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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.
Yes, they certainly do sound identical. If it weren't for the age difference, I would think we were talking about the same man. We probably do have enough sense to talk around the bs they give us, but unfortunately it seems to get us nowhere. There is nothing wrong in your communication that I can see, just as I doubt you have trouble comprehending anything I'm saying. I, too, used to try to be 'specific' and 'clear' to the point where I felt like I was talking to a toddler. My husband is highly intelligent and is very skilled at throwing me off balance with no prior warning. It doesn't take me as long as it once did to 'right myself' again and stand my ground. Now when I do that, he will find a different topic to dredge up or threaten me with.

I'm continually told that I'm the one with the insecurity issue, too (and who isn't insecure in some way to some degree?). However, I don't suppose phone calls and emails to him from old girlfriends would have anything to do with that, would it? I don't suppose finding a bunch of old pictures on the seat of his truck...many of them of old girlfriends...has a thing to do with it either. But...he will try to throw ME off balance by saying I had the audacity to 'sneak off' to Boston on a business trip with my boss...even though I'd asked him to go with me when the trip was first mentioned. He accuses me of going to my mother's (when we lived together) to meet a boyfriend...all it would have taken from him was a drive-by and unannounced visit himself to see that this was anything but true. It's how his mind works...constantly puts me on the defensive and I walk away from the conversation why I even had to defend myself in the first place.

I don't like the way your boyfriend is issuing that ultimatum (I've had so many of those myself that as soon as I recognize one, it makes me want to scream!) of how he will not get help for himself or the two of you unless you see him. I might have replied that with or without you, HE will benefit the most. The help is for HIM, not YOU. That may be pointless to point out though if you know he won't 'hear' that. You may want to redirect that ultimatum without making it seem like one by telling him you wish you could see him but cannot consider it unless if he is getting help. Put the responsibility back on him, not on you. If he's online frequently, I would sit back to see if he approaches you. If he's anything like mine, he'll find some 'reason' to do so. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen. I wouldn't IM him though. If you want to send an email, that might be different and easier for you as you won't find yourself locked in a debate that you may not be in the mood for. I paid a $300 cell phone bill in November because when my husband stormed out of the counselling session, I called him to see where he'd gone, if he was OK, etc. (again - trying to show that I loved/cared). It only escalated into a debate/fingerpointing match with suicide threats from him...which is what kept me on the phone for so long.

If/when you read that workbook, you will learn about how someone with BP manipulates us through FOG...Fear (of losing the relationship, etc), obligation and guilt. Believe me, I glanced through the first pages of this workbook online and paid more than the cost of the book itself to have it shipped to me overnight. :) It will help you assess your actual situation to make a decision that is right for you, not him.

I'm just going to start redirecting these callers to his parents' phone number. I'm still a little miffed over the lack of a personal thank you from his father or from his father via his mother. Yet, I think that his dad is probably so preoccupied with 'fixing' up his son with at least the basics & is starting to monitor his paychecks a little more closely that it was just an honest oversight on his part. A few friends have agreed with this concept as well. I'm also going to work on my version of a letter because yours really motivated me so that I can get it into the mail this week. I would probably feel differently about handling things as I am if I hadn't been treated so shabbily & hatefully during Labor Day weekend. He doesn't seem to grasp the concept though that when someone treats you like dirt, you hardly feel like showing up on the doorstep again. The interesting part of his behavior is that he's pretty careful not to do it in front of his friend, although his friend has heard some things & made it a point to tell my husband he knows a really good psychologist. Maybe he is beginning to realize he's got a problem? I don't know - probably just more wishful thinking on my part as usual.

Well, hang in there & let me know how things are going on your end. I hate to encourage or discourage you. Don't fall for those ultimatums though. Nobody knows how hard that is better than I do though. Don't just follow your heart...listen to that other little voice inside of you.

Scared Wife
Hi Nakita & Rosequartz,

Hope you're both having a nice Friday evening. Nakita, how are you feeling? I really hope you're on the mend. How's that terrific husband of yours? :) Feel free to dump on me any time you need to - I'm here for you, too. Please don't forget that.

I thought I'd share a couple of paragraphs from the letter (it's too long to copy all of it) I sent to my husband in the mail today. I did my best not to let it come across as an angry or accusing letter. I sure hope both of you agree that I accomplished that. I am fully aware that he will react defensively about it - if he bothers to react at all. Two of my friends think he will try to do something nice for me, etc. I highly doubt that. He's too much of an angry person hitting rock bottom to do something 'nice' for me. If he did, I'd be totally shocked. Here goes:

Do you remember the way you used to talk to me when we first met? How you told me I was perfect, have good values & morals, was responsible with a great work ethic you could only dream of finding in an employee for yourself? You didn't want me to change. (Next I inserted Rose's line about being talked to like a subordinate not as a wife).

I'm not your scapegoat. I'm not your whipping boy. I am not your enemy. I am your wife. I deserve to be treated with respect and nothing less. You are responsible for controlling your own anger, not me.

I treat people the way I want to be treated, and I cannot remember one instance where I treated you disrespectfully, raised my voice at you to try to intimidate you, called you names, attacked your self-esteem, sitting beside you & coldly ignoring you, glaring at you with hatred in my eyes, threatening to leave you, dangling past relationships in front of you & comparing you to them or any of the other tactics you have used on me.

Xxxxx, please listen to my plea: PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES. (I listed what I've done in recent months alone that would be considered loving/caring.)

This time, I have absolutely no idea what is troubling you. I have spent the past week and a half wondering if something bad happened at work, if you got some kind of bad news, if you had a disagreement with one or both of your parents or Steve, if maybe your sister's furniture was damaged while in the storage unit, if creditors are coming down on you hard, if you got bad news about your lawsuit. I have no idea. You gave me directions to the trailer that last Sunday night you spent at the hotel. The last thing I expected was to be made to feel so unwelcome/unwanted so suddenly at the end of that week. Part of me wants so badly to show up and see if you're OK. The other part of me remembers too clearly how I was made to feel the last two times that I did. There's been no phone call or email offering an apology or explanation so that I'd know where I stand with you. Is this fair to me, Xxxxx? (Next I wrote my version of those wonderful "I" statements)

You throw things in my face. You blame me for your unpaid bills. You tell me I don't love you & show supportiveness in spite of my continual actions & words that prove the opposite. You tell me I smell from a sandwich I had for lunch & go so far as to blast the a/c & put the windows down in the car. You call me names - & I'm not talking about those said in jest. You accuse me of things. You tell me you've got a hacking program in my home pc and my work pc as well as in your parents' pc. You check my cell phone to see who I've talked to. You will openly eavesdrop on a phone call from Kim. I have repeatedly overlooked these behaviors & accepted your explanations for you and have even made excuses of my own for you. Do you do these things to Steve? To your parents?

When you agreed to the marriage counseling, I felt you were committed to the marriage. When you quit because of business/financial problems, I was understanding & continued with it on my own. In weeks you found time & funding for flying lessons with no mention of returning to counseling. It hit me every time I saw you pull out that credit card to fill up the tank in Greg's plane and when you treated your employee to $75 worth of fireworks after just handing him a $650 paycheck. When you expressed dislike for the dr., I suggested we find another one. You refused. I have watched you commit yourself to causes involving hobbies & friends, but not to me or to us. That hurts. That's a disappointment. That's not 'commitment'. Still, I kept at it - seeking help every place I could find it: counselors, psychologists, support groups, books, workbooks, message boards. How can I continue to get help for problems I'm repeatedly being told I don't have? Every counselor eventually questions me on your lack of involvement, your lack of participation & tells me I extend myself too much to you because they don't see you giving anything substantial back. I refused to accept that - because I believed in you. Some have told me you don't even act like you 'like' me, much less 'love' me. I refused to accept that; I chose to believe you. They question your priorities & where your marriage falls into that ever-changing list, because you will obligate & extend yourself to others but not to your wife or your marriage. This 'believing' in you - that's one of the main things you were asking for, right? Why would you even want me to go it alone if it's supposed to be for 'us' in the long run? I don't understand that from you. Where's your support of me? Of us?


There's more to this letter but I'm getting tired & don't have great lighting by my computer right now. I'll share more tomorrow if you want to hear more. I just kept reiterating throughout the letter my love for him, that I'm not sitting here holding a grudge as he likes to think - but that I simply feel unwanted & unwelcome & cannot subject myself to that hostility anymore.

What do you girls think? I almost didn't mail it - I almost chickened out. But, then I figured I've got practically nothing to lose at this point anyway. Now I'm bracing for the response (or the lack of one). Neither of which is going to be easy on my mind or my heart.

Hope you guys are doing something a little fun tonight. We had a local festival last weekend that I spent an hour walking around. Tonight I just opted for the couch & a nap...after sharing a snack with my pooch. Nakita, is that little pup of yours leaving your medications alone? :)

Lori





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