Hoovering and Projecting

The Movie: Borderline Biennial / Abode of Chaos 09/09/09 - BLB-999-Abode-of-Chaos-23

I find that I am constantly struggling to understand what it is that she is up to. I have come to the conclusion that she is much more intentional in the things she does than I have ever given her credit for. I have also come to the conclusion that she is a much better actress than I would have given her credit for. Vox Day has pointed out on multiple occasions that just because women are more emotionally driven than men, does not mean that they are not extremely calculating and willing to wait for the “right moment.”


First lets define this. In the BPD survivor world this is a term for when a BP person tries to draw you back into their life. They do the things that they know make you feel good. It is all for show, and it only lasts as long as it has to. It is usually the same things that drew you to them to begin with. So my wife knows that little flirtatious touches draw me in. She has been touching my chest as she approaches, and resting a hand on the center of my back. As we sit at some event for our children she will brush her foot lightly against my leg. She stayed to watch me play soccer the other night. She also has asked more about my father recently than she did any other time in the last year. It is so tempting to be sucked in by these actions, but resisting them generally frustrates her, and I get to see her rage flare up against others, so I am reminded of what I no longer have to live with.


This is another BP trait, and it is one that most BPs are extremely convincing at. They project their feelings, actions, emotions, and motives onto someone else, and seem to be able to get others to believe it. Sometimes even the person they are projecting these things onto. Just today she quickly got angry with my middle son over not seeing his grade card. She then got mad when his feelings were hurt that she never acknowledged him getting into the geography bee. It moved from him to my older son, because he defended me for throwing out my youngest daughter’s grade card after seeing that she had a nearly perfect first semester of second grade. She then turned things around as the boys left, and cornered me asking what all the hatred is all about from the boys, and what happened to make her deserve that. It makes me sad to watch. They are angry. Angry about her being angry all the time. Angry about her destroying our family. Angry most of all that she blames them for her anger, though she has been angry most of her life. I don’t know what she expects to gain from this. My suspicion is she will eventually discard the boys in the same way she did me. She will make it their fault, and I will have to put them back together after their mother is done. I only hope it happens sooner than later, so I have more time to put them back together before they have to enter the hard world out there on their own.

I may never know her drivers. I may never understand why she does what she does. I am not sure she knows or understands herself. I will have to deal with it, because like it or not, once there are kids involved marriage is forever in some form or other.



Things Change…


Things change, perspectives change, desires change, and feelings change. This is no large epiphany, even for one like me. I couldn’t imagine a year ago that I would be sitting in my own place typing a blog about the demise of my marriage, and the ongoing saga of taking care of my kids, and managing my wife. A year ago I was scrambling to save my marriage. I was appeasing her whims, and she was drinking it up like a little princess, but she wasn’t being convinced that anything was worth staying for. A year ago I hugged my wife and was crying over the fact my father was near death from lung cancer, and was left feeling worse for the lack of the simplest empathy I received from her. It was cold. It was the moment I realized that there wasn’t really any hope. Shortly after this she looked at me in a store, and said “So, do I get a new ring if I decide to stay.” Further confirmation that she no longer cared to honor her vows, but might take a bribe to stay a little longer. I continued to try, but I also had to begin thinking of what life might be like a part. A year ago I valued my marriage for the commitment, the promise to her before God, and the family it provided for my children. A year ago I believed that she would grow up and be a big girl and honor our vows, even if it required a new agreement of what our relationship would look like. A year ago I would have believed that my children were better off if we were together, and that I was a better father married to their mother.

Now I am piece by piece separating our lives. I am working on having as many details figured out and working before we go through the process of divorce. I am putting back together my reputation at work that has suffered while I was floundering to save my marriage at home. I entertain only the whims of my wife that give me even more time with my children. Now, I hug my friends and cry to them as we have to deal with my father’s brain cancer, and hope that it too can be treated. I play soccer every week now, something I never was given time to do before. I spend my time wondering why she stayed to watch the game when she dropped off the kids. I am starting to have a vision of life with her on the periphery, while I do my part to raise my kids, and love them to the best of my ability. I try to buffer the damage of her constant rage with with the kids. I am rebuilding relationships that were lost in the isolation of my marriage. I no longer believe that our children are better off with us together, because I was not a better father married to her their mother.

Changing Perspectives

I am a believer in marriage as God created it. I believe even with the fallen state of man, because God created it for fallen man. My perspective has changed, because we no longer have marriage. With the constructs that we call marriage today, what we have is some strange dating ritual people enter into often after some long period of traditional dating, but that is not required. Divorce is something that has always been a part of marriage, but it has always had shame and consequences for the parties involved attached to it. The current state of things clearly has taken away any real consequence for women. The power women have in marriage and divorce destroys the credibility of modern marriage. Men are relegated to some sort of servant status in both situations should the woman choose to pull the triggers that make it happen. Not all women do, but they all can.

I believe that two parents working together as a married couple to raise children is the absolute best situation the kids. What I am struggling to believe is that it is good for my sons to see me treated as something a step above the family dog. I also struggle that it was better for my relationship with my kids to be constantly trying to mediate the tension of an angry woman and hurt children, and to meet out the punishment so that their mother could cool off, because she would continue to escalate the situation. The children would probably have a better relationship with her if we stayed together, but they would lose the influence I have on them now, because I had no time to do anything other than be in the middle. The additional stresses on my children make me sad, and if both of us were willing to work on the marriage to make it healthy, then being married and in the same home would have been better. Amazingly, my parents, my best friend, my sister, and our friends have all pointed out that I and the kids are probably better off over time in this. What is surprising is all these people I think of are strong Christians who are quick to condemn divorce, and generally actively work to preserve marriages. I had no idea how my marriage looked to others. That is new perspective.

Changing Desires

I used to desire marriage. I wanted what my parents had. I was willing to work for it. I thought I chose someone who also valued those things. I overlooked a lot of things that I now know should have been red flags. Now my desires don’t include a wife. Not just the one that I have had, but any wife. I love women. I love how they feel. I love how they talk. I love how they make me feel when they care. All of that doesn’t matter anymore. I can have that in small doses, so long as it doesn’t interfere with me and my kids. My kids don’t need a stepmother to mess with their lives and to compete for my attention. Perhaps my desire will change in this, but for now all I desire is to do some of the things I gave up, so I could have a marriage. I desire to write a book. It doesn’t have to be published or even read by anyone else. I just want to write one for the pure enjoyment of writing. I want to spend more time doing photography. I have enjoyed the art of photography since high school, but I gave that up because it took time away from my energy sapping marriage. I will write the system configuration documentation and change software that I have drawn up on paper now at least 30 times. I know that’s not sexy, but its something that I have a vision for and want to see working.

Feelings Change

This is the one that I have learned the most about over the last year. I learned that if I put in the effort I could love a woman that does little but spew bile in my direction. I also learned that no matter what I do, I can’t change the feelings of another. Love is something that you have to decide to do, and it takes work. When only one partner does this, the marriage is constantly at risk. It can survive, but there isn’t much of value there. I have also learned that when there is desire for a relationship of both parties, one choosing to love can lead to amazing results. I have seen this with my kids. They respond to me so much differently than they used to. They show me so much more affection than they used to. They spend so much less time in fear of how I or their mother might react, because I am no longer being fed by her fire. I still have my moments, and I struggle to pull the kids out of the boxes that their mother put them, and constantly shoves them back into when they are with her. I am beginning to see them respond better to each other. She has fostered an environment that encourages them to back bite and fight. When they are with me, I have to actively discourage that, but it gets better faster every time they are with me.

So things change. Sometimes it hurts, but its also opportunity to make things better. I have learned that people don’t do what they say they will all the time, and that sometimes dreams won’t come true no matter how hard you try and wish. I am also learning to not begrudge those who have been able to live the dream I had. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, marriage was a gamble. It always has been, but in the modern world it is a bigger gamble than ever. I can’t say that I regret my marriage. We had some good times, and I have my kids. I might dream of how it could have been different with one of the other women that I dated and sought my attention, but I always come back to the fact I wouldn’t have my four kids. I can never regret that no matter how angry and hurt I am by her.



Tears for My Children

Tears and Rain

So much of my anger and emotions are wrapped up in what this does for my children. As I have stated before, we adopted 3 children and had one of our own. Last night I cried for the first time in months. The last time I cried was because I was afraid of the effects on my oldest adopted son. He is so insecure in his home, and his value, and she has always been the one that creates more instability. This of course has caused more insecurity than ever. Yesterday afternoon she called telling me she couldn’t or wouldn’t parent him anymore. She told me to come pick up all the stuff he needed and to take him, while she took the other kids out with her to my daughter’s practice. I wrapped up at work, and came to get him. They had “made up” and he was going to stay for the night. I took him out to dinner, and we talked while the other’s were out.

It all started with her coming home, and immediately accusing him of a number of things as she came through the door. He being the child who always wants to please her was shattered. He had pulled a perfect score on a test in a class he has been struggling with. He lost his temper, and she chased him down the temper trail. He has learned to be very melodramatic from her, so he starts acting scared and yelling things like please don’t hurt me as she storms after him. The two of them become the perfect storm of manipulative anger. She is so afraid of being accused of abuse, that she will get rid of him before tat happens.

He learned quickly after we separated that I would not put up with that behavior, and he would have to endure his rage by himself. He also learned that two year old temper tantrums were punished as I would a two year old before we ever get to the root of whatever problem that is going on. I no longer have to deal with this kind of rage from him. Sure, he is still melodramatic about things, but no unchecked rage.

I cried a lot last night. I want to find a way to save my children from her. This attitude that she can throw a difficult child away will be seen by all of them, and they will be hurt badly by it over time. I know she has thought about abandoning them. Her step-sister dumped a difficult step-child back on the mother, who by all accounts was crazy. I almost wish she would just do it quickly, so I can pick up the pieces, and she can run away, and be the favorite aunt like person who comes into their lives in a rush, and showers them with affection. They will adore her most of the time, and her damage will be limited then.

I thought I was done shedding tears over her, but I guess that won’t come. I will always shed tears for my kids, and I can’t save them. I have to try that much harder to ensure that my house, and my time is good for them. I have already decided that I will do everything I can to remain in the place I am renting, so they have a stable place. She chooses to move a lot, and so I imagine that her home for them will change nearly every year as leases run out. I want so badly to be at the very least a safe place for all of them to come to, where they know they are loved, and that they always have a place that is their own.



Angry About the Loss Of A Dream And A Promise

Foever Lost, Forever Present (in red)

This is something I hadn’t expected to come up as often as it does. It plays to my overly sensitive sense of justice, and right, and the idea that your word is your bond. I knew as the talk of divorce cropped up, that this would be an issue for me, but I didn’t imagine the ways it would hurt. I figured I would internalize it, and process it, and after a time of mourning I would be done with it. That has not been the case.

I was struck by this the first time a couple of weeks ago. My grandmother died. We weren’t close. She was terribly manipulative of my mom, and had shown with my nieces that she wouldn’t be reliable to show up for a lunch let alone other grandmotherly things that you would expect. She had been a significant factor in my growing up though. We spent some portion of nearly every weekend when I was a child at their house for a family dinner or some other event. I was sad and grieving as you would expect. As I drove to the hospital to get there before she died, I was so angry. I couldn’t figure out why at first, and then it smacked me in the face. I had been there through multiple funerals for my wife. I had been there when her mother died shortly after we got married. I had gone through this turmoil providing what she needed at the time, or at least trying to meet her needs. They were obnoxiously hard to decipher. But now, here I was alone driving to the hospital. I would be there with my crazy aunt and uncle who had each other, my mom and dad, my sister and her husband, my cousin and his husband. They all had someone who had committed to be there through the tough stuff, through the sad stuff, and mine was not only there, but did not want to be with me through the tough stuff. She wanted to be happy. Such a shallow feeling, happiness is. It is something fleeting, and rarely found when you are looking for it. It sneaks up on you when you are busy being content with the crap life brings along. My mom was so confused by my reactions at the hospital, because I was angry more than sad. The grieving came later, but I was truly and justifiably angry. I didn’t take vows with this woman to be cast off when things weren’t as good as you planned. I took vows to stay together even if it sucked, and trust me there were many things that sucked. Basically, I felt ripped off by the fact that I didn’t have that person who pledged alongside me to be there for this stuff. To further dig the thorn in, she made a big deal out of the fact that my dad does not want to be around her, and that she wasn’t welcome at the funeral. My mom would have made it work, but there wasn’t any reason, she didn’t know my grandmother well, because as I said before we weren’t close. It was just so inappropriate at the time.

Earlier this week I had another moment. This one just made me sad. For most of my life, I have wanted what my parents had. They enjoy each other tremendously. They tell stories about when they were young before kids, and about life with us kids at an early age. They yuck it up with friends from years far past. I was sitting at a bar getting some tacos and a beer for dinner after dropping off the kids with their mom. I was sitting next to two couples who were telling these kind of stories to each other. They were easily old enough to be my parents, or at the very least the younger friends of my parents. I became sad, and very inwardly turned as I saw these couples and the joy they had in bragging about partner and how they handled a situation, and the occasional jab about something far in the past. These are things that I just won’t have. Not even if I were to get back together with the mother of my children. She is incapable of telling stories that don’t make me look bad, and her the hero. She doesn’t playfully jab me, she knocks me in the jaw and tries to call it light hearted. I have lost this part of the dream. There is no getting this back. I chose badly when I chose this woman, and the price of that choice is I will never have the dream. I will never have be loved by one person regardless of circumstance. I will never have stories to share with my partner about life before kids.

The first part of the promise I can have, if I ever venture out to find another partner for life. I would like to hope that my judgement is better than it was in my 20s, but I don’t know that I can trust that a woman is capable of this. Not that there aren’t women capable of this, but that I can’t tell them apart. Women, you need to police your own better. Marriage is off the radar for me for the foreseeable future. The risks are too high, and they aren’t shared between us. women are seeking divorce at an alarming rate, and that rate isn’t much different for the religious as it is for the irreligious. If you are woman who believes in marriage and desires to find men of quality willing to marry, then you need to do something about the culture fostered among women that men are interchangeable and disposable. I married a woman who all would have counted as a Christian woman of conviction, and those convictions were cast off chunk by chunk as she wasn’t completed by me. Which is another bone I have to pick the Jerry McGuire theology of you are supposed to complete me is crap. Marriage is supposed to be a commitment to working together to make it through life, not that I or you should be creating a whole person by the union, but that two whole people are better than one. That proposition is being broken in our society all the time, and I honestly don’t see how I could try at it again, especially while I have kids that would be torn apart by another family break up.

Sorry for the semi-random thought processes here. This has been a rough couple of weeks.



A Ring, What?

My Ring  >^_^

During the time just after Christmas, we were out shopping at a store that sold jewelry. She had taken to playfully rubbing her foot on my leg when she wanted to talk to me about something serious. It felt good, and initially I had thought that just maybe she was interested in trying to make things better. I was torn, because I knew she was very sexual, and good at using her sexual mores to get her way. I wasn’t fooled, but I was tempted.

My fears were confirmed, when she very flirtatiously brushed up against me, pressing her body against me, and said while looking at the rings, “So, If I decide to stay, do I get a new wedding ring.” I sighed. It was the safest thing to do. I was disgusted. It reminded me that she constantly complained about the ring that I spent almost two months salary to buy her when we got married. The same ring that she hadn’t worn most of our marriage. She wore other rings, but had stopped wearing those as well for almost two years.

This was a turning point for me. This is where all my efforts to lure her back stopped. I still wanted to reconcile, but I was not going to settle for anything less than her deciding that she wanted to rebuild our relationship from the ground up, because it was the right thing to do for our kids, and because the vows we took mattered. I was willing to work for the relationship, but not buy it, or gain some temporary reprieve, because she felt better.

This led to multiple talks, where after she expressed that she still didn’t feel in love me. My response was a very stable non-emotional, “Of course you don’t, and you won’t unless you decide to love me. You won’t feel in love unless you choose to love. We have been together too long for you to have that spontaneous romantic love you desire. It is going to take work to get back to a place where we can feel that.” Her response was something along the lines of “I don’t want to work on our relationship” or “I don’t want to love you.” She also told me things like “I have too much life to live, to continue living with you.”

These are some of the most hurtful things I have ever heard. I couldn’t believe them at first. I now use them as inspiration to remember that I don’t want what we had. I want to honor my vows, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to raise my children with their mother, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to be in love with the person I married, but I cannot do that if she is not willing to as well. Perhaps some of those are doable without her, but I am no longer willing to try. If she wants to go, then she can go. Its about my kids now.

She continued through this nebulous time while we lived together, to try to flirt to get her way. She also tried to use anger to get her way. She became increasingly agitated as neither route has the desired effect of control on me. I was breaking free of her bondage.



Wake Up Call

Vintage Copper Alarm Clocks

Well the divorce talk was a wake up call. It certainly got me going. I changed. Some of the changes were the desperate actions of a man caught off guard. Those slid away with time. The biggest changes came in my spiritual walk with Christ. My walk over the years had nearly became non-existent. I spent almost no time in the Bible, and only went to church to make sure I didn’t lose connection with the people there, I cared about.

I started the “Love Dare” with my wife. It pissed her off most of the time. I wrote a blog journal so she could read my thoughts. She initially responded well, even when she got pissed. I learned a lot about love and marriage going through that book. Needless to say, she did not. She was still determined to stay on her current course. During this time we also started counseling. The counselor was good. He was strong and straight forward. Not the kind of counselor that I have been turned off by over the years. The first few sessions we talked about me, and how bad I was, and all the blah, blah, blah, she could come up with. He honestly said to her, “You want to give up a fourteen year marriage over those things.” He explained that her complaints were normal, and generally reflected a lack of understanding of how men and women are different. She shut down and got pissed. One of the last sessions, I brought up and incident where we had our boys at a soccer tournament. I had to take one over to his game, while the other finished up a game. I dropped him off across the park, and came back to get her. Somehow we missed each other. I called her, and she answers the phone screaming at me about leaving her there to get all our stuff. Needless to say, our stuff amounted to a shelter for her, her chair, a heater for her, her blankets, and some other stuff for her. She then hung up on me. I get to the other game, and am pissed. I ask her if she was going to apologize, she spit “for what,” and I went over to talk to some guys. I wasn’t going to stand there and wait for her to cool off and play nice. She told the counselor, she didn’t believe that I came back for her. He asked if I was there when she got to the second game. She said no. He asked then where do you think he went. She didn’t know. He asked was he gone long enough to have left the park. She said no. He then asked, then isn’t it reasonable that he did exactly what he said he did. She screams “I don’t care.” She huffed and puffed for a while, and when he got her to talk again, she said. “This was fine, so long as we are talking about him. I don’t want this marriage, I don’t want to fix it. I don’t want to talk about me at all.” She then went on to explain that she settled for me, because she didn’t believe that anyone else would want to marry her, and that she never really loved me. I am getting to the point where I believe that.

One thing from our counseling sessions that stood out to me was this. He was trying to explain to us that what a woman in marriage needs is that unconditional love. This is what I was trying to learn through the “Love Dare” as well. I can admit that I wasn’t always good at this or motivated to do better, but at this point wanted nothing more than for her to understand I loved her. She told me during this time that she had no doubt that I loved her. Of course there is a but. A disconnected but, but a but none the less. When he asked me what I needed from her, he concluded what I was trying to express was I needed respect. I agreed. I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, but that was it. He went on to explain that there is a special kind of respect that only a wife can give her husband. It is a respect, like the love she expects that can’t be earned. It is a gift that should come from her along with her vows. Her response was cold, almost angry, “Well he needs to have his own self respect.” The counselor agreed and tried to explain the difference in what he was talking about, and she repeated that phrase a few times. This was when I really started to believe that she never did love me, and maybe couldn’t love me or anyone else. She was so wrapped up in her feelings and her anger that she was unable to recognize the effect that she had on other people.

During this time, I also started meeting with my pastor. We studied the word, and talked about my situation. He has provided great advice, and comfort. He is furious that she would allow us to adopt 3 kids, and have a kid if she wasn’t willing to love me. You see the problem, he gets that love is what you do, and emotions will follow. She wants to feel that romantic love, and isn’t getting that. The truth is, she never has had any empathy for me, so I am not surprised as I look back at this. I have grown in my spiritual walk going through this. I have learned to love when there is no love in return. I have also learned that this bond called marriage that God created is going to hurt like hell as it breaks. I don’t think she will feel it until it is over, and then she will wonder why I am not hurting the way she is, because she will have missed all the pain that I was already going through. My pastor had me go through a Bible study called “Experiencing God.” I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of God’s word and his desire to no just know us, but to interact with us.

I have been finding that as I talk to friends, and reveal what is going on, that many of them have been concerned for me. Her temper and sharp tongue have become harder on me. Many of these friends stopped seeing us, and I never knew why. It was because she had cut off the relationships when they became uncomfortable. If there is one lesson that I have learned through all of this, is relationships have to be maintained by me, and that I cannot have a real relationship with anyone as a couple. That is a strange thing to me. I believed that through marriage we became one, and most of our relationships would be together. I was wrong, and not just because of who she is, but its just not the way it works. When couples get along it is because each member of the couples gets along well the both the members of the other couple.

Over the next few months, I tried to pretend that we were still a normal married couple with our problems. I tried to make days that should be special, special, and to comfort her through her hurts with friends and family. During this same time she was busy knocking down my reputation to anyone who would listen, and was looking for supporters on her quest to kill our marriage. I am surprised that she found very few supporters. She can be extremely convincing, but I had developed a good reputation in this small community, so people dismissed most of what she said as being angry and inappropriate talk about your husband. This has been one of the biggest blessings as I meet and talk with people now.



The “D” Word


Shortly after our 13th anniversary, she came at me with a list of demands. She was mad that I dipped tobacco, something she knew I did when she married me. She was mad that I was a night owl, something she knew about me when she married me. She was mad that we didn’t have sex very often, and I offered to have sex any time she wanted, but that I had some issues with the fact she had compared me to the men who molested her as a child. I told her she needed some counseling to get her to a better place with that. The comparison she had made months earlier, was that that I had “made her want it like they used to.” She seemed to think that I should be able to get past that, because it was just constructive criticism. She said I needed to ask her permission to approach her for sex, and she wasn’t going to initiate sex. I made it clear, that I was not going to beg for sex. She then tried to explain that this was not what she meant. I tested this by asking her for sex a couple of times, and I was flatly turned down without explanation. I was mad and getting madder, but I did not know what to do. I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t want to lose any time with my kids, and like I said before, I did, and do believe in the vows that I took that said basically even if it sucks, I will stay married to you, and boy did it suck. I found out later that she had this confrontation with me, because she told her sister that she wanted a divorce, and her sister said that she had to give me a chance to make things better. My wife decided that she would pick a fight with me, so she could nearly guarantee that I would not take any action, or at least not quickly.

A couple of weeks after this conversation, a friend of mine came to me. He challenged me to make my marriage better. He told me that his wife, who was in the Bible study that my wife sometimes went to was concerned based on what she had said. My friend didn’t know what was said, but came to me, and to her. I responded by quitting the tobacco, and going to bed at the same time as her. I wrote her letter telling her this, and admitting to the areas of fault that I played a part in our marriage problems. Her response to my heart felt letter, was these words. “I wasn’t sure before, but I am now. I want a divorce. You basically just admitted to ruining our marriage.” I was dumb struck. My heart felt letter, where I exposed my heart to her in a way I never had before, was being thrown down as the reason that she was breaking our vows (again). She also said the popular words of “I still love you, but I am not in love with you.” As if those words mean a damn thing. They demonstrate that she has no understanding of what love is. Love is something you do because you chose to, not because the other person deserved or earned it. Love is not an emotion that determines the course of how your are going to behave. We are not in high school with raging hormones anymore. Love is the point of the vows we took on our wedding day. This day was also another important day for me. It was my middle son’s birthday.

She began sleeping in a bedroom upstairs. That lasted until she couldn’t figure out how to answer our kids when they asked why she was doing it. I was not going to give up the bedroom. If she didn’t want to sleep by me, then she could sleep wherever she wanted. This was the beginning of the roller coaster of me trying to save my marriage. Most of what is coming, should serve as a warning to men facing what I am facing. Most of what I describe will be a guidebook in how to fail at saving a marriage hanging by a thread. I understand that there wasn’t much hope to begin with, she had made up her mind a long time ago that she was going to look for a way out rather than save the marriage.