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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are both in our late 20s and have been together for over11 years. It has never been easy but as soon as we where married about 2 years ago it went quickly down hill. She refuses to come with me to talk to some one about our relationship and I don't seem to be able to get through to her in any way. Its like a stone

At the moment I can't really come up with a big long essay so I have listed the issues below

Lets start with my bad side


  • I had a mental breakdown some years back and I have become very withdrawn. I don't like crowds or people any more.
  • I bite my nails
  • My time keeping can be pretty crap at times
  • I have been know to pick my nose (I know its disgusting!)
  • I can shout and smash things when I am angry,
  • My job is stressful and my manager has bull****ted his way into the role and so has no real skills in the field we work in. Due to this I have lot of pressure on my back that he dumps across and some times I have to do long hours
  • I have lost my self confidence
  • I sometimes wont let an argument just drop
  • In the past I have taken her for granted (many years ago)
  • I used to play computer games a lot but that stopped about 3 years ago
  • I don't have any friends anymore (see first bullet)
  • I make stupid mistakes such as buying an item I had already asked her to get me for my Birthday (this annoys me)
  • I don't sleep very well but also I find it hard to get up in the morning
  • I do a lot of Internet browsing / reading for my job while at home.
  • I some times snore when under lots of stress or when very very tired

    This list can go on and on probably
Now onto my wife....

  • She is unhappy most days mainly with me and our relationship
  • She is always angry and easily provoked / frustrated, she can't do simple tasks such as help put a bed together without getting angry with it and walking off ( I walk around on egg shells!)
  • picky and overly critical of me (see above point)
  • 99 good things in the week are overshadowed by the 1 mistake I have made
  • makes her mind up and it can't be changed. She quotes me incorrectly, I try to tell her that’s not what I said, she doesn't argue about it but she will always come back to the quote and it goes in a huge circle again. It seems as if she is stuck in a loop.
  • She seems to see things as right or wrong with no ability to give leeway or explain away a mistake.
  • She can't see the difference between malicious intent and an accident / mistake and will punish both in the same way.
  • doesn't care if she hurts or upsets me, no change in her emotion even when I am is pieces. In fact no emotion other than anger and frustration.
  • She is very defensive, I can't criticise her in any way no matter how I sugar coat it
  • no effort (lost hope?)
  • says she feels awkward around me
  • no sex, no desire not even a kiss
  • Discussions turn into her being sarcastic and trying to say I am blaming her
  • She says “our relationship is ****” or “we don’t get on any more”
  • When we do have a good time she will later belittle it and say its not good enough or is crap that we only enjoy those activity’s
  • Says her friends have better marriages
  • says she wants to go on holiday like they do when I say “ok lets do it” then backs out saying she can't afford it. If I then ask why she blames our relationship for the fact that she can't afford it there is no answer other then walking off or getting angry
  • She has to have what ever it is she wants, she wanted a new car so we went to see it and I didn't like to look of it, it may have been in an accident and it had definitely had a hard life. When I brought up these possible problems she asked “should I not buy it then?” when I said If it was me I wouldn't she stormed off angry with me and was like that for days. When we did find a car for her a few days later she was happy again but then asked for $2000 from me to help her pay for it. (she doesn't like me talking about that though so its never brought up)
  • Seems to be unable to control her spending. I have dragged her out of her debt a few times but it just creeps up and up again.
  • Pushes other people away, she can't keep friends for more than 12 months (none of them turned up to our wedding) People have asked to be moved away from her in the office and managers have asked for her to not work under them any more
  • Doesn't seem to be able to step back and see the big picture, can't see it from any other point of view.
  • No real empathy for others
  • Tells me she doesn't want to hear about my problems any more, then a few weeks later says that I don't talk to her about my issues.
  • Tells me to make sure I tell her if she is making a mistake or upsetting me but hates it when I say anything (I don't any more)
  • She asked me to buy her a puppy (it was about $1000) she then found it hard to cope with it to the point where only me stepping in stopped her getting rid of it. Still 15 months on she struggles with the dog (its the most lovely little thing you have ever seen and very well behaved thanks to my mum and I training it for her!)
  • Doesn't act like a wife to me, more like my mother one minute and my child the next depending on if she is angry or wants something
  • Doesn't keep up with her side of the house work. I some times have no clean clothes and when I try to wash them she says I am only doing it to point out that she hasn't done them. I sadly some times have to go to work with dirty shirt and trousers on just to keep her happy (I dare not say anything to her about this) I also some times buy new cloths and hide them from her so I can wash them without her knowing
  • Very nasty drunk, I can't go out on a night out with her any more as she will just lay into me
  • Like I said at the very top of the list I had a mental breakdown some years back and I have become very withdrawn. She says I used to be outgoing, funny and sexy and now I’m not
  • When I ask her if she can see why I find the above comment hurtful she says she can't, when I ask if she can even see that it could be hurtful and ask for a yes or no answer she can't answer and walks off

    A bit more info...

  • I do some times get very angry with her and even though I try my best I do sometimes shout. I know I shouldn't and I really do try and keep a lid on it.
  • I do try and buy her little gifts a few times a month just to spark up her day
  • I call her every day to make sure she is ok in work and tell her I love her.
  • I look after the dog, take it to the vets, out for walks, feed it etc
  • I do my fair share of the house work (sometimes more than my fair share)
  • I financially support us even though she has a full time job (she hates me saying anything about this, this is a big no no)
  • I treat her nieces as if they where my own children.

I do all the little things like pick her and her friends up from nights out and take them home or go to the shops for her when she needs something, give her back rubs, foot rubs, look after her when she is ill and I would never ever cheat on her. To be honest there isn't anything I wouldn't do for her but I feel taken for granted and whatever I do isn't good enough anyway. I know this is only my side of the story and there’s a chance that maybe I am totally insane and this is a very warped view of what is really going on. I really do hope it is me going mad because I know that I can fix that! Oh and also when it is going good (it lasts for about 1 week normally) its fantastic and she is a really lovely person. I enjoy every last second with her nice side while it lasts and I have to keep reminding myself it not going to last long but be happy for the next few days. Nothing makes me more happy then her opening the door with a big smile on her face I just give her a big hug and smile myself, its like I have my life back. Its very much like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I will be honest I have posted this because I think am starting to struggle to cope, my ability to keep my mind straight has reduced, I some times can't remember my drive to work, its as if I have the entire drive missing from my memory, I can't remember what day it is, some one asked my age the other day and I couldn't remember that either (that was very odd!) and suicide has cropped up in my mind a few times when I am at my lowest. I am a fully grown man and I have a tear rolling down my cheek as I type this, In fact for some reason I cry a lot these days for no real reason, I feel embarrassed even typing that.

I think I am a good person, I hope I am anyway and I know I am not perfect and some of her anger and frustration is valid, I annoy myself when I a late for things but I really don't think I deserve all of the negativity.

Thanks for reading my list!
 

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I notice the two lists are very different lengths. I'm not saying you're wrong, but if she were to make the lists would they be opposite? Maybe you don't see what she sees? Maybe she doesn't see what you see? Have you shown her this list?

On the other hand, you sound a lot like my husband whom I'm separating from. Do you consider yourself a "nice guy"? Have you read about "manning up"? Please don't take this in the wrong way. I just see a lot of what I am wanting from my husband in what you say. It is great that you do nice things for her and take care of her, but check out the "manning up" and see if it fits you. Just my two cents.

I hope you get the answers that you are looking for. I'm sorry for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I know my list is smaller than hers and I am 100% sure she has a huge list about me :D

Manning up doesn't work. I have tried what is called the 180 here and she finds that annoying. She like the nice things I do and if i don't do them well thats just more ammunition. I feel like a jester to be honest.
 

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Has she ever seen a psychologist or psychiatrist? She sounds like I was and I was diagnosed with BPD amongst other things.
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Has she ever seen a psychologist or psychiatrist? She sounds like I was and I was diagnosed with BPD amongst other things.
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no and there is no chance of her going to see anyone. I once asked her why and she let slip she was worried it was her fault and didn't want to be told that by anyone. she would deny ever saying that now though.

Maybe I should go alone and make sure its not me thats got the issue and I am just projecting that on to her?

Some times this song says it all to me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFzUVCQ1vM

If you've heard all they got to say
You looked but turned away
Walkaway, walkaway
If you've said all you got to say
And now the words just slip away
Just walkaway, walkaway, walkaway
That's what they say, what they say, what they say
You gotta walkaway

If you've played all the games they play
You played them yesterday
Walkaway, walkaway
If you've been, where they want to go
Seen all they got to show
Just walkaway, walkaway, walkaway
That's what they say, what they say, what they say
You gotta walkaway

And now you must believe me
You never lose your dreams
And now you must believe me
We never lose our dreams

If you've proved all there is to prove
Got nothing left to use
Walkaway, walkaway
If you've done, all there is to do
There ain't nothing left for you
Just walkaway, walkaway, walkaway
That's what they say, what they say, what they say
Walkaway, walkaway,walkaway
That's what they say, what they say, what they say
You gotta walkaway
Today
 

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So many of those traits of hers that you listed are traits of BPD. One of the things about living with a BPD'er, you will seriously question your own sanity. Maybe you could Google BPD and see if she does have all nine traits.
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Discussion Starter #7
So many of those traits of hers that you listed are traits of BPD. One of the things about living with a BPD'er, you will seriously question your own sanity. Maybe you could Google BPD and see if she does have all nine traits.
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If she is BPD what can I do? I can't go on like this, its destroying me.
 

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You need to apologize for ALL your transgressions sincerely. You then need to tell her that you are on a personal journey to be a better man. Ask her if it is acceptable that you talk to her at certain intervals about things you learned in your journey to keep her up to date. Tell her you love her and are committed to improving your relationship and your marriage to her.

If she accepts great, if not great just give her a card that says anytime she can use it to get and update when ever she wants. That you are committed to improving yourself since you don't feel you've been a great husband to her and the best person you could be.

Now let her go! Don't expect anything from her at all.

Immediately stop all the annoying things you do, quit the compulsive behavior in smothering her. Really start to listen to her closely and be there to validate her feelings don't solve her problems just validate that the way she feels you understand you agree. Do your share of housework but not much more than 50% and really be there for her as her rock. Be the steadying influence. Do not do all her housework she hasn't behaved well enough for that yet. Let her get mad. But don't engage in a fight just keep doing more than half. With a smile.

Be happy, if she lays in to you simply state that you will not tolerate being talked to in that fashion and when she calm down you would be happy to listen to her when she is calm and collected. Don't pick or continue fights calmly walk away when she is behaving badly. Only tolerate what you will allow as a man if it gets out of hand smile and walk away peacefully from the situation. Tell her you will be glad to discuss anything that you really like to talk to her when she is not upset.

Remember a man stays calm and collected NEVER upset in front of his wife. Leave if you need to vent don't let her see any frustration.

Apologize immediately for any mistakes you make. Don't try to explain just apologize and move on.

Be a man.
Find ways to make yourself happy, you don't need her validation to make you happy.

You will be in control this will make you happy the goal of a functional marriage will make you happy.
Take the high road always.


Now every so often update her on your progress. Let her know what you discovered and how you are going to apply these discoveries to her... then do that consistently. The idea is to learn to behave as a man in control of his household and to stop the overall dysfunction. You start to build her up compliment her, notice the stuff she does, get excited when you talk to her. Talk in front of others with her in earshot about all the great qualities she has. Don't expect anything in return. Never try to change her accept her the way she is and compliment the good about her, ignore the bad. She will eventually see good behavior gets rewarded and if you are behaving good that will eventually create a sense of peace in your home.

Do this for a while then ask her on a date where she can meet the new you. Take her somewhere fun and date her again. Let her see the new you. Tell her you really want to get to know her at a deeper level. Keep dating her without going for sex. You want to show her she is more than just a sex toy.

It's hard work but sooner or later she will want to live up to your standard. let her change herself. If there is still any love left this should work... plan on six month minimum. Once you get her felling better about you and herself then their is the possibility of sex returning but go slow and let her make the move towards you. If it happens to fast resit her and tell her not yet that you want to get to know her as a person better first.

At the very least if thing don't work out you can hold your head high and know how to relate better to other women. They eat this stuff up.

Good Luck.

Most of what both of you have going on is a way of acting out in a dysfunctional marriage. Stop always reacting to her bad behavior. Only tune in good behaviors. If you get your marriage functional by not tolerating anything less. both of your bad behaviors will diminish and good behaviors will replace them. You will allow an environment for her to see she does have the guy she loves and want to keep him happy.

I'm the one doing the 6-month celibacy to fix my sexless marriage that has been going on for two years of endless trying. My situation is much calmer than yours but my wife shut off emotions for me two years ago. The concepts work we get along much better. I'm confident this method will fix our marriage.

It's a calculated risk, I'm much happier because I'm in control and I believe there to be a much better sex life in my future in 2012. My wife's happier also. Everyday I observe her and compliment her, talk to her and validate her feelings. I touch her non-sexually more. I offer to do things that make her life easier. communicate more about my day and ask about hers. I remember to ask her about minute details women love to know you hear them. Treat your wife like the most important person in the world. pay attention to her when in public. Be very detailed in any compliment it should take at least five seconds to say be descriptive why you are giving a compliment. Keep your eyes on her let her look away first. Be the man she wants.

She is a lump of clay you need to gently mold her every day. Take every interaction as a way to build her esteem up.

You put a wall around her heart it's going to take time to break that wall down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I see what you mean about BPD but I am going to try Trying2s advice as well. Last time I tried this I was told to stop trying to be the hero, if I tried to show improvement I was "bigging myself up" but maybe I should stick too it no mater how hard she tries to make it.

I'm not sure why she hates me trying to improve myself the "bigging myself up" thing is very odd. I can't even talk about any success I have had in work or my general life without her saying it. She wasn't always like this, I was warned by her mother that she was very stubborn and she was right bit it seems to have moved on from stubbornness.

The sad thing is I have lost my wife, she is in there somewhere and I do get to see her sometimes but she has been taken over, its some times as if she is possessed! I miss her, I miss her smile, her laugh, hugs, feeling wanted and not like a bit of dirt on someone shoe. I will keep supporting her for as long as I can but I need to give myself a time frame, I expect she will leave me first though.
 

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You need to work for yourself - happy in your job = less stress = less anger = less depression = more sociable = better atmosphere at home. Just my 2 cents!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes its a route I have looked into. I doubt it will change my wife though. I am back to the doctors on Tuesday to go back on the happy pills I can just blank it all out then. Not a fix but I don't know what else to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
My wife said she is leaving tomorrow. She said it was because I was talking to a girl 11 years ago and I lied to her about it and because I texted an ex 11 years ago both times where none sexually. I didnt touch any of these people in any way and it was during my breakdown so I can't really remember too much due to the medication I was on (it has since been banned as it was found to send people mad, I think one guy killed and cut up his entire family!) She doesn't see this as a reason for my unusual behaviour. We spoke about this 11 years ago and once my medication was changed I was back to me again. Also I was just a kid back then 17 / 18 years old.

She also said it was because a few years ago I asked her to go to the shop for me a few times and was late all the time (this is true, I went through a period of leaving her waiting all the time, I know it was a mistake and have since fixed that.) Both of these where maybe 3 years ago. None of these issues are after our marriage.

I don't know why she married me if it was such an issue. I have got much better in the past 2 years, I can go out and meet people no problem and I'm much better in crowded places. If she was so upset about what went on 11 years ago why did she say her vows? Is this just her looking for a justification for being how she is and for leaving me?

Can anyone help me understand what's going on here? My wife is leaving and I don't really know why. I think I will stay single for the rest of my life after this.

Ps

Why do I still love her after all this? I wish I hated her.
 

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My wife said she is leaving tomorrow. She said it was because I was talking to a girl 11 years ago and I lied to her about it and because I texted an ex 11 years ago both times where none sexually. I didnt touch any of these people in any way and it was during my breakdown so I can't really remember too much due to the medication I was on (it has since been banned as it was found to send people mad, I think one guy killed and cut up his entire family!) She doesn't see this as a reason for my unusual behaviour. We spoke about this 11 years ago and once my medication was changed I was back to me again. Also I was just a kid back then 17 / 18 years old.

She also said it was because a few years ago I asked her to go to the shop for me a few times and was late all the time (this is true, I went through a period of leaving her waiting all the time, I know it was a mistake and have since fixed that.) Both of these where maybe 3 years ago. None of these issues are after our marriage.

I don't know why she married me if it was such an issue. I have got much better in the past 2 years, I can go out and meet people no problem and I'm much better in crowded places. If she was so upset about what went on 11 years ago why did she say her vows? Is this just her looking for a justification for being how she is and for leaving me?

Can anyone help me understand what's going on here? My wife is leaving and I don't really know why. I think I will stay single for the rest of my life after this.

Ps

Why do I still love her after all this? I wish I hated her.
Just stay the course...let her go!

Work on yourself.. be upbeat like I said around her. Don't let this affect you.. don't plead... don't harass. Just state that you will be here for her if she ever needs anything and when she's ready to reconsider leaving you'll be there for her. That you are sorry she feels that way and you wish her well.

You can't make her come back, she needs to decide for herself. Do not pursue her at all it'll just push her farther away. Do a 180... just be nice, positive and upbeat whenever she contacts you. If she sees you are not that upset that will get her thinking twice about leaving. Work on yourself so if she doesn't return you are ready for the next lady that comes into your life.

Perhaps time apart is what she needs..... let her have the space. She needs time alone to reconsider her life with you. She might find it isn't so bad after a while of being apart and lonely.

Let her contact you.

One thing to remember... IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
It's her and her thoughts.... you have done nothing wrong!
She's bring up old stuff to justify her unusual actions.

Be the rock... be the adult... keep your head up.
Enjoy the peace and quiet!
 

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Love yourself and you won't need her. She will either choose to shape up or leave, and you will be a happier person either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I don't know what she'll do next she has made many threats to leave and to be fair so have I.

This was her worst and most hurtful outburst, but she does the usual ask questions, demand answers, if she doesn't like my answer demand another different answer until I say something she can take exception to then act like the victim.

I keep telling myself I have already lost her so if she moves out I don't lose anything more than has already been taken away, its almost like a grieving process in a strange way. I know I haven't been the best husband in the world and yes I am to blame for a lot of what has gone wrong but she won't allow me to fix it its never good enough for her. What she needs is a buff guy, who lives in a mansion, has no way of being hurt, has enough free time and cash do most of the leg work, doesn't need or want sex, always has a plan for something to entertain her and can put up with not being loved.

That's not me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
She has now changed her story. She wants to go because of my problems with crowds. She is still here but said she's too tired to pack tonight and will go tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A quick update for anyone who wants it

She is still here, I have been put back on the meds and will be building them up to la la land strength over the next few months. Its a shame as I lose myself when I am on them but I don't see any other way at the moment. I am trying to get all my complex tasks such as my Cisco certification out the way before the meds start to take hold.
 

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MaybeItsMe, I agree with Pidge that the behavior you are describing are classic traits of BPD, which my exW has. These include the verbal abuse, temper tantrums, inappropriate anger, lack of impulse control, constant blaming, always being "the victim," black-white thinking, and a cycle of push-you-away and pull-you-back. Only a professional can determine whether those traits are so severe as to satisfy all of the diagnostic criteria for having full blown BPD.

Yet, for the purposes of deciding whether to remain married to her, you don't need to know whether her traits surpass the diagnostic threshold. Even when those traits fall well short of that threshold, they can make your life miserable and destroy a marriage. Moreover, strong BPD traits are easy to identify when occurring in a woman you've known for 11 years. There is nothing subtle or nuanced about behavior such as verbal abuse and temper tantrums. I caution, however, that BPD traits are not something that would have appeared only in the last few years. They are persistent. When you were dating, they would have disappeared during the infatuation period but would have resurfaced as the infatuation evaporated. You therefore should have started seeing red flags for this behavior after the honeymoon period ended.
She is unhappy most days mainly with me and our relationship
If your W is a BPDer (i.e., has strong BPD traits), she has been unhappy since childhood. Making her happy is not your responsibility and, even if it were, it would be impossible to do. Only SHE can make herself happy. Hence, if you want a happy wife, you have to marry a woman who is already happy and emotionally healthy. It took me 15 years to learn that.
She seems to see things as right or wrong with no ability to give leeway or explain away a mistake.
That is called "black-white thinking" (aka, "all-or-nothing thinking"). It will show up as her claiming you "never" or "always" do such and such. It also is evident in the way she categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad." Moreover, she will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in only ten seconds -- based only on an innocuous remark or minor infraction.

B-W thinking occurs in BPDers because they are extremely uncomfortable with ambiguities and mixed feelings and with cognitive dissonance (where one part of your mind believes something contradicting what is believed in another part of your mind). A BPDer therefore shoehorns her perceptions of other peoples' intentions and motivations into a B-W dichotomy -- not seeing that real people live in the gray area in between those polar extremes. This is why strong BPD traits are said to constitute a "thought distortion." This is true to a lesser degree, by the way, for all of us. Every time you get intense feelings (e.g., infatuation or anger) your judgement of other peoples' intentions becomes distorted -- which is you try to wait until you cool off before making decisions or taking actions.
She is always angry and easily provoked
A BPDer carries enormous anger, hurt, and shame inside just under the skin. This is carried from early childhood, when damage was done to her emotional core. Hence, you don't have to do a thing -- not one thing -- to create the anger. It is always there. You only have to say or do sdome minor thing that TRIGGERS the anger that is already there. It will suddenly be released in ten seconds.
I walk around on egg shells!
Of course you do, being married to an emotional time bomb. That is why the #1 best selling BPD book (targeted to nonBPD spouses like you) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
She is picky and overly critical of me.
A BPDer is convinced she always is "the victim." Because she has a weak, fragile sense of who she is, the strongest thread of a self image usually is that false notion of being a victim. A BPDer therefore maintains a death grip on that false self image and will tolerate living with you only if you continue to validate it by playing one of two roles.

The first role is being "the savior," a role you played during the infatuation period lasting about 3 to 6 months. During that period, she thought you were perfect and that -- unlike all previous BFs -- you would save her from her unhappiness. The implication of your being "the savior," of course, is that she must be a victim in need of saving. Sadly, that illusion quickly evaporates along with the infatuation.

Since the honeymoon ended, there is only one role left for you to play: being "the perpetrator." As long as you keep allowing her to blame you for every misfortune that befalls her, she will keep you around because you are validating her false self image of being "the victim." Once you leave her, she will be telling people how awful you were -- just the way she talks about the BFs she had before you. She is the victim. They are all considered to be perpetrators.
99 good things in the week are overshadowed by the 1 mistake I have made
This is one of the hallmarks of having strong BPD traits -- the feeling of entitlement to all the sacrifices you make and the inability to have a lasting appreciation. Because a BPDer cannot control her emotions, she experiences feelings every day that are so intense that they push aside all the good feelings she had before about you. This is why it is impossible, with a BPDer, to build up a store of appreciation and good will on which to draw during the hard times. Trying to do so is as futile as building a sandcastle beside the sea. It will be washed aside by the next emotional tide flowing through her mind.
She quotes me incorrectly, I try to tell her that’s not what I said, she doesn't argue about it but she will always come back to the quote and it goes in a huge circle again. It seems as if she is stuck in a loop.
A BPDer is not good at intellectually challenging her intense feelings. Instead, she is convinced that any feeling that is that intense MUST be right. She therefore will produce whatever rationalization that pops into her head to justify the feeling. This is why a BPDer will often make such ridiculous "arguments" that you simply marvel any adult can say such a thing while keeping a straight face. If I challenged my exW's allegations, for example, she would either replace that argument with another that is equally ludicrous -- or eventually loop back to the original argument as you describe.

This is what happens when you try to argue with a woman who, although very intelligent and knowledgeable, has the emotional development of a four year old. In effect, you are trying to argue with the very angry little girl that is control of her mind. The logical adult part of her mind is being "split off," placed out of reach of her conscious mind. You therefore cannot carry on a calm, rational discussion about any sensitive topic because you have only ten seconds to do so. In that short time, any attempt to discuss sensitive matters will trigger her anger, bringing her child back into the driver's seat. And, with a BPDer, nearly ever issue is considered a "sensitive" issue.
I can't criticise her in any way no matter how I sugar coat it
Like I said, you have ten seconds before the kid is in charge. It therefore does not matter -- at all -- that you have caught her in a calm, apparently receptive mood. And she is so super-sensitive to perceived infractions, she may even take offense at the sugar coating itself (thinking you are talking down to her). The statements and actions that will trigger a release of her anger consist of anything that she interprets as posing a threat to her two great fears: abandonment and engulfment (from intimacy). Because you never know what trivial thing will trigger one fear or the other, you are always walking on eggshells.

Your predicament is made all the worse by the fact that the two fears are at opposite ends of the same spectrum. This means that, as you back away from one fear to avoid triggering it, you will necessarily be drawing closer to triggering the other fear. For example, when you had a very intimate evening or great weekend together, you likely found her -- the next morning -- creating an argument out of nothing to push you away. For a BPDer, intimacy is experienced as suffocating and engulfing, making her feel as though she is losing her identity by merging into your strong personality. It is a frightening experience in which she feels she is vanishing into thin air. She therefore will feel that you are somehow "controlling" and dominating her (nevermind that she is the controlling one).

Yet, as you back way to give her breathing room, you will eventually trigger her great fear of abandonment. It may take days or weeks for that to occur but, unless the BPDer has split you black permanently, it likely will occur. At that point, she will return behaving extra caring and sweet to pull you back into the R. This is why one hallmark of a BPDer relationship is cycle of push-you-away and pull-you-back.
When we do have a good time she will later belittle it and say its not good enough or is crap that we only enjoy those activity’s
Yes, that is the way emotionally unstable people behave. As I said, a BPDer's feelings are so intense that they MUST be true -- so she will ignore all facts to the contrary and she will not hesitate to rewrite history in her mind. If this seems strange, keep in mind that you and I do the same thing every time we experience intense feelings. We therefore differ from BPDers only in degree, not in kind. Indeed, during our childhood, we behaved that way all day long. Even during high school, we likely had some strong BPD traits left. That is why therapists usually wait until a person is at least 18 before trying to diagnose BPD.
She has to have what ever it is she wants ...unable to control her spending.
Being unable to control or regulate her emotions, a BPDer has little impulse control. It therefore is common to see a BPDer acting impulsively. Moreover, because she has no stable self image to guide her, she will be wildly interested in something one day and then quickly lose interest. My exW, for example, would love a new purchase for a week or two and then totally lose interest in it. Her mother was the same way -- she would love our gifts for two weeks and then exchange them at the store because they were the wrong size, wrong shape, or wrong color. Similarly, my exW spent $5,000 on fabric and $6,000 on sewing machines. In 15 years, she made one blouse, one dress, one vest, and a cat collar. And I bought her a $3,500 piano she desperately wanted -- but she played it only five times.
Pushes other people away, she can't keep friends for more than 12 months (none of them turned up to our wedding)
A high functioning BPDer typically gets along fine with acquaintenances, business colleagues, and total strangers. None of those folks pose a threat because there is no relationship to abandon -- and no intimacy to engulf her. Lord help them, however, if they make the mistake of trying to draw close and form a close business relationship or lasting friendship. Then they will start triggering her two great fears. And, like you, they will find that there is no "Goldilocks position" midway between the two polar extremes where they can safely avoid triggering her anger. This is why BPDers typically have no long term close friends unless they live a long distance apart.
No real empathy for others.
The lack of empathy is another BPD trait. IME, a high functioning BPDer can have great empathy at times, especially for total strangers and others posing no threat. She will not be able to maintain it consistently, however, and cannot be empathetic while splitting loved ones as "black." This is why it is common to see some high functioning BPDers in caregiving professions where they are nursing or doctoring folks with much care all day long -- and then they will go home that night and abuse the very people who love them.
I think am starting to struggle to cope, my ability to keep my mind straight has reduced, I some times can't remember my drive to work, its as if I have the entire drive missing from my memory,
MaybeItsMe, that is called "splitting," a form of dissociation.It occurs when one part of your mind is put out of touch with the other parts. It happens many times a day to everyone -- every time a person is daydreaming, for example. It also occurs -- as you observe -- when we are driving and suddenly realize that we cannot recall a single thing about the last ten miles, not even the three lighted intersections we drove through. Another example is walking into the kitchen and, as you open the refrigerator door, suddenly realizing you have no idea what you were coming to get. This is splitting.

While your subconscious was carefully driving you through three intersections or walking you to the kitchen, your conscious mind was a thousand miles away thinking about something else. Although we all do it, BPDers do it far more than the rest of us to escape their painful realities. Not surprisingly, when a man has been living with a BPDer many years, it is common for him to start adopting many of her behavioral traits. Moreover, your depression can cause you to escape your reality in that manner. This is why depressed folks don't even want to get out of bed. They escape by lying around and living in their daydreams.
When it is going good (it lasts for about 1 week normally) its fantastic and she is a really lovely person.
Yes, while a BPDer is splitting you white, she is very VERY good. At that time, you likely will see a warmth of expression and emotional purity that otherwise is seen only in children. My exW, for example, was so immediately likeable and disarming that, within a half hours, total strangers would feel like they had known her for months. The highs of being split white and the lows of being split black are comparable to the highs and lows of heroine usage and withdrawal. This is one reason why a relationship with a BPDer quickly can become so toxic and addictive, especially for excessive caregivers like you and me. Our problem is that our desire to be needed (for what we can do) far exceeds our desire to be loved (for the men we already are). Indeed, we have difficulty feeling that we are truly loved if the woman does not also desperately need us. This is why you are at risk, when leaving your W, of running into the arms of another woman just like her.
I call her every day to make sure she is ok in work and tell her I love her. I look after the dog.... give her back rubs, foot rubs, look after her when she is ill and I would never ever cheat on her.
As I said, you are a caregiver like me. Normal guys (who have strong personal boundaries) will leave a BPDer within a year after the infatuation period ends. We caregivers, however, will stay for years -- 15 in my case -- being convinced that, if we can only figure out what it is we are doing wrong, we can restore our loved one to that perfect "soul mate" we saw at the beginning. Sadly, that is an impossible task. And the "soul mate" we saw was largely an illusion. As I explain in other threads, it is mostly the result of "mirroring" that the BPDer does when infatuated.
Its very much like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
It is common for a partner or spouse of a BPDer to feel like he is living with a person who is half way to having a multiple personality disorder. That is the feeling you get when living with an emotionally unstable person. You would not get that feeling if you were living with a narcissist because a narcissist is stable and predictable.
She is still here but said she's too tired to pack tonight and will go tomorrow.
As the years go by, a BPDer becomes increasingly resentful of your failure to make her happy -- an impossible task. This is why BPDers typically leave their spouses after 12 to 15 years (15 years in my case). Yet, until they reach that point, they usually keep coming back after they leave because they loath being alone. Being unstable, they have a strong desire to be around someone with a strong, stable personality who will ground them -- serving as an emotional anchor. This tendency of BPDers to keep pulling you back after pushing you away is why the #2 best selling BPD book is called I Hate You, Don't Leave Me.
There’s a chance that maybe I am totally insane and this is a very warped view of what is really going on. I really do hope it is me going mad because I know that I can fix that!
Yes, there is a chance. Yet, as Pidge said, it is very common for the partners and spouses of BPDers to feel like they may be losing their minds. Indeed, therapists see far more of the spouses coming in to find out if they are crazy than they ever see of the BPDers (who are loath to go to a therapist). If you were living with a sociopath or narcissist, you would be abused and feel depressed and miserable. You would not feel "crazy," however. Of the ten personality disorders, BPD is the ONLY ONE that is notorious for making a large share of the nonBPD partners start questioning their own sanity.

BPDers have extreme emotions, which lead them to actions that can range from puzzling to brutal. This makes living with them painful and confusing. They can't deal with the reality of their behaviors. On some level they realize how hurtful they are, yet accepting this major flaw in themselves is just too painful to a person who already has self loathing. The last thing a BPDer wants to find is one more thing to add to the long list of things she hates about herself. So she will "spin" your reality to make hers less painful.

One of the most common defense mechanism they use is projection, where she will attribute her shortcomings and mistakes to you. As I said above, you become "the perpetrator," a trashcan in which she can dispose of all guilt and mistakes. This is why you should not tell her that she has strong BPD traits. If your W has strong traits, she will project the accusation back onto you, believing that you are the one having such traits.

This spinning of reality is so well known to the partners and spouses of BPDers that they have given it a name: "gaslighting." It is named after the classic 1944 movie, Gaslight, in which a husband (Charles Boyer) tries to drive his new bride (Ingrid Bergman) crazy so as to get her institutionalized, allowing him to run off with her family jewels. One of his many tricks is to turn the house gas lights down a tiny bit every day -- all the while claiming that he sees and reads just fine.
Can anyone help me understand what's going on here? My wife is leaving and I don't really know why.
MaybeItsMe, if this discussion rings a bell, I have several suggestions. First, I suggest you get a copy of the Stop Walking on Eggshells mentioned above. Another excellent book by the same author is Splitting: Protecting Yourself while Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist.

It is important to read more about the nine BPD traits so as to be able to recognize the red flags. This is especially important for caregivers like us because we are so empathetic -- and have such low personal boundaries -- that we have great difficulty distinguishing the problems of our loved one from our own. Hence, when you get a clearer understanding of your W's issues, you will find it much easier -- by subtraction -- to see your codependency issues.

Second, while you are waiting for the book, I suggest you read more about typical BPDer behavior in Blacksmith's thread about his wife. My posts there begin at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/27516-complicated-marriage-dynamic.html#post358403. You may want to also check out Berilo's painful experiences with his wife. My posts there start at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/29373-distressed-3.html#post391827.

Third, if those descriptions of typical BPDer behavior sound very familiar, I suggest you visit a clinical psychologist by yourself -- for at least a session or two -- to confirm what it is you are dealing with. Even if your W were going to a therapist, relying on her therapist for advice during the marriage would be as foolish as relying on her attorney during the divorce. Her therapist is not your friend. He is bound by professional ethics to protect his sick client (which will be her, even if you attend some of the sessions). I mention this because therapists are loath to tell a high functioning BPDer the name of her disorder -- for reasons I've discussed at length in other threads.

Fourth, MaybeItsMe, I suggest that you start participating -- or, at least, lurking -- at BPDfamily.com, which is the most active BPD site I've found that is targeted solely to the partners of BPDers. There you will be able to read the shared experiences of hundreds of guys who have fallen in love with BPDers. They can give you valuable tips on leaving because divorcing a BPDer usually gets very nasty very quick. They tend to be mean and vindictive when they are splitting you black, as you well know. Finally, I urge you to start taking better care of YOURSELF for a change, Caregiver.
 
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