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I'm not sure where to begin, and would appreciate all your feedback!

December 2004 I met a new boyfriend, I'm 45, he's 44.
Everything was great for 3 months and then almost exactly at the 3 month point, he turned into a monster control freak about EVERYTHING.....
But back to the 1st 3 months. We met 3 weeks before Christmas, and really hit it off. Within 2 weeks we were falling in love.
At Christmas he showered me with gifts, more than I ever imagined. I thought he was overcompensating for something, but I was so happy with the way things were going at that time (but I did make a mental note, that it was just TOO much).
At the 3 month point, he would lose his temper in an instant, became bossy, manipulative, controlling, and volitile. I tried to communicate with him, to work things out. I told him he needed anger management (because that was what I thought the problem was at that time). I then found out thru extensive research that he has borderline personality disorder, and that the anger is not the problem, the anger is the symptom. I read the book, I hate you, don't leave me, and I am currently reading, stop walking on eggshells, taking your life back when someone you care about has BPD. These books opened my eyes! I thought maybe we had a chance at this relationship, but now that I realize why he acts this way, I think it's hopeless.
I wrote him a letter, before I realized that it is BPD, and now re-reading the letter, it's OBVIOUS that's what it is. I apologize for the length, but I think it's more explanatory to post the actual letter than to re-invent the wheel. I'm sad and disappointed because I feel that there is absolutely no chance, , of this working out. He has been calling, begging me to come back, but I see that's also a symptom, fear of abandonment, and doing anything to avoid being abandoned.
If anyone cares to read all this, here it is.

Dear XXX,
Iíve got a lot to say to you. I hope you read this objectively and really try to understand my point of view, because Iím speaking from the heart.

You have so many good qualities that itís a terrible shame that your need to control and dominate overshadows them.

Do you remember the note with the flowers? Donít change anything, Iím nuts about you!

Well you changed everything. How did you go from treating me wonderfully to yelling, bullying and trying to control? How did you go from treating me with respect to thinking you have the right to talk to me like a subordinate?

Iím pretty sure you act like this because of your father. Iím sorry but itís pretty obviousÖjust take a step back and try to look at it objectively. From what youíve told me about him, Iíve come to the conclusion that your father was abusive. You learned to act like him, evident in your bullying and your anger issues. You learned to try to control thru intimidation and fear because thatís what he did to you. Parents teach us a lot more than just our A,B,Cís, donít they?

Iím not your scapegoat. You are responsible for controlling your own anger.

I told you before. Iíve lived like that and donít plan on doing it again. Did you hear me when I said that? Did you understand? My ex husband was abusive. I recognize the signs.

One time you and I were discussing you rescuing your sister from an abusive relationship and I said (sarcastically) ďdid you ask your sister what she did to make him angry?Ē You looked surprised, like maybe you had a revelation and saw it from the other point of view. I thought maybe it would make sense in those termsÖÖ.did it?

Do you understand that itís never right to take your anger out on someone else? Verbally, emotionally, or physically?

I treat people the way I want to be treated and I canít remember EVER treating you disrespectful or raising my voice at you to try to intimidate you, calling you names, hanging up on you, threatening to leave you, storming out or any of the other tactics you have used on me.

XXX OPEN YOUR EYES

I have been nothing BUT good to you. What about all that nice stuff you said to me in the beginning? ďIíll do anything for you SweetieĒ. Was it just BS?

The one thing you can do for yourself is to get control of your anger, get control of your temper. You are responsible for itÖ..no one else.

You need to realize that this has nothing to do with me. You were angry before you met me and you will be angry the rest of your life unless you decide to make a change. Have you noticed that itís never your fault that you get angry? Itís always someone elses fault, whether itís me, your sister, your brother, or the driver who coasts thru a stop sign without fully stopping. Iím sorry, when you say ďyou make me so angry, StephanieĒ, it just doesnít fly.

I canít just turn my emotions off and back on again. I donít like the way you have been treating me lately and Iím tired of all your controlling ********. I see a pattern. Youíre nice for a while, saying what you think I want to hear, and then when I start believing it again then you start to tighten your grip and make unreasonable demands. You say weíre arguing. Weíre not arguing. Youíre mistaking whatís happening for an argument. Whatís really happening is, Youíre stepping on my reality, on my identity and Iím struggling to retain it. Your ******** about wearing the pants. What makes you think that you should make my decisions for me? What makes you think that if we have two different viewpoints that yours should override mine? Without even hearing me out, without even listening to my point of viewÖ..Because you have a penis and I donít? What makes you think you have the right to make demands on me and try to impose your will on me? If you had your way Iíd only speak when spoken to, and only then if Iím in agreement with you. Iím not a stepford wife.

Maybe we have two different ideas of what a relationship should be. I want a partnership, you seem to think it should be a dictatorship.

Iím a strong woman. Iím not submissive. Iím a smart person. I have a brain. I have a mind. I have intuition. I have decision making skills. I have survival skills. I understand human behavior. Iíve learned a few things in my 45 years. I read all kinds of stuff. Iím up on current events, politics, etc. I work. I own and take care of this apartment building. I pay my bills. I take care of Junior. Iím responsible. I treat people with respect. I donít need to put up with ********. I can survive fine on my own. I donít know why you wouldnít think youíd be lucky to have a woman like that, and I donít understand why you would want to squash who I am and make me into a stepford wife. Itís not going to happen.

I told you before. I am not going to be with someone who manipulates, controls, or tries to bully me. My ex-husband did that. Have a baby or Iíll divorce you. Sign a home equity loan to pay my gambling debts off or Iíll divorce you. Do this or Iíll divorce you, Do that or Iíll divorce you. I lived like that for 10 years. I got away from it and it took a while to recover. I donít plan on living like that again. I donít have to. Do you understand that? Do you??

And you have the nerve to throw up in my face about a failed marriage? Let me tell you something that Iíve told you before. Maybe you forgot. My ex husband tried to manipulate, control and bully me into having a baby. Finally he left meÖÖnot because he wanted to leave me, but because he thought I wouldnít be able to live without him and would beg him back and give in to his demands to have a baby. Thatís called manipulation. Oh well, it didnít workÖÖ..do you see where Iím going with this?

In a way I feel deja vu with you taking all your stuff home and all your threats. I donít think you really wanted to go home. I think you were pulling the same **** my ex husband pulled. It was a controlling tactic. You thought I would beg you to come back and I would give into your demands of a key and kicking Junior out of bed. I would think this was understood, but I guess it needs to be saidÖ..Itís my house, my bed, and my dog. Do you remember when you pulled this **** on me before and I told you not to give me an ultimatum, because the next time you gave me an ultimatum regarding Junior, or anything else for that matter, I would personally hold the door for you? You nodded like you understood. Do you remember that? I doÖ..clear as day. I believed you, but you did it again, and again, and again. Only problem is, I didnít follow thru and hold the door, so you thought you could push the issue some more. I guess Iím partially responsible for allowing it. I probably should have nipped it in the bud.

This storming out angry ********, every time I see youÖ..this hanging up ******** everytime I talk to you on the phone. Itís getting very old. Thatís also a reflection of your controlling behavior. You call the shots that way right? You walk out when YOU want to. You hang up when YOU want to. Youíre controlling the situation that way, as a last ditch effort when you feel like youíve lost control because Iím not allowing you to manipulate me. Then you call up and say I love you, I miss you, like everythingís ok? I canít turn my feelings on and off like that. Hot and cold. I donít like the way youíre treating me, point blank. I donít deserve it.

I wish you could understand what youíre doingÖ..do you? If you donít understand what youíre doing, and realize that itís not right, you can never fix it.

Iím serious when I tell you that you have some VERY WONDERFUL qualities! I wish you would nurture those qualities instead of drowning them in your anger. You could be so much happier and healthier!

Iíve put a lot of time and thought into this letter. I hope you get something out of it. Itís not meant to make you angry, itís meant to make you think.
Rosequartz,

This letter was such an eye opener for me. It was like reading about my relationship with my BPD husband through someone else's eyes. You put it all into words so well, too. You and I are reading the same books, and it seems that we are both learning quite a bit. Some of it sure isn't very reassuring for us, is it? I, too, am heartbroken and disappointed. Like in your situation, my husband came on pretty strong when we first began dating and I, too, made a mental note of this.

I cannot tell you if it's a good idea to send the letter or not. I believe it is well-written and really spells it all out. My only concern is whether or not he will look at it objectively. I want to 'borrow' some of what you wrote for a letter I've been contemplating sending to my husband - yet I am fearful of the repercussions it will surely bring. He will be angry and defensive - and will close himself off. Presently, he has not spoken to me in a week and a half and I have absolutely NO IDEA why. His father was hospitalized...I sent a plant to him. He needed help with some phone calls...I helped with them. The week before, I showed up at a court hearing for a lawsuit he has pending with a former customer (he is self-employed as a contractor). He seemed genuinely happy to see me standing in front of the courthouse waiting for him. He was affectionate. The following night I brought dinner since he was low on money from paying his attorney. I surprised him the week before with new jeans, shirts and socks because he was depressed that he couldn't afford to buy these things and he really did need them. These are my 'crimes' I guess. I cannot think of anything I have said or done to warrant the way I'm being treated. And, quite franky, I am tired of this.

You and I seem to be experiencing the same feelings. I feel like I'm drained all the time...my husband sucks the life out of me with his demands. I do try to meet the demands that are reasonable, but I have been resisting the unreasonable ones...and distancing myself from the dramas, many of which he brings onto himself - but I do so with 'love' as the workbook recommends. I listen to the problems (which are always someone else's fault), offer ideas for rectifying them and offer plenty of encouragement. I still get treated like some criminal. It's certainly tiresome, isn't it?

Like you, my husband is jealous of my dog. When we married, I left the dog with my 82 yr old mother who is a widow. I didn't want her to get too lonely. Due to her age and health, I did stop in many days after work to take him for a brisk walk. I mean, heck - I love the little guy no less, know what I mean? I missed him. I love and care about my mom and want to be sure she's OK & doesn't need anything. He HATED this. Told me I had psychological issues and diagnosed me with everything from split personality disorder to ADD to munchhausen (sp?) syndrome. In the meantime, HIS dog (who has serious housebreaking issues) was NEVER left home alone. HIS dog went everywhere with us, even to places that were not appropriate to bring a dog. Dinner at a restaurant around the corner? The dog waited in the truck with the engine running on a spare key so that the heater or air conditioner could be on for him. He would take the dog to his job sites each day and it was the same thing...let the truck run all day with the A/C on to keep the dog comfortable (yet he'd complain about a lack of money only to waste money on gas like this). Invitations to a friend's house? Same deal...the dog was in the truck being kept warm/cool. It was to the point where it was an embarrassment.

You sound as though you've reached the same point I'm at...I feel like I have nothing to lose anymore. His behavior seems stable for days, even weeks. Then, out of the blue, he will snap and take things out on me. I do not deserve to be treated like this. Love should not entail this much work, constant effort - and only on my part. You and I have feelings just like they do - and we are ENTITLED to have those feelings.

So good luck and keep me posted on how things go for you. I'm still reeling from your letter because it reflects so much of what goes on in my head 24/7. I read it last night and couldn't sleep because I was 'adding' to it and editing it in my mind. :)

Scared Wife
Hi Nakita,

How wonderful to hear from you...Of course, I recognize you. I thought I did in an earlier post but wasn't completely sure until now. I've been so worried about you! Did you see my earlier thread from a couple of weeks ago to you? What all has been going on with you? I am soooo happy to see you back on here! We need you!! :) :) :) I have been taking your advice in leaving my husband alone. I'm beginning to suspect his parents may be catching on to some things as well but can't be sure. The fact that his mom didn't call and have the gas transferred 'for' him and the fact that no phone line seems to have been installed over the past two weeks tells me that they are not helping him to the extent I really thought they would. Glad you've been keeping up with me in all of this because I so value your insight. As I said, I was really getting concerned about you. I hope you are doing better now and look forward to yakking with you more. I missed you!

Rosequartz (& Nakita!), :)

I put the letter in the mail this morning. It was carefully written - I used a lot of your lines from your letter, but I did my best to keep it from sounding angry, although he will react defensively to it regardless of how carefully I word myself. I made sure I reiterated to him that I love him and care about him and did not abandon him at all but pointed out that I simply cannot subject myself to his hostility and what feels like hatred of me. I'm pressed for time here at work today and will quote a few things that I wrote to get both of your opinions. I just called things as I see them without coming across as attacking him.

I will be on here later tonight I'm sure...since my nights are always free these days. ;) Thank you both for writing - I look forward to our chats later.

Lori
Hi Rose & Nakita, :wave:

Sorry about that duplication before...my pc locked up at work so somehow I posted twice. :D

Nakita, I hope you had a good day today free of the headaches. I thought my mom and I were the last of a dying breed hanging clothes out on the line. :D I love the smell of sheets that are dried outside especially. Why pay the electric company when the sunshine and breeze is free?

Rose, I researched and printed out the warning signs of emotional abuse and related to most of them as well. My husband has never become physical, yet I feared it COULD have eventually become possible. His rages can be extremely intimidating. So exercise caution...I always try to go with my gut feeling on things like that. Dear Abby often prints a list of warning signs of a potential abuser, too. I scanned a copy to my pc at work and will share some of them with you tomorrow. Our psychologist put a copy on his lobby wall, too.

Well, I'd better get myself to bed and through another day of worry and wonder with regard to my husband. I'm beginning to get angry because of this 'silence'. He'd gone to the ER back in May and swore up & down he didn't use my insurance because of our situation. Well, 3 weeks later I got the good old explanation of benefits in the mail stating that he did (how this happened was a total 'mystery' to him). I found a copy of the statement from back in June and kept it because I highly suspected he wouldn't pay his out of pocket portion of $377. I called today to see if any payments had been made and was told no. So I went to the bank and got a $77 money order & put it in the mail. It angers me to no end that he will neglect something like this that has the potential to affect me, but will make sure his buddy has plenty of cigarettes! On the other hand, I feel a little less stress in spite of bracing myself for his reaction to the letter.

You two have a great evening. Nakita - get a good night's sleep for yourself if you can. There's a really nice breeze here today - I hope you have it there, too. If so, keep those windows open so that hopefully the cool night air and sounds will help you fall asleep. ;) Give that silly pup a biscuit from me, too!

Lori
Hello Ladies,

How are you both this afternoon? This is a very interesting conversation we have been having. You both have so much in commom, both love men who are borderline, but they haven't acknowledged it yet. Both of you do about the same things after work. Both of you are intelligent, loving ,caring, and interested in knowing more about the emotional health of your loved ones. You are both walking on eggshells. Caught up in this nightmare of borderline personality disorder. You didn't ask for it, but you still love them in spite of it, you want to help, but you've come to realize, that RIGHT NOW, involvement cannot help either of you or your men.

I, on the otherhand, am a recovering borderline AND walking on eggshells. My niece, the 18 y/o one, is borderline, recoginized by her, but not enough to seek professional help AND my 13 y/o niece is pre-borderline. Their mother is agoraphobic, uneducated ( she left school in the 7th grade), and is a door mat when it comes to her children. She also has a 10 y/o son.

I applaud your strength :) , your willpower :) , and your determination. :)

I also applaud your desire to gain more knowledge about this problem. :)

Lori:

You are doing so great! Taking a rug class! That's wonderful. I crochet, it's mindless also. Resisting the temptation to see your husband right now.

Rose:

You are also doing great! Not responding to the IM's, except to remain neutral. Your Junior is a great joy to you and a comfort. I understand.
I'd be a basket case if I didn't have my babies (dogs and cats).

My husband is no saint. He has his flaws. For example: he does not work, has not worked in 5 years. hasn't looked for work. Anything is just good enough. He hates this town so much... eventhough he grew up here... he won't/can't work here. Of course, the only jobs here are gas stations, fast food, dollar store, etc... where they wouldn't hire him anyway. He DOES computer work freelance, so he's not completely financially deadbeat. He does NOT spend money haphazardly. He is NOT social. he doesn't like to go out, unless we're going to the park alone or to the store. He doesn't go to the free concerts and karaoke events in town. He wouldn't go to our town's annual harvest fest type event. He doesn't want to run into anyone he grew up with. I don't know if he is embarrassed because he has gained so much weight since high school, or because he just doesn't like these people anymore. but we have NO social life. He doesn't participate in family activities. I take care of Joe, HIS brother. he does drive his sister to the store or doctor when she needs to go, but he prefers to stay in car. I am the one going next door to visit.

I miss being social. I take my nieces and daughter when she's in to the music and karaoke events. I love karaoke! I like people. I need people. I don't care if they are strangers, I'm not shy. I'm extremely outgoing.

He doesn't like crowds, he hates the mall, unless it's one of those times when its practically vacated. He likes walmart in the middle of the night. We don't go out. We didn't go out much when we had income. I mean out to places where there would be PEOPLE. I really miss people. He doesn't go to my parents with me, he doesn't go to events at the college where my daughter attends. He doesn't mind MY going to these things. He doesn't say I can't go, or even hint that he doesn't want me to. He's ok if I go. But sometimes, ok, most of the time, I want to enjoy these things TOGETHER.

He has serious carpal tunnel in both hands. He has severe nerve damage in his arms and legs due to a back injury from years ago. He can't really work, not a "regular" job. He can't hold a coffee cup for more than a minute.

My parents don't like him because of the jobless situation AND because he's FAT! and he is...He's my teddy bear. He weighs around 320 lbs. He's only 5'8". He was a star football player in highschool and all the bulk used to be muscle. He was injured playing football. He is extremely intelligent, but didn't/couldn't go to college because he was the only one of 11 children that would stay home and take care of his dying mother. He lost a college football scholarship due to the injury. We can't afford for him to go now, but we are looking for grants/scholarships/work study programs.

He has almost NO temper. His fuse must be really long, because I have only seen him angry twice in five years. Never at me, no matter what kind of crap I put him thru. His anger amounted in a raised voice, and a fist slammed into a wall. The wall wasn't anywhere near the person he was mad at. I live with NO violence, finally. The only times he has ever raised his voice to me, was just to be heard over my ranting and raging. He would rather talk out a problem than sulk about it, like most men I know. He can see both sides of a situation.

He is not religious, doesn't want to go to church. I want to, but with him. He pretends to dislike our cats and dogs, then snuggle up to them when he thinks I'm not looking. He says he's frustrated with my daughter, who is schzophrenic, a freshman in college, a contant story-teller, who blows everything out of proportion, but he hugs her and helps her with her computer. He plays basketball with her. He puts his arm around her while watching a movie together.

He's never been controlling about the money. Never buys anything without discussing it first, and I mean anything, like motor oil or gas. He doesn't get stuff for himself at the grocery store. I can't have cookies, ice cream, etc unless they are low carb or sugar free. I am the one that throws the stuff he likes in the buggy for him.

He takes out the trash without being asked. He does dishes, except the glass ones that he may drop. He cooks, he cleans, he feeds the cats and dogs. He takes care of the car and the computers. He finds me my favorite movies and tv shows.

and HE LOVES ME...HE LOVES ME... no matter what I do, and I've done it...no matter what I say, and I've said some pretty bad stuff... HE LOVES ME. No mater how I look....and I don't care for make up or hair care products when I'm not going anywhere....how I dress... mostly shorts and T's now....HE LOVES ME... I don't EVER have to worry about him leaving, he makes me feel like I'm the one that's holding HIM together. I don't ever feel panic or paranoid with him. I can tell him ANYTHING. I even told him that I was attracked to someone else..made him leave...dated this other guy....this was a before we got married.....and he didn't get jealous ( didn't let me know he was jealous) or upset or angry.... HE JUST LOVED ME....and waited....for three months....I came to my senses..... He's never brought it up, never asked questions about it.... JUST LOVED ME. HE WAS HERE....LOVING ME...and that is all that should matter.

My parents don't see it, but they've never acknowledged that I am borderline. All they see is that he doesn't work and that he is fat. His family sees it though. None of their husbands or ex husbands hug them for no reason. Or hold their hands... or kiss them out of nowhere....After five years he is still affectionate. He is still attracted to me Still grabs my... well you fill in the blank... when I walk by him....He never disrespects me, in private or in public.

As you can see, I could write all day about my husband, but I won't. I guess my point is, that you two seem the same way about your men. Always concerned about how THEY feel....

that's all for now..
Nakita,

That is WONDERFUL news about your approvals to go ahead with your medical appointments! :bouncing: That had to absolutely make your day. I'm very happy to hear that you'll be able to continue getting the care you're needing and through the doctors that YOU choose.

With regard to your note to Rose, I often wonder if I'm opening up any wounds with you as well and certainly hope you realize that is never, ever my intent. It has been so helpful and COMFORTING to talk to you. Your answers are always so honest and clear - sure helps me sort a lot out that spins around in my head 24/7. You and Rose have become my life-line's without a doubt. :) A week into this 'silence' period with my husband, I quit picking up the workbook. I hate not finishing things so I will probably put my nose inside of it tonight after I mow the backyard. :)

I'm so sorry to hear about the trouble your son has gotten into but agree with you on how you handled it by not getting him out of jail. I know that had to be a VERY hard decision for you as his mother. I feel so bad at the lousy 'reception' you had from him, too. You deserved better than that. While it's true that you didn't coddle him through the problem, you were nonetheless THERE and that deserves acknowledgement. Isn't it funny how friends can be treated better than family?! Oooohhh, is that ever a sore spot with me, Nakita. It certainly does hurt, doesn't it? He'll learn one day...when the friends are no longer there because they've got other commitments, etc. It's crystal clear to me that you are the ROCK in your family. One day those who fail to see it right now will come to realize the sacrifices you have made in order to help them. Just seems like that takes forever sometimes, huh? I'm like you - I don't expect anyone to grovel at my feet whenever I do something for them, just common courtesy and the respect of acknowledgement are enough of a thank you for me.

You mentioned that you like to crochet. Sure wish I could see you because I've got a TON of yarn that needs a good home. LOL My husband used to tease me about doing things like that or how I did it, so I sort of put it all off to the side. Then I got into this primitive rug hooking thing with his friend's girlfriend and just love it because it's even easier than crocheting. LOL It's not an inexpensive hobby, but I just by my materials as I need them and that seems to work out OK for my wallet. LOL

I hope you saw my other post about your thrush issue and my mom's suggested remedy. If not, take a look at it.

So far, I've been coping as well as can be expected in spite of no response to my letter. I'm not sure exactly what to make of it. I'd expected the raging phone call & so far it hasn't come, which is a relief...yet I'm still a bundle of nerves thinking it's bound to come sooner or later. Either way, he would need to contact me to either tell me to get lost & proceed with the dissolution or to just accuse me of attacking him unfairly, etc. I'm getting nothing at all...and I don't know what to make of it. It hurts yet it's a relief, know what I mean? I did close my letter to him with the following, which I hope reassured him as I know BPD's need:

"I'm serious when I tell you that you have very wonderful qualities & Iím serious when I tell you that I love you with all my heart and care about you! Yet you do not seem to recognize it, appreciate it or place any value on it. Thatís the perception I have. I wish you would nurture those wonderful qualities instead of drowning them in your anger. Do not think for one minute that I have abandoned you. Nor am I just sitting here holding a grudge as you may also be thinking. I simply do not feel as though you want me there. I am hurt, and I am bewildered. I donít feel that you want me around; that is the message I received the last time I saw you. You said you just wanted some time to yourself, and you have not contacted me since.

I've put a lot of time, thought and, above all else, my heart into this letter. Itís to tell you that you are loved and cared for. I hope you get something out of it. It's not meant to make you angry, it's meant to make you think."

So I'm hoping my final 2 paragraphs were OK and didn't push him the other way. Do you think I did OK here?

Well, I'll jump online later tonight. I still need to mow the backyard and maybe I'll take my chubby Stu for a much-needed brisk walk around the block. Hope you're having a terrific day with that great news this morning! I will talk to you later.

Lori





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