Codependency: Don’t Fall Into This Trap – 5 Steps to Codependency Recovery

codependency recovery

One of the topics that we mention now and then is the topic of codependency. 

Why is codependency an important topic?

Well, in short, codependency creates unhealthy marriages. But, codependency has what I refer to as a ‘positive side’ and a ‘negative side.’ But, here is the kicker— even the positive side of codependency is destructive. But, the reason I refer to it as the positive side is because the people experiencing this side of codependency can oftentimes mistake it for real love and therefore be deceived into falling into the trap.

What is codependency?

I like the definition that goodtherapy.org provides:

Codependency is characterized by sacrificing one’s personal needs in order to try to meet the needs of others and is associated with passivity and feelings of shame, low self-worth, or insecurity. Today it is more broadly associated with the behaviors of someone whose actions and thoughts revolve around another person or thing”.

They further list examples of codependent behaviors as the following:

  • Perfectionism and a fear of failure
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Denial of personal problems
  • Excessive focus on the needs of others
  • Failure to meet personal needs
  • Discomfort with receiving attention or help from others
  • Feelings of guilt or responsibility for the suffering of others
  • Reluctance to share true thoughts or feelings for fear of displeasing others
  • Low self-esteem
  • Internalized shame and helplessness
  • Projection of competence and self-reliance
  • A need to control others
  • Self-worth based on care-taking
  • Feeling undeserving of happiness
  • Caring for and enabling someone who abuses drugs or alcohol

Why is it so bad?

Well, codependency is bad because is stifles the growth of real love and begins to destroy a relationship at its foundation. Codependency can slowly poison a marriage and neither party quite realizes it.

In terms of affairs, codependency can actually prevent spouses from healing from the affair. The victim will be drawn to falling into the perpetual martyr role and the adulterous spouse will feel a sense of shame. As a result, both parties are immobilized and there is no room for healing.

Codependent dynamics between partners cause partners to become stuck. When this  occurs, fifty years can pass and each party will feel no healing or resolution. This is why codependency is the enemy to both personal growth and recovery from an affair.

An Example of How Codependency Looks

There is a woman that I have known for a long time within my circle of friends. Her husband had an affair that ended three years ago. All of this woman’s thoughts are either constantly focused on her husband and being there for him, OR being angry about the affair.  She never thinks of anything else and is consumed emotionally and mentally by thoughts of her husband.

It is apparent that her husband doesn’t respect her and feels very stifled by this obsession with him. Yet, she keeps on keeping on— thinking about him constantly— about his needs— about his work— about whether or not he is happy.

When I have given her words of advice, she refuses to take them. The truth is, she gets something out of being stuck. This is very common in codependency — for whatever reason, many codependents do not give themselves permission to be happy or emotionally free. So, no matter what good advice you give them, no matter how much you listen and help; a codependent will figure out a way to continue the pain and wallowing.

Now, some of this is normal after an affair when one’s world is turned upside-down, but continuing it for any period of time is unhealthy.

Therefore, if for any reason you see yourself in this, I urge you to make the decision to get UN-stuck. Getting un-stuck is wholly up to you and 100% in your control.  If you cannot do it for you, do it for your family and friends. Those who love you, want to see you happy and will take joy in you living a happy and fulfilling life. So, do not let yourself get bitten by the codependency bug!!!!

That said,  here are two short videos you can watch that go a little bit deeper into codependency recovery. 

5 Steps to Codependency Recovery

by Carl Benedict, LCPC

 

 

The 4 Stages of Codependency Recovery

by Ross Rosenberg, LCPC, CADC Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome:  Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

 

 

Books on Codependency


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27 Responses to Codependency: Don’t Fall Into This Trap – 5 Steps to Codependency Recovery

  1. Shifting Impressions May 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    Good article, Sarah
    So here is my question? What if your partner has many of these co-dependent traits? The tapes address the person with the co-dependent tendencies.

    I have tried for years….to never take advantage of his people pleasing ways etc. Or encouraged him to set boundaries in his professional and personal life.

    I have asked and asked….are you good with this decision?? Or how do you feel about this or that?

    He has worn himself out many times putting others first….at the expense of his own mental health and the expense of our marriage.

    Is there any information about living with someone with these tendencies…….it’s exhausting sometimes. He has gotten better at living in the moment and getting in touch with his feelings.

    I never really put a name to these behaviors before….except I would use the term people pleasing and yes the term Martyr was thrown around now and again.

    • Shifting Impressions May 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

      Maybe I’m just confused about what co-decency really is. I just started reading The New Codepency.

      Maybe I’m just as codependent as he is…..hmm….should be an interesting read. The first few pages have pulled me in already.

      Thanks Sarah for the list of books.

    • Sarah P. June 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi Trying,

      I do agree that codependency is thrown around in the same way as narcissism. In fact codependents can also be narcissistic (to confuse the issue even more!) Example: wayward husband doesn’t understand or care that others have needs and he has no insight. Yet, when his wife leaves him, his entire world falls apart and he cannot function. He needs both his wife and mistress to play the game and anyone else’s needs but his own never enter the picture. Now that is a codependent narcissist!! 😁

  2. Hopeful June 1, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    I had always heard the betrayed was typically the codependent. However reading this I would say my husband is. In general I characterized him as always placing us/our marriage last on his priority list and the kids just ahead of that. Work, friends, parents all were ahead even if he did not want to. He still struggles with feeling obligated or like these people need him or he will disappoint them so bad. In the end he suffers and in turn our marriage and family do.

    My therapist said early on that it seemed he treated me like a codependent but I did not act like one. Reading this now I think my husband is and I am not. I mean I do focus on my kids and when they were little it took more effort but I think it was abnormal level of quality care. Now we share times together or if happiness and joy. I did volunteer a lot but found great satisfaction sharing and gaining skills for personal development and helping others. He always criticized me since I was not getting paid.

    I will read up more on this, great insights!

    • Sarah P. June 7, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Hopeful,
      I can see your husband being a codependent. He is obviously not okay if he is alone and I believe he would be lost without you. And yet he can be a “pill” too. I am still thinking about your comment where you mentioned him comparing you and him to Hiccup and Toothless. Seems like he knows his world would fall apart without you but is also fighting against that security. Quite a conundrum.

      • Hopeful June 14, 2017 at 11:40 am #

        I feel the same! You always make me feel better. Some days I think am I crazy?? And my therapist is convrinced ic or mc would just be going through the motions for him. It is a challenge. I do feel have have growing resentment towards him right now. I feel for all of the past and not even the affairs now but how I was so much on my own and made to feel bad about myself. I feel like he really did emotionally abuse me even though I am almost certain he did not intentionally do it. And then the resentment carries over to him minimizing what he did, lying about it on dday 1 and then I feel like recovery has benefited him.

        • Sarah P. June 15, 2017 at 12:23 am #

          Hi Hopeful,

          You are not crazy. From what I can tell of your husband– and I do not have anywhere near the while story– I would say that he has a small issue with alcohol, he puts his needs first in some cases, and he certainly gaslights when it comes to psychological topics. I would also say he was not fully there for you or the kids. But again, the most important thing here is that he mentioned the Hiccup/Toothless dynamic. That demonstrates that he has insight about who and what he is and the dynamic he has caused during the marriage. Hiccup is always inquisitive, trying to do the best thing for everyone, trying to befriend a dragon who definitely does not want to be befriended. But that is just the movie. Have you read the “How to Train A Dragon” books? I have read them because I still have two children who are interested. The character of Toothless in the book was similar to the character of a scheming sociopath. Hiccup was trying to be helpful, but everything Toothless did was for himself, even if he
          pretended it was for the benefit of others. (That is the book’s portrayal, toothless is more lovable in the movie.)

          So here is a question– what did he do in the past to make you feel emotionally abused? I certainly believe you– am just curious about examples.

          Blessings,
          Sarah

          • Hopeful June 16, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

            That is so interesting the portrayal of the dragon in the book vs movie. You state everything so well and describe the dynamic. I would say looking back what was most confusing is there would be cycles in his behavior. Kind of like binge drinking. He would be different, detached, closed off for a period of time then more like I guess his old self. It never made much sense to me. I was not shy and brought this up or would want to talk about us, our marriage and relationship. I always got excuses about work, his parents, his friends. I mean most of the time it made sense. Work is easy to be consumed in and he is really busy. Granted everyone can make choices. Then the family well they push to get their way and what they want. They are always complimentary of me but consuming of him. His friends well that has been a forever discussion.

            Since before we had kids I would bring up that I would like to with his friends or find new friends that would like to do things as couples. Well that never went anywhere. It is a circular discussion. I think he chose to surround himself with guys guys. Well they have no interest in their girlfriends or wives being around. We were also married first and much before his other friends. He would tell me I was unreasonable, his friends are good people, their wives are busy, I need to find other people and outlets/friends for myself. So instead of hearing me it was all about what I was doing wrong.

            With his family he would call me from work and say let’s meet for dinner. I would say great. I would show us and it was not just us. His family was there. And I mean every time. When I would say to him you work long hours and it would be nice to have it be us and eventually the kids when they came along I got that I am difficult and they are so nice to me and why can’t they be there. If it was both parents his dad consumes him. Otherwise if his dad was busy it was but I feel bad for my mom being alone. I mean once in a while would be one thing but it was all the time. And I was the bad person for not wanting them there.

            And work could be used all the time as an excuse. I am very supportive but it was a crutch. I got the basic lines of don’t you like all of this financial freedom, I am successful, you don’t have to work as much, nothing to worry about, look at these amazing vacations. This is why we have all of this… Recently we got into a discussion that he did not want people to know I am working. He wants people to think he is the sole breadwinner so he is viewed as more successful. I was floored by this. It was a major argument. It is bad enough on its own but what I gave up to support his success both in moving where we did, raising the kids almost all by myself, giving up my career. I am still upset by this discussion.

            I could go on and on. Basically if I brought up any topic in our marriage he took it personally and told me how I was too sensitive, too tired, too picky, too focused on the wrong things, too focused on the kids, not focused enough on finding my own friends. It was always about what I was doing wrong. Dday was a revelation for me since then it all made sense that it was all his way of dealing with making me the bad guy with all the problems. But the scares are still there. When some things get brought up and he has empathy for others but wants to gloss over us it hurts. He likes to just use a blanket statement that I was a crappy husband and father but I have changed and am working hard now. It is true but it runs deeper than that.

            • Sarah P. June 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

              Hello Dearest Hopeful,

              You are coming to so many realizations about your marriage and it must be stressful to do so. For that, I am very sorry and my heart goes out to you.

              On the other hand, it’s great that you see the dynamic for what it is because then you can work on changing it. The biggest dynamic changer I see here involves you continuing to not only speak up, but also by refusing to live life on the sidelines. You have described a dynamic where you and the kids are in third or fourth place to work, family, and his ‘guy’s guys’ that he hangs out with.

              I will say that this is where I am a pain in the butt. I have never allowed myself to come second to anyone else (except for my kids– their needs come before mine to some extent) and I have never tolerated guy’s guys. Guy’s guys and I do not get along.

              It also explains why his friends felt you were possibly unapproachable or elitist (their words if I recall correctly). You are none of those things and it was their way to put you down because they are threatened by you. They intuitively know that you are a classy, intelligent, self-sufficient woman who has her life together. That combination often threatens a guy’s guy and so they engage in the playground game where they tease the girl who they are threatened by. (Also they often secretly have a crush). I also believed these guys helped sabotage your marriage because they secretly envied your husband for having you but also know they could never get someone like you. In their jealousy they probably wanted to ‘take you down a notch’ so that they would not feel threatened. This is no way to treat people and healthy people do not do with to others. But these fellows don’t sound healthy to me.

              I will also say that I do see narcissism in your husband although it is probably not so severe that it could be diagnosed. Still, it is definitely a character trait and goes beyond mere selfishness.

              Hopeful, I want you to know that you have incredible worth and that it is time that you allow all of your abilities to shine through. I think it is terrific you are working and I really see no reason to hide the fact that you are working. You have a right to live up to your potential and should no longer take the backseat to your husband in order to protect his ego. It only harms you when you do that. It will make you feel lonely and dependent. It will give too much power to someone who might abuse it. It’s just not good for your marriage since you saw where that road led.

              I hope that I am not offending you my saying this. It is not my intent.

              Sarah

              • Hopefull June 17, 2017 at 10:16 am #

                Sarah,

                I appreciate all of your comments. I take them to heart and know where you are coming from and agree with what you say. The words you say are almost world for word what I said to my husband for years. I would always bring up his distorted priorities. Even thinking more I remember my youngest child at probably 2 years old asking why daddy wants to spend more time with his friends than us. I never bashed him to my kids but as you can imagine he did not like hearing this when I told him. But of course he had an excuse and also said I must be saying negative things about him to the kids. I have so many examples of where he was not there for me and if confronted he turned it on ne. Everything from not supporting me after surgery telling me he was too busy in the middle of a golf game and to call the Dr myself since he is not a physician anyways to i should go on antidepressants if I cannot handle work, kids and the house myself. I do feel he used his profession to his advantage always coming off as the expert and there was me the clueless one. What works against me is I am someone who really enjoys alone time and being independent. I grew up in a family with a type a, workaholic parents. Never bad but work came above all else. So for me being alone was great I even thrive and recharge with alone time. I failed to realize though how selfish he was. And adding kids (his urging not mine) only made it worse. Easy to see all this now looking back.

                So some days I think how did I live through this. I mean these comments or incidents would be spread out 6-12 months I think in part to his affairs being sporadic. But I think yikes this was really bad. But I am one to never quit and to persevere through everything. I was at a low point a few years before dday. I had tried everything. Started up serious discussions many tines and got no where. I was pretty much ready to be done with life and had a plan all set up to end it all. Based on what he had told me about people overdosing and combing the wrong things together I had a dr appt and a plan letter written to my kids. He went on a long trip. It was amazing what a difference I noticed in myself and our house. Those were the best 10 days ever. He would call and I honestly did not have time for him. He was upset and did not like that. It was my turning point. At that point I decided it is not me and I am only taking care of me and the kids. I still had no clue what was going on but that difference was so noticeable. The only thing my husband blames me for is not leaving him or divorcing him when I should have. Again maybe true. It was hard though since he would go through normal periods too.

                So here I am and yes things are really different. He is more committed than ever and doing many of the right things. Perfect no. But that is my struggle I focus on the positive always and I do want this to work. Some days I think though are we too different? Yet we are the same in so many ways and not just likes. At this point we have become closer than ever before. This whole thing is long, tiring, and hard. I am thankful for a lot though this recovery/process.

                • Sarah P. June 19, 2017 at 3:16 am #

                  Hello Hopeful,

                  First off, I am really sorry that you were at a point where you felt ending it all was preferable to the pain of daily life. But, I do understand why you felt that way too. I am grateful that your husband went on a long trip and you were able to realize that you were not the problem.

                  I am getting the idea that prior to d-day your husband never listened to your needs. Or if he did, he would not give you what you asked for and needed. I am going to guess that he had a guilty conscience and had to make you the problem. Thus, if you were the problem in his mind, he could treat you poorly. If he treated you poorly that (in his mind) justified occasional dalliances with others. If he treated you poorly it also justified him not respecting you. (As you know, you were NEVER the problem even though he did things that lead you to believe that you were.)

                  I will say something negative about your husband. He always defers blame to someone else. It is not fair or normal for him to blame you for not divorcing him. That is ludicrous. I mean, here you have young kids and he chose to act poorly. But, if you stayed, that’s your fault. Very illogical. It also means that he refuses to take ownership of his behavior. That seems to be a running theme with him– he doesn’t like to take ownership. He doesn’t like to take ownership of drinking too much or ownership of hanging out with guys who are bad for your marriage. But all of those things are his choice.

                  I really don’t like that he doesn’t want you to talk about the fact that you are working. This really gives me a window into his mind and I see some really flawed thinking there.

                  I am glad that he is working so hard on recovery. But, I think he needs to make changes in others areas too. No more drinking too much and no more having backwards and (insulting ) beliefs about you and your work.

                  I am sorry if I am coming off harsh. I am certainly not telling you to divorce him. I am just telling you that you are worth more and you deserve moire. And it is okay to stand your ground and challenge him when he does or says things that are extremely disrespectful. Also, don’t let him use his psychology knowledge against you any longer. It really is a form of gaslighting on your part. He is a therapist– so what. That doesn’t mean he knows better or should use it as a manipulative tool. That is playing dirty if you ask me.

                  Anyhow, I am all for making your marriage work, plus please teach him how to treat you. That involves not tolerating nonsense any longer. And it involves putting the blame back on him when he made bad choices. He is accountable for them and it was never up to you to just leave. That has gotten under my skin because he really is trying to absolve himself of all responsibility in the situations he creates.

                  I hope you weekend is going well. As always, I do not mean to be harsh. I am calling it as I see it because you are worth more. Most of all, I want you to know that you are not wrong in what you observe or how you felt about these things from the past.

                  Many blessings,
                  Sarah

                  • Hopefull June 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

                    To be honest it is comforting hearing your words. Just as my time with my therapist validates my thoughts and feelings you also do that. It can be hard and when things happen over years it can I guess become blurred. Nothing happened quickly or overnight. All of this was gradual and with the sporadic behavior it was hard to recognize at the time. And especially on vacations he was completely like his old self. He has told me it was not only an escape from his daily pressures but a reminder of what he had done.

                    I have been more hardline with him lately. I have told him if he chooses to go out drinking with his friends he can find somewhere else to stay. If he goes on a trip and misses me or drinks too much do not call me. I am at the point where he needs to understand the damage and harm he has done but also continues to do. It is more obvious than ever his selfish nature and he insecurities and how they play out.

                    The weekend went well. The hard part is finding time to have more than a quick conversation about all of this. I feel like it is hanging over me. He is happy and more focused than ever which is good. But as I told him I feel like we could go for 6-12 months and then the other shoe will drop and I cannot take that both just because I guess I would say I feel fragile but also because it is not right to do to me. He is more than capable of expressing himself and understanding his feelings that this type of behavior is not acceptable. And if he is not capable of it then maybe we are not meant for each other. He is hearing me it is just so gradual. He has pulled back a ton from his friends. More than even after dday. He is truly thinking hard about every decisions he makes socially. He gets asked to do things constantly so this is pretty much a daily decision for him. He has told me he feels like he either has to/should say yes or wants to at the time but then regrets it when it gets there. Again all of this just highlights how different we are…

                    • Sarah P. June 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

                      Hi Hopeful,

                      You guys can recover. But, the root of it all right now is getting him to behave in line with the advice he gives to his clients. He also must stop gaslighting you in terms of using his education to shut you down. I am not sure he is doing this now, but if he is not, he needs to recognize he did this is the past and ask for forgiveness. I am glad he is working harder than ever and that gives me hope. But he needs to fully reconcile what he did in the past, ask for forgiveness, and stop the behavior for good. Yes, I am taking a hard-line approach here. On the other hand, let this advice simmer and then let the right time and place to discuss these things unfold. This is not something you must push. Hang in there because I still see hope for your relationship. As always, I validate your viewpoint because you are very self-aware and self-reflective. Always try to listen to your gut above all else (and that means even above what I say.) Only you know what is right for you in the end.

  3. TryingHard June 2, 2017 at 8:48 am #

    If one thought the term Narcissist was easy to throw around I believe the term co dependent is really easy to throw around.

    I dint know if I am or not. I know I’m anything but a martyr. I probably have put others before myself but it was fine willingly and with joy. I dint try to manipulate with my generosity but I expect reciprocation. If I dont get it I kinda learn a lesson about those people. I don’t get mad or hurt I try to move on and think well lesson learned.

    I’m not sure I even know any people who are co dependents. It’s an interesting concept. Maybe I need to read The New Codependant. I read Codependant No More at the suggestion of my son but honestly it was like chewing on straw!! Didn’t get much from it. I think because it dealt so much with alcoholics and drug abuse. I dint experience that and I certainly couldn’t live with it. I’d have to leave the abuser.

    • Shifting Impressions June 2, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

      TryingHard
      The addictions stuff doesn’t apply for us either but….THE NEW CODEPENDECY book really has me thinking.

      I had a very limited understanding of what codepency is. My limited picture was of the codependent pouring the liquor down the drain and phoning the boss with excuses for the alcoholic spouse.

      These books are a catalyst for me examining the patterns in my relationships and gaining more understanding.

      I was feeling rather stuck in my process of healing and forgiveness…..

      Some of that seems to be unsticking a bit…..if that’s even a word Lol!!

      • Trying Hard June 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

        LOL SI me too!!! Dumping pills and booze in the toilet and running around like a crazy woman checking up on the abuser. Hey wait, no, maybe this is starting to sound familiar 🙂 ????

        I’m going to check out The New Codependent. Just because not all of it applies doesn’t mean some of it doesn’t right?

        Thanks for the info.

        • Shifting Impressions June 2, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

          Maybe I should get a side job….selling self help books out of the trunk of my car.

          • Trying Hard June 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

            LOL I think that’s a great idea 🙂

          • Sarah P. June 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

            Hi Shifting,
            Great idea. You know that was how Wayne Dyer started. He wrote self help books and drove around the country to sell them. So are you up for the writing part of that?

            😉

            • Shifting Impressions June 7, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

              Sarah…I will leave the writing to someone else!! I just can’t help myself when I read a good self help book in passing it on….just ask my friends.

              A few close friends started a Facebook group in order to read IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO and I think they might be up for THE NEW CODEPENCY BOOK. I also have one of my daughters reading both books.

              • Sarah P. June 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

                Wow, Shifting. Once I come up with the Affair Book that Linda, Doug, and I are putting together maybe you can promote it 🙂

                I am glad that you have started pages for others to find helpful books. You have a big heart.

  4. Shifting Impressions June 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    Thanks, Sarah….but it’s just a small group of five. It sure gets us talking about a lot of interesting topics.

  5. TryingHard June 19, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Hopeful–I think it’s simply a matter of fear. We think too far ahead. The important thing is to keep firm boundaries. Maybe just relax a little and live for today and how things are going today. Maybe you don’t need a conversation about it. Maybe he is being introspective enough. Only you know that. It sounds to me like he is at least.

    Of course if he does, which he may right??, maybe then you have that convo. Even if it’s a little slip up. Look we all know what they are capable of and we also know what we tend to be tolerant of. Maybe the quest should be to raise the bar and NOT tolerate so much? Don’t know, just giving food for thought. Life can’t be lived on pins and needles all the time is all I know.

    • Hopeful June 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm #

      Yes so true and I would say that is where I am. I have a high level of anxiety. So many levels for me. In some ways I feel like much is unresolved related to the affairs, I am resentful how he handled recovery, I am resentful of how he treated me all those years, I am resentful that he either says it was nonsensical behavior or he was a terrible husband as if blanket statement makes it all better, I know I have some fear of if we let this pass then we will slip back into the same old habits (not necessarily affairs but what led to them), I feel this constant battle with his friends and social opportunities, I could go on and on. So in the end I feel like I get back to leading my life very independently watching out only for myself in order to protect myself and in the end push him away. I know no marriage or relationship is easy and they all take work but more often than not I feel like this is a lot of work and a majority of the burden is on me. That is where I do consider if we are still compatible. He says I am his first priority now… but between work, working out, social opportunities and his parents it is always something. He tried to include me when he can but he has developed these friends and hobbies that are not couples driven. I know some of his friends have mentioned to him that he has changed and asking why he does isn’t doing as much with them. So it is just what I feel like a constant battle. He seems happy I guess I am just cautious.

  6. TryingHard June 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    Hopeful— I hear you. This whole detachment thing I feel I push my h away. But sometimes I have to. He’s almost clingy now. So weird for him.

    I also hear you about the resentment. LOL. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped him off behind the bathroom door 😳

    Ok I’m going to say what needs to be said. Those asshole JERK sophomoric “friends” HAVE.GOT.TO.GO!!!! Time to put on the big boy pants and move on. People change, life changes, BYE BYE FELICIA!!!

    They sound like such losers. Pretty sure your h knows it to. I’m thinking he has FOMO where they are concerned. Too bad.

    • Hopeful June 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

      Ha ha so funny flipping him off behind the bathroom door. Lvoe that.

      I agree I would love for him to cut himself off from these friends. We have even tried to make new friends as couples. We have been working at this for two years and it has been so hard. In a smaller town it is just so hard. Not a big influx of anyone new. We did get in a big disagreement about one of his friends. He does not treat my husband well and he is unethical in other parts of his life. I mean nothing major but enough that I do not want to be around him. He holds court and everyone knows everything about his life. Well I just said I do not want to be around him and I do not understand why he spends time with him. He says they have some good conversations on topics of mutual interest. Idk. So odd again. He says he can be himself around his friends. They have been friends forever. We have known each other a long time but they are from a few years before me. He went through many years of little to no contact. I have contemplated an ultimatum but not sure about that. I think that would be a breaking point for our marriage and I am not sure how he would avoid all of these friends completely.

  7. Hopeful June 20, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    I thought a lot about what you have said here and I think part of what is bothering me or concerning me is I naturally detach. I think there is some discomfort in detachment. I wonder sitting here today if I detached too much. I have always my entire life turned inward. It is easy for me to do. I don’t think I do it in a selfish way but more in a self care way. I focus on myself. I am not sure what the answer is on that but I find it hard to figure out what and now to navigate the new marriage at times.

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