Ask an expert
Question

06 Dec 2005

Co-dependancy
Hi Cybershrink

I have started reading a book on codependancy, it is aimed mostly at people who live with alcoholics or substance abusers, but applies to many situations. In mine it applies to my feelings that my husband is irresponsible, so I have become an insecure control freak.

My problem is that I have a very responsible job, and have to take care of alot of things (many of them not really part of my job description) but I do them anyway. I am kind of "mom" here at work as I have been here the longest and it is a case of "if I dont do it no one will". I have tried the whole delegating thing, but people just dont do things properly (ie. not my way). When it does not get done properly others run to me and I sort it out. Do you see the control freak problem???!!! I have tried sending them back to the person who is responsible but I dont really have the authority to enforce it.

Now this carries over to my home life in a big way. I am a problem solver and aggressive sometimes in getting things done. My husband is a problem avoider, so I leave something until it starts irritating me or affecting me, I do the whole "you had better sort this out" thing, and then eventually I just sort it out myself. I dont feel good about this, just pissed off that it became my problem.

The book suggests firstly that you practice detachment from others problems and feelings and let them deal with their own shit. (My mom has been telling me the same thing for years). This is all very fine and well, but HOW????? Do I seriously just ignore the effects of the things he does not do? You have no idea how hard that is for me. I will give you an example: He paid his provisional tax late one year and ended up paying R12000 in fines and penalites, that is a hell of a lot of money. The next year he again did not do his taxes on time, I started panicking and nagging him. (I did not know he had moved over to normal tax and he did not tell me). I stressed about it for months and eventually made an appointment with a tax consultant and dragged him there and did his tax for him. We fought about it big time until it was done.

Now I could have just ignored it, but we cant afford to pay such enormous fines (geez who can?).

The other thing is he is up to his eyeballs in debt with his credit cards and overdraft. He spends money he does not have on all kinds of things, presents for the kids, computer stuff - things that are good on one hand but not good if you dont have money. It stresses me out, because I am careful with my money but if I hit trouble (ie. interest rates go up) he wont be able to help me. (Control freak thing again).

I see my behaviour is nuts, no one can control the future, but hell a person can plan and be carefull!!! The only way I can see myself feeling secure is if I am completely financially independant of him, but that is difficult with three kids. So what do I do?
Answer 465 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Sorry to hear that the book while explaining the existence of the problem, fails to explain HOW to do what is needed --- I'd have thought that would be the main pojt of such a book !
It sounds like his financial irresponsibility and carelessness is the real problem, rather than any "codependent" tendencies on your part. It isn; being a control freak to want to avoid easily avoidable chaos ! SHouldn't he be seeing a counsellor ?
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.