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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ending Co-dependency: How Do You Let Go of Emotionally Unavailable People?

Have you ever tried to let go of an emotionally unavailable person? How did you do it? I want to read your thoughts so please comment away. Too many times, women & men, but especially women, do the co-dependency thing especially when we try to love emotionally unavailable men. At times, we are the ones that are emotionally unavailable. I was researching this topic and ran into the website ofRobert Burney a Spiritual Teacher, codependence counselor, grief therapist, and author.

I think Burney hits the nail on the head when it comes to the destructive nature of co-dependency with this excerpt below. "In our disease defense system we build up huge walls to protect ourselves and then - as soon as we meet someone who will help us to repeat our patterns of abuse, abandonment, betrayal, and/or deprivation - we lower the drawbridge and invite them in. We, in our Codependence, have radar systems which cause us to be attracted to, and attract to us, the people, who for us personally, are exactly the most untrustworthy (or unavailable or smothering or abusive or whatever we need to repeat our patterns) individuals - exactly the ones who will "push our buttons." This happens because those people feel familiar. Unfortunately in childhood the people whom we trusted the most - were the most familiar - hurt us the most. So the effect is that we keep repeating our patterns and being given the reminder that it is not safe to trust ourselves or other people .

Once we begin healing we can see that the Truth is that it is not safe to trust as long as we are reacting out of the emotional wounds and attitudes of our childhoods. Once we start Recovering, then we can begin to see that on a Spiritual level these repeating behavior patterns are opportunities to heal the childhood wounds."

"I spent most of my life being the victim of my own thoughts, my own emotions, my own behaviors. I was consistently picking untrustworthy people to trust and unavailable people to love. I could not trust my own emotions because I was incapable of being honest with myself emotionally - which made me incapable of Truly being honest on any level." The quotes are from his book "Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls--A Cosmic Perspective on Codependence and the Human Condition."

Have you ever been in a co-dependent relationship? A relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, how did you get out of it? Were you the emotionally unavailable person? How did you make yourself emotionally available?


My 2 cents said...

This is such a coincident because I was having this exact conversation with a girlfriend last night.

She is divorcing her second husband(she's 30) because he has suddenly become emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually unavailable to her.

She saw this traces in the first husband, left him and somehow married someone else with like manners.

it becomes a repetitive cycle if one is not careful.

I am always quick to jump off the train when a partner/friend/acquintance becomes unavailable. I am a little too busy to share my time and resources with anyone that doesn't have the same intentions. said...

@my 2cents. Thanks for sharing. It can be very difficult to break the repetitive cycle because it necessarily means taking a deep look at inner self. depending on one's past, that is a very very tough thing to do, trust me. But, I think with determination and friends who care,like you, your friend can break that cycle. Hopefully you help her see the light.

Anonymous said...

I spend this evening researching the topic on the internet...having just been involved with a man who may be emotionally unavailable. I am still a little unsure whether he is or not as:

1) He said we have moved beyond game playing as we know we like each other

2) He tells me to not be insecure with him in the sack as can't i tell he fancies me like mad and thinks I am glorious

3) He tells me that he is comfortable with me and that he cares for me

4) BUT at the same time he also said he feels free to be in the relationship because I don't live in the same country as him. If I did, he would have to think about the relationship and decide if it would go forward

5) He's also not in a financially secured position and said that he can't really have a girlfriend now

6) When I was in his city for business we saw each other twice a week but in between he had a busy social life with his friends and didn't include me (He did however take me to a weekend where I met some of his parents' friends)

Can someone please translate all this for me and explain if you think the man is emotionally unavailable? said...

@anonymous: I think he is a player and also highly disrespectful of you. His actions also seem to echo the book titled, "He's not that into you." He only "fancies you like mad when you are in the sack." What an idiot! It's the whole non-exclusive BS where he wants to eat his cake and have it. Beyond the fact that he is a health risk to you, he could also ruin you emotionally.

I think you should take a personal inventory of self and ask why you are still pursuing this "relationship" and what you want from it. Is he giving you what you want/need? I think not. Find the courage and strength to move on.

fritzzy said...

I just let go of mine...he is recently separated but obviously still not divorced! He would rather spend time with his friends, work, he is tired, or sick at don't know when you will hear from him, does not call to see how i am doing, mostly communicates by text or emails, not available for dates but only for sex on a 5 minutes notice...the list goes on and one...I was with him on and off for a year and a half and he came on very strong at first...telling me how much he loves me, that i am perfect, intelligent, the most gorgeous woman in the world, and then everything revolves around only hear from him via constant emails and texts when he wants to have sex with you...then he is not present and very distant for one or two days and again you will hear from him...the cycle goes on and on. There is no consistency in that person and it is not because you are too demanding or needy, it is because he cannot give you what you need and deserve. I finally put a final stop to it, understanding my behavior, that my constant need for attention in a relationship with men makes me get into really bad relationships with men that i don't even really like. I have never been single and i know that all these issues are due to my past and my parents' divorce and the fact that my dad was never around when i was little. He has made up for it now but i probably never got over it subconsciously. I realize that when something feels wrong, you have to trust your instinct...from the beginning...otherwise things just get worse and worse. It's one thing to want to make someone a better person but there are things so fundamental that cannot be changed in a emotional availability...if you feel that he is not spending as much time with you as he should, that he does not call you or communicate with you as much as he should, that he is distant, that you feel empty and lonely without him...there is a good reason for is not necessarily because of is him who makes you feel that way and you need to look elsewhere for someone who can make you feel loved, and cared for...there are men like that out there...just think of one person who has a great relationship and try to make an example out of it...that's all i can say!

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