Denial Keeps Us in Relationships That Are On Life Support

couple yelling at each otherI have stayed in relationships–marriages–for years after I knew a change was needed. The first divorce was the first divorce in the whole family. So you know how that goes. The 2nd one had a daughter we both loved. But I finally had to leave because I was sober and he wanted the person I used to be. He said that I didn’t need him anymore. I told that I wanted him and that should be enough. But it wasn’t. Sad.

From Codependent Life: “I did marry prince charming but we did not live happy ever after-he was an alcoholic”:
Some people change cities, jobs and friends running away from their problems. Me? I just put my nose in a book. I could go anywhere in the world and be anybody I wanted to be in a book. I could be loved and accepted in a book and I was smart, beautiful and successful in a book. In other words I could escape my reality.….. until the last page… until the – the end part. The end is when my reality would come crashing down and it was back to the real world.

I never read a book that I did not read the end of the book first. If I did not like the end I was not going to waste my time reading the book. I had enough pain and stress in my life without adding to it with my only way to escape. I read the end first so that I could make sure I always read happy ever after books. Of course this was a distorted view of reality. The good guys in the white hats always won in my books but that doesn’t always happen in the real world. In the real world we don’t always marry prince charming and ride off in the sunset and live happy ever after.

Oh well I didn’t anyway. I did marry prince charming. He really was a good guy. He really did love me. He wanted to take me away from my childhood hurts. But we didn’t live happy ever after. He was also an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a progressive disease and over time alcohol owned him in a way that the good things that we shared never could.

For the most part I lived in a constant state of denial. I held on the illusion or the fantasy of how I wanted things to be and refused to see them how they really were. Denial pushed me to the limits trying to force my fantasy into reality. But no matter how hard I tried I could never quite pull it off. In fact the harder I tried the more unmanageable my life became. In the end the chaos and uncertainty shattered my hopes and dreams.

William L Sullivan says  “Life is a battle in which we fall from wounds we receive in running away. Life is meant for living not existing. Running away from or denying our problems will not make them go away. History will repeat itself unless learn from it. The steps helped me to understand my feelings, they helped me understand why I felt the way that I did, they helped me understand how I contributed to my problems either through denial or defiance. When I went to my first meeting my hopes and dreams had been shattered into a million pieces. Coping and existing just wasn’t working for me anymore. But, no matter how desperately I wanted the pain to stop, and no matter how desperately I wanted change in my life, nothing good started to happen until I became willing to change and be changed.

Photo credit.

One comment

  1. The willingness to change is a big thing. I really didn’t know what a healthy relationship was nor was I capable of it. I have spent the last 10 years learning how to feel safe in a relationship and how to be intimate with the truth of my story and the needs of my soul. It has been a process full of pain and darkness at times but the beautiful relationship my husband and I have created together where we are both growing into our greatest potential is exciting and always new. It took a big commitment to growth on both our parts and challenged us to be attentive listeners.


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