So, I haven't been able to find any information about this at all and it's driving me somewhat insane (not her condition but the fact I can't help). My wife and I are currently in a long-distance marriage (I'll be reunited with her Fall of 2021). Unfortunately, her ex was extremely abusive, a narcissist, etc. He essentially spoon-fed her guilt trips until it escalated to the point of her feeling like crap for days if she spent 5$ on herself.
To further this, nearly everyone in her life treats her the same. Her sister guilt trips her constantly, her two younger brothers, and yes, even her children. Now, I'd like to make it clear, it isn't an infidelity issue. She has spoken to a few doctors about it and has done some personal research. The doctors agreed she's experiencing an extreme guilt complex. Ever since I came into the picture, I've been slowly helping her, however sometimes it still gets pretty bad.
For example, we just got off the phone. Her one Christmas present to herself is a tattoo (her appointment is tomorrow, actually). I call her and she's frantically running around her house saying, "I feel if my house isn't spotless before I go to bed, then I don't deserve to get my tattoo done tomorrow." She and her ex are going through the entire court process (for custody), and another thing she said to me tonight was "in some weird way, I feel as if the judge will somehow know my house is a mess."
I've known her for 16 years in total and I know she's always had a guilt complex to some extent, however I didn't realize it is as bad as it is. I'm sticking by her side through everything and anything. I'm just trying to figure out what I can say to help ease her mind from some of these random thought patterns. I'm always calm when we speak, and sometimes she and I can just joke about it and it seems to calm her.
However, other times it seems she instantly becomes infuriated. I just want to help her!
Any advice would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you! I hope everyone is safe!