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stop settling for less in relationships
June 17, 2009
11:11 pm
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freedom1
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i know that i am codependent,i have overcome many hurtles,such as drugabuse and nicotine.But i still settle for less in my romantic relationships.I am a classic case of codependency who continues to love unhealthy men i am so ready to move on and out of this cycle, i just feel stuck because i think he will change

June 18, 2009
9:14 am
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truthBtold
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freedom1,

Yeah - that's a tough one! But hey - you HAVE overcome drug abuse AND nicotine - some folks are never able to do that in their lifetime - you know?

So that is something to be really, really proud of!!!!!!

Sometimes I just have to FORCE MYSELF to wallow in the good stuff I have overcome. (Afterall, I am certaintly an expert in wallowing in all the stuff I don't feel proud of...so why not just transfer the wallowing aspect/traits to something good, healthy and positive?)

As far as relationships go, did you ever consider that perhaps you never could see that you were 'settling' during the drug abuse days and now that you have mastered that vice, it is perhaps a natural progression to now question the 'settling in relationship' hurdle?

See how much you have progressed?

There IS a method to the madness, sort of speak - and its like a sculptor who works at chipping away all the excess stuff around the thing of beauty that lies beneath but yet has been there all along.....chip, chip, chip away.

Eventually you/I/we can finally come to a point where we tell ourselves that 'we are enough....right now!' (Then 'settling' and codependency issues, it would seem to me would be a moot point.)

It is either Oprah or Maya Angelou who has said" "When people show you who they are THE FIRST TIME.....BELIEVE THEM!"

Boy, oh boy do I ever wish I had heard that a few decades ago....but nevertheless, you can't change what you don't acknowldege and it seems to me that you are aware of quite a bit already.

June 18, 2009
11:28 am
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sunshine88
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hi freedom1, love your name coz that's what you have: freedom. tbt is sure right at the point, that you've overcome so much already in life, and we're sure celebrating with you on that victory!

i think for most of us we've settled for less in relationships, but the great news is that, now you are aware of it, and more and more you see how you do so do NOT deserve that, then the more and more you see that it's time to quit, and you strive to be codie no more.

it's a process. sure wish that we didn't have to go through the hell of being with these unhealthy men from the very start, but we got involved anyhow, now we just need to start the great work of discovering our self worth, and removing anything unworthy of us.

am sincerely happy for you freedom, that you've identified what's wrong so you now know what you need to work on. some people go about living their lives without knowing what is wrong and therefore never able to correct it. so what you have ahead of you is not just freedom, it's victory, positive self-regard, and growth!

June 23, 2009
12:42 pm
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Hepburn
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Not sure if you're still reading freedom, but I'm curious as to what the traits you are talking about as far as an unhealthy relationship is.

My main codie trait that I deal with is being the "Rescuer". I'm currently wading through a relationship right now that involves that.

I know that boundaries are the main stay in any relationship. I can stand my ground when it comes to addicts (drug, alcohol, abusers-emotional, physical). Those are the in your face kind of boundaries that have big giant neon lines that anyone can see.

It's the, oh so subtle boundaries that I have problems with. No relationship is perfect. Nobody is a "complete package". I'm certainly not perfect. How much should other people put up with my crap??

I KNOW some of my relationships have failed because of my codie traits. I highly doubt that the guy even knew what being codependent means. Hell, I didn't even know until 2 years ago.

It's the subtleties that have the potential of being good or bad that hang me up. And just exactly how much time does one invest to find out?

Anyone want to chime in?

June 23, 2009
12:54 pm
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katster
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Hey I was in a codependent relationship for 10 years, adding to a person who is insecure and has a passive/aggressive personality, compounded of years of baggage he hasn't let go of. I too, thought I could fix, rescue, or just hoping that he'd see the light. You've accomplished alot my kicking the adictions you have, I'm finding that I need to stay away from this person, and to work on me. I don't answer the phone when he calls. You can do it!

June 23, 2009
12:58 pm
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atalose
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One of the lessons I've learned, although it took me quite a while to learn it, is that going in to a relationship based on my perception of another person's potential is a recipe for disaster. If I cannot accept someone exactly as they are today, I have no business being in a relationship with them.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 23, 2009
1:01 pm
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bumpingalong
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Your note sounds like what I wonder myself, how much time, I'm 15 months into a relationship and lately there are the feelings of being a toy on the shelf that is taken off to play with when wanted.

Is this a self realization of "too much time invested." Am I subconsciously projecting that this man and I won't make it in the long run, (you don't know what you don't know.)

Or since I am not "free" yet from raising children and know I have about two years to go before I can really make a different commitment, is this current feeling of being a toy on the shelf an awareness of my true state in the relationship and if I want this friendship I have to accept I'm a bit of a toy, because neither one of us want to bring my children into "our" relationship.

So how much is time invested? 15 month vs 17 years of marriage that ended as a widow. I don't see an blatent crap from my friend, just occasional meltdowns from his type A high strung personality that I need to know if I mind or don't mind. Which brings me back to the toy on the shelf...that's how I feel when he gets into one of his moods and "needs me to go," but then always calls, checking in with the end of the day, "what are you doing" "what are you making for diner?"

We have a 50 mile separation and I have two 16 yr olds at home, we only get to see each other every week to ten days, I can't change the life I need to finish and we both agree, my boys are mine alone.

So, me too, how much time or do you take these feelings and keep yourself busy with something else, because time keeps going.

June 23, 2009
1:28 pm
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atalose
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Well were does “your guy” see your relationship going? Where does he see it in 2 years? What kind of a different relationship are you hoping for and is that also what he is seeing.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 23, 2009
3:37 pm
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Hepburn
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It's so true about preceived potential. I accept MOST things about him. He accepts EVERYTHING about me. Which is probably why I like him so much. I'm not always a day at the beach.

Checking the "good" column and the "bad" column.

bumpingalong-High strung (your guy) vs. Too passive (my guy).......Why can't there be a happy medium? lol

We get to decide how much time we want to invest. I don't trust my decisions most of the time when it comes to my relationships (Ahhh, that's an understatement). What if I end something that has the "potential" to be something even better then it is now.

He's not being very strong dealing with his x. Because of his kids. Trying to figure out really how much that affects "me".

June 23, 2009
4:27 pm
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atalose
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{{I'm not always a day at the beach.}}

Hepburn I love it!!!!!!

I think to answer your question: What if I end something that has the “potential” to be something even better then it is now.

I think if it had that potential it would be that something better today. You wouldn’t have to sit and wonder about the future. If it’s not all you want it to be today then it’s not ever going to be.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 23, 2009
5:30 pm
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Hepburn
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Well, I think people do change. But only if they want to. Getting through the fear of change is the challenge. I have to give the development some kind of time. No?

Not sure what you mean by: "If it’s not all you want it to be today then it’s not ever going to be." But it takes me back to a time when I was somewhat more broken then I am now, and I know some of those men didn't want to invest any time in me. All I can say is, they missed out.

40 dinners at a so-so restaurant -- $500.00
10 movies and a walk on the Pier -- $250.00
Dignity, self respect, and happiness -- Priceless

June 24, 2009
8:56 am
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atalose
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What I mean by that is:

If I met a man who was a wall street wizard and a financial success years ago but today he is digging holes I shouldn’t have the perception that one day again he’ll be that financial success I should just accept that he digs holes.

Does that make sense?

I can’t anticipate or plan or think that he’ll be anything then exactly who and what he is today.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 24, 2009
1:07 pm
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Hepburn
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Gotcha atalose.

What if it's the other way around? He used to dig holes, but now wants to be a financial success?

June 24, 2009
2:18 pm
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atalose
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I guess I would have to base that on ability or pipe dream then go with my gut.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 24, 2009
3:38 pm
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sunshine88
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i used to have this thinking too, Hep. I wanted to always believe in a person that he could be somthing more than he currently is.

and i still believe that, but i dont want to wait out with my life to see it happen. let it happen to him, but i dont have to stop my life from moving, if his isn't for the time being.

i used to think also that if i believe in him, he will seek to be a better man. Wrong. if he isn't a good man now, then he isn't going to seek to be better- for me. he must seek that for himself, whether i am there or not.

it's the same with us. if we keep trying to be better -- to please him, for him, to show him how much he means to us -- then we run ourselves dry, and then resentment and dissatisfaction starts. if i want to be better, i would want that, for myself. and i will not run myself dry for that. 🙂

but that's just me and my little stupid heart.

June 25, 2009
11:16 am
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atalose
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Sunshine88,

Definitely not a stupid heart at all…… it looks to me like an open mind that is learning to approach life from a healthier view these days.

((sunshine88))

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 25, 2009
11:47 am
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Zebra
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Atalose,

You are so wise. Thank you for your view.

Love, Z

June 25, 2009
12:26 pm
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Hepburn
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Sunshine -- That's not stupid at all. Sounds very wise to me.

Fortunately I'm not much of a people pleaser any more, because I did run dry, only to renew myself and start all over again, only to run dry again. It can be a vicious circle.

No, they have to want it for themselves. However I did lay ALL my cards on the table last night and said that if he wants to continue to be "paralyzed" by this situation he's in, this relationship isn't going to work. And that it's been on the verge of faltering for a while. He did say that he's afraid of failure.

It's hard to get him to talk. Which isn't surprising. Most men don't like to talk. But if he doesn't communicate then he will leave it to me to fill in the blanks. And those blanks will not be filled in in a positive way.

Ok, just wondering where the original person is that started this thread? Haven't heard boo from them.

Would any male posters out there like to explain why most men won't "talk"? Does it leave them feeling too vulnerable?

June 26, 2009
3:58 am
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sunshine88
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atalose, thank you for recognizing how hard i've been working. that is encouraging. hugs back.

hep, hope you get your answer soon. am no expert with men, apparently! lol.

June 27, 2009
10:13 am
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((((freedom1)))) WOW the title of this thread just popped out at me. Hmmmmmm, definetly something I've been struggling with lately. I have recently started dating again, after being single for 3 years. What an interesting time I've had thus far. LOL! I just take it all in and learn from my experiences.

After being in my last unhealthy, codependent relationship for 13yrs, I took some time to just focus on me and my daughter. I knew in order to be happy with anyone else I needed to be happy with myself first and foremost. Here I thought I was in a much better place (which I am) and ready to move on. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just be by myself still.

It's amazing to me how fast all those codependent tendencies sneak up on me 🙂 Relationships are definetly a huge trigger for me. The difference this time around is I actually notice and pay attention to red flags. I am aware of my behavior. I don't just ignore it and put it on the back burner. That's huge, doesn't seem like it but now that I am thinking about it, it is huge for me.

I am seeing a guy right now and he says one thing, but his actions say something else. Talk is cheap to me. His actions are speaking way louder than his words. I am not wanting to settle anymore. I know what I want in a relationship, and although he does possess some of those qualities, he is lacking in others. I don't want to compromise my values and morals, and I won't. I want to be #1 and am just getting the feeling that I'm not right now with him. WOW seeing all of this in black and white sure makes it real. I guess I have just answered my own question. Funny how that happens when I am posting on this site. 🙂

So, (((Freedom1))) thank you for this thread. You have come along way it seems and you should be so proud of yourself for that. Like (TBT) said you have overcome drugs and nicotine, that's huge!!!!! Just remember to take it one day at a time, and one step at a time. Speaking from personal experience it can be overwhelming when you try to look at the big picture and all the things you want to change. Just take it slow. I have been right where you are before. I did break the cycle and you will too 🙂 Just remember you deserve the best and you deserve to be happy!!! Please keep posting.

July 2, 2009
11:50 am
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PaleBlueSky
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Hi everyone,

I have always settled for less in all my relationships, never making a move without thinking about my man....even though some don't return the favor.

I am in a relationship with a recovering addict (we have a very long history) and sometimes I want to say things and sometimes I can and sometimes I can't, today is one of those days that I can't say what I want to say because I am not sure of his response. It is not big deal but clearly it is to me.

I know we shouldn't be afraid to share our feelings with the one we love, but I have trouble sometimes and I just don't know why.

Most of my relationships I was very codependent on which is probably why I am the way I am, but I am working on trying not to do that anymore. This fear of speaking my mind is probably the hardest part for me.

He stated that we would have the weekend together, now he will not be around on Saturday - I can't stand when people change plans without any consideration to their partner - it sucks. We haven't seen each other all week and I wanted to see him tonight and he said not tonight he has a long meeting and it will be late by the time he gets home. That is fine but he used to ask me to come over and wait for him and sometimes I would be waiting like a hour, it would be like 10:15 - 10:30 before he got home.

I am trying not to let this whole saturday thing bother me, but he is going to his aunts and why wouldn't he ask me to join? I always welcome him with my friends and family, but this time around with him I feel he is almost hiding me from his family. I could be wrong but I don't know UGHHHHH

He says you hang out with you family and I'll hang out with mine on Saturday and we will see each other on Friday and Sunday WHAT is that all about......

July 2, 2009
12:08 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi PaleBlue,

IMO the reason you don't say anything is because you're afraid of his response. That he might get mad at you and therefore possibly end it. I'm a codie and I know that's how I used to see things. It's an extreme way to look at it, but since I was a people pleaser, the thought of anyone being upset with me was just too much.

You sound like a smart woman, and I think you should go with your gut. It sounds like he wants some space. But unless you communicate with him, this will fester and possibly turn into a bigger deal then it needs to be.

What do you think?

Peace.

Hep

July 2, 2009
12:18 pm
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PaleBlueSky
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Hey Hep,

I agree I will communicate with him on this in a very calm manner cuz you know what you are exactly right it will fester and will turn into a bigger deal and I most certainly don't want that either.

I will wait til I see him tomorrow night and very casually bring it up about Saturday and his family.

I know he needs space from time to time being in recovery and I understand that, but come on this is 4th of July weekend, I would like to spend it with him, you know what I mean.

He just said to me last Sunday after we spent the whole weekend together (between his meetings of course) that it is so different hangin out this time around and it is different and cool and we both like it, cuz we are both very different people and clean. It was a great weekend Hep 🙂

I replied yeah it is, it is very easy and just flows without any effort. No tension or unsaid words now look where I am - ironic isn't it.

Thanks for your reply Hep - I'll keep ya posted - wish me luck 🙂 Hugs

July 2, 2009
11:38 pm
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atalose
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Pale,

I’m not trying to be negative or cause you further pain but you need to really listen to that inner voice telling you something.

You said you get the feeling he is hiding you from his family or something.

That inner voice guides healthy people into and away from un-healthy people and situations but for us codies we dismiss that inner voice out of fear of what it may be really telling us.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 2, 2009
11:51 pm
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PaleBlueSky
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Atalose,

I know exactly what you are saying and that is why I am probably so calm right now and not freaking out. He has been acting strange and distant all day. I know he went to a meeting this evening and he always calls me afterward around 9-9:30 def before 10.

Now it is well after 11:00 and what can I do, nothing so therefore I am not thinking about it or I will not sleep.

He did this once before and I asked him not to do it again and I didn't yell or anything. Well here I am again in the same situation. I told him if I call you or text you I am looking to talk to you, he told me last time his phone died - well I know that was a lie.

I know he was in a funk and that was when I believe he started pulling back from me due to his recovery and all the deep feelings and messed up things going through his mind to try to work out.

I am trying to listen to my inner voice, but it is just so hard for me right now with everything else - especially when it comes to him.

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