I moved country to marry my wife, during this time I have been unable to find work due to the language and cultural barrier, I have become very down since getting here, however my wife appears to have become a different person since marriage and it appears she has some kind of severe depression beyond anything I can deal with.
I easily get frustrated at home because I have nothing to do, however instead of trying to comfort me or help me in anyway, she turns into the victim and finds something to yell at me about. Anytime I have an emotion, she has to create something for herself so that I would feel sorry for her.
She gets very violent, she has come at me with a knive, she has tried to cut her arm, she has destroyed almost every breakable albeit expensive item in our home. When she doesnt get what she wants she bangs her head on the floor, wall, glass until there is a cut or bruise.
She screams at me she wants a divorce then storms off and suddenly everything is fine. She demands me to leave, I have packed up several times and stayed with her family but then she calls them and says that 'my husband left me, he abandoned me' to them.
She storms off in the car in a rage and says she will kill herself, then calls me over and over saying she will kill herself, I am mentally and physically exhausted of chasing after her, when I dont bother to call her back right away (to let her cool down) she goes crazy and returns and tells me to leave.
On our honeymoon she stormed off on me serveral times in a foreign place. She has abandoned me in the city where we live, by driving off and throwing money out the window for me to get a taxi, whichs blows away. She would eventually come back.
Her family have told me she had problems before but i never knew aobut this before the wedding. They want her to get help but they leave me to take care of her all the time, they might arrange a counsel for her but Im the exhausted one.
I am not happy, I have never been happy, this is not what a marriage should be like.
I called my parents and they told me to pack lite and just leave but I cant help but worry that I will be making a mistake. But I will say this, I feel so happy and relaxed when she isnt here. I feel so happy the thought of returning to my home country to pursue my career and lead the life I really want.
On another thread I saw this list posted in another thread, I will highlight in bold the things I see from my wife.
Originally Posted by Uptown
1. Black-white thinking, wherein he categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad" and will recategorize someone -- in just a few seconds -- from one polar extreme to the other based on a minor infraction;
2. Frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions like "you always" and "you never;"
3. Irrational jealousy and controlling behavior that tries to isolate you away from close friends or family members;
4. A strong sense of entitlement that prevents him from appreciating your sacrifices, resulting in a "what have you done for me lately?" attitude;
5. Flipping, on a dime, between adoring you and devaluing you,;
6. Frequently creating drama over issues so minor that neither of you can recall what the fight was about two days later;
7. Low self esteem;
8. Verbal abuse and anger that is easily triggered, in seconds, by a minor thing you say or do (real or imagined), resulting in temper tantrums that typically last several hours;
9. Fear of abandonment or being alone;
10. Always being "The Victim," a false self image he validates by blaming you for every misfortune;
11. Lack of impulse control, wherein he does reckless things without considering the consequences (e.g., binge eating or spending);
12. Complaining that all his previous GFs were abusive and claiming (during your courtship) that you are the only one who has treated him well;
13. Mirroring your personality and preferences so perfectly during the courtship period (e.g., enjoying everything and everyone you like) that you were convinced you had met your "soul mate;"
14. Relying on you to center and ground him, giving him a sense of direction because his goals otherwise keep changing every few months;
15. Relying on you to sooth him and calm him down, when he is stressed, because he has so little ability to do self soothing;
16. Having many casual friends but not any close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away);
17. Taking on the personality of whatever person he is talking to, thereby acting quite differently around different types of people; and
18. Always convinced that his intense feelings accurately reflect reality -- to the point that he regards his own feelings as self-evident facts, despite his inability to support them with any hard evidence.
I dont mind little lies but I find my wife decieving me, her family and now my family. After an arguement she said we needed to talk, when I was calm I sat down and said ok and she stormed off, she then called my parents saying she would harm herself and she wanted a divorce, then she comes back and pretends nothing happened.
Omega, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm sorry to hear that your marriage has turned toxic so suddenly and that both of you are in so much pain.
Originally Posted by OmegaCard
On another thread I saw this list posted in another thread, I will highlight in bold the things I see from my wife.
Omega, I posted that list. Those 18 behavioral traits -- most of which you say you see in your W -- are traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Indeed, nearly all of the behaviors you describe in your post -- e.g., the temper tantrums, suicide threats, and cutting -- are classic traits of BPD.
she has tried to cut her arm, When she doesnt get what she wants she bangs her head on the floor, wall, glass until there is a cut or bruise.
Cutting and self harm is strongly associated with BPD. A recent study (pub. 2004), for example, concludes that
Instead of trying to comfort me or help me in anyway, she turns into the victim and finds something to yell at me about.
BPDers have such fragile and unstable egos that, to the extent they have any self image at all, it is of being "The Victim," always "The Victim." Hence, if your W has strong BPD traits, she will only tolerate your presence as long as you play one of two roles -- both of which will validate her false self image of being "The Victim."
One role, which you played during the courtship, is that of "The Savior." Of course, your being "The Savior" implies that she is a victim, i.e., a woman in need of being saved. That role went out the window, however, as soon as her infatuation over you evaporated. For the rest of all time, then, your only acceptable role is that of "The Perpetrator," i.e., the source of every misfortune to befall her. You therefore will be blamed for everything.
She screams at me she wants a divorce.... She demands me to leave, I have packed up several times and stayed with her family but then she calls them and says that 'my husband left me, he abandoned me' to them.
BPDers (i.e., those having strong BPD traits) hate to be alone because, given their very weak sense of who they are, they feel a strong need for someone to ground and center them -- giving them a sense of direction. At the same time, a BPDer has a strong need to make you "The Perpetrator" so as to validate her false self image. It therefore is common for a BPDer to push you away (saying that she hates you) and then to later pull you back into the toxic relationship. This is why the #2 best-selling BPD book (targeted to the abused spouses) is called I Hate You, Don't Leave Me.
She storms off in the car in a rage and says she will kill herself, then calls me over and over saying she will kill herself.
My BPDer exW did the same thing. Initially, she would walk to a nearby tall bridge, knowing I was following protectively behind her. When I stopped following, she stopped going to the bridge. Instead, she called me several times from the subway platform. She would say she was going to jump in front of the next train and then hang up. When I stopped running down to the subway station, she stopped doing that too.
If your W is a BPDer, she almost certainly is a high functioning one most of the time or you would not have dated her, much less marry her (the vast majority of BPDers are high functioning). I mention this because the low functioning BPDers are the ones at greatest risk of actually following through on a suicide threat. HF BPDers typically threaten suicide as a way of controlling the spouse.
That said, I nonetheless am concerned that your W has done cutting and head banging -- which typically are only done by a BPDer who is in severe pain and thus is low functioning. Hence, if your W is a BPDer, it sounds like she is HF most of the time but occasionally will become so depressed she becomes LF. It is common for HF BPDers to slip into a LF state when under great stress, as occurs during depression.
I am mentally and physically exhausted of chasing after her, when I dont bother to call her back right away (to let her cool down) she goes crazy and returns and tells me to leave.
Because BPDers have poor control over their emotions and impulses, they have never learned to do self soothing to calm themselves down. This is why they will chase you from room to room, insisting that the argument must be settled RIGHT THIS MOMENT. My exW was the same way.
My wife appears to have become a different person since marriage and it appears she has some kind of severe depression beyond anything I can deal with.
BPD usually is accompanied by frequent periods of anxiety or depression (both of which are "clinical disorders," not personality disorders). If she is a BPDer, there is a 25% chance of her also having bipolar-1 disorder (another clinical disorder). Significantly, clinical disorders are covered by insurance but the personality disorders usually are not.
Hence, if your W gets diagnosed by a therapist, she will be told about the depression and anxiety and bipolar -- but likely will not be told about the BPD even if she has the full-blown disorder. Nor will you be told. In addition to the insurance consideration, there are several other important reasons why a BPD diagnosis is typically withheld from the HF BPDer and her spouse. If you are interested in those reasons, please see my post in COguy's thread at It's official, I'm getting divorced.
On our honeymoon she stormed off on me several times in a foreign place.
With BPDers, the very WORST fights usually occur during or immediately following the very BEST of times. My exW, for example, created a fight the day after we were married, while we were staying in a beautiful resort on Maui. Likewise, she would create fights on most of our other vacations too. The result was that, after the first year, I stopped taking her on expensive vacations.
One reason that BPDers have trouble with attachment is that they feel controlled and suffocated during intimacy. This happens because they have such fragile egos and such low personal boundaries that they feel like they are losing their identity -- evaporating into thin air -- when being intimate with a person having a strong personality. This is why it is common for a BPDer to push you away -- by starting a fight over nothing -- right after an intimate evening or a wonderful weekend spent together.
Her family have told me she had problems before but i never knew about this before the wedding.
That is typical of BPDer relationships. The courtship period is intense and passionate but the sex and relationship go off a cliff following the wedding. As hard as it is to believe, the BPDer will be just as surprised as you are. During the courtship period, her infatuation over you convinces her that you are her savior -- thereby holding her two great fears at bay.
As soon as the infatuation evaporates, however, her two fears (engulfment and abandonment) return. This means that you will start triggering a release of the hurt and anger she has been carrying inside since early childhood.
I called my parents and they told me to pack lite and just leave but I cant help but worry that I will be making a mistake.
Please listen to your parents. This time they are right, IMO.
I feel so betrayed and like I am being used.
If your W is a BPDer, much of what she told you during the courtship period was the result of her distorted perception, not betrayal. When she is "splitting you white," she is absolutely convinced you are the most wonderful thing to have ever happened to her. Likewise, when she is "splitting you black," she likely sincerely believes most of the outrageous allegations coming out of her mouth. This is the way emotionally unstable people behave. It is called "black-white thinking" and I explain it at the link I provide below.
As to your "being used," yes, that likely is very true. While she is splitting you black, her empathy disappears and she is only concerned about meeting her own needs. Moreover, a BPDer is incapable of appreciating your many sacrifices for more than a few days. With BPDers, it is usually "What have you done for me lately?"
Help me please.
Omega, I believe you should leave ASAP and file for D. If your W has strong BPD traits, you cannot fix her and, unless she gets several years of intensive treatment, her behavior will only get worse. Indeed, your continued presence in the home likely is harming her by enabling her to continue behaving like a four year old and get away with it. In that way, you are preventing her from having to confront her issues and learn how to manage them.
As hard as it is for you to believe, you are at great risk of being stabbed by the knife or being thrown into jail on a bogus charge -- if she is a BPDer. Because BPDers are convinced they are "The Victim," it is common for them to have their spouses arrested -- which is the ultimate validation of their status as the victim. My 15 year marriage, for example, ended with me being handcuffed in front of my grand daughter and neighbors and then spending three days in jail.
Yet, if you are still unwilling to leave your W, I and other members here at TAM will be glad to help you get to the point where you can. In that case, my first suggestion is that you see a clinical psychologist -- all by yourself for a visit or two -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with. As I explained, you cannot rely on a diagnosis given by a therapist who is seeing or treating your W.
I also suggest, while you are waiting for an appointment, that you read more about BPD traits so you can spot all the red flags. Of course, you won't be able to diagnose your W's issues. Only professionals can do that. You nonetheless will be able to spot the warning signs because there is nothing subtle about BPD traits such as suicide threats, temper tantrums, and verbal abuse.
An easy place to start reading about BPD traits is my description of them in my post in Maybe's thread at My list of hell!. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to discuss them with you and point you to good online resources. Take care, Omega.
Thank you so much for the detailed response. I really feel like I have been given a helping hand with your words.
I have browsered over the linked posts you made and I'm making my way through the references you made, you really understand what I am going through.
Yes, I want to leave but part of me is a really good guy who wants to help but I know if I stay things will not get better, Im exhausted from trying to help. I feel so happy in the thought of getting away from this marriage but Im afraid I will feel regret at some point to.
But aside from that. I need to get out of it.
May I PM you the rest of my post? I am afraid she might have some access to the internet history and find out im posting here. Or is there a way I can post on the private forum?
Omega, you cannot use the private forum until you have accumulated 30 posts. I just sent you a PM. You can use PMs for discussions you feel uncomfortable placing here on the public forum. However, to the extent you do feel comfortable posting here in your thread, it is better to do so. One advantage is that you will obtain a variety of responses from folks having diverse experiences. Another advantage is that, in telling your own story, you likely will be helping numerous other members and lurkers.
Uptown, sorry, I guess I should have checked the forums guides before I asked.
I really don't know what to do here. I read up on the information you provided and I have a better understanding, albeit very terrified realization of where my life is.
I can't go see a professional to gain more insights because I don't know the language here. I'm virtually alone in this country and unfortunately, very dependent on others because I do not yet have a job here.
Then reason I was anxious about anonymity was because my wife told me she was looking online and she thinks she has BPD. Exactly what we talked about, I'm sure this is a big co-incidence, or is God trying to tell me something?
I dont know but she seems very genuinely concerned, she has been sad all day. I'm afraid I am starting to feel sorry/sympathetic for her.
But at the end of the day the fact is, I feel I am wasting my time/life being here, I feel that no matter what the therapy, the problem will always be there and the chance is too great for it to come back more violently than the last.
Also from your post, my greatest fear is being arrested, because of her 'victim', especially in this foreign country.
She is going to be a seeing a psychologist soon and will probably ask him/her about the BPD, going by what you said, if the psychologist says no she doesn't have this, she may think she is fine and the horror will get worse. Yet if the doctor says she does have it, she may get worse still.
I really don't know what to do. I want to leave but I dont know how.
Omega, as I said, I sent you a PM so you should be able to respond to it if you need to discuss anything off the public forum. I have some additional suggestions for you.
As an initial matter, if you suspect your W has strong BPD traits, I usually recommend that you NOT tell her. If she is a BPDer, she almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you, believing YOU to be the BPDer. Instead, simply encourage her to see a good psychologist (not a MC) and let the psych decide what to tell her. Yet, because she has brought up the "BPD" topic herself, I don't know what to suggest. She may be one of those rare people who has strong traits and is sufficiently self aware to see them. Alternatively, she may have seen your forum post and is simply trying to draw you out in a discussion.
Second, if you think you may stay with her a while, I suggest you get Stop Walking on Eggshells, the best-selling BPD book targeted to abused spouses like you. Or, if you have decided to get a divorce instead, get Splitting: Protecting Yourself while Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Both books are written by the same author.
Third, I suggest you start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum I've found that is devoted fully to the spouses and family members of BPDers. This issue is such an enormous problem that that website is growing by 20 new members every day. The result is that it offers eight separate message boards on various BPD issues. The one that likely will be most helpful to you is the "Leaving" board.
Finally, please don't forget those of us on this TAM forum. We want to keep trying to answer your questions and providing emotional support as long as you find our shared experiences helpful. Moreover, by sharing your own experiences here, you likely are helping many other members and lurkers.
Omega, would you mind sharing what country you are in?
How long did you know your wife before you married her? How old are the two of you?
Her parents are aware of her mental illness issues and are probably glad to have to take care of her and take her off their hands. Did she live with them before you married?
As you can see from the material that Uptown posted you are most likely dealing with a woman with a serious mental illness. Your lack of income and not knowing the local language makes it next to impossible for you to get her the help she needs. And this is even assuming that she will go for the help. A lot of people with these sorts of mental illnesses do not accept their diagnosis and refuse medication. Or take it for a while and then refuse it.
Can you return to wherever you lived before you moved to her country? This might be the best thing for you.
I took a break from this website to think things over.
My wife has going to a psychologist because of her behaviour and is on medication. After the appointment she realised by looking on the web she may have BPD. I doubt the psychologist told her this because of the possible repercussions on her and I certainly did not.
Regardless it has been a few days and things are drastically different. She is nicer, smiling and talking/visiting more with her family. She is also on medication.
I can say that even though she is getting help, I still wish to leave.
I cant stay waiting for a relapse, I can't live with a voilent person (off meds) or someone who just sleeps in bed all day (when she is on the meds). I have no life, no marriage life.
My head hurts, my heart hurts, my hair is going so grey so fast and im growing concerned about my own mental health being around this craziness.
I will divorce but will not mention it until I leave the country, it would be alot safer for me that way.
There was plenty of confusion on my side, like if I would feel guilty for leaving her alone etc. But Uptown told me about the inner child and inner adult.
My inner child is settled and calm, my inner adult is in action mode. And one thing that really helped me stay strong in my decision was a comment on a completely different forum, for a completely different situation on another website:
"I would rather be poor, in a small apartment, doing what I love, what I am most passionate about, than be miserable working at a dead end job".
this quote isn't exactly correct because I can't seem to find the website I read it on.
It told me that there is no point living a life if you have everything except happiness.
So in concern for my happiness and mental health I will evacuate this toxic relationship and step out of the quicksand and escape to some solid ground.
Omega, thanks so much for the update. I was wondering how you are doing. Sounds like you are doing very well, all things considered. I caution that your healing process likely won't be linear, i.e., you won't gradually and steadily improve every day. Instead, you likely will find yourself making good progress for many days and then, one morning, you'll wake up feeling like you are back at square one. It is just a feeling. Don't believe it. Don't let it rattle your confidence. The ups and downs are just a normal part of the healing process. And, so far, you seem to be making remarkable progress!
I have been trying to distance myself from my wife more and more. Especially to make things alot easier when I leave.
I don't feel anything for her when I am on my own, I try to make as much excuses as possible to be alone and not in the same room as her.
But when we are together I think if I am doing the right thing, she seems better, she seems happy but there is nothing between us.
I have booked my travel itinerary and I will be leaving the country in a few days.
This is going to be the easy bit, but when I get home, the hardest thing is going to be the actually ending of the marriage, I dont know how I am going to say I want to divorce, so many things are going through my mind.
I am especially worried about a smear campaign by my wife and even her family against me. I have always been one to avoid confrontations and maybe this is a lesson for me to be confrontational and not let people control me.
thanks to everyone for the kind words so far, I really appreciate it, it has helped me get to the door, it's my job to walk through it, but I need some advice from you guys about how I handle the other side.
I need some advice from you guys about how I handle the other side.
Omega, if your W is has strong BPD traits as you suspect, things will get ugly very quickly. Although BPDers generally are good people, they do the black-white splitting we discussed earlier. This means that, when a BPDer realizes she has been been abandoned by a H who has walked out, she likely will perceive of you as being Hitler incarnate -- and will treat you accordingly.
As I mentioned, my BPDer exW had me arrested on a bogus charge and, when it went to court six months later, she testified against me in front of my adult step children. So, yes, you should expect your W to engage in a smear campaign -- the likes of which you cannot imagine is possible.
I suggest that, as soon as you return to your home country, you contact a good divorce attorney and -- if you can afford it -- also see a psychologist for at least a few meetings to get emotional guidance. And please keep posting here because there are numerous TAM members who have been there and done that when it comes to going through a nasty divorce.
I suppose that the distance between you and your STBXW will work to your advantage, to the extent that you won't be running into her in your home town and you won't have to deal with any of her friends or family on a day-to-day basis. And, yes, it is time for you to learn how to be confrontational and stand up for yourself -- without worrying about what her family does or doesn't think about you. Remember, they didn't lift a finger to help you when your STBXW was abusing you week after week.