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Hello everyone,

Earlier today I started googling for something to cling to after the latest argument between my wife and I. I started with the phrase "Why does my wife hate me?" and after chasing down several leads stumbled on something called "Borderline Personality Disorder" - you have all undoubtedly heard of it. Further exploration led me to some posts on this forum, and some of Uptown's posts about his ex were a real revelation to me. That's the brief history on how I ended up here. Uptown, in a separate thread, encouraged me to start one about my own married. So here's my story, such as it is...

The basics: my wife and I have been married now for 6.5 years. We have two children - a boy nearly five and a girl 18 mos. I absolutely adore my children. It's been one of the best if not the best experience of my life being a father! Both of us work and have good careers.

I almost don't have the heart to repeat all of this since it's so painful (and shameful to me, since I've put up with it so long), but I'm going to try. Some of this is going to sound incoherent because a lot of it I think I've just blocked or purposefully tried to forget and so I think the recollections are going to be a little fragmented. We have had so many arguments that the whole relationship has become a blur. I'm not kidding when I say we had two or three arguments last week (of that I am sure) but I cannot recall what the topic was for any of them. I have always had a keen memory and early on in the relationship it would irk her to no end that I could recall verbatim everything said (because she so often claimed something that was or wasn't said that wasn't true) so this kind of forgetfulness is very odd for me. Maybe it's a coping mechanism.

Things started off well enough together - seemed like we had both met "our match", to borrow her phrase - we both enjoyed athletic endeavors, working out, that kind of stuff. We found common ground in musical taste and "nerdy" things like computers. You know the drill.

First warning sign during our early relationship was her quick temper. She seemed to snap at me rather easily, even in the early stages of our relationship. But we were infatuated with one another and I had a high threshold for that kind of garbage, I guess, and didn't pay much attention to it. As I'm learning after reading threads I tend to credit myself with a high tolerance for taking abuse and really just have low personal boundaries. Anyway, I liked that she was athletic, smart, and good looking so I overlooked a great number of sins early in the relationship that should have sent me running.

I also remember oddities like when we had an argument early in our relationship she claimed she had apologized when she clearly happened. That was another eye-opener for me but not enough to send me packing: that she somehow really did believe that she apologized verbally to me when she had not. I have never met anyone with that much cognitive dissonance. Again, I overlooked it because of course when we're finally married I can make her happy, etc - all the lies young people tell themselves to rationalize the flaws away in their SO. This "reality distortion" became a constant theme in our marriage: she remembered saying something good I know she didn't say or I said something bad and forgot. I can't stress how much this colored the early years of our relationship.

I have never felt like I built up a storehouse of "good will" with her. I don't mean that I tallied the things I did for her in a ledger and recounted them, I just felt like I was always starting over every day. A good day the previous day never gave us momentum for "today". There is no momentum with her. I have commented to her on several occasions that I feel like she does not like to have "normalcy"...that's she's uncomfortable with it. Things will go relatively ok (not great, but ok) for a couple of weeks and then it feels like a bomb will go off and she just has to find a reason to fight. This has been going on since before the wedding.

There has been physical abuse. She clocked me really good once when we were sitting in the dark together having a small argument, but nothing (or so I thought) worth violence, certainly. That was 6 months into the marriage, and frankly, very devastating to me. I tend to be very sensitive even though I'm a bigger, physical guy and I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing emotionally. That one took us to see our pastor which helped temper things for a while. Still, it didn't last.

She never does anything wrong. Ever. Growing up in my family, we all apologized to each other eventually - usually quickly. My family isn't the model of normalcy by any stretch, but we knew when to throw in the towel and tell one another we were sorry for a wrong. Getting an apology for her is like getting the proverbial water from a rock. Even when offered it's through gritted teeth and almost spat out. I have this distinct feeling that she's only doing it because I expect it because that's what healthy people do.

She has always blamed me for "taking everything away from her" when we first got married. When all else fails this is her standbye accusation for why things are the way they are. In reality when we got married she started adding so many things to her schedule very suddenly that, when I counted everything up we had about two nights a week left to be together. I'll be honest when I say that just wasn't enough as a newlywed. I wanted to spend time with her. I wanted to see her more than that. So I asked her to cool it for one of those activities for a little while and ever since it's been one of those things she draws on (irrationally) as if I attempting to smother her. It was patently false, but no amount of reasoning has ever convinced her otherwise. None. It's so bizarre...and even now, years later, she still believes it. We have probably argued over it at least a dozen times since then and I'll present the same reasons ("you did x, y & z every week during that first year and you claim I smothered you?") to no avail. I guarantee you as sure as she's laying in bed upstairs this instant she still believes it. To me, it's like saying the sky is purple.

If I'm giving this particular point more time than it deserves it's because this kind of dissonance is so central to the type of conflict that has driven me crazy over time - once she grasps the "truth" of something she can never be convinced of it otherwise. And the truth is whatever is currently coming out of her mouth, even when it conflicts with yesterday's version of the truth. She has said that she hates this about her mother (the constant history rewrites), and yet she does it herself. She does it just to win friends...I notice half-truths and white lies slipped into conversations just to be more agreeable or grease a conversation.

And yet, if I told her these things, she'd simply say something snide to divert us from the topic. I sense that, deep down, she hates who she is and is deeply, deeply self-loathing. In a rare moment of lucidity she once told me (paraphrased) "I can't face what I've done to you because it would be too much to bear". Of course that moment passed and now she's only a permanent victim of my schemes.

Ah yes, projection. How often have I heard my own words coming right back at me during a subsequent argument? She has no original ideas of her own about me - they're ideas I've given her about herself during a previous argument!! For instance, I'll say "You're acting like xyz" and, I'm not kidding, I'll hear the exact same phrase "You're acting like xyz" during the next argument - as if she's just catalogued a list of things to say during arguments and she's drawing on them like lines from a script. She's not actually analyzing the actual conflict to determine who's right and wrong - she's just going through the act of argumentation because that's what is required of her at that moment, if that makes sense. And I don't even think it's*conscious, either. She doesn't even realize she's doing it.

Extreme defensiveness. If she makes a mistake, you'll end up hearing about it as if it was your own fault she made the mistake. You would think she accidentally pressed the button that killed 3 billion people the way she reacts after realizing she's made a mistake. It's almost as though she preemptively chastises herself. Maybe that's because her dad was a real ass and was always ready to place blame on her and her siblings. I have no doubt she had a really, really awful childhood (she's denied that physical abuse occurred to her, although I know she witnessed it), but this crap is really damaging me and I'm worried it's going to scar our kids.

It was so traumatic for me in the first year that I saw neurologists thinking I had a degenerative nerve disease. Turns out I was just really REALLY traumatized from everything that was going on. I've seen some bad things as a child, but I've never been treated like this.

At first I bore with things patiently thinking that it was temporary or that I could love her out of it. Things got really bad for me around the time of our first anniversary when I'd had enough and started standing up for myself. Those are probably some of the darkest days of my marriage so far.

All told, the only thing that has kept me with her are the children. I grew up in a divorced home and hated the damage that caused me and wanted better for my children. But now I'm faced with this reality and these BPD-like tendencies and wondering which is worse for our kids - us together or us apart? Or, even worse, the kids alone with her when I'm not around. They are young and very sweet children right now and have a lot of built-in charm. I think that charm has held her at bay so far. What happens when they're 12 and self-centered and "bratty"? Is she going to remain patient with them? Tender? My heart tells me no, but if I'm around I could at least stand up for them. If we're divorced they will have to bear that burden while I'm not around, and I hate that mental picture.

One final anecdote: I had a brief argument with my step-father about something a few years back. We were on the phone discussing it somewhat heatedly and he claimed one thing had happened and I counter-claimed with a different interpretation. He paused and said, "You know what? You're right." It floored me. I've been so used to the countless circular arguments and finger-pointing that I go through with my wife each argument that for him to outright take ownership of something that he did was like a cold drink of water to a man in the middle of a vast desert. I wish it could be like that between my wife and I, but if I'm perfectly honest it never really has been.

Sorry for the long post. I've never fully told anyone the whole story, and I know there are things I'm forgetting or have chosen to forget. Please offer advice or ask any questions you'd like and I'll answer.

-bnc
 

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So here's my story, such as it is...
BNC, WOW, what a wonderfully detailed first post! That is such a blessing because it means we don't have to play "20 questions" to get enough information out of you to say anything. This is not to say, however, that I don't have a question. I am struck by the fact you mention nothing whatsoever about your W having a strong fear of abandonment.

It that fear is very strong, it would be evident in very controlling behavior (to prevent you from leaving), irrational jealousy, and endless $hit testing where, every time you pass another test, she keeps raising the bar higher for the next one -- always trying to test the sincerity and permanence of your love. It also could be evident in her difficulty with perceiving "object constancy," i.e., realizing that you still consider her an important part of your life when you are out of sight or out of town.

Moroever, if she is very controlling, you also should expect to see efforts -- starting right after the wedding -- to isolate you away from all close friends and family members, i.e., away from your support base because they might say things like "that's the most ridiculous explanation I've ever...." I therefore ask -- and I'm surprised Kathy hasn't already asked it herself because she is sensitive to the importance of this behavioral trait -- whether you W exhibits a strong fear of abandonment.
 

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Wow, thank you for sharing that. I'm sure it was not easy to write. I hope it was some relief for you to express it. Also know that others will read it and find connection with their own situation...I do. I've been in similar shoes for ten years. I have come to the realization that you can't fix someone. You can't make someone happy. They have to accept that they have issues and then be willing to open all that up and do the work over a long period of time to fix themselves. I think this happens in a very small percentage of people. More usually its the same pattern of behavior over and over. The other thing I will add is that you can't be rational with a person who isn't. All the logic and clear thought in the world means nothing. I'm sorry to be such a downer.
 

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Moroever, if she is very controlling, you also should expect to see efforts -- starting right after the wedding -- to isolate you away from all close friends and family members, i.e., away from your support base because they might say things like "that's the most ridiculous explanation I've ever...." I therefore ask -- and I'm surprised Kathy hasn't already asked it herself because she is sensitive to the importance of this behavioral trait -- whether you W exhibits a strong fear of abandonment.
My reason for not asking is because whether she does or doesn't have BPD is not relevant to whether he should get the heck out!!
 

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I tend to be very sensitive even though I'm a bigger, physical guy and I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing emotionally.

It was so traumatic for me in the first year that I saw neurologists thinking I had a degenerative nerve disease. Turns out I was just really REALLY traumatized from everything that was going on. I've seen some bad things as a child, but I've never been treated like this.

At first I bore with things patiently thinking that it was temporary or that I could love her out of it. Things got really bad for me around the time of our first anniversary when I'd had enough and started standing up for myself. Those are probably some of the darkest days of my marriage so far.
Bnc1974,

You certainly have found a lot more on your plate here than I would expect you thought you had bargained for when you tied the knot. With your second child being 18 mo, your wife is probably still having a lot of hormonal influence and it doesn't sound like she had a real solid personality base to start with going into pregnancy and rearing young children. I'm genuinely saddened to hear your story but I need to ask, is there anything you want from us other that a sympathetic listening ear?
 

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I don't understand why you assume they'd be left in her care if you divorced.
Kathy, isn't it reasonable to assume that a 50/50 joint arrangement is the best he's looking at without some major events that would demonstrate to a judge that she's not fit? So I'm guessing he's still in a spot where he's concerned about the 50% of the time he wouldn't be there and couldn't monitor events.
 

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Kathy, isn't it reasonable to assume that a 50/50 joint arrangement is the best he's looking at without some major events that would demonstrate to a judge that she's not fit? So I'm guessing he's still in a spot where he's concerned about the 50% of the time he wouldn't be there and couldn't monitor events.
If he's not, he should be. It's hard for me to imagine the woman not getting full custody of an 18 mo and in my county it's hard to find a woman not getting full custody of all kids under 12 if she wants, unless maybe if she is incarcerated or in court ordered rehab. A divorce decree and an order of protection are all that any woman needs to make sure her husband never gets near his kids. If the lady is already unstable, it's hard to tell how much more damage can be done in this kind of situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stories like yours always pain me, especially when I consider the children involved. I think it's best for the children to be away from that influence, and I don't understand why you assume they'd be left in her care if you divorced.
I assume this because aren't courts historically lopsided in favor of the mother when it comes to custody rights? Maybe that's changed?

Most of this is so insidious in nature because it's not something you involve the police over - the physical abuse notwithstanding. She's not waking the neighbors with her screaming so as to be on record for being mean, so I'm not sure how I could prove that the kids are better off with me rather than her.
 

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Bnc, Uptown nailed it again.

'It that fear is very strong, it would be evident in very controlling behavior (to prevent you from leaving), irrational jealousy, and endless $hit testing where, every time you pass another test, she keeps raising the bar higher for the next one -- always trying to test the sincerity and permanence of your love.'


I used to ask my stbew, "Why do you always do xyz to me." and her reply would be, "I was testing you." Use to frustrate the crap out of me.

It sounds like your with is destroying your selfworth like mine did. The issue is that even though I know my x can't have a normal relationship I still love her. But I can't be with her due to emotional damage she causes me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BNC, WOW, what a wonderfully detailed first post! That is such a blessing because it means we don't have to play "20 questions" to get enough information out of you to say anything. This is not to say, however, that I don't have a question. I am struck by the fact you mention nothing whatsoever about your W having a strong fear of abandonment.

It that fear is very strong, it would be evident in very controlling behavior (to prevent you from leaving), irrational jealousy, and endless $hit testing where, every time you pass another test, she keeps raising the bar higher for the next one -- always trying to test the sincerity and permanence of your love. It also could be evident in her difficulty with perceiving "object constancy," i.e., realizing that you still consider her an important part of your life when you are out of sight or out of town.

Moroever, if she is very controlling, you also should expect to see efforts -- starting right after the wedding -- to isolate you away from all close friends and family members, i.e., away from your support base because they might say things like "that's the most ridiculous explanation I've ever...." I therefore ask -- and I'm surprised Kathy hasn't already asked it herself because she is sensitive to the importance of this behavioral trait -- whether you W exhibits a strong fear of abandonment.
It's hard to type from my iPad so I'll draw up a longer answer later but the weird part about her behavior is that she is fairly permissive when it comes to me doing things outside the home, which does not cleanly fit the BPD mold. I think she believes me stuck sometimes so maybe that's why she's comfortable with me having friends and going out on occasion. After she first hit me she physically wrapped herself around one of my legs and refused to let me leave the house, so there's that. I did not wish to hurt her in retaliation so there wasn't much I could do to unglue her from me at that moment. Calling the police didn't cross my mind.

I have told her that the next time she hit me I would call the police. She said she would just lie and say that I hit her instead because "they'll believe her" as a woman and I'd get hauled away instead. That was a couple years ago.

Maybe she channels that abandonment fear differently. I know she's very insecure but I've never been willing to go too far with divorce because of the kids. I think she knows this and uses it to her advantage at times.
 

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I have told her that the next time she hit me I would call the police. She said she would just lie and say that I hit her instead because "they'll believe her" as a woman and I'd get hauled away instead. That was a couple years ago.
The fact she said this is very telling. To lie so you would go to jail is not love.
 

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Wow, thank you for sharing that. I'm sure it was not easy to write. I hope it was some relief for you to express it. Also know that others will read it and find connection with their own situation...I do. I've been in similar shoes for ten years. I have come to the realization that you can't fix someone. You can't make someone happy. They have to accept that they have issues and then be willing to open all that up and do the work over a long period of time to fix themselves. I think this happens in a very small percentage of people. More usually its the same pattern of behavior over and over. The other thing I will add is that you can't be rational with a person who isn't. All the logic and clear thought in the world means nothing. I'm sorry to be such a downer.
Thanks for the kind words. Knowing I'm not the only one in this situation is empowering but still frightening. It's the first real step I've taken to do something about my situation in a long long time. I feel like with the information I have now I may be actually able to grieve the loss of companionship with my wife that I've been experiencing.
 

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Hello everyone,

Earlier today I started googling for something to cling to after the latest argument between my wife and I. I started with the phrase "Why does my wife hate me?" and after chasing down several leads stumbled on something called "Borderline Personality Disorder" - you have all undoubtedly heard of it. Further exploration led me to some posts on this forum, and some of Uptown's posts about his ex were a real revelation to me. That's the brief history on how I ended up here. Uptown, in a separate thread, encouraged me to start one about my own married. So here's my story, such as it is...

The basics: my wife and I have been married now for 6.5 years. We have two children - a boy nearly five and a girl 18 mos. I absolutely adore my children. It's been one of the best if not the best experience of my life being a father! Both of us work and have good careers.

I almost don't have the heart to repeat all of this since it's so painful (and shameful to me, since I've put up with it so long), but I'm going to try. Some of this is going to sound incoherent because a lot of it I think I've just blocked or purposefully tried to forget and so I think the recollections are going to be a little fragmented. We have had so many arguments that the whole relationship has become a blur. I'm not kidding when I say we had two or three arguments last week (of that I am sure) but I cannot recall what the topic was for any of them. I have always had a keen memory and early on in the relationship it would irk her to no end that I could recall verbatim everything said (because she so often claimed something that was or wasn't said that wasn't true) so this kind of forgetfulness is very odd for me. Maybe it's a coping mechanism.

Things started off well enough together - seemed like we had both met "our match", to borrow her phrase - we both enjoyed athletic endeavors, working out, that kind of stuff. We found common ground in musical taste and "nerdy" things like computers. You know the drill.

First warning sign during our early relationship was her quick temper. She seemed to snap at me rather easily, even in the early stages of our relationship. But we were infatuated with one another and I had a high threshold for that kind of garbage, I guess, and didn't pay much attention to it. As I'm learning after reading threads I tend to credit myself with a high tolerance for taking abuse and really just have low personal boundaries. Anyway, I liked that she was athletic, smart, and good looking so I overlooked a great number of sins early in the relationship that should have sent me running.

I also remember oddities like when we had an argument early in our relationship she claimed she had apologized when she clearly happened. That was another eye-opener for me but not enough to send me packing: that she somehow really did believe that she apologized verbally to me when she had not. I have never met anyone with that much cognitive dissonance. Again, I overlooked it because of course when we're finally married I can make her happy, etc - all the lies young people tell themselves to rationalize the flaws away in their SO. This "reality distortion" became a constant theme in our marriage: she remembered saying something good I know she didn't say or I said something bad and forgot. I can't stress how much this colored the early years of our relationship.

I have never felt like I built up a storehouse of "good will" with her. I don't mean that I tallied the things I did for her in a ledger and recounted them, I just felt like I was always starting over every day. A good day the previous day never gave us momentum for "today". There is no momentum with her. I have commented to her on several occasions that I feel like she does not like to have "normalcy"...that's she's uncomfortable with it. Things will go relatively ok (not great, but ok) for a couple of weeks and then it feels like a bomb will go off and she just has to find a reason to fight. This has been going on since before the wedding.

There has been physical abuse. She clocked me really good once when we were sitting in the dark together having a small argument, but nothing (or so I thought) worth violence, certainly. That was 6 months into the marriage, and frankly, very devastating to me. I tend to be very sensitive even though I'm a bigger, physical guy and I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing emotionally. That one took us to see our pastor which helped temper things for a while. Still, it didn't last.

She never does anything wrong. Ever. Growing up in my family, we all apologized to each other eventually - usually quickly. My family isn't the model of normalcy by any stretch, but we knew when to throw in the towel and tell one another we were sorry for a wrong. Getting an apology for her is like getting the proverbial water from a rock. Even when offered it's through gritted teeth and almost spat out. I have this distinct feeling that she's only doing it because I expect it because that's what healthy people do.

She has always blamed me for "taking everything away from her" when we first got married. When all else fails this is her standbye accusation for why things are the way they are. In reality when we got married she started adding so many things to her schedule very suddenly that, when I counted everything up we had about two nights a week left to be together. I'll be honest when I say that just wasn't enough as a newlywed. I wanted to spend time with her. I wanted to see her more than that. So I asked her to cool it for one of those activities for a little while and ever since it's been one of those things she draws on (irrationally) as if I attempting to smother her. It was patently false, but no amount of reasoning has ever convinced her otherwise. None. It's so bizarre...and even now, years later, she still believes it. We have probably argued over it at least a dozen times since then and I'll present the same reasons ("you did x, y & z every week during that first year and you claim I smothered you?") to no avail. I guarantee you as sure as she's laying in bed upstairs this instant she still believes it. To me, it's like saying the sky is purple.

If I'm giving this particular point more time than it deserves it's because this kind of dissonance is so central to the type of conflict that has driven me crazy over time - once she grasps the "truth" of something she can never be convinced of it otherwise. And the truth is whatever is currently coming out of her mouth, even when it conflicts with yesterday's version of the truth. She has said that she hates this about her mother (the constant history rewrites), and yet she does it herself. She does it just to win friends...I notice half-truths and white lies slipped into conversations just to be more agreeable or grease a conversation.

And yet, if I told her these things, she'd simply say something snide to divert us from the topic. I sense that, deep down, she hates who she is and is deeply, deeply self-loathing. In a rare moment of lucidity she once told me (paraphrased) "I can't face what I've done to you because it would be too much to bear". Of course that moment passed and now she's only a permanent victim of my schemes.

Ah yes, projection. How often have I heard my own words coming right back at me during a subsequent argument? She has no original ideas of her own about me - they're ideas I've given her about herself during a previous argument!! For instance, I'll say "You're acting like xyz" and, I'm not kidding, I'll hear the exact same phrase "You're acting like xyz" during the next argument - as if she's just catalogued a list of things to say during arguments and she's drawing on them like lines from a script. She's not actually analyzing the actual conflict to determine who's right and wrong - she's just going through the act of argumentation because that's what is required of her at that moment, if that makes sense. And I don't even think it's*conscious, either. She doesn't even realize she's doing it.

Extreme defensiveness. If she makes a mistake, you'll end up hearing about it as if it was your own fault she made the mistake. You would think she accidentally pressed the button that killed 3 billion people the way she reacts after realizing she's made a mistake. It's almost as though she preemptively chastises herself. Maybe that's because her dad was a real ass and was always ready to place blame on her and her siblings. I have no doubt she had a really, really awful childhood (she's denied that physical abuse occurred to her, although I know she witnessed it), but this crap is really damaging me and I'm worried it's going to scar our kids.

It was so traumatic for me in the first year that I saw neurologists thinking I had a degenerative nerve disease. Turns out I was just really REALLY traumatized from everything that was going on. I've seen some bad things as a child, but I've never been treated like this.

At first I bore with things patiently thinking that it was temporary or that I could love her out of it. Things got really bad for me around the time of our first anniversary when I'd had enough and started standing up for myself. Those are probably some of the darkest days of my marriage so far.

All told, the only thing that has kept me with her are the children. I grew up in a divorced home and hated the damage that caused me and wanted better for my children. But now I'm faced with this reality and these BPD-like tendencies and wondering which is worse for our kids - us together or us apart? Or, even worse, the kids alone with her when I'm not around. They are young and very sweet children right now and have a lot of built-in charm. I think that charm has held her at bay so far. What happens when they're 12 and self-centered and "bratty"? Is she going to remain patient with them? Tender? My heart tells me no, but if I'm around I could at least stand up for them. If we're divorced they will have to bear that burden while I'm not around, and I hate that mental picture.

One final anecdote: I had a brief argument with my step-father about something a few years back. We were on the phone discussing it somewhat heatedly and he claimed one thing had happened and I counter-claimed with a different interpretation. He paused and said, "You know what? You're right." It floored me. I've been so used to the countless circular arguments and finger-pointing that I go through with my wife each argument that for him to outright take ownership of something that he did was like a cold drink of water to a man in the middle of a vast desert. I wish it could be like that between my wife and I, but if I'm perfectly honest it never really has been.

Sorry for the long post. I've never fully told anyone the whole story, and I know there are things I'm forgetting or have chosen to forget. Please offer advice or ask any questions you'd like and I'll answer.

-bnc
Sounds like the story of my 13 yr marriage as well. I sumblem upon BPD tendencies the same way you did..everything bad in her life is my fault. She did nothing but love me too much and stay too long. Up mine didn't have the intense fear of abandonment either although looking back now I did..with her help..alienate my family..we were always visiting hers. and she did get jealous of my close friends by calling them my "boyfriends" and saying I should marry them. My wife was very verbally and emotionally abusive. Still snaps at the kids on a whim..drives me crazy. My belief is there there will no no light unless they take some responsibility and admit their faults...any fault. You can read my thread and see how far off the deep end mine went. Not pretty..not worth it. They will rob you of every last ounce of self esteem leaving you with this effed up longing to be back in the mire just to have something. I am trying to heal. I wish yu good luck.
 

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Thanks for the kind words. Knowing I'm not the only one in this situation is empowering but still frightening. It's the first real step I've taken to do something about my situation in a long long time. I feel like with the information I have now I may be actually able to grieve the loss of companionship with my wife that I've been experiencing.
There are plenty of men in your situation, a lot more than you might think. The problem with lay diagnosis is that the general description of dysfunctional behaviors could indicate a wide number of sources, abusive family upbringing, an alcoholic parent, abusive romantic relationships just to name a few. When we label our partner, no matter how badly that partner is behaving, it is human nature to dump the whole thing on them and ignore our own contributions, however slight they may be. It sound like you may have fallen into passivity, thinking thing might improve on their own, and now you are looking to take action (maybe)?
 

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There are plenty of men in your situation, a lot more than you might think. The problem with lay diagnosis is that the general description of dysfunctional behaviors could indicate a wide number of sources, abusive family upbringing, an alcoholic parent, abusive romantic relationships just to name a few. When we label our partner, no matter how badly that partner is behaving, it is human nature to dump the whole thing on them and ignore our own contributions, however slight they may be. It sound like you may have fallen into passivity, thinking thing might improve on their own, and now you are looking to take action (maybe)?
Sorry for the thread jack..for me it was exactly that. We separated for 2 years acting "as if" I was trying to find my way back but nothing had changed. I was too afraid of going back to the old "us" where I felt like a piece of crap. I could even ask her to get a job without it causing ww2. when she did and didn't give it much effort, she blamed me..I only did this because you wanted me to. how could you ask me to do something I hate? well times were bought and we desperately needed more income. All of our kids were in school so why not? does any of this ring true with you? i keep hoping she will come to her senses and take some responsibility for where he is in life..but "i owe her" for giving up her life to be a stay at home mom for 10 years. its exhausting, trouble with these types of people is that we allowed ourselves to be consumed by them and the thought of breaking away..in my case being left for a posOm. is akin to lopping off your own arm with a machete. again apologies for the TJ just have so much in common with your thread.
 

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Sounds like the story of my 13 yr marriage as well. I sumblem upon BPD tendencies the same way you did..everything bad in her life is my fault. She did nothing but love me too much and stay too long. Up mine didn't have the intense fear of abandonment either although looking back now I did..with her help..alienate my family..we were always visiting hers. and she did get jealous of my close friends by calling them my "boyfriends" and saying I should marry them. My wife was very verbally and emotionally abusive. Still snaps at the kids on a whim..drives me crazy. My belief is there there will no no light unless they take some responsibility and admit their faults...any fault. You can read my thread and see how far off the deep end mine went. Not pretty..not worth it. They will rob you of every last ounce of self esteem leaving you with this effed up longing to be back in the mire just to have something. I am trying to heal. I wish yu good luck.

Mine did the abandoning. When we first got together she told me she has always ended the relationship first. No guy has ever left her. She would leave before they got the chance to. I was the one that ended up with abandonment issues due to her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are plenty of men in your situation, a lot more than you might think. The problem with lay diagnosis is that the general description of dysfunctional behaviors could indicate a wide number of sources, abusive family upbringing, an alcoholic parent, abusive romantic relationships just to name a few. When we label our partner, no matter how badly that partner is behaving, it is human nature to dump the whole thing on them and ignore our own contributions, however slight they may be. It sound like you may have fallen into passivity, thinking thing might improve on their own, and now you are looking to take action (maybe)?
Thanks for the comments. I'm under no illusion that I've told "the whole story" or in any way represented her side of it. I know I'm not perfect, but I don't think healthy marriages demand perfect people. My marriage is very, very unhealthy. I'm not sure what I could have done differently other than not marrying her at all.

As far as labels, let me say that labeling her at this point is very, very comfortable to me. I was labeling her anyway in my mind..."crazy"..."irrational"..."baffling", so having something closer to an actual condition (whether or not it's true) comforts me and also helps me feel a measure of compassion for why she is the way she is. She may or may not be clinically BDP, but I don't know if I care yet. What I have been given is hope that, if nothing else, someone like her is unlikely or unable to change and that divorce may not be so shameful after all. Who knows...maybe she can change? I would love to stay with her and see this out, but I know if she were BDP I could at least look myself in the mirror and feel like I didn't give up on an essentially good person that had some minor issues. My wife's issues are legion and systemic.

I battle demons of my own. I'm certainly insecure or at least recovering from a lot of insecurity. It's why I'm still with my wife after all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry for the thread jack..for me it was exactly that. We separated for 2 years acting "as if" I was trying to find my way back but nothing had changed. I was too afraid of going back to the old "us" where I felt like a piece of crap. I could even ask her to get a job without it causing ww2. when she did and didn't give it much effort, she blamed me..I only did this because you wanted me to. how could you ask me to do something I hate? well times were bought and we desperately needed more income. All of our kids were in school so why not? does any of this ring true with you? i keep hoping she will come to her senses and take some responsibility for where he is in life..but "i owe her" for giving up her life to be a stay at home mom for 10 years. its exhausting, trouble with these types of people is that we allowed ourselves to be consumed by them and the thought of breaking away..in my case being left for a posOm. is akin to lopping off your own arm with a machete. again apologies for the TJ just have so much in common with your thread.
In the theme of the blame game bout working vs SAHM, my wife claims I'm the only reason she's working even though she complained non-stop about being a SAHM with our (then) 5 month old boy. I supported her decision either way, but she's again rewritten history to suit her purposes. I know she's not going to be home-schooling the kids or anything like that, so the way I see it is that her time with the kids at home was going to come to an end no matter what.

Either way, she claimed that she was lonely at home with just the infant and "if only I had adults to talk to at a job". When she gets a job, put the little one in daycare and she has people to talk to now she wishes she had x and y instead. She's never content. She wants to be more involved in church, but I've pointed out that when we were at our most involved with church we were at the darkest point in our relationship. That's not to say it is the church's fault, I'm simply trying to point out to her that she doesn't really know what will satisfy her, deep down, so she continually casts about looking for that next fix. As soon as she has it, whatever "it" is, she's no longer content anymore. "Church will fix it" - get church. Nope, things still bad. "Friends will fix it" - make friends. Nope, things still going awry. Ad nauseum.

Sigh.
 

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In the theme of the blame game bout working vs SAHM, my wife claims I'm the only reason she's working even though she complained non-stop about being a SAHM with our (then) 5 month old boy. I supported her decision either way, but she's again rewritten history to suit her purposes. I know she's not going to be home-schooling the kids or anything like that, so the way I see it is that her time with the kids at home was going to come to an end no matter what.

Either way, she claimed that she was lonely at home with just the infant and "if only I had adults to talk to at a job". When she gets a job, put the little one in daycare and she has people to talk to now she wishes she had x and y instead. She's never content. She wants to be more involved in church, but I've pointed out that when we were at our most involved with church we were at the darkest point in our relationship. That's not to say it is the church's fault, I'm simply trying to point out to her that she doesn't really know what will satisfy her, deep down, so she continually casts about looking for that next fix. As soon as she has it, whatever "it" is, she's no longer content anymore. "Church will fix it" - get church. Nope, things still bad. "Friends will fix it" - make friends. Nope, things still going awry. Ad nauseum.

Sigh.
Mine has the same issue..SAMH,dress making biz, realtor, teacher, photographer can't ever decide what to do and somehow I take the blame..crazy. she would have stayed a SAHM forever if she could have but we don't always get what we want. would have loved to feel like I had a teammate instead of an adversary.

Look for some CODA meetings in your area. While your sitch is a bit different be ready for some serious doubts creeping in. Mine has shat all over me and I am still having detachment issues.
 
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