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Author Topic: A question for anyone with young children  (Read 128 times)
Harrisps

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« on: May 22, 2020, 11:38:13 AM »

Hello,

Just wondering what others would if you find yourself in this situation....

My wife is triggered massively by parents and most of the rest of my family in some ways.

It’s now having a noticeable impact and our daughter who’s 2 and a half.

The other day she told me she didn’t want to see nan and grandad as mummy doesn’t like that and she doesn’t want to
make mummy cry.

Tomorrow is my sisters birthday and I will be visiting her to drop present and then going for a walk with my mother

I would obviously love to take at least one of our children (we have 2, youngest is 5months) but I am concerned about the reaction afterwards and the intact on our daughter.

Has anyone been in a similar position?

Is there a good way to approach one of my needs whilst not invalidating my wife’s feelings?

Unfortunately my wife is very depressed atm and we are having crisis’s on a very frequent basis.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

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WantToBeFree
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 10:24:03 PM »

Hi Harrisps,

I'm sorry you're stuck between this impossible "rock and hard place".  I am assuming this means your wife will not be going with you to see your sister and mom, and you're trying to figure out if you should go alone or take your oldest daughter with you?

While it is commendable to not want to invalidate your wife's feelings, I think we should always try to do what is best for our children and in this case it is to build and/or maintain a good relationship between them and other family members.  If your wife doesn't want to interact with them that is her choice and her right, but she shouldn't dictate who your children can see so long as they are not toxic or dangerous toward your children. 

It sounds like she can become triggered even when she doesn't see them, so either way she may have an issue, so you might as well let your daughter spend time with them.  As for your daughter not wanting to see them and upset her mom, perhaps try explaining to your daughter that mommy being upset is a grown-up issue that she doesn't have to solve and it's ok to see her nan and granddad. 

Growing up my mom was very paranoid and just didn't like certain people...there seemed to be no rhyme or reason why.  She had an issue with a LOT of my dad's family members despite them not doing anything to her and even being nice and inclusive even though they knew she didn't like them.  As a result, my dad nor I got to see his side of the family often because my mom would have a huge fit over it.  Eventually, we just began going without her, so it helped build a relationship with them but I still didn't see them a ton and I was a very shy kid so it was kind of a lost cause due to how little I saw them.  I was never as close to my paternal grandparents as I was my maternal ones. 

Good luck, I know this is a very tough spot to be in!
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livednlearned
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 09:38:19 AM »

My wife is triggered massively by parents and most of the rest of my family in some ways.

This was exactly how things were with my ex when our son was young.

My parents lived 3000 miles and had to stay in a hotel when they visited because there was always drama. Never failed.

The other day she told me she didn’t want to see nan and grandad as mummy doesn’t like that and she doesn’t want to
make mummy cry.

How did you respond?

I am concerned about the reaction afterwards and the intact on our daughter.

It sounds like the very beginning of an estrangement campaign. It's not uncommon on these boards for a BPD sufferer to drive wedges into significant relationships. In your case, it's your whole family.

Is there a good way to approach one of my needs whilst not invalidating my wife’s feelings?

She probably feels that if you love your family, you won't be able to love her. There isn't enough to go around. And if you love your family and choose her, then she gets a small hit of reassurance. It's how she measures her worth, creating small tests like this. Your oldest child is probably being co-opted into this measuring system now.

I tend to feel that solving short term crises tends to create worse longer term ones. The key then is to create manageable short term solutions so that you don't end up in a long term permanent hell scape where you can't see your family, or your kids can't get to see their grandparents.

With my current BPD loved one (I graduated from a BPD brother to BPD ex husband to BPD step daughter  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)) she creates these tests often for her dad. Even H and I turning in for the night sent her into a texting spasm with all manner of crises that seemed to originate out of thin air. You would think we left a toddler alone to fend for herself, except she was in her early 20s.

What helped was to have better boundaries, not looser ones. The looser the boundaries, the more she wanted. But what we added to the boundaries was a lot of validation throughout the day and especially at night. In your case, that might be before you go. Lots of family time drawing pictures for mommy, doing her nails, her hair, hanging out together with the baby, being light as a fairy, reminding her that you'll be out for an hour with sister/mom, can you get her anything. Maybe your oldest daughter brings something back for mom to show she was thinking of her, etc.

What are your thoughts about how that might work?
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 12:10:52 PM »

This is black or white thinking, seldom any gray in between as with normal perceptions.  It is quite commonly reported here.  My then-spouse had increasing conflict with friends, congregation and family, especially my family.  By the time we separated I only knew of three friends she had left, all either illegal or had difficulty with English, so I concluded she felt she had control with them too.

My observation is that if this isn't addressed it will get worse over time.  However, it may get worse no matter what you do.  That was what I faced and in time I realized my marriage was being sabotaged even though she couldn't admit it.  Finding fault, blaming and blame shifting.
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GaGrl
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 02:58:25 PM »

Are you and your wife in marriage counseling or family therapy? This is exactly the kind of family dynamic being created that can be improved when addressed early. In fact, some play therapy for your daughter might provide some insight to the pressure she obviously is feeling.
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"...what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."
Harrisps

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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 02:58:20 PM »

Hello everyone and thank you for you replies......

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to push for what I knew was reasonable but my wife angrily to told me to take both kids. I wasn’t happy with the way our daughter was being confused and managed to persuade my wife to sit down and explain a few things. I think it helped.

I received very little support with childcare for the rest of that day and was pushed and prodded but managed to come off relatively unscathed...... she went to bed giving me the cold shoulder and then all is forgotten wanting to have sex half an hour later!

Sorry a llittle weird writing that on a message board but I’m sure everyone will have similar experience. The pendulum doesn’t half swing with BPD.

I feel i now need to continue setting boundaries and not expecting it to be easy or even comfortable but necessary if we’ve any chance of making it through.
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livednlearned
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 08:11:36 AM »

I feel i now need to continue setting boundaries and not expecting it to be easy or even comfortable but necessary if we’ve any chance of making it through.

You did a great job. Honestly, that was master class level  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I think deep down pwBPD want and need boundaries. And I mean very deep down, not necessarily something that she's likely to say to you, much less admit to herself. If she can roll over your boundaries, then she's in charge, and she knows that her emotions will run the show and probably create chaos not just for her but for everyone. Someone who can set reasonable limits helps to hem in her worst impulses, keeping others safe from her, even if she throws a fit (often to check how secure the limit is).

Marsha Linehan (diagnosed with BPD) and the founder of dialectical behavior therapy talks about the need for acceptance AND change for someone who has challenges with emotional regulation. A lot of the skills we try to apply are about communicating a blend of acceptance/change. Which is not easy! Many of the skills are not intuitive and must be learned.

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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 01:38:24 PM »

Reminds me of Dr Doolittle's pushme-pullyou.  BPD behaviors can alternate between two extremes.  Perhaps the reasons are a bit different between individuals, could be a combination of an assortment of issues.  A need to feel in control?  A need to keep you off balance and reactive rather than proactive?  Her way of dealing with her inner distress?

She wanted you to care for the kids all day.  Rather than hang around her, did you try taking the kids outside where they could be kids and let her reset?  Might help, but of course that is not a fix and may not always work.  Remember to think of the kids' welfare, your spouse is a concern but she's an adult after all, the kids aren't.
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