He Threw a Hissy Fit

Hissy Fit:  A short-lived temper tantrum.

Last night there were only 3 of us here for supper.  Kids 2 & 3 were at friends houses.  I went to the grocery store and decided to bring back a quick & easy supper.  One of those 3 feet hoagies…. a riverboat I think it is called.  And some chips.  Quick, easy, not very healthy.  Whatever.  So, I cleared off the table, hubby cut up the hoagie, kid1 got us drinks and we sat down to eat.  Hubby asked her where his other drink was.  She said he didn’t know.  He said it was the gray water bottle with gatorade in it.  I said “Oh.  I put in in the sink.  I thought it was Kid3’s.”  He stomped over to the kitchen, looked at it among the dirty dishes in the sink and came and sat back down.  He said “You knew that was my drink.  You saw me carry it out here from the living room!”  He was jacked.  I said I did not know that or I would not have put it in the sink.  Minor event, right?  Well you would think.

He was silent for the 10 minutes we sat there eating our hoagies.  Kid1 & I gave each other several eye-rolling looks as he sat there not participating in conversation and refusing to make eye contact.  She bolted as soon as she finished eating.  I don’t blame her.

Finally I guess he got over himself and said to me that he couldn’t believe I didn’t know that was his drink and that I had to have seen him carry it to the table.  I said “So you sat there fuming all through dinner cuz you were mad about your drink?!”  He said yea and cracked a crooked smile.  I said “That is craziness!”  He smiled again and the tension was gone.

The thing is – I wish I didn’t have to deal with these stupid things.  “These stupid things” are basically just him throwing a hissy fit.  I hate that he cannot just go with the flow a bit more and accept that life is not always gonna go exactly as he wants it to and that that is OK!

On the plus side, this was not a big long drawn out fight.  And he did kinda laugh at himself when he was done pouting.  And I did not feel responsible for his anger.  Yay me for not being all codependent!

And oh my gosh!  SO MUCH BETTER than his tantrum over the box of chocolates!  So.  Much.  Better.

Yay us.

It’s not all his fault.

What’s my part in this mess we have made of our marriage?

It takes two right.  Yes.  I am not blameless.

Well….I am codependent – so all the stuff that goes along with that.  I had my own issues coming into this relationship.  I brought my own baggage.

I was too nice. I let him get away with being rude and in charge for too long.  I’m not being sarcastic here – I mean that.

People treat you the way you teach them to treat you.  Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Being so “nice” and agreeable cheated me.  It also cheated him.  I quit being me and started just trying to do whatever needed to be done to make him happy.  Now I’m not talking extreme things here – I just mean things like I bit my tongue instead of speaking up when I had a different opinion about something.  Or I didn’t do things that I knew he wouldn’t like – things like going out with friends, etc.  I’m not a person that likes to “go out” anyway, but I really just quit hanging out with my friends.   Not all because of him, also because we had a young family and I was exhausted .  I was happy to just stay home.  But I kinda lost myself.  I also quit working to be a stay at home mom when I got pregnant with Kid2.  (That was my goal and I don’t regret it. )

I didn’t want any conflicts, I just wanted peace.

I remember a real low point when it struck me how much I had let this change me.
Hubby has always been a jealous guy.  He just is.  I think he thinks I’m supposed to be flattered by that.  I’m not flattered.  I’m annoyed.
My friend and I used to exercise together in the mornings after we got the kids off to school.  We would walk 3-4 miles on the trail in our town.  We walked in all kinds of weather.  Well one day we went and there was so much snow on the trail.  It was just silly to even try to walk there.  And it was slippery.  She said let’s just walk around town instead.   And I immediately had thoughts like – omg – I can’t do that!  Hubby will be pissed.  I felt like a child who would get in trouble for hanging out in town past their curfew or something!

We didn’t walk that day.  We went back to her place and had cappuccino instead.  :)   Soon after that the situation came up again.  I was ready for it.  The more I thought about it, the angrier I got that I let it get to that point.    Here I was, a grown woman who felt like she needed permission to walk around town instead of on the trail?!?!?  That’s insane. I can walk wherever I want to walk dammit!   And so we did.  And you know what?  His mom drove past and waved at us and my first thought was omg she’s gonna tell on me.  Now seriously!  How sad is that!

So of course I told hubby we walked around town instead cuz their was ice on the trail.  I tried to just say it casually like it was no big deal cuz I really wanted to see how he would react.  He was mad.  His reasons?  “You don’t need to be hanging out in town”   “That will just lead to trouble.”    It really made me angry.  We fought a lot after this.  For weeks it seemed.  I was so angry that my hubby did not trust me.  My friend lives in town.  And I had been parking at her house and we would walk 3 blocks over to get to the trail.  We had been doing that for a long time before this.  I guess hubby didn’t realize that before and so I told him that too and he was so mad.  And that made me madder.  I just kept saying he better come with me anywhere I was going cuz I might have to take the sidewalk.  Yea, I was being a smart alec.  But are you kidding me?  You don’t trust me to be able to walk through town without having an affair?  You think you can actually tell me not to walk there?!?  You think I should listen to you?!?!  You are crazy.

Now I will say here that we live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone’s business.  And not long before this a mutual friend of ours had just gotten busted for stopping in at someone’s house and actually having an affair on her walks.  Sad but true.  She is a great person.  Our age.  Apparently just miserable in her marriage.    And for the record, she is in great shape.  She was always walking!  Lol  (They have since reconciled and are working on their marriage FYI)  Anyway, maybe that got him worried….

Another thing about his jealousy – he has cheated on me before.  Not while we were married.  We started going out in high school.  I was in 10th grade, he was in 11th.  I put up with a lot of crap from him that I never should have.  My home life sucked and I think I just really needed to be loved. And that’s what ACOAs do.  We put up with more crap than we should.  We forgive people when we shouldn’t.  We don’t walk away when we should.   Back to the point… The people who are so jealous are the ones that can’t be trusted right?  That’s his history though, not mine.

I remember my cousin saying to me that it seemed like way too much trouble to go through with someone you weren’t even married to yet.
She was right.  She came from a healthy family and has a healthy marriage now.  She could see it clearly.  I could not. My family was not pleased when I agreed to marry him.  But he was so very sorry for cheating on me.  And I was just so in love with him. We stuck it out all through college and got married when I graduated.  We even went to counseling before we were married.   He was trying so hard to make it up to me.  I love him.  I gave him another chance.

I used to say that I knew we should be together because even when I was in so much pain because of him, the person that I wanted to hug and be comforted by was him.   Looking back now… Wow.  I was really messed up.

So now I am trying to teach him how to treat me all over again.  I guess that’s what I’m doing.  Change is hard.  But I’m praying it’s worth it.

You are not inferior.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We went to a family birthday party today and I talked for quite a while with my very judgmental sister.  (Not the one I told you about earlier that suggested the Codependent No More book.)  My older sister is Ms. Fix-It.  She likes to fix people :)  Even when you don’t think you are broken, she will find something that needs to be fixed.  I love her dearly.  I can deal with her better than my younger sister can.  But some days it is still work.  Today is was my hair.  It needs trimmed and she knows the perfect place to go for it and exactly how I should have it cut.  It seemed to be the theme of the party.  No thanks.

And hubby’s back is hurting him a lot today – probably because of this snowy weather.  So he has been kinda grumpy.  He did tell me that it hurts and that’s why he’s being grumpy.  That’s amazing for him to acknowledge that.  Usually he would just be a bear and I’d ask about his back or something and he would yell at me and we’d have a nasty fight.  What a difference a month makes.

He truly seemed shocked that day when I told him I didn’t want to live with him anymore. It wasn’t a fight, it was just a fact.  I could not stand to live in the same house as him anymore.  And I told him that while I was in the shower Christmas morning I was bawling my head off and just wanted to scream that I wanted a divorce and the only reason I didn’t was so that Christmas would not suck for our kids.  That seemed to hit him more than when I told him I was thinking about the D word.   He was shocked.  He had no idea I was THAT miserable.  Guess it seemed more real.  It isn’t awesome around here yet.  But it is not horrible anymore either.  We are really doing better.  I can honestly say I am glad he did not leave that day.

Oh!  And the other day we actually had a conversation about Christmas day and how he refused to say thanks for the camera.  I said what was the deal with that?  Why was it so hard for you??  He said I don’t know.  I said we are gonna practice –  I’m gonna wrap things up and keep giving you gifts until you get better at it!  He laughed.  I have not done that yet.  Forgot about it until now actually.   Hmmm.  I have a snickers bar I could wrap up.   His favorite :)  I’ll keep you posted.

Anyway, The quote at the top of the post seems to fit this day.

Judgmental Sister, Grumpy Hubby & Codependent Me.

(Yep, still working my way thru that book.)

THANK YOU LORD for Progress!

I am a Codependent Friend

I think I may have a codependent relationship with my best friend.

What I mean is that I behave in codependent ways with her too.  She isn’t codependent – she is one of the most independent women I know.  Go figure.  My hubby is another extremely independent person.  Seems I am drawn to independent people…. Hmmm….

We used to hang out a lot more than we do now.  We used to work together.  Well we both worked from our homes – but for the same company.  We live about 5 minutes away from each other and have kids similar ages. We would get the kids off to school in the morning and go for a 3-4 mile walk several days a week.  We never ran out of things to talk about.  We even walked in rain and snow.  It was great for our health and a fun way to start the day.  Amazing how much more you look forward to exercising if you are doing it with a great friend.  We  called it our therapy sessions.  Then it was back to the grind for the rest of the day – work, kids, hubbys, homework, cooking, cleaning, taxi service, etc.

That changed when she needed to change jobs to get health insurance for her family. It was a hard decision for her.  She had always been a stay-at-home mom – then a work-at-home mom.  She had a lot of mom guilt.

I tried to just be understanding, but I also felt lost.  I felt like I lost my best friend.  She sometimes worked 7 days straight and of course when she was not at work her family was her priority, as it should be.  Her schedule has gotten a little better since then.  But we often talk only about once a week and haven’t gone for a walk in ages.  I miss her.  Texting is our main form of communication now.  We know if we call each other instead of texting that we’ll just talk way too long!  Seriously.  We talk too long  – and there are kids that need homework help, or to be told to get in the shower or to bed, or to be taken to basketball practice, etc.  If we gab on the phone, things don’t get done.    (Altho I am great at folding laundry while gabbing :)

Anyway, I need to remember that texting a person is like leaving them a message on their answering machine.  They will get back to you at their convenience.  (I know that is not the way teens look at it – they are on autopilot and immediately respond to any and all texts.)

I often feel dissed when she does not reply.

So I start thinking things like:
I’m bugging her too much.  She probably hates to see that she got another text from me.  She has new friends now, she doesn’t want to hang out with me anymore.  She doesn’t want me to know she has the day off cuz she doesn’t want to hang out with me….  She must be mad at me.

These things build up and finally it gets to me.  Once I told her how I was feeling.  Guess what?  I was wrong :)  Sometimes she has time to text on her lunch break, sometimes she doesn’t.  Some times she calls me and gabs on her lunch break.  When she gets home from work she is exhausted cuz her day started at 4am.  Sometimes she comes home and has to deal with the latest teen drama from her daughter and fight with her ADD son to get his homework done.  Her mom is also at their house a lot and that adds another layer to it all.  Her hubby works away all week so she is basically a single mom thru the week.

These are all things I know about her life.  I guess its easy to forget – I kinda get caught up in the lonely me part.  I’m not proud of that.  I work from home – which means I do not have coworkers or traffic or any of that to deal with.  Sometimes it gets lonely here.  I am very blessed to be able to work from home.  And we are blessed that my hubby’s work provides our health insurance.  Working from home was my goal as soon as my first child was born.  I would not trade it for anything.  Believe it or not, I do not sit around eating junk food and watching tv all day.  I really do work.  I spend way too much time sitting on my butt, working on this computer.  Yea, I have perks like I get to take breaks to change the laundry or clean the bathroom :/.  But basically, my computer is my world during the days.

So I guess that is why I text her as much as I do.  That’s how I reach out to the world.  Some days I just feel like I’m going to burst.  Sometimes it gets depressing.  She gets it.  She used to have this life.  She is not bothered by my texts.   And she replies when she has a few moments to herself.   There are just fewer of those moments in her life now.

My point?  I need to stop worry so much about how other people feel.

Run your own life.

 

“If you don’t run your own life, someone else will.”   – John Atkinson

 

 

Are You Codependent?

In case you are wondering if YOU are codependent…..

This information is listed many places on the web.
I got the list below from Wikipedia.

Codependents Anonymous can be found at www.coda.org

——————————————————————————————————

Codependents Anonymous offers these patterns and characteristics as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.

Denial patterns:

* I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
* I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
* I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.  Not completely.  But Yes.

Low self-esteem patterns:

* I have difficulty making decisions.
* I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
* I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
* I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
* I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
* I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

Compliance patterns:

* I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.
* I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
* I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
* I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
* I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
* I accept sex when I want love.

Control patterns:

* I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
* I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel.
* I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
* I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
* I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
* I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
* I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.

Resisting the Codependent Label

(Reading ‘Codependent No More’….)

I have had many labels in my life.

Daughter, Sister, Friend, Student, Employee, Wife, Mom, Aunt, SAHM (Stay At Home Mom), now WAHM (Work At Home Mom)

ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic)

Now Codependent.

I am resisting the codependent label.  I don’t like it.  I do believe it is true.  But I don’t like it.

Why?  Because I just thought I was nice.  I just thought I had a big heart.  I thought I was just more empathetic than most people.  I believe in the good in everyone.  I like to look for the positive in situations and not focus on the negative.  I believe just about everything has a silver lining.  And everyone deserves a second chance.

I was proud of my kindness and my big heart.

So I’m not just nice?  Try these labels : Doormat, Pushover.

I don’t like that.  Kindness is a quality I value.  I think that is one of the main problems I have with hubby.  Kindness ranks at the top in qualities I want my spouse to have.  My husband can be kind.  Sure.  But often he is not.  He’s often rude.  I believe people should be kind even when they don’t feel like it.  He does not.  I believe you should be kind to others even when they are not kind to you. (Well, most of the time ;)  He believes in ‘get them before they get you’.  When I see a man smiling and being nice  –  that’s what gets me – that’s attractive.  Some guys seem to always be smiling.  I crave that.  My hubby seems to always be frowning.  I hate that.

(Interesting to note: I broke up with an awesome “nice guy” in high school.  He was just too nice to me.  It felt so sappy and made me uncomfortable.  I liked the tough guy that my hubby was.  Now, I would prefer that nice guy!  I think I just confirmed that I’m codependent.  ha!  Well at least that I used to REALLY be. :)

Here’s the thing.  I AM nice.  I am also codependent.  Hopefully I am more nice than codependent.

I am not as codependent as I used to be.  Pretty sure about that.  Like I said before, I have already self-improved myself some :)

Guess I’ll find out as I read through this book that I should have just thrown at my sister.

Anyone sick of the word codependent yet?  I am.

Codependents & The Divorce Rate

I  think there would be a higher divorce rate in this country if it weren’t for us codependents.

Truly.  We stick around when others would not have.

Reading ‘Codependent No More‘ . . . .

I am codependent.

Yes.  I am codependent.  I know that.

I am also an ACoA.  Otherwise known as an adult child of an alcoholic.  My dad is an alcoholic.  Although he will say he is not.

If you want the short version of this post, skip to the black text below :)

When my parents split up my mom made us all (my siblings & I) go to therapy.  Of course we resisted.  We went to a few sessions and I guess she figured out that there was no point if we weren’t willing to try.  After that she tried to push the book “Codependent No More” on us.  It spoke to her.  I was young and mad at the world.  I did not want to hear the psycho babble about what was wrong with me.  If there was something wrong with me it was my parents fault of course.  I needed them to leave me alone.  Then all would be well, right?

Well that worked for a while.  Probably until I got married.  Then it really all came blaring to the surface when I had kids.  When my daughter was born, all sorts of feelings that I had hidden came back.  I was angry again.  Angry at my mom for not doing a better job of protecting us from our alcoholic father.   How could she have put us through that?  Why didn’t she do more to stand up for us?  After she divorced, she got angry at the world and at us too.  It was like she decided she would never be burdened by anyone again.  Apparently this included her kids.  She resented us.  I really think she did.  But she had been our rock.  She had always been the calm in our stormy life.  So I think it hurt more when she deserted us than it did when my dad did all the the stuff he had done.  At least he was remorseful and tried very hard to make it up to us.  I think she really just needed a break from her life and you can’t do that when you have young kids.

After a while she remarried and moved across the country away from us all.  She is back now, living nearby.  She even wrote me a letter one time to apologize.  I love my mom.  We are nice to each other but do not see each other often.  As an adult I can understand that she had a rough marriage and made some hurtful decisions.  Well I can’t really understand it.  My kids are  my number one priority.  I don’t understand why hers were not.  It still hurts.  But we are at an OK place now.

Anyway, the point is that I am codependent.  My mom was too.  I think my sisters are too.

I have told one of my sisters about my marriage problems.  Of course others in my family know we are not still on our honeymoon over here.  But I have only told one real life person about all of this – about saying the D word out loud.  About telling him to move out.  About all of it.

She suggested I read “Codependent No More.”  I told her I wanted to throw that book at her.  That was my gut reaction.  Why?  Because it implied that all of this was my fault since I am codependent.  And because once again it would be me working to fix this marriage while he did nothing.  I am tired of trying so hard.  It is his turn.  That is how I felt.  And I kinda still do. And you know what?  I have done a lot of work already.  I worked through a lot of this ACoA stuff quite a few years ago.  I have self-helped myself again and again.  This whole blog is self-help for goodness sakes.  So, really?  I wasn’t fixed yet?  He’s the one that needs fixed!  And then she told me that Mom said if she had read that book early in her marriage she thinks it would have turned out so very differently.  OK, OK.

And then I read Alisa Bowman’s book (www.projecthappilyeverafter.com).  And she made a good point about even if you try all these things and it does not save your marriage, you will still be a better person because of it.  That makes sense.  Yes, these are things I need to work through anyway.  Might as well get started.

So I am reading “Codependent No More.”  Anyone want to work thru this crap with me?

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.