Archive for the ‘Codependency’ Category


This morning I left the house in a bit of a huff.  All those old feelings of resentment have been emerging lately. I also know that when I start to feel resentful of others is because I’m not doing a good job of taking care of myself.  Today’s resentment was targeted at ML. ML’s schedule allows him to arrive to work at 10:00AM.  And since moving, his commute is only 20 minutes.  On the other hand, I have to be at work at 8:30AM and my commute has been extended about an hour each way.   He leaves for work everyday, yet nothing gets accomplished.  He just uses the extra time to sleep.  And when I arrive home at 6:00PM, guess who starts dinner in perfect time for his arrival at 6:30PM?  Me, of course! And that’s when the resentment hits.  This morning when ML mentioned he was going to head out for a jog, I completely lost it.  I hate that he finds time in his schedule to take care of his health, and I barely have time to breathe. 

I could also go on about how I’m still working the part-time job I picked up when we separated because I’m still helping my sister with rent.  Yet, she’s off using her extra income to go out clubbing in NYC every weekend and purchasing $300 handbags.  That money was meant for her basics. I don’t want to wake up at 6:30AM on Sunday morning to support her lifestyle.  I know what I have to do. I know I have to find ways to take care of myself, but old habits are so hard to break.  At least I recognize what’s wrong with this picture.


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Hello Blog World!  It’s been a while.  Where do I begin?  Life has been good.  ML and I are adjusting to our new life together.  Like any other couple, we have some challenges.  But we are finding them easier to tackle together. I know I haven’t been present lately in the “blogosphere”. I think this has a lot to do with an internal shift I’ve been experiencing.   Though I still attend my weekly S-Anon meetings and therapy sessions, part of me wanted to focus on other areas in my life. I started a “real life” blog exploring some of my interests that have nothing to do with my S-Anon identity.  I took up yoga, which has been a nice addition to my usually non-physical activities.  My work situation has changed for the better since my last post and I feel like I can finally breathe again! I celebrated another year surrounded with family and friends.  Like my sponsor says: There’s been a lot of  “life” going on! 

Since the focus has not been on my husband’s program or the other codependent relationships in my life, the veil has lifted in those areas in my “own” life that need improvement.  As I type this post, I have an email sitting on my draft pile waiting to be sent.  It’s an email that will start the ball rolling on a major positive life change  – going back to school.  But, I am scared! For the longest time, I delayed the process for many reasons. First, I needed to make a living right out of college.  Then, I had my sister to take care of and help with her schooling.  Finally, I had the problem of  ML’s sex addiction and not being able to focus on anything else. It was one distraction after the next! However, all the exterior noises have quieted down and the timing couldn’t be better, yet I still fear clicking on the send button. Sending that email means that I start focusing on myself , my goals and dreams – something I haven’t done in a very long time. I figured I’d write this post to work up the courage necessary to finally send that email and get the ball rolling on something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  What am I waiting for?  It’s time to try defying gravity!


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What started off as a relaxing Thursday night, ended in total frustration.  You see, the trackball on my Blackberry broke off several days prior and I decided to order a new phone to replace the old one. After discussing my options with the sales representative, I was quoted a decent price for a new Blackberry phone with a $100 mail in rebate and a new two year agreement.  I decided to go for it and purchase the new phone.  When I received the new phone and called to activate it, I was informed that my mail in rebate would not be eligible.  So after being quoted a certain price, I was expected to either pay the additional $100 or return the phone.  After speaking with a regular representative, a supervisor and the supervisor’s supervisor, my options were limited.  Either activate the new phone and lose $100 or return the phone and wait for a reimbursement on my credit card that takes up to two billing cycles.  This had me livid!  So, either way, I was being screwed over – either spending the additional $100 or having to wait 60 days for my money back once the company got their phone. 

I was completely frustrated to the point of tears. After explaining the situation to my husband and going on and on about “my crappy options”, I decided to take a breather for the night and watch some TV with wine as I originally planned to do.  ML had shut himself off in the other room.  Again, this upset me.  Here we go again with him isolating.  I wanted to share a little TV time with him, and he’s off in la la land in the next room.  After an hour of waiting for him, he comes out with my old blackberry with the trackball attached. Granted, the phone looked like a child’s science experiment, but it was functional.  Instead of being thankful, I was annoyed. “I don’t want that ugly phone!  What am I suppose to do with that?”  He said: “Well, you wanted options, this is an option.”  I decided I didn’t like this option and promised myself to continue in my search for the right answer.

After ML had left to work in the morning, I decided to take a closer look at the phone. The phone was actually a little over a year old.  I actually got it the day before I was leaving on my destination wedding trip.  I remembered being so excited to get my new Blackberry and playing with it the entire time at the airport as we waited for our flights.  However, like my marriage, the phone had a very rough first year.  During my beach getaway with my sister, I left the phone out in the sun too long and it acquired some screen damage. When ML came to pack up his stuff after we had separated, I flung the phone at him out of anger and frustration causing it to get all scuffed up.   Not to mention my own “klutzy” nature, dropping the cell phone on numerous occasions.  I thought a new phone – like leaving the relationship with my husband – was the magic solution to my problems. But what is a new phone if I’m still a hopeless klutz? Or a new relationship if I’m still a crazy codependent? I immediately called ML to thank him for fixing my phone and to apologize for my bratty behavior the night before. He seemed really happy that his efforts did not go unnoticed and accepted my apology. At the end of the day, I decided to choose my eyesore of a phone instead of keeping the new one, like I choose this less-than perfect marriage. The phone (like my marriage) may no longer be shiny and new, but it’s still works – and that’s all that matters!!

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ML and I had a rough weekend.  For the last few weeks, everything was going wonderfully.  ML was being kind, considerate and compassionate.  But like the subtle change of the season, so are the changes that have been occuring in our relationship.  The changes have been small: anything from walking to the next room to watch TV alone (while we’re sitting together) or not engaging in conversation on our date nights.  I’ve been keeping mum about it for the most part, but while we were out to dinner on Friday (and again he was not engaging), I couldn’t take it anymore. I told him I noticed he’s been quiet all night and is everything ok.  He then replied:  I don’t have anything to talk about.  I was crushed.  Here we were at a fun restaurant on a Friday night.  The tables were packed with young couples and groups of friends having a good time together, and then there we were sitting quietly while eating our meals. I even stuffed my face too much as means to distract from the silence ( and perhaps eat my feelings while at it). It wasn’t that we had nothing to talk about, but that he wasn’t even trying to talk to me, even if only small talk.   On the way home, I told him how hurt I was that he had disengaged during our entire night together.  The whole conversation then escalated with me in tears and him saying how unhappy he feels.  He feels unhappy because he feels like he’s walking on eggshells.  I know changing was not going to be an easy process for him, but I never expected him to be unhappy.  The night ended with promises that he will try harder next time and me too tired to even care. 

Saturday pretty much came and went without much interaction. I went to visit my sister most of the day and he attended his Saturday night meeting.  Sunday, I worked from 8AM to 4PM.  When I came home, I suggested that we go get a bite to eat together and go pick up a few things at the supermarket.  During the meal and shopping excursion, we had very limited conversation, except for the occasional “pass the ketchup” or “pick up  a pack of the Chips Ahoy cookies, they’re on sale” comment.  By the time we parked the car, I couldn’t help but break down in tears.  I asked him what was going on with him. I feel so hurt. I feel like he’s detaching from me.  I tell him that we don’t need to talk every second, but we barely exchanged words the entire weekend. Our schedules are already packed with work, meetings, therapy and phone calls, how could we have nothing to talk about when we share so little time together as it is?  I’m scared that this a sign that things are going downhill again.  The only thing he could muster up was an “I know”.  I left the car  with such a heavy heart.  Where do you go when you pour out your heart and only get an “I know” as a response. I was hoping that he would take the opportunity to communicate with me, but he didn’t.  I knew that this situation would escalate out of control if I didn’t do something.  So, I decided to call some program folks. I didn’t mention what was happening with me & ML, but just talking to someone and getting my bearings helped bring me some serenity in that moment.

The night ended quietly.  I cooked a lasagna. We watched a little Dexter. And the weekend ended in silence.  I feel a little loss.  I don’t understand what’s happening.  I don’t understand why ML is pulling away.  Maybe he’s white-knuckling it. Maybe he’s getting too comfortable.  Maybe he’s on the verge of relapsing.  I don’t know anymore. I try to keep the focus on me. I tried to take care of myself this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that ML’s silence didn’t hurt. Or that I wasn’t disappointed all over again and completely exhausted.  Though I managed myself pretty well in this situation, I still feel very sad and just writing this is making me teary eyed.  I’m going to a meeting tonight.  I don’t know what else I can do.

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I’m starting to feel lonely on this side of the road – the staying in the relationship side of the road.  A lot of my blog friends  and S-Anon friends are either separated from their partners or in the process of divorce.  So where does that leave me?  Is it not possible to be working a healthy recovery program and still be in the relationship with my SA husband?  The message I’ve been getting for the past few weeks is that “real recovery” starts when you start focusing on yourself. I get that.  But if you’re in a relationship, at times, your focus has to be divided.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that now that I’m back in the relationship,  I’ll lose focus of self care and my own recovery plan.  But, it means that whatever I do – or my husband does – will ultimately affect the relationship. So yes, his recovery does affect me because I live, eat and sleep next to him on a day-to-day basis.  Yet sometimes, I feel like there’s something wrong with me for feeling this way OR that I’m not working my program correctly.

Is the moral of the story (the purpose of recovery) to ultimately leave your spouse?  This can’t be the case.  I know of strong, healthy relationships that are better than ever post addiction.    And yet, I still fight the desire to feel accepted, even in our  group of codies.  I’m starting to feel like I don’t belong because I’m no longer separated from my husband.  I also fear that posting about the leaps and bounds we are making in our relationship will be viewed as “denial” by others.  But,  I don’t see why it has to be so.   Recovery is different for everyone.  My road may not resemble that of others, but it’s not any less authentic or genuine.  It is real and it is mine.  And yet, maybe actually caring what others think of me – and my recovery-  is evidence enough that I still have a long way to go.  And I have no problem admitting that.  I’m no guru or expert on this stuff – I’m just living my life, one day at a time.

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Oprah & Whitney

I was one of the many millions that tuned in earlier this week to watch the Oprah Winfrey & Whitney Houston interview. I’ve been a huge fan of Whitney Houston for as long as I can remember.  And like the rest of America, I was in shock as we witnessed her plummet into the dark world of drug addiction. It was nice seeing Whitney looking (and acting) sober , and as beautiful and radiant as ever.  But for me,  the most revealing thing about the interview was  to hear about her codependent/ coaddict  relationship with Bobbi Brown.

Here are some excerpts from her interview with Oprah:

Oprah: Was he jealous of you?
Whitney: He’s not going to like this, but yes.
Oprah: Then did you try to overcompensate?
Whitney: I tried to play down all the time. I did. I tried to play: “I’m Mrs. Brown, everybody. Don’t call me Ms. Houston.” 
Oprah: You started to dim your own light?
Whitney: Yep. Sure did.


Oprah: Were you happy?
Whitney: No. … I wasn’t happy with the marriage. … I was losing me into that by trying to be pleasing.

Oprah: So we were talking about how [you did] light drugs before The Bodyguard and then after Bodyguard
Whitney: Oh, got heavy. Because I knew then we were trying to hide pain.

Oprah: When did you know that the marriage was not gonna work?
Whitney: I just knew. I was like, “You don’t smell right. You don’t look right. Something’s going on.” And then all this other stuff started coming out about him being with this one or that one or being too promiscuous. Dragging dirt into my home.
Oprah: Did that hurt you? Were you offended by it?
Whitney: It disturbed me. I was disturbed.
Oprah: Did you believe it?
Whitney: Yeah. Because I checked. I didn’t look for it, but I checked.


Oprah: Did the drugs give you any sense of relief?
Whitney: At times. Don’t forget, there were some times we’d laugh our tails off. We had a ball. Sometimes you do have a good time. But when it gets to the point where you’re sitting in your home and you’re just trying to cover what you don’t want people to know. It’s painful. And then you want more just so that you don’t let anybody see you cry. Or anybody to see we’re not happy. …


Oprah: You said you realized that the marriage was going to be over. Did you then make a decision that “I’m gonna get myself out”?
Whitney: Yeah. I remember saying to God one day, I said, “Give me one day of strength.” Because I was weak. I was so weak to [Bobby]. I was so weak to the love. I was, like: “This is love? What is this? What am I into?”
Oprah: Were you weak to him or were you weak to the drugs? Because the world’s perception is you were weak to the drugs.
Whitney: He was my drug. I didn’t do anything without him. I wasn’t getting high by myself. It was me and him together. You know, we were partners. And that’s what my high was. Him. He and I being together. And whatever we did, we did together. No matter what, we did it together.


As the “S-Anon Problem” we read at the beginning of meetings states, “some of us minimized the importance of the sexaholic behavior or denied it until we felt emotionally numb. Others focused on the sexaholic to the point of obsession and tried every known method to control it. Some of us participated in sexual behavior that made us ashamed of ourselves or used sex to manipulate the sexaholic.  Some of us misused drugs, alcohol or food; and others kept so busy that we didn’t have time to feel our emotions. We often neglected our health, our jobs and our children.”  This reminded me so much Ms. Houston’s situation, but more importantly, it reminded me of my own.  I participated in many of the activities described in the “S-Anon Problem” and that’s why I am in the program myself.  Because like Whitney so powerfully stated, as a codependent, our addicts are our drugs. Some days, I need to remind myself that the reason I am in the program is not because of my addict, but because I, too, suffer from a terrible disease – an addiction to “people pleasing” and “people fixing”.  And for this realization, I am most grateful. Because now, I can actually take steps to fix it and break the vicious cycle.  I wish Ms. Houston the very best and I hope she continues to get the help that she needs.


To read the rest of the Oprah & Whitney interview, please click here.

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Mean Girl


Adjusting to married life again has proven to be an emotionally challenging task for me.  Part of me wants to move away from the pain and suffering of the last 12 months,  but not without causing ML the same kind of pain.  I’m expressing my feelings, not necessarily to purge them, but to guilt and shame him into deeper levels of remorse.  My sense of self-righteousness is at it’s all time high.  I find myself wanting to win every disagreement – no matter how big or small.  And if ML tries to stand in my way, I play the “addiction card” and he has no choice but to back down.  

The problem with this is I’m feeling terrible about my behavior.  I’m turning into this mean and ruthless person I don’t even recognize.  The sad part is that I don’t get any kind of satisfaction from watching ML squirm. Deep down, I know I don’t want revenge.  I’m just hurting and I’m not sure how to cope.  I feel like I’m slipping back  into dangerous territory, trying to engage ML in the codie/addict dance.  I know I said I felt that program stuff was consuming a lot of my time.  But I’m thinking if I don’t latch on to my recovery tools, I’ll eventually be lost in this pain.  And it will no longer be the pain of changing that I experienced in the past, but the sick pain of staying the same.  Today, I’m reminded (once again) that I still have a long road ahead and that there’s still a lot of cleaning to do on my side of the street. 

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