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Moving on from Co-Dependency - has anyone done this, any tips, what was it really like?

(19 Posts)
RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 18:08:17

Think this is the huge issue in our non-marriage. Would really like to here from others who've either changed their relationship or had to end it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 18:56:53

I think you have to be more specific about what the co-dependency centres around

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:58

LOL - the more a I read the more confused I am getting.

In short we have an emotionally dysfunctional relationship. In the begining he "needed" me now he refuses to have any emotional investment in me.

I have asked him to seek help for himself whilst I seek hellp for myself. He won't.

I'm planning to move out, not sure whether to even leave the door open to resolve/make it work or it should just be the end confused

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 19:12:38

IME it's far easier to move on if the end is the end. 'Refusing to have any emotional investment' is just psychobabble for 'not interested' really, isn't it? smile Look after #1 and you won't go wrong.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:16:42

LOL - he is involved in the practicalities of being part of a family. The not being involved with me emotionally is due to his and our shared past and his fears etc etc.

Just so hard to leave, he is the primary parent, can't afford 2 family homes, it isn't going to easy or simple sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 19:21:20

I'm really struggling to understand when everything is couched in confusing terms like 'shared past and fears' 'emotional investment' etc. Sounds like you've been to a lot of counselling sessions.

Speaking plainly .... are you saying there's no affection any more? You live under the same roof and are a family in name only?

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:28:20

There is no affection, there is no interest in what I do, where I go, whether I'm happy or sad or miserable. Went out last night for a friends' birthday - he hasn't asked anything about it all!!

In the early years I was a cow to live due to my untreated depression and how angry I was at the world. That caused him to withdraw from me emotionally to an extent (can't blame him for that, completely understandable).

However in the last couple of years he has completely withdrawn from me - there is no "us" anymore. We have nothing in common, there is no "us" so I sort of think what is the point. I've been through the emotions of utter dispair (didn't have a clue what was going on), through anger, through hoping there was a possibility to rebuild something better, perhaps now I realise this is very very very unlikely to happen.

I don't want my dc to model their future relationships on us.

I think I need to learn to be happy being on my own and accepting myself. I'm not sure I can do that by staying married and living in the same house.

drudgetrudy Sun 09-Feb-14 19:30:27

I'm a bit confused by your post too. What is his difficulty and in what way are you over-invested in solving his problems to your own detriment? If you are able to be more specific and put it in everyday language it would be easier to help.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 19:35:06

Then the answer to your question about moving on from co-dependency is to fully embrace independence and all it entails. You may be alone that way but you will not be rejected and lonely. If your relationship has deteriorated but is still civil then you can probably navigate the co-parenting challenge fairly well. Anything worth having is rarely simple or easy but at least if you have an objective in mind... and being happy on your own and happy in your own skin is a good objective .... then you can plan to make the most of it.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:40:06

I've stopped trying to solve his problems. He is depressed and anxious about things, doesn't trust other people, doesn't have any friends, doesn't bother with his family etc. etc. I've realised that he was happy to take nurturing from me but no longer would give me any back. Not sure how to say that, I would show concern, take an interest in him, ask about his day, ask him what was up, give affection etc etc.

It was detrimental to me because he rejected me by shutting me out - I "knew" he was very unhappy about something but he denied, denied, denied for over a year. It totally and utterly devestated me, I became a wreck, had time off work, cried daily for 18 months am still on a high dose of anti depressants.

It was as though I am a nobody and a nothing in my own right. I have felt so worthless and unlovable because not even dh cares about me.

I'm sorry you don't like the way I write but I don't know how to explain it without it being a novel of the last 13 years we have been together...

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:35


I just feel awful for leaving him but he simply refuses to do anything about his depression or issues or whatever it is that means he'd rather live in his own little bubble with no-one else connected to him...

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 19:45:02

I think you'd find that, if you formally parted company with this man, you wouldn't have to seek help for yourself very much at all. Yes it would take some adjustment to living alone and sharing parenting of your DCs but, once you'd managed the transition and found your new groove, you'd wonder why you put up with such self-absorbed rubbish from him for so long.

Just because he doesn't show you any affection, it doesn't make you unloveable

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:52:11

My head knows that, it's the believing it part I have trouble with!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Feb-14 19:54:18

Waiting until you believe before you act could be a really long wait. Sometimes you have to have the courage of your convictions and ignore the wobbles. When you're out of this stressful environment and feeling calmer, you will believe.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 20:03:08

I hope so. I am petrified I will either

a) End up alone forever (and unhappy about it)
b) End up not learning to love myself and end up with another emotionally stunted, depressed, introvert - as I have in my 2 long term relationships!!

What I want is:

Learn to love myself and have deep seated self-worth and then meet someone who brings out the best in me - even if it takes a few years. Have fun and be mutually supportive.

Perhaps I just need to accept the wobbles...

Wierdywoo Sun 09-Feb-14 20:05:47

I have some experience of this and it is about focussing your thoughts and actions on YOU and not trying to be overhelpful to others, among many other things. I read 'Women who love too much' by Robin Norwood and Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. There may be more up to date/ relevant books available. I also had counselling and when I started rambling on about and trying to analyse the latest bloke, my counsellor would bring the conversation back to me and my issues.
My issue was with men and the 'baduns I chose and the way I let men treat me (any relationship was better than none, back then). I would try to 'fix' them and make them what I wanted them to be and of course none of this worked. I also had little self worth so was a doormat.
I did loads of writing and self-analysis around my issues and had to learn 'healthier ways of relating to men'.
I knew I was better when I met a nice, normal bloke and wanted to be with him.
Hope this helps.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 20:11:06

Thank you Wierdywoo it does help.

It feels wrong to be so self-focussed and to ignore the incredibly strong desire to feel close to someone even when I know it's not coming from a healthy place.

drudgetrudy Sun 09-Feb-14 21:32:44

It wasn't a case of not liking how you write, just of not understanding the problem. I think you were just trying to be concise. Now you have told us more it sounds really important that you are self-focussed for a while. Whether you leave immediately or not it is important to build yourself up and do things just for you, both indulging yourself and setting personal goals. The books that have been recommended are very good.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 21:38:22

Thanks drudge. I do write in fairly remote/disconnected way - not very good at engaging with my emotions.

So much work to do sad

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