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Author Topic: Blame for lack of emotional intimacy  (Read 942 times)
truthdevotee
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« on: March 01, 2021, 04:20:23 AM »

pwBDP touched her underlying shame when her step mom called her today. She noticed the internal shame without projecting it into me. After about 1 minute it started becoming all about me again. But there was that moment where she truly felt shame and vulnerably said "i feel"

I know I'm capable of emotional intimacy and i see that she believes I'm not due to setting limits. I said to her by text as I took the boys out to escape the chaos at home:

"
I'm here for you as you walk through the inner discovery of the emotions underlying the name calling and anger.
The name calling and anger are on the surface. We will find emotional connection as you come into contact with the deeper level of emotions.
I have my own limits on the amount of name calling and anger I can handle.
"

Now she continues in the usual pattern of blaming everything on me, under the heading" you aren't capable of emotional intimacy"

This bothers me a bit so I'm wondering if it's that I need to be more patient with her. But I'm 50/50 about that... I don't know... After so much name calling and anger I get exhausted and she hates that I say I need space right now but let's talk at xyz time of the day

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Notwendy
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2021, 05:13:16 AM »

How someone perceives emotional intimacy can vary.  There's the idea of "love languages" - for some people it's words of affirmation, for others, quality time, acts of service and so on.

First, during a deregulation and name calling, or if she's afeeling shame, that's not the time to attempt a discussion about the relationship. Neither of you are in a good space. Once you both are calmer, you can ask " please help me to understand what you are seeking when you say "emotional intimacy"?

If the conversation goes down the road of name calling, then don't continue it. If she calls you names, don't react- but also you don't have to listen to it. You could say " I asked you sincerely, I am interested in hearing what you would like, but I can't continue a conversation with name calling" "we can talk later when we can do it without name calling" and then walk away.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2021, 08:07:33 AM »

Thank you Notwendy. It's very helpful to distinguish the right time to talk about the relationship. It clarifies that I'm not doing some incorrectly. It's exhausting as I think I've been getting into JADE today. She's so angry when I state that I am too overwhelmed to talk, even when I affirm we can talk another time later in the day. I didn't sleep well last night so I'm struggling in particular today with her incessant demands for my attention. I've blurted out a couple of subconscious things that triggered her I think due to this feeling tired and probably unconscious resentment.

I took sick leave today. Also got myself tested for covid.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2021, 08:27:02 AM »

Your changing your behavior can increase anxiety for both of you. You know what is familiar and what to expect with the familiar patterns. You also know that appeasement works, temporarily, to give you both a moment of peace. You give in to her, she may calm down, you have a bit of relief from the pressure and fear of her mood.

Changing this pattern puts both of you into the unknown. It's not comfortable and it's risky for both of you since you don't know the outcome. But you do know the outcome of doing what you usually do. If you want to change that, it involves an unknown outcome.

You each have the task of managing your own emotions. It can be trial and error. She knows what worked for her until now- so it makes sense she will try it- name calling, being controlling, she's trying to relieve her uncomfortable feelings.

You are too. Can you manage your own discomfort? That's the key- to be able to manage your own emotions such as fear and anxiety. Then you would be less likely to react to hers. But it's a learning curve. Perhaps the best advice would be to do it in steps. It's understandable to be inpatient- want to implement calling your parent, a workspace, and other changes. You have done one of them- calling parents. Maybe it's more manageable to be persistant with that one.

It's been said- don't implement a boundary that you can not stand up for, because if she's able to get you to back down, then that behavior is reinforced. So maybe stick with the calling home one for a while, let both of you settle down to that one. Maybe some self care things like leaving the house with the boys when she's raging- good for you, good for them. But leave other major ones until you can emotionally manage yourself with them.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2021, 09:24:30 AM »

Thank you Notwendy.

I think that's it... I've been too much on edge, not enough full-bodied presence. It comes out as reactivity which can anger her further.

Last few minutes I've been focusing on proper presence, letting go of resisting and tensing up to my own anxiety (letting it be felt and flow in the body), and reflecting the feelings of my pwBDP... "you feel xyz... aha..."

Now she's on the phone to a family member! Completely different rules for herself. She's created chaos the last 3 days since I let her know I called my parents.

Thanks for this reminder about not overloading with too many new boundaries and behaviours. It could be that right now it's best to be on sick leave as she's refusing to care for the boys on her own.

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Notwendy
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2021, 10:01:11 AM »

Something to think about-

For you to work, you need child care for the boys.

Relying on your wife to provide this care, makes your ability to work dependent on her being willing/able to do this.

If she refuses to watch the boys, it means you have to do it. This means you stay home.

Sometimes the "reason" for her wishes is actually an emotional need. Not that you can read minds, nobody can. However, consider that, if you are home watching the boys, she knows where you are and is probably less anxious.

But you don't get any work done.....

I know she won't let anyone else do it. Do you see how this is also something that has you being home? If she let someone else do it, you would be able to leave to go to work.

It's tempting to JADE due to accusations or reasons presented, but when these are not logical to you. ( she knows you need to work to support the family so it's illogical to make this difficult for you) consider that, the actual reason is more emotional than what is being given as the "reason". Also you don't have to validate the invalid by going along with it. Maybe something such as " I am going to work for the next 3 hours, I will be back then to take the boys to the park" is more manageable than a vague "I am going to work" which might have her thinking "when is he coming back". Then, she can be left to manage her feelings knowing that there's a limited time to your being gone.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2021, 12:23:38 PM »

I know she won't let anyone else do it. Do you see how this is also something that has you being home? If she let someone else do it, you would be able to leave to go to work.

It's tempting to JADE due to accusations or reasons presented, but when these are not logical to you. ( she knows you need to work to support the family so it's illogical to make this difficult for you) consider that, the actual reason is more emotional than what is being given as the "reason". Also you don't have to validate the invalid by going along with it. Maybe something such as " I am going to work for the next 3 hours, I will be back then to take the boys to the park" is more manageable than a vague "I am going to work" which might have her thinking "when is he coming back". Then, she can be left to manage her feelings knowing that there's a limited time to your being gone.

Thanks again for the deep insight. This makes complete sense about the emotional need and the great idea to make it a kind of limited "time block" so she can manage the feelings for that time period. Much for me to reflect on here...

The last 3 days have been constantly extremely intense whenever she is around. I'm just writing this here as a way to self-reflect. It's as if she allows everything to blow up given the threat of the "norm" changing and the resulting discomfort. She's stopped all cleaning, and I'm only managing the clean the kitchen daily, so the house is a big mess.

She kept asking questions today regarding what I discussed with my parents. I mentioned a conversation about near-death experiences that I had with my mother. Near-death experience studies are just a general interest of mine, and since my mum has recently been diagnosed with heart failure, she mentioned this may be her way to leave the planet. This triggered a sharing on near-death experience studies that I find interesting.

My pwBDP feels totally betrayed and abandoned by the knowledge that I connected "intimately with your mother but never with me." To me this didn't feel like anything abnormal. She cried with a lot of blame and anger at the same time and I showed comfort and let her know how much I love her. I also did some explaining which probably didn't help at all. In the end, she left the house with tears in her eyes.

Although it's a tricky situation going through these times with pwBPD, I sense that I have work to do. My mindful awareness isn't powerful enough to spot the patterns I'm engaging in. I think I am finding it so exhausting because of the self-doubt that comes up when I share my truths and she thinks I'm narcisistic for doing so. Additionally, I'm sure but unaware precisely how I engage in JADE and circular arguments. I guess this is about further reading, understanding and mindful practice to become more effective at knowing what's a dead-end and what's a possibility to connect with her.

But... I let out a big *sigh* with the awareness that this not easy, for her or for me... and the boys. Overall though, it has been a good day... just all of this stuff with pwBDP erodes the joy and lightness that could be.

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Notwendy
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2021, 03:15:39 PM »

Maybe I can lend some insight into this idea.

When we are being co-dependent, we are not being our authentic selves. If you are walking on eggshells around your wife, you are probably a bit on high alert and guarded.

Not so much around a trusted family member, or friend, in a non romantic situation. I think we have more at stake emotionally in a romantic relationship and with issues would feel more guarded.

It seems a bit weird to be jealous of a non romantic relationship but if you are more at ease sharing with your family, your wife can probably sense this. It's not your fault, it's the nature of the relationship.

Ironically, this can get better when you become less co-dependent and walk on eggshells less, and manage your own fears, because you will then be less guarded with her than you are now. I imagine you feel you can say what you want with your parents more or less as they aren't going to go off the rails. Your wife might but the solution is to not be as fearful of her moods. Don't put the blame on her "I can't talk to you because of how you react" isn't going to bring improvement. Saying to yourself " I can't talk to her due to my fears- I need to work on this" and consider this has a much better chance.

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truthdevotee
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2021, 03:34:31 PM »

Excerpt

It seems a bit weird to be jealous of a non romantic relationship but if you are more at ease sharing with your family, your wife can probably sense this. It's not your fault, it's the nature of the relationship.


She's extremely jealous. I let her know honestly just now that I don't see anything abnormal sharing about near death experiences with my mother, yet my pwBPD fully believes this is incest. Is that true? She said I'm blind and can't even see its incest

She says some horrible things such as that I'm cheating, and much worse (like of sexualizing the whole thing).

I said that i respect her thought and opinion, but I do not share it. I know that she would interpret this is invalidating her, but I sense that it's important to continue to validate how I love her but how I see things differently. As in, affirm our love but stand up for my individuality, which is making her feel tremendously uncomfortable.

Am I on the right track?

She feels tremendous pain and disgust when I honestly share that i don't see the near death experience topic with my mother as an issue.

In pwBDPs mind, respect = acting in accordance with her feelings. I said that respect isn't the same as agreement, that we can respect one another but still disagree and even do things differently. She hates this because feelings = facts. Am I correct here, though?


Excerpt

Ironically, this can get better when you become less co-dependent and walk on eggshells less, and manage your own fears, because you will then be less guarded with her than you are now. I imagine you feel you can say what you want with your parents more or less as they aren't going to go off the rails. Your wife might but the solution is to not be as fearful of her moods. Don't put the blame on her "I can't talk to you because of how you react" isn't going to bring improvement. Saying to yourself " I can't talk to her due to my fears- I need to work on this" and consider this has a much better chance.

Thanks a lot. I understand. Yeah it's so true that I basically gave up sharing my internal world after so many years of being attacked for self expression. And so the emotional intimacy has got lost. But I see what you mean, the only way out is to confront my fears and share anyway. There's the added factor of wanting the boys to have a peaceful house, and so I often avoid triggering pwBDP by sharing too much. So it makes sense she feels I'm incapable of emotional intimacy. It's not that I'm incapable it's that I didn't feel safe and I get worried about the boys. But in general I'll focus on the guidance here to face these fears and willingly face her reactions when I express myself

That's very true I'm more at ease sharing myself with basically everyone but her... Sad because she's my wife... But exactly as you said, she picks up on this and is so hurt because the emotional depth occurs between myself and others in my life more easily

I'll face my fears.

Thank you
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Notwendy
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2021, 03:49:28 PM »

Oh now come on....

Cheating? On the phone with your mother and she's a distance from you?

Now, if your wife is feeling jealous that you are more comfortable speaking to your mother and you are walking on eggshells with your wife- it might feel like cheating to her. A pwBPD can sense feelings=facts but one of you needs to know better than that.

You can validate her feeling and not argue the facts. "Honey, I understand it may feel that way to you" and then let it go. Arguing that you aren't having an incestual affair will feel invalidating and also arguing in a way adds energy to the idea. If you have nothing to defend, then don't defend it.

Don't defend sharing your interests with your mother to her. It doesn't help her feelings and it isn't something you need to explain to her otherwise.

I am sorry that you holding on to reality is such an ordeal for your wife, but if she's thinking things that aren't real, there's not much you can do about it.  Sometimes these changes can lead to an adjustment on the part of the other person. Sometimes it can challenge the relationship altogether. It's not easy.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2021, 12:41:50 AM »

Maybe something such as " I am going to work for the next 3 hours, I will be back then to take the boys to the park" is more manageable than a vague "I am going to work" which might have her thinking "when is he coming back". Then, she can be left to manage her feelings knowing that there's a limited time to your being gone.

I tried it today, I booked office access for today, tomorrow and Thursday (we are permitted 3 days every 10 days at the office). I let her know this morning at 0630 that I'll be gone until 1115 to 1130 and will bring lunch in boxes for her and the boys. It resulted in her breaking down and blaming me for never connecting with her. I reminded her that she left the conversation last night after 10 minutes (after I'd empathized with her viewpoint and shared my own thought/opinion on the call with my parents in which I shared on near-death experiences which she deems as incestual).

So... I ended up staying here at home. I don't know if I was unhealthily manipulated by her grief/blame or if it was loving for me to stay.

But I do know that I feel some anger about how this impacts my job. I have two important meetings this morning that I need to support my colleague with. I told my partner I'll take a half day sick day, which doesn't impact my income at all...

But... no go. I'm here at home and just prepared breakfast for the boys. I'm so close to telling my boss the real reason for not working... is this appropriate? Of course my pwBDP desires to hide the real reason and telling my boss would be another massive explosion triggered.

I will reach out to my eldest son's old playgroup director in case she has any practical tips for a good nanny with a nice home where I can take the boys in future instances of this.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2021, 02:00:33 AM »

A couple of days ago my pwBDP saw my Kindle and a sample ebook I had there:

https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Children-Emotionally-Immature-Parents-ebook/dp/B00TZE87S4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2OABNTQ1HIVB1&dchild=1&keywords=adult+children+of+emotionally+immature+parents%2C+by+lindsay+gibson&qid=1614671526&sprefix=adult+children+%2Caps%2C798&sr=8-1

Since then I've removed her access from my Kindle account and provided her with her own, and bought her the book. I was avoidant of this because she kept quoting from the book as a way to blame and critisize.

That continues today, but I also trust there's a deeper process going on for her reflecting on her childhood... she's in so much grief that she can't get out of bed.

It's been stressful with regard to my job which I take very seriously. But my boss is understanding and I framed it that she is physically sick and therefore I have full responsibility for the boys.

I'm feeling angry as she read something about rage/anger being a normal response to childhood abandonment. That is true, but she uses this as a rationalization that my limits on rage/name calling are unfair. I feel so angry at this and how can she even think this? I don't normally get righteously indignant (resentment is a big no no for us alcholics), but this is just so amazing how she can believe that because it is a normalized response, she has the right to treat me like crap??? Argh. Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

I will go back to the hotel I went to last week as the receptionist told me that the director will be there and maybe I can persuade him for an exception. I can then see if I can find a nanny to come to the room to get to know the boys, so I might be able to use the nanny in future similar circumstances where i have important meetings to get to. But i need to find a nanny who can allow the kids into her home.

I have a couple of things going on  - I feel empathy for her pain and grief and I'm happy that a deeper layer is coming to awareness (although I'm wary the awareness can be forgotten), I have stress about my work, and I have anger about the unhealthy actions and words that come out of pwBDP as a result of that inner pain.

It's like a paradox that there is this deep pain that I feel compassion for but simultaneously I feel angry and tired and exhausted from her blindness regarding her damaging behaviors. Argh.Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)((((( Is it normal to experience this paradox? Sometimes my thoughts tell me I'm selfish for feeling angry about a person grieving loss and never had support in their childhood.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2021, 03:53:55 AM »

I'm in a hotel with the boys for the day. They love it.

Wife writes messages that are just so untrue, and it is sad for me because there appears no way to escape from her negative perceptions. I'm not replying with JADE. I need to recover today.

[02/03, 09:59] Honey: You put me ashamed in front of your boss
[02/03, 09:59] Honey: I feel sad but in the deep pain it is now overshadowed
[02/03, 10:00] Honey: Once I would be capable to heal the wound I would feel sad from it
[02/03, 10:01] Honey: You even told me you go to say what's happening that is reflecting you don't mind to shame me
[02/03, 10:12] Honey: I would ask you not to shame me more if she would wants to know what's happening
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khibomsis
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2021, 04:42:13 AM »

Truthdevotee, well done! I am glad the boys are loving it.  Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post)
Your wife really sounds in a bad state, it seems as if you connecting with your FOO has triggered some deep stuff in her. Nevertheless, it is her stuff, not your stuff, you do well to take a break from it. There is no way you could ever make up to her for the mother love she did not receive, only therapy and a strong will to heal on her part can do that.

Like Notwendy said, your job keeps your family afloat, it has to be your priority. And that involves a certain minimal level  of sanity on your side. You are doing well so far.  Indeed don't get caught up in her emotional rollercoaster, lying to your boss to please her is just going to cause more trouble in the long run - not least because you will then have to devote mental energy to remembering which lies you told.

Don't let crazy run your life, especially not your work life..

Yes, of course it is perfectly normal to feel conflicted. They are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, so it is natural for us to feel two opposite emotions at the same time. I do it frequently twice before breakfast  Smiling (click to insert in post)
More seriously, though, over years of my uNBPD mother's behaviour I ended up feeling quite numb. It is to do with CPTSD and the flight/fight/fawn/freeze response. Too much triggering and we freeze. Take good care of yourself and your boys, and enjoy the peace.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2021, 06:23:57 AM »

Please don't reveal any details about who you are or location. This board is anonymous. But you mentioned you are not in your native country and so I wonder if there's any cultural differences going on here? Some cultures are quite reserved. In the US people talk about all kinds of things and it isn't personal, but in another culture some topics might be. I am not excusing the behavior- BPD is BPD and and it can affect people in all walks of life and cultures but it seems that feeling shame over you speaking to your mother about such a topic doesn't really make sense.

A big fear is disclosure of the situation. In our family, the largest taboo would be to reveal my mother's behavior or any issues to anyone. She is quite good at presenting a good impression of herself outside her immediate family. If we were to tell anyone, we'd be punished and we did try a few times but people don't believe us because they themselves didn't see it. We were considered "terrible children" for speaking about our mother that way.

My guess is that this is the fear and shame that your wife is reacting to, not the topic you discussed with your parents. And if she thinks they have "seen through it" and know there's something going on and might influence you- she would react to any conversation. I think it helps to keep in mind that sometimes what she says "is the reason" is actually feelings. When the "reason" she says seems irrational, it just might not be the reason but a feeling that is difficult for her. So she may act around it.

For instance, if she fears you will speak to someone about her at work, or call your parents from work, then she could refuse to watch the boys or crawl in bed like she is doing now, because if you are home where she can hear you on the phone, she knows you won't call or say anything. So her action and reason " can't watch the boys" isn't the real reason.

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truthdevotee
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2021, 07:52:59 AM »

Truthdevotee, well done! I am glad the boys are loving it.  Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post)
Your wife really sounds in a bad state, it seems as if you connecting with your FOO has triggered some deep stuff in her. Nevertheless, it is her stuff, not your stuff, you do well to take a break from it. There is no way you could ever make up to her for the mother love she did not receive, only therapy and a strong will to heal on her part can do that.

Thanks for your loving message.

Yeah, it REALLY helps having this hotel room for the day. Unfortunately, the hotel are making an exception. I'll try to persuade them to let me hear again with the kids, but since they can only let me in for "work purposes" children are not actually permitted. I'm grateful they made this exception today. It's just nice to have a warm place for the boys to come to a "base camp" and the hotel is right in the forest! It's like everyone has been telling me, create an adventure and the boys will love it. It's expensive but it's worth it to see their little faces glow with happiness.

Excerpt
Like Notwendy said, your job keeps your family afloat, it has to be your priority. And that involves a certain minimal level  of sanity on your side. You are doing well so far.  Indeed don't get caught up in her emotional rollercoaster, lying to your boss to please her is just going to cause more trouble in the long run - not least because you will then have to devote mental energy to remembering which lies you told.

Thanks for encouraging me to be transparent with my boss. If this continues longer, I will have to tell her the whole truth. I am always very open and honest about everything with the exception of anything to do with my wife, because my wife is extremely sensitive of "revealing" anything.

Excerpt
Don't let crazy run your life, especially not your work life..

OK...

Excerpt
Yes, of course it is perfectly normal to feel conflicted. They are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, so it is natural for us to feel two opposite emotions at the same time. I do it frequently twice before breakfast  Smiling (click to insert in post)
More seriously, though, over years of my uNBPD mother's behaviour I ended up feeling quite numb. It is to do with CPTSD and the flight/fight/fawn/freeze response. Too much triggering and we freeze. Take good care of yourself and your boys, and enjoy the peace.


Thank you... I have a bit of a headache and no medicine and even text messages with pwBDP are stressful. Perhaps I'm replying too much.

However, she is reading a book and it's opening her mind to her childhood. The blame just doesn't stop though - she seems to struggle with distinguishing between cause and trigger. I'm still the cause to her... but she's opening her mind to the patterns of her FOO, which is a big step. She even self diagnosed as having OCDP today via text message. I used to think she has OCDP too, until I learned about the high-functioning borderline pattern. I need to learn more about distinguishing the two of these though. A key issue for my pwBPD is real or perceived abandonment (her mother died when she was 8 years old), and I'm not sure if that covers OCDP. I guess not, so it's more likely she has BPD.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2021, 08:05:33 AM »

Please don't reveal any details about who you are or location. This board is anonymous. But you mentioned you are not in your native country and so I wonder if there's any cultural differences going on here? Some cultures are quite reserved. In the US people talk about all kinds of things and it isn't personal, but in another culture some topics might be. I am not excusing the behavior- BPD is BPD and and it can affect people in all walks of life and cultures but it seems that feeling shame over you speaking to your mother about such a topic doesn't really make sense.

This is really perceptive, Notwendy. Yes, completely different cultures. Let's say I'm over on the very warm side and pwBPD is on the highly reserved side. Our cultural backgrounds as well as history, reflect those patterns, bigtime.

Excerpt
A big fear is disclosure of the situation. In our family, the largest taboo would be to reveal my mother's behavior or any issues to anyone. She is quite good at presenting a good impression of herself outside her immediate family. If we were to tell anyone, we'd be punished and we did try a few times but people don't believe us because they themselves didn't see it. We were considered "terrible children" for speaking about our mother that way.

Yeah... I have this experience with my pwBPD also.

Excerpt
My guess is that this is the fear and shame that your wife is reacting to, not the topic you discussed with your parents. And if she thinks they have "seen through it" and know there's something going on and might influence you- she would react to any conversation. I think it helps to keep in mind that sometimes what she says "is the reason" is actually feelings. When the "reason" she says seems irrational, it just might not be the reason but a feeling that is difficult for her. So she may act around it.

Thanks Notwendy for reminding me of this that the real reason is an emotion or an emotional need. Really easy for me to lose sight of sometimes, as I'm quite exhausted.

Excerpt
For instance, if she fears you will speak to someone about her at work, or call your parents from work, then she could refuse to watch the boys or crawl in bed like she is doing now, because if you are home where she can hear you on the phone, she knows you won't call or say anything. So her action and reason " can't watch the boys" isn't the real reason.

Oh wow... Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post) I'm feeling rather exhausted. I'll stay in hotel with the lads til 1900 and then take them home to  sleep. need to make sure i'm well,  but i can always drive back to hotel in an emergency as i have it for 1 night
[/quote]

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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2021, 08:09:55 AM »

it's the neverending blame that I'm sensitive to. it has this kind of continuous grinding feeling that is hard for me to overcome at times.

e.g.

"you don't take anything seriously what happened the last 3 days. you hurt me tremendously so i do things that i normally would not. you stabbed a knife into my heart at least 15 times."
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2021, 08:22:30 AM »

[02/03, 14:53] Honey: I had difficulty to breathe so I can't do anything perfect in such situation
[02/03, 14:56] Honey: You call it trigger but it is much more than that for me
[02/03, 15:10] Honey: You blame me for who I am. You blame my existence. It goes very deep
[02/03, 15:11] Honey: There is no real love involved
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2021, 08:25:43 AM »

Not looking forward to going home
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2021, 10:14:32 AM »

I certainly can understand why you don’t want to go home.  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

You’ve been very suggestible to your wife’s manipulations in the past, but lately you’ve been strengthening your sense of self and you can now see how misguided her sense of reality is.

Because her ploys to keep you controlled no longer work the way they previously did, she is feeling unbalanced and is trying to sway you through FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt).

To the outside world, you have done nothing that you need to feel guilty about. Having a close relationship with your parents is something that everyone should have, providing that their parents are emotionally healthy individuals.
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“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2021, 11:07:26 AM »

I certainly can understand why you don’t want to go home.  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

You’ve been very suggestible to your wife’s manipulations in the past, but lately you’ve been strengthening your sense of self and you can now see how misguided her sense of reality is.

Because her ploys to keep you controlled no longer work the way they previously did, she is feeling unbalanced and is trying to sway you through FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt).

To the outside world, you have done nothing that you need to feel guilty about. Having a close relationship with your parents is something that everyone should have, providing that their parents are emotionally healthy individuals.

Thanks Cat Familiar. Comforting to read. I see the attempts to pull me into the FOG. She says I should have taken it slowly with regard to calling my family. I'm still learning to lovingly detach in order not to get sucked into the FOG. I feel disappointed at times that there appears to be no way to connect with her.

Back home now. My wife is in bed, exhausted.

I saw what Notwendy has been saying a few times, with clarity. As wife was talking I shifted from focusing on the illogical words to the awareness that ultimately she's expressing an emotion and emotional needs. This helps me to stay out of the FOG, too.
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2021, 02:37:19 PM »

The extinction burst is playing out. It appears she is getting worse and trying so so hard to make me backtrack and apologise.

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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2021, 08:52:34 PM »

As difficult as it is to endure the awful behavior, if you give in to it, that will train her that she can throw a tantrum to get whatever she wants.

Stay strong.
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2021, 12:26:10 AM »

truthdevotee, hang on in there. The same that you would with your boys.In many ways she is no more mature than your four-year old, and you need to be the adult here. You teach other people how to treat you by your actions.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2021, 01:54:53 AM »

Thank you both for the support.

I'm reading Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist : How to End the Drama and Get On with Life. This is very helpful for me particularly because it is going into a lot of detail of the role I've played as Caretaker.

I see now that it is Caretaking behavior that primarily keeps the balance and the Karpman Drama Triangle alive. So, in terms of this model, I'm withdrawing my role as Caretaker and my pwBPD is drastically trying to get us back into the familiar roles.
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2021, 02:34:14 AM »

I just left the house. The more I withdraw with love from the caretaker role, the worse she appears to get. The projections are so intense.

She desperately wants me to admit that did something bad and wrong by contacting my parents without discussing it with her beforehand. She has many rationalisations for why she is correct. Less and less I fall into JADE. More and more I have the confidence to trust my instincts that her projections are about her not me. She tries via victim and perpetrator to pull me into the caretaker role. There are still thoughts of self doubt that arise in me that "what if she is right and I should be self reflecting and taking responsibility for the whole problem." She knows I've done this 100% in the past. I allowed myself to be submissive in the name of love and growth. This time since she can see me "not budging" it's escalating her behaviour

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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2021, 03:10:25 AM »

This is a text she just sent which sounds so logical and definitely has truth to it :

If you ever would like to work it between us you come and talk to me about changes of contract and come to the mutual agreement. Otherwise there is no respect but betrayal. Love goes hand in hand with respect. Betrayal go hand in hand with pride (no genuine love).


You can see her perception of betrayal. What the message doesn't recognise is that due to my fearful response to her out of control behaviour over the years, I've made agreements and lost contact with my values and my FOO by ultimately (though not without a fight) being submissive. And my perception is that she has very little awareness of her emotional dysregulation severity.

Theoretically, let's say I were to have had this "discussion" with her. My experience is that there is no discussion because her goal is control. Not even sincere and strong efforts to validate her can comfort her. Ultimately the respect she speaks of, in my experience, is control. To discuss with her would mean going about contacting FOO on her terms, according to her highly fluctuating emotions and behaviour, and her pace. Since my parents aren't getting younger, I felt I could not wait anymore to make the move according to my inner values. If I were to get into a so called discussion with my wife, it would be as it always has, with her in the driving seat with all that it entails - chaos at home, which happened anyway.

Therefore, prior to calling them, about a week before, I told her in clear terms that the contract isnt active for me anymore. I said I'll call them and of course I'll share with her. Over the last few months, I tried to encourage her to do video calls with FOO and the boys, but there was always an excuse. And now she blames me for not helping her to get along with them.

It's all crazy making if I believe any of it. Yet, her message sounds mature and it does contain truth, that mutual alignment in marriage is vital. Yet, it fails to recognise that she has BPD, which she has no awareness of. This morning she told me she is pure. All of the "badness" is projected onto me, and she has no awareness of it.

Despite my instinct, I get self doubtful and scared a bit... Because I want to be a genuinely loving and honest man and partner, and her message appears to hit me right on one of my most important values, honesty and transparency. Yet my experience all these years with her is that openness and transparency are not received, they are fought against.

My job is to face my fears of being authentic and not be manipulated by my fear of being dishonest and disrespectful.
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2021, 03:33:12 AM »

Hey truthdevotee, it is a tough job. I really respect you for doing your best.

Is there any chance of her getting into therapy? Because I must say it sounds like a particularly bad case, even for an extinction burst. I have never seen a dysregulation that goes on for weeks like this.

On another planet it might be possible to tell a man not to speak to his mother. Not on this one. Where I live, you marry somebody knowing what his family is and it is a big no no to try to come between somebody and their family. Because forcing somebody to choose never works out. That is just not how love works.


 

Yes, stick to your guns. Don't let FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) get in your way. You tried to be open and honest, that is hard when someone is screaming insults at you. I too try to be authentic but I had to accept that my expwBPD sometimes really just did not care about my feelings. I mean, being outside the projections is hard but being on the inside must be terrible. They simply don't have emotional space to deal with anything else. So do you. You have set your boundaries and the firmer you are now the less she will push in the future.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2021, 04:19:28 AM »

Hey truthdevotee, it is a tough job. I really respect you for doing your best.


Thank you, very very much for your support.

Excerpt

Is there any chance of her getting into therapy? Because I must say it sounds like a particularly bad case, even for an extinction burst. I have never seen a dysregulation that goes on for weeks like this.


I've managed to get her into therapy once. However then and even now she maintains that I'm the problem and that she doesn't need the therapy

Excerpt

On another planet it might be possible to tell a man not to speak to his mother. Not on this one. Where I live, you marry somebody knowing what his family is and it is a big no no to try to come between somebody and their family. Because forcing somebody to choose never works out. That is just not how love works.


Thanks,this really helps me to stay focused and not doubt myself.

 
Excerpt

Yes, stick to your guns. Don't let FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) get in your way. You tried to be open and honest, that is hard when someone is screaming insults at you. I too try to be authentic but I had to accept that my expwBPD sometimes really just did not care about my feelings. I mean, being outside the projections is hard but being on the inside must be terrible. They simply don't have emotional space to deal with anything else. So do you. You have set your boundaries and the firmer you are now the less she will push in the future.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Thank you.
I'll stick at it.

I just did chanting, it helped me to calm my racing mind and feelings of anxiety. Really powerful!
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