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trying to convince myself to let go
October 13, 2001
12:49 pm
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ragdoll
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hi! i'm new to this board...

i have developed into a codependent somehow -- i know this. i am with a guy who i consider totally brilliant. we are both musicians, and although i though i was taking care of myself by keeping my own home and own career and "waiting" for our relationship to get better before handing over everything to the relationship, i have been with this guy for 5 years and it's been very painful. i am trying to accept that i need to "get out" but i feel like he is my brilliant star that will keep music in my life and allow me to be a brilliant star too. i know i am very talented myself...i have done almost everything myself for 5 years...but my music world "revolves" around this guy i consider totally brilliant, at least in my mind, and i'm afraid to let go of him.

i just started reading about codependency 2 days ago and i know that is me. i worry about this guy. he's totally not taking care of himself. i worry about his emotional state too -- i worry that he's going to get so depresses he will hurt himself, even though logically i don't really believe he'd ever do that. there have been no past experiences.

i'm new to the idea of codependency, but already i'm ready to grow out of this. how do i feel safe in a new world after him being my world for so long?

any advice, help out there??????????

xoxo ragdoll.

October 13, 2001
1:59 pm
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SusieMcG
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Hi ragdoll...I know what you mean. I just discovered I have some (many) of the codependent tendencies, too. I never thought I did but I suddenly realized that I define myself by my relationships to others and I wondered if that meant I was codependent, so I read up on it and saw several more of the symptoms that I can relate to. I never knew what the term meant, I guess.

I was married for 20 years to a man whom I thought I loved and needed, and I thought he loved and needed me. He left me 2 1/2 years ago and blew away my whole world. All the things I thought I did so well, all the reasons I thought we were perfect for each other, all the ways I thought he needed me so much and couldn't get by without me, they were all the reasons he said he didn't love me anymore and he had found someone else. It caused me to re-look at my life and my personality traits. It hasn't been easy. I am now afraid to get involved with anyone else because I was so wrong about my husband. However, I have discovered that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. I have discovered that I really like being alone and I don't really miss him at all anymore. In fact, I feel very free and in control of my own life, I don't have to worry about him anymore.

I don't know you and your situation, but I think you would find that you aren't as necessary to this man as you think you are. He could make it without you. He might even be happier, and so would you. I thought I needed my husband so much, but I didn't. It took everything he had to walk away from me because he was afraid I'd snap and he would feel guilty, but I didn't snap. And I thought he would be lost without me, but he wasn't lost at all. I think he's happier. I know I am. Yes, I still have problems and probably always will. And yes, I still think maybe he was my one shot at a happy marriage and I'll never risk it again, but that's ok. I don't need to be married. I also know I don't need to be "mom" and "daughter" in order to be a whole person. Yet, I'm still having trouble with that, I worry about the day my parents die and my son leaves home....what will I live for? Well, myself! But that's my own latest issue, learning to be a whole person by myself. As far as being dependent on a mate or a romantic relationship, that's over. And the fact that I got over it and am so much better off for it, that makes me confident that I can also get over the mom and daughter thing, too. I can do it. You can, too.

SusieMcG

October 13, 2001
2:26 pm
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ragdoll
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Thank you. Thank you.

You are so right. Thank you for sharing your story with me. This is exactly the kind of thing I need to hear -- how others have felt, gone through this, thought about this. I need to hear this stuff so much right now, so thank you.

My relationship with my boyfriend has been so painful, and unfullfilling in so many ways. It has been so consistent, I know (logically) it's not going to change. I believe so much in his talent, though, I believe that someday he is going to be incredibly successful. When I think of that, then I put those two "facts" of mine together, I realize that I am actually setting myself up to live a painful life with him, and then be abandoned by him when he is strong enough to leave. The last 2 years of my 5 year relationship we haven't even been intimate. Sometimes it boggles me -- I can't understand why my attachment to him remains so so deep.

ragdoll

October 13, 2001
7:22 pm
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nitty
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I am currently trying to let go of a " wonderful two year relationship too." I trusted my partner so much, and got used to him, thought he'd always be there for me. The counselor said he is definitely codependent. What's wierd and maybe this should be in the jerk file, is that all the time we were together he was so incredibly caring and wonderful, we started arguing the last 2 months because he said he could not express how he was feeling and never said anything, i guess agreeing with me most times leaving me frustrated. We were engaged and i had to call it off for very legitimate reasons,even his mother told me to postpone it (stress. school,recovering from back surgery)ect... anyway one day had a fight , a pretty big one and he would not talk to me at all and when he did he was angry and mad and the counselor said he was overcaring and codependent. He is also in denial about anything good in our relationship, he wants to focus on my bad traits and he cries and says it hurts to let go , but he doesn't want to work it out at all, and he is mad and cruel to me . He was so loving now it's as though i don't even know this person.? He keeps saying your not my responsibility when i never thought that or allowed him to think that, I really was not dependent on him more than any other normal relationship. I am left wondering if he loved me and what the heck happened. I do think the counselor told him he doesn't need to be in a relationship right now, she told me that about him. We both go to my counslor and she sees us individually, we have never gone together. He is really using this co-dependency as a cop out and i wonder why or how someone can love someone so much and then say i'm not in love or have romantic feelings for you anymore?? I want to let go but part of me doesn't buy all the codependency crap? any input would be great. Going crazy here!

October 14, 2001
11:24 am
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ragdoll
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NItty -

I guess my situation is pretty different. I think I am or have become the co-dependent in my relationship, yet I am also the one trying to get out at this point. It does sound like your guy has some pretty deep issues. Does the counselor seem to be helping him? Are you struggling because it's hard to let go? That's where I am. I actually have let go - we are "broken up" I guess -- but we have always come back from these things and continued. This time, I'm trying to make it different - trying to make it stick and it's really really hard. I feel like I'm losing so much. I'm losing my biggest dream yet in my life, it seems. If anyone else is going through something like this out there, join us. Nitty - I think you made the right decision to give it time. My boyfriend has in the past tried to convince me that if we were to get married it would solve everything.

ragdoll

October 14, 2001
12:21 pm
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SusieMcG
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ragdoll...It never "solves everything" to get married, and I think you know that. I think you are wise and you know what you must do, but you just want some reassurance. I think, with my ex-husband, we were both codependent. We had what I thought was a good marriage for 20 years, but in looking back, we really had a good friendship. I married him because I felt safe and secure with him. I thought he would always love me and would never leave me, because every other relationship I'd had before him ended with the guy leaving. I wasn't madly in love with my ex, I never was and I knew that, but I respected him and thought he was the best thing for me and that we had a solid relationship that would last forever because we'd been friends for 4 years before we got married. Platonic friends. I do think he loved me for most of the 20 years we were married, but I think my lack of passionate love for him finally wore him down and all we had left between us was companionship and friendship. Still, it was enough for me, and I naively thought we had a "good marriage" because it was built on friendship and mutual respect. When another woman came along who "needed him" desperately due to her life circumstances, and she was younger and sexier, he went for it hook, line and sinker. To justify what he did, he blamed our demise on me, and used some of the very things against me that I thought were my strongest points. Really blew me away. But now I see things from a safe distance of space and time and I see that we are both better off. He is still codependent and so am I, but he is wrapped up in this new marriage and family and I am free, and I think I'm the luckier one. I think between us I am the healthier one, too. He is still making the same mistakes he did with me, where I think I learned a lot and won't make the same mistakes again. It may keep me from ever getting seriously and intimately involved with anyone else, but that's ok. I seem to be past my need for a passionate romance. I'm in my 40s and close friendship is enough for me at this time. Maybe I'll change someday, and that's ok. My biggest fear right now is feeling totally alone when my parents die, which can't be too far away since they are both in their 80s, and when my son leaves home, which can't be far away because he's 20 and is in college. He lives with me and we have a close relationship, but I'm not silly enough to think this can go on forever. I base my self-worth on my family and what I can do for them, what they need from me. I know this is my codependency and I'm trying to get past it, but I do worry about severe depression taking me under one day when no one is depending on me to take care of them. Who knows, though, that may be the most freeing and liberating feeling so far, because there have been times when I've felt absolutely jubilant that my ex left me, because I realize I was not happy with him and now I am free, and I don't have the guilt of leaving him because he left me. What a blessing! I really have felt that way a lot. Of course, other times I have regretted losing him and have missed him, but it's the friendship I miss.

Anyway...I don't know if anything about my life and situation is something you can relate to. I just know that it's unhealthy to hold on to a relationship when you know it's over, and you shouldn't let fear of the future make your life decisions for you. Trust your instincts. Trust your heart. There is someone else out there for you, or if not, there is still you. You are probably young, in your 20s or early 30s, and you can't hold on to something that you know isn't good just because you fear you are letting go of your biggest dream. There is another dream, a better dream. I don't think this guy would help you achieve your dream. You just don't want to let go of a sure thing for uncertainty. That was my problem. I knew a long time ago that my ex was not what I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but I "settled" for him and lowered my expectations and took pride in what I knew we had, which was a good friendship, and we had built a nice, comfortable life together and had a good son that we both adored. Well, I HATED to lose that and give up that security. I thought I would die at first. I wanted to. But you know what? I'm truly happier now. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about him anymore or take care of him anymore. And even though I still have my son and elderly parents to "take care of" and feel needed for, somewhere in my soul I know that when they are no longer in my life, I will still feel happy and lucky and will move on to the next stage. I worry a lot unnecessarily, because life has a way of working out for the best. I don't know about your faith, but I trust God and He always sees me through. And I have nothing to fear. Neither do you. Do what you know you should do. You will have some heartaches and hard times, but hang in there and be strong. Someday you will look back on this and will be SO GLAD that you let go of a mediocre and painful relationship. You can't reach for the future and better things when your hands are full holding on to the past.

October 14, 2001
12:30 pm
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SusieMcG
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P.S. I just re-read what I wrote and I want to clarify that we didn't have a platonic marriage. We had sex! haha. But we were platonic friends for 4 years before we married, and so that was always the way I thought of him, which was enough for me but not for him. He knew I wasn't as passionately in love with him as he was with me, but we managed to have a pretty good sex life the entire 20 years, but then mid-life came along at the same time a younger, sexier woman who really NEEDED him to take care of her, and I didn't anymore. That was the end of it. But like I said, it was the best thing that could've happened to me. It just took me a year to see it plainly. And it still hurts me sometimes when I remember only the good times. I have to always remind myself that it wasn't all that good all that often. Life never is. We have to take the good and work through the bad.

SusieMcG

October 14, 2001
2:13 pm
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nitty
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Thanks for your input. I think your dream can become a dream without your guy. Why do you need him to complete it? You may be better off for that. They say there is a reason for everything and just perhaps God is not wanting that for you or for any of us for that fact. Yes, I am struggling because I am unable to let go because he keeps the options open. Like for instance, he says it's over he has no romantic feelings for me(at some point after our argument-he said his feelings numbed)? codependency symptom or not. and now he no longer loves me, tells me to move on and he says we are like to animals in the same cage and if i come near him he would bite me. Last time we spoke he said he had issues, the codependency and to be safe for now to write to each other through the mail, I haven't recieved anything with an apology,the way he has spoken to me. Today is a week we spoke last sunday, my friends tell me to move on and let go,but it is hard because i loved him and trusted him , my dreams were with him too. I do know to let go is healthy sometimes,to actually let allow that other person to be responsible for thier actions/words, but i stopped that process by pleading for a reasonable explanation. I do believe I carry some Codependency characteristics. It is hard to let go although in my case we were only together for 2 years. Me not letting go is stopping the plan and process of both of us healing and also if you believe in a higher power, God's plan too. Be strong ragdoll and yes there are alot of people out there that I run into that have the same probelem. Thanks

October 14, 2001
2:13 pm
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nitty
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Thanks for your input. I think your dream can become a dream without your guy. Why do you need him to complete it? You may be better off for that. They say there is a reason for everything and just perhaps God is not wanting that for you or for any of us for that fact. Yes, I am struggling because I am unable to let go because he keeps the options open. Like for instance, he says it's over he has no romantic feelings for me(at some point after our argument-he said his feelings numbed)? codependency symptom or not. and now he no longer loves me, tells me to move on and he says we are like to animals in the same cage and if i come near him he would bite me. Last time we spoke he said he had issues, the codependency and to be safe for now to write to each other through the mail, I haven't recieved anything with an apology,the way he has spoken to me. Today is a week we spoke last sunday, my friends tell me to move on and let go,but it is hard because i loved him and trusted him , my dreams were with him too. I do know to let go is healthy sometimes,to actually let allow that other person to be responsible for thier actions/words, but i stopped that process by pleading for a reasonable explanation. I do believe I carry some Codependency characteristics. It is hard to let go although in my case we were only together for 2 years. Me not letting go is stopping the plan and process of both of us healing and also if you believe in a higher power, God's plan too. Be strong ragdoll and yes there are alot of people out there that I run into that have the same probelem. Thanks

October 14, 2001
2:13 pm
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nitty
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Thanks for your input. I think your dream can become a dream without your guy. Why do you need him to complete it? You may be better off for that. They say there is a reason for everything and just perhaps God is not wanting that for you or for any of us for that fact. Yes, I am struggling because I am unable to let go because he keeps the options open. Like for instance, he says it's over he has no romantic feelings for me(at some point after our argument-he said his feelings numbed)? codependency symptom or not. and now he no longer loves me, tells me to move on and he says we are like to animals in the same cage and if i come near him he would bite me. Last time we spoke he said he had issues, the codependency and to be safe for now to write to each other through the mail, I haven't recieved anything with an apology,the way he has spoken to me. Today is a week we spoke last sunday, my friends tell me to move on and let go,but it is hard because i loved him and trusted him , my dreams were with him too. I do know to let go is healthy sometimes,to actually let allow that other person to be responsible for thier actions/words, but i stopped that process by pleading for a reasonable explanation. I do believe I carry some Codependency characteristics. It is hard to let go although in my case we were only together for 2 years. Me not letting go is stopping the plan and process of both of us healing and also if you believe in a higher power, God's plan too. Be strong ragdoll and yes there are alot of people out there that I run into that have the same probelem. Thanks

October 14, 2001
2:13 pm
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nitty
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Thanks for your input. I think your dream can become a dream without your guy. Why do you need him to complete it? You may be better off for that. They say there is a reason for everything and just perhaps God is not wanting that for you or for any of us for that fact. Yes, I am struggling because I am unable to let go because he keeps the options open. Like for instance, he says it's over he has no romantic feelings for me(at some point after our argument-he said his feelings numbed)? codependency symptom or not. and now he no longer loves me, tells me to move on and he says we are like to animals in the same cage and if i come near him he would bite me. Last time we spoke he said he had issues, the codependency and to be safe for now to write to each other through the mail, I haven't recieved anything with an apology,the way he has spoken to me. Today is a week we spoke last sunday, my friends tell me to move on and let go,but it is hard because i loved him and trusted him , my dreams were with him too. I do know to let go is healthy sometimes,to actually let allow that other person to be responsible for thier actions/words, but i stopped that process by pleading for a reasonable explanation. I do believe I carry some Codependency characteristics. It is hard to let go although in my case we were only together for 2 years. Me not letting go is stopping the plan and process of both of us healing and also if you believe in a higher power, God's plan too. Be strong ragdoll and yes there are alot of people out there that I run into that have the same probelem. Thanks

October 14, 2001
6:36 pm
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sally-anne
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SusieMcG, I know what you are going through. I, too, am trying to let go of an unhealthy relationship. I know what is best, but don't feel strong enough to do it. I, too, am co-dependant. I'd never heard of it until I came to this site. It is hard, and some days I feel my life would be incomplete without him. But I was happy and complete before he entered my life, so there is no reason why I can't be once I am through this. It's getting out the other side that is hard. I look forward to the day that I can look back at these days and smile and think what on earth did I see in him!

October 15, 2001
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Molly
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Tez, had some great words on this in another thread, possibly re: addictive bf. Most of us realize that there is a cost to every choice we make, but to continue the same, is knowing that you will always have the same. Marriage is definately not the solution, I made that mistake, and simply tossed in the concept of commitment, which I honor. So, rather than resolve, it was the same old problems, but now committed to them. If after 5 years, its not working, then..., acceptance is the next thing, or the freedom to be independent. Emotional decisions don't work real well either, there is no rush, but do some learning, and start with focusing on you, as you change so do the dynamics of the relationship. We all get into ruts.But we have free will, sometimes a curse as much as it is a blessing.

October 16, 2001
10:02 am
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ragdoll
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You guys make a lot of sense... I'll take a look at that other thread too! Yes - I know I am addicted to my boyfriend. I guess you are right - the key is to shine light on as much as you can, because at this point I know I need to get out and move on. When you've been hanging on to threads and getting bread crumbs from someone, I think it seems even harder to let go because you feel like you've sacrificed so much for the crumbs, and you just can't believe you have to let the crumbs go now too. Ugh.

- ragdoll

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