View Full Version : need to make him happy at all costs?

12-25-2011, 02:40 PM
A psychiatrist in the in-patient ED program I was just in (for a relapse of my anorexia)informed me that I'm extremely codependent, and it's making me sicker and sicker. Another words, I sacrifice my own life, happiness, and especially health to try to make my husband happy. He refuses to treat his clinical depression so I never succeed. I feel like if I can't make him happy I don't deserve to be happy. I've been doing it for nine years and don't know how to stop. I'm a people-pleaser by nature. Do I have to change my nature? How?

12-25-2011, 05:36 PM
Hi recovering,

It sounds like you need to give some thought to what you can and cannot control. You cannot control whether your husband will treat his depression, and as a result you know that you yourself cannot be the one to make him happy. Is it worth sacrificing your health and yourself for something that you know is fruitless. I think the best thing that you can do is to work on yourself and on your ED recovery. Working on my own recovery helped me to understand what things I coudl actually accomplish and what was fruitless. It helped me to learn to set my own boundaries and how to be supportive without losing myself.

Think about being a people-pleaser to yourself, rather than someone else. You'll probably get a lot further.

12-28-2011, 01:09 AM
It isn't your responsibility to "save" him--that is HIS responsibility and job to make himself happy. Al-Anon is a good place to work on codependency, boundaries and detatchment. He is completely capable himself, you can not will for him to live, he must do so...for himself. People come into the world alone and go alone...you can't really ever help anyone except yourself. Sure, you can suggest that he see a mental health professional or drive him to an appointment if he is that down. Ultimately, it is his choice. Instead of looking in the mirror at your own issues and working on those, you are focusing on the helping him to avoid yourself.

I do not have a negative or mean intent to this post. I used to do the same thing...when you realize that you wasted the best years of your life trying to solve other peoples' problems...I never did ever really truly help any of the exes. Good luck.

12-28-2011, 01:52 AM
You can certainly change the tendencies that keep you trapped in this. You cannot change him or save him but you can save you. And sometimes that is much more helpful to the other person.
The present situation is bad for both of you as without you he may be forced to face his issues.

It takes hard work and perseverance and the support of t in this can be extremely helpful.