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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
To cut a long story short - I have been married for 10 months (couple for 5 years) we moved in together after we got married (our culture didn’t allow us to live together prior to marriage) we had a few issues from my side of the family shortly after we got married and my wife felt disrespected and not welcome to my family - which I understand from her stance.

Since then her guard was always up, always nervous and didn’t want to come with me to visit my parents and family - she would take any, what I would consider minor comments as I know what my family is like, she takes them to heart and when I tried to explain to her you have taken it in the wrong way she would say that I always defend them and I do not support her.

A couple of scenarios transpired - we would argue and she would physically lash out and strike me in her rage, punch/slaps/kicks...I would think that she is angry and it is my fault so I never thought it was wrong that she gets violent.

As well as that, she uses some of the most vulgar terms and insults against my family, parents and siblings including name calling, wishing they were dead etc...again if I were to tell her to stop she would again say I’m always defending them.

One time we were arguing I was driving on the motorway and she was hitting me whilst I’m trying to drive safely, she grabbed the steering wheel and threatened to swerve the car off the road, so putting not only us but other people in danger.

As the root cause of our arguments tend to stem from my family “issues” she has given me an ultimatum: “you have to choose me or them”.

We could have a lively argument (me sat quietly and her screaming/smashing things) and a couple of days would pass and she is back to being a loving wife, until of course the next argument.

She has stated on numerous occasions that marrying me was her biggest regret and she has also said that she doesn’t see us lasting long and that we should consider separating.

I don’t want to give up on it but I am also now reaching the end of my tether as her violent outbursts has happened on multiple occasions and I will not take it anymore.

I have been seeing a counsellor which initially started off with the stance to help give me a voice and improve my self worth and confidence - since I have been seeing them I have told them what has been going on in my marriage and where I feel I have gone wrong to create this environment for my marriage - they ultimately determined that the issue is not with me but with my wife, when I told him that she hits me he was ultimately concerned and told me that it’s not okay to let her do that under any circumstances.

I feel that I am constantly on edge with my wife, I would do anything to make sure we are happy together as I don’t know what will trigger her off again, I am dancing to her tune, I can never be free around her and she gets upset as and when she feels like - I am expected to just ride the wave or else I am accused of not respecting her feelings.

My counsellor said that it seems like the violence is getting worse and that chances are she will not change for the better. She has told me this all happens because of me and I have believed it and take full responsibility as a result.

I have never retaliated to her physical or verbal abuse as it is not in my nature to get angry or respond in the same way - I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Has anyone else (preferably male) been in a similar situation with their wife? Abuse? Controlling? Any advice would be great.
 

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You've been together for 5 years (married 10 months).

Has she been to see a doctor for treatment?
Has she always been like this?
Do you have kids?

I suggest carrying a VAR to record evidence of her abuse and it also protects you in case she accuses you of DV.

I suspect that it's not really about your family - but rather she has mental issues.

Has your therapist recommended protecting yourself by divorce?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You've been together for 5 years (married 10 months).

Has she been to see a doctor for treatment?
Has she always been like this?
Do you have kids?

I suggest carrying a VAR to record evidence of her abuse and it also protects you in case she accuses you of DV.

I suspect that it's not really about your family - but rather she has mental issues.

Has your therapist recommended protecting yourself by divorce?
It hasn’t occurred before but we didn’t live together before. The first bout of physical abuse was 3/4 months in to living with each other. She hasn’t seen a doctor nor will she see a counsellor herself as I feel she does not want to get told that she could be in the wrong. I have made audio recordings of her verbal abuse and I have taken pictures of bruising which occurred from she pinched me really hard when I was driving, mid-argument. My therapist has not advised me to do anything as he says he’s not allowed to - but he has gone over the scenarios and ultimatums she has laid out which is:

Me separating from my family - I resent her for this and me not being happy, also no guarantee the abuse will stop.

Me not separating from my family would mean she’ll be unhappy = me unhappy.

We both separate and go our own ways which would mean no further abuse for me and her not feeling the way she does.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You've been together for 5 years (married 10 months).

Has she been to see a doctor for treatment?
Has she always been like this?
Do you have kids?

I suggest carrying a VAR to record evidence of her abuse and it also protects you in case she accuses you of DV.

I suspect that it's not really about your family - but rather she has mental issues.

Has your therapist recommended protecting yourself by divorce?
Oh sorry, we don’t have any kids.
 

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My counsellor said that it seems like the violence is getting worse and that chances are she will not change for the better.
Sir, unless your wife submits herself to a professional program aimed at no longer being abusive, and takes full, 100%, responsibility for her behavior choices upon herself, there are no "chances" here. Your wife has about the same "chance" at becoming nonabusive as she does of winning the million-dollar lottery.

She has told me this all happens because of me and I have believed it and take full responsibility as a result.
The FACTS are these. NONE of this happens because of you, you have believed a LIE, and the complete, total responsibility for this behavior is your wife's.

I resent her for this and me not being happy, also no guarantee the abuse will stop.
Sir, the abuse will not stop..... this is guaranteed, her abuse will not stop, unless, and until, she submits herself as afore described. This has nothing to do with you. Not with where you live, not with your resentment, not with leaving your parents. You do not control this, SHE DOES.

We both separate and go our own ways which would mean no further abuse for me and her not feeling the way she does.
This. Get out. Now. Don't come back. Ever. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Only one small modification..... her feelings are wholly irrelevant. Consider YOU and YOUR feelings. Assume this thought...... I don't give a recruit sailor's damn about her or her feelings. I am getting loose from her, forever.
 

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Wow....there was another post on here where the man was in the same situation as you (absent the physical abuse). They had 1 child so the man tried very hard to keep the peace and avoid divorce. In that case the wife focused on the man's mother. As time went on the wife's level of anger grew and was disproportionate to anything the mother did.

I think the wife was diagnosed with being bi-polar. There was no middle ground and they eventually divorced.

He finally realized it was not about his mother - the mother was just a convenient target for his wife's mental illness.

I'll try to find the post.
 

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Here's the post that may be on point with your situation.
I only found it because he updated recently in the last few days.

If you post enough (I don't know how many messages makes you eligible) you can message Tom directly and maybe arrange to speak with him.
I'm not sure how active he is on here.

Is this controlling behavior or is it just me?
by TomNebraska
 

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I hope your culture allows for divorce, because you need out of this NOW. Something is very wrong with your wife! DO NOT alienate your family for this woman, it wont help anyway. Please get yourself out of this!
 

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I urge you to read @TomNebraska’s thread. It is the seventh or eighth thread in the general relationship forum.

Your wife has all the characteristics of a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD). A person with BPD rarely if ever gets better. There is a poster on TAM that can help you.

Shout out to @Uptown.
 

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@Absurdist, thanks so much for the call-out!
My counselor said that it seems like the violence is getting worse and that chances are she will not change for the better.
District, I agree with your counselor, TJW, and 3X -- all of whom told you that this behavior almost certainly will get worse. I also agree with Absurdist that you are describing red flags for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).

The behaviors you describe -- i.e., verbal and physical abuse, controlling demands, temper tantrums, great fear of abandonment (trying to isolate you from your family), black-white thinking, always being "The Victim" (blaming you for every misfortune), and rapid flips between Jekyll (loving you) and Hyde (hating you) -- are classic warning signs for BPD.

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your W has full-blown BPD. Only a professional can determine that. Instead, I'm suggesting you consider whether she may be exhibiting a strong pattern of BPD symptoms (i.e., is a "pwBPD").
She would physically lash out and strike me in her rage, punch/slaps/kicks.
Physical abuse and/or strong anger issues are associated with having strong traits of a personality disorder, particularly BPD. This is why "Intense, inappropriate anger" is one of the nine defining traits for BPD. Indeed, the terms "anger," "dangerous behavior," and "unstable" appear in 4 of the 9 symptoms for BPD. See 9 Traits at BPDdemystified.

For these reasons, the physical abuse of a spouse or partner has been found to be strongly associated with BPD. One of the first studies showing that link is a 1993 hospital study of spousal batterers. It found that nearly all of them have a personality disorder and half of them have BPD. See Roger Melton's summary of that study at 50% of Batterers are pwBPD.
I feel that I am constantly on edge with my wife
If your W is a pwBPD, she carries enormous anger inside from early childhood. You therefore don't have to do a thing to CREATE the anger. Rather, you only have to do or say some minor thing that triggers a release of anger that is already there. A pwBPD has very weak control over her emotions. Indeed, the key defining characteristic of BPD is the inability to regulate one's own emotions.

This is why a pwBPD can burst into a rage in only ten seconds. And this is why the best-selling BPD book (targeted to the abused loved ones) is titled Stop Walking on Eggshells. It is published in 8 languages.

A couple of days would pass and she is back to being a loving wife.
A pwBPD is capable of loving you very intensely but it is the very immature type of love you see in young children. This means she will occasionally flip -- in only ten seconds -- from Jekyll (adoring you) to Hyde (devaluing or hating you). And a few hours or days later, she can flip back again just as quickly. These rapid flips arise from a childish behavior called "black-white thinking."

Like a young child, a pwBPD is too emotionally immature to be able to handle strong conflicting feelings (e.g., love and hate). This means she has great difficulty tolerating ambiguities, uncertainties, and the other gray areas of close interpersonal relationships.

She thus will subconsciously split off the conflicting feeling, putting it far out of reach of her conscious mind. With young children, this "splitting" is evident when the child will adore Daddy while he's bringing out the toys but, in only ten seconds, will flip to hating Daddy when he takes one toy away.

Importantly, this behavior does not mean that the child has stopped loving Daddy. Rather, it means that her conscious mind is temporarily out of touch with those loving feelings.

Similarly, a pwBPD will categorize everyone close to her as "all good" (i.e., "white" or "with me") or "all bad" (i.e., "black" or "against me"). And she will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or action.

This B-W thinking also will be evident in her frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions such as "You NEVER..." and "You ALWAYS...." Because her close friends eventually will be "split black," it is unusual for a BPDer to have any really close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away).

She would take any, what I would consider minor comments as I know what my family is like, she takes them to heart... taken it in the wrong way.
The human condition is that, whenever we experience very intense feelings, our perception of other peoples' intentions and motivations is distorted. This is true for ALL of us. This distortion is far more frequent and severe for a pwBPD because, given her inability to regulate her own emotions, she experiences intense feelings far more frequently that other people do.

I don’t know what will trigger her off again... she gets upset as and when she feels like.
If your W is a pwBPD, it will be impossible to avoid triggering her two fears. She will perceive you as wrong if you DO and wrong if you DON'T.

This conundrum is due to the position of her two great fears -- abandonment and engulfment -- at opposite ends of the very same spectrum. This means you often find yourselves in a lose/lose situation because, as you back away from one fear to avoid triggering it, you will start triggering the fear at the other end of that same spectrum.

Your predicament is that the solution to calming her abandonment fear (drawing close and being intimate) is the very action that triggers her engulfment fear. Likewise, the solution to calming her engulfment fear (moving back away to give her breathing space) is the very action that triggers her abandonment fear.

Hence, as you move close to comfort her and assure her of your love, you eventually will start triggering her engulfment fear, making her feel like she's being suffocated and controlled by you. Yet, as you back away to give her breathing space, you will find that you've started triggering her abandonment fear.

In my 15 years of experience with my BPD exW, I found that there is no midpoints solution (between "too close" and "too far away") where you can safely stand to avoid triggering those two fears. Until a pwBPD learns how to better regulate her own emotions and tame her two fears, that Goldilocks position will not exist. This is why a relationship with an untreated pwBPD typically is characterized by a repeating cycle of push-you-away and pull-you-back.

Indeed, even if you are sitting perfectly still and not saying a word, a pwBPD who is experiencing hurtful feelings will project those feelings onto YOU. Her subconscious does this to protect her fragile ego from seeing too much of reality -- and to externalize the pain, getting it outside her body. Because that projection occurs entirely at the subconscious level, she will consciously be convinced that the painful feeling or hurtful thought is coming from YOU.

Hence, as long as you remain in a relationship with an untreated pwBPD, you will often find yourself hurting her -- i.e., triggering her engulfment fear as you draw near, triggering her abandonment fear as you draw back, and triggering her anger even when you are sitting still in a room saying absolutely nothing.

It hasn’t occurred before but we didn’t live together before. The first bout of physical abuse was 3/4 months in to living with each other.
If your partner is a pwBPD, her infatuation during the courtship convinced her that you were the nearly perfect man who had arrived to rescue her from unhappiness. In that way, the infatuation held her two fears at bay. About 4 to 6 months into the relationship, however, her infatuation would have started fading and both fears would have returned in full force. Hence, during this honeymoon period, she very likely was sincere about adoring you.

Any advice would be great.
Of course, learning to spot BPD warning signs will not enable you to diagnose her issues. Although strong BPD symptoms are easy to spot, only a professional can determine whether they are so severe and persistent as to constitute a full-blown disorder.

Yet, like learning warning signs for a stroke or heart attack, learning those for BPD may help you avoid a very painful situation -- e.g., remaining in a toxic relationship or running into the arms of another woman just like her. Learning the red flags also can help you decide when professional guidance is needed.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so and you have questions, I would be glad to join Absurdist, TJW, 3X, FarSide, Robert, Tom, and the other respondents in discussing them with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all so much for taking the time to help and provide your inputs. I will read the BPD literature and see where my scenario relates.

As of right now, she is being very loving and caring (a normal wife, one might say) and I automatically can’t help but feel guilty about asking for this help when we aren’t in a fight.

The other issue was that she has told her family and friends about what she goes through with me and my family and I haven’t told anyone except my counsellor - I did ask her if she has told them the FULL story, as in; the physical/verbal abuse and her response was simply “what do you mean? I’ve never hit you. Prove it” - I guess I was naive to assume she would tell them how it makes her react, they only know one side as in their eyes she’s does nothing wrong.
 

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“what do you mean? I’ve never hit you. Prove it”
This is abuser 101. Deny the truth, that if accepted, would necessitate change. They simply want to believe it's your fault. If only you wouldn't make them so mad......

If abuser 101 script is followed (which, it usually always is) your wife will not admit to her family that she is abusive and violent toward you.

I'm not a shrink, I'm just a country boy. I don't know about BPD or any of that. But, what I do know are these three things:

1) the way your wife treats you is WRONG (yeah, that's right, I said WRONG.....)

2) the way your wife treats you is NOT YOUR FAULT. It is her own choice, made under her own control.

3) you cannot solve your wife's problem. She has to do that, and it will require that she admit to herself, and others, that she is violent and abusive.

Please don't stay there. This is not going to get better. This is not going to change.

Dr. Phil says "...you can't change what you don't acknowledge....". Even when, if ever, your wife acknowledges the truth about herself, then a very LONG period of professional psychotherapy, advice, medication, etc. can begin. YEARS will be required for satisfactory results......

Your wife is not a "normal wife". She can live with the "mask" on for a time, but sooner or later (and passage of time usually means sooner and more violent) the mask comes off, and the REAL HER is exposed.
 

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1. Do NOT get her pregnant.
2. Tell your family what is going on.
3. Consult an attorney, and then file for divorce.

Physical abuse is NEVER ok and NEVER the victims fault.
The above advice is exactly right. Your wife is an abuser. Nothing it you are doing is causing her to abuse you. She is abusing you because that is who she is.
 

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to help and provide your inputs. I will read the BPD literature and see where my scenario relates.

As of right now, she is being very loving and caring (a normal wife, one might say) and I automatically can’t help but feel guilty about asking for this help when we aren’t in a fight.

The other issue was that she has told her family and friends about what she goes through with me and my family and I haven’t told anyone except my counsellor - I did ask her if she has told them the FULL story, as in; the physical/verbal abuse and her response was simply “what do you mean? I’ve never hit you. Prove it” - I guess I was naive to assume she would tell them how it makes her react, they only know one side as in their eyes she’s does nothing wrong.
I almost married a guy with BPD. We didn't know what the problem was at the time but years later, when his marriage blew apart he was finally diagnosed.

Those periods of happiness and tranquility that make you feel guilty for wanting to leave will become shorter and shorter. And the outbursts will become more and more angry and violent. I was lucky, my ex never hit me, the worst he did physically was punch the wall right next to my head. But the words he used were more powerful than any fist by far. To this day I can't handle being called a ***** or worse. It's not pretty if that happens, which thankfully, my STBX always respected me enough not to ever call me names or scream "**** you!!" to me, ever. We wouldn't have married if he had. That kind of stuff stays with you.

And her acting like the physical abuse never happened is because in her mind it doesn't. She flies off the handle in a rage and doesn't even remember what she's done. Or if she does, she downplays it so much that it doesn't matter. I used to ask my ex not to call me a **** all the time and he was always like "I don't do that!" Um...yes you did, about 5 times in one conversation the last time you got angry. But he would swear he never did.

It won't get better, it will only get worse. You only have one life to life, you should make it count. And staying with her will only make it miserable.

I'm sorry.
 

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She will never change. She will only get worse.

Please leave her now.

See a lawyer for a dissolution of marriage; get that going. Start moving your stuff out piece by piece so she doesn't notice, and store it at a friend's house. When you're down to your last suitcase or two, put them in your car and leave her a note and just leave. And as you're leaving, call her parents and your parents and explain about the abuse and that you're leaving so nobody gets hurt. First person to tell the story gets believed.
 

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to help and provide your inputs. I will read the BPD literature and see where my scenario relates.

As of right now, she is being very loving and caring (a normal wife, one might say) and I automatically can’t help but feel guilty about asking for this help when we aren’t in a fight.

The other issue was that she has told her family and friends about what she goes through with me and my family and I haven’t told anyone except my counsellor - I did ask her if she has told them the FULL story, as in; the physical/verbal abuse and her response was simply “what do you mean? I’ve never hit you. Prove it” - I guess I was naive to assume she would tell them how it makes her react, they only know one side as in their eyes she’s does nothing wrong.
This behavior rarely get better in time and in almost always escalates. She's made your family an issue because she wants to isolate you and it will at some point also become friends or coworkers etc., anyone she perceive's as a threat to her control over you. Over time the loving/caring wife periods will become less and less. You simply can't avoid disagreements in marriage.

You've only been married a very short time, you really should strongly consider divorce and get out while the gettings good. It only get more complicated as time goes on.
 
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The only one that can keep you in this is you. Everyone is correct this will get worse.

Better get moving before she breaks your nose.
 
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