Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
21 - 40 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
I'm sorry, but what mental health professional diagnosed this lady with BPD? This is all layman's conjecture, and from one person's viewpoint. Let's not offer opinions on the incredibly sensitive question of custody of children based on one person's complaints on a web forum.

Please, I just think it could be destructive.

what ever happened to joint custody?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,654 Posts
I take posts at face value. When someone is talking about ending it - often the best means to avoid divorce is to convey that you are emotionally "there" before you get past the point of no return. As for labels - BPD is just that. Regardless of the label, if his post is accurate he is dealing with someone whose idea of conflict resolution is simply to beat the other person into submission.

My experience with the male/female dynamic is this. If you actually ARE a good male partner, the most likely path to destruction with an aggressive female partner is to allow them to lose respect for you over a protracted period of time. And for uber-aggressive folks - the best therapy is shock therapy.


I'm sorry, but what mental health professional diagnosed this lady with BPD? This is all layman's conjecture, and from one person's viewpoint. Let's not offer opinions on the incredibly sensitive question of custody of children based on one person's complaints on a web forum.

Please, I just think it could be destructive.

what ever happened to joint custody?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
Eagleclaw, I agree with ThinkTooMuch (tell me, are you guys American Indians?). As Think says, your W likely suffers from strong traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
All her family are hot heads.
Recent studies indicate that BPD is likely caused by both heredity and environment (e.g., physical abuse, abandonment, or a verbally abusive parent like your W). One implication is that it is not surprising that most of her family is that way -- that is where she got the traits to begin with. Another implication is that your W's genetics and abusive behavior raise the risk factor for your children.
She also had a screwed up upbringing.
Like I said, BPD is believed to be caused by heredity in combination with a traumatic early childhood (i.e., typically before age 5).
I deviated away from how I used to be, as I tried harder and harder to try and repair the marriage and "fix" things
You likely are a caregiver type guy like me. We were raised to fix things and smooth things over among family members. As a result, we are attracted to the wounded birds of life because our desire to be needed far exceeds our desire to be loved. This is why we are so attracted (initially) to BPDers -- they project vulnerability, always thinking of themselves as victims. As soon as the honeymoon period ends, however, you shifted to walking on eggshells to avoid triggering her anger. The result is that you haven't been your "true self" for many years.
she will often keep ramping up her assault if I stay cool
Your W likely has the emotional development of a four year old, the age at which she experienced such trauma that her emotional development was frozen. This is why she never learned how to regulate her emotions, i.e., never learned how to do self soothing. Moreover, she has enormous rage inside her that she has carried since childhood. The result is that her anger is easily triggered -- in 10 seconds -- by innocent actions or comments by you. She therefore bursts into childish tantrums which typically last about five hours. Because she experiences these intense feelings sweeping over her every day, she becomes desensitized to "normal" feelings, finding them boring. She therefore has a strong need to create excitement and stimulation so as to feel alive. That is why she is always creating "drama." And that is why it is pointless trying to reason with her. Her objective is not to find a solution or a fair compromise. Instead, her objective is to create drama.
I'm not sure I really know what you mean turnera, I suppose if she loves fighting and being at odds with each other then I guess you might be right.
I believe Turnera is right. As I explained, BPDers crave stimulation and drama because -- like any four year old -- they are used to experiencing very intense feelings and thus get bored easily. Of course, they generally prefer intense good feelings to bad feelings. Their problem with good feelings, however, is that they easily become intimate feelings, which overwhelm them with the fear of engulfment due to their fragile sense of who they are. The other problem with good feelings is that they do not provide a release for all the anger a BPDer has been carrying since childhood. Bad feelings, on the other hand, have the "benefit" of triggering an outpouring of that inner rage.
she says things she won't remember saying - and she'll accuse me of saying things that I never said. It's almost like she combusts to the point of losing track of reality and then creates her own.
A very astute observation, Eagleclaw. You are correct. She does create her own reality -- but only with respect to other peoples' motivations. This is why BPD is called a "thought distortion." The illness distorts her perceptions of your intentions and creates feelings that are so intense that she is convinced they must have a basis in fact -- never mind that there are no facts or evidence to support it. (She nonetheless is not "crazy" because her perceptions of the physical world are not distorted.

As to her not remembering things she did and things you said, that is common with BPDers. It is partly due to the intense feelings, which color her judgment and cause her to frequently "rewrite history." (You and I do the same thing every time we get extremely angry with someone -- which is why we usually keep our mouths shut until we are able to cool down.) The forgetfulness is also partly due to a BPDer's frequent use of dissociation (i.e., splitting) to escape having to deal with someone. Do you remember the time that you were driving and you suddenly realized you could not remember a thing about the last ten miles -- not even the three stop lights you had to have passed through? Well, that was dissociation. Your mind was "split" in the sense that the conscious part was daydreaming and the subconscious was driving the car. BPDers do that a lot more than you do.
my wife has no friends, because at some point they always have a falling out
I believe you mean to say that she has no close friends. If your W is high functioning, she probably does quite well with handling complete strangers, business colleagues, and casual friends. Those people pose no threat of engulfment because there is no intimacy. And they pose no threat of abandonment because there is no relationship to abandon. Lord help them, though, if they start to draw close to her.

On the other hand, if she really cannot avoid driving away casual friends, it likely is because she is not "high functioning" or because she has another problem in addition to strong BPD traits. That would not be unusual because most BPDers also have another problem such as depression or another PD.
she is constantly testing me
Because their ability to trust was destroyed in early childhood, BPDers typically do endless testing of their partners to find out if they will remain loyal and will not abandon them. Of course, the reassurance they get from such tests lasts only a few hours because the next emotional tide sweeps aside all of the prior feelings. This is why your W likely is incapable of appreciating anything you've done for her for more than a few days -- well, maybe for a week if you spend a fortune on a gift. And, because she is unstable, she likely will tire of using that gift within two weeks. In any event, you will get tired of the endless testing. Of course, there are all the insulting questions. The worst part, however, is her notion that you cannot be properly tested unless she does something or buys something she knows you will absolutely hate so she can observe your reaction. Unless you hate it, she cannot feel that she made the decision to buy it. That is why your statement "Yes, I like it" is the kiss of death for an item she is thinking of buying.
She knows my sexual appetite and the effort I had put in for her but has done nothing about it.
BPDers typically are very passionate during the six month honeymoon period -- which is when their twin fears of engulfment and abandonment are blocked by their infatuation over you. Then the passion usually goes downhill because BPDers -- like anyone who is depressed and in pain -- are self centered. On top of that, they feel a strong sense of entitlement to things you freely give them. That is, you are giving them things that, in their minds, were owed to them to begin with -- because they are always thinking of themselves as victims and thus are seeking (if not expecting) just compensation.
I know I'm going to get advice to do marriage counseling.
Not from me. If your W has strong BPD traits, MC likely will be a total waste of time and money. A BPDer has damage to her emotional core -- damage that has been there since early childhood. That cannot be fixed by learning how to better communicate. Moreover, MCs typically have only a masters degree and are not properly trained to identify, much less treat, a personality disorder like BPD. Indeed, even a psychologist will be useless if your W does not have a strong desire to follow his guidance.

As to your repeated efforts to sooth her by walking on eggshells or trying to discover what you are doing wrong, that is a waste of time also. And, as to your plan to tweak your behavior and observe changes in her behavior, that will have little effect. The best you can do is to learn how to be more validating of her feelings. That will buy you a small improvement, perhaps.

Yet, no matter what you do or say, an untreated BPDer will never trust or believe you. She will never stop being controlling and verbally abusive. She will never stop the endless testing. She will never stop treating you like a perpetrator (blaming you for every misfortune) so she can keep feeling like the eternal victim. And, because she has little sense of who she really is, she will never be emotionally stable. All those changes would require years of individual therapy with a professional who specializes in treating BPDers. And, from what you say, your W has no intention of starting it, much less finishing it.
She does weird things like get in my face, block my path, try and charge through me.
My BPD exW did that too. Many times she would chase me from room to room. As I got older over the 15 years, my body chemistry changed to where I would get anxious or nervous more easily. The result was that I pushed her back off of me on three occasions, which is something you don't want to do to a 60 year old woman because they can easily trip. The third time she did fall backwards. She wasn't hurt but she did call the police and have me arrested for "brutalizing" her -- giving her time to obtain a restraining order so she could live in my home rent-free for 18 months, the time needed to obtain a divorce decree in this state. As the years go by, it is common for BPDers to become increasingly resentful of their spouse for not being able to make them happy. And they may become increasingly fearful of abandonment as they watch their good looks fade away. So it is common, a therapist said, for BPDers to abandon the spouse at about 15 years. At that point, they split him black permanently.
I have wondered about BPD before. ... When I read about it she definitely has some of the symptoms but then others she doesn't.
Keep in mind that, even when the BPD traits fall short of the diagnostic level, it would still be very unpleasant trying to live with that person. Moreover, the diagnostic criteria only require the presence of five traits, not all nine. A high functioning BPDer, for example, typically does not have a strong trait of self destructive behavior like cutting or suicide attempts. In addition, most folks suffering from a PD do not fall into one PD category. Instead, they typically have traits of two. Significantly, the ten PDs do not constitute ten different illnesses. Instead, they are simply categorical devices that make it easier to describe the behavior a person is exhibiting. Hence, all ten PDs may be manifestations of the same underlying illness. Finally, BPD is somewhat of an "umbrella disorder" that includes traits of many other PDs. Indeed, the proposed new Diagnostic Manual includes NPD and AvPD together with BPD in a broad category called "Borderline Type."

The important issue, then, is not whether your W has BPD traits but, rather, whether she has strong traits of any PD. If she does, she is damaged at her emotional core. So marriage counseling is not going to fix it. Pills will not fix it. Your tweaking of your own behavior will not fix it. And, because she has no desire to work on this serious problem, it simply will not be fixed at all.

Sadly, that is true for the vast majority of people with PDs, particularly for those with strong BPD traits. In order to learn how to control the illness, they must have sufficiently strong egos to be willing to let go of "being a victim" so they can start taking responsibility for their own actions. The vast majority of them are too fearful to do that. If you would like to read more about a BPDer's behavior, Eagleclaw, I suggest you check out my post in Gladiator's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-c...nhappy-violent-depressed-wife.html#post186216. And I would be glad to suggest online articles if you are interested. Meanwhile, Caregiver, start taking better care of yourself. You deserve it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
I'm sorry, what mental health professional diagnosed this lady with BPD? This is all layman's conjecture, and from one person's viewpoint.
Think never claimed Eagle's W had been diagnosed. Nor did he claim that he was making a diagnosis. Instead, he was simply encouraging Eagle to read about BPD so he can decide whether she likely has strong traits of BPD. At issue, then, is whether Eagle is sufficiently intelligent to recognize a strong pattern of those traits when they occur. Think believes he is. And I agree, especially considering that Eagle has been living with his W for many years.

Indeed, I believe most 18-year-olds are capable of doing so and should be provided this information during their first year in college so they have a prayer's chance of protecting themselves at the very time they are starting to date. Millions of them could avoid years, if not a lifetime, of pain and suffering if they were taught how to recognize basic human behavioral traits when they are searching for compatible mates.

This is not rocket science. TeaLeaves, by the time you were in your late teens, you likely could easily identify men who were too self-centered and grandiose for you to consider dating, much less marrying. And you were able to do that without determining whether the selfishness was so severe as to merit a diagnosis of NPD. Similarly, you could identify young criminals having a pervasive disregard for other peoples' rights -- without being able to diagnose Antisocial PD. You could recognize extremely shy men -- without rendering a diagnosis of Avoidant PD. Of course, you also knew when a guy was acting paranoid -- without having a clue as to how paranoid he would have to be to warrant a diagnosis of PPD. Moreover, you avoided a few guys because you could see that they were loners who had no interest in social relationships -- and you were not attempting to diagnose Schizoid PD.

Why, then, are the nine BPD traits any different? They are surprisingly easy to recognize once you've read about them. What is difficult is determining whether they are sufficiently severe to warrant a diagnosis. More difficult still is knowing how to treat the disorder effectively. Hence, diagnosis and treatment are the province of professionals. Identifying the traits, however, is easy because every healthy human being exhibits all nine BPD traits, albeit at a low level.

The Nons (i.e., nonBPD partners of BPDers) cannot afford to wait for a psychologist to give them a diagnosis. For one thing, young people cannot afford to drag a psychologist along on every date. A second reason is that strong BPD traits (when untreated) can destroy a marriage even when they fall well short of the diagnostic level. Imagine being married to a very selfish and self-centered man who does not have full-blown NPD. Likewise, the absence of a BPD diagnosis does not mean you are safe.

A third reason is that therapists often are very reluctant to tell a patient she has BPD. One reason is that insurance companies usually refuse to cover that disorder, leading many therapists to list the "diagnosis" as one of the associated symptoms (e.g., depression) or as another disorder covered by insurance (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD).

A fourth reason is that they know a patient suffering from BPD almost certainly will terminate therapy when given such a feared diagnosis. So, in the unlikely event a person is given such a diagnosis and tells her partner, so much time will have passed that he will already be married to her and have several kids, some of whom may have inherited her disorder. Finally, a fifth reason is that therapists may fear that, with the social stigma associated with BPD, having it in one's medical records may foreclose future job opportunities.

It therefore is critically important that Nons not wait around for a clinical diagnosis to occur. In the unlikely event that their mate seeks therapy, it is highly unlikely the Nons will be told the diagnosis. Indeed, if my experiences are any guide, it is unlikely that the BPDer herself will hear the term "BPD" from most therapists.

With codependent Nons like me, it is important to persuade us that we are fully capable of understanding the nine BPD traits, which all of us have to some degree and thus can easily learn to identify. One reason is that, for the Nons' own immediate safety, the first thing they need to learn are the red flags. Moreover, if they don't learn to identify the traits, they are at risk of leaving or divorcing a BPDer and then running into the arms of another woman just like her.

Also, after Nons have some understanding of BPD traits, they are far more receptive to suggestions that they read about their real problem, their own codependency -- the glue holding the toxic relationship together. That realization empowers them to walk away from a toxic relationship that can be just as hurtful to the BPDer as to the codependent Non. Of course, when children are involved, the Non should consider walking away only if he first decides it is in the best interests of the children.

I therefore strongly object to the notion that Nons should stop trying to identify a strong pattern of BPD traits and leave that task to the professionals. As I explained, that would be a disastrous course of action for most Nons. And it could be equally disastrous for the many BPDers who end up marrying "enablers," i.e., the codependent people like me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
UPTOWN - I haven't figured out how to quote your text as you have but here goes:

She has never mentioned any physical child abuse - but her Mother was/is a wingnut and was emotionally turbulent with her children and all her life so that may have played a role in her development. They had, and still do have issues.

Your right about the friends. She's very social and says she doesn't like being around people she doesn't know - however excels in that environment. Occassionally someone will wrong her at work and she'll implode but she almost lost her job the last time and it hasn't happened again. Which again, is why consequence does seem to work with her but from what I have read shouldn't with a full blown BPD

A lot of what you said seems to ring true. However I would have to say if she is, she is an EXTREMELY high functioning. And some times she will surprise me and act differently. Also, I find I am now conditioned to expect certain behavior from her and almost perpetuate it by my distain/annoyance and comments. I don't walk on eggshells anymore. I won't. I call it like I see it. I take her to task. From what I have read this should be the perfect recipe for the perfect storm. However by and large it seems to be helping. Although we do and probably always will have periodic storms.

Where she seems quite a bit different is in the upswing. I've read they will split, attack you like the devil and then the fear of abandonment kicks in and they will be sweet and try and lure you back. She doesn't do that. She'll stay cold and warm up VERY gradually. Never feels responsible and never tries to be extra nice or "make it up to me".

I'm not discounting your comments as I see a lot of her in them - just pointing out an example of where she differs from them.

She is good with the kids other than she expects so much from them - and has short patience and bad temper (yelling) but is also very loving with them.

My son is solid, reasonable, happy, logical, and loving.

My daughter is a firecracker - EXTREMELY loving, but also has EXTREME tantrums (sound familiar?) She is a work in progress but the two year old tempers definately haven't ended and she is 6.

She has always been this way, and my son has always been the way he is. I can't say there environement was any different from each other so I would definately say it's an inherited trait rather than environnmental.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
It is good that you are writing these tings out.

There are red flags, although you are scratching the surface, several things are still undone.

I have been reading here and trying to improve the dynamics of my relationship for some time. I have made some of the same mistakes of trying to hard to fix things and becoming the (nice guy) who is taking way to much responsibility and putting in way to much effort into the relationship and getting little in return.

I have had all the same problems, little help around the house, bearing to much of the burden of chores, low sex - sex life, little effort deployed by wife in sex life when were being intimate, lack of respect from wife etc.

I have kids as well otherwise I would have probably given up by now. Instead I deviated away from how I used to be, as I tried harder and harder to try and repair the marriage and "fix" things - all the while making things worse. I suspected it was a mistake and pulled back a few times which caused more conflict. Eventually, I started searching the web and found this place.

Most comments from BigBadWolf, Mem and Atholk seemed to resonate best with me and really brought me back to my roots. How I used to be. I went through a lot of woman before marriage and had little trouble with them. Except for the last two relationships where I got serious, cared, fell in love and changed my behavior.
This changing behavior, exactly as many good men are in the habit of doing. Since you are say you are familiar and a lurker, I will not already type what you already know.

I should point out that my wife has no friends, because at some point they always have a falling out because eventually it would seem everyone "wrongs" her and she goes postal on them effectively ending the friendship. All her family are hot heads and have huge family pow wow's (fights) that you couldn't even imaging unless you saw one. It's been a few years since the last one but it's a repeating process. And strangly enough these are really her only "friends". Her only defense in any argument is an over the top, completely eggagerated offense. Attack, attack, attack. Me and brother in laws often say that these women are different in that we all argue to address a problem, or fix an issue, or defend a position - where these girls argue simply to hurt and to win. Based on the things they do and say.
These family arguments, are they as physical or instead yelling? Also is there any consistent theme?

Over the years she has toned it down some, but when she really gets going she says things she won't remember saying - and she'll accuse me of saying things that I never said. It's almost like she combusts to the point of losing track of reality and then creates her own.

Moving along.........

So I have started doing less, holding the wife accountable, being more ****y (which has always been a natural thing for me so I'm kinda reverting back to myself) trying to be more upbeat and fun, going out on my own, doing what I want within reason regardless, etc.
Excellent.

All in all it has been working fairly well. My wife is a firecracker and has a TERRIBLE temper. She also had a screwed up upbringing and brings baggage with her.
This screwed up upbringing is a clue and would be useful to know in general the nature of abuse and more importantly, what she says or feels about these things today, especially if she is projecting responsibility to herself or to you.

The problem is she is constantly testing me, or saying stupid disrespectful comments that I can't ignore. I try to repond calm and cool but when it's happening often it gets harder and harder to not get riled up. Also, she will often keep ramping up her assault if I stay cool and accuse me of jumping down her throat at every little thing because I have calmly expressed displeasure at her either disrespecting me or crossing a boundry. It's like she wants the fight.
So as reading this forum already, you already know that a woman will test her man, even in the best marriage to the worst marriage, a woman will test her man.

So we come to this, if the action is proper, the reaction is not, then the problem is the foundation laid.

In this case, your woman is not content with you merely being calm or avoiding her test, so if this relationship is to be repaired then you yourself will need to ratchet up your dominance to the point that yes, she knows what it means that your boundries are crossed, and that is in her mind to feel without a doubt that either you will be respected or she will lose you.

So that's problem one, how does one keep himself calm after relentless baiting and pushing of buttons.
A battle of wills, and in this case also a battle of wits.

Find out what she is really wanting you to battle, the source of her resentment to you.

The clues maybe in your comments about her upbringing.

Without knowing details, can assume some physical abuse or sexual abuse leading to the predictable emotional scars. If so, in your own action and behavior, yes, some rather startling action may be required that can be addressed in other posts if necessary.

Problem two: She puts no effort into our sex life. It has been better as in if I initiate she is more responsive - but she never puts the effort in. Most recently I was trying to make her more into it, and enjoy it more. I made it in my head about her and gave her lots of oral and she most often would come two or three times to my once. Great for her. But after a few months off that I'm wanting her to experiment and put the same effort in for me. I have told her that. She has either said the what she does or has been doing is never enough for me. Or that she is not sexually outgoing like me. Well that's convienent.
No, do not make it about her, such a woman behaving as this.

Instead just this, make sex radically about yourself, and start to direct and communiate to her what pleases you, sometimes calm and direct, other times aggresive and physical, even to the point of what I am not comfortable typing out on this board. You will know, if you follow her reactions, how far to go. But in this absolutely be bold.

Over time in your leadership and dominance of the sexual realtions as you are attentive to her response then she will even herself become creative and free to explore herself.

Often this radical sexual intimacy will open communication to the other areas of the relationshp, for example, in sexual dominance the woman is often very receptive to the direction of her man, and this feeling will absolutley spill over into the world outside the bedroom, often without fail for such a man that is this bold and taken her to this blissful place sexually her respect and desire to please is feeling very strongly in her. A woman that is feeling respect for her man is not feeling to mistreat such a man.

Again for this reason, where there is sexual attraction, there is not resentment.

So we have a huge fight recently (about something entirely different). I did not try and fix it because she was out of line. She stayed mad and cold for a couple of weeks. She kept escalating and being a *****, and baiting me over the course of the couple weeks. I called her out each time and didn't let her get away with anything. I held my ground until she realized this approach wasn't going to work as I wasn't going to give in just to make peace and get laid. Not that hard because when she's being like this there is NOTHING attractive about her. By and large I didn't fly off the handle during these just said my piece and she would get loud and then we wouldn't talk for a couple of days. Eventually, she came to me and wanted to talk. She didn't apologize really but accepted that things needed to change. I told her what I wanted from her (excluding sexually cause it wasn't the time or part of the equation) and she me.
Even though you respond with calmness and walk away from the conflict, this is still very much you are following your woman's leadership, waiting for her to do this or that.

Instead, work to ways to have it be yourself in leadership, to set timetable for example, to calmly discuss and resolve some issue, rather than to wait for your woman to feel sorry for you enough to want to talk (although not your intention, tis is the communcation of your behavior).

A tense couple of days later we are getting along better but no sex life. So like some of the advice I have read, I have not been saying ILY unless she has, I have only offered a couple of hugs on my own otherwise only when she has, and I have made no effort to be intimate with her waiting for her to put some effort in (as before the argument I was already annoyed about this and had decided until she "treats" me in some way I was done doing for her)
Again, do not wait for your woman's leadership. Behave in your own happiness and leadership, yes even to the point of expressing your desire and requirements for intimacy. See how she responds to your radical leadership.

ILY, and even other things, such as being the one to end conversations or hang up the phone first, a million little ways to express your leadership and dominance. She will notice and feel these things.

So it would appear any progress I had been making is gone. Things have gone from cold to luke warm. She knows my sexual appetite and the effort I had put in for her but has done nothing about it.
Again, stop waiting for her leadership. You need to keep this ball in your court.

Any thoughts on how to continue? I obviously need to tweak come changes. I'm starting to get to the point of accepting my wife has personality issues and resigning that I should just move on to something with at least the "opportunity" to succeed. I'm not afraid of leaving, and have no doubt I could find happiness elsewhere - however my first choice is to make US work. Both for us and for the kids. I do love her, but the feeling of being IN love is waning. I'm simply not prepared to do all the changing, and all the work myself. That is not an option.
The initiave and work is yours to do. This is absolute in the best or worst marriages. Just be sure to see the reactions and listen to her feelings, and for many women it is effective to even word conversations around her feelings. Not "how was your day", but instead, "how are you feeling?" This avoids cloudiness and often gets to the root, what is important to you the man to see what your woman is desiring from you, but is often unwilling to say.

And BTW - I know I'm going to get advice to do MC. We have, and the counciller was very good. And by and large she sided with me and told my wife she needed to change in a lot of areas. She didn't like that and isn't a fan of going back. That said, it's very expensive and she WILL go back but doesn't take much from it. Me changing how I interact with her makes the most change.
Exactly.


These things you are starting are mostly correct, but in all areas, especially sexual, do not wait for your woman's leadership.

Instead be bold, take leadership yourself, and firmly and confidently set your own tone in the relationship and see by your woman's reactions what she is needing from you.

This is the start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
not an Indian

Uptown,

I don't know about Eagleclaw, I'm not an Indian, though if the book of Mormon is right, some of my long lost relatives might be - no disrespect intended.

I'm the grandchild of immigrants from Bessarabia, Poland, and the Ukraine, a Jew of the diaspora, the dream my great grandparents, grandparents and parents hoped for and made possible by enormous sacrifices.

About a decade ago I was invited by a friend to spend a sunset cruise aboard the Forbes yacht. This beautiful boat had hosted presidents, kings, emperors, queens, and very expensive mistresses, along with potential advertisers in Forbes magazine, peons like my friend.

As we sailed past the Statue of Liberty, I looked at and started to cry with joy, within 100 years my great grandparents and grandparents, traveling in steerage, knowing perhaps two words of English had passed her, hoping for a better future for them, their children, etc. I am the product of the dream, fortunate beyond measure.

My eyes are filled with tears, my heart filled with joy.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
I think because I have backed off and now refuse to bear all the workload at home etc (and make her do her share and contribute) she thinks I am trying a lot less! Although sexually, she has commented about the effort I have put in and how it has helped us - although that hasn't really made her attempt to return the favour!

You make very good points - and your right - I carry a lot of resentment and so does she. However, I have forced myself to let go of resentment and start fresh several times through this marriage only to end up back here via lack of change on her part. And the problem I have with leaving an argument when it get's loud is she will keep pestering me until I resume. Or her other tactic is every interaction for the next week will be her oppertunity to try and bait me into another argument because of her pent up "resentment".
Letting resentment go is harder than it seems. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. Have you laid out your resentment to the source? If not, have you really let it go?

Unfortunately she is much better than me at this. I can't stay mad very long. She can stay mad for a week. I simply don't enjoy living that way and it's not possible for me to stay in an unpleasant mood for very long. She's a master at it.
Resentment an lack of respect are fuel for staying mad for long periods of time.

When she is chronically mad, look for teh ways to increase respect.

It's wierd, because she is very feministic in so far as she hates gender roles and has the attitude that no man is going to tell her this or that etc..... (and I'm not like that anyways) but if I adopt a more dominant forceful role and really hold her to task things seem to go better.
In your situation if you are unwilling to tell her this or that then your marriage will not get better.

For the feminist ideas, do not even consider them and forget everything you think you believe of them. Actions speak louder than words, and no more truth than in your very own marriage.

The problem I have is when she keeps pushing boundries - and I calmly try defend them in no uncertain terms but by not yelling etc - she doesn't stop. I guess I need more examples on how to be assertive without setting a bad example. Keeping my cool so to speak.
Push your own boundries.

Stop trying to logically defend your position, instead save your words and spend your time and energy directing your own boundries and desires from her and the relationship.



She does wierd things like get in my face, block my path, try and charge through me. Stupid things like she's trying to intimidate me which I laugh off as it's not intimidating as I'm 6'4 230 pounds. I would never touch her but it goes to show how much she tries to get me going.
I will only say this, are you willing and able to pull down her pants and underwear and spank her bare behind the next time she wants to get physical in this way?

If so your solution is much closer than you think.

If not, you have a long road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
One more thing - you have mentioned you changed the dynamic in your relationship. Once thing I have never seen is, once you started employing these changes, how long would you say it took for things to come around? Are we talking weeks, months?

Thanks again.
Days. Hours. Immediate.

These things that change these dynamics, they are powerful and real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Wife's wealthy parents - similarities ?

Eagleclaw,

My BPD ex-wife had relatively old when she was born (40+ or so) wealthy parents who had become successful on the basis of good brains and hard work. They were also very remote, controlling, and restrictive.

It wasn't until our son, the first grandchild, was born, that my exFIL demonstrated affection for a kid, he was crazy, my ex regretted she and her siblings had never seen him so happy.

Despite considerable assets, living in a mansion in Fairfield, CT, as a child my ex was never allowed to buy clothes that were "in", her mom was the most restrained woman I've ever met, her father used his brains and money as weapons. He was a brilliant graduate of Brown and Harvard Law, invested wisely in real estate, treated his employees and contractors very well according to a fellow I'm now using as a handyman, but both parents were very cool to their children.

My ex's younger brother is manic-depressive, used drugs, and were it not for family connections and money would have gone to jail more than once. The older brother, also Brown and Harvard Law is a self made multi-millionaire.

Any similarities?

Mark

<quote> test </quote>

MEM

The seperation idea - I dont' know what she would do. She may say if I go it's permanent, she may not I don't know. At that point that just the risk you take. She's pretty stubborn though - I don't think it would make her admit fault or offer to change. It might give her a wake up call internally though.

The money thing probably wouldn't be effective. Herein Canada I would get dinged with child care and possibly spousal and lose half my pension. She could probably ask that question to me with more dramatic effect. Besides, her parents and grandparents are VERY well off. If it came down to it she would probably figure something out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
These family arguments, are they as physical or instead yelling? Also is there any consistent theme?
Mostly yelling and threatening - not physical but apparantly has been in the past. I have never seen it.


This screwed up upbringing is a clue and would be useful to know in general the nature of abuse and more importantly, what she says or feels about these things today, especially if she is projecting responsibility to herself or to you.
Just a very emotionally high strung mother. Nothing physical. Possibly lacking normal loving intereaction with mother


Without knowing details, can assume some physical abuse or sexual abuse leading to the predictable emotional scars. If so, in your own action and behavior, yes, some rather startling action may be required that can be addressed in other posts if necessary.
No physical or sexual. Her mother is very self centered and very loving to the youngest sister. My wife is the middle child and never got along with her mother. Tempers, fights. Not a lot of love. It's better now but still dysfunctional by my standards. (I never saw my parents fight - still haven't)


No, do not make it about her, such a woman behaving as this.
I'm certainly not now. But my plan was to get her excited about it again and make sure she really enjoyed and looked forward to it.

Instead just this, make sex radically about yourself, and start to direct and communiate to her what pleases you, sometimes calm and direct, other times aggresive and physical, even to the point of what I am not comfortable typing out on this board. You will know, if you follow her reactions, how far to go. But in this absolutely be bold.
I've been starting to experiment with this. By your standards probably pretty timid so far as it doesn't come natural to me in this area. Sometimes she appears to like it - other times I run into a roadblock right away.

Instead, work to ways to have it be yourself in leadership, to set timetable for example, to calmly discuss and resolve some issue, rather than to wait for your woman to feel sorry for you enough to want to talk (although not your intention, tis is the communcation of your behavior).
I understand what your saying here. Although what I did was tried to discuss this several times and it got to a point where it was getting loud and she wasn't listening any more so I shut down the conversation. The last time it happened I invited her to leave the residence and hinted at seperation - she left for the evening. When she came back she wanted to talk.
Again, do not wait for your woman's leadership. Behave in your own happiness and leadership, yes even to the point of expressing your desire and requirements for intimacy. See how she responds to your radical leadership.
My only concern here, is that if I make a move sexually and she shuts it down then I have giving her back her power of controlling the sex. I don't want to do this as right now I have the illusion of not caring if we have sex.


ILY, and even other things, such as being the one to end conversations or hang up the phone first, a million little ways to express your leadership and dominance. She will notice and feel these things.
These are the kinds of things I am trying to do. Making my own plans. Making plans for us. She has tried to fight me a few times and I have simply said - alright - you have a good night I'll see you later when I'm done from doing X. And have done it several times. She's starting to go with the flow cause she knows I'll do what I want either way.

Again, stop waiting for her leadership. You need to keep this ball in your court.
I know your right here, but I find it a slippery slope. If I try and get a rejection or the, "how can you be thinking about that when we haven't been getting along". Or she' says fine and lay there like a log to spite me. Not always, but if she's annoyed. That's her powerplay to use it as a weapon. So at the tail end of this particular argument I don't really want to re-enable her weapon. I guess I could bite the bullet and make the move. But if I get one of the responses above I'll be playing the - "you so turned me off, not interested - good night".


These things you are starting are mostly correct, but in all areas, especially sexual, do not wait for your woman's leadership.
When things are going good I do, do this. But when things are bad, or if I have gotten a few rejections in a row I no longer wish to enable her. I start to deprioritize her. The problem is this can go on forever because she doesn't pursue at this point.
I should point out though that sometimes she makes this difficult by removing the possibility. Bringing a kid into bed, playing on the laptop while watching tv in bed, falling asleep 30 seconds after climbing in bed, staying up until midnight (I get up at 5am for work) - telling me she doesn't feel well. blah blah blah. Of course this stuff happens, but not everyday for a couple of weeks.

Thanks for your comments - a lot of what you type seems intuitive in print right in front of you, although not always obvious to myself during my daily interactions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
I'm not sure I really know what you mean turnera, I suppose if she loves fighting and being at odds with each other then I guess you might be right. IF that's the case, then I'm out. Cause I don't want to live with a person like that. I hope your wrong about that.

As far as the phychologist suggestion, she would never go along with that. Different step from going to a MC.

I have hope, because it used to be a lot worse. Until I got to the point where I thought - screw it - I dont' care if this falls apart it's sure as not going to be like this and started to live differently and taking her to task. Things have improved, and I have hope they improve further. But I do think I need to tinker with some adjustments to see what kind of effect they might have. As mentioned if you keep doing everything the same, you will get the same response.

Thanks for your thoughts.
I forgot to mention that the woman I described...she was diagnosed as BPD and refuses to take medicine for it. She is exactly as Uptown describes.

And the ONLY person to whom she will not talk is me. Because I call her out on her outrageous behavior and, like that 4 year old, she hides from someone who will do that.

Learn to not fall for her antics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
UPTOWN - I haven't figured out how to quote your text as you have but here goes:

She has never mentioned any physical child abuse - but her Mother was/is a wingnut and was emotionally turbulent with her children and all her life so that may have played a role in her development. They had, and still do have issues.

Your right about the friends. She's very social and says she doesn't like being around people she doesn't know - however excels in that environment. Occassionally someone will wrong her at work and she'll implode but she almost lost her job the last time and it hasn't happened again. Which again, is why consequence does seem to work with her (like a 4 year old) but from what I have read shouldn't with a full blown BPD

A lot of what you said seems to ring true. However I would have to say if she is, she is an EXTREMELY high functioning. And some times she will surprise me and act differently. Also, I find I am now conditioned to expect certain behavior from her and almost perpetuate it by my distain/annoyance and comments. I don't walk on eggshells anymore. I won't. I call it like I see it. I take her to task. From what I have read this should be the perfect recipe for the perfect storm. However by and large it seems to be helping. Although we do and probably always will have periodic storms.

Where she seems quite a bit different is in the upswing. I've read they will split, attack you like the devil and then the fear of abandonment kicks in and they will be sweet and try and lure you back. She doesn't do that. She'll stay cold and warm up VERY gradually. Never feels responsible and never tries to be extra nice or "make it up to me".

I'm not discounting your comments as I see a lot of her in them - just pointing out an example of where she differs from them.

She is good with the kids other than she expects so much from them - and has short patience and bad temper (yelling) but is also very loving with them.

My son is solid, reasonable, happy, logical, and loving.

My daughter is a firecracker - EXTREMELY loving, but also has EXTREME tantrums (sound familiar?) She is a work in progress but the two year old tempers definately haven't ended and she is 6.

She has always been this way, and my son has always been the way he is. I can't say there environement was any different from each other so I would definately say it's an inherited trait rather than environnmental.
ec, use the quote button to quote the entire post or just go in and delete what you don't want to include. Or else use brackets - [ - and - ] - instead of arrows to use quotes.
Where she seems quite a bit different is in the upswing. I've read they will split, attack you like the devil and then the fear of abandonment kicks in and they will be sweet and try and lure you back. She doesn't do that. She'll stay cold and warm up VERY gradually. Never feels responsible and never tries to be extra nice or "make it up to me".
Or copy and paste text and then use the little bubble icon that says wrap quotes.

The upswing...another possibility is toxic shame. Those people - traumatized in childhood - feel utterly worthless and spend their whole lives trying to hide that fact from everyone - don't want anyone to realize they are worthless. So, if called out, they'll move mountains before they apologize or admit a fault. Great book on that is Healing The Shame That Binds You.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
In this case, your woman is not content with you merely being calm or avoiding her test, so if this relationship is to be repaired then you yourself will need to ratchet up your dominance to the point that yes, she knows what it means that your boundries are crossed, and that is in her mind to feel without a doubt that either you will be respected or she will lose you.
I agree, but how do I go about doing that while still acting like an adult. Particularily since there are kids around.
Letting resentment go is harder than it seems. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. Have you laid out your resentment to the source? If not, have you really let it go?
I have told her what I resent. And I believe at times I have let it go. However your right, when things get bad again, my new resentments do build on the old. I guess what I should have said is I bury them for a period of time :)


Resentment an lack of respect are fuel for staying mad for long periods of time.

When she is chronically mad, look for teh ways to increase respect.
Exactly, that is what I am trying to do - however without kissing her ass because if anything it should be the other way around.

In your situation if you are unwilling to tell her this or that then your marriage will not get better.
I'm willing to tell her anything - and have. That's generally what starts an altercation. She thinks I jump down her throat all the time now. I probably do, because she gives me so much oppertunity to do so by not thinking before she acts or speaks. I sound like a jerk, but I'm really not - I'm just not putting up with this crap anymore.

For the feminist ideas, do not even consider them and forget everything you think you believe of them. Actions speak louder than words, and no more truth than in your very own marriage.
I agree, and have been doing this. If I verbalize something she'll fight me on it tooth and nail. If I put into action a thought or believe she responds better.


Push your own boundries.

Stop trying to logically defend your position, instead save your words and spend your time and energy directing your own boundries and desires from her and the relationship.
This is excellent advice. I'll try doing that.

I will only say this, are you willing and able to pull down her pants and underwear and spank her bare behind the next time she wants to get physical in this way?
Possibly. I'm not sure. I think the **** would hit the fan. I think I'll try it first when were play fighting, or teasing each other in a playful mood and see what she does. I do spank her bum all the time around the house but have never actually forced her over my knee so to speak.

If so your solution is much closer than you think.
Possibly, I see this as a make or break action. It depends on the woman and I don't know for sure how mine would react. My gut tells me badly. I'm not going to write this move off, but I may save it for a hail mary. Unless she gets physical with me in which case it would be the perfect response. She punches me in the shoulder - I over power her and spank her and show her physical dominance but not in an abusive way. In this case she has opened the door to it in my opinion.

If not, you have a long road.
You have no idea how long and far I have travelled brother.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Word of caution: I'd be careful not to diagnose your wife on this site. I've fallen into that trap of trying to make sense of behavior and desperately casting around for an explanation. Mental health dignosis should be left to professionals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
seeking_sanity - Thanks for that. I have waffled on the idea for a long time. I agree with you. She might be, she might not be. She definately shares a lot of attributes in the description.

However, in the end of the day it doesn't really matter. That diagnoses isn't really treatable, and is what it is.

So either I can find a way to help develop her and I to a point that we can be happy together, or I can't.

Diagnoses aside, that really is all it boils down to. Although knowledge is key, and the knowing that I could be dealing with bpd will sit in the back of my head....hopefully that gives me more tools and more knowledge to work with.
 
21 - 40 of 67 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top