm also careful not to waste time on things I have no control over.

Hang in there - progress can seem slow at first and sometimes you just have to start over a few times until you're standing on both feet and moving forward.

Kip

February 7, 2006
11:10 am
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dalpuz
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I just came out of this same situation with my ex. I found that by giving and doing anything she wanted me to to ease the situation and avoid confrontation just gave her a greater sence of control. What your actually doing is feeding into it and making it much worse for both of you.

The toughest thing to do is stand your ground and don't go beyond to limits just to appease.

Let me ask you...is a beautiful woman? Is she insecure? Low selfconfidence or selfesteem?

The road is long.

February 7, 2006
12:21 pm
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bluetooth
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All of you are correct. I just have to set aside my fears and keep moving. I only want the best for my situation. Self preservation is the 1st law of nature. ONE QUESTION: Is there anything wrong with mutual independence? What i mean by mutual independence is 2 people coming together as they are, independently bringing their different qualities together to form a strong mutual relationship without losing sight of who they are.

February 7, 2006
12:23 pm
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kathygy
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bluetooth,

it certainly does sound like codependency because you tailor your behavior according to what your wife wants than than being true to yourself. If your wife leaves you because you start focusing on behaving in a way that honors who you what do you have? Do you want to spend the rest of your life curtailing your behavior out of fear?
A shift in you can cause a shift in her. Often when a person changes their behavior the other person will escalate thier behavior to try to get you to change back. Just keep staying committed to honoring who you are.

February 7, 2006
12:26 pm
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dalpuz
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that's what we're all striving for blue, but by not being strong, you allow yourself to change into something your not which she won't like even more and you show weakness. Stand strong, don't be mean or rude, just be who you are. By changing to accomadate...you feed her problem, your not doing yourselves a favor by giving in. There's a fine line there, you love her so you want it to be content and happy but all your really doing is giving her your strength and suppressing yourself and getting drained. She has a weakness somewhere and needs your energy. I'm no therapist but this is what i've encountered.

February 7, 2006
12:28 pm
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bluetooth
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dalpuz,
She's attractive but not 2 herself. She's borderline paranoid and she does have issues with confidence as well as self esteem. Alot of childhood issues and hard luck situations. The Bad part is i think the stuff is rubbing off on me. I've never felt this insecure about anything.

February 7, 2006
12:29 pm
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dalpuz
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I guess kathy and I are saying the same thing really. Kathy has actually helped me alot here over the last few months. She's sound.

February 7, 2006
12:32 pm
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bluetooth
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She DOES drain me. Some times i feel like i give her life and she takes it from me. She doesn't appear happy until i'm drained, dazed, and confused

February 7, 2006
12:33 pm
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dalpuz
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Been there, and just came out. Realize who you are and help her by being yourself. I asked you that because if she uses her beauty to gain attention and control, she has other problems too.

Take a timeout, go away for a weekend to your parents or something and get your head together.

February 7, 2006
12:35 pm
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bluetooth
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I appreciate you all talking 2 me I usually keep it all bottled up

February 7, 2006
12:42 pm
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dalpuz
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that's why we are all here.

February 7, 2006
12:49 pm
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bluetooth
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A vacation is long over do. i don't have any family here we live in her comfort zone. biiig mistake!!! Going home a weekend is a good idea nto sure though trust issues.

February 7, 2006
12:52 pm
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I know how you feel to. I have realized that I forgot all about me, I have isolated myself and quit even knowing what I like or don't like anymore. I quit being with my friends..hell I had to be to responsible, I had to take care of him him him. The truth of the matter is that by doing all this enabling all I am really doing is not taking care of myself. I also noticed that I give to others like I wish someone would give to me. My self esteem dwindled as I have always tried to be Ms. Perfect I'll take care of everything won't you just love me back and see I am deserving. I don't know if any of these things relate to your situation or not.

I have quit enabling my husband, I am no longer taking care of things he is capable of. I am not going to be used anymore. I am going to be responsible for me and part of that is rediscovering me and what I let go of myself. Reconnecting with friends..and many more things for me.

February 7, 2006
1:04 pm
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KIP
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bluetooth

You mentioned mutual independence, I've heard it called interdependence; where 2 healthy people come together to have a healthy relationship.

I tried that for many years thinking at some point it was going to happen, but it doesn't until you detach from your present situation with your wife and become healthy yourself first and it will be up to your wife if she wants it enough to meet up with you at some point.

I've made it clear to my wife what I am doing and I've had to remind myself and her several times that this is what I am doing.

Like dalpuz said you can't be weak about it. You may need to read up on how to detach and set boundaries. It's not about being selfish or being mean, it's like kathygy said, it's being true to yourself.

Kip

February 7, 2006
1:18 pm
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bluetooth
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hopeful for change,

you hit the nail on the head. She acts disabled. If i don't do it she'll play the victim and everyone looks at me. I've been trying 2 please her and have only digusted myself. I do everything. when i encourage and push for shared responsibility Change becomes a PAIN. I even have 2 care for her children. I do my best to offer stability and balance for them. She left me about 2yrs ago and by the tme she came back the kids had gone crazy. and she never admits she's wrong. She's not responsible and she doesn't take responsibility for her actions. I'm not her father so i don't treat her like a child. I let her make her own decisions. This woman has hurt me in ways i dont know how to begin to deal with verbal abuse, kicking me out of the house (Im from hundreds of miles away), telling all of our business,cheating(2 times- last known 2004),going through my stuff...She's driving me crazy. And she likes 2 fight. And i don't like fighting esspecially woman. I hurt her when we 1st met(1998), i was dishonest. I've tried 2 makeup for it but she still keeps it up. She says she trying2 hurt me as bad as i hurt her will it ever end or do i just run?

February 7, 2006
1:21 pm
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bluetooth
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Kip,

i am thirsty for knowledge. i read about any and everything. What do you recommend i read. Reading is how i got here:).

February 7, 2006
3:17 pm
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KIP
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bluetooth

I would read anything about codependency. This web site is great and the websites associated with it. A therapist I went to had me listen to Melody Beattie's book on tape: "Codependency No More", that's what prompted me to look up this web site. A therapist may help you too. It took me several tries before I found a therapist that hit the nail on the head for me.

I also read a book called "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura. It's written for women but if you are a husband that really wants to carry your end of the relationship, it helped me not feel guilty for expecting something in return for my efforts.

Once I started feeling better about myself I was trying to find out what a healthy relationship was suppose to be and this book did it for me. My wife threw it across the room when I showed it to her, said she wouldn't read it until Dr. Laura wrote the other half of it. I told her that when she found herself divorced she could read the book to find out why. She started reading it without me knowing, but I could tell because she started doing things she had never done before. Dr. Laura's web site it great too, I like reading the letters from her listeners each morning, they are very inspirational.

That ought to keep you busy for awhile, it has me. It's been worth it!

Kip

February 7, 2006
4:12 pm
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dalpuz
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you've got alot of good insight, unstanding, knowledge and advice today............PUT IT TO WORK NOW

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