I'm not sure if I'm in the right place with this website -- I've been having circular arguments with my partner for most of our marriage (8 years of mostly unnecessary drama), and with a bit of training in Psychiatry, I have always wondered if my partner has a personality disorder... or whether I do. At least that is certainly what she will have me believe. So I'm really not sure.
Honestly, I've come to your forum as a place to vent anonymously. I literally googled "anonymous marriage counselling forums", and happened upon your site. Like most marriages, mine has had it's ups and downs. But the last 2 1/2 years have been mostly down -- and this is despite the greatest joy in my life, our daughter, being born 2 1/2 years ago. This was my partner's first pregnancy, and she has literally been at war with the world since the birth of our daughter. She is extremely sensitive, and quick to react in a very black and white fashion. Our fights often start with something I've done, followed by her silent treatment of me, followed by me trying to apologize or make amends unsuccessfully during her "leave me alone" period, followed by me getting frustrated and spurting off something that sets her off all over again. Time usually resolves our conflict, or me apologizing. In the last 2 years, I've felt so beaten down by this process, I don't apologize as much, and I'm quicker to call her out on her faults. All leading to more fighting....
In the course of 2 1/2 years, she has managed to nearly shut out my parents from our lives for not being "grand-parenty" enough (if that's a word) -- thankfully I was able to navigate that situation and my parents have been wonderful and have tried very hard to meet her expectations; she has shut out her only brother and his wife and three children --- rightfully upset over their religious convictions surrounding our same-sex marriage, but despite their efforts in reconciling for the sake of family; she shut out her own parents for about 5 or 6 months earlier this spring and periodically for days at a time since; and she has shut out my only sister and her husband because she thinks my sister is selfish and manipulative (which she may be, but it's not a reason in my mind).
I'll tell the story that I think has me battling my own conscience every day, deciding if I can still be with someone like my partner...
My sister and her husband announced a pregnancy last June. Shortly thereafter, at about 6 or 8 weeks, my sister miscarried... As it turned out, it wasn't a true pregnancy, but a molar pregnancy, and even worse, a neoplastic type which required chemotherapy for a couple months, followed by one year minimum before trying to conceive again. My sister is already 35. She was devastated -- for 8 wks, she imagined the pregnancy, the baby to be, and when she found out it wasn't true plus the chemo and waiting, she was broken.
My sister and brother-in-law visited us across the country shortly after she finished chemo. They hadn't seen our daughter since their wedding a year and a half before. I thought it was a good visit, but soon after they went home, my partner was enraged at my sister for posting a satirical article on Facebook about her city, which poked fun at the mayor of OUR city. She immediately publicly shamed my sister for posting it. And she started ruminating about every little thing she could conjure that my sister had said or done that could be construed as negative over their recent visit, and basically over our 7 yr marriage at the time. It became a back and forth email battle between the two -- my sister refused to apologize for posting the article, or for saying some of the things she said that upset my partner. There was no closure, and it has basically carried on to this day.
This was punctuated by a tragic loss for us as well -- my partner, shortly after my sister visited, got pregnant with our second child. Pre-planned timing on our part, with no flexibility on my partner's behalf given the recent devastation my sister went through. I had a hard time announcing it to my sister given her recent loss, and also given the conflict ongoing. The news hit my sister pretty hard, but she put on a happy face for us. We didn't talk much over the next few months.
At 16 wks, several wks later, my partner experienced the tragic loss of our baby. I didn't contact my sister right away, but asked my parents to let her know. We had already announced the pregnancy on facebook, so my partner immediately announced the loss. Unfortunately, my sister's friend saw the posting before my sister had found out -- and she delayed contacting us for a few more hours. When she did contact us, my partner was already furious with her, and more than that, my sister tried to connect with my partner by saying she could understand what she was going through given she had a similar experience a few months before.
My partner was livid with this... granted, I see what she means -- no one else would dare to say "I know what you're going through", rather the usual "I can't imagine..." but leave it to my sister to say it in such a way that set off my partner all over again. And this is where I can no longer relate to my partner --- she said repeatedly, "she has no idea. no idea what it's like to lose a baby. how dare she... etc etc." There is more, but you get the idea. There were hateful words said as well, that I won't share. My sister and brother-in-law then overcompensated the next few months ---- and the final straw for my partner, was when they sent a birthday card and gift to our daughter. In it, my sister wrote a note to our 2 yr old daughter asking how she was, but also telling her a little bit about what they were up to. She also bought her a gift that wasn't on the amazon wish list my partner always creates dictating items that are pre-approved, but the gift was the same brand and similar to several other items on the wish-list. This set her off again, and to this day, she is "DONE" with my sister. One of her favorite words.
There is so much more to this story, but I'm afraid I could go on typing for hours. I know in a marriage I'm supposed to have my partner's back. And she often feels betrayed by me when I disagree with one of her outbursts. (this one with my sister in particular) But I can't justify shutting people out of my life for trivial things.
She is so good at making me feel like I am in the wrong with every conflict we encounter, and that somehow I am an awful person. I know I'm not perfect, and I could tell you many stories from her perspective to support that... but I am at my wit's end trying to "manage" her emotions and the repercussions on every aspect of my life. Throw in the mix a 2 1/2 yr old daughter who is my everything -- and my commitment to have her become a well-adjusted, emotionally competent little girl........ for my own sanity, I'm not sure I can stay, but for the protection of my daughter, I feel like I have to.