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I sincerely would like to find some way to establish some way of living with my wife
February 4, 2010
1:17 am

Dr. Coleman:
 I sincerely would like to find some way to establish some way of living with my wife domestically, but I am not sure if it is possible. My wife is hyper-senstive to any perceived critical comment, often making the worst possible assumptions, and misrepresenting, forgetting, or fabricating things said or done to vilify me and establish her victim-status. While I do not think that she meets the threshold for Borderline Personality Disorder in any way, my difficulties with her are clustered around this domain. Books such as Walking on Eggshells etc have been helpful, and your book Imperfect Harmony was for me very helpful. We are both established professionals, and can “do therapy” with the best of them, but after 6 marriage counselors in the past 12 years I have concluded that my wife uses the one-week session to relegate all disputes and marriage work to that one hour. I also believe that she appreciates the emotional support from a therapeutic environment in an unhealthy way, and in more than one situation our marriage counseling became her healing session, with the approach being once she is better, then we will be better. I am aware that this is fundamentally flawed – but when we go to therapy she becomes very emotional (cries often) and accusatory with inaccurate information – so much of the 45 min is spent managing her mood and establishing basic facts. There is rarely forward momentum, and what progress is achieved is often short-lived. Domestically, she feels so much like a victim, that any frustration I share about our domestic life is resented and grounds for indignation and attack. For her my lack of perfection is permission for her general disregard. She has agreed and ignored to so many agreements about housework that it has become almost a joke to even suggest it. 
She is a good mother and we both love our son very much who has special-needs. Outside of our relationship she has many friends. My frustration with her is her pervasive avoidance and/or hostility of anything that makes her accountable for her actions in the home, and the large degree of energy she invests in self-pity and encoding her victim status. 
I would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer.

Thank you 

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