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Author Topic: Detached looking for a way back to myself  (Read 143 times)
Modron
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« on: December 03, 2022, 10:11:37 AM »

So, I should say I'm feeling detached in the relationship with my uBPD wife. Last time I came to BPDFamily I was looking for information about a Co-dependent forum, because that's what my wife told me she'd been diagnosed as. Since then family members who knew my diagnosed BPD mom have said my wife seems a lot like that, and it makes sense.
I've progressed to this detached place largely for self-preservation. After years of the yelling and criticism and feeling my life shrink away, I finally pushed back. After years hearing how much she hates living in this town and my house (she and all of her debt moved out of her mother's basement to be here) I told her to be nicer or move out and on several occasions encouraged her to move back to her hometown. She won't. So, that boundary is finally set: move to where you say you want to be or be quiet about it.
Now I want to start doing things we need to have done around the house and things I enjoy again. The problem with projects like these is that they triggers a lot of insecurity in her. She starts raging and criticizing to the point that's it's nearly impossible to do the work. Not ideal for working around electricity when you're replacing light fixtures, for example. Then she rages, because *I* am not spending money we don't have to hire the work done. THEN, after criticizing my work to the point I give up she tells me I do a good job "if you'd just do it." My therapist, finally, got a little exasperated with me and asked me why I accept her treating me this way when I'm working to make our home better. I had not thought of it that way. All I felt was the frustration of the double-bind.
So, now I want to start doing things again instead of shrinking myself out of existence to try to avoid her rages. I'm not super-thrilled with this detachment. But, our detachment has a healthier closeness than anything we were doing when we were both trying to force the other one to engage with us in ways we both were uncomfortable with.
I guess my predicament is what do I do when I start coming out of this position of self-preservation I've been in and start asserting myself and she feels overwhelmed at having to deal with me actually having a personality and interests. My experience has been that this triggers her fear and she will be as hateful as her insecurities need her to be to make a situation that is uncomfortable to her go away, even if I have to be made to shrink away into nothing with it. Honestly, I can't get into the middle of a project that needs my attention and have her be so hateful to me that I can't finish. And, some of these projects need me to have someone around, unfortunately, because there is a safety factor.
Anyone have tips, tricks, or pointers about how to respond to the negativity? Words, phrases, broken record, something to say to introduce the activity to take the stress out of it???
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outhere

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 15


« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2022, 08:29:33 PM »

Hi Modron.  I just want to say that I've also experienced working on potentially dangerous projects while my uBPDw is having a meltdown and it turns something moderately stressful into something truly dangerous.  I have done some stupid things while arguing with her and in restrospect, I guess that the best advice I can give is to not give in to your own anger and frustration and become agitated - obviously this is easier said than done.  When she's freaking out, take a deep breath and put things into perspective, remind yourself that mental illness is at work, try to listen to what is underneath the hurtful things she's saying and validate the true part of them.  If it's too much to deal with, take a break and come back to the project later.  Don't forget to take care of yourself.
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Modron
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2022, 07:45:57 AM »

remind yourself that mental illness is at work, try to listen to what is underneath the hurtful things she's saying and validate the true part of them.  If it's too much to deal with, take a break and come back to the project later.  Don't forget to take care of yourself.

outhere thank you. I think this is realist and valuable advice.
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meed

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 9


« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2022, 02:53:47 PM »

Hi Modron -

Not sure if you found the co-dependent forum but if you and/or your wife go to coda.org there is a plethora of information AND online meetings all times of the day and evening.

Anyway, I have been using the mantra "do not engage, do not react" when the rages start. It is very helpful to me. Give it a try - I hope it works for you.
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