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Second, while the spouse who is trying to be that giving, caring spouse, may get overwhelmed by the demanding self centered behavior of the dysfunctional spouse, s/he actually could step out of that role and say no to the various and numerous demands. The healthy spouse in a marriage has always wanted and expected to fulfill that role in an appropriate way.
Also, this intentional role change may be frightening, because the anger, or perhaps the fragility, that the unhealthy spouse displays seems difficult to challenge.
Register/View webinarpopular therapists talk What It Takes to Have a Great Marriage - Esther Gendelman Esther Gendelman Register/View webinarpopular therapists talk What It Takes to Have a Great Marriage - Rabbi A.
J Twerski, MDRabbi Abraham J Twerski, MDRegister/View webinarresources for the frum community The Missing Peace Esther Gendelman A Victim of Abuse or Struggling in a Bad Marriage?
First, while there may be abusive behavior, there is not a systematic of coercive control.
When the dysfunctional spouse’s behavior is examined carefully, one can see that the abusive treatment is sporadic and often only comes at times of conflict or potential conflict.
To effectively understand what else might be going wrong, when a spouse may feel abused but it is not a case of domestic abuse, it's best to begin by exploring what a marriage looks like when things are going right.
In fact, a challenge to the dysfunctional spouse’s self-centeredness may at first make the marriage seem even more dysfunctional, because it increases discord, as both spouses are now “fighting” for their own needs.
However, in a dysfunctional marriage it is possible to stop assuming the caretaking role and assert one’s own needs.
Any attempt on the part of their spouse to have independence in belief or action that is contrary to theirs provokes the fear of abandonment which in turn becomes rage.
In that rage someone with BPD can become very abusive, but again the etiology is very different.