Co-Dependent Perhaps?? Please help!
Hello everyone. I am new to this site and I want to thank you all for being here to help and for reading this thread. I have a situation and Iím hoping I have come to the right place to get some advice.
I spent 8 years in a relationship with an alcoholic and over that time I developed co-dependent tendencies. I have thought long and hard about why this happened and I have identified reasons why my self-esteem deteriorated and why I needed him to need me, in order for my self-esteem to be kept intact. I finally left this relationship about 8 months ago. I felt I had moved on and made huge progress in all areas of my life (one big step being the realisation that my behaviour stank of co-dependency). However, I have recently met another man. My interest was sparked by his kind, funny nature and his groundedness and intelligence. We could talk like I could never talk to anyone before. He listened, and understood me better from the outset than most do after theyíve spent years as my friend. We had so many things in common. We went out a few times and had a great time together. We talked about all the fun things we could do together.
For some trivial reason I then decided that I was not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with this man and I told him this. I really enjoyed talking to him though, and I really wanted us to remain friends. At first he was disappointed but he accepted it and agreed that it would be nice to stay friends. We agreed that even though we were not going to start a relationship we could still do all the fun things we talked about doing together, but just as friends. He then told me that since I had been so honest, he wanted to be honest with me. He told me that he is in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and has been clean and sober for quite some time. It was ok to me that I was only hearing this now as I had only known him a few weeks at this point and he was under no obligation to tell me his personal business. He also said that on hearing what I had been through, he was unsure if he could have pursued a relationship with me in any case, as he would not like to cause me any further pain. However, since then (2 weeks ago) I have grown closer to him. I want to talk to him every single day. We have talked about my previous relationship and he suggested (in a very delicate and well-meaning way) that I may have been displaying co-dependency traits while in that relationship and may still be suffering from the effects it has had on me.
Iím scared now that I am growing closer to him and that this might be due to my co-dependent tendencies. I believe that if I suggested it, a romantic relationship would still be on offer. I donít know if itís wise to spend time with him. I am tying myself up in knots about this and I would really appreciate any help. Obviously, I could walk away now, but I feel I would be losing a good friend. Or am I setting myself up for a fall by growing closer to and risking falling for yet another addict?