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Question
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

Co-dependancy

Hi Cybershrink

I have started reading a book on codependancy, it is aimed mostly at people who live with alcoholics or substance abusers, but applies to many situations. In mine it applies to my feelings that my husband is irresponsible, so I have become an insecure control freak.

My problem is that I have a very responsible job, and have to take care of alot of things (many of them not really part of my job description) but I do them anyway. I am kind of "mom" here at work as I have been here the longest and it is a case of "if I dont do it no one will". I have tried the whole delegating thing, but people just dont do things properly (ie. not my way). When it does not get done properly others run to me and I sort it out. Do you see the control freak problem???!!! I have tried sending them back to the person who is responsible but I dont really have the authority to enforce it.

Now this carries over to my home life in a big way. I am a problem solver and aggressive sometimes in getting things done. My husband is a problem avoider, so I leave something until it starts irritating me or affecting me, I do the whole "you had better sort this out" thing, and then eventually I just sort it out myself. I dont feel good about this, just pissed off that it became my problem.

The book suggests firstly that you practice detachment from others problems and feelings and let them deal with their own shit. (My mom has been telling me the same thing for years). This is all very fine and well, but HOW????? Do I seriously just ignore the effects of the things he does not do? You have no idea how hard that is for me. I will give you an example: He paid his provisional tax late one year and ended up paying R12000 in fines and penalites, that is a hell of a lot of money. The next year he again did not do his taxes on time, I started panicking and nagging him. (I did not know he had moved over to normal tax and he did not tell me). I stressed about it for months and eventually made an appointment with a tax consultant and dragged him there and did his tax for him. We fought about it big time until it was done.

Now I could have just ignored it, but we cant afford to pay such enormous fines (geez who can?).

The other thing is he is up to his eyeballs in debt with his credit cards and overdraft. He spends money he does not have on all kinds of things, presents for the kids, computer stuff - things that are good on one hand but not good if you dont have money. It stresses me out, because I am careful with my money but if I hit trouble (ie. interest rates go up) he wont be able to help me. (Control freak thing again).

I see my behaviour is nuts, no one can control the future, but hell a person can plan and be carefull!!! The only way I can see myself feeling secure is if I am completely financially independant of him, but that is difficult with three kids. So what do I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry to hear that the book while explaining the existence of the problem, fails to explain HOW to do what is needed --- I'd have thought that would be the main pojt of such a book !
It sounds like his financial irresponsibility and carelessness is the real problem, rather than any "codependent" tendencies on your part. It isn; being a control freak to want to avoid easily avoidable chaos ! SHouldn't he be seeing a counsellor ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: carol | 2005/12/06


Good Luck , we are winning , it can be done :)

Reply to carol
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

Carol
I think if this was not my second marriage already I might have left a long time ago (been married 10 years). I have two sons from my first marriage, and a child with my husband. Bringing up three kids on my own, especially boys, is difficult and very expensive. I also want the best for my kids, and that means university. I am willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve that. I just have to find a balance for myself so that I dont go crazy, or worse trying to do it.

I cant even say that staying with him will achieve this, but I dont want to do it alone. I am going to see a therapist again on the 12th (hopefully drag him with) to talk about my issues again.

I do know that should I leave him, I will not bring another man into my kids lives, and I doubt I could trust another guy anyway. I have way too much baggage.

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: Carol | 2005/12/06

The trouble is with this type of thing is that you have to choose ... I chose NOT to continue to live the way we were and i was prepared to give it up .

If he wont change you have to decide if you are going to live with it , and in that case you are going to need to deal with your problems and belive me .. letting go isnt easy . but it can be done :)

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

hi Carol
The learning problems thing ... My husband suspects he has ADD. He never finishes anything he starts, unless I gently shove him ... I tried the ulitimatum thing as well but it backfired and I got very hurt. I have chosen to stay with him because ultimately I love him and he has many wonderful characteristics as well, it is just that I get SOOO insecure. And I get nasty when I am insecure.

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

Hubby is definitely impulsive, very! My hubby is a bit of a loner so friends are not a problem, but I did have to make a very serious point with the drinking once. We were at his parents and every time we went he would drink alot (they are German) and I cant see at night, so one night when he was trashed I insisted we stay until he sobered up (and my baby was screaming). He does not do that to me anymore. I say when we go out, he must know that he is responsible for getting us home safely or else we leave when it is still light so that I can drive. Again, the control thing. I hate it. And yes you do end up feeling like the wicked witch. This book I am reading basically says that you must take care of yourself and stop trying to take care of others, not in a selfish way, but if they are old enough and ugly enough to take responsibility you should not take over, hence the detachment thing. They should face their own music, because a person ends up taking care of everyone except themselves. I am definitely guilty of that, I seldom do anything for myself and I am trying to figure out a way to stop worrying about his nonsense, and start doing things I care about (if I can even remember what they are!).

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: Carol | 2005/12/06


Im in exactly the same boat , my hubs tho has severe learning problems , and i suspect a lot of his self confidence issues stemmed from childhood ... what i have done tho is given him an ultimatum , I MADE him see a doctor because i suspected depression , turns out i was right , and i told him either we go for counseling or he moves out.. he opted for counselling , i dont think mine is ever going to change that much , but at least he is now able to make decisions and stop procrastinaing ... its hard tho .... i have been battling with this issue for 8 years and I HAD to put my foot down .. I on the other hand have got to learn to let go and stop trying to control situations ... so im going for therapy as well.

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Leaf | 2005/12/06

Yellow!!!! My boyfriend is also a mensa guy and believe me we are always having the same situation!!! He is highly irrisponsible when it comes to these types of things, I'm like a mom - having to look after him and prompting him to see to his medical aid or tax or whatever!!! It makes me feel like this wicked witch that needs to check up on him all the time... and i'm not!!! i'm also becoming insecure, and a control freak (you put it perfectly) - i don't know what to do. he also is very impulsive and sometimes just goes out to buy things (toys for boys, mostly, computer stuff, camera stuff etc) - with money i'm not sure he really has to spend. we're not married yet, but it's getting to be such an issue - also the fact that he impulsively goes out with friends for drinks and then ends up driving after that aswell - he's influenced very easily, does your husband also gets influenced easily by friends? and is he maybe a little bit insecure about his body etc? just trying to find similar ground here, yellow, maybe we can find a solution together???

Reply to Leaf
Posted by: Yellow | 2005/12/06

My husband is very loving and affectionate, but when it comes to sorting out issues he just ignores it until it becomes a huge problem (not always only for me). He is a very intelligent guy (Mensa member) and it drives me nuts that I have to tell him what to do. He also does not ask for advice from others when he is not sure how to handle something and resists counselling.

Reply to Yellow
Posted by: Carol | 2005/12/06

Crikey I have found my flippin twin ....yellow I think we need to chat about this some more ? I found out tho that my hubs is suffering from severe depression which is now being treated .. butwe have a long way to go still .....

let me know

Reply to Carol

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