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Author Topic: Wife hits me.  (Read 771 times)
walkinthepark247
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« on: October 25, 2017, 11:34:59 AM »

I wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you for the responses you have given me in the past here. I hope that I can one day return the favor.

My undiagnosed wife asked that we return to marriage counseling. I went with her yesterday. During the meeting, the counselor looked at me and said “you look like you have something bottled up inside you that you want to get out.” I replied that there has been a history of intense violence and rage from my spouse. It has never been dealt with. I cannot move forward unless it is addressed. I lay awake at night fearful of when it will return. It comes up at the most bizarre times and without warning. I didn’t even get into my wife’s veiled references to suicide or taking the kids.

After I finished briefly explaining in a calm manor, my spouse bristled and said “I only maybe slapped him once”. This is a complete fabrication. I have been punched, kicked, scratched. There have been items hurled across the room. When she enters her rage, it’s like nothing I have ever seen before. Her eyes even go dark and she shakes uncontrollably.

After this, we spent time talking about how I could speak more kindly to my spouse. Look, I admit that I’m not perfect; but, this marital counseling seems like a complete waste of time if we cannot address the elephant in the room. It made me feel extremely silly: Cmon, she only slapped you that one time. I ended up mostly sitting in silence for the rest of the session. I felt numb.

We made another appointment. However, I simply cannot let this go. I’m absolutely terrified of the upcoming holidays. That’s when she gets the most heightened and tense.

The thing is that I do truly love my wife. But, I cannot sit in silence any longer. It was another counselor in the same exact practice that introduced me to books on BPD. Before, I just always said “my wife has abandonment issues.”

I don’t even really entirely know what my question is. I just know that I’m rather dreading another counseling session if I’m just going to be viewed as the whiny guy who can’t get over being slapped that one time. Obviously, I know I’m not that person.
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"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." - Mark Twain
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Tattered Heart
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 12:48:15 PM »

That's tough. I'm sorry that you weren't taken more seriously. When your wife said that it was maybe a slap a time or two did you let the counselor know that it's more than that?  I think it's important that you share with him what is really going on, including the rages and the DV. And if the T doesn't take you serious then you should question whether he would give the same response if you were a woman saying her H was physically violent. Either way you should make sure it is known that physical violence is unacceptable, whether "just a slap" or outright punching and for the T to dismiss it is unethical.

If you do not feel like you can share this information with your wife present, then perhaps you can share it with your counselor privately.

Historically many have found that MC in a BPD relationship does not go well because in order for MC to work, both parties must acknowledge their own contribution to the break down of the marriage. With someone with BPD that is difficult because admitting wrong evokes such a strong shame reaction.
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 02:39:49 PM »

I too share your frustration with marriage counseling.  Three T's in 18 months for us and we went in circles, I've given up on it for now. 

Have you considered speaking with an attorney that deals with divorce and domestic violence?  They would be able to give you the best ideas for how you could get her to face a consequence over this and possibly change her behavior, if you want to go that route.  Just an idea.
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GaGrl
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 07:59:43 PM »

My thought is that you need to open the next session with an inside that the domestic violence be addressed before you can move forward with MC in the spirit of honesty and openness.

Do you have specifics that you can bring to the session? For example, even something like, "in May 2017, we argued about xyz, and BPDwife became enraged and punched me in the chest with her fist," or "at Christmas 2016, BPDwife became upset about xyz, and she kicked me and hit me across the shoulders." And be clear that when she is enraged, she seems detached and unaware of what she is doing.

The MC can't make progress until he/she gets the full picture.
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 08:55:16 PM »

Has your wife been diagnosed, or is she at least aware that she may have BPD?  Problem is, if she doesn't think she has any problem, and there has been no diagnosis, then in my humble opinion normal marriage counseling does not work because BPDs are very good at hiding their dark side (unless your partner is one of those who have extreme poor control).  Many normal counselors are not aware of BPD, and they only look at the relationship from a healthy, balanced angle.  But BPD relationships are not balanced.  To some extent at least, the non has to be a lot more understanding and aware of the situation for the relationship to "work".  The non may be the only one using any of the communication tools.  This is not how normal marriage counseling function.

Also, many BPDs are not open about their past or their actions, because it would lead to deep shame ("I did something wrong, therefore I AM WRONG, I should not exist" etc).  They would either try to hide and revise history, or try to somehow shift the blame onto other stuff/ people.  I guess this is why BPD is called crazy-making, because it makes the non look like a crazy person... .I know a lot of times I seem like the crazy one in the relationship.
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 11:27:17 PM »

walkinthepark, regardless of how you proceed with the direction of your relationship, you have to set limits with her.

One of the few times I ever really raised my voice toward my uBPDw was when she threw something at me. We had been married about 7 years at that point with no prior violence. I told her point blank that 'I don't hit her, and that I will not tolerate her ever throwing anything or hitting me again', and that was that.

She threatened a time or two after that, but I know the memory of what I said had stuck.
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walkinthepark247
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 10:12:26 AM »

I got the blame piled on me this morning. It just came out of nowhere. "Why am I the only one who is working on saving this marriage" "You do nothing to make this marriage better" "You think this is all a big joke when I'm the one doing all the work". She's now not talking to me.

Honestly, I'm at a place where I just go silent when the verbal blame diarrhea starts. I know I cannot win or even break even. I cannot agree that I have "done nothing" to help the marriage or the family. I'm not even looking for an apology as to the past violence and bizarre behavior. Rather, I'm looking for some sort of recognition / acknowledgment that it occurred.

Is it possible that the person with the BPD will simply black out and not remember? Or, do they choose to just remember it a different way.

I got into a drunken fistfight once years and years ago. It was young bucks fighting over a girl in a bar. I'm not defending my behavior, rather: The next day, I immediately knew what I did was wrong. I was embarrassed by my behavior. I also recognized that it was largely my fault. I still am kind of embarrassed when I think about it even though it was about 15 years ago.

What's it like for the BPD after an episode of extreme rage? Do they ever acknowledge? Once again, I don't want a grand apology. I want some recognition that I am presently living on edge wondering when the next violent "episode" will occur.
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"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." - Mark Twain
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 11:35:16 AM »


Is it possible that the person with the BPD will simply black out and not remember? Or, do they choose to just remember it a different way.


100% yes, I believe so. I see it in my MIL experiences and my wife's experience. Neither will acknowledge their own anger/rage/inappropriate behaviour sometimes even hours after the event. I tend not to think that it's inability to handle shame which suppresses any feelings of guilt or "I did something wrong there", they just have no recollection of their own behaviours at all.

Like many of the members here have vouched, MC is a bit of a waste of time unless your pwBPD is aware of their behaviour but struggles to control themselves. My uBPDw is completely unaware of her behaviour and her impact on other people. What seemed to happen is that she would go to friends and non-enmeshed people to guage her own behaviour. Since they all saw the masks that she has learnt to put on in public they all vouched for her reasonable behaviour, kind nature and absence of anger. This fitted nicely with her own view of herself and it was this view that was taken into the counselling session. She actually said to me, "I'm not sure I could be a better wife". My wife does not throw things at me nor does she punch and hit me, sometimes I wish she would as it would be out in the open. She ignores me or is just silently angry with me. It's quite unsettling especially if like me you take things personally. She did used to be physical but she suppressed this with the help of faith. Suppressing it has caused it's own issues as mentioned above. I guess my point is that friends validate, they validate the invalid unless they are really good friends. Friends validating what a person is like behind closed doors means that uBPDw believes this is FACT because she now FEELS this to be the case since her friends validated it so.

In MC her emotions regarding my behaviours are very genuine. I have mentioned on some other posts that MC's look to gauge intensity of emotions to gauge who is painting the true picture of life at home. It's very rare that a counsellor will be trained to spot the tell tell nuances of BPD in a domestic environment let alone be able to tell the sufferer.

Has it occurred to you that the counselor has spotted it and is trying to manage the discussion accordingly such that your wife is ultimately in a place where she can see her own behaviours? Just putting that out there.
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walkinthepark247
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 11:53:02 AM »

Has your wife been diagnosed, or is she at least aware that she may have BPD?  Problem is, if she doesn't think she has any problem, and there has been no diagnosis, then in my humble opinion normal marriage counseling does not work because BPDs are very good at hiding their dark side (unless your partner is one of those who have extreme poor control).  Many normal counselors are not aware of BPD, and they only look at the relationship from a healthy, balanced angle. 

Unfortunately, no. She refuses to acknowledge any mental health issue whatsoever. All of her ills are a result of me; or, that's what she tells herself and any therapist.
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"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." - Mark Twain
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