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  1. #1

    Adult Attachment Disorders/Husband leaving for 18 years...

    My husband has struggled with "something" from his early childhood for the 20 years of our marriage. Two years in, suddenly he would take off his ring and say he didn't want to be married anymore...but he'd never leave. This has happened every couple of years in our marriage, but in more devastating ways...he's rented apartments for a year that he's furnished but never moved into...he's turned on me and my kids verbally with pure venom then runs after and out of therapy, but always stopping at a certain point. I've hung in there because I do believe he's a good person with something terrible in his past that he hasn't been able to look at yet. But in the last year, the stakes have raised - he's more verbally abusive, trying to push me away...rented an apartment...moves out a few items at a time...devalues me and our marriage. Borderline and/or attachment disorder seem to fit. I'm trying not to enable...but get confused with this type of behavior about what is and isn't enabling. I'll tell him to go ahead and go to his apartment, but he'll challenge with are you telling me to leave? When I say it's up to him, he is frozen.

    I'm "walking on eggshells" (yes I've read the book), but need a perspective (I am seeing a therapist too). If I tell him to leave, taking that control away from I finally ensuring that he is abandoned again, just as he's been guarding against? He's getting closer to hitting bottom, kind of unraveling although very successful. Or is it the best thing to do? Last night we had a talk, which hasn't happened for a long time (very passive-aggressive also) in which he told me he never wanted to marry...told me I was stupid...on and on. In otherwords, he's upped the ante, pushing as hard as he can and spewing the venom. But I know with attachment problems, that's part of what do I best address this? Yes, I'm exhausted, devastead, etc. The dance is driven by craziness. Thanks for anything...

  2. #2

    Adult Attachment Disorders/Husband leaving for 18 years...

    Have you discussed this with your therapist? If so, what are his/her suggestions?

    Staying with someone who constantly degrades you and your children is, in my opinion, self destructive. I don't know how old your children are, but I'm sure his treatment of them can't be doing them any good. If this has been going on for eighteen years, I think you can safely assume it isn't going to change until YOU change it.

    Personally, I'd tell him to get his things and hit the road. There's no way I'd tolerate someone abusing me and/or my children. Whatever problems he may have had in his past, there's no reason you and the kids need to pay for them.

  3. #3

    Adult Attachment Disorders/Husband leaving for 18 years...

    Thank you for your's fairly complicated, we have a therapist whose been working with our kids - all adopted - two are bipolar which of course has made life a bit crazier than "planned". She knows my husband and is just really getting a sense of what is going on between the lines. I've been pushing him to leave in so many ways...but the passive/aggressive and attachment stuff is making it happen very slowly, which is agonizing. I know this all sounds stupid on my part...I am working on myself, trying to get past numerous losses in the past so I can better deal with this one. Just in the past month have I researched borderline personality and it sounds much like what I've lived with forever except that his ranting/raving are more internalized. Anyone who'se lived with a borderline knows how crazy-making it is...My children's issues have been overwhelming for young son has been in residential because he was so aggressive, then my daugther's bipolar hit us blindly at the teen I think I've been so involved in helping them that I haven't come up for air to look at him. My kids are getting more stabilized now - thank you - and so now is the time that I'm seeing how it's been living with someone who's so scarred. And it's not pretty, yet it's been hard to give up on a decent - but hurting - human being...My difficulty at this time has truly been identifying what is enabling/co-dependent, because it's all topsy-turvy with someone who has these issues. Boundaries are critical...but not the same as in a "normal" relationship.

  4. #4

    Adult Attachment Disorders/Husband leaving for 18 years...

    I understand your efforts to empathize with your husband's difficulties; I even admire you for those efforts. However, now that you've seen the harm his behavior is doing to your family, it's time to insist that something be done. If he isn't willing to get into therapy and take that therapy seriously enough to start making a real effort to change his behaviors, you're going to have to make a decision. Either you continue to enable his behaviors by remaining in the relationship, or you walk away. Sometimes, that's what it takes to get the attention of someone who needs help but finds it hard to stick with the program and make the necessary changes to become a productive member of society and a loving family member. It's sad, but it's often true.

  5. #5

    Adult Attachment Disorders/Husband leaving for 18 years...

    Thank you again. I have finally reached that point where he's got to go, no matter how painful. For so many years, I had no idea why this would happen on a cyclical basis - then all would be "normal" and fine for years at a time. I just wish I'd had a board like this way back when, because if I'd understood it then, I could have recognized that I was "enabling" his behavior versus trying to do everything possible to make our marriage work.



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