I have recently embarked on the journey of therapy (again) and this time, I can see my codependency loud and clear. I just left a relationship with a narcissist. Overall, I am proud of myself for finally starting to make decisions that are healthy for me in the area of relationships. Of course, I have moment of worry or regret over this relationship. Though I have some spiritual beliefs, this problem makes me feel really hopeless. Am I always going to be a magnet for these kinds of relationships? Am I better off alone in all this? I guess I am just reaching out to ask if anyone has any experience with surviving and recovering from codependency.
I would be happy to talk to you about my personal experiences via email, but on here, I will say, do not give up!
I think you took the first step...I am proud of you......
Congratulations on being wise enough to know that you need therapy. Recognizing the signs of codependency in yourself is half the battle and a huge step to recovery. At one time, I was so codependent, I put up with horrible daily abuse for two years. It took therapy but I will never find myself in that situation again. I have been married for less than a year, but have been with this wonderful man I call my husband for years. We have a good marriage and someday you will too. Good luck to you and stick with it.
Regarding being a magnet, it is really hard to know why as these things can be in your sub sub-conscience. However just being aware is a really good sign. All I can tell you is learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
I have survived two such relationships, and am now very happy with the Husband I have who is nothing like those men were to me. I have hubbed on my experience, but I can't post the links here. If you are interested you should spot the hubs on my profile fairly easily, the main two having 'Control Freak' in one title and 'Psychopath' in the other. You truly can break the cycle, even if you feel right now that you cannot
I wrote a hub about co dependency called 'You've Switched Off!' - I hope it helps, it is a different perspective.
Yes read the book Why Men Love Bitches. It describes how to keep yourself as your main priority in relationships, and not becoming a door mat. It stresses the importance of maintaining your independence. Best wishes.
My advice being in the same situation at one time, is spend a year by yourself, and keep reading stuff that inspiring, healthy relationships, etc, and by the end of the year you will be a new person, with new mind set.
Attracting better partners. I know this works by experience, as well as hard work, pratice, discipline, and dedication to loving yourself and making better choices. Good luck, and lots of prayers for inner strength!
ADayinMyLife1-Thank you for mentioning a title I can read. Reading is very helpful on the topic.
HattieMattieMae-Thank you for your input. I am totally willing to follow these instructions. I feel frustrated because I did that for 2 years before this relationship! I read, prayed and found a support group. It just is disheartening to find myself in the the same boat!
Alas, Rome was not built in a day and I suppose I won't be either. Praying for patience and ALOT of self-love.
I decided to answer this question because I'm not a fan of common therapy, especially if a person has used it before. However every situation is quite unique and so that would be a viable option if you believe it has worked for you and will continue to do so.
Relationships are difficult, I've found. Though I may not be old enough to assess them properly, I've realized that being necessary, the difficulty in cultivating one is also necessary in life. It is a tool to help us move past adversities and to aid us in the understanding of one another within and without relationships. You may see yourself in a bad light right now, and feel even worse about the decisions you've made, but you're better off now than you were before any of those relationships because you've gained something that many still haven't. And that is wisdom, which I personally think is the truest and most valuable aspect of experience, and of life. I don't think you need to survive or recover, I think you've already survived and you're in the process of recovery but would be better off getting more acquainted with this newer, wiser, more resilient person that you've become.
Thank you for raking the time to write this. I have never sought therapy knowing nearly as much about myself as I know now. I actually started it while in my unhealthy relationship and it finally help me see that I was not crazy. It became a safe place where I could be completely honest without fear og judgement. It takes me a while to develop those kinds of relationships.
Thank you for reminding me of the strength I already possess. I have moments where I can see that clearly but other times where my negative mind creeps in and gets the best of me. I am glad I have many outlets in my life and spiritual base to help.
I find myself questioning more spiritually as I walk through this and I accept that maybe this is part of my journey too.
same here. I question spirituality becasue alot of people teach that it comes from you and you are the one doing it. plus we can't count on anyone or god to do it for us, and the idea that prayer alone helps is not true, prayer I think inspires us to act period. and helps us hope...we do the acting ourselves. right? amen
I think your therapist would tell you that you need some experience with healthy relationships and if you've never seen them in action you need to seek out people who are relatively sane and watch them relate in healthy ways. You will usually find what you seek. Keep trying. Don't give up on yourself and don't settle for less than what you need and only you will know what that is. Keep a peaceful spirit and you will find others of a like mind!
Thanks. That is very encouraging. Today I feel more hopeful. It just sort of comes and goes. I have actually come a long way in my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health over the past three years. It is just hard going through the ups and downs that come with growth. I find that it is not a linear path and the twists sometimes frustrate me. That last relationship felt like a slip but in fact, I learned so much about me and relationships. I also left sooner---without anyone ending up in jail or in the crazy house. lol.
I wanted to kill the one I was with. this is normal in many relationships if someone is abusive, you have to then get away asap if you can. he told me to kill myself. so much evil. I became saved and got the strenght to give him uup. now a year and 2mo later i still think of him sometime and THINK we are meant to be--that's where spirituality is bad for me, cause I THINK god is going to convert him and we'll be happy ever after and that is BS! I need to STOP that way of thinking now!
hi guys i am happy all time. so that i really needed some ....?
I have recently started reading the book "Codependent No More" by Melody. While I have attended groups that deal with codependency, this book has offer such a clear picture that it shatters my denial. I am completely floored. Has anyone else had any power experiences with coming out of denial? Any experiences with this book?
LOL. I sure understand that! I thought leaving my old relationship meant I would never ride that same pony again. Over 2 years later with a program, a God and a new attitude, I did it again! People talk a lot about codependency but vaguely. This books is at least giving me a clearer picture of what I suffer from. I get a lot of hope in meetings but once I get in a relationship it's like BOOM, I am doing it again. I feel hopeful today.
P.S. I was was losing my mind in this last relationship. He was a sex addict. Nough said. I keep thing, "well...he is trying." And he though he did start to get help, he simply could not be honest with me. I am glad I left it.
i'm just lucky he wont get back w/ me even thou i want to. you have to scare them away, it's the only way. which i did.
anyways been single over a year, what a record for me. yay.
That is good. I have certainly scared some away. I am just so tired of it that I am willing to do anything not to end up back in the same type of relationship.
Learning to be more assertive is a major focus of mine. I have closed my mouth far too often. Just ready for something different.
Have faith in yourself that you will someday be your own person and speak up! It takes time, but you are going in the right direction. Codependency covers many people and cultures. The book you mentioned is a classic. Use it as a guide, but as you experience strength and growth, you will find it collecting dust. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. I am 53, and I can't tell you how many codependent couples that I run into. It is so unhealthy to watch them because they feed off each and their negativity. They are so miserable. I've known women who won't make a move until hubby gives them "permission." I know one woman who has shoved all of her hopes and dreams under her bed because she feels that she should always be with her husband and make life easy for him. In the process, of course her own life is lost.
I wish only the best for you because you have the guts to change. You are searching for a better life, and I have no doubt you'll leave these codependency issues behind. Coming from a family with addictions, I had my share of codependency issues, but I was able to break away. A little determination and practicing a newer, healthier lifestyle can go a long way! You'll see.
Thanks for sharing Arlene. I feel hopeful. I am in therapy and it helped me see what I needed to to leave my last relationship. The more I go on, I can accept my own issues versus seeing it as "him." Especially since all my "him's" have been the same.
I also come from a family unit with alcoholism. I have watched some of them change and grow. I have had to let go of some unhealthy habits myself! Codependency is just another peice of me (a big peice, honestly) that I am willing to change.
If you are in therapy, yes, it will get better. I am not an expert on co-dependendacy, but you seem to be getting the help you believe you need and you are moving forward (may be by baby steps) but you are moving forward. Do not give up hope. It does get better.
So Krystal were you the codependent one or were you the enabler? I was in a relationship similar and I was the enabler...it took a while but I was determined to get out of it and one year was going to be the year that led to my freedom. I loved him all the while but I found out that I truly loved and respected myself much more. I know longer talked about knowing I deserved better, I knew and was convinced I did. I begin to do the list of the good and the bad reasons to stay and the list of bad far outweighed any good. At that point I begin taking steps. I started doing things that were self motivating, talking to someone who could help me keep my goal in front of me but it didn't start until I, myself realized how crucial it was. You can do all this without becoming bitter or resentful. I'd have to say prayer was my biggest champion and acting upon those prayers. It's also about growth which is the case once you have found the strength to move yourself forward. Trust me it can be done.
It also helps to change your criteria for the men you choose. Remember those traits in him that were negative or trace a certain pattern that you follow and change it. It will be hard to go back there. Write it down if you have to because usually writing something helps it stay fresh in your mind. You can do it girl but remember it is about self worth first. If you don't love yourself you can't properly love someone else.
Thanks NightFlower. I have been both. In this case, I was codependent, washing away and ignoring his every emotionally abusive fault. It was aweful but what was worse was the desperate need I felt to cling to him! I am grateful that I to went through the exact process you named: lists, decision, action and prayer.
Now I am just looking forward to healing. I really do NOT want to do this kind of relationship again.
The single most important step in demagnetizing yourself is when you recognize the patterns of your choices and you begin to spot toxic relationships. Have confidence in your new understanding, and it will help guide you as you go forward.
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