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Question? Is an internal need to end a relationship a sign of codependency?
June 5, 2006
11:09 am
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caraway
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I had this realizaion this weekend that I am currently and have been in past realtionships determined to get out of them. I begin to feel that I am not loved, respected, or understood so I should just end it and move on. I am beginning to think that my ability to view or "filter" one's actions and comments may be the problem.

I have a cycle. I am overly attentive to my partner's needs. I worm my into their lives and try and "take care" of everything. My actions often end up making people feel bad: I remember every occasion with a dinner or gift, I express my feelings of love, I compliment them when the look nice, etc. I think that this adds pressure and makes others feel bad when they don't remember to be toughtful. I have always believed that I do these things because I want to, but maybe there is something deeper here?

I began to build a case: ie. If you loved me you would do this or that. I bascically set a trap and wait for them to fall into it.It feels like I want to prove that I am unworthy?

Cary

June 5, 2006
11:22 am
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codep
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Cary,
This sounds so much like what I do. I hold my partners to the same expectations as I provide for them, I am very affectionate and smother them with attention and thoughtful and when they dont do the same for me on the same level I feel that they dont love me as much and that I should end the relationship, and then I start looking for clues, reasons to end it. As to say "see I was right" he didn't really care for me or love me as much. I dont know if this means that the relationship is wrong or if I'm ultimately ruining every relationship but it's also a pattern of mine and I'm always in a state of confusion as to whether I haven't found the "right" one or If I found him and pushed him away...

June 5, 2006
11:28 am
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codep
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Oh and I"m wondering the same, but I dont realize that I feel unworthy. I mean I think that I am on the surface but maybe deep inside I dont feel worthy, I have found myself telling my partners I dont deserve them b/c they are so understanding of my emotional outpours sometimes, also the men I date have a higher education and social status then I do so usually I express to them "you can do so much better" why are you with me" just to see if they are sure they want to "settle" for less then equal to themselves in some aspects.

June 5, 2006
12:26 pm
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Anonymous
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Cary,

I don't think it's the generosity that makes them uncomfortable.

It's your actions AFTER the fact that probably make them feel uncomfortable.

A gift from the heart, a compliment from the heart, a genuine interest in a person - NO STRINGS attached, is ALWAYS appreciated. Some people look for the "what do you want from me" strings attached, because in this society, there is always something expected in return.

So - either your recipients are used to "strings attached" kinds of deals and therefore don't know how to take your gifts in appreciation.

OR

you do or say something afterwards that shows you expect something in return.

in codep. no more, by melody beattie, there is a "rescuer/victim/persecutor" triangle theory.

An in it, it shows how we start out with good intentions - wanting to help - be generous - be thoughtful......and we do this to a fault.....but when we do not get the "results" we expected from our involvement - we end up feeling like a victim...and in time, after feeling like a victim enough - we turn into a prosecutor.....we remind them of all we have done for them and how they didn't repay us or appreciate us or love us in return, and so forth - we prosecute them for not giving us the results we expected.

So the question is - do you "give" with or WITHOUT expectations?

and do your subsequent thoughts, actions, and behaviours show that you expected something in return?

I know I used to fall into this trap ALL the time.

I would jump in to be the loving girlfriend - nice gifts, thoughtful gestures, etc.

But I kept "score"....and once I started feeling like it was one sided - I started being resentful of not getting what I felt I deserved. And I expected grand demonstrations of their devotion to me....little things weren't enough, I wanted grand things like I dished out.

And once I started feeling like I was giving and they were taking....then I got resentful and started blowing up at them....finding reasons to quit....finding reasons to punish them....and oh boy, could I dish out the punishment.

Now, I will scale back my efforts, and save them for people who APPRECIATE them - not necessarily give back....but appreciate them.....and going forward, any guy I date, I will NOT be quick to flatter them with gifts, and my unlimited time and attention...and any gift I give will be with no strings attached....cuz the expectations are what kills it.

If a guy truly loves you - or a friend - they will give you the time and attention and affection you need - without "buying" their love with gifts and flattery....it will come naturally.

also understand that some people reciprocate in their OWN ways and while it may not meet our expectations, it is STILL their way of showing they care....case in point....I want roses for my birthday - but my boyfriend gets me a car starter instead.....sounds lame and I am disappointed, BUT, his thought was that I won't have to go out to a cold car on the miserable winter mornings....he was thinking about my needs....and making me more comfortable....and thinking the roses will die, but the starter will keep me warm for many days to come.....so, while it wasn't to my expectations, it doesn't mean cared any less.

sorry, rambling.

June 5, 2006
1:05 pm
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caraway
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Co and Ali,

I believe that I give of time and gifts because it makes me feel good. I enjoy thinking of others and I suppose pleasing. I don't bring things up later and point out all I've done from them (maybe that will develop, hope not).

Apparantly, I assume to much. I assume that if someone cared they would show it in the ways that I do. I know that is ridiculous! No two people are alike. I really don't like the feeling I had this weekend when I was talking to my best friend of 35 years and pointing all the ways that I was being wronged. If I truely believe that this man is so thoughless I should move on.

My expectations are just unrealistic! This realtionship may not make it, but it shouldn't be because I am playing some helpless victim.

I am very uncomfortable with ALONE time. I don't know what to do with myself and start having doubts about his love for me: How could he love me if he is willing to go do things and not include me? If he really loved me he would not want to plan things that we don't do together.

I spend a great deal of time and effort in fantasy about ending things, taking control over my life. I swear that the next time I will only be someone who respects me!! How can they when I appantly don't respect myself. I am so afraid of letting go of control that I feel the need to be with him all of the time. I point out the wrong in realtionships in some crazy effort to "educate" him on doing the right thing.

I wouldn't date me.

Cary

June 5, 2006
2:12 pm
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oh cary, you sound so much like me.

I used to be the same way and here is a FINE example of my warped thinking.....

he lived two hours away - and we talked about living together.

I told him that if he could find housing where he is, and I could find a job there, I would move in a heartbeat - drop everything and go, including uprooting my daughter....too me it was not too much to ask, as I loved him.

well, he couldn't find housing, so it came down to him moving to my area.....and oh BOY was it like pulling teeth....took FOREVER to get him to do it....and there were many bitter quarrels over it.

If I would drop everything and move, why couldn't he????????

I was willing to give up everything to be with him - why wasn't he willing to give up everything to be with me?

I thought for the longest time that I was right.

turns out, I was wrong....well, we were both wrong on some level.

he had dreams and goals - and he needed to be where he was to follow them.....and he was right to not give them up totally.

what the REAL solution would have been was a compromise - a meet me in the middle kind of thing - where he could have what he needed and we could be together.

this realization came too late.

and unfortunately, we couldn't find a middle ground, even if we wanted to.

but I felt that all his feet dragging, all his hemming and hawwing about moving was a reflection about how he felt about me....but it wasn't....it was his struggle to not give up his dreams and yet still be with me.

I think alone time is good....I agree that it's a control issue....I think perhaps you need his undying attention to validate how he feels about you....I think that you validate how you feel about others by being so giving....and it's true, you expect the same in return.

your expectations aren't unrealistic.....perhaps they are for THIS person - but you need to find someone who will measure up to your expectations, instead of wasting time with someone who doesn't.

altho, I have to say, finding someone that wants to spend all his waking moments with you WILL be hard....cuz a healthy realtionship is a balance of alone time and together time.

and pointing out the wrongs is really you playing the "prosecutor" role - because you feel like a victim because he isn't spending all his free time with you or loving you the way you think he should....pointing out the wrongs is your way of prosecuting him, trying to change him and trying to control the outcome.

have you read codependent no more? it may help.

June 6, 2006
11:40 am
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caraway
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Ali,

I have "attempted" to read Codependent No More, but I just don't connect with it. I also tried CODA meetings and sat there thinking, "I don't get it".

Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps to know that others have similar struggles. I agree with your comments about control.

I find myself trying to prevent negative outcomes. I think that that I can KEEP him from doing things that I don't want him to. It is exhausting!!

Cary

June 9, 2006
1:38 pm
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glittered when he walked
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alicat,

>>An in it, it shows how we start out with good intentions - wanting to help - be generous - be thoughtful......and we do this to a fault.....but when we do not get the "results" we expected from our involvement - we end up feeling like a victim...and in time, after feeling like a victim enough - we turn into a prosecutor.....we remind them of all we have done for them and how they didn't repay us or appreciate us or love us in return, and so forth - we prosecute them for not giving us the results we expected.< < That's my stbx. Prosecuting. For years I would nearly get a daily dose of "here's how you let me down today and here's what is wrong with you."

June 12, 2006
2:28 pm
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caraway
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glittered,

I hate to admit it but that is how I feel some days.... like I am beating him up for not doing as I think he should.

It must be hard for someone to feel like everyday they are going to get a dose of how inadequate they are.

Cary

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