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Author Topic: Exit plan: moving out after a dramatic incident  (Read 703 times)
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« on: May 25, 2022, 11:37:27 AM »

Hi!

So, she just hit me with a broom after a long conversation where I mostly avoided jadeing, which makes this the 7th day of physical violence this month, not a record by any means but back to good form at least (sorry about the sarcastic tone). I think this is a good time to start a brainstorming thread about how to move out as a natural consequence of a dramatic episode. I'll talk about this with my therapist on Tuesday too, but it might be good to brainstorm here before that.

First, I think I'd have about one day of increased personal motivation to move out after a physical attack, so I need to build a plan around that.

I noticed now that even though I stay calm and don't engage in argumenting, I still get the adrenaline I need to pull the plug and move out, I think staying calm would be a good idea, and it's something I think I can manage. I just need a practical plan so I don't loose momentum from worrying about practicalities.

- I don't feel the need to consult lawyers beforehand, but I'll consider it.
- Do I need to have a plan ready for living arrangements for myself and the boys?
- How do I inform her of my decision?
- I think I have it covered how to inform my sons.
- collecting stuff isn't my biggest worry
- I could create a list on my phone of what bring with me when I leave
- I can store a bag of extra clothes at work
- old photo albums from when I was little, maybe I should move them to my parents, however she could possibly notice that.

More?
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2022, 02:29:06 PM »

Hello I’m really sorry that you’re going through this experience,

I also had to leave and then I was accused of crimes and I’m advising you to be careful.

I would stay for a little while and start documenting her behavior and you really need to build a case up for yourself in case she charges you with some sort of abuse.

A lot of these women once they start painting you black will say that you have either abused them or the children as a way of gaining control of you and use the legal system against you can avoid this  if you go and talk to a lawyer and figure out getting a restraining order against her initially.

Documenting things is good.

Also maybe you can talk to her and get some agreements written down on her behavior and the way she’s going to treat you and if you do separate try to get some thing signed and notarized saying that she’ll go for arbitration not litigation.

So much sounds extreme but I didn’t know when I left I was going to have a domestic violence restraining order thrown at me and then a civil abuse case to fight it’s cost me a tremendous amount and if there’s any way you can save yourself this pain I would start now.

It’s not a good idea to underestimate BPD rage when you do leave

Take care

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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2022, 03:01:34 PM »

-I don't feel the need to consult lawyers beforehand, but I'll consider it.

This is a precarious situation. Leaving can cause escalation and even be physically dangerous. I think how to do this is a reason to at least consult a DV hotline. Legally, you also need to protect yourself. The reaction can be unpredictable.

- Do I need to have a plan ready for living arrangements for myself and the boys?

Yes. Somewhere safe. They need protection too.

- How do I inform her of my decision?

This is best discussed with a DV hotline/specialist. Generally it's said to not tell them at all. Leaving can be one of the most dangerous situations. Experienced advice is recommended.

- I think I have it covered how to inform my sons.

- collecting stuff isn't my biggest worry

- I could create a list on my phone of what bring with me when I leave


Keep them in your office. Duplicate bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, brushes, etc. She has gotten into your phone

- I can store a bag of extra clothes at work. Good- and for the boys too.

- old photo albums from when I was little, maybe I should move them to my parents, however she could possibly notice that.

Anything you value, she could destroy. I say take them somewhere safe. If she notices tell her your parents wanted them for an anniversary celebration or a siblings birthday (or some other reason they might want them)
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2022, 03:42:59 PM »

Can you say more about why you aren't leaning toward consulting an attorney?

Is it for pragmatic or emotional reasons?
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2022, 03:52:31 AM »

Can you say more about why you aren't leaning toward consulting an attorney?

Is it for pragmatic or emotional reasons?


I live in Scandinavia and two different mental health professionals, one specialized in abusive relationships, told me she didn't find it necessary to involve legal counseling. But maybe she wasn't referring to asking advice so I guess that could be beneficial. I think she was trying to not put too much pressure on me and also to avoid coming on to my wife with too much power. But I can consult a lawyer without ever telling my wife about it. Custody issues is not as common here. The children has the right to a relationship with their parents.


- Do I need to have a plan ready for living arrangements for myself and the boys?

Yes. Somewhere safe. They need protection too.


My plan has always been to leave the kids with her the first day or two. The second day meet them outside, and then as soon as possible get into a custody schedule. My T supported that idea. In that time I could arrange somewhere to live. When you say, "they need protection too", what do you suggest? She wouldn't hurt them, I even think she would be a better mom with me not being around.


She has gotten into your phone
True, maybe I should create a list here on this site somehow, that way I can access it from anywhere, but don't risk her finding it.

Good- and for the boys too.

Might be a good idea, thanks for that suggestion.
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2022, 04:48:59 AM »

I don't know if i can wait... the last days have been extreme, violence three days straight and constant blaming and yelling, everything in front of the kids. 2yo in my arms and still she hits me with objects and she won't of course listen to any reason whatsoever.

She is in despair but we're traumatizing the kids.

Alternative strategy:
Can I simply say I move out, suggest marriage counseling to make one last effort while living apart? Focus my energy on detaching physically, agree on custody. If she doesn't cooperate, involve social services (suggested by local DV specialist who I trust).

Thankfully my kids are now going to my parents for the rest of the day.
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2022, 05:40:49 AM »

Is any of her anger directed towards the kids?  If not you might consider leaving them with her, as taking them with you could add fuel to the abandonment fire if you take them with you.

Some people recommend continuing to live with your spouse whilst custody is agreed but that will likely be difficult with a BPD-suffering spouse.  Distance is important, and you always have the option of moving back in if she is difficult with letting you access your kids (in most countries it is unlawful to refuse access to your house).  Consider secretly recording your interactions with your spouse in the event allegations are made that could affect access to your kids.

Do you have the option of staying with your parents in an emergency?  That would be ideal as would give you flexibility without committing to new leases etc.

I personally have a 'go bag' hidden at work with essential items.  It might be a good idea for you to do the same.

If your wife is anything like mine then the actual moment where you say you are leaving will be the difficult bit.  Logistics and arrangements will not all be final at that point so there will inevitably need to be some subsequent discussions but you could have those separately from her when you are safe.
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2022, 06:37:23 AM »

Is any of her anger directed towards the kids?  If not you might consider leaving them with her, as taking them with you could add fuel to the abandonment fire if you take them with you.

Some people recommend continuing to live with your spouse whilst custody is agreed but that will likely be difficult with a BPD-suffering spouse.  Distance is important, and you always have the option of moving back in if she is difficult with letting you access your kids (in most countries it is unlawful to refuse access to your house).  Consider secretly recording your interactions with your spouse in the event allegations are made that could affect access to your kids.

Do you have the option of staying with your parents in an emergency?  That would be ideal as would give you flexibility without committing to new leases etc.

I personally have a 'go bag' hidden at work with essential items.  It might be a good idea for you to do the same.

If your wife is anything like mine then the actual moment where you say you are leaving will be the difficult bit.  Logistics and arrangements will not all be final at that point so there will inevitably need to be some subsequent discussions but you could have those separately from her when you are safe.

Thank you, this feels reassuring. Her anger is not directed towards the kids. Quite the opposite, she can alternate between screaming at me in tears and talking calmly to the kids at the same time, she really handles her emotions quite well towards the kids, considering how she is with me. She might have a short fuse but I have carefully observed it and I feel confident leaving her with them. However, plainly telling her - "I want a divorce, I'm moving out NOW!" could be too much of a shock for her to handle and could result in her not taking care of the kids good enough because of her despair.

Also good to hear your thoughts on moving out - yes I can move back in. I like these kinds of down to earth points of view, it's easy to loose touch with reality in a relationship like this. I'd like to view this as someone who has a healthy view on relationships.
I don't think she can motivate full custody of the kids. And I have voice recordings. I'd like to present this as a safety measure that I'm taking for the sake of all of us. Moving out - getting distance - planning ahead. No promise about the future, just point to the fact that we need distance, for her, for me, for the kids. Should I cut the suggestion of marital counseling? Or is it a good thing to say to give strength to the leaving episode?

I've heard that if there is (1) repeated violence in the relationship - involve the police and get out (it focused more on male to female violence). If (2) there is a single incident with violence - move out and discuss the future from there on. Move back when and if its properly dealt with.

--> this alternative (2) speaks to me, it minimizes the blaming of her which she can't handle, it is a sober decision on my part and protects us all from (1) extreme violence. There is no need to start a war by claiming (1) extreme violence is a danger to me. I'm safe just moving out anyway. Any thoughts on that?
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2022, 07:19:27 AM »

How moving out could play out (feel free to overwhelm me with suggestions!):

1. I ask her to have a serious conversation.
2. I tell her something like this:
"We need to have a sober look at our situation, and I believe that we can only achieve that by living separately right now. Us fighting is damaging you, the kids and myself. We all need to take a step back and assess the situation... I have noticed how good you are with the kids even when we are in the middle of a fight. I love you and care about you. Your well being is important to me. The kids should be our main concern."
3. She will respond with
a) hostility
manipulation, blaming, violence, belittling, accusations, threats.
--> I listen, nod and then I'm out? She will shout and threaten me as I leave, but that only makes me more motivated.
b) despair
Fear of abandonment, betrayal trauma, crying, throwing up, suicide threats.
--> I could easily fall in to making promises about this being a temporary solution and worst case canceling my plans and staying.
Should I further explain why I think this is best for all of us?
4. My response to her response
Do I just ignore everything or do I keep stating back my own point of view? I have to follow up with actions, do I just leave, and assure her that we'll talk again the next day? What should I tell her regarding custody, is it too much to bring into the conversation at this point? Can I simply tell her "We'll speak tomorrow about how to arrange the custody of the kids"?
5. I need to have my plan ready. I could stay with my parents, they even have a separate guest house, but I'm somewhat hesitant to this, maybe because my wife has taunted me of being a mama's boy and I want to prove her wrong. I could also stay in a hotel a few nights while sorting out an apartment, I've heard it's easy to find an apartment in my city right now.
6. Fixing apartment and sleeping arrangements for all three + other urgent necessities feels like a challenge, but I figure I could have it all set in a few days.

I figure staying home while arranging another place to live is not an option unless she buys the whole thing as being a good plan...?

Here's a few possible responses from her:
"We don't need any help"
"You just need to promise me to never leave me, and always be loyal..."
"YOU just have to commit, it's your turn to make a commitment to this relationship"
"IT'S ALL I'M ASKING, after that everything will be fine"
"You have destroyed this family"
"What a terrible person you are"
"If you leave now, you're never coming back!"
"Breaking trust have consequences, it's time for you to take responsibility and realize you part in this."
"You're violent too"
"You want to take away the kids from me? You don't get to decide that!"
"This is not a good time to do something like this, you're destroying all the hard work we've accomplished."
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2022, 08:27:22 AM »

I'd like to offer an alternative perspective for you to consider.

the psychiatrist I saw used to say two things to me a lot.

first was 'in some of these situations it's okay to do a hit and run', that was her way of saying it's okay to state your message and leave the conversation.    my experience was it was often counter productive to stay in an endlessly circular conversation.     circular arguments just loop around and around and go no where until one person collapses in exhaustion.   she used to advise me to avoid that.

the second thing she said a lot was "less is more".   that was her way of saying don't over explain.   she encouraged me to be short.   sweet.   to the point and then out the door.

"We need to have a sober look at our situation, The violence in our relationship must stop and I believe that we can only achieve that by living separately right now. Us This fighting is damaging you, the kids and myself.  the family. We all need must to take a step back and assess the situation... I have noticed how good you are with the kids even when we are in the middle of a fight. I love you and care about you. Your well being is important to me. The kids should be our main concern.I am going to stay at XYZ while we work on ways to stop the violence.

my changes are in italics.   I think you might consider strongly stating the Why first.   Physical and emotional violence isn't acceptable and I think thatshould be clearly and strongly stated.    I also wouldn't conflate multiple topics.    keep it simple and keep it about one thing.   violence isn't acceptable.    violence must be addressed.    for the moment don't add in, the well being of the kids, her, who loves who and who is better with the kids.   I would also point out to you that hitting their father in front of them is not 'being good with the kids'.


--> I listen, nod and then I'm out? She will shout and threaten me as I leave, but that only makes me more motivated.

I would suggest you set a time frame for how long this should reasonably take.   
15 minutes of listening?   10?   20?   state your truth quietly and clearly and then take the action you said you would.    do not engage in endless loops of explaining.   leave the door open for further productive conversation.   you might want to schedule a time for a productive conversation.   and I would be deliberate about calling it a 'productive conversation'.


Should I further explain why I think this is best for all of us?

don't JADE.   don't justify, argue, defend or explain.   beyond clarifying anything that could honestly be confusing, find simple short phrases that you are rock solid sure apply to your situation and that you can repeat while under emotional pressure.    mine was "Hitting Is No Good".   it was my bedrock which I would not move off of.

Do I just ignore everything or do I keep stating back my own point of view?

again Less is More.   the more you explain and state your point of view the more she will flood and be unable to process what your message is. 

I think its important to leave her with some idea of what will happen the next day and in the next week.  something concrete and tangible.   I will be at XYZ if you need to reach me and I will talk to you tomorrow at X o'clock.   I am not sure its even possible to make far reaching plans that cover the future.    this is a process.  a process with steps that aren't even visible right now.

5. I need to have my plan ready. I could stay with my parents, they even have a separate guest house, but I'm somewhat hesitant to this, maybe because my wife has taunted me of being a mama's boy and I want to prove her wrong. I could also stay in a hotel a few nights while sorting out an apartment, I've heard it's easy to find an apartment in my city right now.

I'd suggest two plans.   a short term plan for the next two weeks (or so) that buys you a breathing space to deal with the emotional fallout.    an a long term plan that would cover the next year - which would include leases for apartments and setting up a second house hold.   if your parents are a support for you, some one you feel comfortable with and can assist I would suggest you consider going there and how that would impact any future relationship with your wife and kids.   its a balancing act.   supporting you without putting a stumbling block in front of your wife.

Here's a few possible responses from her:
"We don't need any help"
"You just need to promise me to never leave me, and always be loyal..."
"YOU just have to commit, it's your turn to make a commitment to this relationship"
"IT'S ALL I'M ASKING, after that everything will be fine"
"You have destroyed this family"
"What a terrible person you are"
"If you leave now, you're never coming back!"
"Breaking trust have consequences, it's time for you to take responsibility and realize you part in this."
"You're violent too"
"You want to take away the kids from me? You don't get to decide that!"
"This is not a good time to do something like this, you're destroying all the hard work we've accomplished."

have you ever been able to convince her of your point of view?   if so, how did you do it?

I'd suggest you be very deliberate about identifying in your own head and then setting ground rules for what a productive conversation that moves the relationship forward is.     for me it was no more than 45 minutes.    and never inside our house.    if we wanted to have a difficult conversation we went somewhere.   usually to a park.  and sat at bench or a picnic table.   being in a public setting lessened the chances of violence. less potential weapons around.    being a park was more relaxing.   this worked better for me.    find what works better for you.

'ducks
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2022, 12:15:30 PM »

So I've actually kind of left now but it's like I lost my breath. I've only yet gone to get the kids from my parents, I need to take them home too and I'm afraid I don't have the strength to get out one more time. Mostly because of confusion and worry about what will happen the next few days.

I stayed too long to try to convince her that living separately might be a good idea.
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2022, 12:18:55 PM »

Can you talk to or meet with your DV counselor before you return with the kids?

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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2022, 12:19:10 PM »

I hear you that there's a lot of moving parts right now.

I wonder if there's a way to let your kids keep staying with your parents "for the moment" as you gather your thoughts. Your parents are safe people and your kids would be safe there "temporarily". It doesn't have to be "forever", just allowing yourself some time to consider what would be wise to do next.

Food for thought.

Glad you reached out and updated us;

kells76

*edit -- cross posted with LnL. Interesting that we both are wondering if you can keep the kids in a safe place for now.*
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2022, 12:22:01 PM »

Not sure, I guess I'm worrying a lot about my wife. Don't know if I'm prepared to take the kids away from her right now, maybe I can ask her?
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2022, 12:23:34 PM »

It's friday evening here already, dv specialist not at work anymore. I have an appointment next Tuesday.

Kells your right about the moving parts feeling. I need to relax but there's no time and too many practical issues
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2022, 12:47:34 PM »


I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I realize your situation is changing fast but here's my take on some things from the posts before.

Can you say more about why you aren't leaning toward consulting an attorney?

Is it for pragmatic or emotional reasons?


I live in Scandinavia and two different mental health professionals, one specialized in abusive relationships, told me she didn't find it necessary to involve legal counseling. But maybe she wasn't referring to asking advice so I guess that could be beneficial. I think she was trying to not put too much pressure on me and also to avoid coming on to my wife with too much power. But I can consult a lawyer without ever telling my wife about it. Custody issues is not as common here. The children has the right to a relationship with their parents.

On this legal point, I would definitely consult with a lawyer.  In my experience in Scandinavia, the system works great maybe 92% of the time.  So as a society, it's incredibly high functioning.  Makes the US look like a joke.  But you don't want to fall into the 8% because then you're lost.  For example, when my wife was getting bought out of her last job when we lived there, the employer tried to screw her, and the union was unwilling to fight as they should have.  It was only when a lawyer friend of the family got involved that everyone got in line.  That's obviously a completely different scenario from custody and separation/divorce but I still think you should know your rights and have someone on call - even in Scandinavia.

I also would definitely go stay with your parents.  Agree with babyducks on the short term and long term planning.  You need safety and to focus on you and your kids so if that's easiest, and you get along with them, I'd do it.  Even if she mocks you.  She will rage or fall into despair no matter what.  I've been working on this on my end - even though my parents are almost useless.  You have the ability to own that relationship with your parents.  Like with your kids.  She doesn't have to have that control.  

As for the kids, this is almost impossible.  I agree with kells that if you can keep them away, that's best.  They shouldn't have to be around the fallout or violence.  That said, I have never taken my kids away for more than a long walk.  I am currently trying the "we need therapy and will be totally separate within the house" approach as a runway to likely separation.  My wife is sullen and accepting it.  But she's also never been physically violent.  That seems like a game changer, and, again, I'm so sorry you have to deal with all those moving parts.  Good luck this weekend!  

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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2022, 01:00:59 PM »

First, big breath. I don't know why so many of these things hit the big stage on a Friday. The same thing happened to me.  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

If it were me, I would leave the kids with your parents.

It's ok to be a "mama's boy," this is most likely an insult used to control you so you don't have a close relationship with your parents. Keeping your kids out of things and safe is a priority right now. It shows good judgment.

If you can summon the strength, ask her to meet you somewhere neutral and public as babyducks mentions. Being in the home will be triggering to both of you. Let her know the kids are safe.

Having one phrase, "I will not be hit, I will not subject the kids to violence" will help you stay focused.

She will have all kinds of reasons why it's your fault she hits you.

Keep repeating, "I will no longer be hit."

No need to focus on long term goals with her, she will be in emotion mind. Having one point, "I will no longer be hit" will help focus you both.

Stay safe, you are worth protecting  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2022, 01:11:31 PM »

Excerpt
Not sure, I guess I'm worrying a lot about my wife. Don't know if I'm prepared to take the kids away from her right now, maybe I can ask her?

A question to ask yourself about this might be:

Would "sending the kids back to her" be for the kids' well-being... or hers? What would it say about what's going on, if the kids "must" be sent back to her for her to "be OK"?

Excerpt
I need to relax but there's no time and too many practical issues

I feel you about wanting your wife to be OK and being worried about how she's doing. I hope you can gift yourself a little time to slow down and ponder some options. Often when dealing with pwBPD, there is a overwhelming sense of urgency... that the problem must be solved right now. I hear you recognizing that you are "catching your breath". Great signal from your body that maybe you need to slow things down and not be rushed into placating, appeasing, or doing her job for her. Maybe you can separate out two lists, one list of stuff that actually in reality has deadlines (like "must call back DV center by 5pm Monday" for example), and the other a list of stuff that feels like it has to be done but is a feeling imposed by the BPD dynamic (like "if I don't get the kids back in one hour, she will hurt herself").

...

Excerpt
It's friday evening here already, dv specialist not at work anymore. I have an appointment next Tuesday.

OK, really glad you have a Tuesday appointment. Is there some kind of "24 hour" DV crisis/advice line that you can call in the meantime? Getting neutral, calm, professional, 3rd party advice could be a big part of helping you "catch your breath" and be wise in your choices. They may be able to offer insight about "how it would be viewed" in your situation to take the kids back to Mom after she has been violent towards you. In the US, typically if a parent allows children to be exposed to DV, even DV between adults, and "even if the other adult is a great parent", the non-violent parent can be in legal trouble. I do understand it may be different in your area, so that is why reaching out to a DV support line could be important -- to understand what it would mean to take the kids back to Mom right now.

...

Excerpt
I also would definitely go stay with your parents.  Agree with babyducks on the short term and long term planning.  You need safety and to focus on you and your kids so if that's easiest, and you get along with them, I'd do it.  Even if she mocks you.  She will rage or fall into despair no matter what

Good insight from FirstSteps. She may need to start learning to deal with and manage her own feelings instead of relying on you to provide either a partner to be abused or children to be used as external regulatory supports. It could actually be the most loving thing for her for you and the kids to "take a little vacation" at your parents' place. Would taking the kids back to her really, permanently, help her manage how she feels? Or would it teach her that she can enlist them as emotional support, and she doesn't have to take responsibility for her own emotions?

I know this is a lot, so it's OK to not rush to respond, and let yourself just read and think and take it in.

Mostly what seems important to me is seeing if you can sit with the discomfort of not acting on the imposed BPD urgency, and instead allowing yourself time to gather your thoughts and prioritize your kids.

You've made a lot of progress in such a short time! I'm proud of you for having that DV appointment and taking it seriously. It's so understandable to feel under pressure to make decisions.

Check back in whenever works for you;

kells76

*edit; cross posted; apparently LnL and I are on the exact same posting schedule Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  , so definitely consider and ponder that many members are suggesting letting the kids stay with your parents as a viable option*
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2022, 11:14:23 AM »

So Friday night was emotional chaos and I learned once again how hard it is for me to separate from her, maybe I wasn't ready or maybe I was too spontaneous. I'm quite ashamed actually to come back here and tell you about it. All your very good advice wasted. But hopefully I've learned a lot. And I'll reread everything later.

I returned the kids on friday against your better advice but I did actually spend the night at my parents home and returned the next day after a slow morning, it felt a lot like a charade but I did it and it might mean something for the future. I know now she can take care of the kids herself.

Saturday and Sunday - major emotional hangover. My wife sees this as some sort of new start, she now has forgiven me for all my betrayals and she's high on the feeling that now our relationship has finally started for real! It's hard to know how to react to this. Right now I only want  to recover from this intense emotional state.
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2022, 03:34:43 PM »

No need to feel ashamed with friends here, 15 years. Whether you stay or go, the journey is real and you're not alone.

My ex raged at me one night for hours then passed out. I slept in our home office and awoke to the smell of what I thought was dog poop. It turned out to be n/BPDx asleep in his own feces, which was smashed into his toes, his hands, and was spread all over our bed, on the curtains and smeared on the walls.

Guess who cleaned it up  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

I protected our son from seeing his dad covered in poop, got him fed and off to school, went out and bought industrial strength cleaning supplies, called n/BPDx's office to say he was sick with the flu, and spent most of the morning cleaning.

Intermittently n/BPDx came in to scream at me because I wore a mask and gloves while cleaning, which was "melodramatic." I took the soiled bedding to a laundromat and when I got home he threw my purse and all its contents into the yard.

I stayed another 2 years  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

When we're ready, we're ready.

It can be very painful to accept we deserve better. People underestimate how painful that actual feeling is. When I finally accepted that my closest friend genuinely loved me, it was more physically and emotionally painful than anything I've felt in my life.

I'm glad you are here, sharing what you're experiencing. It is trial and error, one step at a time.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

 
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2022, 04:14:18 PM »

Good luck.  25 years of marriage and similar situations.  May be good to educate yourself and read up on the cycle of emotional abuse.  You may be experiencing the “love bombing” phase.  Regrettably it is quite predictable after a huge fight with BPD.  Enjoy it, but keep your boundaries and conditions clear to maintain your health.  One of them I would recommend is for you to evaluate a counselor for her with DBT skills.  You have a great deal of negotiation power in the love bomb phase.  It wont be easy, but it will be more long term sustainable.  Also educate yourself about co-dependency to avoid falling into the unhealthy traps.  “Co-Dependent No More” is a good book - just substitute BPD for all the alcohol references.
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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2022, 03:15:14 AM »

It really means a lot to have this support group here. Sometimes I find my problems to be so urgent and when I look back I can see that it wasn't really necessary to panic. I think that I have a lot to learn about my own strong emotions.

Last Friday I really had support from you guys in an instant, thank you for that!


One of the more strange results from last friday;

My wife says that she is so happy I left. She now feels like she can trust me more. She WANTS me to leave if we have a big fight again. It makes her feel validated that I don't stay and try to make her change her mind/mood - I take my responsibility and leave her alone. I'm not sure what to think about that. And sure, I could make it a system to stay at my parents guest house every time she abuses me, IF it weren't for the kids. However, leaving them alone with her for 13 hours this weekend didn't harm them. But if I always leave when I'm being abused, what kind of message will that send to the kids?

One major thing I learned this weekend - if it weren't for the kids, I think I'd be able to leave her and passively endure the storm of emotions. But being responsible for my kids emotions too really makes it hard for me to leave. I feel that my soon 6 yo is so in love with the idea of us being a family.
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« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2022, 06:06:47 AM »

Yes, her response seems strange, but looking at the push pull pattern. You changed your response- left and now, she sees that and has changed tactics as well. Now we have a "brand new start" and you are forgiven? Do you really believe this?

The two of you are in a pattern in how you relate to each other. You both need each other for some reason. It may not make sense that an abusive person doesn't want their partner to leave. One would think - if they feel so negatively about someone that they abuse them, why wouldn't they want them to leave- they don't.

Abuse is a cycle. After an episode, the abusive person can be "good now" and promise it won't happen again. Then the cycle continues.

If it weren't for the kids, I think I'd be able to leave her

It can be difficult to leave an abusive romantic partner. Why is that? It's a pair- both are participating in it. It could be trauma bond, or co-dependency- but for whatever reason- it's complicated. It can be done if the person wants to do that, and involves some counseling.

I observed this situation between my parents. When I was teen, I began to ask my Dad- why don't you leave her? As a kid, the idea of divorce was scary. By the time I was  a teen though, I could see the conflict from a very naive perspective- if they can't get along, why are they together? I didn't really understand it.

His reply was "because of the kids" and I know that in that time, custody would go to the mother. But we were older now. And then, we grew up, left for college. They stayed together- for several reasons that I didn't fully understand. One can not understand any relationship from the outside.

But I think it's important to look deeper beyond the "it's for the kids" reason. That may be one reason. I believe it was a reason for my father but it was not the only one.


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« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2022, 10:58:21 AM »

I agree, but the responsibility I have for the kids makes it so hard. If I look at it like an alcohol addiction, I'm now aware that I'm addicted and that quitting is hard. If this was an alcohol addiction I'd be willing to commit to a treatment and decide to never again touch a bottle of alcohol. But my alcohol bottle have feelings too and we have kids together.

Okey so I'll admit I've never been addicted to any substances so I might be a bit naive. And maybe I wouldn't be able to quit even if we hadn't any kids together.

But being aware of how dysfunctional this relationship is has to mean something
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« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2022, 11:51:16 AM »

My wife says that she is so happy I left. She now feels like she can trust me more. She WANTS me to leave if we have a big fight again. It makes her feel validated that I don't stay and try to make her change her mind/mood - I take my responsibility and leave her alone. I'm not sure what to think about that.

She may want the opposite if it happens again. It's so hard to know with someone who experiences severe emotional dysregulation. Like Notwendy mentioned, maybe she sensed how serious you were about leaving and is now love bombing you to check off that part of the abuse cycle.

Having said that, and thinking about the disordered way pwBPD project the "bad" self on others (in this case you), and then punishing that bad self for behaving badly, she may be saying "thank god you have a backbone to stop this thing (me/my disordered behavior) from getting worse."

Almost like she gets some relief when others help contain her worst impulses.

Because she cannot draw a straight line from her emotions to her actions and take responsibility for them, she could be following an odd BPD logic that recognizes how important your strength is to the stability of her emotions.  

You leaving allows her to begin returning to emotional baseline without your words/presence making her feel worse. She cannot behave badly if you are not there to hit, and because she doesn't have a self, you become responsible for whether she is bad/good.  

Essentially, in her disordered mind, only you can create boundaries.

This isn't to excuse her behavior. It's an explanation not an excuse, and like you say, the kids are left with someone who is unstable at best.

But at a minimum, you can test this out the next time she is violent with you. It's not a longterm solution, although it can help you build strength and avoid injury.

Excerpt
I feel that my soon 6 yo is so in love with the idea of us being a family.

6 is too young to make decisions this important. He probably also loves the idea of two stable mentally healthy parents.

Your 6-year-old will also start to internalize the family dysfunction and figure he is the cause. His grandiosity associated with that age will believe he alone can fix it, and when he can't, he'll internalize that he is the reason you fight because he isn't lovable enough to stop you two from the violence.
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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2022, 04:35:02 AM »

good to hear from you again 15years.

NotWendy mentioned the push pull cycle.    when I was first here, I found the push/pull cycle and its very unusual dynamic hard to understand.

the old saying is "I love you go away,  I hate you don't leave me".    which certainly described the behavior fairly decently.

what I found to be true for me is,   my Ex managed a lot of her feelings by managing her physical distance from/to me.  Pushing me away made her feel more comfortable and less over whelmed.   it made her feel more in control.   less engulfed.    and the pull was testing behavior.    if I came when she called, she felt validated.    these were severely maladjusted ways to soothe her feelings.

what the push/pull did to/for me was allow me to be way over focused on her and her behavior.     it trained me (so to speak) that how I felt was related to how well I responded to her actions and behaviors.    being a bit of a people pleaser that was fertile ground.

But being aware of how dysfunctional this relationship is has to mean something

it does mean something.    absolutely.    this is hard stuff to puzzle out.   its hard to see how some of the dysfunction applies to us even as we can't deny it does.

how are things going today for you?

'ducks
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2022, 05:00:26 AM »

Being aware does mean something, and yes, concern for children is a part of any decision. It's a complicated situation. It's just that in my situation, I realized there was more than staying "for the kids". It is an important consideration though.
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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2022, 05:39:49 AM »

Livednlearned

You're right and I have noticed this several times, she appreciates my strength. I think its also because it keeps her from feeling like a persecutor. If I'm fearful, weak etc. it makes me seem like a victim which she absolutely hates.

Yesterday she told me that its loving for a man to leave a woman if he can't make her happy.
Then she told me that the difference between a villian and a prince is that the prince accepts that he can't make her happy and leaves, a villian (me of course) knows that he hurts her but wants the her for himself anyway.


True, my 6yo can't be responsible for our family, he would surely appreciate less fights and happier parents anyway. My concern is more and more shifted to my kids wellbeing.
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2022, 06:28:23 AM »

babyducks

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the push pull cycle, I think your theory about your ex might be true, and it could be that this is true in my case too. I must admit that I have a hard time wrapping my head around these different concepts that are often mentioned here, but things slowly become more clear.

Maybe she finds comfort in the fact that I left if she rewrites the meaning of it to fit into the narrative she prefers.

how are things going today for you?

I'm quite well actually. The drama of last week made my intense desire to separate from her take a small break but I know it will be back. To regroup in a way. I could really look objectively and intellectually at how exhausting this weekend was for me so I think I learned a lot from this experience.

I had my appointment with my T today and I'm really beginning to look at my guilt issues in a new light. All steps in the right direction I feel.
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« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2022, 06:30:46 AM »

Being aware does mean something, and yes, concern for children is a part of any decision. It's a complicated situation. It's just that in my situation, I realized there was more than staying "for the kids". It is an important consideration though.

Yes it's really worth considering every aspect. For me, I haven't really thought that I have been staying for the kids until now. So it's kind of a new thought for me.
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