How to break a co-dependant relationship with my mom


#1

Here is the situation. My mother is a really good enablers. Since I was being tooken care of, I really never had anything to complain about. I am now 40 and I depend way too much on her for emotional support. The worse is, she is not an assertive person, so when I tell her how I plan on setting boundaries, she always talks me out of it and then I resent her for not being supportive. Then she gets mad at me for trying to manipulate her out of her opinion and the fight goes on. This happens all the time.

I am now at a point where I am realizing that for my own sake I need to make changes. I have NO idea how to go about it. Also, I have very little (or practically none) face to face places where I can go for support. Please no one suggest going to a self help or church groups. They have NEVER worked for me in the past. But appart from praying, what are some day to day things I could do to break my patterns?

Thanks

PS I just want to highlight that I have talked to several priest and tried several groups, they have NEVER helped me and please be considerate of the fact that they just don’t work for me. To try and find one would just cause a lot of pain

CM


#2

It's kind of ironic that you enlisted your mother's help in trying to get yourself unaddicted to her help.

Try getting a job, moving out, and stopping telling her about everything you're doing with your life.


#3

The fact that you say she is an enabler implies that you are aware that there is some back and forth going on between you and your mother. Obviously, you are both getting something out of this emotional arrangement.

If you are ready to break this co-dependency, perhaps you can begin by working on yourself first. You don’t need to make a big announcement about your boundaries. Start by deciding that you will cut back on discussing with her what you don’t want her manipulating or commenting on. You don’t need to say “I am not going to talk to you about this anymore,” just don’t.

As far as how to get other help, you might want to skip the groups and try individual counseling. Someone will help you on a one to one basis. If you cannot afford it, there are places that allow you to pay on a sliding scale, so please do not rule it out based on the economics of it.

May God bless you and guide you.


#4

Sorry, I did not make myself clear. I NEVER told her I was going to get out of a co-dependant relationship with her. What I meant is if I need to set a boundary with a neighbour or a co-worker and tell her about it the argument stars

CM


#5

I'd stop talking to her about what you would like for your life and how you hope to accomplish that and just keep the conversations about neutral subjects, such as movie, cooking or books or whatever else you two might have in common. You're never going to break the pattern of behavior and co-dependency if you are still involving her in your day to day life of interacting with other people.

If self help groups haven't helped, have you considered seeing a counselor one on one? Find groups or people that have nothing to do with breaking free from your mom, join a group that is connected to a hobby or another interest. Find any kind of way you can have face to face contact with other people. See if there are any groups that interests you at your church.

It may just come down to limiting your time and conversations with your mom until you get some distance between you and she.


#6

[quote="cmscms, post:4, topic:210793"]
Sorry, I did not make myself clear. I NEVER told her I was going to get out of a co-dependant relationship with her. What I meant is if I need to set a boundary with a neighbour or a co-worker and tell her about it the argument stars

CM

[/quote]

Ok, CM, whatever, ..... this makes no sense to me because it is all self-contradictory and all theoretical.

Do something, i mean, literally do something. Don't keep coming back here and complaining about your life.


#7

[quote="Apollos, post:2, topic:210793"]

Try getting a job, moving out, and stopping telling her about everything you're doing with your life.

[/quote]

[quote="Irishmom2, post:3, topic:210793"]

If you are ready to break this co-dependency, perhaps you can begin by working on yourself first. You don't need to make a big announcement about your boundaries. Start by deciding that you will cut back on discussing with her what you don't want her manipulating or commenting on. You don't need to say "I am not going to talk to you about this anymore," just don't.

[/quote]

The answer to your question is in these two quotes. Cut the cord already. And I am willing to bet that the reason no groups or priests were ever able to help you was either because you didn't do what they told you, or you ignored them because they didn't tell you what you wanted to hear.


#8

Are you asking not to post on this forum anymore? If you really take offense at my post why not simply ignore them?


#9

CM, you gave yourself away when you admitted:

You are about to discover we are no different. One day you will understand why not.

Stop playing the helpless card and get your act together.


#10

Apollos, you have no idea what happened in the groups I attended. It is really easy for you to judge but you are wrong in assuming I am 100 % at fault. And, I don’t feel I need to post what happened in those groups here.

Why are you so insistent in hurting me with you comments?


#11

[quote="cmscms, post:10, topic:210793"]
Apollos, you have no idea what happened in the groups I attended. It is really easy for you to judge but you are wrong in assuming I am 100 % at fault. And, I don't feel I need to post what happened in those groups here. Why are you so insistent in hurting me with you comments?

[/quote]

Because I was once where you are now.


#12

[quote="Apollos, post:11, topic:210793"]
Because I was once where you are now.

[/quote]

hhmmmmm I don't think you mean you were once the target of others cruel comments .........

I don't see how being harsh does me any good


#13

It sounds like you were trying to get your mother to support your efforts to break your dependency from other people in your life but she ended up talking you out of that attempt and that causes the rift between the two of you?

If you recognize your mom as a good enabler, and you acknowledge that you are embroiled in co-dependent relationships with others, you must also concede, then, that you are, at 40 years, a dependent person.

You cannot get your mother or those in your life to change their need to enable. Your mom can't support your attempts toward independence from anybody because from her point of view it's rude, harmful, disrespectful, unkind, etc. Enablers need to be needed in order to feel whole. It's a vicious cycle for all parties, but it's a hidden one as well. Enablers are the sweetest, kindest, most caring people on this earth, but what they do is very harmful to those they love. Death by a thousand kisses and best intentions.

The way to break the co-dependent relationship is by changing your behaviors so that you no longer depend upon the approval/disapproval/advice/guidance of others who do not have your best interest at heart. You must become self sufficient and independent **without **your mom's assistance, cooperation, or blessings.

I suggest you read the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. It might be available at your library.

You want to make changes for your own good. You want someone to guide you through the process. You won't get step by step tips or instructions from members here. You will find people who will support you in your efforts. You will find people who are willing to share their success stories in turning their lives around. You will find people who are willing to pray for you.

The type of guidance and support you need comes from a family therapist who has experience in this particular topic. If you really want to change you, then invest time and energy on that. The rest will follow.


#14

Let's please remember charity when posting.


#15

Wow…what harsh comments made towards you! Some people have no empathy or respect for others. Love thy neighbour…that went out the window in this thread :eek:

I agree with others that you work on becoming more independent slowly and you will need less and less of her help as time goes on.

You are not an extrovert are you? That makes it difficult if you’re a home body. Make a list of things you think you need to do and tackle one at a time.


#16

[quote="GAHere, post:13, topic:210793"]
If you recognize your mom as a good enabler, and you acknowledge that you are embroiled in co-dependent relationships with others, you must also concede, then, that you are, at 40 years, a dependent person..

[/quote]

I agree, that is why I am trying to take steps to change

[quote="GAHere, post:13, topic:210793"]
Enablers need to be needed in order to feel whole. It's a vicious cycle for all parties, but it's a hidden one as well. Enablers are the sweetest, kindest, most caring people on this earth, but what they do is very harmful to those they love. Death by a thousand kisses and best intentions. ..

[/quote]

Wow, you have described my mother to a T. Whenever I bump into someone who knows her they sing praise and remember all the cookies she baked them

Thanks for your encouraging support


#17

Genuine thanks for your support. I was starting to feel unwelcome in this forum


#18

cms,

caustic measures aside, apollos has a point.

as long as you need your mothers apporoval, or as long as you need to prove your rightness (demonstrated by arguing over ANYTHING with her) then you’re in it up to your neck.

right now, you think you want to be free-- on your own to think your own thoughts, do your own thing, be your own person. but usually, the guy (gal) who’s in the codependent relationship being smothered by the enabler DOESNT REALLY WANT to be free of it. ***s/he simply wants the enabler to be more agreeable, less demanding, more deferential, less imposing. *** s/he still wants all the benefits, but just not the personality behind them.

as long as you want your mother to change, you’ll always be stuck in it. as soon as you decide it’s up to YOU to change, then freedom begins to happen.

i learned in AA: **so long as i can blame you, i dont have to change me. ** it’s true of ALL disordered dependencies.

so, let’s assume you REALLY want to change you. the next question is: what’s in your tool kit?

here’s what you NEED in your tool kit:

action.

action and silence. (but not a big showy silence-- like a pantomime that screams “look how i’m ignoring you!” no, a silence of strength and humility. this takes practice so i’ll add one more thing to the list)

action. silence. and self-discipline.

those are your best tools. do those consistently and you’re on your own.

but is that what you really want?

if you begin to change what you want and practice using the tools above, i betcha promise you-- you’ll find a 12 step group or self-help group or priest who CAN help you.

when the student is ready, the teacher appears.


#19

I do appreciate your post. I just want to point out the difference between you and Apollos. You spoke the truth in love. That is what I want from a Catholic forum. Apollos just made sarcatics comments, offered no solution and strongly implied I was not welcome here.

After explaining myself can you now understand why I was so offended by appollos?

CM


#20

I agreee with you. Rude critism is not welcome.


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