If it is a mental or personality disorder.....anyone have an idea of what??
HowDo, the behaviors you describe -- i.e., event-triggered irrational anger, inability to trust, paranoia (e.g., claiming you are delusional, fraudulent, and a liar), controlling behavior, temper tantrums, lack of impulse control, and always being "The Victim" -- are some of the classic warning signs for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and, to a lesser extent, for NPD (Narcissistic PD). Importantly, I'm not suggesting your H has full-blown BPD or NPD but, rather, that he might exhibit moderate to strong traits of it or another PD.
I caution that BPD (and NPD) is not something that a person either "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is a "spectrum" disorder, which means every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all BPD traits to some degree (albeit at a low level if the person is healthy). At issue, then, is not whether your H exhibits BPD traits. Of course he does. We all do.
Rather, at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met him, I cannot answer that question. I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD and NPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are not difficult to spot because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," lack of impulse control, and rapid event-triggered mood flips.
I read up on psychopathy this morning. It was dead on! It helps explain why things went bad so fast.
Perhaps you are right. Antisocial Personality Disorder (i.e., ASPD, which is what psychopathy is now called in the DSM-5) is a possibility. Yet, if your H has strong and persistent traits of ASPD, he would be a social predator who is incapable of loving you or anyone else. Do you really believe he never truly loved you? Moreover, having strong ASPD traits would imply he essentially has a stable personality. Do you believe that? So far, you seem to be describing the opposite: a man who loved you during the courtship period and who is emotionally unstable.
Significantly, ASPD is not required to "explain why things went bad so fast."
This rapid deterioration of the marriage also occurs with BPDers. Unlike ASPDers, the BPDers are unstable and are capable of loving you very intensely (albeit in the very immature way that a young child is able to love).
Throughout the courtship/honeymoon period, a BPDer will idealize you. He will be convinced you are the nearly perfect woman who has come to save him from unhappiness. In this way, his infatuation over you will hold his two fears -- abandonment and engulfment -- at bay. That infatuation typically lasts 4 to 6 months but may last much longer if you are not dating too frequently. Once it starts to evaporate, his two great fears will return and you will start triggering them.
Indeed, it is impossible to avoid triggering those fears if your H is a BPDer (i.e., has strong and persistent BPD traits). The reason you cannot avoid them is that the two fears lie at opposite ends of the very same spectrum. Hence, as you draw close to assure him of your love and devotion, you inevitably will start suffocating him -- making him feel controlled and engulfed by your strong personality. Yet, as soon as you back away to give him breathing room, you will start triggering his abandonment fear.
I caution that, even if your H is a BPDer, this does not rule out him also exhibiting strong traits of NPD or ASPD. These PDs represent different patterns of behavior, not separate diseases. Consequently, the vast majority of people exhibiting strong traits of one PD also exhibit strong traits of one or two other PDs as well. A recent study found that 47% of males having full-blown BPD also suffer from full-blown NPD -- and 19% of those BPDer males also suffer from ASPD. See Table 3 at 2008 Study in JCP
He says I lie because I allow my kids to listen to country music when he is not around but will turn it off when he is in the car or the house. I have never agreed to not let them listen to country music.
If your H exhibits strong ASPD behavior as you suspect, this claim about you "lying" almost certainly is pure manipulation and is a false claim that he does not really believe. On the other hand, if he is a BPDer, he likely truly believed the claim at the moment he was making it. Like young children, BPDers are too immature to intellectually challenge their own intense feelings.
Like a child, they are convinced that any feeling that intense MUST be true. BPDers thus perceive of intense feelings as self-evident "facts." And a week or two later -- when the BPDer's feelings have dramatically changed -- he will be just as convinced that the opposite conclusion is true too. This is why it usually is impossible to rationally reason with a BPDer when he is emotionally upset.
Then came up with some crazy stuff...saying I am fraudulent, delusional, a liar, an enabler....and on and on. He was talking in this strange mocking voice and cussing and swearing (which I have VERY rarely heard him do).
As I noted above, you likely are seeing ASPD traits (or NPD traits) if your H does not really believe these claims -- but you likely are seeing BPD traits if he truly believes them at the moment he is saying them.
I thought he was a really good man. I thought he was the type who honored marriage and held it in high regards.
If he is a BPDer, you likely were correct about him being "a really good man." A BPDer's problem is not being bad
but, rather, being emotionally unstable
. Most BPDers are good people who are very easy to fall in love with. Indeed, two of the world's most beloved women -- Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana -- both exhibited full-blown BPD if their biographers are correct.
He also referred to me as his enemy tonight.
This black-white thinking is a warning sign for BPD and NPD. Granted, we all do B-W thinking to some degree whenever we experience anger or other intense feelings. BPDers and narcissists, however, rely on it heavily.
Like a young child, a BPDer is too immature to be able to handle strong mixed feelings, ambiguities, uncertainties, and the other gray areas of interpersonal relationships. This is why young children and BPDers are heavily reliant on all-or-nothing thinking. Specifically, they categorize everyone as "all good" or "all bad" and, in just ten seconds, will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- based solely on a minor comment or infraction. Months or weeks later they may recategorize that person, just as quickly, back to the other polar extreme.
He would say his kids would NEVER do something like that....!
This is another example of black-white thinking. It typically is exhibited in the frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions like "You NEVER..." or "You ALWAYS...."
When I asked why he is ending our marriage he said, "I'm not ending our marriage." Explain that!!??
That's easy to explain if he is a BPDer (i.e., exhibits strong BPD traits). A BPDer has such a fragile, fragmented sense of self identity that he really does not know who he is. He therefore is attracted to a woman having a strong personality that will help to ground him and center him. Yet, as soon as you provide that to a BPDer, he will start feeling controlled and dominated (i.e., his engulfment fear).
Moreover, to the extent a BPDer has a lasting sense of self at all, it is the false self identity of being "The Victim," always "The Victim." A BPDer therefore has a powerful need to be around a strong mate who he can blame for every misfortune or mistake. As you say, "He continues to blame EVERYTHING on me."
Hence, if you really are married to a BPDer, he will perceive of you as "the Rescuer" during the courtship period. The implication, of course, is that he must be "The Victim" if you're trying to rescue him. Then, when his infatuation evaporates and his two fears return, he will start perceiving of you as "the Persecutor," i.e., the cause of every misfortune.
This is why it is common for BPDer relationships to go off a cliff right after the marriage, at which time the BPDer starts blaming every misfortune on his spouse -- even though he does not want a divorce. And this is why the #2 best-selling BPD book is titled I Hate You, Don't Leave Me!
I don't understand. Maybe I'm not supposed to.
As I noted earlier, I cannot know whether your H is exhibiting strong traits of BPD, NPD, or ASPD. I've never met the guy. I nonetheless am confident that you can spot any strong traits that are occurring if you take a little time to learn which traits are on the list.
Before you graduated high school, you already could identify the selfish and very grandiose classmates -- without knowing how to diagnose Narcissistic PD. You could identify the class drama queen -- without being able to diagnose Histrionic PD. You could spot the kids having no respect for laws or other peoples' property or feelings -- without diagnosing Antisocial PD. And you could recognize the very shy and over-sensitive classmates -- without diagnosing Avoidant PD.
Similarly, you will be able to spot strong BPD traits when they occur. Toward that end, I suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs
. If most sound very familiar, I would suggest you read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Maybe's Thread
. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to join the other respondents in discussing them with you.
Significantly, learning to spot these warning signs will not enable you to diagnose your H's issues. Yet, like learning warning signs for breast cancer and heart attack, learning those for BPD may help you avoid a painful situation, e.g., taking him back or running into the arms of another man just like him. Finally, if you do feel tempted to take him back, I suggest you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is that you and your kids have been dealing with. Take care, HowDo.