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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I've found this interesting article: 10 Signs Your Girlfriend or Wife is an Emotional Bully « A Shrink for Men

I think my wife is emotionally bullying me. My relationship is somewhat a rollercoaster, one day everythings is fine and we're happy, the day after who knows, she may not speak to me because I upset her over a trivial thing, or even because I have a different opinion.
This was quite shocking to me at the beginning because in every past relationship I never experienced anything like it.

The most common thing that she does to me is this (also called silent treatment):

8 Rejection. She ignores you, won’t look at you when you’re in the same room, gives you the cold shoulder, withholds affection, withholds sex, declines or puts down your ideas, invitations, suggestions, and pushes you away when you try to be close. After she pushes you as hard and as far away as she can, she’ll try to be affectionate with you. You’re still hurting from her previous rebuff or attack and don’t respond. Then she accuses you of being cold and rejecting, which she’ll use as an excuse to push you away again in the future.
I have somewhat learnt to deal with it without feeling bad about myself. Sometimes I get angry though, and I am not ready when she suddenly switches ("magically") to be loving again, like nothing happened. If I am not ready she switches back to silent treatment.

Another thing that happens less frequently than the one above:

5) Unpredictable responses. Round and round and round she goes. Where she’ll stop, nobody knows. She reacts differently to you on different days or at different times. For example, on Monday, it’s ok for you to Blackberry work email in front of her. On Wednesday, the same behavior is “disrespectful, insensitive, you don’t love me, you’re a self-important jerk, you’re a workaholic.” By Friday, it could be okay for you to Blackberry again.

Telling you one day that something’s alright and the next day that it’s not is emotionally abusive behavior. It’s like walking through a landmine in which the mines shift location.

And lastly:

4) Gaslighting. “I didn’t do that. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. It wasn’t that bad. You’re imagining things. Stop making things up.” If the woman you’re involved with is prone to Borderline or Narcissistic rage episodes, in which she spirals into outer orbit, she may very well not remember things she’s said and done. However, don’t doubt your perception and memory of events. They happened and they are that bad.

Result: Her gaslighting behavior may cause you to doubt your own sanity. It’s crazy-making behavior that leaves you feeling confused, bewildered, and helpless.
Her behaviour is driving me insane. I feel like I'm detaching from her emotionally just to protect myself. Some days I feel so drained that I can barely sleep at night (it should be the opposite but the brain keeps working..).

I talked to ther and told her that those fights for silly reasons are pushing me away from her. Things got better for a while but then we had fights again.

I am trying to do my best to get along but what can you do when you're attacked or given the silent treatment just because your opinion is different than hers?

Any suggestion on what to do?
 

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Sorry, I am not a dude, but here is my 0.02.

Do you really think it is all her?
Do you really think you are her victim?

Try the site NMMNG. They have a pretty strong base for men who feel "bullied" by their women.

If I understand the premise of the site well enough, the first thing you must consider is that the problem my lie (maybe just a little) with you and your actions.

The site advice is free.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, I am not a dude, but here is my 0.02.

Do you really think it is all her?
Do you really think you are her victim?

Try the site NMMNG. They have a pretty strong base for men who feel "bullied" by their women.

If I understand the premise of the site well enough, the first thing you must consider is that the problem my lie (maybe just a little) with you and your actions.

The site advice is free.
I know the site and the book.

It's pretty difficult to deal with someone to accept that I am doing something wrong just because I said "I like green" and she does not like it. And as a consequence I am ignored and not spoken to for a day or two.

Tell me where is my fault there.
 

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One through six, check. Seven, no but seven and eight are the same thing. Eight through ten, check. A classic paranoid psychopath
 

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Sheee.

I can't tell you where your "faults" are from a paragraph, without hearing both sides. And even at that, it would only be my opinion.

I just am familiar with that site, and they have quite a few posters who describe the same things you do.

Good luck to you.
 

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I have somewhat learnt to deal with it without feeling bad about myself

I'm detaching from her emotionally just to protect myself

I talked to ther and told her that those fights for silly reasons are pushing me away from her. Things got better for a while but then we had fights again.

Any suggestion on what to do?
Mishy,

You are off to a good start with the three actions you describe here. First you detach yourself emotionally to the point where you are not being hurt. Next, you strengthen yourself by understanding why she is able to hurt you and making a choice not to allow yourself to be hurt by whatever she is doing. Then you are ready to ask her to quit doing these things, whatever they are.

Meanwhile, it would help you a lot if you could understand why she does this in the first place. This is usually due to childhood hurt or bad previous relationships. What kind of relationship did she have with her father growing up?
 

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my wife called me a "insensitive ****" today.

i kind of prefer this reaction from her than the back and forth stuff.
i actually do listen to her, but i dont let her know it. i dont want to play into it.
:)
 

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Her behaviour is driving me insane. I feel like I'm detaching from her emotionally just to protect myself. Some days I feel so drained that I can barely sleep at night (it should be the opposite but the brain keeps working..).

Any suggestion on what to do?
Sounds like your emotional hose is strongly connected to her. My W hits on a lot of that list, and it's been a long struggle for me to learn how to deal with her. Do the NMMNG exercises from the book and post at the forum. Read Codependent No More, The Way of The Superior Man, and Hold On To Your Nuts.

When she goes off on you, STFU and listen for some nuggets of truth in there. You may actually learn what's bugging her. BUT...don't accept disrespect. If she starts yelling or name calling, the conversation is over. Tell her that you refuse to be spoken to that way, STFU and walk off.

Why do you stay in this marriage?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you guys for the replies and useful inputs.

@Ten Year Hubby
I think she acts this way due to her childhood. Her dad was in the military at the time and the family was moving across the country every few years to follow him.Dad was not home much due to his job. She became her mom's "confidante" at a young age. She is still now, her mom complains about everything in emails and my wife has to respond pronto, or she would be "punished".
There is more to this but I don't have the time to write it all, but what I wrote should give you an idea of how things were in here family.

@ bribius. Do you fight often with your wife? Do you make any effort not to fight, but at the same time to be firm with your choices?


@ thunderstruck

We married less than a year ago. I believe there is still room for improvement, and that we can solve this, this is why I stay. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows.

For the disrespect, you are 100% right. I remember a few months ago she called me "jerk" a couple of times and she thought it was funny. For me it wasn't. English is not my mother tongue and sometimes it's difficult for me to understand everything.
I told her not to call me "jerk" and she said ok but she minimized the whole thing. Then she did it again when we were out with the dog. I got upset and told her not to do it again, then I went home. She apologized and never called me jerk again.

The sad thing is that I feel I never have to let the my guard down, it's like I am always on test. Pretty difficult to relax.
I am a foregner and I left my country to be with her, despite my marriage having ups and downs I like where I am a lot.
 

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Her dad was in the military at the time and the family was moving across the country every few years to follow him.Dad was not home much due to his job. She became her mom's "confidante" at a young age. She is still now, her mom complains about everything in emails and my wife has to respond pronto, or she would be "punished".
So her dad was detached and her mom made her into a spouse substitute while she was still a child.

An outside relationship based on listening to another's complaining is going to destabilize your marriage, especially if the complainer is a parent. You need to help your wife realize that this relationship is unhealthy. I would suggest a ban on complaining and listening to others who complain since no real good can come from this. Your wife should certainly have a relationship with her mom but she can't allow a parent to fill her up with their complaints.
 

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I'm guessing 90% or more of the article was paraphrased from the wiki page for Borderline Personality Disorder.

DSM criteria:
1 - Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5

2 - A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3 - Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4 - Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5

5 - Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars or picking at oneself (excoriation).

6 - Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7 - Chronic feelings of emptiness

8 - Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

9 - Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms
#6 on the above list should be explained. "Affect" has a special meaning in psychology.
Affect (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In simple terms, affect is how a person responds to things. Positive affect means a person is more likely to take things in stride, and problems can be approached with some degree of optimism. Negative affect means a person's mood can quickly change from positive to negative in response to minor problems. Having inconsistent affect means that your behavior is fairly unpredictable. On a day of positive affect, criticism can lead to good conversations. On a day of negative affect, asking them to do something simple like turn down the volume of the TV can be enough to make them explode and start yelling.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So her dad was detached and her mom made her into a spouse substitute while she was still a child.

An outside relationship based on listening to another's complaining is going to destabilize your marriage, especially if the complainer is a parent. You need to help your wife realize that this relationship is unhealthy. I would suggest a ban on complaining and listening to others who complain since no real good can come from this. Your wife should certainly have a relationship with her mom but she can't allow a parent to fill her up with their complaints.

You are right. I taked to her several times about limiting contacts with her mom. She always does for a while but then switches back to the old behaviour.
She also seems not to be able to commit to some things, for example she decided to go for a walk or a run every morning to be healthy, she did it for a week then stopped, making up excuses when I asked her about the change. Same things on other activities we did together, like walking the dog or go for a bike ride. Now I do those things alone, there is no way to change her mind without going into a fight.

I wish I knew this side of her one year ago.
 

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I was an emotional bully for years, always starting fights and putting my wife through rollercoasters. I had my reasons though, most of the time just to orchestrate "breaks" so I can have my space. My wife has fought back repeatedly, and she herself can be rather manipulative and sinister. We were both like incubus and succubus, demons in love.

Thankfully, we've both grown up, and glad that we grew up together, not apart. We've become stronger because of it.
 

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Thankfully, we've both grown up, and glad that we grew up together, not apart. We've become stronger because of it.
That's great RandomDude, you are giving me hope.
How did you manage that? Did you talk about it?Did you go to counseling?
 

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That's great RandomDude, you are giving me hope.
How did you manage that? Did you talk about it?Did you go to counseling?
It was a long, painful, exciting, dreadful, passionate, heartbreaking, fun and hilarious ride :rofl:

It started years ago since marriage, we were fighting/making up all the time. But we just got worse and worse, until I had to put the foot down - led to seperations (though more like short painful breaks). After we reconciled, she changed - realised she can't push/manipulate me around.

But at that time I still had yet to change, and afterwards I began IC, and I changed alot, including facing my own fears of vulnerability, stopped putting her down, even quit alcohol and I guess one thing led to the other, she saw the changes, and well... I guess in the end, we both changed.

Now we're both in MC in regards to our sex frequency issues (she's a nympho), so our marriage is getting better and better :)
Rocky start though - the one thing constant through it all is that we've never stopped loving each other since the very first moment despite the difficulty in making our relationship work.
 

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Oh my god this is my wife to a tee. I've been on the silent treatment for the past week she hates me at the moment but anytime she could change with a blink of an eye. All my family think she's manic depressive. I just try and keep things good for the kids. I never give her an argument, just stay away when she's acting up. 10 yr rollercoaster.
Thanks.
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.....I never give her an argument, just stay away when she's acting up.....
I have thought a lot about this, reflecting to my own experience in the past. My thinking is that people are born imperfect and some avoidance trait (in me) kinda led to a worse partner. Arguing with the partner is a process in which we try to bring him/her back on track with a set of behavior that is acceptable. This is kinda along the way with the discussions in the NMMNG that you cannot avoid arguments because it will bite you in the back later (I can relate to that personally).

I dunno, your individual cases may vary and I wish you the best of luck in journeys ahead.
 

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She sounds just like my mom! That's how she treated me growing up (obviously except for the sex part) but I could never figure her out. If I said an opinion that she didn't agree with she's be cold for days. I never knew when the next thing would set her off. It was sooo hard to live with the unpredictability. Sometimes she'd pick fights with me over things in the past and I was ALWAYS at fault. She treated my dad the same way too. I mean, rage over the most minuscule things but other times she'd be so much fun to be around. I was on a rollar coaster of constantly waiting for her to decide to get along again, and it continued over and over again. She also did things that made me feel very abandoned and insecure growing up.

If things are this bad this soon you need to think about things seriously. At the very least make sure she knows this is not okay for your health. If things don't get better you might want to think about your options.

Btw my mom and I get along decently now except that maybe every month or two she gets mad over something I said and won't answer the phone for a while. I will NEVER live with her again.

Also if she really has borderline personality disorder that can actually be cured with therapy. I know because I was actually diagnosed with that when I was 19 because I had a major suicide attempt (crazy I'm talking about that on here) and other self destructive behaviors but I recovered and have not had any self destructive behaviors in many years. Actually it's kind of ironic. I think I'm more emotionally stable than a lot of people I know because I had to make such a concerted effort to get to a healthy place and live life in a positive state of mind. I still have to fight depression at times and make an effort to be happy but overall I think I'm doing fine.

If she's bipolar she might need medication, and/or therapy. Either way if she's being emotionally abusive that is not something you should try to put up with.
 
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