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How NOT to be emotionally dependent with ex?

Published on July 8, 2009 by tropicalnut

My soon 2 be ex husband and I are both emotionally dependent on one do we break the cycle?

We grew up together, dated for several years, married for less than 5 and then in marriage counseling for almost 4 of the 5 years of marriage! Everything changed for the worst after we married. He became lazy, no effort into the relationship....we separated a year ago, but only for a few months, due to financial circumstances, then 6 months later "I" decided to pursue a divorce because I am tired of all the immaturity and how I'm constantly compromising my needs and wants to make him happy. He is the youngest of 5 kids and is used to getting his way & very selfish. None of this was apparent before the marriage.

So here we are, trying to move on, but something is holding each of us back. We talk off and on about why things didn't work, but at the same time we gain more understanding and feel maybe later there can be a chance? We are constantly on this up and down roller coaster and can't seem to let go. Our therapist has told me he is immature and it is up to me on how much more I will endure and that we are emotionally dependent on one another - not a good thing. So how do we make it or break it - anyone else been here done that? Thanks!


I'm curious about what your therapist has suggested that you do to get out of this, unless that was the marriage counselor. Well, if you haven't already, see a therapist for yourself. The issues you are talking about are not easy ones to get over. Often they have a lot of underlying problems that can go way back to childhood problems. These are better handled with the help of a proffessional. You understand that you need to get past this, and getting a therapist for this would be my advice. You can suggest that to your ex-husband as well. Marriage counseling can only do so much since it works within the dynamic that you both established. I don't know if it digs deeper than that to help each of you out with your personal issues so that more headway could be made in your marital issues. If it doesn't then, as I've said, get a therapist for yourself.

Best of luck to you.

If you truly want to break the cycle...break the cycle. Have both of you agree to a two-month "radio silence." No communication, at all. No e-mails, no phone calls, no matter how lonely either one of you feel.

At the end of the two months, re-evaluate where you are emotionally. Are you better, more independent, happier? Then obviously, the relationship was no longer worth it. If you feel just as you did before, not having moved on, really think about what is making you dependent. Is it just fear of truly losing out on the love of your life or fear of being out of your comfort zone? You say you two may be gaining understanding, how many times have you thought you were gaining ground but later ended up disappointed?

It is up to you. "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty... and the pig loves it." Stop all contact with him. Change your number and your emails. Move forward in your life without him.

Yes, it would be a good idea to get some solid distance and think about things without all the entanglement... but that said- I have "been there, done that" and me and my ex are actually really great friends now. I find that this solution isn't socially acceptable to a lot of people who are all 'do or die' about relationships, but it worked for us. We could both see what we valued in the other, but no matter how hard we tried we just weren't good in a relationship together. We decided to come from a place of no blame and openness and we did a lot of talking about what it would look like to be friends, and how to handle the emotional territory of moving on, reactionary behavior, new relationships et cetera... I think if either of us were still holding onto the relationship, it would have been maybe impossible, so I wouldn't recommend that... But we had worked on it for years and always came out to the same place, and we were both really tired of it- and knew it would never work. So, the question became, if we can't make this work together, how can we make it work apart? There was a lot of forgiveness in it for us both, and a deeper understanding of relationships and love as a whole. No we don't talk everyday and go on vacations together or anything like that- that relationship ended, but what came it its place was much better than what we had before. So maybe that's an idea for some future date- it doesn't have to be do or die- forever or never...sometimes you can part and create something else in its place that honors what you had, but still lets you move on...