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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused:

Some of you may have seen my other posts. The underlying theme is my wife of 1 yr 9 months is not a "warm" person and our relationship is constantly on the edge.

She started out quite warm, but rapidly declined.
Foolishly I pushed on, asked her to marry. Something she now says she would not have done if she knew then what she knows now.

Biggest problem for her is my previous marriage and the fact that I have a child that visits 3 out of 4 weekends a month. My little girl is six. I divorced because my ex has BPD and cheated on me. The fights were non-stop and I wanted to spare my little girl that experience. I do not contact my ex except though a very rare email if visitation adjustments needed.
My current wife's issues stem from an inner conflict on how to handle my daughter. This is according to her.

They both love each other and my daughter calls her mama. My wife says she often feels she is her real daughter - but of course she is not. She has a real mother who takes less than stellar care of my daughter.

My wife put pressure on herself and me around my daughter. She has a hard time fully accepting her, but cannot reject her.

My wife says because we don't have enough "alone" time she was not able to build up a strong bond with me. She admits to not being "in love" with me and sees me more as a dad or even one of her own family than a husband.

We rarely have sex, but that has changed a bit with my insistence that we do once a week. She almost seems to have liked my demand even though she initially rejected it.

She will cuddle me sometimes and kiss me goodnight and good morning. She will fondle me because she enjoys it. There is some intimacy, but it often swings hot/cold by whatever she has going on in her head.

We saw a MC a few times and my wife thought we got something out of it. The therapist wanted my wife to continue alone, and she did for a while.
She has since stopped going - rejecting the idea of counseling. She doesn't accept advice very well. She easily feels threatened and controlled and reacts with stubbornness and coldness.
My wife comes form a different world than I; having lived in many other countries, having rich friends and boyfriends, having been a "player", being arguably hyper-sexual, and spending the first 43 years of her life single and happy.

I on the other hand am very loving and caring toward her. I am quite conservative in my values, particularly about sex and relationships. I am not a "nice-guy" however, so no need to look there. I only expect a normal caring relationship, no covert or otherwise contracting.

I have tried to share my love with her. To make her feel wanted, but free. Consistently so. Maybe stubbornly so. I have tried to reach out to her in many ways. Tried to share experiences and talk and enjoy things together. She however doesn't have much patience for things that are not her favorite and she shows it. I eventually get discouraged and taper off. We talk and she denies she is rejecting me. The same for affection.
But after a fight she will come to me - loving for a while. The repeat the cycle.

I want and need her to care for me consistently. Having recently revealed she is not in love with me and hasn't felt the same way since the first few month were were together has been rather difficult for me. I have withdrawn form her somewhat as I feel a fool giving myself to her now.

We have discussed divorce many times.

Ironically the connection to my child has kept us together so far.
She feels bad to not be there for my daughter; I don't like the idea of separating my daughter from my wife.
But I am not happy. And she doesn't seem to be able to care about my happiness for more than short intervals.

When we talk she always ends up with her oft-repeated "we just don't match; we are too different".

I ask her why she married me and she says it because I am so kind; her parents told her she would never find another like me; because she was 43 when we married and knew it was time to settle down.because she decided that once she gets married she will not divorce like her parents did.

She never says because she loves me. She thinks that kind of thinking is for children.
And so she hurts me more.

I keep hanging on - because of my daughter; because we work in the same department (she is looking elsewhere as she hates the company) because I live in Japan and it's hard to make a stable family here and I don't want to give up (again) on marriage.

However much I want to try I know I can't do it alone. And if she really believes we are not compatible and she really sees me only as a father and not a husband there is no way to make it work through effort alone - especially if mostly from my side.

I just wish I had the foresight and a crystal ball to help me make the right decision...

TL;DR:
Wife doesn't love me like a husband. Her love is intermittent. My daughter causes her indirect stress that she cannot manage. I am not happy. She is not happy. I don't know if I should stay or go.

How can I know when I should throw in the towel???
 

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Sounds like you divorced a BPDer and then went and married another one. Read the book Codependent No More. I bet you'll find the book describes you to a T. Stop trying to understand her and start trying to understand yourself first. You sound like a good guy. You deserve to be loved by your wife, but you can't make her love you if she doesn't. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to take responsibility for her emotions while neglecting your own.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ Yes I think that's the case sadly...didn't see it coming because she is so different form my ex. Thought that was going to make it OK.
Seems I was horribly wrong.
 

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Sounds like you divorced a BPDer and then went and married another one.
Nice call, Waking! Corum and I discussed his new W's BPD traits for several days back in September. One of those traits is the intense sexuality that goes off a cliff right after the wedding, as happened with Corum's W. An important issue, as I mentioned then, is whether she is exhibiting strong traits of a "quiet BPDer." That discussion starts at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...860-wife-always-suspicious-2.html#post1098541.
Yes I think that's the case sadly.
You think? You THINK!!! Given what is at stake -- the risk of bringing a second BPDer mother into your young daughter's life -- you should contact a professional to FIND OUT. That's why I encouraged you (9/28 post) "to see your own psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
unfortunately there are no good therapists here in Tokyo. I have been to both the decent ones and no one can make a remote BPD diagnosis.
thats why I keep comming back here for community knowledge.
 

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unfortunately there are no good therapists here in Tokyo. I have been to both the decent ones and no one can make a remote BPD diagnosis. thats why I keep comming back here for community knowledge.
Corum, no psychologist is able to formally diagnose anyone without meeting and talking to them. So a "remote diagnosis" was never an option. I nonetheless believe that most psychologists will give you a candid opinion on what they believe you and your daughter likely are dealing with, based on your description of your W's dysfunctional behaviors over several years. Instead of declaring that "she has BPD" or "she has NPD," they likely would say something similar to "it sounds to me like your W may have strong aspects of ...."

I realize it must be difficult to find an English speaking psychologist in Tokyo. Are the therapists you saw both psychologists? Did they say you are not describing BPD or NPD? Or, rather, did they simply refuse to characterize your W's behavior in any way? Given that your young daughter is in the middle of this mess, it is hard to imagine that a therapist will refuse to tell you what she is having to deal with in light of your W's strange behaviors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Uptown.
Yeah I / we saw both psychiatrists that are available in Tokyo. Both have US and Japanese accreditation.
The previous one thought she was depressed and put her on Zoloft then Wellbutrin - which made things worse. The latest one wanted her to come in every month but my wife doesn't think she needs it so won't go. This therapist just tells me to be patient and wait. Not really useful.

This is why I keep coming back here. I can't get good local support.
 

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Yeah I / we saw both psychiatrists that are available in Tokyo.
Corum, if your W is a high-functioning BPDer (as you suspected last September), it is very unlikely that you would be told that by any therapist -- regardless of whether they are in Tokyo or here in the States. Therapists are loath to tell a HF BPDer the name of her disorder (for her own protection). Moreover, if they won't tell her, they certainly will not tell the husband -- even if he is occasionally seeing the same therapist and is paying all the bills.

One reason for this withholding of BPD information is that insurance companies usually refuse to cover treatments for BPD but they will cover treatments when they are listed instead as an associated Axis-1 disorder (e.g., depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD -- all of which can be treated with medication). A second reason is that telling a HF BPDer the name of her disorder almost certainly will result in her immediately terminating therapy or switching to another therapist. For a more detailed explanation of why BPD information is routinely withheld, please see my post at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...-official-im-getting-divorced.html#post811909.

With my BPDer exW, for example, I spent over $200,000 taking her to weekly sessions with six different psychologists for 15 years. None of them ever mentioned BPD. Indeed, the last one I took her to -- for five years straight -- always refused to tell me the diagnosis. Whenever I would ask -- and I asked a lot -- she would simply reply "I don't believe labels are useful." At my very last meeting with her, when I was very insistent on being told, she grudgingly admitted it was "a thought disorder," which is exactly what BPD is. My exW exhibits all nine BPD traits at a strong level and had a terrible childhood in which she was abused by her mother and sexually abused -- for years -- by her own father.

This is why -- in my 9/28 post at the link provided above -- I encouraged you to see YOUR OWN psychologist who has not treated or seen your W. If the psychologist has seen both of you, he is ethically bound to protect his sick patient -- your W. Hence, relying on your W's psychiatrist for advice during the marriage is as foolish as relying on her attorney's advice during the divorce. It is very important to see a therapist who is ethically bound to protect YOUR best interests, not hers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I guess I am in a bind as I have used up the two Tokyo resources then. Also no mental health issues are covered here in Japan, it's not considered an illness per se. We have to pay out of pocket here. I had a Japanese acquaintance whose wife was probably BPD. His doc was pretty high up in the Japan psyc world and admitted treatment options here are terrible.

Perhaps I can find an online therapist from the States...
 

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treatment options here are terrible. Perhaps I can find an online therapist from the States...
Perhaps so. I notice that there are some online therapists accessible through links provided here on the TAM website. I've never tried them but they may be good. Alternatively, you could see a psych when returning to the states to visit your family. Until you are able to speak with a professional, I suggest you acquire more about BPD traits to see if they sound very familiar. Toward that end, I offer several suggestions:

As an initial matter, if you still suspect your W has strong BPD traits, I recommend that you NOT tell her. If she is a BPDer, she almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you, believing YOU to be the BPDer.

Second, I suggest you read Stop Walking on Eggshells, the best-selling BPD book targeted to abused spouses like you. Or, if you ever decide to get a divorce, read Splitting: Protecting Yourself when Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist. Both books are written by the same author.

Third, I suggest you start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum I've found that is devoted fully to the spouses and family members of BPDers. This issue is such an enormous problem that that website is growing by 20 new members every day. The result is that it offers eight separate message boards on various BPD issues. The ones that likely will be most helpful to you are the "Staying" board, "Leaving" board, and "Parenting after the Split" board.

Fourth, while you are at BPDfamily.com, I suggest you read the excellent articles in their resources section. My favorite is "Surviving a Breakup with Someone with BPD" at T9 Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder - Columbia University, New York.

Finally,
I again caution -- as I pointed out on 9/30, if you are not seeing emotional instability -- where your W flips back and forth between loving you and devaluing (even hating) you -- you are NOT seeing the red flags for a strong pattern of BPD traits. Instability is the primary hallmark of a BPD pattern of behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I actually visited BPDfamily years ago to help learn about my ex's condition. My current W did not exhibit the symptoms for the first six months or so. After that I was probably in denial as things started to surface.
Now its she loves me and snuggles one minute and fights and says we will never work the next. It seems the better things get the more likely she is to explode at me. It's like she cannot accept things being good and must break it up.
 

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I actually visited BPDfamily years ago to help learn about my ex's condition. My current W did not exhibit the symptoms for the first six months or so. After that I was probably in denial as things started to surface.
Now its she loves me and snuggles one minute and fights and says we will never work the next. It seems the better things get the more likely she is to explode at me. It's like she cannot accept things being good and must break it up.
Can't ask for a more classic BPD behavior than that.
 
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