Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023
Are You Independent or Codependent?

A few nights ago at dinner, I mentioned to Wizard that I was nearly out of Italian seasoning.

Wizard asked, “What’s that”?

I was surprised as I thought he knew, but I answered, “Dried herbs traditionally used in Italian cooking like oregano and basil mixed together in a bottle.”

He still looked blank with his fork suspended half way between his plate and mouth, so I added, “It’s one of the spices in my spice drawer by the stove. I use it for of pasta sauces, and some chicken and shrimp dishes.”

He nodded, then looked at me seriously, “Witch.”

“What?” I asked.

“Don’t die.” Then he resumed eating.

I cracked up. We are pretty codependent like that. I mean I put gas in a car maybe once a year and that’s just an example. I don’t think Wizard has turned on the oven in this house, although he has run the dishwasher and often does some laundry like the towels he uses to wash the cars. He’s capable of cooking, and he BBQs all the time, but I usually prep the food he grills. On the other hand, he cleans regularly the BBQ and I never have done it myself. We just tend to divide and conquer all life’s tasks and in the decades of marriage, pretty much becoming codependent.

I’m sure some folks would consider that unhealthy. And I fully understand that point of view. I lived the reality of that when I was 13 and witnessed how my own mother struggled when my dad suddenly passed away. However my mom figured it out because that’s what smart, resilient people do. Still, I was determined in the first years of our marriage NOT to become complacent and depend on Wizard too much.

The the years and decades passed. We got busy with real life and kids, and found a way that worked for us that included a method of dividing and conquering life’s tasks.

So sure, sometimes I worry about being so codependent. But most days I’m very grateful I don’t have to put gas in the car :-)

What about you? If you’re in a relationship, are you independent or codependent?

6 comments to “Are You Independent or Codependent?”

  1. Silver James
    April 12th, 2023 at 7:49 am · Link

    Uhm…both? Kinda like you and Wiz. I mean, we’re coming up on year 40. I’ve spent over half my life with this dude. We often go our own ways–I should probably be embarrassed by how often we default to “every man for himself” for dinner. I deal with my car (except it was due an oil change and he had that done because he was driving mine while his was getting evaluated) but normally, I schedule my own and put my own gas in. I do laundry, usually cook, and do KP. He vacuums and cleans bathrooms. I feed the dogs, he gets up in the middle of the night to put them out. We are often found in seperate rooms, either reading/listening and/or watching TV. Dinner is together unless it’s EMFH. We share baseball and softball but not too many other shows. Still, I’d rather go do something with him than anyone else–except maybe Only. LOLOL

    Interesting topic today!

  2. Viki S.
    April 12th, 2023 at 3:11 pm · Link

    I totally get the way we fall into our “role.” Like you, I stayed independent until the youngest was born. Because of my allergies, hubs did almost all the outside work. I did flowers, shrubs, and tomatoes. Inside, he did some painting, not much. I did everything else or had someone come in. Now, I do it all. He won’t give me control of his check book but he will have me review every check he writes.

    My mom has been sent home even though she isn’t eating. She is taking meds orally and that is the qualifier for discharge. My cousin, who has power of attorney and mother signed EVERYTHING over to her, is not responding to any text. I think she may be overwhelmed. She has not been well lately and neither has her husband. But they are near by and I am not so my mom chose her.

    I did get many windows cleaned today and I feel good about that. I also picked up my glasses.

    Sure hope that you are having a good day!

  3. Jenn
    April 12th, 2023 at 4:03 pm · Link

    Silver, I’ve spent 2/3s of my life with Wizard so totally get that! I’m also for separate spaces, we have them too AND we value having time to do our own thing. So I’m right there with you :-) We also have a loose division of chores, but like you guys, cover for one another as needed.

    Sometimes I do worry about being too codependent on one another, but most times, I realize we are pretty lucky to have someone we can rely on. I imagine you feel the same about LG!

  4. Jenn
    April 12th, 2023 at 4:08 pm · Link

    Viki, I thought of you when I was writing this. Your circumstances have (apparently) changed in a way you couldn’t really have foreseen and that’s hard. But before now, it sounds like you guys had it pretty figured out.

    I didn’t realize the bar was so low for sending your mom home at this point. I know it’s low for getting anyone out of the hospital (I fought that battle when my mom was sick and eventually passed), but I thought it was a little more reasonable in hospice. I’m so sorry, you must feel helpless. It probably made sense at the time for your mom to give your cousin Power of Attorney and everything else, but it sounds like it’s not a great thing now. I wish I could help. I hope your cousin will respond soon to ease your mind as much as possible. Big hugs.

    I’m having a good day, and hope you are finding some joy in your day despite worrying for your mom.

  5. B.E. Sanderson
    April 14th, 2023 at 5:59 am · Link

    You guys are awesome.

    Hubs does most everything now that I work. When he worked, I did most everything. While we were both retired, we each had our own set of tasks. And we’d help wherever necessary. As long as whatever you’re doing works for you and makes you happy, that’s what matters. You two have nailed it through a long and happy marriage. Go you!

  6. Jenn
    April 14th, 2023 at 5:27 pm · Link

    B.E., thanks. I don’t know about awesome but it works for us :-)

    And well said! It really is about figuring out what works at each point in our marriages. You two have figured it out. I love the way he’s really jumped in to do a lot of tasks now that your in an office full time.

    Happy Friday!

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