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Author Topic: Where do I begin?  (Read 135 times)
happymeal

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 3



« on: March 02, 2021, 01:38:52 PM »

Hi! Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

I met my wife, briefly, in high school. I knew her sister, so there she was one day in the smoker's pit. We said, hi, and that was that. I remember thinking she was too good for me! Fast forward a decade or so, and there she was again at a friends house. We hit it off immediately. I have never had such an intense relationship with another. We had our first child about 4 years later, were married a couple years after that, and now have two more children. It's 15 years since I re-met my wife.

This past year has been tough on all of us. I finally had enough, so last September I made an appointment via video with a counsellor. I told my wife that I thought she had bipolar disorder, which I had come to believe. It was in the middle of a blow up, so wasn't taken very well Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

What followed was one of the best months I can remember having in a long, long time. She had come around by the time of the video chat with the counsellor - so it was a great chat! It felt like she had turned a corner. She actually apologized for everything. I was so proud of her. We were both realizing the effect that her parents had on her - she was beaten as a child. I remember more hugs than I've had in the past 10 years.

And then she threw it all out! About a month later. Said I was the PLEASE READty one for making her believe that she was bipolar. I can't remember what the argument was about - probably because it was about nothing - but I know she flipped.

---------------

She woke up yesterday morning angry. She was hiding it, but I could tell (I'm terribly empathic) something was bothering her. She let it slip, later in the day, that her mom had messaged her - that's probably what set her off, this time. I was pretty careful throughout the day, so she was in a mostly good mood going into the evening. She was testy around bed time, yelling at both the kids and myself. I woke up at 3:30am and got up to get a drink. When I got back to bed it seemed like she was awake crying, so I tried cuddling up to her.

In the months since I first said she might be bipolar, we had both come to the conclusion that BPD is what it actually is. I've been reading/watching a lot about it! I know that one of her biggest fears is actually loosing me - so I try to reassure her that I am still here, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not bad-husband Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

She didn't take it that way!
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happymeal

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 3



« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 02:58:56 PM »

Well she's upstairs now reading a bpd book...so I suppose that's something...right?  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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Gemsforeyes
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Ended 2/2020
Posts: 1018


« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2021, 07:43:23 AM »

Hey happymeal-

Welcome to our community.  I think it’s actually a really GOOD thing that she’s reading about BPD.  It’s VERY good that she seems curious about finding out what’s going on with her moods and behaviors... if that’s her motivation.

Can you describe, in as much detail as you’re comfortable with, her behaviors that you find the most difficult and upsetting to deal with?  That will help members to lead you in the best direction.

In order for YOU to receive the best support possible, it would be best that she not visit this community.  Many posts here could be highly triggering and hurtful for her, as this site is designed for partners and family members of those with BPD or BPD traits and behaviors.  Many of our members have undiagnosed partners / family members.

There are a huge number of tools here that can help you more effectively communicate with your W.  I’m sorry I don’t know how to link, but if you go to the WORKSHOPS, TOOLS Section, and scroll down you’ll find numerous helpful areas.

I’d start with learning NOT to JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain).

The second thing I’d focus on is Validation, or learning to NOT be *INVALIDATING*.  My best understanding of this is that oftentimes you may NOT agree with what she’s raging over, but you may be able to touch upon the emotion behind her anger... and THAT’S what you’ll validate.  That’s what you’ll try to identify with, have compassion with. 

And in time you may also consider whether you need to look at the section on establishing and holding Boundaries.  Your boundaries represent your values.

You can decide if you want to tell her that you’re working on gaining some communication skills to build a stronger relationship.  Perhaps that way she’ll give you the time and space to spend on the boards here.

An area that can work for both of you is mindfulness.  You can print some material out and maybe share that with your W.

As for your wife, there ARE therapies that are effective in improving how she handles her emotions and how she processes her feelings and reactions to triggers in life.  DBT therapy is the best and CBT may also hold value.

The primary thing is that she, both of you, need to understand that she did NOT cause this, and neither did you.  She does not need to spend the rest of her life being victimized and suffering over what happened during her childhood.  There IS help for her.  Assure her of her strength and your desire to work with her through this healing process.

Baby steps, my friend.

I hope this gives you some hope, so that you can give hope to your wife and your family.

Finally, your self-care.  Regardless of the amount of attention she demands, you deserve time to breathe and recharge, in whatever form that takes.  Do you both work?  Inside / outside the home?  Are your kids in school / still remote learning?

I know I’ve thrown a lot at you.  Sorry...

This is a safe and supportive place for you.  Please stay with us and feel free to express whatever thoughts and feelings you have.  And continue to post as often as needed.  You’ll see a lot of shared experiences here.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes

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happymeal

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 3



« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 12:05:46 PM »

She constantly says things to make me feel belittled, or at the very least uncomfortable. I have called her a bitch exactly once in the past 15 years...but she constantly calls me an asshole. Or her new favorite - Mr. Robot Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

She once said that I was basically responsible for my favorite aunt's death. She constantly threatens divorce, or at least to leave me. She hasn't done anything, because she always comes around in a few days and is hanging on to me saying I'm the only one.

It wasn't until recently that her outbursts have started to fall on our children. I think it was the last straw for me to see my eldest son cut down. To see the hurt in his eyes was too much.

About a month ago she was ranting saying that we had to go. I suggested that she find somewhere else to stay, as the kids had school and friends here, and made the mistake of listing her sister or mother as somewhere she could go. She blew up - tossed her coffee all over the stairway and the mug into the bathroom hard enough for it to shatter into tiny pieces. She got her coat on, said "oh, we are doing this!" and walked out the door, without her phone keys or anything. I made sure the kids (10, 8, and 1) were all alright and tried to clean up the best I could. My two boys started making bets about if she would come back, but I told them she had just gone for a walk. I let them stay home from school. Honestly not knowing where she was was the hardest part. She finally called after lunch from a local hotel, to say she wouldn't be home until the next day.

Next day comes and she calls right at 9am to ask me to come get her. We all piled in the car to get her (didn't make the kids go to school - they were looking forward to seeing her so much) and when we got her the first thing she says to me is "you didn't send the kids to school?" all confused. We got home, and she was still really mad at me. I had got ahold of two of her closest friends the day before, looking for her, and she now knew that I had done so. She was mad at that, but seemed better when I explained I hadn't contacted anyone else - she is always VERY careful of who she lets know about her outbursts. This wasn't an exception, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Then she started threatening divorce again. This lasted until the early afternoon, when my Grandmother's funeral service was to take place - online, thanks covid. She finally cracked when I started crying. She hugged me, and for honestly the FIRST time in 15 years she sobbed on my shoulder. I'm a touchy feely kind of guy - and this was heaven. I stopped crying immediately. I don't know...just to have her in my arms feeling - for once - the same grief that I was feeling was truly an awe inspiring moment for me.

She apologized for everything, after. She was honestly taken aback by the news that her kids had been affected by it...she said that she had been going to pretend like it hadn't happened - exactly what she had always hated her own mother for doing to her. She is very good at seeing the episodes for what they are, afterwards, at least now that we have been able to give "it" a name.

I don't know where I was going with that!   Way to go! (click to insert in post)
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Gemsforeyes
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Ended 2/2020
Posts: 1018


« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 08:32:19 PM »

Hey happymeal-

Thank you for providing so much detail.  I’m very sorry for the loss of your beloved grandmother, and the fact that you had to mourn from a distance.  That’s truly devastating.

So much of what you’re experiencing is heart wrenching stuff, even more so when you see the direct emotional hits in your children.

Your post is filled with areas I’d like to address in detail, but I’ve got family matters to deal with tonight, so I’ll dig into this tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’d suggest you perhaps focus on doing some reading on setting some boundaries... i.e. how people go about doing that.  As a reminder, your boundaries represent your values.

Please find some time to just breathe... for you.

We’ll speak tomorrow.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes
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