Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been married for 15 years, and dated for three years before that. We have two boys, ages 7 and 11. My husband has many issues, including ADD, addiction to pornography, anger management, and compulsive behavior. I have told him in the past that as long as he is working on his issues, I will continue to try to make the marriage work.

Last night we met with his therapist to go over an issue that was bothering me -- the way in which my husband disciplines our children. During the course of the session, my husband became enraged and stormed out. His therapist decided to use the rest of the time to inform me that, for therapy to be successful, you "need to show your belly" i.e., be willing to be vulnerable and open to suggestion, and that, not once in a year of therapy, has my husband dropped his guard. The therapist suggested I wait until the holidays are over and then file for divorce. Now that I know that my husband was not working on his issues, and even worse, lying to his therapist, that's pretty much closed the book on the marriage for me.

I agree with his reasoning, I mean the guy is a time bomb and I hate walking on eggshells around him, but I have Christmas and two birthdays (one December and one January) to get through. I just don't feel like I can fake it and honestly he scares me. He has alienated several of my friends and my family does not like him. One person who was close to me decided to move on to other friends *after it became clear to her that I was not going to dump him immediately. Now I am intending to divorce him and I don't want to deal with this person all of a sudden trying to be best friends again. To make matters worse, I live 700 miles away from my hometown and I do not have any close friends where I am.

Sorry to dump this on you all but I am overwhelmed and don't even know what to do. As time goes on, my husband will undoubtedly cool off and then think things are fine, because he does not seem to understand that you can divorce when you are not in the middle of an argument. We have a lot of similar interests, but at his core my husband is immature, defensive and incapable of intimacy. I can't deal with it anymore. Sorry again for rambling, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Heck anything at all would be appreciated.


Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,411 Posts
Are you familiar with the 180? I would go into it wholeheartedly if I were you.

Are you likely to get full custody? With his issues, I sure hope so.

So sorry you and the kids are going through this. But so glad you have the strength to leave. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,269 Posts
What can you do? Therapy is not working, he will not change, you have been married 15 years and you are miserable.

I know you want an easy solution but both your choices suck. Either divorce and go through that pain or stay and be miserable.

Pick your poison. If he is incapable of meeting you half way then that's that. Time for you to be brave and do what he won't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you both for responding so fast.

Yes I do think I would get custody.

I don't know what a 180 is but if it involves introspection then I'm pretty sure he will wuss out a quarter of the way into it. :(

Sorry my profile is so bare. I'm trying to figure out this Tapatalk thing.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,411 Posts
It basically means ignoring him and carrying on with your own life.

I need to leave now, but I hope someone else will link it. It is meant to help you walk out of a relationship without wasting any more energy on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,238 Posts
The 180 is a process of steps you do, day by day, you have to take one day at a time

The 180 | AFFAIRCARE

Some days you will be able to do it, some days you will fail, but just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Start planning your exit, keep it on the down low until you have spoken to a lawyer, organised a place to leave (if you are moving out), sorted out finances, etc. The 180 will help you to be stronger and independent, it is for YOU not your H.

Although I have taken this from the Affaircare website, I know that is not your situation, but the 180 helps you to emotionally detach and move on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
My husband has many issues, including ADD, addiction to pornography, anger management, and compulsive behavior.... is immature, defensive and incapable of intimacy.
Blue, the behaviors you describe -- i.e., event-triggered irrational anger, controlling behavior, temper tantrums, lack of impulse control, lack of impulse control, immaturity, and always being "The Victim" -- are some of the classic warning signs for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Importantly, I'm not suggesting your H has full-blown BPD but, rather, that he might exhibit strong traits of it.

I caution that BPD is not something a person "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is a "spectrum" disorder, which means every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all BPD traits to some degree (albeit at a low level if the person is healthy). At issue, then, is not whether your H exhibits BPD traits. Of course he does. We all do.

Rather, at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met him, I cannot answer that question. I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are not difficult to spot because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," lack of impulse control, and rapid event-triggered mood flips.

The guy is a time bomb and I hate walking on eggshells around him.
If your H has strong BPD traits, his unpredictable rages are to be expected because BPDers mistakenly perceive sleights and insults in harmless comments and actions. Moreover, because a BPDer has been carrying enormous anger inside since childhood, you don't have to do anything to CREATE the anger. Rather, you only have to do or say some minor thing that triggers the anger that is already there. The result is that the abused spouses will feel they are always walking on eggshells. This is why the #1 best-selling BPD book (targeted to the abused spouses) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.

My husband has many issues, including ADD.
Some psychologists believe adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may be the same thing as -- or perhaps a subset of -- BPD (see, e.g., Adult ADHD and BPD).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs. If most sound very familiar, I would suggest you read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Maybe's Thread. If that description rings any bells, I would be glad to join the other respondents in discussing them with you. Take care, Blue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,577 Posts
Ask your therapist to come up with effective Boundaries and Consequences while you are still married. She'll explain it to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Anything is good when your used to getting no affection or good attention. I feel for you sweetie I really do I know how it feels

Sent from my SM-G360T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you for your thoughtful replies.* And thank you, Uptown for your description of BPD.* That may in fact be what his problem is.* Maybe he will come to realize these things in time, but as for me, I am done trying to help him.* I am not going to try to "fix" him, it is a codependent path that I am not willing to walk down because that will lead me into a much worse position.

The problem I am running into now is that, now that I've started the 180 (I actually googled it, thank you internet!), he just comes home and plunks in front of the TV, thinking I an completely running the household to somehow "atone" for how I treated him (didn't take his victim BS act).* He doesn't realize that I've gone to the next step and am doing this in preparation for being alone.* He still tries to make small talk with me in the evenings, still wants to sit up and watch TV together.* I usually head upstairs after I've done all the chores and the kids are both in bed.* It is difficult to push him away because is ignorant to what is going on.

I've started looking at local real-estate and am getting excited about moving on.* We still have to get through the holidays before things get moving but I am very much anticipating the freedom from headgames.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
I don't have anything to add. It's difficult to muddle through but I think you are doing what you have to for self-preservation and for your kids as well. They don't need to live with an emotional rollercoaster. At least things are peaceful. Don't worry about what he thinks/why he thinks you are behaving differently. It no longer matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
you don't seem to have supplied any actual information.

your H stomps off when angry - what do want? blow up arguments? physical violence? silent treatment and revenge seeking?

is he attempting to manipulate you like you are doing to him?

without better information about why he is angry, not much can be said: except get a better counselor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Good morning, I thought I'd post an update on how things are going.

My husband kept attempting to talk about our relationship, so I sat down with him and we went over what's going on. He agreed that we had made a deal that as long as each of us was trying to address all issues seriously that we would make a serious commitment to our marriage. As I mentioned before now I find that he has been lying to me, his friends, and his therapist. Over time we have both been to see several counselors, including marriage counselors and priests. I feel kind of weird saying this but we were actually sort of fired by 3 marriage counselors who seemed to think that the relationship was irreparable.

I did share with my husband the advice about borderline personality disorder. To my surprise he looked it up and then agreed with me that a lot of it does sound like him. Then he asked me how to change it. I told him that I am not a therapist and I felt awkward even sharing the BPD info with him because he should be the one seeking his own help.

All things considered, he has not shown that he can meet me halfway and make a sustained commitment to treatment. Real, successful therapy can be very painful and he is all about paving over anything that causes pain, no matter the consequence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,577 Posts
The thing about change is that we usually avoid it at all costs - until the pain of STAYING in our situation becomes worse than the pain of CHANGING.

While you are there, he is getting no pain, thus no change. If you leave, and he feels the pain of being alone or left, he may decide he's ready to tackle whatever's wrong with him. So, as I often tell people, you would be helping him by leaving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,160 Posts
Blue Aura

Your husband is going to have to face the pain that change creates
That's why it's so difficult to make changes in our self

The good news is he has been doing at least some introspection.
So he knows he has issues.

You are on the path you need to be on with all the proper methods and approach.

You are acting with a compassionate heart.When you leave put aside any feelings of guilt.

When you leave he will become one of two things

Lets hope it's the one that forces him to change for the good .To better his role as father to your children and become a better life partner with someone else.

55
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,411 Posts
If he is willing to humble himself and submit to your authority, and you are willing to assume responsibility for the marriage, you might be able to transform your marriage.

There are children involved. It is worth considering.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
If he is willing to humble himself and submit to your authority, and you are willing to assume responsibility for the marriage, you might be able to transform your marriage.

There are children involved. It is worth considering.
Posted via Mobile Device
It's not that I want him to submit, not that at all. I'd like to know who he is on the inside. Who is this strange person he hides from me, and why is he so afraid of showing himself? Who is this man who can't remember his entire childhood, but can recall a perceived insult I made a month ago? I don't understand. When I'm hurt I cry, when I'm frustrated I get cranky, but with him there are two moods -- fine and furious. I wish I knew who he is.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
II'd like to know who he is on the inside.... with him there are two moods -- fine and furious.
Blue, if your H actually does have strong BPD traits, it is unlikely his therapist would tell him the name of that disorder. To protect the high functioning BPDers, therapists routinely withhold that information -- for reasons I discuss at Loath to Diagnose. Hence, if BPD actually is involved, your best chance of obtaining a candid professional opinion is to see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself. By seeing a psych who has never treated or seen your H, you are assured that the psych is ethically bound to protect only YOUR best interests, not those of your H.

With regard to moodiness, the two most common causes are hormone changes (e.g., puberty, midlife change) and drug abuse. When those two can be ruled out, the two remaining common causes are BPD and bipolar disorder. I had suggested you consider BPD warning signs because the symptoms you describe -- particularly the strong anger and rapid event-triggered mood flips -- are red flags for BPD, not bipolar.

Finally, I note that if you were seeing the rages and strong verbal abuse without seeing the fear of abandonment (e.g., irrational jealousy) and without seeing the fear of engulfment (a suffocating feeling during intimacy), I would have suggested you consider IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder). Whereas BPD rages typically are triggered primarily by loved ones, IED rages have little to do with abandonment or intimacy and thus can be frequently triggered by anyone. Road rage, for example, is more characteristic of IED because it is triggered by complete strangers.

Moreover, whereas BPD rage typically is NOT followed by sincere apology and true remorse, IED rage usually is. A person suffering IED usually is very apologetic about the temper tantrum an hour or so later. In any event, it would be prudent for you to discuss these possibilities with a psychologist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
Well, for what it is worth, it means SOMEthing that you h acknowledged the traits of BPD sound like him, and he asked if you could help. When i told my h I thought he was bi polar, that was the last straw. He didn't want to know there was something physiological; he wanted to be a victim and think that all his issues and his depression were caused by our relationship.

Mountain Runner tells the story that his wife asked him, when she caught him doing various things related to infidelity, what is WRONG with you, and he decided to try to find out.

So it seems to me you've covered some ground with your h, and yes, changing and acknowledging a physiological or psychological disorder is hard for some people to do; but some people CAN be aware that they have a problem and be unable to know what to do about it, how to find out about it, and where to go for help.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,411 Posts
It's not that I want him to submit, not that at all. I'd like to know who he is on the inside. Who is this strange person he hides from me, and why is he so afraid of showing himself? Who is this man who can't remember his entire childhood, but can recall a perceived insult I made a month ago? I don't understand. When I'm hurt I cry, when I'm frustrated I get cranky, but with him there are two moods -- fine and furious. I wish I knew who he is.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
I certainly support the idea of divorcing him. I think I would!

But it sounds like he demonstrated some openness to a possible BPD diagnosis, and might be willing to do what is needed to get a grip on that condition, if it is what he has. It might be something you can work with, *if* you want to give it a shot.

My concern in all this is the kids. You have said you have concerns about how he disciplines them. If you two divorce, you are unlikely to have any influence over how he does that. And 7 and 11 are still pretty young ages to be left all alone with a dad who may discipline in questionable ways.

If he wants to stay married, I think you need to set the conditions for that happening, including how the children are to be disciplined. Your husband may simply not have the capacity at this point to set healthy limits for them.

By his submitting to you, I do not mean he needs to lie prostrate at your feet. :D I mean that he needs to accept the conditions you, as the more reasonable, healthier, and responsible adult, set for family and marital life.

This does not mean you cannot show him compassion and empathy. He surely needs that, too. But I do think that he is going to need some firm limits to get him grounded in what normal expectations of children are.

BA, again, I do not blame you for just leaving him. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to live with a BPD male.

But if you want to give him one last chance, I think any softness towards him likely needs to recede, at least temporarily, and as much firmness as possible take its place.
Posted via Mobile Device
Posted via Mobile Device
 
  • Like
Reactions: Uptown
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top