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Spouses/Partners with Personality Disorders

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babayaga posted 1/16/2019 15:10 PM

WornDown:

Thanks for your reply.

We are separated - as in haven't been living in the same house for 2-3 weeks now.

BUT - we have a lot of school aged kids, and we see one another every morning - he drives one carpool and I drive the other.

Then he picks the youngest up from preschool, so there is a handoff again.

AND - our house flooded a week ago. So there has been an endless stream of contractors, water and mold mitigators, insurance people, in and out and those topics especially are hard to cover over text or email.

But I do appreciate the suggestion and will really try to use email and text exclusively, except when we really do need to talk.

And I will try to grey rock it more - looking at it now I see more clearly how he's used different strategies to get a rise out of me. He's even said, "I see it, I can see you're slipping away from me. You're just gone." To which I responded - "OK, see you tomorrow."

My therapist suggested the same responses you did - "I don't want to talk about it now," and "I'm sorry you feel that way." I'm going to try to be better at sticking to those two.


WornDown posted 1/17/2019 08:33 AM

For the kids drop off, there's really no point in talking to him, or need to.

The comedian Christopher Titus talked about how picking up his kids was a like a hostage situation - one kid came to his car, got the CS check, brought it back to mom and then all the kids came out of the house. He also talked about exchanging at a neutral site: The Mickey-DMZ. (McDonald's parking lot).

Keep working on the grey rock.

Good job with the, "See ya tomorrow." That's what you need to do.

looking at it now I see more clearly how he's used different strategies to get a rise out of me

Those will become more apparent to you, especially as you get away from his crazy. And, in my case, being separated really helped me understand the level of crazy my ex was in, and how it was affecting me. Separation (and NC as much as possible) was key.

(That's what we were talking about above - Once you realize the techniques the PDs try to manipulate you, you see that bullshit from ANYONE who tries it).

babayaga posted 1/21/2019 14:39 PM

Whew. Today i emailed WH with a new schedule for our separation. I'd been staying with the kids, and he'd been popping in during the mornings to make breakfast, etc, then he'd also been picking them up in the afternoon, then leaving when I got home in the evening.

I've now worked out a new schedule more like "normal" custody where I have the kids for a few days, then we swap and so on. This would actually give him MORE time with the kids, and the kids would have a lot more predictability and stability (WH had been changing things last minute constantly with the old schedule).

I'm happy with my new plan as it gives me a lot more space from WH, and will give him fewer opportunities to initiate communication with me. In addition to how it will be good for the kids.

Boy did WH not like the change. He pushed back so hard, tried one manipulation after another, but I managed to hold my ground. So, I'm proud of that.

It also really helped that I was hanging out with my girlfriends last night (they know what's going on) and WH began to barrage me with texts, phone calls and emails. They were like "WOAH" - this is crazy manipulative. They'd listened to me and believed me, but seeing this onslaught really helped them understand what it felt like for me on a day to day basis. So that was really validating and it helps a lot to have a circle of friends who know what your day to day feels like.

I'm happy with the new plan - I think that it's about as separate as we can manage with the kids we have, and it also includes clear rules about how and when he may contact me - limited to email only, limited to necessary kids/money topics, and texts only for urgent kids things. Calls only as scheduled by me. I'm working on my grey rocking.
Thanks everyone for the support.

babayaga posted 1/24/2019 01:19 AM

Well, it doesn’t seem that people post much here except to debate diagnosing others.

I’ll have a go again anyway.

WH is now convinced that he has sex addiction and is “committed” to working on that in IC.

He is regularly reverting to insane manipulation tactics and clearly doesn’t get that I was nearly ready to D because of his near decade (or two?) of severe emotional abuse.

He thinks that in the space of two months he can demonstrate beyond any doubt that his therapist “fixed” his sexual addiction.

In other words - he is clearly not a candidate for R.

However, we have kids. They know we are separated. They are incredibly sad about it. And having a hard time with being in limbo.

Now I see that everything has been framed in terms of whether I can forgive, whether I will give him a second chance - or take their beautiful life away.

We aren’t telling the kids the whole truth. They know he was “mean sometimes” and did something to hurt me. But they don’t know or understand the level of abuse I suffered. They don’t know that DDay 1 was in 2014. This IS his second chance. He failed. And failed again.

The problem here is that I’m the bad guy if we D. They’re too young 3-14, to tell them the truth. How do you handle this? Eventually, they will grow up and can know the truth. But until that happens, an I going to be the bad guy if we D?

WornDown posted 1/24/2019 22:04 PM

Eventually, they will grow up and can know the truth. But until that happens, an I going to be the bad guy if we D?

Pretty much this.

But...

You will be a much better parent and a much happier person because you aren't constantly dealing with the crazy.

It is definitely worth the price of being the bad guy.

barcher144 posted 2/6/2019 11:20 AM

The problem here is that I’m the bad guy if we D. They’re too young 3-14, to tell them the truth. How do you handle this? Eventually, they will grow up and can know the truth. But until that happens, an I going to be the bad guy if we D?

I am in a similar position. One thing that I try to do... is to focus on my kids and being a great dad when I with them. Kids are very smart... they have an innate sense of bullshit.

barcher144 posted 2/6/2019 11:25 AM

Well, it doesn’t seem that people post much here except to debate diagnosing others.

I suppose that I will chime in on the side of "don't try and diagnose someone else." It doesn't help and it can hurt. The legal advice that I was given (and my therapist said the same thing) is to not worry about the label, but instead focus on and discussion the inappropriate behavior.

Along those lines, my WW had a long-term affair that I found out about in August 2016. In August 2018, she decided that she wanted a divorce. Since then, our relationship has slowly gotten worse and worse over time. In mid-September, she kissed me goodbye when I went to Europe on a work trip. In mid-October, we agreed that we would have an amicable divorce. In mid-November, we agreed on a temporary parenting schedule. In early December, we went shopping for Christmas presents together.

There have no no major fights or outbursts since August... but yesterday, she literally refused to speak to me on the phone to give me personal information that I needed to file our taxes with the IRS.

Any idea of what is going on here? Why is she getting increasingly angry with me? Is it because I stopped feeding her attention? Is it because she is starting to recognize that I am not going to roll over and give her everything during our divorce?

I am pretty co-dependent, so all of this is very hurtful to me... but I am doing my best to be a gray rock.

xhz700 posted 2/6/2019 15:11 PM

The problem here is that I’m the bad guy if we D. They’re too young 3-14, to tell them the truth. How do you handle this? Eventually, they will grow up and can know the truth. But until that happens, an I going to be the bad guy if we D?

It'll be pretty obvious who the bad guy is post-divorce. All of that will work itself out.

Is it a better option to stay where you are?

xhz700 posted 2/6/2019 15:21 PM

I suppose that I will chime in on the side of "don't try and diagnose someone else." It doesn't help and it can hurt. The legal advice that I was given (and my therapist said the same thing) is to not worry about the label, but instead focus on and discussion the inappropriate behavior.

Exactly this. The diagnosis doesn't matter, at all. Whatever the reason, the behavior is what matters.

Any idea of what is going on here? Why is she getting increasingly angry with me? Is it because I stopped feeding her attention? Is it because she is starting to recognize that I am not going to roll over and give her everything during our divorce?

She's angry because you are the rock and she's the balloon. She said she wanted a divorce because she wanted you to chase her. The reason that her behaviors aren't consistent is because you aren't dancing like you used to, so she's trying anything that she can to get emotion out of you. Anger, undying love, hate, anything is better than indifference. The more indifference you show, the more she will escalate. My wife raged, threatened, tried to seduce me (put it wherever you want ), lied to people about me, lied to my daughter. My indifference triggered her abandonment issues, and there was no behavior too extreme to get me back to caring.

What you have to watch out for is an extinction burst, her last hurrah at getting your attention. It can get pretty brutal.

Keep grey rocking. It's not about you!

barcher144 posted 2/7/2019 09:18 AM

The more indifference you show, the more she will escalate.

Is there an endgame to all of this?

I can happily be indifferent (or at least try to be indifferent; I'm a work in progress), but does it continue forever?

xhz700 posted 2/8/2019 14:09 PM

does it continue forever?

To some extent, yes, but it really starts to fade once she has found a new FP (favorite person) from whom to get her fix. Once that happens, she will no longer need to you hate/love/whatever.

I won't lie, it's not a fun process. You can PM me anytime. I am unfortunately something of an expert.

barcher144 posted 2/8/2019 14:11 PM

it really starts to fade once she has found a new FP (favorite person) from whom to get her fix

Maybe this happens with everyone, but I can recall folks commenting that my STBXWW was one of the worst wayward spouses to be discussed on SI.

I am worried, in part, that she has an almost infinite need for narcissistic supply. I certainly gave her a lot throughout our marriage and that wasn't enough. My best guess is that she is presently dating at least two different guys simultaneously.

xhz700 posted 2/8/2019 14:18 PM

I have no need to get into a dick measuring contest, but they are ALL the worst, especially the (attractive) women. People take so much shit from them because they are hot and crazy in bed, it becomes this malignant part of their personality. Mine had at least 4 affairs, probably close to 10 if I had to guess. She is disgusting, and would jump into bed with literally anyone who complimented her. ESPECIALLY any blue-collar, white-trash types that reminded her of her dad. Plumber? Sure. Garage door guy from Craigslist? Why not.

Suffice it to say, if you keep grey rocking, she will move on to someone else. if you have kids with her, co-parenting is always going to be difficult, but it does get better. I can go days without thinking about her now. Separated for two and a half years, divorced a year.

barcher144 posted 2/8/2019 15:07 PM

I have no need to get into a dick measuring contest

Me either. I'm just reporting what other people said.

One thing that hit me today. A couple of years ago, there was a fairly high profile gang-rape in the news. It was really difficult to discern what was consensual versus what was rape, because it definitely started out as consensual (i.e., she was okay with sex with the first 2 or 3 guys for sure), but ended up non-consensual (with literally an unknown number of male participants, probably 10+).

At the time, I mentioned that I didn't think that any woman would ever want that and STBXWW disagreed. She denied ever have a 3some or more, but suddenly... I am thinking that was a lie.

if you have kids with her, co-parenting is always going to be difficult, but it does get better.

I do... and this is my primary concern. A few weeks ago, she started denying the kids permission to get involved in certain activities because it involved me. She has since backed off on that. She's generally been a good mom (but a horrible wife), so I was surprised that she did it. I simply let the kids know that we had to respect Mom's wishes and left it at that.

I can go days without thinking about her now.

I can already go days without thinking about her. I have the practical problem of a divorce and of raising kids, though. When it's not my time to be the parent, I get pretty good separation.

Being a gray rock gets easier and easier the more that I learn about narcissistic behavior and connect what she is doing to that.

Thanks for your help.

xhz700 posted 2/8/2019 15:29 PM

Was the situation you are talking about at the U of MN? Because the same thing happened there (I live in MN).

Whether she did that or just fantasized about it, it really doesn't matter.

WRITE. DOWN. EVERYTHING. No matter how trivial it seems, you need to track this type of behavior.

Also, to add, I read all of your threads as they've happened. Your wife is pretty awful. Probably just a touch more delusional than mine. I am sure that she takes a great deal of pride in driving you to your mental health crisis.

barcher144 posted 2/8/2019 16:44 PM

Was the situation you are talking about at the U of MN?

Yep.

Whether she did that or just fantasized about it, it really doesn't matter.

No, it does not matter. She crossed the threshold of "plenty bad" a long time ago. I still have these thoughts about red flags that I missed, though. It's not a big deal... it's just me processing the last 15-17 years of my life, trying to make sense of it all.

Your wife is pretty awful. Probably just a touch more delusional than mine. I am sure that she takes a great deal of pride in driving you to your mental health crisis.

Well, to be honest, in looking at the 2 years between D-day and the day she decided to get divorced... she was bad. Since then, she has kicked it up a notch. I haven't talked about it as much on here... in part because I don't let it bother me unless it involves our kids.

She will say things like "I feel like this should happen" and my response, if I respond at all, is "your feelings do not matter."

WornDown posted 2/12/2019 12:19 PM

does it continue forever?

To some extent, yes, but it really starts to fade once she has found a new FP (favorite person) from whom to get her fix. Once that happens, she will no longer need to you hate/love/whatever.

In my case, it ebbs and flows.

Clearly, it's nowhere near as bad as when I lived with her (I'm 5h away now), but she still texts me occasionally looking to get a reaction from me. It usually starts with something about the kids, but it could just be about me/her.

I grey rock it pretty much all the time.

Unless of course I feel like just fucking with her and getting her all fired up. That can be fun too!

(~5 years out from being separated, divorced 3.5yr)

ElZorro posted 2/13/2019 07:55 AM

I'm trying not to diagnose my STBX with BPD, but there are definitely signs of it and based on the 9 boxes, there's atleast 5 solid marks on there from my observation. (She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. I regret not doing more research in how serious bipolar is and not just disregarding it as "oh it's just the disorder".) I also fear I might have exhibited signs of BPD. We were very reactive couple and fed off one another. So I'm trying to learn more for myself as well as how to not escalate future confrontations since we will be co-parenting. I have a IC on March 8th (been in therapy for over 3 months now) so I might bring it up and get feedback then. Until then I'm wanting to do research and understand it more.

With that in mind I'm starting the book "Stop Walking On Eggshells". My goal is to read/listen to a chapter or an hour each night and take notes while listening and digest what is being told.

Is there any other tips when reading this book or other resources I should look in to?

[This message edited by ElZorro at 8:40 AM, February 13th (Wednesday)]

Poppy704 posted 2/13/2019 08:27 AM

I have been seeing the psychologist that was meant to be our MC by myself. I have found the Dr.’s opinions and solo visits to be helpful. I know now that I don’t stutter/mumble/mutter, in fact I’m pretty damn articulate, and I do not have early onset Alzeheimer’s either!

The Dr. is still hesitant to see us together but made an appointment for both of us next week. I am extremely anxious about it. I want very badly for it to help, but more likely it will end poorly.

barcher144 posted 2/13/2019 11:26 AM

I have found the Dr.’s opinions and solo visits to be helpful. I know now that I don’t stutter/mumble/mutter, in fact I’m pretty damn articulate, and I do not have early onset Alzeheimer’s either!

I think this suggests at one of the keys to dealing with a partner with a personality disorder... stop focusing on them and focus on yourself. You are not crazy. You are not flawed.

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