Codependency revealed

There is nothing like the deep cut of pain to open ones eyes to their own actions.

I am codependent. I have spent many years minimizing my own wants and needs to accommodate my husband’s. He never asked me to, but I have.

This is an old behaviour pattern for me. Read the room, decide how to keep the peace, act that way.

Smile, accommodate, don’t complain. It was still a mask, even if I didn’t realize it. I was still trying to protect myself from anger, criticism, being told I was selfish. I

I believed I was doing this to create contentment. I thought my behaviour was selfless.

But it was actually martyrdom and I was expecting so much less for myself than I deserve. Resentment has hidden inside and it has reared its head.

Why? Because it hasn’t worked. All my accommodating and lack of boundaries and empty threats didn’t keep craig in love with me. He still betrayed me. He did what he wanted. He always did.

I can only control my own behaviour, and my own behaviour has not always been for me. I can not control anyone else. Their decisions are on them.

So here is my opportunity. Now I can look at my life and try to remember what it is I want and value. And I can own those things, I can plan for them and I can find the words to voice my needs.

This has shaken me deeply. I know that is the sign that it’s real.

Stillness and peace,


27 thoughts on “Codependency revealed

    1. When I quit drinking I thought I dealt with this, but now I can see that I actually just eliminated my own boundaries and decided to ignore my needs.
      I desperately want contentment. But I was sacrificing myself at the alter of people pleasing and I didn’t even see it…

    1. Omg. I think it’s so hard.
      Letting someone else get upset is brutal. But managing the world so no one gets upset is impossible! Lol

      I think this realization is going to change my life.

    1. I think al anon might actually have something to offer…I might go try a meeting, even though my drunk is sober.
      I think many of these behaviours linger. After all, we don’t know any different.

  1. I am amazed by your strength and humbled by your insights.

    “Letting someone else get upset is brutal. But managing the world so no one gets upset is impossible! Lol”

    This is me in my own nutshell and by comments on this thread and many others I think this may be a very strong theme for many of us. I like to think it is because we are superior beings.

  2. I relate to this so much. Wish I knew how to change the dynamic. I have never learned to truly take care of myself. My drinking in part was a way to take care of myself. A way to rest, wind down, shut off the perfectionist in me, until the end when all I wanted was oblivion. We know how badly that turns out.

    Live in faith, not fear, dear Anne. I’m thinking of you.

  3. I think of you daily and try to send good metta your way, but obviously after reading this post I am thinking you got this!! I too am a people pleaser, it’s hard to let that go. Plus like so many others I hate confrontation. But…like you I am learning to deal with this aspect of my personality. Big hugs to you. Hang in there. You are beautiful inside and out – never forget that. A

  4. One of the dynamics that really gets focused on in the women’s group that my bride been in for almost 9 years is: Alcohol is a manifestation; codependency is underneath it.

    1. As I step back and am honest I see my own codependency and Craig’s narcissism. I want to say maybe I fed his narcissistic tendencies…but that’s taking on all the blame.
      I expect (know) I have gone along with much behaviour over the years to keep him happy. I am happy too, but not necessarily because of my relationships, but because of me.
      My relationship with my mother growing up was very similar. Me trying to prove I was worth loving.
      How did I never see this?
      I have 2 kids who need to see that boundaries and communication can be learned and implemented.

      1. I guess one of the things that’s really a strength for you here is you seem to have a profound clarity concerning a very complex issue of the head and heart.

        You’re one of my favorites on that side of the Pond, Anne. Prayers for you daily, as well as for functiongguzzler and Anna at Storm in a Wine Glass. So you’re in great company!

  5. Anne, I have to say I saw what are describing in your photos and posts of all the concerts and tattoo vacations. It seemed like thoses were all Craig-things but not Anne-things, like you were trying too hard to make it seem like you were enjoying it, but really just “going along to get along”. I was married to an alcoholic narcissist as well, and most of me was buried by the time I was ready for a divorce. The issue is these individuals decide who we are and then expect us to perform those roles (and believe me they are supporting roles to the lead actor) flawlessly and without complaint or there will be consequences (in my case verbal and emotional abuse). Anyway, even though you are hurting, this is good time and place for you spiritually.

  6. I’m sure I’m very codependent also. I was married over30 years when I began to suspect that my husband might be having an affair. I began finding circumstantial evidence but only circumstantial. We went to two disastrous counselors.

    After 10 months of him trying to desperately convince me of no affair, I discovered he was hiding our savings! Thousands of dollars. I left him but came home after 2 weeks for a commitment to our youngest who was a Senior in high school.

    He groveled and begged and showed me all money.ive been home for 2 years. This past April I discovered another phone number on my iPod under my private settings for facebook.

    I called it. It was a complete different woman from the church we had left two years before. I got her voicemail and was shocked.

    I wrote number down and deleted it. I didn’t tell my husband until late that night. He really had no reaction.

    Got up the next morning and he was outside. I picked up his phone to check the weather and her name was coming across the bottom of his screen in typed blue letters. I went to check messenger and it disappeared. There was also no message.

    He came in and asked and of course he had no idea. A bit later I looked at his safari history and only the gmail app was there. Of course he had no idea why.

    WI did call her a few days later and asked her why her number was under my private settings. She had no idea. I didn’t believe her excuses. We saw her and her grown son out and my husband and I have been arguing since. He and Zi only share a yahoo mail.

    I’ve been told that can only happen with some kind of contact. I’ve also recently asked for phone records as we are under a grown sons plan. My husband has supposedly asked him for them but nothing yet.

    Am I crazy? Was their contact? You won’t be able to get me on the email I sign in on so answer here if possible.

    1. I don’t think you are crazy.
      When something seems wrong it usually is.
      I would be inclined to call her and ask what’s going on.
      But first I would protect whatever financial assets you can.
      Better safe than sorry.
      I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Trust is a delicate thing.

  7. You’ve taken a giant step by sharing this with others. This is your moment and it’s a moment you chose. That’s control and this is a step in the right direction.

  8. Realising I was SO co dependent shook me to the core ‘but I’m only trying to be a good person/unselfish’ etc… unravelling and changing my co dependent habits and reactions has made me SO much happier and freer. Biggest awakening.. but creeps back in all the time.
    Was thinking about you yesterday and thought I needed to check in here to see how you’re doing. Must be so tough, but you are so tough.. and now, yes.. even more than ever is the time to just think about YOU and what YOU want. I know you know this.. but hey, some friendly reinforcement is never bad eh? Hugs xxx

    1. Friendly reinforcement is so welcome. Thank you for thinking of me.
      Some days I am worried I will be lonely forever now. The hug helped.
      At least I have the kids for a few more years!

      I am working on putting me first. And understanding boundaries. I am definitely a conflict avoider…

  9. Thank you for sharing this. It has been some time since this was posted… you mentioned this being your time to find out what your own values, passions, etc are… have you been finding this difficult, after having spent so long living your life for someone else? I ask this because I have come across this challenge myself, and welcome tips on moving forward.

  10. Oh yes, I can relate to a lot of this. I have been working on this “detachment from self-imposed martyrdom” for some years now. Wonderful post, Anne.

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