In the course of dating a Mr. Unavailable I did many things which I now deeply regret – things that at times make me doubt my own sanity. There is, however, one particular episode which I regret most of all and which illustrates my codependency more than anything else.
In my last post I’ve already pointed out how much I had to suffer due to the fact that the guy I dated was still attached to his exgirlfriend. In the beginning he was very vague about everything. The only thing I knew was basically that he still lived with her and spent a lot of his free time with her. I was convinced that the nature of their relationship was no longer romantic and intimate and I didn’t have a clue that she was obsessed with him. What I also didn’t know in the beginning was that he kept me a secret from her to avoid drama and conflict.
In the first three weeks of dating him we always met in public places. I couldn’t come with him to his place because he was still living with her and he didn’t come to my place because I lived far away from the place we both worked at. As a result, we couldn’t really be intimate with each other and it started to bother us. So when I met him one Sunday he told me he booked a hotel room for us in which we could spend the night and just be together. I was a bit hesitant about this arrangement: Something just didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t know if I was ready for it yet and if it was really what I wanted. However, to not hurt his feelings and given the fact that he had already booked the room, I didn’t say a word or voiced any of my concerns. I just followed along and we went to that hotel room to share some intimate moments.
It felt right though, and I was looking forward to spend the entire night with him. However, after we slept together I noticed that there was something on his mind and that his thoughts were trailing off and I was not getting his full attention. When I asked him about it he told me he was worried about spending the night in the hotel and not returning home to his exgirlfriend. That was the moment I learned she didn’t even know I existed…He said she would totally freak out if she knew about me and he would have to tell her if he spent the night at another place. To cut a long story short: I realized that there was no way we could spend an unburdened night together in that room and that I had to let him go back home. I spent the next three hours in my train back home, feeling used and absolutely devastated.
He told me he owed it to her to first tell her the truth before he could spend the night with me. I realized too late that this was just one more example for the many bullshit statements he was feeding me with. Why was it okay to fuck me without being honest with her first, but not to spend the night?
I felt like a common prostitute…Having sex in a hotel room and then being sent back home due to a hysteric exgirlfriend was not something I ever imagined would happen to me. I always thought of myself as having enough self-respect to let myself be treated this way. As it turned out, I was very wrong. He always told me he didn’t want to hurt her feelings….my feelings apparently never mattered at all. I debased myself and let myself be used…I was turned into an option by someone who was my absolute priority. His exgirlfriend always had priority for him and I was turned into a second-best option, ready to be used whenever he could steal some time. I refused to see this because the realization would have hurt too much. I kept believing that he cared about me, that my feelings still mattered and that soon everything would be different…
Sure I was angry for some time after what had happened, but I somehow swallowed my hurt pride and pain quite fast and soon acted as if nothing had happened. He went on disrespecting me and leaving me feel unaprecciated and fooled. Why should he have changed his behavior given the fact that I allowed him to step all over me?
More than anything else this episode underlines that being codependent makes you act like a person without any self-worth and self-respect. We are so desperate for love and attention that we sometimes let ourselves be treated with disregard and disrespect and still return to our Mr. Unavailables without having second thoughts. It turns into a vicious circle: Because we have low self-esteem, we allow them to treat us with neglect and disrespect. This treatment further lowers our self-esteem and is interpreted by us as a proof for our lack of self-worth: Surely we don’t deserve any better…Surely we are treated with so little respect because that is all we deserve?
I was so desperate for love, care and attention that I kept going back to him. He was held by his exgirlfriend like a dog on a leash and I allowed him to treat me like a secondary option. Looking at all of it in retrospect makes me feel like a fool and seriously doubt myself. How could I allow someone to treat me like this? Why did I never really question what was going on? Why did I swallow my pain and never confront him about what he was doing to me? Being second in line after an exgirlfriend really doesn’t do your self-esteem any good. It makes you believe you are not even good enough to deserve someone’s undivided and heartfelt attention. And – as it was in my case – it makes you become obsessed: I spent so many days and nights thinking about the two of them, being jealous of what they had, wondering why I didn’t deserve the same love and care that she did…
The only thing I can do is hope that I’ve learned something from all of this…I never want to end up feeling like I felt on that train ride back home ever again. There are no words to describe how hurt and frustrated I was…