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Raybo48
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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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