Need some advise

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needhelp313

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Mar 7, 2019
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el cerrito ca
#1
Hello everyone,

My wife and I have been married for about 15 years. We have two children 14 and 12. My wife has always been kind of bossy and manipulative to get her way but in the last 4 or 5 years, she has taken it to a new level. (Her mom died two years ago and she was the matriarch of the family.)
Until recently we have just been "dealing with" her controlling and abusive behavior.
Discussing the problem the other day with my father in law he said it sounded like emotional blackmail. I have never heard that term before so I looked it up. Wouldnt you know it, what I was reading was describing my wife's behavior to the letter.
She has gone to her Dr and was prescribed antidepressants but I don't think she took them regularly and stopped taking them. She won't talk to me about it. If I so much as bring it up she will control and twist the conversation and eventually say I'm the one who needs therapy.

I would like to give some examples of what's been happening to see if this could be a personality disorder and how I should handle the situation.
I'll edit this post if y'all think it will help.
Thanks!
 
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dewey

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#2
Sorry to hear you're in an unhappy situation like this. I've never been married but it must be tough when stuff like this comes up. Her not taking the meds is, yep, bad news. She also needs to seek out some kind of therapy, maybe go away somewhere for a retreat. And maybe you need therapy to help you better handle the situation. Whatever you do make sure you don't make your arguments public for your kids, it will scar them more than you know
 
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needhelp313

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el cerrito ca
#3
It's too late to keep it from the children. They understand that she has issues.
She is equally controlling and abusive to them.
 
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dewey

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#4
It's too late to keep it from the children. They understand that she has issues.
She is equally controlling and abusive to them.
I don't think families should stay together in these instances.
Your children need to be in a nurturing environment, as soon as possible.
What's the point of weathering the abusiveness when it will have a negative lifelong impact on your children's development? Don't you all deserve a happy life and healthy environment?
My heart goes out to you but also I think that there's no point for people to stay in a dysfunctional relationship and family because they feel they are trapped in it.
 
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needhelp313

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el cerrito ca
#5
Wow.
These are definitely not the responses I thought I'd be getting in this forum. I would like to figure out if my wife has a personality disorder and how to help her.
I want to help my wife and have a happy family. What good would it do if I left with the children?
 
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needhelp313

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el cerrito ca
#6
I also have to add that she has not always been like this. It started about four or five years ago and it's progressively getting worse.
 
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dewey

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#7
Wow.
These are definitely not the responses I thought I'd be getting in this forum. I would like to figure out if my wife has a personality disorder and how to help her.
I want to help my wife and have a happy family. What good would it do if I left with the children?
I'm sorry that you felt my responses were not helpful. I will try to explain where I'm coming from.
I think the issue is that a personality disorder is quite an ongoing thing, incredibly deep rooted, and takes a lot of work to over come and manage. It goes without saying that is a terrible situation for children to be in when they are at crucial stages in their development, and for yourself to be in.
I think it's better for her to get some time away, if that's a retreat, a mental health clinic, or whatever it may be, and get the help she needs rather than stay in a situation because in staying in a situation, things are unlikely to change, they would more likely be perpetuated.
If you feel I was too hasty with my words, that's because I do feel the best thing for children is to be in a nurturing environment (I have no doubt you share the same sentiment or you wouldn't be posting here). It's a good thing you want to tackle your wife's issues so definitely seek out medical help, and therapy (DBT can be helpful) and also yeah, I do recommend her to maybe go somewhere more peaceful even if just for a holiday... you can take my advice or reject it.
 
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dewey

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#8
Maybe other people who have been in a similar situation would be able to offer you better advice. That's just my ten cents.
I genuinely do hope you are able to get through this and I believe you will be able to. I hope you will receive more replies on here so you can gain more perspectives. Best of luck to you.
 
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needhelp313

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el cerrito ca
#9
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately we just both started new jobs and there is no retreat in our near future. I will say that when she is away things are much better for her.
The main reason I was posting in the first place is because I don't know how to go about getting her to seek help. From her viewpoint it's everyone else's fault that things are the way they are, but that's not the truth.
 
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dewey

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#10
The main reason I was posting in the first place is because I don't know how to go about getting her to seek help. From her viewpoint it's everyone else's fault that things are the way they are, but that's not the truth.
Yes, it is extremely difficult to get someone who is not willing to acknowledge or face up to a problem they may have to seek help. I guess in part it's about reminding her who she was before these symptoms or behaviours started to surface, maybe you can think of some ways to do that?
Try to encourage her to pursue things she enjoys? Ultimately she needs a way to increase her esteem and stop believing the world is against her.
And maybe just don't engage with the arguing back when she tries to twist things, just calmly try to get her to see the reality of the situation. I know you need the patience of a saint not to respond when people twist things, I wonder if there are some good resources or books available about the kind of language you should use when talking to a loved one with borderline personality disorder. Maybe that's worth a google search?
Of course, therapy would be the ideal way to address many of the issues. If she has had therapy in the past but been disillusioned by it, you should really encourage her 110% that it's a good idea, just to get her to a better place. And maybe take some up counselling yourself because it will enable her to see you too can see the value in it?
 
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dewey

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#11
I get where you're coming from with some of what you've said, but at the same it is quite well known that people with borderline can feel attacked and misinterpret people's comments as attacks and then twist what others have said, so 'twist' isn't such an inaccurate word
 
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Cazcat

Cazcat

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#12
Hi,

No one here can diagnose your wife and unless she is a risk to herself or others she can not be forced to seek professional help, it is something that she needs to seek herself and be willing to participate actively in for it to work.

I agree with the previous poster that protecting your children from her abusive behaviour is the number 1 priority. Mental Health problems are never an excuse for abusive behaviour and her current behaviour is damaging to you own and your children's mental health, with possible life long consequences for them.