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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

The Mess that Did Me Good!

The Mess That Did Me Good!

October 15, 2001 


I'm from Melbourne, Australia, and am writing in response to J's story, A Guy's Love Addiction. I got into a really messy online relationship at the end of 1998, which ran until the beginning of this year. I know the attitude of most people will probably be that exclusively online relationships can't happen, but unfortunately they can...

I don't really need to relive the ins and outs of what happened *exactly*  since I've decided that I'm moving on in life, but I will say a few things.

The woman in question, Nina, eventually got involved with a local man in America 12 months into our online entanglement. Every couple of months she would go and stay with him for a few weeks, and be extremely cold towards me, not only in any email she sent while she was with him, but for about another two weeks after she got back. She didn't have that much to do with me as long as her new boyfriend, Donny, was around. She didn't feel the need to communicate with me when she wasn't alone. I want to emphasize here that I wasn't completely innocent. I treated her very badly at times in terms of what I said to her. My guilt over that is part of why it was so hard to let her go. Good point, but I think your guilt would have been more appropriate had it been directed towards what you were allowing yourSelf to tolerate!

I found this site with a keyword search on Yahoo for Shakespeare's quote, "To thine own self be true." I was looking for that for Nina. Before what happened between us, she had had at least 20 relationships that I knew of (she is 39; I am 24), including often just sexual liaisons with married as well as single men.

Anyway, the thing with Donny: she is now selling out in exactly the same way that your site describes. Like you had too, though I know you know that now. He is an uncharismatic individual, basically devoid of personality. She is attempting to force her personality to mirror his as you've described some codependent people doing. She has often expressed uncertainty about him, including uncertainty over whether he loves her, or indeed is capable of love. But she also continues to reassure herself for the most part that everything is fine. The reason she does that is because materially speaking, Dan is a great provider. The only real problem with him is that he is an extremely conservative, materialistic, and utterly pedestrian bore,  who is totally incompatible with her more spirited personality. But given his stability and his ability to provide for her materially, she chooses to remain with him.. She has had so many bad relationships in the past that although desperate not to be alone, she doesn't want to have to bother actively looking for someone.

I have accepted that her desire to remain with him is her business and am in the process of moving on, which brings me to my main point:

This past year has been the worst of my life. I have been on antidepressants, habitual alcohol, have been bedridden with depression, and have contemplated suicide at times, all because of my reaction to  Nell moving in with Donny. Due to many childhood problems with my mother, and previous bad experiences with women, I even went through a period where I considered the possibility of homosexuality. That wouldn't have fixed anything. You'd just end up in the same mess with a guy.

The one thing I do know though is that after 6-7 years of living in almost total seclusion, trying to live a life without pain, as J puts it,  simply is not possible. Nope. Not possible. But, while pain is inevitable, suffering is entirely optional... You get into a situation where you merely exist, as opposed to living. In the end drugs don't take the pain away; all they do is remove your motivation, making it even easier to see life as pointless and wondering why not commit suicide.

What I'm learning now is that life - real life - contains pain by definition. Yes! It's par for the course, and if you want to avoid it, your only real option is to die, since the only time the pain stops is when you are carried out in a box. How do you know?

Yes, there are a lot of extremely disturbed, damaged, and most of all terminally superficial women out there. "Terminally superficial!"  Great phrase! I won't argue with anyone who says that. I also believe however that a minority of sane ones do exist, and I am determined to find one of them at some point. The main thing however is that I need to spend a large amount of time first clearing out old psychological baggage and making as sure as possible that I will be psychologically ready for a positive, healthy relationship when it arrives. Yes. More important, as you learn to cope with life's pain, you become healthier and thus attract healthier women.

My father also has lived in a codependent relationship for 35 years now, and I believe is destined to die a poor, miserable, and utterly dispirited individual. The bottom line is that if anyone, man or woman, is living in a painful relationship, don't, whatever you do, ignore your heart's message! Yes!

Get out of that relationship and go and find someone who deserves you, and whom you deserve Because there are decent people out there! We just need to find each other. Yes!  And you can bet the going will be rough. But, the more you cope, the easier it gets, the healthier you get.

I'm going to attach a board and email this page to J to take a look.  Last I heard, things were not OK with him. Maybe you guys (and others) want to chat and help each other. I'm glad you are learning not to sell the Self out.  Good luck to you Perry. Doc

Ps: You may want to check out our "regular" boards too. Lots of good posting going on there: The CatBox.


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