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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Everyone.

I really need some perspective. I am not really sure where I am anymore, what is right, wrong, in my marriage. Let's start from the beginning, this is a long story but interesting. Please bear with me while I lay all this out.

My wife and I met at a work event 8 years ago. She was married at the time, in a miserable marriage and was only in this because she was trying to make her child happy. Her Ex was verbally abusive, physically abusive, I was basically the catalyst that gave her the courage to actually leave him.

We, like most, had a great first year or so. Things eventually declined.. she had some medical issues that were bothering her at this time (Chrons Disease Flare Up). She was on heavy pain medications. She was very distant (understandably), not feeling well, sex was rare, her initiating was a never. She finally got surgury that helped her Chrons flare up and made her feel better in that regard but she seemed to always have "something else" going on to why she could not initate, why she did not want to have sex, I always got sex when I wanted it but it was passionless, empty, and basically so I could just orgasm.

Fast forward to about 2 years ago. Nothing has really changed much we still fight alot, sex is still horrible. During this time admittedly I was smothing her because I could not find out how else to get this passion that I needed in our relationship. So this may have made things worse. Regardless I got fed up, at this time we were still dating so I left the house we bought together and got an apartment.

Apartment living was good. I got out, did things I had not done in forever and felt incredibly free. I was having fun with women again, I felt desire, I was having sex again and began to feel women crave me equally and it felt amazing.

About a month or so into living in my own place, my wife contacted me and let me know that she is feeling much better. She thinks that this whole time the reason why she is feeling so bad is because she has cialiacs disease (an allergy to wheat), and that if I had not left she would have never found out. She claims she understands why I left. Agreed that she took me for granted, and said she has become so much more sexually active now that she feels better.

So we go out on a date (I love this woman with every ounce of energy within me, always wanted to be with her but refuse to be miserable). We come back to the apartment and she blows my mind. Sex I have never felt with her, amazing energy, passion, desire, sweat, both of us aggresively pursuing each other.

Long story short, after a couple weeks of this I was back in love with her moving back into my house.

Fast forward to about a year ago. I have been living back at home now and things slowly but surely returned to normal. I began my normal "care taking" of her. Doing most of the house chores, lack of sex, when we did have sex I was agressing her and she was basically dead fishing when we had sex it was awful. Mind you at this time we are now married (I did it because I figured it would fix things, silly me).

Fast forward to about 3 months ago, she started a new job. We used to work in the same building together but our company was not treating her very well so I encouraged her to find a new job. She finally does and gets in and hates it. She is crying coming home everyday, working late, working early, she hates it.

About 2 months into working at this new job she started to get increased responsibility, she was taking on a leadership role because this companies processes were so bad, she came in and basically started organizing everything so her boss gave her some freedom to "improve" things. During this time she is really starting to dress nicer, care more about her physical appearence, etc.

About 1 month ago, I asked her... if there was one desire you have sexually, what is it? Now I should say that in our relationship I have always been a very jealous person. (Working on it now) So to her defense she really could not tell me alot because of fear how I would react. So I told her, I will not get angy, I just want to know.

So she starts to tell me her fantasy of being with two men in bed. Sometimes she will fantasize about me and another man having our way with her. She assured me that it's just physical, no emotion at all. So I think, well I can;t be mad because I am pretty sure any guy would want the same with two women. So I leave it at that and that was it. Well the next day she said that there is this guy at work she finds very attractive. She wants a threesome with him. This scares the **** out of me because this just went from fantasy to a very real reality to me.

So I begin to ask questions... all of the normal questions someone that just found out their wife has been checking another dude out and fantasising about him and me doing her. This further makes me feel insecure knowing that all I have ever wanted is her passion and desire and now she wants to give it to someone else. I could not understand it.

That is around the time I signed up on this site. Since she has shared this with me I have made it very clear that it is not ok with me that she works with people who she feels this way about. I know for a FACT she has not cheated.

I also around this time started to see a therapist. The therapist let me in on some really good info. Turns out that this whole time I have been incredibly codependent on my wife. I think that this behaviour has almost done the opposite of what I was hoping for. I was hoping that by being that sweet guy, setting up roses for her, drawing her a bath when she comes home, rubbing her feet, massages almost nightly, making her doctor apointments, etc.

So I have been reading this book, "Codependent no more" as I am sure some of you have heard of. I have made great progress in the month I have been reading and changing. My wife has shown some changes, but some she has not.

So after that incredibly long winded post comes some of my questions. I need some advice on if what I expect is completely unreasonable or codependent behavior.

Issue #1 Communication
During the day we rarely talk. She says her job is very busy and she does not have the time to talk. Yet when she comes home from work she tells me all these things her and her coworkers talked about during the day that were not work related... you couldnt spare 5 minutes to text me and say "I love you"? To her credit she will text sometimes but it's so forced. I can tell it is because it's verbatium the example I used when I asked her to text more "Hi, I am thinking about you, I love you" While this is great I want you to FEEL what you are saying, do not just say it because I asked you to.

If I do not initiate communication, like sex, it rarely will happen on it's own. She leaves for work around 5:30am (I am just waking up) and she gets home around 7-8pm (Only a couple hours before we go to bed.) So during the week we have about 2 hours a night to see each other.

Issue #2 Sex

I am still having to initiate a good majority of the time. Her way of initiating or trying (she knows how frustrated I am) is saying "hey want to go do it?". She has a really hard time distinguishing intamacy from sex. Often when I try to do something in bed (example: she can only orgasm in missionary, if I try to put her in a different position she will say "I cant cumm like that" I then tell her "You do not have to, I know what you need, let's just have fun) but by that time I am so out of the mood because of the akwardness of the whoke situation.

She will not agress me in bed. I have to move her, I have to kiss her, I have to do EVERYTHING... I asked her for a BJ the other day before sex and she would not even get off the bed to get on her knees, she made me come to the bed so she could lay down and do it...

Issue #3 Effort

I have been asking her to go to therapy for a long long time. With me or without me, I want her to see a professional. Through my recovery from codependence I realize that I can not control her, and she has to do this herself, except she is not.

She actually went through the effort of finding the therapist online, wrote the number down, but would not go further. When she tried to call she text me immediately after and said "Got a busy signal, will try later" so I called the number and got right through.

I actually made the appointment with her therapist for myself and went in 3 weeks ago.

I have done SO MUCH for her. I have gone out of my way through the years to send flowers to her work, I put notes in 40 ballons on her 40th birthday explaining 40 reasons why I loved her and made her pop the ballons and read them, just recently I took the day off work without her knowing and went and got like 100 candles, 2 dozen roses, her favorite dinner, drew a bath. She got home from work she had to do nothing but relax. I take care of her child from a previous marriage at times, I deal with her ex-husband because she will just let him walk all over her.

Many of these things I have stopped because of my codependency and practicing loving detatchment, but it seems the more I detatch the more she does too.

Is my marriage over? I have been trying for so long to make this work and to fix that I am completely worn down. My mental state is worn down, I am tired of trying. I am ready to move on, I love her, but I am ready to if I have to. To her credit since I have been getting therapy she has definately shown an interest in trying, sort of. It seems like it's the carrot on the stick approach she does just good enough to keep me there, but as soon as she gets me things degress.

There have been a few woman at work that have expressed an interest in me. I am loyal with my wife and would never cheat on her. I am done trying though at this point and just want what I deserve. I don't mean to sound whiney or entitled but I feel like I deserve more than this in life and I am beginning to value myself now.

Any help available for a lost soul?
 

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The short and sweet?

I don't think you expect too much from her, just to get what you give.

I DO think she's not that into you. And it started way back when around the year one point. You did leave, and that was good, and she may have genuinely missed you while you were gone, I just don't think that feeling lasted and who you live with now is her default setting.

Keep up the therapy, it sounds like it's helping you a lot. When it comes to her, all I can recommend is patience. That is if you plan to stick it out long term. And a side note... I don't really like the comment she made about the threesome with the guy in the office either. That's very troubling.

You should encourage her to go to therapy with you. She sounds as unhappy as you are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The short and sweet?

I don't think you expect too much from her, just to get what you give.

I DO think she's not that into you. And it started way back when around the year one point. You did leave, and that was good, and she may have genuinely missed you while you were gone, I just don't think that feeling lasted and who you live with now is her default setting.

Keep up the therapy, it sounds like it's helping you a lot. When it comes to her, all I can recommend is patience. That is if you plan to stick it out long term. And a side note... I don't really like the comment she made about the threesome with the guy in the office either. That's very troubling.

You should encourage her to go to therapy with you. She sounds as unhappy as you are.
Thank you for your insight. I appreciate it. The whole threesome thing has subdued alot since I put my foot down and said no way. (At least her talking about it, then again she will joke now and again by it, and by joke I mean she mentions it, I say what have I told you? She says Just joking)


What you said describes exactly how I feel. I have asked her over and over and over "Please be fair, if you are just not into me, tell me and let me move on".

I have asked her over and over to go to therapy with me. However I need her to make the call and the appointment, and she just wont do it. She either will forget about it, which makes me feel like she is just forgetting about our issues, or she will just excuse it and say she will do it later.

She says she loves me so much, and I believe she does love me. I even asked her if she loves me but is not in love with me, and she says I am the only man in her life that she has ever truly loved.

I should have mentioned this in my first post as this is a pretty huge piece of the puzzle. She was abused as a child by her brother, sexually. She also had parents who were alcholoics and did not give her the love and attention she needed as a child. This sometimes makes me think, "Has she ever really learned what true intimacy is?"

I think the threesome thing, or even the whole other guy thing is a combination of things. One thing she has told me is that she really longs for the "New relationship" feeling. Basically I think she is addicted to the dopamine release when it happens but she often says things about how she loves that feeling. I also think that men have treated her like crap over the course of her life and she feels like she is only valued for sex.

Another really important thing to mention is when she was in her young 20's she was a stripper. I am sure that men did not treat her very respectfully in that career either.

So this lifetime of sexual, emotional, physical abuse from men I am sure is not helping me at all. However I feel after 8 years if she knows me, she knows I am everything but "that guy".

I have never even been to a strip club in my life. My life is my family and in this case my wife. Being codependent did not help the situation at all, and I made her in my life more important then even myself and I am learning to change that.

But if I back off, and she does not come closer, it feels just like another failed attempt to get what I want. When all I want is love and desire and passion from the person who is supposed to love me the most in life and I do not get it, I feel so incredibly worthless and insecure.

Then these girls here at work come around and invite me out, or tell me how good looking I am, I think what the hell am I doing? I understand that the grass is not always greener on the otherside but I want to experience this feeling again, there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted by someone, being neglected of that for 8 years I feel like I am simply losing my mind.
 

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all I want is love and desire and passion from the person who is supposed to love me the most in life and I do not get it, I feel so incredibly worthless and insecure.

Then these girls here at work come around and invite me out, or tell me how good looking I am, I think what the hell am I doing? I understand that the grass is not always greener on the otherside but I want to experience this feeling again, there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted by someone, being neglected of that for 8 years I feel like I am simply losing my mind.
What you want isn't unreasonable or even unattainable, but only from a whole person. Your wife isn't whole, she's broken. She needs help to heal herself the same way you need help for your codependency. The romantic notion that two halfs make a whole is completely false.

She has a lot of baggage to sort through and maybe deep down inside her she feels unworthy of the love you have to give. You can't fix that within her. You can love her despite how she feels about herself, but she's going to need professional help to get her past all the negative association she has with men and her own self worth.
 

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Pravius
The fact that you need her to text you during the day is a big sign of being needy. You acting needy is not going to help your sex life.



Thank you for your insight. I appreciate it. The whole threesome thing has subdued alot since I put my foot down and said no way. (At least her talking about it, then again she will joke now and again by it, and by joke I mean she mentions it, I say what have I told you? She says Just joking)


What you said describes exactly how I feel. I have asked her over and over and over "Please be fair, if you are just not into me, tell me and let me move on".

I have asked her over and over to go to therapy with me. However I need her to make the call and the appointment, and she just wont do it. She either will forget about it, which makes me feel like she is just forgetting about our issues, or she will just excuse it and say she will do it later.

She says she loves me so much, and I believe she does love me. I even asked her if she loves me but is not in love with me, and she says I am the only man in her life that she has ever truly loved.

I should have mentioned this in my first post as this is a pretty huge piece of the puzzle. She was abused as a child by her brother, sexually. She also had parents who were alcholoics and did not give her the love and attention she needed as a child. This sometimes makes me think, "Has she ever really learned what true intimacy is?"

I think the threesome thing, or even the whole other guy thing is a combination of things. One thing she has told me is that she really longs for the "New relationship" feeling. Basically I think she is addicted to the dopamine release when it happens but she often says things about how she loves that feeling. I also think that men have treated her like crap over the course of her life and she feels like she is only valued for sex.

Another really important thing to mention is when she was in her young 20's she was a stripper. I am sure that men did not treat her very respectfully in that career either.

So this lifetime of sexual, emotional, physical abuse from men I am sure is not helping me at all. However I feel after 8 years if she knows me, she knows I am everything but "that guy".

I have never even been to a strip club in my life. My life is my family and in this case my wife. Being codependent did not help the situation at all, and I made her in my life more important then even myself and I am learning to change that.

But if I back off, and she does not come closer, it feels just like another failed attempt to get what I want. When all I want is love and desire and passion from the person who is supposed to love me the most in life and I do not get it, I feel so incredibly worthless and insecure.

Then these girls here at work come around and invite me out, or tell me how good looking I am, I think what the hell am I doing? I understand that the grass is not always greener on the otherside but I want to experience this feeling again, there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted by someone, being neglected of that for 8 years I feel like I am simply losing my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pravius
The fact that you need her to text you during the day is a big sign of being needy. You acting needy is not going to help your sex life.
MEM, I do not "need" this. I simply want it as it ties into the much larger picture. I do not think that I would be chasing this if my needs were met elsewhere but I am. Part of recovering from being codependent is realizing that you cannot control anyone and they cannot control you. I realize that asking for texts throughout the day could be perceived as "needy" but in your life when a need is not being met, a much larger need than just a text, simple things like this will mean the world.

I do not think that asking for my wife to think about me occasionally through the day is asking to much personally, and I do not even ask for that all the time. My point in saying that was that she works pretty much 12-13 hours a day and it would be nice to hear from her. Reassurance of her love, tell me she is thinking about me, I do not NEED that but it's incredibly nice to hear.

If everything else was going great in our relationship, I do not think I would want this, as I do understand that each party in a marriage need their own space, and I am willing to give it, but I need compromise.
 

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Sorry, I don't have a ton of feedback to give you but let me just give you my perspective of your wife being intrigued by a threesome now that you have provided additional details regarding her past.....

Your wife was sexually abused by a sibling. The person who should have been one to protect her was her attacker. She likely is able to compartmentalize very well and she knows that sex and love do not necessarily go together. So it's possible a 3rd person with you and her is, in fact, nothing but a physical thing. But most importantly, it is a situation she can control. SHE is asking for it. SHE is orchestrating it. SHE is trying to make it happen. Sexual control is something she gave up to her brother a long, long time ago. And same premise as to when she was a stripper. She controlled it all. She was in charge. Know what I mean?

I know it's hard to really comprehend because if she was looking for control then she'd initiate sex with you more often but it's different with you. She loves you. It's very possible that she feels a great deal of shame because of her past and she doesn't feel worthy of your love.

She needs to seek therapy. I am so very sorry she endured that as a child. It makes me sick just thinking about it. But I can't even begin to imagine what it was like living it. Makes me very sad.

Good luck to you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry, I don't have a ton of feedback to give you but let me just give you my perspective of your wife being intrigued by a threesome now that you have provided additional details regarding her past.....

Your wife was sexually abused by a sibling. The person who should have been one to protect her was her attacker. She likely is able to compartmentalize very well and she knows that sex and love do not necessarily go together. So it's possible a 3rd person with you and her is, in fact, nothing but a physical thing. But most importantly, it is a situation she can control. SHE is asking for it. SHE is orchestrating it. SHE is trying to make it happen. Sexual control is something she gave up to her brother a long, long time ago. And same premise as to when she was a stripper. She controlled it all. She was in charge. Know what I mean?

I know it's hard to really comprehend because if she was looking for control then she'd initiate sex with you more often but it's different with you. She loves you. It's very possible that she feels a great deal of shame because of her past and she doesn't feel worthy of your love.

She needs to seek therapy. I am so very sorry she endured that as a child. It makes me sick just thinking about it. But I can't even begin to imagine what it was like living it. Makes me very sad.

Good luck to you both.
Incredibly intitutive, I think you are onto something for sure. One thing that really comes to mind after I read your post was a conversation her and I had about her change in clothes and apprearence.

Through her not eating wheat (Cialiacs Disease) she has lost a ton of weight. So when she began to lose weight she needed some new clothes. One thing she did tell me was she likes the attention, it's all about the attention. Which to me has always been the lack of attention she got from her parents she was looking for elsewhere.

Now after you said that, it makes more sense to me, it could be about the control aspect. She can control it, by her wearing sexy clothes, she controls the fact that men look at her, maybe she gets off subconsiously on that control because she had it taken away so young.

She can be controlling at times in regard to life in general, she tries to control certain aspects of me that she does not like, I have always taken that as her also being codependent but you may be correct.

Thanks for opening that up for me, I never even thought of it like that.

Part of the reason why I have been with her as long as I have is because deep down inside I think I know that she is broken and I want so bad to make sure that I have given this marriage my 100%, because that's just the type of person I am. I got confused in thinking that I could control her and fix her with my codependent behaviour.

I guess the bottom line is, she needs help, but she needs to want it. I suppose the best thing for me would be to set a reasonable deadline and if its not met, follow though and move on with my life.
 

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Part of the reason why I have been with her as long as I have is because deep down inside I think I know that she is broken and I want so bad to make sure that I have given this marriage my 100%, because that's just the type of person I am. I got confused in thinking that I could control her and fix her with my codependent behaviour.

I guess the bottom line is, she needs help, but she needs to want it. I suppose the best thing for me would be to set a reasonable deadline and if its not met, follow though and move on with my life.
I can relate to her, I was sexually abused as a child too, not by my brother but another close family member.

It took something from me. Something I will never get back. As a teenager and in my 20's I was very promiscuous and sexually a risk taker. The problem with this behavior is once you become self aware, you start to hate that part of yourself. You distrust men, and the good ones are liars too.

I've been married to a sensitive, loving man (like yourself) for 10 years now. It took me a lot of reflection, journaling, and open non judgmental conversations with him to make me give myself permission to be loved the way I am. He accepts me as I am, knowing what I've done and I absolutely love and trust him with my heart.

Your wife can get there too, but everyones journey is different. Maybe therapy will jumpstart the entire process, but she has to WANT to get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can relate to her, I was sexually abuses as a child too, not by my brother but another close family member.

It took something from me. Something I will never get back. As a teenager and in my 20's I was very promiscuous and sexually a risk taker. The problem with this behavior is once you become self aware, you start to hate that part of yourself. You distrust men, and the good ones are liars too.

I've been married to a sensitive, loving man (like yourself) for 10 years now. It took me a lot of reflection, journaling, and open non judgmental conversations with him to make me give myself permission to be loved the way I am. He accepts me as I am, knowing what I've done and I absolutely love and trust him with my heart.

Your wife can get there too, but everyones journey is different. Maybe therapy will jumpstart the entire process, but she has to WANT to get there.
I could not even begin to understand what it's like to deal with something like that. I am here for her and she knows it. The issue to me is that she knows how unhappy I have been in life and with all of this. She keeps saying to me, "I do not want to make you miserable" the only thing I can say back is "Then please don't".

I am not sure how to get her to understand how serious this is, but at the same time I care very deeply for her and do not want her to feel abandoned and hurt.
 

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I could not even begin to understand what it's like to deal with something like that. I am here for her and she knows it. The issue to me is that she knows how unhappy I have been in life and with all of this. She keeps saying to me, "I do not want to make you miserable" the only thing I can say back is "Then please don't".

I am not sure how to get her to understand how serious this is, but at the same time I care very deeply for her and do not want her to feel abandoned and hurt.
The thing about this is you both are hurting. She can't help you with yours until she fixes her own. Does that make any sense?

With pasts like ours its not that difficult to compartmentalize love and sex. You have to in order to survive. The issue is when do you know you don't NEED to be in survival mode and it's okay to let go? Some people have a really hard time finding that soft place to land. This is why I said if you want this you will have to excersize patience. A LOT of it. Not every man (or woman) is equipped to do this and there's no blame in that. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes. You need to decide if she's worth it, and you may have to make that decision every day in order to make this work.

This is my 3rd marriage. The first two didn't work out for a combination of my issues and theirs, and I do fault myself for making poor choices in men. For me the 3rd time was and is the charm but not without a lot of time and patience on his part. I picked a wonderful and very generous man and for probably the first 18 months to 2 years of our relationship I didn't make it easy for him. He was consistent. He was patient. He loved me anyway though I KNOW there were days I was unlovable (a total brat!).

She does need help. If she doesn't take some steps to get it or work on herself, you do have a decision to make. I honestly feel for you here.
 

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MEM, I do not "need" this. I simply want it as it ties into the much larger picture.

I do not think that I would be chasing this if my needs were met elsewhere but I am.

but in your life when a need is not being met, a much larger need than just a text, simple things like this will mean the world.

it would be nice to hear from her.
Reassurance of her love, tell me she is thinking about me, I do not NEED that but it's incredibly nice to hear.
but I need compromise.
IMO, you just argued that it is more about your needs and your fear of loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
The thing about this is you both are hurting. She can't help you with yours until she fixes her own. Does that make any sense?

With pasts like ours its not that difficult to compartmentalize love and sex. You have to in order to survive. The issue is when do you know you don't NEED to be in survival mode and it's okay to let go? Some people have a really hard time finding that soft place to land. This is why I said if you want this you will have to excersize patience. A LOT of it. Not every man (or woman) is equipped to do this and there's no blame in that. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes. You need to decide if she's worth it, and you may have to make that decision every day in order to make this work.

This is my 3rd marriage. The first two didn't work out for a combination of my issues and theirs, and I do fault myself for making poor choices in men. For me the 3rd time was and is the charm but not without a lot of time and patience on his part. I picked a wonderful and very generous man and for probably the first 18 months to 2 years of our relationship I didn't make it easy for him. He was consistent. He was patient. He loved me anyway though I KNOW there were days I was unlovable (a total brat!).

She does need help. If she doesn't take some steps to get it or work on herself, you do have a decision to make. I honestly feel for you here.
Thank you so incredibly much for this. This at least puts it into an understandable perspective for me. I think you may be dead on in regard to her feelings. I do understand that in order for her to help me with my issues that she does need to have an understanding of her first. It's a two way street and I understand that. I know there are women out there who can give me this human need, but I really do love my wife, unconditionally. I just do not know how much longer I can go without seeing progress on her part.

There is so often when she tries, or at least what I think is her weird way of trying but it comes off so awkward and sometimes I will ask her what she feels when I can tell she is trying and she can just describe it as "It just feels weird". I can't even talk to her during sex or she gets weirded out. I like dirty talk, and I can sacrifice that for her, I can sacrifice children (she can't and I want them), because I love her. I do not think I can sacrifice my life's happiness though.

Thank you so much for your insight!!!! /hug!
 

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I am not sure how to get her to understand how serious this is.
Pravius, if your W is a BPDer, it is impossible for you to fix her or "get her to understand" anything. As we discussed two weeks ago in your other thread, you seem to be describing the behaviors of a quiet BPDer. Please see my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-ma...ion-intimacy-feel-like-man-2.html#post1375100. It provides two links to good articles about quiet BPDers.

As to the stripping your W did in her early 20's, I note that there is a strong association of stripping with BPD. One study, for example, found that most strippers are the survivors of childhood sexual abuse -- as your W is -- and that 55% of the strippers studied had full-blown BPD. See If pornography made us healthy, we would be healthy by now :: Catholic News Agency.
I do understand that in order for her to help me with my issues that she does need to have an understanding of hers first.
That almost certainly will not happen if she is a BPDer because it is rare for a BPDer to have the self awareness and ego strength required to stay in therapy long enough to make a difference. Although there are many excellent treatment programs all over the country, it is rare for a high functioning BPDer to take advantage of any of them. Sadly, the disorder causes a distortion in her perception of other peoples' intentions, making it very difficult for a BPDer to trust a therapist or the spouse. It also causes anger and self loathing, resulting in a fear of seeing too much of the truth about herself.
 

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Pravius, you might need to detach a LOT in order for her to start coming your direction. You saw before that it wasn't until you were completely moved out for a period of several weeks that she suddenly started seeing a need to step up if she wants to keep your interest.

Also, she seems to respond to the tough guy... you know, the one who leaves, the one who says, "HELL NO!" to his wife fantasizing about a coworker.

Sexual abuse survivors often have a really skewed perception of power. Yes, she was stripped of control by her abuser, in a way, but she also gained a lot of control over that abuser. She knew that she could tell on him, which means by using her sexually, she could control a grown up even when she wasn't grown herself. Sexuality becomes a tool for some abuse survivors. It really is not a path to intimacy for these people. I am one of them and even though the abuse stopped decades ago, sex is still just sex to me. I enjoy it a lot physically and engage fully, but by itself it doesn't make me feel particularly close to someone. For me, intimacy is what I feel when he offers acceptance of me in non-sexual ways. I've had partners who feel more intimate because of our sex life, but I did not.

Anyway, I'm digressing. You may need to pull back a LOT and be decisive and assertive if you want to salvage this, but you will also have to do it in a way that doesn't strip control from her. Clear boundaries and consequences are your friend here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You both are right. I think deep down inside I do know what I need to do. I feel like I am this monster who expects so much, this person who is walking around needing, needing, needing, and I hate feeling like that. I feel like these feelings of intimacy should be natural, but I do understand why they are not in some people.

Thanks for taking the time to post and help me you all really have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pravius, if your W is a BPDer, it is impossible for you to fix her or "get her to understand" anything. As we discussed two weeks ago in your other thread, you seem to be describing the behaviors of a quiet BPDer. Please see my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-ma...ion-intimacy-feel-like-man-2.html#post1375100. It provides two links to good articles about quiet BPDers.

As to the stripping your W did in her early 20's, I note that there is a strong association of stripping with BPD. One study, for example, found that most strippers are the survivors of childhood sexual abuse -- as your W is -- and that 55% of the strippers studied had full-blown BPD. See If pornography made us healthy, we would be healthy by now :: Catholic News Agency.That almost certainly will not happen if she is a BPDer because it is rare for a BPDer to have the self awareness and ego strength required to stay in therapy long enough to make a difference. Although there are many excellent treatment programs all over the country, it is rare for a high functioning BPDer to take advantage of any of them. Sadly, the disorder causes a distortion in her perception of other peoples' intentions, making it very difficult for a BPDer to trust a therapist or the spouse. It also causes anger and self loathing, resulting in a fear of seeing too much of the truth about herself.
Uptown, I missed those links in your last post but thank you for posting them again, I just read the first one and wow it does sound very fimilar.

You know, my therapist did say she sounded classic BPD. The strange thing is while she does show some of the traits of a BPD person she did not show them all, which made me start thinking that she may be codependent or something entirely different. I always had assumed that there could be different levels of BPD but now after reading this, the connection has been made.

This makes all the sense in the world as to why she has not acted on fixing herself. You know just last night we were talking. She comes home and I was on my computer on this site actually typing a response to this thread. She asked me what I was doing and I told her the truth. " I am trying to get some insight on what is going on in our marriage, this forum is great and there are tons of people who know alot to help me."

She immediately gets upset. I ask her what is wrong. She says "Oh I am sure your new friends have alot of good things to say about me, they don't even know me" I was taken back by that... I looked at her and said "This isn't about you, it's about me, I need reassurance that I am not crazy, you tell me how needy I am all the time and I wanted to see if this is "normal""

She immediately gets distant and cold. This is what she does when I lovingly detach.. tells me I am acting weird, she doesn't feel close, maybe it's her fear of abandonment. Her initial emotion to almost everything is anger, and I do fear that anger. I have to stand up to it and not fear it.

Thanks again for this info. I have scoured the net for information and never saw this so this is a huge help.
 

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I looked at her and said "This isn't about you, it's about me
Pravius I think your assertion was great. You need more of that even when her response to you will be withdrawing. She likely doesn't know what to do with this side of you, and withdrawing is a defense mechanism for what 'may' come next. Not that it means anything bad is coming, but she's learned how to survive by always being aware that the bottom may fall out at some point. If expectations stay low or non existent then you don't get disappointed when things go sour (in her head). Emotional detachment is a safety net.

If she has BPD then the ebb and flow of needing you close but not too close is always there. This is really tough. I hope things work out for you, but don't feel bad if you can't keep this up. Your needs are just as important as hers.
 

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There are 9 diagnostic traits for BPD, and if 5 or more are present the diagnosis can be made (as long as there is not a different condition that's more likely producing the traits.)

For a basic glimpse into how BPD affects relationships and what can be done when you suspect BPD is affecting yours, please see my article at Borderline Personality Disorder and Relationships.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kathy,

I just read your blog. Very insightful information there as well. I often will admit that I do not choose the right words and I am sure it has my wife feeling bad. After reading that though just further assures myself that I am dealing with someone who does suffer from BPD. There are so many times I have to ask my wife to listen to my words and not form her own reality of what I am saying.

Sometimes I will tell her something so completely blunt, but she will respond with something completely irrevelent to what I just said, then I ask her where that came from, and she will be like that's what I heard to what you said... it is so frustrating to me because all I want is her to hear and process my words, not her own created fantasy of what I just said.

Patience... I must have patience.


Abitmuch, after I read your post I realized a feeling that I get all the time in my marriage. I feel like I am constantly on this very thin line and trying to keep my balance. I have told this to my wife as well. If I fall or lean too much either way it seems to upset the balance. I know I have my own issues as well and it just seems like after this many years of this I feel so completely worthless and empty inside.

My wife always calls me her best friend, but I honestly am not sure I feel the same way about her. I want to, I really want to more than anything. I want that person that just messhes with me, someone who is there to support me in my times of need. She always says she is there for me, but her actions are completely hypocritical of this and I am felt feeling just completely alone.

As someone who is codependent I do not really have much of my own life, but I am working on that. I lost most of my high school friends to heroin and hard core drugs and choose to stay away from that, so my life in general feels pretty empty, because I created it.

Anyway, thanks again... just being able to hear that I am somewhat normal by a female makes me feel a little better about myself! It's nice to know that there are women out there who would appreciate the attention.
 
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