In my quest to try and gain a better understanding of why this might have happened to me I’ve been thinking about my relationship with my first boyfriend, as well as my marriage, and looking at how I behaved in both. What I’ve come to realize is that I was codependent. I’m not ashamed to admit it because I don’t think I’m a bad person because of it. Many straight spouses will admit to being codependent in their relationship with their gay spouse. I think we tend to be of a certain type and it’s the type that our gay husbands and wives are attracted to because we enable their behavior, often to keep the peace, and we tend to be fixers, I know I was.

Narcissists and addicts are very attracted to codependent personalities because we are easily controlled and manipulated and if like me, tend to place more importance on their partners well-being than their own. My gay husband was both an addict and a narcissist and I believe he saw me coming a mile away.

Codependents have varying characteristics not all of which apply to me but I can identify with certain ones. The ‘mother hen’, always putting others needs before my own. A need for acceptance, approval. Feeling guilty over nothing, worrying too much, being afraid.

I was the perfect audience for a narcissist. He needed to feel important and special and I wanted him to feel that way. I just thought I was being a loving, caring, supportive wife… I didn’t realize that I was giving him any sort of power over me.

He lived as he chose to, without consequence. He was grandiose and self important, like the cat who got the cream. He said and did a lot of questionable things and put me in situations that were dangerous and disgusting, and I allowed him to. I felt pressured and I wanted his approval. How was I to know that I’d never get it? Meanwhile, I was dying inside. I’d lost all hope because I’d tried everything there was to make it work and blamed myself when it didn’t. I hated him and I hated myself for letting it get that far.

I think it takes a strong person to get out of a relationship like that. I don’t think I was a strong person then because I put up with it for so long but maybe their was a different kind of strength in putting up with it, because I wanted it to work. I don’t know. In the end I did find the strength to leave but it was only when I realized he was gay and that all my efforts had been in vain.

I had one other relationship prior to my marriage and looking back I can see that I was showing signs of codependency then too. He was nothing like my husband but he was controlling in some ways and I don’t think I always stood my ground. Having said that I was just a kid then, I didn’t even know who I was.

Still, he said jump and I said how high.

There are reasons why this happened to me and I believe that in some ways I’m to blame for allowing certain things to happen. I’m not excusing his behavior in any way, I think it’s a crime what he did. Discovering that I played a part doesn’t make what he’s done any more forgiveable, it just doesn’t. He was the master manipulator. However, I do think it’s important to learn from this and in order to do that I have to consider what I could have done differently.

I have changed in some ways. I have more respect for myself and a stronger desire to protect my heart. I know that I need to trust my intuition and express my feelings instead of burying them inside. I try not to worry so much about what other people think and I try not to be fearful of things going wrong.
I’ll never fully understand the reasons why it happened, why I was that girl. All I can do is use what I’ve learned to become a stronger person. There are parts of me that haven’t changed. I think it’s okay to be sensitive and loving, nurturing and protective. I just have to be careful who I choose to share those qualities with. The right people should embrace them, not take advantage of them.

In the Joni Mitchell song ‘Both Sides, Now’ there’s the line:

‘And if you care, don’t let them know,
Don’t give yourself away’

I love that song and that line came to mind as I was writing.

I was always very open and honest with him, he knew my strengths and my weaknesses, all my hopes and all my fears, I didn’t keep anything just for me. Maybe you’re supposed to.

To be continued..

~ by brebrave on July 15, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s