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Old 11-10-17, 06:19 PM
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Re: Do I need to label him?

My father was also verbally abusive and I believe I developed codependency and low self esteem from the abuse. That led me into an emotionally abusive marriage where, like what happened with you, I was ignored. I also don't feel any anger toward either person because I can clearly recognize that neither of them intended the harm. I believe they were completely clueless to the pain they caused me. That doesn't justify the behavior, but I see that they have serious mental problems and neither of them are aware of it, which causes me to pity them a little. I have a few ideas about what conditions they might have, but not any label I've firmly attached to them because I'm not an expert. I think there is a narcissistic component to many mental health conditions, sometimes even ADHD, so your partner may have had some level of narcissism and it could have been due to a number of reasons, most unintentional. That doesn't mean they need to be labeled a "narcissist", a term that is probably overused these days.

The only thing I can say, is go with your gut and don't ignore your instincts with future men. Don't make excuses and accept things you don't feel comfortable with. I know that I am still extremely codependent and I don't know what to do about it. I have gotten better about saying "no" and speaking up for myself, but I am still such a people pleaser. There were a couple times recently where I realized I was compromising on my boundaries, caught myself, and then said no, this is important to me and the other person can just deal with it. It really is so difficult to decide if you're being unreasonable about something because it triggered you, or if it really is something you need to stand firm on. But the bottom line is, if it makes you uncomfortable, listen to that feeling, explore why you're feeling that way and see if you're compromising on something that is important to you just to please the other person or make excuses for them. One of the most important things we need to learn as codependents, is that we aren't responsible for other people's feelings or happiness and that if we don't want to do something, that's all the reason we need not to do it.
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