For two years, I pushed the idea away.
I read about it and a dear friend gently, but persistently, suggested I consider it.
In my work to understand & heal from betrayal, I faced the trauma of discovery. Beyond that, I dug into issues arising from my Family of Origin, wrestled with my lack of understanding around setting Boundaries, and struggled moment by moment to find & grow my Voice.
I could not get a handle on Codependency. What did it really mean? What might it imply about me in my marriage? To be honest, it sounded more like it was connected to people in relationships with addicts, and that wasn't my situation. My husband was a decent man, a provider and a helper to others. We looked "okay", even "normal" to other people who only saw the outside of our marriage. Inside was a different matter altogether.
Also, if it was true, what might it mean about me, period? Did I have this problem in whole? In part? It sounded yucky – a label I didn't want to have to face. If I didn't see it, then I didn't have to own it or do the very hard work of fixing it!
The therapist who came to our support group described one aspect of Codependency with these words:
"As long as you’re okay, then I’m okay. So, I need to make you okay for me to be okay.
And if that means I need to compromise my values and not share my thoughts, feelings or dreams with you, I’ll do that, because I am dependent on your emotional state in order for me to be okay.
I am completely dependent on how you are doing."
And there I was – facing me.
The reality: for 30+ years, the state of my gut has been tied to his moods, his demeanor, the look on his face. While codependency has several facets and I don't struggle with all of them, this was the piece, the dysfunction that I needed to face.
Hard work for a quiet, conflict avoidant, people pleasing type to untangle this mess, but I knew in that moment I needed God's healing in this area. He wanted to grow me up & make me stronger, so that my "okayness" was anchored in Him and not my husband.
I know God wants me whole, complete, mature – and that means no little amount of work on my part.
So. I am …
For me this work can't be done without also naming & laying down my anxieties at the Foot of the Cross and waiting for (and experiencing) the Peace that passes understanding, even in the nitty gritty of daily interactions with my husband.
The progress is slow, some days it feels minute, or feels glaringly absent, but I cling to Philippians 4:6,7 and its promise. It is slowly, surely becoming real to me.
In all of this, I fully recognize that I cannot do this journey alone. I have a burden too big to bear. God has been amazing in supplying resources uniquely suited to me: a Christian therapist who prays with me and creates a sanctuary for my tears, my voice, my growth (and sometimes tells me to get those Big Girl Panties on!); faithful friends and prayer warriors who hold me up and also speak truth into my life; written words in books and blogs that speak to my soul; songs that wrap themselves around my heart; and sometimes, a beautiful sunset that reminds me of my Creator.
At the end of the day, I need to rest. In Him. The hardest but most necessary thing of all.
Dear sister –
Maybe you see yourself – even a little bit – in my struggle.
My prayer is that the things I am doing to heal would be things that you can make your own as well, or that you can find the path of healing God is designing uniquely for you.
A Playlist for Perseverance
4/14/2018 11:17:00 AM by: L
International Day of the Woman
3/19/2018 11:04:00 PM by: Jackie
Silence and the Lambs
2/28/2018 3:49:00 PM by: Sarah McDugal
A New Chapter
12/30/2017 2:43:00 PM by: Laura Bender
4 Pitfalls of a Distressed Heart
11/30/2017 10:56:00 PM by: Laura Bender
Leslie Vernick on Emotional Abuse
10/20/2017 5:59:00 PM by: Laura Bender
9/19/2017 1:47:00 PM by: HER Guest L
Our Healing Passes on Hope
8/30/2017 7:07:00 PM by: Laura Bender
Unwanted Divorce Yet Initiated
7/27/2017 5:36:00 PM by: Laura Bender
Happily (N)Ever After
6/28/2017 11:30:00 AM by: Sarah McDugal
Anxiety: 7 Tips To Help
6/14/2017 9:00:00 AM by: Jennifer Gafford
Sick of This
5/31/2017 1:21:00 PM by: Leslie
To "D" or Not to "D", That is the Question
5/12/2017 9:58:00 AM by: Meg Wilson
5/1/2017 1:35:00 PM by: Laura Bender
You're Getting a Divorce: 10 Tips on How to Tell Your Children
4/18/2017 7:21:00 PM by: Jennifer Gafford
4/4/2017 1:23:00 PM by: Lauren McKinley
6 Things My Husband Did to Help Me Heal
3/17/2017 1:52:00 PM by: Lynn Marie Cherry
The Right Perspective
2/28/2017 12:29:00 PM by: Laura Bender
She Flew To Her Future
2/22/2017 2:41:00 PM by: Jackie
Resolve to Heal...Again
1/19/2017 2:15:00 PM by: Laura Bender
1/2/2017 10:29:00 PM by: Jackie
Help for the Holidays for the Betrayed Woman
12/14/2016 10:30:00 PM by: Lynn Marie Cherry
Thanksgiving: Death Do Us Part
11/22/2016 7:17:00 PM by: Jackie
There's Crying, and then There's Cryyyying!
10/31/2016 12:38:00 PM by: Laura Bender
Sleeping with the Enemy
9/29/2016 8:27:00 PM by: Laura Bender
Fly on the Wall in a Betrayal Support Group
8/26/2016 by: Laura Bender
Nothing Calms Like The Psalms
7/26/2016 by: Laura Bender
What Constitutes Marital Betrayal?
6/14/2016 by: Laura Bender
20th Century Exodus
5/2/2016 by: Laura Bender