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Author Topic: I really want to hear from people who have taken the plunge and left  (Read 452 times)
WitzEndWife
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« on: May 14, 2019, 01:24:16 PM »

I've been married to my uBPDh for three and a half years now. About a year in, I figured out with my therapist that he had BPD. I've spent the past two and a half years navigating it, hoping that maybe he'd come around and find his way to therapy. We got close a few times, or he'd go for a short time, but then claim it was too time consuming. I thought maybe I could get him to read a book or do a DBT workbook, but he thought it was all "cheesy" and he didn't want to do it. Meanwhile, his meanness and devaluation of me have escalated. He has broken things in our home and has completely wrecked valued friendships and neighborhood relationships. He is controlling and very demanding of my time. When I want to spend time alone, he pouts or insults me, or tries to guilt me. I have an extremely stressful job and having this at home is just too much.

I'm working with my therapist on why I feel so compelled to stick around. It's the strangest thing. I love him and care about him, but I also don't like him about 85 percent of the time. While he's very attractive, I'm not even attracted to him because all I see is the meanness and all of the stress he causes me with his tantrums and cruel words. I am honest with myself in that I cannot live out my life like this. I'm better off alone than with him.

The issue is that I just can't seem to do the breaking up. I'm so worried about hurting him, even though I know I'm hurting every single day myself. It feels like I'm kicking a puppy. It is also quite scary for me, but I'm less worried about that than I am being unhappy for the rest of my life. I'm 39 years old. If I don't go now, when will I decide to go?

I really want to hear from people who have taken the plunge and left. What did you say to initiate the conversation? If you had to kick them out of the house, what did you do? What was the fallout like? I want to hear the good, bad, and the ugly. Don't hold back!
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 11:06:29 AM »

I left after a dozen years of marriage. We also have a child, which adds immensely to the complications and consideration. You don't have kids? Consider yourself fortunate in weighing this decision.

I tend to be an overpreparer, so I crept up to the goal of separating over several months, meeting with divorce attorneys for consultations to figure out what I should do, talking it through with friends and therapists, and drawing up plans that involved preparing a completely fleshed out divorce settlement, arranging to tell her in a neutral location (our marriage counselor's office), with a friend on hand to drive her to a pre-paid hotel room with a suitcase containing clothes, meds, and other essentials.

What ACTUALLY happened was that she had one of her blowups at me (eruptions were multiple times per day at that point), and she actually followed through on a threat to leave town. She left for two weeks and never came back to the house. I filed for divorce a few months later.

My lesson from this -- planning that "I want a divorce" conversation is a little like planning the perfect wedding day. It can suck up tons of time and attention, but it's irrelevant to how successful your marriage will be. If you're concerned about danger, don't even tell him in person -- have him served with papers or have a third party present at a neutral location while you are having the locks changed at home ... whatever is necessary to ensure your safety. Otherwise, don't sweat it too much.

Once we were separated and on the path to divorce, I'll observe that two things occurred. First, my life became immensely less stressful. It's incredibly important to your mental health to have a quiet, safe, peaceful home environment. Once he is out ... you get that right away. You will sleep better, become less fearful and reactive, and generally have better mood and health.

Secondly ... the conflict is unlikely to go away. Getting a quick, amicable divorce is not what most of us have experienced. However, even if your partner engages in high-conflict stalling tactics, your attorney can help mitigate that, and you can constrain the conflict to fewer venues by controlling how much communication you have with him.

Hope this helps.
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WitzEndWife
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 02:34:30 PM »

Thank you flourdust. I'm going to unpack this a bit here, so bear with me. My biggest challenge with kicking him out is part of his deepest trauma is attached to being unceremoniously thrown out of his home and put into foster care when he was a teen. As he remembers it, his mother one day just packed him up and sent him away, waving happily as he drove off to a horrible foster home. I don't think I would have the heart to lure him out of the house and then change the locks on him. That seems unnecessarily cruel, and my therapist doesn't agree with this either.

I used to think it would be easier to throw him out during a blow up. However, I have out and out said to him, "Get out! I'm done!" and he has left and come back 15 minutes later. When he has threatened to leave me, he has come back within an hour. He's like a little kid running away from home with a bag packed.

When I've tried to have a serious conversation about our relationship, he often gets offended and then says, "Well, if that's what you think about our relationship, then you might as well serve me with papers!" It's a guilting sort of hyperbole, like, "If you hate me so much, then you might as well do what my mother did to me."

My thinking is that the best case scenario would be to do a separation, or even a "break." I feel like, following a blow up would be a good time to talk about it. Then again, he just acts like things should go back to normal after a blow up and that I shouldn't be affected in any way. If I am, he immediately turns it around like I'm Queen of the Puppy Kickers. However do I get past that?
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flourdust
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 02:53:46 PM »

I've heard what you are saying from many other members here over the years. If you take a step back, what you are really saying is that you are responsible for his feelings. You believe you can not take action that will be harmful to his feelings.

While we often discuss here how adults should not be responsible for each other's feelings -- that's even more true when it comes to adults who are not in a relationship. If you are divorcing or separating, you have to let him handle his own business completely by himself. He might be miserable; he might blame you for everything. He has that right. Your responsibility is not to be responsible for him.

This takes some time to get used to. Disentangling a highly enmeshed dysfunctional relationship doesn't happen overnight. Like phantom limb syndrome, even if you are separated or divorced, for quite some time you might find yourself reacting as if he has ownership of your feelings or vice versa.
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 03:10:29 PM »

First of all, WEW, let me say that I understand completely where you are coming from with the guilt. It sounds like you are looking for a good enough "reason" to initiate a separation or termination of the relationship (i.e. a "blow up") because you feel that doing this immediately following some inappropriate behavior would help you not feel so guilty. I totally get that, and I did the same thing for so long.
The problem was that I always backed out of taking action, and I kept pushing the bar for what I would tolerate even higher.

Your h will most likely use FOG no matter what the circumstances are to make you feel like a bad person for setting boundaries around what you need for mental and emotional health for yourself.

He is not a puppy. He is a grown man with choices, and his traumatic past does not give him license to behave in ways that disrupt your life or make you feel unsafe.

It took me years to get a handle on that. I put up with extreme abuse and still felt guilty when I finally decided to stand up and advocate for myself and my safety. Even after the separation following yet another physical assault, I continued to struggle with guilt over leaving him. I continued to have contact that was stressing me out and putting me in unsafe situations, until people on these boards pointed out that I need not wait for another extreme incident to take action to create the space I needed to regain my mental and emotional health. I don't have to justify it. The years of his repeated behavior and refusal to take responsibility combined with the undeniable impact on me were sufficient enough reason, and I didn't have to convince him that those were good enough reasons. He will never see it that way, and he still paints me as the one who abandoned him without just cause. But I know the truth. It's OK to say when you have had enough.
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 03:17:40 PM »

I agree with what flourdust and Redeemed have written. And it will be an adjustment for you to let go of feeling responsible for his feelings.

Like you, I had a lot of empathy and sympathy for my ex-husband, who also had a rough childhood.

Do you want to indulge your sad feelings about how poorly he was treated or do you want to be free of this relationship? It's one or the other.

Perhaps there was a good reason that his mother sent him away. Perhaps his mother was at the end of her rope after putting up with his behavior for years.

I stayed far too long with an abusive husband, but at the same time, I felt sorry for him because of his past. However THAT DOES NOT EXCUSE ABOMINABLE BEHAVIOR IN THE PRESENT.

As much as we can think of BPD as a disorder that is difficult to treat and that sufferers are plagued with feelings of self-loathing, insecurity, fear of abandonment, etc., there still is an element of behavioral choice. We see how they can choose not to behave poorly when observed by people they want to impress, and then when that external viewer is removed, how they can suddenly revert to bad behavior with their partners.

Much of what we teach here is about modifying our own behavior, and by extension, our partners will change because their previous behavior no longer brings their desired results.

So what I'm saying is that your husband has been making conscious choices to behave the way he does with you. Perhaps he doesn't have the emotional maturity, self control, mindfulness or thoughtfulness of an average spouse of his age. Just because he had a traumatic event happen in his childhood, and many people do, that doesn't give him a free pass for bad behavior for the rest of his life.

That said--now to recount how I exited from my physically and emotionally abusive marriage with my first husband.

I didn't have a plan, that's for sure, but I knew I wanted out. One night when I was outdoors, I confronted him about something and he grabbed my flashlight and threw it down on the ground. That triggered me to tell him that I was done with him breaking my things and being violent toward me. The dam broke and I just kept talking and told him that I didn't love him and I was done with the marriage and there was no going back.

He was so shocked that he just listened quietly. For the next several days, he truly believed that I would once again forgive him, but something had broken inside and I truly was finished.

Of course the divorce was ugly, but it was such a relief to finally speak my piece that night, saying things that I'd been too afraid to say for years. Thankfully he was not violent, but there had been a violent incident some days previously and that was truly the end of the relationship for me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 03:43:01 PM »


Would it help you feel less responsible for his feelings if you gave him a choice of shape up or ship out?

That would take a very uncomfortable conversation and iron clad boundaries, because you likely realize he will say he will get better..do xyz and then "relapse".

If your T doesn't think he needs to be "lured" out, what does she believe is appropriate?

I would agree with her IF NOT for the smashing of things and physical intimidation he has done in the past.  That line has already been crossed, so it will be crossed again and my guess is it wouldn't be too hard for him to cross other lines.

Clarity:  If the choice is between your safety and his "feelings"...what are you going to choose?


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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 03:46:55 PM »

First of all, I want to thank all of your for your amazing stories and insight. I agree with everything you've said.

As I guess many of us here feel, I'm stuck between knowing that things won't get better and needing to prioritize myself and the FOG. I can feel this little piece inside of me that is fighting for me get stronger every day, but I don't think it's strong enough yet to do the thing it needs to do.

However, I don't want to live with the regret that I spent so many years in misery either. For the past year, I've known that things weren't going to get better. I most definitely have to learn to disentangle myself from being responsible for his feelings. I think I need to journal on that. I've tried to do it, but it's so much harder than it seems. I'm about 50% there right now. I still find that I walk on eggshells or consider him when I make certain decisions. And he's gotten more controlling over time as well. If I forget to do something, like make the bed because I have 5 million things going on at work and have to leave quickly, or I accidentally leave the closet door open, he sends me a text with a picture of it, calling me out like I pooped on the carpet or something. So, now, my mindset is, "Ugh, I'd better make the bed or H will be angry," not "I'm going to make the bed because it looks nice."

My therapist tells me I need to think of him like I'd think of a small child when it comes to decision making. Would I let a toddler call the shots? This is easier said than done, of course, and sometimes, as many of us do, I go along to get along because I just don't have the energy that day to battle over every single thing.

I know life will be better if I just get up the courage and the strength to put myself first. It takes a lot and I know it shouldn't, but that's why I'm here. Thank you all for being so compassionate and supportive. I can't imagine what I'd do if I didn't have people to talk to who had been through it.
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 04:54:45 PM »

Hi Witzendwife -

I left last fall, and my divorce was finalized a few months ago.  I'm also the same age as you are, and felt the same things toward my spouse, after years of putting up with her abuse, hostility, demands and threats.

I'll summarize my situation here, and then provide a some observations below:

I was married about 5 1/2 years; 2 kids.  I suspected something was off with my ex after about two years of marriage (at our son's 1st bday), and learned about BPD about 3 years in, after I reached out on a marriage help board anonymously after some particularly troubling attacks and insinuations from my wife that occured out of the blue during a relatively calm period.

For the next year and a half it was tough;  suspecting she was BPD - or close to it on the spectrum - made me realize that things would never really be normal with her.  After a bad stretch later that year, I actually sought counseling for myself because of the stress of my job combined with the stress of my home life.

We nearly got divorced in 2017, but she begged me to call it off (and got some of my extended family involved in putting pressure on me), and promised she'd work on herself.

"Working on herself" lasted about a week.  we went to MC again (for the third time) after this, and it only lead to more fights and hostility from her.

After a long series of fights last summer, I went back and looked at my journal and realized even during "good months"' we were still fighting or not speaking to eachother close to 40% of the days of any given month!  And it got worse around holidays.

I resolved that the next fight would be the last one - I was through making amends and trying to meet her halfway.  And then when it happened, I  kept to myself for a week, and she threatened divorce... (SHE brought it up... "so I guess if you're not going to say anything, then divorce is the only option") and so I said yes.  We agreed I would be out of the house in a week, and I'd take my clothes, books, desk, and an extra bed we were not using.

I found some condos/townhomes nearby and checked them out, and scheduled app'ts with local attorneys.  then the next day while I was at work I got some "low balance alerts" from our banks and learned she cleaned out all of our accounts she could get her hands on... WELLLLLL that pretty much showed me there was only one path forward! 

I took what I could get from our kids savings accounts, and immediately put a deposit on a townhome rental, and moved out the next day while she was at work.  she was aware of all this; her mom lived with us, and was there when I moved out. 

I'll echo flourdust's comments on being relieved/calmed just by being out and in my own place: even though I knew I was about to go down the path of divorce, had to furnish my place from scratch, all the financial uncertainty accompanying my decision, and worried - very worried -  about what would or could happen to my kids, just being away from her had me feeling the best I had felt IN YEARS about my future. Actually, I felt like I had a future again, if that makes sense.

Over the next month, she was served with papers, and went back and forth between spiteful hostility, and attempts to reconcile.  REGARDLESS of what she said though, I ignored her emotions and editorials, and only responded to actual communications that needed to happen, e.g. "Hey, I'm here to pick up the kids, please send them out."

sometime in the next couple months, she started seeing someone else, and he moved in with them, even though, ironically, she had earlier insisted on language in the temporary court orders that neither of us could have lovers over when we had the boys...  she looked out for herself, first and foremost.

Preparations I took
since I had known for a couple years this was a very real possibility, and also to preserve my sanity during the marriage, I had done a couple things that made it a little easier:
  • got my own savings account, and set it up so all mail from this went to my office; kept a few hundred dollars emergency money in case I had to leave and get a hotel
  • I discussed the possibility I'd need to borrow money with family members I trusted, so I knew I'd have $$$ I could rely on if I really had to flee in a hurry and she cleaned out ALL the accounts
  • after I caught her throwing out some of my things, and threatening to throw out more (e.g. family pictures, high school and college memorabilia, some childhood memories, etc.), I got a self storage unit nearby for $35/month, again having all mail go to my office, and put all that stuff in it.  she never found out
  • researched where I could live if I had to move out in a hurry, planning a place nearby so I could stay close to my kids
  • found an attorney, and also researched divorce laws, the likely cost, the process, and other outcomes

The first two points helped because I already had a separate bank account set up to protect myself when she looted all our others, and financial reassurance., AND with the storage locker, I had a temporary place to put some of my things when it came time to move out.  These had been in place for months, and were always comforting to my peace of mind, even while married.

The last two are key, because they began the actual process of separating myself from her.
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WitzEndWife
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 05:24:52 PM »

Thank you, PeteWitsend, for your story. That is so helpful. Luckily, we don't have children, only dogs, so that makes things much easier overall. I kept our checking accounts separate, but I do like your idea of having a separate savings account - although he's already pillaged ours last month to pay for something, claiming he was going to replenish it. Thankfully, there wasn't much in there to begin with as I'd used some for taxes and things.

I have visited a divorce attorney, who gave me a ballpark price and told me what I could expect, so there's that.

I haven't considered moving out myself, as I don't really have the money to pay for two residences, and I'm paying 100 percent for the mortgage. So, the problem there is getting HIM to move out.

One part of your story really stood out to me, as I navigate this whole thing. You had made a firm decision and created an internal boundary: the next fight was going to be the last. I think that's an important point. You have to put your flag in the ground and decide that you're going to make a move, whatever that is.

At this point, I'm just puttering along, tolerating being pelted by whatever comes my way. I'm strong, so I can handle it, I think. He's not hitting me, and he's not as emotionally or as verbally abusive as one of my previous exes, and at least we can have fun sometimes, kind of - I'm thinking - as messed up as that is. But let's be real. Most of the time, even when he's not being horrible, I resent him. And sometimes he'll be all nice for a bit, and I start thinking, "Aw, he's kinda cute," and then something awful comes out of his mouth and I am even mad at him for ruining it.

So, really, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Why is it so hard to put myself first? Those are the big questions I need to answer so I can move forward.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 06:30:56 PM »

If you already have a separate checking account, you don't really need a separate savings; I actually meant "checking" when i typed "savings" above.

They key is to have emergency money that the other party can't get to, to facilitate your move.  So they can't be on the account, and presumably won't know about it. 

You're not "hiding assets."  You can & should disclose the account, history, & amounts, and if needed, split it with your spouse if/when you file for divorce.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 06:41:34 PM by PeteWitsend » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 06:34:58 PM »


So..just to make sure I understood this right.

Your hubby went in and took money that he didn't earn and spent it on stuff that you didn't agree with..and told you afterwards that he was going to pay it back...

Are we talking about $500...$5000...can you give it some context?

FF
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 12:54:08 AM »

I read all of your replies, and it's so disheartening to read this.  I am so very sorry, but I understand one has to preserve one's sanity and family.

My uBPD and I have been married for more than twenty years and the option for divorce has never left me.

H was recently medicated for hormonal issues (endocrine disorders) and it appears some mental disorders have bases in physical disorders.  

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=122720.0

H has calmed down a lot in the last year.  I get fewer divorce threats, fewer broken items.   We will have to see how far this goes and if it's permanent.  It helps that I have learned to disengage when H dysregulates.  In the past, when H threatened divorce, I was reduced to a weeping, begging mess. I am much stronger now and know I can handle a divorce from him as I am emotionally much stronger.

WEW, please check laws in your area as many places still regard pets as property--no different from a sofa, a car or a china cabinet.  You want to make sure your dogs don't go to an unstable H.

I am glad you are empowering yourself and protecting yourself by preparing and knowing your rights.

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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2019, 09:36:11 AM »

FF, this is a savings account we both have contributed to. He took out less than $500. That said, I'm not thrilled about it. However, it's only been a week and a half since he took it out, so we'll see if he actually replaces it.
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2019, 09:48:39 AM »

OK...clearer.

What are the "rules" on that account?  

Does money only go in by mutual agreement...or can it be done unilaterally?

Does money only come out by mutual agreement...or can it be done unilaterally?

Has this ever happened before?  Any precedent?

Can you describe the balance in relation to his withdrawal?  (trying to understand how reasonable this was)

FF
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2019, 09:52:22 AM »

There are no hard and fast rules, but it's more for emergencies, when neither of us has the cash for something. The item he spent the money on was not an "emergency" item, however. I haven't said anything yet because I am waiting to see if he'll follow through.

The majority of my money is in my checking account, so I'm not as concerned about the savings account, but it's frustrating that he did that, for sure.
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2019, 10:05:06 AM »

...
One part of your story really stood out to me, as I navigate this whole thing. You had made a firm decision and created an internal boundary: the next fight was going to be the last. I think that's an important point. You have to put your flag in the ground and decide that you're going to make a move, whatever that is.
...
It was a boundary for sure; maybe I should've been more clear with her that it existed, but in the past when I did try to be open with boundaries, like "Stop Doing ABC.  I don't like it and I don't do that to you." ... all that would result is her "playing games" with the boundary, like "I didn't do ABC, Pete, I did ABD, and if you think I did that, it's YOUR issue, bla bla bla.."

So I kept this new resolution to myself.  I hadn't resolved that the marriage was "over" after another fight, just that if (more likely when) we had another fight, I wasn't going to forgive her after some period of fighting and silent treatment (typically 3-10 days long) and move on like I had in the past.  if the outcome of that was divorce, so be it.

I left the ball in her court.  Really "balls" since an apology was only part of it.  I expected her to not only apologize - which were often insincere -, but own up to her behavior and provide some assurance that she would address work on it. 

Wishful thinking, I know, and I expected the outcome could very well be divorce, but I was prepared for that, and was not going to enable her behavior any further, as it had gone long enough and affected my relationships with my family, my friends, and even my coworkers negatively.  And I wasn't going to force anything either... I had all the patience in the world.

In the event, we more or less avoided eachother for a week.  Then she demanded we talk... and the "talk" consisted of her asking me what I had to say for myself.  When I said "NOTHING."  she said "Well, looks like you want a divorce then."  to which I said "OKAY." and we discussed me moving out and filing. 

When she realized it was really going to happen, she panicked and started attacking me... I was a "snake" who "ruined her life"... But I felt absolutely no sympathy for her, as I was completely worn down from all our past fights... whereas before I might have seen inside her caustic persona, and felt some compassion for the little girl who was by her own account often abandoned by her parents  in early childhood, and possibly abused as well during this time . 

Instead, now she was just a nasty person who screamed at me, and demanded things, and I could end the abuse and screaming by going and living away from her.

So that's why it finally ended.  and if there was any chance of me feeling some sympathy for her, she destroyed that the next day when she looted our bank accounts while I was at work. 

I realized I had to "cross the Rubicon" at that point to prevent any further financial damage to my situation, or worse, like her calling the police or claiming I abused her, etc.
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »

 I am waiting to see if he'll follow through.
 

When did he promise the money would be back in there?

How did it come to be that there is a joint account with no "hard and fast" rules on it?  What are the common understandings?

It would seem you believe it is for "emergency" items?

How does all of this relate to you funding you...and him funding himself?

If he goes to you for an item...you say no..he doesn't have cash, yet he has a slushfund he can raid and will...(and apparently has..is this the only time?)...

Going forward, regardless of whether or not he puts the money back...where you deposit money you earn is YOUR decision.  If you choose to put it somewhere with no "hard and fast" rules...then I would fully expect this part of your life to be frustrating until you make different choices.

Finances have been an issue in our relationship and really didn't get better until I changed my part..which limited her part.  She now has a full time teaching job and I'm not regularly involved in her financial choices.  Very liberating.

FF
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2019, 10:49:24 AM »

...
As much as we can think of BPD as a disorder that is difficult to treat and that sufferers are plagued with feelings of self-loathing, insecurity, fear of abandonment, etc., there still is an element of behavioral choice. We see how they can choose not to behave poorly when observed by people they want to impress, and then when that external viewer is removed, how they can suddenly revert to bad behavior with their partners.
...

Thanks, Cat.  This should be stickied at the top of this website.

Too often, I'd read well-meaning advice here, and come away feeling like I was partially to blame for my XW's behavior...  I didn't set boundaries, or I did, but didn't stick to them enough,, or I JADED, or I didn't listen with empathy...

But some pwBPD have resolved that conflict is the tool they're going to use when dealing with their spouse or significant other, and so they will find a way to create conflict come hell or high water.

They will be sweet and kind with people they don't have an element of control over, such as their employer, but nasty as all hell with those in their life they feel they can.  If they feel they have any power in the relationship, they will abuse it.

And in my experience,  they'll find ways to violate your boundaries. they'll ambush you.  they'll pick fights when they know you're vulnerable.  They will find a way to create the conflict they seek, regardless of what you do or don't say or do.
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 10:57:39 AM »

Hiya,

What would your XYZ look like such that you could see that he had made meaningful changes so that you would want to continue the marriage?

He fails to acknowledge that he behaves in ABC manner, does he accept that ABC behaviour would be unacceptable... to him or to a random person. Eg “Do you believe that being physically intimidating is acceptable in a relationship? Do you believe that being critical, derogatory and demeaning is acceptable in a relationship? Do you believe that silent treatment or passive aggressive behaviour is acceptable in an intimate relationship? Do you believe that over consuming, taking without asking or consideration or theft is acceptable in a relationship? I do not. I will not tolerate these behaviours. If I were to experience these behaviours I would be compelled to seek a divorce as per the attached documents (filled in excluding names).

Yes, this is a very real threat, he can do what he likes with this threat, however it does not TELL him what to do, it states very loudly and very clearly that HE has a choice and should he choose one way there are very real consequences... but he has a choice. At no point do you help him decide the path of correcting himself or take ANY responsibility for that journey, that’s his choice.

Just a thought, make it real and live before making it final. If there is no XYZ ( which I don’t think you should detail for him) then don’t offer him that choice.

Enabler
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2019, 04:07:37 PM »

Thanks, Cat.  This should be stickied at the top of this website.


They will be sweet and kind with people they don't have an element of control over, such as their employer, but nasty as all hell with those in their life they feel they can.  If they feel they have any power in the relationship, they will abuse it.


THIS is it, really it is. I just spoke to my T this afternoon, and I realized that I still gave uBPDh SO much control and power over me. It goes beyond the walking on eggshells. The crazy thing is that, at work, I'm a super leader, a boss lady, but in my personal life, I have always, always deferred to friends and partners, rarely asserting or prioritizing my own needs. For example, I was with a guy for several months who had just divorced his cheating wife, and he was emotionally all over the place and leaned heavily on me for stability. I forced my own needs for a stable relationship down and focused on helping him solve his problems, hoping that once he came out of it, we'd have a normal, regular relationship that would move forward and lead to commitment. And even more granular than that, I let friends or partners pick the restaurant or decide where to go. When I'm in a crowded place with another person, I always, always let them lead the way. I always defer control to someone else - not because I don't want it mostly, but because I fear they won't like me if I'm controlling or I disagree with something they say or want. I'm so afraid of rejection and conflict in my personal experiences.

My "homework" is to start taking control over certain things in my personal life. I have to start making decisions ahead of time. What do I want to do over the weekend? What do I want for dinner? I'm starting small and going from there. It's going to be a process, like when you first start going to the gym and it hurts and it's no fun, but eventually it becomes a habit. I need to make taking control of my life and figuring out my priorities a habit. Whoah.
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2019, 08:18:38 PM »

  but in my personal life, I have always, always deferred to friends and partners, rarely asserting or prioritizing my own needs. 

Totally used to be my experience as well.  It will feel weird to start asserting yourself.  You can do it!

FF
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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2019, 08:28:10 PM »

I always defer control to someone else - not because I don't want it mostly, but because I fear they won't like me if I'm controlling or I disagree with something they say or want. I'm so afraid of rejection and conflict in my personal experiences.

When you don't assert your opinions or preferences, you deprive people of being able to please you.  In addition, it can be really annoying to be around someone who is so timid about sharing who they are and what they like.

People are going to either like you or they won't. You won't win friends by being a milquetoast. You will win friends by being who you are.

I made up a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule. (I might have stolen this somewhere, but I'm imagining that it's original.) I believe that 1/3 of the people I meet will like me and I don't have to do anything to make this happen. I think 1/3 will have no interest in me whatsoever and that's fine. And 1/3 will actively dislike me, for reasons I don't understand, nor does it matter why.

I pay attention to the 1/3 who like me and am pleasant and civil to the rest.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2019, 10:58:56 AM »

Hey WEW, Yes, I took the plunge and am still here to talk about it!  Seriously, parting ways with a pwBPD is an ordeal, but it was worth it for me to find greater happiness on the other side, which is what it's all about, right?  Only you can determine the best path for you.  I'm not going to sugarcoat the leaving process.  It was rough sledding for a while there, yet I never considered turning back once free from abuse and the daily expectation of a confrontation.

Feel free to pose any particular questions.

LuckyJim

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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2019, 11:04:22 AM »

THIS is it, really it is. I just spoke to my T this afternoon, and I realized that I still gave uBPDh SO much control and power over me. It goes beyond the walking on eggshells. The crazy thing is that, at work, I'm a super leader, a boss lady, but in my personal life, I have always, always deferred to friends and partners, rarely asserting or prioritizing my own needs. For example, I was with a guy for several months who had just divorced his cheating wife, and he was emotionally all over the place and leaned heavily on me for stability. I forced my own needs for a stable relationship down and focused on helping him solve his problems, hoping that once he came out of it, we'd have a normal, regular relationship that would move forward and lead to commitment. And even more granular than that, I let friends or partners pick the restaurant or decide where to go. When I'm in a crowded place with another person, I always, always let them lead the way. I always defer control to someone else - not because I don't want it mostly, but because I fear they won't like me if I'm controlling or I disagree with something they say or want. I'm so afraid of rejection and conflict in my personal experiences.

Curious...why do you think there is a difference between how you handle your work life/environment/co-workers and how you handle your personal lives & friends?  Why are the two different?

Panda39
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2019, 01:37:25 PM »

Curious...why do you think there is a difference between how you handle your work life/environment/co-workers and how you handle your personal lives & friends?  Why are the two different?

Panda39

I think it's because I feel more confident in how people look at me professionally than in how they look at me personally. Like, if i'm good at my job, other factors don't matter. I know I'm smart and can make good decisions there. When it comes to my personal life, I'm so worried about people not liking me. I am at work also, but I guess I feel more confident there because I'm leading with my expertise and skills, rather than leading with my personality.

Does that make sense?

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