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Discussion Starter #1
Hi experts,

I am new to this great site and have learned so much thus far. I need some insight from the good people here as to the way forward for me and my wife of just 10 months.

I was divorced in April 2011 after 8 years of marriage. I have three wonderful kids all under 10 with my first wife. Due to her continued mental health issues, I have full custody of my kids and have fought hard to keep them safe so there's a lot of emotional attachment and devotion to the kids.

I met a beautiful lady online a few months before my divorce came through and then got married September 2011. Looking back now, we probably should not have gotten married. We fought all the time. She was an ardent feminist and saw/sees the world through this lens. Men are always responsible for women's woes in the world. I now look back at our emails and chat records while courting and I was almost always apologising for something or the other. Her ability to make a laundry list of past wrongs is staggering. Makes you want to beg for crucifixion upside down.

Now we are married, her insecurities and "emotional needs" have gone out of this world. Pretty much EVERYTHING in my life is considered as competition - EVEN the children who love and trust her so completely. We must go to bed at the same time or else I must not love her. We must sit on the couch together or else I am saying she's ugly. Things are so bad that I fret about going out with her because I am constantly accused of staring at women...church, movies, restaurants etc. I literally look down at times when we are out together because I am dead afraid of another confrontation. I often feel I am speaking a different language to her. We just argue at least every two days. She started off storming out of the bedroom then I would go and beg her. Eventually, I gave up begging. Then we sleep separately for longer periods. She would also walk out of the house in the middle of the night cos she's pissed. Most concerning though is a constant threat of divorce. I calculated based on emails and memory that she has raised divorced every 6-8 weeks in the last 10 months. I always beg until again, I just decided I cannot keep doing so and I told her that 6 weeks ago. 4 weeks later, she said she wanted a divorce and I said yes, then I changed my mind and then changed again to my original position. I simply came to the conclusion that no matter what I did to try to "meet her needs" it can never be good enough. It is so suffocating amidst worries for the children, running a struggling business and paying for almost 100% of our outgoings here in the UK even though her US based business salary remains in the US.

We agreed not to use the D word to the children because of what they've just been through, but she went and told them that I asked her for a divorce which was a lie.

She has now returned to the US and I am left in the UK with 3 sad kids. The kids and I talk a lot about their anxieties, fears and disappointments . I am having to go through this painful process again and feel terrible that I have done this to my children again. She has packed all of her belongings out of the house this time. In the past she just left for her friends locally. Now she has returned to the US saying she wants to 'fix' herself and still wants us to be married but I am dead frightened of the harsh contentions, arguments and emotional blackmail. The constant reaching for an exit door is just too much for me.

Now that she has left the house and the children are steadily getting over this, would I be wise in letting her return? I feel I need to protect my children from any further disruptions and do not want to be constantly made to feel she is doing me a favour. I would love to have more children but I am so afraid of what she'll demand of me if we ever have kids together. Do people really change or should I only expect more of the same later if/when she returns? Am I giving up too quickly on a very short marriage or being pragmatic considering everything else. I am an emotional wreck after months of incessant criticism and harsh words.

Please note that we met with at least 4 MCs before she departed for the US. She insisted we stopped seeing one because the MC was too harsh/focused on her. MC has only made me feel less optimistic as we only return home arguing cos she's pissed about what I say during counselling. I am genuinely afraid when I think of what could happen if we get back together again even though I love her and want her to be happy. I just constantly fail in doing so.
 

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Now that she has left the house and the children are steadily getting over this, would I be wise in letting her return?

No. Your kids need stability, especially after all they've been through. Focus on you and them for awhile. When you start dating again, keep the woman away from them until you are sure that she is going to be a permanent part of their lives.
 

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I am so sorry you and your kids had to go thru that....please divorce this woman ASAP...do not let her back, free yourself and find someone mentally healthy...

I am hoping Uptown finds this post, as is sounds very much like she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. These people wreak havoc in the lives of many and very few put forth the effort to recover (Pidge, you rock ;) )

I have dealt with it, and if you are feeling crazy, its OK because you aren't...that is one of the hardest parts of BPD, they can make YOU feel like the crazy one...take care of YOU and YOUR ASSETS and free yourself from her...you deserve better, I promise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies. I did go through the thread on BPD and raised the symptoms I see in my wife with a friend who is a counsellor. She was adamant that my wife did not have BPD as she doesn't pose a risk of self harm as is often the case with BPD.

i am so kicking myself right now knowing full well that I saw the red flags and was totally blinded by this thing called love. What I never could have envisioned was that a woman who was so confident, intelligent and fiercely independent before we got married is now so emotionally dependent on me. ANY fault results in an instant laundry list dating back to the "third day of our marriage". The horrible honeymoon we had gets brought up with charges of spousal neglect, abuse or that I am using her. Also off of my radar was the idea that a spouse would feel she is in competition with little kids in this way. Am I missing something about a common dynamic in relationships where spouse has full time care for children from a previous relation? My wife has never been married before nor had children. I work from home and see lots of her and the kids too. Sex at different times of the day (irrespective of work) is common after several tantrum like demands and softer expressions of need. I then get told that this doesn't matter as much as something else she's always wanted.

I guess I have never come across such a confrontational woman. It really has made me very wary of women. My mum and sisters are strong women but not like this. I confess to being a rather dispassionate but kind person. She accuses me of having issues with emotional attachment. I just switch off, isolate myself from her/stonewall because I've heard it all before. I just don't want to keep having my efforts and constant apologies thrown back at me. Heck, I have cried more times in the last ten months than I did in total since I lost my dad nearly five years ago from cancer. Considering that this man was my friend and brother, not just a dad, that tells you something. No one has ever made me cry as much as this woman has. She may well say the same for herself as she cries a lot that I just lost feeling for such occurrences.

Even though I miss her sometimes, I feel at peace, freedom and no tension within me with her being away. Does this mean anything to any of you at all?
 

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Even though I miss her sometimes, I feel at peace, freedom and no tension within me with her being away. Does this mean anything to any of you at all?
Yes, it means that you should stay away from her. Your kids seal the deal with regard to my opinion. They should not have to deal with that crazy woman.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I did go through the thread on BPD and raised the symptoms I see in my wife with a friend who is a counsellor. She was adamant that my wife did not have BPD as she doesn't pose a risk of self harm as is often the case with BPD.

i am so kicking myself right now knowing full well that I saw the red flags and was totally blinded by this thing called love. What I never could have envisioned was that a woman who was so confident, intelligent and fiercely independent before we got married is now so emotionally dependent on me. ANY fault results in an instant laundry list dating back to the "third day of our marriage". The horrible honeymoon we had gets brought up with charges of spousal neglect, abuse or that I am using her. Also off of my radar was the idea that a spouse would feel she is in competition with little kids in this way. Am I missing something about a common dynamic in relationships where spouse has full time care for children from a previous relation? My wife has never been married before nor had children. I work from home and see lots of her and the kids too. Sex at different times of the day (irrespective of work) is common after several tantrum like demands and softer expressions of need. I then get told that this doesn't matter as much as something else she's always wanted.

I guess I have never come across such a confrontational woman. It really has made me very wary of women. My mum and sisters are strong women but not like this. I confess to being a rather dispassionate but kind person. She accuses me of having issues with emotional attachment. I just switch off, isolate myself from her/stonewall because I've heard it all before. I just don't want to keep having my efforts and constant apologies thrown back at me. Heck, I have cried more times in the last ten months than I did in total since I lost my dad nearly five years ago from cancer. Considering that this man was my friend and brother, not just a dad, that tells you something. No one has ever made me cry as much as this woman has. She may well say the same for herself as she cries a lot that I just lost feeling for such occurrences.

Even though I miss her sometimes, I feel at peace, freedom and no tension within me with her being away. Does this mean anything to any of you at all?
Not all BPDer's self harm...High functioning ones usually don't (they are able to financially support and take care of themselves) It is the Low Functioning BPDers that self harm and threaten suicide. bpdfamily.com might give you a little more info...it seems as though you fell hard and fast....hang in there, for you and your kids. ;)
 

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How old is she?

I think she is verbally (lying to children about divorce) & emotionally abusive to you. If she is not yet, she will soon be towards your children.

In order to protect your children, you should strongly consider divorce.
 

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And iBolt, rest assured that there are many, many non-crazy women out there who would be happy to have more babies with you if that is what you want. DO NOT have more kids with your wife. Divorce her, take time to focus on your kids. It sounds like they have been through so much. Be strong for them. Keep their lives stable. I think you got remarried way too fast. Don't do that again. Next time, take the time to really get to know the woman before she even meets them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How old is she?

I think she is verbally (lying to children about divorce) & emotionally abusive to you. If she is not yet, she will soon be towards your children.

In order to protect your children, you should strongly consider divorce.
She is 35 and I am 36. I sometimes wonder if the problem isn't that as a highly educated and independent feminist woman who has waited until her 30's to get married, adjusting to things makes her feel trapped and threatened. I just seriously feel like I am torturing her like a by keeping her in this cage called marriage.
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Again thank you for your words of advice. I would love to have more kids BUT bizarrely a real turning point for me was when I realised how frightened I was by the prospect of having children with her. Initially, my thoughts were, I would be toast. . Another question - Is it indeed the case that step parents (maybe particularly women) get jealous of their partner's children or that she is having to compete for affection and attention? Am i being selfish in thinking/feeling that everyone's needs in my family are important especially when kids are concerned? You see, my wife believes she must be my priority and kids come second. I see my family as one not as clusters that need ranking. Heck I try to meet everyone's needs but for her, I am neglecting or rejecting her and I am not trying enough. I last told my counsellorthat I feel emotionally bankrupt and shredded.
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Another question - Is it indeed the case that step parents (maybe particularly women) get jealous of their partner's children or that she is having to compete for affection and attention? Am i being selfish in thinking/feeling that everyone's needs in my family are important especially when kids are concerned?
No, most people are not jealous of their spouse's children. Your thoughts and feelings on the matter are totally sane and rational.
 

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She sounds mental mate, seriously mental. Your kids are your priority, take the initiative and tell her to stay in the US because you and your kids don't need her and her fondness for mental torture.
 

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You married your rebound....that you met on the internet...only months after your first divorce was finalized.

Spare your kids the confusion and instability.
 

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You married your rebound....that you met on the internet...only months after your first divorce was finalized.

Spare your kids the confusion and instability.
"Spare your kids the confusion and instability" by doing what? Stay for kids sake?
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IBolt, I agree with all the advice given you above by NotPerfect, 381917, and other members. The behavioral traits you describe -- verbal abuse, temper tantrums, inappropriate anger, lack of impulse control, constant blaming, always being "The Victim," irrational jealousy, and black-white thinking -- are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which my exW suffers from. Only a professional can determine whether those traits are so severe as to satisfy all of the diagnostic criteria for having full blown BPD.

Yet, for the purposes of deciding whether to remain married to her, you don't need to know whether her traits surpass that diagnostic threshold. Even when they fall well short of it, they can still make your life miserable, harm your children, and undermine your marriage.

Moreover, strong BPD traits are easy to identify when occurring in a woman you've been living with for a year. There is nothing subtle or nuanced about behavior such as verbal abuse, intense jealousy, temper tantrums, and constant blaming.
I did go through the thread on BPD and raised the symptoms I see in my wife with a friend who is a counselor. She was adamant that my wife did not have BPD as she doesn't pose a risk of self harm as is often the case with BPD.
Your friend is mistaken. As NotPerfect explained so well, the cutting, suicide attempts, and other forms of self harm are strongly associated with low functioning BPDers. The vast majority of BPDers, however, are high functioning and rarely do such things. To obtain a candid opinion on what it is you are dealing with, it would be prudent to see a clinical psychologist (not a MC) -- for a visit or two by yourself.
What I never could have envisioned was that a woman who was so confident, intelligent and fiercely independent before we got married is now so emotionally dependent on me.
If your W is a BPDer (i.e., has strong BPD traits), she almost certainly is high functioning -- or you would not have dated her, much less married her. It is common for HF BPDers to interact well with casual friends, business associates, and total strangers. None of those people pose a threat to her two great fears: abandonment and engulfment. There is no close relationship that can be abandoned and no intimacy to cause engulfment.

After you draw close to her, however, the initial infatuation will hold those two fears at bay for only a few months. The two fears thus will return. This is why a HF BPDer can be caring and generous all day long with complete strangers -- and then go home at night to abuse the very people who love her.
Men are always responsible for women's woes in the world. ...I was almost always apologizing for something or the other.
If she is a BPDer, she is convinced she is "The Victim," always "The Victim." You thus are allowed to play only two roles, both of which validate that false self image. One role is being "The Savior," which you were at the beginning and will be again on those few occasions when she is splitting you white. The other role is being "The Perpetrator," the cause of every misfortune and bad thought to befall her.
ANY fault results in an instant laundry list dating back to the "third day of our marriage".
Called "kitchen sinking," this behavior is typical for BPDers. From the start of your relationship, a BPDer will keep a list of every infraction and she will produce that list -- which lists everything including the kitchen sink -- every time you want to discuss a sensitive issue. BPDers generally are interested only in creating drama, not finding solutions.
Now we are married, her insecurities and "emotional needs" have gone out of this world.
It is impossible to make a BPDer happy. Trying to satisfy her is like trying to fill up the Grand Canyon with a squirt gun.
Pretty much EVERYTHING in my life is considered as competition - EVEN the children who love and trust her so completely.
A BPDer's fear of abandonment is so strong that it is common for her to feel threatened by your close relationship to your own children. My BPDer exW, for example, absolutely hated my foster son. And she was even jealous of my close relationship to her own children.
We must go to bed at the same time or else I must not love her. We must sit on the couch together or else I am saying she's ugly.
Due to her abandonment fear, you will be subject to an endless series of loyalty tests. Until she stops hating herself and learns how to trust herself, she will never be able to trust anyone else. Hence, she will never trust you no matter what you do. The harder you try to prove your love, the more insistent she will become that you don't. And, every time you jump through one more hoop, she will keep raising it higher and higher.

My exW, for example, considered me unfaithful if I looked at another woman for a half-second instead of a third-second -- or if I walked two feet in front of her instead of right by her side. Like I said, the testing is endless and exhausting.
She has raised divorce every 6-8 weeks in the last 10 months.
This is called emotional blackmail and likely was done to control your behavior. Due to the fear of abandonment, BPDers are very controlling. As you found out, however, they also will often push you away -- waiting weeks or months before they try to pull you back. Moreover, they sometimes will feel so terribly threatened by abandonment that they will preemptively abandon you to stop the terrible pain and fear.
We agreed not to use the D word to the children because of what they've just been through, but she went and told them that I asked her for a divorce which was a lie.
If your W is a BPDer, reaching an agreement with her on any sensitive matter is pretty worthless. As soon as her mood changes -- and it will change -- she will recant what she agreed to, claiming you misunderstood her -- or claiming you somehow forced her into that agreement against her will.
I would love to have more children but I am so afraid of what she'll demand of me if we ever have kids together.
If she has strong BPD traits, there is some risk she would pass it (or a related mental disorder) on to any children you have with her. BPD is believed to be caused by both genetics and the early childhood environment.
Do people really change or should I only expect more of the same later if/when she returns?
It is rare for a HF BPDer to have sufficient self awareness and ego strength to take advantage of the many excellent therapy programs available. Therapist Shari Schreiber says you have a better chance flying to the moon strapped to a banana than ever seeing a BPDer stay in therapy long enough to make a difference.
I sometimes wonder if the problem isn't that as a highly educated and independent feminist woman who has waited until her 30's to get married.
If your W is a BPDer, that is not the problem. Rather, the problem is having the emotional development of a four year old, leaving her stuck with the primitive ego defenses available to young children -- e.g., temper tantrums, denial, projection, and black-white thinking. On top of that, a BPDer is filled with enormous anger and self loathing.
Please note that we met with at least 4 MCs before she departed for the US. ....MC has only made me feel less optimistic as we only return home arguing.
If your W is a BPDer, her issues go far beyond a simple lack of communication skills. MC therefore likely will be useless. What is needed is many years of IC which, as I noted above, is not likely to happen. I took my BPDer exW to several MCs and six different psychologists -- in weekly visits for 15 years -- all to no avail. It won't work unless the BPDer badly wants it to work.
She has packed all of her belongings out of the house this time.
PRAISE THE LORD!!!! To ensure that you don't let her back into the house anytime soon, I suggest you read my description of BPD traits in Maybe's thread to see if most sound very familiar. My post is at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss it with you and point you to excellent online resources. Take care, IBolt.
 

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My ex h has diagnosed BPD. He threatened to kill himself. He's still here today 18-19 years later treating his current wife worse then me. She puts up with him and I have no clue why. He's very abusive with his words. I was never good enough for him in his eyes, plus he tried controlling my every move, which didn't work and would end up in huge blow outs.

Don't let her bring you down. You will are much better off without her. No one should be treated this way.

It's easy to ignore those red flags or to say to yourself that they will get/behave better in time. It's just not true. Unless they are willing to get professional doctor help, they will continue on that destructive path. My ex h is horrible with his children. He emotionally ripped my child apart and decided he wanted nothing to do with them at the age 14. That was a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.

Good luck! You will be able to find love again. Make sure your ready for it and don't rush into things.
 

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iBolt ~

You got divorced in April 2011 and then married someone else 5 months later? Why did you decide to get married again so quickly?

I think you should divorce her, you're clearly unhappy and your personalities clash completely.
Do you want to live the rest of your life looking down at the floor every time you go out? Your wife does not trust you at all.

Divorce and concentrate on your kids right now, you rushed into this, her personality will not change.
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