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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish I had know about this site 3 years ago. I would not be in the position.

I made the biggest mistake of my life 3 yrs ago. This story is so complicated that it's hard to know where to start. There are a lot of details I will leave out to shorten the story.

I fell in love with woman in Sept of '09 that was the most beautful woman(physiically/Hispanic) I have ever met. She was 49 and recently divorced ( I vaguely knew her H). I was 47. We had been aquaintences at a local American Legion. I had know her since '06.

Anyway by '09 she was divorce and I had broken up with my girlfriend. We became 'friends' and emailed each other all day long from work for the next 3 months. Sept 6 was our first date. We go out and have dinner and drinks. I take her home to kiss her and she won't kiss me in front of her house becaus of her recent divorce and the neighbors all knew her x.

So we drive around the corner and park. She proceeds to pull down her blouse ( DD's) and start grabbing my crotch. I tell her that's not what I want... I want a LTR, not sex on the first date in my truck.

Fast forward, a month in and I am so infatuated I can't see straight. We are at the watering hole and she tell me about 10 months ago 20 or so people from her work rented a mansion at Rocky Point for a week and the trip is in 2 weeks. Tells me she want me to come along. I tell her I can't, didn't put in vacation time and didn't have any money saved for it (house poor). She says she'll pay for it. I said I am not going to Mexico with no cash to meet your coworkers at Pat's new 'bum' boyfriend.

FIRST RED FLAG ( I didn't see): If you don't go we are through. WHAT? We break up because I didn't plan for a trip I didn't know anything about?

We don't talk for a couple days. I call her and she finally see's my point of view. She goes on her trip and we miss each other emensely.

We start having the most intense sex at around week 6.

By the 3rd month (Nov) We decide to live togethr. My house was much nicer than hers and she (and I were both upside down on our homes) so she moves in with me.

Then almost immediately starts accusing me of still being in love with my egf and/or my es (who I hadn't talk to in 5 years).

Three months later (Feb '10) she picks a fight about ex and then leave in the middle of the night and spends 2 night at her x's house.

I beg her (I know) to come home... she says she did it because she was jealous of and thought I loved my x (blame shift). Came home, had no real remorse, etc.

In April '10.. I need to marry her or we are through, she can't 'shack up' with a guy because it's not proper... we marry in Sept 6 2010 because that was our first date the year ealier.

She want a divorce within 2 months. She goes back to the x again, I beg her to come home (see the co-dependant pattern? I finally do.)

She has run to him at least 10 times in the past 3 years... she has known him since she was 14.

Everytime she would say, "I know you think we took 2 steps back, but I think we took 2 steps forward." WTF?

WE go to marriage counseling. What a waste. W masked most of her issues in IC session... during joint sessions I am an open book.

W is an illusion to everyone in public.. she wears a mask. I believe I have seen several posts by UPTOWN who stated they are very good a putting on a face.

Her is a little more in a nut shell and for some reason I thougth I was different than her past relationships:

1- She has 4 kids from 3 different guys

2- Has cheated on every man she has ever been with

3-Had an affair with a married 31 yo when she was 17.

4-Won't hesitate when she is mad at me to go to the bar w/ he daughter and give out her phone number to other guys.

5-(Big one here)- If she hurts my feelings and I ask her to apologize she says, "I've already forgiven MYSELF" WFT?

6- actually believes she is a 'princess' (Cinderela Syndrome)

7-Acted like a complete fool at a party and when I told her the next day she should apologize to the host/hostess she refused stating. "They are arogant people anyway." WTF?

8- overreacts to everything

9-has panic attacks in her sleep ( wakes up and can't breath)

10-monitors my phone and accuses me of cheating on her.

11-Is emotionally distant and not effectionate (not even with her kids) two grown.. and 2 living with one of the x's

12 moved out on 1 x while he was at work. (she faked going in and had the movers show up while at work. leaving her 11 yo and 13 yr old). Did the same to me in Sept this yr.

13- It's all my fault of course

Counselor finally told us at about the 6 months range that I seemed pretty well adjusted. Then turned to Pat and said, "We on the other hand have a lot of work to do. W quit going 2 seesions later.

She had played the 'counseling' game with all her x's and she quit going to all those too. Telling then they should keep going though soo they could find 'themselves'.

My W is very f'd up... and for some crazy reason I still want her.

UPTOWN, nailed it in on another post... he said he has heard many men state that once you are with someone with HIGH BPD traits, it's hard to be with someone who's 'normal'.

Man, this is painful.. I haven't even hit the tip of the iceburg. There is so much drama, so much 'catatrophic' reactions to everything. No impulse control whatsoever.

She even told me I was right, that she will probably end up along. She wrote me Monday saying she would file for D after ther holiddays because she wants to start dating again... That almost killed me... thinking of her having hot sex with some other guys..

Yet I still want her... I know I need to start counseling for my CD. I obviously have it bad.. I always thought we could work through the infidelity part because she was confused... now I know (due to 3 yrs and an eye opener at counseling) that she is a mess internally.

She has nightmare evernight and would ask me to hold her and make the 'zombies' go away..

She also has some PTSD mixed in for being shot when she was bartending when she was 27.

During one session the counselor (Female who me W pciked). Told her she exibits a lot of 'borderline' traits.. That was close to the end of our sessions.

Sorry for such a long post.. I haven't even begun to hit the tip of the iceburg...

It hurts so much... the highs were so HIGH.. but the lows tore out my soul.. and my self esteem is absolutley SHATTERED !
 

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Ostera, thanks for the kind words. I've been following your posts since Nov 1. I'm glad to see that, after posting fifty responses to help other members, you've finally started a thread to share and discuss some of your own experiences. I'm so sorry you've been going through such a painful three years with your abusive STBXW.

Your discussions of her dysfunctional behavior do mention many behaviors that sound like strong BPD traits. In addition, you also mention a number of classic NPD traits. It sure sounds like you are very fortunate to be getting out of that toxic relationship after just 3 years -- instead of hanging around for 15 years like I did.
 

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I disagree with your counselor, you are not well adjusted.

You are codependent and you have just as many issues to be so addicted to this type of person.

Check out coda.org and bpdfamily.com, start the detachment process. It is not easy but it is absolutely necessary.

Reading "emotional vampires" really helped me. As a codependent we think that if we act a certain way or do a certain thing we can "fix" the problem. By reading that book I realized that there is not a damn thing you can do to fix the person, they are not even a person as you or I think, they are a completely different species, masquerading as a human.
 

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I agree you aren't well adjusted. Well adjusted people wouldn't put up with this type abuse. You're addicted to the drama just as much as she is.
 

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While I agree that OP is extremely codependent this is a little harsh.....
they are not even a person as you or I think, they are a completely different species, masquerading as a human.
 

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While I agree that OP is extremely codependent this is a little harsh.....
I know that sounds harsh but an untreated person with a cluster B PD has such a dramatically different way of thinking that to treat them as normal will only end in frustration.

Pidge you have had to completely alter the way you think, and that took an enormous amount of self-awareness and effort.
 

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they are not even a person as you or I think, they are a completely different species, masquerading as a human.
I was a human and a real person but I was in so much pain that it APPEARED like I was a different species but I wasn't. Being abused changes you and makes it hard to relate to people normal or otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
COguy- I know I am not well adjusted. I know fully well that I am CD. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until know. I am 50 as I have said. I was married previously for 12 years and we just grew apart. I believe I have developed this over the past 10years as I reflect on this. I didn't used to be this way in my 20's & 30's. Anyway, I will be seeking counseling in th near future as the W has set me up to fail financially because I had to always met her demands, which I had to always charge on a credit card. She makes close to 25G more than me a yr. But me being the 'man' she always had high expectations.

Two things to note also: When I first started dating her, her daughter (who's 32 now) told me you don't want to date my mom because she is a black widow, she chews up men and spits them out.

On the 2 occassions I spoke to my MIL about some of our issues. Both times all she said was, "Leave her, she's no good."

WOW!
 

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Reading "emotional vampires" really helped me.
Such books, like most BPD forums that are targeted to the abused partners, are so black-white that they easily match the B-W thinking of the BPDers they are so critical of. They do so because they are single-mindedly focused on helping the abused partners to break free from the toxic relationships.

Because most of those partners are codependents who only see the GOOD aspects of their BPDer mates, no time is wasted on describing a BPDer's good side, which is all that the codependent can see. Instead, the books and websites devote 100% of their resources to creating an all-black view that -- despite the good intentions -- does a great disservice to both BPDers and their partners.
[BPDers] are not even a person as you or I think, they are a completely different species, masquerading as a human.
Colorado, there cannot be a fiber in your being that believes this statement. After following your posts since last January, I know the statement does NOT reflect the compassion and understanding so evident in all your previous posts. Indeed, your empathy for others (including the BPDers) is so apparent that it attracted the attention of a TAM moderator (Halien), who said:
You are a member whose integrity, compassion and willingness to sacrifice really come through in your words, and I think that your closest friends consider themselves lucky to have you in their life. You have done all that a man can do. See Halien's 6/8 post.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What hurts the most is the they ARE real on they OUTSIDE, or so you think. That is what you lock into.. when you pull back the curtain, that is when you see the Oz. Mine left me emotionally devoid. I am trying to deal with the fact I am in love with someone who isn't capable to return that.

It sucks that I 'thought' she was my soulmate. The mirried me for a year until I was 100% 'in', then everything changed. I was the perfect victim due to my obvious CD.
 

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What hurts the most is the they ARE real on they OUTSIDE... when you pull back the curtain, that is when you see the Oz.
Ostera, my experience is that BPDers will lie when they are cornered -- to escape the shame of admitting a mistake. And they will try to be manipulating -- to control you and thus prevent abandonment. And, as I noted earlier, BPDers tend to be very good actors.

Most of their crazymaking behaviors, however, are as much a mystery to THEM as they are to their partners. I say this because, given their self loathing and the fragility of their self images, BPDers cannot afford the luxury of creating the bulk of their outrageous allegations at the CONSCIOUS level.

Instead, they tend to create those ego defenses at the subconscious level. For an ego defense to work -- i.e., to protect the fragile ego from seeing too much of reality -- it must be created subconsciously, thus allowing the conscious mind to believe it really is true.

Hence, to the extent a BPDer's real self is hidden behind "the curtain," as you say, for the most part it is hidden from HER as well as from you. The main difference, then, is that you have the courage to pull the curtain back while, so far at least, it seems clear she does not.
I was the perfect victim due to my obvious CD.
No, you are not the victim. It is a mistake to think that the toxicity in your marriage is something SHE does to you. If that were true, you would be a helpless victim having no control over the situation -- which is far from the truth. Emotionally healthy men do not stay with abusive women like that. After the wonderful honeymoon period ends, they typically walk away within six to twelve months, if not much sooner.

It therefore is more accurate to think of the toxicity as something you BOTH have been doing to each other. The only way a toxic relationship can last three years -- as yours has -- is if both people are willingly contributing to the toxicity. Her contributions to the toxicity (e.g., rages and verbal abuse) are obvious -- yours are less so.

Your main contribution is the way you have been enabling her -- for three years -- to behave like a four year old throwing one tantrum after another -- and getting away with it! As an enabler, you have allowed her to avoid confronting her issues and learning how to manage them. Specifically, you have been trying to be a "soothing object," intending to calm her down. In that way, you have prevented her from recognizing the need to learn how to calm herself down through self-soothing.

Sadly, all that calming you do -- that I did too -- is counter-productive because your very presence in the house serves to trigger her rage and fear of abandonment. That is, as the person who loves her most, you pose the greatest threat of abandonment. This is why she likely does so well with total strangers and casual friends.

Finally, it also would be a mistake to believe -- as books like Emotional Vampires suggest -- that your W spun a web and then went out hunting for a victim to pull into her trap. Because you've been with her for over three years, you almost certainly are an excessive caregiver (i.e., "codependent") like me. That is, YOU almost certainly were the hunter.

We caregivers will walk right past all the stable, emotionally available women (BORING) until we find a woman who desperately needs us. Indeed, we can spot vulnerability ("catnip" to us) across a crowded room. We do this because our desire to be needed (for what we can do) far exceeds our desire to be loved (for the men we already are). The best explanation of how we got to be that way during childhood is an article by therapist Shari Schreiber at DO YOU LOVE TO BE NEEDED, OR NEED TO BE LOVED?.
 

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Such books, like most BPD forums that are targeted to the abused partners, are so black-white that they easily match the B-W thinking of the BPDers they are so critical of. They do so because they are single-mindedly focused on helping the abused partners to break free from the toxic relationships.

Because most of those partners are codependents who only see the GOOD aspects of their BPDer mates, no time is wasted on describing a BPDer's good side, which is all that the codependent can see. Instead, the books and websites devote 100% of their resources to creating an all-black view that -- despite the good intentions -- does a great disservice to both BPDers and their partners.
I can see where you're going with this, but at the point where you need to break from one of these relationships, I think it is important to focus on the negative aspects. Someone with codependency issues, who sticks around with a toxic partner, doesn't need even one positive thing to latch on to give them a reason to stay abused.

Colorado, there cannot be a fiber in your being that believes this statement. After following your posts since last January, I know the statement does NOT reflect the compassion and understanding so evident in all your previous posts. Indeed, your empathy for others (including the BPDers) is so apparent that it attracted the attention of a TAM moderator (Halien), who said:
You are a member whose integrity, compassion and willingness to sacrifice really come through in your words, and I think that your closest friends consider themselves lucky to have you in their life. You have done all that a man can do. See Halien's 6/8 post.)
I don't say that to be rude, but I think it is more helpful to think of someone with a Cluster B as another entity. I do not mean it in the sense that they have no soul, or that we should not have empathy or compassion. On the contrary, many people with PDs have had horrible childhoods and it is a truly screwed up situation that they have many times inherited through no fault of their own.

That being said, I know for myself, I was constantly analyzing my wife's actions through a lens of a normal person. An example I can give, if you see your dog chewing your brand new leather couch, most people will not say, "Why is the dog doing this to me? I paid so much money he must understand that! It's not even a bone, it's a piece of furniture, it doesn't make any sense."

They will look at the event and say, "That's weird dog behavior." And then deal with the consequences of that.

We see all sorts of wild, nonsense behavior from PDs. Stuff that does not make any sense to us regular folk. And through our own paradigms we will try to analyze and chastise and correct the behavior. But we are dealing with feelings and emotions that are not reasonable, they are just as much instinct as the dog that chews the leather couch.

The core trait of someone with a cluster B is lack of empathy. I'm going out on a limb but I think that is one of the most important traits in a relationship. It's not one that gets highlighted because we just assume that everyone has it. Every truly loving action we perform has some basis in thinking of someone else other than yourself. If someone has a lack of empathy, the notion that they can be in a healthy relationship is wishful thinking at best.

Until they receive treatment, which will take a considerable amount of time and effort, and with very little chance of success, they for the most part are living a lie. Something that looks like love on the outside can easily be explained by a selfish factor from the inside.

I don't want to mistake that to say that people with PDs are not deserving of mercy or treatment or our empathy and compassion. My heart really breaks for my wife, because she did not ask to be brought up in such horrible circumstances, and I believe that her actions are instinctual and not developed out of evil. But that is irrelevant, once we are tagged, we are no longer the people that should attempt to help. It actually does more harm than good, as we are an instinctual trigger for much of their defensive behavior.
 

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Oh and one other thing I've been thinking about Uptown, a lot of your posts relate to BPD specifically. I have been trying to do that less and less. From my experience and from what I have learned, a lot of the "bad" traits of BPD are shared in common with the other Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissism, antisocial, histrionic, and borderline).

It kind of put me off the trail for a while as my wife doesn't fit very well into a lot of the BPD behavior, but the traits were very similar. Took me a few months before I found out about histrionics, and then narcissism, and then comorbidity.

The important traits to look out for are black and white thinking, splitting, lack of empathy, tantrums, rapid mood swings, poor sense of self. These are foundational behaviors for all of the PDs.


This link might be helpful for people that are new to it all:

Cluster B Personality Disorder
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ostera, my experience is that BPDers will lie when they are cornered -- to escape the shame of admitting a mistake. And they will try to be manipulating -- to control you and thus prevent abandonment. And, as I noted earlier, BPDers tend to be very good actors.

Most of their crazymaking behaviors, however, are as much a mystery to THEM as they are to their partners. I say this because, given their self loathing and the fragility of their self images, BPDers cannot afford the luxury of creating the bulk of their outrageous allegations at the CONSCIOUS level.

Instead, they tend to create those ego defenses at the subconscious level. For an ego defense to work -- i.e., to protect the fragile ego from seeing too much of reality -- it must be created subconsciously, thus allowing the conscious mind to believe it really is true.

Hence, to the extent a BPDer's real self is hidden behind "the curtain," as you say, for the most part it is hidden from HER as well as from you. The main difference, then, is that you have the courage to pull the curtain back while, so far at least, it seems clear she does not.No, you are not the victim. It is a mistake to think that the toxicity in your marriage is something SHE does to you. If that were true, you would be a helpless victim having no control over the situation -- which is far from the truth. Emotionally healthy men do not stay with abusive women like that. After the wonderful honeymoon period ends, they typically walk away within six to twelve months, if not much sooner.

It therefore is more accurate to think of the toxicity as something you BOTH have been doing to each other. The only way a toxic relationship can last three years -- as yours has -- is if both people are willingly contributing to the toxicity. Her contributions to the toxicity (e.g., rages and verbal abuse) are obvious -- yours are less so.

Your main contribution is the way you have been enabling her -- for three years -- to behave like a four year old throwing one tantrum after another -- and getting away with it! As an enabler, you have allowed her to avoid confronting her issues and learning how to manage them. Specifically, you have been trying to be a "soothing object," intending to calm her down. In that way, you have prevented her from recognizing the need to learn how to calm herself down through self-soothing.

Sadly, all that calming you do -- that I did too -- is counter-productive because your very presence in the house serves to trigger her rage and fear of abandonment. That is, as the person who loves her most, you pose the greatest threat of abandonment. This is why she likely does so well with total strangers and casual friends.

Finally, it also would be a mistake to believe -- as books like Emotional Vampires suggest -- that your W spun a web and then went out hunting for a victim to pull into her trap. Because you've been with her for over three years, you almost certainly are an excessive caregiver (i.e., "codependent") like me. That is, YOU almost certainly were the hunter.

We caregivers will walk right past all the stable, emotionally available women (BORING) until we find a woman who desperately needs us. Indeed, we can spot vulnerability ("catnip" to us) across a crowded room. We do this because our desire to be needed (for what we can do) far exceeds
our desire to be loved (for the men we already are). The best explanation of how we got to be that way during childhood is an article by therapist Shari Schreiber DO YOU LOVE TO BE NEEDED, OR NEED TO BE LOVED?.
I have been trying to be the 'soother'. I it is apparent that she will neve be happy with anyone. My MIL and her daughter are the same way... they have never had happy stable relationships. My family on the other hand are not 'divorcers'. I don't know what it's like to have split parents, etc. That is why I say this is hard... I am the only one in my family to have been divorced before. My stbxw treats marriage like a pair of shoes... she liked them today, but tomorrow they go in the trash.
 

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Uptown, a lot of your posts relate to BPD specifically. I have been trying to do that less and less. From my experience and from what I have learned, a lot of the "bad" traits of BPD are shared in common with the other Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissism, antisocial, histrionic, and borderline).
Colorado, you make some interesting observations and raise interesting issues. To avoid hijacking Ostera's thread, I responded in your most recent thread about your STBXW at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/private-members-section/49173-drama-continues-19.html#post1253645.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Uptown.. when you say I am lucky to be out of the relationship after 3 yrs I wish I could see that... Like what was mentioned earlier... I appear the be 'addicted' to the toxic situation. I miss her so much and unfortunately would take her back in a heart beat... I am very much trying to break from that. She causes me so much internal pain, but I still love her.
 

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Uptown.. when you say I am lucky to be out of the relationship after 3 yrs I wish I could see that... Like what was mentioned earlier... I appear the be 'addicted' to the toxic situation. I miss her so much and unfortunately would take her back in a heart beat... I am very much trying to break from that. She causes me so much internal pain, but I still love her.
It's just like breaking a drug addiction. Hang in there buddy. This chick does not love you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's just like breaking a drug addiction. Hang in there buddy. This chick does not love you.
... and that is what sucks. She soooo easily walked away. She emailed again today to say she is filing in January.. she is cold as ice and has completely turned me black.
 

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... and that is what sucks. She soooo easily walked away. She emailed again today to say she is filing in January.. she is cold as ice and has completely turned me black.
You'll feel like dump for a while. Took me 2 months, some people take years. But then you'll look back and be thankful for it.

What helped me was to realize that my marriage was a fairy tale that I had concocted. Many of the things that I thought were loving actions were really just me being hopeful, in denial, or her acting. Grieve the loss of your fairy tale, don't expect that staying with your wife can resurrect something that never existed. It will only bring you more pain.
 
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