16 yrs later Happy Holidays you're getting a divorce

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InHidingWithMacSeth

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16 yrs later Happy Holidays you're getting a divorce
« on: November 29, 2016, 02:26:29 PM »
I'm 35. The year I turned 19, when I got my braces put on and I went to college for a semester, and I was ending a relationship with someone who ended up going the route of his mother- with schizophrenia- I met online a particular person. This was back in the days of yahoo profiles and messenger, back on the days of livejournal and webcam websites that weren't necessarily dirty, more just like lonely bored people. (Remember, boring people tend to be bored.) After I contacted this person, thinking he was someone else, we chatted because I thought he was cute. He lived out in Philly and I lived in Harrisburg, so it wasn't that far... if anything came of it.
The beginning of the relationship with tumultuous at best. Strange that we saw each other for entire weekends about once a month, and he came and sometimes he dressed up. He wanted to be she. And I was fine, really more than fine with it. Bi-sexual myself, I thought it was interesting and I am a nurturer and teacher by nature. But if I didn't express it before- even at the start, things were weird. He would say things to me like that I was fat and/or ugly. And I didn't understand. I had given myself an emotional haircut and was still recovering from it. I had gotten my braces on. I looked awful, but he made me feel awful. But that never stopped him from coming to see me so I could bestow presents on him that I had gathered like some creature, begging for approval, and then we would mate. We did this dance for about a year. I'm not a sucker for torture, I genuinely thought that he was so wounded from his last relationship that that excused, or at least explained all this behavior. At several different points I threatened to break up with him because of the way he was treating me. He was just at what seemed like such a needy, changing, desperate turning point in his life. And truth be known, for all his wit and sarcasm and odd ways about him, I loved him. And I love large, and hard and long, and this was, is, no exception.

I went away to a technical school for a year. He wasn't supportive- he didn't buy and send me calling cards, he wouldn't always give me his full attention when we were on the phone. He never sent me mail, even though I practically begged. He didn't come to my graduation, nobody did, but when the time came to pick me up there he was, like that made up for all the shit he didn't do for an entire year. Maybe at the time I thought it did make up for it. In retrospect, what was I thinking? I knew then that he was being selfish and thoughtless. Probably getting lost in video games to whittle away the hours he wasn't doing school work, but I also know not everyone loves the same and of all things, the way men and women show love has always seemed to me to be very different. Maybe he just didn't know what any of the things I was telling him to do for me would mean to me, that it would show his feelings and support. That romance isn't one certain thing, it's trying to make someone happy by giving of yourself, time, energy, money, whatever it takes.

His mom kept catching me sleeping in his bed, so about 3 months after I moved in with them we got married. Since he dressed in a suit and he was very uncomfortable with that, I dressed in a purple velvet dress that I had given to him for "later". We went to the justice and it was just us. When we got home his mom had a tiny wedding cake for us. It was gross, but his mom is an angel, and to this day she has helped me hold onto my sanity at times.

we went through 2 apartments over the next few years. The first one we moved into almost immediately after we got married. We brought home my ill mother's cat and my heart cat, BadCat, who makes an appearance later in the story. I was working at an animal shelter. It was both a best and worst job. He was sort of doing part-time transition. Around the apartment I started using the female name and she started wearing more and more androgenyous clothing out, and whatever she felt like at home. I think it was the best time in the relationship- the first maybe 6 months or so living in that apartment. In January she had scheduled facial surgery in Chicago, so we would take a trip out there and she would come back very very different. I begged her to tell her family about this in a better way, but the way she did was to send out letters about a day before we left. I had to face the reality of her family's back-lash while she was in surgery. And for the next 10 days I nursed her back to normal while she complained about everything, swore at me and was a general brat. I told myself it was drugs and pain, that I was allowing her to be this way because of all she endured. I was being trained to make excuses for her in and of myself, and when I wasn't ok with something she did, for the next few years, she would flip out and twist things around and make me take blame for something that hardly even made sense.

Over the years there were so many things that she complained about about my personality that I didn't really even know sometimes if she loved me. Now that it's over, I don't really think she did. Not love like I know it. Maybe she loved the idea of me, or how I made her life easier, but there were SO MANY things she didn't like- my cooking, my decorating style, the little collections of glass animals that I treasure so. These are all parts of who I am. And no, I am not my tiny glass animal collections, but she just complained to high heaven about it all the time, never once caring that I added a small collection of llamas and penguins to my collection, because they were her favorite animals. How do you not think that's the cutest darn thing? That someone loves you that much. (I'm crying now. I think that is going to happen a lot as I write here.) As the time went on and I slowly realized I wasn't afraid or insecure anymore, things to make me feel insecure popped up. She transitioned fully and was out. She got a job where NOBODY knew because every single document reflected the change. In 2005 we actually went to Connecticut to get remarried as 2 wives. I would always tell her that I loved her so much I married her twice. I asked her to write vows, but she wouldn't. I threw together the wedding basically by myself in a month for under $1000. I found her dress and mine, I made our cake, I made the decorations for the table, I even made tiny stupid little clay us for the cake toppers (because I'm an artist.) She wasn't invested in doing almost anything to put this wedding together. At first she wanted us to both be in tuxedos, then she wanted us to be in wedding dresses. Because she worked days and was a bit short on time, I found her dress. It wasn't until she saw her dress that she was involved at all, because it had to be fitted. And she looked so beautiful in it. My bride. My love. (This post has me whimpering and crying because I loved her so much. There is so much guilt involved in me putting my foot down and doing what I know to be best for myself.)

When I said over the years things were great, I meant it. I never knew anything could be better. I wanted more "support", but I'm already a very strong, independent person, so for me to be doing things like 5Ks alone, or going on whatever adventures I wanted by myself, with no side kick most of the time... I made excuses, I tried not to let it bother me. I was already pretty content and happy doing the things I wanted to unimpeded, but I was lonely within the marriage and I just wished she wanted to come with me on all my wacky adventures.

On July 1st 2015, after years of planning to have a child together, after 2 years of looking, we finally bought a house. For some people it's different things that set off whatever chain of events that kills a marriage. For us it was this house, and the next set of events which happened which led to a few counselors suspecting something was wrong with her and a formal diagnosis of BPD, but I suspect narcissism as well, after reading about there being such a high co-morbidity. 

I'm going to end my post here and settle into a good movie or something before work because I want to have a good day.
No one is a bottomless pit of giving, but some are bottomless pits of taking.

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InHidingWithMacSeth

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16 yrs later... (Take 2)
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 05:04:23 PM »
So... we bought a home.

Something someone who is an outsider reading this has to also understand is that for years she had been experiencing anxiety, mostly social. I witnessed it several times; a deer in the headlights look, and we would have to leave, or I would go up to her and quietly ask her if she wanted me to, say order food or do whatever for her to essentially (I didn't realize at the time) enable her bad behavior. The other thing someone else should know is that we started live action role playing together before we got married. LARPing, as it's known, isn't sexual (as many people think) and our troop gathers about once a month, for an entire weekend in the mountains. You create, then dress as your character the entire time, and we use foam weapons for battle. It's like a Renaissance faire meeting free form acting. It's something I used to enjoy, and may again, but now it's been ruined for me. At some point my wife became a staff member in this game, and she took her job and duties very seriously, sometimes to my chagrin. The LARP always came first, and that's just how it was. I knew it was important to her, but I didn't know why. I didn't realize at the time that it was a symptom of a much larger problem.

When we were in the first apartment, I was working, at one point 7 days a week, so that she would have time to do her school work. But instead of doing her school work and getting her Doctorate, she played video games and screwed around, stressed out by all of it, and got her Masters instead. I'm not dissing a masters degree, but it's not what she wanted, not what she was aiming for, and for whatever reason, she set herself up for failure and then was done with school. In the years to come she would whine about how she wished she got her Doctorate.

Sometime, maybe starting about 2 years into the marriage, she started this thing where she would scream in my face. Seriously, like 1-2" from my face. I never had a clue as to what would cause it. I would just stand there. I remember one time writing about how it seemed like every 3 years or so we'd go through a "bad period" and then things would be much better. I don't know the reason for this pattern- whether it was something in me or her or our dynamic. Maybe after 3 years I would finally stand up for myself, sick of the constant stream of negativity and bullshit. And maybe after we had a "breakthrough" thing would be better for a short time. The yelling in my face happened 1-3 times a year for the rest of the relationship.

In July, after we got the house, as we were packing up, we fought about the most simple thing. I was trying to organize the apartment while she was watching tv. I asked her to help me get the mattress onto the floor and she started bitching at me. I gave it back to her and didn't back down. She screamed in my face and I marched off to the bedroom to continue what I was doing. She came in about 5 minutes later and helped me disassemble the bed. I just don't understand why it's ok to have temper tantrums like a child... why she wasn't trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with her, why she treated me that way. And it was a thing that happened all the time. At a later point she blamed "the way I spoke to her," which was "with a tone, all the time". To which, if you live with someone who is anxious, moody, and inconsistent, it's fucking AGGRAVATING. It grated my nerves most of the time. Mental illness became a 3rd person in our relationship whose voice was louder then ours put together.  For a long time there, I did think I was strong enough and that I loved her enough to work all of this out, but it wasn't to be. Someone can only treat you like trash for so long until you get sick of it.

Once we got the house, it was quickly found out that the rugs needed to be shampooed and good. it smelled like gross old dog. I love dogs, but this was rather yucky. Our first weekend in the house, she went off the the role playing game. I remember standing with her in the garage and saying "I need you here" and her response was "they need me". Her mother told her this was "wrong" to do, and she left anyway.

I think the stress of now being a home owner got to her. It was too much like growing up. And the stress made her want to escape even more. So she joined another game, joined table top games and developed new friendships with people that we now lived closer to. All the while I was asking her to help me paint and do things to get the house together- things like hang curtain rods, the nice ones that you buy when you buy a home. I was asking her to do more chores. She just did whatever she wanted to. Complained about the money I was spending on, you know, TRASH CANS and the like, and whined that SHE wasn't the one who wanted to paint the house. She's color blind, I am an artist who is very color-oriented, but seriously, there is an idea that when you buy a home, you paint it. And the people who had owned the home before us were heavy smokers too. I'm not saying she didn't do anything, but what she did was minimal. She thought ti was so awesome for her to help me for something like 2 or 3 hours one night when I was painting the bedroom for several days. (The reason it took so long was because I had one wall that was a different color and was also painting the baseboards and windows) There was some time in September when she started mowing the lawn. She seemed to like it, at least at first. It was a huge 2.75 acre property, mostly lawn. She wrote on Fb all the time about her vs the lawn, when in actuality it took something like 4 or 5 days, she wouldn't show me how to use the riding mower, and she stopped when it got a little dark even though the mower had lights on it. On those days, because I cherished being near her and I wanted to support her in doing good for the home, for us, our future, I would go outside and manicure the gardens. Those weeds are horrendous, but I would also go around the lawn and pick up sticks and pull up baby locust trees that threatened our sewer system. Those were a few good days. Then the lawn was done and she would just go back to whatever she wanted. And in many ways I started to feel like this HOME that we bought was, as she later put it, "MY" project. Not hers. Not ours. My burden to bear alone. I know now how ridiculous that sounds. It's just that I knew I was doing fancy over the top things to it, but now I recognize that supporting someone means helping, and most certainly not complaining, even if something is extraordinary and over the top. At one time in my life, before I poisoned myself with the love I had for someone with a PD, I knew this to be a truth- and over time the things that love means and does and stands for, all those things I redefined to fit what she was doing to me, because otherwise she didn't love me. How could she?

Every weekend in September she went away and spent time with this one girl that she was developing a close friendship with. Ok, cool, friends are nice, what could go wrong?

In October I moved in a woman who had breast cancer. We had the room and then some. And it might not have been ideal, but she wasn't able to pay the rent where she was already renting a single room, and the environment was very bad. I asked my wife and she said yes. She didn't think about it, maybe she did, maybe she didn't think it was going to affect her or be "her problem"... at a later point she referred to this woman as another one of my projects.

In the beginning of October, we argued about how involved she was in the house and she said she was too stressed, so she was escaping, so she would try to help out more. I never felt that it happened. In the end of October, our cats that were old had to be put to sleep. One had kidney failure for the last year and a half, the other was diagnosed with a mass in her abdomen in late September. Faced with death in it's most raw form, she couldn't function. Later she patted herself on the back because she drove me to the vet's office. I was alone for both cats, the first one put to sleep at our home, a planned home euthanasia, the 2nd one was the very next day, Halloween, and I came home to her, BadCat, my heart cat, with her 3rd eyelids showing and she was just done. I knew it. She had seen the cat the day before and decided it looked very comfortable. She was almost 17 and I think she was have an anemic crash. I was beside myself and I got maybe 2 encouraging things, words, from my wife, her just saying I was a good cat mom and such. It wasn't enough. 2 in 2 days. I was lost, and on top of it, we still had my acquaintance-turned-friend-turned-patient still at the house, ill and needing far more attention and time than I had ever thought was going to be the case.

November 4th... I knew my wife was acting funny. She was at this point very much pulling away from me and I didn't understand what was going on. I thought maybe she was having a hard time with the death of the cats just days earlier, but she was, is, and always will be, very uncommunicative, totally non-confrontational, to the point of her own detriment. So I went on her FB page, which she was ok with, I had her password and all. After all, we had been together 16 years. And I found her asking her best buddy what she should do about this crush she had on this special friend that she had spent at least part of EVERY weekend with for the past 2 months. She proceeded to spend part of every weekend with her for the next 3 months. And then gaslighted me, saying that we were spending quality time together because she would come to bed to sleep with me. WTF? That is not quality time. Not to a sane person, a normal person, and if it is "quality time", then what the hell sort of special time was she spending with her crush?

The next few months were Hell. In hopes of getting her to the cancer center of her choosing faster, I put together, by myself, a raffle fundraiser for my ill friend. That was a special kind of Hell. I spent about a month, when I wasn't working, driving to places to ask for and pick up donations from professionals I knew. A tattoo gift certificate, a friend that made blown glass pendants, asking total strangers, like the guy who is the manager at a local restaurant for a donation. We got so many. I think there were like 30 prizes in total, and then I had to make gift boxes for the tag and just like, it was overwhelming. Not once did she ask if she could help with it, and one time I asked her to help and she said no, she didn't want to. I just saw the worst side of her coming out. I don't know what it was- the stress, the borderline, whatever. It's just like she turned into a totally self-serving person within 6 months of our purchasing this home and I was lost and alone, still trying to reach goal that were ours, still trying to plan or a future that I was hoping still would be. I take marriage so very very seriously, and I never ever thought I would find myself getting a divorce. I feel guilty about it. Like I should have done more or tried more or something. That will likely take a long time to heal.

Our cancer patient moved out mid-December. My wife didn't help me wrap holiday presents, not even ones for her 8 nieces and nephews. I did most of the christmas shopping myself. She didn't offer to decorate the house with me or encourage it- which I never ended up doing because I was so stressed out and crunched for time- despite that Chrismas is my favorite holiday and I usually go all out for it.

After that woman moved out, she blamed leaving all the time on the fact that this sickly person was in our home, but there were other things that happened that she didn't do with me or join me in that were after she moved out, and almost ALWAYS she was spending time with this girl instead. She said it was a crush, said she thought about kissing her, told me that these feelings only lasted for 4 days. I was *very patient* with her, even encouraging her to continue the friendship because I know she has a hard time making friends. More than anything I was hurt by the betrayal- for YEARS within our relationship she s=told me she would never develop a crush on someone and then promised me if it ever did happen, that she would tell me about it. well, she didn't, and I don't think she was ever planning to. What started out as a simple crush developed into a full blown emotional affair, and when I called her on it, she denied it.

And then in January, things got violent...
(to be continued- next post with trigger warning)
No one is a bottomless pit of giving, but some are bottomless pits of taking.

*This message brought to you by someone recovering from toxicity.

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coyote

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Re: 16 yrs later Happy Holidays you're getting a divorce
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 05:11:28 PM »
Pat,
I hear the pain in your writing and I am sorry. Dealing with a PD partner can be hurtful and feel like the life has been sucked out of you. You will find a lot of support here. The Toolbox is one of my favorite sections. There is also a board dedicated to the LBGT community. Thank you for sharing your story and we look forward to seeing you on the boards.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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moglow

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Re: 16 yrs later... (Take 2)
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 05:18:45 PM »
Hi, and welcome! I hope you have no objection, but I'm going to combine this with your first post for the sake of continuity (and to lessen confusion with responses). To provide more information, please just reply to your original intro post.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 06:16:06 PM by moglow »
ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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coyote

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Re: 16 yrs later Happy Holidays you're getting a divorce
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 11:34:28 AM »
Pat,
Just a thought for you to consider. You give a lot of details that if your spouse comes across this she will know who you are talking about. Another thought is that most members don't have time to read and sort through a post this long. I realize that writing things out can help us sort things out in our own head, but you might get better responses if you could be a little more concise. Thanks again for sharing your story.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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newlyawakened

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Re: 16 yrs later Happy Holidays you're getting a divorce
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 03:09:49 PM »
HI! I am reading your posts and feel like they are examples from my life! Nevermind that I am a heterosexual woman married to a man; the feelings, examples, confusion, effort to please are the same.  I appreciate the details because they are very well written and illustrate the feelings I have had and have worked so hard to figure out!  I am so sorry you've gone through this.   You seem like a caring, intelligent person, and I know these situations can be exasperating! If you are like me, you have taken this abuse because you can't imagine ever treating someone this way, therefore, you must have caused them to react this way somehow......then work hard to change your behavior and tip toe around so as not to upset them....but sometimes they accuse you of something you didn't do, or are so mean to you, you just have to speak up.... so you say something, then all hell breaks loose and they yell in your face for hours, and you apologize so they will stop, then they make you take the blame for the whole thing.  And you do, because by this point, you're so confused!!  :(((((((   welcome to my life.  Except.....add in 22 years of marriage and 4 children.  We met when I was 15, it took me 28 years to figure this out.     I am an empath and just kept feeling the FOG (fear and guilt).  But, I do not want to subject my kids to divorce.  I have written a manifesto for myself and an acronym on how to behave around him to keep the peace, that is working. But, it is a very lonely path.  I am working on projects that give me joy (only when he's not around...if he's home, he has to be my number 1 focus or he gets pouty, angry, tense, etc.) and I am blessed with a happy disposition in general, but am still hoping that through therapy maybe someday, he will recognize his actions and be kind to me.  But, our therapist won't even tell him she thinks he has OCPD and narcissism, because she thinks he will leave therapy.  So, there it is.   At least you can get out.   As much as I hate to admit it......I don't believe they can ever change.  I wish for you the courage to live the life you deserve, full of the love you give, not to be yelled at in a tantrum, valued, and dare I say...cherished?!  Seems like a lot to ask right?!  But, that's what's weird.....their power over us makes us feel like that is a lot to ask....but I am realizing.....it is not.
Good luck
-newly awakened.