Corroboration, please

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Grahamcracker

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Corroboration, please
« on: January 26, 2020, 01:10:50 PM »
My ubpdW just came back from a 10-day trip overseas, where she was essentially treat as royalty, 5-star hotels, first class airfare, and so on. 

We talked intermittently by phone, and all seemed well.  I worked very hard to keep the house clean and so on, admittedly with a male perspective.  I even cooked dinner to be ready when she got home at 5ish.

She talked briefly about what she did and stuff, briefly asked how things were here, declined dinner, and immediately began super-cleaning the kitchen, and pointing out things I missed.  And it went downhill from there, though I didn't rise to any provocations or get defensive.  I essentially drifted away.  More of the same this morning. 

It seems she is trying to get rises out of me, or even more, trying to make me feel bad about myself and my abilities.  I'm thinking two things are happening:  (1) the fact that I keep things going smoothly while she is gone is threatening, and (2) because I am no longer much of a source of emotional "food" for her, she is essentially discarding me, and with her, a person discarded is a person to be ignored. 

I just read recently that BPs have no feeling for anyone but themselves, so other people's feelings and wants and needs are totally irrelevant.  Either I react to her provocations and things go back to as before, or I don't react and am therefore no longer of any importance.

That's sure how it feels right now.  Any perspectives ?

"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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carrots

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 06:44:28 PM »
Idk if this is any help to you, Grahamcracker, but that's what updM did once when I was a teen. She came back from visiting her FOO overseas and F and us 2 kids had been looking after things for a number of weeks or even months and she went on a crusade of super-cleaning especially the kitchen and dining-room. It is true that none of them were very clean or tidy, I see that now, but they weren't clean/tidy when M was there either. She didn't teach us kids to do that or to care for ourselves or our surroundings. 

She was annoyed at having had to come back to us, her FOC, in a country she didn't want to be in and she took it out on us. Our feelings, needs and wants were pretty irrelevant to her. She did ease up a bit on the remonstrations when enF pointed out that I was sitting crying. I felt terrible as the daughter for not having done a better job. She hadn't even considered that we might even have been looking forward to seeing her. None of that meant anything to her, apparently - she just had to get her rage out. 

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Grahamcracker

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 07:04:26 PM »
That sort of fits, Carrots; the kitchen was neat.  I've learned that doing a good job of cleaning means the few places missed show up more easily.  Like your M, she went deeper into cleaning than she had before she left.  Like super-cleaning.

D and her BF came over today to do laundry and for dinner, and W barely found time to talk to them; she came into the kitchen after D had been her awhile and got something from the stove -- D talked to her but W didn't respond, though she did later, then went back to watching something on Netflicks.   Even though she had been gone for nearly 2 weeks.  But then she went to bed not feeling well, and  is sleeping now; I'll give her a pass for now (we'll see what happens after she wakes up), though it means responsibility for feeding falls on me. I bought a rotisserie chicken and I'll make some instant mashed potatoes.  That should do it.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 05:24:07 AM »
Who knows - maybe her trip did not go as well as expected, someone said something that upset her, the food on the trip did not taste well....while travelling the frustration was kept under control,  at home the anger was allowed to boil up and taken out on the kitchen. Maybe she is not even aware of the reasons for her mood herself.

What were your expectations how she should be? Were they realistic? How do you feel, now they have been disappointed?

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Grahamcracker

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2020, 11:24:35 AM »
thank you, notright, for that cold splash of reality.  In truth, this all came about as I expected (feared).  I know her trip went well, that the food was great, that she received accolades and everything she wanted and more. 

I had once again convinced myself that because our phone talks were so "nice" and her experience so good, and my role here at home was so well-performed, that when she got back things would be different.  In fact, it's hardly the first time she has gone into this super-cleaning mode upon return, finding some obvious delight in pointing out things I'd missed or mistakes I'd made.  And now we're right back where we were before she left; I think we both enjoyed the time apart.

I let hope cloud my expectations, so of course I was disappointed.

And now I'm back at the same place.  What do I do with the rest of my life?  Do I keep trying to make this work, or at least survive it?  Or do I take the plunge and leave?  One thing I will say about her, she is honest about her feelings, sometimes brutally honest (though I think she is often wrong about her facts).  I should probably take her t her word. 

The next move, I think, is up to me.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2020, 06:23:00 PM »
I don't know much about BPD but I do think your next move is up to you.

I've been thinking about change as in the ways in which people change (as we live through adult years). I don't think people with PDs change much.

I think to myself where does that leave us?  I agree with notrightinthehead here. What can we expect from people whose behaviour is like your wife?

Relationships and marriages require a level of self awareness and honesty. Just their brutal honesty without enough self awareness leaves you feeling similar perhaps to those of us who went through life with PD parents. You were told something that you can agree with, but the person telling you this information is avoiding any responsibility for their effect on you. This is a terrible way to live. Over time I think we keep our own sanity by detaching from this. Otherwise you will keep hoping she is going to become more stable and reliable as a partner. That she will begin to treat her relationships differently.

It is not easy being in a relationship with a P Disordered person. I hope you find some strategies that help you. The heartbreak of a marriage like this is one of the reasons I participate in this community. So that people know they are not alone.

Trees

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NumbLotus

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2020, 06:30:49 PM »
My interpretation, such as it is, is that she had a great time. Lots of feed, lavish experiences, felt important and valued, fancy surroundings.

She comes back and it's all over.

Most of us can carry the warm glow of a lovely trip with us into the future but maybe your wife can't. Your home may be nice but it's probably not a five star hotel. It's not what she's been living. A letdown. The feed has ended. Back to life as usual. The place looks like a dump by comparison. (Even if it's not).

PDs don't manage their emotions or expectations well. They also have a negative bent.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Jsinjin

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2020, 06:51:37 PM »
My thoughts and I'm not a counselor, only someone who has read the toolbox and details in OOTF and been part of these forums:

1) it's not about you, the home, the circumstances, your kids or even her trip; it's about something related to control, measurement of her surroundings, avoidance of intimacy and connection with people beyond a superficial level and a transferrance of any fears she may have into the familiar environment.   

2) PD's don't like to meet norms and social queues as expectations.    If the expectation is to greet the family and chat and talk about how they have been, who they have missed and how they are glad to see you; they want to avoid being cast as normal and want to feel more important and that those social concerns are beneath them.   I am not good enough at explaining but in my experience and reading, the PD individual doesn't want to appear to have missed their family and want to spend time with them; they want to show that they didn't need their family and the trip was very important and they got a lot done.    The joys of showing affection, appreciation or the sense of missing you are details that a person of their importance should not be bothered with and it's very annoying to have to lapse into that lesser behavior.   Their "mission" and importance is what they sacrifice for and others should recognize that sacrifice.

3) they are scared.  Scared of not being of value, scared of not being part of important things, afraid of missing out, afraid that the only thing they really have is you, the kids and the home and life and that's not important enough to them.   

That is of course my own assessment but I've seen it a lot especially in the non narcissist PD posts.    They're not trying to manipulate or control you, they're trying to make sure you know where you fot in their important lives and trying to avoid being afraid.

Jsj
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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doglady

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 03:49:39 AM »
Hey GC, only you know if she’ll really ever change and whether or not you should leave. Remember: past behaviour is a pretty solid predictor of future behaviour. And most people don’t improve or suddenly become nicer as they age, not past a certain point. In fact with PDs it’s a pretty iron-clad guarantee that they’ll continue to deteriorate.

Maybe ask yourself: is the time you spend with her fun, loving or enjoyable for more than 50% of the time (low benchmark, I know) or do you feel relief when she’s not around, or even dread before she returns?

Is she open to actually hearing any of your concerns without degenerating into rage, defence mechanisms and punishments like silent treatment, say? Would she be open to attending couples therapy, or she one of those who doesn’t she think she needs it, because there’s nothing wrong with her, that you’re the problem? Answers to these questions could tell you a lot in terms of whether or not you decide to struggle on with her for the next few decades.

Will there be a big monetary fallout for you if you divorce? Do you worry about being lonely if you do separate?

No doubt you have pondered all these questions, as I imagine it’s no fun at all for you to live in fear that you haven’t got the kitchen clean enough or that she might not like the roast chook and mashed spuds you planned for dinner. (Most people are just happy that someone cooks for them, by the way.  ::) ) Does she ever show any gratitude?

My impression of your wife, from what you’ve written, is that she’s needing to be treated like a princess - and her subjects know it all too well. Perhaps she should go on a very extended 5-star trip so she can be treated in the style to which she feels she should be accustomed.  ;) The behaviour you describe her engaging in comes off as that of a spoilt teen rather than a grown woman. 

I sincerely hope you have good friends or family that you can talk to about this. You deserve happiness.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 03:51:52 AM by doglady »

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doglady

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Re: Corroboration, please
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 04:29:44 AM »
I want to add, Iíve just now had a look at some of your posts to get more context, and yes, I would certainly acknowledge that when you have a special needs child, leaving your partner is definitely more complicated and can seem nigh on unthinkable. (Iíve observed that in my own FOO with nephews on the autism spectrum and my GCuPDbro and his uPD wife find it extremely difficult to cope with each otherís toxic personalities but for some reason stay together because of their perceived lack of funds and keep on dysfunctioning and making their kidís lives a living hell.)

But leaving can be done. Your son, depending on the severity of his autism, may take longer to adapt to the changes inherent in you and your wife living separately. But, the consequent reduction in his anxiety when heís no longer exposed to the tension is also something to consider. Itís a tough one. No doubt about it.