What have you implemented to make life with your spouse more bearable?

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Consumed

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Inspired by Livingoneggshells post and not wanting to hijack her thread, I wondered what else people have done to make life with a spouse who has a PD more bearable?

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11JB68

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Medium Chill and not JADEing mostly.
Sort of 'gray rocking' a bit though not to an extreme at all.
None of this is perfect by any means. I can't say I'm happy. But more bearable yes, in that there is less drama, less verbal abuse, etc. But I often feel I am not being myself.
I share very little info about myself and my day etc. I try not to complain at all. I try to keep my facial expressions neutral.

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capybara

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I no longer discuss my FOO with BPDH unless he specifically asks, and I try to keep that light and minimal.

I try to validate as much as I can without being actively untruthful.

I have started exercising and getting more involved at church, to strengthen my own self.

*Trying* not to JADE - been slipping up lately, but trying!

We are going to couples counseling, so I defer a lot of conversations until we are with the counselor.

Abandonment is a big thing for him, so we have a "date time" every week and I make that a priority.

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Veloter

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Grey rock, medium chill and no JADE are your best friends.  I know exactly when he is pushing buttons and I no longer react.  I walk away a LOT.  I give him the silent treatment when he acts like an a-hole.  I know all his tricks and I don't play the game anymore.  I agree with things when I know he is trying to bait me.  Takes the wind right out of his sails.  I call his bluff all the time.  The last time he went on the rampage, he said he was going have me served divorce papers at work.  I told him that I will let everyone know to be on the lookout for the paperwork and I hope I'm there when they come.  He said that we were going to sell the house and I would be on the streets. I told him to put the damn sign up.  They just don't know where to go with that because they want a fight; they want you to beg and plead and make them feel powerful.  Nope.  not anymore.

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Consumed

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Thanks all. I'm going to join a gym soon, I'm also planning to get a new job and throw myself into that, I'm also contemplating a new hobby although not sure what yet, and want to learn more about spirituality. I have found myself in a position where I am grieving the loss of what I thought my husband and marriage were going to be, and now accepting it and creating a life for myself outside of my marriage. It's almost like living my life as if I was single whilst we are together under the same roof. However this won't be easy, and I think I will always yearn for the intimacy my marriage lacks. I also found a list of 20 ways to detach which I find helpful:

1. Don't give advice unless asked
2. Leave the room if you can't be quiet
3. Focus on taking care of yourself and not them
4. Don't nag about their responsibilities
5. Catch negative thoughts about changing them
6. Remove the kids before it gets unsafe
7. Examine beliefs that say you should control it
8. Relax your body and just breathe
9. Remember that you are not responsible for them
10. Practice letting go of what you cannot change
11. Check out assumptions before reacting
12. Focus on the present, not the past or the future
13. Get comfortable spending more time alone
14. Let them have their own pain
15. Realise that helping them hurts you
16. Loving them sometimes means letting go
17. Write in a journal to vent intense feelings
18. Don't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired
19. Find neutral ways to connect than don't fix it
20. Let yourself off the hook, it's not your problem

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capybara

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Consumed, thank you so much for posting. So helpful.

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Stillirise

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Consumed, thatís a great list to refer back to. Thanks so much! Everything in your post seems like a reflection of my situation! 

I have also found that reconnecting with good friends, and trusted family members, has helped me maintain a healthy, nonPD perspective.

I try not to dump on my friends, but I have recently pulled back the curtain ever so slightly for a couple friends I know I can trust. Hearing them say, ďThat is absolutely not OK!Ē has helped me maintain my resolve.  I never really spoke about it before, out of shame, and the knowledge that if uPDh found out I told someone, he would be livid.  Realizing that my pain, and my happiness, really do matter has made it much easier to cope with his tactics, and stick to my own.  Now Iím not providing uPDh with the unlimited supply he wants.  Yet, I feel ok that he feels uncomfortable about it, rather than me spinning the cycle for him, as I have done in the past.


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11JB68

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All of this is very helpful

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Cascade

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Quote
I have found myself in a position where I am grieving the loss of what I thought my husband and marriage were going to be, and now accepting it and creating a life for myself outside of my marriage. It's almost like living my life as if I was single whilst we are together under the same roof. However this won't be easy, and I think I will always yearn for the intimacy my marriage lacks.
:yeahthat:

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Poison Ivy

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Great list, Consumed.  Thank you.

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GoingMyOwnWay

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Thank you for this list Consumed! Iím a new-old member. Iíve been reading here for a while and signed up a year ago and never really posted anything, but Iím starting to struggle with the realities of my marriage again and it has brought me back to reading here. 

I am also grieving my marriage and that it will never be normal or what I had envisioned. I still donít know if Iím committed to working it out or if Iím trying to leave. Iíve been making an exit plan and stepping through my checklist as this was my therapistís advice.  If I get to the exit and feel strongly one way or the other, that is the way I will go.  One thing I donít like is always living with one foot out the door, and I wonder if I would ever be able to actually pull my foot back in and decide to stay for good. 

This list is very helpful to get me through the interim, thank you!

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Doggo

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I am also grieving my marriage and that it will never be normal or what I had envisioned. I still donít know if Iím committed to working it out or if Iím trying to leave. Iíve been making an exit plan and stepping through my checklist as this was my therapistís advice.  If I get to the exit and feel strongly one way or the other, that is the way I will go.  One thing I donít like is always living with one foot out the door, and I wonder if I would ever be able to actually pull my foot back in and decide to stay for good. 


Good explanation--I am pretty much in the same boat. I'd be interested to know what your exit plan checklist involves. I keep getting overwhelmed by logistics.

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Poison Ivy

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Doggo: You might have already done this, but if not, I suggest making copies of all important papers and documents and keeping the copies in one place that only you have access to.  I think this is a relatively easy thing to do psychologically because it's something everyone should do, not just people who are contemplating leaving a relationship.  (Everyone should do it because there are reasons other than ending a relationship to have copies of things in an easily accessible (to you) place:  house fire, natural disaster, other person dies, etc.)

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GoingMyOwnWay

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Doggo-

I donít want to hijack Consumedís thread, so Iíll try to make this as short as possible.
Keep in mind everyoneís checklist will look a bit different depending on their situation.  For me I have no threats of violence, I have one child left at home, and Iíve been a stay-at-home mom for 13+ years and Iíve been isolated by my unhealthy marriage and some serious health problems and some situational depression.

-Keep a journal recording all incidences, concerns, and issues.
-Make copies of account statements and get passwords for all accounts.
-Gather important paperwork like birth certs and passports etc and store in safe location/fireproof safe.
-Open credit cards and a bank account in my name only. Clean up credit if needed.
-Start socializing and build a support network. Start living a separate social life.
-Update resume, apply for jobs, contact references, etc. Or go back to school to get a cert or finish degree.
-Start decluttering home, separate valuables/ sentimental value. Rent storage for these items.
-Take care of all medical/ dental/ eye care needed. new glasses etc.
-Purchase Big ticket items like furniture.
-Pay off joint debt. No new purchases on credit.
-Purchase new(er) reliable vehicle or keep up maintenance on current vehicle.
- Start a savings fund (cash) = 4 months living expenses (more if possible)
-Meet with attorney to find out costs & info. Use a Free consult, attny will be retained at a later date.
-Purchase a less expensive home, condo or townhouse for the eventual separation.
-Continue counseling with my therapist and work on the ďdimensions of wellnessĒ and address the issues in myself that attracted me to a broken person in the first place (unmet childhood needs, trauma, & neglect, etc).
-Practice good self care, sleep hygiene, nutrition, and heal properly from health problems.

So as you can probably figure out my plan covers a few years, probably 2-3 at most.  I realize not all of these checklist items will be applicable to everyone, so take what you need and leave the rest or add a few things to fit your own circumstance.  I also donít know how many of these things will be possible, like purchasing a second smaller home.  I am in such a relationship that I can probably get this done, so it made my list.  One of my biggest fears is living in poverty after divorce and being able to care for my child, so many things are finance related.  Finance isnít my biggest focus but one of my biggest worries.  My therapist wants me to focus heavily on healing my childhood wounds and rebuilding my social circle and support network. Sheís told me to keep working through this list and Iíll know once Iím in a better position, what I want to do about my marriage.  Currently, Iím about a quarter way through the list, but some are ongoing things that I should continue do after the marriage ends.

I hope this helps give you an idea of where to start and how to compose your own list. I had my therapistís help putting this together, so donít be afraid to ask your T or a trusted friend to help!

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Doggo

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One of my biggest fears is living in poverty after divorce and being able to care for my child, so many things are finance related. 

GoingMyOwnWay--thank you!!! I've started doing some of that. You hit the nail on the head with living in poverty--I don't have a child, but the lawyer I spoke to said I will have to pay alimony, as I'm the only one with a job. (for years and years...) For me, it's poverty, logistics, and constantly questioning my own feelings about am I right about him or not.. This probably deserves a new thread.

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GentleSoul

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With my uPD husband I also live in Medium Chill, I stay neutral, don't react to anything.  If he asks question or makes demand of me I am very vague.  He tries to get me to make decisions for him on issues that are his responsibility.  (Then if it goes wrong, it is MY fault!).  I side step this. 

I never ask him to do anything as he will take pleasure in doing the opposite.  I never ask him a question as he will use it to try and provoke a fight.

I never agree or disagree with him.  Again I am totally vague and usually leave the room as soon as possible. In a low key way.  He chooses to be confined within a couple of the upstairs rooms which is ideal for me as it means I have the majority of the house to myself.  I pop in and out for 10 minute chats with him which seems enough to keep him happy.   He likes to live his life in a different time zone to me.  (We are retired so no job commitments).  So he sleeps when I am awake mostly.  There is only a few hours in a day when we are both awake.

I don't respond to any of his manipulations, this took me a long time to learn as I was so "programmed" to do so.  It has no effect on me now.  I see it entirely clearly. 

My goal is peace and neutrality.  It is like that the vast majority of the time. 

Stepping  back and reading my post I think what a weird life I lead.  It's funny though over time it has began to suit me.  I like it.  I go out with pals or to gym every day.  I  lead a pretty full life. 

When he does get into a PD tantrum type mood, I just keep away from him.  I find without an audience he doesn't act out on it.

I can see that in the past when I was in the FOG, I actually made the whole situation far worse.  By me interacting with his bad mood and rants, he was able to ramp it up and it would get horrible.  Me trying to make him feel better actually added fuel to the fire.

I now see any mood swing in him is something going on in his body or mind.  Likely to be caused by biochemical shifts.  Usually I come back an hour or so later and he has completely forgotten about it.

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1footouttadefog

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I have posted many things about this over the years.  They helped, however I am at the end of measures to implement.  I am in the process of making arrangements for my pdh to live separately from us part of the time.

He is genuinely disabled due to the degree of mental illness and I do feel marital obligation to see after his wellbeing however I do t have to take the day and day out crap any more and all measures while they bought us time together as a family, have played out.  His condition has out paced our ability or what is reasonable to give up to accomodate.

 One of the first things that made a huge positive impact when I was coming Out of the FOG and getting my bearings was toove into a separate space in the house.

I then out up boundaries regarding this space being intruded or invaded.

I took a basement junk room and took things from the main house and made a small studio apt for myself.  Just getting better sleep was a huge deal.  Later being able to read without being stared at and interupted was another plus.  Having a chair to actually sit in and relax without having someone sit next to me and thumping my head or lean on me or constantly squirming and sitting on my hair or clothing or book or knocking into me with an elbow etc.  This was huge and I realized that all physical contact came at a price, and that I did not enjoyed a juvenile prangster so close to me.

Leaving the room when he started stupid rants or arguments was helpful.  It taught him I would no longer play certain games.

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GoingMyOwnWay

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 One of the first things that made a huge positive impact when I was coming Out of the FOG and getting my bearings was to my move into a separate space in the house.

I then out up boundaries regarding this space being intruded or invaded.

I also did the same thing. I moved into my own bedroom as I could no longer sleep next to DH and actually get any rest. Now my bedroom is my sanctuary and I am sleeping much better too.

Iím also at the end of my ability to negotiate any type of measures to help.  Saturday night DH decided to verbally abuse me in a taxi all the way home, call me names and going on and on yelling at me. He was out of control. It was all because I told him not to take some illegal substances at a party, I did so for his own good as it would have made him very ill at that point.  Instead of coming into the house when we were dropped off, he called another taxi and went to the casino and then lied about it all day Sunday. 

I asked him to leave the home. This is very hard for me to do, as Iím not in a position for this. But I feel I needed to stand my ground. He doesnít believe that I actually want him out, he kept questioning me about it. 

Iím at the end of my rope with all this.  Fortunately, he had to leave for business and will be gone most of the week.  But holy heck I donít even know where to go from here or what to do next?  Iím trying to stay MC and VVLC as much as I can.  I need to reread Consumed list before every single interaction! 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 11:36:28 PM by GoingMyOwnWay »

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GoingMyOwnWay

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GoingMyOwnWay--thank you!!! I've started doing some of that. You hit the nail on the head with living in poverty--I don't have a child, but the lawyer I spoke to said I will have to pay alimony, as I'm the only one with a job. (for years and years...) For me, it's poverty, logistics, and constantly questioning my own feelings about am I right about him or not.. This probably deserves a new thread.
Doggo, youíre very welcome! Iím glad that youíve already stated some of these things, itís even hard to get started on these. It seems so finale at times and admitting itís all a failure... my marriage. Sometimes I get stuck on that, almost frozen. 

I completely understand the constant questioning, Iím there too.  This is why my T suggested that we make the list as a way to prepare for all possible outcomes. She really feels Iíll know what to do at the right time, that all my confusion will end surrounding the divorce question.  Even if I never divorce, these are good things to do anyways.  Iím sorry you are going to be stuck with alimony, it has to be incredibly hard to think about having to be someoneís financial supporter forever.  I do hope you can find a way through that without being on the hook for him forever.  Maybe he can be encouraged to further his own schooling? I donít know all your circumstances, and Iím not trying to give unsolicited advice, so just ignore me if it isnít feasible.  Me personally, I would really love to have my own income and regret my choice of resigning my career before finding out how incapable my DH is in a relationship. 

And yes, we probably should start another thread about this, Iím sure there are things I havenít even thought about doing. 

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GentleSoul

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Reading through this wonderful thread, the thing that jumps out at me most is having our own space. 

Having my own bedroom was a life changer for me. I think if I was still sharing a room with uPD husband I would have gone crazy by now.

I love love love my bedroom.