Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Robin – 7-2-19

Having codependent habits is discovered when pain comes to a boiling point. A transitional point where awareness of imbalance is felt so intensely that no return to that point is an option. The only option is to find balance and healing, to find a different way.

Married too fast too young:

I married at the age of 18, had my first child at 19. I had known my now ex-husband for a little over three months before we were married. I did not even know the man. He wanted a family and so did I. He was a handsome Air Force man with a steady job and insurance. When his mother shortly after we married, we adopted his brother. We soon had a second daughter. Eventually we were a family of 5. The marriage lasted 20 years.

The Air Force life was great. It moved us from coast to coast. I truly enjoyed raising the kids and the Air Force life.

Everything seemed rosy:

Just by looking at us you would think we were the average happy family. We did not argue. I was not raised in a household were there was arguing, thus conflict resolution was not a part of our life. He was the son of an alcoholic and I was the daughter of parents that both had alcoholic fathers.


We did not take the time to know each other. I never felt he really wanted to know me. I would suggest we do things for just us but he always wanted the children with us. I just felt lonely, disrespected and not heard. I stayed married clinging to the enjoyment of motherhood.


I thought I was almighty and powerful when it came to making everyone happy. I could fix it no matter what. I woke up to that. I believe my ex-husband also controlled. We bounced back and forth with the typical parent-child relationship when we were both adults.

Buried resentment:

I found my voice finally after he grilled me during an argument for about two hours. I asked for a divorce. We tried counseling to possibly come to an understanding but the years of resentment had built up. There was no saving the marriage.

Waking up:

I filed for divorce and the family imploded. I attended CoDA meetings and read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I still wasn’t out of the woods because I quit my job and went right back into the arms of an even more controlling man than my ex-husband. That only lasted a short time after I went rogue one afternoon and left the house to run some errands. When I got back, he had changed the locks on the house. I went straight to the police station to help me get back into the house to gather my things.

Self-care and understanding:

Amazingly I got my old job back and really went to work on myself. Again, I found a CoDA group and read more books.  The language we use to express ourselves really shows the truth about our level of confidence.  In order to heal, I knew I needed to be very gentle with myself and others.

Watching myself:

I am currently in a relationship of about six years. I watch the relationship carefully for any signs of the tried and true guilt, blame and shame codependents are so imbued with. Guilt, blame and shame is one of the hardest control habits to break. I think our fear addicts us to using this method of control in relationships rather than letting go and enjoying all the wonderful surprises that manifest all on their own. I am free. I have surrendered to whatever shows up in my life. I have the confidence to take it one day at a time and one breath at a time, maintaining true calm and balance.

Robin N – 4/25/19

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