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Author Topic: Spouse (F35) wants to break up after 10 years and 4 kids  (Read 145 times)
PurpleElephant

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« on: December 03, 2019, 04:33:18 AM »

First post, hi everyone. This seems like a great community. Sorry for the long post up front. Describing many years and recent events is not easy..

I'm having (m40) a relationship with my spouse (f35) for 10 years. We've had a perfect life until recently. Large house, several cars and 4 wonderful young children. Good jobs and a great social life. People look upon us as being a perfect couple. Engaged in society, etc.

My spouse has always had trouble. I knew this from the beginning. She's had the most horrible upbringing you can imagine. In retrospect our years were filled with BPD behaviour from her side. It has affected me a lot. But I try to be calm, strong and gentle, as they say.

But we've had a great, intense and extremely loving relationship. In retrospect too loving perhaps. It was unreal. She was idealising me. And visa versa.

Not long ago, the switch was flipped by her.

From one day to another, I cannot emphasize that enough, I was the most horrible person in the world and she wanted out. She has turned into a cruel person within just a day. I still cannot comprehend that. It's scary that a human being is capable of this. I was (am) broken and didn't understand for the love of God what was happening and where it came from. It is truly surreal. Everything I did and had done in the last years was wrong. Complete chaos and I didn't see this coming AT ALL. I'm the sole reason for all her trouble, so she says.

Don't get me wrong. Signs and BPD behaviour have always been there. And I managed to deal with it. Calm, reflective. Listening. But I never knew these were traits of a serious illness. I suspected it though. I never knew what I was dealing with. I discovered this some weeks ago. Have read two books in no-time, "I hate you, don't leave me" and "Walking on eggshells". It all fell in place. I'm no professional but it all started making sense. Also her behaviour in the past ten years.

Something has "snapped". In her mind we've separated. We are renting a separate apartment in the city, close by. She insisted on this.
Sometimes I sleep there, sometimes she does. But mostly we're just home. We see each other every day. And if not, the phone is beeping a lot.

There is the constant pulling and pushing. I need to leave. I need to start my own life somewhere. I need to stay away. But when I do, or mention that I will make steps towards that, she calls within hours - crying that I have to come back. And I do. Because I love her to the end of the moon and back.

I feel like I'm in a movie. A movie created by script writers that have read all the BPD information that's out there. It's text book behaviour. Often I feel that the books describe my situation. So accurate that it's frightening.

I've developed a lot in a short amount of time. But I've also made terrible mistakes. The first weeks were filled with me crying and begging. And fighting. It ruined a lot and there came distance. But not really. I found a quote that describes the situation so good; "She wants distance, from nearby."
I become a bit more stable. And stronger again. She notices this, and opens up a bit again (haven't had an emotional bond with her for the last weeks, she completely blocked me out).

But one the other hand, I'm at the bottom. I'm desperate. I cry a lot.

And the main reason is the insecurity. Where are we heading? Are we no longer a couple? Is it really over? What's do the upcountry weeks, months and years look like? What about our beautiful children?Live day by day, I read - and hear from my shrink (weekly session).

It's all the question marks that keep me awake at night. "I'm in hell" I told a good friend the other day. I truly am. I feel so alone, while in reality I'm not.

There are so many more details I could write down. But it's too much. Too much for a single board post.

Any tips or supporting words are so welcome. I'm devastated.
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Stillhopeful4
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 06:19:14 AM »

Hi Purple Elephant,

I understand where you are coming from.  I've been with my W for 10 years as well.  The past year I noticed a lot of distancing on her side and then 6 months ago she flipped the switch off, literally one day.  We still lived together for about 2 months and then she moved out.  I still had hoped that we would reconcile because she's moved out a lot in the past 10 years.  But it went down hill fast with her new "friends" and now I haven't heard from her in 21 days.  It's horrible how they can literally shut down and block out any feelings they had.  My T says it wasn't love and that it's a trauma bond from all the years of abuse with her giving me the silent treatment and using the kids for triangulation.  She filed for divorce last week. 

Wishing you all the best on this journey.  Please post often.  Everyone here can relate to what you are going thru.

Best,
SH4
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PurpleElephant

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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 08:52:49 AM »

Thank you for your kind words SH4.

It's such a strange and surreal situation right now. When she talks to me, which is not often, she repeats that it really is over. That I make her feel sick, that she starts shivering when she hears my voice.

Let me remind all readers that we've been together for more than 10 years. And that this all started over one night. From ten beautiful years, to living with someone I don't know that tells me I'm the cause for all her trouble and that I need to be removed from her life. I cannot grasp it.

But the strange thing is that she doesn't take any action on progressing with the break up. It is as if she has the thought of breaking up as something to hold on to but in reality she wants nothing more than my presence. When I'm gone for one day due to work she starts texting me over and over, mentioning small practical things. Just a chat purely for what it is: a moment of confirmation that I'm around. That I come home.

But there is no love life. No emotional bond. She's stone walling me emotionally. She avoids being in the same room.

I start wondering if I'm abused at the moment. Financially, practically. What are your thoughts?

When I read about BPD it's as if the authors write about her. It's unbelievably accurate.

But then I hold on to the thought that I'm her pilar of support. She's very ill. She needs someone that is there for her. That loves her, that is available when needed.

At least that's what I tell myself.

I love her insanely much. I always have. And that's the reason I look for solutions. And hold on. I can't give up. Not now.
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Stillhopeful4
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 10:10:07 AM »


But then I hold on to the thought that I'm her pilar of support. She's very ill. She needs someone that is there for her. That loves her, that is available when needed.

At least that's what I tell myself.

I love her insanely much. I always have. And that's the reason I look for solutions. And hold on. I can't give up. Not now.

I totally get this.  This was me for the past 10 years with my W.  I would not give up on her....she needed me in her life to love her unconditionally like no one else had ever done.  I was determined to not leave her.  And I didn't but she got another source and left me.

I'm told you can't save them, they need to save themselves.  My W, went from having me rescue her, to a whole new group of "friends" she tells her sob story to.  They will see the true her in the end, she can't hide it for long.

You need to decide where you want to go from here.  If it is "abuse" are you willing to work on yourself to take care of your emotional needs before her's? 

At the end of the day you need to be happy with the life you are living and only you can decide how to live it!

SH4
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PurpleElephant

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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 11:02:41 AM »

You said there came another source. What do you mean? Did she get another relationship? Serious, or just fun/sex? I start to feel that if my SO would distract herself with someone unimportant that I could wait for her to come back to me. Whether or not I would be able to; only time can tell. Because it's just to wait for it imo. The signs are already there. Don't feel like providing details but she's extremely obsessed with sex lately. I'm not sure anymore how I would react.

I agree that they can only save themselves. It has to come from within. However, I want to be there for her. I can't abandon the woman that I love so deeply, and that is currently living in so much agony and pain (which she probably has done for years already, if not her whole life).

I would never forgive myself if I turn my back on her now. And we have the children no matter what. Our son has special needs.

It's a very complex situation.
I don't see the end. I don't see a solution, or an ending. Or;

Nothing other than me taking care of myself, accepting the situation as it is, living day by day and educating myself on the topic as much as I can.

It's the emptyness and uncertainty of the future that gives me physical and mental pain. I struggle every day.

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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 12:13:22 PM »

I'm in a similar situation. My girlfriend of over three and a half years ended it a few months ago, but after leaving she returned, so she does stay here some nights a week, but she sleeps in the spare room mostly.

She keeps telling me she can't cope anymore and the temptation to self harm is high, she's just had another miscarriage.

Thing is , I don't really know what to do, she's stopped giving me rent, because she was having money trouble, and I know she's seeing and sleeping with this other guy, but , when I question it with her, she says it's not serious with him, and were single anyway atm, so what's the issue?

Problem is, I know if I slept with another girl all hell would break lose, and she'd probably just break down over it , but she seems to be holding all the cards and doing what she wants.

She was like, why are you being off with me the other day and blanking her, felt like telling her, are you actually mad, you're screwing some other guy , and you want to play happy families ?

I can't even mourn myself over her miscarriage, because I'm only like 80% sure it was my baby. =/

I just feel like the longer this goes on, the more messed up things get.
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Stillhopeful4
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 12:13:34 PM »

You said there came another source. What do you mean? Did she get another relationship?

Yes, she's getting her "supply" from another source.  Several "secret" relationships and also she swapped me for her new "Favorite Person" (it is common for BPD's to have a fav person and it's not always spouse).... Her new favorite person is her boss.  So in my house what happens is when W paints me black it's usually because she's coming close to another person, be it sexual or close close friends.  Then what she does is she leaves or stays and gives me 100% silent treatment so she doesn't feel guilty of "cheating" on her new BFF.  My x has a habit of going back to her x's A LOT....

I understand your struggle.  I struggle every day with it as well.

SH4
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 12:25:23 PM »

Yes, she's getting her "supply" from another source.  Several "secret" relationships and also she swapped me for her new "Favorite Person" (it is common for BPD's to have a fav person and it's not always spouse).... Her new favorite person is her boss.  So in my house what happens is when W paints me black it's usually because she's coming close to another person, be it sexual or close close friends.  Then what she does is she leaves or stays and gives me 100% silent treatment so she doesn't feel guilty of "cheating" on her new BFF.  My x has a habit of going back to her x's A LOT....

I understand your struggle.  I struggle every day with it as well.

SH4

See, when you say things like this, I think to myself, what's the point of even trying to make this work.

Like you , there's always some other guy lurking in the background, and there's been unexplained , unexpected vanishing trips , where she doesn't return for a day or two, If I was a betting man, I'd put money on the fact she wasn't faithful during these years.

Thing is, I have been loyal all these years, ok, I'll put my hands up, I lost it at the start, she was in constant communication with an ex, and there was rumours going out she slept with someone behind my back, so I lost it, and let a girl kiss me while I was at work, but that's it, and I told her the same night.

But I just feel like, I'm still young ish, I want a proper family life, I'm not sure if this is ever going to be a successful relationship, even if we get through this which is a shame.

But these people, they seem to always think the grass is greener ?, Or is there hope ?
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PurpleElephant

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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 01:30:08 PM »

See, when you say things like this, I think to myself, what's the point of even trying to make this work.

Imagine you're deeply in love with someone. Like real love, that has developed over years and years. You share children, memories, experiences. There is a true bond. All of a sudden your SO turns out to have a severe mental illness. And she is in constant mental pain to a point where it's unbearable. And she starts to ease the pain; distract herself with alcohol, drugs, sex or other bad behaviour. Chances are that when this is something you witness, you are able to deal with it. It's impossible to judge such a situation without standing in it yourself. Given the history you have and the love that exists. You don't turn off deep, true love by snapping your fingers.

But these people, they seem to always think the grass is greener ?, Or is there hope ?
Assuming you refer to pwBPD, there is no green grass for them. Not now or tomorrow; not here and not over there. All they are busy with is easing the pain of the moment. They live in the "now", and the now hurts like hell. The pain is unbearable. They're in constant agony, even when they don't show it. As a Non, we have to realise this constantly. It's easy to forget. Once we become better at it, our anger and frustration makes place for empathy and kindness.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 01:41:55 PM »

Hey PurpleElephant,

I have 8 years, no children, but I will have my final divorce (she had one before and we re-married) just a week from now. I can understand your feelings. It is very heavy, because you love the person and wanted the very best, but often the essence of life is mystery and as you said as long as she will not help herself she wont be able to get out of her pain. Truth be said we all are victims and perpetrators at the same time, but it is not something to play a game with. My wife is doing better now, and I am happy, although I have no idea for how long... it never lasts. I had a breaking point, that I understand the things how they are (that she will never be capable of stable relationships with me), but with you it is a bit different, because you share children, so I don´t know how I would act in another situation. But never underestimate the importance to follow your inner conscience, if you feel you still need to fight for this, so that is exactly what you need to do. I did it too. And you never know unless you do your best, since you don´t want to live with regrets for the rest of your life. But at the same time don´t judge yourself for making mistakes, that is just superbly normal, we all do it all the time, and that is the only way how we become better.

My best wishes to you!! And I hope things go well and you feel better.
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Unsure101

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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 03:17:01 PM »

Imagine you're deeply in love with someone. Like real love, that has developed over years and years. You share children, memories, experiences. There is a true bond. All of a sudden your SO turns out to have a severe mental illness. And she is in constant mental pain to a point where it's unbearable. And she starts to ease the pain; distract herself with alcohol, drugs, sex or other bad behaviour. Chances are that when this is something you witness, you are able to deal with it. It's impossible to judge such a situation without standing in it yourself. Given the history you have and the love that exists. You don't turn off deep, true love by snapping your fingers.
Assuming you refer to pwBPD, there is no green grass for them. Not now or tomorrow; not here and not over there. All they are busy with is easing the pain of the moment. They live in the "now", and the now hurts like hell. The pain is unbearable. They're in constant agony, even when they don't show it. As a Non, we have to realise this constantly. It's easy to forget. Once we become better at it, our anger and frustration makes place for empathy and kindness.

I did have feelings for her, infact, I still do, but her behaviour is out of control.

She's not communicating effectively with me anymore, infact she rarely reaches out to me, if I message her , I get a one or two word reply.

She told me in the past she's breaking up with me for my benefit, she knows she's unwell mentally and doesn't want to hurt me, and the old you can do much better without me approach.

She refuses to seek help, and manages to waste her money on clothes , weed , and she has a gambling problem.
She stopped contributing to the house hold bills some months ago now.

Her behaviour is out of control , it's incredibly hard keeping my own sanity and pretending everything is ok, then when she comes over, she's in floods of tears about everything going on :/

But I'm conflicted, on one hand I just want to give her a big hug and cuddle and cradle her till she goes to sleep, on the other hand, I'm extremely mad with her, because I know she's sleeping with this other guy :/

Puts me in a funny position.

If I was stronger, I'd probably ask her to gather her things and leave, but doing so, would put her in a serious bad place, she'd most likely lose her job, and be homeless , as I don't think her family are in a position to take her in, and with no savings to hand, unless her parents bail her out, she'd be stuffed, and I can't do that to her.
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PurpleElephant

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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 04:44:01 PM »

I did have feelings for her, infact, I still do, but her behaviour is out of control.

She's not communicating effectively with me anymore, infact she rarely reaches out to me, if I message her , I get a one or two word reply.

The lack of communication has been exactly the same for me the last weeks. I was going nuts by it. Untill some days ago.

She sent a short, provocative message. Normally I would have reacted frustrated. But I was trying to truly listen to the emotions behind the message. And I managed. I validated her feelings and was a mirror. Answered back that I understood her sadness, and asked how I could help. It ended in a constructive, long conversation. Her initial words were irrelevant. All she did was telling me how sad she was (by blaming me for something silly). After that, communication has improved by a huge factor. It is as if she opened the door a tiny bit again. I don't expect anything out of it. But the event on itself made me proud. And a bit stronger.

She told me in the past she's breaking up with me for my benefit, she knows she's unwell mentally and doesn't want to hurt me, and the old you can do much better without me approach.

My SO has told me exactly this countless times. Amazing how similar our experiences are sometimes.

(...) I'm extremely mad with her, because I know she's sleeping with this other guy :/

I've been angry and scared for that scenario for many weeks despite not knowing whether it's true or not, in my case. But the more I learn and read, and discuss with people close to me, the more I think that such a situation would only be sad. I would feel sorry for her. Truly, not in a mocking way. If a human needs to fall back on shallow sex in order to feel good, that's a very sad thing.

And don't forget, it only eases their pain for the moment. Afterwards, they only feel worse about their self.

I truly love my SO. I would feel so sad for her. It would mean she's desperate, and in a very dark place.

If I was stronger, I'd probably ask her to gather her things and leave, but doing so, would put her in a serious bad place, she'd most likely lose her job, and be homeless , as I don't think her family are in a position to take her in, and with no savings to hand, unless her parents bail her out, she'd be stuffed, and I can't do that to her.

I can so relate to those thoughts. But I don't agree that that is the strong thing to do.

Or, it depends.

If she drags you down it would be. Then it needs to end. Whether it's emotionally, financially or practical. Then it needs to stop in order to protect yourself. Remember, she's a grown up person responsible for her own choices and actions (even though she's suffering from BPD traits!). You are not responsible for her well being.

But if you are doing relatively okay and have peace to some extent with the situation as is, and are able to "protect" yourself as a healthy and emotional person, then the strong thing to do is exactly what you're doing right now.

I write as if I'm talking to you. But in reality I'm talking to myself Smiling (click to insert in post)

Thanks everyone for being a part of this community. It's a powerful thing.
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 10:10:41 PM »

Hi Purpleheart,

Just chiming in to say how much I can relate to your situation  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)  Two years ago, I was in the same spot as you after a 21 year marriage (27 year relationship).  Like you, I knew my exBPDh had some odd behaviors but I'm easygoing (codependent) and I just brushed them off.  Like you, I was completely and utterly idealized - until I wasn't  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

Went on a weekend away by myself a hour away, got a loving text from him to drive safe home , came home to a raging psychotic lunatic who RAGED at me for almost 3 weeks before assaulting me (no prior history).  He was suddenly profoundly addicted to pot (chain-smoking the stuff) (no prior history).  He became completely hypersexual (no prior history) and started picking up random women during the 3 weeks of insanity.  He pretended to work on saving the marriage in counseling for a couple of weeks but it was hopeless.  He was so unfathomable cruel and cold to me (no prior history).  I had such a profound feeling of relief when I found out that he had an actual mental illness - I couldn't believe that there was actually a disorder to describe the situation. 

Like you I absolutely was completely BLINDSIDED.  It took a good year to shake off the feelings of surrealness.  Two years out and I still have a hard time comprehending it all.  In the back of my mind, I keep waiting for someone from Hollywood to option a script.  I can't read a work of fiction anymore - I feel like I lived through so much drama that fictional novels pale in comparison.  And the worst part of it that almost nobody gets it or can relate to the situation at all - it's just so bizarre.  It is impossible to comprehend how a person can be idealized for so long and then in the blink of an eye be absolutely demonized. 

I can relate to a lot of what you are feeling for what it's worth.  It's been the toughest situation and unbearable at times.  I could not have survived without good friends and serious therapy.  I'm still recovering.  My son has been my North Star through it all.

Hugs and strength to you - one minute, hour and day at a time  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Warmly,
B
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 11:31:28 PM »

If a human needs to fall back on shallow sex in order to feel good, that's a very sad thing.

And don't forget, it only eases their pain for the moment. Afterwards, they only feel worse about their self.

Indeed, when I confronted her last time about it, she said she was hurting and in pain, that's why she had sex to give her relief and make her feel a bit better.

But still knowing another guy has been intimate with her , isn't ideal , especially when we had been trying so hard for a baby, she has difficulty conceiving.

I mean, right now, if she did fall pregnant, I'm going to have no choice but to get a DNA test on baby when it's born. Although, she assures me she uses condom's.

It just really isn't ideal.

If only she'd get some kind of therapy. That might help.
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 06:42:05 AM »

It is impossible to comprehend how a person can be idealized for so long and then in the blink of an eye be absolutely demonized. 

I can relate.  I was my W BFF, she adored me.  Then with the flip of the switch, PURE HATE.  Spewing horrible lies about me and it's been 23 days since she's spoke to me.

Also, regarding the sex thing, I can relate to that too.  She wouldn't have sex with me, but then ran off to her x and had sex with her, several times over the past 10 years.  When she finally confessed she said it was just angry sex and she did it out of hate and it wasn't even good and then she felt horrible for days (apparently).  She used her having affairs as an excuse to leave me, saying I could never forgive her, even though I had, for cheating and I would always look at her like a cheater.

SH4
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PurpleElephant

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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 10:50:05 AM »

OP here. I want to thank everyone again for sharing thoughts and experiences. It's incredible how much good it does to read your stories. And how similar they are, often down to the details.

I want to share a recent event where I, for the first time (in 10 years), tried to set a boundary. I did several things wrong but I would like to hear your thoughts before I share my own. And before I write it down, I've also managed many times to communicate good the last days. Our communication has improved tremendously over the course of just a couple of days. Due to me implementing models and approaches such as SET, reflective listening and mirroring instead of absorbing. I feel very good lately. It works, it truly does. But it takes a lot of effort, concentration and focus. All the time. I hope it because natural after some time.

Out of the blue, all was relatively normal, she started yelling how bad I was. That everything I did the last days had been wrong. It went on and on. It became meaner and meaner because I managed to keep my calm and not say much. She couldn't handle that and started to use meaner words. It was extreme in the end. Ridiculous.

That's when I decided I stopped what I was doing (was helping her out with a task she couldn't do alone). I told her, calm, that she had crossed a boundary. That I didn't accept this behaviour and that I would pull away for the day. Then I left. Calm, and in control. Or so I thought.

It was bothering me that the task was left undone. It needed to be completed, practically seen. I called her not long after and asked if she wanted to apologize. She didn't have a clue what I meant with that and basically went on with the explosion from earlier. And now on top of that she blamed me for abandoning her and the task.

Then she was playing the victim. That the task needed to be completed. She was playing on my weaknesses and she managed flawless. I went back and did it. She was sweet as a flower when we met again and acted as if nothing has happened. All was good, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Almost in an extreme fashion.

I want to set boundaries. But this first attempt failed big time. I know some things I did wrong.

But I would like to hear your opinions before sharing my own.

I've never set boundaries. I'm codependent in every sense of the definition.

Lastly I want to add that she remembers this event as if it was me that was screaming and being angry. She told me not long ago that she has a hard time forgiving me for being so angry the other day (this event).


« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 10:55:32 AM by PurpleElephant » Logged
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