Why I think Michael is also a co-dependent and why we had to end.
Think about what we co-dependents do... what we need. We need people to need us, so that we can help and fix them. We get our gratification from it.
Michael did everything; controlled mostly everything we did down to cooking, the movies we watched, even interrupted my explanation of my relationship with someone 16 years my junior because he thought he knew best why I participated in that relationship. Me needing to make sure he was comfortable with the relationship, let him think what he needed as to avoid confrontations or to cause disappointment in me. I justified this by thinking it was just normal sacrifices one makes in a relationship or just me picking my battles.
I was just as controlling by the way that I controlled this situation, the mood, allowing HIM to make most of the decisions, holding my tongue (I've gotten better about this however), my sexuality... always giving the illusion of sex goddess (I do this well). It has gotten to the place that I feel like my sex always has to be "A Show."
In many ways Michael, belittled some of the things I liked, if he didn't share an interest in them (wasn't many things; however). I watched every movie he'd sent me or placed on my hard drive. I sent him a movie to watch and he never would watch it. Every time I'd ask about it, he made some passive excuse.
I started to notice he did this with any subject he wasn't comfortable with... his future, my job situation at the time, his mental issues at began to be very familiar to me because I suffer from depression also. The difference between he and I; I've faced my demons because I want to live a healthy and happy life.
Once this can of worms had been opened, there is no where to hide except in withdrawing.
But I digress... Let's focus on what feeds a co-dependent person. a Narcissist. Narcissistic Relationships will require lots of energy and work, because narcissists are in constant need for outside support and approval. Once these needs are fulfilled they feel powerful, but many times this need will be very hard to be satisfied and the self image and the peace of the co-dependent partner may be dramatically impacted. Some co-dependents will thrive on the "drama" of the Narc person I believe because they feel they have to do more to prove their love.
Michael's description of his last two girlfriends fit this mold. Esp the last one. Nothing he did was good enough. She was argumentative and never completely satisfied.
Me; I think I gave the illusion of being "needy" in the beginning because of my financial situation and me "letting" him take the lead. Because I've done it so much in my previous relationships, I was happy to take the back seat. This was all good until, he started exhibiting certain behaviors I was familiar with.
This is where I WAS THE FIXER because I have come to terms with my depression. Michael didn't like being scrutinized or assisted by me despite saying he it was ok (even asking for me to give him the push he needed). As I said before, after this can was opened, I couldn't close it. I couldn't pretend he didn't have these issues.
He withdrew more and more, not wanting to FACE his issues and I think resenting me more and more for knowing he had them. He tried everything in his power to down play it. When we were together, he'd keep me so busy we'd never have time to talk about "us" which would include "dealing with things." He then begin indulging in his computer games, sleeping a lot, searching ladies profiles on the website we met on. God only knows what else.
When I read the paragraph below on a website... it gave me so much insight:
"Withdrawal from the relationship can help both persons in this case. This is because the relationship has become the drug in this case. The relationship does not have to be totally terminated, but taking time off from one another is needed. Going to therapy and counseling sessions together can deeply help the chances of recovering from codependency. Once the codependent person is not able to have anyone to take care of or that needs them, they are better able to put themselves more into counseling and therapy which gives them a step above when it comes to being successful. Group and individual therapy might be necessary. This is to help boost confidence, and find yourself again since you were lost in the addicted person before. Rehabilitation centers that the addict goes into will treat them for codependency as well. This will not only help with the codependency, but also to fight the addiction that they have."
As courageous as it would be to know this is what Michael did or why he separated himself from me, I don't believe it is the case. I think he just had to get away from the person that would un-cover the mirror so he would be forced to see his own reflection.
Two co-dependence do not work unless both realize what they are and want to be healed from the destructive behavior. I do... I chose to stay out of a relationship until I feel "happy" on my own.