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From co-dependent to co-creator

Tom* 47 is an intelligent, attractive man who was married for 20 years and has been officially divorced for over a year now and making great progress around his future and enjoying finding out who he is again at 47. However, the healing journey of rebuilding himself, his finances, his life, his business and his heart, has not come without its own set of tribulations. Rediscovering oneself after 20 years of amalgamation with another, can be both frightening and exciting at the same time.

Tom's marriage was one of betrayal by a spouse, this can be soul destroying, with emotions such as anger, guilt, vengefulness, fear, frustration, pain, and paranoia, being lived out on a hourly basis. Tom’s healing has being profound, he is very clear around his belief systems of his now set of expectations, who he makes time for and behaviour that he will not tolerate and that which he is willing to compromise on, it is “him coming into his own”. He is discovering on a continuous basis this new individualised self, how he consciously perceives the world, and how he has to be careful around unconscious thought and delving into a rabbit hole of his previous life, he refuses to live in the past and in regret. His 20 years was too long, too painful, too soul destroying to allow another minute to go by with the same feelings. He now lives in the present moment, recognising his strengths, his choice, his voice, his life, and really falling in love with himself again, and what he co-creates in this new life. Everyday his life presents a new opportunity.

Tom met his wife 20 years ago, who seemingly was someone that needed taking care of, his nature is one of helping others so the relationship rules were established early on when she moved in with two black bags, what she wants she gets, and in return he gets the short lived gratification of always providing, keeping control around her happy, even it was momentarily, it was his purpose, one would even suggest he enjoyed the great gift of giving, the dance of the narcissist and co-dependent allowed for both parties to be served their inherent and biological needs through their attachment styles and ultimately their quantum love.

Tom explains when he started finding out of the betrayal and cheating, he initially did not want to come across as the jealous husband, but over a period of time he eventually did react, he was angry, disappointed and felt betrayed, but was either met with gaslighting behaviour from her, she accused him of seeing things that were not there, and trivialised the matter. Gaslighting is an interesting concept, when someone gaslights you, you start questioning your own sanity of what you saw, how you felt or what you did? The narcissist has an ingrown capability to easily move the blame onto others, as long as their appearance of their lives does not get tainted.

Tom’s wife would over the years explore intimate liaisons with Tom’s best friends, she demanded extravagant house parties, all in the name of the lovers she would entertain at Tom’s cost. She a hedonistic at heart, was relentless in her pursuit of pleasure, which was her ultimate goal for satisfaction. Sadly, Tom had unconsciously created this triage for himself and made himself the provider, always ensuring she is happy, even if he suffered in silence, knowing of his gut feel of infidelities and his betrayal of himself.

Their sexual relationship was good but limited, Tom never really felt he got what he wanted, but made sure once again that she was satisfied, this may have being subconsciously competing against an unknown man that would she find later in the week.

Tom explains the most betrayed affair was the one with one of his best friends, and once again, she orchestrated as a weekend getaway with friends, he saw them kiss at an event, an argument ensued in the car, and the way she controlled the situation was to have sex with him, and make him think he was seeing things, that he was mad, she may even enjoyed the “gaslighting” and winning over of the devasted husband.

On many occasions, Tom would see her rub, suggest, act, speak with other men, behaviour that may not have been seen as inappropriate considering it wasn't the husband involved. The business trips with her boss became regular and she posted pictures of lovers in love rather than workers at work. He questioned the fact that some business trips she would be lying on the bed with the boss. Perhaps an SLA at another level?

Tom explains that as the men and situations would come and go, he would often find himself silently hoping that no one would be left and that “then he could finally be married”, unfortunately there would always be the next pursuit from the hedonistic wife. Tom explains that he felt outside “disconnected” out of his own relationship while the wife was in relationship with another man.

During the years of infidelity, friends were few to confide in, they had either disappeared through the marriage by choice or through his wife and were listed as lovers, he was left with no one to check in with, or to regulate madness. He had by this time acknowledged to himself that he didn’t want to be in this anymore, but he had no idea how to get out of it, he had no evidence, merely suspicion and a gut feel that had always being overridden by his wife, he would never leave because there was no evidence. Tom was left to figure it out on his own, with no outing for his emotion, suicide became a regular thought, but then the “responsibility” would kick in, and he would be left wondering, “who would feed the dogs?”

Tom and his wife tried therapy, but even this seemed like a biased hook up. Tom acquired his own stripes through various tattoos that resembled the affairs and cutting. Cutting is a psychological phenomenon in which people that have stunted their emotions and have no outlet, often harming themselves through various ways to feel something, in the case of Tom, he needed to feel pain so he could know he was still alive, somewhere at the 15 year mark Tom started to think this was it, but was overwhelmed by fear of divorce, the ecosystem of family, the in-laws, to how he was going to split the dogs and monetary values and assets, it was just too much to comprehend, and another 5 years would go by.

The last few months of the marriage were arduous with secret phone calls, the whispers, the restricted behaviours, the heavy atmosphere in the house, the non-communicative couple. In the end, the twist of the tale, that no one expected, the long-time lover would leave his wife and commit to Tom’s, providing her with an ultimatum to also leave her husband. She was literally at a rock and a hard place, a place she knew well? … however, as a narcissist she would never be seen as the failure of a marriage and would make sure that her image was held up high, she convinced him, not to discuss details with family or friends.

He was elated that there was a potential ending and he could actually be able to live again, but the joy of escape was short lived, and when the realisation of time lost set in, there is a sense of loss, missed opportunities, self-worth debates, financial loss, that which you will never get back, but the pain and emotional turmoil would be over, and he would finally understand how to feel again.

However, the process of divorce is difficult, the brain provides messaging around an old pattern that it is used to, and all the changes and new ways of thinking and doing is now uncomfortable, naturally it wants to return to default, and so your thinking goes to the “good times” somehow the bad times and the reasons you left become blurred, the resistance in the brain causes conflict, and may find yourself counting up all the reasons why you could have stayed, suddenly sitting alone in an empty house, contemplating your midlife fate, the alcohol or the drug increases and loneliness sets in, “how do you move forward” from here?

Tom slowly started his emotional release and understanding how his own attachment style was detrimental to relationship with others and himself. Co-dependents may suffer from low self-esteem feeling unloved and inadequate, often people pleasers and saying no to others often causes them anxiety, they may even have blurry boundaries weak or rigid around their body, money, feelings and needs, feeling responsible for other people’s feelings. A co-dependent can be reactive and not necessarily see opinion but feel threatened by disagreements. They often put others needs ahead of their own, which could result in “caretaking”, they try and help and fix others, even where it is not wanted or taken. They enjoy the element of control and places them in a place of safety and security, where they can control the risk.

As he was healing, he would still fall back on his natural co-dependent nature, he was already worried if she was ok, and how he could still add value in her life. She knew how to manipulate the situation as a narcissist in the relationship, and he still wanted to keep her happy, so she used him throughout the move, for additional money, for favours, and while he found himself putting up televisions sets and moving furniture. His turning point came, when he was packing her underwear away in the cupboard and it dawned on him, how the hell did I get here again!?

After 3 months, Tom finally was able to pull away and save himself, his suspicions were confirmed by friends, and when he confronted her, she was still concerned what people would think of her, rather than the act of being an hedonist. Tom realised through a health scare, that he was using energy to still chase her, and what would her happiness really cost him at the end? Potentially maybe his death if he did not walk away and close those doors completely?

After a relationship is over, you should work to establish your own identity again, and you should take time to heal, so that your perspective of others are not skewed by anger or revenge. Exposing yourself to the things you did together, to realise that you can start enjoying things again without the same other person, experiences then become engrained in the brain and you can create new pathways. If you are reframing memories of the past you are not moving forward.

We are so hurt when our dreams of love are dashed, the only way that you are going to find the love, is by understanding and transforming yourself first and moving away from the systemised jurisdiction and societal dictation that have shaped our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. If you unconsciously feel your worth in love and believe that your sense of self-worth is dependent upon others attention, the relationship will reflect that which we feel. It is always a mirror of your own beliefs. The stories that we can tell ourselves when we feel hurt such as men are all bastards and women are bitches, are so terrible and so damaging that it affects our whole being of finding love, because your unconscious (belief systems) is made conscious through your relationships.

We are all pure energy, vibrating at a different frequency, the concept of quantum physics is relevant, since like attracts like and this includes being in your love and awareness that you are indeed the creator of your realities, if your present love is not showing up in the relationship, or your future one is not even making noise, or your twin flame has opted out, it is related to an unconscious process that you may not even know of as your body’s energy. The emotions you hold in your cells can create neurochemicals that affect the frequency of the body and thus have an effect on the environment and relationships, When you understand that how you manage your atomic energy has the ability to create relationships that operate well, without control or fear and brings forth relationships that are creative and wonderful and loving, what you are putting out is then in congruence with what you believe and know to be true.

#hesaid – the place to publish your side of the story

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