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discoverying that i am codependent
January 3, 2005
7:26 am
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manda75
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New to this board
single mom long line of bad relationships - nothing horrible - but have come to the conclusion that i am codependent and don't want to be anymore.

i try to help too much - i always get invovled with needy people - then at some point get tired or scared at the realization that i can't help them and then want them to go away - but i don't know how to make them go away.

i am currently engaged. i have realized that i don't want to marry - and how can i marry someone that i have to take care of all the time. I am smarter than him make more money then him. he has moved into my house pays nothing to stay here etc etc etc

i do care about him and he has made some progress. Going to school got a good job going to church. But i am not happy. i don't want to be married. in reading i think we are both co dependent and are making one another worse. But i don't want to hurt him and don't want to see him revert from the progress he has made.

WHAT DO I DO - how do i begin - does any of this sound familar -
my new years resolution is to NO LONGER BE co dependent

January 3, 2005
7:32 am
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readyforachange
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Welcome...you have taken some really serious steps toward recovery already. You've recognized that you are codependent, and you have realized that you do not want to be in your current relationship. Follow your heart...get into counseling, read some books on codependency, keep posting here, start a journal. All of these things will help you on your journey. This is about you...it's your turn to take care of YOURSELF and put your needs first. This will be difficult and strange...we just aren't used to doing that. But it is a wonderful feeling to take control of your life again. Good luck to you...keep posting!

January 3, 2005
9:20 am
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CAMER
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Hi Manda, you are taking the right steps!! make sure you don't marry this man too, you may feel bad for him or not want to hurt him by breaking the engagement..I have been engaged b4 and needed to break this
engagement..and knew this when he gave me the ring..i was engaged for 4 months and didn't even tell my friends about this cuz deep down Iknew it was not meant to be, I took my ring off at work, no one knew, all cuz I was afraid to hurt his feelings and tell him that the relationship is not healthy.

Keep working on you & know you have alot to offer. Soon enough with practicing healthier lifestyles and
reading coda books and working on you, this will help down the road with getting into healthier relationships...good luck!

January 3, 2005
9:36 am
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gazelle
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Hello there. Thanks for your story, Manda. It rings true for me too. I'm not sure what "co-dependent" means... I've looked in books, but the descriptions are so long & seem to include all possible types of human behaviour! So it's hard to distinguish what is "co-dependent" when even opposite behaviours all seem to count.
But your description here, Manda75, fits my experiences. I always seem to fixate on needy, handicapped or alcoholic people and try to rescue them, encourage & inspire them, etc. Then, after freely & lovingly spending much physical & emotional energy on them,I get disillusioned when they don't "improve" their lives but just become dependent on me! Then I want to shake them off a little ... but haven't the heart to do so, since it was me that got them dependent in the first place!
Could it be that this desire to play fairy godmother ... this need to be needed ... stems from chronic low self esteem, and therefore a feeling of self-worth only comes from helping others less fortunate?
Or even - in my case - perhaps from feeling inadequate and not 'good enough' for a 'normal' relationship with someone who functions well & is in control of their life? I know I somehow feel I don't deserve happiness without taking on some huge struggle. It even seems as if it is the struggle itself that appeals, in a perverse sort of way.
Is this "co-dependency" I wonder???

I wish you a very happy new year & fresh new start in your life of renewed Strength & Hope.
Let's nurture OURSELVES for once and decide that WE (besides the people we help) deserve happiness, self-confidence and Life's rich blessings. Love, Gazelle.

January 3, 2005
10:45 am
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marley
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manda -

Please don't get married if you are already having those thoughts. It is a wonderful feeling to think that you are helping someone and some of us love to be needed (myself included) but I have found that once you get away from those relationships that just seem to suck the life out of you - you can be so much happier and less irritable. Plus you don't walk around with the feeling of what am I doing wrong? this doesn't make me happy so why do I do it? I think for me it was always a sense of obligation that I couldn't abandon the other person, instead I was giving up on what I really wanted. Please don't give up on the things that really matter to you!

January 3, 2005
12:04 pm
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manda75
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i mentioned i was a single mom - i got pregnant in college and made the choice not to marry right away i wanted to finish school first. While her daddy was never dependent on me the way my current SO is the relationship had many similarities - and after our daughter was born i sank into a deep depression. We split up when our girl was about 6 months old. But it has always hurt me to realize - when i was sick - when i needed someone to let me know i was sick - instead he just walked away.

i am glad that he had the strength to leave and has made a good life for himself despite my ENABLING behavoir and i understand that he couldn't help me - i need professional counceling and medication - but remembering that hurt makes it difficult to hurt another.

Current SO has finally realized what a drain he is being on me and my daughter has finally spoken up and told me how she is unhappy. I am feeling strong and confident - but is a hard thing to accept that i can't control what he will do when this eventually plays out.

January 3, 2005
12:34 pm
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marley
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It is hard to know that sometimes the people you sacrifice so much for care more about themselves then they do about you - but maybe they are just trying to protect themselves? I don't know. I think that you must be a very strong person to have determined that you would have your daughter and still knew yourself well enough that you didn't marry the her father. Since you had that strength before, I have no doubt that you still have it.

It is terribly difficult to know that we can't control other people, but would you like to be controlled?

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