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Untangling codependency

A common theme appearing on these forums is co-dependency.
mamasita
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Untangling codependency

Post by mamasita » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:33 pm

I think I have related in unhealthy ways for all of my life. It took me a few months to realize that all of my relationships started limerent. Once I got married, I didn't experience limerence anymore, until a couple of years ago, and of course, it was and has caused another major shift in my thinking. A wake up call of sorts.
The first major shift was when I decided I was leaving my DH, almost 6 years ago. After a long road, our marriage was basically burned to the ground, deep wounds, years of resentment, and I felt a freedom wash over me. I was honestly excited to see what my next phase of life would look like without him. I was worried a bit, with children and bills and what my lonely nights would feel like. But all in all, I was ready.
This transition that was occurring scared my DH in a major way. He was determined to "fix" us, and his primary focus became how to make me happy. I was cautious, hesitant, but for the kids I agreed we could try again. It was nice feeling like the queen of the house for about a year, and then things continued to change. My DH's urge to make me happy became his obsession. He obsesses over where I am when he isn't with me. A weekend out of town with girlfriend's 6 months ago STILL keeps him up at night. He worries about me finding someone else, leaving him. After all, I planned on it.
I try to comfort him, tell him I am happy, I'm okay. But his paranoia is a major turn off and angers me considerably.
Yesterday he couldn't reach me while I was at work for an hour or two and it sent him into major anxiety. He knows I get angry when he gets accusatory, so he just holds it in, but the anxiety is seeping out...I can feel it the moment I walked in the house.
So he struggles with anxiety about me leaving, which makes me want to leave. He has created an antithesis of what he actually wants.
We have probably behaved in codependent ways our whole marriage. But I don't want to live this way. I don't want to feel like his property. I don't want to always be doubted and second guessed.
I don't regret NOT leaving 6 years ago. Our children have been able to watch our loving, affectionate relationship change and blossom.
But that's what they see on the surface. Underneath, I feel like I am drowning in his needs.
Like I got myself out of the dysfunction that USED to be our relationship, which was my DH being somewhat disconnected, selfish, uninvolved.
To the NOW relationship which is much more of a partnership, but it is engulfing for me.
In our 20 years together, we have likely spent 5 nights without one another. And he knows what nights they were, where himself or I was, and he creates these scenarios in his mind of what I was doing. He will periodically question me about those times, that's how I know it still bothers him.
These aren't nights I was partying with friends or meeting men. One was a trip to help my sister move. Another was my first trip with friends, 6 months ago. I had such a great time! It pains me that I feel I cannot discuss these times with him, because he wasn't there. My limerence has become so important to me and an obsession to escape my actual relationship. My DH, while loving me genuinely, is limiting and pulling the life out of me.
HE KNOWS I FEEL THIS WAY. We have had discussions with me insisting that I CANNOT MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER. He insists I can, by being more affectionate, more attentive, more like HIM. But I am just trying to live NORMALLY. His way doesn't feel normal to me. But his insecurities get the best of him. And I remain stuck.
I just needed to get this out. I wish I knew how to fix this. =((
Last edited by mamasita on Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NVTS
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by NVTS » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:08 pm

Thank You Mamasita for putting into words what I cannot. I feel pretty much the same way from a guy’s perspective. The stifling of DW and the mirage of LO what a circumstance!? I am trying to come up with a way to get us into marriage counseling and I know that it is going to fill DW with anxiety to no end. :ymdaydream:
M-47-married
LO- married 48,work colleagues

mamasita
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by mamasita » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:24 pm

Windy, thank you for responding. It's good to know that someone else out here feels this way, even though it's frustrating. I guess just good to know I'm not alone. I have a couple of single girlfriends who I have shared a few details of my relationship with my DH. The first one tells me how lucky I am, "so many women wish their DH was attentive, and gave a d@mn! He loves you, he loves the kids, what more could you want? He's changed for YOU! There's nothing else out here, mamasita!"
The other girlfriend tells me she could not live under a spotlight and she doesn't know how I deal with that level of neediness. But then she says "but that's probably why I'm single."
My DH and I did go to counseling, back 4-5 years ago, as we were rebuilding. It was helpful, although we haven't been for awhile, and suggesting that we go back would also be a MAJOR source of anxiety for my DH. I can hear him now "I thought everything was okay??!" :-ss
I did go see the counselor a couple of months ago to discuss limerence, but I kept it a secret to prevent the anxious questioning that it would bring. :ymsigh:

Forestcat1
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by Forestcat1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:23 pm

Hi Mamasita, I understand how you feel, it would make me feel that way too. I'm sort of on the other side of the coin, though I'm not a clingy DW by any stretch of the imagination and probably too independent for my DH's liking, which actually makes him limerent for other people who will give him the extreme attention and flattery he needs at times of low self esteem. I understand your DH's fear, having been on that side of an affair, I guess it's because you almost left him once and it must have been so hurtful that he's terrified of going through that pain again. Have you tried telling him that you love him but his behaviour is stifling you and that he doesn't need to worry when you don't contact him for a couple of hours? He obviously wants to please you so much that he'd probably jump at the chance to change things? Maybe you could agree that you only contact each other after half a day, or whatever feels more comfortable? Maybe a definite plan of contact that he could follow would give him more security and keep him off your back.

JupiterTaco
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by JupiterTaco » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:08 am

Do you know why your DH is nervous about going back to counseling? Did it go well for him the first time, I mean aside from the issues? Other than that, sorry you're dealing with this. He can't truly be happy worrying this much that he's not making you happy. Maybe there's a way for him to see that.
F.E.A.R-Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise

CrushedSO
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by CrushedSO » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:48 am

mamasita wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:33 pm
I think I have related in unhealthy ways for all of my life. It took me a few months to realize that all of my relationships started limerent. Once I got married, I didn't experience limerence anymore, until a couple of years ago, and of course, it was and has caused another major shift in my thinking. A wake up call of sorts.
The first major shift was when I decided I was leaving my DH, almost 6 years ago. After a long road, our marriage was basically burned to the ground, deep wounds, years of resentment, and I felt a freedom wash over me. I was honestly excited to see what my next phase of life would look like without him. I was worried a bit, with children and bills and what my lonely nights would feel like. But all in all, I was ready.
This transition that was occurring scared my DH in a major way. He was determined to "fix" us, and his primary focus became how to make me happy. I was cautious, hesitant, but for the kids I agreed we could try again. It was nice feeling like the queen of the house for about a year, and then things continued to change. My DH's urge to make me happy became his obsession. He obsesses over where I am when he isn't with me. A weekend out of town with girlfriend's 6 months ago STILL keeps him up at night. He worries about me finding someone else, leaving him. After all, I planned on it.
I try to comfort him, tell him I am happy, I'm okay. But his paranoia is a major turn off and angers me considerably.
Yesterday he couldn't reach me while I was at work for an hour or two and it sent him into major anxiety. He knows I get angry when he gets accusatory, so he just holds it in, but the anxiety is seeping out...I can feel it the moment I walked in the house.
So he struggles with anxiety about me leaving, which makes me want to leave. He has created an antithesis of what he actually wants.
We have probably behaved in codependent ways our whole marriage. But I don't want to live this way. I don't want to feel like his property. I don't want to always be doubted and second guessed.
I don't regret NOT leaving 6 years ago. Our children have been able to watch our loving, affectionate relationship change and blossom.
But that's what they see on the surface. Underneath, I feel like I am drowning in his needs.
Like I got myself out of the dysfunction that USED to be our relationship, which was my DH being somewhat disconnected, selfish, uninvolved.
To the NOW relationship which is much more of a partnership, but it is engulfing for me.
In our 20 years together, we have likely spent 5 nights without one another. And he knows what nights they were, where himself or I was, and he creates these scenarios in his mind of what I was doing. He will periodically question me about those times, that's how I know it still bothers him.
These aren't nights I was partying with friends or meeting men. One was a trip to help my sister move. Another was my first trip with friends, 6 months ago. I had such a great time! It pains me that I feel I cannot discuss these times with him, because he wasn't there. My limerence has become so important to me and an obsession to escape my actual relationship. My DH, while loving me genuinely, is limiting and pulling the life out of me.
HE KNOWS I FEEL THIS WAY. We have had discussions with me insisting that I CANNOT MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER. He insists I can, by being more affectionate, more attentive, more like HIM. But I am just trying to live NORMALLY. His way doesn't feel normal to me. But his insecurities get the best of him. And I remain stuck.
I just needed to get this out. I wish I knew how to fix this. =((
Maybe start by communicating honestly with him?!

Spinnaker
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by Spinnaker » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:15 am

book.[/i]

Codependent No More is great and likely would help him, too. I have read this and have made great progress breaking the chains of codependency.

Last edited by Spinnaker on Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
“We are tied in a single garment of destiny. What affects one directly affects everyone indirectly”.
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mamasita
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by mamasita » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:49 pm

JupiterTaco wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:08 am
Do you know why your DH is nervous about going back to counseling? Did it go well for him the first time, I mean aside from the issues? Other than that, sorry you're dealing with this. He can't truly be happy worrying this much that he's not making you happy. Maybe there's a way for him to see that.
I don't think he is nervous about going back to counseling, it's the anxiety for him that "something is wrong" between us and he worries that it's more than meets the eye. He admitted to paranoia & depression last night, so I suggested counseling.

mamasita
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by mamasita » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:49 pm

CrushedSO wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:48 am
mamasita wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:33 pm
I think I have related in unhealthy ways for all of my life. It took me a few months to realize that all of my relationships started limerent. Once I got married, I didn't experience limerence anymore, until a couple of years ago, and of course, it was and has caused another major shift in my thinking. A wake up call of sorts.
The first major shift was when I decided I was leaving my DH, almost 6 years ago. After a long road, our marriage was basically burned to the ground, deep wounds, years of resentment, and I felt a freedom wash over me. I was honestly excited to see what my next phase of life would look like without him. I was worried a bit, with children and bills and what my lonely nights would feel like. But all in all, I was ready.
This transition that was occurring scared my DH in a major way. He was determined to "fix" us, and his primary focus became how to make me happy. I was cautious, hesitant, but for the kids I agreed we could try again. It was nice feeling like the queen of the house for about a year, and then things continued to change. My DH's urge to make me happy became his obsession. He obsesses over where I am when he isn't with me. A weekend out of town with girlfriend's 6 months ago STILL keeps him up at night. He worries about me finding someone else, leaving him. After all, I planned on it.
I try to comfort him, tell him I am happy, I'm okay. But his paranoia is a major turn off and angers me considerably.
Yesterday he couldn't reach me while I was at work for an hour or two and it sent him into major anxiety. He knows I get angry when he gets accusatory, so he just holds it in, but the anxiety is seeping out...I can feel it the moment I walked in the house.
So he struggles with anxiety about me leaving, which makes me want to leave. He has created an antithesis of what he actually wants.
We have probably behaved in codependent ways our whole marriage. But I don't want to live this way. I don't want to feel like his property. I don't want to always be doubted and second guessed.
I don't regret NOT leaving 6 years ago. Our children have been able to watch our loving, affectionate relationship change and blossom.
But that's what they see on the surface. Underneath, I feel like I am drowning in his needs.
Like I got myself out of the dysfunction that USED to be our relationship, which was my DH being somewhat disconnected, selfish, uninvolved.
To the NOW relationship which is much more of a partnership, but it is engulfing for me.
In our 20 years together, we have likely spent 5 nights without one another. And he knows what nights they were, where himself or I was, and he creates these scenarios in his mind of what I was doing. He will periodically question me about those times, that's how I know it still bothers him.
These aren't nights I was partying with friends or meeting men. One was a trip to help my sister move. Another was my first trip with friends, 6 months ago. I had such a great time! It pains me that I feel I cannot discuss these times with him, because he wasn't there. My limerence has become so important to me and an obsession to escape my actual relationship. My DH, while loving me genuinely, is limiting and pulling the life out of me.
HE KNOWS I FEEL THIS WAY. We have had discussions with me insisting that I CANNOT MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER. He insists I can, by being more affectionate, more attentive, more like HIM. But I am just trying to live NORMALLY. His way doesn't feel normal to me. But his insecurities get the best of him. And I remain stuck.
I just needed to get this out. I wish I knew how to fix this. =((
Maybe start by communicating honestly with him?!
I don't mince words! He knows how I feel!! I even put it on all caps!

mamasita
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Re: Untangling codependency

Post by mamasita » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Spinnaker wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:15 am
The book, Love Me Don't Leave Me, gives practical tools to overcome anxiety in relationships. I haven't read it but a friend recommended it who had a similar situation. She's the one who was experiencing trauma in a PTSD way when he left on business. She turned to addictive substances to numb the pain before they realized this problem needed to be addressed.

My heart goes out to both of you. IMHO, He needs help to overcome this. For you to be free from feeling stifled, it sounds like turning to him and insisting in a supportive way that working on his issues is needed. Sounds like you are heading toward being at your wits end. You'll be better support now than later and he NEEDS your attention and support.



The author combines acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), schema therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to help you get to the heart of the fears and worries that are holding you back.

Through exercises designed to identify underlying fears and powerful tools, you will learn how to break the self-fulfilling cycle of mistrust and insecurity and start building healthy, fulfilling relationships.

If fears are keeping you back from the love you desire, read this book.


Codependent No More is great and likely would help him, too. I have read this and have made great progress breaking the chains of codependency.

Thank you for the book recommendations! I agree, I've been at wits end before, and it was very hard to come back from. I don't want to keep feeling this way.

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