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Skills we were never taught
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: My Mess  (Read 135 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: divorcing
Posts: 11

« on: February 12, 2024, 08:20:15 PM »

I am confused and conflicted.  Background - wife of 24 years wants dissolution.  She has been diagnosed with BPD at times (also npd and bi-polar).  She told one of the children she currently has BPD is her diagnosis.  She also may just be a narcissist.  Kids are all adults. 

I will not pretend that I have been the model husband.  So, I will admit there are can be truly unreconcilable differences.  But most of what I hear slip out about anger at me is regarding things I either have not done or are distorted versions of what I have done.  I have truly not done much in LONG time.  I try to consistently answer for my own behaviors.  I do not accept I was responding to anything as an excuse.

My therapist and my blood relatives would probably scream at me for thinking this, but I really feel compelled to try to save this.  My therapist says there is not much hope given her age and resistance to therapy and at least one episode with psychosis requiring hospitalization.  My sister would agree with him.

She has a habit of forbidding me from doing things she wants.  Then getting angry at me for following her wishes.  She is also passive aggressive and when she has delusions I am usually a negative target.  She has refused any discussion of why she decided divorce.

Her mother is seriously ill.  But I find it hard to get good details.  I have heard cancer, infection, ...

I find myself crying all the time - I miss my wife.  I extremely limited in what I can do to support her.  She has stopped by every day since she left.  She is visibly hurting.  I am supposed to listen and not offer consolation.  I can't hug her or anything. 

She will not tell me what shifted us to divorce this time (it is a somewhat repeating pattern)
This is a high level discussion board for solving ongoing, day-to-day relationship conflicts. Members may appear frustrated but they are here for constructive solutions to problems. This is not a place for relationship "stay" or "leave" discussions. Please read the specific guidelines for this group.

thankful person
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 945

Formerly known as broken person…

« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2024, 05:35:07 PM »

Hi 27 years,

Welcome to bpd family. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time at the moment. I’ve been watching your post and thought I’d bump it up for you. I’ve been a member on here for 3 years now and I go through times of feeling helpful but at the moment I’m struggling quite a bit so I question how much I can help anyone. But anyway, this is truly an amazing group of people so I’m glad you found us. There is lots of advice and support in the tools and from other members, they are very knowledgeable and helpful. It has certainly helped me feel less alone.

“Maybe I’ll get it right next time…” from “Estranged” by Guns N’ Roses
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 3121

« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2024, 01:28:45 PM »

Hello from me as well, 27years;

Good reminder from thankful person:

There is lots of advice and support in the tools and from other members

I know you've been here a few months -- any chance to check out the tools (in dark green bar) up top? I'd be curious which article you check out first (Wisemind, ending conflict, empathy, don't invalidate, or setting boundaries) and what you think about it.


I wonder if the dynamic between you two is something like this:

W doesn't know what she really wants and it varies moment by moment based on her wildly changing inner feelings.

She sounds convincing when she says "I want X", and she also sounds convincing when she tells you "don't do X" and when she tells you "you should've done X".

You believe that loving your W means listening to her words and doing what she says she wants, and not doing what she says she doesn't want you to do.

Your W comes to you and says "I want a divorce -- you make it happen". She'll blame you for taking the lead on a divorce: "why can't you fight for us", and she'll blame you for not taking the lead on a divorce: "why can't you do even one thing I ask you to do".

And at the same time she says she wants a divorce, she still comes over to spend time with you and seeks emotional support (or, "support") from you.


Is that kind of where things are at right now?

Anything about that stand out to you?

This does to me:

She has a habit of forbidding me from doing things she wants.  Then getting angry at me for following her wishes.

You can change this dynamic -- at least, your contribution to it. It won't be easy, but it is possible to "change your dance steps". She doesn't have to be the emotional leader -- she's emotionally impaired, and this is where "following her lead" has gotten everyone. So for things to change, to have a chance to improve (even though there are no guarantees), it would take some uncomfortable work on your part.

If you're up for it, a good starting topic to discuss back and forth here could be true boundaries.


What do you think?
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