Is my Wife Codependent?
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is my Wife Codependent?

I have been reading several articles on Codependency and I am more confused than ever.

I bring a lot of destructive baggage into the relationship, but Im more than capable of making myself aware of the issues and self monitoring. I have seen progress, and will continue forward constructively. That’s why I joined here. But my issues can wait for another thread.

Id like to speak a little bit about my wife, and hopefully gain some insight as to the why’s and how to correct this type of behaviour.

Up front: We have discussed IC/MC and will pursue when our financial issues subside. Until then (and afterwards) I will rely on the vast knowledge that is TAM.


My wife thinks that I should be her main source of happiness, and vice versa. Those are her paraphrased words.

Im not sure if she has an odd sence of gender roles, but often times she tells me to “do this” or “do that” because Im the man of the house. A great example: If she comes to bed after me, she will “ask” me to get out of bed and turn off all the lights in the house, because “Im the man”.
This doesn’t jive with me. Im of a mind that if you can do something for yourself, do it. Don’t rely on others. It would have been easier than wiping your ass to flick the switches as she walked past them!!!

She will call me two-three times per day when Im at work just to say, "Hi, I was thinking about you, and just wanted to say I love you."
This would be fine with me if it wasnt 10 times per week. Once in a blue moon would have much more meaning behind it.



She used to make plans for me. Her friend needs help moving, she will offer our services without consulting me. Most recently I was 15 minutes late leaving work, and by the time I got home she was having a freak out. She was upset because we were supposed to be at her friends house right now, and I didn’t call to let her know I was going to be late. I didn’t know I had plans to be late for.
I got angry. I told her very sternly that she knows I sometimes leave work late, and it has never been an issue in the past. This is also the first time I told her never to make plans for me ever again without consulting me, because I feel like she is trying to control me. She did apologize and hasn’t attempted to force me into anything since.

Another issue is TV time, or as my wife likes to refer it: Quality time. This comprises of me half heartily snuggling up with her, staring at the wall while she watches the Slice and TLC channels. The two most non-male-friendly networks we have access too. She would even get upset when Id reach for a book, because when I read, snuggled up beside her, Im absorbed by something other than her.
This behaviour mostly stopped somewhere in the middle of reading No More Mr. Nice Guy. Again, I got angry and told her she can have me to snuggle with while she watches her show, or I will plain leave the room. The compromise is that I get to read… while trying to drown out the drama.

Sex... This is kind of a sexless marriage, but I understand the reason for it: Im emotionally disconnected from just about everything. I dont bring this paragraph up to discuss the lack of sex in the marriage, but to showcase my wifes behaviour.

I came across an article called His Needs, Her Needs. I thought it was bang on so I showed it to her. She took note of Man Need #1: Sex.
Ive told her countless times sex is more than just getting off. I use Palmella Anderson for that. I want her for intimacy and erotiscism. She fired back that sex doesnt do it for her, and she wants to know I have been thinking about her over the course of my day. Flowers, a card would do the trick. I dont like the idea of having to "buy" sex from my wife. She says its not a transaction, If I need sex to be happy in marriage than she wants stuff. Personally, even though I understand her POV, I dont agree. Sex shouldnt be a one sided want.

I think this post showcases some of my poor behaviour. I do stand up for myself now, as opposed to the doormat I used to be, but I do so too aggressively. I am capable of maintaining a calm/ neutral demeanor some of the time, and I can maintain the state of mind during a lot of our bickering now. That’s progress, and its my best effort.

Im going to stop here because this is turning into a rant, and I don’t want to give the impression that Im just picking on my wife. I want to "fix" the relationship, but not in the way that nice guys try to fix things. That avenue did not fare me well.

Last edited by Triumph; 10-10-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

I have no idea whether or not your wife is codependent because you have not explained what your "baggage" is.


However, from the examples that you have given, you two need a radical reboot of the way that you talk to each other. His Needs Her Needs and Lovebusters are two great books by Willard Harley that you should read together. When she asks you to turn out the lights, tell her calmly that this job belongs to the last one to pass them before getting to bed. If you get up, you are teaching her that you find this acceptable behavior.

One of Harley's principles is radical honesty. You need to be honest with her about how her behavior is destroying your love for her. If you have problems staying calm, leave the room and tell her you will discuss the issue later.

All of these issues are fixable. You just need a new mindset about how to approach them. Brainstorm together solutions that are mutually acceptable. And yes, she needs to understand that sex is the glue that holds couples together emotionally.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

These were all examples I pulled from the last two months. Before then, I would have gladly gotten out of bed to run laps around the house, in the rain, while balancing the family pet on violin made out of peanut brittle to make her happy. I know my current behaviour is still on the unacceptable side, but its different. I am making changes. NMMNG suggest if your a nice guy you are usually on one end of the pendulum, so swing it to the other side full tilt, turn into a **** for a little while, and when you go to recalibrate, you will have more sucess at finding the happy middle ground.

Is my baggage really an issue in her potential codependency? She has been this way as long as I have known her. It was only after the Lust and Honeymoon period started to fade that I started to become resentful.

In regards to Radical Honesty... I tried that one time, told her I loved her, but not "in love" with her. She was upset, and allowed me to address my concerns. She said she was going to make an effort to change and she did. But it was token in nature, disapeared after 3 days of non-stop sex...

Its a huge balancing act, and one Im sure requires the advice of an IC/MC, which will come with time.

Im trying to man-up, grow personally, master myself, whatever you want to call it. I feel like my wife is in the same boat, but more helpless than me, and this reaks havoc on the marriage. Not too mention the economy is down, blah blah blah. Im very overwhelmed at the moment, and new to this whole, "Lets try and make it work" game that is real marriage, IMO. So please bare with me.

Last edited by Triumph; 10-10-2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

You both must make changes to meet each other's needs. That is why Harley's books are so good. You identify each other's needs, avoid Lovebusters, and rebuild your affection for each other.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

On your suggestion, I will order those two books very soon.

Thank you.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

These books were instrumental for me to understand my husband's sexual needs. They opened my eyes to the emotional component of sex for men. I used to think that sex was just a physical release for men; otherwise, why would they pay a prostitute for it?

I hope that your wife is willing to read the books with you. They are full of great marriage counseling advice.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

Read the first chapter on it, its free on amazon. It looks promising. I have to buy it as well. Thanks for the input. I hope my wife would read it as well. But surely I will.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
I have been reading several articles on Codependency and I am more confused than ever.

I bring a lot of destructive baggage into the relationship, but Im more than capable of making myself aware of the issues and self monitoring. I have seen progress, and will continue forward constructively. That’s why I joined here. But my issues can wait for another thread.

Id like to speak a little bit about my wife, and hopefully gain some insight as to the why’s and how to correct this type of behaviour.

Up front: We have discussed IC/MC and will pursue when our financial issues subside. Until then (and afterwards) I will rely on the vast knowledge that is TAM.


My wife thinks that I should be her main source of happiness, and vice versa. Those are her paraphrased words.

Im not sure if she has an odd sence of gender roles, but often times she tells me to “do this” or “do that” because Im the man of the house. A great example: If she comes to bed after me, she will “ask” me to get out of bed and turn off all the lights in the house, because “Im the man”.
This doesn’t jive with me. Im of a mind that if you can do something for yourself, do it. Don’t rely on others. It would have been easier than wiping your ass to flick the switches as she walked past them!!!

She will call me two-three times per day when Im at work just to say, "Hi, I was thinking about you, and just wanted to say I love you."
This would be fine with me if it wasnt 10 times per week. Once in a blue moon would have much more meaning behind it.



She used to make plans for me. Her friend needs help moving, she will offer our services without consulting me. Most recently I was 15 minutes late leaving work, and by the time I got home she was having a freak out. She was upset because we were supposed to be at her friends house right now, and I didn’t call to let her know I was going to be late. I didn’t know I had plans to be late for.
I got angry. I told her very sternly that she knows I sometimes leave work late, and it has never been an issue in the past. This is also the first time I told her never to make plans for me ever again without consulting me, because I feel like she is trying to control me. She did apologize and hasn’t attempted to force me into anything since.

Another issue is TV time, or as my wife likes to refer it: Quality time. This comprises of me half heartily snuggling up with her, staring at the wall while she watches the Slice and TLC channels. The two most non-male-friendly networks we have access too. She would even get upset when Id reach for a book, because when I read, snuggled up beside her, Im absorbed by something other than her.
This behaviour mostly stopped somewhere in the middle of reading No More Mr. Nice Guy. Again, I got angry and told her she can have me to snuggle with while she watches her show, or I will plain leave the room. The compromise is that I get to read… while trying to drown out the drama.

Sex... This is kind of a sexless marriage, but I understand the reason for it: Im emotionally disconnected from just about everything. I dont bring this paragraph up to discuss the lack of sex in the marriage, but to showcase my wifes behaviour.

I came across an article called His Needs, Her Needs. I thought it was bang on so I showed it to her. She took note of Man Need #1: Sex.
Ive told her countless times sex is more than just getting off. I use Palmella Anderson for that. I want her for intimacy and erotiscism. She fired back that sex doesnt do it for her, and she wants to know I have been thinking about her over the course of my day. Flowers, a card would do the trick. I dont like the idea of having to "buy" sex from my wife. She says its not a transaction, If I need sex to be happy in marriage than she wants stuff. Personally, even though I understand her POV, I dont agree. Sex shouldnt be a one sided want.

I think this post showcases some of my poor behaviour. I do stand up for myself now, as opposed to the doormat I used to be, but I do so too aggressively. I am capable of maintaining a calm/ neutral demeanor some of the time, and I can maintain the state of mind during a lot of our bickering now. That’s progress, and its my best effort.

Im going to stop here because this is turning into a rant, and I don’t want to give the impression that Im just picking on my wife. I want to "fix" the relationship, but not in the way that nice guys try to fix things. That avenue did not fare me well.
I think the above is all to do with your boundaries. In essence your boundaries are being crossed, and because of that your core values and rules are under attack (you feel hurt and/or frustrated and get angry). But you have no idea how to defend them in an effective way.

So you need to be more aware of your emotions, for example when your anger has been triggered and is “on the rise” and then how to calm that anger and respond in a non aggressive way. Read up on boundaries (Relationship Book, Self Help Relationship Book For a Man, Best Manual for Men is a good one), get to know about your emotions (Emotional Intelligence/ Daniel Goleman) and learn to be very much more self aware (Awareness/Anthony de Mello). Also swat up on ego defence mechanisms (see Defence Mechanisms: Manning Up!).
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my Wife Codependent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
Is my baggage really an issue in her potential codependency?
If she's co-dependent... then probably.

Codependent people tend to hook up with people with dependency issues, the subtext being, "I will fix them, and then they will love me forever".

What you have described is behavior that doesn't acknowledge respectful boundaries.

Even if you do have dependency issues, you (or a counselor you physically meet with in real life) are in a better position to make a diagnosis that we are based on reading only what you post here.
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