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-   -   Why did I conform to fit someone's elses wants and needs? (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/219310-why-did-i-conform-fit-someones-elses-wants-needs.html)

theuncertainty 02-04-2011 03:32 PM

I want to say, "NO!" very emphatically and very loudly. Which is probably a sure sign that it's at least a part of the answer, even if in a very convoluted and unconscious way. :gaah

duqld1717 02-04-2011 03:39 PM

With my ex, he gave me tough love (if i did something that benefitted him, i got some recognition, but if i didnt do anyhing that was of use to him, i was ignored and he was non-caring) Maybe in some sick way, I liked the challenge of gaining his attention. Man, was I a lost little puppy dog. Never again.

TakingCharge999 02-04-2011 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by duqld1717 (Post 2854570)
How is it that certain people have power over us like this and others dont?? Before I met my ex, I came across many guys that acted needy towards me or wanted me to do things for them and I told them to go "stick it where the sun don't shine"....then I met my ex, and I thought his words were as sacred and important as the Bible. He was an alcoholic of course but why is it that we let certain people control us and others we don't? Any thoughts?

No one has power over us, we give it away consciously or unconsciously. And we can also get it back of course :) (and that feels GREAT!) it is always our decision.

The answers to these questions and more, I found going to a psychotherapist.... hope you find the answers you need!! and yes I am also happy because now I am very aware that I also have a SPINE! even if sometimes I wish there was a strap-on spine like in the Dilbert comics when they want to ask their boss for something lol.

You realize many things already... no doubt you will seal this chapter and open a new much better one... I am amazed how quickly you are recovering.

I'll PM you when I come back on Tuesday as right now I am leaving for a holiday ! sending good thoughts!

brokenheartfool 02-04-2011 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by Learn2Live (Post 2854269)
I believe this too. And I realized I believe this just this morning, developing my answer (post) to the original post, and reading your posts on this thread brokenheart. I know I read somewhere that the consumption of alcohol actually changes the cells of your brain. That once you consume at a certain level, you cannot change the cell structure back. They are forever changed and will always expect the alcohol in the bloodstream, something like that. I think I read it in one of the medical-type Alcoholism books. I wish I could speak to it more fluently.

It makes sense to me in my observations of myself, my own drinking behavior and addiction, and the drinking behavior/addiction of others. I tell the kids in my family all the time, just don't start.

Learn2live, if this is ever a prooven fact, think how it will change entire cultures and the whole mentality around "ok drinking"... Scary stuff, and I fully believe it.


Originally Posted by duqld1717 (Post 2854625)
Maybe we secretly just wanted to "save" them???

Oh Gawd. I think that was me. I didn't even understand what kind of savior he needed, certainly not a financial one, or I would have run fast and far.
You know what...when we enter into relationships with needy people, no doubt we are needy ourselves. Meanwhile...he was saving me too, and I think, from myself.

goldengirl3 02-04-2011 04:47 PM


Maybe we secretly just wanted to "save" them???
I don't really think so. I think I was just STUPID. In over my head. Naive. Clueless. Too laid-back. Thinking that giving in "wasn't that big a deal." "Everyone is different...so this one wants his way a lot...so what...." I now know that it leads to a very bad place.

wicked 02-04-2011 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by theuncertainty (Post 2854639)
I want to say, "NO!" very emphatically and very loudly. Which is probably a sure sign that it's at least a part of the answer, even if in a very convoluted and unconscious way. :gaah

:rotfxko

and that is a big fat NO from me too, meaning that i got some issues there too.
dammit. well, lets uncover it all then.

after some therapy and a little clarity, partly i think i married my exes because they were somewhat like my father.
since i was an abandoned little girl (by my father) if i married someone like him, i could fix my childhood.
and then we all live happily ever after.
:tyou

wicked 02-04-2011 05:14 PM


I believe this too. And I realized I believe this just this morning, developing my answer (post) to the original post, and reading your posts on this thread brokenheart. I know I read somewhere that the consumption of alcohol actually changes the cells of your brain. That once you consume at a certain level, you cannot change the cell structure back. They are forever changed and will always expect the alcohol in the bloodstream, something like that. I think I read it in one of the medical-type Alcoholism books. I wish I could speak to it more fluently.

It makes sense to me in my observations of myself, my own drinking behavior and addiction, and the drinking behavior/addiction of others. I tell the kids in my family all the time, just don't start.

Yes, I read this somewhere too L2L. I was actually looking for something to show me I hadnt damaged my brain too much by 20 years of consumption.
(okay no smart remarks about denial, this is between me and my brain. hehehehehe)
The good news was that by not drinking anymore, I was not damaging those poor brain cells anymore, and I could start treating my brain better.
The bad news was that, yes, they would always be waiting, waiting for that first flush of addictive substance to hit it again, and then it would probably kill me this time.

Right now, my brain cells are doing a happy dance.

Beth

duqld1717 02-04-2011 05:28 PM

I think the reason I stayed so long and catered to my ex's every whim was because I was in denial about his alcoholism. Because he didnt drink during the week, i thought I could suffer through the weekends. I kept on repressing everything he did on the weekends which was very much alcoholic. I kept focusing on the few moments that he treated me good and not all the other 5484675 times that he treated me badly. I only chose to see what I wanted to see, even if everyone else saw him as a raging drunk, I never saw it that way. I never had known anyone in my life with a drinking problem. I didnt know the signs/symptoms. I only realize now that I am removed from the situation how bad it really was. Did everyone know from Day 1 that their partner or ex partner was an alcoholic?

wicked 02-04-2011 05:34 PM


only chose to see what I wanted to see, even if everyone else saw him as a raging drunk, I never saw it that way. I never had known anyone in my life with a drinking problem. I didnt know the signs/symptoms. I only realize now that I am removed from the situation how bad it really was. Did everyone know from Day 1 that their partner or ex partner was an alcoholic?
I am sure that some part of me knew my second ex was an alcoholic, but I only saw what I wanted to, and that was someone who was good looking and keep buying the beer. I hadnt admitted to myself I had a problem yet.
I am hyper sensitive about it now, I do not want to spend one minute of my life trying to "fix" someone.

Beth

theuncertainty 02-04-2011 05:47 PM

I'd have to say no, I didn't know from day one. Even though I know that will make me look really naive what with the post on Cyranoak's thread about the first time meeting him he was sh-tfaced drunk. (clarification: XAH that is - not Cyranoak :))

Didn't even cross my mind the first time he fell out of bed and nearly cracked his head open on the night stand (right after moving in with me - bringing a grand total of 1 duffle bag and 2 milk crates into the relationship, I might add) because he'd 'taken cold medicine and hadn't eaten.' Y_e_a_h_. I was pretty clueless.

I see a lot of red flags looking back.

goldengirl3 02-04-2011 06:01 PM

I'd have to say no I did not. I was only seeing him a couple of times a week...not enough to put a big picture together for a while.

Of course...I didn't know I was an alcoholic either. I just knew I liked to drink and seemed "really good at it."

dancingnow 02-04-2011 06:43 PM

It bugs me that I was so clueless when I met my AH, one of my therapists pointed out to me how he was so much older and still partying with college age kids, not really ever adapting to a real life.

What is really bad for me and maybe just admitting to this right here out loud on SR might help me in my recovery is that I was clueless for probably 15 years into our marriage. Talk about having my own issues.

duqld1717 02-04-2011 07:13 PM

Same with my ex...has no real developed life of his own at 34, has a roomate in a small apartment surrounded by all bars, goes out with college girls, plays beer pong, doesnt work much...when i wanted to get more serious and wanted to do more grown up things, he resisted me. Didnt think much of it at the time but now its almost sad how behind and under-developed he his.

duqld1717 02-04-2011 08:05 PM

Goldengirl...what was the turning point for you that made you realize you were an alcoholic?

Learn2Live 02-04-2011 08:16 PM


Did everyone know from Day 1 that their partner or ex partner was an alcoholic?
When he told me "I am a recovering crack addict with 5 years clean," I thought that meant he was STRONG. Doh! Talk about naive.

JustBeaches4me 02-04-2011 08:19 PM


Originally Posted by duqld1717 (Post 2854570)
How is it that certain people have power over us like this and others dont?? Before I met my ex, I came across many guys that acted needy towards me or wanted me to do things for them and I told them to go "stick it where the sun don't shine"....then I met my ex, and I thought his words were as sacred and important as the Bible. He was an alcoholic of course but why is it that we let certain people control us and others we don't? Any thoughts?

Thinking back to basically all of my relationships, I think that I have a tendency to get too involved, to be a people pleaser. I think with my AXBF, it was a codependent relationship that developed because we were both emotionally needy. Other guys would have run for the hills if I started acting needy and doing some of MY "crazy" behavior. I think that I've only had one semi-normal long-term relationship in my life (and I've had a few...).

Working with a therapist and reading a lot of self-help books has led me to believe that it stems from my childhood (sexual and emotional abuse). Now, I have to figure out how to live and react differently. It's doing things that may not be comfortable and really taking the time to figure out what I like, need, etc.

Learn2Live 02-04-2011 08:23 PM

I think age 29 is a pretty good cut-off point. If a person is not done playing beer pong and hanging out at bars and parties by age 29, I'd be willing to bet there will be problems being married to or in a committed relationship with that person in his or her 30s.

boomerlady 02-04-2011 08:57 PM

I didn't realize my AH was an alcoholic until many years into the marriage. I wasn't raised around alcoholism and thought that all alcoholics were raging, mean, and beat their wives/gfs types. My AH has a quick fuse but is not physically abusive so I thought he just liked to drink. I was soooo naive back then, but I don't blame myself now. I was taught to look for the good in others and to stay in a marriage through good and bad. We all live and try to learn from our mistakes. As long as we learn from them and try to make ourselves a better life, I believe we are following the path our higher power has planned for us.

lillamy 02-05-2011 05:05 AM

I talked myself out of the awareness that he was an alcoholic because I was pregnant with #1 and didn't want to admit that I had made the biggest mistake of my life marrying an alcoholic. So I spent almost 20 years trying to make it not so. You know, because my love would change him. Right.

SoloMio 02-05-2011 05:25 AM


Originally Posted by duqld1717 (Post 2854570)
How is it that certain people have power over us like this and others dont??

People-pleasing tendencies aside (and I have strong ones!), in my particular dime-store analysis, I REALLY believe in the whole idea of wanting to rewrite your script. In my mind, it's very clear. While my life was made so much better when my mom threw out my dad when I was 12, I still always hung on to the hope that one day they would get together again.

That dream was dashed when he was found dead on the street in the Bowery--he was 43, I was 18. I was pretty devastated.

Fast-forward 5 years and I meet a guy who looks like my dad, has many elements of my dad's personality, and, surprise surprise, drinks like my dad.

I think I would have done ANYTHING to buy back the abandonment I experienced, and pretty much did that... I gave up my Self to ensure that he would never leave me. Basically, I was a shadow in the film of "he and I together happily ever after."

I think that's why I stayed for 34 years... it's why my counselor told me I had to work through the sadness of my dad's leaving/dying before I could move on. I stopped going to therapy at that point.

So, other guys haven't been the Square Peg/Square Hole match that AH and my father were, and so I wasn't so compelled to give up so much. My life has been a LOOOOONNG movie version of the Parent Trap, where me, the little kid, makes it a mission to get the parents together one way or another.

Session over.


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