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New to group - need some help
March 3, 2007
1:21 pm
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Lost_in_love
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Hello everyone. I'm new here and the things I'm going to say, you've probably all heard before, but for my recovery, I have to say them. I believe I am a codependent person and I'm having a real hard time coming to terms with this. I was in a relationship for 12 years, and just recently left my BF three weeks ago. During our 12 years together I aways knew where he was and what he was doing. During this time, we never lived together. Over the last few months of our relationship, he started to take anti-depressants. He has been extremely high stressed with his job and I guess me. He, in my eyes, drinks too much and has a dependency to alcohol. The anti-depressants did not work for him and he was just as miserable as he was before he took them. His personality changed, and he became very unemotional. He decided to quit the medication and started a very quick 'get off quick' aproach. He was miserable. He treated me like a piece of dirt and I hated every minute that I was with him. During this time he told me that I had no right to know where he was anymore and the he was entitled to a private life of his own. I found out by chance that he started joining chat groups on the internet and started to meet people. He, on one occasion rushed me off the phone and went out to meet a girl for dinner. I found this out the hard way. Once the discovery was made, I've been nothing but dirt to him. He said I spied on him and that I had no right to pry into his personal life. He was interested in meeting new friends and that is what he was doing. What finally ended it for me was a weekend that he went away and will not to this day tell me where he was or who he was with. I told him that I thought he was having sex with someone else and he told me I was wrong. He believes I have no right to know the answer to this question because I spied on him. He said I was too obsessed with him and that was destroying our relationship. I'm a needy person and that a day can't go by without me chatting with him. I need to be in control, and right now I am not. I want to know where he was. This is very important to me. I just can't let it go. The whole experience of him lying to me was difficult for me to take. He said it was easier then telling me the truth because of my personality. Why cause undo stress if you don't have to. He believes, in my eyes, that I'm off trying to put my life back together, and that we will again get back together. I don't know what I'm going to do. I am crazed with the idea of not knowing or controlling him. I can't live in my own skin anymore. I hate life and everything about it. I have children and grandchildren and I am consumed by my ex-BF 24x7. I phone his house and if he doesn't answer I drive by to see if he's home. How do you make this go away? I don't want to be like this. I want to be a normal person again, but I don't even know what normal is anymore. This is affecting every aspect of my life. I get so anxious, that I have to go to the gym to get out some stress. He still loves me and I believe he thinks we will get back together once I find myself. The problem is, I don't know how to get rid of this problem. I am seeing a therapist right now and its going ok. We haven't discussed the codependency thing, be we have discussed the obsession. I just can't go on anymore. I want this to stop. I need someone to take this all away and say everything is going to be alright. I want to call my ex-BF. I feel I need to do that, but I don't know if its all for the right reasons. Oh I'm so confused, I can't take it anymore. Someone please help me. I want the tears to stop, the obsession to go away, and the feeling of not being in control to disappear. How do I do this?

March 3, 2007
1:33 pm
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loverbee
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Hello there Lostinlove,
Here is what I suspect. It seems that you believe you are nothing without him or that you just don't know who you are without him. I know this is hard, but here is what I would suggest. You need to spend time alone. Just you. Because right now it would seem that you aren't comfortable in your own skin. Six months ago I was just like you. I broke up with my bf of six years and couldn't stand to be by myself. So now i live alone and it has been important for me to understand why I hate being by myself. If I may, I woudl like to try to gain some insite. Do you hate silence and always feel the need to break it? Do you spend the time when you aren't with your ex wondering and thinking about what he might be doing? Do you feel like you are breaking apart now that you aren't with him but at the same time you are angry that he is the way he is. Do you want to "fix him" and make it so it is all better? If any of these things are happening than you may be a lot like I am. Let me know.

March 3, 2007
1:36 pm
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gofigure
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Dear lost,
I don't have any good advise, but I just want you to know you are heard. I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time. (((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

March 3, 2007
1:48 pm
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Lost_in_love
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Thank you for answering. Yes loverbee, I am just like you, in every way. I still love my ex-BF, and I told myself today that we will be back together, but I think its for all the wrong reasons. I was an unhealthy relationship. He needs to change as well and not just me.

March 3, 2007
2:24 pm
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loverbee
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Here is the one thing that you I would recommend to you. YOu can't count on him changing, you can only count on you changing. You have probably spent a lot of the relationship wondering why you couldn't help him and make him happy. Why no matter what you did, he still wasn't happy and I would have to say its because he doesn't want to be. That really has nothing to do with you though. here is a rule of thumb though. If you are waiting to be happy until you guys get back together, then you are going to be unhappy forever. I would say that if you are still at a point where you will only be happy if you are together, then you shouldn't get back together even if he wants to. You need to get to a point where you can say that you would be able to be happy even if you didn't get back together. Then you can be a person in the relationship instead of just half a person. If the relationship is what is making you whole, then somthing needs to change.

March 3, 2007
4:53 pm
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Lost_in_love
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Thanks loverbee. I never looked at it like that. No I am not happy just being me. I need him to complete me. I don't think I know how to be happy on my own. The funny thing is, I have grandchildren that make me happy, and I am happy with them, but as soon as I leave them, I'm lonely again ... then I start to miss my ex-BF. My ex always confirmed me being a nice person and someone who was fun to be with. I was always looking for the confirmation ... do you love me? I was never a complete person in that relationship. He controlled it as much as I wanted to, I couldn't. He called the shots and made the rules. I went along with everything ... like a little puppy I guess. Now I have no one to tell me what to do and how to think and feel. I don't know how to be me because I don't know who me is. He still loves me and I still love him, but he is very toxic to me right now. That's why I left. I was losing my mind. I had already lost my self-identity. He made me feel so bad about me the last few months, I started to withdraw ... and here I am, afraid to do anything.

March 3, 2007
5:20 pm
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loverbee
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I hate to say it, but the only path to finding out who YOU are is to be with just you. when my ex moved out, I had to make sure that I lived alone because I knew I would just rely on whoever my new roommate was to make me like me. It was so hard the first few months being alone and having to sit with myself but I am finally starting to figure out who I am. I like being alone now. not all the time but its nice having alone time for a few hours a day. I like being able to sprawl out on my big bed and working out every morning and pampering myself and learning to draw and paint and continuing my passion for cooking. ITs so hard at first but you will never be loved by anyone truly until you love yourself. That is because as long as you don't know who you are when you are alone, then you can't show anyone who you are.

March 3, 2007
8:38 pm
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Lost_in_love
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You are so true. I phoned my ex-BF tonight. It is the compulsive thing again. Of course, we got into a big fight. He told me almost the same thing. I need to discover who I am before I can continue in this relationship. I depend too much on him and I'm constantly looking for his approval or disapproval that it causes us to have too many problems. I immediately told him I was going to the bar to get picked-up. He told me that I will never resolve my inner problems by doing that. I'm just switching my dependency to someone else and in the end, I will be the one to get hurt. He loves me very much, but he can't deal with this problem of mine. I now am able to say I have a problem, and I have to get rid of it. How do I start. My thought process is always about him ... obsession or on something else. I need a process to start when this comes up. I need to deviate from this. How did you do it?

March 3, 2007
8:59 pm
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CoDpsych
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Dear Lost_in_love,

How sweet would life be if there was a pieace of advice, a pill or some other instanly obtainable entity that would make all the pain go away. I can hear and apppreciate your pain - sometimes it feels like getting punched in the stomach and not being able to breathe, other times, it feels like you don't exist unless that other person is there with you. It's good that you acknowledged your dependency as a problem and that you are seeing a therapist. How long have you seen him or her? Is it helping? If it's not helping are you letting your therapist know that it isn't and if he or she can offer some guidence into where therapy is heading. Therapists can handle that and if they can't they need to get retrained. You want to fight the dependency, try with challenging a care giver (therapist). After all, dependency is a fear of not being taken care of in way that you want to be...

Best of luck and hope this helps...

March 3, 2007
9:14 pm
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Lost_in_love
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Thank you CoDpsych. I have seen my therapist twice now. I don't realize, and she doesn't know that I am codependent. I realized this last night when I was speaking with a friend of mine. She had mentioned this to me before. She knows me very well, and she would always tell me that I don't need to always talk to him to be happy. I am and individual and I should be able to be happy without him. That doesn't mean the relationship is going die, it just means you can be happy. I had a hard time believing her. I felt I needed to be in there ... all the time, so that he wouldn't forget me, and look where it got me. I was so frazzled by him, that I left him. I'm regretting that decision, but I told my family and they support this decision because the relationship became toxic. I created it, I know I did. He wanted some space, healthy space, and I was afraid to give it to him. I always had to be in his face so he wouldn't forget me. So he could acknowledge me and tell me that he loved me. I knew he did, but I had to keep looking for that acceptance. Boy what a mess. I hate being this way ... I just hate it. I wish there was a magic pill I could take and it would be all gone, but I know that's not possible. Reading the other posts are so familiar to me its scarey. It appears that everyone has moved on in their relationship... and are now alone. I'm afraid to be alone. I need someone in my life, but I am coming to the understanding that being alone is the first step in becoming comfortable in your life. I will definitely raise this with my therapist on my next visit. I believe this is the stem of all my insecurities and problems. I just want to get well, but it will take time. The unfortunate thing about it all is that I may have lost the man that I loved the most, and that will be the sadest day ever.

March 3, 2007
9:26 pm
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loverbee
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I am going to tell you how I have begun doing it. At first, I cried...a LOT! Then I just felt uncomfortable. Antsy and miserable. I thought about my ex and all the time we had together and how much I missed him and then I began to wonder when I lost myself. When he met me, I was the most independent woman. I had tons of friends and I never cared where he was or what he did. the more I loved him, even when I was hanging out with friends, I would text him just so I could see where he was. Then, I started writing in my journal every time I started obsessing. I called my sister who would walk me through the steps of being ok with myself and I started to do things that I liked doing. I began to paint and learn to draw and cooked up a storm which I love doiing, I started working out and singing. The more I filled my time up with passions that I had the more I began to be ok alone. I don't know if that will help you but you need to think back to a time when you were ok with yourself and figure out why. what did you fill your alone time with? cause you obviously haven't obsessed over someone for your entire life. Start to get those things back in your life.

March 3, 2007
10:35 pm
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Lost_in_love
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To tell you my story, I was married for 15 years then my husband died. For 8 of those years he was ill and he depended on me for everything. I guess that is when I started to take control. After he died, I went through a great withdrawal stage. I was suicidal. It was my children that kept me alive. Three years after his death I started to date. I saw many men. I was looking for constant acceptance from anyone. I was really messed up. I ended up on prozac and it had a negative effect on me. My life and how I new it was changing for the worse. All the while my children, by this age were 17 and 14, boys. They were afraid for me. I had no sense of responsibility and I didn't care about anyone or anything. I was looking for my acceptance. Then I met my ex-BF. He was attentive, nice, affectionate, compassionate, and liked me. I stuck to him like glue. The only problem with this relationship was he hated kids. He was never married and had always said he would never have kids ... but I did. There was problems everywhere. The controller that I am, I controlled everyone ... my kids, and him. It was aweful when I look back on it. Eventually, many years later, there can an acceptance from everyone, or should I say a tolerance. My kids tolerated him and he tolerated them. It was not a good place to be, but I was happy. I think. Me, the controller, won the battle, only to find out that my ex-BF was not happy in the relationship. My youngest son, 26 still lives with me. This is a problem. He needs to move on with his life. I can't experience alone, while he still lives in my home. I told him tonight that I was co-dependent and he was very happy to hear me say that. He is very smart and for me to realize that I have this problem was a wonderful thing for him to hear ... as he knew it all along. It's now to experience recovery. I need to get beyond this, or at least recognize it for what it is and steer it away when the 'sticking thinking' pops into my head. I need a game plan. I started to go to the gym. When I get stressed, I go there. It's a diversion, which is good. If anything, I will be physically healthy. I just need to be mentally healthy.

March 3, 2007
10:41 pm
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loverbee
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I have to be honest lostinlove, but I think you skipped right over grieving, acceptance and moving on and just went straight into distraction distraction distraction. All those men you looked to I think are your way of running as far away from the pain as possible. You have focused so much on obsessing over your ex that you haven't gone into the real deep horribly painful feelings that you still so badly need to overcome. I think maybe you should start to go back to that point when you needed to deal with the real issues. That is just my opinion.

March 3, 2007
10:42 pm
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loverbee
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In addition, you have let men heal your suicidal tendencies and depression rather that you healing it. It just think it would be good for you to take a look at that.

March 3, 2007
10:49 pm
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Lost_in_love
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Its funny because these feelings are coming to the surface since I started to write my thoughts today. I have suppressed so much over the years that I don't know what's real and what's not. When he first died, I went through the motions of grievance, self-help groups, counselling, reading, talking and I thought I had grieved. Two years later, the prozac time, was when I realized I did not grieve. I went to see a counsellor who specialized in grieving. My father had died 10 months before my husband. The two most important men in my life left me within one year. It was terrible. The counsellor helped me through this. I felt better so I thought. Then everything went down hill. Do you think I need to go back there again? It is certainly something to bring up with my therapist.

March 3, 2007
11:43 pm
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loverbee
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I dont know if you need to go back there but you do probably need to figure out how can you move on without running away from being the real you. It may not be necessary to completely dealve into your grief, but you need to figure out how to honor those that you lost by continuing to be the person they both loved and cherished. You may need to move on from their loss but that doesn't mean you have to leave you behind.

March 4, 2007
8:44 am
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Lost_in_love
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Good point. I need to find me again. I was searching the internet and there are local groups for co-dependency. Have you heard of these? I'm thinking I may go to one. It appears it may be at first a painful experience, but if that's what it takes to move on, then I'm prepared to take that step. I would also like to thank you for your opinions. It has certainly given me something to look and and a point to start moving forward. I will certainly keep reading the threads, as they provide a lot of help and support. I, too one day want to be content with me and help someone else who suffers from this.

March 4, 2007
10:34 am
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loverbee
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I have heard of the groups and I beleive they can be extremely helpful. The fact that you are realizing all the things you have to work on is a step in the right direction. Good luck to you.

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