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Codependent with bitterness / anger - have I become my mom?


Lexi
Sun
shine
Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Well for those of you who don't know....my boyfriend (meth. addict/alcoholic) has been abstaining from meth for about 7 months now, alcohol for 4 (the last 4 months he is in a Probation Center, a very controlled setting, but has been in a "recovery" program). He was physically and verbally abusive to me and my son. He is controlling. But he has been attending NA, AA, and this other class called "Moral Recognitive Therapy". He talks about some of the stuff he is learning, but still seems to be the same stubborn, controlling man that he was.

Then, me. I am a codependent. struggling daily with my own issues. I am a control freak, too. Still working on "letting go". I have yet to find my own peace. The last 6 months I have become vividly aware of my own problems, just struggle with fixing them, like many of us. I think I have become a bitter person, kind of.

Well this is some of what I struggle with lately. Chris gets out soon. He is so excited, says he's changed, plans to stay sober, be this great man, etc. I am not looking forward to his out date. I am scared that he will drink, scared that we will still not be able to make it work. Most of all, I am afraid that I can not go back to the woman I was when we met....the woman that was so nice to him, gave all her trust, all her heart, and just let it all go. Chris has been getting home visits, etc. He is always friendly to me, always saying things like, "well hello, beautiful, I missed you, did you miss me". Being very affectionate, and positive about our future. I, however, tend to be this negative person, that always points out what he's done in the past, just a lot of the time, or some of the time, I am mad, and cold....and I don't know what to do. How do we really get over the past, and deal with those feelings in order to move on? I don't want to be a bitter person. I need to have SOME faith in us, something that can hopefully grow as time goes on.

Since he's been in the Center, I have tried to deal with the codependency, but have learned it is changing the way we live, and doesn't just happen. I try to learn from everyone else on this board, and at KCI. You all seem like you always have the answers, hopefully one day I'll have the answers, too...and be able to APPLY them.

Any advice? How do we get over this anger?

Love all you guys
     Replies...
Rachel
sue76
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?

As much as you think that you are not learning, you are. Before when he gave those kind of promises, you would have said " Oh honey, that is wonderful" and went on in la la land with out any actions following his words.

Now though you have learned that words are easily said and that there has to be some action following those words to make them true.

Quote:
Most of all, I am afraid that I can not go back to the woman I was when we met....the woman that was so nice to him, gave all her trust, all her heart, and just let it all go.

One thing about it, none of us can ever go back. We can however grow and change and become better people.

Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
Now though you have learned that words are easily said and that there has to be some action following those words to make them true.

This is so true, it is just hard to stand back and just wait, either for him to stay sober, and continue his recovery, or get out and say, "come on, I've been locked up for 4 months, I'm a grown man, I can have six beers". Because I know, he doesn't stop at six. Or 12, or 24.

But.... That is not a good excuse for ME to be angry all the time. I need to let SOME of that go. How do I do it? Thanks

Rachel
sue76
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
You look at what you are angry about and you realize that what's done is done. You can't go back and change any of it as much as you would like to. You either accept it as it is or you become an angry hag living in the past. (Now there's an image to think about huh?)

You say that you do not want to become that bitter, angry woman that your mom is right? Only you can change that.
silly
veronica
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Good to see you back, Lexisunshine!!! ... I've been thinking about you.

Where you're at is what I always struggled with. I always said I had forgiven and would give a fair chance, but did I really? I was always secretly holding onto my fears and my pain - guarding myself in case it happened again (and in my situation, it always did happen again).

It may be that too much has happened in your relationship with him. You've been growing and learning while he's been gone and who knows where that will put the two of you when he gets home. I say give it a fair shot, but keep in mind all the things you've learned, all the progress you've made with how you KNOW you deserve to be treated.

One day at a time, just like the rest of it.
Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?

I'm so glad to hear from you, how are things going for you? You have always given me such inspiration, I feel like you are far enough ahead of me to give me hope but yet not so far that I feel way behind, if that makes sense?

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?

Quote:


He talks about some of the stuff he is learning, but still seems to be the same stubborn, controlling man that he was.

So what are you seeing?
Something is pushing those flags up.
Quote:
I am mad, and cold....and I don't know what to do. How do we really get over the past, and deal with those feelings in order to move on? I don't want to be a bitter person. I need to have SOME faith in us, something that can hopefully grow as time goes on.
No we, you.
What you need to do is to get your own counseling.
YOU don't want to be a bitter person- so YOU fix it.
You take care of you.

You know, the truth of the matter is Chris may not be your vision of what a wonderful man is.  If you are expecting a perfect man, who says just the right things at the right moment, never does anything wrong- You are going to be disappointed greatly.  Truth is Chris is human, he doesn't walk on water, he doesn't know himself- and he doesn't know you.
He stayed in a stupor -
Your memories and his do not match.
They won't match.

It isn't all the way you see it, it isn't all the way he sees it- but somewhere in the middle.

Can he be a wonderful man? Sure-but he will always be human. He doesn't know you - he can't read your mind- he doesn't know you.
You won't get the finishes your sentences- saying the exact same thing at the exact same moment feel.
You are strangers just learning who you are.

So what are you seeing that is triggering your red flags?
Now is the time to address that.
Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
That despite the fact that he is not drinking or doing drugs, the behaviors are still there. The behaviors that I get upset about.
That he isn't recovering, only abstaining. Kind of the same for me.
That I have a lot of work to do still, the past is only a problem for me.
And that we may not like each other, once we get to know each other.

I need to let go of my fantasy of what it was like "in the beginning". It will never be that way again.
I need to let go of worrying about what he will do, focus on worrying about me, and being able to take care of my needs, regardless of what he does.

Thanks, your words are so powerful, always so profound. Thank you.
silly
veronica
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
I agree. - follow your gut and look into what is causing those red flags. As I look back over the last (almost 4 now) years ... my gut was always right, even when he was SWEARING to me that I was wrong.
Quote:
I'm so glad to hear from you, how are things going for you?

You know, I'm hanging in there. I can't explain it, I can't really put it into words ... but I'm taking care of myself and my kids, and have no second thoughts about doing it.

Chad is Chad - continuing to lie and deceive (or so he believes) and use. I really thought a few weeks ago that he was ready to start his recovery ... for the first time ever, I didn't do anything ... just waited ... waited to SEE what he would do. He did nothing, he still hasn't done anything - if nothing changes, nothing changes.

So I continue to put myself first and foremost, and my children in a close second, followed by the dog. I still miss him like crazy, still think about him a lot, want his recovery for him more than he wants it for himself ... but I'm finally in a place where I know what I can control - and that's myself and my own actions.

It feels good to have let go of the rest of it - to not feel responsible for what he does and where he's at. I read a second book, "Love is a Choice - Recovery for Codependent Relationships" by Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt, and Frank Minirth. This book covered all the things that "Codependent No More" didn't and it really worked through the steps with me.

One thing I'm still coming to realize, and I know a lot of people on here have talked about it before. Even without the meth, he still may not be the man you want him to be. I know for me, I've lived these last (almost) 4 years, wanting Chad to be this warm, wonderful, caring person ... is he even capable of being that person? I have no idea - all I've known is the meth addict. Sometimes we have to let go of the unknown. Maybe we were never right for each other at all.

Okay, now I'm rambling - the old sillyv is back (ha!)

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?

Quote:


That despite the fact that he is not drinking or doing drugs, the behaviors are still there. The behaviors that I get upset about.

Then don't rush in to moving him back in.
If nothing changes then nothing will change.

So what does he say when you bring this up?  Or have you?  If not, you have to.

You can't gloss over reality, it won't work if you are together only because you are lying.
Honesty has to be a two way street.
The problems can't be solved until they are faced.

The man you met in the beginning was an illusion- he doesn't exist.
No point in looking for that man in the man you have now.
Better to let than illusion go.
What can you work with the man in front of you?
Because that is what you have- that man is real.

Don't rush in to get back on that same road you were walking.
You didn't like it then- you won't like it any better now.

Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
Okay, now I'm rambling - the old sillyv is back (ha!)

I get quite a lot of insight from your "rambling". So ramble away.

Quote:
So what does he say when you bring this up?

He gets very defensive, says things like "I'm not drinking or doing drugs anymore, you're still not happy", or "I've been trying to change for the last 4 1/2 months, trying to earn back your love and trust, and you don't even notice".

To the first response of his, I always say to him, you're not drinking now because you are in the center. I try explaining that because of what has been done, the trust has to be rebuilt and it takes time, to him 4 1/2 months is plenty long enough, even though for me it won't start until he gets out.

Sometimes, he seems to be "sorry" for what he has done, other times, most other times, it's like, "ok, I've quit drinking, when are you going to be the sweet woman I met that had no walls up, whatsoever".

He says to me a lot, "you used to always act like you wanted me". "you used to always be all over me". "you were always so sweet to me", etc. I asked him the other day if he was sure he loved me or the way I treated him. He swears he loves me, but I have to wonder if it was the way I put him on a pedestal.

Quote:
The man you met in the beginning was an illusion- he doesn't exist.
Quote:
What can you work with the man in front of you?

I need to let go of the idea of a perfect man, in general. Like you said, he is human, but so is any man, and he is not here to make me feel better.

You guys rock....I know it's up to me to do the work.

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
I try explaining that because of what has been done, the trust has to be rebuilt and it takes time, to him 4 1/2 months is plenty long enough, even though for me it won't start until he gets out.

Yep.
and yep again.

For him , he is trustworthy - 4 months is a long time.
For my husband, yesterday is a long time.

Quote:


Sometimes, he seems to be "sorry" for what he has done, other times, most other times, it's like, "ok, I've quit drinking, when are you going to be the sweet woman I met that had no walls up, whatsoever".

Yep. It is yesterday's news so back to status quo. which brings me to

Quote:


He says to me a lot, "you used to always act like you wanted me". "you used to always be all over me". "you were always so sweet to me", etc. I asked him the other day if he was sure he loved me or the way I treated him. He swears he loves me, but I have to wonder if it was the way I put him on a pedestal.

All of the above.
Seriously, he loved being center stage, he loved the way you fawned over him, he loved the way you accommodated your life to better fit his moods.
Now reality is, in time, you will again be all over him-
but that will only happen with the trust being rebuilt.
For men, physical is how you show love- seriously.
The hanging and drooling all over him- yep.
That ego is something.

Try to find a balance - something you can live with.
The reality is you will never be THAT woman again- not with him or any man.
Just as he will not be THAT man again.
Growing pains are called pains for a reason- they hurt like hell.

silly
veronica
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
From his responses to you, it seems to me that he's incredibly insecure. Chad went through that in the short periods of time that he was in recovery - he was insecure that he wasn't "hot" enough or that his body didn't look young and buff enough ... when really, I could care less about any of those things - I just wanted him to treat me right. Maybe that's part of it with your guy.
Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
From his responses to you, it seems to me that he's incredibly insecure.

Exactly, only he overcompensates by being "cocky".

You hit the nail on the head, as usual. He said that he thought we were closer when he was drinking and doing all the things I said I didn't like. I explained, no-not closer, not happier, just letting my life and myself be controlled by your disease. I would have done anything to keep from "losing" you. I am past that point, I know I'll be okay without him if he continues on his path of alcoholism.

The thing is, as Karen said, he is very attractive to me, physically. It is the emotional part that keeps me from being "all over him" anymore.

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
I always say before you can touch my body, you have to touch my heart.
I can't separate the physical from the emotional in my marriage.
And ultimately, the sex will only be as good as the rest of the relationship.
Well for me anyway.
The physical will come into play for you anyway when the emotional is settled.
When your emotional needs are getting met.
When you feel that you matter to him as more than just a convenient host.
Right now you feel more as a convenience than a desire.
Quote:
He said that he thought we were closer when he was drinking and doing all the things I said I didn't like

In his mind, yep. He want, he got-
No work involved.
Just window dressing though Wendy. Not a relationship.
No meat to it all.

It is going to be work. You will have to build more than just pretty curtains to have what you are looking for.
You don't want just a stand in- you want the whole package- a partner, a companion, a mate.
He doesn't have a clue how to be any of that.
He doesn't know.

You will have to tell him specifics.
In doing so , you need to acknowledge the right behaviors, let him know what you do love about him, then pick one- just one behavior that really throws you back.
Work from there.

His idea of getting it right- Go to work, screw good. Done.
I'm a man now.
In his mind, he has gone to work and came home without passing go, so he is putting you first.
He is showing you that you matter.
That's it- that is all there is.

He doesn't know what you need, he has no clue what you are looking for.
You can't stay in the past when giving him examples- that is beating a dead horse. It is past, it is done.
Give examples of his today.
And teach him what it is you are looking for.

He doesn't know.
As much as you had an illusion when he went in, he had an illusion as well.
You both were living a lie.
You pretending to be someone you weren't to hold him-
he pretending he was A OK and doing just peachy.
Honesty, openness, willingness- that can take you through this.
Just as it does for beating addiction.

Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
In doing so , you need to acknowledge the right behaviors, let him know what you do love about him, then pick one- just one behavior that really throws you back.

This is where I know I need work. He says I am always pointing out his flaws, like I am perfect, and he is right.

Quote:


His idea of getting it right- Go to work, screw good.

I got a laugh out of that.....it probably is so true though about how a man thinks.

That is some really good advice, and actually when I started this, I had it in my mind....I know I am going to have to make some changes and try to get over the past anger. And I really think, in his mind, he is doing everything I want. He is trying to "fix" things. He is frustrated that things aren't "working" great.

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
My husband is convinced he goes to work every day, pays the bills, he is done.
I get date night on Thursdays- so the rest of the week is his.
He did his duty.  It is work. My husband isn't a bad man, he just doesn't know.
If I don't know , then we are both screwed.

Get in your mind a clear picture- and keep it realistic.
Toss out the romance books-
their eyes meet across a crowded room and instantly he knows he has found his heaven-  he isn't looking at your eyes.

Real life-
there eyes meet across a crowded room and he motions to her that she has mustard on her shirt -that is real life.

When dealing with the heavier emotional stuff- little bits.
It is too easy to overwhelm.
One thing- that is it .
Deal with one thing- and put it where I feel not you did.
and yep, for sure, praise the good stuff.
You know there are a lot of changes we don't see in the afterward.
Little things that escape our attention.
Look for those positive and make sure he knows you noticed.
That positive reinforcement goes a long way.

Deep down, they just want approval and acceptance.
They want to feel special too.
Lexi
Sun
shine
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Do you know my boyfriend? Seems like you do. Like your husband, I really don't think he is bad, either. As you said, they don't have a clue that a woman wants to be held after sex not before...when they want to get close.

Quote:


Get in your mind a clear picture- and keep it realistic. Toss out the romance books-

Even with my husband that passed, this was a struggle for me. To accept the boring everyday life where, if a man loves you and is comfortable, he is going to come home, maybe kiss you once, and then he's going to lay on the couch and watch TV. No more googling over you like in the beginning. This is where I need to love myself, so I don't count on him to constantly show me that he loves me so that I feel loveable.

I do feel like Chris gets very overwhelmed because I want to "talk" all the time about how I feel. He doesn't know how to handle it, he has told me so. I do feel like he tries very hard and I'm sure he would love it if I would compliment what I have noticed, like how every time he talks to me, even on the phone, he ALWAYS asks how my day was. And he listens. I never felt like he cared before.

Some great stuff on here today, thank you again. I'm already feeling so much better.

imlost
inky
Re: Codependent with bitterness / anger...Have I become my mom?
Quote:
I'm sure he would love it if I would compliment what I have noticed, like how every time he talks to me, even on the phone, he ALWAYS asks how my day was. And he listens.

Yes I am sure he would.
That is awesome ya know. It really is.

Any man can get it right for one night.
It is one helluva man that gets it right for 20 years worth of nights.
Friendship is the staying power. It really is.
Treat him like a friend.


See also:

Codependent Issues and Topics


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