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Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

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Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby Layla » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:47 am

****MOD NOTE- Thread moved to Significant Others Friends and Family Forum****

I've been married to a man for ten years now, and found out three years ago he has Avoidant Personality Disorder. It finally makes sense to me now, why he never stood up for himself or us, why he hasn't been able to protect me physically or emotionally, why he has used me as a human shield to protect him, why he never confronts problems, and avoids confrontation like the plague, etc. Not knowing he had this when I met and then married him, it has caused us a lot of marital problems. I've found that I'm resentful and bitter and feel like I've been paying for something that isn't my fault. I'm lonely and depressed and frustrated, and don't know what to do. Are there any spouses that have been or still are in my kind of situation? Will things ever get better?? Thank you, Layla :(
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Me, too~

Postby LindaH333 » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:06 am

Hi Layla,

You and me both, girl. I just did a search for Avoidant Personality Disorder and spouse to see what I could find... there's someone to relate to, I could cry!

Pardon me, I'm Linda, totally *not* avoidant, LOL, being more right-brained ADHD if anything- and pretty much tell it like it is- with love. I'm shy and sensitive, too, but the impulsiveness takes care of that. I've embarrassed myself so much that its no big deal now. Psychologically, its understandable why my Dh picked me... yin for the yang. Tack onto the fact there's a people pleasing mechanism and you have all the mix for the coddling necessary to make an "accepting" environment so necessary for ADP functioning. We have 10 years, too, imagine that.

He is a wonderful man, giving to the extreme, sensitive, honest, highly intelligent, spiritual, hardworking, loving and attentive. I love him big time. He also tunes out and blames me. Its so nice to see another APD spouse because this is DAMN HARD to live with love, guilt and anger on the other side of the spousal wall. Umm, that suits it very well, spousal WALL.

My Dh:
:shock: Cannot handle strong emotions and looks about like that little "shocked" dude there when I try (unfortunately, I am a strong emotion, ha ha)
:shock: Won't talk about himself at all and its like living with my own shadow sometimes (but I pry like hell) :twisted:
:shock: Cannot handle conflict and clams up (I nag, lovingly, perhaps infantalizingly, but hey... work with the tools you have, right?)
:shock: Uses me as a wormhole to the "outside". This is sad.

I'm just beginning to realize the extent that this effects him... and its even scarier to see how much it doesn't (IMO, the emotions have been killed off, stuffed to the point of being a mushed, abstract gnawing instead of the God given language they are.)

Its effect on my life is frightening, as well. I think it has permanently effected- both positively and negatively- my entire personality. If I had caretaker stuff before, its magnified by a thousand now... also selfish because if you live with someone who won't express a need, you tend to get that way.

Like you, I've felt resentful and bitter... from feeling like I'm a dominatrix (anyone would appear dominating in comparison to him, as he doesn't express needs/rights) to feeling like the inferior, screwed up one (for being healthy emotionally) because he couldn't handle it. Besides getting really tired of being walled out, I've learned how to constantly question my emotional reality, look for outside validation (am I OK? Am I asking too much? Is this bizarre of me to have these needs, etc..) because he freaks out and closes off at the slightest provokation. At least in the past, now I don't let things slide and he is working on it hard. Altho we had setbacks tonight.

I try so hard to know him... its hard to be accepting when the person won't even let you know him on a less than superficial level. Even harder when he has no clue what you're talking about, wanting or needing.

Un/fortunately (depending on viewpoint) I've run across some information about boundaries and I'm really trying to stop being the "pull-me-out-of-my-shell" person because he's a grown man who needs therapy, not coddling. Its time for the responsibility of life-engagement to lie in the hands of those who want to be engaged... or not. My responsibility to be a good wife- and many things are out of my control and its not fair for me to have to handle the whole burden of the relationship. This APD contributed to a breakdown, having stuffed so much that I exploded, it having triggered a near manic episode... so there has to be changes because my mental health depends on it.

Gosh, didn't know all that was in there. I'm sorry for the soapbox, and I hope I've not offended anyone.

Any other spouses, please come forward.

Bless everyone,
Linda
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Need Advice

Postby SillyAli18 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:58 pm

Hi,

I was so relieved to read your posts. My boyfriend has AvPD and due to his behavior of withdrawing, never expressing his needs and not telling me ANYTHING about his "real self" or who he really is has led me to become inpatient, angry, bitter and...on the verge of ending this relationship. I wold like you to read my story below, but the question I have for you who has been married to a man with AvPD for years is... should I get out of this relationship because it's hopeless and avoidants never change ? I am only 28 years old and haven't married him yet. I love him so much it hurts me deeply to even THINK about ending this relationship, but read on:

I have been with my boyfriend for five years. When I first met him we had a wonderful close relationship. We lived together when we were both in law school. I graduated 2 years ago and he just graduated last month and is studying for the Bar Exam. We had sexual intimacy and he has opened up to me about his cold, rejecting father and how he feels that he has no self worth, no self-esteem and has few friends. He says he loves me and wants to marry me, adn I don't doubt that he truly loves me. By his actions he has shown me throughout 4 years that he loves me.

However, about two years ago he began going for days and weeks at a time without answering my calls. One time he went for 5 months doing this. I would leave voice mails crying, begging and pleading him to call me back and STILL would get no response. Also, another AvPD trait he has exhibited is that he's very private and secretive and tells white lies or "omits details" just so that he doesn't have to face my criticism or rejection. His avoidance is a vicious cycle where he goes days sleeping at my house and everything seems perfectly fine with him. No signs of any distress. Then, OUT OF NOWHERE he just won't call or see me or answer his phone for days !

I know why he does this and have read enough about AvPD to understand this behavior. Everything I've read says avoidants only open up to those who they feel "safe" with and the literature emphasizes that friends and partners need to show unconditional love, no criticism and support. The problem is that during the first two years of our relationship, I didn't understand why he would not answer his phone or avoid sending out resumes to find a job after law school. So, I WAS critical and judgmental of him. I was very direct and told him I loved him to death, but needed stability in my life and could not trust him if he told me white lies and didn't reveal his "true" self to me.

Ok...fast forward two years. After living with his withdrawal periods and doing a lot of self-learning and analysis, I changed. I ralized that no matter who I am with, I simply cannot be so demanding and critical of my partners. Don't get me wrong, I have always been nurturing and supportive to an extent, but always would tell my boyfriend that he wasn't doing something the "right" way or that I didn't approve of some things he did.

Ok, now that you know my history of being somewhat demanding, now I need your advice. I am at a point now where, after reading about AvPD and learning about MYSELF, I feel like I am a new person and want to show boyfriend that I understand him and love him unconditionally. I feel like since we had a long distance relationship for two years while he was still in law school, I have never been able to spend enough time with him to SHOW him through my actions that I accept him unconditionally and want him to feel "safe" with me. In essence, I haven't gotten the opportunity to try to "reverse" the way he feels around me because he's viewing me as judgmental based on my past behavior. He says sometimes the way I talk reminds him of his critical father. Can I EVER reverse the way he feels around me ?


He has told me that "needs to learn to love himself before he can be with me and give what he wants to give me." He says he wants to be financially independent so he can give me what I need. He also has told me that he wants to open up to me but on his own terms and "when he is ready." I took this as good sign because at least he admits that he has been hiding his true self from me and wants to be close to me and show me his real self.

The thing is that he keeps on engaging in these cycles of withdrawal. At first his withdrawal baffled me because it seemed so sudden and without explanation. But soon I came to realize that he is avoiding ME because he feels pressure (partly due to my previous criticism and partly self-created pressure) to "be a certain person" for me. He feels he may fall short of these expectations and that I will be judgmental of him. Avoidants avoid any situation where they feel they will be judged or criticized. He avoids me because he feels I won't accept him as he is if he shows me his true self. The problem is, how can I even begin to show him that I love him unconditionally and accept him if he withdraws from me and does not feel that I am a "safe," accepting person who he can open up to ? Withdrawal KILLS communication and prevents intimacy from developing.

Every time he withdraws and doesn't answer my phone calls for days I cannot help but get extremely angry at him. It's like he doesn't realize what pain this causes me. Some times I think he just doesn't miss me that much or feel the emotion of loss or separation the way I do. Although he's told me wants closeness, his behavior tells me he doesn't care if he never has closeness.

I told him I have come to not depend on him for anything because there is no stability in his behavior. How can trust him to be the father of my children if he is going to withdraw unexpectedly for days ? It scares me to depend on him because his behavior is not stable. Because I am his partner (and not just a close friend), I need to be able to depend on him. I told him I can deal with his depression or anything that he may be feeling, but I need him to communicate with me so that I know when something is bothering him. I need closeness.

The worst part about AvPD and the reason that people with AvPD lose partners who are actually very devoted to them, is because a basic preqrequisite in any intimate, romantic relationship is trust and closeness. He has told me he desires closeness (and I don't doubt that), but I don't know if I'll ever be able to achieve any closeness with him.

I can be accepting of his tendency to avoid as a defense mechanism, but as a partner, I cannot help but get angry and hurt when he disappears for days. He says he feels extreme guilt and shame when he does this and knows it hurts me but he can't help it. Will he ever be able to at least call me consistently ? When he withdraws for days I am left utterly alone and feel like I have no boyfriend or any partner that I can rely on.

Except for not being honest about some things and disappearing for days without notice, my boyfriend is loving and supportive. We have similar interests and thoroughly enjoy our time with one another. Both of us feel like we are "the one" for each other. We are deeply in love. If I did not love him so much I would have moved on to a more dependable partner a long time ago and would not have put up with months of not talking to him because he disappeared for months.

Because I love him so much I am finding it hard to walk away from this relationship. The extreme fashion in which he will not answer his phone NO MATTER WHAT is very scary. Even when my grandmother died and I left him a voice mail, he did not call me. What does it take to MAKE him call me ? NOTHING WORKS.

The only thing that is keeping me from ending this relationship is how much I love him and the fact that I've read that people with AvPD actually desire closeness; they just run from it as a defensive mechanism.

Can anyone who has AvPD or anyone who has stuck through a relationship with an AvPD partner help me answer these questions:

Do persons with AvPD actually WANT closeness or are they just fine not having closeness with a partner ?

Whenever he disappears for days I leave him endless voice mails telling him how much I love him and accept him. I call him off the hook desperately hoping he'll answer. The only way I know how to show him my unconditional love is by keeping repeating that I'm not giving up on him and love him no matter what. But, is my intensity in calling him so much and telling him I love him actually driving him to withdraw even more ? Does my calling him so many times actuallly create more pressure in his mind that he is letting me down BECAUSE I love him so much and he is letting me down by not calling ?

The problem is, he is so inconsistent in how he spends some days with me and then withdraws or just doesn't call me to "touch base" and tell me where he is or what his plans are. After not talking to me for days he says he "lost track of time" or "his cell phone died" or some excuse.

What is the best thing to do when he withdraws ? Leaving him alone and not calling him ? I fear doing this because I've done it before and it got us nowhere. If I don't call he might feel that I don't love him unconditionally, so I always feel the need to keep repeating that I love him for who he is no matter what.

Do you think my boyfriend would be better off with another avoidant partner who does not want closeness and therefore won't care as much when he withdraws ?

Would another avoidant person be a better match for him ?

Do you think that he will always view me as a critical person who he simply can't open up to no matter what I do, so I should just end this ? Or, do you think I should try showing him, through patience and unconditional love, that I accept him to see if he will eventually view me as a "safe" person who he doesn't need to avoid ?

After a person has criticized you, can you EVER view them as "safe" even if they change and have shown you throughout the years that they really love you ? Will he ALWAYS avoid me because he'll always view me as critical ? If so, then maybe I should just give up.

My question for someone who has been married to a person with AvPD is: DOES IT EVER GET ANY BETTER ? Will I be saving myself a lot of pain by ending it now versus marrying him and having children with him ? Do you have kids ? Do you feel like you have the burden of doig everything because he "just can't deal with it ?" Do you still walk on eggshells because the slighest hint of criticism or rejection might trigger your husband's withdrawal ?

If you could provide any insight to these questions you would be helping me tremendously in understanding my boyfriend and making an important decision.
SillyAli18
 

Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby abcprofguy » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:08 pm

Hi SillyAli18,

Your post is 7 years old but I have the same problem right now. Any update on your situation? What did you do?

Anybody else is welcomed to help advise, based on her email!

-abcprofguy
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby Lizzie123 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:07 pm

Hi there,

I too am dealing with a partner with Avpd. We have been together for 4 years and I worked out for myself that he has Avpd about 2 years ago (A psychologist has since confirmed this) and it is an uphill battle every single day.
His behavior makes me depressed and I feel so worthless and so lonely and I wish I could find the strength to leave him. I do love him and that is obviously why I stick around. I would say that his Avpd is quite severe. He is 34 years old.
He won't go back to the psych and obviously won't talk about it. He actually won't talk about anything. Especially if it has to do with emotion or love or even the future. It has taken me this long to realise that he will never change, but I have tried to at least get him to go back to the doctor to give anti-depressants a shot. I know that he is not interested in Cognitive therapy. I think that I am at the end of my tether. I must be because I am searching for answers on the internet and trying to reach out to someone who understands what I'm going through. Friends and family really don't understand and it's such a difficult disorder to explain to people without misrepresenting my partner.

I'm interested to hear from other people who can share their experiences.
Thanks,
Lizzie
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby Evol222 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:37 am

Hi Lizzie,

First, I'm very sorry for what you're going through. It sounds like a tough situation, made tougher by the fact that your partner is unwilling to seek help and is reluctant to communicate.

Lizzie123 wrote:His behavior makes me depressed and I feel so worthless and so lonely and I wish I could find the strength to leave him. I do love him and that is obviously why I stick around. I would say that his Avpd is quite severe.


Have you expressed this to him? You deserve to be in a relationship that lifts you up, not sinks you and makes life a struggle. He needs to know how you feel, and if he's still unwilling to make an effort, then that's on him, not you. You alone can't be responsible for the well-being of the relationship.
Have you considered couples counseling? Is that something he would be willing to do?

*hugs* and well wishes,

Evol
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby LindaH222 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:41 am

So, from a woman who has been married to someone with AVPD for 20 years, what can you expect and what advice does she give?

First, they do show love, just not the way we feel love. They are thoughtful and kind, but we should give up expectations to ever know what is in the heart or mind of our loved ones with avoidant personality disorder.

I should tell you I am LindaH333 from the above post written 9 years ago. I stumbled across this thread, and the old response from me, while doing research for information to give to my therapist I AM going to. You read right. MY THERAPIST.

I was 32 then and now I'm 41. I've been into therapy for complex post traumatic stress disorder from childhood issues, a domestically violent upbringing . No wonder I picked someone who avoided conflict, my childhood was rife with it. How's that for being a doofus?

My point is, if we're attracted to someone like this, we should look inside for the answer to the question why. They are there. For me, it was a mixture of wanting a safe, gentle partner and I was a baby, only 21 years old, who had no idea what real love or intimacy felt like.

When I wrote the 2005 post, I was on the verge of doing something about my situation, but my Dad got sick, had heart surgery, hurricane Katrina hit that same year in August, he died a week after my 33rd birthday in March of the next year, and everything in life remained destroyed from Katrina. I ended up having a mental breakdown (major depressive episode with suicidal features) that took years from which to recover.

I slowly healed emotionally, but we moved from MS to WA, my mother got sick over and over with COPD and recently died last October (2013). There never seems a good time to deal with it.

About married AvPD's, they're all different, but the same in a lot of ways. Yes, every marriage will have its highs and lows. During the lows, without positive mirroring and feedback, yes, life can get THAT bad.

For those of us who love someone with AvPD, loneliness, desperation and depression is common. The lack of love and support is so palpable in this type of relationship that it can bring you to your knees, especially when the rest of life goes haywire. You will be alone with your strong emotions because they can't handle them. To make matters worse, their retreats can make us feel totally rejected for being a human with normal needs.

In our relationship in particular, the highs are not as involved and caring as other relationships other people have. Its common that romance movies or seeing real couples in love cause us resentment or sadness bordering on desperation because that is the one thing we won't ever have and desperately want. But we love the person when its good and withstand the silent treatment the rest of the time.

My husband has 3 states: 1. bored-every-day oblivious that is quiet (and I don't really exist) 2. down and kind of mad or sick and he's REALLY quiet (and I don't really exist) or 3. in a good mood (rare) and he does things he knows I like without really interacting with me. But I kinda exist. He is most thoughtful on those day and you can tell he likes to be of use and be helpful.

Even though my husband has gotten better, its still taken me years to trust my own reactions after falling apart. What contributed to that was being told I was over-reacting, over emotional, too aggressive and even abusive when having or wanting normal, healthy interaction. I started to doubt myself and believe him. It took years to dig out of it and I'm not sure I'm there yet.

Now I know I've been a lot of things, but not abusive. Imagine being told you bought the wrong bellpeppers and you're the one doing the cooking. Now, imagine telling that someone that you're going to "buy the bell peppers you want, no matter what they cost or where they come from" politely. That is not abuse. Its a boundary that just so happened to embarrass him and put limits on HIM for a change. (Neither of which they like, but who does? Deal with it like we all have to.) I also told him that I won't trade my logic for his and he needed to understand that, whether its about bell peppers or leprechauns. Until that point, I had allowed him to be right all the time to save his fragile ego.

One time, I did get really mad from being ignored TOO much and grabbed the remote controls to the tv, radio and dvd player and threw them in our fish pond. Yes, it was bad, yes, I knew it was wrong-- but c'mon, it took 15 years of being ignored to get me that mad. And, it felt really good, so I laughed. The lights came on the remotes and after they dried out, they still worked, ha.

First bit of advice: Don't get hooked into sympathy in these relationships. Sympathy is not love. Probably like you, after I found out the diagnosis, I felt so sorry for him. Knowing someone feels that bad about him/herself is so SAD. Of course, we want to change that. But WE can't, its impossible- they have to.

I tried so hard. I loved so unconditionally to prove myself trustworthy, loveable and that he could be safe with me to be loving, and that he was worthy of love, too. BUT I say this, if I can't love this man into loving me back and trusting me in 20 years, no one will.

Personally, I tried everything: tiptoeing, avoiding deep conversations, pretending to be like "Spock" from Star Trek since emotions freaked him out, and being accepting of crappy treatment from him (which will always be passive/aggressive and covert, mind you). I even allowed others important to him to get by with way too much to prove I wasn't "that" emotional. Have you tried to always be in a good mood? (I was the antidepressant and the entertainment in the house). Ever protect your avoidant? (I was also his guard dog. Watch the movie with Jet Li called "Unleashed"? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0342258/? )

In my experience, mine didn't have to stand up for himself because I'm bold... I'm just wired that way. I'm not so bold with him because I knew he was like a soft-shelled egg. No wonder he was attracted to me. The kicker for me was when our crazy neighbor guy behind us confronted him about using a BB gun. He blamed it on me! Being thrown under a bus cut me to the bone. Its one thing when I take the heat on purpose, but really??? He weighs 220 and I'm 130 on a big day. The crazy guy weighed maybe 150. I might be able to take him with a big stick, but thats not the point.

Avoiding normal human conflict, I shouldn't have expected anything different. But thats when I lost a great deal of respect for him.

I reiterate- don't get into a sympathy trap that "I can love enough to change this" because we can't. They have to. Its just like domestic violence, alcoholism or any other dysfunction. We can't love enough to change another person, no matter how much we want better for them.

Second, if you suspect someone you are dating or engaged to is like this, get out unless they are willing to work hard to dig their way out of their own hell. Therapy. Medication. Group therapy. It works if they want it bad enough.

If they don't, we are condemning ourselves to get the silent treatment for the rest of our lives. We have half a partner, if that. Save yourself time, tears, self doubt, feelings of unlovableness, worthlessness and just move on. Real love is too precious to not have and we are worth recieving it, too.

Here's a fact: Its better to be alone than to always feel like you're alone AND rejected. We're never going to get what we need to have a healthy relationship with these people, if thats what we want. Just stop now. We're never going to love them into being open, honest, forthright and affectionate. Ever. It won't happen. They won't ever share with us something more deep than what they want for dinner. We might get the day's traffic description. They will remain a shell that we happen to live with that speaks of superficiality only. Its awkward as hell, especially if guests are over.

A hard shell and a soft shell. That sums it up. Hard if you want in, soft all other times. Use kid gloves to turn on your jackhammer.

So, what did we/he/I do to try to fix this? We went to therapy after all the trauma in the years from 2005 through 2010, and he tried a little. He went maybe 4 times, I went religiously. Anything is better than MDD.

Maybe this effort was a lot from his perspective, I don't know. The therapist got emotionally intimate with me (I'm comfortable with it since you get out of it what work you put into it) and he didn't like it. I think he felt jealous that the therapist was paying more attention to me because I was working my fanny off.

The therapist gave him time to feel comfortable enough to go a little deeper, but they never talked about anything other than work and superficial things, mostly. He got into an intimate conversation once and after that, he conveniently got mad and said it wasn't working and just cut out all together. Didn't explain a thing to the man, nothing. He said it was all superficial and wasn't doing any good. (I'm thinking, well, you're a grown man, open your mouth and say something if you've got an issue. Talk about it, ask, discuss. You can do that. But... avoidants won't.)

Instead, he blamed the therapist for the lack of progress. Here's the truth: It takes 2 to tango, but they never see it that way because there is no such thing as joint accountability or a mutual partnership. Its either YOUR FAULT so they can play victim and retreat or THEIR FAULT so they can retreat in their perceived worthlessness and not come out... which, again, is what they want. And there is no progress, everyone loses.

We tried antidepressants (I'm still on them). He took them for a while (months?), felt better, was more outgoing and even disclosed a little bit about himself and then just went off meds without discussion or explanation (whats new with that). Get used to that, that's how almost all of our mutual decisions will be made. They control decisions and if we don't like them, there must be something wrong with us.

When things settled down and I was more stable, much more healthy and accepting of myself, my limitations and my ability to love, I wanted a child to love. He did not (well, duh, its an intimate relationship). I gave him time to adjust and we had our son who is now almost 3. That was the biggest surprise EVER because he happened the first time we tried. God wanted that baby born :)
But- we haven't had sex but one and a half times since then. I think he uses it as an excuse to not try. But I've got to admit, I say no because sex without affection the entire day just doesn't feel right to me.

As a father, he is fantastic, loving and attentive and spends time with this boy endlessly. But, we can forget about them setting boundaries consistently or explaining to the child what they did wrong when they are punished, especially if they get mad. It won't happen, they shut off. He tries, tho, I do see that and I know he loves that boy like he was his very own heart. He just lacks the capacity to do those things.

God forbid there is a conflict at school. Guess who will always have to deal with that? Yup.

Here's a synopsis~~

The good stuff: For one damn thing, you won't argue, lol. Mine will love with action, gifts or chores. Tape my favorite tv shows, buy me stuff. He does the dishes instead of saying I love you or hugging me. (I wanted hugs, I have a dishwasher.) Chores. Provide. Diligently work on hobbies. But, there is more to a marriage than providing material things. I can be happy in a cardboard box if I can find food and it isn't too cold-- but love? It is a basic human need.

The bad stuff: THE WORST ONE: They will always have more fear for themselves than empathy for you.

Cut you or people off when mad. Like, forever cut off. Rarely or never talk to you on purpose. Not answer the phone. Not answer you. Not look you in the eye when speaking to you. Not stop what they're doing to listen, even if its important. Outright ignore you to your face. Ignore your needs (your needs make them feel helpless). Never talk about whats going on inside of them. Stonewall, block out anything you ask. Never respond rather than a yes or no or I don't know. Give you the silent treatment. Look straight at your boobs and not your eyes when you make love (hey, eye contact is intimacy!)

Make decisions about finances or other major issues without your consent or approval. Blame you and say you're over reacting if you don't "behave" the way they want you to (be happy about it.)Take total control over everything because they don't trust anyone (and God forbid, yours screws it up like mine did.) Watch TV or do computer even if you're crying about something.

Blame you for what they do. Take everyone's side in their family but yours to keep the peace with them. Not hug, kiss, cuddle, embrace, do pillow talk. Use emotional blackmail (I made him mad about something and he tried to cut off my antidepressants- that is dangerous.) He once tried to cut off my finances, too, until I told him that was legal grounds for divorce and a strike AGAINST him in divorce court because its called financial abuse. He changed his tune.

I left out friends and relationships since I'm an only child and can go long periods of time not socializing. I'm pretty good at entertaining myself (I'm an artist, reader, etc.) Most of my stuff is pretty solitary anyway.

How all this effects you will have much to do with your patience, ability to maintain boundaries, can busy yourself, have outside intimate relationships (they make open or multiple marriages seem like good ideas) in spite of the AvPD person's attitudes. It will also depend on your history, your upbringing, etc.

If you decide to stay, good luck. I so hope I helped someone feel connected and validated. God bless.
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby BelieveMe » Sun May 18, 2014 6:46 pm

I don't have the energy to share my story right now but I do have the energy to say thank you. I am beyond grateful that each of you has shared your stories online. You have helped me so much and do not even know it. I cannot sacrifice myself any longer. The hurt has stripped away at my soul. At least I have found out that there is a name and reason for why he is he way that he is. I am by no means perfect but I am the only person in this relationship who appears to try. I have changed so much about me in order to have him love me in ways other than chores but I have come to realize that no matter how much I compromise who I am and what I want/need nothing will change on his end. I have exhausted every avenue possible. I love him so much but I have decided that it is time to love myself, too. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby skyflyz » Mon May 19, 2014 4:18 am

Thank you spouses for the reminders that the first step somebody with AVPD needs to take in order to find a romantic partner is to attempt to fix themselves or do whatever they can to become more functional.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu
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Re: Wife needs support in dealing with husband with AvPD

Postby Thomas.p. » Mon May 19, 2014 1:21 pm

I met the most excellent man and fell in love, he has all the signs of avpd which is sad as I don't think I will ever be able to do the right thing (in his mind anyway).
I always knew there was something wrong but never really knew what or why, but after reading this I now know that i didn't really ever have a chance, having suffered for 14 year with anxiety and panic attacks I wouldn't have walked away from someone with this I w
I'm an affectionate person who wears my heart on my sleeve, if something seems wrong I deal with it and move on, I now know that trying to deal with it with him was the totally wrong way, he just shuts down and it's like I'm not there
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