Thank You

Welcome to my website. Click to get your 14 Tips for Letting Go.” You might also enjoy other articles and blog posts on my website, including one about letting go. While you’re there, you can subscribe to monthly updates by clicking the Bookmark tab on your browser.

I hope you’re enjoying daily tips and information on my page at CodependencyRecovery. Below are links to Codependency for Dummies and my new book, Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You. My ebooks 10 Steps to Self-Esteem, Codependency Daily Reflections, and How to Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive & Set Limits are available at Amazon and B&N. You can also click links at the bottom of this email.

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Darlene Lancer

Author of Codependency for Dummies
and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You
Ebooks: 10 Steps to Self-Esteem: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism, Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps, and How To Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits. For daily reminders, get my ebook of 365 Codependency Recovery Daily Reflections.
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43 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. Hello I’m
    Writing on behalf of my husband he has abandonment and rejection issues. His father was abusive and him and his brother and emotionally absent mother ran away at 3 years old he was told at nine how his father was a monster and ruined so many peoples life’s but only loved my husband. His mother continued to put herself first got a boy friend alcoholic who turned out to b gay. He put all his problems in a box for 17 years now he joined Facebook a year ago to find family and one by one was rejected as they all had their own lives leaving him to feel like the cycle of rejection has happened again. Now he’s left a very angry and bitter

  2. im 25 years old and I had some relationships.Now I believe I have found the man of my life and I have told him everything except 2 experiences that I am ashame to talk about. Guilt of not telling him is killing me. I dont know what to do

  3. I have a grocers list of things wrong with me. I know it’s more than just major depression. Isolation is my best friend yet I cry bc I am lonely. Reading previous posts here describe me all too well. I don’t want to be unhealthy yet somehow things really click when me nd my other codependant have good days. But the flip side is pure hell. I only know that at 47 I truly nd finally want marriage, but feel it’s just a fantasy. A healthy marriage might I add. I’ve never been married….too afraid

    • Go to 12-Step meetings and get counseling. Crying alone likely repeats a pattern of emotional abandonment reinforcing shame and depression from childhood. Do the exercises in Conquering Shame and Codependency for Dummies.

  4. Hi, I have found your YouTube very exciting. My dad used to beat and shame me in front of others, no matter how much I’d try to please him..I’d even imitate him but that would never end up good. I ended up seeking male friends who used me. I have been used for money and as a doormat. I’d walk away and come back running. It took me a lot time to accept I’m codependent. I have been seeing a therapist and improving. But I had huge relapse thought of suicide. Then I saw your videos and finally came to terms…how can I learn to love myself? When I now think of hose guys I ask what am I seeking and I know the answer is love n validation from them

      • Thanks I have been watching your videos. Every time I try to run back I stop ask myself why am I wanting to go back? The answers is validation and fear of loneliness. And I now tell myself I love myself and it is helping 🙂

  5. Where do I start? I have violated my own moral beliefs so many times, caused harm to others, not intentionally, but through neglect of both myself and others emotional needs. I have had anxiety for 2 yrs. due to overwhelming shame. I walk around day to day avoiding eye contact, or any real discussion. The guilt has turned to resentment, which I am afraid of. I’m starting to blame my husband for how I feel, which causes more guilt cause I know he’s not at fault. I’m in counseling, but secretly believe my counselor blames me too for all these feelings. I’m hanging by a thread. I feel everyone around me blames me for this. I am far from happines

  6. I’m tired of my own emotional attachment issues. I want to be free of constantly needing verbal propping up from others, strokes, feeling ‘ok’ about everything & everyone and having them feel that way about me, and so on. I read where emotional attachers like myself were raised by over protective parents, could that be the root problem? Whatever the root problem, I want to “root it out”! I’m 54, can I possibly change though? I want to be more ‘attractive’ to others, not nec. the opposite sex- I want clients & friends to like me I don’t want to need them so much, I hate my neediness. thank you

  7. I recently, well actually 9 months ago, separated from my husband. I was married for 18 years, he was an active alcoholic for 14 years, a serial cheater for 15 and cold, and mean more often than not (just verbally). Since then I feel hopelessly lost. I’m so lonely. I text a couple guy friends I have repeatedly, probably to the annoying state, I scroll through facebook for hours on end and have trouble working or finding any satisfaction in life. The past 2 years I lived part-time in a second home to avoid hollering, people and it seemed like me and my husband could co-exist better that way. Help me find meaning!!!!

  8. Hi, Im not close to my husband of 17 yrs. We have 2 high needs children, who take allot out of me. 1 struggles with Mental Health Issues & Suicidal Idealisation & other younger one development delay & now an eat disorder. They require massive amounts of patients, time & counsel from me, they also C professionals. I work also,no choice. Husb helps by cook’g a meal or vac if i’m having a bad day. Truth is, my days R long and tough, just some R worse than others. He doesn’t share my pain, as he’s not in my world. He Watches TV & helps with chores if asked. I can’t afford to leave him & resent his lazy fathering. No break for me kids on me .

  9. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage. The ex-wife was a RX drug addict that had her last overdose and passed several years ago. I have raised their daughter since she was age 4. She is now soon to turn 18. The daughter has been very hard to raise not only with her own power struggles and resistance with me, but my husband undermines everything I try to do with raising her to the point of them both bonding over being against me. She moved to live with her G-ma which only lasted 2 months, then moved to live with her aunt which only lasted 4 months. The daughter resists any type of authority over her and has the same characteristics of her drug addicted mother such as: plays the victim, blames others, ruins relationships, depression, manupulative, hurts herself for attention, etc. I am now to the point where I cannot have her a part of my life. She is too toxic. My husband is now divorcing me because she cannot be a part of my life. I believe that they, my husband and his daugher, are co-dependent. My husband is giving up his wife and two other kids.

  10. I can sympathize with so many individuals’ emotions on this page. The majority of them are from women who have been hurt or victimized. I know from experience that it is all too easy to develop a toxic hatred and distrust for the opposite gender.

    I can also tell you, from the perspective of a codependent man, that we fall victim to all of the same forms of cruelty and hurt at the hands of the wrong women. There is no gender requirement for being cruel to another human being.

    The above-mentioned CoDA meetings have been a godsend for me. It has helped me to see my own forms of hurt and pain reflected from females within the group. It is helping me to deal with my fear of intimacy and what was a growing, unrational, unfair, and ultimately self-destructive mistrust of women.

    The CoDA meetings are wonderful. I’m thankful that I stumbled across this website today, as I’m dealing with a tremendous amount of hurt right now.

    May everyone who has posted above find their healing and peace.

  11. In your blog “14 tips for Letting Go”, you mention the Four Don’ts. I dont understand one of the 4’s – Dont Watch. What is meant by “Dont Watch”? Thank you.

    • Glad you asked. “Don’t watch” means to keep your eyes on yourself. Codependents tend to focus on their loved ones, try to figure out what they’re thinking, evaluate what they’re doing, and decide what’s best for them. Healing requires developing a relationship with yourself. Watch yourself!

  12. Hi Darlene-
    My husband (currently in the process of divorce) married 2 years- together 8. We were trying to have a family for 2 years.. Underwent IVF & had 2 miscarriages, & 100k later. He decided to have an emotional affair with my friend (neighbor). He was treating me very poor and emotionally disconnected from me and found his secret cell phone a month later. He has left me for her, and now I’m facing abandonment issues. And I know now I have issues with co-dependency and should have seen red flags in the beginning of our relationship- he has patterns of being selfish with low self-esteem and broke up several times with having different girls on his arm early in the stages of dating. I am not close with my mother- she had me very young and single and my dad has been out of the picture for over 10 years. I’m afraid I won’t be able to develop the correct healthy long term relationship due to these issues.

    • People do heal from all sorts of trauma. A good CoDA support group and therapy can turn your life around, but it will also take work and determination on your part. Do the exercises in my book and find someone to help guide you through these changes and learning to value yourself. Be patient and fogiving with yourself, too. Darlene

    • Hi Krystal,
      I’m curious, how are you doing? I do hope you took all of Darlene’s advice. Growing pains hurt and they are well worth it!!!


  13. I have been struggling with this issue with my last relationship of 5 years and this current one of 2 1/2 years. This current one is long distance and makes it even more difficult. I have a lot of issues with trust and deep down in my gut, I know I need to let go but theres always a glimmer of hope and I hold on. Clearly I see that its been negatively affecting my life. any advice for how to cope with this would be greatly appreciated

    • The fact that the relationship is long distance is part of the problem. If you have issues with trust, you’re better off avoiding long-distance relationships, so that you can get your needs met. See my two blog posts on Trust I and II. There’s also another post on letting go. Trust is a problem for codependents, and recovery will make you less dependent on others and help you make better choices. My best suggestion is to do the exercises in my book, and work on any childhood issues around trust.

  14. I’ve been married 35 years to a man I have been with since I was 19. He chased me very long and hard, and i finally fell for him. He had a 2 one night stands early in our marriage which devastated me, but I didn’t have the strength to leave. That set me on a path to retaliate, and i had a brief affair of my own. We pulled it together and had many “happy” years and 2 exceptional kids, but always had issues in the bedroom. We could never really talk about sex, and I wanted to teach him or explore with him how to please me, but it just made him insecure that he couldn’t. Sex became less and less, even though I tried to engage him emotionally to be close, he was always “all talk and no action”. After i began catching him lying repeatedly, he would always have some way to explain his way out of things and I would choose to believe him because I wanted to I guess. Lies kept continuing, big and small, until I made him sleep in the guest room. I kicked him out after he came home at 3:00 am from a “business meeting”, he gave very detailed descriptions of the supposed real estate deal, but I found a recorded voice message on his phone from a woman who was looking forward to seeing him… Sometime later i allowed him to move into the guest house on our property- after his promises to change and that telling me what I wanted to hear – he wanted to prove his love and woo me back. Then NOTHING. Soon afterwards we were sued by a partner for unethical behavior by my husband, and I am also named in the suit because I am an officer in our corporation – yet my husband had never informed me that he had made me an officer, nor was I involved in his business. Lots of fear and anger and panic attacks later, and here I am standing by him again. We have been separated for over 3 years, agreeing not to date others, just in limbo. Doing our dance. 7 months ago we decided to really try to reoncile, but it felt “off”. I asked if there was someone else, and he said no. We went even away for a romantic 35th anniversary weekend, but he got too drunk to have sex with me and avoided intimacy on the other nights. 2 weeks ago i caught him in another lie, and realized he hadn’t been at his home on our property. He finally admitted he had met someone else, but said it had only gone on a few weeks and he could stop. I realized by looking back at old texts, that for aYEAR there would be times I couldn’t reach him, or he wasn’t home very early in the morning, yet he alway had a work excuse or plausible explanation. For a year he has had another woman in his life, while at the same time pretending to be courting me and being a parent to our 17 year old son. I finally got the picture. Im a very slow learner. I am married to a compulsive lier, philanderer (most likely throughout our marriage) and an unethical man. He was still waking up in another woman’s bed then walking into our home to speak to me “so confused…” I can finally say am through and mean it, and I’m taking the steps to dissolve our marriage, yet he’s bobbing and weaving as usual. I am tying to understand my roll in this sick situation, how I could have been so blind to what was really going on, and I found your side. I need help to let go emotionally, and not get sucked into his manipulations, and my circling thought patterns about him and another. This is so difficult. I find myself having to stay disgusted with him to keep myself sane. This is shocking for me to even read. Im ashamed and stunned and numb.

    • Sometimes an existential moment such as this when we see ourselves and our part in a problem is a wake-up call – a pivotal opportunity to begin anew and change our patterns. See my coming blog – After Adultery. It sounds like you’ve been married to an addict, and you both have been in denial. His lying has contributed to your lack of trust in yourself and undermined you. (Did you see the movie “Gaslight” – often mentioned in Al-Anon) Although, we don’t choose whom we love, the reasons lie within ourselves, influenced by our self-esteem and the strength of our identity. These are damaged in codependents, but can be healed with attention and support of a coach, therapist, or 12-Step Program. Best wishes in this new chapter of your life.

  15. I’m sure I’ve somehow been shown your pages for a very good reason I have been married for 29 years I’ve learnt that I am a codependent and an enabler! What I’m reading is me to a tee I was unhappy in my marriage but I was too scared to leave,my husband emotionally and sexually abused me yet I felt guilty! I never felt like he loved me now I know I don’t love me! How do I get through this pain of losing my husband how can I be happy to be free but have this heart wrenching pain that longing for him, how can I hate him yet love him? How do I love myself? My husband cheated several times during our marriage yet I turned a blind eye I blamed myself for not being everything he desired now he has left me for a girl younger than our daughter! How do I not take this personally my heart is shattered I’m so lost and afraid of what my life will be will I ever feel loved? How do I learn to let him go?

    • I can hear the torment you’re putting yourself through with guilt, shame, and grief. Three things you need to know: 1. We don’t choose whom we love; 2. Love and hate easily co-exist; and 3. We’re not responsible for other people’s feelings or actions, only our own. You turned over your self-esteem to him long ago, and he obviously has none, also. See my blogs on self-nurturing, infidelity, and overcoming guilt, and I recommend my books and ebooks to you. There are reasons you allowed what you did that originate in your childhood. So psychotherapy, a 12-Step group, and doing the self-help exercises in my books will help you rebuild your life in the coming year – a good time to begin. You definitely need support until you can learn to support yourself better. It will take time, so be gentle with yourself along the way. Best wishes for your rebirth!

  16. Hi…
    I love how honest and true you are, Darlene.
    I trust you.
    I would like to ask you a question.
    I have been with my guy for 3 years (he 34 now, me 26). we confused our roles – he was emotionally unavailable, i was love avoidant – everything was towards our parents but we took the pain instead!
    I left, but he kept begging, chasing and trying to hide his love just to be with me as a friend for another year. I kept being cold and did not accept him but we ewre very close. Now I matured and after another (fifth) year of seeing eachother, named my feelings and said that I want to be together forever, I accepted him fully and let him in. But he instantly changed and starrted running away. Ive been in agony, for 5 months he kept ‘trying to commit’ again like he used to when he was chasing me, but finally said that he cant commit, ants to be alone and doesnt know hy. I know these patterns. We were both love addicts but he ended up as a No-Man, very bruised and desnt have contact with himself. I changed and opened up, and now I keep fighting for our bonds – he wants to be friends, best friends, but when I seek true, honest contact, having accepted that he doesnt want to be with me ! – he withdraws. He manages to talk only about causal things and is panicking when I talk to him like he is important and loved.
    It hurts. I keep telling him that I just want to be a friend, like he asked me and actually he kept chasing me as a friend and telling me he needs me.
    I dont know, is there a way to tame my beloved beast that is in such fear of his own feelings??
    I told him that I love him unconditionally but cannot take his conditions – that he avoids me and then pretends that nothing happens, because he has a problem with his suppressed feelings, and yet wants to call that a friendship and insists that I come closer whenevr I leave him alone in his world.
    Can you give me advice or explanation, how I should treat myself here?
    I want to fight for the bond with him, I know it takes lots of time to heal wounds that he isnt even ready to admit – but I know that when he loved me for a year unconditionally, I healed. and realised whom he is to me.
    But it hurts. I guess only mature honesty and naming my feelings is the way to be – he might loose me if he chooses lack of contact and yet wants to be someone important.
    I’d be grateful for any tips on how to be wise here – I dont want to be an addict. I want to lead my own beautiful life, but I also want him in my life and I dont know how to invite him , for he seems to be a child that is very curious and seeks love, and yet too timid to pass the door.
    LOVE !!

    • Love addiction can be so painful. You know what it’s like when you were pursued, and for 5 yrs. it didn’t make you commit. Nothing comes of pursuing a distancer. You two have just swapped roles. Read my blog, The Dance of Intimacy aka The Relationship Duet under Articles. There’s nothing you can do to help or change him. You each have to face yourselves and build your self-esteem to feel worthy of and not fear love. My concern would be not the commitment, but the behavior, which sounds like one of you will always be unhappy. Maybe it’s time to move on. My book, Codependency for Dummies has an entire chapter devoted to what makes healthy relationships and intimacy. Building self-esteem and autonomy are the keys. Best wishes to you.

      • Thank you !!!!
        I fortunately am at point of building myself and being not afraid to go separate ways, if that’s the fate. I will definitely read your works!! I have an outline for a novel about my journey with this person. I will send a copy to you one day!
        I have just sent him a message, that we cannot (and nobody should) stay in an unprecised relationship.He asks me to stay and be important, and then is unavailable. I’ve been there, I know that only I could change my will and opened up. Yet, he gave me the ground – showed me how dear I was to him.
        I told him that because I found faith, I have no doubts that we are spiritually connected, and I have no fear of saying goodbye on the surface – if he is not ready to deepen the contact we seem to be craving.
        I told him I will always love him and always greet him with arms wide open, be it after 15 years – as the dearest friend. But it hurts now and we seem to be in different places as developing people. I feel at peace.
        BEst !!!
        M <3

  17. I’ve been married 19 yrs. First I learned to feel guilty if I didn’t meet my husbands “needs” from our church of 11 yrs. (we no longer go). Then when I turned 40, I decided to be true to myself. I allowed him to make me feel guilty EVERY night we don’t have sex. It’s a VERY heavy energy and I KNOW it’s his. I’ve read that this is a form of sexual abuse. I know I enabled him due to our religious beliefs, but I’ve created a monster who’s addicted to sex and gets his self-esteem through it. His emotional abuse technique is the silent & angry treatment. VERY heavy! I feel used.
    Sex has been made out to be bad to do it if you’re not married and bad not to do it if you are. So, sex has always had that “bad” attached to it. I have done a lot of work on myself, since I thought it was my fault that I didn’t feel like having sex and am able to have sex without feeling it’s bad, but when my husband does the sulking or guilt trip, I get angry and then sex seems bad again because I am not being true to myself.
    Thanks for your website and articles, they have been very helpful.

    • I love your comment. Yes. Women were always taught that sex was bad before marriage and an obligation before. Religion has made sex sinful, instead of natural and beautiful. I hope you’ve read my blog and article on sex. Also, you probably don’t want sex if he’s emotionally abusive, and your body has wisdom. So, please don’t make yourself feel guilty to add to your pain. Let him know that he has to please you and earn your love to make you desire him. Read my blog on self-forgiveness and get my ebook on self-esteem.

  18. Thank you, Darlene! I enjoy reading articles and I am looking forward to see more of your writings. All the best to you

  19. hello, i’m 35 yrs old my fiancee 28 we been together for almost 7 yrs.i have 3 kid’s in past relationship. he has 2 from past relationship…but 3 yrs ago he cheated on me.had twins(boys).i felt stupid no good.we got back together.2nd time he cheated on me 2011 2012 he cheated on me with a younger girl 19yrs old….i found that out so he left me.i met someone else.we clicked like magnets.i was in love with him he really liked me.but he was married.i didn’t like that much at says thou shalt not sleep with a married man.i did it was stupid of both of us.i left him alone. i felt it wasn’t my ex found he left the girl alone and i left the man alone..but i slept with someone else he burst in my door caught me in action.i regret everything I’m ashamed of myself we got back together.we still he brings up that man.asking why i don’t show my emotions towards him whenever we have sex or make love.i tried kissing him on the lips you know french kiss everything.he pushes when he touches me i jump.why?i love this man i really do we engaged.its stressing me out.i lost all my hair with an self confidence n self esteem is already scrambled.i don’t want to loose him.need help

    • You have to ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Your fiance has given plenty of reasons not to trust him or want to be close, even though you love him. He has hurt you in the past. Also, your own shame and low self-esteem may make you afraid of getting close and being open, then fearing rejection again. Work on your self-esteem. There are lots of tools to do that in my books. Your hair will grow back by itself, but growing your self-esteem will take focused work on your part. It can’t come from a man.

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