My eyes are leaking. Seriously. Leaking all over the place all week long. You know how after time passes you can talk about things with more perspective and it all makes sense? Well, that hasn’t happened yet. I’m still in the middle of it, I have no perspective, everything feels awful and that makes my eyes leaky.

If this were a movie, it would be the part where I shake my fist at the sky and scream, ‘Is that the best you can do? Bring it on!’ with my hair whipping in the wind, a wild look in my eye right before the earth opens up and I get swallowed whole. And then the chipmunks laugh uproariously, straighten their ties and go back to playing Yahtzee.

So, here’s the thing about codependent relationships = they suck, but they work. And you want them to change, but then when they do, you kind of freak out. I’ve been pleading with Joe to figure out what he wants out of his life since I met him. I am always the one with great ideas and I’m all up with the knowing what I want and everything. He has always just kind of gone along with my flow instead of knowing what his own was. And then he sits back and silently resents the hell out of me. And so I’m all, ‘Joe, just think really hard and figure out what you want out of your life. I will be so supportive!’ And in the meantime, I just keep doing what I need to do and taking care of myself, because you can’t change anyone else, anyway, all the while telling Joe that I will be SO supportive, just as soon as there is something to be supportive about.

Fast forward a couple of years, I’ve invested all of myself in ‘my great ideas’, he decides he needs something different and actually TAKES STEPS to change things. And the pain, ladies and gentlemen. The pain is excruciating. Joe is doing exactly the right thing, the thing I’ve even encouraged him to do, and it hurts so bad I want to rip my heart out.

You know that place where you know things are exactly how they should be and it hurts like hell? You would rather walk on cut glass than go through it but you know there is no other way? You feel all alone and you look around and wish someone was there with you, but when people try to help you tell them to shut up because there is no way they can understand how you feel? And you walk around with your eyes leaking everywhere for days? Yes, well, that’s me right now. Just call me Leaky Eyes.

I’m so proud of Joe. I can’t even tell you how proud I am of him. The proudness of him makes my eyes leak, too, just so you know. I’m watching him change and evolve and Become the person he wants to be. The decisions he’s making turn my world upside down. They make me have to reevaluate what I’m doing and figure out some things all over again. They make me angry. They make me uncertain. I have the strongest urges to say things to him that I never would have thought possible. I feel manipulation coming to the surface and in order to not give into those hurtful urges, I say nothing. I just leak out of my eyes. I can hardly believe it’s possible for anyone, ever, to change a codependent relationship because even though it’s what I’ve been asking him to do, I can’t stand it. I can’t even imagine if I was part of a couple where my partner started changing, I didn’t even realize there was a problem and I didn’t want him to. This sucks hard, but that would suck rockstar-style.

So, there will be no Oregon vacation this year, which over the past two days has set a record in eye-leakage. But next year, I could bet that this situation wouldn’t happen again because of the changes Joe is making. And that is something to look forward to. Heck, just being able to pay the bills is something to look forward to. You have no idea how not being able to pay the gas bill makes my eyes leak. It’s crazy.

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  1. I have had this dynamic in my life too, but I was on the flipside. It was a whole weird ball of wax for me and I am not sure I have forgiven The Man for putting me through it.

    He would always insist I needed a Plan, a Direction, something to Make Me Happy. When I had been pretty happy, or at least I thought I was happy until he started telling me how No One Could Be Happy in a Dead End Job. I never even thought I had a dead end job til I met him.

    So I changed professions. I guess I am happier. I get to have “writer” in my title, so that is something. And I make more money, but it spends just the same and I still haven’t been able to afford those pesky new brakes for my car.

    The great part is – he still isn’t satisfied. I am still not Living Up to My Potential, according to him. I still need to do something else.

    I think he means well. It doesn’t feel like it though. It feels like criticism all the time.

  2. Oregon will miss you this year, but despite the Leaky Eyes I’m happy that things are moving forward. Its a freaky yet liberating feeling, I think.

  3. You are so freaking fantastic, and the way you know yourself is righteous. Very rarely does a person meet a “real” person who has evolved as you have.

    Leaky eyes, that could be trouble. The circus people might try to scoop you up and take you on the road.

  4. hiya. logged on earlier today & read this, and have been trying ever since to think of something wise and supportive to say, without much luck. I can only think of all the times that I wanted to stick with the devil I knew rather than the one I didn’t. Not that Joe is devilish — far from it! — but you know what I mean 🙂 Without getting too deep into the astrology thing, us Cappies don’t like change. We get things set up the way we like them, the way they should be, and we don’t take kindly to those who change the plan. Doug and I call this “moving the dog bed.” One of our dogs would get very upset if we moved his bed from its Correct Place. He’d pace, and pant, and shake his ears, and look at us like “this is bad… this is very bad.” so now when we’ve agreed on a plan and one of us changes it, we say “you’re moving my dog bed.” It’s stupid, I know, but couple shorthand always sounds stupid. It means “the ground is moving under my feet. That doesn’t mean I can’t adapt or I won’t go along with it, it just means I need a little time to get used to the idea.”

    Sounds like your dog bed is movin’. Know that you can call anytime if you want to talk. this offer good for Joe too but, um, not the rest of your readership (no offense, Internets)

  5. I know what you mean! I’ve been there. I was astounded to see that part of myself! You get through it and then things are better than you ever imagined they could be.

  6. L.P.
    Praying for clarity, direction, resolution…and peace. Sometimes leaky eyes are the road to all those things. 🙂

  7. OH MY GOD, I have so been in this place and your ability to describe it and sit in it takes my breath away. I have rarely been able to sit in it as it sounds like you are and not succumbed to the manipulation or accusations. Or the food or the alcohol to take me away from it all.

    You continue to inspire me Leah….

    Take good are of you, sweetpea.

  8. But I don’t WANT you to have Leaky Eyes, I WANT you to have perky shiny starry eyes like on the Clear Eyes commercial with that dry-voiced guy from Ferris Bueller. I think you should save your tears in a jar like the girl from Cry Baby and send it to your prison boyfriend- or, in your case, your changing husband. And then maybe he could get a tattoo of a tear to show how supportive he is of the Leaky Eyes.

    I’m avoiding the issue, obviously. I just want you to be happy and frolic through tulips. And stuff.

  9. I’m sorry it’s so hard but remember you are brave. You obviously know what you need to know. I wish it was easier! But yay for both of you for doing what is hard and also for being honest.

  10. You are a wise woman, even though it hurts. Your intropection is amazing. Just keep telling yourself, “I’m doing the right thing. I’m doing the right thing. I’m doing the right thing.” And also eat a lot of Ben & Jerry’s.

  11. I’m dealing with this same thing right now. All weekend long I had “leaky eyes” the transition is so incredibly painful. I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions: I’m so happy that he’s progressing in life and is not being as dependent on me. At the same time I’m sad that he’s not as dependent, that’s how we’ve existed for so long, thus becoming dependent on him.

    I feel so alone and left out and I don’t know how exactly to deal with it all. Before him I was very independent and it bothered me that he was so dependent on me, now I feel lost and don’t know how to get back to the independent self I used to be. Then I realize maybe I don’t want to go back I want to progress but I don’t know how to get there either.

    I pray to my guardian angels everyday for the strength I need to get through these transitions, to make the “leaky eyes” stop, to get rid of that gut-wrenching feeling of lonliness. I’m hoping that it will come soon. I’m not one for change in a relationship, and although it’s inevitable, it doesn’t stop the hurt I feel when it happens. There has been a lot of change in this relationship of ours and it always hurts, but I get through it and move on, happy. I guess, LeahPeah, we just need to truck through this one too.

  12. joyous what you said is EXACTLY WORD FOR WORD how i feel right now.

    it is kind of haunting.

    i am in the process of taking steps to move out of a crummy living situation that my boyfriend wants to stay in. i know i need to do what’s best for me, and he needs to do the same, but it’s killing me. he used to get upset but not say anything but i could just tell he was when he’d call and hear people in the background, or when i would go out with friends and he’d be at home with his mom. and a billion other things. and we needed each other. and now he is here with me but he has his own friends and his own job and his own life and i feel like such a jerk, every day of my life, for secretly not wanting him to have any of that, so he will only need me.

    and man that gutwrenching feeling of lonliness is a killer, and a known cause of Leaky Eyes. and it just plain sucks.

    joyous, you spoke right to me today, and leah, you’re gonna come out on top with eyes holding just the right amount of moisture.

  13. It is comforting to know that leaky eyes are going around. While it is not a happy thought that so many of us seem to either be in transition or working through dealing with the transition of another, its nice to know I am not alone. I wonder what the commonalities might be – age? I am turning 35 and I KNOW my priorities have changed in the last 5-6 years sometimes ‘forcing’ my husband’s priorities to change to. Now his are in line with what I want (wanted) I don’t know and now maybe mine are shifting again – or solidifying. All this rumbling around in life. Guess it keep us interesting.

    Hang on Leah. My worst leaky eye days were back in 2002 when they leaked for weeks, I stuck it out and now maybe I am letting go a little and being OK with the fact that he can do things. Which majorly moves “my dog bed” of control. OK this comment has been all over the place.

    Hang tight….the ride can be hard…but the ground you land on is sometimes exactly where you wanted to be.

  14. I know you are leaking and whatnot, but this sounds good. Hard. But still good. Actually, it sounds kind of exciting. Of course it sounds like the kind of exciting I feel when I am forced onto a roller coaster, one of my worst fears, but when that roller coaster stops, it always feels fantastic. You will find your footing again.

  15. okay… what Im reading … that ONE of us leaky peeps needs to start a ‘Vive la Leakies’….or a Leakies of the world unite blog….so we can all lean and learn from eachother ??……I think it is going around and make a pitstop at my house!….Ive been battling the “would U just f*cking growup already and be man for me” issues as of late….and Im exhausted to say the least. I say we unite and make a stand!

    whos with me?!? leave me a note on my blog ….I’ll even manage it…..

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