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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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« on: November 02, 2014, 01:41:16 PM »

Hi everyone,

I would like to start a topic of discussion from one of our articles Codependency and Codependent Relationships.

For this discussion I want to focus on a few points in the article.

“Codependent relationships are a specific type of dysfunctional helping relationship." Burn defines a codependent relationships as a dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables the other person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

People with a predisposition to be a codependent enabler often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of rescuer, supporter, and confidante. These helper types are often dependent on the other person's poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs.


As I was going through the articles and lessons on our site I noticed a lifelong pattern in intimate relationships and my anxieties, fears and control. I can relate with the great pain we feel when we break-up with a significant other with borderline personality disorder traits. I also feel that it is very important that we identify our roles in the relationship and our behaviors as well.

I am self aware enough. I spent a lot of effort in trying to change my partner in my marriage and I truly believed that I didn't have any issues. It was a hard pill to swallow for me that I am a codependent enabler. I was tired of my unhappiness in relationships. I had to step back and look at the bigger picture as difficult as my feelings were about my dysfunctional actions and behaviors

"I do everything for her in the relationship.  It's not because of me that we have problems."

I identify with the above statement in all of my relationships. I often either said or thought that my exes were the problem in the relationship because I felt like I was doing everything for my partners.

There's a good codependency checklist by Robert H. Albers, Ph.D. in the article.

Does anyone else feel like they have a long term pattern in their relationships in life?

Do you identify with codependent enablers in the article?

Let's discuss.
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 02:07:24 PM »

Hi everyone,

I would like to start a topic of discussion from one of our articles Codependency and Codependent Relationships.

For this discussion I want to focus on a few points in the article.

“Codependent relationships are a specific type of dysfunctional helping relationship." Burn defines a codependent relationships as a dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables the other person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

I do not believe that I ever had a normal relation , I always felt like the rescuer ,deep thoughts made look back in my past relation and yes I thought I am more stable and more intelligent than all of exes , it's sucks now , it does , I am a codependent I think due to the lost of my dad at a younger age I think that is the trigger .

After being on this site I felt that and read about the co-dependency , that's what caused me to atrack unhealthy partner looks to me I can't atrack a healthy one , just a self deep analysis

People with a predisposition to be a codependent enabler often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of rescuer, supporter, and confidante. These helper types are often dependent on the other person's poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs.


As I was going through the articles and lessons on our site I noticed a lifelong pattern in intimate relationships and my anxieties, fears and control. I can relate with the great pain we feel when we break-up with a significant other with borderline personality disorder traits. I also feel that it is very important that we identify our roles in the relationship and our behaviors as well.

I am self aware enough. I spent a lot of effort in trying to change my partner in my marriage and I truly believed that I didn't have any issues. It was a hard pill to swallow for me that I am a codependent enabler. I was tired of my unhappiness in relationships. I had to step back and look at the bigger picture as difficult as my feelings were about my dysfunctional actions and behaviors

"I do everything for her in the relationship.  It's not because of me that we have problems."

I identify with the above statement in all of my relationships. I often either said or thought that my exes were the problem in the relationship because I felt like I was doing everything for my partners.

There's a good codependency checklist by Robert H. Albers, Ph.D. in the article.

Does anyone else feel like they have a long term pattern in their relationships in life?

Do you identify with codependent enablers in the article?

Let's discuss.

After reading what you wrote , and looking at myself , I think I am a codependent I looked back into my ex relationship and I notice I did atrack unhealthy people all the time , I wanted to rescue them change them tell them what to wear sometimes , and here I am single again if I learned something , I did from my Bpd , this break up made look deep in my self and realize what I contribute to unhealthy relation , maybe I am that way because of the lost of my father in my early teens ?
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2014, 02:08:01 PM »

Does anyone else feel like they have a long term pattern in their relationships in life?

Do you identify with codependent enablers in the article?

Let's discuss.

I do X2. But isn't that what a pwBPD wants? A helper/fixer type. In a relationship with a healthy partner I don't believe that the outcome would be so horrific. Being codependent, we hurt ourselves. When with a pwBPD, they hurt us too. It's like a double whammy catch 22.
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2014, 02:21:11 PM »

maybe I am that way because of the lost of my father in my early teens ?

It's possible and I can relate, I lost my adoptive mother at the age of 8 and my father had a significant role. Codependent behaviors are learned by family members in order to survive great emotional pain.

But isn't that what a pwBPD wants? A helper/fixer type.

You make a good point fred6 that we hurt ourselves. What my ex wants and my behaviors are different things. Do you feel like you enabled some of the behaviors?
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 02:22:57 PM »

Thanks for starting this thread Mutt! I think one of the interesting things about codependents (me) and BPDs (two of my exes, my recent one much more full spectrum than my first) is that we are each other's perfect fit AND worst nightmare. For me, my exes were a perfect fit because they "needed" me in a way that was so deeply validating, and also idealized me. But then of course the discarding/devaluing part is the nightmare-- the need doesn't translate into secure love. For both of my exes, though, the devaluation cut the cord of the attachment for me pretty deeply. Does detaching on devaluation relate to codependency?

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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2014, 02:33:24 PM »

For me, my exes were a perfect fit because they "needed" me in a way that was so deeply validating, and also idealized me. But then of course the discarding/devaluing part is the nightmare-- the need doesn't translate into secure love.

I felt like my self worth was validated in idealization and I felt the opposite in devaluation, it felt like my self worth was destroyed. Her idealization phase was something that was missing in my childhood and later in life, validation.

Does detaching on devaluation relate to codependency?

I think that it goes back to my first point and self worth.

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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2014, 02:33:37 PM »

Great topic.

I am definitely  a co-dependent.  I always kind of suspected I was and after talking to my T we both  agreed that I have some of the components that make up that personality type. He refrains from using the word co-dependent because he says it's over used and over applied today but none the less I am a people pleaser and a fixer, which fits nicely for a BPD because they want to be attended to, showered with N-supply, and pleased all the time right?

Core issues in myself, abandonment issues as a child with an emotional manipulator mother; the receipt was there for me to be drawn to a BPD and her drawn to me.  I've come to realize this not without some embarrassment on my part.  Embarrassment coming to terms with the fact that I had a part in the dysfunction of the dysfunctional relationship. It takes two to dance right?  

So now I'm working on detaching from her, staying NC, letting go of the addiction, missing her, etc.  I know I need to work on my own emotional growth, which  involves self-worth, self esteem , and becoming emotionally  balanced enough to not be drawn to her personality type ever again.  
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2014, 02:33:51 PM »

I knew I had a lot of co-dependency issues before I met my pwBPD.  I have a fear of abandonment and  did not set or enforce boundaries in fear of losing my bf.  Obviously, a lack of boundaries enabled many of his behaviors. I coddled him and forgave him for many inappropriate things.  I disregarded my own feelings to continuously please him because I was afraid.  It is a vicious cycle of self-blame, I could not "fix" or help him, nothing I ever did was "good enough."  I take full responsibility for my own self-blame and my co-dependency.  I am not a victim and played a part in the dysfunction.  Therapy has really been helpful with working on my issues.  I think there are positive attributes to being a helper/fixer type, but only if boundaries are set.  
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2014, 02:38:16 PM »

You make a good point fred6 that we hurt ourselves. What my ex wants and my behaviors are different things.

I understand that we have our own issues to address and can't blame everything on our ex's. The difference that I see is that our behaviors aren't hurtful to others. We actually care too much. My ex on the other hand is a 41 year old woman that made choices that hurt me more than anyone has hurt me in my life. She knows what she did and she knows how it affected me. She has not once contacted me to ask how I was doing or to see how I am doing.

I could see how a very very emotionally weak person in our situation could actually commit suicide. I'm sure that it's happened before. If that was to happen and exBPD knew she caused it. Would someone like my ex even care? Would she blink an eye? Or would she spin, smear, and coldly say, "I knew that weirdo was crazy".

While I think that our codependency issues are a part of the equation. I don't think that they are anywhere close to what our ex's problems are. We care about them and we care about ourselves. They don't seem to care about anything or anyone except their emotions. Maybe they do, but they don't treat people like they do. Words vs actions.
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2014, 02:38:50 PM »

I am self aware enough. I spent a lot of effort in trying to change my partner in my marriage and I truly believed that I didn't have any issues. It was a hard pill to swallow for me that I am a codependent enabler. I was tired of my unhappiness in relationships. I had to step back and look at the bigger picture as difficult as my feelings were about my dysfunctional actions and behaviors

I have been slowly gaining an awareness of my efforts to take care of my husband during the relationship. I think part of what created problems for us was me starting to recognize it and pull away. It is weird because I have slowly been taking a stand with different dysfunctional people in my life. My mother used to try to guilt me into stuff. She still tries it but I have become immune to it. Both of my older sisters have tried that at different times. I have gone no contact with one sister and the other one I have only recently started talking to again because she is finally on some meds that seem to help her stay regulated. At one point, that sister was calling me 20 or 30 times a day in rapid succession. I had to block her on my phone. It was a mess. If I had done what she wanted me to do, there wouldn't have been a problem. Same with my other sister, if I had done what she had wanted and given in to her attempts at manipulation, there wouldn't have been a problem. As I was trying to set boundaries with them, I noticed that things were way off with my spouse. I have always felt a bit like there wasn't something right with our relationship but could never really put my finger on it. What was wrong was that I was doing most of the work. I was constantly fixing things for him and rescuing him and protecting him. He was in a band one time. His band mates said they probably never would have invited him to join the band if it hadn't been for me. When they would send him practice times and other information, they would copy me on it. Heck, there were times when the band leader would email me instead of him. I had become his personal secretary.

Excerpt
"I do everything for her in the relationship.  It's not because of me that we have problems."

OUCH! I have said this and thought this more times than I care to admit.

Excerpt
I identify with the above statement in all of my relationships. I often either said or thought that my exes were the problem in the relationship because I felt like I was doing everything for my partners.

I have only felt this way in my relationship with my husband. I am not sure if I am being totally honest with myself but I do know that the people that I dated before meeting my husband would call me and make plans with me. I recall one of the guys that I was serious about saying some of the same things to me and about me that I have said about my husband. But, I have to remember that I was maybe 18 or 19 at the time and the guy was 9 years older than me and had a lot more life experience than me. I had just graduated high school and had only dated one guy before him so I had no idea what an adult relationship looked like. I had a very bad example of romantic relationships growing up. The guy that I was with before my husband was expecting more from me than I could give because I was rather immature. I sometimes wonder if I didn't take what he said to heart and then overcompensate with my husband. But then again, I have to wonder if part of the problem is that I am expecting more from my husband than he can give. If that is the case, then is the problem me, him, both, or are we just a really poor match.

Excerpt
Do you identify with codependent enablers in the article?

I identify with some things but not others. I think the thing that I identify with most is that of protector. I have such a strong need to protect my husband. I don't know why. Even now that I am trying to detach, I still want to find ways to protect him. Sometimes, I feel towards him like I would a child. That is not healthy at all.

Within the relationship with my husband, I noticed that I had become too compliant. I know my own thoughts but I rarely share them and tend to go along with whatever he wants. It is weird because the very things that were attractive to him in the beginning about me were: self sufficient, very strong and secure in my own opinions, a go getter, intelligent, risk taker Now, I don't think any of those things apply to me. I don't think either one of us intentionally did those things to each other but in the process of it all he pretty much left everything to me because I was and am good at what I do. Because he was not good at so many of the things that require what I consider basic common sense, I was perfectly content to take those things over. In relationships where I feel the other person is competent and trustworthy, I am content to step aside. I don't feel like I need to control things as much as I feel a need to be able to trust the other person in the relationship. It is like the difference between dealing with my mother and my father. I don't trust my mother to deal with stuff so I don't rely on her. If my father says he is going to do something, I trust that he will. Does me being different depending on who I am with mean that I have BPD or some other dysfunction?

Even if he does get help or whatever, I don't know that I will ever be able to truly trust him to do what he is supposed to do. I imagine that living with me can be difficult at times. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with somebody that tries to help you, fix you, etc. Ultimately, that is why I want to split with my husband. I don't see him as a bad person. I question whether or not I will ever be able to trust him enough to be in a relationship that is mutual. I know that I am capable of having relationships that are not one sided.

Within the relationship with my husband, I think I can say that most of these apply:

-My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by my partner. (It didn't start out this way. It started out as me being pretty secure in myself. This started after feelings of rejection started to mount when he would continually choose porn and self pleasure over me. A little porn, so what, big deal. In my other relationship, the guy would go to strip clubs and spend lots of money but it didn't bother me one bit.)

-My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from my partner. -I don't know that I wanted his approval as much as I wanted to NOT be rejected. Maybe I am playing with words and getting caught up in semantics.

-My partner's struggles affect my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving my partner's problems or relieving my partner's pain. -Yes, this one is so true. Isn't it normal for one person to help a partner or loved one that is in pain? Again, I don't feel like it started out this way. Somewhere along the way, I got caught up in the whole idea that if I help him alleviate his angst, then my life will get better because I won't have to listen to him go on about his troubles.

-My mental attention is focused on pleasing my partner.

-My mental attention is focused on protecting my partner.


Big giant yes to all of these! But isn't that what normal people do in the context of a normal relationship? I guess it becomes enabling and codependent when the other person does not do the same in return.

-My own hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing my partner's interests and hobbies. -Oh man, this one is spot on! I used to paint and sew and do all sorts of stuff. Somewhere along the way, I got tired of feeling like there was a lack of connection. So, I tried to learn more about the things that he liked and loved. We had different religions so I tried to learn about his religion and even joined his church. No matter what I did, he simply would not or could not connect with me the way I thought we should. I was drawing on how I used to connect with guys that I had dated prior to him. I didn't have the same interests as those guys but we did have enough commonalities and interests to have fun together.

-The dreams I have for my future are linked to my partner. -I am trying to change this one. I am trying to develop myself personally and professionally. It is slow going. Up until recently, I was putting everything on hold waiting for him to commit to our relationship. I don't care if he commits. I am going to do my thing for me and the kids and he can come along if he wants. But, I am not going to let him talk me into staying in the long run.

I am not going to go through all of the other things on the checklist. Some of them are spot on and others not so much.

It is definitely food for thought. I think the biggest question that I have is "Most of those things are parts of a normal relationship. At what point do they become enabling codependent?" Somewhere along the way, I crossed the line from having myself together to being what I am now.
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2014, 02:50:20 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependancy and admit that I do jave some codependent trairs. What I will add though is that mt exs made me codependant. In tge beginning I had boundries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2014, 03:01:48 PM »

I have a fear of abandonment and  did not set or enforce boundaries in fear of losing my bf.

I fear abandonment as well and I didn't have boundaries. I would like to add that intimacy causes feelings of anxiety.

The difference that I see is that our behaviors aren't hurtful to other

I think that it does. I'll give an example. I was running away from my childhood and did not want my children to grow up in an enviroment like I did. I was fostering the same environment and I am responsible in that role as well.

Within the relationship with my husband, I noticed that I had become too compliant. I know my own thoughts but I rarely share them and tend to go along with whatever he wants

I'm guilty of this and I also had feelings of resentment because I didn't have boundaries. My ex was over-stepping invisible lines and also not fulfilling my needs. I wasn't using my voice in the fears that I was going to hurt her feelings. I was putting her needs and wants ahead of my own needs and I was sacrificing myself in the process. I was always more pre-occupied with what someone else needs and trying to make them happy. It was very confusing and I was very unhappy in the relationship. Feeling resentment and anger for your needs when you are not communicating what they are. How was she supposed to read my mind? To a degree, I think that's what I wanted her to do.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

Is there a source for this?
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 03:03:31 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependancy and admit that I do jave some codependent trairs. What I will add though is that mt exs made me codependant. In tge beginning I had boundries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

I didn't end mine, she did.  I have an incredibly high tolerance for 'stuff', which is a real PC word for insert nasty word->     <- here.  I was receiving conditional love during the entire three year relationship, which seems to be another component of co-dependency.  I'm pretty sure they are capable of love, but in my experience it's ALWAYS conditional and not remotely close to unconditional from BPD individuals.  Even the conditional variety has a price tag on it as I continually found out.
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 03:13:18 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependancy and admit that I do jave some codependent trairs. What I will add though is that mt exs made me codependant. In tge beginning I had boundries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

I didn't end mine, she did.  I have an incredibly high tolerance for 'stuff', which is a real PC word for insert nasty word->     <- here.  I was receiving conditional love during the entire three year relationship, which seems to be another component of co-dependency.  I'm pretty sure they are capable of love, but in my experience it's ALWAYS conditional and not remotely close to unconditional from BPD individuals.  Even the conditional variety has a price tag on it as I continually found out.


This really resonated with me.  I feel that I unconditionally love him and he cannot do the same.  As a co-dependent, I related unconditional love with tolerating everything, invalidating my own feelings to not "hurt him", and absolute forgiveness.
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 03:21:18 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependancy and admit that I do jave some codependent trairs. What I will add though is that mt exs made me codependant. In tge beginning I had boundries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

I didn't end mine, she did.  I have an incredibly high tolerance for 'stuff', which is a real PC word for insert nasty word->     <- here.  I was receiving conditional love during the entire three year relationship, which seems to be another component of co-dependency.  I'm pretty sure they are capable of love, but in my experience it's ALWAYS conditional and not remotely close to unconditional from BPD individuals.  Even the conditional variety has a price tag on it as I continually found out.


This really resonated with me.  I feel that I unconditionally love him and he cannot do the same.  As a co-dependent, I related unconditional love with tolerating everything, invalidating my own feelings to not "hurt him", and absolute forgiveness.


Yep, this was me exactly.  I really feel that's why when she cut the cord and disposed of me I felt so empty, so alone, and so devastated even now.  I gave and gave and gave (very dysfunctional  obviously) but in the end there was nothing in the emotional bank for me to hang onto because she gave me nothing in return.  Conditional love sucks... .bread crumbs here and there it what it is.  If I change one thing in my life it's that I will never let another person conditionally love me, and I need to grow inside in order to fix that.
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 03:26:58 PM »

Yep, this was me exactly.  I really feel that's why when she cut the cord and disposed of me I felt so empty, so alone, and so devastated even now.

I can relate to this Raybo48. I felt an incredible amount of shame, failure, rejection, abandonment and loneliness with the demise of my marriage. I was so angry at her and at the same token I was blaming myself because I thought that I wasn't good enough for her, that I didn't try hard enough. I was taking the lion's share of the blame and being very hard on myself.

I felt a lot of anxiety at the end of my marriage and to be fair throughout the marriage as well. I ignored and enabled her dysfunctional behaviors, I would have rathered stay in a dysfunctional relationship and marriage because I feared being alone.

I don't feel that I was a victim.
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 03:28:03 PM »

Feeling resentment and anger for your needs when you are not communicating what they are.

Also feeling this, and disappointment, frustration, etc., when you've stated your needs and they continue not being met. It seems then like the choice is being made to not do so. Yes, we're supposed to take care of our own needs first and foremost, but in a r/s it's possible to share a positive exchange.
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2014, 03:36:37 PM »

I'm guilty of this and I also had feelings of resentment because I didn't have boundaries. My ex was over-stepping invisible lines and also not fulfilling my needs. I wasn't using my voice in the fears that I was going to hurt her feelings. I was putting her needs and wants ahead of my own needs and I was sacrificing myself in the process. I was always more pre-occupied with what someone else needs and trying to make them happy. It was very confusing and I was very unhappy in the relationship. Feeling resentment and anger for your needs when you are not communicating what they are. How was she supposed to read my mind? To a degree, I think that's what I wanted her to do.

I am still trying to sort all of this out. There are times when I feel like the boundaries that my husband has crossed are boundaries that most people would inherently get without having to be told. It is a common sense thing. With a little kid, you know that they have not learned certain things so you try to teach them and let them know. With a grown adult, I did not expect to have him cross certain boundaries or do certain things. Maybe it was naive on my part to think that but there are times when I find myself thinking, "What grown adult in his right mind would do those things?" I definitely hate hurting his feelings. I think it is because of the way he acts when his feelings get hurt. I have no problems saying things to other people.

See, that is something else that confuses me. I feel like I was trying to communicate my needs to my spouse. I would tell him that I wanted and needed certain things. But, I feel like I tried to balance it out so that I wasn't expecting him to read my mind but wasn't nagging either. I had read a bunch of stuff several years about about how a person should be able to meet his or her own needs and should not expect other people to read their minds. I was trying to figure out how to meet my own needs because he had repeatedly shown that he was incapable of meeting my needs even when I was as direct about things. If I took care of things for myself, then he would get mad because I wasn't telling him or even giving him a chance. If I would tell him, then he would conveniently forget. There are certain things about me that have not changed in the 18 years that we have been together. To me, it wasn't about wanting him to read my mind. It was about me wanting him to pay attention. It was crap like him saying, "Oh, I didn't want to make you mad." It was usually about something stupid. And I would respond with, "When have I ever gotten mad at you for that?" It is/was almost like every day is a new day and I am somehow different today that I was yesterday or the day before.
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2014, 03:48:00 PM »

Feeling resentment and anger for your needs when you are not communicating what they are.

Also feeling this, and disappointment, frustration, etc., when you've stated your needs and they continue not being met. It seems then like the choice is being made to not do so. Yes, we're supposed to take care of our own needs first and foremost, but in a r/s it's possible to share a positive exchange.

I had several talks with my ex about my needs. We had one a couple months before she dysregulated. The intimacy, closeness, and sex was all gone. She seemed so detached from me. I told her that I didn't feel like she wanted to be with me or me living there. I ended it by saying that I just wanted her to be proud of me and give me some attention every once in a while. I got emotional while saying this.

She said nothing, she got up and went and slept in her daughters room. The next day she got ready for work and walked over to my side of the bed and put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I do love you. I do want you here and I do want to be with you". Then a couple months later with no major issues. "It's over, move out". It's sick... .

Yeah, I'm codependent and a sucker Idea
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2014, 03:51:20 PM »

I'm guilty of this and I also had feelings of resentment because I didn't have boundaries. My ex was over-stepping invisible lines and also not fulfilling my needs. I wasn't using my voice in the fears that I was going to hurt her feelings. I was putting her needs and wants ahead of my own needs and I was sacrificing myself in the process. I was always more pre-occupied with what someone else needs and trying to make them happy. It was very confusing and I was very unhappy in the relationship. Feeling resentment and anger for your needs when you are not communicating what they are. How was she supposed to read my mind? To a degree, I think that's what I wanted her to do.

I am still trying to sort all of this out. There are times when I feel like the boundaries that my husband has crossed are boundaries that most people would inherently get without having to be told. It is a common sense thing. With a little kid, you know that they have not learned certain things so you try to teach them and let them know. With a grown adult, I did not expect to have him cross certain boundaries or do certain things. Maybe it was naive on my part to think that but there are times when I find myself thinking, "What grown adult in his right mind would do those things?" I definitely hate hurting his feelings. I think it is because of the way he acts when his feelings get hurt. I have no problems saying things to other people.

See, that is something else that confuses me. I feel like I was trying to communicate my needs to my spouse. I would tell him that I wanted and needed certain things. But, I feel like I tried to balance it out so that I wasn't expecting him to read my mind but wasn't nagging either. I had read a bunch of stuff several years about about how a person should be able to meet his or her own needs and should not expect other people to read their minds. I was trying to figure out how to meet my own needs because he had repeatedly shown that he was incapable of meeting my needs even when I was as direct about things. If I took care of things for myself, then he would get mad because I wasn't telling him or even giving him a chance. If I would tell him, then he would conveniently forget. There are certain things about me that have not changed in the 18 years that we have been together. To me, it wasn't about wanting him to read my mind. It was about me wanting him to pay attention. It was crap like him saying, "Oh, I didn't want to make you mad." It was usually about something stupid. And I would respond with, "When have I ever gotten mad at you for that?" It is/was almost like every day is a new day and I am somehow different today that I was yesterday or the day before.

I think that a person with BPD falls on the far side of the spectrum with having a lack of personal boundaries and understanding and respecting another person's personal boundaries. Boundaries are not set on the other person, they are boundaries that you set on yourself. That's something that I learned here and honestly, if you had asked me what boundaries were a year and a half ago I would have drawn a blank Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I had always wanted to other person to invoke change.

I think what is challenging with someone that is disordered is that they don't quite register your boundaries right away. It takes having to defend them several times and it's something that I struggled with in the beginning. I think that I struggled with it because I wasn't used to looking after my own needs and I wasn't used to using my voice and not worrying about hurting the other person's feelings. As I said, it was challenging and difficult in the beginning and I struggled. With anything else in life that you are not used to, it took practice and time. Boundaries is still something that I hone to this day.

What I mean is, that having been split up with my ex for some time now. I assert hard boundaries. Very clear and defined lines on myself. That is how I understand boundaries and I am learning softer boundaries and that is still a work in progress. If I set down boundaries of steel with a non disordered person for example, well the reaction can be just as hard.  Like anything else in life it's embracing change. Life is about change. So with that in mind, I constantly try to challenge myself with tweaking things.

3

Yeah, I'm codependent and a sucker Idea

I don't think your a sucker fred6 Understanding that some of us are codependents is OK. The first step is always the hardest right?
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2014, 03:54:10 PM »

disappointment, frustration, etc., when you've stated your needs and they continue not being met.

this is just what happened in my marriage, and i didn't know how to deal with it. i knew this was happening, but i couldn't articulate it. it did break through: she: "i forgot!" (for the umpteenth time), me: "dear, i'm your husband, i'm the one you should remember for." or, me: "what do you think i'm getting out of the marriage?" a few sparks there of healthy self-regard. so i stayed, for a few very good reasons, but none in fact good enough. i needed a relationship, she needed a caretaker. she got no caretaker, and i got no relationship. is it co-dependency that i stayed?

part of the work of recovery is working to stop this cycle of worrying about the reaction of another/saying or doing what i don't really think/ feeling embarrassment or resentment or tension afterwards. this would apply not only to personal relationships, but to friendships, work relationships, etc. it's the daily practice of honesty, and it's scary sometimes.
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2014, 04:03:46 PM »

part of the work of recovery is working to stop this cycle of worrying about the reaction of another/saying or doing what i don't really think/ feeling embarrassment or resentment or tension afterwards. this would apply not only to personal relationships, but to friendships, work relationships, etc. it's the daily practice of honesty, and it's scary sometimes.

Very good point maxen. I would like to add family.

Family was likely my most difficult challenge, maybe more so than my ex.
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2014, 04:10:52 PM »

3

Yeah, I'm codependent and a sucker Idea

I don't think your a sucker fred6 Understanding that some of us are codependents is OK. The first step is always the hardest right?

Oh, I didn't mean that I'm a sucker because I'm codependent. I meant that I'm codependent and a sucker. A sucker for believing all of the lies that were told to me when my gut said differently. But then again, they are damn convincing with their lies, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)... .
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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2014, 04:13:02 PM »

part of the work of recovery is working to stop this cycle of worrying about the reaction of another/saying or doing what i don't really think/ feeling embarrassment or resentment or tension afterwards. this would apply not only to personal relationships, but to friendships, work relationships, etc. it's the daily practice of honesty, and it's scary sometimes.

Wouldn't much of this behavior be considered passive aggressive actions in a codependent context?
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2014, 04:14:06 PM »

I definately have strong codependency traits. I had never been in a codependent relationship like this though including my previous 14 year marriage. It was sort of the perfect storm for me. I was vulnerable coming out of my marriage, she was young, attractive and I wanted to have fun. The signs were there after a couple of months but she used sex to keep me around and my boundaries were very poor. Nothing in my 3 year relationship was ever overt or openly intentional, just waif like. I should have moved on but she slowly got her hooks in me and I couldn't process the craziness then she destroyed my self esteem with subtle comments and actions.

I've had a year of therapy working on my codependency. I am now very aware of my actions now and my boundaries are strong. I now know what I don't want in a relationship. Problem is I still don't know what I do want. I'm not sure if it is because I am still not ready to put myself out there or I haven't met someone that has caught my fancy.

I do know that I am in very frightening territory. I am healthier and am turned off by the people I used to be attracted too. I am scared to date healthier people though. I worry that I will be judged by my past relationship with my pwBPD. I also worry that I don't know how to act in a healthier relationship. I no longer fear being alone so I am willing to wait it out.
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2014, 04:15:23 PM »

part of the work of recovery is working to stop this cycle of worrying about the reaction of another/saying or doing what i don't really think/ feeling embarrassment or resentment or tension afterwards. this would apply not only to personal relationships, but to friendships, work relationships, etc. it's the daily practice of honesty, and it's scary sometimes.

Wouldn't much of this behavior be considered passive aggressive actions in a codependent context?

Passive aggressiveness is something a person would get enjoyment out of. On the flip side it could be avoidant behavior, another behavior I inherent myself  

I've had a year of therapy working on my codependency. I am now very aware of my actions now and my boundaries are strong. I now know what I don't want in a relationship. Problem is I still don't know what I do want. I'm not sure if it is because I am still not ready to put myself out there ori haven't met someone that has caught my fancy.

That's great news Waifed T works! It is something I have given consideration therapy for codependency.
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2014, 04:27:40 PM »

3

Yeah, I'm codependent and a sucker Idea

I don't think your a sucker fred6 Understanding that some of us are codependents is OK. The first step is always the hardest right?

Oh, I didn't mean that I'm a sucker because I'm codependent. I meant that I'm codependent and a sucker. A sucker for believing all of the lies that were told to me when my gut said differently. But then again, they are damn convincing with their lies, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)... .

Truer  words were never spoke here... My gut KNEW she was lying most of the time, but chose to accept her truth time and time again when it came to her dealings with other men, her always being the victim/someone else hurt her, etc.  

I don't know if sucker is the right word, and neither is naïve.  I intentionally ignored my intuition and the anxiety that came with that when the red flags would start going off.  

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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2014, 04:30:07 PM »

part of the work of recovery is working to stop this cycle of worrying about the reaction of another/saying or doing what i don't really think/ feeling embarrassment or resentment or tension afterwards. this would apply not only to personal relationships, but to friendships, work relationships, etc. it's the daily practice of honesty, and it's scary sometimes.

Wouldn't much of this behavior be considered passive aggressive actions in a codependent context?

Passive aggressiveness is something a person would get enjoyment out of. On the flip side it could be avoidant behavior, another behavior I inherent myself  

I've had a year of therapy working on my codependency. I am now very aware of my actions now and my boundaries are strong. I now know what I don't want in a relationship. Problem is I still don't know what I do want. I'm not sure if it is because I am still not ready to put myself out there ori haven't met someone that has caught my fancy.

Thanks for sharing Waifed. It is something I have given consideration therapy for codependency.

I actually have a P that is very good with psychotherapy. With him I relived much of my childhood and he dug into the roots of my codependency, engulfment and passive aggressiveness. He has been doing this for 40 years and specializes in addictions so I believe he could relate to my "addicted" disposition when I started. I also saw a therapist who was both a patient then later trained at The Meadows in NM. She dated a pwNPD so she has incredible insite into the way I was feeling. She used EMDR Therapy and it was a great way of releasing much of the pain I have always carried.
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »

Passive aggressiveness is something a person would get enjoyment out of. On the flip side it could be avoidant behavior, another behavior I inherent myself  

How do attachment styles play in to all of this. After the being split, the first thing that I ran across is attachment styles. I'm anxious preoccupied and I figure that my ex was dismissive avoidant. It seems that those two have the same dynamic as a codependent and a pwBPD. At first they attract and fit together like 2 pieces of a puzzle. Then the relationship unravels kind of quickly. I would bet that most of us here are in the anxious preoccupied territory.

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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2014, 04:33:32 PM »

Passive aggressiveness is something a person would get enjoyment out of. On the flip side it could be avoidant behavior, another behavior I inherent myself  

How do attachment styles play in to all of this. After the being split, the first thing that I ran across is attachment styles. I'm anxious preoccupied and I figure that my ex was dismissive avoidant. It seems that those two have the same dynamic as a codependent and a pwBPD. At first they attract and fit together like 2 pieces of a puzzle. Then the relationship unravels kind of quickly. I would bet that most of us here are in the anxious preoccupied territory.

That's a good question fred6, I don't know.

She used EMDR Therapy and it was a great way of releasing much of the pain I have always carried.

How does that feel? Does it feel like a weight was lifted off of your shoulders? What is EMDR therapy like if you don't mind me asking. Does it take time to see the results? Is it difficult?
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2014, 04:35:34 PM »

I definately have strong codependency traits. I had never been in a codependent relationship like this though including my previous 14 year marriage. It was sort of the perfect storm for me. I was vulnerable coming out of my marriage, she was young, attractive and I wanted to have fun. The signs were there after a couple of months but she used sex to keep me around and my boundaries were very poor. Nothing in my 3 year relationship was ever overt or openly intentional, just waif like. I should have moved on but she slowly got her hooks in me and I couldn't process the craziness then she destroyed my self esteem with subtle comments and actions.

I've had a year of therapy working on my codependency. I am now very aware of my actions now and my boundaries are strong. I now know what I don't want in a relationship. Problem is I still don't know what I do want. I'm not sure if it is because I am still not ready to put myself out there or I haven't met someone that has caught my fancy.

I do know that I am in very frightening territory. I am healthier and am turned off by the people I used to be attracted too. I am scared to date healthier people though. I worry that I will be judged by my past relationship with my pwBPD. I also worry that I don't know how to act in a healthier relationship. I no longer fear being alone so I am willing to wait it out.

That one sentence is just awesome news!  I've been told by my T  that an emotionally balanced person would be turned off by a BPD individual every single time, OR if they managed to interest you enough to dive into a couple of dates and you noticed their all too familiar behavior pattern you'd be gone... quickly.

I think you should give yourself more credit for where you are at compared to where you were and don't worry about being judged about what you were interested in in the past.  Any person should be happy to hear you worked on emotional growth enough to connect to another person of the same emotional maturity.

It sounds like you are taking your time, good for you!  
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2014, 04:38:35 PM »

this is just what happened in my marriage, and i didn't know how to deal with it. i knew this was happening, but i couldn't articulate it. it did break through: she: "i forgot!" (for the umpteenth time), me: "dear, i'm your husband, i'm the one you should remember for." or, me: "what do you think i'm getting out of the marriage?" a few sparks there of healthy self-regard. so i stayed, for a few very good reasons, but none in fact good enough. i needed a relationship, she needed a caretaker. she got no caretaker, and i got no relationship. is it co-dependency that i stayed?

I found this hilarious for some reason. I guess it is because I have had similar conversations. I have asked him, "Why can you do these things/remember these things for other people but not me?" I don't think I am as codependent as I am blind or even just plain stupid. Yes, I like to take care of people and I like to please others but I have my limits. I was aware of a whole lot of stuff. I just thought that I was being patient. He always seemed to have an excuse/reason for why he was not reciprocating. I can't seem to let go of the notion that people in a relationship should both protect each other and care for each other. I am of the opinion that it becomes codependent when it is unreciprocated. I have talked to a friend of mine about this because it is a real sore spot for me for some reason.
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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2014, 05:06:06 PM »

That one sentence is just awesome news!  I've been told by my T  that an emotionally balanced person would be turned off by a BPD individual every single time, OR if they managed to interest you enough to dive into a couple of dates and you noticed their all too familiar behavior pattern you'd be gone... quickly.

I got to the point where I couldn't actually have sex with her, I just couldn't do it, she didn't turn me on anymore, and this girl is beautiful, with a perfect body, physically exactly what I go for, so maybe I am not as unhealthy as I think I am.
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2014, 05:24:09 PM »

That one sentence is just awesome news!  I've been told by my T  that an emotionally balanced person would be turned off by a BPD individual every single time, OR if they managed to interest you enough to dive into a couple of dates and you noticed their all too familiar behavior pattern you'd be gone... quickly.

I got to the point where I couldn't actually have sex with her, I just couldn't do it, she didn't turn me on anymore, and this girl is beautiful, with a perfect body, physically exactly what I go for, so maybe I am not as unhealthy as I think I am.

I can relate to this bungenstein and by disclosing that I can relate understand that I am not implying that you have codependent traits. It triggers a memory and I had become unattracted to my wife as well. I had become more distant in the relationship, avoidant, depressed and I felt hopeless. I hadn't noticed at the time that she had started to detach in the relationship, this was going on for several months and she was at the threshold of looking for a new attachment.

One day she proclaims "Mutt, you don't want to have sex and I have to masturbate!" It really hurt, because it felt like a hit to my self-esteem and my self worth. When it fact it was her that didn't want to have sex and to a degree I was struggling with it as well because the feelings of resentment had been building up in the relationship for years at this point. I felt anger and a strong dislike towards her physically and as person and spouse as well. I also started to realize how the relationship was in deep water with both of our dysfunction(s) at this point.

I couldn't have sex with mine either bungenstein and I felt very low.
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2014, 05:56:40 PM »

Passive aggressiveness is something a person would get enjoyment out of. On the flip side it could be avoidant behavior, another behavior I inherent myself  

How do attachment styles play in to all of this. After the being split, the first thing that I ran across is attachment styles. I'm anxious preoccupied and I figure that my ex was dismissive avoidant. It seems that those two have the same dynamic as a codependent and a pwBPD. At first they attract and fit together like 2 pieces of a puzzle. Then the relationship unravels kind of quickly. I would bet that most of us here are in the anxious preoccupied territory.

That's a good question fred6, I don't know.

She used EMDR Therapy and it was a great way of releasing much of the pain I have always carried.

How does that feel? Does it feel like a weight was lifted off of your shoulders? What is EMDR therapy like if you don't mind me asking. Does it take time to see the results? Is it difficult?

EMDR is very simple but very intense. We would talk about something that was a trigger or something that you may vaugely remembered as a child, or ever things that were bothering you at the moment. Anything really. The first several times it was done with eyes following the therapist hand movements (similar to what you would think of hypnotism). You are told to focus on the subject at hand. After 10-15 seconds of hand movements she would ask what I was thinking and would start hand movements again only to repeat. Many times I would replay things in my head. Some that were conscious and some previously unconscious thoughts. It is amazing how your thoughts change after only 15 seconds. When it was very successful my emotions would change dramatically, very often peak with tears and would finish with peace all in the matter of 5-15 minutes. Some topics required more than one EMDR session.  It was exhausting and draining and we would only cover one item per session. There were days that I just couldn't do it because it was so intense. The hand movements method then changed to me closing my eyes and the therapist tapping my knees in some sort of a rythym. She started doing this instead after about 5-6 sessions. Not sure why.  I asked her why it worked and she said they really do not know exactly why.

At one point therapy brought out sexual abuse by a babysitter from 40 years ago. I had dreams off and on for years and it became clear in my head. My therapist asked me to verify that the babysitter existed with my sister and I ignored it for months. Finally I asked and she remembered details including his name. Anyway, we did an EMDR on this and I was completely rock bottom and beyond emotional. I cried like a baby during this EMDR session. I will never forget it. I remember opening my eyes and the therapist was wiping tears from her eyes. So intense. By the end of this particular EMDR I reached total peace in 15 minutes. I can now talk about it with no shame.

I still see the therapist but don't do EMDR much anymore. It makes me so tired!  As simple as it is, it is amazing how powerful it can be.

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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2014, 06:03:24 PM »

I can relate to this bungenstein and by disclosing that I can relate understand that I am not implying that you have codependent traits. It triggers a memory and I had become unattracted to my wife as well. I had become more distant in the relationship, avoidant, depressed and I felt hopeless. I hadn't noticed at the time that she had started to detach in the relationship, this was going on for several months and she was at the threshold of looking for a new attachment.

One day she proclaims "Mutt, you don't want to have sex and I have to masturbate!" It really hurt, because it felt like a hit to my self-esteem and my self worth. When it fact it was her that didn't want to have sex and to a degree I was struggling with it as well because the feelings of resentment had been building up in the relationship for years at this point. I felt anger and a strong dislike towards her physically and as person and spouse as well. I also started to realize how the relationship was in deep water with both of our dysfunction(s) at this point.

I couldn't have sex with mine either bungenstein and I felt very low.

Thanks for sharing that Mutt, its good to know its not just me, I'm sure many other members have had similar problems.

Yes I had all the same feelings, I would get raged at if we went more than 2 days without sex, with proclamations that there was something wrong with me, and other men have never acted like that to her before. I just wasn't turned on by someone who was continually raging at me, someone who I was constantly on edge with, someone who I'd come to realise that I didn't really know.

Sex became like a routine, she would say, that she just wanted to please me, and do whatever I wanted, she didn't care about pleasing herself, although, if I didn't want sex, I would get a thunderstorm of abuse.  Towards the end she would burst into tears after sex, she'd say it was because she was nervous of me, and nervous about her body.

I began to feel filthy when I was with her, her body seemed dirty to me, I felt like a freak, like some sort of abuser, she made me feel like I was someone who I have never been in my life. I always explained to her, that the reason I didn't want to have sex anymore was because I was so unhappy, and that sex for me is about a connection with someone, and I didn't know who she was anymore, because she was constantly changing her personality. She didn't understand at all that sex was about having a connection.

The whole thing makes you doubt yourself, makes you think there might be someone wrong with you, how can I actually hate being around this beautiful girl? Why am I embarrassed to be seen anywhere with her in public, when a lot of men would give their right arm to be with a girl like that? Why did I dread any holiday we'd take together, to amazing destinations in Italy? I used to be so enthusiastic about travelling. Why I am on edge every time she walks through door, so much so I adopt a fake personality just to deal with her?

I don't know if I'm codependent or not, but if I'm not, how did I end up with this sort of girl?

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« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2014, 06:11:25 PM »

Thanks Waifed for sharing and articulating your EMDR sessions so well. It sounds fascinating and it sounds like it really works if it leaves you emotionally exhausted. I recall a session when I was a teenager with my P and he used hypnotherapy. It was a session to get behind my defensive walls and to get to the pain. The death of my adoptive mother. I'll never forget that session.

I am sorry to hear about the babysitter from 40 years ago. I am glad to hear that EMDR therapy worked to absolve the feelings of shame you likely carried for so long. Speaking for myself, I carried a lot of shame and guilt. Thanks again Waifed, I am curious as to what therapy is like.
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2014, 06:15:49 PM »

Thanks Waifed for sharing and articulating your EMDR sessions so well. It sounds fascinating and it sounds like it really works if it leaves you emotionally exhausted. I recall a session when I was a teenager with my P and he used hypnotherapy. It was a session to get behind my defensive walls and to get to the pain. The death of my adoptive mother. I'll never forget that session.

I am sorry to hear about the babysitter from 40 years ago. I am glad to hear that EMDR therapy worked to absolve the feelings of shame you likely carried for so long. Speaking for myself, I carried a lot of shame and guilt. Thanks again Waifed, I am curious as to what therapy is like.

Thank you Mutt. I always enjoy reading your posts. Very level headed and enlightening.
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« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2014, 06:27:00 PM »

Thank you for sharing bungenstein as well.

I hear you on not wanting to have sex because your partner is projecting her detachment (I'm using exes detachment as an example) and she is having borderline rages as well. I am not sure about you bungenstein but this was happening during her dissociative phase aka the devaluation phase.

I had feelings of low self esteem because I felt like maybe she is right, I'm not attracted to her. Why is she saying that I am the one that does not want to have sex when I did have feelings that I wanted to. That being said, borderline rages didn't make me aroused and as you say, I wasn't happy. I was feeling pretty resentful, angry and depressed.

I hear you loud and clear on feeling self doubt and I dreaded the holidays as well. I'm happy that for the second year in a row I don't have to have feelings of anxiety before the Christmas holidays. with the ex  

Are you in T bungestein?

Thank you Mutt. I always enjoy reading your posts. Very level headed and enlightening.

Thank you! I would like thank everyone that has joined in this thread. It's difficult to look at these emotions sometimes and to take ownership of our behaviors - that takes courage. It is not easy and I thank all of you for being brave and sharing.

Often we have threads on leaving and talk about our exes and look at their behaviors. I think that a relationship takes two people and we also need to reflect on our actions and behaviors. It's not to say that everyone is codependent, it is to say that some are, like myself. I had a hard time to come to terms with that.
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« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2014, 06:35:33 PM »

Thank you for sharing bungenstein as well.

I hear you on not wanting to have sex because your partner is projecting her detachment (I'm using exes detachment as an example) and she is having borderline rages as well. I am not sure about you bungenstein but this was happening during her dissociative phase aka the devaluation phase.

Well she first raged at me after only about 2 weeks of being together. The first time she snapped at me was actually on the very day we met.

Yes I have been seeing a therapist, but I have only 2 sessions left, its been very helpful though. I know that I only have myself to blame to falling into this mess, and I should have met a very nice girl before her, so I see her as a much needed bomb in my life to wake me up on how I've been holding myself back and recognising my issues, which needn't be there.

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« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2014, 06:53:40 PM »

Thank you for sharing bungenstein as well.

I hear you on not wanting to have sex because your partner is projecting her detachment (I'm using exes detachment as an example) and she is having borderline rages as well. I am not sure about you bungenstein but this was happening during her dissociative phase aka the devaluation phase.

Well she first raged at me after only about 2 weeks of being together. The first time she snapped at me was actually on the very day we met.

Yes I have been seeing a therapist, but I have only 2 sessions left, its been very helpful though. I know that I only have myself to blame to falling into this mess, and I should have met a very nice girl before her, so I see her as a much needed bomb in my life to wake me up on how I've been holding myself back and recognising my issues, which needn't be there.

I'm happy to hear that you have found T helpful for you bungenstein.

Something similar happened to me but it was around the 3rd week of dating. I had rejected her by standing her up. The other personality was very clear and alarm bells went off. I ignore them. That was 9 years ago.

Don't be too hard on yourself bungenstein. I didn't understand how our family and childhood and lack of emotional needs impacts our behaviors in life. It's not to say that this happened to you either.

It was a difficult relationship and the break-up was truly painful. A pain I would not wish on anyone. I am a survivor. I am thankful that at 40 years of age that I found an answer as to why I behave the way that I do with partners, co-workers, family and friends.

I think perhaps a part of it was because I didn't want to deal with the underlying pain from childhood. For myself, that same pain that I was running away from for so many years erupted when my ex broke up with me. Everything came to the surface and I felt like a mess. I felt like I didn't have a choice, I need to put myself back together and I also thought, well this is an opportune time to take a look at my emotional baggage and my issues and to start working on myself. So I started with T, then a P and I sifted through the articles and lessons here.

I can be a stubborn man sometimes and I felt embarrassed that I had thought that I had no issues in the relationship or post-relationship. It felt and sounds arrogant. I'm with you bungenstein. I kept hitting the snooze button and it took a person with a difficult and misunderstood disorder to wake-up.

The gift of the borderline. I'm glad that I received it. I feel like it's a second chance in life with letting go of shame, guilt from childhood and being more relaxed, happy and less anxious. It's not my fault what I went through as a kid and I understand now the importance of FOO on how it impacts you. It's something that I work on now with my kids. Validation. I see the effects and how powerful it is on my kids. It works. Validation was not a word that I understood in the context of children when I arrived at bpdfamily. I have control of myself and my actions and I'm trying to shape the landscape of my kids future in a positive way.
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« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2014, 07:10:16 PM »

Thank you for sharing bungenstein as well.

I hear you on not wanting to have sex because your partner is projecting her detachment (I'm using exes detachment as an example) and she is having borderline rages as well. I am not sure about you bungenstein but this was happening during her dissociative phase aka the devaluation phase.

Well she first raged at me after only about 2 weeks of being together. The first time she snapped at me was actually on the very day we met.

Yes I have been seeing a therapist, but I have only 2 sessions left, its been very helpful though. I know that I only have myself to blame to falling into this mess, and I should have met a very nice girl before her, so I see her as a much needed bomb in my life to wake me up on how I've been holding myself back and recognising my issues, which needn't be there.

I'm happy to hear that you have found T helpful for you bungenstein.

Something similar happened to me but it was around the 3rd week of dating. I had rejected her by standing her up. The other personality was very clear and alarm bells went off. I ignore them. That was 9 years ago.

Don't be too hard on yourself bungenstein. I didn't understand how our family and childhood and lack of emotional needs impacts our behaviors in life. It's not to say that this happened to you either.

It was a difficult relationship and the break-up was truly painful. A pain I would not wish on anyone. I am a survivor. I am thankful that at 40 years of age that I found an answer as to why I behave the way that I do with partners, co-workers, family and friends.

I think perhaps a part of it was because I didn't want to deal with the underlying pain from childhood. For myself, that same pain that I was running away from for so many years erupted when my ex broke up with me. Everything came to the surface and I felt like a mess. I felt like I didn't have a choice, I need to put myself back together and I also thought, well this is an opportune time to take a look at my emotional baggage and my issues and to start working on myself.

I can be a stubborn man sometimes and I felt embarrassed that I had thought that I had no issues in the relationship or post-relationship. It felt and sounds arrogant. I'm with you bungenstein. I kept hitting the snooze button and it took a person with a difficult and misunderstood disorder to wake-up.

The gift of the borderline. I'm glad that I received it. I feel like it's a second chance in life with letting go of shame, guilt from childhood and being more relaxed, happy and less anxious. It's not my fault what I went through as a kid and I understand now the importance of FOO on how it impacts you.

It's something that I work on now with my kids. Validation.

A word I knew nothing of before I arrived at bpdfamily.

I'm glad you've discovered your problems too Mutt, mine are quite different I think to yours, mine aren't FOO, I had a very good upbringing, I've been dealt a pretty good hand in life.

I think my problems came from falling madly in love at 16, a feeling I haven't felt since. Although I guess you can say it was probably quite immature love, but nevertheless it felt very strong, this girl professed her love to me constantly, right up until she cheated on me with my best friend, the shock was so extreme I think I've never fully realised the effect it had on me.

Every girl I've got with in my life has approached me, I just settled on what has landed in my lap, and since my exBPD was very beautiful and handed herself to me on a plate, this was the only way I could get girls, the way I was used to, so naturally I lapped it up.

I've been holding myself back my whole life through fear of rejection, I guess a fear of experiencing that pain I felt at 16, I've realised that I've probably passed up so many opportunities with great healthy women, because of this, because I wasn't healthy, and the needy one's are usually the one's that land in my lap.

And I totally relate to your snooze button analogy, infact I think it applies to my whole life, everything I have just hit the snooze button and waited for things to happen. I've had it easy, and I've taken a lot for granted, and I haven't had to work particulary hard for anything, I'm used to everything just falling into place and the BPD really woke me up.

I'm turning snooze into action, action is what I want to apply to everything in my life now.

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« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2014, 08:13:13 PM »

And I totally relate to your snooze button analogy, infact I think it applies to my whole life, everything I have just hit the snooze button and waited for things to happen. I've had it easy, and I've taken a lot for granted, and I haven't had to work particulary hard for anything, I'm used to everything just falling into place and the BPD really woke me up.

I'm turning snooze into action, action is what I want to apply to everything in my life now.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  

I like that.

It's so interesting to see the different facets of a relationship with a pwBPD and the different stories from members and why and how people get involved.

Your gf broke your heart at a young age. I'm sorry bungenstein. That's tough.

That's really the bottom line. The difference in feeling like I was victimized or feeling like I am a survivor. I'm not the type that likes to take things laying down, I fought for everything in my life.

My ex wasn't there in my FOO and much of her acting out and dysfunction is caused by the disorder. I had to start by taking ownership of my issues.

To quote a Stephen King character, Andy Dufresne.

Excerpt
“Get busy living or get busy dying.” ― Stephen King, Different Seasons featuring The Shawshank Redemption

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« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2014, 09:36:24 PM »

":)oes anyone else feel like they have a long term pattern in their relationships in life?

Do you identify with codependent enablers in the article? "


Yes... .I definitely found myself in the roll of "running the show" in my relationship with BPD Waif.  I did not go in with that dynamic, but I found that I ended up there by default as my partner did not have many opinions or push about soo many decisions in our relationship.

( of course she did and was silently building up resentments over time... .because she did have opinions and did not voice them. It's kind of difficult to know of this silent enemy when you are usually faced with a person who is unoppinionated and seems happy that you take charge?). I was aware of the lopsidedness and ALWAYS tried to ask and include... .but it never mattered... .she was mirroring and building resentment... .but I did not know?  She was someone QUITE different than the person that she showed me.

Yes... I could be the rescuer (I personally believe that all men play that role in one degree or another in all hetero relationships. It's the role we are groomed for from childhood.)... .but if it is really lopsided and very codependent it is not good for both individuals.  Sometimes its hard to find the lines and the boundaries especially with my pwBPD since they were being so manipulative and dishonest, if they are "The Waif" type. Helpless victim... .

Again... .I really feel that I did not go in to rescue this person... .but she did repeatedly play victim.  The mirroring (hook) kept me there and helped feed my emotional needs in an unhealthy way on my part. Live and learn, I guess?

I have found myself in similar dynamics with a person who I later learned was histrionic to the letter and also someone else who definitely had some very deep personality problems.

In all cases I stayed and tried to make it work... .and guess who got dumped, disrespected or abandoned?  Me.
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« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2014, 11:11:42 PM »

The book 'Codependent No More' really opened my eyes to a lot of my own problems.  My therapist was doing a lot of good stuff with me helping me to detach, live my own life, and improve myself, but seeing things so clearly spelled out on the page really helped so much.

One huge struggle I'm having right now is with this

Excerpt
one person supports or enables the other person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

I've been enabling all of this with my wife for 10 years as I've continued to accept her excuses for not working and doing nothing with her life.  We have no children and I am doing the majority of the housework as well as working full time, and we are not saving any money ever.  Bills and debt are a constant concern.

I'm wondering if I stay with her, how can I stop enabling her under-achievement.  Do I just cut off paying for anything for her except the necessities?  Do I refuse to pay for her constant acupuncture/chiropractor appointments?  Do I send my paycheck to an individual account instead of a joint account and give her a small allowance?  I don't want to be abusive through financial means and I want to at the minimum take care of the obligations I have as a husband.
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« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2014, 12:06:16 AM »

Yes... I could be the rescuer (I personally believe that all men play that role in one degree or another in all hetero relationships. It's the role we are groomed for from childhood.)... .but if it is really lopsided and very codependent it is not good for both individuals.

You raise a good point with roles that we play if you take a look at literature, movies, pop-culture etc. In the sense that men are sometimes displayed as the white knight. It's not to say that it is gender locked.

vortex of confusion I hope that you don't mind if I take your post as an example.

I have been slowly gaining an awareness of my efforts to take care of my husband during the relationship. I think part of what created problems for us was me starting to recognize it and pull away.

I'd like to point out the quote from the article. I'm using persons that are predisposed as codependent enabler. There are examples in the discussion so far that not everyone has codependent traits. We all have different experiences and come from different walks of life  my baggage

People with a predisposition to be a codependent enabler often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of rescuer, supporter, and confidante.

I was depressed when I met my ex and I can relate with divorce and how difficult a divorce can be.It's right up there with losing a loved one. It is a life event and there are feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, anxiety, sadness and depression. I have read accounts from members where they were going through a divorce. Does that necessarily make them predisposed as a codependent?

One huge struggle I'm having right now is with this

Excerpt
one person supports or enables the other person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

I'm wondering if I stay with her, how can I stop enabling her under-achievement.  :)o I just cut off paying for anything for her except the necessities?  :)o I refuse to pay for her constant acupuncture/chiropractor appointments?

Hi adventurer,


Welcome

Thanks for joining!

You raise a good point on how to stop enabling her indulgences. I'm sorry to hear about your financial difficulties and I can relate with doing the majority of the chores and working longs hours in my marriage to make the ends meet. It is frustrating when we are meeting the financial demands of the family and going above and beyond in the relationship and obligations as well.

Are you still married or separated and divorced?

What are your boundaries like?
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« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2014, 12:40:30 AM »

Thank you for this thread Mutt, and your inspiring words. I've read your story about your FOO and the strength you have exhibited throughout your life and here on these boards really helps me feel hopeful that people can really grow and change and heal.

On my journey in healing since our BU, I have been looking at other r/ss through my life and my FOO and early abandonment issues.  I have been abandoned many times.  When I was 8 my brother moved away and I hardly ever saw him again.  Then, like Burgenstein, I fell in love as a teenager to a boy next door.  We spent many years as good friends and then I fell in love with him and when I turned 16 he abandoned me, found another gf.  When I was 17 I met and fell in love with another boy and spent 4 yrs together.  He dumped me night b4 my birthday and told me I would never be the woman in bed he wished I was. I was really angry after this ego-wound and there was a lot of promiscuity after this.  I think I felt like I had to prove my ex wrong, I could be exciting sexually, always trying to find love by acting the way I thought they wanted me to... .I was used and abused and abandoned some more.  I had so much shame from this period of my life.  I then had 1 yr  commonlaw r/s which resulted in me getting pregnant.  He abandoned me two days after we found out.  A few yrs later another r/s and engaged after a yr... . He dumped me a mth before the wedding for another woman.  Well after all these rejections I pretty much gave up on my whole identity.  They reject me when I'm shy and inhibited, they reject me when I'm a sex goddess, apparently I have nothing worth holding on to.  Then I met my first husband.  I was never crazy attracted to him but he was safe.  I knew he would never reject me.  But I don't think I was ever 'in love' with him.  I spent 10 disappointing yrs with him until I ended it.

A yr. later I met my uBPDexh.  Finally!  A man who was going to give me all the love I ever needed, a man who adored me and found me sexually exciting and attractive, a man who couldn't get enough of me!  It was so amazing and intense and took away all the pain of all those rejections and my feeling of self worth.  I felt like a sex goddess again!  I was hooked!  And I became the codependent by doing everything I possibly could to hang on to him and the great way he made me felt.  I tended to his every need, I became his caretaker, I allowed our lives to revolve around him and I walked on eggshells trying to not disappoint him. Of course we know how the story goes... .

I don't see a pattern of codependency but it was very apparent in this r/s.  Did my uBPDex make me codependent?  Did all the rejections I experience set me up for this?  Is it because my mother was possibly BPD and I grew up in such dysfunction?  Probably all of the above.  But for whatever reason it seems to be pretty much solely with men that I have this issue.  I am really good at validating my children and letting them live their own course.  I know I have a tendency to 'fix' everything so I can step back with them and not take over.  Same with my friends.  But the men bring out all my insecurities and painful memories, they are my trigger.
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« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2014, 01:40:25 AM »

But the men bring out all my insecurities and painful memories, they are my trigger.

This is good. It makes me think about the fact that men (in a romantic context) seem to make me turn a bit weird. I find that odd because I grew up spending most of my time with my dad and my brother. I spent most of my life hanging out with men and never ever had a problem. I am wondering if my problem with some men, most especially my husband, is that I can be rather naive. I grew up seeing men that were very strong in themselves and took care of those around them. Growing up, I was everybody's little sister so nobody was ever interested in me. Even when I got to high school and college, nobody was interested me. I guess I had an air about me that said, ":)on't mess with me." My husband tells a story of how when he told people that he was dating me, they would ask "How did you get HER to go out with you?" He would chuckle and say, "I just asked."

Before my husband, I was engaged to a guy that I really, really liked and loved. My parents stepped in and ruined that. I was a teenager and he was in his 20's and was an ex-convict. My husband was the exact opposite of that guy and my parents approved of him. I think my codependent tendencies come directly from watching my mother and father do some kind of crazy dysfunctional thing my entire life. Their relationship has never been healthy and it is almost impossible to tell who is most dysfunctional. Right now, I would say that it is my mother. My dad can at least be self aware and have conversations about stuff that he regrets. He has said straight up that the felt like my mother ruined things for my older siblings. When I came along, he deliberately tried to take me under his wing and protect me from my mother's craziness.

I think I may have hit on something with this bit of rambling. I have spent most of my life being protected by those around me. I may have grown up in a dysfunctional house but I was the baby of the family and everybody looked out for me. Yes, I was a people pleaser. Actually, I sometimes think that the easiest way to describe my role is to liken it to Radar on MASH. He took care of everybody else but everybody else looked out for him and protected him. Not sure if that is healthy or not but it was definitely reciprocal. In the beginning or the relationship with my husband, it felt really good to step out of that role and be with somebody that wasn't looking out for me. I didn't even realize that until just now. With him, I got to be the protector. I got to be the superior one. Hmmmm. . .
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« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2014, 01:43:02 AM »

Thank you for this thread Mutt, and your inspiring words. I've read your story about your FOO and the strength you have exhibited throughout your life and here on these boards really helps me feel hopeful that people can really grow and change and heal.

On my journey in healing since our BU, I have been looking at other r/ss through my life and my FOO and early abandonment issues.  I have been abandoned many times.  When I was 8 my brother moved away and I hardly ever saw him again.  Then, like Burgenstein, I fell in love as a teenager to a boy next door.  We spent many years as good friends and then I fell in love with him and when I turned 16 he abandoned me, found another gf.  When I was 17 I met and fell in love with another boy and spent 4 yrs together.  He dumped me night b4 my birthday and told me I would never be the woman in bed he wished I was. I was really angry after this ego-wound and there was a lot of promiscuity after this.  I think I felt like I had to prove my ex wrong, I could be exciting sexually, always trying to find love by acting the way I thought they wanted me to... .I was used and abused and abandoned some more.  I had so much shame from this period of my life.  I then had 1 yr  commonlaw r/s which resulted in me getting pregnant.  He abandoned me two days after we found out.  A few yrs later another r/s and engaged after a yr... . He dumped me a mth before the wedding for another woman.  Well after all these rejections I pretty much gave up on my whole identity.  They reject me when I'm shy and inhibited, they reject me when I'm a sex goddess, apparently I have nothing worth holding on to.  Then I met my first husband.  I was never crazy attracted to him but he was safe.  I knew he would never reject me.  But I don't think I was ever 'in love' with him.  I spent 10 disappointing yrs with him until I ended it.

A yr. later I met my uBPDexh.  Finally!  A man who was going to give me all the love I ever needed, a man who adored me and found me sexually exciting and attractive, a man who couldn't get enough of me!  It was so amazing and intense and took away all the pain of all those rejections and my feeling of self worth.  I felt like a sex goddess again!  I was hooked!  And I became the codependent by doing everything I possibly could to hang on to him and the great way he made me felt.  I tended to his every need, I became his caretaker, I allowed our lives to revolve around him and I walked on eggshells trying to not disappoint him. Of course we know how the story goes... .

I don't see a pattern of codependency but it was very apparent in this r/s.  Did my uBPDex make me codependent?  Did all the rejections I experience set me up for this?  Is it because my mother was possibly BPD and I grew up in such dysfunction?  Probably all of the above.  But for whatever reason it seems to be pretty much solely with men that I have this issue.  I am really good at validating my children and letting them live their own course.  I know I have a tendency to 'fix' everything so I can step back with them and not take over.  Same with my friends.  But the men bring out all my insecurities and painful memories, they are my trigger.

Ditto Pingo
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« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2014, 01:53:08 AM »

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

Is there a source for this?

I think I read it on here. One of the posters said his P had said that as he ended the relationship then he wasnt codependant. Also it doesnt fit in the profile according to tye book codependant no more.
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« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2014, 02:15:01 AM »

Thank you pingo!

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

Is there a source for this?

I think I read it on here. One of the posters said his P had said that as he ended the relationship then he wasnt codependant. Also it doesnt fit in the profile according to tye book codependant no more.

I have to agree. I can relate to trying to fix the relationship and making it work for my own security and trying to avert abandonment as unhealthy the r/s was. I said I wanted a divorce. On the one hand I wanted to end the marriage. On the other hand I said it as a bluff. To trigger her to change having believed that I didn't have issues and also lack of my communication and understanding my needs.  I triggered something entirely different. Her fear of abandonment and the subsequent black split.

www.psychcentral.com/lib/help-for-codependents-whose-relationships-are-ending/0

I think there's an old member here where she recovered from BPD and was ready to leave him for his codependency.
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« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2014, 02:40:42 AM »

I believe I have some unhealthy codependant traits. That said I feel that a pw BPD can pick up on these and use them to get us close to if not fully codependant. Where they want someone to take care of them we end up doing such a good job that we engulf them. We become so scared of dissapointing them that we end up doing everything. Not because they want us to but because we dont know what they truly want and dont want to risk not doing the thing that they actually want us to do.

If you believe you are codependant then ask yourself do you behave this way with everyone. If the answer is no then you are not truly codependant. If you have boundaries that you stick to with your friends and family but not with your pwBPD then I would say that it is more to do with abusive behaviour than codependance.
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« Reply #52 on: November 03, 2014, 04:48:20 AM »

I believe I have some unhealthy codependant traits.

I too believe I have some (many?) codependent traits, but it became much easier for me to correct when I stopped thinking about them in terms of "unhealthy" but in terms of "not good for me". We can all agree that many (most?) of our exes are not clinical BPD. I believe that reverse is also true, although I cannot prove this - most of us "left behinds" (my new term for non-) are not clinically codependent (if there is such term).

Add to this two other certainly strongly influencing factors:

- we have been plausibly fed the wrong information for at least some time - although in ideal world we should now be able to recognize these much sooner and extricate ourselves, I cannot but wonder if I would really do a full background check and detailed analysis of every word said once I start a new relationship with someone else.

- some of our exes actions, such as intermittent reinforcement and gaslighting are cornerstones of thought control techniques, if we are to believe Wikipedia and HowStuffWorks. if it worked against prepared professionals, it is really no shame in that it worked on me/us.

I simply wish to suggest that we could be gentler to ourselves.
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« Reply #53 on: November 03, 2014, 05:46:55 AM »

The qay I see it is a certain amount of codependant traits arent a bad thing. It is what makes me kind, generous , thoughtful etc. It is when these aspects are provided to an abuser when the problems begin.
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« Reply #54 on: November 03, 2014, 05:53:34 AM »

The qay I see it is a certain amount of codependant traits arent a bad thing. It is what makes me kind, generous , thoughtful etc. It is when these aspects are provided to an abuser when the problems begin.

I would have to agree.
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« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2014, 06:49:50 AM »

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependant as a true codependant would stay through anything.

Is there a source for this?

I think I read it on here. One of the posters said his P had said that as he ended the relationship then he wasnt codependant. Also it doesnt fit in the profile according to tye book codependant no more.

Hmmmm... this confuses me... .

Mine ran off with new supply... .a total abandonment with tons of lies the whole deal... with me in shock, massive emotional pain... .etc.

... so tech that was the end of us being together... .but over time she would do drive-bys, and initiate contact (which I NEVER allowed... it was just more lies and craziness... I did it once early on). I was in T and self-help attempting to heal. I worked like a bear and maintained ABSOLUTE NC... .so I feel as though even though she ran off I truly "ended" the relationship entirely as she kept trying to re-engage in some way...  It was not easy... .I think that I had been very attached to her I guess in healthy and unhealthy ways, but I was able to overcome it with a great deal of work and suffering. So maybe I am a co-dependant in recovery? LOL!
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« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2014, 07:54:21 AM »

He always seemed to have an excuse/reason for why he was not reciprocating. I can't seem to let go of the notion that people in a relationship should both protect each other and care for each other.

wherever did you get such an idea  Smiling (click to insert in post)

i mean, it wouldn't have taken much, a word of appreciation that she actually saw that i had fixed the basement door/put in shelves in her closet/clambered dangerously onto the shed roof to cut down dead branches/took apart said shed for disposal because it was basically a big piece of tetanus (she poured a glass of wine and watched me while i did that; no, she didn't ask 'can i help?'/bought the tools to clip the hedge and did that/rustoleum'd the deck furniture/sopped out the car after she left the windows open in a storm/... .

even some recognition that these things too are expressions of care.

why yes, i am a little bitter.

I am of the opinion that it becomes codependent when it is unreciprocated.

interesting, i hadn't thought of it that way. and my bitterness is, among other things, a reaction to my own lack of skill in asserting myself, a likely codependent trait.
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« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2014, 08:21:26 AM »

wherever did you get such an idea  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I blame my FOO for giving me such crazy ideas.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
i mean, it wouldn't have taken much, a word of appreciation that she actually saw that i had fixed the basement door/put in shelves in her closet/clambered dangerously onto the shed roof to cut down dead branches/took apart said shed for disposal because it was basically a big piece of tetanus (she poured a glass of wine and watched me while i did that; no, she didn't ask 'can i help?'/bought the tools to clip the hedge and did that/rustoleum'd the deck furniture/sopped out the car after she left the windows open in a storm/... .

even some recognition that these things too are expressions of care.

why yes, i am a little bitter.

I can really relate to this. I have done so many things around the house without his help. Most of the time, I just wait until he is gone. If he is home and I am busting my butt on a project, I have to fight the urge not to raise hell with him for doing nothing but playing on his computer. And if I say anything, he gets defensive and acts like the victim and says, "All you have to do is ask." or some equally dismissive crap.

Excerpt
interesting, i hadn't thought of it that way. and my bitterness is, among other things, a reaction to my own lack of skill in asserting myself, a likely codependent trait.

I refuse to think of helping and protecting others as codependent. That would mean that every police officer, teacher, fireman, daycare worker, or other person in one of the helping professions is codependent. In your job, there is no expectation of reciprocation. I guess my point is that wanting to help, care for, and protect others is not something that should be discouraged or seen as codependent. Frankly, the world would be a better place if more people were less self centered and more caring. But that is me being a bit idealistic. Because of my own views, I feel like I have had to figure out a better way to think about codependency. For me, it is codependent when there is a pervasive pattern of the other person NOT reciprocating AND I have sacrificed myself or lost my own identity.
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« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2014, 08:31:24 AM »

Hmmmm... this confuses me... .

Mine ran off with new supply... .a total abandonment with tons of lies the whole deal... with me in shock, massive emotional pain... .etc.

... so tech that was the end of us being together... .but over time she would do drive-bys, and initiate contact (which I NEVER allowed... it was just more lies and craziness... I did it once early on). I was in T and self-help attempting to heal. I worked like a bear and maintained ABSOLUTE NC... .so I feel as though even though she ran off I truly "ended" the relationship entirely as she kept trying to re-engage in some way...  It was not easy... .I think that I had been very attached to her I guess in healthy and unhealthy ways, but I was able to overcome it with a great deal of work and suffering. So maybe I am a co-dependant in recovery? LOL!

Infared, I am wondering this as well.  Although I have always been one to read self-help books, several mths before I ended my r/s I was reading a book about menopause and the author said that as women enter the premenopausal stage they start to question their r/ss and the roles they have taken on.  I stopped reading and asked myself, what role have I taken in this r/s?  The 'caretaker'.  Why?  And that is where my real journey began.  That one question led me to start standing up to my exh, questioning why things were the way they were, why I was left with all the burden of the r/s, financially and emotionally.  I kept reading and a few mths later asked him to leave, I wanted a divorce (as I started standing up to him and wanting to change my role he became even more needy/jealous/suspicious/paranoid, etc and we had some huge incidences which led to this final point).  So I had been co-dependant for sure, but maybe I was recovering as well!  Having the insight to end the r/s even thought it was the hardest decision I have ever made has given me hope that I can regain my self-esteem (or get some that I've never had).

Add to this two other certainly strongly influencing factors:

- we have been plausibly fed the wrong information for at least some time - although in ideal world we should now be able to recognize these much sooner and extricate ourselves, I cannot but wonder if I would really do a full background check and detailed analysis of every word said once I start a new relationship with someone else.

- some of our exes actions, such as intermittent reinforcement and gaslighting are cornerstones of thought control techniques, if we are to believe Wikipedia and HowStuffWorks. if it worked against prepared professionals, it is really no shame in that it worked on me/us.

I simply wish to suggest that we could be gentler to ourselves.

This could be why I was more codependent in this r/s than any before.  I had never had a r/s that had that intermittent reinforcement like this one, I knew I was 'addicted' (I even used that term not realising how dysfunctional it was) by the end of the first month with him!
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« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2014, 09:01:10 AM »

I have to fight the urge not to raise hell with him for doing nothing but playing on his computer.

grrrr grrr grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr

imgc-cn.artprintimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/65/6514/G5R6100Z/posters/william-haefeli-lazy-i-ve-been-social-networking-my-ass-off-new-yorker-cartoon.jpg


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« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2014, 11:06:27 AM »

I have to fight the urge not to raise hell with him for doing nothing but playing on his computer.

grrrr grrr grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr

imgc-cn.artprintimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/65/6514/G5R6100Z/posters/william-haefeli-lazy-i-ve-been-social-networking-my-ass-off-new-yorker-cartoon.jpg

ROTFLMAO. . .Only it's not social networking! It's tank battles and stuff like that. One weekend we couldn't go anywhere or do anything because there was some kind tournament in one of his games. That kind of behavior is perfectly fine for my kids but not so much for a grown adult. Nothing I say seems to get through to him.
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« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2014, 12:58:37 PM »

Thanks Mutt.

Regarding

Excerpt
Are you still married or separated and divorced?

What are your boundaries like?

I'm still married.  My boundaries have improved over the past year.  I have been stricter about taking time for myself, whether it be the gym, going to bed earlier when I need to, or going out for a night with a buddy or two.  I did recently tell my wife I wanted a divorce and she begged for a final attempt at making things work - she claims she didn't know how unhappy I was and she is willing to get a job and contribute.  Since then she has done nothing to look for work and has developed a mysterious vertigo illness.  I just think there is no accountability set up for her, and she may have just been outright lying about getting a job due to her fear of being alone and the fact that she's strung me along successfully for so long already, she has no indication that this strategy won't keep working for her.

My boundaries around money are still at issue because I'm not certain on how or where to set them.  I'm working to get a couples therapy appointment scheduled so maybe we can get some outside help on negotiating this stuff.
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« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2014, 01:30:38 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependent and admit that I do have some codependent traits. What I will add though is that my exs made me codependent. In the beginning I had boundaries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependent as a true codependent would stay through anything.

Is it healthy to lay this off on someone else?

Codependency is a learned behavior - and it can be unlearned.

First we have to own it.  

   Then we need to understand why we respond co-dependently.

           Then we use that to start unlearning it.
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« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2014, 01:37:56 PM »

Hi skip

what I am trying to say is that even thkugh I had some of the traits I wasnt codependant at first. Her gaslighting and the slow acid drip of her behaviour changed me. I always had boundaries but they were slowly stripped away. As with most BPD relationships you dont realise what was happening until your out of it.

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« Reply #64 on: November 03, 2014, 02:03:54 PM »

Hi skip

what I am trying to say is that even thkugh I had some of the traits I wasnt codependant at first. Her gaslighting and the slow acid drip of her behaviour changed me. I always had boundaries but they were slowly stripped away. As with most BPD relationships you dont realise what was happening until your out of it.

I'm not going to profess to be an expert here, but co-dependency is a learned behavior from childhood and all the emotional gymnastics in the world from a BPD can't develop that in you.  I always pretty much knew that and from recent sessions with my T he's confirmed that to be the case.

Now maybe a BPD can help bring some of those traits out of you more so because of all the attention they seek along with all the mixed signals, but the reality is all that stuff was already there in you as far as co-D. 

The odds are you likely wouldn't have been attracted to that person from the beginning if you were 100% emotionally balanced. Instead your dependency traits drew you to them and vs. versa. 

I have accepted this to be the case in my own situation and it's been a bitter pill to swallow--the owning it part.   Skip is right in the fact that you have to unlearn it, which is what I am attempting to do now.
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« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2014, 02:52:15 PM »

That one sentence is just awesome news!  I've been told by my T  that an emotionally balanced person would be turned off by a BPD individual every single time, OR if they managed to interest you enough to dive into a couple of dates and you noticed their all too familiar behavior pattern you'd be gone... quickly.

I got to the point where I couldn't actually have sex with her, I just couldn't do it, she didn't turn me on anymore, and this girl is beautiful, with a perfect body, physically exactly what I go for, so maybe I am not as unhealthy as I think I am.

I felt like this in year 1. I was called "not man enough" (she may have been more vulgar) to break up with her normally. After only a few days "officially" broken up (where I was desperately trying to find another place to live since I had moved in with her 7 months previously), I split her black and was indicating moving on easily. She guilted me back "if you loved me, you would try!" What? She was the one who ended it! I went back, and she sent me to sex therapy, because none of her previous partners had this problem (no, they cheated on her and left her, and none of them lived with her). I stupidly complied, but got validation from the two female doctors.

In the end, it was a repeat, but it was more subtle. I started "standing up to her" as she always asked me to do, and stopped enabling her immature behaviors. Even a friend noticed this. It had a snowball effect where I was no longer the co-dependent enabler, and I foolishly expected that she could stand on her own. I realized that I was her Jimney Cricket, so to speak, so when I detached, her morals flipped, and her abandonment issues kicked in, which led to my further resentment, and a vicious feedback loop where we both abandoned each other in different ways. I changed the terms of the original r/s to not being the soother and the apologizer and target for her mood swings.

By stopping my co-dependent behaviors, I set us both free, as painful as it was.
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« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2014, 03:19:48 PM »

Ive read a bit about codependent and admit that I do have some codependent traits. What I will add though is that my exs made me codependent. In the beginning I had boundaries but they where slowly eroded away.

as a final note it has been said that if you ended the relationship then you are not codependent as a true codependent would stay through anything.

Is it healthy to lay this off on someone else?

Codependency is a learned behavior - and it can be unlearned.

First we have to own it.  

   Then we need to understand why we respond co-dependently.

           Then we use that to start unlearning it.

I think that I own it. I think that I know the issues that caused this. So now what? For someone that doesn't have currently have resources for T. Is it possible to move forward with these issues?
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« Reply #67 on: November 03, 2014, 05:16:54 PM »

I think that I own it. I think that I know the issues that caused this. So now what? For someone that doesn't have currently have resources for T. Is it possible to move forward with these issues?

I am in the same position. I don't yet have the funds for any kind of therapy or counseling. I do think it is possible to move forward by reading lots of self help type books, journaling, participating in this forum, and talking to other people. One of the things that happened to me in my relationship was that I had become isolated. Reaching out to people and doing stuff away from him has helped me to get a better perspective on things. If you become isolated, it isn't nearly as easy to have a reference point for "normal". Normal is overrated but it still gives me more of a reference point. I can bring up something that I am not comfortable with and have somebody else say, "Yeah, you are right, that does sound weird." It isn't that I need external validation as much as it is me trying untangle things and reset my internal compass.

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« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2014, 05:21:34 PM »

My boundaries around money are still at issue because I'm not certain on how or where to set them.  I'm working to get a couples therapy appointment scheduled so maybe we can get some outside help on negotiating this stuff.

If you are serious about leaving, then you need to get your own bank account that she does not access to so you can have money that she cannot access. I got a second job and opened up my own account. I have one check going into the joint account to help pay bills and the other check goes into MY account. That was a non-negotiable for me.
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« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2014, 05:27:29 PM »

I talked about this on Friday with my T.  I was like ok, we know I have these components of Co-D, and they have been ingrained and I have a natural tendency to go in that direction so how to I start to work on that and become more balanced, set better boundaries and spot dysfuncion in others before it's too late.   His response... .Fake it.    I looked at him and was pretty shocked and was like huh?  He said think of what the best of you would do in that situation and fake it... You can't change learned behavior over night, but if you go against what is comfortable enough it will soon become much more natural to do the right thing.   

I don't think this would work if you don't own it first though, and I'm pretty confident I've done that.
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« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2014, 05:45:11 PM »

I talked about this on Friday with my T.  I was like ok, we know I have these components of Co-D, and they have been ingrained and I have a natural tendency to go in that direction so how to I start to work on that and become more balanced, set better boundaries and spot dysfuncion in others before it's too late.   His response... .Fake it.    I looked at him and was pretty shocked and was like huh?  He said think of what the best of you would do in that situation and fake it... You can't change learned behavior over night, but if you go against what is comfortable enough it will soon become much more natural to do the right thing.   

I don't think this would work if you don't own it first though, and I'm pretty confident I've done that.

From what I have read he is right. Fake it and also do visualisations of how you would want things to be or go.  Apparently your brain doesn't know fantasy from reality and it will actually change by doing this so that old patterns are replaced by new ones.   This is neuroplasticity.
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« Reply #71 on: November 03, 2014, 05:52:45 PM »

I got a second job and opened up my own account. I have one check going into the joint account to help pay bills and the other check goes into MY account. That was a non-negotiable for me.

Thank you for this input.  This is one thing I have been considering.  I am unhappy with the amount of money coming in.  Instead of expecting her to change or contribute, I will take responsibility for that fact and find a secondary source of income on my own.  Then keep that money 100% in my own account so I have some control of exactly what it goes towards and can do some much needed things for myself. 

Learning to give up codependency is learning that the only thing you can change is yourself and the way you deal with the rest of the world.
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« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2014, 08:13:54 PM »

I think there has to be a distinction between being co-dependant as an individual and a relationship that is co-dependant. 

For me, I have always had a few issues stemming from a fairly controlling mother.  These were pulled out to the forefront and played on in a big way by my exBPDgf.  Now, is this her fault or mine?  I allowed it to happen, I was used to my mother doing the same thing with me, controlling my actions and dictating what was correct.  Whenever I stood up for myself my mum would always be put off and get aggressive or silent treatment with me (some NPD / BPD traits, not full blown).  My exBPDgf used those same behaviours that I had learnt were acceptable and escalated them. 

Now it is a learnt behaviour, I allowed it to happen as it had been taught to me my whole life by my mother as how to relate to people.  There is a it of codependency in EVERY relationship.  The question is how we enable it more than anything.  For me at the moment I feel so uncomfortable when standing up for myself and my values.  Not letting these boundary's be crossed causes me a huge amount of anxiety, in that choice however I am making a healthier decision. 

We learn these behaviours and we can unlearn them.  To put it in perspective, my exBPDgf came from a family with a narcissistic father and a 100% borderline mother.  Oldest daughter removed into foster care at 13 y/o and refuses to go into the family house to this day 20 years later?  She has BPD as she learnt this behaviour from her FOO, same as her sister has BPD, she learnt how to relate to people form her FOO.  She learnt how to relate to people from her mother and father who were in a codependent abusive relationship with their personality traits issues caused a lot of conflict. 

Is it her fault that she relates to people like this?  It is her choice, she has to make a choice to change that pattern.  For us, we relate to people in a co-dependant fashion, it is our choice if we continue to relate like this. 

I find a lot of power in saying, I allowed XYZ to happen and I wont accept that any-more.  Something that might be of use to everyone here, I allowed my exBPDpartner to relate to me by giving me the silent treatment.  I wont accept the silent treatment in any future relationship, I will ask how and why the person feels that way and explain how and why i feel this way.  I will relate to people in a healthier manner and not surpress my feelings, I will validate there feelings and wont allow people to invalidate how I feel. 

Try it, it feels awful, it is something I don't see anyone who has posted previously expressing that they have done a huge amount.  Change is painful and remember Rome wasnt built in a day.   


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