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You guys are all right and I know it. But for some reason, I keep hoping things will change. She's not all bad but these things are unbearable. I even have nightmares about us arguing all the time. And I really hate to disappoint my son. A few years ago we got into a big argument and it was almost physical; I was trying to leave and she snatched my stuff to try to keep me from leaving. I tried to get it from her and kinda pushed her into the cabinet. My son started crying and said "You guys are breaking my heart!" It almost brings tears to my eyes now and that was probably 3 years ago. He still gets deeply upset when we talk about divorcing and he's almost 14.
We just got into another argument. She called me but I was on the phone with an old friend I was stationed with in DC. I told her I was on the phone with him and she said OK, bye. She called back right after I got off the phone and started yelling that there was a family emergency going on and I stayed on the phone instead of talking to her. I was like "If there was an emergency, why didn't you say anything...she says you didn't ask either." Am I supposed to ask you if there is an emergency every time you call? She never told me anything so I figure it was another way to say I'm doing something wrong. And of course, she accused me of talking to a female. I lost it again!
Your wife is an a$zhole. And she's not going to change. She'll cry, in the 11th hour of divorce, that she'll change, but she won't. As long as you hold on to that (sorry, but pathetic is the only adjective coming to mind) "hope," she will clutch onto that straw in order to continue getting what she wants. And part of what she wants is drama. Seems like she revels in family distress...there are sick people who actually have to have it in their shallow and empty lives.
One sure way to disappoint your son is to demonstrate how to cave in to manipulation and allow yourself to shed your dignity and live life on the puppet strings of an idiot. See, your job as Dad is to look out for his best interest, long term. Ripping off the band aid hurts, but pulling it off slowly merely stretches out the pain longer. What's it going to be?
Your example of today's argument shows what a loser she is, and attention-wh0re and emotional vampire. Total passive-aggressive behavior, heads-I-win/tails-you-lose lunacy. The sooner you figure this out the better. No person should have to tolerate this disgusting childish behavior. She needs to grow up, so that the next schmuck in her life doesn't see her for what she is a leave her too.
And you need to learn the concept of Radio Silence. Manage your own stress by limiting her access to you. As I wrote earlier, as long as you are living a wholesome life, limiting stupid people's access to (destroying)your peace is a smart choice.
CCR wrote:I suggest the OP read up on borderline personality disorder and decide if it fits. If so, there are several books out there on how to effectively deal with a BPD spouse. I saw several of the 9 criteria in the original post.
I just joined within the past week and posted a thread with books I've read regarding both borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. If OP hasn't seen it:
dacoming wrote:You guys are all right and I know it. But for some reason, I keep hoping things will change. She's not all bad but these things are unbearable. I even have nightmares about us arguing all the time. And I really hate to disappoint my son.
been there. like, literally within the past 3 months. i was the guy just trying to hold the family together, overlooking all my STBX's crazy, irrational, harmful, mean, etc. behavior because I thought #1, it was best for the family, and #2, I was holding onto this image of my wife from before, and didn't want to "abandon" her in her time of need.
go out and get the 2 books in the link above, read "THE LIST" that gets posted here frequently, and buckle up. If you truly want to "help" your wife, you need to stop enabling and validating these ridiculous behaviors she does. If she's like my STBX, she hasn't been held accountable for a d@mn thing for quite a while now, and continues thinking it's OK to act like a complete child, because hubby is there to take care of her. maybe one day she'll get her act together, maybe she'll come looking for you (a changed person) and maybe you'll be available for her at that time. and maybe not. good luck, and stay strong.
Going back to the second post of this thing from Trevor, some things stick out. Your wife is messing around on you behind your back. I'd put a good some of money on that.
One: She wanted you out of the picture, where she can still leech off of your earnings, while learning how to ride stick.
Two: Facebook privacy settings are notoriously lax. If you are 'friends' with someone, you can see everything they do/say, what their friends 'stick to the walls', unless you change the settings. My friend, she doesn't want you to see what is on her wall.
Three: She blames you for cheating on her. Red flag. When I caught my wife dinking around behind my back, she threw out several names of women I work with 'You have to be cheating on me with one of them!'. Nope. Never. Wouldn't think about it (back then).
I would have your ducks lined up in a row before ever setting foot back in the US. You need to be on the offensive here before leaving your station.
What we do best here is help the guys who freeze and need to be jolted into action. - Chasbo
The meaning of life is Happiness. What makes you happy? - Dalai Lama
If you end up going the divorce route, I think you should seriously consider making that move to California instead of Colorado before pulling the trigger. Colorado is about the worst in the nation for divorcing men. Especially for one in your shoes- 16 year (long term) marriage, breadwinner, etc. There's a good chance you could end up paying this idiot lifetime alimony if you divorce in Colorado.
Some advice from a person who is still in the middle of the s**t storm created by trying to deal with a person exactly as you describe.
1) Do not make any important decisions while you are not emotionally stable and 100% sure of the possible outcomes. This is extremely hard in your situation because the women is constantly trying to keep you off balanced. This is not a coincidence even though you may seem to think it is. Study this board for a while to understand potential actions/reactions because your current mindset can lead to errors in seeing thinks (real or perceived) objectively.
2) Beware of "so-called" therapists giving you advice. These people are also paid to keep you off balanced and can sometimes "created" emotional/mental issues for you. Beware of lawyers that promise you protection or an easy route to divorcing this women. Leaving this women will be hell in the best of conditions, because that is you she is. There will be no short cuts here, trust that.
3) If you decide to pursue divorce (YOU ARE IN FOR THE WAR OF WARS). If you think she is your enemy now, just wait. She seems to be excellent at emotional warfare and will only get better as the normal doubts that enter your head during the process (am i doing the right thing, is this best for my family, etc) The one fundamental truth that you should hold onto is: "I want to hold onto my integrity and what is best for my children!" She will turn everything around on you in an attempt to convince you that whatever you are doing it harms the children. When she does this, unless you are completely sure of your actions and their consequences, she will be able to drive you crazy and have you doubting even the most simple of decisions.
4) Also remember that you can take small steps. Each small step allows for you to re-establish a new normal in your life.
dacoming, You and I are in the (almost) exact same boat. Your wife sounds much like mine and has cut all emotion to me. I was refered to a book called "No More Mr. Nice Guy". In reading the first chapter, it pretty much described to a "T". Couldn't hurt to look into it. I think that maybe she might be feeding off of this with you, maybe not realizing it, but doing it. I have seen many things I have to change just to be around her. Maybe check that one out as well. I am new to this and these guys are helping me out as well.
I am loving all of the feedback; I need this right now because she is making me feel like I'm losing my mind! I looked up borderline personality disorder, did the test for her, and she passed with flying colors. I don't know what she feels but I know how she acts. Her psych diagnosed her with a Mood Disorder but she wasn't going to counseling to talk about our marriage. She is in depression, has had 2 failed back surgeries and is in pain every day, and I'm not there. We were hoping that would help us get a Humanitarian Reassignment back home. They declined it. I wish there was a way I could suggest to her to get that checked out but she doesn't think she's the problem. There are not many days that go by that she is not blaming me or our daughters for taking her through so much stress and not caring for her like she cares for us. I went years without even mentioning how the way she talks to me and the false accusations were driving me away. She ended up having a breakdown around that time and blamed me for being insensitive to her condition. All of the things she was doing was due to her mental state at the time she says. But she's been doing this stuff for years. When I asked her to seek counseling just to be able to deal with all of the stressors, she told me that her friends think she's perfectly normal but her "husband" thinks she is crazy and needs help. I was blown! That woman has had me getting all kind of counseling over the years but she refused to attend anything with me because "she's not the one with the problem." She went one time but the counselor was a female and she got the vibe that she was agreeing with me so she never stopped it. She felt the doctor was interested in me.
imagine if Evel Knievel had a little side-car on his motorcycle. you've been the one riding in that side-car all these years while your wife is jumping the motorcycle over 35 buses packed with dynamite, fireworks, and pools of hungry alligators. go get your own counseling if you can. she may be the one with the disorder, but you've been the one dealing with it and being accountable for it for years.
you won't be able to tell her "you need help" or "you have a problem" because the root of her problem is denying there's anything wrong with her. maybe if you stage an intervention with family & friends (like the TV show) she'll get help, but it won't be for the right reasons, so it probably won't last.
the further you get away from this, the better perspective you will have, to the point where you suddenly say "holy $hit, i can't believe i put up with her cr@p for all those years." you probably did things "in the best interest of the family" but unfortunately you were enabling her poor behavior, actions and choices. when my marriage started really swirling around the bowl, i was at a point where i would have been happy to keep things miserable, if it meant the marriage stayed together. now, stepping back from the situation, i wish this came to the surface years ago and i'd already be on with my life.