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I need help, I think I may be codependent
September 7, 2005
2:18 am
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curvygrl
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September 29, 2010
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I am 28. I have been married almost 4 years. We have 3 children. We actually have had on-off relationship for 8 years. He has been cheating on me for the last 2 years, I just found out recently and now he has left to pursue that relationship. He accused me tonight of being manipulative, controlling, and self-centered. I always feel as if I am doing things for him or our children. I have read some online about codependency and I have several of the signs. My father was a 3 generation alcoholic, both of my brothers have had/have drinking/drug problems. I was a victim of sexual abuse for many years throughout my childhood. I do not like the person I have become. I am told that I am a good parent, but do not feel that way myself. A friend told me tonight that since I could look at the things that happen and want to change how I am that that means I am a good mom, but I don't know. I do know that I love my children and their father very much. I want to do what I can to make us all happy. How can I change myself back to 'myself' (the person I was years ago when I didn't worry so much over everything and what everyone else thought). I am even afraid that how I dress or wear my hair will be a problem with my husband, and he always tells me that he just wants me to be happy with myself and healthy. My mil pointed out tonight that when I talk about him to her, I am always negative. I thought I was talking to her because no matter what I tell her (which is all true) that she has to love him. If I tell my family anything they will hate him. I really want to work things out with him, but he acts like he hates me now. How am I supposed to act, what am I supposed to say. I do not want to continue in our unhealthy/unhappy relationship, but I do want to build a better one. And I want to be a better person for myself and my children. I do not want them growing up feeling the way I do now. PLEASE HELP

September 7, 2005
2:47 am
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Neshema
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September 24, 2010
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Why do you want to work things out with someone so disrepectful? what is he doing to work thingd out with you? what makes you deserve this treatment?

September 7, 2005
7:49 am
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CAMER
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welcome....he has been cheating on you for the past 2 years...that is a long time for only being married 4 years.

i know you said you want to work things out with him, its it cuz of the way you feel about yourself??? do you still think he could be faithful and end the relationship he is in now and not do this again??

I think you should be happy in life and learn to love yourself.

Have you tried reading the good books by Melody Beattie on Codependency and one by Robin Norwood "Women who love too much"...they are great books and i am sure you will find part(s) of yourself in them.

Keep coming back & posting!!!!

September 7, 2005
9:18 am
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Anonymous
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welcome.

the only thing I can add here is that you can't make a marriage work if both partners do not want to correct their mistakes.

you may be willing - but if he is not - you can't force it.

I realize you love him, despite his utter lack of repect for your vows and for you and your children.

There is a track record to pay attention to - marriage for 4 years, but cheating for half of that - and a roller coaster off/on for 8 - that is not going to change, unfortunately.

You probably have a right to be negative with your MIL - regarding your husband - you need someone to vent to - but she doesn't seem to validate her son's mistakes or your feelings.

You want to fix things and have a happier relationship - well, like I said, you can fix ***YOU*** but you can't fix him. If you think that fixing you will improve your relationship, and are willing to do all the work, and take the risk - then go for it. In the end, he may see your work paying off and be willing to meet you half way - OR - he may not like the improvements and want out even more - OR - you may see him for his mistakes and see the reality and be strong enough to leave yourself.

In the end, if you end up a better person, a better mom and a better wife, you can't take responsibility for your marriage failing - you did all you could.

but I will warn you - the recovery road is NOT easy and I have found that the only reason I can proceed in staying in my relationship, despite the problems, is that he is going to counseling and is willing to be supportive and be there when I need to cry or shout or get mad - he doesn't walk away, and he is working on dealing with the anger, and not projecting it back at me - and compounding the situation. If your husband is not so supportive and does nothing but work against your therapy, you may have a problem.

sit down and talk to him - see how he feels - see if he wants to save it as much as you do - you have children - think about what will be better for them - how much do you want them to suffer - if you leave your husband, it may be a few months of pain for you - but the good stuff that happens later may be a better goal than trying to save a marriage that won't work in the end - and make your kids suffer thru it while you try - only you can make that assessment - nobody else can.

(((hugs)))

oh, and do all the reading and research you can and TALK TALK TALK - come here - we can help you and understand you when nobody else seems to.

September 7, 2005
1:44 pm
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taj64
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Acknowledging that you want to change is the first step. Also read these books: Sorry the list is so long but all very helpful for you right now.

1) The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to help kids create and Sustain Lifelong Joy

2) Connect

Both by Eward Hallowell.

3) Love is a Choice by Robert Hemfelt.

4) Facing Codependence... by Pia Mellody

5) Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You love.

6) Too good to leave, too bad to stay : a step-by-step guide to helping you decide whether to stay in or get out of your relationship Kirshenbaum, Mira.

Ali said very good words.

Take care of yourself.

September 7, 2005
3:21 pm
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kathygy
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Has your husband said he wants to work things out? Why do you want to work things out with a man who left you for another woman? Is he still with her? The way he talked to you sounds awful. He doesn't sound like a prize. If you don't want your children to feel the way you do you will not stand for one moment of criticisim or disrespect from your husband. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. You're not getting that from your husband. You have given your power away if you are worrying about whether he will like your hair. You need to get your power back from your husband. You can do that by making a list of all the ways he has mistreared you. Hopefully when you are finished you will feel some anger and that's your power.

love,
kathy

September 7, 2005
3:31 pm
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darby
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September 27, 2010
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Hello fellow codependent

One of your sentences hit home for me: "If I tell my family anything they will hate him." I played that role for a long time. Made excuses for him, kept secrets. Found out later in a support group that is common for codependents. That's part of enabling--not requiring (or allowing) abusers or users to take responsibility for their actions and shoulder the consequences themselves. Takes away some of the motivation to change. You have a family history of alcoholism, so most likely there is a history of codependent behavior. This is something you learned, not something genetically wired into you. There is hope, you can change. Those behaviors that outside observers call "codependent" feel to us like "being a good supportive wife" because that's what we learned. Twisted thinking feels like truth when you learn it early enough or hear it often enough. Taking care of yourself is RIGHT and also the best way to take care of your kids. (You are not responsible for taking care of you husband the same way you take care of your kids. He is supposed to be an adult, responsible for himself.)

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