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two months of knowing I'm codependent
January 25, 2003
2:10 pm
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Anonymous
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Hello to everyone on this site. First off, I am a guy, but I still feel idetify with this site. I would like to know if there are any sites out there where there would be more men with the same issues. Help!

About two months ago I picked up Codependency No More and felt like I dicovered gold. I have felt so much better in the days since then. I have poured over that book, probably reading it ten or more times, going back to the chapters I need at that moment. I've read beyond codependency quite a few times too. I'm learning more and more everyday. I'm learning that I am responsible for my own well being. It is a new concept for me to wonder why I let people affect me the way I do rather then why do "they do that to me". Old habits are hard to kick but I'm too far along to go back to the old ways.

I am married, no kids (probably because of our codepency) and have been with my wife for about ten years. Because of my work, I travel quite a bit. That has been real good for me, because it gives me some time away from my wife to get my head together.
We both grew up in divorced families, alcohol use in both. I would say that my wife was radically affected by her fathers alcoholism. I've never met him and she won't talk to him. I wasn't directly affected like her (in the car with him drunk at the wheel)but I had to care for my younger brother like I was his father at about age ten. Before reading the book, I would say caretaking was my purpose in life. I was proud of being a caretaker. My father is and I thought it was a noble way to go through life. Now I'm learning the negative consequences. I am now relizing that these events in our lifes caused alot of these maladaptive personality traits we have. I know that they were so powerful that I really cannot understand them (new info for me). I am coming to realize that that is how it is. I spent the last ten years thinking that I could help us grow out of it some how, or just to grow and love. But it was like smashing my head into a wall over and over. It got real crazy about four years ago, when I pretty much lost it and the codependent crazyness really took a grasp of me.
So now I am living with my wife trying to figure out what to do. I have some friends that I can talk to about it. So where I am stuck is this, I am getting better at recognising the triggers. Usually it is something that my wife (or friends)do that I recognise as a trigger. I immidiately say to myself to detach, accept that this is what it is, surrender to it, and then put trust in my higher power. Sometimes I do this over and over again in my mind just trying to get ahold of myself. It used to be that I would get sucked in and have this secretion into my body, especially my shoulders that just felt gross, like an adrenalin rush with nowhere to go. It takes away all of my calmness and replaces it with anxiety.

So what happens is that my wife will either give me a control gesture, or expect me to caretake in her own way (although she will deny it ever time), I recognize that it is happening, I detach, accept, surrender, and then it just keep happening. Another trigger back to back relentlessly. It is like my wife needs the codependency to exist. Once I break even a little, it stops for the time being. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do. It makes me feel like crap, victimized, but at least the barrage usually stops. When I stand up and don't give into the triggers she just says that my ego is to big and continues to scold me. I have tried to get her to learn more about codependency and she says that she has read codepency no more but what I think is that the issues are to heavy for her to take, It would radically affect her family dynamics, and her life since the majority of her day is spent caretaking. I really love my wife, but I feel like as I grow in my understanding in codepency I get farther away. I'm looking at her through different eyes. I want her to be my partner so we can go through it together. Learn and grow together. My ability to feel love I can tell is new and different. So much better without all the caretaking and control in the air. My relationships all around me are getting better. At least for me. Whats next, How do I stay detached when I get hit over and over with triggers every ten seconds for hours on end from my wife?

I'm so glad I read that book. Good luck to everyone out there, I have to leave for about a week but will check this site when I get back. Also, let me know if I followed the guidelines. I know I talked about my wife a bit, I needed to get it out. Thanks for the support.

January 29, 2003
11:55 am
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Anonymous
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cdguy--

You came to the right site to vent and get everything out. Congratulations on the first step!

Sounds like your wife is in denial, huh? Seeing you taking steps to better yourself and recognize the triggers, etc must make her anxious. Here the two of you had this cd thing going on and now you are working on becoming independent, etc.

I don't have any ideas right off the top of my head, but noticed you didn't have a response yet to your posting, so I wanted to tell you, welcome and I think you have come to the right place.

We're here for ya!

January 29, 2003
2:14 pm
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Hi cdguy~

Two months is not a long time to be working on 'fixing' your issues. You may be scary to your wife right now. Like, you hopped on this bandwagon of codependency and now you want her to convert. And you are so excited about how your new life is going to be, and maybe are strong arming her to change along with her. This is just a thought, but I have noticed when people start trying to fix themselves that they sometimes get overzealous.

First, maybe you could relax your expectations that she should change. Focus strictly on how you do things. Setting boundaries may get her upset, but don't think she will magically turn into a new person. This is a long, slow process. So enjoy the ride! There must be some things you enjoy doing with your wife. Try to enhance that aspect of your relationship. Maybe you both can go canoeing, bowling,sailing, golfing. Being together more outside of the house may help. Taking a walk together is easy and can stimulate meaningful conversation. Treat her as a friend with little qwerks.

It's great you are passionate to heal yourself and discover a new, less restrictive way to live your life. Just don't bulldoze everyone who stands in your way. Take your time...

Good luck in your journey!!

Jenny

January 30, 2003
9:03 pm
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Dear CDGUY,

I wished that I could get you to talk with my boyfriend who has bigggg issues on codependency. Please tell me the author of the book that your reading on this topic.

Daisy

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