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Going the extra mile or co-dependent
November 7, 2004
2:13 pm
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Trubldman
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I am new to this board, I wish I knew it about is sooner- like 15 years ago. My problem starts from a dysfunctional family like most people but my problem is trying to cope with my past. My wife was born into a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and a mother with severe anxiety and she witnessed a lot, she was left alone as a child and she went to bars with her mother looking for her father who was having countless affairs. She witnessed them divorce and lived with the pain of losing her father. He treated her like she was a dog and belittled her verbally. I came in the picture and married her knowing that I was trying to save her from all of these demons in her past. Along the path I let her turn me into a shell of a person. Allways being accused of cheating or not loving her, I soon began to lose control. I began hating everything about her but I still tried to help her. She had an affair about 7 years ago, she blamed it on me and I left her after several months of trying to help her again. I found out that she had not ended the relationship with him and I could take any more. I stayed as long as I could trying to save my daughter but I could not take the pain of the affair continuing. When I left I continued to help her and she seemed to change. I got back with her and cancelled the divorce. We lived for 7 more years and she has never had another affair nor has she ever acted like the old her. Her only flaw was lying about the affair, she lied for 7 years and just recenly told me the entire truth. She had sex with him while pregnant with my child, she aborted the child and told me it was a miscarriage. She had several sexual encounters with him over a period of six months and even told him that she had stopped having sex with me to make him happy. I have been with her for 17 years now and I have never had an affair. I have been honest with her from day one and I feel robbed. I have 3 children now and my relationship with my wife is wonderful except for the lies and the recentment I hold inside my heart. My wife is like a new person but I feel that I have had to bear her burden for so long that I am worn out. I know that most of the problem was with my co-dependency but I married her and promised to cherish her. Is what I did co-dependency or love for my family?

November 7, 2004
3:31 pm
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Trubldman
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I must of put the wrong title up, maybe I should have said New To Board or something with a bit more jazz to it. I guess after waiting around for a response I have learned that no one can really tell me if it sounds like co-dependency, I will have to make that decision on my own. I know that I just feel like once you get married you should try and stick it out no matter what. I know that is not right in some cases but in mine I wonder if I made a mistake and maybe I will never regain my ability to see my wife as a changed person because of the infidelity and the thoughts of her and him together in a passionate way. Did my co-dependency keep me trying to stay in the relationship and now that I know about my problem will I be more resentful?

November 7, 2004
3:33 pm
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SweetAmanda
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I just skimmed through your post... I will read it over more carefully, but I just wanted to let you know that I am online and that I hear you! =)

~Amanda~

November 7, 2004
3:36 pm
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Trubldman
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Thanks Amanda

November 7, 2004
3:43 pm
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SweetAmanda
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Trubldman,

Okay, I read your posts all the way through. I really don't know what to tell you. Your pain has got to be a huge burden... I am so sorry for that. My heart really does go out to you.

Do you and your wife go to counseling now? That would be a very good idea, even though these may be 'past problems' they are still having an effect on your current relationship.

Are you having doubts that she is being honest with you now? Or is it because like you said, you feel robbed? I would feel robbed too! That's why it's called cheating I think.

Oh, welcome to these boards! (Hugs) I hope that this can be a place you feel free.

~Amanda~

November 7, 2004
3:48 pm
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SweetAmanda
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I'm sorry if my answers or advice aren't what you were hoping for... I have never been in a situation anywhere near yours, so I don't want to try to tell you what to do... I have not invested years of emotions and hard work into a relationship. You are right in saying that only you can make that decision.

~Amanda~

November 7, 2004
4:15 pm
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Trubldman
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Amanda thanks for responding, I think this board is the best thing I have ever experienced regarding my need to vent. I have only one or two friends that I would ever talk to about any of this and I am tired of talking to them about it, I feel I am just becoming a burden. If no one else responds to this post I have been able to read many post that I can relate to and I feel better just knowing this place is here for us to vent.

We have been to see several therapist's in the past but she has just recently come clean with all the truth. I knew about the affair but not the details. She has lied about most of the questions I have asked and I finally just said I have got to know the truth to be able to ever trust you again and she let go and told me everything. It has been 7 years after the fact and I am having to go back and process all of the information feel all the emotion and deal with it while trying to stay afloat at work and in my family life. I am now the person in our relationship that can't get it together. She is working so very hard and I am just floundering in a sea of emotions and past pain. She has truly changed but I am fearful that it is just too late. Or I just need more time to deal with all of the new information. Either way I care for her and my children very much and the thought of going back out there and finding another mate is just crazy. I am 38 years old and I like my wife just the way she is, I do not want to have to start over especially with the chances of meeting another like her past self. I have worked so hard to get here I feel that it would be crazy to throw it away now. What brings you to this board, what kind of problems are you having? I feel like I am just bleeding my crap off on you with nothing in return for your problems.

November 7, 2004
4:25 pm
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SweetAmanda
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I don't really know what my problems are. I am 20 years old, I am single, and I live with my mom and younger brother... So my life is fairly simple I guess. I am codependent, I do know that. Where it comes from, or why and all the details I am trying to figure out. Other than that, you know about as much about me as I do now! =)

~Amanda~

p.s. Oh, and never ever think that you are bleeding crap on people here! Ever!

November 7, 2004
4:35 pm
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Hi and welcome..

I can relate to both sides of that issue... I am your "wife" on one side of the story (minus the affairs), and "You" on the other side...

We are married 10 years... I suffered from panic disorder for 5 of those early years, and to my husband's credit, he stuck it out.. I also came from a very dysfuntional childhood, and burdened him with all my codependency issues ( not trusting, being critical, etc., etc.,)

5 years ago however, with all that, I've discovered that I'm actually the healthy one... My illness allowed him to cover up his issues... I got counseling and treatment for my panic, from which I am fully recovered, which I did for the both of us... I have move on to improve my life and myself in many ways, including confronting my own codepedency head-on...

Now that I'm healthy, my husband has little use for me... Actually, it's that he's had narcissistic tendednices all along (read "Narcissists" post here and you will get an explanation), and I just couldn't see them before... I'm sure he's got resentment towards the earlier part of our marriage, but he's the one who won't work on it... We went to counseling, and discovered that he is completely unable to confront his own issues, let alone those of our marriage..

So now this puts me in your shoes of, "I married him, I love him, I made a vow, now what?" I struggle with the same question... It keeps me awake a night wondering what to do... I do not have children, so my situation is far less complicated than yours... I didn't see your response to the question of counseling, but I wouls recommend it, and you need a couselor who is "pro-marriage" in the sense that their objective is to help you both worke through issues until all options are exhausted... That way no one has the question of "Did I do my best?"...

You say that your wife is like a new person... You are lucky that she made the commitment to change... Without mistakes there is no learning... She made mistakes, but it sounds like she learned, and you must be important to her, or she wouldn't have bothered to change.. I see that as a great step... You realizing you have issues is important too, but I see here a chance... Give it time, give the attention it needs, and if you discover "hey I can't love you anymore", well, that is very valid too, and you make that choice.. In terms of the childrent that is very important... The best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother... But truly... Not to the point that it makes him unhappy... This situation doesn't seem hopeless, I'd give it a thorough chance..

November 7, 2004
4:40 pm
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Trubldman
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Amanda you said you would rather be with people that you could get easily right. Not shooting the messenger but I did not make it hard for her she just felt like she was not good enough for me and her friends and family told her she was not good enough for me. Her family told her that when I got out of college I would leave her and she beleived them. Matter of fact 6 months after I graduated she had the affair. Dang I never thought of that until just now. I can remember a co-worker telling my wife that we did not look like we should be married, meaning I was so much better looking than her. I married her so I thought she believed me when I said she was attractive.

She had an affair with an unattractive guy who thought she was beautiful because she could believe him. I thought she was beautiful and I always told her so and I can remember that she never believed me, man I am getting so much out of this just by responding back to you guys. I love this place. I have always kept a journel of my thoughts regarding my problems but I have never gotten anything like this from writing to myself.

Thanks

November 7, 2004
4:41 pm
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PS - I read your other post to Sdesigns and you mentioned God.. I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm glad you did.. He's a great place to start and it is true that all things work for the best to those who trust in God... It has happened for me... Let your faith guide, but not blindly.. You have free will and a choice in this issue...

November 7, 2004
4:44 pm
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Aha.. the light goes on in his head... Great!

November 7, 2004
4:52 pm
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Trubldman
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Level_7 thanks for the response and I hate that sleepless feeling you are going through. I can remember staying up for about 3 months it seemed like, drinking diet coke and smoking one after another during the affair issue. We have been to therapist and we have both been seperately. My wife to Adult children of Alcoholics and me to a Psychiatrist. Years and much money spent, well worth all of it though. I have pounded out a lot of my issues and I have been able to see clearly now, she did not do it because she loved me less or found him more exciting. She thought so much of me she felt she could not have me nor could she feel love from me. Her father screwed that up long ago and getting a new man was just the newness and the fact that she could believe him because she felt she was better than him in so many ways. College grad, attractive married to an attractive man, she had it all and she felt like she over powered someone for the first time in her life and it made her feel good. I can see why she did it now and I feel like I can rest easy. I hate that he touched my wife and I hate that I have to live with that but I love her enough to let it go now because I know that she hates that she has to live with it and I do not want her to ever hear about it from me again. Every time I respond I learn more about myself and my emotions this is great.

November 7, 2004
4:57 pm
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SweetAmanda
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No, that's not shooting the messenger... If it were me, and people were telling me that you would leave me, and I felt that I wasn't good enough for you, but yet for some reason you wanted me... I would feel so lucky. Like I had made some kind of mistake yet the consequences were too good to be true! That I shouldn't do anything to mess this up. Can I even be myself? Then, I get into the whole "who am I really?" issue. I guess it really boils down to self-esteem issues. After reading more of what you have been posting, I do think that you and your wife have a wonderful chance of having a great future together. It just needs work. I think you both obviously care for one another. =) So, do you believe in God? If so, that's awesome, but it is sometimes confusing to know what is love, and what is codependency in God's eyes. I think I have heard of a book about that very issue, I will try and find the title for it, and get back to you on that in a few days.

~Amanda~

November 7, 2004
5:04 pm
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Trbld--

I'm so happy to hear that you are coming to some conclusions here... That's a great thing to see, and a great testament to a true spiritual, understanding love... Keep writing, we're here for ya!

November 7, 2004
5:07 pm
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SweetAmanda
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Trubldman,

I too would hate it if someone touched my guy and then I had to live with that for the rest of my life too. You are very strong. When I get feelings like that, I try not to stuff them, I embrace them (so to speak) and try to feel them to their fullest extent... Because I think that pushing them aside will only make them grow stronger. Make me hurt more. I think that the more you deal with your thoughts and anger of someone else touching her, the less it will matter someday? I don't know. Not that you ever have to mention it to her that you work on this in your head and heart all the time, but it is for you and your soul... Your well-being. I will pray for you.

~Amanda~

November 7, 2004
5:10 pm
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Also, I am very familiar, being the female half of this story, of what it's like to have self-fulfilling prophecies, and being self-destuctive to mess up the very thing you want so much... And you're right it definitely comes form her past and not you, I had to learn to stop doing that too, so I can empathize with her actions... It wasn't right, and I'm sure she hated herself for it, but didn't know how to stop... But I'm glad she finally did... I'm sure it will work out,when you deal with your feelings completely...

November 7, 2004
5:20 pm
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Trubldman
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I thank both of you guys for all the help. I do believe in GOD and I know that with all my heart I have him to thank for everything. Believe it or not I prayed this prayer right before I found out about the affair.

"What ever it takes GOD"

I will not say that one again for a long time. I am just now recovering from it, lol. The fact is I would have lived with my wife in her low self esteem state -un-happy for ever. She came to know GOD because of what happenned and changed forever - it just took her a little time to come across with the entire truth, out of shame and fear I think. I know that her salvation is all that matters in the long run. I too got to know myself better and I got to know GOD much better. So we both won. I'm done

Now I hope I can help others like you have helped me.

Love all of you guys GOD Bless

November 7, 2004
5:24 pm
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Hi, I think your commitment to her is very admirable. It takes a very strong person to do what you have done. Maybe it is finally clicking with her that you will be there no matter what. Maybe growing up she witnessed no commitment, when someone did something wrong in her life, someone left, did not stick around. So, maybe that is how she learned to recognize and interpret "love" in her life. So here you come along, someone totally different, yet she is attracted to you, but does not know why. Maybe you represented the stability she never had, but knew deep inside she wanted. But because of what she was familiar with, she did not recognize it, and acted out on what she knew instead. Sounds like now she is realizing how much you love her...and all of that love, stability, and commitment you have shown is finally sinking in, and she is changing ...on the inside, where it counts. What a miracle story I think. Real love is powerful. I understand the resentment, maybe counseling will help you. Sometimes it is so hard to forgive and trust....I don't know that I could do it, bt bottom line, you have a success story her I think!!!

November 7, 2004
5:36 pm
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Yeah, God is awesome!

November 7, 2004
6:05 pm
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Trubldman
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I just have one thing that I need to say. I hope you dont take this like I am bragging unless you know that I am only bragging on what GOD has done for me. I know that he is honoring me for staying with my wife and family.

I know all of it has looked like gloom and doom and most of it has been for my brain but GOD has given me triple everything. I know that things are just things but he has truly blessed me.

Before:
One house that never was a home, one child that was always wonderful but living in troubled times, an old jeep that never ran for a vehicle, no boat or water to ski, a job that was not fullfilling and the pay stunk.

After:
I now have 3 kids, two houses- one on the water -like I have always wanted-2 boats new vehicles the best job in the world with an increase in pay Double the amount.

Is that not crazy or what, all I have to do is say I am through with all this pain and resentment, I love my wife and I will cherish her untill the day I die, and that is that, I do not care what other people think of me "You must be crazy I would never put up with that"

I am taking GOD's blessings and running with them.

Thanks all I finally got it!!!!!!

I never would have dreamed that talking to others online would do so much.

November 7, 2004
6:19 pm
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It blesses us to know that all of our painful experiences were not for nothing, if the empathy and understanding has come to help one person get their life straight...

Thank you too!

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