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Hey, really concerned I'm reaching the end of my tether and will end it soon

So, it makes it hard to trust who's "more right" than the other.

Honestly? It doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong. At the end of the day, you feel bad. This relationship makes you feel bad. And you're an adult, so you're actually allowed to choose who you want to be around, and you don't even need a reason for it. The fact that you feel bad all the time? Is a good enough reason to leave her. It doesn't really need to be any more complex than that.

Disengaging from someone won't destroy them. If they say it will, they're lying. Human adults are capable of existing on their own. If that were really true, then she wouldn't have had the capacity to consent to a romantic relationship or sex to begin with. She can be by herself. She can deal with all of her emotions and behaviors and hopes and dreams - all of which belong to her - by herself.

And you can unpack the speakers, and play a f*cking videogame.
 
One thing I struggle with with therapy is knowing if they're just being nice or accommodating with me because of their job.
Yeah...I struggle with this, too.
when I tell my therapist about the issues in the relationship, she's only hearing my side of the story.
Honestly? That's all that matters here. If what you say is the truth--and I've no reason to doubt you--then you are being subjected to abuse. This reminds me of something going on in our church right now. I attend a UU. Our minister quit, rather abruptly, just after returning from sabbatical because she said several people and the church as a whole were treating her in an abusive way, prejudiced against her because she is of Muslim descent. Over the last several months, the congregation has been struggling, and the dominant theme has been that that was just her *perception.*

My argument is that it doesn't matter. If a black person says they are offended or upset by a gross racist comment or name, do we say, "well, that's just their perception"? No, we take what they say into consideration, and we make sure we don't say it again because we want to show consideration and compassion to that person. Some, though, who are filled with hate and are racist, will just continue. Because, you know...just their perception.

It doesn't matter if your wife/partner has a different "story." What matters is how *you* perceive the relationship and whether you want to live with someone who is behaving, in your perception, abusive towards you.

Maybe you don't trust what you perceive? You've talked about some very specific things that have happened

she is very, very critical. Whenever something minor happens in the house it's my fault. Chip in a cup - I must have been clumsy when washing the dishes. Late to an event - I must not have taken the best route to get there. Indoor plant is dying - I must have overwatered it. Stain on the sofa - I must have spilt something on it. It's a million little things that chip away at me (the look of disgust when I stop to tie my shoelace, or if I have allergy issues really hurts).

I "can't" play video games because "they're addictive and violent". There were times she's stormed out of the house all because I spent an hour quietly playing video games with friends during time I specifically set aside for it. Everytime I would play she would get angry,
and unless you're making them up--again, no reason to believe that--then you have reason to be...frustrated.
 
Thanks again @whiteraven

"Maybe you don't trust what you perceive?"

I feel this is true. I've never been in this kind of circumstance before, never been treated this way.

But to make things worse she's a really, really good debater/arguer. It's not like we can sit down together and have an adult conversation. I feel the only reason she listens to me is to find a weakness or something she can exploit in what I'm saying. I feel like I'm a witness being cross examined by a lawyer - I can speak factually and state my truth, but she just finds one little point she can throw doubt on and it brings my whole opinion into disrepute. That combined with the language and approach she uses makes it very, very hard to set boundaries or stand up for yourself.

I might be venting here - so please feel free to skip over - but a few nights ago something occurred that illustrates her approach. We're selling a house at the moment and I've been spending time there fixing things and making it look presentable. One of the last things I needed to do was some very minor paint touch-ups on one section of one wall. Due to timing I had to do this the day the photographer was arriving to take photos of the house. I made the decision on the day to do the paint touch-ups after the photographs were taken - the inconsistencies in the paint were so small (fractions of an inch, white on white paint) they would not be picked up in the photographs and I didn't want to leave paint buckets, dirty drop sheets, etc lying around in the way of the photographer. I thought the risk at the time of me making a mess before the photographer arrived was too great.

That afternoon she came home from work and we talked about our days, no issue there. But then about 11 o'clock at night she starts saying how disappointed she was that I had not tried to fix the paint before the photographer came. I explained my reasoning as above, but the more I explained the more she got annoyed. She had me detail my day - what time I had breakfast, when I headed over to the house, what time the photographer arrived, if I got a coffee on the way, etc. She kept repeating how "disappointed" she was that I had chosen a different approach and how I should've woken up earlier, or done this or that differently. No matter how many times I would say "I'm sorry you feel disappointed, but I felt I was doing the right thing at the time. I've very, very certain this won't matter to the end results." she would just ignore that and repeat how disappointed she was with me. This "conversation" went on for hours and I felt there was nothing I could do or say to make her stop repeating how disappointed she was with me. She would often say that she "was allowed to feel disappointed". The photos came back a few days later - the paint issues were not visible at all.

This is where I struggle. Technically she could be right. Technically it would've been better for the house to be 100% complete before the photos were taken, not 99.999% complete. It's so hard for me to argue against that. Like a lawyer, she latched on to that one issue - the 0.001% of the job that was incomplete - to take me and my opinions down. And she extrapolates and extrapolates on that. It's so hard to stick to your boundaries or opinions when she can get under your skin and tell you you're wrong on technicalities.
 
It's so hard to stick to your boundaries or opinions when she can get under your skin and tell you you're wrong on technicalities.

This is why I say being right or wrong doesn't matter. You're dealing with a fairly textbook narcissist here. Her ego is tied to being right, so any little thing will cause a meltdown.

Disagree with her and it'll cause an hours long cross examination. Set a boundary and she will ruthlessly attack it, as a slight against her.

Point is, though, even if you are wrong about shit, this is still not the correct way to treat another human being. My preferred way of dealing with narcissists is simple: "that's your prerogative, but it's not my problem."

The melt down and lash out will be inevitable, but by then I am walking away. She's allowed to be disappointed for hours that you didn't fix a small paint chip, and you're allowed to not care in the slightest. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

Right and wrong? Not even relevant, to be honest. Relationships shouldn't require essay style dissertations defending your position to not paint an inch on a wall. That's just nonsense.
 
This is where I struggle. Technically she could be right. Technically it would've been better for the house to be 100% complete before the photos were taken, not 99.999% complete. It's so hard for me to argue against that. Like a lawyer, she latched on to that one issue - the 0.001% of the job that was incomplete - to take me and my opinions down. And she extrapolates and extrapolates on that. It's so hard to stick to your boundaries or opinions when she can get under your skin and tell you you're wrong on technicalities.
This is the impact of emotional abuse. You questioning and doubting yourself and feeling like you have failed because your reasoning hasn’t been the 100% mark that she says there needs to be for you to be right in your view.

this Is her. Not you.


i don’t see what you’re writing as venting, but putting it out there, expressing and seeing if, how, your experience is validated. (I.e. of what you’re feeling about it all, is supported by us here.). You know what you feel. That this is unjust. She’s telling you you’re wrong. Which is abusive and misaligned to what you feel.
 
Thanks for the replies all.

I just wanted to write that last night I left.

Something happened that sparked a whole new argument about money. In a casual conversation I mentioned I had gone over my personal budget because I had been spending too much money buying lunch instead of making it at work. She got suspicious about this budget, accusing me of hoarding (my own) money and not telling her about it. She said I "wasn't committed" to the relationship because I wasn't putting 100% of my pay into our shared joint account.

Now instead of fawning or backing down for some reason I got mad. I do put a substantial amount of my income into our shared accounts. For the mortgage I contribute twice as much as her. I also personally pay for most outings, as well as random expenses like the phone bill and emergency electrical fixes. I even pay for half the running costs of her car, as well as 100% of the costs for mine. It's true I do have a personal savings account - with not much in it - for my own purchases and emergencies, but so does she.

She kept kind of aggressively mocking me about my personal savings "What are you going to do, take yourself on a nice vacation?". I just kept repeating "I feel I'm contributing a good amount to our joint expenses and I feel comfortable with that". The argument expanded to how this meant I wasn't showing commitment to her, to which I replied "We're in a long term relationship, we live together, we own a house together. I feel like I'm very committed to you." But, no. Apparently commitment is having a shared bank account, being married and having children and nothing outside of that counts.

At this point I just felt detached and resigned and said something along the lines of that I didn't think I could give her what she wanted in the relationship and that I was sick and tired of feeling like I constantly disappointed her and that I was exhausted and stressed from the constant arguments. I said we should take a break and that I would go and stay with my parents. She didn't say anything, didn't respond. I packed some bags and left.

I feel ok right now. A bit sad, but still angry about the money thing. I don't know why it was easier to set a boundary with this - maybe because it is kind of black-and-white, ie: I irrefutably do pay more than her and if I was a bad partner I would manipulate things so I would pay less.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone on this forum and everyone who has replied to this thread. Your advice and support has really helped.
 
Thanks for the replies all.

I just wanted to write that last night I left.

Something happened that sparked a whole new argument about money. In a casual conversation I mentioned I had gone over my personal budget because I had been spending too much money buying lunch instead of making it at work. She got suspicious about this budget, accusing me of hoarding (my own) money and not telling her about it. She said I "wasn't committed" to the relationship because I wasn't putting 100% of my pay into our shared joint account.

Now instead of fawning or backing down for some reason I got mad. I do put a substantial amount of my income into our shared accounts. For the mortgage I contribute twice as much as her. I also personally pay for most outings, as well as random expenses like the phone bill and emergency electrical fixes. I even pay for half the running costs of her car, as well as 100% of the costs for mine. It's true I do have a personal savings account - with not much in it - for my own purchases and emergencies, but so does she.

She kept kind of aggressively mocking me about my personal savings "What are you going to do, take yourself on a nice vacation?". I just kept repeating "I feel I'm contributing a good amount to our joint expenses and I feel comfortable with that". The argument expanded to how this meant I wasn't showing commitment to her, to which I replied "We're in a long term relationship, we live together, we own a house together. I feel like I'm very committed to you." But, no. Apparently commitment is having a shared bank account, being married and having children and nothing outside of that counts.

At this point I just felt detached and resigned and said something along the lines of that I didn't think I could give her what she wanted in the relationship and that I was sick and tired of feeling like I constantly disappointed her and that I was exhausted and stressed from the constant arguments. I said we should take a break and that I would go and stay with my parents. She didn't say anything, didn't respond. I packed some bags and left.

I feel ok right now. A bit sad, but still angry about the money thing. I don't know why it was easier to set a boundary with this - maybe because it is kind of black-and-white, ie: I irrefutably do pay more than her and if I was a bad partner I would manipulate things so I would pay less.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone on this forum and everyone who has replied to this thread. Your advice and support has really helped.
Well done! I bet she was a bit surprised that you stood up to her.
 
Hi. I'm pretty new here and pretty new to having the diagnosis of C-PTSD. Sorry, this is a long one. Just don't know what else to do.

I'm in a dark place and feel like I can't get out. Furthermore I feel that with gaining clarity on my condition I've gained clarity on how I've hurt and am hurting people.

I feel like I can't:
  1. Get out of the situation that is exacerbating my C-PTSD symptoms without causing more damage
  2. Reconcile the damage I've caused people in the past
  3. Ever live a 'normal' life
The situation I am in now is this: I live with my partner who has her own issues. She is most probably a narcissist. I am a Fawner. Perfect mix for disaster.

She gets angry, often. She never says anything to explicit about me, but she is very, very critical. Whenever something minor happens in the house it's my fault. Chip in a cup - I must have been clumsy when washing the dishes. Late to an event - I must not have taken the best route to get there. Indoor plant is dying - I must have overwatered it. Stain on the sofa - I must have spilt something on it. It's a million little things that chip away at me (the look of disgust when I stop to tie my shoelace, or if I have allergy issues really hurts).

There's music. I love listening to music. A while back I spoiled myself and bought some high-quality Bose speakers, but literally every time I would sit down and put on a song it would be "that's too loud" or "what would the neighbours think", etc. I ended up packing the speakers up - they don't get used anymore.

Then there's a few bigger things. I "can't" play video games because "they're addictive and violent". There were times she's stormed out of the house all because I spent an hour quietly playing video games with friends during time I specifically set aside for it. Everytime I would play she would get angry, so I stopped playing (and for what its worth I'm not a gamer - I own 1 game on a hand-me-down PC mostly for the sake of just chatting and joking around with friends).

There was a moment I refer to as the "Wall Incident" which is a pretty good example of medium sized conflicts (maybe 2 to 3 times a month). There is a wall in our house that needs a new coat of paint. She wants to decide on what color to paint it - I'm fine with that, I don't really care. But one day I noticed a big mark on the wall where some of the original paint had scraped off, so I took a small tin of touch-up paint from the garage and painted over the mark. A quick fix to make an ugly wall slightly better. She came home whilst I was doing that and exploded. "Why are you painting the wall? We were going to paint it a new color! Why weren't you listening to me? Why aren't you respecting my opinion!" over and over again. This time I decided to stick to my guns and just repeated "I'm not repainting the entire wall, just fixing this small mark so it looks a little better whilst we decided what color to paint it". I tried hard not to Fawn and she just got angrier, and angrier, and angrier, and the 'argument' continued for hours until she threw a glass "towards me" (didn't hit) and stormed out and drove off somewhere.

All these things combined with my own C-PTSD Fawning habits have, over the years, destroyed me. I'm afraid to make any decision without her. I get stressed out when friends ask me to hang out because I feel I have to say no, otherwise she will be angry. I've given up hobbies, even the ones she approves of ("Don't you think X, Y and Z are more important than that right now?"). All I really feel like I do is household chores. When we argue I just collapse now, cower in the corner. I'm out of energy and will power to push back, and pushing back just makes it worse anyway. I've started hitting myself - like punching myself really hard in the arm and chest. I don't really know why I do it other than it's showing her "Look, you've beaten me. I'm hurting myself. Can't you see you've won? Please stop.". It's silly and immature, I know, and I hate doing it but I just don't have control over it.

This leads on to the really big thing: children. We don't have children, but we are both 38 and time is running out for her - the doctor says it's now or never. She wants to have kids and I... am open to it, but just can't with living with the above conditions. Obviously this has caused huge tension and arguments. To make matters worse, during these arguments I Fawn. I give in and say "OK, let start trying next month". Only I don't really 100% mean it. I just say it to stop the argument and tension and stress. In my brain I know it's wrong to lie and lead her one, but my body is screaming "just say this, survive the night and we'll come up with a plan to deal with it tomorrow".

I hate that I do this. As many issues she has, it's wrong of me to lead her on. Like anyone else she deserves the chance of having a family, and I feel I'm preventing her from doing this by lying. Since my diagnoses and understanding of C-PTSD Fawning I have tried harder to tell the truth but with the intensity of the arguments I always end up Fawning and compromising. I feel like I've put myself in a position where I have 2 evils to choose from. 1: We have children and I commit myself to a life I don't want that is (quite literally) probably going to kill me. Or 2: I end the relationship (which I have tried and failed to do) and she most likely will not get the chance to have children - ie: I rob her of motherhood.

I never meant to get myself into this situation. I never meant to do this to myself or her. But here I am and I'm afraid I can't live with the fear, guilt, stress and tension much longer. I feel that there is not safe place to turn to and that I've unredeamably f*cked life up.

I'm sorry for the massive story, but I just hate myself, am scared and don't know what to do.
Hey... I just want to say that I was almost exactly where you are now and I left, thank God. I look back now and am so grateful I didn't have a kid with my ex partner. I did LSD instead! Lol. It was a horrible time, but it made me see her in a truer light. I still don't know what her issue was, but it ran deep and she was never going to admit to herself that she was abused sometime in childhood and acted like an entitled brat as an adult. She had really low self esteem too. Anyways, so did I. I got into the relationship the same way I got into all the other ones... I wanted to have sex and sort of got attached afterwards and forgot my own feelings and everything else about me and assumed the role of partner pleaser. It sucks.

Don't have a kid if you don't want one. It's not about what she wants in decisions with that much weight to them. It's about what you want with your life. Not thinking you or your life are worth much is what gets people with this range of PTSD into shit that's way over our heads. It sounds to me like having a kid is way too much for you right now. Just my two cents.

Thanks for posting this.
 
Hi. I'm pretty new here and pretty new to having the diagnosis of C-PTSD. Sorry, this is a long one. Just don't know what else to do.

I'm in a dark place and feel like I can't get out. Furthermore I feel that with gaining clarity on my condition I've gained clarity on how I've hurt and am hurting people.

I feel like I can't:
  1. Get out of the situation that is exacerbating my C-PTSD symptoms without causing more damage
  2. Reconcile the damage I've caused people in the past
  3. Ever live a 'normal' life
The situation I am in now is this: I live with my partner who has her own issues. She is most probably a narcissist. I am a Fawner. Perfect mix for disaster.

She gets angry, often. She never says anything to explicit about me, but she is very, very critical. Whenever something minor happens in the house it's my fault. Chip in a cup - I must have been clumsy when washing the dishes. Late to an event - I must not have taken the best route to get there. Indoor plant is dying - I must have overwatered it. Stain on the sofa - I must have spilt something on it. It's a million little things that chip away at me (the look of disgust when I stop to tie my shoelace, or if I have allergy issues really hurts).

There's music. I love listening to music. A while back I spoiled myself and bought some high-quality Bose speakers, but literally every time I would sit down and put on a song it would be "that's too loud" or "what would the neighbours think", etc. I ended up packing the speakers up - they don't get used anymore.

Then there's a few bigger things. I "can't" play video games because "they're addictive and violent". There were times she's stormed out of the house all because I spent an hour quietly playing video games with friends during time I specifically set aside for it. Everytime I would play she would get angry, so I stopped playing (and for what its worth I'm not a gamer - I own 1 game on a hand-me-down PC mostly for the sake of just chatting and joking around with friends).

There was a moment I refer to as the "Wall Incident" which is a pretty good example of medium sized conflicts (maybe 2 to 3 times a month). There is a wall in our house that needs a new coat of paint. She wants to decide on what color to paint it - I'm fine with that, I don't really care. But one day I noticed a big mark on the wall where some of the original paint had scraped off, so I took a small tin of touch-up paint from the garage and painted over the mark. A quick fix to make an ugly wall slightly better. She came home whilst I was doing that and exploded. "Why are you painting the wall? We were going to paint it a new color! Why weren't you listening to me? Why aren't you respecting my opinion!" over and over again. This time I decided to stick to my guns and just repeated "I'm not repainting the entire wall, just fixing this small mark so it looks a little better whilst we decided what color to paint it". I tried hard not to Fawn and she just got angrier, and angrier, and angrier, and the 'argument' continued for hours until she threw a glass "towards me" (didn't hit) and stormed out and drove off somewhere.

All these things combined with my own C-PTSD Fawning habits have, over the years, destroyed me. I'm afraid to make any decision without her. I get stressed out when friends ask me to hang out because I feel I have to say no, otherwise she will be angry. I've given up hobbies, even the ones she approves of ("Don't you think X, Y and Z are more important than that right now?"). All I really feel like I do is household chores. When we argue I just collapse now, cower in the corner. I'm out of energy and will power to push back, and pushing back just makes it worse anyway. I've started hitting myself - like punching myself really hard in the arm and chest. I don't really know why I do it other than it's showing her "Look, you've beaten me. I'm hurting myself. Can't you see you've won? Please stop.". It's silly and immature, I know, and I hate doing it but I just don't have control over it.

This leads on to the really big thing: children. We don't have children, but we are both 38 and time is running out for her - the doctor says it's now or never. She wants to have kids and I... am open to it, but just can't with living with the above conditions. Obviously this has caused huge tension and arguments. To make matters worse, during these arguments I Fawn. I give in and say "OK, let start trying next month". Only I don't really 100% mean it. I just say it to stop the argument and tension and stress. In my brain I know it's wrong to lie and lead her one, but my body is screaming "just say this, survive the night and we'll come up with a plan to deal with it tomorrow".

I hate that I do this. As many issues she has, it's wrong of me to lead her on. Like anyone else she deserves the chance of having a family, and I feel I'm preventing her from doing this by lying. Since my diagnoses and understanding of C-PTSD Fawning I have tried harder to tell the truth but with the intensity of the arguments I always end up Fawning and compromising. I feel like I've put myself in a position where I have 2 evils to choose from. 1: We have children and I commit myself to a life I don't want that is (quite literally) probably going to kill me. Or 2: I end the relationship (which I have tried and failed to do) and she most likely will not get the chance to have children - ie: I rob her of motherhood.

I never meant to get myself into this situation. I never meant to do this to myself or her. But here I am and I'm afraid I can't live with the fear, guilt, stress and tension much longer. I feel that there is not safe place to turn to and that I've unredeamably f*cked life up.

I'm sorry for the massive story, but I just hate myself, am scared and don't know what to do.
Do you really want to continue the cycle of abuse with your children? You have given her a lot of power over your life. It is really hard fixing that. Sometimes it's easier to start new rather than fix something as
long as you really want to change. A friend compared it to an old car. Sometimes there are so many broken parts you just have to replace the whole thing. Not that I like my life or me compared to an old car!
 
I can't read every reply, so just ignore me if I'm repeating something someone else said already, but it sounds like you've been coerced into accept a lot of seriously abusive behavior. This much drama is not good for anyone. Do you have any reasons to stay that you want to discuss?
 
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