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post #46 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 08:47 AM
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Re: Distressed

EXPOSE/confront and quit holding back.

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post #47 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 09:08 AM
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Re: Distressed

If I was on a jury I would have convicted for less
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post #48 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

I was wondering how I could have possibly gotten myself into this situation, marrying such a clearly issue-laden woman.

But things did seem so perfect for the first year. It was exactly like Uptown describes in a post on another thread regarding initial attraction to BPDer:

"Could the attraction have been her mirroring your personality so perfectly that the two of you were convinced you had met your soul mate? Could it have been the most passionate and greatest sexual experience of your lifetime? Could it have been that childlike quality that gives her a warmth and purity of expression that is unmatched by any other woman you ever dated? Certainly, all three of those things were true during my first year with my exW. Until other men have dated BPDers, they cannot imagine why the attraction is so big that we are willing to spend a year or two trying to reestablish the blissful conditions of the honeymoon period. Indeed, I communicated with many "Nons" who say they may have great difficulty "settling" for a an emotionally available, stable woman after having fallen in love with a BPDer. Simply stated, a BPDer is very, VERY good when she is splitting you white."

And I was sure split white -- raw.

I am now paying the price.
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post #49 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 01:15 PM
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Re: Distressed

I am so sorry for what you have gone through. Just know that some BPD'ers do seek help and actually can get "normal"
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post #50 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 01:27 PM
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Re: Distressed

Berilo - WHEN are going to confront?
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post #51 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

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Berilo - WHEN are going to confront?
I will confront as soon as the shock has worn off, I have my bearings, and I can be as (almost) cold and calculating as she is.

Of course, if I can catch them in an incriminating act this weekend, I will take full advantage of that opportunity.
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post #52 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:42 PM
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Re: Distressed

Berilo, I agree with Pidge that the behavior you describe exhibits most of the classic BPD traits at a strong level. Only a professional can determine whether her traits are so severe as to satisfy 100% of the diagnostic criteria. Yet, even when the traits fall well short of that level, they can easily destroy a marriage and make your life miserable if the BPDer refuses to stay in therapy long enough to learn to manage those traits. I am not a psychologist. Rather, I am just a man who lived with a BPDer W for 15 years. I spent a small fortune taking her to weekly visits over that entire period with six different psychologists and 2 marriage counselors -- all to no avail.

Based on that experience, my advice to you -- if you decide your W has many strong BPD traits and if she refuses to stay in therapy to address them -- is to get an excellent attorney and get your ducks in a row before telling your W you are divorcing her. All hell will break loose when you tell her. Indeed, she may even have you arrested and thrown into jail, as my exW did to me.
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We used to get along wonderfully. She was so sweet and thoughtful and supportive. I tried to be the same. We were so into each other. We rarely fought, always made up. We had what I thought was a fulfilling sex life.
That is the way nearly all relationships begin with a high functioning BPDer (i.e., person having most BPD traits at a strong level). Because a BPDer has a fragile and unstable sense of who she is, she will mirror all the best aspects of your personality during the infatuation period, which typically lasts up to six months. The result is that this honeymoon period likely will be the most passionate and romantic time of your life (unless, of course, you subsequently date another BPDer). Both of you will be absolutely convinced that you've met your soul mate.
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Move forward a year.... I donít recognize her any more: she is moody, not so affectionate, and gets angry at me for no apparent reason at all.
When the infatuation evaporates, the BPDer no longer perceives you to be the perfect man who was sent to save her. For this reason, her two great fears (abandonment and engulfment) can no longer be held at bay. They will return, triggering the enormous anger she has been carrying deep inside since early childhood. Because the anger is always there right below the surface, it is easily triggered by an idle comment, a minor infraction, or a glance at another woman lasting one-half second instead of a quarter second. These mood changes, which can occur in 10 seconds, are much different from the typical mood changes caused by depression or bipolar disorder. The latter take a week or two to develop and usually last about two weeks (not the several hours that is typical for BPD temper tantrums).
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She says she canít talk to me any more. When I say letís sit down and talk now, or sleep together and talk tomorrow, or go away for the weekend somewhere quiet where we can talk, she dismisses this and tells me I ďdonít know how to talkĒ. She then walks away coldly.
In general, it is impossible to sit down and have a calm, rational discussion about a sensitive matter with a BPDer. Trying to catch her in a "calm mood" is usually pointless because, even when you manage to do so, any mention of a sensitive topic will trigger her anger in 10 seconds -- leaving you trying to reason with an angry child once again.
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There has been a double standard going on too for some time.
A "double standard" is typical behavior for a BPDer. Because a BPDer's emotional development was frozen at about age four, she never learned how to control her emotions or do self-calming. The result is that she will frequently experience such intense feelings that she will be convinced they MUST accurately reflect reality. This is one reason that BPDers have a strong feeling -- just like four year olds do -- of being entitled to special treatment and privileges.
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I think she is a bit of a control freak. We went away for a weekend to another city and spent much of it with some of her friends there... but, when I want to have my friends over for dinner, she protests about the inconvenience.
Because a BPDer fears abandonment, she typically will try to be very controlling of every aspect of her partner's life. This control can be augmented, of course, by isolating you from all your friends and family members (who might not see things her way).
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I am utterly shocked by two things in her behavior: 1. How she can find such fault with me and our marriage. From my perspective, nothing had changed much since we met four years ago and got married two years ago.
Berilo, if your W is a BPDer, you must be content to play one of two roles if you want to remain married to her. Both of those roles are dictated by her strong need to keep thinking of herself as a perpetual victim -- always "the victim." Because that false self image is nearly the only thread of a self image she has, she keeps a death grip on it and will not let it go. She therefore needs to have a man around at all times to validate that false self image.

During the 6 month honeymoon period, you provided that validation admirably by playing the role of "savior on a white horse." Because you were the "savior," she by implication had to be the damsel in distress, i.e., "the victim." That's why she told you -- and she really believed it -- that you were far better than any man she had ever met. And, no doubt, she told you that you were saving her from a long line of BFs who had treated her badly.

When the infatuation evaporated, however, you fell quickly from the pedestal and were no longer regarded as savior. Consequently, there is only one remaining way you could validate her false self image of being "the victim." You must play the role of "perpetrator." That is, you must accept blame for every misfortune befalling her, thereby reinforcing her mistaken notion that she is "the victim."

That, in a nutshell, is one reason she is blaming you for everything. Another reason is that, if she is a BPDer, your W does black-white thinking, wherein she categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad." Significantly, she categorizes herself that way too. This means that, if she takes responsibility for making a mistake or having a flaw, she experiences a painful feeling of intense shame while she perceives herself as being "all bad."
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From the fragments of emails and messages I have now seen, she is complaining to this guy about me, my real and supposed shortcomings.
Like I said, you are "the perpetrator." She therefore is probably describing you in much the same way she described her old BFs to you.
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I shake my head at the amateurish, adolescent nature of this affair.... Can't she even be smart about how she has an affair or manages the break-up, or whatever she's doing?
As a group, BPDers don't have a problem with being smart. Indeed, most BPDers I' ve met are way above average in intelligence. Their perception of other peoples' intentions is greatly distorted, however, by the BPD traits. Moreover, their empathy can be greatly impaired much of the time. This is why BPD is called a "thought disorder."
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With regard to marital revisionism, I am aghast at the re-writing of our marriage that I think I am beginning to see here.
Yes, it is commonplace for a BPDer to rewrite history. This occurs because her perception of other people is greatly distorted by her intense feelings. Of course, this happens to all of us when we experience intense feelings. When we are very angry, for example, our perception of others is greatly colored and distorted. Because we know this, we usually know we cannot trust our judgement at such times and therefore delay taking action until we have time to cool down. BPDers, however, usually don't wait because -- having the emotional development of a four year old -- they cannot control their impulses very well.

Berilo, if this discussion rings a bell, I suggest that you read more about BPD traits in Blacksmith's thread. My posts there start at Complicated Marriage Dynamic. I note also that the best selling BPD book (targeted to spouses like you) is Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger. Yet, if you will be divorcing your W, I suggest that you also read another book by the same author which was published just a few months ago. It is called Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Another great resource is the "Leaving" message board at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum I've found that is targeted exclusively to the partners and spouses of BPDers. At that board, you will get tips and advice from dozens of guys who are going through exactly the same painful mess that you are experiencing. More important, you will get advice from guys who went through the divorce process, which is especially nasty with BPDers because they split their spouses black and treat them like the devil.

Also at BPDfamily.com is a collection of professional articles on BPD. IMO, the best of the bunch is Article 9 at T9 Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder - Columbia University, New York. Take care, Berilo.
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post #53 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:20 PM
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Re: Distressed

Awesome post uptown!!!
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post #54 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 08:00 PM
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Re: Distressed

Isn't he great? He's been awesome helping me as a BPD'er. You are awesome too 8!
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post #55 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 09:39 PM
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Re: Distressed

8Years and Pidge, thanks so much for your kind words. Pidge, nice call! I believe you really nailed it. Of course, none of us can know whether Berilo's W has the full blown disorder. I nonetheless believe that Berilo will be fully capable of spotting the red flags -- after reading about the nine BPD traits -- if his W has most of them at a strong level.

When you've been living with a person for a while, it is easy to spot strong selfishness and grandiosity -- without trying to diagnose Narcissistic PD. It is easy to spot an extremely shy and overly sensitive person -- without diagnosing Avoidant PD. And it is easy to spot the drama queens -- without having a clue about diagnosing Histrionic PD. Likewise, it is easy to spot excessive verbal abuse, temper tantrums, and other strong BPD traits -- without trying to diagnose the full blown disorder.

8Years, I just left a response in your "Hit a Roadblock" thread at Hit a roadblock in our reconciliation - need advise.

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post #56 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

Really, I am grateful to all of you, Uptown, 8, Pidge, and everyone else, for this help and support. I'd be an even bigger mess if I hadn't stumbled across you all here. It's difficult to think straight in these circumstances, especially when this stuff builds up slowly, then a few crazy things happen, then she tries to lie/snow/charm you.

I am now starting to see through the haze much more clearly. I hope that I will soon be able to do what I need to do.
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post #57 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Berilo, I agree with Pidge that the behavior you describe exhibits most of the classic BPD traits at a strong level. Only a professional can determine whether her traits are so severe as to satisfy 100% of the diagnostic criteria. Yet, even when the traits fall well short of that level, they can easily destroy a marriage and make your life miserable if the BPDer refuses to stay in therapy long enough to learn to manage those traits.
My "diagnosis" after wondering about this for a year now, the past three months intensively, is that she is indeed a classic BPD case, but with very high functioning (hiding) social capability. But I agree that these traits and conduct are toxic for a happy marriage, whatever the professional diagnosis might be.

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Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Based on that experience, my advice to you -- if you decide your W has many strong BPD traits and if she refuses to stay in therapy to address them -- is to get an excellent attorney and get your ducks in a row before telling your W you are divorcing her.
That seems to be the way this is going. I can't imagine based on our previous conversations/arguments she will go to therapy willingly. She is perfect, I am the problem. Once I "learn to communicate", "grow up", etc etc, then things will improve.

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All hell will break loose when you tell her. Indeed, she may even have you arrested and thrown into jail, as my exW did to me.
I agree that there will be a big explosion when I pull the pin. Fortunately, amid all of her histrionics, I haven't seen any hint of real violence, and I do know she is very conscious of how she is seen by colleagues and friends. Although she complains about her husband to everyone, I think the "embarrassment" of a sudden split/divorce will hurt her more. But I suppose I need to be prepared for everything.

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Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
When the infatuation evaporates, the BPDer no longer perceives you to be the perfect man who was sent to save her. For this reason, her two great fears (abandonment and engulfment) can no longer be held at bay. They will return, triggering the enormous anger she has been carrying deep inside since early childhood. Because the anger is always there right below the surface, it is easily triggered by an idle comment, a minor infraction, or a glance at another woman lasting one-half second instead of a quarter second.
You've hit the nail on the head, both the fear of engulfment and abandonment. And the simmering, inexplicable anger just below the surface. This makes no logical sense at all -- how can someone fear being abandoned but fear being close at the same time -- but is very real. This is a recipe for eternal loneliness.

Our first problem, before we got married, was that she pushed me away completely (and nastily) for a week for no reason. I thought it was a bad case of the usual pre-marriage uncertainty many couples go through although I now think it was something worse that that. I think that she realized that if she married someone else would take residence in her home and psyche, which freaked her out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
In general, it is impossible to sit down and have a calm, rational discussion about a sensitive matter with a BPDer. Trying to catch her in a "calm mood" is usually pointless because, even when you manage to do so, any mention of a sensitive topic will trigger her anger in 10 seconds -- leaving you trying to reason with an angry child once again.
And fragments of old discussions with marginal relevance get dragged into the conversation, often twisted and distorted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
A "double standard" is typical behavior for a BPDer. Because a BPDer's emotional development was frozen at about age four, she never learned how to control her emotions or do self-calming. The result is that she will frequently experience such intense feelings that she will be convinced they MUST accurately reflect reality. This is one reason that BPDers have a strong feeling -- just like four year olds do -- of being entitled to special treatment and privileges.
Wow. There is a reason why she seems very child-like at times. And seems to lack a sense of proportion, balance, or fairness. Her making a nice dinner one night is "equivalent" to me paying for our whole vacation, even though we both make decent salaries (and I make dinner too).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Because a BPDer fears abandonment, she typically will try to be very controlling of every aspect of her partner's life. This control can be augmented, of course, by isolating you from all your friends and family members (who might not see things her way).
She is a charming, low-key, absolute control freak. I have tried to be unpredictable lately, and not respond (or respond differently) when she tries to push my buttons or lead me around by the nose. This does not compute, and I can see it confuses and bothers her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Berilo, if your W is a BPDer, you must be content to play one of two roles if you want to remain married to her. Both of those roles are dictated by her strong need to keep thinking of herself as a perpetual victim -- always "the victim." Because that false self image is nearly the only thread of a self image she has, she keeps a death grip on it and will not let it go. She therefore needs to have a man around at all times to validate that false self image.

During the 6 month honeymoon period, you provided that validation admirably by playing the role of "savior on a white horse." Because you were the "savior," she by implication had to be the damsel in distress, i.e., "the victim." That's why she told you -- and she really believed it -- that you were far better than any man she had ever met. And, no doubt, she told you that you were saving her from a long line of BFs who had treated her badly.

When the infatuation evaporated, however, you fell quickly from the pedestal and were no longer regarded as savior. Consequently, there is only one remaining way you could validate her false self image of being "the victim." You must play the role of "perpetrator." That is, you must accept blame for every misfortune befalling her, thereby reinforcing her mistaken notion that she is "the victim."

That, in a nutshell, is one reason she is blaming you for everything.
This is indeed what appears to have happened to me. I was the white knight, and now I am the dog, pig, millstone, punching bag, or whatever. I am going to decline to continue in either role.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Another reason is that, if she is a BPDer, your W does black-white thinking, wherein she categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad."
That is exactly how she is: everything is cut and dried, good or bad, you only need to push harder or back off. I even tried to explain to her that most things in the world are shades of gray, but only now I see she probably didn't have any idea of what I was talking about.

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Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Significantly, she categorizes herself that way too. This means that, if she takes responsibility for making a mistake or having a flaw, she experiences a painful feeling of intense shame while she perceives herself as being "all bad."
I think she has apologized to me sincerely only once or twice since we got married. But maybe not even those. When she does something wrong, and I don't immediately let it go, she says, "I'm sorry, ok? It's over, let's move on." Needless to say, if I do something she doesn't like (or do something momentarily dumb) I never hear the end of it, and it ends up as an infraction on my probation list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown View Post
Indeed, most BPDers I' ve met are way above average in intelligence. Their perception of other peoples' intentions is greatly distorted, however, by the BPD traits. Moreover, their empathy can be greatly impaired much of the time. This is why BPD is called a "thought disorder."
It's tragic, actually. She is very intelligent, a high functioning professional, but empty inside somehow. She feigns empathy, but I don't think she feels it. She flip-flops in her assessments of her colleagues and friends by the month. She has a non-existent relationship with her family. I don't see a stream of old friends wanting to hang out with her (and me), as is usual. She is probably casting the OM in the role of white knight to get her fix of attention and rescue.

So we have everyone who is one step removed from her thinking she is the absolute greatest person, professional, and casual friend. But there is a telling absence of people who are really close to her.

It must be difficult for a person not to have any solid emotional bearings. I can't imagine not having solid, stable (not usually intense) relationships with family members, close friends and colleagues. That's the world we were meant to live in, and make life worthwhile.

Do BPDers know what they are missing? Do they really think they are "normal"? Doesn't the process of turning one white knight after another into a punching bag cause them to reflect or seek therapy? Or is their self-criticism function so impaired from the beginning that they are doomed to skim along the surface of life, stopping only when smashing into (and damaging) other people's beings?
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post #58 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:06 AM
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Re: Distressed

I wish you all the best. I am truly sorry for all you've been through.
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post #59 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

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I wish you all the best. I am truly sorry for all you've been through.
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Thank you, Pidge, for your kind words and support.
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post #60 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

One more thing: at least since I have been watching her with a focused, skeptical lens over the past two months, she is very transparent.

When we are together I can tell when she is texting the OM, or talking to him on the phone, instead of a real colleague or friend I can tell when her story of where she is going and when, or where she was, is not really true. It stinks, really.

Yesterday, she talked to OM on her cell phone while we were at home, three separate times, totalling over an hour. She was obviously guarded in her conversation, but not in her tone. I left the room but stayed close by to listen.

This is weird. Is she so in the "fog" or lacks empathy that she can't see how inappropriate or stupid it is to talk to her outside lover when at home with her husband? How stupid is he thinking that it's ok to call her so often when she tells him she is at home with me? She cut off the calls from him we received in the car, as it would be obvious, but given more space in the house, perhaps she feels easier to move around and conceal?

And the continued adolescent overtones are making me puke. When she started cooing on the phone yesterday, I nearly went into the room and threw her phone out the window.

Nonetheless, I don't take all this as a direct in-my-face challenge, as she clearly is trying to hide the identity of the caller. But there must be some big dynamic of invulnerability or recklessness at play here. She knows I know about this guy (at least I questioned her about all the calls from him some time ago).

Is she trying to provoke me, or is she just amazingly oblivious? Is this a trait of BPDers too?

I am resisting being provoked or controlled until I am ready to pull the pin.
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