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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: You can go but you better not  (Read 727 times)
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« Reply #150 on: June 23, 2021, 10:53:31 AM »


So..sometimes the long term plans are bad.

Much better to be "impulsive" and just go on short notice.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Best,

FF
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« Reply #151 on: June 23, 2021, 12:10:02 PM »

I can only imagine, but actually have seen this dynamic over and over...

I don't think this is a total loss. I think regardless of if you had the trip or not, you have learned a lot. One thing you have learned is just how far your wife will go to get the outcome she wants.

One reason I don't think we are an equal match to this is that our own conscience would stop us from going that far. I don't think it's a lack of conscience on the part of someone with BPD but perhaps a lack of empathy and the feeling of victim hood that gets them to go this far.

Example, you wouldn't beat someone up on the street, but if you believed they were attacking you, you would. This is metaphorically speaking - emotionally if your wife truly believes you are the cause of her emotional distress- over your decision to go on a trip, she will fight against it as if she was being attacked.

What we have found, (kids of BPD mom) is that if something is important to us, we do not tell her unless she needs to know and don't tell her until the last minute if she does.

But something like a trip- which requires planning and child care, really can't be done without discussion. I don't think it was a bad decision to not go from the viewpoint of the kids. From what I can read on your thread and from my own experience, your wife is not a reliable caretaker for your kids for something like an out of town trip.

It may not seem fair from the point of view of a normal marriage that you can't go on this trip, but the way it worked out, I think from the perspective of the kids, something like this might need to wait until they are older and you are able to send them to stay with relatives or something like that, but make it as if it was a fun thing for them.

In our situation, we stayed with my father's family and it was a fun time with our cousins.

But besides the kids one needs to question- is your wife able to be on her own? I know my mother is not. BPD is a spectrum though and not all pwBPD are in this situation.

I think this has given you a lot to think about.
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« Reply #152 on: June 23, 2021, 12:19:24 PM »


You also need to consider and "deal with" the apparent threat that if a therapist "doesn't give her the answer she wants"..."she might not trust them with her kids mental health."

Not an immediate issue/emergency...but you need to keep this on your list of things to address.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #153 on: June 23, 2021, 01:49:26 PM »

This was all very intense. What have you learned from this experience?
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« Reply #154 on: June 23, 2021, 02:18:45 PM »


It doesn't help that we had another chat with the kids' therapists and both said me going would be beneficial and not going would be a step backwards.  My wife then mentioned the "fever" and actually told one of the therapists that if it is contagious (allergies I suspect) then I can't go because she's going to get it and whatever the kids get she gets worse and that I have to stay home to take care of her.

It was subtle but the therapist's jaw dropped.
I think that threw the therapist who then made an almost political statement about covid but I didn't think anything of it.  It was an incomplete ramble that meant nothing.  Of course my wife is now saying she's a conspiracy theorist and she doesn't trust her with kids mental health...

Ooof. I think your therapist dropped the ball here (IMHO as a student therapist). I would hope in a similar situation, I would explore your wife's responsibility versus yours. Why is it your duty to take care of her? What would she do to take care of herself if she were not married?

I mean, my late husband was on a business trip when I came down with pink eye in both eyes and was in bed for three days. I managed just fine.

If your therapist's mouth dropped open, that really shows your wife pulled out all the stops! However, it's their job to stay calm and to explore what your wife just revealed, rather than bring their personal views into the conversation.

I have some words of caution for you moving forward. Please take into account that these are based on my own experience with an undiagnosed pwBPD.

Others have speculated whether your wife is capable of caring for your kids by herself. I think you should explore whether she is incapable, or just doesn't WANT to. People with BPD seem to have very little tolerance for handling anything remotely difficult. I have noticed a pattern with my partner in which she tries to bail out of anything emotionally or physically difficult by putting the responsibility on me.

I know you can't take a chance with your kids if she's truly incapable. I agree it's a good idea to have backup to step in to help with the kids. But I think you should consider, in therapy if possible, whether this is just another manipulation.
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« Reply #155 on: June 23, 2021, 03:03:04 PM »

I get the distinction, but from the kids' point of view, it might not matter.

Not wanting to do it is bad enough. I know I have been there and it's not good for kids. My BPD mother was somewhat capable, I mean we would not have starved or been left alone with dirty clothes. But her emotional lability led to a lot of verbal and emotional abuse, rages, trashing the house and complaining about my father in front of us. She was at her worst when she was alone with us and nobody could see or hear it.

It's likely a combination of both- manipulating because she doesn't want to and a lack of emotional stability to handle kids for that long on her own.

I don't think my BPD mother would have been a serious danger to my children in terms of their physical well being,  but I never left them alone with her as I couldn't trust what she'd say or do if nobody else was looking.

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« Reply #156 on: June 23, 2021, 03:53:52 PM »

I get the distinction, but from the kids' point of view, it might not matter.

Not wanting to do it is bad enough. I know I have been there and it's not good for kids. My BPD mother was somewhat capable, I mean we would not have starved or been left alone with dirty clothes. But her emotional lability led to a lot of verbal and emotional abuse, rages, trashing the house and complaining about my father in front of us. She was at her worst when she was alone with us and nobody could see or hear it.

It's likely a combination of both- manipulating because she doesn't want to and a lack of emotional stability to handle kids for that long on her own.

I don't think my BPD mother would have been a serious danger to my children in terms of their physical well being,  but I never left them alone with her as I couldn't trust what she'd say or do if nobody else was looking.

Good point. For the kids, it's a distinction without a difference.

I am truly sorry you're going through this. It's such a tough spot to be in. (HUGS)

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« Reply #157 on: June 23, 2021, 03:56:24 PM »

Good point. For the kids, it's a distinction without a difference.

I am also super concerned how she gets the kids wound up when she herself is dysregulating. I am afraid they will learn either that it's someone else's job to take care of their emotions, or that they need to take outsized responsibility for others' feelings. I am so glad they're in therapy.

I am truly sorry you're going through this. It's such a tough spot to be in. (HUGS)


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« Reply #158 on: June 24, 2021, 03:47:39 AM »

Thanks Rita- I'm an adult now, and so can manage her behavior better. I share the experiences if they can be helpful to others. It is different from the child's point of view. I think if the non-BPD parent can think of the unfairness of their situation as being better for the children, it may help a bit.

But it's also not good to role model being an enabler and give up all of who they are either. I think the trip would have been a good thing, and I think this was a lesson on how to be able to do things like that. If child care is needed to be able to do something- that has to not be left to an unreliable person- even if someone is capable, they can still be unreliable and back out - which would make the trip not possible.

For Guts, I think looking into the possibility of the kids staying with the aunt might be something to consider. It's easier to do these things when they are older. If the aunt lives nearby and the kids are in school, then that's also a good arrangement as they are occupied a good part of the day.

This trip didn't work out but I think seeing the patterns and how things evolved may help in planning things in the future.
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« Reply #159 on: June 24, 2021, 06:34:24 AM »

I've learned a lot from this.

My son has a bit of a cough but made it through the night just fine.  She's Yesterday got my daughter convinced She's sick now... when I took the kiddos temperatures it was never above 99 (within the margin of error for normal) when my uBPD wife took somehow it was frequently at 100... still within the margin of error.  She doted on both kids and started waiting on them saying things like "oh no!  You poor things!  Here's an ice pack, let me make you some special tea that help you feel better- how about some extra honey?  Don't you worry, if you guys are sick your father isn't going."

I was trying to get some work done when she came in flashing the latest thermometer read.  She said something like "even if it isn't contagious you promised him!  Well he's sick!"

She stormed out.
I canceled my trip.  Ashamed to admit it, but I broke down crying.  She "sensed" and came back in.

"I canceled it.  Done deal."
"I'm sorry you're not going."
I gufaw... "no you're not."
"Don't snap at me!  I DIDNT DO
ANYTHING WRONG!"
"I'm not snapping... I'm just sad which I think is fair enough"
"This has never been about you going or not!  Why don't you listen to me?  I can't help that the kids are sick!  I didn't do that!  I thought you'd want to be here while they're sick?"
"Please just go... I need some space to process"
"I'm not leaving you while you're upset! That's what you do to me and it sucks! I'm not you!"
"Please just leave alone, I'll be fine in a bit, I just want to distract myself with work."

We took the kids to the doctor who clocked their "fevers" at 97.8 and both had perfect pulse and 0² stats.  Negative for strep, covid tests pending.  The doctor didn't want to do a covid test but guess who pushed for it?

Magically after the doctor's the kids seem fine.  Not. A. Single. Cough.
They're well enough we go out to lunch!  During this she's holding my hand, leaning on me, demanding affection from me and getting extremely agitated if I don't comply... more mini fits.

We get home and something in me just snaps.  I mop and vacuum the entire house.  I clean the ceiling fans, and I get diffusers going in every room.
While they watch TV.
While I'm cleaning I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown.  I'm shaking and trying so hard not to cry.  I feel like it's all my fault.

My wife's words of admonition flood back.
"If you didn't stonewall me none of this would have happened!"
"You didn't hear me the entire time!  That's our biggest issue... you really believed that my tears are manipulation! I'm heartbroken you'd think so low of me"
I am so embarrassed by what happens next, but i want to give a complete picture because I'm starting to think she's right based on what happens next.
One of my trip friends texted me "are you okay?"
That set me off.
I text my (now canceled trip) friends to delete my number.  I log out of Messenger but leave a cryptic message in Latin that "the punishment will fit the crime."  I delete my Instagram account, and send another text to my friend saying "do not look for me, do not call, I am not worth your time" and I turn off my phone.
I don't want anyone reaching out to me.  I feel like a monster.  Who would abandon their kids when they're sick?  What kind of monster would fixate on some stupid trip?

When I'm done cleaning my wife comes up to the office where I'm trying to work.
"What's going on?"
We eventually start talking and she "comes clean" while I'm shaking and holding back tears.
"You know this isn't all your fault... I mean most of it is and I've just been reacting to your immaturity but... well let's say it 70% your fault."
I can't breathe.
"I think the kids are fine... you can probably still go..."
"... I ready canceled it..."
"Oh, I didn't know that, I never told you to fully cancel"
I'm going to vomit... she's being so sweet and kinder than she's been in weeks... since the day I booked my flight.
"Your trip isn't canceled. It's just postponed.  I don't know why you're making such a big deal about this. Figure out another time in like a month okay?"
I can't speak. I'm visibly shaking.
"If you would have just listened to me this wouldn't have happened.  I told you from the start that this was never about you going - it's about how you handled it.  You just expected me to take care of everything without a plan.  You became this entitled white alpha male... that's who you've been lately, even before you booked the trip.  You used to love me and understand my anxiety.  I don't know what happened but I want that husband back... can you come back to me?  With the trip a few weeks out we can better plan it together."

Am I crazy?  Why was I shaking? Why did I shut everyone away and act out like that?  What the hell is wrong with me.  I feel like I'm the one who's splitting between two realities... one where she has BPD and one where I do.

I called her Aunt and my friend I texted.  They're worried.  My friend wanted to send someone out for a well check.  I'd calmed down by the time I called the Aunt.  She gave me the number for the domestic abuse line.  She suggested they'd help me figure out if I'm being abused... she thinks I am.  I tried to explain to them how my wife laid it out and that it made sense to me.  How nice it was for her to be affectionate.

BTW when i told the kids I wasn't going neither seemed to care.

I was supposed to leave on my flight today.
Just got a pop up on my phone suggesting what time I should leave for the airport.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 06:40:38 AM by Guts42 » Logged
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« Reply #160 on: June 24, 2021, 07:17:56 AM »

Guts - I have seen this before. I have seen my father break down like this.

I totally understand how it happens. I have said "no" to my BPD mother over something and she is relentless. She does not stop until she gets what she wants. And her endurance can wear someone out emotionally. I also used to give in because I just could not take it but learned to do it.

I also realized that, as hard as it is for me to not give in to her demands, I don't live with her. My father did and it was the kind of thing you described 24/7.

The aunt gets it. It is abuse. It's actually human emotional torture.

I am not accusing your wife of deliberately torturing you. It's her own response to her increasing anxiety. It's like she's emotionally drowning and if you ever took water lifesaving classes you learned that a drowning person will grab on to you in their desperation and take you down with them.  The drowning person isn't deliberately trying to hurt anyone, they are acting out of their fears. So the class teaches you how to help them without endangering yourself in the process.

Once your wife got what she wanted, the anxiety was relieved and so her behavior is different.

The "you are heartless to leave a sick person" one is one tactic, and a hard one because one just doesn't know if someone is sick or not. But get real, kids get colds, they get viruses all the time and that isn't something one adult can't manage. Parents have jobs. What would happen if both parents had to stay home every time their child got a kiddy virus? Yes, there is the added concern about Covid, but with negative tests, that isn't the case.

But this is logic and logic isn't at play here. It's emotions on your wife's part and yours- and she uped the ante enough to break you down. This pattern happened so much between my parents that my father's immediate response was to do what she wanted just to avoid this.

Your hook here is the kids. They didn't choose this situation. You need to do what is necessary to protect them, but also you need to take steps to stop this pattern or it will probably continue as long as you don't. I think this will take some counseling for you on your part. Not marital counseling- for you, to be able to make some changes in this dynamic.

You need your friends. Call them, apologize for the messages. They probably see more than you know. You may not want to reveal all the details of your marriage, but don't isolate yourself from others. Let them be a support to you, and perhaps you can get together with them at another time.


« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 07:28:08 AM by Notwendy » Logged
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« Reply #161 on: June 24, 2021, 07:39:49 AM »

Guts, I have been following your story closely and I hope you can feel my support from here. Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

You’re dealing with a lot and the last few weeks, it’s like you’ve been in an emotional pressure cooker. It’s not the least surprising that you would break down under those circumstances.

I’ve had so much less to deal with than you have (no kids of my own, no parent with BPD) yet, lately, I have sometimes felt like I’m going to lose my mind. That “maybe I’m crazy. Maybe uPBDH is right.”

I have missed family gatherings or avoided doing things important to me just to avoid H’s inevitable reaction, knowing it would end up being weapon used.

There is so much manipulation in what you’ve described.

I will reiterate what Notwendy said: please keep up your connections in whatever way you can. You have people who care about you. Let them. Believe me, you need them. I have distanced myself from people I love and who love me and it was not healthy. At all. I’m working now to restrengthen those ties.

I would also recommend listening to the aunt. It sounds like she is supportive and has done idea of what’s really going on. I honestly didn’t think I was a victim of domestic abuse until people here encouraged me to reach out for help. It was horrifying and embarrassing and very “how did I get here?” but also so enlightening and helpful. Once I could see things more clearly, it was easier to hold my center (though I still struggle with this).

We have some good resources on this site. If you haven’t already, look at the Library: Tools and skills workshops section. SOO much good info there. Including this thread that deals specifically for men and DV:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=87480.0

Please keep reading and posting, Guts. You’re not alone. We’re here for you.
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« Reply #162 on: June 24, 2021, 07:46:26 AM »


Is there anyway to adjust dates of trip and leave today/tomorrow?

One thing you now know is that "time" for her to process is NOT on your side.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Best,

FF
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« Reply #163 on: June 24, 2021, 08:38:38 AM »

Am I crazy?  Why was I shaking? Why did I shut everyone away and act out like that?  What the hell is wrong with me.  I feel like I'm the one who's splitting between two realities... one where she has BPD and one where I do.

Not sure if this helps, but I read recently that people in relationships with a pwBPD often take on some of the characteristics themselves over time due to the emotional toll.

This happened to me yesterday when I was accused of doing the exact opposite of what I had done.  I snapped, and told her the conversation was over and started to leave.  She actually became the reasonable one and asked why we couldn't have a conversation where we thought different things had happened (something I've asked her a million times, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)).  The difference is that I apologized, explained why I was so emotional (she had asked for a divorce, again, that morning) and was able to continue with a rational conversation and I worked on my SET and not JADE'ing.

What I'm trying to do to keep grounded since then is to focus on the stuff she also said that I knew was a sign of her BPD.  I've historically ignored the bad and focused only on the good.  In your case, do you find yourself focusing on the affection and her admitting to her anxiety instead of the faked "temperatures" and literally using your children to enforce her will?   That's probably how I would have handled it... trained into my brain since birth by a mentally ill mother.

This week I've attended my first virtual Co-Dependents Anonymous meeting (coda.org).  Unsure if it will help me, will discuss it with my therapist tonight... but you may want to read through the site and see if it could be a good source of support for you.
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« Reply #164 on: June 24, 2021, 09:52:45 AM »

It does help... and I think I remember reading something like that in the 'Eggshells' book.  It also explains (not excuses) some of my behavior as a child since my mother was a strong candidate for BPD.

I actually called the national abuse hotline and went over just the issues since the trip.  It was a remarkable call and hearing someone label this as "abuse" was sobering.  She said that regardless of anxiety, BPD, adhd, or pmdd that there's no excuse for treating someone like this.  The agent on the phone was great and very frank... she made a lot of good points and suggested I reach out to a local support group.

I'm going over to the Aunt's a little later under the premise of returning a shovel and borrowing a book.  From there I'll probably call the local resource and consider planning my trip.

I did some damage control with my friends.  They've actually been aware of my BPD suspicions for almost as long as I have.  In fact I started reaching out to people again after I read Eggshells and realized how isolated I've become.  I didn't intend on letting them in on this but I slipped a quote from Eggshells into a conversation and it all spilled out from there.  That's when they suggested we book a trip to see each other.
More than anything they were extremely concerned and recognized immediately what was going on.

Today my wife is 'super mom' again.
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« Reply #165 on: June 24, 2021, 01:10:58 PM »

Today my wife is 'super mom' again.

Whatever emotional stress she felt over the idea of the trip - it's gone now, she feels fine.

This is also what I have seen as a "BPD apology" ( or lack of)

Dry erase method. "Look, I am good now, so nothing happened" and the expectation that this is agreed on.

I may sound cynical but this is a pattern that I see frequently.

The difference though in what I see and what potential there is for change is that- my father chose the path of appeasement, and so my mother didn't have the incentive to change her behavior, because it worked for her.

You are discovering this, and while it's impossible to know the outcome, or if there even is the possibility of a better outcome- you have access to information about how to make changes in your behavior in this dynamic. You don't have to make a decision on the marriage at the moment ( people do this at their own pace and decide how they wish) you are making good strides- keeping contact with your friends, talking to DV hotline for support, speaking to the aunt who may be of assistance to you.
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« Reply #166 on: June 24, 2021, 02:50:37 PM »


Could you make it a goal that you have a meal with this local aunt in the next week and perhaps go over what this aunt may or may not provide and what kind of notice she needs.

Also if she is ok with you making long term plans with her..that might not be revealed to your pwBPD until the day prior.

It would seem that your pwBPD can't handle thinking about these things for weeks on end...that may be the most important lesson you have learned.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #167 on: June 24, 2021, 02:57:25 PM »

"With the trip a few weeks out, we can better plan together."

Interesting.

You started this topic on June 2. That is three weeks in which she could have planned with you. And yet, that is not what she spent that time doing. Say you set up a trip today for 3-4 weeks from now...what do you assess would be different next time than what you just went through?

I would encourage you to go back and re-read this entire thread. There might be some valuable insights on your perspective from this end of the experience.
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« Reply #168 on: June 24, 2021, 07:21:16 PM »

We took the kids to the doctor who clocked their "fevers" at 97.8 and both had perfect pulse and 0² stats.  Negative for strep, covid tests pending.  The doctor didn't want to do a covid test but guess who pushed for it?

Magically after the doctor's the kids seem fine.  Not. A. Single. Cough.

That actually happened to me.  Here's my post:
Excerpt
Topic:  When do you take the threats seriously?
Date:  August 11, 2009, 12:18:51 AM
If I recall correctly, late one night my ex told me son had a 105 degree fever, called the urgent care stating he had a 103 degree fever, then 20 minutes later when she arrived with son they took his temperature and it was about 99 degrees.  {I had arrived and I confirmed with the staff that he was just fine.}

You can be sure she has probably taken a few facts, stretched them until they were virtually unrecognizable and then blamed you for it all.  It is called emotional blaming or "emotional "facts".

One of my trip friends texted me "are you okay?"
That set me off.
I text my (now canceled trip) friends to delete my number.  I log out of Messenger but leave a cryptic message in Latin that "the punishment will fit the crime."  I delete my Instagram account, and send another text to my friend saying "do not look for me, do not call, I am not worth your time" and I turn off my phone.
I don't want anyone reaching out to me.  I feel like a monster.  Who would abandon their kids when they're sick?  What kind of monster would fixate on some stupid trip?

"You know this isn't all your fault... I mean most of it is and I've just been reacting to your immaturity but... well let's say it 70% your fault."
I can't breathe.
"I think the kids are fine... you can probably still go..."
"... I ready canceled it..."
"Oh, I didn't know that, I never told you to fully cancel"
"Your trip isn't canceled. It's just postponed.  I don't know why you're making such a big deal about this. Figure out another time in like a month okay?"

Have you ever watched the 1944 movie Gaslight?  This clueless young woman is romanced by this man who she doesn't realize is a criminal, he adjusts the gas lights up and down and questions her sanity when she remarks the gas light did dim up and down.  He's got her to the point where she even doubts her own sanity.

Sound familiar?  You can't continue living like that.  You really are "reasonably normal".  It's her, not you.  You have to decide what to do about it because your family life is becoming dysfunctional and there's no indication here she'll change.
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« Reply #169 on: June 25, 2021, 05:04:19 AM »

IMHO, if you really want to take the trip, the main plan would be to arrange for child care that does not involve your wife. The next plan would be a contingency plan as to what to do when she acts up again. If you are out of town and she's having an emotional crisis, who can she lean on besides you?

You need to arrange for someone to do all the things you do when you are home. Do you cook the meals, clean? If so, there needs to be meals in the freezer and everything done before you leave.

Planning "with her" isn't going to stop what happened. If you read one of my earlier posts, you will see I said " her anxiety will increase as the trip gets closer- and so will her behaviors to stop the anxiety increase- as her goal will be to stop them- and her main way to do this is to stop you from going. So she can be all sweet and agreeable 3 weeks in advance, but feel differently 1 week in advance.

If you want this trip to happen, you need to think about how to do it if you were the sole person in charge of the house and kids. Leaving any aspect of this to your wife gives a part of the ability to take the trip to her- and that gives her some control over whether or not you go.

I don't suggest you don't tell her or the kids, that would be hurtful, but the approach is that " honey I have arranged everything" Kids will go to camp and then to aunt's house. there's meals in the freezer and you can have a break while I am gone" approach might work better. There may still be drama but her control over your trip will be less. 
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« Reply #170 on: June 25, 2021, 09:13:23 AM »

Maybe I'm just coming down from not going... but I don't think my wife would allow any of those options.  If I even suggest the kids staying somewhere else she gets very angry and says "no one can take care of them like me."

I'm going to plan the trip with the expectation it isn't going to happen.  If it does, great.  If it doesn't then I suspect I'll have enough evidence to have her removed.

Things escalated while I was at the Aunts for two hours.  Somehow my son's "fever" of 100.3 returned and his cough got worse.  I took the bait and headed home... he seemed fine but my wife was very nervous.  She then had me leave almost immediately to help a friend of hers nearby install a doorbell camera system.  It took about an hour total.  When I got back from that everyone was visibly anxious about bedtime.  My daughter was terrified that her brother was going to get really sick last night.  My son was almost in tears about his "croup" returning... they went to bed just fine...

130am rolls around and my son shuffles into the hall and can't speak.  His throat has swollen a bit (he can breathe fine) and it's hard for him to talk.  He is panicked.  My wife had previously agreed we'd use the rx steroid we have on hand (he used to get croup every 6 to 8 weeks but it's been gone for 18+ months).  However even after taking his temperature of 103 she goes for the homeopathic remedy and not even Tylenol.
After half an hour of him not getting better I suggest the Tylenol and rx steroid.  After half an hour of his fever not budging I glare at her and tell her were using Tylenol.
"I never said not to!"
He vomits twenty minutes later.  It's his dinner... that I wasn't home for.
After he vomits he seems better... his fever stays around 102 but his cough is bad.
Something seemed off to me about this.
I get fully dressed and say I'm taking him to urgent care.  My wife protests.  We instead call the after hours line.  They seemed confused as to why we didn't just go with the rx at the first sign since we have it and have been through this before.
We give him the steroid.  About twenty minutes later we give him children's motrin.
That comes up immediately, like it hit the bottom end of his esophagus and immediately returned.
I say that's it, I'm taking him.
"Well we should all go!  I'll wake his sister!"
"I don't know if that's needed..."
She darts into his room and she reports he even says he wants to go but wants his sister and mom to go.
She then says "wait!  We have Zofran!  His cough sounds better it's just the fever... if we get him to stop vomiting the motrin will work!  If it doesn't then we take him."
It works and his fever rapidly drops to 99 in the course of an hour.
By this point we're all up watching TV downstairs at 4am.  The kids think it's fun.

They're asleep upstairs right now.  I'm taking my son to his regular physician in a couple of hours.

A few things stand out here:
1.  Any illness seems to escalate when I'm not around
2.  My wife said, multiple times, with a voice that sounded scripted, "I'm just so glad you're home... it's like the universe was giving you every sign you shouldn't go because this was going to happen!"
3.  I suggested that I think what we're really dealing with here is severe allergies mixed with tiny virus but mostly extreme fear/anxiety making it much much worse.  To which she replies coldly "I told you they need a new therapist"

It just seems too convenient... but her timing was off... like her plan was a night late.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid. He really had a fever.  I took it myself a few times.  He hasn't had this (and I'm not convinced it's croup) in 18 months and suddenly he has it the same day I was supposed to get on a plane?

My therapist suggested I document everything and try to get somehow on record that my wife pushed for the covid test when the doctor said it wasn't needed.
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« Reply #171 on: June 25, 2021, 09:13:57 AM »

Maybe I'm just coming down from not going... but I don't think my wife would allow any of those options.  If I even suggest the kids staying somewhere else she gets very angry and says "no one can take care of them like me."

I'm going to plan the trip with the expectation it isn't going to happen.  If it does, great.  If it doesn't then I suspect I'll have enough evidence to move forward with a separation.

Things escalated while I was at the Aunts for two hours.  Somehow my son's "fever" of 100.3 returned and his cough got worse.  I took the bait and headed home... he seemed fine but my wife was very nervous.  She then had me leave almost immediately to help a friend of hers nearby install a doorbell camera system.  It took about an hour total.  When I got back from that everyone was visibly anxious about bedtime.  My daughter was terrified that her brother was going to get really sick last night.  My son was almost in tears about his "croup" returning... they went to bed just fine...

130am rolls around and my son shuffles into the hall and can't speak.  His throat has swollen a bit (he can breathe fine) and it's hard for him to talk.  He is panicked.  My wife had previously agreed we'd use the rx steroid we have on hand (he used to get croup every 6 to 8 weeks but it's been gone for 18+ months).  However even after taking his temperature of 103 she goes for the homeopathic remedy and not even Tylenol.
After half an hour of him not getting better I suggest the Tylenol and rx steroid.  After half an hour of his fever not budging I glare at her and tell her were using Tylenol.
"I never said not to!"
He vomits twenty minutes later.  It's his dinner... that I wasn't home for.
After he vomits he seems better... his fever stays around 102 but his cough is bad.
Something seemed off to me about this.
I get fully dressed and say I'm taking him to urgent care.  My wife protests.  We instead call the after hours line.  They seemed confused as to why we didn't just go with the rx at the first sign since we have it and have been through this before.
We give him the steroid.  About twenty minutes later we give him children's motrin.
That comes up immediately, like it hit the bottom end of his esophagus and immediately returned.
I say that's it, I'm taking him.
"Well we should all go!  I'll wake his sister!"
"I don't know if that's needed..."
She darts into his room and she reports he even says he wants to go but wants his sister and mom to go.
She then says "wait!  We have Zofran!  His cough sounds better it's just the fever... if we get him to stop vomiting the motrin will work!  If it doesn't then we take him."
It works and his fever rapidly drops to 99 in the course of an hour.
By this point we're all up watching TV downstairs at 4am.  The kids think it's fun.

They're asleep upstairs right now.  I'm taking my son to his regular physician in a couple of hours.

A few things stand out here:
1.  Any illness seems to escalate when I'm not around
2.  My wife said, multiple times, with a voice that sounded scripted, "I'm just so glad you're home... it's like the universe was giving you every sign you shouldn't go because this was going to happen!"
3.  I suggested that I think what we're really dealing with here is severe allergies mixed with tiny virus but mostly extreme fear/anxiety making it much much worse.  To which she replies coldly "I told you they need a new therapist"

It just seems too convenient... but her timing was off... like her plan was a night late.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid. He really had a fever.  I took it myself a few times.  He hasn't had this (and I'm not convinced it's croup) in 18 months and suddenly he has it the same day I was supposed to get on a plane?

My therapist suggested I document everything and try to get somehow on record that my wife pushed for the covid test when the doctor said it wasn't needed.
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« Reply #172 on: June 25, 2021, 11:19:26 AM »

Look up Munchausen's by Proxy.
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« Reply #173 on: June 25, 2021, 11:28:08 AM »

There are lots of inconsistencies.

On the one had I would give her a pass for pushing for covid testing...because I've done the same thing AND...confirmed our first case of covid in this manner.

Doctors were positive is was "just" a sinus infection for a 18 year old male, he even responded well to antibiotics.  I was like "we are here...please test anyway".  His positive test gave us a heads up and likely allowed us to stop further covid (we ended up with three cases..I think it could have been worse).

Consistency:  If she was "always" pressing for the most conservative treatment..I would give her a pass...but there seems to be this flopping back and forth between be conservative and..."let's wait"...even in the face of high temps and other things that you just don't "wait" for..

Please ask your pediatrician to do a full blood panel..I would express concerns there is a possibility of over or under medication...not sure what tests would be given for that..but basically...is there anything odd in the kids blood.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #174 on: June 25, 2021, 12:09:55 PM »

Did you take the temperature or did your wife? Did you see her take it?

I don't know how someone would fake a true fever, but it's possible to misreport a fever, or hold the thermometer in warm water if nobody is looking.

The part that doesn't add up to me-
She calls you at aunt's house to report the 100.3 fever- that might be true or not, but I am assuming she called to get you home. ( my mother would be anxious about a visit like this as she'd be concerned we were talking about her)

So you come home to check on your child, but she sends you away to do something (? that is odd)

You come back and everyone is anxious- while this seems excessive, we've all gone though the Covid scares where everyone is anxious if someone has coughing, so perhaps that's explainable.

Your son wakes up with sore throat, cough, fever, throws up- at this point, he really is sick with some bug. That's hard to fake on your wife's part.

Here's where it gets strange:
She doesn't do the treatment you have worked out with your son's health care provider.
She doesn't want to have you take him to urgent care ( if she's worried this doesn't make sense)
The logical thing to do would be to have one parent take him to urgent care while the other parent stays at home and lets his sister sleep. Waking the sister up is adding drama.

I don't know how someone could create a true fever and cough in a child by giving them something, but maybe there's a way. I do think it's possible he had a bug and  she could have exaggerated the situation with the drama about it.
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« Reply #175 on: June 25, 2021, 12:22:09 PM »

I'm a bit concerned about the long term health of your children in this environment:

https://www.stress.org/family-stress-and-fevers-in-children

This seems like more than a coincidence.

Wishing you the best of luck, and praying for your family.
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« Reply #176 on: June 25, 2021, 05:03:37 PM »

Look up Munchausen's by Proxy.

Exactly what I was going to post.  Could be something he ate or something in the food he ate...  After all, you weren't there.

Things seem to be escalating?
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« Reply #177 on: June 25, 2021, 07:25:53 PM »

Yes.  Definitely escalating.

It took me a few times to let it ring long enough for someone to answer but I called a local resource hot line.

I'll be getting a call from a case manager early next week.

That was the hardest call I've ever made.

It also dawned on me that her whole argument for me staying while the kids were sick was that she's terrified to drive at night and that she didn't want to have to take both kids if something happened.  But then last night... it was we all go or no one and then she argued against going at all even though I'd be driving...
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« Reply #178 on: June 26, 2021, 07:57:54 AM »

I am beginning to see just how deep the manipulation goes.  I'm wondering if this is just BPD or something bigger?

My daughter had a two day dance convention.  My wife initially used my absence to avoid her going.  I think my daughter really wanted to go but my wife convinced her not to because I wasn't going to be home.  Then the director called and said that it's mandatory for team members but understood my daughter not wanting to do both days so she could just do one.

Come to think of it... the next day my announced that they were sick...

So we know I end up not going on my trip.
My wife takes my daughter to her the single day event (yesterday).  Im not allowed to take her... my wife's fear is that the director will see me and then essentially say "Great!  Since you're home are you doing day 2?"  Of course she has a blast.  So much so that my wife seems worried that she'll actually ask to do day 2.

My wife gets ahead of this by having a "family" talk with her about it.  I recorded it.  I don't know if it's my bias from recent events but it feels like manipulation.

She starts off by saying it's "totally up to you."
My daughter says she wants to go.  My wife then gives her ten minutes to think about it.  She returns and my wife says again that there's no wrong answer here.
"Okay, I really want to go"
"Okay... if you're sure... but once I send the text and sign you up that's it... there's no going back!  Okay I'm texting them right nowww... stop me at anytime... okay I stopped- sheesh why are you gonna cry?"
This goes back n forth for quite a while.
When my daughter finally does say that she's worried she'll over do it (because of her lingering cough) and not be rested enough to have fun on Monday's dance camp my wife accepts the answer and does not do any of the "are you sure?" routine.

My daughter had a sleep walking episode last night.  In her half daze state she came to our room crying asking for my help saying "Dada I'm scared there's so much laundry please help me."  We got her to calm down and she came out of it.

She has these episodes when she's stressed.  She told my wife and me that she was really worried she's very sick.  My wife told her she isn't sick anymore and it's nothing to worry about.

Am I being paranoid?  Does that sound like manipulation or am I just overly sensitive right now?
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« Reply #179 on: June 26, 2021, 08:13:27 AM »

It is absolutely manipulation.

In addition, your wife is planting seeds of self-doubt in your daughter, such that your D won't trust her own judgement and inner voice, or even what her physical body is telling her (am I sick of not). This is a critical period for your daughter -- she needs to be able to live her own authentic life.

Right now, no one in your household is being allowed to live an authentic life.
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