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Think About It... An individual’s overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation. People select ... partners who have the same level of emotional maturity.
Emotional immaturity manifests in unrealistic needs and expectations. ~ Murray Bowen, M.D.
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Author Topic: Need for constant attention  (Read 5883 times)
Looking for Peace
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Gender: Female
Posts: 127

« on: October 12, 2009, 04:10:04 PM »

I'm not sure if anyone else experiences this type of behavior, but my BP spouse is a male.  Among other behavioral problems he seems to need constant attention from females.  He's never happy or settled in our relationship.  There is always something more exciting coming around the corner.  My kids are teens now and the flirting with other women in public is really upsetting.  I don't want my kids to think a marriage should be this way.  The flirting just adds additional stress to my already up and down marraige.  At home he's ice cold and doesn't like effection then publically he's all touch feely with other women. 

It just has gotten to the point that I resent him.  It makes my stomache turn when he acts like this with other women.  I've tried talking to him about the way it makes me feel, but it goes on deaf ears.  My marriage is all about what makes him happy. He cares more his own feelings than mine.     

"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us." 
James Truslow Adams
This board is for evaluating the pros and cons of staying or leaving a relationship. Please focus on evaluating options.
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Gender: Male
Posts: 113

« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 08:46:46 PM »

I am sorry to hear this, LFP.

It does sound very similar to what many of us have gone through.

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Gender: Female
Posts: 128

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 09:07:41 PM »

Looking for Peace,

I am so sorry that you are going through what you are right now - what you are describing is exactly what went on in my marriage to my BP male ex-spouse.  x  He had me convinced that I was so defective that "of course he would look elsewhere".  Looking back I can honestly say I think it was a control move on his part, a way to keep me off balanced.  However, I also believe that since he was in a relationship with me he was probably experiencing enmeshment and hence, was looking elsewhere for validation.  That is part of what I couldn't wrap my brain around for so long and also sent what little self-esteem I had into a nose dive.

How are you doing with his obvious flirtation?   Personally I found it humiliating, like he was sending out a very big signal that he could do so much better than me and he didn't mind letting the world know it.  It was awful.  I also tried talking with him about how much it hurt me that he flirted with other women and treated me so poorly at home with no change in his behavior.

My heart goes out to you, even your tag for the website describes beautifully how I was feeling before I filed for divorce this past spring.  I don't know which is worse, how it makes you feel or the fact that he is modeling such poor behavior to your kids.  You don't mention how long you have been married or if he has been definitively diagnosed with BPD.  I had never heard of this disorder until our divorce was almost finalized-when I started reading about it all the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place.  Needless to say, I am playing major catch-up trying to educate myself about this disorder while trying to heal from being married to a mentally abusive person for so long. 

Anyway, your experience mirrors what I experienced as well.  You deserve to be treated respectfully by whomever you choose to be in a relationship.  I don't know if you are seeing anyone to help you, if you are not, I highly recommend you find someone who can help you deal with his behavior while keeping yourself whole.

Take good care.  mn36

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Gender: Female
Posts: 21

« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 09:21:15 PM »

I'm not married, and I haven't been in a serious relationship in a long time, so I can't really offer any sound advice on the subject.  But I can imagine how this must feel, and I just wanted to stop in and give you a virtual hug.   x  I also wanted to remind you that HE has the problem, not YOU, and that you need to look yourself in the face every morning and remind yourself of that, because women in general take a self-esteem beating every time we walk out the door, and to be partnered with someone who doesn't seem to have the capacity to even understand how his behavior is affecting you is not helping shore you up in the face of all of the negative messages you get as a woman on a daily basis (because we all get them, al day long, right?).

I hope you're taking care of yourself in other ways, finding other ways to feel good about yourself as a person and as a woman.  I know it's gotta be tough trying to sort through how you feel, and the example you want to set for your children, and your feelings for your husband, all at once.  I can't imagine; that's a big part of why I'm single. Relationships are hard work, a lesson learned well by my upbringing with my BPD mom, and I just haven't found someone who seems worth the incredible effort.  I hope you realize that you ARE worth the effort, even if he isn't making it.

x  x  I'm sorry you're going through this.  It's not fair.   x  x
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Gender: Female
Posts: 128

« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 09:28:42 PM »


I had another thought I would like to throw out to the group - could behavior like LFP described be categorized as "gaslighting"?  I just read the definition and felt it fit but was hoping for feedback to make sure that I am not going down the wrong path with this...

Ring of fire
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Gender: Female
Posts: 341

« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 01:56:20 AM »

Hey there.. I just read your post..2 things..a) Has hubby been diagnosed officially? b) You ever hear of HPD ..(Histrioinic Personality Disorder)..very similar to BPD ..they are notorious flirts..need LOTS of attention..have hissy fits(temper tantrums)

"A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of ones heart.Chaff and grain,together.Knowing that the gentleness of hands will take and sift and keep what is worth keeping and blow the rest away"....
Looking for Peace
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Gender: Female
Posts: 127

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 03:01:32 PM »

 smiley I just wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who responded and all of the feed back I have been getting.  It's so nice to correspond with people who can understand what I'm living through.  I've been married to him for eighteen years and we have two wonderful teenagers together.  We started to see a marraige counselor about 3 years ago.  He only attend a handful of the visits, but I decided to go for myself.  She is the one who pointed out his BPD behavior and lead me in the right direction for helping myself and our children.  Counseling had greatly improved my own self esteem.   

The Histrionic PD discribes him to the tee and when he doesn't get his way he always  throws a fit.  Where can I find more information on Gaslighting and Histrionice PD?   

All of the behavior is so frustrating and humilating.  I feel like he's a child.  I decided a few years back to dig my heals in and stay.  It's been hard! There are many days like this past weekends situation that I start to ask myself "why am I staying"?   

I was reading the post from DesertProse- my kids seem to just light up around him. He is more on their level with his maturity.   I know they love him very much, but I see that he lacks an emotional connection with them and the maturity to set good examples and values.   I think he loves them the best way he knows how.  It's hard for him to put anyone elses needs infront of his own.   

Doing the right thing  Everyones information today has been so helpful!  Just knowing there are people like you that I can reach out to makes all the difference in the world.   

"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us." 
James Truslow Adams



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