Borderline Personality Disorder Community
Best Way to "Confront" Spouse
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to anger, anxiety, caregiver support, depression, emotions, fears, living with BPD, relationships, and violence.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Best Way to "Confront" Spouse

My wife of nearly 4 years has BPD.  Many of you with a spouse/significant other with this condition have seen how a BPD's perception is not always based in reality.  This disconnect with reality seems like the primary cause of our arguements and marital problems.

Our arguements usually begin when my wife has raised her voice and then cursed at me/insulted me and I have the immediate reaction to raise my voice back at her.  However, when this happens, she acts as though she has been quite and I am the one who is raising my voice.

This might be far fetched, but it seems to me that the best way to handle this is to setup a voice recorder in the house to "prove" to her that she is being verbally abusive and that it is unreasonable for me to be insulted and simply cower to her raised voice and insults.  Furthermore, if she really believes that she isn't being disrespectful, this might open her eyes to her condition and how it impacts me and our marriage.  Please let me know if any of you have any suggestions on how you have dealt with BPD problems.  Thank you.
Related Discussions
38 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
547573_tn?1234659310
Namaste,

You didn't mentioned whether or not your wife has been diagnoised with BPD?

If she has, she should be receiving medical attention to include medication(s) and/or counseling.

If, on the other hand she has not been diagnoised, she needs to see a mental health professional for a thorough evaluation.  Only then can an appropriate course of action be determined.

I'm sorry I can't provide much more than this without more information.  Your best help will be obtained by a professional mental health provider.

Michael(Jikan)
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i am a bpd woman was married to a very controlling man,inpatient,beer drinker not a loving step father things i know i should of seen , i said was married because after living with bpd for 7 yrs anger surfaced, now i know he could never change untill i changed so after i vented out most of my anger he swears he did't deserve it, my daughters luv that i stand up for myself well i have been married 29yrs and let me tell u there is a transformation in my husband, i don't know what kind of husband u are o were if your loving,giving even afectionate but let tell you we need it. my husband wishes he had that mousy pathetic woman who cooked cleaned ironed catered to his every need i still cook clean don't iron he still drinks won't cut back to bring down that beer belly so i won't put out. so maybe just maybe u need to look in your past to see what kind of husband you were.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
..whoops, sounds like this post got a little off track. If your wife has been dxed as being BPD, then you do have something to go on, If not, then taping her tirades will do absolutely nothing positive. BPD's already see themselves differently from the rest of the world, & having a tape recording of them cursing and yelling would be a very negative and hurtful thing. My daughter is married, has BPD which has increased tremendously since her marriage even tho her hubby is the sweetest and most patient guy around, With LOVE and unconditional acceptance of her and her condition, he (with a little help from mom) has been able to form a safe haven for her and also convince her to go into intense counseling along with trying to find the right medication to help her anxiety/depression which are often co-travelers with this disorder. BUT she was dxed as BPD. Improper dx is a problem, and actually, BPD is just a label of a grouping of behaviors. It's curable, controllable and many, many people recover and are able to live well with it. I believe my daughter will be totally able to get through this. But, as I said, LOVE and a lot of PATIENCE are going to be requried by you. You sound caring, and I hope you can find the help for her that she needs. Feel free to PM me if you need any more info, I have done a lot of reading on this subject and it has given me a lot of comfort.
All the best,
Liz
Blank
625148_tn?1248714364
From someone who has BPD. You tend to think or hear that your the victim. that your not doing anything wrong. That when you are confronted you feel attacked. Then you get angry, upset and it just becomes a cycle. so I would strongly suggest NOT tape recording her. I bet she would feel extremely hurt and that you were out to get her. At least I would. Has she ever gotten physical with pushing or anything? Just try to stick with the positive and dont point fingers. Arguments are both ways no matter who is the irrational one.
But I do praise you for wanting to know how to deal instead of doing what you want which could only arise more problems
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Good idea to want to know more about BPD  Bad idea to tape  luck  jo
Blank
635196_tn?1305727675
No, No, No! Please don't tape record her! I have bpd and my boyfriend of 5 years did that to me. When he told me about it, I almost went over the edge. He still has the tape and uses it as leverage and always throws it back in my face. I can't help the way I get when I start arguing with him or crying uncontrollably. I literally have NO CONTROL. For him to tape me in a time like that was so degrading & humilating. It did not change me; it actually made me worse b/c I didn't trust him. I felt like I couldn't turn to him with problems b/c he might be just taking notes for a future fight.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I can only speak for myself..I have BPD along with other mental illnss's..I knew when I was verbally abusive and I was also physically abusive..I don't know about your wife but I knew exactly what I was saying and doing and didn't give a rats a** the more he talked the meaner and the more hurtful I would become..the things that would come out of my mouth was horriable..I would never say I was sorry,no remorse what so ever about the mean things I would say,when I finally calmed dwn which was usually hrs before that would happened....so tapeing her would be so wrong..First and formost she needs to get help and be put on meds..I have been doing so well now for about 1 1/2 yrs..I go to my counclior every 2 wks and take my meds everyday..I no longer get that way..if he ticks me off I just say whatever and remove myself from the situation..Good Luck
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My ex-wife has BPD, and she would become angry and violent over the most trivial things.  I tried to get her into help, and she refused.  She would NEVER say sorry for anything, and would usually beat the **** out of me if I argued with her.  This sort of conditioned me to just take it, and I ended up walking on eggshells all of the time.  If your ex is not violent, there is a strong possibility she will become that way.  My ex was very successful and made over 100K a year.  The amazing thing is that she seemed to have complete control in her work environment and no control in her personal life.  I was the one that was the brunt of her anger.  I felt so hurt the first time she hit me that I was in shock for almost a week.  The funny thing is that I am an ex-special forces counter narcotic specialist, and she knew I would never hit a woman.  I was embarrassed to tell anyone how she would thrash on me for over 2 years.  This was a terrible mistake on my part, and ended up costing me my marriage.  I left the house one day with basically the clothes on my back, and filed for divorce after 8 years of marriage.  I don't hate her, but couldn't live like that anymore.  In fact, I still am concerned for her well-being, and have contacted many of her family members to explain what her problem is and why she needs help.  She still refuses to get any help, and believes she is still never in the wrong.  This has cost her to lose many of the relationships she has with her family.  It is a sad disorder, but can be treated.  People with BPD often don't want any treatment, because they do not think anything is wrong with them.  My ex was even delusional about the violence she committed on me, and I did finally tape record her.  She became violent when I played the tape to her, and attacked me with a knife until she got the recorder which she immidiatley smashed into a million pieces.  I would recommend marital counseling with a licensed thearapist, as that is the only way I found out she actually had this disorder.  Once the thearapist told her this, she refused to EVER go to counseling again.  If your spouse does not want to get help, you need to get out because it will only get worse.  If she does want help, then you have a chance at still maintaining your relationship.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Somebody told me to check out BPD because I'm going through a divorce with a woman who seems to fit similar traits. When I read E-Guy's story thought I was reading about myself, except that I'm a journalist, not involved with the military. It took me the longest time to figure out why it was difficult for people to believe me. Then I realized that when she entered a fit of rage, she would appear so dangerous that nobody could believe that she really was that type of person, because she would put on a different mask and act charming to others. But when people got too close to her, she then directed her rage at them. But people had to be confronted by her rage, before realizing that I wasn't telling lies. When she was nice, no woman was better, but when she got into a rage, the terror was unrelenting. In the last six months of the marriage, she only got worse and even turned abusive to my children. Nevertheless, she thinks nothing is wrong with her and everything is wrong with me. I always thought it was ironic that she would instigate a fight, scream, hit me with sticks, break things in the house and then say that "we" had a fight when I spent the entire ordeal saying "sorry" repetitively, just to calm her down. I couldn't leave the house either because she would hide the car keys or lock me out of the house for hours and since she hid my cell phone too, I couldn't call anybody to take me away.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Do none of these personality traits appear prior to marriage?
If not, maybe the change in environment is the stressor.

With bpd things can be very black and white (good/ bad, etc) I expect this may be why others don't see the rage.  Plus being with others, because you lack identity, you can feed off them.  Being with others can feel containing which limits the outbreaks or intensity of them.

Anger is a reflection of how much the person hurts and of the lack of skill to manage emotions, etc.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have been with my husband for almost 9 years now...and I feel quiet certain he has BPD...but refuses any help.  I would tape her...for your own benefit if their are any children involved.  I was kicked out for the last time...I refuse to let me husband's behavior affect our toddler.  I kept recordings of him and he refused to listen...he does not want to belive he has any issues and I walked on eggshells on a daily basis.  It was not as bad in the beginning...this gets progressively worse...and once it gets physical...it's starts to get physical more often as well.  Believe me...I love my husband and have bent over backwards to try to cope with him...but you have to decide at some point how much you are willing to take.  If your wife is truely BPD and won't get help...think long and hard about your own self worth because the way the disorder works the receiving person takes a real emotional beating...
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Probably nothing like what the bpd individual goes through themself.  At least you have the option of a break or to walk away.  Someone with bpd can't do that.

I guess while someone is in denial there is not much anyone can do.  I know some doctors have suggested leaving to precipitate a crisis and force the person to get help.
If they have the right support and treatment then things don't need to be like that.

If the person doesn't value you enough to make an effort then I probably wouldn't stay in that relationship.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
No I can't say how a person with BPD feels but I dare not say it is any easier on the people that are affected by it.  That is like saying that anyone with a disorder is so much worse off than than those they affect...sorry...but I believe that is why they came up with support groups for these very people.

While I have always valued what you have had to say...I do not like having someone say that those of us dealing with a BPD partner, friend, child, etc. has it an easy choice because we can walk away...step in some of our shoes and you might not feel the same way.  It is a difficult ride for any and all involved.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
In my opinion if they put half the resources back into treating the actual person then things in general would be much better (and there would be less need for support groups for others).

I think that people without the disorder who have issues (and allow themselves to be abused, etc ) need to take a long hard look at themselves and see what it is they are doing.
What can they be doing to support the bpd individual in accessing treatment?
What can they do to support instead of reinforcing maladaptive behaviors?  (Just about every single well-meaning person in my life and mhs has made the disorder worse.)
Why do people stay in a relationship when a bpd person values it so little they won't seek treatment and therapy?

Non's often perceive that they are the victims but it is usually the individual who was traumatized at a young age that is and who has failed to learn skills to cope.
Non's should be able to make decent decisions themselves.  You are choosing to allow it to affect you.  You could be setting limits and boundaries and modelling healthy behavior.

The overwhelming message I get from most non's, not all but most, who have posted here is that someone with bpd is dispensable.
As someone with bpd I personally find that extremely offensive.

I have had T's discharge me from the mhs because they haven't had the skill or experience to deal with me or my situation.
I have had a doctor repeatedly say that he feels I have potential but who fails to makes hard decisions when needed.  He protects me but he hurts me.
I have parents who are so disorganized themselves they can't possibly offer practical or emotional support.

If there were appropriate supports and early interventions for all involved then the disorder would wreck less havoc on all everyone.

I personally believe that discrimination and lack of understanding about this disorder are huge issues.  I also believe that many mental health professionals and services aren't offering adequate or appropriate support.

Somewhere in all this you just get a sick person screaming out to be heard (and becoming worse) and friends and family who are severely stressed and at their wits end.

I don't think that there are too many people doing a good service to those with bpd or to their support people.

I'm sorry if my previous comments insulted you but from my personal experience people don't understand what life with this disorder is like and in many instances are insensitive and rejecting.  Even in a suicidal crisis people have not been there.  The hospital say to put out the rubbish and to half-smile and there's nothing they can do to help.  My GP says he is blunted to it.  My family say they don't want to talk about mental health issues.  How does that show that anyone even cares.  All that does is make me question my own self-worth and adds to my feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.  Do people really not see how much we hurt?  Are we that invisible?  Maybe we are just great at masking our emotions (sometimes).
I guess our feelings were never as important as those of others whom we have hurt.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I still stand firm on what I believe and said previously.  I have and will always continue to love my husband and want him to get help...however...unless court ordered...don't ever see it happening.  And frankly...my pregnacy was a freak of nature...I believe it was GOD's way of opening my eyes...I will not allow my child to grow up in this environment to end up BPD himself....therefore removed both of us from the behavior.

Not all BPDs are the same...just as not alcholics are all the same.  Treatments may be effective over time...but unfortunately alot of BPDs will NEVER even see a counslor/doctor to be diganosed.    

I'm sorry if I have offended you...not my intentions at all...I  will not ever agree with "You are choosing to allow it to affect you.  You could be setting limits and boundaries and modelling healthy behavior. "...I DO NOT choose to let this effect me...I DID CHOSE to try to love him and help him through this...HE HAS CHOOSEN to not get help!  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
One last thing...I DO applaud you for seeking help and I pray that you find the right person to treat this for you...please don't give up...you have fought the biggest part of the battle by recognizing it.  I also understand family not wanting to discuss mental health...that is what I have found true of my husbands father/family and therefore again don't believe he will find the help he needs.  So I see why you are disturbed with the way people handle this whole issue.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I believe everything happens for a reason.

No, not all bpd presents the same way or is the same.  I think by the time you add all the traits of the various disorders and all the different life experiences and personal temperaments you have quite a unique individual.
I guess I am a little biased in that I am unhealthy and don't have relationships and therefore can't comprehend how an individual with such issues can create a family unit with the intention of it being stable.  My belief is that the work needs to be done at an individual level first.
I don't think this helps but your husband has a much better prognosis than me as he has been in an intimate relationship.

Many people with bpd also end up stuck in the prison system.  I expect this is more true of men than women.
Many doctor's, etc are also too scared to diagnose bpd as it can be stigmatizing.

In all honesty I probably wouldn't have accessed help except for the physical symptoms I was experiencing.  I did agree to a psych referral though as I felt something was wrong/ missing.  I was initially diagnosed with severe depression.  It often takes a major crisis for many people to get help.  It isn't just bpd people in denial though.  Many people refuse to get treatment for anxiety or depression or diabetes, etc.

You have been one of the few people who have stood by their partner or spouse and I think that was very selfless and courageous of you.
I think living away from this toxic environment is healthy.  I don't know if that was strictly your choice but it was a decision.  I don't know if you can make healthy decisions in a house where there is so much abuse.
He made the decision to not get help.  This then means that you need to reevaluate your options.  It sounds like you may have done this or are in the process of doing this.

Thank you.  I don't know if it is the biggest part of the battle.  Some days are so bad you just wonder whether it is worth it.  Worth the battle for what?  One more day of misery or of feeling inadequate or ashamed or feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  For feeling suicidal more days than not.  For this future that seems like some oasis in a desert.  For feeling so worthless, useless and incompetent.
For always falling through the cracks because you are either too sick or not sick enough.

I think many people also fail to understand that personality can take time to change and when they fail to see any improvement they believe the individual isn't trying or doesn't want to change.  They become angry and frustrated and close another door to support.

I feel angry because if the answer is always to throw away the key or walk away from a person with bpd, what does that mean for me?  Does that mean that there is no hope and we can't be helped?  Hope can be so fragile and when people just rather flippantly say leave the relationship ... it evokes a lot of painful feelings and issues.

I lost perspective of your discussion and was generalizing.  I still believe though that if things are affecting a person then they need to make decisions.  Making decisions can help us to take some control back and help us to feel empowered.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
The best thing to do ia not to shout back, to go quiet and leave it.

Let her realize she is shouting, she will in time, Silence is your greatest aid !
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I think not retaliating can prevent things from escalating.  I also think that this can create a huge amount of anxiety for someone with bpd.  The, owning the anger, etc, I mean.

I think if a person just needs time and space to get some control back over their emotions that this can be a good strategy.

As someone with bpd though I sometimes feel I need to be heard and the ignoring can make matters worse.  Or this is how is use to be.  I think as a person progresses in their recovery they are able to exert more control over their emotions, or the behavior anyway.

I guess things are different for different individuals.
Talking about what is going on or how someone feels when they are unwell and what is useful can be helpful (potentially for both parties).
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Silence is easier said then done, when she actually thinks that I am wrong all the time and that she is teaching me something, its insanity. I have tried silence, I have tried comforting, I have tried confronting. I have been married to my wife who has BPD for almost 16 years, and she still freaks out at me for stupid things. We have 4 kids and she will talk down to me constantly. Last night I was looking for the car keys to go out, she was the last to have them. So, I asked her to help me find them, well, she came downstairs and freaked out at me in front of the kids and said i was acting like a child, man I was choked. i am really getting sick of this She gets mad at me for everything. She even cheated on me 4 years ago with my best friend, but, I took her back because we have 4 kids. She then went to therapy for 3 months at a residential treatment for christian women. For the first few weeks back she was fine, and then it was all down hill after that. She says God is showing her stuff, i am not sure what he is showing her other than to be mean to me. Anyway, I feel your pain brother. Feel like I am stuck either way i go. i know if I leave she will make it miserable for me to see kids and if she leaves, same thing. Anyway, life's a rollercoaster, and i want off.

Jo  
Blank
1360950_tn?1277660203
Reading the posts above I couldn't help but think....hummm...I don't remember having fits of rage when i was suffering from BPD, so I guess everyone's symptoms can be a little different.  I am 58 yrs. old now and my BPD issues...mainly abandonment issues, were lost somewhere down the pike.  
I can tell you I was dx with bipolar I a few years ago and I do have a quick and sudden rage that hits me as fast as my mania comes on....no warning...just wham..uncontrollable intense anger to the point that sometimes I fear I could hurt someone.
I suppose amist all this rambling what I am trying to get too is, are you sure you are dealing with BPD and not Bipolar?  I suppose "the label" doesn't matter because treatment is the same with anger issues, medication and anger management therapy.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have probably had bpd for a while now although only diagnosed in 2005.
Growing up I would say I experienced anxiety more than anything with maybe a few outbursts triggered by some event (one was slipping over and landing in fresh cow poo another was being frustrated at doing a hill start when learning to drive).
I guess my feelings were extreme.  I would feel frustrated and leave the situation.
Generally speaking though I was pretty tolerant.  Probably more so than many others.

I went though a bad patch.  Was diagnosed with severe depression, hospitalized, traumatized and after that I came to have issues with anger.
I don't even know how to begin to describe those feelings of anger and frustration and tension.  Thankfully I am now better able to manage the anger.  I still get that tension sometimes which can leave me feeling anxious, on edge, irritable, etc.  It's never a nice feeling and it leaves me feeling like a volcano about to erupt (with all the pressure) but with some control (a cork in the vent).  It can feel like a volatile mix.  The pressure feeling like it needs a release but being too in control to allow it to happen.

If you did some research I think you would know if you had bpd or not.  Anger is just one trait.  If you're interested, and maybe you're not, you could always check out the dsm-iv for bpd.

It was a good point though.  BPD and BP can be confused.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have a sister inlaw who is diagnosed BDP and an ex-wife who in my opinion has many of the traits. this is a real disaster of an illness, it's seems like compulsive heartbreakers, who are never in the wrong and can only be validated and understood and forgiven because they are BDP.
i am concerned to read things like  
"Non's often perceive that they are the victims but it is usually the individual who was traumatized at a young age that is and who has failed to learn skills to cope.
Non's should be able to make decent decisions themselves.  You are choosing to allow it to affect you.  You could be setting limits and boundaries and modelling healthy behavior. "

as if "Nons" are compleatly ok and don't have the right to have problems... We all have bad days and I'm no angel I think that BDP therapy is too black and white
i think we are all to some extent at some time bdp, or capable of behaving like that. Only NOT if you have a BDP in your life because you are suppossed to be so !!!!! irreprochable and perfect.
it's like the, please don't hit me back... please don't go, it's not me thats hurting you but my disease... so it's not my fault... but you mustn't act like me or I'll get worse.
I am a recovering Alcholic and i recognise mainy similarities for alcholics and BDPs to brush over unacceptable behavior by using thier illness to take the responsability and not themselves.
The truth is that "normal well balenced mentaly healthy people" don't hang around with F**K ups, it would be a sign of being not well balenced... putting ones self in danger (real or imagined) so... people who hang around with BDPs are probably even worse of than the BDPs imagin because they probably eventually end up with something like "shadow BDP syndrome"
the choice of walking away was mnentioned... but if a "sane" person abandons thier child well... can it be a sane parenting decission? no
BDP is **** for everyone. and seems to polarize life in to a crazy black and white "Jump or be Pushed!" situation.
good luck to you all . stay sane or get sane. my sister inlaw says she is worried life will be boring if she gets over the BDP, it probably will. so why get better? to stop the pain! so increase the pain and the desire to get better increses? no the justification to be ill increases hmmm
if you confront it gets worse if you don't it gets worse. it'll always be your fault...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
From what I understand of BPD, having it makes you unable to see things as they actually are. Thus your rage is "justified". You are screaming and swearing because of "them". You are hitting "because they deserve it". "They must have it easy, they can just walk away" However for those of us who are spouses or family members of persons with BPD, the story is different entirely. To "give you space" so you can get their emotions under controll, means worrying if you will use this time and space to kill yourself.  We aren't retaliating, we are desperately trying to get help for you. We constantly worry if this time will be the time you actually do kill yourself.  What our spouses don't understand is that LOVE means we are able to walk away, but walking away is the one thing we cannot do. So we take the hitting, the screaming, the swearing, the throwing things, and pray that whatever treatment or therapy or med the doctors are trying next will be the one that brings back the real person, the person we love, the person underneath the mask their disorder forces them to wear. We don't have it easy either!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I think having bpd means that you see things from a different perspective to others.  I think that there are many different interpretations of events.  I do not believe that that means that we don't see things as they are.

I don't think that anger is justifiable but understandable.

Any reaction is not because of someone else but because of our own personal internal struggles.  (Which can be triggered by others.)

You're projecting your own fears onto the individual.

There is help and help.  I think that if individuals are acting out, etc then they aren't being heard.  Or they don't have appropriate support.  I think that you need to trust that people with bpd, with the right support, can grow.  We need not to be smothered or to be babied.  What is most helpful is to be listened too without judgements, to be treated with respect and to be accepted for who we are.

I don't understand what you mean about being able to walk away but not being able to walk away.
My doctor has young children and allows them space to grow and find themselves without severe restrictions but love means that he is there for them if they need him.  I guess he shows them love and trust first.

You shouldn't be taking abuse from someone with bpd, or anyone.  Limits and boundaries are good for most people.

I think that if there is acting out then the treatment is not containing the individual.  And it could perhaps be concluded that some aspect of the treatment plan isn't working.  We're individuals too and don't like it when people exert their power and control over us at our expense.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have found that being silent and even walking away works the best. I like to walk away, otherwise you will be accused of giving her a "Look" or your eyes were angry.

Sometimes mine will keep arguing, even if I am outside, or out of the room. I wait until she calms down. Sometimes it is hours, sometimes days. One time she was angry for an entire week. I never argued back. She was going to leave me, had bought a plane ticket and was ready to divorce me. The day before the flight she all in a sudden snapped out of it and said she would never leave me.

Then she said, can I get a refund on my plane ticket, because I do not need it now.

I have to admit that this has happened two time, and both times I started crying in front of her because she was leaving me. That snapped her out of it both times.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Perhaps your distress (your crying) resonated with her own level of pain.

I can't really explain what it feels like to have bpd but ocassionally there is a big build up of tension and nothing you seem to say or do releases that.  Sometimes it comes out as arguing, sometimes and for others it is throwing stuff or harming oneself.

I think that perhaps once one gets to this space it just needs to be played out.  I know that there are skills that some clinicians teach people with bpd and one of those is opposite action to emotion.  If one feels like arguing or avoiding then one is challenged to do the opposite (to discuss things rationally and try and gain perspective and to not avoid).  It is not always easy though and in the early stages of recovery there are many not so skillful periods.

One thing I have learnt with bpd and that is that validation of the persons emotions and experiences can help them.  Validation helps them to feel heard.  It can help dissipate that emotional tension and help restore things to baseline.  Baseline is a place where most of us can be reached and where we are in a better position to relate.

People with bpd are very sensitive.  I think it is a skill learnt at a very early age.  I think it helps people with bpd defend against potential threats.

I think that people with bpd need to be engaged (but not if it is going to intensify their negative emotions.  If there is any acting out, arguing, etc it means that you've missed the mark in terms of understanding what is trying to be said.).

I have read that some people require others to respond on a similar emotional level to be heard.  I'm not sure how constructive arguing back is but somtimes it doesn't hurt for the bpd person to see that you're invested in the relationship.  I think retaining boundaries and remaining during these times is important.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I meant to say remaining consistent ...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Seems like this thread died way back in 2008! Anyways, assuming ppl are reading this thread off & on ~ I've a query for all respondents who said they've BPD. Few talked about therapy, counselling, medicines etc. Was this self initiated or otherwise? What if the spouse with BPD doesn't agree/believe in getting professional help?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
What if the BPD spouse doesn't agree to get professional help or even accept the existence of anything such as BPD? To the people out here who are getting help, I'm interested in knowing how it got initiated?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Seems like I made two similar posts ~ sincere apologies to all. Spamming was not the intention, was typing from my mobile & had got an error for the first try at posting. Also, had just read the first page of comments only( back in 2008), and not seen the other responses. Will do so. And if there's some way to delete extraneous posts ~ if some1 can point me to that.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
JB113

I noticed it has been a while since your last post. I am currently living with my wife and I am going through what seems to be almost the exact same situation. I am seeing a counselor weekly and I also have my children in weekly counseling with their school guidance counselors since she lashed out at them and ate a half of bottle of sleeping pills. I convinced her to go into a behavioral health hospital for a week and 2 weeks of outpatient counseling, but after this she went to one session with her therapists and refuses to return. She mostly acts fine around others but goes through a different girlfriend about every six months because she creates reasons why she doesn't want to be friends with them. She won't return their calls or text and disconnects from them. I also deal with the dr.jekyl/mr. hyde that you described. I feel like no one believes me because she charms them and acts like she is nice all the time. Then it seems when she can't be nice anymore she explodes on me and lately in front of our children. The question I had for you is that you stated that you were going through a divorce. What was the outcome with whom your children ended up living with. I am almost to the point that I cannot take the verbal abuse, threats, and accusations anymore. She doesn't spend anytime with our children and sometimes days go by without her even speaking to them. I cant imagine my children ending up living with her most of the time and being neglected, but I am concerned that if I leave she will get custodial custody. The last thing I want is my children to be treated like I have been treated for the last 10 years. Hope things are better for you. Thank you.  
Blank
1926996_tn?1322993695
It sounds like you are really going through a very difficult time and worrying about how your children are being affected by this is making it much harder.
I would speak to family law advisors about what's going on as it doesn't seem like your wife is able to cope with them, as she is not coping herself.

About 10 years ago had to leave my children with their dad, it was difficult but I knew that I needed to get well and didn't want to cause any more problems for them. It took a while before I came to this acceptance and their dad supported me into a new place to live. It made it much easier to make a new start.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My wife was diagnosed with BPD and she fired the therapist who diagnosed her with the condition. Sine than we did marriage counseling with a therapist who did not know anything about BPD, therapy sessions did not work. Now she is angrier, more hostile. Of course, I am the one who has psych problems according to her. She behaves well in front of people, but is a totally different person inside the home, She does not feel like she has a problem and needs any help. The second therapist did try to address her issues and advised to change her habbits but that did not work. she is not willing to seek any help.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
If you have a spouse with BPD or NPD, get out. I don't see much help out there for them, let alone the fact that they probably wont get help. They'll blame you for everything going wrong with their life. You'll run yourself ragged trying to solve every problem and still get kicked in the head for trying to help. I can't scream "RUN!" loud enough, but do it before your life is ruined. I stayed until I was so screwed up, now I'm on meds and can barely function.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
"There is help and help.  I think that if individuals are acting out, etc then they aren't being heard.  Or they don't have appropriate support."

This is absolute nonsense. Individuals are responsible for their own acting out, and the problem with BPD and how to manage it, especially as a spouse, is that there is no relative *cause* for the "acting out." The "acting out" you're talking about is generally just good old-fashioned, plain, simple, emotional abuse. If you scream at someone, intimidate them, try to force their engagement in a conversation, bully them, blame them, guilt them -- this isn't because you "aren't being heard." It's because you haven't yet learned the line that exists between people and the respect you treat those you love with. It's abusive, it's taking advantage of the presence, the loving presence, of another human being, and it's ********.

If you aren't being heard, this is possibly the very last way to be heard. Any rational human will divert their resources into protecting themselves, and your initial point will be swallowed by such hugely damaging behavior.

There's no reason for it that's related to the person you lash out at.

Really. There's no reason for it that's related to the person you lash out at. This disorder is a trauma response and the only place you'd feel safe enough to let all that rage out is in a place far away from the cause of that trauma, with someone who loves you. Your spouse isn't causing it, and if you're a spouse reading this -- you aren't causing it. It has nothing, zip, zero, nothing to do with you. If it did, it could be approached rationally and calmly and communicated with some semblance of respect. Otherwise, it's trauma, it will pass, it's deep rage and anger, it will pass. But it isn't because of anything you said or did, the dishes, the kids, the dogs, the conversation, how sensitive you are, how cold you are, or anything else.

There is a real question and issue of responsibility. Eventually a person with BPD has to be able to own his or her issues as their own. Those issues aren't being enflamed by someone, you aren't being provoked into finally "losing it." If you have BPD you are very sensitive to being intimate with someone, and it makes it difficult to do that without hurting that person and yourself. If you have a patient and loving and willing partner at least try to recognize it for yourself. There is no excuse or justification for treating someone badly no matter how angry you get. It is not that person's fault you acted or even felt the way you did. The way you act is always only your fault. Period. And you can do it differently next time, but only if you can accept, for yourself, that you did real damage to another person, through no fault of their own.

This doesn't mean they're perfect. But it means they didn't do anything wrong. Anything to deserve how you treated them. Period. There's no but here.
Blank
693583_tn?1376061660
My parents brought it to my attention that they were convinced I had bi-polar (my uncle had it) or BPD in November. I immediately started doing research online because I have been desperately trying to save myself. I went to my therapist who I've been seeing for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help with my depression, anxiety, PTSD and Suicidal Tendencies. I asked her to give me the questioners, and I do indeed have it. I felt a sense of being overwhelmed by something I was unfamiliar with but I also felt like it was the answer to a lot of questions in my life. I'm an incredibly insightful individual who had been soul searching and I have always been interested in psychology but I was not familiar with Personality Disorders.

I've had several serious relationships and I have always struggled tremendously with them. I knew as a kid I didn't want to get married or have kids, by 7 years old, and I've always been a loner at heart despite having people around. I got sober on my own, after my last violent relationship (we are drawn to and also create these turbulent relationships) and my last trip to the hospital for a drunken accidental overdose encouraged by the ex. So I'm coming up on 3 years sober, I have a Bachelor degree in Communication,  I have my own place, vehicle, cat, and a cool new job. But I had been feeling incredibly hopeless, and disturbed by my preoccupation with suicide. I have a pretty screwed up family and I had been fighting with them more lately, sober, than I had at any time in my life. My mom is a co-moderator of several boards on here and she has Panic Attack Disorder with Severe Depression and I am fortunate that she goes out of her way to educate herself about things like this. I told my family I felt I needed to be hospitalized before I did something that couldn't be undone, because I felt like I wouldn't be able to stop myself. My lashing out and admitting that I wanted to end it is what got them researching and they realized I have all of the symptoms.

I have read 3 books by authors with the disorder since I got diagnosed, watched videos, and I continue to try to absorb every bit of info on the subject. Fortunately for me I had already gotten in to yoga classes and meditation which are incredibly helpful for dealing with this disorder. I am trying to get into a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) program which is designed to help those of us dealing with this learn 4 core skills: 1. Mindfulness 2.Emotional Regulation 3. Distress Tolerance and 4. Interpersonal Effectiveness. Look up brain scans of people with this disorder. BPD's have an overdeveloped Amygdala and an underdeveloped Pre-Frontal Cortex. This is science, not blame or finger pointing. Placing the blame one way or another helps no one, there is nothing good that comes out of it. I know now why I am so incredibly screwed up and I'm very sorry for a lot of the things I said and did in the past when I didn't understand what was going on with me. I don't expect people to forgive me or understand. I have been a bridge burner my whole life. I have drove people away because my own intense feeling are too much for me to deal with when another person is in the mix. Not all BPD's are the same. I for example am not a 'cutter', but I really do understand people that are. We distract ourselves to avoid dealign with emotional pain. I somehow managed to work through a lot of issues that I had in the past when I was at the height of being out of control (physically combative, promiscuous, drug use, etc) but I've always been a very self directed person with this underlying sense of self preservation. I am getting better, already. Like a lot things in life, you get out what you put in. I have been incredibly proactive in my therapy and I have a really good CBT therapist that is guiding me in the direction I need to go to manage this disorder. It is dangerous, for us and the people around us. We are incredibly impulsive and can be quite unreasonable when we are upset. I am sympathetic to family members and loved ones who are dealing with combative, undiagnosed, or untreated BPD's. Of course I understand where the BPD person is coming from too and it has nothing to do with anyone being right, or justified or having a good reason for being the way they are. It is what it is and it's difficult for everyone involved. For us it can be deadly. I still deal with memory issues from my last accidental 'coached' OD 4 years ago. I'd much rather deal with someone who has this than actually have it myself. When you have it you never get a break, it doesn't really let up for us. I've told my mom my entire life that I am unbearable to myself, that I drive myself totally crazy and that I am without a doubt my own biggest and most dangerous enemy. But that is all changing and I am learning control for the first time in my life. Control of my actions in terms of learning to cope but also learning to thrive and to create the life I want and need.

I'm not sure what advice to give for a husband whose wife is in denial but I will say this, being told I was having and 'episode' when I was upset made me feel like people were saying I was crazy and ridiculous and not justified in being upset. If someone had taped me, I would destroy it and totally resent them for it. My family knows it wouldn't be helpful for me though because I was already self loathing and vocal about how screwed up I was to being with. There is a video on YouTube called "Back From the Edge" that features 3 BPD's and their loved ones as well as doctors and clinicians. Educate yourself so you know what you're dealing with and maybe see if you can ask her when she's calm how she feels about her life. My guess is she's angry, miserable, alone in her own head, and sees no other way. We see people as ally's or enemies typically. Try to be her ally and see if you can work together. If not, do what you must do for yourself because this is your life too.
I wish you both the best, and to my fellow BPD people, keep hope alive.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Being presently engaged to a BPD partner and having read some of the things some of you guys suggested sometimes makes me wonder if you care about your relationships with them.  Anyways, if she is being abusive no matter how you have to put bounderies:  1. You tell her in the moment (that she is abusive).
2. If that does not work (honestly just walk out or tell her that you will discuss this later..)
3. Or tell them by code word (if you are in a public place) or plain in simple to go calm herself down. (That usually works well for me).
Worse you treaten to call 911 if they do not call either a crisis center or leave the room.   (seriously for me I find it works miracle.)


But if she gets physically abusive leave or tell her to seek emergency psych treatment for anger management otherwise you will leave.  You cannot tolerate physical abuse.  And she got to realize she has a problem to solve.  I find that ever since I treaten my fiance to leave for good he got his act together seek private professionnal help and started to look for online help with his issues and it has help him tremendously as I can see a big difference already.
The person who suffers this illness has to want to work on themselves and ackwnoledge they have a problem to solve (otherwise it useless). Another thing to think about is getting couple therapy as previously mention by others it is needed as we people without that disorder need to learn how to communicate with them and them with us. Couple therapy is a MUST I believe otherwise it doom to failure unless that person is recovered from it ilness and if they get proper treatment 85% I (researched this thing alot) recover never to relapse fully ever again so yes there is help out there for them.  Actually the therapist my fiance is seeing right now told me his been treating this condition for over 15 yrs is teaching other therapists how to cope with that clientele and tells me over 10 sessions this should have greatly improve if he is committed.  Little known fact most health professionals do hold strong stigma against the recovery of those pple (but statistical datas of many studies (including longitudinal one of 10 yrs (I found but I got to pay to get the entire article suggest that they do recover within years.  So yeah hope all that helps!!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Borderline Personality Disorder Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
Top Personality Disorder Answerers
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO