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Spouse of codependant
February 5, 2001
6:24 pm
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overwhelmedwife
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Hi-
I am new to this board but am looking for advice on how to deal with a co-dependant husband. We have had marital problems for years and it was tearing us apart. We saw several therapists and finally upon switching to a new one last week feel like we have finally pinpointed the problem - my husband has a problem with co-dependency. I have felt smoothered and overwhelmed for years and after this discovery finally have hope. It really touches on all of our problems...But besides letting him go to counseling and dealing with this issue himself, what is my role in this recovery? Any advice is appreciated.

February 5, 2001
7:29 pm
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Molly
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So are you the holic behavior, or are you co-dependent also?
Like usually attracts like, on this thread base you will see, and in your process you will learn that healthy attracts healthy, and ill, one way or another attracts ill. Not to offend, you have company.:) Read, talk, and learn, the process is human, and part of the evotution that I believe we are all in the process of. I like Phill McGraw's book relational rescue, with out going into all the psychobable of co-dependency. It was this diagnosis that destroyed my first marriage,and was wrong, although I have been co-dependent here and there, but it takes two. In my opinion marriage is co -dependency, but to a degree, society and life has changed, we are not to be dependent on our mates any more, so go figure, ask for what you want in your relationship, and if its not working hell, what is commitment anymore, feel free to leave and start a new one. That was what I call a slapper. To often we go to counseling to find out some one was wrong, or slap a label on them to get what we need said to get out of where we don't want to be any more, but if you want to have your marriage, try the book. It makes you look at you as a partner, vs finding all the wrong in your partner, he or she could be way off base, but hey, you picked them, and made the commitment. So its all up to you, now isn't it??????

February 5, 2001
7:48 pm
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gingerleigh
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Good points Molly.

Overwhelmed, just because your husband exhibits codependent characteristics doesn't mean that he is the only one with some areas to work on. Generally, codependents want to help their spouses so much that as soon as they can be "diagnosed" as codependent they work and work on "getting better", often times glossing over the real issues that feed the codependent cycle and still end up feeling empty and unhappy inside.

Good for you for supporting your husband while he works through his issues. (Personal side note: I wish I could have said the same for my ex. My enrollment in therapy validated what he had felt for a long time, that I was the "sick" one in the relationship and left him free to end the relationship. Ack, live and learn, I'm a better person now for the experience.)

You might want to consider going to a couple's counseling session with him every once in a while, show your support and love. Or perhaps see a counselor on your own once, see what they have to say.

Hubby might be trying to "smother" you with love because he wants to feel loved and supported too and for some reason doesn't feel that way. Just try to be patient, and most especially listen to some of the personal revelations he will be coming up with (some of them will likely surprise you). Give him time to be alone too (and take your own space when you need it so that you can recharge yourself as well).

Anyway, good luck, it sounds like the two of you want to support eachother, I wish the best for you.

February 6, 2001
3:06 pm
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gingerleigh
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Ack, apologies for the last post. I sound like a real know-it-all. I honestly don't know what I'm talking about really, only speaking from personal experiences. The advice might be applicable, might not. You've got the final word on whether it makes sense in your situation.

What I really wanted to say but just didn't seem to get across was to continue being supportive to your husband. Be open to using this opportunity to make yourself a better and happier marriage partner too.

🙂 Good luck.

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