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Author Topic: Anyone else trying to hang in there?  (Read 314 times)
Isaiah 43:18b-19

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« on: October 10, 2019, 03:44:49 PM »

Good Afternoon Caregivers and those we love deeply! I stumbled on this site trying to find others who can understand the struggles with my marriage and family. I have a personal counselor, and a marriage counselor yet I still feel very much alone. I can’t talk about my husbands mental health because he is in denial of anything being wrong other than an anxiety disorder. I’m afraid to Confide with anyone in our community for fear it will affect his employment. When the cycle of emotional abuse is constant I find my world getting smaller and smaller. I’m a stay at home Mom of a 3 and 5 yr old and a non residential parent to my three older daughters ages 14,16, and 18. I gave up residential custody of my older girls two years ago because our home was not emotionally safe. The loss of my girls is the greatest pain I have ever experienced. They are equally in a great amount of pain. My husband has been hospitalized twice due to depression from his disorder, but of course he blames me. There is hope! Outside of our marriage counselor my husband is seeing a Stephen Minister and his own personal counselor. What’s hard is knowing he is most likely creating his own narrative to these counselors that I am to blame which is further going to delay progress. What is promising is while he may not admit it to me or his counselors, he must feel something is wrong or he would not be reaching out for help. Im praying these counselors can see through his words and see the truth. Our Christian Faith is extremely important to us and I do love my husband very much. My greatest concern is losing myself in this journey.

Does anyone else find they are hanging in there because of their faith or deep love for their spouse? Does anyone else feel the cycle of abuse chipping away at their soul?

Please let me clarify. No physical abuse. Emotional abuse is moderate and not constant. My husband has not had a professional diagnosis because he refuses to do so. He fits ALL criteria for male borderline. In addition when he is not talking to a counselor he can slip into a depression with psychosis. If there is such a thing he is on the lower scale of the severity of symptoms. Those who do not live with him may not even notice these symptoms. My husband is a very charming, kind and successful man when he has control.
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 07:28:07 PM »

Welcome

I'm so glad you found us.  I believe we can help you sort out and better understand what is going on in your relationship.

I'm a conservative Christian (Baptist variety) and my wife has shown borderline symptoms for 10ish years of a 25 year marriage.  It certainly has tested and strengthened my faith.

I will also say the "christian community" sometimes doesn't understand personality disorders.

So...you husband accepts "anxiety disorder" but won't "accept" anything else?  Do I have that right?

Does your husband acknowledge his "dysfunctional behavior"?

I'll check back later for your reply.

Best,

FF
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anonymous_non-BP

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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 08:09:53 PM »

You came to the right place and yes, we are fighting similar battles here with family members struggling with BPD (or exhibiting BPD traits). If you have not read "Stop Walking on Eggshells" by Mason and Kreger it is a must-read intro to the world of BPD. It is a complex and extremely challenging personality disorder (especially if high functioning).

Importantly, it will take a huge toll on you and your personal emotional and spiritual health. Non-BPDs (all of us who have BPD family members - spouses, partners, parents, children) can experience confusion, anxiety, depression, manipulation, low self-esteem, and other unhealthy feelings resulting from being on the receiving end of a person struggling with BPD. The first step is understanding as much as you can about the disorder and begin taking care of yourself. It took me getting into therapy before I learned that I had been married to a BPD for 20 years...
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Isaiah 43:18b-19

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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 09:59:06 AM »

I have done a lot of online research trying to better understand my husband and what I can do to help improve our marriage. The book “Stop Walking on Eggshells“ has been on my to do list. Slightly worried my husband will react negatively to finding it in our home. Maybe I can find it online. He has always had an anxiety disorder and is open about it with everyone except with his coworkers. He blames his symptoms on Anxiety, but his behavior when he splits is so abnormal it can not be excused by anxiety. He can have me in what I call his “hate box” anywhere from a few minutes to 4/5 days. It’s usually after a difficult counseling session or when I have walked away because of my fight or flight. He has acknowledged as of last week to work harder at being more respectful when he is in that state. The problem is he does not remember a lot of his actions and tries really hard to defend his actions even though the defense does not seem to make much sense. He explains he goes into that mode when trust is broken and he feels the need to protect himself. When I put up my boundaries he views this as me taking control of the situation which is what creates his lack of trust feelings.  I can sympathize with these feelings and have witnessed him not being aware of his actions, but will not encourage them. The hurtful words, the childish looks, getting in my face with a creepy controlled tone to badger, using a vehicle to have control to rant, clinging to our young children, talking to his family and trying to get them on his side are a few of my concerns I have expressed to him. We just barely tapped the surface at our last counseling session and I hope we can get into it much deeper at our next session. When things are going well there is little incident, but when life hits and one of us is slightly mentally weaker he seems to be more paranoid and reactive. I’m exhausted with always needing to stay strong and not show my emotional weakness. When the cycle is constant like it is now, I struggle with sleep and anxiety. I know this will pass. It always does it is just staying strong when I feel so so week I am struggling with. Praying and keep on keeping on! So, the answer is yes, he is slightly aware of his behavior, but very narcissistic with addressing it. He even fabricates Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

Thank you for your replies! I look forward to learning more!
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anonymous_non-BP

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 12:24:05 AM »

What you are describing is similar to what I have experienced and others with spouses exhibiting these kinds of traits. The key is to recognize that it is not your fault and not your doing. It is healthy to set boundaries and be sure to take care of yourself (your internal emotions and feelings). The rollercoaster of BPD is a long road. Keep reading and learning.
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mywifecrazy
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 06:57:34 PM »

Hello Isaiah 43:18-19.  I haven’t posted in here in a LOOOONG time but I HAD to because of your username
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The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:18, 19)
Isaiah 43:18b-19

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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 11:27:47 PM »

Isaiah 43:18b-19 (GNTD)
Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.

I look forward to reading and learning more. We have had an awful night. I sometimes wonder if counseling is helping or hurting more. I know everything is not my fault. I also know I’m not perfect. My husband did a dump on me tonight. Threw everything he could at me to make me feel at fault or worthless. Our counselor was in shock. There was no way to rationalize with him, so we just left it. I can barely lie in the same bed as him right now. Praying I fall asleep soon. I don’t want to draw anymore attention to the pain for fear of what could come next.

So thankful to have found all of you. Looking forward to connecting with more of you!!!

Goodnight
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Isaiah 43:18b-19

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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 03:52:40 AM »

I noticed my user name had caught some attention and wanted to share the Bible verse behind it. I hope I did not offend anyone or go against policy for this site. It is a beautiful verse, but I want to include all philosophies and cultures. I attempted to erase it, but I’m too late. Please forgive me Smiling (click to insert in post)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 04:01:47 AM by Isaiah 43:18b-19 » Logged
mywifecrazy
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 08:53:12 PM »

 Hello Isaiah 43
No need to apologize for your username!!  I haven’t posted in so long it looks like I didn’t post all of my comment. I just wanted to post that it was my faith that got me through the extreme pain of my uBPDxw abandoning me an my sons 6 years ago (you can look up my story). My faith kept me afloat during the first couple of years when the pain was very intense for me and my sons. It was only by turning my will 100% over to God that I got through it all. I am on the other side now and I have peace that goes beyond all understanding
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The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:18, 19)
blue_watermelon

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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2019, 08:06:38 PM »

Hi Isaiah 43.

I am glad to read your story and learn how God is sustaining you through a very difficult time. Being separated from your three daughters must be such a burden on your heart and I was encouraged reading about your hope and strength in the midst of such a difficult situation.

Many of the things you described about your husband are similar to my situation. The description of a hate box lasting from minutes up to about 5 days is the same length of time that I experience too.
Also, when you write this , "the problem is he does not remember a lot of his actions and tries really hard to defend his actions even though the defense does not seem to make much sense".

...is also is what my husband is like. H is incredibly intelligent and has a razor sharp memory. But he finds it so hard to remember what happened during moments of intense conflict. After hours and days of threats, swearing and yelling he often floors me when he says something like "What did we fight about?"

It does make me feel like I'm loosing my mind. That something that once was so vital to him, is then completely forgotten and he is completely in love with me all over.

It is great that your husband is going to counseling and I agree that hopefully this means at some level he is aware of the issues he has to work on.
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2019, 09:30:16 AM »

hi Isaiah 43:18b-19, and Welcome

Excerpt
He explains he goes into that mode when trust is broken and he feels the need to protect himself. When I put up my boundaries he views this as me taking control of the situation which is what creates his lack of trust feelings.
...
The hurtful words, the childish looks, getting in my face with a creepy controlled tone to badger, using a vehicle to have control to rant, clinging to our young children, talking to his family and trying to get them on his side are a few of my concerns I have expressed to him.

what youre describing sounds like an episode of emotional dysregulation.

what this can look like may vary a bit from person to person, but your description has a great deal of commonality with what many of us experience.

in a lot of ways, it can be one of the hardest things to deal with. partly because when its not happening, things tend to seem good, or at least tolerable. partly because it can be out of the blue, it can escalate, youre never sure what youre going to get. and partly because once it occurs, there arent a lot of ways to "deal with" it.

there are two things i would want to stress.

the first is that this is going to happen. your husband could not be giving a better, more accurate description of whats going on with him when it does. people with bpd traits struggle to regulate their emotions, and they often do so by lashing out. eventually, they return to baseline. so, this is, and likely always will be a struggle in your marriage. ideally though, they become less frequent, and/or less intense, and we are better equipped to weather them when they happen. and the best facilitator of that happening is to nurture the marriage when they arent happening. think globally, more in terms of "fire prevention" than "running around putting out every fire".

the second is that there arent magic words or actions (95% of the time) that will bring a person out of an emotionally dysregulated state. i think a lot of us have trouble accepting that. our nerves get wound up, and we tend to do things that only make matters worse, or escalate...we do it back, or we facilitate circular arguments, or we go into doormat mode, or...lots of things. the first rule when things reach the point of no return is not to make things worse. navigating it in a constructive way is the second, and that may require some trial and error.

so! when this happens, what do you do? can you give us a recent example? the more detail, the more we can help.
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     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
Isaiah 43:18b-19

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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2019, 12:57:11 PM »

I’m struggling with my reaction. It’s always different and I don’t feel I have much control myself. When he explodes out of the blue blaming me for his anxiety and fears instead of looking inward or expressing his feelings, I find I’m immediately put into fight or flight. There have been times where my voice raises. There have been time where I have stayed calm and tried to reason with him or defend myself. Of course neither of these reactions help. When he has had me in his hate box for days, I’m more disciplined to just be present and not engage because I have nothing left. I’m better at this when our children are in the room. For example if we are in the kitchen I just keep cleaning. He was saying “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. Ha! I just said that three times. Divorce me! I’m going to make your life so miserable that you will want to divorce me.” He kept trying to get in my face and have eye contact, but I kept standing forward next to the kitchen counter. There have been times where I had discipline and just listened to his feelings and tried to understand. He said I was pandering and he exploded further. There are times I’m so flooded and sensitive to the attack with words that I walk out of the room. This is by far the worst reaction according to him. When I walk away he accuses me of taking control and he never lets me forget that I walked away. When he was driving his car and pulled over with ultimatums I told him he was scaring me and begged him to continue with our destination and he mocked me “Oh your scared of me ha!” I just sat there in silence. After a difficult counseling session I have to sit in silence on the way home leaving it up to him to speak or be ready to move on. He is disgusted if I touch him or create positive casual conversation. One night we went out to dinner after counseling and he was pleasant, but made constant digs. I just took it because I was thankful he was making the effort to move forward. Last counseling session he split immediately and just ranted not making a bit of sense as he attempted to thread all his emotions together and blame me for them. Our counselor was just stunned and let him. I sat there calmly and at times closed my eyes because I wished I was somewhere else. I just focused on my breathing. It took me three days to snap myself out of the painful self focus and tell myself to not take it personally. The worst is when certain reactions play over and over again in my head. Overrall, there is nothing I can do really to help.
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blue_watermelon

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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2019, 06:53:09 PM »

Hi Isaiah 43.

I am really impressed by how you are handling this. What you have described about the counseling sessions, dinner time and driving in the car are heartbreaking to hear. It seems you have a good awareness of how you are handling it and what you are trying to do to defuse the situation as much as possible.
I think you are right to accept that ultimately you cannot fix or help your husband. It has to be him.

Thanks for sharing this.
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