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Codependency and same patterns in non-alcoholic relationship

Old 12-03-2012, 05:24 PM
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Codependency and same patterns in non-alcoholic relationship

At least I recognize it.

I have been dating c. For almost 2 months, trying to take things slowly and just enjoy.

He is the polar opposite of Xabf. Everything from his appearance to the fact that he doesn't drink. And he is a gentleman. He sends flowers and opens car doors. He is considerate of my time. If I say I have a paper to write, he doesn't call.

And it's been a year and a half since I moved out of xabf's house. No contact by restraining order for the last six months.

I purposefully didnt date in that time. In the past year and a half, I had been on only one bad date, with a loser. I was able to recognize that quickly.

So the problem: I see myself getting sucked into the same thinking, no alcohol, and no real problems yet.

He has been busy with a project for the last few days and has been working overnight. In my head, I know he is tired, but in my thinking I let myself feel rejected and let down because he couldn't get lunch as we planned Sunday. The imaginary rejection stung.

Maybe I'm rusty with relationships. We have not had sex. Although my brain knows that this matches our conversation that we don't want to rush, I feel that same imaginary rejection.

It's the same feeling I had when exabf would choose drinking over participating in our family activities. He would sit in his office and drink instead of eating dinner with me, my child, and his child. He would watch porn until I went to sleep and then wake me up and ask me to make him something to eat. All of the kids activities that I went to alone. It's like people describe PTSD.

So in the meantime here comes Mr. Nice guy, who is not an alcoholic offering a healthy new relationship. And I am working hard not to punish him for what has happened in my past.

And I'm smarter than this. I have worked hard to rebuild my life. I have read, step studied, prayed, journaled, cried, and laughed.

After over a year, how can I not be ready for a healthy relationship?

And how do I overcome my insecurities?
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:57 PM
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WOW! This so hit home for me. My husband has been sober for three years now. But my thinking hasn't changed. I get paranoid about lies, feel devastated when he needs some time to himself, and often feel rejected/jealous when he is skyping or chatting with his supports (granted some of them are woman, but that is another story). Is this codependency? Is this what I "have" that is making me crazy? Huh, I think I'd better look into this a bit deeper...

As for you, a year isn't that long. Healing takes time, and if you haven't had to confront things until now, it makes sense that things are getting stirred up. This is your opportunity to look at your insecurities, as curiously as you can, and wonder where they are coming from, and what you can/will do about them. Don't punish yourself, either, for things that have happened in your past...you deserve to move on!!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:59 PM
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I have no answers.

I have been divorced two years early next month, and not living with my ex for four months longer than that.

I have a lot of fear about the feelings you describe, and that in part has kept me from actively pursuing any kind of relationship.

I am starting to learn that I am having waves of emotions now that there is space for them...they are more about me then about him. They are about how I have a hard time keeping my own space in relationships (with friends too), about realizing that I get impacted by others, that feelings are normal etc.

I am coming to learn that not being "done" with all this does not mean that I am not healthy....it just means that I have enough room to peel the next layer off and work on that.

I am aware that one of those layers is going to need a relationship in the sense for deeper learning.

What a great opportunity you are giving yourself. The time and space to have these feelings come up and work on them.....regardless of who the person on the other side is.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:31 PM
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hmmm
This is a difficult one, I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt until they start doing things that make me worried. Perhaps there is something you can do when the worrying comes up, like meditate or do some deep breathing exercises? Have you done any consulting with a therapist?

I've been dating a bit here and there since axbf and I split up back in July. I'm not really ready for a relationship myself but I also haven't met anyone that I really like who likes me back...
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:44 AM
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have you got any therapy for yourself? you are obviously aware of your issues and your toxic self talk, which is a good start, but to learn tools on how to break it for good is the key. good luck and sounds like you are at least heading in the right direction.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:00 AM
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Alanon and counseling helped me break through some of my hardwired relationship issues.

I would take time to find a good therapist/counselor well versed in codie stuff and how we reprogram. It's change your thinking and it will change your brain but it easier said than done!

Time will help but honestly it is working on the underlying stinkin thinkin that really gets us well!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:15 PM
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I think it's all a dance with ourselves.

Yes, there is co-dependent behavior and on the other hand, there are actual instincts. I work to not jump to blame myself or label myself when I have a reaction. Because I'm still working on my growth - I pause. I tend to put it on paper and take a more objective look.

In marriage therapy the other week I attributed some reaction I had to possibly co-dependency and our brilliant therapist added his thought - it wasn't co-dependency at work but actually, a very valid reaction.

Only you know - take a second to take it out of your head and onto the page and see if it holds up! I think Leise had some good ideas - also as HW and Jody posted, I know that for me therapy has been an incredible key to balance.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by XXXXXXXXXX View Post
And how do I overcome my insecurities?
I wonder if your insecurities add to your feeling of not being ready for a healthy relationship?

How do any of us overcome insecurities? By becoming more secure. What will it take for you to be able to accept his actions as not being a reflection of you as a person.

And I hear you - its hard to turn off that voice of doubt in your head. But for me - this is the only way to overcome it.

I have had several situations happen recently where I could have allowed my voice of doubt intervene, but instead made a conscious effort to talk myself out of that stinkin thinkin. It is possible, just takes awareness of it and some positive self-talk.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:37 PM
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? Have you had healthy relationships modelled?

After doing some work through ACA and therapy. It's become very apparent that "healthy relationships and intimacy" were not modeled for me. My therapists words - not mine.

I'm a huge fan of Gottman's books on relationships and Dan Wile "After the Honeymoon."

If you are open to twelve step programs - Alanon, ACA(applies to children of dysfunctional families) and/or CODA might be appropriate.

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment) is the next wave after CBT. New Harbinger publishes alot of ACT based books.

ACT teaches defusion with our thoughts. Like emotions they pass and they aren't always accurate - this is why having a sponsor, therapist or teacher(spiritual?) is helpful. Having an outsider reference makes a difference.

ACT also teaches acceptance of emotions.

ACT makes sense to me - but I actually think there are a lot of paths.

PTSD has been associated with ACA's - depending on the trauma of the alcoholic relationship I wouldn't be surprised if it applies.

Consciousness(mindfullness) is a huge step dealing with any issue. I think your post is a very positive one.

Best wishes on working it out.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:24 AM
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What does ACA stand for ?

XXXXXXXXX I have noticed my codependency/low self worth issues affect my work relationships, my friendship elections and my life as a whole. By now I realized healing this will be a life-long task... took 30 years to learn and reinforce it, the next 30 years I hope to re-learn and reinforce a healthier way to live.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:58 AM
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ACA - Adult children of alcoholics.
The ACA fellowship also includes adult children of dysfunctional families.

I don't think any of us were born co-dependent - I think we learned it. At least I did.

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Old 12-05-2012, 10:47 AM
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Thanks everyone. I had gone to thrapy, and my therapist "graduated" me. Last alanon I went to, I felt out of place because everyone in the group was actively involved with their A.

I'm really proud of my self-awareness, and I'm feeling better about the situation.

I realize it will be an ongoing effort, and I need a counselor that will understand that I need more than a short term fix.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:01 AM
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here comes Mr. Nice guy, who is not an alcoholic offering a healthy new relationship. And I am working hard not to punish him for what has happened in my past.
Hitting home for me, too.
Not only do I have a past. My new man has a past, too. A marriage to a passive-aggressive woman. So when I forget to start the dryer, he says "I understand that it's mostly my laundry and that I should do it myself" when, in reality, I just spaced it out. Because he still occasionally reacts as if I were his ex. And I do the same thing.

We talk about it. He points out to me (sometimes) when I'm being controlling. We can laugh about it -- like when we're shopping and I say "I forgot juice -- stay here while I go get it!" -- and sometimes I cry about it because it angers me that I still have codie behaviors.

One thing that's easier for me is that we've known each other for forever, and he's completely aware of what my first marriage was like. So I don't have a reason to pretend that I'm any different than I am, or that I'm less scratched up and worn out than I am. I think dating a new person, it would be hard for me to not want to... put the past behind me and pretend it wasn't as bad as it was, kwim?

Honesty. That's what we're practicing. And it's hard as hell when you're used to any honesty or vulnerability being used against you. But it's working pretty well. I've also gotten used to explicitly telling him what I need -- as in "I know you may disagree but right now, I'm too vulnerable to handle criticism, so can you please just listen and pat me on the back even if you think I handled this wrong?"
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:00 PM
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Codependents don't change until they change their thinking. It takes Alanon and serious Step work with a sponsor to make better decisions. Otherwise it's like an alcoholic with no program.
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