33763 Posted February 19, 2018 Share Posted February 19, 2018 We've been married for nearly 20 years and in that time the first 2-4 were the most turbulent. That was because we lived within easy range of my wife's mother and her daily mental manipulation of my wife, making up stories, blowing up at her and constantly instilling a deep sense of guilt. This made my wife extremely volatile, loving and hating. At the time my wife sought therapy and although they were not definitive, they suggested she may be BPD and that to minimize exposure to causes of her stress, so we moved to another country and reduced daily conversations with the mother in law down to monthly and deliberately avoided being drawn into her family politics. It worked well, we had children and although she was still more volatile than most, she made an effort to anticipate and avoid the outbursts or emotionally torturing behaviors... until her father died. At that point, she let her mother into our lives again with weekly calls, getting herself drawn into the cruel world her mother felt she is facing alone. It got worse and my wife has insisted that we bring her over to stay with us for 3 months each year, because she's getting old and my wife "owes" it to her. 8 years later, we've had her mother hear every hear, for a quarter of the year (yes, that trying enough with someone who has no sense of personal space), but the bigger pain is the way her mother just takes her over, like a mater puppeteer. For a month before she's due to visit, my wife is on edge, explosive at anything, and immediately defensive on any topic. Our guest (her mother) is pleasant and avoids her explosive side in our house, but that manifests in strong passive aggressive behaviors. With disapproving looks that destroy your self esteem and feel like your soul is being judged, to strong body language that screams the very opposite of what she has just said... it is torture. Within days of her arrival, my wife is a different person. She's aloof toward me, like we're just old friends and anything is taken as an affront to our guest (her mother) that is met with anger and hostility. During this time she is hypersensitive and will misunderstand the most innocent of comments and turn it into something to be defensive about. I have seen this control her mother has on her increase and remain longer with each annual visit. It's like a wider wedge is being rammed in between us and it doesn't affect just me, the teenage kids are now seeing and feeling it. Most recently, as my mother in law jetted back home, my wife blasted all of us for being total little es to her poor fragile mother. Apparently, her mother tells her that the whole family seems to dislike her and made her feel so unwelcome and unappreciated that she's now too scared and offended that she's considering not coming back. Yes, I bit my tongue, but the kids tried to correct the story only to be met by the most severe outbreak I've ever seen her have. Clearly, she's now the protective parent in a weird role reversal with her mother. Has anyone ever been through this kind of situation the BPD mother daughter dynamic actually strengthens later in life and becomes more important than the immediate family? Link to comment
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