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Author Topic: Feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and confused.  (Read 319 times)
CookieMomster

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 4


« on: May 08, 2021, 08:26:29 PM »

I woke up this morning to my husband angry that he had to clean the kitchen from last night. Even though it was previously agreed that i would work on painting some dressers for 2 of our kids. A thought then came to me maybe he has BPD.... Something i heard of many years ago when my friend told me she realized she had it. So i looked it up and this seems to be exactly what he has. And makes a lot of sense since he had a rough childhood. So anyway here i am. I started listening to the stop waking on egg shells book. But I'm still waiting for one of his episodes to die off completely and it's basically ruined our whole day as i get really depressed during his episodes and i just don't want to do anything and i just want to go back to how things are when he's not so angry and giving into all his anxiety.

We have 3 kids: a 3 yo, 2 yo, and 7 week old. I'm a stay at home mom, and while i feel like i can handle having 3 kids all under the age of 4, reality is I can't keep up. And i haven't really been able to keep up since having our first since i get extremely tired being pregnant and then dealing with babies who are obviously very dependent, i just don't know how I'm supposed to have the time to live up to my husband's expectations of watching the kids, doing and folding all laundry, cooking and cleaning up after every meal, and basically cleaning up after everyone (including ALL the toys that I was against getting in the first place, I'm not against toys just against the amount of toys we have because they end up all over our house).

I have so much that needs to get done and not enough time, and I've just wasted the day which is making me more depressed. I did some cleaning in the kitchen that he didn't finish and fed the kids but it's dinner time now. I'm breastfeeding so eating is important but I'm too depressed to do dinner and I haven't eaten anything other than made myself a smoothie. I'm starving. But no motivation to do anything when my husband basically gave up on all his responsibilities for the day. He left the house for a couple hours just when i thought i could shower. Now he's isolating himself. I could tell he is doing a little better but he's still in a bout of depression and not willing to help with the kids.

I tried talking with him. Sex came up. Like hinting he wanted sex but knew i didn't want it and didn't want to ask for it. Because i think we are both starting to feel that our typical go to method of diffusing an argument is sex and that it is making me feel like that's all I'm good for if you can even say that because lets be honest, sex isn't great for either side when it's a chore for one person. Also our kids were up and i had to go back to tend to them. So I'm lost on if sex is an appropriate method to figure a bpd argument. Is it reinforcing his behavior? Am i just being used? Most, if not all, it starts with me trying to diffuse the anger by being more affectionate and then he may hint at sex and then I'll sense that's what he needs to get out of his episode so I'll end up begging for it, even though i don't really want it, i just want him to get out of his depressed state because it's not good for either of us or our kids. So prior to sex he still says things and tries to push me away but then during he might say i love you. So it's hard for me to "beg" for something i don't want, that i can tell her wants, but it's still acting like he doesn't and saying things to push him away. It's just this weird game.

But either way he's usually apologetic at some point after an episode but the triggers are based off of real annoyances he has with me... And i get why he'd be annoyed but the level of anger he gets isn't normal or appropriate, and that's usually what he's apologizing for... The way he acted, but not his expectations of me. But I'm not super human and i can't keep up with all the chores (real chores, not sex, but i guess that too) he wants me to stay on top of. And i do feel if i were (and i think i can for the most part when our kids get a little older) able to keep the house clean and make dinner every night, etc. He would just find other things to blame me for... Like today after he was already in a mood from cleaning, he had to fill up our new car with gas. This was the first time filling it up so we didn't know what kind of gas. He called me to ask and i told him I'll look it up but I'm guessing the cheapest. He said the thing said to not put 85 octane in it. It took me a few minutes to find the answer for him (87 or higher), so he just put 85 in it. And then blamed me for it and started going off about how the car is ruined and it's all my fault. So yeah i guess that's how it goes with bpd though. It definitely helps being able to put a name in it. But I'm struggling to know how to control my own feelings of being alone and depressed when he isolates himself and I'm left with the kids.


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jc100

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 09:16:07 PM »

I know when I think things are going well then my wife blows up like what in the world is going on. It definitely seems like your husband is not attentive to your needs. I know how you feel my whole day was ruined starting last night when my wife used Blame as a way to try to express her needs. And she does that it's like all the hard work I've been doing doesn't matter at all. I work during the days I help with meals I put the kids to bed I've always helped when they were really little too. Maybe it's similar with your husband how my wife has a super high standard of everything always constantly being done and there constantly being activity. So after I took my boys to their two separate basketball games this morning I just left and I've been sitting in my car for 5 hours reading this site and smoking. Meanwhile my wife is being the super mom all with the kids taking them swimming etc etc. But when it comes to my needs and who I am as a person I don't seem to matter at all to her. I have four kids that are 5 years apart so I remember those days and they were super stressful for my wife and we were always exhausted. I'm sure he's struggling with the sacrifices he's being asked to make to help his family right now. Possibly could explain to him the hardship it is to maintain your sanity right now and that you do want to be with him intimately but it's a rough patch right now. Of course if he's BPD that might be difficult. My wife tends to give me options yes or no this is what you will do and if she doesn't get the yes then she just bulldogs me over and over and over until I leave or I fly into a rage. You really don't have anywhere to go. Maybe talking to another mom who's in your same situation would help.
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CookieMomster

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Relationship status: Married
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2021, 11:52:58 PM »

Thanks. Yeah he really is that perfect husband when he's not in one of his moods. But he gets in his moods probably at least once a week. Which is actually an improvement from when he used to have a more time consuming career. He is super helpful but then it just becomes too much and then the rage comes. I'm not really asking him to do more than he can handle, but if he's going to volunteer to help I'm not going to deny it because I'll be honest i do feel like I don't get a break at all. Especially with 3 and my oldest just dropping his nap. Even then that break was for me to clean up lunch and get ready for dinner. So it's hard when he comes home from work, feeling exhausted, and needs a break to not think in my head his "long day" at work involves an 8 hour work day with no kids, adult interaction, 2 fifteen minutes breaks and one hour long break where you can do whatever you want? Not to mention driving in a car for 20-30 minutes each way where it's just you getting to think on your own without kids yelling at you or crying or whatever? And you still want some "15 minute" down time when you get home that always turns into at least an hour. While I'm trying to cook dinner and keep my kids from burning themselves on the stove or what not?

But it's not healthy to compare who has it harder. I get we both are struggling right now and life is just getting in the way of our marriage. And i could deal with all that. It's the emotional abuse and constant blaming for anything and everything that makes me walk on eggshells around him. Something he'll say from time to time when he's in one of his moods is that I'm boring. Which i 100% believe because after all these years of emotional abuse I'm left walking on eggshells and i don't even know who i am.

Anyway, i just want to be able to help him diffuse his anger ASAP when he gets in these moods but feeling overwhelmed with all this information and books on BPD i don't even know where to begin.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 07:28:54 AM »

Your post sounds like my world, many years ago, when my children were little. We had almost the exact same issues.

You are probably wondering what changed. Every relationship is different so I can't predict anyone else's, but in a nutshell, I burned out emotionally. I was also doing it all, with an H who would not help and the emotional and physical strain in addition to trying so hard to be loved in my marriage, I just couldn't put all that into it. I didn't leave, I just gave up and focused on the kids. At this point, my H decided to make some changes. I don't think he'd fully fit the BPD criteria, but the behaviors and patterns between us were similar in ways to the ones between my parents (severely BPD mother) and even if our situation was milder thankfully, the emotional impact on me was not mild.

I've learned a lot since that time ( the kids are young adults now) but if I knew then what I know now, I think I would have had better insight to what was going on. A helpful model for me was the Karpman triangle. Read about the different roles. I personally think the BPD perspective is in victim, and the partner's role tends to be rescuer. Look at your interactions before you had children. Were you more of the caretaker type for his needs? I know I was. Being raised in a dysfunctional family, I took on rescuer -emotional caretaker role in my relationships in general. My H does work hard and I have always accomodated that.

Pregnancy and raising kids changed my ability to do that in a marriage. I was physically tired when pregnant and I was the one who got up with the babies at night. My H did very little although according to him, that would not be true. Asking him for help seemed like some kind of competition of who worked the hardest. He would rage if I asked him for help, so I just stopped asking. It would not have occured to me that parenting was some kind of competition- they were our babies, it's our home, right?

But in the world of the Karpman triangle, there seems to be a competition for the positition of "victim". And if you actually need help, you are moving into victim position, and that becomes a competition if it is the preferred role.

Another issue I didn't see is that not having sex is perceived as rejection. I also assumed that seeing your wife nauseated or tired from being pregnant would be an obvious perception that it wasn't personal. However, my H perceived it as rejection. Back to the triangle, rejection is victim mode which triggers the move to "self defense" and acting as persecutor. He felt rejected and so the payback was rejecting me emotionally and it was very difficult.

Understanding this Karpman pattern ( which happens in several types of relationships, not only BPD) I stopped seeing this as personal, and also stopped reacting to it from a position of feeling hurt. This might also be the pattern your H grew up in. Althought there isn't BPD in my H's family, I could see this pattern between some of his family members. When we grow up with these patterns, they feel "normal" and are automatic responses.

It took a lot of personal work to turn things around. I had to work on my own co-dependent tendencies. By that time, the kids were older. I think in your situation your first task is to take care of yourself, get some rest nad some help. You have a baby and small children and they take up most of your time. Breastfeeding takes up a lot of time and so it's hard to get everything done. I don't know your financial situation but I found it easier to ask for help elsewhere. Pay a mature and trustworthy neigborhood teen to play with your older kids so you can get things done around the house, or take a nap. I know with the pandemic a lot of preschools have closed but if that's an option, a few hours at pre-school for your older children can give you a break. Getting some meals prepared if that's an option for you financially. Sending laundry out occasionally if you need to.

Can you arrange to see a counselor? This helped me. Many are doing it by telemedicine now which will help with small children at home so you don't have to find a way to be able to go to an appointment.

You really have head start on where I was. I spend so many years sad and confused and trying to "fix" the marriage. What I needed to do was work on myself and my own enabling tendencies. Whether or not your H has BPD, if there are some dysfunctional patterns between you, working on your part can help. BPD and the behaviors are on a spectrum. My BPD mother is severe, so I can see how much they impact her. Once I made the connection to my own enabling behaviors, I was able to make changes that have influenced my part in relationships. I hope this helps you get started on a better path.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 07:59:33 AM »

I found some books were helpful.
This one is not specific for BPD:

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
by Patricia Love  and Steven Stosny  

I kept thinking that talking would help. It didn't accomplish anything and resulted in circular arguments that kept me up at night. I tend to be a "talker" and try to fix issues by talking them out. But if this doesn't work and for me only made things worse, I had to stop.

Books by Patricia Evans- Controlling People and The Verbally Abusive Relationship - also not specific to BPD helped me to understand how this happens.
Note- whatever you read is not with the intent to diagnose or label your H. It's to understand what is going on and not take it personally or react to it personally. It's to give you tools to manage your part in any patterns that may be perpetuating these dynamics.

I don't consider my H to be an abusive person and I don't think he would either. However, when he was angry, he was verbally abusive. I also found that other people were verbally abusive to me at times as well. While I am not an advovate for "blaming the victim", I did wonder how this could happen.

My concept of abuse was someone being physically abused, or called  names like b**ch, and this never happened. The books by Patricia Evans showed me other kinds, such as the silent treatment- and how that is a form of abuse. I was able to identify the kind of verbal abuse I grew up with and so didn't recognize it as such, and why it was that I learned to tolerate it. It was the normal in my family and I assumed if someone did that, I must deserve it.

Nope, I don't, and neither do you, and one first step is to believe it. Verbal abuse stops when I stopped enabling it. Even with BPD mom, who is very severe. When my parents were critical of me, my response was to try harder to please them. No wonder she keeps doing it. It works for her. For my H, complaining about me got me to try harder- to keep up the house, be better "in bed". I had to work on how I responded to verbal abuse and when I did, it diminished.
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CookieMomster

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 4


« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2021, 02:15:29 AM »

Thank you. This is all helpful. Things were pretty good this week. I could tell there were times where he was stressed and more inclined to rage but he controlled his emotions and didn't take it out on me. Until tonight. He was stressed about some things he had to get done and wasn't given a lot of notice. I supported him by putting all 3 kids down, including bathing the other 2. Not easy with a newborn and it was already past their bedtime and everyone was exhausted. But i did it because i knew he needed time to get his things done that he was stressed over. I then remembered we needed to run to the store before they closed. He offered to do so and took a very long time. He usually talks on the phone when he runs errands to one of his best friends and that always slows him down. I was a little frustrated since he could have been back and helped with the kids but whatever i was gonna let it go. I'm half asleep trying to stay awake to do things i need to finish when he got home and then he saw that his airpods were on the bed but one was missing... Our kids always finds them and plays with them. He asked if i saw them playing with them and when I said no i didn't, he started getting frustrated with me. I was trying to work on my things and anytime he thinks he lost one of his airpods he usually finds it pretty quickly. But this time he raged and i left the room, he followed then threatened to wake up the kids to help him find it. I withdrew and let him go back upstairs and just heard him making a bunch of noise. I went back up because i finished what i was doing and he had thrown all our unfolded laundry and what not all over our floor. I haven't even looked in our closet or elsewhere to see what else he dumped out. I start looking in the bed since he clearly wasn't even looking for it while he continued to just be annoying... Turning on the light while our newborn was sleeping, making noises, etc. At that point i was losing my cool. I found the airpod at the side of the bed, one of the first place he would have looked if he didn't rage... So i took it and threw it out of the room as he was coming back into the room. And emotions escalated a bit and then he went downstairs to our guest room and he continued his rage/abuse over text. I started listening to the stop walking on eggshells book which i had been listening to earlier today... Which helped me calm down and try to respond to him better and i shared the responsibility in acting inappropriately. He's still texting saying he's giving up on our marriage and blaming me for his issues with our sex life and our "failed marriage"... I'll be honest it's easy for me to believe he has issues with our sex life because I could do without it. And i don't blame him for that. But i can understand why he would feel that way. But then when we're not fighting and we have sex, like we did 3 times this week, and i even try to bring up some of the issues he brought up when he was angry and he just brushes it off and jokingly acts like he never said any of that (basically acting like he doesn't want to be reminded of how he acted when he was angry) and then he talks about how great it was and in my head I'm surprised because i thought a few days ago he was saying our sex life was boring and we didn't do anything different so not sure why it's suddenly great and not boring.

The last text he sent was basically saying we're on totally different pages and we'll never get on the same page. Which i don't totally disagree with either. His expectations of me right now are expectations i just can't meet. And he doesn't get that I'm drowning with these kids. Unfortunately we don't really have the financial means to hire help and i have no family here. Just his family... Just a couple of his siblings that have their own kids that i don't want to bother. And they have helped watch the kids here and there... But obviously not to the extent of hiring a mother's helper. Luckily my mom wants to move out here in a month or two.. But that still feels so far away. I'm honestly thinking of hiring someone to clean our house next week before we have visitors staying with us because it's just too much, especially doing any deep cleaning. I'm trying to get this course done before it's deadline and i have no time between chasing my kids around and then dealing with my husband's anger. And if i don't finish he's going to be even more angry even though he hasn't really supported me in getting it done.

Anyway sorry I'm rambling again. But my initial point was actually that I'm disappointed in myself for not controlling my response and letting my emotions escalate. I had just been listening to the chapter on diffusing arguments and i totally failed. I know the book said to be kind to yourself though and it's basically earlier said than done.... But this new argument showed me how hard it is to not defend myself and also not withdraw, which is my go to during arguments and he hates it.

Oh and yes, I'm sure he witnessed a very unhealthy relationship between his parents. And also the way his parents, especially his dad, treated him growing up. Very strict and abusive.

But it really is getting to the point where i don't know how he really feels about our marriage because when he's not angry he's acting like we have the best marriage so I'm just confused.
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CookieMomster

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2021, 08:59:42 AM »

My husband is still in his mood. Definitely a pattern of having it start on Saturday and go into Sunday. Anyway, my immediate question is if I pick up the mess he made last night, is that enabling him? Or is that just spiteful of me and increasing contention? I need to do more reading and research and maybe figure out a way to see a therapist about enabling and encouraging his bad behavior because that's where I really get confused.

Also trying not to slip into a depressive state myself today. He has a busy day today so he won't be able to help with the kids until the evening maybe, but if he's still in his mood, who knows.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 06:00:32 AM »

I think it would really help for you to see a therapist for support for you, validation, and help with changing any enabling behaviors on your part.

Taking the focus off him, off managing his feelings, and on to you- self care, support, growth, is helpful. Keep in mind, raising small children is tiring and time consuming. Don't be hard on yourself. I think it's good to get some emotional support.

As hard as it is, you will need to learn to ignore these mood swings, like you would a moody toddler. It's his inability to manage his own feelings ( as small children need to learn to do this too). If you manage them for him ( walk on eggshells, soothing behaviors) - he won't have to manage them on his own. As much as you can leave his feelings to him to deal with ( and his ear buds)- the less you enable this behavior.

Don't think solving the ear pod problem is the solution. Once he finds them, there's going to be another situation his upset about. Let him deal with that too.

I would not engage in these text conversations. What he does on his end isn't anything you can control. I would save them though, as documentation, if you ever needed them. Ignoring them might escalate the situation, so a neutral reply- "yes, I have read this" every couple of texts lets him know you are there but doesn't add fuel to the situation. You can also say " I need some quiet time, and so am turning off my phone for now" to let him know you are not taking this drama bait.

If the mess is his, I would not clean it up. If it's yours, I would. The ear pod issue sounds like a recurrent thing if the kids play with them. I would get him a small box for them, and tell him to keep them in the box, in a drawer, away from where the kids could get them.  Then, the ear pods are his responsibility to put back and keep up with. The next time he asks "where are they", your answer is "I don't know, have you looked in your box?" If you find them lying around, put them in the box. While this may seem enabling, it's teaching him to keep them in his box, or look in the box, and not ask you. If he loses them, that is on him. You are not the keeper of the ear pods.

He's a big boy and can learn to take care of his own things. He can also do his own laundry. I realize that may be a point of contention, and if you aren't ready to tackle this yet, do his separately and keep it in a separate basket. If he wants to turn over his basket in a hissy fit, that's his stuff. As much as you can, keep your own personal things separate. If he messes up your and the kids things, that is abusive. If you share a closet have separate spaces for your clothing and shoes. This is a boundary. His stuff is his to do what he wants with but not with yours or the kids. If you two have frequent issues with "where is my stuff" be sure there's a clear place for all his stuff, so when he tries to make it your problem, you can let him manage it.

The stuff he says about your marriage, your sex life, whatever, don't react to it. It's projection of emotions. It can change the minute he feels better. You have 3 kids under 3! It's not going to be perfect and your house won't be perfectly clean. I hope you can get some kind of help- maybe meals prepared, or someone to play with the older kids while you take care of the baby. You are probably used to toddler tantrums. They do this because they are overwhelmed with feelings. As they get older, they learn to manage them better. Your husband is having an emotional tantrum with an adult vocabulary. Let him learn to calm down on his own.
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maxsterling
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 11:55:22 AM »

Anyway, i just want to be able to help him diffuse his anger ASAP when he gets in these moods but feeling overwhelmed with all this information and books on BPD i don't even know where to begin.

I first want to say that I totally understand where you are coming from, and can relate 100%.

That said, I have learned that I can't diffuse my W's anger because it is well beyond me, and has already started by the time I am aware.  Her moods and her responses to them are hers, and despite what she claims, I have nothing to do with them.  She, too, claims I "trigger" her, but I am learning that even if I am, I can't live a life walking on eggshells avoiding every "trigger" some of which change weekly (what is a trigger this week is the opposite next).

The best I can do right now is to find ways to validate and take care of myself whenever I can.  That means when I get a chance to go out, taking the "scenic route", listening to something I like, and treating myself.  That means scheduling appointments for my own self care.  Taking breaks for yourself is important, and you deserve them.  You may not be ready to specifically ask your H for a break right now (I am guessing you fear his response), but hopefully you can find the little moments for now and then learn how/when to ask for more time for yourself.  Still, it's a challenge.  I mentioned to my W that I wanted to spend 4 hours Saturday morning volunteering a the kids' preschool fixing the playground.  Still, I wound up leaving 30 minutes later attending to Ws needs, and after 2.5 hours W was already texting me asking when I would be home.  The time away and the physical activity was helpful to me, though. 
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