Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 275
C
Member
OP Offline
Member
C
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 275
Mere..

I have obviously struck a nerve with you, but am not interested in debating my life with you and am done responding to your posts. I'm not perfect, made lots of mistakes, but I have owned them and am moving forward in my life. Perhaps you should focus on your own healing and recovery.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
I don't understand, you go to great detail justifying why you cheated on and divorced your BH, but you also claim your BH divorced you, not the other way around?

When you came back and posted that you were getting a divorce you didn't make it sound as if you still wanted to stay married and work things out, but your BH was going to divorce you anyway.

You posted a list of complaints about his problems and how he supposedly didn't contribute anything to the marriage and family (in direct contrast to what you'd previously posted about what an involved father he was, how he did things like run a bubble bath for you, and how BOTH of you had let the marriage relationship take second place to raising a family).

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"Mere..

I have obviously struck a nerve with you, but am not interested in debating my life with you and am done responding to your posts. I'm not perfect, made lots of mistakes, but I have owned them and am moving forward in my life. Perhaps you should focus on your own healing and recovery."

Hey no problem - I'm just confused by the things you post, the inconsistencies.

"My H & I talked again last night and he listened to me honestly talk about how I am feeling at this point. We talked about how important it is we start working on our M. He still seems to think he has to deal with himself first, but I tried to explain that there are some things we need to work on together NOW! We talked about EN’s but are putting them on the back burner for now. We started the 20 Simple Rules like you suggested"

I think you somehow got the false impression that your BH owed it to you to listen to you talk about your feelings for the OM. Your frequent complaints about your BH not wanting to do that indicated that you felt it was an EN your BH was neglecting.

Also, you later accused your BH of not wanting to deal with his own issues and that was your justification for thinking about divorcing him. But previously you had complained about him wanting to deal with his own problems first, that being a higher priority to him, something he believed would be better for the marriage than listening to you talk about how good the OM made you feel.

So in all fairness you'd have to admit that your complaint about your husband wanting to work on his own problems first (and that was preventing recovery) conflicts with your later complaint that he supposedly refused to work on his own problems first (and that is why a divorce was necessary).

Also, you'd said you were vulnerable to adultery because BOTH you and your husband had focused so much on the children and put the relationship with each other second and that the children were doing quite well; but then you later claimed that you shouldered all the parenting responsibilities alone, your BH was no more like a 4th child, and you and the children were suffering so much because of this strain that divorce was justified.

The only consistency is your false assumption that your BH owed it to you to listen to you gush about your feelings for OM.


Last edited by meremortal; 08/04/08 12:47 PM.
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 333
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 333
Cardsonly:

I know how frustrating it is to get a 2x4 from a total stranger but you have to remember that: A) the total strangers giving you free advice are basing everything from your own words and how they are interpreted; and B) you asked for our advice by starting this thread

7/19/2006: “You have been where? Done what? Have you been married for 20 years to a chronically depressed person or a person with mental illnesses? Do you know ANYTHING about co-dependency? Were you abused in your marriage? Unless you have walked in THESE shoes, you cannot speak to the situation. Minimizing the pain and suffering of these marriages is both insensitive AND destructive.”

I don’t know what the technical definition of co-dependency is but staying with an abusive man for 20 years may fall into that category as would, I think, having two long term relationships within the first two years of the divorce… plus a “heated” affair sprinkled in for taste.

Question for/about all men being “in love”

Maybe you are asking the wrong question? Maybe instead of asking why your current boyfriend won’t take the next step you should be asking yourself, ‘Am I ready if he did.’


FBH, 39
Now a primary custody dad
New life began June 2008
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
You now I could be reading more into it... that is a possibility.
I will repost some for your first thread here and see what impression other posters get:

"My H & I talked again last night and he listened to me honestly talk about how I am feeling at this point. We talked about how important it is we start working on our M. He still seems to think he has to deal with himself first, but I tried to explain that there are some things we need to work on together NOW! We talked about EN’s but are putting them on the back burner for now. We started the 20 Simple Rules like you suggested

hate to admit, though, that part of my problem is I'm still feeling unsure of my feelings for my H. I want to BELIEVE that we can both have loving feelings towards each other, but I just don't know.

It gives me hope to hear that others doubted their love but later had the feelings coming back. I do love my H & I have gained some respect for him by the way he has been handling this whole situation. He has tried hard to be supportive of me and has tried to hear about my feelings. I guess that's a beginning and I should realize the importance of that. So much time has passed when we were disconnected, maybe that's why it's hard for me to imagine us closing the gap. I am trying though.

For both of us, our OM made the decision to protect their W as much as they could. Speaking only for myself, I'm sure I felt some rejection that W was "chosen" over me (even though I had no intention of leaving H for OM). That's the irony-wanting OM to want me more than anything, but having no intention of leaving my world for his.

my H & I are most definitely NOT spending enough time together, but we do know that this is a problem. We are spending most of our time running kids to & from school, soccer, and other activities. We both recognize that we have failed in the area of prioritizing our M. Way back when I was in the Twins Club we were told to make sure you go on dates with your H. We didn't, as we had no one capable enough to watch our 3 babies. I will take both of your advice on this and make sure that we START by doing things together on a regular basis. We are almost to the point of leaving the kids home alone for small blocks of time - and we are so looking forward to that!

I sometimes feel guilty for all the time and energy my EA has sucked out of me, my H, and even all of you who give to help us. Even though we focus on these marital crises here, we all have other problems and issues in our lives. I hope you're not feeling bad about taking anti-d, this is a fact of life with my H and his family history.

My focus HAS been my H and M and how to repair and restore it. We are taking it slowly. I am still putting a "face" on the "why's" of what I did. I am looking at the bigger picture of what my life was, and how my EA resulted from not just my H not meeting my EN's, but how I allowed myself to get lost in life and all its demands. I recognize that it is my responsibility to see when giving and giving and giving is detrimental to myself. I, no one else, am ultimately responsible for the care of myself. I took a mental "vacation" from my normal life during the span of the EA. Not just from my H, but from my kids, friends, church, everything. I pulled myself out of the ratrace and lived in a fantasy, somehow still managing to get through the day to day life. This experience has given me pause to re-evaluate not only my M, but also my whole life. It's quite unsettling, but I think ultimately it could be beneficial for me and my whole family.

When I have my games pulled up, my H pauses at the pc to see if OM is on. Of course at some point I did wish that he would show up, but I'm glad he didn't otherwise we would have had to ban that too!

Why will I not allow myself to accept those reasons and move forward? I'm guessing it has to do with my R with my H. Unlike 2BN, my EA was relatively short. My H doesn't view the situation as a "serious" A, or that he was lied to and deceived. There is some but he simply has moved on from it. I think this is partly where my problem is. I have viewed this experience as much "larger" than he has. I have tried to explain this, but I don't know that he understands it (or wants to). Maybe he is in denial. So, whereas I think our M is in a crisis, he may believe it to be less urgent to repair. I see where things are returning to where they were before. Where Beavis, & Owl, & 2BN's H saw the wake-up call, my H is not.

I DO think our M is in a somewhat better place than it was before the EA. We have had some good communication, so I do see some improvement with relating to each other. I do believe we are BOTH trying in this area, and we are taking the time to be together and talk. Maybe I'm just being impatient and need to give it time.

I somewhat feel like a complainer - on the one hand happy that my H is able to let the EA go & not dwell on it; but then whining that he doesn't realize how big a deal it is. More thought needed on this!!!

I've been thinking lots about whether or not to share more about the EA with H. In one sense I WANT to tell ALL the details so H understands the depth of it and I would be free of them (the details), but I can't believe that "forcing" him to hear all the details would really be productive. I also wonder, as time goes on, if I will have less and less of a need to cleanse myself of the details anyway. Maybe that's just another way of "self-medicating" by bringing up OM? What do you think? I know that if things were reversed, I would want to hear it all, but he's just not interested.

early on we did talk about the fact that I felt that new "in-love" feeling. In fact, every time he questioned why I was still in withdrawal I would have to point out the strong feelings I had. I never said, either, that I loved OM, but I did say it felt like falling in love. Maybe he is just not "hearing" me, or, realizing the seriousness. I just don't know.

We had another busy weekend, but my H shocked me this morning when HE asked that we start back up with talking every night (we had made a concerted effort a while back, but since soccer season has started our evenings have been crazy!). This coming from the guy who I practically had to tie down to a chair to have more than a 5 minute conversation with. Oh, did I ever mention that my H is ADD? Anyway, I looked at him questioningly and he said he feels like we need to keep going forward and that we haven't been talking enough. I asked him if it feels like it did before the EA and he said it's not as bad as that, but wants it to be better. I have ALWAYS initiated these types of discussions, so I am pleasantly surprised to even hear this from him.

I just read Sys post from today. I can identify with him in that we, too, are working towards "liking" each other. We had gotten too far apart, and there wasn't much connection at all. I mentioned the ADD. My H has many wonderful qualities, but there has been quite a bit of chaos in our lives, too, in part due to some of his traits. I know that he feels responsible for causing a lot of it in the past, and my EA makes me more "human" to him. I think he sees it that my "mistake" has somehow made us more "equal" in our humanness. Isn't that strange?

He initially DID want to know the details, but since January when he discovered the EA he has not wanted to know more. Here's what happened in our case. For whatever reason, I saved all our IM conversations. My H had begun to suspect something was up. 2BN, my kids were aware I was chatting with "a friend" over Christmas vacation when I was home with them. This came up once or twice in conversations. I explained it away as my card partner and laughed it off to the whole family. At some point my H had heard the name once too often and put two and two together one night when I was up at 4 am chatting. At the time he didn't push me or look at what I was doing, but the following week he asked to check my email because he said he had given mine out for job hunting purposes. I gave it to him & he found an email where we had arranged to meet at a certain time. Immediately my H assumed this was a PA and we were meeting somewhere. He confronted me a couple days later & I explained it was an online friend. He said a few things that made me think he had read the conversations I had saved, so I asked him about that. It turns out he hadn't then, but it tipped him off to do a thorough pc search. He saw the conversations and read only a couple before I walked in one day. I know he read one where we were mildly flirting, but this is also how he found out about the webcams. He was outraged (naturally) and left the house, which is when I copied off the conversations and deleted them off the hard drive. He later asked about the conversations and when I told him I had deleted them he seemed somewhat relieved.

I think some BS would want to know every detail so that they could try to understand their WS and what was going on in their heads. But I think for my H it was enough to know that I was emotionally & physically attracted to someone else. I think that was enough information for him - that was bad enough.

I have found myself continuing to work through my issues, understanding what I need, trying to put other things in my life to fill those needs. Yet, still, OM is there. Despite all this time and CLARITY of what was, and what is, and what would ever be, OM 'shadows' me. For those of us who cannot seem to emotionally break the ties, I think the only solution is time & no contact. But how much time?

(posted on 12/06/05):
The other factor that could be helping with all this is our H's/M's, of course. For whatever reason, they are not getting to us. Maybe we are not allowing it, maybe they are not trying......As long as we feel that loss of what OM gave us, we will probably revert back to how they made us feel. The key is defining & filling that loss.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
IMHO your refusal to get rid of the reminders of the OM kept you addicted to him longer.

Did you ever confess to your BH that you had printed off and kept the messages from the OM when you told him you'd deleted them?

Did you stop going to that game site that you secretly hoped OM would show up at?

Did you finally tear up and throw away that slip of paper with the OM's phone number on it?

Did you get another eyeglass case or do you still cherish the one that smells like the scent the OM wore?

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Dr. Harley has some compelling thoughts on the co-dependency movement. He is very co-dependent and I am too!

Quote
How the Co-dependency Movement
Is Ruining Marriages
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.


Those of us in the business of trying to save marriages struggle daily with cultural beliefs and practices that make our job difficult. The sudden surge of divorces in the 1970's, that has made America the country with the highest divorce rate, has a great deal to do with changes in our basic beliefs. More to the point, it has to do with a major shift toward self-centeredness. Beliefs that encourage self-centeredness destroy marriage.

One of these is the belief that co-dependent behavior is self-defeating and that we should rid ourselves of it. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing and a marriage wrecker. I'll try to explain why I feel so strongly about this issue.

First, let me define what co-dependency is. I'll use a quotes from an article by Edmund J. Bourne. (The internet link to the original article is no longer available. But the quotes I use are so typical of co-dependency thinking that I still find it useful. And there are very few in the movement who would refute the gist of his position).

According to Bourne,


"Co-dependency can be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own. You accommodate to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs. Your self-esteem depends largely on how well you please, take care of and/or solve problems for someone else (or many others)."

I look at that definition and think of Mother Teresa, how co-dependent she must have been. Not that I'm a Mother Teresa, but I certainly feel that I aspire to those objectives. If I find my self-esteem in the way I care for others, what's wrong with that? If we were all co-dependent, wouldn't this be a wonderful world?

Dr. Bourne offers us a questionnaire to complete to see if we are "dealing with co-dependency issues." Lets look at them one at a time:


1. If someone important to me expects me to do something, I should do it.
I don't hop whenever someone says hop. But if, say, God expects something of me (and he's certainly important), I believe I should do it. Okay, I'll leave God out of it. What about my wife, Joyce. Should I meet her every expectation? For starters, I can't do it. But on the other hand, I care about her. I want to do what I can to meet her needs, and avoid doing things that make her unhappy. She's not a princess and I'm not a slave, but she's important to me and I try to do what she expects of me. So if the person is as important as Joyce, I guess my answer to the first question is, "yes," with the qualifier, "try to do it."


2. I should not be irritable or unpleasant.
I know how people affect me when they're irritable or unpleasant. I want to head for the hills. So if I am concerned about how I affect other people, particularly Joyce, who has to live with me, I should protect her from my unpleasant tendencies, particularly my angry outbursts, disrespectful judgments and selfish demands. Those Love Busters can wreck our relationship in no time if I let them run amok. So my answer to this statement is "yes."


3. I shouldn't do anything to make others angry at me.
Well, let's see. What are some of the things I do that make others angry with me. I show them disrespect by interrupting them when they are talking, I point out their faults and failures, I get angry with them ... Yes, there are many things I've done that make others angry at me. When I am counseling, I can do some of them without my client feeling anger. They seem to expect me to point out their short-comings. In my years of counseling, very few clients have ever reported feeling angry with me.

But in my marriage, it's a different story. I firmly believe that when Joyce is angry with me, I had something to do with her experience. Because I don't want to do things that hurt her or upset her, I regret doing it.

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe that my mistakes justify an angry outburst on Joyce's part. She needs to protect me from her abusive behavior just as I need to protect her from mine. But if she feels anger toward me, I have done something that has annoyed or offended her, and should try to avoid it if I can. Another "yes" if it applies to Joyce, and a qualified "yes" regarding most other people.


4. I should keep people I love happy.
This gets to the core of what life in general, and marriage in particular, is all about. Why am I here, anyway? I chose psychology as a career partly because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. I specialized in marriage counseling because I found so many people in miserable marriages, and I thought I could help.

When I married Joyce, I wanted to make her happy. I know, we can't "make" anyone happy. Everyone has a huge role to play in their own happiness. But at least I wanted to try to meet her emotional needs, and I expected her to meet mine. And I wanted to avoid hurting her, just as I expected her to avoid hurting me. We both believed that we had a responsibility to each other to try to make each other happy, and avoid making each other unhappy.

I'm aware of the downside of trying to make people happy. If they turn all responsibility for their happiness over to us, we end up carrying a crushing load. But most people don't do that. It's only in unhealthy relationships that one person sucks the life out of the other. I'll get into that subject after we're done with the questionnaire, but with that qualification, my answer to this statement is, "yes."


5. It's usually my fault if someone I care about is upset with me.
This goes back to statement #3, that has to do with how I affect people. From a philosophical level, I think we can all agree that if someone is upset with us, we had at least something to do with their reaction. Whether or not we could have avoided it depends on all sorts of things, but even if we couldn't avoid it, it's still partially our fault. The word "usually" helps me answer this one with a "yes."


6. I obtain self-esteem out of helping others solve their problems.
What is self-esteem, anyway? It's feeling good about ourselves, feeling that we're okay. Getting back to my earlier question about the meaning of life, what do I have to feel good about? That I exist? No. I don't give myself any credit for my existence. I feel good about the choices I make and what I can do -- primarily for others. If I can't do anything for someone else, I'm certain I'd have no reason to have self-esteem.

Self-esteem is not something that I need in order to be productive. It's being productive that gives me self-esteem. It's what comes after we do something, not before. And what we do for self-esteem can't be just anything. It must be what we value. Of the things I do, what do I value the most? I'm afraid I fail the co-dependency test again. I value most what I do for others. So that means that the more I help others solve their problems, the better I feel about myself. I'm afraid this statements gets a "yes."


7. I tend to overextend myself in taking care of others.
Definitely, "yes."



8. If necessary, I put my own values or needs aside in order to preserve my relationship with my significant other.
We're talking about Joyce. This is a trick question because one of my values is to preserve my relationship with her at all costs. It is impossible to put that value aside, and still try to preserve my relationship with her. But I will assume that this statement refers to other values, and again I answer "yes."


9. I have a hard time receiving things from others.
I'd rather give than receive, if that's what the question is getting at. But I don't mind it when Joyce meets my needs. In fact, I expect her to meet my needs. So for the very first time, I will answer one of these statements with a "no."


10. Fear of someone else's anger has a lot of influence on what I say or do."
I'm one of those odd ducks that don't experience fear very often, so my answer to this one is also, "no." But I should add that people's anger does influence me, especially when it's Joyce's anger. But it is not fear that I experience, rather sadness that I did something to disappoint her.

After completing all these questions, I'm told by Dr. Bourne that if I answered three or more of these statements with a "yes," I am likely to be dealing with chemical dependency issues. What does eight "yes" responses mean? I must be a basket case!

As I read on in his article, I discover that:


"The consequences of maintaining a co-dependent approach to life is a lot of resentment, frustration and unmet personal needs. When these feelings and needs remain unconscious, they often resurface as anxiety -- especially chronic, generalized anxiety. The long-term effects of co-dependency are enduring stress, fatigue, burnout and eventually serious physical illness."
Is it too late? Have I been co-dependent too long to avoid these terrible consequences? Reading these predictions would put most people into a panic, but, remember, I don't experience fear or anxiety very often.

Wait just a minute! If I'm co-dependent, why don't I experience fear very often. Why is anxiety one of my least-felt emotions. After all, since I am so very co-dependent, you'd think that I would be a bundle of jangled nerves. But I'm not. I'm none of those things that Dr. Bourne says co-dependent people are.

I'm clearly co-dependent (most of those who know me well would attest to that), but I have no anxiety problems whatsoever. And no problems with depression, either. In fact, I am inexplicably happy. And neither my wife nor I have any chemical dependency issues, either. We are in love with each other, and have a great marriage.

Pity the poor person who has an anxiety disorder. Or more to the point, pity that person's spouse. The solution to "chronic, generalized anxiety" is to


not do what others's expect,

be as irritable and unpleasant as you wish,

make people angry with you,

don't try to make the people you love happy,

don't blame yourself when someone you care for is upset with you,

gain self-esteem from what you do for yourself, rather than what you do for others,

don't ever care about others so much that you overextend yourself,

maintain your values and needs even if it means ruining your marriage,

take from others whenever you can, and

don't let someone else's anger deter you from your objectives.

A formula for sociopathic behavior if I've ever seen one. You go in with anxiety and come out a terrorist!


If you want to know the truth, co-dependent beliefs and behavior do not lead to anxiety. They lead to healthy, happy marriages. Joyce and I am living proof.

You may be thinking, But how can that be? We've all been taught not to be co-dependent. It's blasphemy to challenge such a well-established belief system. Dr. Harley, now that I know how you feel about co-dependency, I'm not sure I can accept any of your concepts. You have really disappointed me.

Give me a chance to redeem myself. I, of all people, understand how the concepts of co-dependency started. I had a one-year internship in a treatment center for chemical dependency, and I owned and operated ten such centers myself. Co-dependency was something all of us addressed in marriages where one or both spouses were addicted to drugs or alcohol.

When an alcoholic is married to a loving and caring spouse, the spouse's love and care is sucked in like a black hole. It drains the caring spouse of everything they have, leaving him or her not only exhausted, but also having failed to meet their sick spouse's needs. In these cases, the non-alcoholic spouse must emotionally detach themselves or becomes emotionally destroyed.

When the 10 statements that we just considered are applied to care of an alcoholic, the answers are very different than the ones I gave. Consider them in the context of living with an alcoholic:


If the "important" person is an alcoholic, what they expect is often totally unrealistic and should not be done. Their addiction causes them to suffer very negative consequences, and they expect their spouses to shield them from those consequences. It can't, and shouldn't be done. If I were married to an alcoholic, my answer to this statement would be "no."

Anyone living with an alcoholic is going to be irritable and unpleasant. It can't be avoided, because the environment is so incredibly sick -- "no".

If you deny an alcoholic's unrealistic request, he or she will become angry. So it's impossible to avoid their anger. Again, "no."

You can't keep an alcoholic happy, because their emotional needs are sacrificed for whatever it takes to get their next drink. "No."

An alcoholic is upset because his addiction is ruining him, not because of something his spouse did. It's not the spouse's fault that he's upset. "No."

If you think you will gain self-esteem helping an alcoholic solve his problems, short of helping him overcome his addiction, you're not going to have any self-esteem. That's because he can't solve his problems as long as he's addicted. "No" is the answer.

Talk about overextension! If you want to be really overextended and get nothing for your effort, try to take care of an alcoholic. "No."

The spouses of alcoholics often try to make excuses for the alcoholism. It's called "enabling." It makes it possible to continue the addiction without suffering some of the consequences. In fact, many spouses become alcoholic themselves, just to preserve their relationship. They set aside their healthy values and ignore their normal needs just to be close to someone in the process of self-destruction. Left to their own devices they are then both destroyed. "No."

When you are used to giving until it hurts, like you do in a relationship with an alcoholic, you forget about the fact that you need something in return. Answer this one "no."

Alcoholics are often angry, and in order to avoid physical and verbal abuse, an alcoholic's spouse develops anxiety from the very real risk of physical and emotional harm. Unless you want to go down in flames, answer, "no."

Now it all makes sense in the context of an alcoholic marriage, and that's the context for which it was originally created. It made sense to me then, and it still does as long as it is limited to spouses of alcoholics. The problem arose when the alcoholic spouse was left out of the equation, and it was applied to all of us.

I attended a workshop on co-dependency a few years ago where we were told that co-dependency was wrong in any relationship. As those of us in the audience questioned the proposal, we all began to realize that we were all co-dependent, as defined by the workshop leader. Many of us complained that the very definition was so broad as to include most of humanity (excluding sociopathic people, of course). They felt that their co-dependent tendencies didn't seem to be a problem for them, so why should they try to overcome it. The workshop leader himself was at a loss to explain why they should change, except to express the warning that it leads to "stress, fatigue, burnout and eventually serious physical illness."

Since most in the room were skeptics, I doubt that any of them adopted the change to "save their sanity." But there are many people who are not so well-protected. When they see a therapist for anxiety and he gives them this list of dos and don'ts, they are in no position to be analytic. They accept it as truth, and in a futile effort to overcome anxiety, they destroy their marriage.

It is a most alarming scenario, both from a mental health standpoint, and from a marital standpoint. I have found that ridding someone of "co-dependent tendencies" does not rid them of anxiety. There are many effective methods that achieve that important objective, but this is not one of them.

But it is more than an ineffective way to treat anxiety. It also undermines one of the most important aspects of a person's life, their marriage. I have witnessed many who have been "treated" for anxiety and depression only to learn how to become impossible to live with. After driving their spouse out of their lives with their newly acquired selfish and destructive behavior, they are left feeling more anxious and depressed than ever, and divorced as well.

The care and consideration of our spouse does not leave us emotionally disabled -- unless our spouse turns out to be an addict. When it comes to addiction in marriage, my advice is to run for cover! But in marriages that do not suffer from addiction, care and consideration is not the problem, but rather the solution to problems.

In my judgment, the co-dependency movement, which began with such valuable insight, has become a monster. In over-reaching, it has subjected healthy people to the same norms as unhealthy people, and in so doing, has caused much more harm than good. Married couples should be on guard from the ruinous effects of the co-dependency movement on marriage, especially if one of them suffers from anxiety or depression.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8110_cod.html


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 333
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 333
my definition of codependency must be WAAAAAAY off then

i always thought it meant that you needed somebody else to make you happy


FBH, 39
Now a primary custody dad
New life began June 2008
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,531
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,531
WOW, I just now saw all this;

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1314539#Post1314539


I am stunned. You ruined your own marriage and now you are trying to LURE a divorced Christian man who had been cheated on by his wife!

**EDIT**

Last edited by Revera; 08/04/08 01:41 PM. Reason: personal attack
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,531
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,531
One of the first things I asked my husband when we were dating was if he had cheated on anyone. If he had, I would have dumped him right away.

Who wants a spouse who has cheated in thier previous marriage!!!?

* No one!

If I were you I would leave the man alone, his wife cheated on him and he does not want nor does he need... another cheater in his life.

Last edited by Stellakat; 08/04/08 01:07 PM.
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
Cards-

WOW...its been a long time, friend.

I've pretty much stopped posting to this site anymore...but happened to stop by today and saw that someone had resurrected your thread from ages ago...and mentioned this thread here.

I've not read through your current situation yet...I'll do so now, and will post whatever advice comes to mind if you like.

I've often wondered about you, 2BN, and others.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
**EDIT**

Last edited by Revera; 08/04/08 02:44 PM. Reason: promotion of other sites
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"One of the first things I asked my husband when we were dating was if he had cheated on anyone. If he had, I would have dumped him right away.

Who wants a spouse who has cheated in thier previous marriage!!!?"

Not me. She hasn't answered Melody's question yet about whether or not she's told her current boyfriend about her internet affair. She probably just told him her BH was too messed up to be married to, and so was the guy she dated for 6 months between her divorce and the current BF.

I worry that she's chasing that 'new love' feeling, still craving that high from her affair, changing lovers in pursuit of that. She has consistently commented about HER NEEDS not being met. I think it would help if she took some time off from dating and honestly looked at whether or not her desire for that initial 'in love' feeling qualifies as an EN that can be maintained by any one man (versus a string of men).



Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
**edit**

For real?
Is that a site that 'supports' adultery?
If so the name is certainly appropriate LOL.

Last edited by Revera; 08/04/08 05:08 PM.
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
Its for real. The site itself has forums for virtually every relationship and/or situation that normally comes up.

It doesn't "support" affairs...in itself, its agnostic on the subject, but the vast majority of the posters do not support infidelity in any fashion (although, there are exceptions).

I started posting there originally, and then came to MB when I heard about it from there. There are a couple of posters there that post here on LS, and many that used to post on this site but no longer tend to do so.

And I've got to say...I'm not overly fond of the name either!!!! smile smile smile

But its a good forum that's well moderated and very active. Hopefully I'm not violating TOS here by making the suggestion that she visit that site.

Last edited by Owl; 08/04/08 01:59 PM.
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"The care and consideration of our spouse does not leave us emotionally disabled -- unless our spouse turns out to be an addict. When it comes to addiction in marriage, my advice is to run for cover! But in marriages that do not suffer from addiction, care and consideration is not the problem, but rather the solution to problems."

I agree. And when the addiction is to selfishness and wanting another hit of that affair high, the BS has the deck stacked against them.

Taking care of your own children, loving and being faithful to your spouse even though they have problems, doesn't render you emotionally disabled, so supposedly in danger of being (I don't know - whatever she was whining about) that you have to cheat and divorce as some sort of self-preservation.

Her BH, the father of her children, still has to work through his problems, the divorce didn't eliminate any problems and probably made them much worse.

It's not the same as dumping the guy she dated for 6 months, who had the same issues as her BH, but they weren't married and didn't have children together.
(And how did THAT make sense anyway? She HAD TO get out of the marriage to her BH because of his problems so she could pursue a relationship with a new man with the SAME problems?)

Ah but a new man could give her that 'in love' high she was craving... for a little while anyway...



Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
So...the real question at this point is, what advice can we give her to help her in the situation she's in right NOW?

She's been divorced quite a while...there's nothing we can say or do on THAT front to fix things.


My suggestion is this:

Your BF clearly has placed his business as his primary need/goal/focus in his life. You've mentioned that this was potentially a contributing factor in the demise of his marriage.

Why would you want to become involved with someone in this kind of position?

At 49, you know he's not going to change.

Therefore, your only choices are to accept him, and the relationship as it stands...as it is. OR...you don't accept it...and you move on.

At the end of the day...is this the relationship that you want??? A "FWB" situation with someone who's not willing to open to you emotionally???

I'd doubt it.

I'd suggest that you end the relationship...

My thoughts at least.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"So...the real question at this point is, what advice can we give her to help her in the situation she's in right NOW?"

Well since she keeps getting herself into the same situation:

She left her BH who was 'emotionally unavailable' because he was 'severely mentally ill' (and she only realized he was so mentally ill after she went to an IC for a while... her previous posts clearly demonstrated that her BH was putting in valiant recovery efforts, was 'emotionally available' enough to draw her a candlelit bubble bath, and was a very involved parent...
but then he got re-written-off as too worthless to stay married to...)

She left her BH for a man she dated for 6 months that just happened to have the same problems as her BH, so she dumped him too, and now she's dating another man who guess what, is 'emotionally unavailable' too!

What exaclty IS her definition of 'emotional availablity'?
It's: give me that 'new love' high that I got addicted to when involved with the married man I met online, and give it to me RIGHT NOW, and when it starts to wear off I will dump you for another man who is more 'emotionally available'.

She needs to accept the fact that the high she got from the married OM she met online was just a chemical high that she needs to go through complete withdrawal from. You don't kick an addiction by switching drug dealers. By her own description her BH was doing a really good job of trying to meet her EN's and trying to help her through withdrawal.

She sabotaged that by keeping her focus on the OM, sniffing his scent throughout the day, and making contact with OM again after she'd assured her BH it was over, hanging out at the gaming site she met the oM at and hopong he'd stop by there, and expecting her BH to listen to her talk about the OM when he didn't want to. So now she needs to go through withdrawal by herself, without her BH's support (unless he's still willing to help her - he may be open to reconciliation for all we know and is waiting for her to defog).

Her problem is her problem - her addiction that she is trying to KEEP going, using new OM to get her next fix. NO one particular man can keep that high going for her non-stop forever.
Unless she plans on changing sex partners every few months or so she's going to just have to learn to live without that 'we just fell in love for the first time' feeling, learn to do the work of creating a more mature love. She needs to put down that crack pipe.

Rebound relationships only delay recovery. It's advised to wait one year for every 5 years you're married before dating. Since she's been involved with 4 different men in the past few years (her BH, the married man shemet online, the guy she dated for 6 months, and this latest guy) she has not given herself any time to go through withdrawal and recovery.

If she would stop chasing that high, using new OM to achieve it temporarily, and get through withdrawal, she could then respond to any reconciliation offer her BH might still be making (meet his Plan B requirements). If her BH is no longer interested in marital recovery then she could go on to maybe someday start a new relationship with a man she will not make unrealsitic demands of.

And since she won't answer whether or not the man she's with now knows about her affair with the married man she met online, and his XW cheated on him, it's not fair to him to help her continue her relationship with him. I want no part of helping her do that to him.

"She's been divorced quite a while...there's nothing we can say or do on THAT front to fix things."

For all we know her BH could be working on himself, hoping for marital recovery, in a Plan B waiting for his WXW to unfog. WHY would anyone take the word of a WS that there's "nothing" that can be said or done on that front?!?!? Especially here at MB's?!?!? So as soon as the WS starts telling others that the marriage is over, that the divorce is final, then we should all just beleive that, write off the BS, and focus on helping the WS make their new relationship work? You realize that would pretty much write off every BS posting here at MB's, right? I mean are there many WS's who do NOT claim that their marriage is over with no chance of reconciliation? And isn't it common knowledge that WS's lie, and even sometimes claim they're no longer married before the divorce really is final? And even when the divorce is final sometimes the BS is still hoping and working on possible reconciliation. We have no idea what her BH and BC want - just what she wants.

I was still open to reconciliation with my WH after the divorce was final. If he had come here asking for help in one of his new relationships would you have helped him? You would have just assumed that because he said the divorce was final that my daughters and I deserved no consideration, that what WE were hoping and praying for didn't count anymore? BTW, he was telling people he was divorced long before we really were. He was calling me his ex-wife from the moment he moved out to pursue OW, a couple years before the divorce was final, when I was doing Plan A.

BTW, he told the OW and his co-workers I was 'crazy' too.
Isn't that part of the typical fog-babble?
And of course he was the one who supposedly put all the effort into the marriage and the false recoveries... not me...

Sheesh - how is it that some posters here at MB's still fall for fog-babble?

Amazing IMHO.


Last edited by meremortal; 08/05/08 10:28 AM.
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
I'm not sure who's "falling for fog-babble" here...because my friend, I'm not.

Does Cards still need some help? Obviously...no question about that.

As far as her BH still waiting on her...that may or may not be. We have no way to know that from here. Unlike many here, I'm of the opinion that the marriage ends when the divorce is final. She's no longer married to him...she's no longer required to 'wait' for him or otherwise plan around him in her life.

So she's divorced...and there's nothing left to do about the marriage, UNLESS SHE CHOOSES OTHERWISE. (perhaps I should have inlcuded that the first time?)

Blunt question...what direct, practical advice do you have for her? What ACTIONS does she need to take to sort things out? HOW do you suggest she solve her problems?

As much as you're amazed by people "falling for fog-babble", I'm just as amazed by long term posters who are equally unable to provide advice and guidance to a poster without first attempting to shame them into submission.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
O
Owl Offline
Member
Offline
Member
O
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,715
Quote
I was still open to reconciliation with my WH after the divorce was final. If he had come here asking for help in one of his new relationships would you have helped him? You would have just assumed that because he said the divorce was final that my daughters and I deserved no consideration, that what WE were hoping and praying for didn't count anymore? BTW, he was telling people he was divorced long before we really were. He was calling me his ex-wife from the moment he moved out to pursue OW, a couple years before the divorce was final, when I was doing Plan A.

If your H had posted here...we would have ALL had to rely on him telling the truth of your situation. You've already indicated he probably wouldn't have.

So we would have provided advice based on whatever lie he told in the first place.

All we can provide advice on is what's in front of us. Had he come here and not stated that you were open to reconciliation...I would have had no input one way or another on whether or not your marriage was recoverable or not.

Let me ask you this...if a BS came to this site telling us that they were divorced from their WS...would you recommend to them that they try to reconcile with their WS as the first course of action? If they said nothing about wanting to reconcile with that WS?

Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 43 guests, and 54 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Kingpin, MikaylaVaux, I.P., Alex82, Dezzeiemm
71,726 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,545
Posts2,322,787
Members71,727
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5