Codependent and Hurting

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: My ex and I broke up about a month ago so she could recover from heroin addiction. She cheated on me while on drugs with a girl in another city and is keeping her on as what she calls her “rebound girl” until she can get enough therapy to get back together with me. She acts like we did not even break up until she goes out of town once or twice a month to see this girl and then I turn invisible. This situation is putting me through the ringer and do not know what to do about it because I am the only person in her life helping her through recovery but do not want to feel like I am being toyed with any longer. I am codependent so I know part of my problem is this but I loved her before her addiction. If this continues I do not know if I can make it through her recovery. What do I do?

A: This sounds so painful. I’m sorry that your girlfriend doens’t give you the appreciation you deserve. But she doesn’t. It’s time for you to work on your own issues, not hers. I worry that staying involved with her drama is a way you are distracting yourself from doing the work you need to do on yourself. I suggest you get yourself to an Al-anon meeting. There you will find the support and comfort that comes from being with people who are going through much the same thing. The organization also has some good ways to address the co-dependency. Any minister or rabbi or priest in your town will know where to find Al-anon meetings. Or you can call a local mental health center for information.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Sep 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). Codependent and Hurting. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/09/25/codependent-and-hurting/