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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 Rosequartz,

I feel so bad for you...because you are as torn as I am. Unable to decide, latching onto every 'good' moment, wanting to desperately believe that he sees his behavior & recognizes that it's not appropriate and shows a willingness to get help. I, too, seem to fall for every bone he throws my way. You are no more of a sucker than I am. Please believe that. As I mentioned before, it's HARD when you remember those first wonderful months, the attention/affection. It felt so good and 'right' - I thought I'd found the most wonderful man on the planet and asked myself who in their right mind would let him go. He's gorgeous - beautiful blue eyes, perfect skin and long, brown hair...like a male model. I find I'm asking myself, "Where did he go? When did he slip away and where did this guy come from?"

At first, when his 'friend' came onto the scene, I resented him...he was an intrusion that might interfere with my 'work' on this relationship and a hindrance to my husband's wallet, something he could ill afford then as well as now. Soon I found him to be a blessing because I KNOW he sees and hears the things my husband says and does, and he has made some comments that should have really struck my husband between the eyes to wake him up. It hasn't worked yet. That I know of. I sit here each and every day wondering if this guy's asking where I've been, what's going on, what did you say/do to her...One night he went so far as to come right out & tell my husband that he's lucky I didn't show up one night at the hotel to strangle him in the middle of the night. He said it lightheartedly yet I knew why he'd said it. He was validating what I was experiencing and I needed that from an outsider. I really did.

That workbook is called The Stop Walking On Eggshells Workbook. I got it through Amazon. It's in my car right now. Tomorrow I'll take it into work with me so that I can give you more info off of the front of it. I didn't order the book, so how is it? The workbook has action steps for you to work through.

I fell in love with my husband right off the bat. There were troubling isolated incidents that I ignored and shouldn't have. They were definitely within the first 6 months of the relationship. As I recall them, I realize now that I was sacrificing my dignity for him and should have broken it off, but I didn't. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have issued a direct ultimatum to him back then that if he didn't seek help, I would have no alternative but to end the relationship. In later conversations during troubled times, he inadvertently revealed that this was his fear. I didn't spot it though. It's all coming together as I educate myself on BPD. The workbook has a section that helps you distinguish whether or not you are a 'disappearing' person...no time for friends, family, interests, etc. I was and probably still am to a certain degree a disappearing person.

That's why I'm urging you not to think only with your heart here. And I truly know how hard that is - because I did that and I'm where I am today. If it doesn't feel right, if you question his determination/dedication and sincerity, I would strongly consider ending the relationship. The psychologist warned me that my husband will get worse as he gets older. I didn't think it was possible, but it obviously is. He saw him as needing INPATIENT, LONG-TERM care, which is costly, and intensive treatment for no less than 3 years. Add to that the possible need for drug rehab. Do you really want to sit around for that length of time keeping your fingers crossed for something that may not happen? I'm not sure I can. Hang in there, Rose. I understand your dilemma and will help you as best I can with it.
Nakia,
Your husband loves you unconditionally! Thats what everyone hopes to find! You're one of the lucky ones! I'm so happy for you, that you can find security and comfort in your relationship.
One thing that struck me funny is that you said your parents have never acknowledged your BPD....even in your moms field? Even after knowing you had something wrong and she sent you for counselling? You've never discussed it with her? So who is your nieces mother? Your sister? or your husbands or ex-husbands sister? I hope you don't think I'm being nosy, I'm just trying to understand. Thank you so much for being honest and sharing your experiences. It does help! It also makes me feel good that you say that just acknowledging and understanding your BPD, makes it easier for you to deal with. The only thing is, I'm not sure my ex is evolved enough to look inside himself to try to understand. I think he goes thru life blindly lashing out at the world around him, never accepting any of the blame. Yes I'm trying to stay neutral, but I'm wondering if I'm stringing him along and should just not respond AT ALL.
Sorry to hear that your husband isn't very social. Do you think he has agoraphobia? It's good that he doesn't mind if you socialize, althought I know you would be happier if he went with.....at least he's not trying to control you or limit your socializing.
You say your husband is no more supportive of you than Lori and I are or our guys, but the difference is that you SEE it.....you FEEL his support. I don't think our men realize that they're being supported.......I don't think they realize that we're on their side.
Lori,

I think, and I may be wrong, that your husband is NOT replying to your letter or IMing you or making any contact because he KNOWS it's hurting you. I asked Larry how he would have felt, when we were separated, (because of a bpd episode), if I had not responded to his emails or IM's. He said he would have taken that as a sign that the relationship was really over. Instead, he knew that we were getting back together, because I answered him.

I hate it that you are hurting. You said he has the final papers, did you mean for divorce or legal separation? Can you send them again to see what happens? if he will respond that that?

I'll catch you and Rose up on my weekend in a different thread.





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