Two codependents were out walking one morning when they came to a shallow river. “I’m scared of getting wet.” said one. “If you really love me you will carry me across the river.” The first codependent naturally agreed to this but, as codependents do, added a condition to the agreement. “I am so scared of walking in the dark woods on the other side” said the first one. “If you love me, you will walk in front of me as we go through the woods to scare away the bad spirits. After all I am doing for you, carrying you over the river, that’s not much to ask.” The second codependent agreed to this condition, as codependents do, so they set off across the river. But before they could reach the other side, the first one started to make comparisons as codependents do: “This isn’t fair. All you have to do is walk ahead of me in the woods. Carrying you is much harder. You make me so angry!” The more anger she felt, the more exhausted she became from the strain of carrying her partner (as codependents do) until she couldn’t go any further. “I’m too tired.” she said “You’ll have to walk the last bit to the river bank yourself.” And with that, she let him down (gently but firmly) into the river. This hurt the second codependent very deeply because it meant she no longer felt any love for him. So, naturally, as codependents do he hid his sadness by getting angry, hoping this would bring the love back again. After complaining bitterly about getting wet he stormed off, forgetting about his half of the bargain. The first codependent was even more hurt by this because she now knew that there was no love between them any more. She walked sadly through the woods, feeling alone and lost and scared but naturally hiding this behind a mask of anger. However, she built up courage by working out what to say that would hurt her partner the most, when she got home. Unfortunately neither of them ever discovered that had they looked a little further along the river bank they would have seen a pretty little bridge where two lovers could hold hands and look at the view. Nor did they ever discover that the bridge led over the river to a path that went safely round the dark woods and on through a meadow full of green grass and flowers, just meant for lovers who wanted to stroll together, side by side, instead of taking turns to carry each other or walk in front of, or behind, one another (as codependents do). http://www.growingaware.com.au/FABLECODEPND.HTM
But rarely do they act.
I used to think that finding the right one was about the man (woman) having a list of certain qualities. If he (she) has them, we’d be compatible and happy. Sort of a check-mark system that was a complete failure. But I found out that a healthy relationship isn’t so much about sense of humor or intelligence or attractive. It’s about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types. And then it’s about being with a good person. A good person on his (her) own, and a good person with you. Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy. A good relationship is where things just work. They work because, whatever the list of qualities, whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together. Deb Caletti
Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go.
People are constantly changing and growing.
Do not cling to a limited, disconnected,
negative image of a person in the past.
See that person now.
Your relationship is
always alive and
Brian L. Weiss
A man ought never to “should” on himself and he never ought to “should” on anyone else. “Should’s” are future expectations that have yet to be born. The problem with expectations about others is they are built from assumptions. When a codependent man assumes he knows what his wife or girlfriend thinks, or believes he understands how they feel, he makes a decision on how they should behave toward him. The expectation is for her to act a particular way based on some crazy idea that she”should” know what he wants or what he meant! The result is that his hints about his birthday get missed. He assumes she got the message. Resentment comes on strong when his birthday passes without the gift he expected. Or he helped clean up after dinner and took the kids out of her hair but was disappointed when she did not want to have the same romantic encounter that he was expecting! He ends up angry and resents trying to help out when she seemingly doesn’t care about his needs! Luckily there is hope if communication can be kept from breaking down. Keep it honest and keep it open! Say what you honestly mean and mean what you honestly say. adapted from an article by Corinna Craddock
It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages.
Resentment is nothing more than compulsive attachment to a set of memories. If you peek through the window of the mind factory when you feel resentful, you would see the production line turning out the same emotion-charged memory over and over: “He did that to me in 1983, he did that to me in 1983…” You are dwelling on something that took place in the past – or, more likely, on how you misunderstood that event and reacted to your misunderstanding. When you keep pumping attention into an event this way, even a limp little memory gets blown up into a big balloon of hostility. If you can withdraw your attention, the balloon is deflated. There is nothing more to it. Brooding on memories not only serves no earthly purpose, it can go on until your mind is so filled with balloons that there is no room for the joy of living. From “Conquest of Mind” by Eknath Easwaran
To carry a grudge is like
being stung to death by one bee.
William H. Walton