I am sooo co-dependant!
I see in myself several classic co-dependant behaviors that extend into many areas of my life. Two of those that I recently realized that I exhibit in my relationship with Hubby are Rescuing Behaviors and Suffering Behaviors.
Exhibit A: (Rescuing) Yesterday Tertius had a potty training accident on the carpet. I told Hubby that I would clean the boy up and wash the carpet if he would just run to the garage (which is hotter than the surface of the sun) and get me the steam vac.
He came back quickly to remind me that it was still loaned out and to ask where the carpet cleaner was so that it could be taken care of by hand. I answered, "In the garage," as I apologized profusely for making him go out to that super hot garage twice.
When he came back and voluntarily started cleaning the floor, he expressed to me that I shouldn't be apologizing for making him go out in the heat. He would much rather do that than clean up the mess I volunteered for.
Also, last night he started cleaning up the dinner table without me asking him to. I quickly joined him and started putting food in containers with him instead of continuing whatever it was that I was in the middle of.
Exhibit B: (Suffering) Most other days of the year, I feel resentful that Hubby doesn't notice what needs to be done around the house, and doesn't step up and help out without being asked.
Do you see how those two don't go together? It's totally irrational and unhealthy!
A few years ago, when I was at a really low point in my life, a really smart person (who knows Hubby well) gave me some great advice: "Just ask him to help out. Tell him what needs to be done and he'll do it." It sounds so simple but it was a definite "Ah ha!" moment for me.
It really is so simple and when I ask Hubby to help me, he always does. The problem is that when I am really stressed out, I tend to fall back on my old habits of my co-dependant suffering behavior.
With this newly re-established insight, I decided to do things differently. Tonight after our party guests left I was feeling very overwhelmed by what needed to be done (table cleared, food put away, dishes done, laundry done, pool covered.) Plus it was so hot (horrible heat wave this week!) and I had a headache so all I wanted to do was sit in the kiddie pool.
The co-dependant me would have told Hubby, "I'll take care of everything," and then grumble about having to do it by myself. But the healthy me took over, told Hubby what needed to be done, did a little bit of work, and then selfishly played in the pool with the baby.
I felt so much better in more ways than one! (Quartus apparently needed the one-on-one time with mommy in the cool water, too. He loved it and went from being super cranky to relaxed and happy and ready for bed.)
Addicts have to work on their recovery every day. If they get complacent, it becomes so easy to slip and fall back on old bad habits, behaviors, and addictions. It's the same way for co-dependants. I have to recognize in myself what my negative tendencies are, identify my triggers, and work on being more healthy and positive every day.