If you’re in a codependent relationship with a controlling or needy woman, you might find that the relationship is especially restrictive. Some common traits of these relationships include:
- You have to always let her know where you are
- When you’re out, you have to speak on the phone multiple times a day
- You are discouraged from keeping female friends
- She takes an active dislike of some of your friends and/or family, and feels offended that you would have them as part of your life
- She attempts to control your internet usage, or monitors your email and other online communications (Facebook, etc.)
- She shows excessive jealousy
- She has difficulty letting petty issues go, and insists that you both talk about them at length
- She mistrusts you and casts a suspicious eye, even if you’ve done nothing wrong
- She’s often critical of your behavior
- You find yourself often “walking on eggshells” around her
- Your friends tell you that you shouldn’t put up with her, but you feel the need to stay
- You can’t speak your mind because you’re too afraid of how she’ll react
- You’ve considered breaking up for a long time, but you don’t want to break her heart
- You feel that she may not be able to live without you, or you’ve tried to break up and she threatened drastic action (quitting her job, hurting herself, etc.)
These are just a few possible indicators of a codependent relationship, and by no means is an exhaustive list. Relationships should be places of comfort and acceptance, and they should be avenues to expanding your horizons, not restricting them. Relationships should add joy to one’s life, and though they often hit rough patches, a relationship shouldn’t be a constant burden. Codependent relationships can be so stressful and restrictive that the men involved often reach a boiling point, blowing-up at their partner. It’s like a release valve, and after the pressure dissipates a bit, they fall right back into the pattern. By Michael S. Freeman http://ezinearticles.com/?Men,-Are-You-in-a-Codependent-Relationship-With-a-Needy,-Controlling,-Or-Emotionally-Volatile-Woman?&id=2220700
Women always worry
about the things
that men forget;
men always worry
about the things
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Denial is one of the most difficult human conditions to deal with. The more old pain and feelings we have “stuffed”, the more difficult denial is to break through. It is important to look truthfully at our past and our parents to realize that everyone did the best they knew how. That way, we don’t get stuck in blaming. It is also important to develop skills in conflict resolution so that we can work through the conflicts that emerge from telling the truth and breaking the “happy family” illusion. With good tools and skills, these conflicts can become doorways to creating real intimacy in a family. Weinhold and Weinhold
If you cannot get rid
of the family skeleton,
you may as well make it dance.
George Bernard Shaw
Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my husband (wife) or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. Codependents are way too passive and powerless. That is the deal that they choose. They pick controlling men (women) to marry. That was always the deal. Codependents do not know how to pleasantly set boundaries with consequences and teeth. They might lose they tempers from time to time, but then they go back to being too passive. It is their nature. Arguing with their controlling, defensive husband (wife) is like trying to argue with a brick wall. Codependents are voiceless. They seldom get heard by the people that they really need to get heard by. They are riding in a runaway van that their unhealthy husbands (wives) are… driving. It seems unfair but it is not. It is the deal that was struck from the very first date. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
To be yourself in a world
that is constantly trying
to make you something else
is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are many definitions used to talk about codependency today. The original concept of codependency was developed to acknowledge the responses and behaviors people develop from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser. A number of attributes can be developed as a result of those conditions. However, over the years, codependency has expanded into a definition which describes a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem-solving developed by family rules. One of many definitions of codependency is: a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family which is experiencing great emotional pain and stress. Maladaptive means an inability for a person to develop behaviors which get needs met. Compulsive means acting in a way that goes against one’s conscious desires in which to behave. As adults, codependent people have a greater tendency to get involved in “toxic relationships“, in other words with people who are perhaps unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy. And the codependent person tries to provide and control everything within the relationship without addressing their own needs or desires; setting themselves up for continued unfulfillment. Even when a codependent person encounters someone with healthy boundaries, the codependent person still operates in their own system; they’re not likely to get too involved with people who have healthy boundaries. This of course creates problems that continue to recycle; if codependent people can’t get involved with people who have healthy behaviors and coping skills, then the problems continue into each new relationship. Generally, if you’re feeling unfulfilled consistently in relationships, you tend to be indirect, don’t assert yourself when you have a need, if you’re able to recognize you don’t play as much as others. http://reconciliationinc.com/individual-family-counseling/screenings-and-assessments/codependency/
… about people
and problems doesn’t help.
It doesn’t solve problems,
it doesn’t help other people,
and it doesn’t help us.
It is wasted energy.
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
Vengeance is wanting to make the other person suffer as much or more than the perceived suffering you have felt because of their actions, simply because of what they did to you, and to find pleasure or amusement in their pain because of the way they wronged you. Justice means that the person pays a proper penance for the wrong they have done. They have a moral, and sometimes legal, obligation to try to make things “right” after the wrong they have done. Justice should be fair – vengeance rarely is. We have a right to seek justice – we do not have a moral right to seek revenge. Revenge does damage to you, even if you do not realize it. Justice is simply moral accounting. I realize that moral accounting is already in effect – and justice, as the universe deals it, will be served. Forgiveness means letting go of the pain inside of you, while still allowing you to seek justice served morally or legally. Life moves forward without the weight that holding on to a lost cause brings. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give another, but something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. When you look at it this way, forgiveness is possible in any situation, once you are ready to release the pain of the wrongdoing and move on with your life. From “Forgiveness – the Gift You Give Yourself” http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
Every person has a dark side.
What defines a person
with good character
is not a spotless life
of constant kindness,
smiles and even temperament.
But rather, it’s the yearning
to learn from your mistakes,
applying it, making amends for them
and choosing not to repeat them
that defines good character.
Shannon L. Alder
When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. http://www.familytreecounseling.com/marksblog/?s=When+a+Codependent+starts+a+romantic+relationship+
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
“Why don’t men express their feelings?” Well, they do. Men just express their feelings differently. First of all, they have more control over their facial expressions, where most feelings are communicated. Women are what experts call high-expressers and externalizers, whereas men are low-expressers and internalizers. Men can substitute, neutralize or minimize their emotional expression through facial expressions. In contrast, women are an “open book.” Society conditions women to think they are the emotional gender. Women are taught a separate set of rules that allow a wider range of self-expression. Women aren’t as good at hiding their facial expressions… With men, it’s more of a guessing game. Self-expression isn’t purely learned. The different brains are also at work. According to Morgan Road in her book The Female Brain, “The areas of the brain that track emotion are larger and more sensitive in the female brain.” Men notice subtle signs of sadness in a face only 40 percent of the time, whereas women pick up on the signs 90 percent of the time, Road says. When you are expressive, people also know where you stand. This, in turn, increases their comfort level and feeling of familiarity. We are always suspect of the people we can’t seem to get to know. They won’t let us in, so what are they hiding? Adapted from the book “Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen” by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/he-speaks-she-speaks/201102/the-expressive-trap
They have the unique ability
to listen to one story
and understand another.
We are codependent because we allow the behavior of another person to effect our behavior so that we become consumed with that person and their problems. This obsession with the issues and problems of others becomes debilitating to us as we exhaust inordinate and inappropriate amounts of mental and emotional energy over them, leaving little, if any, energy for ourselves. Often our childhood was so chaotic and our environments were so out of control, we learned ways to escape to try to find serenity. As we grew into adulthood, we worked hard at trying to control our external environment, believing it was the key to our happiness and inner peace. Our family of origin was frequently dysfunctional. Sometimes we even blamed ourselves for our parent’s problems. If we were terrorized by a volatile alcoholic parent, anger became an unacceptable and unwelcomed guest in our lives. Anger was to be avoided at all costs. As a result, we learned to appease; we learned to rescue. We learned to be aware of others’ feelings in order to protect ourselves and began to lose touch with our own feelings. We made ourselves responsible for the happiness of others, and when they weren’t happy, neither were we. We are extremely loyal but also extremely insecure. Self-doubt is our constant companion, and often self-hatred. Being unacceptable to ourselves, we hide our true selves, convinced that if anyone truly knew us, they would abandon us. This fear of abandonment often fuels our codependent behavior as we seek to do everything in our power to become so valuable that others would not want to leave us. By choice, our lives are not our own and our emotions are the property of whatever crisis the person(s) closest to us is having. http://www.vvcrossroads.org/ministries/recovery/codependency/men
It’s not that you should never love something
so much that it can control you.
It’s that you need to love something
that much so you can never be controlled.
It’s not a weakness. It’s your best strength.
If you have mixed feelings, say so, and express each feeling and explain what each feeling is about. For example: “I have mixed feelings about what you just did. I am glad and thankful that you helped me, but I didn’t like the comment about being stupid. It was disrespectful and unnecessary and I found it irritating”.
* Express feelings productively.
* Respectfully confront someone when you are bothered by his or her behavior.
* Express difficult feelings without attacking the self-esteem of the person.
* Clarify for you and the other person precisely what you feel.
* Prevent feelings from building up and festering into a bigger problem.
* Communicate difficult feelings in a manner that minimizes the other person’s need to become defensive, and increases the likelihood that the person will listen.
When you first start using these techniques they will be cumbersome and awkward to apply, and not very useful if you only know them as techniques. However, if you practice these techniques and turn them into skills, it will be easy for you to express difficult feelings in a manner that is productive and respectful. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings
You cannot make someone love you.
You can only make yourself
someone who can be loved.