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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Codependents are said to go to an extreme to avoid unpleasant conflict with others. So how far do you go? What 'red flags' do you see happening?

What kinds of things are you doing to avoid having to face your angry spouse/partner when you don't do what they want?

I'll start with a simple example: my wife will literally chase me around the house trying to provoke me for hours on end. I close myself in a room trying to get away from the taunting and provoking. I ask for space and to be left alone (so I can feel at peace again). It's very overwhelming the feeling inside when she relentlessly tries pushing all my buttons to get a reaction. I try to avoid it.
 

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Never been accused of being passive aggressive, huh? Wait, it's coming.

Edit: Not saying you are, just asking if you were accused yet.
 

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I'm co-dependent and I'm somewhat confrontational now. I did not used to be, though. I used to avoid conflict, but holding in everything isn't good for you, physically or mentally. Best course is to address problems when they arise.

OP, I would like to know what you think your wife is trying to accomplish? It seems like it *might* be that she has an issue she would like to address, and that you avoiding it, (or her) just makes matters worse in the long run.

Have you tried talking to her and listening to what she has to say? My husband is an avoider as well... I can attest to how hurtful it is to being ignored and shut-out. :/

You need space to feel "peace" - sometimes people need the discussion and face-time to feel peace as well...
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@YinPrincess I'd say she's trying to provoke, push buttons, get a reaction. She's always needing something to blame me for so she can feel better about how hostile she is. She allows herself to fly off the handle whenever she likes, but can't take responsibility for it.

@2ntnuf avoiding abuse from a bully is called 'passive aggressive' these days? wow...:scratchhead:

Anyhoo.... let's hear from some codependents... maybe we can help support each other to cope/deal better.
 

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@YinPrincess I'd say she's trying to provoke, push buttons, get a reaction. She's always needing something to blame me for & and take the focus off herself. She allows herself to fly off the handle whenever she likes, but can't take responsibility for it.
Well, for one, I'd imagine that she interprets your avoidance as a kind of provocation.
What is it that she's doing to push your buttons? Is it possible that she might just want to vent and talk a little? Do you assume any responsibility for yourself in this matter?

Not sure what you want here... A guide to unhealthy strategies for avoiding conflict?

If you want to avoid conflict the first thing you need to be able to do is LISTEN. She's telling you something for a reason. If you aren't sure what that reason is, then ASK. Engage in the conversation, even if it's uncomfortable.

It may just be me, but I see a little projection here. Yes, she is absolutely 100% responsible for how she chooses to approach and react to your avoidance... But you have a hand in either enticing those types of reactions or you can work on yourself as well and try to become a better communicator.
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@YinPrincess I'd say she's trying to provoke, push buttons, get a reaction. She's always needing something to blame me for so she can feel better about how hostile she is. She allows herself to fly off the handle whenever she likes, but can't take responsibility for it.

@2ntnuf avoiding abuse from a bully is called 'passive aggressive' these days? wow...:scratchhead:No. Sorry, I knew it wouldn't come across right. That's why I edited and said I wasn't accusing you of it. Next time I'll stay out of it. Just be careful how you avoid. Both parties in a relationship may be considered as somewhat codependent. The depth and lengths we go to within that relationship are what make it unhealthy. Sorry for the confusion.

Anyhoo.... let's hear from some codependents... maybe we can help support each other to cope/deal better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@2ntnuf I appreciate any insight you offer.
Your comment "Both parties in a relationship may be considered as somewhat codependent." got me thinking; I wonder if she could actually think of herself as being codependent, or if someone else (like a marriage therapist) could? From my perspective she's a pretty much a classic narcissist.

@yinprincess "I'd imagine she interprets your avoidance as a kind of provocation." Wow, I don't understand how but interesting that you say that... Like she thinks I'm doing it on purpose to 'make' her mad?

"you have a hand in either enticing those types of reactions or you can work on yourself as well "
agreed! Good advice!

"Not sure what you want here... A guide to unhealthy strategies for avoiding conflict?"

Certainly no. What I was thinking is after reading about this characteristic of codependents... it would be good for us to share with each other examples of this common 'red flag' ... the extremes we go to in order to avoid conflict.
 

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I agree with 2nt - I think almost all co-dependent relationships are ones in which both parties demonstrate co-dependent traits. Technically, one cannot be co-dependent all alone...

Yes, she may see you "provoking" her when you avoid her, and yes, it can and has driven her to the point of "acting out" to get your attention. What's sad is when you give her that attention in response you are actually REWARDING that behavior. The way to avoid these things as much as possible is to look and her and really listen to what she's saying the first time she says it. Receive her words with good intentions, even if it feels like a criticism or blame. I think you may have become so shut-off that you no longer see that some of what she says may indeed be valid.

You can't change her, but you can certainly help make an impact on the way things progress by adapting your strategies in a positive, meaningful way. Think about it: how can she be upset with you if you actually listen and speak with her about things? I'm sure even she will appreciate the simple, small step of just being there and engaging. :)
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Your behavior in a way even going into a seperate room is not the best. Your best bet in that situation, and believe me I know from experience is to get out of the house completely so that she starts to realize that you are not going to accept this behavior.

My biggest issue with codependency so far has been the establishing boundaries part. I thought I had boundaries but then I would make excuses or reasons why I would let just that one instance go. I did not want "appeasing" sex, but sometimes I would get so desperate I would intiate just to have any kind of sex. I do not do that anymore, and in just one weeks time of me acting healthy in my marriage my wife is starting to really see that if she wants to be with me, she is going to have to change some serious stuff, and if she does not then she can make someone else miserable. That is the reality you have to live with. Staying in a relatiionship that is abusive in any manner is codependent.

I am not sure if you have read this yet, but another member on here pointed this thread out to me, this will help you, I promise:

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/42520-developing-detachment-letting-go.html
 
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