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Thread: Co-dependence; abusive relationship; healing

  1. #1

    Co-dependence; abusive relationship; healing

    Over the last 8 years, I have been in 3 different relationships with approximately a month or two alone between each one. All of these have had some sort of abuse involved and my most recent relationship was the absolute most difficult to leave.

    I loved and still love my most recent partner very deeply. He is a recovering alcoholic, but throughout our relationship I tried to fix him. I begged and pleaded for him to start drinking and also tried to support him through the process. He continued turning the issues back on me and telling me that he did not have a drinking problem. After 6 months of emotional abuse due to drinking, I made the difficult decision to move out. We were both absolutely heartbroken by the decision. He binge drank for over a week and I focused on my career and doing what I could to get settled into my house.

    A little over a week after I left, he sent me a text message as an attempt to inform me of his efforts to recover. I have heard this from him countless times and was/am still skeptical but building trust in the process. He and I are currently on speaking terms and both of us are committed to working on ourselves as individuals with the hope that one day we can be with one another in a healthy way.

    Here’s my issue. I have recently began exploring the possibility that I exhibit symptoms of co-dependence. My counselor recently brought this to my attention and I am slightly obsessing over this theory. With my background and cycle of behaviors, this no longer shocks me. I am certainly intrigued and think that this may be the key to a healthier lifestyle for me.

    What I am hoping for from this discussion is the opportunity to read others stories or knowledge in regards to this topic.

    I have recently been exploring podcasts, Vipassana meditation, weekly counseling, online research and interviews. These seem to be helping a bit and have certainly expanded my knowledge and willingness to be open with the process.

    Does anyone have anything they can recommend that has helped them?

  2. #2
    I noticed a bad “typo” - “I begged and pleaded for him to stop...”

    Wanted to clarify.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I don't have much personal experience with co-dependency but I have a few friends who found the book Codependent No More to be quite valuable.

    Sounds like you're on a really good path. It's very freeing when you realize that people can't be "fixed" by other people. You might find yourself making differing choices romantically, and less drawn to some of the dynamics you've been drawn to so far on your journey.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I don't have much personal experience with co-dependency but I have a few friends who found the book Codependent No More to be quite valuable.

    Sounds like you're on a really good path. It's very freeing when you realize that people can't be "fixed" by other people. You might find yourself making differing choices romantically, and less drawn to some of the dynamics you've been drawn to so far on your journey.
    I have heard of this book. My counselor currently has me reading “Breaking Free”. I have been listening to the Co-dependent No More podcast and it’s been amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by Reecespieces
    Over the last 8 years, I have been in 3 different relationships with approximately a month or two alone between each one.
    You need to have a lot more time between relationships.
    Don't live with anyone unless married. (To quickly sort out the users tell them that!)

    That should take care of most of your problems.

  7. #6
    Member FleurDeLys's Avatar
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    I agree you're on the right path, just keep what you're doing and be patient. I've struggled with copendency for most of my life and it takes time to finally over come it. I went to therapy, cut out toxic people out of myself, learned to be more selective about whom I befriend and started indulging in different hobbies, such as fitness and writing, which makes me feel good about myself and have helped vastly improved my self-esteem. But still I struggle with co-dependency, though it's not as bad as it used to be.

    Though, I find that these days how copendent I am will vary depending on the type of person I'm dating. Fighting co-dependency is also about learning to choose and finding the right partners who will make you feel secure about yourself and breaking the cycle of dating the same people (usually people who are emotionally distant and emotionally unavailable). When I started dating different kind of people, who were secure about themselves, stable and willing to commit, I actually found myself surprised that I was no longer feeling the usually anxiety I felt with previous partners.

    The main problem with co-dependency is that we tend to be subconsciously attracted to the wrong people. But you seem to be on the right path in that regards as you've started acknowledging you can't fix people.

    I'd advise you to do is to fully take the time to recover from this relationship, be single for a while, spend time with your friends and people who value you, while working on yourself. It's important to take time to take a step back for introspective work and look at things from a distance, think about what you really want out of a healthy relationship. It's also helped me to honestly ask myself: what kind of partner would make me happy? what do I truly want out of a relationship? It may sound silly, but low self-esteem often trick us into forgetting about ourselves and our needs.

    Having hobbies that make you feel good about yourself can also really help, because they help you improve yourself esteem and it can teach you to be more self-reliant when it comes to find happiness rather than rely on someone to make you happy. It's important to learn to practice self-care, which can also start with small things like eating healthier, sleeping well, exercising regularly, as well as taking a wider look at your social circle and see if there aren't any other toxic influences in your life that needs to be cut out.

    Co-dependency can also extent to friendship, although not as exacerbated as in relationship, it's sometimes harder to distinguish when it comes to friends, but it's another important step to recognise all the toxic influences in your life. Surrounding myself with great friends also helped in my case.

  8. #7
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    You definitely are co dependent. You seek out projects.

    How is he dealing with his drinking? I would also suggest no contact so that he can focus on recovery.

    I am sorry that you are dealing with cancer. You have enough to deal with without making his problems your life. You should not be playing parent/therapist to him.

    Have you looked into CODA? [Register to see the link]

    You also need to address your attraction to abusive men. You have a lot of your own stuff to work through.

    I suggest no contact, therapy and moving on. He is abusive . This is who he is, liquor or no liquor. I also suggest being single for at least a year. You are too dependent on men.

    Do you have a social life outside of this guy?
    Last edited by Hollyj; 06-29-2019 at 10:31 AM.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say good for you for ending that last relationship and putting in all these efforts to get to know yourself more. I also have no experience with co-dependency but have read a bit about it. Keep on with the self-development, seeing your counsellor and don't be afraid to ask questions and keep growing.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    So I’m a little familiar with codependence and I agree with the others good for you for taking the right steps forward BUT to be completely honest, many copdepentents go through this stage, it’s a distraction until you’re addiction reaches out again, which he has so you gotta be honest with yourself you’re still completely and fully in this.

    Prove to yourself you’re truly done and block him.

    If I’m an alcoholic, I can attend daily AA meetings, if I’m still drinking I’m not actually healing am I?

  11. #10
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I think you should start your own healing by looking into boundaries and how to establish healthy one's for yourself so that when you run into an addict or abuser or just a plain ole jerk, you'll have the confidence (due to said boundaries being in place) to chuck such cucklers right as soon as they show you their true colours.

    Here's two links on boundaries:
    [Register to see the link]
    [Register to see the link]

    Also, it would be good for you to look into nurturing your inner child (if you were raised by an addict or mentally unhealthy parent.)

    Here's a link on that: [Register to see the link]

    Here is a link to Codependents Anonymous:
    [Register to see the link]

    Also, I think you would do well to look into Al-anon which is a support group for the loved ones of the alcoholic. You can just google "Al-Anon meetings" and put in your town or city and it will give you where meetings are held in your area.

    Congratulations for acknowledging your codependency (that's the first step to recovery) and good luck going forth.

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