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Time to stop being a doormat!


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Old 06-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #1
Dee7734
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Time to stop being a doormat!

Hey everyone

I'm Dee, hoping this forum may help me lose my co-dependency issues.

SO... Since meeting my current bf who I have learned is subtly trying to control me but may not realise he is doing it, my life has changed a lot. Spent 10 years chasing an office career mainly cos I thought this was best for a secure future/what my parents would be most proud with. My new partner encouraged me to get out there and start working at what I love. My dream is coming true before my eyes and I can see my future where I don't have to work a 9-5 mundane job I don't want to do anymore!

Everything in my life would be perfect if my relationship was healthy. I am finding that the conflicts in my relationship are now starting to affect the way I am with friends and associates - the negativity coming from my bf has led to me being negative about things happening with others, who have then in turn said 'lets focus on the positives shall we?'. My bf always seems to pick fault with people we meet, my friends and family, his own friends and family too - he will say good things but will always end with a criticism. I witnessed so much judgement of others on his part, the way he was looking at people in the dinner hall of the hotel was horrid - I almost felt embarrassed to be on his arm. He also likes to make jokes about little things I do, but when I give a submissive response telling him I don't like it, he then continues the cutesie joke to say I am too sensitive. He also criticises me and the way i do things sometimes. i also know that he uses sex as a coping mechanism, have done lots of reading about his behaviours. I realise the love i am getting from him is an addictive, obsessive love. He has had a tough upbringing, has ADHD and possibly a little aspergers in there too as his brother suffers from this. His dad was an alcoholic, mother neglected him after the divorce and submersed herself in getting attention from men and not focussing on her children (sadly she passed from cancer last year which I know will also be adding to his struggles). She kicked my bf out when he was 16, his relationship with his sisters has never been close as I think they may have resented him for getting all the attention/being a brat, he had no one when he left home and his family were not concerned about how he was. He has had 3 months of CBT treatment last year and as a result, now believes he is better. He HAS shown improvement in a lot of areas of our relationship - helping around the house, wanting to help more with bill monitoring, cooking, washing up- although he does struggle with a lot due to the ADHD, his eating habits are also horrendous.

As the relationship has gone on, we have just entered our second year together, my responses to his demands and the things he says to put me down/make me feel small/subtly ridicule me/control me have become worse and I seem to cry almost every time we have a conflict. I seem to have found strength, from where I'm not sure, I have some lovely friends who I have managed to keep close, some others sadly I have lost it seems for the time being only hopefully, due to my lack of contact and preoccupation with my relationship and not wanting to rock the boat with my bf.

We have both mutually decided that he will move into his own new place and I will be stepping away and moving into a place of my own somewhere - a house share I think - as we both feel we need space for our own reasons. He says he cant bear to see me crying and unhappy anymore, and I need the space to find myself again and not be around him too much as I feel I don't yet have the tools to live in harmony with him. Being under each other noses everyday isn't helping me, I can feel it. I am always on edge, I jump like a scared little lamb when he comes back to the house after being out. We help each other a lot. I hope that we can have a conversation about this one day which leads to us both building a mutual respect. I don't want to just give up and walk away.

I understand that a lot of the problems we have now are due to my lack of assertiveness - my bf is behaving just as he has in previous relationships, from what he has learned from those around him growing up - and because I let him behave and speak to me the way he does, I fear telling him how im really feeling about things in case he reacts with hostility (I moved out last year for 2 months because things got very bad and I was completely broken - he physically abused me twice and there were also two episodes of sexual/emotional abuse too.

SO... I have decided its time to start taking control of my life. I have done a LOT of reading and I am confident that he and I can make this work. I have re-joined a women's co-dependency support group which I attended once last year and didn't go back to (things could well have been very different now had I continued, but it is what it is, I wasn't ready back then, I am ready now). I have told my bf, I did so in a text as I knew I wouldn't have the confidence to tell him to his face without trembling, that I will now be saving up for a deposit for my own rented place once he moves into his place. He tried to have me agree to going away on another holiday even though we have just come back, but I told him that I actually really need to save for my new plans. He chose not to respond to this when he replied to my message... But I feel confident that the message got through to him and that I delivered it in a kind, assertive way Emoji.

I have now taken control of not not responding to any messages he sends me so I can focus on work and he understands this - he actually thanked me when I got home just after midnight after I told him it was really nice to come home to him and be close after not conversing much at all during the day.

Everyday has ups and downs. There was a small issue this morning, and I am now faced with needing to be kindly assertive to ask him not to use my dressing gown I wear in the mornings when I drink my tea to lay on top of in bed when he wakes up all wet and sweaty... He jumped out of bed to get it and as he was laying it on the bed I asked him - in my still sleep like state - to use a towel instead as I wear it in the mornings. A little advice here on how to go about approaching this would be amazing if anyone reads this today - should I just hide it so he cant find it, or ask him not to use it? I know which would be easier, but would it be the wrong approach? Perhaps I could joke when he says, where's your dressing down these days? Then I could explain that I wear it in the mornings and if he's ht and sweaty he will need to use a towel or something else?

Since we made this decision together, his insecurities have played their part in him subtly trying to plant doubt in my mind that us having space apart is really the right thing to do... Funny thing is, a few days later his head will be in rational mode and he will message me saying he knows some time apart is the right thing for us and he loves me and doesn't want to lose me. I am sure many of you reading this may be aware of this cycle of indecisiveness due to anxiety...

I hope that after my first group session last night (there were lots of tears), my strength to get out of the house will grow, along with my CBT sessions which start on Tuesday, I will start to slowly gain the confidence in my new ways of thinking and be able to put them into practice to create a much more healthy ennvironment between my bf and I, with much better communication between us. i have also read however, that, in some cases - with passive aggressive especially - my attempts to be assertive may be met with hostility and anger and a 'you've changed, whats got into you' kind of attitude, but not in a positive way from his perspective. i understand that if i become assertive and still aren't getting the respect for the decisions i make in my life and respect for saying no when i feel i need to and want to, then i will know that ill have to move on. It will be clear to me that i will be forever fighting with a man who needs to do much more work on himself before he is able to love and respect me - which i won;t be able to help him with, and i wont let him make me feel guilty about throwing what we have away and abandoning him as i will know that i did everything i could to make our relationship work.

Thanks for listening everyone, I can tend to waffle a bit so thanks for your patience. There is so much more going on as well but, ill be typing all afternoon if i carry on. Any advice and help regards making those first steps towards becoming more assertive would be really helpful as i am anxious about this.

Much love,

Dee

Last edited by Administrator; 06-30-2016 at 01:20 PM.

 
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

You must take care of yourself first and you seem to be doing that.

Congrat's on getting more independent.

Best of luck to you going forward.

Last edited by movielover40; 06-30-2016 at 10:56 AM.

 
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:27 AM   #3
Dee7734
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

Thank you movie lover. It's hard, but I am trying x

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

I remember in my second marriage when I went to an assertive training class and they taught me to not take responsibility if my husband lost his keys or yelled at me for something I didn't do and stand up to him and tell him in an assertive way that it was his problem and not mine. I wasn't raised that way and took a lot of criticism and verbal abuse but after my first husband doing that to me I knew that I deserved respect. The teacher said that my second husband may not like the new me and it could cause problems in the marriage but fortunately for me, my husband respected me more and we stayed together. I was able to have a voice in our relationship and not be afraid to tell him what I thought or felt. I become a healthier person and felt better about myself. You have to make a decision to be healthy and if he is toxic to you then leave him and find someone who will listen and respect you.

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:52 AM   #5
Dee7734
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Wink Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

Thank you so much for your words ladies

As it happens there has been progress my end. I have woken up to realise that my bf is a full blown narcissist of the most extreme and evil kind. VERY good at being nice when he wants to be and pulling the wool over my eyes and EXTREMELY manipulative. Since I woke up to what is happening and I have surrendered to what IS - HE is the one with the problem and I must get out - I have a plan in place to get out. He goes to Germany for a gig with his band on 3rd Aug and I will be GONE when he gets back!

I have also established that his dad is also a narc and this is of the reasons he is like this - as well as the crap he went through when he was a kid. But, its no excuse for how he treats me and I am so fed up and want my life back.

SO... Its happening! Only thing now is, there's 3 weeks til he goes away, and I have already denied him sex for 5 days cos I have been tired - which is actually the truth - and I will be telling him tonight that I am sorry for being distant but I really do need my space, I think we should just do our own thing for a while' ... he uses the 'sorry ive been distant 'card when he punishes me by denying ME sex. He thinks he is the most 'amazing man' and I quote this from the text he sent me a few days ago when I gave a barrage of messages for disappointing me. He even started comparing his moles on his chest to a star constellation he thinks he's so f**king special!

I'm worried he will get nasty with me if I don't give him sex, but if he does, I think I will just leave sooner so. It's his choice really. I am noticing now that everything which comes out of his mouth is either negative, something about himself to make himself feel better, a dig at me for disappointing him in some way, a put down of someone we know to make himself feel better about himself, or something to try and get info out of me about how there is something wrong with the relationship and that its shame that things aren't the way they used to be.........F*******K OFFFFFF!!! lol...

I am SO DONE with his bullcrap! My womens support group has helped me IMMENSLY. I just started counselling too and cant wait for my appointment next week, and I also read The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle which I can't tell you how much has helped me PLEASE READ THIS if you are in a relationship with one of these people. It gave me so much strength to surrender and also explained exactly why there is conflict in the relationship. It really has opened my eyes. My bf told me he read this book before - but I don't believe he has. Or, he has, and KNOWS full well he isn't applying any of what is written in there to his life and has told me he is reading it because he wants me to think he is 'in the know' and has more knowledge than I do. ****!

Can't wait to get out!! I will update again once the move has been made and let you know what happens. My boss at work is aware, I think he may come here looking for me. He wont know where I have moved to either, and I am ready and prepared for the barrage of messages/emails/texts and phone calls coming my way from him. Cutting off the supply of a narcissist gets them pretty riled up from what I have read. So. We shall see what happens!!!

Thanks for your kinds words everyone, speak soon! And BE STRONG! If I can do it, so can you! We can do ANYTHING! xxx

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

stay strong! I am so very proud of you!

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:57 AM   #7
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

Wow, amazing you managed to save your marriage Well done. xxx

Last edited by Administrator; 07-14-2016 at 08:04 AM.

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:58 AM   #8
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
stay strong! I am so very proud of you!

Woohooo! I AM the strong, confident and fearless woman I have always been , she just got lost for a little while I AM BACK!!!

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

I'm so proud of you and I want to caution you to be very careful because he might get very angry or retaliate. Make sure you block his messages when you leave and don't let him know where you are. Get support from your co-workers and call the police if he bothers you at work. Have people go with you to your car and just be aware of your surroundings. He may be harmless but a narcistic person many times gets angry at a person who rejects him. Best wishes and I'm glad you have found books and support to help you make this monumental decision.

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:40 AM   #10
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

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Originally Posted by renko View Post
I'm so proud of you and I want to caution you to be very careful because he might get very angry or retaliate. Make sure you block his messages when you leave and don't let him know where you are. Get support from your co-workers and call the police if he bothers you at work. Have people go with you to your car and just be aware of your surroundings. He may be harmless but a narcistic person many times gets angry at a person who rejects him. Best wishes and I'm glad you have found books and support to help you make this monumental decision.

Thank you for the warning. He has been violent in the past. Twice. I have 900 vinyl records and 2 dj turntables at the house which are very precious to me. I hope he accepts my 'sorry I am distant but I really feel I need space from you and im sorry if this hurts you' bla bla bla story. But, I suspect he will get frustrated - maybe he will cheat on me. If he does, I couldn't care less! Least he will be out of my face and I can get on with my stuff before he goes away. I do worry a little about how its all gonna go down. This is why I am trying to hold off telling him it is over, so I can send him a text whilst he is away or leave him a letter for when he comes back. Don't know what the best option is, I just don't want to sleep with him or be sexual with him xxx

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:56 AM   #11
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

don't say anything to him before he leaves.....just wait until he's gone and clear out! Save yourself the drama and the problems

 
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:57 AM   #12
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Re: Time to stop being a doormat!

Do you have family or friends where he has no knowledge of where they live? Is there a safe place for you to go if things go south? I just want you to be very careful and find a way for escape if he can't leave you alone. I really hope you can leave when he leaves in August if you can be safe until then. You don't really have to contact him when you leave. I'm sure he will know when the house is empty. Take care of yourself.

 
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