How do you know?

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mrconfused

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How do you know?
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:53:11 AM »
Hi guys, thinking maybe this section is more suited to my headspace.

I've been married for 3.5 years, together for 4.5... I can only describe what i've been through with my wife as a living nightmare.

She can be nasty, bullying, lazy, aggressive. Has a dual personality when sober, it's something else when she drinks and transforms completely.

I've taken a lot and slowly over the past 6 months been rebuilding myself and focusing on a lot of the tools I have been learning to deal with a person with PD.

I basically offered her an ultimatum last Xmas that she was to get therapy, stop binge drinking, take meds and really work on things if we were to stay together.

That was Jan 2018, and in my mind I said i'd give it to April.

Thing is, instead of grabbing every item on the list as an opportunity to do her best and demonstrate that she really cared and wanted to get through this together. The way she approaches everything shone through. She treated every item on the list as something to achieve with the least amount of effort, or attempted to interpret the goals in a way as to find loop holes or outsmart.

After agreeing to do all the things, she reneged on mostly all of it. She fought me, she got discharged from expensive private therapists for not behaving. She binge drank, she raged at me that she would take the medication, but not at the operational dose specified so that it had no effect, she crash dieted and then binge drank, she claimed that I was mad and so I went to a therapist and they said the only help they could give me was dealing with her behaviour.

Now, if we didn't have a child.. I would of left long ago. The annoying thing... and I think this is part of my ongoing realisation and self-development that I have co-dependancy tendencies is every time I think there is some small hope that 'this' or 'that' is going to improve things, or she might take it seriously or accept that she has serious issues that need hard work to get through.

Since April.. that is when I started to set boundaries, think about me and detach. I saw a solicitor back then and received advice. Basically he said that I should be careful thinking about things until she was back in work. She hasn't worked in two and a half years, yet my child has been in nursery basically full time as my wife can't cope with looking after her.

She still hasn't got a job, but the time has now come where i'm so in debt, I've put the house on the market to sell. I've also told her that once it's sold we need to move back to our respective parents for a while whilst I save up cash and pay off debt.

Really I just can't bare the thought of living with her anymore and don't want to commit to living somewhere else with her.

The TL:DR
How do you know when it is time to finish things? And if you don't love someone any more?
I am happier without her company. She is cold and irritable most of the time, or just sarcastic. When she gets drunk she transforms into an overtly sexual, silly mood. But when sober the complete opposite. We don't agree on what to watch on TV, what picture to put on the wall, what to eat for dinner, what music to listen to in the car. It just goes on.

I sometimes think I hate her, but then I read that means I still care because i'm not indifferent.

I'm thinking I'm a huge coward because I set an internal boundary of April, and i'm still here.

She just started state (im in the UK) provided therapy which she has been on a waiting list for 9 months, I don't know if I was holding out for that as yet another straw to clutch at.

I'm sick of being in this situation.

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SeenTheLight

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 10:58:26 AM »
mrconfused, you are going through a lot. I'm sorry. I can absolutely relate because I've been there myself. Only in my case, I'm 53 years old and stuck it out for almost thirty years, always telling myself that she'll get better. Or that she'll learn to control her anger. Or telling myself that we needed to stay together for the kids. Many times, I tried setting boundaries only to have her trample all over them with no consideration for my feelings.   

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I am happier without her company 

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I sometimes think I hate her

That right there says it all! I've said both of those things many times myself. You wondered how you know... Just think about those two statements.
For me it was that realization - that I was happier when she wasn't around - that helped me realize that it was over. When she went out with her friends and I was home with the kids, I was happier. When she would take one of the kids somewhere and I stayed home with the others, I was happier. When she would take off once in a while for a long "weekend with the girls (her friends)" and I stayed home with the kids, I was happier. And whenever I was happy being without her, I would actually dread her coming home. As soon as she walked through the door, a certain tension would fill the air (I bet you're familiar with that tension). That tension only existed when she was around. And it wasn't just about being happier when she wasn't around, I started realizing how unhappy I was when she was around.   

But I also felt guilty for having those feelings. When I started seeing a therapist to help me deal with my feelings, she helped me realize that I didn't deserve to be treated the way I was. And she helped me realize that I had no reason to feel guilty about my own feelings. My wife didn't see any problem with her behavior and was completely unwilling to see a therapist, so I also realized that meant that she would never change. I started to think about my future. Did I really want to spend that last twenty or thirty years of my life with all this stress and tension? But I also didn't want to be that guy who "left his wife after thirty years..." It was definitely hard to come to terms with all of that. I spent about a year and a half in therapy before I really came to terms with it and was able to have "that conversation" with my wife. In the end, she was the one to move out. And I'm happier. A lot happier.

And you're absolutely not a coward... you're just normal. This is all a very hard thing to deal with.  :stars:

Best wishes to you. And keep reading the forum - it has helped me just as much as therapy has.





     

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saveyourscissors

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 11:35:01 AM »
Hi mrconfused,

I read your post, and was going to reply after dropping my son off at school, but SeenTheLight covered pretty much everything I was going to say, and then some. In my case, I'm 45, and left my wife after 22 years together. I spent a lot of years rationalizing and staying for my son, and things got progressively worse. Now that I am separated and headed for divorce, I am happier without her, and life is much easier. I wish I had done it sooner, but we all have to come to these realizations and take actions on our own timelines. Your journey is about you, and I hope you make yourself a priority.

A book that helped me out quite a bit with my own codependency was "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Lots of light bulb moments reading that one.

Whatever you decide to do, please practice some self care. This stuff can be extremely taxing, both mentally and physically.

I am glad you are posting here. This forum has been a great support for me, and I think you will find it to be supportive as well.

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Juniper1981

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 04:17:03 PM »
SeenTheLight's response is pretty comprehensive, so not much to add save my own personal experience.

My ustbx doesn't do anything quite so dramatic as name calling, but for a while I found that I always felt different when I was away from him. The best way to describe it was that I was "lighter". I didn't miss him when he wasn't around. And I didn't look forward to returning home to him (or his return home to me). There was a time where I had really strong negative feelings toward him- and I've heard the reasoning that 'hating someone' means you still care about them, but I think that's not quite correct. I think that having strong negative feelings toward someone can also occur if we are codependent or have general issues with maintaining boundaries - and those of us in relationships with persons with PD also tend to have our own difficulties with codependency and/or boundaries, so it very well be that it's not 'love' or romantic feelings at the root of the 'hate', but other issues.

When I figured that out, things sort of emotionally fell into place for me. I made peace with the fact that I am happier and mentally healthier apart from stbx, and that is reason enough to leave.

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Spygirl

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 02:48:38 AM »
I am so sorry this is happening to you.

Do you believe staying in a situation like this is a benefit to the child? Do you believe that this woman could ever be a good parent with her behavior? Do you use the child as an excuse to stay?

If not to save yourself, save your child.

I grew up with a PD mother, and despite what I thought I was avoiding, I ended up married to a man very much like her. I lived everything over again for 10 years, chasing love that was only given out in tiny amounts when I was "good"

Do you want that cycle, pain, fear, everything you experience to be programmed in that tiny mind? Do you want her to find a man like your wife?


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FogIsLifting

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You know, you just don't want to admit it
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 01:46:52 PM »
"Really I just can't bare the thought of living with her anymore and don't want to commit to living somewhere else with her."

After your description of what it's like to be with her, this really jumped out at me.

Let me make a suggestion:

Keep a journal.  Write down EVERYTHING that is going on.  Keep track of the negatives AND the positives.  Do this for at least a month.

Now, imaging that you stay with this woman.  And keep journal.  Think about the future, and how it's simply going to be MORE of the same.  You KNOW this. 

Journals don't like.  Read it. 

If you're prepared to live your life like this for the rest of your life.... then fine.  You know what you're signing up for.

But if you read that journal, and say: "No way.... i do NOT want to live like this anymore...."

Then you know the answer.

Leaving someone w BPD is like taking out a painful thorn from your side.  Sure, it hurts like hell to pull it out.  But the alternative - living with that thorn for the rest of your life..... is NOT the better alternative.

Get the hell out of there.  For you.  And your kid.





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sad_dog_mommy

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 06:21:18 PM »
I agree with the other posts.  Self care and journaling is what really saved me when I was emotionally exhausted from living with man who was an alcoholic and diagnosed with BPD.

"How do you know?" I knew it in my gut for a long time before I admitted it to myself.  I think things took a turn when I broke my self-imposed silence and started telling friends and family what was really going on.   With the help of a therapist I was able to regain my sense of self and put a plan together.  It took a little time before I was able to finally break-up with my exBF.

I heard an interesting quote the other day.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.   

Just remember; you are not alone.  Read and post here often.  It really helps.
Ungrateful people complain about the one thing you haven't done instead of being thankful for the thousands of things you have.

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which rebuilt my life.  JK Rowling

Unconditional love doesn't mean you have to unconditionally accept bad behavior.

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mrconfused

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 07:01:59 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to reply to me guys. It means a lot.

I've just purchased that codependency book no more on audible and will start listening on my lunch break.

It's crazy reading some of your experiences as they could be me writing them!

Last week and a half, since getting the house ready for sale. Things have been really heating up, i'm going to make notes in my old journal i stopped using in the summer. Basically, my wife's anxiety is dialed up to max, now I have stopped shielding her from the fact we need to sell the house and i've run out of financial resources to sustain paying for her to be at home full time and also having our child in childcare.

She is rotten to me, at the drop of the hat.. I've bee attempting the boundaries and just detaching, the thing that really messes me up is how in a 24 hour window, from about 8am she is cold / mean, i'm out of the house by 8.30... when i get back home, she's cold detached again. We will eat in silence, maybe watch some TV, I don' ask her about her life as it just gives her the opportunity to be rude/evasive. I try to go to the gym most nights.

I'd say for over 18 months, we have had a total breakdown in comms. I don't attempt to discuss anything with her because it becomes some emotion filled battle of wills.

We've been to couple's therapists, been turned away, she's been turned away by other therapists.

Anyway... take last night for example, in the last 7 days she's had 3 huge rage attacks at me, where she is awful to me then goes and sleeps in the spare room like the injured party. I'm worn out by it, don't want to speak to her, just not interested. She never ever, after the matter attempts to make amends, and I don't expect her to.

We were sitting watching TV, I can see her looking at me out of the corner of my eye. She starts trying to put her feet on me and asks me if I still love her. I just say nothing. At the end of the night, when my head is on the pillow she continues to ask me if i'm angry with her and if I still love her.

I just replied, no i'm not angry.. but I don't love her when she is horrible to me and then went to sleep. Woke up this morning to her cold / irritable behaviour again.

It really does mess me up that someone is up/down/up/down and thinks that I would love them or even want to share the same air as them when they are out of order about 80% of the time!

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mrconfused

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 07:03:09 AM »
If I knew I could leave her and take my kid I would. But I know that leaving will basically be me condemning my child to being brought up by her full time

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SeenTheLight

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 11:18:08 AM »
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If I knew I could leave her and take my kid I would. But I know that leaving will basically be me condemning my child to being brought up by her full time
That was exactly my reason for not leaving when my kids were younger. They're teenagers now, so it's a little different. They can have some say in where they go.

But my therapist helped me realize two things...

1) As long as I could get a 50/50 custody arrangement, living in one sane, calm environment with me for half of the time is still better for the kids than having them live in the current chaotic environment all of the time. In being with me (and without her) for half of the time, they would certainly see and appreciate the difference.

2) By staying, I was actually teaching my children that the relationship between my wife and I was normal and acceptable. I didn't want them thinking that anger and a complete lack of communication was normal. I thought to myself: "do I want my daughters to grow up and end up in the same kind of relationship that I have with my wife?" The answer was NO! So by splitting up, I would be teaching them that it wasn't normal for her to act the way she does, AND that there was something that could be done about it. Eventually, if I meet someone else and start a new relationship, they'll be able to see what a normal, healthy relationship is like. 
   

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mrconfused

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 01:45:08 PM »
That was exactly my reason for not leaving when my kids were younger. They're teenagers now, so it's a little different. They can have some say in where they go.

Do you think I should wait until my child is older?

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SeenTheLight

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 11:27:09 AM »
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Do you think I should wait until my child is older?
Oh no, not necessarily. I didn't mean to imply that you should wait. I can't really say what would be right for you in your situation. It's just that I can relate to your statement because I had the same reasoning several years ago. When my kids were younger, I thought I was protecting them from my wife's anger and indifference. I thought that if her anger was at least directed at me, they wouldn't have to deal with it. And I was afraid of not getting custody and leaving them to deal with her on their own. But what I didn't realize was that her anger, even though it was usually directed at me, was affecting them greatly. They often didn't know who she was angry at or what she was angry about. Each of them would think that she was mad at them but didn't know why. All three of my kids each took it personally and felt as if she was angry at them. Then they would be confused as to why or what they did wrong or what they should do about it. They were constantly trying not to make her angry. I also realized that when I wasn't around, the anger was directed toward them.

I was really just pointing out that I understand how you feel, and that in my situation, the custody issue is fairly easy because of their ages. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's better to wait. I definitely  wish we split up a long time ago. My oldest daughter especially would have been much better off. She seems to be the one most deeply affected by my wife's behavior.