It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Codependency Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
shoegal78 HB User
Should I ignore ex-boyfriend as he goes through 12 steps?

I split up with my partner 8 weeks ago after relaxing I could no longer put up with his cocaine and marijuana use. This wasn't an everyday or even every week problem but it was enough to cause problems with his career and everyday life.

As a consequence of this, he has started a 12 step program thankfully. We were in contact as I wanted to help him but I think this is part of the problem. I realise it's not possible for me to help him now as our break up is too recent and seeing me will only upset him further.

There was also a codependent element to our relationship as I think I was drawn to the idea of helping him to recover from depression which further complicates things. I don't want to fall into the same patterns with someone who isn't fully recovered.

Anyone been through a similar experience?

 
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: shoegal78
jillian4 (08-03-2012), Phoenix (07-31-2012)
Old 08-03-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 388
jillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB User
Thumbs up Re: Should I ignore ex-boyfriend as he goes through 12 steps?

Hi shoegal,
I like your name because I love shoes!

Good for you that you came to this board from realizing you have a part in the dysfunction in your relationship, and that you want to do something about it. Realizing that trying to help isn't always helpful is a wonderful thing to understand. We cannot change or control what other people feel, whether it's depression or joy. Where they are at is in their own makeup, DNA, patterns, will, choices, experiences.

There is much to be said about accepting people at face value. If they are not right now what we want to see in them, then we need to be realistic about what kind of relationship we really want with them.

You are on your way to much better relating, now!

Yes I can relate. I was years into my marriage before I began to understand my role in relationship to my spouse; in this case I had ignored what were blatant signs that are now only obvious in hindsight. Because we are married with kids and our lives were so entwined it has been a grueling process to change the dynamic and for me it required separation. I had to stop trying to advise or help in any way and let him stand or fall on his own. It was the hardest thing I ever have done. Not so much because I thought I could shore him up, but because it meant I had to face and deal with my own insecurities, dependence, and personal problems. It made me look at my own self.

First, lets get it clear that we cannot help another person change. We can guide a dependent child. We cannot help an adult because helping is effectively telling them they are a dependent child. It backfires. We are not respecting ourselves or the other adult if we try to help them grow up. Helping amounts to telling them they cannot change themselves, that they are not responsible, that we are the one responsible. No matter how we say it, that is the undermining codependent message we give out of our own fear of loss, being alone, etc.

We need to tell the truth that we adults are responsible for ourselves, and we alone are responsible for ourselves. I cannot emphasize this enough. We need to learn what loving and taking care of our own selves means before we will be able to co-exist with a significant other in a healthy, respectful manner.

I would love to say that I now act on this fact in every way. Of course my own actions don't always match my words because I am still growing in this. I try to practice admitting when I am doing it wrong in order to reinforce responsible adult behavior in myself. I say practice, because I am still growing & exercising.

We can only change ourselves. Your friend is a grown up and he can make his own decisions and change himself if he wants to do the work.

He needs to pay attention to his own conscience and not fix himself for you or anyone but for himself. So the more you stay out of the picture during this acutely important period of time the better. You might tell him one time that you realize you have your own recovery to work on and that you are going to concentrate on that now.

Then after you say that, do leave him alone and work on yourself. Women's Crisis centers have marvelous support groups where we can be silent or share. It can be astonishing to listen to the sharing and see ourselves in what others say about themselves. It is really eye-opening.

By the way, it is important to understand that the steps are not something to be gotten through. The steps have to be repeated for the rest of our lives. At some point they just become part of who we are and we see we have become basically healthy minded adults!

Last edited by jillian4; 08-03-2012 at 04:13 AM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
shoegal78 HB User
Re: Should I ignore ex-boyfriend as he goes through 12 steps?

Wow, what a wonderful response! Thank you very much!

I have had a period of times overseas and definitely realise how important this was for both of us. The process of recovery certainly isn't over for either of us and it will be a while before we can properly move on. Separation and allowing him to get strong independently is so true. Thanks again, I really appreciate your message

 
The following user gives a hug of support to shoegal78:
jillian4 (08-06-2012)
Old 08-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 388
jillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB Userjillian4 HB User
Re: Should I ignore ex-boyfriend as he goes through 12 steps?

You're very welcome.

and you are one smart & strong lady! whether it always feels that way or not.
You are giving yourself and each other a chance to have a great relationship based on self and other respect, regardless where the relationship leads in the future.

I'm so impressed with you!

 
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:33 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!