Talk About Marriage banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hi everyone. im new to this site but im so glad i found it. ok well im 43 years old and ive been with my husband for about 23 years but we have only been married for the last 9 years. we have broken up and seperated more than i can count in these 23 yrs. He is honestly a good man but only when he wants to be. if he is having a good day or ive done something good for him then he is so sweet and kind or if he wants something from me he is sweet and kind. but if he is mad at me or anyone or anything else then i get the bad side. he has never put his hands on me ever which surprises me with the way he yells or things he says. then he says im stupid for being scared of him. we are seperated right now and have been since late june 2017. i still love him and i have tried to stop or make the feelings go away but i cant do it long. we have been text for a month now and trying to be civil. we have no kids together but i have a son from before him. he is always thinking im out partying or running around with someone else. but no im not that kind of person, never have been and never will be. but i cant seem to make him believe me unless he is in a good mood then he will say i know you not doing those things. im a type of person to help others as much as i can and that includes him. i hate that he is alone and i know i shouldnt feel that away but he has a few small medical problems and i know he is an adult and should be able to take care of him self but i honestly want to help him. i just lost my dad in late nov 2017 and i watched how great my mom took care of him here at home while he was on hospice and to be truthful when i was little thru highschool my dad was an angry man who beat my mom alot when he drank but he turned his life around when i had my son a few yrs after high school plus thats when he started having heart attacks..and i saw how my mom loved my dad so much and took such great care of him and never thought about their bad past and i want to do the same for my husband. now my husband is not bed ridding or anything like that he still works and can drive and do for himself i just want to help. so for the last month i have went to his house and checked on him and took his bank card to pay his bills so he doesnt forget and of course gave his card back. i have stopped by the store and brought him a few things, hung out with him at his house so he doesnt feel so lonely. i was gonna go check on him this weekend but i got a cold and by friday was feeling real bad so instead of going to his house i went home and stayed in the bed all weekend so this morning i got like 7 texts telling me how cruel and black hearted i am for not checking on him ( he doesnt have any of his anxiety meds, that makes him more mean talking) and how i probualy been running the roads with guys all weekend instead of with him. that im disrespecting him. i texted back of course reminding him that ive been sick all weekend and how he heard it in my voice when we talked over phone at lunch friday and how all he been saying is how grateful he is at all the help ive been giving him and how after all the help he cant bring himself to be mean to me but now you are being mean and rude...but in a ccouple days he will be back to sweet and kind again..he is not the kind of guy you can sit down and talk to, he is the kind who will take everything you say and twist it so he can get mad or always make it about him and i also told him, you knew i was sick but you never checked on me or asked if i needed anything.i hate that i still love him and if things could be different and i could get all the anger and control issues out of him i would love to give us another shot because i honestly love him..uggggggg

6,046 Posts
What you need to do is get it over with and get on with or better yet start living your own life. For all of your adult life, this is how you have lived. This is not the life anyone deserves. Honestly it sounds as though both of you need to grow up. You need counseling and so does he. You both need to focus on your selves rather than on this or any other relationship. But regardless, no one deserves to live this type of life. You are still young. Learn from this and don't make the same mistakes going forward.

Premium Member
2,911 Posts
Teresa, welcome to the TAM community. The behaviors you describe -- i.e., irrational jealousy, controlling demands, temper tantrums, lack of impulse control, black-white thinking, always being "The Victim," and rapid flips between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing you) -- are classic warning signs for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Importantly, I'm not suggesting your H has full-blown BPD (only a professional can determine that). Rather, I'm suggesting he may exhibit moderate to strong traits of BPD.

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

Rather, at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met him, I cannot answer that question. I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are easy to spot -- especially after being with him for 23 years -- because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," temper tantrums, and rapid event-triggered mood flips.

I can't seem to make him believe me unless he is in a good mood then he will say i know you not doing those things.
If he is a BPDer (i.e., exhibits behavior on the upper third of the BPD spectrum), he generally will perceive of you as purely good or bad. BPDers can flip -- in less than a minute -- from Jekyll (adoring you) to Hyde (devaluing you). And they can flip back again just as quickly.

These rapid flips arise from "black-white thinking." Like a young child, a BPDer is too emotionally immature to be able to handle strong conflicting feelings (e.g., love and hate). A BPDer therefore has great difficulty tolerating ambiguities, uncertainties, and the other gray areas of close interpersonal relationships.

He therefore will categorize everyone close to him as "all good" (i.e., "white" or "with me") or "all bad" (i.e., "black" or "against me"). And he will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or action. This B-W thinking also will be evident in the frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions such as "You NEVER..." and "You ALWAYS...."

Because a BPDer's close friends eventually will be "split black," it is unusual for a BPDer to have really close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away). He nonetheless may have many casual friends and business colleagues who have never seen his dark side.

BPDers categorize everyone close to them in this black-white manner because they are too emotionally immature to handle being in touch with two strong conflicting feelings at the same time. You will see this all-or-nothing behavior in a four year old who adores Mommy while she's bringing out the toys but, in a few seconds, will flip to hating Mommy when she takes one toy away.

He is honestly a good man but only when he wants to be.
BPDers generally are good and caring people. Their problem is not being bad but, rather, being unstable.

We have broken up and separated more than i can count in these 23 yrs.
BPDer relationships lasting more than a year are notorious for having multiple breakups and reconciliations. One reason for this is that BPDers typically exhibit an emotional intensity, immaturity, and purity of expression that otherwise is seen only in young children. This means that, like young children, they are very easy to fall in love with and very hard to walk away from. Indeed, walking away from a BPDer can feel like you're abandoning a sick child who desperately needs you.

A second reason for the push-away/pull-back cycle is that the BPDer's two great fears -- abandonment and engulfment -- lie at the opposite ends of the very same spectrum. This means you are always in a lose/lose situation because, as you back away from one fear to avoid triggering it, you will start triggering the fear at the other end of that same spectrum.

Hence, as you move close to a BPDer to comfort him and assure him of your love, you will start triggering his engulfment fear, making him feel like he's being suffocated and controlled by you. Yet, as you back away to give him breathing space, you will find that you've started triggering his abandonment fear. And, sadly, there is no midpoints solution (between "too close" and "too far away") where you can safely stand to avoid triggering the two fears. I know because I foolishly spent 15 years searching for that Goldilocks position, which simply does not exist.

The result is that BPDer relationships are notorious for having multiple breakups. A BPDfamily survey of about 460 such relationships found that nearly a fourth of them (23%) went through 10 or more complete breakup/makeup cycles BEFORE finally ending for good. About 40% of the BPDer relationships experienced at least six breakup/makeup cycles before ending. And 73% had three or more breakup/makeup cycles before finally ending. See "Results" at BPDfamily Breakup/Makeup Poll.

He is always thinking i'm out partying or running around with someone else.
A BPDer's greatest fear is that of abandonment. Indeed, it is so great that it often will distort his perception of your intentions and motivations. This is why "Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment" is one of the nine defining traits for BPD.

I'm a type of person to help others as much as i can and that includes him.
Like you Teresa, I tend to be an excessive caregiver. As I understand it, our wanting to help people is a good thing. It becomes a problem only because we continue helping people even when it is to our great detriment to do so -- and even when our efforts are not really productive. We apparently do this because our desire to be needed (for what we can do) far exceeds our desire to be loved (for the people we already are).

The result is that, when selecting a mate, we tend to walk right on past all the healthy emotionally-available people (BORING) until we find one who sorely needs us. We therefore are highly empathetic and are expert at spotting vulnerability across a crowded room. We are attracted to BPDers because they are expert at projecting vulnerability -- because they have a false self image of being "The Victim," always "The Victim."

I still love him and i have tried to stop or make the feelings go away but i cant do it long.
I join @Ynot in suggesting that you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is that you are dealing with. I also suggest that, while you're looking for a good psychologist, you read about BPD warning signs to see if they seem to apply.

An easy place to start reading is my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs. If most of those signs sound very familiar, I would suggest you read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Maybe's Thread. If that description rings many bells and raises questions, I would be glad to join the other respondents in discussing them with you. Take care, Teresa.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts