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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
First off, I never thought I'd be writing any place like this, as I guess I was a bit of an optimist in thinking my marriage wasn't going to have this big of a problem. When I first started dating him, he was the worlds most kind and caring man I had ever met. Very loving and supportive. He has two children of a previous marriage, whom I love dearly as if they were my own. His ex wife cheated on him 7 years into their marriage and he still has a bit of a paranoia about that, but it's understandable. Nothing too major. We married after a long time and suddenly, as if instantly, he changed. He became very cold and mean, then suddenly nice again. He would raise his voice and start arguments with me then apologize for hours until I felt better, then go right back to being a jerk. It became worse and worse, and now I just feel so defeated.
Everything seems like I have to walk very carefully or I'll get burned. I feel like such an idiot for getting sucked back in when he apologizes, but he won't let it go. He'll do things for me and try and make it better until I crack. He won't leave me alone to cry he'll just stay there and pester me until I forgive him. I've tried to explain sometimes I don't want to forgive right away and being hurt and upset doesn't get fixed in minutes. He won't listen. Then right after a horrible fight where he will degrade me and frighten me, he'll start groping me and asking for things. It makes me upset, but I know if I refuse and get nasty about it, so will he and it'll start all over again. I find myself most of the time not "in the mood" because all he does is yell and act like a tyrant.

He lies a lot about very little things and this gets on my nerves. When we met he was a smoker. I told him I don't like smokers and wished he would quit, but I understood the decision was his. I am not the type to nag. He eventually did quit and I was very proud of him for doing so, until recently I caught him smoking. He promised me he would stop and was sorry. I caught him several more times after that. Every several weeks. I told him that if he wants to smoke. To smoke. But don't lie to me and tell me you've quit then smoke behind my back. I just don't like smelling the smoke on him, then asking "were you smoking" and getting a no. When I know it's otherwise. It makes me worry a bit about what other things he might be lying about.

Whenever we have fights he likes to attack my appearance (things I tell him I'm insecure about)... lately I've been losing big clumps of hair and this has worried me a bit. In a fight, he resorted to calling me bald and telling me he doesn't like women with no hair. Also telling me I have small breasts and I've gained weight. When in reality I'm the perfect weight for my height and if I lost more than 10 pounds I'd be TOO skinny.

After the fight he tells me he didn't mean it, that he loves these things about me and he just said it because he knew it would get to me. But after a while, I'm not so sure. I got o bed crying almost every night and I really need some support system because I uprooted my entire life to live with him. My parents like him and my family has no issue with us being together, but my mother did say that she wasn't in favor of me being the one doing all the change for him. At this point, I'm just not sure what to do.

Last week I got up the courage to pack up some things and I was very close to leaving for a week to a hotel to give us both some space. But he started sobbing and wouldn't let me leave...

It's just confusing and it hurts... and I don't know what to do. He really is like jekyll and hyde. I don't know who he is one minute to the next.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would appreciate for people to be understanding as I am a tad scared just putting all this out there.
 

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you are very brave for writing this down and coming here. you're being emotionally abused, there is no doubt about it. you didn't sign up for this and you so don't deserve this. you go to bed crying every night. you're walking on eggshells. you are being debased, insulted, subjected to mind games. you are being emotionally tormented with the cycle of insults and then plea for forgiveness. your husband's treatment of you is not forgivable. seek the help you need from your parents, a local shelter, a friend, but GET OUT. you cannot change your husband. he is ill. you have been sucked into his dark world but there is hope for you. God give you the strength to get out but you have no choice. get out ASAP and check back here for support and let us know how you are doing. you do not deserve this. PLEASE get out NOW.
 

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I think the cycle of hurting you then apologizing is the classic cycle of an abuser. He needs help and you're too close to him to help him.
 

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He could be bipolar with the rapid mood swings. It is possible that his 1st marriage ended due to his behavior & not cheating.

Let me guess - he is a blamer? Nothing is ever HIS fault.

This man is making you emotionally ill & possibly physically ill (loss of hair due to stress).

You could try marriage counseling alone (I did) if he won't go as a last resort.
 

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You know you shouldn't be there. Just leave.

Once you leave, you can tell him that you'll consider still seeing him if he starts going to therapy.
 

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You need to protect yourself and leave him. There is a man out there that will treat you better. Be strong and take care of yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First off, thanks. I really appreciated everyone's jump in here :)
As far as my husband goes, I've decided that I'm going to offer marriage counseling. If he refuses and will NOT go, I'm ending it. I don't want to stay in a relationship with little love and more anger. We don't have a child yet, he want to have one but I am going to tell him that there will be nothing of the sort until our problem is fixed. A child will not fix our situation and bringing a little baby in on this would only hurt the child in the long run. He needs to learn to be more calm and loving and less of an ogre. Tell me if I'm wrong here but if he refuses counseling, I have every right to leave.... don't I?
 

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You're wrong here. Marriage counseling isn't a quick fix. you're hanging onto an imaginary shred of hope. He needs a lot more help than MC. He not only needs his own therapist and group therapy and more therapy, he's financially irresponsibly, and just a cruel inconsiderate person. Marriage counseling will not fix that.

You're looking for permission to leave an abuser. You think you're somehow at fault so you need to prove to yourself that you're doing everything you can. He may agree, and that will be enough for you to hang on another year.

He is unstable. Even if he goes, his future behavior is unpredictable and will probably revert back to your unhealthy dance. you said he was like this before you married.

You just need to tell yourself this over and over and over - you do not want this man to be the father of your children. Spare your children the agony of sitting (crying) by helplessly watching their mother be abused. Their lives will be screwed up. Don't do this to them, but don't do this to you. Forgot this latest excuse of yours to hang on and get out. Nobody, including his parents who witness your abuse every day, will judge you harshly.

Grow some balls and go.
 

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That is a good idea that you wont have a child so soon until the fix is done. How do you do that? I suggest you have some separation time until he learns to respect and protect you.
 

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Yes you do have every right to leave. A marriage requires both parties to be 100% comitted. If only one is trying to make it work it's like trying to row a boat with one oar. You're only going to go in circles.
 

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First off, thanks. I really appreciated everyone's jump in here :)
As far as my husband goes, I've decided that I'm going to offer marriage counseling. If he refuses and will NOT go, I'm ending it. I don't want to stay in a relationship with little love and more anger. We don't have a child yet, he want to have one but I am going to tell him that there will be nothing of the sort until our problem is fixed. A child will not fix our situation and bringing a little baby in on this would only hurt the child in the long run. He needs to learn to be more calm and loving and less of an ogre. Tell me if I'm wrong here but if he refuses counseling, I have every right to leave.... don't I?
Marriage counseling won't fix him; it will give him tools to hurt you with. But go ahead and try - AS LONG AS you tell the MC first - in private - what he has done to you. So she can look out for it.

But yes, you shouldn't be there in the first place - that IS NOT A MARRIAGE. So you have every right and an OBLIGATION to leave if he won't change.
 

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You have every right to leave now. If he physically won't let you leave that is physical abuse and is a crime (unlawful detainment), a less serious version of kidnapping. But it is serious in terms of your well being and mental health.
I would insist that he get IC, a full physical and see a psychiatrist to rule out a mental illness or severe thyroid disorder.
I honestly in your shies would want to separate. I don't usually think its a good idea but it is the only way for you to start healing while he does his work and see if there is any hope.
He sounds like he might have borderline personality disorder.
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TiredGirl, I agree with Diwali that you are describing traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The behaviors you mention -- e.g., the verbal abuse, temper tantrums, fear of abandonment, rapid flips between Jekyll and Hyde, and black-white thinking -- are classic traits of BPD. Of course, only a professional can diagnose BPD. Simply spotting the red flags for it, however, is not difficult if you take time to read about them. There is nothing subtle about traits such as verbal abuse, temper tantrums, and fear of abandonment.
We married after a long time and suddenly, as if instantly, he changed.
How long did you date before getting married? I ask because BPDers (i.e., a person with strong BPD traits) typically cannot suppress the traits for more than a year. What usually happens is that, during the courtship period, the BPDer will be so infatuated with you that he will be convinced you are the near-perfect woman. For this reason, the infatuation will hold his two fears (abandonment and engulfment) at bay. When the infatuation evaporates -- usually within six months -- his fears return and start triggering the enormous anger he's been carrying inside since early childhood. This is why, in marriages with BPDers, the sex life and relationship typically starts going off a cliff right after the wedding, if not before.
He became very cold and mean, then suddenly nice again. He would raise his voice and start arguments with me then apologize for hours until I felt better, then go right back to being a jerk.
This behavior is called "black-white thinking." It occurs in BPDers because they are very intolerant of ambiguities, uncertainty, mixed feelings, and grey areas. They therefore tend to categorize everyone as "all good" or "all bad" and will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in only a few seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or infraction (real or imagined). This all-or-nothing thinking also will be evident in the frequent use of extreme expressions such as "you always" and "you never."
He really is like Jekyll and Hyde. I don't know who he is one minute to the next.
When you are living with someone who frequently does B-W thinking, you will find him flipping -- in only a few seconds -- between "loving you" and "devaluing you" (or, even hating you). It therefore is common for the abused spouse to feel like she is living with a man who is half-way to having a multiple personality disorder. Indeed, during the 15 years I lived with my BPDer exW, I complained to six different psychologists that it seemed like I was living with a woman half-way to having multiple personalities.
Everything seems like I have to walk very carefully or I'll get burned.
When a H has strong BPD traits, the wife usually complains that she feels like she's walking on eggshells all the time. This is why the #1 best-selling BPD book (targeted to the abused spouses) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
But he started sobbing and wouldn't let me leave.
If he has strong BPD traits, his greatest fear likely is that of abandonment. Because a BPDer has a weak, fragile sense of who he is, he needs someone around who will ground him and center him, providing a sense of direction. This is why the #2 best-selling BPD book is called I Hate You, Don't Leave Me.
I feel like such an idiot for getting sucked back in when he apologizes, but he won't let it go.
The amazingly ability of BPDers to suck their abused loved ones back into the toxic relationships is so well known that the ex-partners have given it a name: "hoovering." It is named after the popular Hoover vacuum cleaner that is known for its powerful suction. When BPDers are hoovering, they are so loving and intensely passionate that it is extremely difficult for caregivers like us to resist them. We mistakenly think that, if we can only figure out what WE are doing wrong, we can restore them to that wonderful person we saw at the very beginning.
He won't leave me alone to cry he'll just stay there and pester me until I forgive him.
If he is a BPDer, he will urgently feel that every disagreement must be resolved RIGHT NOW. This occurs because untreated BPDers typically have the emotional development of a four year old. This means that they never learned how to do self soothing or to better manage their emotions.
Then right after a horrible fight where he will degrade me and frighten me, he'll start groping me and asking for things.
If he is a BPDer, that is to be expected due to the B-W thinking. My BPDer exW, for example, could throw a temper tantrum for several hours and then, within ten seconds, flip to wanting to jump into bed with me. Like I said above, BPDers are very intolerant of experiencing mixed feelings.
I don't know what to do.
I agree with Turnera and the other members that you should move out to avoid the abuse. I also agree with IslandGirl and Turnera that MC likely will be a total waste of time -- until your H has had IC to learn how to manage his anger and other emotions. The issues you describe go far beyond a simple lack of communication skills.

I suggest that you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you've been dealing with. Because BPD is a possibility, you best chance of obtaining a candid view of your H's issues is to see a professional who is ethically bound to protect YOUR best interests, not his.

I further suggest that, while you're waiting for an appointment, you read about BPD traits to see if most sound very familiar. An easy place to start reading is my description of them 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, TiredGirl.
 

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Uptown, that was a fascinating description of someone with BPD. It must be very scary and confusing to be involved with someone like that.

TiredGirl, as you can tell from Uptown's definitions, she used a lot of "ifs" but I don't think it's an if. It sounds like that is your husband to a T.

You need to get out. Your husband has some funky chemical imbalance going on in his brain that makes him this way and he needs a lifetime of therapy to help him.

You're young, you want kids. There is no way on earth this man should be a father. Save yourself and get out now.
 

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I'm sorry for what you went through Uptown. Thanks for describing everything so eloquently.
I lived with my BPD ex for six years before we got married. He had some anger issues but it wasn't until after we got married that the light switch got flipped. Within two years I was looking for an apartment to get away. He hoovered me and I stayed. He would act nice for a while and then the anger, passive aggression and emotional abuse would start again.
I wish there was a test people had to take before marriage to see if they have BPD. It just does so much damage.
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Hold on here. Lets not completely villianize a potential bpder. I do agree that he needs psychiatric help however... I disagree that it is bpd for sure. The constant lies, manipulation, groping, not wanting you to leave sounds alot like my spouse as well. Here is the kicker.... He has been to therapy, doctors, seen psychiatrists and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, ADD, and ADHD.

He had meds that evened him out and like a poster here said... The smoking also helped him. Yes my spouse is a smoker as well, he quit but he does have days where he slips up and has a smoke. The smoke helps ease his stress and keeps him from having episodes.

He is aware of his condition though and is working damn hard to improve upon himself. Just as a well known bpder here on the boards is also working on herself. Whatever condition your man has OP, he needs to work on improving himself and not use this as a crutch. However, I do agree that you should leave, especially if he is unwilling to be a better man and spouse.
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Thank guys.
It's hard to come to grips with it but it DOES seem like he could have BPD. After reading it up, it's just scary how close it is.
To answer Uptown's question... I dated him for about 7-8 months before he proposed. Then another 3-4 months before we were married.
 
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