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Hi all, I found your site about a month ago and have been reading a lot of the posts and enjoying the great responses and advice. I'm hoping someone can guide me in the right direction with my problems.



A little background, I was living with a woman for the last 7 years. She has two children from her first marriage and we had one of our own. She got the home via the divorce and quite a large cash settlement (700k) from a previous employer. The bills in total for the month are roughly $2,500 per month. I paid her $1,200 and she receives $650 from her ex in child support. Her biggest issue during our 7 years together was that I did not contribute enough money to the household. This subject came up periodically in our time together and she brought it up in couples counceling. For me, I felt I paid more than enough towards the bills. It's her house. I wouldn't get anything out of it if she sold it so it's not an investment for me as it is to her. Plus, her big settlement, yet she will cry poor every month. I just don't see it.



The only reason I bring up the financial aspect or the amount she received from her previous employer was after every argument everything always went back to how much I paid her or lack thereof. When, in fact, there wasn't any shortage of money and she makes more than I do. To me, now, it seems like it was a cover for whatever the real issue was/is.



The real issues for me where her behaviors. She would give me the silent treatment. At first it was a couple of days but as the years went along the time would increase to weeks and finally months. I went through a 4 month silent treatment -while we were going to counseling- when I finally laid it out for her this past July in which I told her enough is enough, if this type of behavior doesn't stop, I will leave. In addition, we didn't have sex for the last two years together. It was another weapon in her arsenal, holding back sex. She would often ignore that I even existed.



So basically, she is a real passive/agressive personality. She would quite often shift blame onto me for things that she started. One of the real head turners was for many of the silent treatments, she would then turn around and blame me for starting it. That would blow my mind because I never started them. At this point, she hasn't spoken to her ex in 5 years. She went without talking to her brother-in-law for two years and most recently her best friend of 18 years, she shut her down just like she often shut me down. She cut her friend out of her life and doesn't speak to her. So the silent treatment is something she uses but doesn't aknowledge it as being something she does.



then, she would blame me for poor communication skills. I never had a problem communicating with anyone but when someone knocks you off balance with the silent treatment and you sit there for hours asking "What did I do wrong?" "What didn't I do that I should have done?" Etc., and you are met with stonecold silence or short curt answers of course there is a communication issue but again, how is that my fault if the person I'm trying to communicate with will not respond to me? The counselor told me I was doing the right thing, even though she will not speak, her ears still work.



So here I am throughout this relationship, the primary care giver to all of the kids because of my work schedule I was able to be home during the day to watch the kids, take them to their activities. I also took care of the household chores and the yard chores. Plus, work my job on top of all that. Yet, it never really seemed to matter to her. I felt so unappreciated. I felt like a nanny who pays her to do all of that.



So after I told her her in July I had enough of the sexless relationship, the silent treatments ect., she said she would change all of that. I went through a couple of mini silent treatments and the sex life didn't change at all. At the end of August and beginning of September I was in the midst of a 5 day silent treatment. I was at work on day 5 when I started receiving nasty text messages from her saying the things between us were my fault. I kept going outside to call her but she would not answer and then I would get more texts saying "whatever" This from a 47 year old woman not a teenager.



I got home from work that night and found she had a single blanket in the bed and no pillows on my side of the bed. I was furious. A night of nasty texts and now making the bed her own. I packed up my stuff and left...



Firstly, I would like to say I really love her. I love how fun she can be. I love her spontaneity. I love that she has a big heart. On the other hand, there is a real dark side to her as I've mentioned above.



We met two days after I left to talk. What came out of the talk was that we both felt unappreciated. I told her we needed to go to counseling again -she quit our counseling sessions when our counselor said she was showing signs of depression. When I met her she was on anti-depressants but she said it was for going through her divorce. But I found at least four scripts from 2007-2012 for anti-depressants which I was totally unaware of. She said she was willing to go to counseling again but we needed to find another counselor. To date, the subject has not come up again.



In addition, I went to see the counselor on my own for four sessions to try to figure out why I let her cross my boundaries of what I should tolerate from a partner, like the silent treatment. The Psychologist said something I had never heard of before, he said she suffered from some level of borderline personality disorder. I've done a lot of reading up on it since and it is her and makes a lot of sense of what I went through with her.



She's had me to everyone of her sons football games and her daughter cheers for the local high school team and I have been to everyone of those games. The kicker is, every time she asks me to attend these games, I think it's going to be just her and I but when I get there she has girlfriends she has invited and sales people from work who are in town with nothing to do. So instead of it being alone time, it's me feeling like a fifth wheel. She's had me over for first three weekends after I left to spend the night and yes there was sex every time. She's had me over for dinner and when I get there, again, I find her girlfriends there. So it's as if she's invited everyone over for a fun night and I'm thinking she has just invited me for alone time so we can work things out. It's awkward to say the least. But I've come to the conclusion, she can't or won't face me alone so we can deal with the issues. Then this past week, I didn't hear from her at all until Saturday when she was on her way to her sons game. She didn't invite me this time. I haven't heard from her since. So I haven't seen her or the kids in 8 days now.



Here's where I'm at, I feel stuck. At first, a cloud had been lifted off of me in the days following leaving. I could think more clearly about the whole situation as opposed to when you are actually in the situation day in and day out. I've become real down on myself for leaving. I feel guilty about leaving. I miss all the kids and especially my little girl. I miss her. I miss living with them. The kids I spent the most time with, it's really hard not being around them. Our daughter I miss really badly because I was with her everyday of her life. Now she started first grade this year and I'm not there to wake her up or welcome her home. It hurts.



I wanted to work things out. the whole premise of me leaving was to shock the system because nothing was going to change it unless something bold was done. It seemed as if she wanted to work things out by having me over for the weekends and inviting me to all the games but now total silence and no invites to the games.



So, I'm going up and down daily wondering what's going on? I miss her and the kids and that bothers me a lot. I feel sad. I feel guilty. I feel stuck in limbo. I feel if I go back at this point, I've gained nothing because nothing has really changed. I feel if I initiate contact, I look weak. I look like I want to go back. I don't want to go back unless I see things moving in the right direction. The thing that bothers me the most is that not once has she asked me to come back. The kids make no bones about what they want. Every time I see them they ask when am I coming home. Yet, she she hasn't even asked.



I'm stuck at some sort of crossroads. No invites this past weekend. Haven't heard from her. I miss her and the kids and it can really get me down on myself. She has the kids to keep her occupied. She has her friends to go to. I have no one. Then, when I remind myself of a four month long silent treatment or two years without sex, I feel I did the right thing. It keeps going back and forth. I can't sleep. It's been really rough.
 

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You're in a tough spot. You can't control what your wife does or thinks, you can only control yourself. Right now, it seems that you are letting her set the agenda. From her perspective she is doing what she should -- she is inviting you over when she feels like it, surrounding herself with other friends when she feels like it, and is moving on with her life. You can either accept her terms or establish a set of boundaries and stick to them. For example, when she invites you over you can say "I will come if it is just the two of us or us and the kids. If there is anyone else there I will leave." Then if you show up at the house and there is a group of girlfriends, you leave. She may stop inviting you altogether (it's possible she is trying to "stay friends" with you, but is not interested in working on your marriage) or she may decide your company is valuable enough to her to make one-on-one time.

The kids are a whole different issue and you need to step up and lay down some rules there. Are you really okay with not seeing your child for 8 days? If not, then you need to establish boundaries. You need to make it clear that you have separated from her but that you are not okay with separating from your kids. The two of you need to get a fair arrangement for sharing custody and you need to get it in writing.
 

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ITD, welcome to the TAM forum. Like you, I lived with a BPDer wife for many years -- 15 in my case instead of 7. I was divorced 5 years ago.
She is a real passive/agressive personality. ...The Psychologist said ...she suffered from some level of borderline personality disorder.
A small portion of BPDers (perhaps 10%) are very passive aggressive because they turn their anger inward instead of outward on their spouses. They rarely yell or scream or throw temper tantrums because, instead of "acting out," they "act in" -- turning their anger inward rather than outward. This is not to say, however, that you would escape punishment. They punish the spouse with coldness, icy withdrawal, and cruel passive-aggressive behavior.

Because the "loud borderlines" attract all the attention online, it is difficult to find a description of the quiet ones. There nonetheless are two excellent articles I've found. The one that may be most applicable to your situation is by A.J. Mahari at Borderline Personality - The Quiet Acting In Borderline and The Silent Treatment - Nons - Borderline Personality Disorder Inside Out.

The second article, by therapist Shari Schreiber, emphasizes the "poor little me" aspect of such quiet BPDers, not the coldness. Schreiber calls them "waif borderlines" at BORDERLINE WAIFS AND UNSUNG HEROES; Rescuing The Woman Who Doesn't Want To Be Saved.. (The waif behavior typically exhibits strong hypochondria, as is explained at Print Page - Symptoms of hypochondria in BPD?.)

Finally, I suggest you read my brief description of what it is like living with a BPDer for many years. My post is in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss the BPD traits with you and point you to good online resources. Take care, ITD.
 
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