Often when the emotionally unavailable person leaves a relationship, there is no warning. It’s common for people on the receiving end to say, “It came out of the blue.” They may also express genuine surprise that you are not happy for them if they are leaving you for another love interest. Sometimes it seems that they are lacking sensitivity or even basic human empathy but unlike someone who is deliberately trying to be mean or invoke a jealous reaction, they simply do not grasp they may be hurting someone. In that case, be prepared for the fact that they may never “get” that they hurt you or anyone else. As frustrating as it can be, it may be more useful to try and move on. While it’s good to try to get some closure and “get it all out,” your closure may be accepting that this is a person who will never get it. While everyone can be emotionally distant at times, the emotionally unavailable person is a different creature entirely. Should you find yourself with one of these types, realize that without professional help and the desire to want to change for themselves, these sorts are never going to change because of you. Lastly, you’re not a failure. It’s likely that others have tried before you and were met with defeat as well. May you move on to better things, and may you find someone who will allow themselves to be emotionally available to you. From a post by Kimberly Loon http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/02/3-signs-of-an-emotional-unavailable-person/
Emotionally unavailable women and men
engaging in relationships are nothing short
of vampires feeding on the emotions of others.
There is nothing sexy or merciful, kind,
respectful or caring to be found in this –
none of the characteristics of a healthy
and lasting relationship.
11. Healthy Love encourages us to be ourselves, to be honest from the beginning with who we are, including our faults.
Addictive Love encourages secrets. We want to look good and put on an attractive mask.
12. Healthy Love flows out.
Addictive Love caves in.
13. Healthy Love creates a deeper sense of ourselves the longer we are together.
Addictive Love creates a loss of self the longer we are together.
14. Healthy Love gets easier as time goes on.
Addictive Love requires more effort as time goes on.
15. Healthy Love is like rowing across a gentle lake.
Addictive Love is like being swept away down a raging river.
16. Healthy Love grows stronger as fear decreases.
Addictive Love expands as fear increases.
17. Healthy Love is satisfied with what we have.
Addictive Love is always looking for “more, bigger, better.”
18. Healthy Love encourages interests to expand in the world.
Addictive Love encourages outside interests to contract.
19. Healthy Love is based on the belief that we want to be together.
Addictive Love is based on the belief that we have to be together.
20. Healthy Love teaches that we can only make ourselves happy.
Addictive Love expects the other person to make us happy and demands that we make our partner happy.
21. Healthy Love creates life.
Addictive Love creates melodramas.
We are addicted to our thoughts.
We cannot change anything
if we cannot change our thinking.
Crazymakers are devilishly charming. Do you know anyone who has been stopped for speeding a dozen times but never got a ticket? There’s a good chance this charmer is a crazymaker. At the surface they are almost always incredibly interesting and appealing. Crazymakers believe they are somehow different from others, often above others. They expect special treatment and make demands in absolute terms putting themselves ahead of others. Telling another person what that person “will” and “will not do” is a common trait of a crazymaker. Crazymakers have little respect for boundaries and have some notion that rules don’t apply to them. In their self perceived specialness they are mostly blind to other’s needs. I could be deeply involved in a work project I brought home and have a complete derailing begin with a question like “I know you said you had to focus on your work thing, but I can I ask you one little question?” Seems innocent enough, but rarely turned out that way. Crazymakers are the type of people with a thousand ideas, often including some good ones. They are also the ones who never get much past starting on them, if they even get that far. Something will always happen they give can place blame on that prevented them from moving forward. They finish almost nothing they begin. And they begin only a few things they intend. Crazymakers hate order and thrive on chaos. Given a short amount of time one can make any given moment a hurricane of disorder. Sometimes this is done to bring attention to them self. At other times it is to take attention off others. Crazymakers are expert blamers. Nothing is ever their fault. Even the things they do will get re assigned elsewhere as they explain why their actions have little to do with them and all to do with someone else. In their mind you made them to it!
Taking crazy things seriously
is a serious waste of time.
Codependency underlies all addictions. The core symptom of “dependency” manifests as reliance on a person, substance, or process (i.e, activity, such as gambling or sex addiction). Instead of having a healthy relationship with yourself, you make something or someone else more important. Over time, your thoughts, feelings, and actions revolve around that other person, activity, or substance, and you increasingly abandon your relationship with yourself. Abstinence or sobriety is necessary to recover from codependency. The goal is to bring your attention back to yourself, to have an internal, rather than external, “locus of control.” This means that your actions are primarily motivated by your values, needs, and feelings, not someone else’s. You learn to meet those needs in healthy ways. Perfect abstinence or sobriety isn’t necessary for progress, and it’s impossible with respect to codependency with people. You need and depend upon others and therefore give and compromise in relationships. It’s said that denial is the hallmark of addiction. This is true whether you’re an alcoholic or in love with one. Not only do codependents deny their own addiction – whether to a drug, activity, or person – they deny their feelings, and especially their needs, particularly emotional needs for nurturing and real intimacy. You may have grown up in a family where you weren’t nurtured, your opinions and feelings weren’t respected, and your emotional needs weren’t adequately met. Over time, rather than risk rejection or criticism, you learned to ignore your needs and feelings and believed that you were wrong. Some decided to become self-sufficient or find comfort in sex, food, drugs, or work. All this leads to low self-esteem. To reverse these destructive habits, you first must become aware of them. The most damaging obstacle to self-esteem is negative self-talk. Most people aren’t aware of their internal voices that push and criticize them — their “Pusher,” “Perfectionist,” and “Critic.” From an article By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/recovery-from-codependency/00014956
When you give another person
the power to define you,
then you also give them
the power to control you.
Love Addicts compensated for lack of nurturing as children by immersing themselves in fantasy. Fantasies of being rescued or being the rescuer abound. Knights, dragons, romance novels – getting high from fantasy becomes habit. When a Love Addict plays with fantasy, they can get high in about 10 minutes, and stay there for 2-3 hours. Endorphins are released into their system, relieving emotional pain. Love Addicts begin relationships by trying too hard to please and connect. They are driven to find someone to tell them they are loveable and loved; to find someone who will rescue them from their inability to care for themselves; rescue them from their loneliness, emptiness, lack of self-love, inability to feel safe in the world without someone to protect them. They look for a relationship to make them feel whole. By Mary Ellen O’Leary, MA, LPCC http://insidetherapy.com/codaloveaddict.html
I liked it. I craved it.
I wanted more and I took it.
I took it like I needed it,
like my life had a limit
and if I didn’t get as much
of it as I could I’d quit
breathing the next instant.
Treating Codependency is not something a doctor does to or for a ‘patient’. It is more like having diabetes. The patient has to learn how to take care of themselves every day for the rest of their lives. Recovery starts when a Codependent understands and has insight into their condition. It takes hold when they understand that they have never been victimized in their marriage. They arranged the right marriage for themselves in order to work on their unresolved childhood issues of not having enough power, not being heard, not being good enough, not being taken seriously, not getting enough attention, not being nurtured, etc. I always recommend that my new Codependent client read Melody Beattie’s classic book on the subject Codependent No More. Then I almost always strongly encourage them to join one of our Codependency Recovery groups. Group is like the gym. It is where a Codependent goes to lift weights and get stronger. I will talk more about group in a later chapter, but Group therapy rocks – it is inexpensive, weekly, powerful, fun, insight building and affirming. In my practice the wife is many times the Codependent person and she comes with her husband for couples sessions as well as attending the group sessions without him. In the couple work with a husband who is perhaps not in as much pain or in a place of having much enlightenment about his own issues the Codependent needs to come prepared to work hard at naming the issues that hurt her in the marriage. Actually bringing in a written list is a very good idea. It is a safe environment because the therapist won’t allow reactivity, control, manipulation, defensiveness, blaming, rage, massive denial or shaming to happen without it being named and quickly stopped. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone.
Marriage does not cause Codependency; it is just a place where it is practiced a lot. The roots of Codependency are always in childhood. Controlling, critical, abandoning, abusive and shaming parents and caretakers inflict the wounds in the tender psyches of children that result later in life as the low self-esteem, powerlessness, voicelessness, other centeredness, low entitlement, passiveness and depression that we correctly call Codependency. Many times this damage can seem subtle during the childhood itself. If it is all that you have ever known then what do you have to compare it to? In a healthy family children and teenagers are encouraged to have a voice. They are encouraged to speak up and make their cases. That is a skill that they will need in relationships, in school and on the job down the road. In a healthy family a child gets the focus and the attention and the care that they need. The focus isn’t on dad’s alcoholism or mom’s depression. The parents have the ability to really be there for the kids consistently. Parents can give praise directly to the children and they are lavish with it. Home is a safe and a predictable place. The child does not have to grow up too quickly. They can just focus on being a kid. They don’t become the emotional caretakers of their parents. Women are especially trained in our society to be Codependent, although there are also millions of Codependent men in our society as well. Women are taught to be sweet, supportive, nurturing, gentle, not too assertive and not too opinionated. The message a Codependent gets growing up is that they aren’t quite good enough. They don’t quite rate dad’s attention or his time. They don’t quite measure up to mom’s expectations. They need to try harder. They need to eliminate the self and anything positive that the self could have done for them. They need to live for others. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
I have always considered marriage
as the most interesting event of one’s life,
the foundation of happiness or misery.
A Codependency is a relationship in which an otherwise mentally healthy person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected by an addiction or mental illness. In Codependent No More, author Melody Beattie asks: “Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent.” Codependency is the tendency for the victim in an abusive relationship to develop dysfunctional patterns or habits in the process of trying to cope with a family member or partner who is abusive or neglectful or has an addiction. These patterns include denial of the problem, enabling or support of the abusive behavior, poor sense of self-worth, abandonment of personal goals or values and development of controlling or manipulative behaviors. Codependents are generally unsatisfied with the status quo, yet often fear the consequences of trying to make a change, of trying to detach or put a stop to the abuse .Codependence was first described as a problem observed in children of alcoholics, who developed distinctive patterns of denial, shame, avoidance, lack of boundaries, low self-worth and excessive sensitivity to the needs of others in an attempt to compensate for their parents’ disorders. These characteristics often carry over into adulthood and s-called “adult children” often find themselves in patterns of unstable social relationships. The terms “codependent” and “dysfunctional ” originally referred to families specifically affected by alcoholism. However, these terms have been popularly generalized to include any household situation involving a neglectful or abusive family member. Therefore, codependency often describes the characteristics of family members, spouses and partners of people who suffer from personality disorders and other mental illnesses. http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/Codependency.html
Life is not what
it’s supposed to be.
It’s what it is.
The way you cope
with it is what
makes the difference.
Once you understand that you actively seek others out to either cater to you, or to cater to, you can start taking better care of your self, and begin attracting healthier people into your life. Most often two people who have found themselves in habitual patterns of codependent behavior and thinking, cannot make a relationship work. Although it is possible, the constant policing of one another’s thoughts can be maddening. Therapy is extremely helpful in trying to break the thought patterns associated with codependent thinking. Journaling is also a useful tool, because it helps keep awareness alive. In addition it is wise to spend time with people who are free of codependent issues, as they offer the best models for relationships to strive for. If you tend to assume the role of caretaker easily, be wary of those who try to coerce you into roles that require you to take care of others emotionally, psychologically, or financially. Any time someone pushes past a personal boundary you have set, chances are you might be engaging with another codependent. In any healthy relationship, freedom of expression is encouraged not discouraged. If you find you are feeling like someone’s parent in a love relationship, it is best to graciously move on. If you are a taker, own that role and begin to understand it is no one’s job to cater to your emotional whims. It is your responsibility alone to meet life head on and to grow as a self reliant individual. It is not enough to cling to others, and to guilt partners into being in a relationship with you. Decide it is no longer enough to be someone else’s project, and head off in search of your true self. A healthy relationship is one that feels like a great pair of comfortable shoes that feel like they were made just for you. Your feet are just happier in them. When relationships are right, they fit. When they don’t they’re as uncomfortable as a size 5 shoe on a size 10 foot. From an article by Lisa A. Romano http://www.examiner.com/article/codependency-and-how-it-destroys-relationships
with the hope
“out there” can
instantly fill up
In codependent relationships there is a lack of personal boundaries as well as respect for complete honesty. Often there is level of secrecy that exists between the couple that they tend to hide from others. One partner is usually the caretaker and unknowingly controlled by the moods, ideas, whims, and behavior of the other. The caretaker is usually on a mission to keep their partner happy, stable and content. Unfortunately the caretaker often finds that they need to disown their own gut instincts for the sake of the happiness of their partner.Telling their partner the truth usually means emotional upset will erupt. The partner being taken care of is perceived as weaker in some way to the caretaker. This perceived helplessness, is a manipulative tactic that keeps the caretaker indebted to the needs of the taker. The taker is usually highly emotional, overreactive, perceived as fragile and unable to deal with living life on their own terms without demanding someone else assume responsibility for their happiness. Codependent relationships are dysfunctional and do not work in the long run. If codependent relationships continue, both partners suffer terribly as time goes on. The caretakers wind up feeling used, drained, frustrated, angry and resentful. The taker in the relationship continues on in life assuming others are responsible for their state of being. Their relationships are never authentic, because their caretakers often feel they must conceal their true feelings for the sake of the others happiness.The true shameful reality is, no one in the relationship ever get to be who they really are. The good news is that once you see the role you have assumed in your relationships clearly, you can change it. From an article by Lisa A. Romano http://www.examiner.com/article/codependency-and-how-it-destroys-relationships
Caretaking is never
about the other person.
It’s about wanting
to feel needed
because you’re afraid
you’re not wanted.