Tag Archives: Codependency

The Liars, the Broken, and the Cheaters

Last night, I was cleaning the kitchen up a bit before cooking dinner.
I’d decided to try listening to music, despite the fact that earbuds hate me, and turned on my John Denver album. It’s surprising to many people that I love John Denver but, much like Bastian from ‘The Black Swan Company,’ I like almost anything, as long as it’s good.

‘Annie’s Song’ eventually came through the headphones, as I was washing the counter, and it brought tears to my eyes, or more…the memory attached to that song did.

I had a roommate my first year of college, and only year in the dorms.
I never knew that I could get along so well with anybody. When I left for winter break, I remember her running after my boyfriend’s truck in the rearview mirror, dramatic like we were in a movie. We both cried and laughed at the same time, as we knew how much we’d miss one another.

At the end of the year, I downloaded a whole bunch of songs that had her name in it, and we sat there and listened to them together. I’d never heard the song that bore her name by John Denver before, and as we listened, we both burst into stunned yet touched tears…the lyrics were so beautiful, that they acted as a catalyst…an avenue, an excuse to let out the pain that inevitably comes at the end of an era.

Annie was my last friend as a ‘child.’ Yes, I was 18/19 when I met her, but age doesn’t always determine what constitutes adulthood…not in the real world. That was the last year of my life that I was coddled, fed, and taken care of by people. The most difficult thing that we give up, in my oh-so humble opinion, when we become adults is the purity in our relationships.

When we are children, anger, sadness, happiness…they all come through with an honesty most people check at the door of adulthood. We feel love and trust and loss with such intensity, and feel compelled to chase what we want without scruple. When we pass through the veil of adulthood, it contaminates us; money, status, others’ opinions, jealousy, pain, responsibility…they function as the metal bars between us and our happiness…us and our sense of loyality…us and reality, the real yearning for what we want.

Being a child wasn’t easy for me, but my God…I miss the friendships that I had.
I miss the raw honesty between people.
I miss the undying loyalty we had as friends.
I miss the way people would stop at nothing to feel happiness.

When I passed through the veil, I stuffed all of those things under my shirt so that it would never be tarnished…and sometimes, it feels as if I was the only one who did.

When things aren’t correct, it bothers me.
If I’m not happy, I can’t just pretend that I am; I just can’t pull it together, or step up, or drown myself in responsibilities, then refocus on trying to swim to oxygen, the way most people do it.

When you’re young, people impress upon you the American standard: Go to school, obtain employment, marry, reproduce. They swear it’s the path to happiness and security.

I’d like to tell all of you young people, right here and now, that it’s all bullshit.

Being one to heed the warnings and advice of others, to watch those who’ve gone before me so as to avoid their mistakes, I’m telling you now, most people in their 40s are fucking miserable; they PRETEND to be happy, but they’re not. From what I’ve observed, every person in their 40s either doesn’t sleep, is in an unhappy marriage, is unsatisfied in general, or all three. Being either sleep-deprived, in a terrible relationship, or unsatisfied makes them lash out…they’re angry, they’re vengeful, they’re backstabbers, they relish in others’ misery…they’re bored, they make problems out of nothing so that they’re entertained…they’re judgemental, they’re hypocritical, they gossip, they compete with each other, and most of all…they LIE.

And since THEY lie, they think everybody else lies.
And since THEY cheat, they think everybody else cheats.
And since everybody else lies and cheats, they think it’s ok.

The worst thing one can do is lie to oneself.
Let me show you why.

The man who endeavors to cheat on his wife, trying to make it so that she’ll never know, is trying to fulfill a need or solve a problem…only, he hasn’t the tools to solve it.
Maybe he’s not in a sexually active marriage.
Maybe he’s not really in love anymore.
Maybe he’s isolated.
Maybe he’s an addict to sex.
Maybe he just wants to screw around on his wife.

So, he cheats, but he is caught.
He and his wife go to counseling together; the counselor advises him to no longer be in contact with ‘the other woman,’ and he abides.
They try to make things better, but the trust is gone.
The wife stops sleeping with him; she can’t move past the betrayal…maybe she wants to, or maybe she just doesn’t want to be on her own…maybe she doesn’t want their children to have to endure a divorce, and neither does he. Maybe their families are pressuring them to keep their marriage together, or maybe they don’t want their families to know.
They stay together and, damn it, they put on a happy facade, but they’re more miserable than ever.
She’s more afraid of him leaving or hurting her than before, and he’s more isolated than he’s ever been.
Since she’s not wanting to connect physically or emotionally anymore, anyway, he wants to cheat again, but this time…it’ll STAY a secret. And if it doesn’t, who cares? They’re already in absolute misery…he just needs to make SURE it stays a secret and that he doesn’t leave her because it’ll destroy both her and her family.

So, what’s the answer?
It’s simple:

Stop lying to yourself.
Your marriage is over, American Dreamers. Get divorced.

I can keep this going; I can find a woman who will go along with it, and we’d both know exactly what we were getting into.
You mean, a woman who is broken, has no self-respect or foresight, no self-preservation instincts, and doesn’t realize (or doesn’t mind) being thought of as a walking vagina to you? It will end eventually, and when it does, somebody’s going to be hurt. But hey, as long as it’s not YOU who gets hurt, it’s ok, right?
Step up. Stop being a candyass, and divorce your wife.

But I don’t want to desert her.
Tough titties. You should’ve thought of that before you CHOSE to sleep with somebody else instead of coming to her when you had a problem in your relationship.

I still love her, though…and I took a vow.
Sticking around for her is the worst thing you could do. If you’re at this point, all that you’re doing is stealing her time by keeping her from finding somebody who’ll love her better than you are able to.

She’s afraid of being alone, though, and it wouldn’t be right to leave her.
Interesting assessment, but try this one: Maybe she’s codependent. Maybe she hates herself. If you honestly love her, you should be the one pushing her to be happy, even if it’s not with you. She’s fooling herself into believing that she’ll never be better than this, and you’re enabling that notion. Shove her out of the nest and set her free; she’ll learn what real happiness is once you stop chaining her down.

But what about our children? They need us to stay together.
Oh? How so? They NEED to learn what a(n unhealthy) relationship looks like so they can go out and have one just like yours? You want your own children to be just as miserable as you are?

If you think you won’t get caught, that nobody will be hurt, that you’re not using your mistress as a sex toy, that anybody who would be a mistress isn’t a broken fucking person, you feel honor-bound not to desert your wife, that you are being nobel and wonderful by sticking to your vows, that you’re a hero because you’re obliging your wife’s fear of being alone, that your families will think better of you for staying together, or that your children will benefit from your broken relationship staying together…
…if you believe that having a successful marriage is the only way to be happy…
And you’re bringing everybody involved down with you, you selfish bastard.

If you’d caught this before the damage had been done, if you were honest with yourself, if you could’ve admitted you were unhappy and had done something to fix the situation, it’d be ok…and if you are in that position, do the right thing now instead of falling onto the quick and easy path.
You can sit there and rationalize your lies all day long, but rationale doesn’t equate to the truth. Until you WAKE UP and realize that you’re not only fucking yourself, but others, as well, you will continue doing harm to everybody around you.

A child may really hurt your feelings when they spit their food into their hand and yell ‘NEH!’
A child may annoy their parents when they throw themselves on their backs, cry, and scream ‘I DON’T WANT TO!’
But FUCK, at the very least, they’re being HONEST.

Sometimes, we need to oblige the child inside of us, no matter how harsh we perceive the impact could damage our lives, because two to one, doing all sorts of sneaky, dishonest shit to make ourselves feel better will fuck everything MUCH worse.

I may be a lonely person who shuts out the liars, the broken, and the cheats because without them, it’s a smalllllllllllll fucking world, buddy.
But I’m ok with that.
My tears from the night before serve as a reminder of what did exist in this world, and I believe, in ALL honesty, what can exist again.

The truth will set you free; don’t let anybody take that away from you…especially yourself.

Quiet Because You Care?

I was lying in bed this morning after I had woken up, just having a few quiet moments to myself. These quiet moments bring about thoughts, and these thoughts are typically painful memories that I haven’t quite reconciled with my emotions, and I wind up pining over missed opportunities to speak up or regret having played a part in the situation at all.

The particular memory which came to mind this morning was a phone conversation with a friend from college that happened about 5 years ago.

I was looking through my phone, and realized that I hadn’t spoken to this friend since I had graduated college, and I wanted to reach out and see how she was doing. After I had asked her about her life, we spoke about mine; I updated her on the status of my relationship, and she asked if I was still with the boy I had been dating when I graduated, and I told her I wasn’t.

A quick aside: The boy in question was an abusive person who suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which went beautifully with my now former codependency issues, and our relationship was a 2 year long tornado of dysfunction.

This friend then went on to say some rather harsh and insulting things about the way that I had behaved while I was participating in the relationship.
“You were obsessed with him,” she said.
I was speechless…at first.
“What do you mean, I was obsessed with him? I wasn’t obsessed with him.”
“All you did was talk about him and your issues with him, and how you just wanted it to work when you should’ve just walked away.”
No shit… I thought to myself, rolling my eyes.
I went on to tell her that it was an unhealthy relationship (the most unhealthy relationship I had ever had with anybody), and what she perceived as ‘obsession’ was constant fear of the relationship falling apart.
Yes, the relationship should have fallen apart; I wish it would have FAR earlier than it actually had. But what this girl had failed to understand was that my anxiety about the relationship had very little to do with the boy or the relationship, itself: It was about my self-esteem, which was completely wrapped up in the outcome of the relationship. In my mind, if the relationship failed, it meant my failure as a worthy human being.

When you see it this way, it makes it a pretty damn valid situation on which to fixate, but only if you choose not to view it as what it is…which, I did.
Why would I make a choice like that, though?
Did I enjoy the idea of being miserable forever?
Was it fun for me?

No. It was because I just didn’t know.
I didn’t know my behavior was due to codependency.
I didn’t know that my self-esteem was wrapped up in my relationship.
I didn’t know that there was the option of looking at my behavior for what it actually was.

I honestly can’t blame this girl for being critical of my behavior; I can’t blame her for being honest. I’m not angry with her for that.
That being said, though, I am a bit perturbed.

We had grown apart as friends…it happens. She was living in a different state, and had a career and a life, and I understand that. It was painfully obvious as we were speaking that she didn’t feel the need to step tactfully around her words because we had already grown apart and we were living about 5 hours away from each other, so we probably weren’t going to completely rekindle our relationship or run into each other at the gas station. I, again,  can’t blame her, because it was an accurate appraisal of the situation. The way she probably saw our interaction was a situation in which she had nothing to lose, so she felt it was fine to openly share what she felt about my behavior in the most direct way (even a bit negatively, in the form of vague insult).

But, where was this direct-speech when I was actually involved in the situation? Why would you tell me when I was recovering from the situation, when you no longer actually care about me?
I could have really used somebody to say:
Fuck being polite! I’m sorry if this hurts you, but you need to know the truth! You’re being a MORON! Can’t you see that you’re hurting yourself? You know he’s an asshole, you say it all of the time! You’re constantly miserable…have you ever even really sat down and asked yourself WHY you’re still with him?

I was upset because she didn’t care to say these things when they were actually relevant…because not once did she say these things to me when I actually needed to hear them.

I can’t say with any authority that her words would’ve changed my life and I would’ve seen the light and broken up with that boy; I have no freaking clue what would’ve happened if she had confronted me about it. I take responsibility for my own actions, so I’m not blaming her for my involvement in the relationship.
But, since she chose to say these things to me in the way she did, and when she did, I remember her as ‘the girl I wish I wouldn’t have called that day’ as opposed to remembering her as ‘the friend who cared enough to open her mouth.’ Her view on the matter became the equivalent of kicking an already broken leg.

The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes, you need to risk rocking the boat or even losing someone if you see them being self-destructive. It’s just an unavoidable fact of life, no matter how unpleasant it may be. It may not further your reputation, it may cause conflict, but if you honestly love that person in any capacity, it’s the right thing to do. People may be insulted, they may not listen to you, they may even walk away from you…but at least you cared enough to say it.