Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my wife grew up in an abusive house with her twin sister. The mom was the primary abuser (psychologically and physically), But the mom's long time boyfriend (they call him dad) was also part of it. my wife and her sister tried to get help but it was a small town and their parents knew all the cops because "dad" volunteered as a citizen on patrol (cop), so they never got help. now we are married (just had our first anniversary) and have a 4 and 1/2 month old son, my wife has diabetes, low thyroid (hypothyroidism), and stays home to watch our son while i work and go to college full time while doing most of the cleaning and cooking at home. she has been having trouble with her thoughts, weight (because of the thyroid, diabetes, and just having had a baby, even though she works out 4 to 5 days a week) and me. yes I have caused many problems. I am a pansy that cant even stand up for my self, have in the past on repeated occasions taken my parents side because i didn't want to rock the boat, asked her to marry me then to keep it a secret for two years (until i was a year from graduation), not really say anything to a friend that kept touching her inappropriately, told her that her sister was raped a few years ago, told her that i looked at other womens tatas and badankadonks after denying it for our entire relationship (now i have trained myself to look at the ground and when i have to look up blur out people or look elsewhere), there are more minor things but i think i have hit the most major points. she has had trouble most of our relationship thinking about what her parents did to her and her sister. they were strangled, beaten for everything (even not turning off the light quick enough, with fists and even a belt as young as 5), and when they would try to hide on the top bunk, their mom would tear it down with them still on it to get at them. last night my wife had a nightmare remembering tons of the abuse and tried waking me up but i didn't enough to remember what she was saying to me. when i actually woke up it was to being called an ass hole... well here is my dilemma, all my wife can seem to think about is the abuse, if her sister is safe (she was living at home again recently and was strangled again by the mom, has been jumping between boyfriends and their houses, while partying. oh and she crashed because she was drunk, spending a couple of weeks in jail), and thinking that i am checking out women while i am at work and school. what can i do to help her? all of it is causing a strain on our relationship, this morning she told me that if i wanted to go to class to just leave my house key on the table and not come back. please help, i love my wife so much and don't want to loose her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hello Danny, congratulations on your new baby boy and your first anniversary. I'm sorry that you and your wife are dealing with such an awful situation and I hope that, perhaps, some of my words will help you or your wife.

First, your wife has quite a mixture of physical and mental troubles and those can only be treated by a doctor. You don't mention if she's actively being treated for her depression, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, but both conditions can cause or worsen depression. Add in the new baby hormone rollercoaster, which adds potential post-partum issues, and it's a very complex situation indeed. She needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist who will be able to ascertain her needs and decide what course of action would be appropriate.

As far as the abuse she experienced as a child, it is absolutely heineous and again, she needs to talk to a professional to help her come to terms regarding what happened to her and her twin sister, something about which a trained counselor can speak to her and make suggestions to overcome her constant thoughts about her past. It may be that in becoming a mother herself she has become obsessive with regards to what happened in her own childhood and the torture she suffered. I, too, had an abusive childhood and the thing that's helped me the most is a trusted therapist. But, again, these are just suggestions--I'm not a professional and she clearly needs one.

Also, it sounds as though she's unhappy and insecure with her body image now that the baby has been born. I've known a lot of new mothers that have gone through the same thing. Reassure her that you're not looking at other women, that she's twice as beautiful since she gave birth to your son, and remind her that you look forward to coming home and seeing her. I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in advice for this one, not being a mother myself, but I'm sure someone here can offer much better insight about new mums and babies.

What's happening to her twin sister is very hard, but this is a situation that requires what I call 'the airplane rule.' If you've ever flown, you know the flight attendent speaks about how, should the cabin lose pressure, a mask will drop down. Then they tell you to put your own mask on first and THEN assist others with their masks. Right now, you and your wife's focus should be on getting her on a more positive road, getting her safe and stable. Once that happens, she can turn and help her sister.

It's good that you're willing to admit that there are issues that involve both of you, but your discussions with your wife about your relationship should come after her mood has stabilized and she isn't replaying her abuse again and again in her mind.

Tell her what you told us--that you love her so much, you want her to be healthy and happy, and that you're scared of losing her.

I wish you and your family the best of luck in overcoming your challenges--you'll all be in my prayers tonight.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
Danny, I want to join June in congratulating you on the recent arrival of your infant son. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this emotional upheaval at a time which otherwise should be only joyous. Like you, I married my college sweetheart, a gorgeous young woman whom I dated for about two years before she abruptly announced that she was marrying another guy. So we broke up for 27 years, at the end of which we reconnected and started dating again -- and then married.

Like your W, she had been abused all through childhood. She and her sisters had been molested for years by their dad, a sociopath. When such abuse occurs for years during childhood, what usually happens is that it destroys the child's ability to trust and her self identity.

The result was that my W was incapable of trusting me. I never was able to convince her of my love, no matter what I did for her or bought her. Instead, she would invent an endless series of tests for me to pass so she could tell if I loved her. Of course, passing a test proved nothing to her so it would be followed by another test, e.g., asking me to buy something she knew I hated.

Being unable to trust, she had an extreme fear of being abandoned by me, which revealed itself in the form of jealousy. As occurs with your W, mine was jealous of my looking at other women -- to the point that she would be upset if my gaze at someone was held for even half a second. She also was jealous when I made the mistake of talking about girls I had dated 30 years earlier.

She also was jealous of my friends and family members because I liked to spend time with them -- and liked to visit my family on some vacations. Moreover, she hated my foster son. When a spouse is incapable of trusting you, she will try to isolate you from friends and family as a way of dealing with her fear.
She has been having trouble with her thoughts
Childhood abuse or abandonment by the parents often results in a thought disorder which distorts the person's perceptions of other peoples' motivations. It is called BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Recent studies have shown that 70% of BPD sufferers experienced abuse or abandonment in early childhood.

Because the remaining 30% did not report being subjected to such abuse, it is believed that BPD may also be caused by heredity alone. Hence, if your W actually has BPD -- as my W did -- it may have been caused by the abuse or by inheriting it from the mother, whose mean behavior would be explained by it (mean and abusive behavior toward loved ones is a hallmark of BPD).

BPD also may explain the twin sister's recent drunkenness, car crash, and jumping from one BF's bed to another. Because BPDers have an emotional development that was frozen at about age four, they have difficulty regulating their emotions and controlling their impulses. As a result, it is common for BPDers to use bad judgment and do things impulsively.

That said, the studies also found that only about 60% of abused children grow up to have BPD. This means that your W and her sister may be in the remaining 40% who do not have BPD. Yet, because your W and her sister not only were abused but also had a seriously disordered mother who could have passed her illness on to them, BPD is something you would be wise to investigate.

I therefore suggest that you read the article at How a Borderline Personality Disorder Love Relationship Evolves - Roger Melton, M.A.
. It provides a good description of what it is like to be in a relationship with a BPDer. If that description sounds familiar, I suggest you read about the nine BPD traits. Once you learn to recognize them, it is quite easy to identify a strong pattern of those traits when they are exhibited by a partner.

What is difficult is knowing when the traits are sufficiently strong to warrant a diagnosis of "having BPD." More difficult, still, is knowing how to treat the disorder. Hence, both of those tasks are the province of professionals. I therefore agree with June that your W should see a psychologist ASAP to find out what she is suffering from.
What can i do to help her?
Beyond paying for therapy and insisting that she go there, there is nothing you can do to fix it. She can only do that herself. If she has strong BPD traits, the disorder is not curable at this time. But BPDers can learn to better regulate their emotions and to do black-white thinking less often (BPDers have difficulty with gray concepts so you tend to be perceived as all good or all bad). Learning it, however, takes enormous commitment and sufficient self awareness for the person to realize she has a problem.

I took my exW (we divorced two years ago) to six different psychologists nearly every week for 15 years. It cost over $200,000 but it did not even make a dent in her disorder -- because she never was self aware enough to acknowledge having the disorder. Indeed, very few people with BPD or any other PD are self aware because the vast majority of such people are ego syntonic, i.e., they adamantly believe everyone else is the cause of their problems. Stated differently, every day they choose to keep playing the role of victim (hence, their need for you to always be wrong) instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.
I have trained myself to look at the ground and, when i have to look up, blur out people or look elsewhere.
Although there is little you can do to help your W if she has BPD, there is much you can do to help yourself. For starters, STOP walking on eggshells -- which is what you are doing when looking at the ground and ignoring people. Start being your true self again. Because BPDers typically grew up in an out-of-control environment, they are extremely controlling as adults. Hence, the most popular book on BPD, targeted at their spouses and partners, is called "Stop Walking on Eggshells."

Another thing that will help you is to start reading about codependency because you sound like the caretaker type, just as I am. When you read about it, you will learn that being needed by your W is not the same thing as being loved. You also will learn that you keep helping people even when it is to your great detriment to do so.

If you would like to pursue any of these issues, I would be glad to discuss them further with you -- and provide more links to websites. Please take care, Danny. More specifically, please start taking care of yourself as well as your W.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top