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#438825 - 06/21/13 04:43 PM I Feel Responsible
TimHorton Offline

Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
I feel responsible for this. Guilty, even. I feel like I created this mess. Like it is all my fault.

When I met him over 6 years ago he was vibrant and full of life. He was happy and always made me laugh. He took care of himself and was extremely healthy, even refusing to drink alcohol. He was so wonderful.

Somehow, over the years, everything changed. I took care of him fully and completely. I made his dinner, his lunches, his snacks. I cleaned our home. I took out the garbage. I worked a full time job and took care of him full time. He wanted for nothing. I thought that was what a wife did. I broke my back taking care of him and, in turn, I feel like it broke him. Like I am the one who ruined him.

I turned him into an invalid. It is my fault. Six years later and he can no longer do anything. He is paralyzed. He behaves like a child and doesn't even know how to care for himself. He is selfish and only thinks of himself and his needs. He drinks everyday. He is an alcoholic. He can't cook for himself, unless it is throwing frozen dinners in the oven. He is so unhealthy. He has taken up smoking in addition to sleeping with another woman. He treats me like shit and somehow...

It is all my fault.

Why do I feel like I did this to him? Did my nurturing cause this? Did I cause him to regress back to that little boy he once was? Could I have done things differently? Should I have done things differently? Could I have stopped this storm from coming?

He is a shell of the man he once was. Barely even human. I do not know this man....This boy.

Who is he and who am I without him?

#438941 - 06/23/13 04:18 AM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: TimHorton]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 429
You are still in there. The You you used to be. You didn't break him either. You did what you thought you should do, but now that you see it doesn't work, what are you going to do? If he's given up, do you go down with him? You don't have to. You didn't break him, you can't fix him. You can't love him enough. You can't do enough for him. You can't show him enough. You cannot. Ultimately, it all falls on him. I realize how difficult that is to hear, forget about implementing, but it doesn't make it less true. YOu can save you. Save yourself. It doesn't mean you don't love him, or you don't care for him, or that you won't help him. But save yourself.
Wife of a survivor

#438960 - 06/23/13 12:21 PM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: TimHorton]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
What you have described of his change I have read here a number of times. You have not done this to him. Stop blaming yourself.

#438963 - 06/23/13 01:58 PM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: TimHorton]
Airmid Offline

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
It's not your fault.

The things we supporters can take responsibility for are our own actions: seeking T for ourselves, Al-Anon when living with active alkies, making time alone to enjoy hobbies or have quiet or a road trip, and re-learning what roles in relationships work and don't work for us.

Coddling my H was a recipe for disaster. Turns out that it reinforced his wish to be completely taken care of in a motherly way. He acted childishly, and emotionally I stepped in to clean up after him both physically and emotionally. When he wanted a pass for immature behavior, I gave it for years. The problem is, that harmed me. Being true to myself meant finding the strength to say "You need help; you're dying inside." My H is sober for years and still acted this way. But...I'm not his FOO (family of origin). I can't repair the damage others have done. I can walk with him and lay down boundaries to protect myself (everyone needs those), but I cannot and will not grow or heal for him. It's physically impossible, and is damaging, too.

Sometimes letting survivors hurt until they're ready to stop hurting and start healing is the only way to go.

What are you doing for you? Being kind to yourself doesn't mean "being mean" to him; it means making sure you're still you, still growing and still living a life that isn't centered on 'doing for' him what he can and must eventually do for himself. Supporting sometimes sadly means just saying "I'm sorry you're hurting, but I can't go down that particular road with you. I'll be over here at the intersection. I'm still here."

#439077 - 06/24/13 02:44 PM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: GoodHope]
TimHorton Offline

Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
Originally Posted By: GoodHope
You are still in there. The You you used to be. You didn't break him either. You did what you thought you should do, but now that you see it doesn't work, what are you going to do?

I don't know what to do. I don't know any other way. I feel like I give everything because I think that somehow if I love him enough, he will give me the same in return. It has never worked, though. Does this mean that I turn cold and uncaring? I don't understand this. When I love someone, I love them completely. How do you turn that off?

How do I save myself? I have read 'Codependent No More' and I still don't get it. I feel like if I was with someone who was not a victim (I say victim because he is not yet a survivor), that this wouldn't even be an issue. Me nurturing and loving like I do would be fine.

How do I save myself?

Edited by TimHorton (06/24/13 02:52 PM)

#439103 - 06/24/13 06:52 PM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: TimHorton]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 429
Everything you do for him, you do for yourself first. You love him? Love yourself.

How do you show your love for him? Do you give him gifts? Buy yourself something.

Do you speak kind words to him? Speak kindly to yourself. Remind yourself that you are a SURVIVOR. You are kind (look at what you are doing to help him!). You are thoughtful. Most importantly, you are WORTHY!

Whatever lie you may have told yourself about not being worthy, everytime you even begin to form the thought, Redirect yourself to all the good things about yourself. I don't even know you but I know if you are on this board, you have a good heart. If you are on this board, you are loving. If you are on this board, you are self-less. You are kind. If you don't think these things about yourself, CUT and PASTE what I've written and write it down even if you can't believe it yet.

Next up, the dreams you had before him, dust those suckers off and take a look at them. Do they still interest you? What do you need to do to work toward it. For me, it was school. I needed to find the money, I needed to find the time, I needed to take the tests. I wrote out my plan and then I worked it.

Are you stressed? I know you are. Every wife/partner/supporter is stressed--this situation is not normal. Do you have a therapist? If not, get one? Can't afford one? Call the biggest church in your town. Get some support NOW! You need it and you are worth it!

Get some exercise. Walk around your block.

Pray/meditate/whatever you do. For me it is prayer and it is vital. Pour into yourself in uplifting ways. Want to know more about Jesus, PM me, but if it's Allah, Buddah, Hare Krishna, whatever puts you in touch with a power beyond yourself, access it. NOW. Don't wait to go to church, synogauge, nature, etc.

You do NOT have to leave him right now. You do NOT stop loving him. He is deserving of love. He just isn't entitled to your soul, to your entire being, to your essence. You have to learn how to love but still protect YOU! I'm hoping some of my fellow MS Wives/Partners who struggle with co-dependence will chime in and give you specifics. But start here.
Wife of a survivor

#439465 - 06/28/13 08:29 PM Re: I Feel Responsible [Re: TimHorton]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 10:00 PM)


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