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Am I codependent? I feel awful

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  • #399409
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita

    i haven’t responded to his messages.

    I think my main concern is if you are with someone at 6 months and they have given no hints or indication that things are going nowhere- basically someone to waste time with you that is a problem for me.
    I would want to know that upfront. I don’t really understand to a certain point his story- it becomes obvious when something is going to stay stagnant. I’m not the type of person to just date someone for a year.
    Lindsey

    #399410
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita

    i think what I’m trying to say I’m no different from his ex girlfriend. Or the number of women he’s casually dated or went out with. There seems to be many of them.

    I’m someone that he’s going to be happy with just the way things are.

    He would probably still be dating that woman- and going on a year and a half by now – happy with exactly how things are.
    Lindsey

    #399412
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    Earlier today, you wrote that you were very happy with the relationship. A few hours later, you are not. I think that you need a good night sleep. Give your brain the break that it needs. Tomorrow, write down what you want from this relationship, your goals, your objectives, and take it from there.  Okay?

    anita

    #399423
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for the advice last night- I read it before I went to bed- and I think you are correct. Yesterday was a bad day and I was not thinking clearly.  I do know that it is not healthy for me to continue any relationship with the feelings that I have. I think they will get worse if Jason and I continue to get serious.

    My goals: improve the anxiety/abandonment attachment that I have (not sure how to do that- you can only talk and get support from your partner to a limited degree)

    Keep a healthy relationship with open communication moving forward

    The main worry is that “I’m happy where things are” is something that is a theme with past relationships and possibly our relationship. While 4-5 months in a relationship does not give any indication that will happen it is in the back of my mind as a road block ahead.

    Lindsey

    #399426
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    You are welcome.

    My goals: improve the anxiety/abandonment attachment that I have (not sure how to do that- you can only talk and get support from your partner to a limited degree)” – best way to do it would be in quality psychotherapy. I wonder if a low-cost quality therapy is available to you.

    If you could talk about your anxiety regarding your real-life experience of being abandoned by your mother, kicked out of the house, if I remember correctly, and about her not being there for you otherwise; if you could talk about it in therapy, and feel how you felt then… and cry, express how it felt then, when the events were fresh and most painful, it can free you from some of the anxiety you currently feel in regard to being abandoned by Jason.

    You are welcome to share about it here on your thread (with emphasis on how you felt back then) if it helps, or privately in a journaling exercise, your choice.

    anita

    #399427
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    I’ve gone to counseling in the past and have addressed issues with my mother.  My ability to deal with the abandoment has not improved over time. My divorce seems to have increased my abandonment issues because after the divorce he moved on quickly into another relationship.  As a married couple of 12 years there is still some type of connection especially with children.

    While it was my choice to end the marriage I saw a complete and total disgust and loss of any type of parent connection with him. I am a stranger that has been replaced and treated with disgust and also attacked as a mother who is lacking in general.

    My option at this point is to try and get through my abandonment issues which seems hopeless based on counseling and time has had no improvement with it. Also the divorce increased my issues.

    So basically there is a continuing theme of abandonment with past relationships. So in my eyes maybe I should not date anyone if I am going to go through this every time. I can tell you the feelings have significant impact on my life and overall enjoyment with relationships.

    Lindsey

    #399428
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    Basically, there is a continuing theme of abandonment with past relationships. So, in my eyes maybe I should not date anyone if I am going to go through this every time” – but if you end the relationship with Jason, how soon will you feel terribly lonely and regret it and call him to resume the relationship?

    anita

    #399430
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    If I do that I will probably call him 2 days later.  Then he will probably wonder if he should be in a relationship with me based on my actions of ending things kind of impulsively.

     

    Lindsey

    #399435
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    So better not break up with him. The solution to your distress is learning emotion regulation.

    Positive psychology. com: “People who are struggling with emotional dysregulation react to relatively mild negative events in an emotionally exaggerated manner”. In my post yesterday, I wrote that you tend to overreact emotionally, it means that you suffer from emotional dysregulation, the inability to bring down distressing emotions (so they remain intense for too long).

    There are unhealthy ways to regulate emotions: shooting heroin is one unhealthy way, another is ending a good relationship (which you are considering doing). There are healthy ways to regulate emotions such as self-care and the practice of Mindfulness. The website I mentioned has worksheet on emotion regulation. There are other online sources on the topic, and books and workbooks. From a quick search, here are a few books and workbooks: “Emotion regulation in psychotherapy”, ‘Master your emotions”, “the road to calm workbook”, “Your emotions and you, Workbook”, and more.

    anita

    #399489
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank your for your advice and suggestions.  Emotional dysregulation fits my problem perfectly.

    I did not break up with Jason and my anxiety trigger regulated itself by yesterday evening.

    I am thinking about messaging Jason just to say hey- that conversation was a trigger and I’m fine now.  I think my phone conversation on Monday about the topic did not make much since as my anxiety was on fire.

    I also realize that my anxiety increases during the 7 days I do not see Jason in person.  Our messaging during that time in reality is healthy and not excessive. His style of messaging tends to be brief and to the point.  We touch base with each other every day some more, some less depending on what there is to talk about.

    I don’t know that I told you yesterday he sent a message saying his ex wife finally signed the divorce papers. Now all they have to do is go to court and make it official on paper.

    My understanding is they have been unable to agree for 2 years. Lots of attorney fees- my ex and I only used mediation out of pocket with no attorney.

    So in summary I am thinking about sending the message. I am debating if I should ask him to check in more message wise during the 7 days apart.  I have noticed the more I initate messages the more he messages back.  I just do not want to seem too needy.  However these are things I feel like I need from the relationship and him to feel better.

    Lindsey

    #399490
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    You are welcome. I can totally understand why Jason is not ready to talk about his future with you, being that his past with his ex is not yet concluded: she signed divorce papers only yesterday or so, after 2 years of being unable to agree, and the signed paper still needs to be brought to court and processed. I’d definitely wait for some time to pass between his actual, legal divorce, when that happens, and talking about a future with you.

    I am debating if I should ask him to check in more message wise during the 7 days apart.  I have noticed the more I initiate messages the more he messages back.  I just do not want to seem too needy.  However, these are things I feel like I need from the relationship and him to feel better” – I think that it is fair that you ask him to check in more often. The two of you can talk and agree on how often to message/ talk and at what times, so that the relationship works for you and for him.

    About separation anxiety in adults:

    My anxiety increases during the 7 days I do not see Jason in person” – it occurred to me that you fit what Healthline/ separation anxiety in adults, says: “People with adult separation anxiety disorder experience high levels of anxiety, and sometimes even panic attacks, when loved ones are out of reach… Adult separation anxiety can have an onset in childhood or adulthood. Similar to other anxiety disorders, adult separation anxiety can affect your quality of life, but the condition can be managed with treatment”.

    Wikihow/ how to manage adult separation anxiety disorder (ASAD): “Method 1, learning about ASAD 1. Learn about the symptoms of ASAD...  such as: Being excessively ‘clingy’… Extreme anxiousness and distress when you are away from your loved ones… 2. Join a support group. Joining a support group will allow you to interact with others who are experiencing the same thing as you… 3. Consider talking to a therapist….

    Method 2, Banishing negative thoughts 1. Identify your negative thoughts:…When you are away from your loved one, take note of any negative thoughts, assumptions, and beliefs that come into your head. Write them down or express them to someone like a therapist or close friend. Knowing what kind of negative thoughts (to) expect can help you manage them. Keeping a daily journal can help you get in the habit of recording your thoughts and feelings.

    2. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones: When you have identified these negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones or disprove the beliefs that you feel…  For example, if your loved one leaves and you think ‘I may never see her again,’ replace that negative thought with a positive one, such as, ‘I will see her when she gets home from work. We will eat dinner together and watch a movie.’ Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a treatment plan for depression and/or anxiety that may help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones…

    3. Distract yourself from your negative thoughts.: When you begin to feel anxious and start thinking negative thoughts, you will only feel more anxious. To keep yourself from dwelling on negative thoughts, distract yourself by: Engaging in an activity like a hobby you enjoy, focusing on completing work or household chores, taking a walk or exercise, visiting a place you enjoy, such as a museum or the movies

    Method 3, Trying coping techniques for relaxation: 1. Practice breathing techniques to help calm yourself… Try meditating… Use visualization techniques to relax.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by anita.
    #399493
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    This separation/anxiety/attachment issues I have really just suck in general.  I do attempt to apply some of these aids but not all of them. It does not seem to help but maybe the more I do the activities my brain chemicals may start to catch on.

    What is funny about the situation with Jason is that I am not ready to talk about a future with him yet either.  In my opinion I do not know him well enough to make a decision of him meeting the kids, etc or even talking about love (scary for me)

    4 1/2 months of dating is not a long time period.  I think we are both very happy with our current situation.  He shared that one of his check marks for getting very serious is actually being divorced on paper- which makes sense.

    So in summary I would have to continue the relationship and just see where it goes.

    Lindsey

    #399496
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    I do attempt to apply some of these aids but not all of them. It does not seem to help but maybe the more I do the activities my brain chemicals may start to catch on” –

    – like the saying goes (originally an AA saying): it works if you work it, notice the “if”.

    Another saying: Do or do not, there is no try (Yoda), so don’t “attempt to apply some of these”, instead, apply some of these, apply what you choose to apply, but do so religiously, committedly, every day… and they will work for you!

    I am not ready to talk about a future with him yet either.  In my opinion I do not know him well enough to make a decision of him meeting the kids, etc… 4 1/2 months of dating is not a long time period” – this is the reasonable and wise Lindsey!

    I think we are both very happy with our current situation.  He shared that one of his check marks for getting very serious is actually being divorced on paper- which makes sense” – like you said before, this really is a healthy relationship!

    anita

     

    #399498
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    So here is the message I sent him a while ago pertaining to Monday:

    ” Hey I’m pretty sure my phone call on Monday made zero sense. My anxiety was triggered (temporarily lol). Maybe you understand because you knew I was going to bring it up. Anyway nothing about that past situation really has anything to do with me or us (in my opinion). To be honest that prior stuff isn’t my business anyway.”

    He replied with “It’s no problem.”

    I feel bothersome/annoying. Maybe I should not have sent it. It’s over with.

    Lindsey

     

    #399500
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    It’s no problem” is a fine response, it’s good enough. I figure you feel that you needed a longer, more reassuring response, but remember, he is not your therapist, and he is probably busy, plus, busy or not, if he sent you a long reply, it wouldn’t satisfy you for long, because the nature of anxiety is that… it is not satisfied for long. So, there really is no point in long messages. See my point?

    anita

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