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Hi, *sorry for being so long, just started typing and...

First post, I have been reading a lot lately trying to get my mind around the subject at hand. I am hoping to get some unbiased feedback, maybe even some from people who have had past experiences. Some back ground...

My wife and I got married very young, basically HS sweethearts. We have 2 kids and when we are together as a family we are as happy as can be but i dont think there is anything there between us anymore. We made it to the 10 year mark based on me just dealing with her wild swings in mood over the years. Throughout those years I started to see characteristics that I didn't recognize or notice when we were young and dating. The confrontational, alpha personality, the extremely narcisistic views on so many things etc. I saw these warning signs but just figured she would grow out of it or hoped she would. She also is extremely negative and dramatic about anything and everything. Even her mother admitted this when she had a tantrum over some minor issue around the house. I convinced myself that anytime she was upset it was my fault and I would end up apologizing. I then realized everyone apologizes to her and treats her like a child still. She has done questionable things that tested my trust as well....

As an example, a few years before we had kids. I found her visiting my best friends house while I was at work. Her car was hidden in the back of the apt complex and it happened at least a couple times. She turned it around on me being jealous becaus we all did hang out at his house once and awhile, he was a mutual friend, but the hiding and the lies made me mad. I knew this guy had many girls over and was into the whole fwb idea. They both denied anything happening but I broke off contact with him and we did counseling which helped things. I decided to trust her and we moved on. Or I tried to. I never really let it go and it bugs me constantly, I have dreams about it, and I have found other details pointing to the ugly answer that I didn't want to face.

Fast forward a few years and you find me here. A few months ago I got a mass text from a former coworker and I responded, "thanks". From there it slowly became us texting each other almost daily, sometimes all day practically. We would just talk about work and life and our kids and just stuff. Nothing inappropriate. We just communicate insanely well and have so much stuff in common. Well my wife has always accused me of sleeping with any female I text with no matter if it is work related or what, so naturally when she found the crazy amount of texts we had she went nuts. I mean nuts, as in call her at work, call her husband to tell him, kept calling this girl for like a week, harrassing her etc. This is her natural reaction to anything , over react, yell, scream, burn things to the ground. Her husband called me and we talk, he says my wife sounds crazy. I laugh and say yeah I know sorry.

At first I apologized because I realize it was a emotional thing I had with her and was convinced it was my fault again like everything. I was wrong and I started to develop feelings for this person. But I refuse to believe that it is not due to living with a person who is nasty, negative and just unpleasant 98% of the time. I will own the fact that I think I married the wrong person.

At this point she is coming and going as she pleases and we sleep in separate rooms. I can't understand why I was expected to forgive her sleeping at another guys house and she won't get over the fact that I was texting another girl, albeit an awful lot. I'm tired of being walked all over and I know I deserve better as do my kids. She has no patience with them either. I still offered to try counseling again but am losing the will to try it. I texted her today about my son and her reply was "shut the [email protected]&$ up, what do you know!" this is what I deal with everyday. I know I haven't been perfect, I work a lot and don't communicate well sometimes. I do coach the little league team, and take the kids to swim lessons and am involved with them in everyway. They are the only thing holding me back at this moment.

I confided in my mother about the situation and she said that she never would have picked her for me to marry but never said anything. She didn't want to question our wisdom at getting married too young, and we wouldn't have listened I'm sure. She said all I can do is to try counseling and try to fix anything I can and if it doesn't work out , then I can walk away with a clear conscience. She said she would support me no matter what. That made me feel better.

I can't believe I typed so much, so if anyone actually makes it through all of that , what are your thoughts? Do I continue to be miserable so that I can still be there for my kids or try counseling or just end it ASAP?
 

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Wild mood swings could be bipolar. Google for other symptoms.

You both hold resentment - her possible cheating with your friend & your EA with your co-worker. If you do go to counseling - all of this should be discussed.

I don't think your current family dynamic is good for your children.
 

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Sounds like you two don't even like each other. You can still be a good dad while divorced..... in fact, you could probably be a BETTER dad if divorced, since you should be a happier person!

You don't want your kids to think THIS is a real, satisfying marriage?
 

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As for the mood swings, I asked her to see someone to maybe get help, medication or something and she took it as a insult. It's just kinda how she's wired I think.

As for the kids, I agree. My parents divorced when I was 5 and while I didn't understand why Dad wasn't there like normal, he came by every chance he got taking me to the movies, mini golfing, came to all my little league games etc. We have a great relationship still, he comes and visits my kids once a week. I really don't want my kids seeing us like this.
 

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Sounds like you two don't even like each other. You can still be a good dad while divorced..... in fact, you could probably be a BETTER dad if divorced, since you should be a happier person!

You don't want your kids to think THIS is a real, satisfying marriage?
Yeah I guess your right. We did have some good times over the years but it's like I have been waiting for her to change and it's never happened. What's crazy is we've always had an amazing sexual connection and she is drop dead beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if that's what's carried us this far.
 

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I re-read trying to see the "mood swings" and all I am finding is anger and negativity. If she wont agree to MC then you staying in this environment is worse for your kids than leaving and finding your happy. (you already have shown you are seeking that by starting an EA) People underestimate how much kids actually pick up on from their parents' relationship.
 

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Galaxy, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm sorry to hear that you find yourself in such a toxic, painful marriage.
...just dealing with her wild swings in mood over the years.
Galaxy, when serious mood changes persist for ten years and drug abuse can be ruled out -- as in your case -- there are two likely causes to consider. As Emerald observes, bipolar disorder is one. The other likely cause is BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). I am not a psychologist but I can share with you my experiences of living with a BPDer exW for 15 years -- and taking care of a bipolar foster son for longer than that. Moreover, I took both of them to a series of psychologists in weekly visits for 15 years. Based on those experiences, I have found twelve clear differences between the two disorders.

One difference is that the mood swings are on two separate spectra having very different polar extremes. Whereas a bipolar sufferer swings between mania and depression, a BPDer flips back and forth between loving you and hating you. Significantly, you mention nothing about mania and very little about depression. Instead, you are describing a woman who is "nasty and negative" and flips back and forth between loving you and hating you (albeit, in the last year, she has negative nearly all the time toward you).

A second difference is seen in the frequency of mood changes. Bipolar mood swings are very slow because they are caused by gradual changes in body chemistry. They are considered rapid if as many as four occur in a year. In contrast, four BPD mood changes can easily occur in four days. The latter therefore seems consistent with your description of numerous temper tantrums and hissy fits. With my BPDer exW, for example, I usually saw outbursts or strong sulking every two or three weeks.

A third difference is seen in duration. Whereas bipolar moods typically last a week or two, BPD rages typically last only a few hours (and rarely as long as 36 hours). Again, these short-duration rages and outbursts seem consistent with with the tantrums you describe.

A fourth difference is seen in the speed with which the mood change develops. Whereas a bipolar change typically will build slowly over two weeks, a BPD change typically occurs in less than a minute -- often in only 10 seconds -- because it is event-triggered by some innocent comment or action. Significantly, the behavior you describe seems consistent with these event-triggered outbursts.

A fifth difference is that, whereas bipolar can be treated very successfully in at least 80% of victims by swallowing a pill, BPD cannot be managed by medication because it arises from childhood damage to the emotional core -- not from a change in body chemistry. You do not mention anything about meds because she apparently has declined to go to a therapist.

A sixth difference is that, whereas bipolar disorder can cause people to be irritable and obnoxious during the manic phase, it does not rise to the level of meanness and vindictiveness you see when a BPDer is splitting you black. That difference is HUGE: while a manic person may regard you as an irritation, a BPDer can perceive you as Hitler and will treat you accordingly. This seems consistent with your description of very hateful, nasty, spiteful behavior.

A seventh difference is that, whereas a bipolar sufferer is not usually angry, a BPDer is filled with anger that has been carried inside since early childhood. With BPDers, you don't have to do a thing to CREATE the anger. You only have to say or do some minor thing that TRIGGERS a sudden release of that anger. -- which seems consistent with your description.

An eight difference is that a bipolar sufferer typically is capable of tolerating intimacy when she is not experiencing strong mania or depression. In contrast, BPDers have such a weak and unstable self image that (except for the brief infatuation period) they cannot tolerate intimacy for long before feeling engulfed and suffocated by your personality.

BPDers therefore will create arguments over nothing as a way to push you away and give them breathing room. Hence, it is not surprising that they tend to create a lot of drama. And they tend to start the very worst arguments immediately following the very best of times, i.e., right after an intimate evening or a great weekend spent together.

A ninth difference is that the thinking and behavior of a BPDer includes more mental departures from reality (called "dissociation") wherein "feelings create facts." That is, BPDers typically do not intellectually challenge their intense feelings. Instead, they accept them as accurately reflecting your intentions and motivations. In contrast, bipolar disorder tends to be more neurotic in that the mood swings tend to be based more on extreme exaggerations of fact, not the creation of "fact" out of thin air based solely on feelings.

A tenth difference is that a bipolar sufferer -- whether depressed or manic -- usually is able to trust you if he or she knows you well. Untreated BPDers, however, are unable to trust for an extended period. Before they can trust others, they must first learn how to trust and love themselves.

Sadly, this lack of trust means there is no foundation on which to build a relationship. Moreover -- and I learned this the hard way -- when people cannot trust you, you can never trust them because they can turn on you at any time -- and almost certainly will.

An eleventh difference is that, whereas BPDers are always convinced they are "The Victim," bipolar sufferers usually have a much stronger self image. BPDers therefore have a strong need to validate that false self image by blaming every misfortune on the spouse. This behavior seems consistent with your complaint that it's "my fault again like everything."

Finally, a twelfth difference is that, although bipolar sufferers are emotionally unstable, they generally are not immature or childlike. BPDers, in contrast, are so immature that their emotional development typically is frozen at about age four. This is why they have a very fragile self image and have difficulty controlling their emotions. This seems consistent with your observation that "everyone apologizes to her and treats her like a child still."

Yet, despite these twelve clear differences between the two disorders, many people confuse the two. One source of this confusion seems to be the fact that these two disorders often occur together. About half of bipolar-I sufferers also have full-blown BPD.
I deserve better as do my kids. She has no patience with them either.
I suggest that, to find out what you and your kids are dealing with, you see a psychologist for a visit or two all by yourself. I also suggest, while you are waiting for an appointment, you read my description of BPD traits in Maybe's thread 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 good online resources. Take care, Galaxy.
 

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I re-read trying to see the "mood swings" and all I am finding is anger and negativity. If she wont agree to MC then you staying in this environment is worse for your kids than leaving and finding your happy. (you already have shown you are seeking that by starting an EA) People underestimate how much kids actually pick up on from their parents' relationship.
For example of mood swings, after the event with the texting issue , a couple days later she had calmed down and we were getting along, then one night she decided to make rude comments about the girl like call her fat etc, and it started a fight which resulted in her locking me out of our bedroom. One day everything's fine next day bad.

Another example, we were touring my sons Kindergarten class during summer and everyone's happy and I went to check in with the teacher who happens to be a recent graduate, attractive young lady and I fill out our contact info on the card they gave us and met her and turned it in. She accused me of flirting with her moments later. I thought she was joking, she wasn't. I was like really??? Grow the hell up.

My oldest is 5 and I know he has noticed somethings. I get a lot of work emails and I am on my phone a lot, and my wife made a comment about me talking to my "girlfriend" right in front of my son! I wanted to scream I was so mad but I laughed it off hoping he wouldn't notice. I can only imagine what she would say to them if we separated, things like Daddy doesn't love you etc.
 

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Thank you Uptown, that is a lot of information. I see what you mean on the differences. Very interesting.
 

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For example of mood swings, after the event with the texting issue , a couple days later she had calmed down and we were getting along, then one night she decided to make rude comments about the girl like call her fat etc, and it started a fight which resulted in her locking me out of our bedroom. One day everything's fine next day bad.

Another example, we were touring my sons Kindergarten class during summer and everyone's happy and I went to check in with the teacher who happens to be a recent graduate, attractive young lady and I fill out our contact info on the card they gave us and met her and turned it in. She accused me of flirting with her moments later. I thought she was joking, she wasn't. I was like really??? Grow the hell up.

My oldest is 5 and I know he has noticed somethings. I get a lot of work emails and I am on my phone a lot, and my wife made a comment about me talking to my "girlfriend" right in front of my son! I wanted to scream I was so mad but I laughed it off hoping he wouldn't notice. I can only imagine what she would say to them if we separated, things like Daddy doesn't love you etc.
dude. your wife is insecure. And with reason as you basically in a round about way had some sort of emotional affair. i dont know if she ever screwed your buddy, who knows. But you dont know she did either from what i recall reading this.
i have no idea if she has issues, i wont comment on that, because i cant tell if she is just reacting to you.
if i had a emotional affair my wife would be off the ****ing wall.
Far as mood swings. well what woman dont have mood swings?
All i can tell, is your wife is insecure. Go make her secure. she is your wife. Fix this crap.
Then if she is still the big demon, with you there leading, nurturing, loving her. you have a complaint. If you are off having emotional whatever you do, (you appear to be doing something) then you really dont have a lot of reasons to complain.
if i had thoughts of affairs at this point in my marriage my wife would probably chop my penis off while i was sleeping.

And you are right, it isnt good for the kids. Glad you are a good dad. Just make sure you are a good hubby now and have your own **** straight as your wife reacts to and is led somewhat by you. Then if she is the demon of all women, despite how loving and faithful you are, well you got something.

edit: and dont apologize to her . just fix it.
 

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dude. your wife is insecure. And with reason as you basically in a round about way had some sort of emotional affair. i dont know if she ever screwed your buddy, who knows. But you dont know she did either from what i recall reading this.
i have no idea if she has issues, i wont comment on that, because i cant tell if she is just reacting to you.
if i had a emotional affair my wife would be off the ****ing wall.
Far as mood swings. well what woman dont have mood swings?
All i can tell, is your wife is insecure. Go make her secure. she is your wife. Fix this crap.
Then if she is still the big demon, with you there leading, nurturing, loving her. you have a complaint. If you are off having emotional whatever you do, (you appear to be doing something) then you really dont have a lot of reasons to complain.
if i had thoughts of affairs at this point in my marriage my wife would probably chop my penis off while i was sleeping.

And you are right, it isnt good for the kids. Glad you are a good dad. Just make sure you are a good hubby now and have your own **** straight as your wife reacts to and is led somewhat by you. Then if she is the demon of all women, despite how loving and faithful you are, well you got something.

edit: and dont apologize to her . just fix it.
The problem is her insecurities have been going on since way before any of the other stuff. It's almost child like. I am trying to be the good hubby and do counseling so we can figure out a solution. I know I haven't been perfect, but all signs I have point to her having the affair but I agreed to get over it and believe her so I need to find a way to let it go. Do I know it happened? No, I wasn't in the room and I doubt she would ever admit anyways. I guess it doesn't matter other than the sliding scale of forgiveness that exists.

I'm not having thoughts of affairs, I'm having thoughts of will I be happier alone than this? I'm starting to think I just married too young and am paying the price now. It's hard to be loving nice guy hubby when you are getting treated like a piece of crap the entire time.
 

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The problem is her insecurities have been going on since way before any of the other stuff. It's almost child like. I am trying to be the good hubby and do counseling so we can figure out a solution. I know I haven't been perfect, but all signs I have point to her having the affair but I agreed to get over it and believe her so I need to find a way to let it go. Do I know it happened? No, I wasn't in the room and I doubt she would ever admit anyways. I guess it doesn't matter other than the sliding scale of forgiveness that exists.

I'm not having thoughts of affairs, I'm having thoughts of will I be happier alone than this? I'm starting to think I just married too young and am paying the price now. It's hard to be loving nice guy hubby when you are getting treated like a piece of crap the entire time.
everyone has different views. i see my wife as my responsibility. so if you ask me if you deserve this, or if you can have the kids without her. i would say, sure, but you failed.
Because it is a package deal. Your wife is as much your responsibility as your children. In fact more so, as your wife should come first.
You are lucky you married young, in many ways. want to know why? Because if you make this work, you will have the memories when you are older, and alot of history of you and your wife while you were young. if you meet in your fourties, the photo album starts in your fourties. you already missed half the persons life. you have the OPPORTUNITY to be apart of the majority of your wifes life, from a young age. You start when you are older, you missed part of their life, their experiences, and wont have the visions of them when they were say, twenty years old. you wont have those memorys.
she acts like a child. Then treat her like a child. Get her in line. Dont be a push over. Be her husband. But love her while you do it. She is your wife. Get a handle on your wife.
 

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everyone has different views. i see my wife as my responsibility. so if you ask me if you deserve this, or if you can have the kids without her. i would say, sure, but you failed.
Because it is a package deal. Your wife is as much your responsibility as your children. In fact more so, as your wife should come first.
You are lucky you married young, in many ways. want to know why? Because if you make this work, you will have the memories when you are older, and alot of history of you and your wife while you were young. if you meet in your fourties, the photo album starts in your fourties. you already missed half the persons life. you have the OPPORTUNITY to be apart of the majority of your wifes life, from a young age. You start when you are older, you missed part of their life, their experiences, and wont have the visions of them when they were say, twenty years old. you wont have those memorys.
she acts like a child. Then treat her like a child. Get her in line. Dont be a push over. Be her husband. But love her while you do it. She is your wife. Get a handle on your wife.
I appreciate the different perspective. You have some good points.

We talked last night. I told her that as much as I tried I have never been able to shake the thing with the friend. I told her I would try counseling and try to fix things. As of right now there is no trust. I also gently addressed her moodiness and over reactions, I asked her to go to the counselor alone if she felt like it. Maybe they can help her out. She thought that was a dumb idea. She then said that we are both miserable and maybe it's time that I moved out. I was like are you serious? She said yes and that I should move in with my Mom since the cost of an apartment wouldnt be practical at the moment. This is exactly what I should have told her when she had her incident but I guess only one of us is expected to try to get over things. I don't even know where to go from here.
 

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We talked last night. I told her that as much as I tried I have never been able to shake the thing with the friend. I told her I would try counseling and try to fix things. As of right now there is no trust. I also gently addressed her moodiness and over reactions, I asked her to go to the counselor alone if she felt like it. Maybe they can help her out. She thought that was a dumb idea. She then said that we are both miserable and maybe it's time that I moved out. I was like are you serious? She said yes and that I should move in with my Mom since the cost of an apartment wouldnt be practical at the moment. This is exactly what I should have told her when she had her incident but I guess only one of us is expected to try to get over things. I don't even know where to go from here.
Galaxy1,

It sounds to me like your wife is driving the bus here (or at least has her hands firmly on the wheel) and she is driving it over a cliff. Not real clear to me that she is actually qualified to drive although I'm sure a lot of people would argue with me over that.

One of my mentors has proposed that a woman's number one need in marriage is security. Not so much financial security, although lots of women need that, but emotional security. Women go through a lot of emotional stress for a number of reasons, mostly having to do with conceiving, carrying, birthing and raising kids. Add that to having been raised by their moms. He goes on to say that a woman feels emotionally secure when she knows she can depend on her husband's love for her no matter what kind of emotional upheaval she is going through.

So if this guy is right, it sounds to me like you may be blaming your wife for being herself
 

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Galaxy1,

It sounds to me like your wife is driving the bus here (or at least has her hands firmly on the wheel) and she is driving it over a cliff. Not real clear to me that she is actually qualified to drive although I'm sure a lot of people would argue with me over that.

One of my mentors has proposed that a woman's number one need in marriage is security. Not so much financial security, although lots of women need that, but emotional security. Women go through a lot of emotional stress for a number of reasons, mostly having to do with conceiving, carrying, birthing and raising kids. Add that to having been raised by their moms. He goes on to say that a woman feels emotionally secure when she knows she can depend on her husband's love for her no matter what kind of emotional upheaval she is going through.

So if this guy is right, it sounds to me like you may be blaming your wife for being herself

You know, I think you are right. She is who she is. I have to realize that I either live with the reality and accept the negatives or move on. She doesn't seem to be willing to offer me a choice at this point.

Interesting about the security, especially the financial part. She has always been showered with material objects, for example..she says a few years ago we needed to upgrade her wedding ring, sure the first one was modest but we were young. So we go out and drop $xx,xxx on a new ring. After the kids she says she needs breast augmentation, so sure go ahead honey whatever you want. Let's take a cruise, let's go spend a week in Jamaica. My point here is that she is used to spending money and admittedly with the economy here things have slowed down and gotten tighter. So I am just now realizing that maybe she is thinking its time to get out due to that, which would seem awfully shallow to me.
 

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I can't comment on your wife's motivations but I can say that how you feel is entirely in your hands. Forget about fairness and forget about equality. When we dwell on our partner's bad points, we make ourselves miserable and dissatisfied. When we dwell on their good points, we make ourselves happy. Being a man myself, I may be shallow and superficial but I really like a good looking woman laying beside me at night
 
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