Recent problems and growing tension - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Recent problems and growing tension

I hope I am submitting this to the correct section. To start out my wife has been diagnosed as bipolar type 2 with anxiety disorder. We are both working hard to get through problems and daily emotions.

I'm posting tonight because I am the nearest to a breaking point that I've been. To start out my wife has greatly distanced herself from her family; even after her fathers death she does not call or want to visit her mom or siblings. His death really put into perspective for me how important family is and you should cherish time together while you still can.

About 3 years ago we moved 13 hours away from my family, 13 hours from her mom, and 17 hours away from her dad. I now realize that part of the reason we moved was what I see as her trying to create distance between me and my family; she would always complain about seeing them and express that they don't really love me as much as they do my brother and sister. Things like this bothered me and a new job and the idea of distance made me want to move too.

I visiting my family for a week about a month ago and started to put all this together. I really miss them and really miss the area where they live.

I brought up wanting to go spend thanksgiving with them and she is completely shutting down the idea. Now I haven't had Thanksgiving with my family in probably 5 or 6 years. We have traveled to her mom and sisters and her sister came to our house last year. Whenever we travel to see her mom or sister; her mom usually ends up working most of the time we are there and her sister is notorious for ditching us for her local friends.

Would I be wrong to say if you don't want to come with and support me and my family I will just take our son and travel to visit without her?

This is one of the only times to easily travel in the year as we both get Thursday and Friday off of work. If we stay home I'm sure it will be a very depressing very long weekend because I will be holding this resentment in that we didn't go and she will be crabby because I am missing my family.

I feel that no matter what I end up doing I am going to feel regret and depression over the decision made.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 08:04 AM
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Recent problems and growing tension

Yes, take your son and go see your family
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 02:59 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

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Originally Posted by TN129 View Post
My wife has been diagnosed as bipolar type 2 with anxiety disorder.
TN, a randomized study of nearly 35,000 American adults found that 36% of women exhibiting bipolar-2 in the past year also suffer from full-blown BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). And 20% of the women exhibiting an anxiety disorder also exhibit full-blown BPD. See Table 2 at 2008 Study in JCP. I am mentioning BPD because several behaviors you describe are warning signs for BPD, not bipolar-2 or anxiety disorder.

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your W has full-blown BPD but, rather, that she might exhibit moderate to strong traits of it. I also caution that BPD is not something -- like chickenpox -- 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 W exhibits BPD traits. Of course she does. We all do.

Rather, at issue is whether she exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper end of the BPD spectrum). Not having met her, I cannot answer that question.

I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD 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 temper tantrums.

Quote:
It just hurts the most that she doesn't trust me and i've never given her a reason not to. She is constantly trolling my online presence on twitter, linkedin, ect. [Your 6/30/16 post.]
One of the defining traits for BPD is having a great fear of abandonment. A BPDer (i.e., person having strong traits) has low self esteem and is fearful that, once you discover how empty she is on the inside, you will leave her. Moreover, because she is emotionally unstable, she cannot trust herself. A BPDer therefore is incapable of trusting her spouse for any extended period of time. This lack of trust and great fear of abandonment typically is most evident in acts of irrational jealousy.

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I now realize that part of the reason we moved was what I see as her trying to create distance between me and my family.... Now I haven't had Thanksgiving with my family in probably 5 or 6 years.
Likewise, my BPDer exW tried to isolate me away from all my family members and close friends. One reason for doing this was her great abandonment fear, which made her jealous not only of time I spent with other women but also time spent with my foster son and other family members.

A second reason for doing this is, due to the abandonment fear, a BPDer tries to control every aspect of her partner's private life. Such control is much easier to maintain when you have no friends and family supporting you (i.e., disagreeing with her).

Quote:
I know sharing my time with friends will put her in a pissy/jealous mood.... on the nights that I have to work late or stop for a drink on the way home with a co-worker she puts up walls and tries to criminalize my actions.[7/7/16 post.]
As I noted above, this irrational jealousy of your friends/coworkers is to be expected if your W has strong and persistent BPD traits.

Quote:
There may be some co-dependency issues; she always has to be around me when not at work. [5/13/16 post.]
BPDers absolutely HATE to be alone and thus tend to be codependent and clingy with their spouses. The reason is that a BPDer has such an immature, fractured ego that she has a very weak and fragile self identity.

She therefore will have a strong need to be around a man having a strong personality who can provide the missing self identity -- and provide the grounding and sense of direction she sorely needs (e.g., to help her focus one one college goal instead of a series of changing majors).

Yet, when you do exactly that -- i.e., provide the identity and direction she is needing -- she will resent you for it. She will feel strongly that you are somehow controlling and suffocating her, preventing her from being herself.

Quote:
She feels that she needs new clothes all the time, needs to have her nails done, and buys $60 shampoo. While i'm left in the position without any money to buy things that I appreciate or enjoy.[7/7/16 post.]
Likewise, my BPDer exW is a spendthrift. It is common for BPDers to engage in binge spending because they are too emotionally immature to regulate their own impulses. This is why impulsive behavior, like spending sprees, is one of the nine defining traits of BPD behavior.

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Would I be wrong to say if you don't want to come with and support me and my family I will just take our son and travel to visit without her?
Not wrong in my opinion. I believe you should have done it several years ago. I suggest that, when you return from the Thanksgiving holiday, you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you and your young son are dealing with.

I also suggest that, while you're looking for a good psych, you learn how to spot the warning signs for both disorders. An easy place to start is my post at 12 Bipolar/BPD Differences, which is based on my experiences with a bipolar-1 sufferer (my foster son) and a BPDer (my exW).

If you decide that the description of BPD traits in my post sounds very familiar, I would suggest you also read my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs and my more detailed description of them at my posts in Maybe's Thread. If that description rings many bells, I would be glad to discuss them with you.

Significantly, learning to spot these warning signs will not enable you to diagnose your W's issues. The main reason for learning these red flags, then -- like learning warning signs for stroke and heart attack -- is to help you decide whether there is sufficient reason to spend money seeking a professional opinion. Take care, TN.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

wow thank you uptown, looking at the 18 warning signs she matches every single one. I've been seeing a therapist and she has brought up bpd before but would never jump to that conclusion without first seeing my wife (which she refuses to seek help since the initial diagnosis. And many if not all of the bullets Maybe outlined also match.

I just feel lost right now. She had a major blow up yesterday over nothing (and is now avoiding me and not speaking); don't know how much more of this I can deal with.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 10:56 AM
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Take the kid to your parents for Thanksgiving and don't come back. You really want to waste your one life living like this? I lived with a crazy woman for 8 years before divorcing her.

At the end, I wanted to kill her or myself.
If you're at that point, it's time to bolt.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 12:00 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

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I've been seeing a therapist and she has brought up bpd before but would never jump to that conclusion without first seeing my wife.
TN, no therapist can determine that your W exhibits full-blown BPD without actually seeing her. A therapist nonetheless is able to give you a candid opinion such as "It sounds like you may be describing the symptoms of...." But, ironically, if your therapist were to actually see your W and determine that she exhibits full-blown BPD, it is unlikely she would tell your W -- much less tell you.

As I explain in my post at Loath to Diagnose, there are several reasons why therapists don't tell BPDers (or their spouses) the name of their disorder. That information usually is withheld to protect the BPDer client. This is why, when BPD may be involved, I advise the abused spouses to obtain a candid opinion (not a formal diagnosis) from a psychologist who has not seen or treated the spouse. In that way, you are assured that the psychologist is ethically bound to protect your best interests, not those of your W.

Quote:
I just feel lost right now.
TN, if you really have been married to a BPDer for 7 years, "lost" is exactly how you should be feeling. Because BPDers typically are convinced that the absurd allegations coming out of their mouths are absolutely true -- they generally have a greater "crazy-making" effect than can ever be achieved by narcissists or sociopaths. The abused spouses that come stumbling out of a BPDer marriage usually feel very confused, disoriented, and lost. Indeed, a large share of them feel like they may be going crazy.

This is why that, of the 157 mental disorders listed in the APA's diagnostic manual, BPD is the one most notorious for making the abused partners feel like they may be losing their minds. And this is one reason why therapists typically see far more of those abused partners -- coming in to find out if they are going insane -- than they ever see of the BPDers themselves.

Nothing will drive you crazier sooner than being repeatedly abused by a partner whom you know, to a certainty, must really love you. The reason is that you will be mistakenly convinced that, if only you can figure out what YOU are doing wrong, you can restore your partner to that wonderful human being you saw at the very beginning.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 12:16 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

You are a very valuable member Uptown... thank you for sharing as you do.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 01:25 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

Thanks for the kind words, EB. But I've not written anything more insightful than your 10/16/16 post.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 01:37 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

I think you should take your son and go be with your family.

She has 3 choices

Go with you
Go see her family
Stay home

Your son really needs to get to know his other family members.



You do matter!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 03:00 PM
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Re: Recent problems and growing tension

Are you going to see your family?

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