Co-Dependent Hot Mess

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    I just broke up with my boyfriend of 3 months, yes 3 months.  I’d known this man for over a year now and we started as friends first so I have an idea of who he is at least.  Without trying to make this topic super long here are the facts:

    • Boyfriend is an alcoholic
    • Boyfriend may be addicted to pain medication
    • A year and a half ago he got into a bad accident that has prevented him from going back to work as a general contractor which set off the pills and alcoholism
    • His ex roommate has a restraining order against him but ex roommate is also a coke dealer
    • His firearms were stolen him from because his drug addict sister tipped off one of her drug addict friends
    • His mother died 7 years ago from an overdose and his family believes she killed herself
    • He’s not quite over his ex girlfriend of 10 years who married another man a few years after they broke up
    • His dad has two types of cancer and is dying

    And now I’m in the picture…or at least was.  In between that he’d let me know he loves me, he gave me a promise ring, put his truck under my name, gave me access to his bank account and been in jail for five days because of problems with his ex roommate.  Crazy as it is, that didn’t bother me because I believe in his innocence.

    I broke up with him yesterday because I couldn’t handle how he is when he’s drunk and angry at me.  He is insecure about my friendship with another single dad and instead of admitting it he insulted me and used his disease as an excuse having shown little remorse even though he apologized.  He is upset at my 11 year old son because my 11 year old doesn’t like him (I’m divorced) as he has had a hard time with the whole idea of me dating again.  He also continues to bring up his ex girlfriend which I admit I am insecure about.

    He is half sober during the week, half baked and drunk the other part of the week.  He’s constantly dwelling in the past and instead of taking the steps to move forward he stews is the “why me”.  I tried to create positive experiences for him, I tried to be there for him and support him.  I’ve driven him to the court where they give him the run around, I give him things to do around the house.

    We’ve talked about rehab, which he’s open to but doesn’t really make the move, he’s taken me to his psychologist appointment so that I can offer another opinion on his behavior.  He seems to want to get out of it, but seems to want a miracle to happen.  He has taken very little responsibility over his life, as it takes my push to even get him out of bed and doing something.

    His phone has been confiscated because he’s still under investigation, his car is still in the shop because someone hit it while parked, his belongings are still in his house because his ex roommate ignored a court order to allow him the one day pass to retrieve his things.  It’s been a month without the bare necessities to take charge of his life.  And all of this he’s been living with me and my two kids.

    I’m writing because I just can not and will not tolerate his abuse while under the influence.  The other night he was drunk and angry at me.  He told me I smelled, said I looked stupid, tried to keep me from going back to my friend’s house where my kids are so that we can talk, then threatened to get out of the car (I pulled over and gave him the opportunity).  And that was just the other night, he’s insulted me before but now it’s getting regular, like once a week, with the same excuse of having been drunk and over reacting.  I see the pattern and I don’t want it to get worse.

    I’m trying. I realize I am the classic case of being a co-dependent person.  As it stands, I feel extremely guilty because he no longer has my support and yes, I absolutely love the bastard!

    When he’s sober he’s lovely.  I love the way he loves me, it’s like no other.  But to be able to take care of my two children, do my two jobs, and be a whole person, I need to count on someone who is sane and sober all of the time.  The way he loves me is wonderful but no ring, no amount of money or possessions can make me stay.

    I refuse to give up my life or be dictated by jealousy because it’s happened to me before and I’ve alienated myself for an abusive man.  I know this man I’m with will never harm me physically but I see the signs and it scares the shit out of me.

    I’m to a point where I’m so confused, drained, burned out, hopeless and getting weaker.  I need my strength for my children and for myself.

    I’m a hot mess and I need to know i’m doing the right thing.  I also would love to hear if any of you have been through something similar and how you got through it.


    One of the best things I’ve learned.

    We all have habits we need to outgrow. Changes good or bad feel weird because it’s different.

    Know that healthier habits at first will feel foreign , uncomfortable, weird, difficult to maintain at first. But when you do anything for long enough you develop momentum. It gets easier.

    So, be really honest with yourself about what you want in a relationship longterm. Who you can see yourself build with, even create a family with. Someone you can trust to take care of you when your ill, someone you can trust you can build with, trust to co raise your kids properly.. etc . What are all of your needs? Does this partner match that? If not—- this is the growth part!

    Why am I with someone who doesn’t meet my needs, or what needs are they meeting that aren’t healthy for me? Sometimes too much comfort seeking isn’t a good thing. Comfortable dysfunction is comfortable because it’s familiar…

    Not to go on a tangent. But just… choose you. If he doesn’t meet your needs, and you’ve tried, and he’s engaging in risky dangerous behavior- free yourself of the responsibility to take care of him. Not your job. Move forward don’t look back. If they catch up they catch up , but no need to turn your head and get exposed to all the tragic burning ships crashing behind.. ships they wrecked themselves.

    Distract yourself with other people . Date others. We can get sad because these “new” people aren’t them. But what helps me is to lower the bar. “Im dating  just to date. To learn if I still got it or whatever. I’m not expecting to find the love of my life, but I’m not closed off to it either.”

    Much luck


    Dear Kayla:

    A short summary having read your previous thread: you were married for about 10 years, divorce filed Nov 2016. Now you are divorced, 44,  with two boys, 8 and 11. Two years ago, you work 2 part time jobs, were depressed, got on and off antidepressants, attended bi-weekly therapy sessions, a monthly spiritual counselor, led a group of single mothers, ran your own divorce blog, and you were involved with a man, a neighbor, but he too, like your husband, had anger issues, “would  get to a boiling point, hold it all in and yell at me in front of my kids”.

    Fast forward two years and you just ended a short term relationship with a man whom you’ve known for over a year. You wrote about this man: “He is upset at my 11 year old son because my 11 year old doesn’t like him.. as he has had a hard time with the whole idea of me dating again”-

    I figure, the neighbor yelled at you in front of your boys and this man two years later is upset at your older boy- better not expose your boys to men anymore, not bring them home where your boys are.

    I think that you did the right thing to end the relationship with this man because, for one thing, thinking about a second marriage, bringing a man home as a father figure to your boys, the man has to qualify to be a positive influence on your boys. For one, he has to like them both and to express no aggression whatsoever, not against the boys and not against their mother, that is, against you. Nothing damages children more than aggression, be it expressed directly at them, or witnessing it expressed against their one of their parents, be it verbal aggression or otherwise.

    Are you content with your two jobs or do you have plans to change jobs (you had other plans before but failed a state exam, I wonder about that)?



    Dear Anita,

    Wow!  I forgot what I wrote and where I wrote it lol.  Just to be clear the neighbor I wrote about and was involved with was never aggressive toward my children, my ex husband was.  The man I am in love with has those tendencies only when he’s been popping pills or drinking heavily, and he only gets verbally aggressive with me behind closed doors, although it’s not near what my ex husband used to do (sober) and I understand it can get there.

    I currently work with a mediator and teach/have my own business with Polynesian dance.  I enjoy it and thrive in both.  I had taken a state exam for a position I had no experience in because I was invited to apply and the money was tempting.  Not only would I be financially free-er, but I would have been able to own my house and acquire more things.  Right now I live within my means and make it work.  I live in a rental where both my boys have their own room, I can provide, make it through the holidays with little suffering and have enough left over for a once a year vacation.  It’s more than most, so I’m super grateful.

    Thankfully I’m not where I was two years ago.  I know I’m a strong person, I have always had a propensity for positivity and have been able to turn things around, I don’t doubt I can do that in this situation, it’s just HARD.  Being strong is HARD and I’m lonely.  I have built my life for myself – traveling the world on my own (and alone), working to maintain a good professional job, I was never too proud to seek help and I know to most people in this world, it’s admirable to be a person like me.  But it’s lonely and for all that I give, the mother that I am, the volunteer work that I put in, the children I teach through dance, the amount of self love that I have (which is questionable due to my choices in men),  I long for support and companionship.  In short…I have no idea what I want and what I’m doing at times, I try and count my blessings and complain along the way.

    And I still love this mutherfucker, who called me up last night clearly on Valium so that we can get his things out of my house.  It’s a good thing he was high and it’s good that he hung up on me because if he would have said something nice, I might have taken him back.  But as it stands, I will be ignoring his calls and we will arrange for him to get things when the kids aren’t around.

    When he’s sober, he’s lovely.  He has a beautiful heart but I can’t hang onto his potential anymore because the reality is hitting me in the face…and it’s killing me too!

    Anyway, thanks for your reply.  I’m going to surf the net to see what I had written a while ago. 😉



    Dear Kayla:

    “I know to most people in this world, it’s admirable to be a person like me”- I thought that myself, before I read this sentence, that you are indeed admirable!

    And you have a great sense of humor. And you know that you “can’t hang onto his potential anymore because the reality is hitting me in the face”.

    As intelligent, creative, hard working and strong of a woman that you are-  the heart still wants what it always wanted- to love and be loved by a man.

    Understandable, most natural.



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