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Author Topic: Excluded from my family?  (Read 232 times)
JoeBPD81
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« on: September 03, 2019, 05:08:03 PM »

Hi, I don't know how to deal with this.

Quick recap: 5 years in a relationship with a woman with Bpd, and her 2 kids who now know me as their father, and they barely know their biological one. All the ups and downs of a BPD couple. Every 10-15 days there is talk about breaking up by her, and I've been about to just let her go some times. No cheating, or stealing or alcohol or drugs involved. She gets angry, then she feels ashamed, and she concludes I deserve better and she should help me be happy by leaving.

Well, my sister got married 3 years ago, we went to her wedding, and she moved out of town (but not far, less than an hour drive). She's 40 now. We've had them in our house several times, and they come to family gatherings at my parents or other sibling's houses. But she never invited any of us (siblings) to their house, just our parents once some months ago.

But they tell us that almost every weekend they have friends over in big numbers, with no shame.

My older brother and sister were hurt by this and talked about it with me. I didn't give it much thought. She's the youngest and she's not used to adult responsibilities. She went from a house paid by my parents to one paid by her husband. So I told them she didn't see herself as a host.

When I saw the moment I told her it would be meaningful to invite our family over to see her house. And offered some plans we could do that didn't involve her cooking for 20 people.

Well, some months later, she's inviting us. And by us I mean all the family except my GF and kids. She asked me to join if I could. I offered up front to go some other time if she was worried about space. And she insisted that she wanted me to go, but alone. I said well, I'll take a raincheck until you can invite the 4 of us. (I was already offended, but I didn't want to ruin everyone else's experience). She said "would it be too complicated to come alone?" Then I was mad that she didn't just drop it and take the polite exit. And I said: would it be complicated to ask (our big brother) to come alone without his wife and kids?

She said: "excuse me, it is NOT the same."

That was 2 days ago and I haven't said another word to her. Nor told anyone.

Today I got a mail from my brother. Saying no one is right 100% and that she wrote him something that hints that we had an argument, and blablabla. That I should take some time to cool off, and then write her an affectionate letter.

Before pleading my case, and saying what I feel and judge. What do you think? What's happening here? What's the appropriate response?
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 02:50:30 AM »

Hello, Joe!  Wow, that's a tough one.  One could argue for flexibility so you can get time with your family, but one could also argue to show solidarity with your partner and not have her feel left out.

When people dig in their heels in situations like this, hurt feelings can go on for years.  It sound like the situation is still new.  It might make sense to take some time to assess things.  Do you have any idea why the situation with your partner is called "different?"  Does your sister have any reason to be upset with your partner?  Has there been drama from your partner at family events in the past?  Where might your sister's sensitivity be coming from?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 05:56:19 AM »

Hi there,

Thanks a lot for your answer.

My brother is married and has 3 adopted kids. So it is all legal and in paper. My older sister is married and she has 2 girls. All legal and blood related. My kids are not related to her by blood or the legal system. However, they love her and call her aunt.

The kids are noisy, and selfish, as much as any kid. They behave much better when we visit my extended family. The older gives no trouble and the younger can't stay still, but it's nothing serious.

My GF has been nothing but sweet and polite to my family. She loves them, and she very grateful to them. She doesn't eat, (like: at all) she admited to them that she is anorexic, and that's a mental illness, and she can't eat in front of people. That's a huge deal, to show her vulnerability. I know that's weird to anybody, but it's not creating drama, I think. With so many people around, it doesn't stick out.

My sister knows about 5% of the trouble that I have at home. Nobody knows she has BPD, but they know she was a victim of abuse and that she has been in therapy. My sister's sister in law has some mental disability, so I expected some sensibility towards mental illness, but she has none. They live in a big house that they got thanks to that disability (in paper it is the sister in law who lives there, but she lives with her parents).

In any event, she knows my GF doesn't treat me well. And they keep saying I would be better off without them, in ways they think are polite. That's the basis for this rejection. But that doesn't help me at all. They've told me many times that they want to support me, and I've told them that what would go a long way to improve my life is to make my GF feel included and valid.

So this has been a hard blow. She could have let this pass without insisting that my family is not welcome.
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 05:40:36 PM »

I'm so sorry to hear all of that.  It sounds like you've got a lot of people in your life behaving in unhealthy ways.  When you and your partner discuss this situation, how does it go?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 01:52:29 AM »

I can't tell her, or it would go like this:

"I'm alienating you from your family, I'm toxic, I'm a burden to you, You're gonna be better off without us, good bye."
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 01:28:19 PM »

It sounds like the big family events are an obstacle.  They've taken their position, and you're loyal to your partner.  If the only time you're in touch with them is big family events, this could go on for years, and you'll have no positive contacts with them.  Is there a middle ground?  Can you meet a sibling for lunch, or other positive 1:1 contacts where it wouldn't be a big thing to be without your partner?  This could give you beneficial contact with your family, as well as perhaps help with some thawing of the ice.

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 05:50:36 AM »

When the meeting is outside, or in my parent's house, or another of my siblings' home, she is invited and included, also my kids get attention and afection. So the only obstacle is with this sister.

She's said she would invite us another day, we'll see. Now things are awkward between us.

Thanks for listening.
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 02:42:45 PM »

Got it.  Glad to hear that your partner and kids are welcomed at other gatherings. 

How are you doing in general these days?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 02:30:56 AM »

In general, I'm struggling.

I feel like I'm playing in a basketball team where my own team-mates block me and each other, steal the ball from each other, and then blame each other for losing every game.

MY GF tries to score some points by keeping the house livable, get the kids to school, fed and clothed...

I try to score some points by going to work each day, trying to promote at work, spending all my  time with them...

But then my GF works against me many times. The kids ...I swear they don't act smart enough to fold a blanket, but they are masterminds to come up with defiant acts and words every minute. They rather work towards their brother not getting something than working to get something themselves. They can't stand seeing their mother happy, or relaxed, or asleep. There aren't 5 minutes of peace straight in our house, ever. 
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 03:03:56 AM »

Your situation certainly resonates with me.  If everyone could just row in the same direction, it would be easier!  Remind us, how old are the kids?  A certain amount of this just comes with the territory of raising kids.  That's great that your girlfriend is pitching in to help out, and you're of course doing your part.

There's an expression about raising puppies that says, "A tired puppy is a good puppy."  It works for kids, too.  Do the kids have activities like sports that can tire them out?

Are there any things you can do to create quiet, peaceful moments with your girlfriend?  For example, do you work close enough to home to go home for lunch with her?  Perhaps she could meet you for lunch near your work?  I remember when we were in the thick of raising kids, when I met my wife in the middle of the day it was like we were both different people -- much more relaxed!

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 05:06:58 AM »

The kids are 13 and 8.

Believe me, we try to make them tired as often as possible. The little one is up for any phisical activity, he's a tornado of a child. The problem is, when he is very tired, he gets very very cranky. He doesn't understand that he is tired, only uncomfortable and "not himself".

The older brother says he wants to be a champion in laziness. If we don't entertain him, he can't think about anything to do (except bother/hit/insult his brother) and he lays in the couch face down and he won't move for hours, no mater what we tell him. If we want him to be in the couch for 10 minutes for any reason, then he can't even sit. It's like, if WE want something, it must be bad for him, if we ask him to think about it, we must be playing with his mind.


I'm very sad about my couple-life. I don't feel like she even like me anymore (as a person). We had a good week at the beginning of the summer, and she's been more grateful about my role in the family since, but zero romantic involvement since that week, zero personal time, and she's returned to the "I hate you" mode since school started, she says it is because she has such strong feeling for me that she gets so angry. I come tired from work, and she doesn't care that I need to study, or rest, and she can't keep her dislike to herself (or for when the kids are not around).

We could have lunch together everyday, but there're 2 problems:

1. She is anorexic and she doens't eat during daytime, nor in front of people, not even me or the kids.
2. She asks me when I'm getting home for lunch, so she can be out of the house, no matter the time. The suposed reason is that she gets so stressed, and it messes with her routine and performance. At the beginning of the RS we even had sex at that lunch break, and she didn't mind coming to my house for some time together.
I've asked her countless times to come have a coffe with me when she has to pass by my job's neighborhood. She hasn't accepted that offer in years.
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Radcliff
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 02:09:42 AM »

13 is a tough age.  Consider reading Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach, by Howard Glasser.  It's a great book and very helpful in engaging with and improving things with children in difficult situations.

I'm sorry to hear how sad you are about your couples life.  That's a really tough place to be in.  Have you been honest with her about how much pain this is causing you, and how badly you want to connect with her?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2019, 05:56:24 AM »

Hi,

S13 hasn't changed much in the last 5 years, only in size. He had this bad mood often before, but now it's almost all the time. In 5 years he hasn't shown any remorse, or empathy, or care about other than himself. His therapist says that he thinks he's not smart, so he tries to prove himself to be smart by trying to trick others into believing lies, he thinks that's what's called being smart. As a result he almost never tells the truth, and he doesn't trust anything we say.

This morning, after years of making their mother cry and mad every morning, he said "But why is it a bad thing to not wake up when you call us? Thre's nothing wrong with it!". It takes about half an hour  (and many attemps) since we start calling them untill they finally stand up to get dressed for school, arriving late many times, and driving their mother mad and in tears. They don't even answer "please, let me sleep a bit more" they turn in bed, they smile, they cover their head... But they don't even bother to talk.

I sincerely think he has no empathy and he doesn't understand at all that what he wants could be a bad thing for the people around. He's very confused when we try to talk about these things, as if we were talking about a very complex mathematical problem that he never heard about.

Then he has no problem waking everybody up on weekends because he is bored (at a time much earlier than on weekdays). And he gets offended when it bothers us to be waken up when we could rest, and "we are the worst family ever".

Anyway, I've been recommended that book before, and I have ordered it.

I don't know what I'll be able to do, and if the mum would read it too. She has clear concepts about educating the kids, but to me it seems she always wants to apply them tomorrow. Today she always thinks of a reason she should forgive them everything or a reason to give them a prize without fullfilling their condition, or to do what she said she would.

Example: "No videogames the day there's a fight". Everyday there's a fight, but everyday they get the videogames anyway. Worst, when they ask, she says "no" but after 30 "please, we promise...please, only 15 minutes...We only fought a little, now we're not fighting..." Then she gives them the thing. And later we have another fight when they have to give them back and they refuse. (more s13 than S8). And they refuse with insults, complaints...They get mad at us an refuse to have dinner after or to do whatever they promised...

This is everyday, and she lets this happen and warns them: This would be different starting tomorrow.

We talk about this often, and she says the videogame is the only motivation in life for S13, and if we take the thing out of the house, as we should, then he doesn't do a single thing.

When they are alone with me, I say no, they may insist a little, but after a minute they know I'm not gonna change my mind and they go do other things. I tell this to her, and she doesn't believe it.

------

As GF, she knows I suffer, and that I want to connect. Her answer is always that she (they) should leave and that I deserve a better life, without them.

She says hating me only hurts her because she loves me so much, so that she has to work at blocking all feellings and being cold. She laughs or is disgusted at anything romantic (just like a 5 year old: "boys are disgusting!" "love is crap"). I call it a good day when she doesn't show hate, and she show any kindness (the kindness that she usually shows to any clerk at a store). She shows interest in me as a couple maybe one week every 4-5 months.

Then she feels betrayed when I "choose" to go to work instead of calling it sick the day she has interest in me staying. When she chooses to not see me alone 350 days a year.

Dealing with the kids everyday takes up all of our time and energy, we are not a couple, we are firefighters. Then I have to deal with her rejection, or resentment (for nothing) while we deal with the kids, and when I go to bed alone everyday, if I think about it, I don't have anything to look forward to. Then I have to go to work, and meet deadlines, and I have to get my head there.

AND they depend a 100% on me to have a place to live. But I get the opposite of appreciation for everything (at least 95% of the time).
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2019, 02:32:30 AM »

You paint a pretty bleak picture.  Would you say that you are sacrificing yourself for them?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 02:51:09 AM »

Hi,

last night was tough. We were watching tv the 4 of us in a relatively good mood. We alternate 2 tv-shows, we all enjoy both, but S8 prefers show 1 and S13 prefers show 2 (it's more a rivalry thing than real preference, they both like both and laught and enjoy them). The shows are recorded and we can pause and resume any time.

We finished an episode of show 1, and then mom ask the kids if they would be willing to move to a very small village, where they pay you to live there (with kids) because the village is "dying" (only old people dying). S8 engaged in the conversation, S13 said "OK, don't talk now, just put show 2!". Mom said "son, I say this because I can't take it anymore here, I'm very unhappy, I hate my life..." And she started crying. S13 said "I know, I know! You said it before, now let's watch show 2 already!" This went on for a minute, explaining we were talking and that it was important, and that mom was crying just two feet away from him, and sure he would understand that was more important than a recorded show... He got up, left slaming the door and screamed "Ashxxxs !" He got in bed and never came back.

S8 and me stood there trying to comfort mom. She's taking the beginning of the school year very hard, she's thinking about suicide or in-patient treatment everyday. She doesn't blame the kids, she blames herself, her illness, and living in a big city where there's too many people, and she can't avoid social interaction.

When she was crying, she never mentioned that the kids make it very hard. So S13 didn't left because he felt we were lecturing him or blaming him, he got mad because he couldn't wait to get what he wanted and the rest wasn't important at all. It is really scary to watch, and he was OK and happy 5 minutes earlier.

In movies and such there are very selfish characters that I thought were parodies (to make the main character look better), but S13 is just like that.
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2019, 03:30:07 AM »

You paint a pretty bleak picture.  Would you say that you are sacrificing yourself for them?

RC

I wouldn't say the same everyday. I don't see it as bleak everyday, and I don't feel the same. I give them everything, and I don't have hope and dreams or ambitions of my own. I would love a peaceful life, but that's it. And I can't control the peace the other people bring or disturbe.

I wouldn't call it sacrifice, because I love them, and I would like it to work. There is no "real" reason for all the hostility at home, or for working against each other.
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2019, 03:00:45 PM »

I don't have hope and dreams or ambitions of my own.

Can you tell us more about this?

RC
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JoeBPD81
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2019, 02:12:55 AM »

Can you tell us more about this?
RC

What I mean is that they are not in the way of my "progress". I'm not thinking "If it weren't for them I could be doing this or that" Or "If they leave I'll finally be able to do..."

I have a safe job, and some hobbies that I enjoy. I don't ask life for much more than that.

I'm studying to get an English degree (at 41 years old with a background education on science). I don't really need the degree for anything.

Then I'm preparing an exam to get a raise in my job, that is in the Public Administration. I wouldn't need that raise if I lived alone, or if my partner had a job and we shared expenses. But if I lived alone I would have plenty of time to get sure I'd pass that exam. I got my job at the 1st try with a similar exam, but this is the 3rd time I'm applying for this one and I didn't get it twice (if there are 500 positions nation-wide, you have to get one of the best 500 grades to pass).

So I need that raise to afford the family expenses, but I don't have the time or the peace of mind to study because of my family life. When I get to sit and study, I'm mentaly exhausted, and emotionaly beaten, and it is time to go to bed anyway.

I could leave all evening, but then I'm worried, I feel bad for my GF because if those 2 are not watched for 30 seconds, violence takes place. So she can't even go to the bathroom in peace. And I get text about how she hates her life and wants to die... So it's very hard to focus (on very boring study materials).

So my goals in life are being a good father, and helping the woman I love to get some life she doesn't hate. That's why I say they are not my own, those aren't things I can do after they leave (or worse).
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2019, 01:52:47 AM »

Got it, thanks.  If you were determined to pass the exam, what things that are within your control could you rearrange to make enough study time happen?

RC
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