Is this codependency or recovery or just plain ol’ hell?

HomeForumsRelationshipsIs this codependency or recovery or just plain ol’ hell?

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    Nearly 5 years ago, my husband of 20 years blindsided me with the dreaded, “I’m filing for divorce.”  In the aftermath of that statement, I was completely devastated — even contemplating suicide (though this is difficult to admit — so painful).  When I met him, he had just begun his recovery from alcoholism (refuses to go through a 12 step program), and I grew up as a child of an alcoholic.

    Now, here’s the rub — though I did all I could to get him to stop the divorce proceedings (even begging at times), he moved forward with it despite the fact that he kept having sex with me on a regular basis.  I accepted, and at times, even initiated the intimacy because I believed his actions meant that he must still love me.  Of course, his other actions (proceeding with the divorce) provided me an undeniable contradiction.  I am still confused today and we are still “together.”  We spend time together running errands, going to dinner, movies, etc. — and of course, we are still having sex; in my eyes, he is still irrestible.  We live apart (we have one adult son who lives with him) and he does see other women, but swears that they are “just friends.” I do believe him when he tells me that I am the only one he is with sexually.

    I have been in therapy on a weekly basis since he left the marriage and I have grown exponentially.  However, I still struggle with . . . oh, I am not even sure what the exact struggle is — I feel so committed to him — still — but do not feel that commitment in return.  When I have spoken with him about this, he responds with, “It will work between us or it won’t.”  He wants to just live in the moment, and I do value that.  For me, “in the moment,” it’s wonderful when we are together, yet “in the moment,” it’s so difficult when we are apart — I don’t have the emotional security I would like from a relationship.  On the one hand, I think it’s possible that Spirit has given me this glorious gift — a second chance with my husband to repair the aspects of the marriage failure that belong to me (and believe me, I have discovered a few).  On the other hand, he has admitted that, though he admires the amount of personal growth work I have done, he does not want to “work that hard.”

    Your thoughts, please . . . the tough parts of the relationship are really tough, yet even thinking about giving up the relationship’s positive aspects is deeply painful.


    What I get from this is that you are not treated with the respect you deserve. Not by your husband and not by yourself.

    You put yourself in a situation where you are completely dependent on your ex. You need him to support you emotionally, sexually and probably other ways. The moment you are alone, you are confronted with your issues. When he is around, you forget all about them. Your ex serves as a band aid, to hide your wounds.
    The best you can do is to find a way to heal your wounds. This way you are no longer dependent on the band aid. Work on yourself, never give your power or security away to someone else. Face your fears! It’s not easy, but that’s how you grow. You’ll be happier and more confident and you won’t need to rely on anyone else to feel this way. This way you’ll become more attractive to the opposite sex and attract men who appreciate this quality in a woman. By begging someone for love you are only going to attract men who need women that are weak or hopeless.
    As for your husband. I feel like he keeps you around as a backup plan. You are a sure thing, because you are desperate for him. If tomorrow his ‘perfect woman’ comes a long, do you think the situation between you two will change? If you two were going to get back together ‘officially’, it probably would have happened by now. It looks to me that he is using you the same way you are using him. You are both each others band aid.

    I could be wrong of course, but from what you wrote, these are my impressions.


    I’m feel as though I’m in the same boat with an ex – of course, we weren’t married, but nonetheless, I have at times, felt like a doormat. I’m beginning to see that the whole thing has been a learning experience for me.  Regardless of what he takes from it. I’ve had enough of the abuse -It’s what it is, abuse. You’re right about co-depency as well.  Follow the voice deep down which is screaming at you the “Truth”

    You are being given the “Truth” and need to follow that.  You have a path that will lead you to self-fulfillment and the world is set up for your win.  When he comes running back, and he will come running back, follow your gut once again and let him follow his path that he is on  now.  Tell him to go back to “his moment to moment living” and dating. You’re done! Meditation and therapy have been a huge source as has Buddah website. There is so much for you – Go get it.


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