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Hi, I haven't posted before but I'd like some feedback if I can. I apologise in advance for the length of the post.

Some background first - I have been married for almost 30 years. Three adult children and one teenager. Only the teenager still lives at home.

My H was diagnosed with depression when our first child was 5 months old. He has struggled with it ever since. When I say he has struggled, that may not be entirely true, as only on a very few occasions has he actually taken the medication he was eventually prescribed. He always had an excuse - it gave him gastric problems etc. (I have had my bowel removed due to cancer so I know what gastric problems are like -deal with it. It irks me so much when he uses that excuse.:mad:)

I always blamed the depression for our relationship problems. He was always angry, very judgemental and very hard on our oldest child in particular.

I can see now that really the depression was an excuse for very selfish and bad behaviour.

Our children and I have spent the last 28 years walking on eggshells around him, trying to say the right thing, or not say the wrong thing. He is quite agreeable as long as things go his way or we agree with him. He is very controlling and still likes to have a say in our adult children's lives. I can understand this to some extent because we still help them out financially sometimes and we help our oldest son out most of all. But I feel that the reason our oldest son hasn't made good decisions, which have led to him needing our help, have stemmed from him being so afraid of doing the wrong thing, or never being good enough. I know he is old enough now to have to deal with this and let it go, but I know how hard that is for him because here I am still in this marriage after 30 years, so who am I to tell him to get over it?

Now, I guess I am really just venting here, because I know for my own peace of mind, and for my daughter who is living with this daily, I have to leave.

My H gets very angry about our limited sex life. ( 1-2 times over say 10 days). I never initiate sex, and I agree with him that it is boring, but I cannot feel any desire for him because of the way he speaks to me.

He gets angry with me (he used to call me Little Miss Perfect) because he says 'everyone thinks you're so perfect, well you're not. You're nowhere near perfect.' I have never thought I was perfect but he throws this at me all the time. 'Everyone says, how did you get her? Well, why don't you tell them. How did you (me) get me (him)?'

He is very sarcastic and when he talks about our boring sex life he says ' You are boring. Boring, boring, f*#king boring.
You have no go in you. I wish you were a dumb blonde.'

He tells me that he would like to have a threesome. :rofl: Sorry, about the icon, but he is overweight and nasty at least 70% of the time, so who does he think would want a threesome with him? Not that I would ever consider it anyway, but he makes out that I am selfish for not wanting to do that for him.

He does a lot for other people, usually older people around our small town, but I've learnt over the years that his charm to others is pretty much all show.
He told me the other night that he has them in his hand and was skiting about how much they like him.

Then he said, ' Maybe I am mentally unstable but I think I am a perfect person.' I nearly fell over. Usually he says he isn't perfect and has made some mistakes, but that his decisions are right 90% (sometimes he says 99%) of the time, but the other night he decided he was perfect. :scratchhead:

He has been a president of a sporting club for a number of years and keeps threatening to resign (it takes up a lot of his time in the on season, and we have a 7 day a week business) but he never does and I'm sure it is because he can't give up the control. He runs down the other people on the committee, once they wake up to his controlling ways and start to stand up to him.

He says some terrible things about them, about my friends, about people around town.

I'm so sorry about this rant. I don't really have anyone to talk to about all this.
Please forgive me.
 

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Hi. I can see that a lot of people have viewed this post and I understand that I didn't really ask a question, just raved on, but I really would appreciate some feedback on how people found the courage to finally make the break from a long standing marriage.

Obviously I only talked about the bad times (although there were much more than I mentioned) but there are times when our relationship seems almost normal, and it is then that I think - am I 'allowed' to leave a marriage where I am not being physically abused simply feeling sad and lonely and intimidated?

I know that sounds stupid, but I was brought up a Catholic and although I am no longer practising I think that might be why it is so tough for me to give up on this relationship, even though I believe it is unhealthy.

Please give me some feedback. I feel so alone.
 

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Answer this question please. What do you want you life to be, and who do you want in it?

Now look at what you have and compare the two.

Which one is worth working towards?
 

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Gosh what a terrible way for you and your children to have lived all this time...
Does he acknowledge how mean and rude he is? Does he ever apologise?
What do you do or say when he verbally abuses you?... (you do realise he's abusing you don't you)

You can't live like this... i think you know that now though don't you? That is why you are here...

I will hold your hand. You also need someone closer to you though...do you have a good friend or sister or relative/... i reckon you need a hug and a shoulder to lean on.
I'd also very much consider a counsellor...they can help you make plans for an escape/divorce.
You deserve so much more than this..
 

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Thanks HerToo and Waiwera. Yes HerToo, I know I want a life without H in it. I know that, and am working toward the courage to make the break. Thank you for your input, it is appreciated.
Waiwera, thank you for your support. I spoke with my mum today which helped, and one of my sons rang to tell me that they will support whatever I decide and will always be there for me. They love their dad, which is something I want to keep, but they can see that he is not doing the right thing.

I have tried counselling, but due to isolation (small country town) and finance I couldn't keep it up.

Finance has been a major obstacle to leaving. We run a business together, have joint debts etc. but I am working on a way out of that so that won't be a reason (excuse?) for too much longer I hope.

Thank you both so much for replying. I really needed to know there was someone listening. :)
 

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Hi Almost30.. great to hear your working on an escape plan and close support!
I'm sure there is loads of info online about such plans.

I understand about finances and running a business. We are the same and the recession is a tough time to be in business isn't it?

Don't disapear now... let us know how your going with your plans for your new exciting future!

(((hugs to you)))
 

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Wow, allowing for some hyperbole, that sounds utterly horrible. Seriously, now you're nearly done with the child-rearing thing, you should get on and leave (it sounds like your kids would support you too, which is very helpful). Normally when people post here they tend to be sitting on the fence but you didn't manage to write a single positive thing about the guy!
 

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Thanks Waiwera.
Hi Grenville. Thanks for your post. It jolted me a little. I realised how negative I must sound.
I guess I am not so much on the fence because I don't know what needs to be done, but I'm on the fence teetering because I'm scared to jump.
No my H is not an ogre. He isn't this horrible person all the time. I couldn't have stayed this long if he was. But either it is getting worse or my tolerance of his behaviour is getting less. I think it is a bit of both.
I've reached a time in my life where the future stretches before me but is a good deal shorter than it once was. I am asking myself why I am choosing to stick to an agreement I made 30 years ago to a person who is not the same one I married. (having said that, I too have changed. It would be strange not to after that amount of time).
Thanks so much for your input.
 

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Almost, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time living with your H for nearly 30 years.
I can see now that really the depression was an excuse for very selfish and bad behavior.
The behaviors you describe -- verbal and emotional abuse, selfish and controlling behavior, black-white thinking, vindictiveness, and temper tantrums -- are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which my exW has. Moreover, most BPDers (i.e., those having moderate to strong traits of BPD) often suffer depression because they are filled with self loathing and a fragile sense of who they are.

Significantly, every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all nine of the BPD traits, albeit at a low level if he is emotionally healthy. These traits become a problem only when they are so strong as to interfere with the person's ability to relate to other people, thereby undermining marriages and other LTRs.

Of course, only a professional can determine whether a person's BPD traits are so severe as to meet 100% of the diagnostic criteria for having the full-blown disorder. Yet, even when the traits fall well short of that diagnostic level for "having BPD," they can undermine a marriage and make your life miserable. Moreover, the traits themselves are not difficult to spot when you know what to look for. I therefore suggest you read about them to see if most of them describe your H's behavior.
Our children and I have spent the last 28 years walking on eggshells around him....
The #1 best-selling BPD book (targeted to the spouses) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
He is very controlling ....
One of the hallmarks of having strong BPD traits is being very controlling. BPDers typically try to control every aspect of their loved ones' lives because they have a great fear of abandonment. This is why the #2 best-selling BPD book is called I Hate You, Don't Leave Me!
He does a lot for other people, usually older people around our small town, but I've learnt over the years that his charm to others is pretty much all show.
High functioning BPDers typically are able to interact very well with casual friends, business associates, and total strangers. None of those people pose a threat to his fear of abandonment because there is no close relationship that can be abandoned. Moreover, none of them pose a threat to his other great fear -- engulfment -- because there is no intimacy to cause a feeling of engulfment and suffocation. Heaven help those folks, however, if they ever make the mistake of trying to draw close to the BPDer.
He says some terrible things about them, about my friends, about people around town.
Another hallmark of BPDers is black-white thinking. It is most evident in the way they categorize everyone as "all good" or "all bad" -- i.e., as "with me" or "against me." Further, they will recategorize a person from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on an idle comment or minor infraction.

This is done because there is no middle ground or grey area in which the person can be placed. BPDers are extremely uncomfortable with the middle ground because they are intolerant of ambiguities and experiencing strong mixed feelings. This all-or-nothing thinking also is evident in the frequent use of extreme expressions such as "you always" and "you never."
Then he said, ' Maybe I am mentally unstable but I think I am a perfect person.'
All BPDers -- even those who are high functioning -- are emotionally unstable. Hence, if your H is a BPDer, that instability is expected. If he is NOT unstable, however, the behaviors you describe would not be attributable to a strong pattern of BPD traits, because instability is an essential feature of such a pattern. Instead, they likely would be attributable to strong traits of narcissism (NPD). Whereas narcissists are emotionally stable, BPDers are not. For a description of what this instability typically looks like, please follow the link I provide below.
I am asking myself why I am choosing to stick to an agreement I made 30 years ago to a person who is not the same one I married.
Almost30, because you've been tolerating a toxic marriage for 30 years, I suspect that you are an excessive caregiver like me. If so, you have such low personal boundaries that you find it difficult to tell where your own issues stop and your H's issues begin.

When I was faced with that problem, I found it enormously helpful to first get a clearer picture of my exW's problems. Doing so allowed me -- through subtraction -- to get a much clearer picture of what I had been doing wrong in my toxic marriage. I therefore suggest that, if this discussion of BPD traits rings a bell, you read more about these traits so you can spot the red flags, i.e., strong occurrences of the traits.

If you want to read more, an excellent place to begin is one of the two books mentioned above. Alternatively, an easy place to start on this forum is my post in Maybe's thread (about his abusive wife) at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description of BPD traits sounds familiar, I would be glad to discuss it with you or point you to good online resources. Take care, About30.
 

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Hi Uptown.
Thank you for your post. It gave me a lot of food for thought. I already was suspicious that my H may suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and had done some research on same, but hadn't really considered BPD.
Having said that, the more I think about it the less I think it matters what, if any, name I, or anyone else, may put on his disorder or behaviour. What really matters is what it has done to our relationship and what I want to do about it.
Thanks so much for you info and advice. It helps very much talking to others who have been through similar experiences.
 
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