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My wife has BPD symptoms
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My wife has BPD symptoms

We have been married for 6 years. She is typically the best wife a man can ask for. She is very nice most of the time and is a hard worker. She has a second personality that is angry and very mean. I discovered that whenever she got into that second personality, I just need to shut up. No matter what I say, she accuses me of starting the argument. She will then start blaming her anger on other things I said or did that did not seem to bother her at the time they happened. One time she came up with 6 different reasons she was angry throughout the evening. Each time, she forgot the previous reasons she was angry.

Sometimes this anger will last for days, sometimes it will go away quickly. Just today she was holding hands with me telling me how wonderful I was. She started talking about the weather, and how cold it was (75 degrees) I made the "Mistake" of telling her that I thought that it was warm today.

Wrong answer. Went into a rage about how grumpy I am,

I had 2 kids living with me, and she chased them both out of the house with her sudden rages. We can't have any pets, because she blames them for anything they might do in the future. They also trigger her into anger moments.

I have found that just being quiet when she gets into a rage, has the best results. By saying anything gives her more ammo to get angry with me. Even if I say something nice, she will say that I am only being nice because I was trying to hide something bad I did.

It is very very tempting to try to defend myself when she verbally attacks me, but it is of no use. She has no reality. She will make up things that never happened. She will call me names like lazy, not loving, selfish, angry etc, when in the previous minute I was a hard worker, romantic, unselfish and nice.

She has an appointment with a therapist next week. About 4 years ago she started seeing a therapist, but all in a sudden would not go, and got angry with me for making her go previously.

Anyone have any more advice? I love her, and hate to see her in this state. I hope the therapist helps, but if it does not, anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to deal with her?

Thanks
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I think that that could be explained by not being able to integrate things.  Sometimes they remain split off and outside of a persons conscious.

I think sometimes when a person becomes unwell it is not always about what is said.  It can indicate how a person felt about something though.
I had this happen to me recently.  I became unwell and became frustrated by the lack of support I was receiving from my doctor and the mhs.  I attacked him over his consultation fees.  This was actually extremely unjust as he normally changes me the minimum fee possible but sometimes when I have seen him when I have been unwell he tends to charge me a higher amount.  For me, I guess that I felt unheard and invalidated and I did feel angry because I felt that I was being punished for being unwell.

I think that there is some unresolved issue there that is contributing to her behaviour.  It's possible that she may not even realise that this is why this is happening.

Maybe because your comment invalidated her feeling (that it was cold).  This is due to splitting, a primitive defense mechanism used by people with bpd.  If something is warm then it can't be cold.  This is sometimes how extreme we think or see things.  If something is good then it can't be bad or vice versa, if it's bad it can't be good.

Pets can be stressful.  I think that it is more about boundaries and her need to feel in control of her external environment (which helps her feel more in control of her internal one).

If the therapist is any good the therapeutic relationship should survive.  If she does leave again and she doesn't relate well with the T then she should see another one.

With the reality stuff when severely stressed people with bpd can have psychotic-like symptoms.  It can be hard to test reality when one feels paranoid, etc.
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1806750_tn?1323313642
She is lucky to have such an understanding and supportive husband like you.  I'm sure that her behavior and outbursts of anger has taken a toll on your family because they seem to come on without a warning.  The best advice I have for you is to make sure your wife gets treatment  with both psychiatric meds and therapy; she could benefit from both.  The most important thing that you can do for your family and everyone's mental health and peace of mind, is to keep your wife in treatment no matter if she likes it or not.  You have to be almost like a parent to her and make the decisions that will be the most beneficial to her health since she is not thinking realistically and cannot make a logical/rational decision.  
Her behavior and abusive episodes of rage will eventually end up destroying the family if she doesn't get treatment.  People can't live under that kind of stress and lead a healthy existence.  Your wife needs to learn coping skills and ways to deal with her anger.  Her verbal attacks are abusive and is not an acceptable way to cope with her anger.   It seems like you have allowed her to take her anger out on you because maybe you knew of no other way to deal with her, but it's truly not healthy for her or you.  
The best advice that I have for you, is KEEP HER IN TREATMENT/ THERAPY.  She desperately needs it and she will thank you years later.  She may fight against the therapy, but it's crucial to the survival of your relationship and sanity.  
Oh, I also forgot to mention that depending on the severity of her mental state, she may require a few days in an inpatient psychiatric clinic to get her balanced and more stable.  Let the therapist help her and remember that your wife is not in a healthy state and really doesn't know what is good for her.  You need to be the decision maker and guide her in the right direction.  
Good luck and stay strong.
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Avatar_f_tn
I disagree with the comments in the post above but believe that good therapy is essential.  A good therapist will be able to retain a 'difficult' patient in therapy.  If not I would be seeing someone else.

Some therapists can be more damaging.  I don't think that a support person should be encouraging this.  If a person with bpd feels like they're being heard then likely they will remain in therapy.  If not, I would support them in seeking alternate treatment (providing they're not avoiding dealing with some issue that can be worked through with the T).
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653622_tn?1318662403
Hi, yes she is lucky to have a wonderful and understanding husband. It sounds like you already know pretty much how to handle it. I have not been diagnosed with BPD, but am pretty sure this is me. Your wife sounds so much like me with the anger and mood swings. I don't know a lot about this myself, or I would have helped myself a long time ago, but I think you are doing right when you stay quiet when she argues or gets mad. It may be enabling her or feeling like you are, but I think that is really the only way for her "imagined argument" to subside if there is no one to argue with. I get this way a lot too, and my family doesn't know how to handle it, but at these times sometimes i just want to be left alone and if there was someone that would argue with me, boy watch out. I would go on and on and I would think that I am the "right" one, when really, I don't know what the hell happened. I guess there is no reality. It is almost like PMS, but maybe worse. It does probably get worse around that time though. I just moved, so I can't go to therapy yet. I hope she has a good therapist, cause this diagnosis needs it. Good luck.
Annie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
Yes.  I agree your wife has BPD traits.  You have already learned what took me years to learn--don't say anything or if you do say something, it should just be "I totally understand where you are coming from".  However, resentment will build up if you can't express your needs at some point.  But if you want to stay with her, and she is willing to seek help, she needs to find a therapist skilled with BPD--possibly offering Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  My girlfriend despised the therapists who attempted to help her without understanding BPD.  Finally we have found one who knows how to work with her.  

Have you checked out BPD central or BPD family.  Both have good resources.

And to tfory185:  you sound very self-aware.  I am pulling for you.  Is there a DBT program in your area?  Even if you are not BPD, you can benefit from DBT.  I am trying to learn it too.

Y'all hang in there.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your message, I can relate t o your feelings. I have been married for 23 years and my husband has just been diagonised with BPD. I'm sorry to say but the pain he has had on our children and myself is incredible. We have been sufferring in silence all this time. I wish I had have known what his burst of rages, mood swings, putting us down with nasty comments and then being overly nice again, distancing himself from the family, then sufferring enormous anxiety now that we have asked him to leave the house. He is expressing suicidal thoughts at the moment. I am torn between my husbands pain and my childrens pain. At the moment my priority is with them whist he is at his sisters place. Our children have just expressed feelings of anxiety when their father used to come home from work because they didn't know what mood he would be when he walked in the door. Our son expressed how he felt when his father would say comments like "Whats wrong with you?" after a soccer match.Recently our family has fallen apart. I had learnt just to survive with his behaviours but now it is affecting our children who are hurt and sad. We will look at getting help for all of us, but I think it is important to be aware the affect of living with someone with BPD can have on yourself and the children. At present I have no self esteem or self worth from years of living with someone with this disorder. Myself and our psych is extremely worried about the children and the impact it has had on their self esteem and ability to understand what a healthy relationship looks like.
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Avatar_f_tn
Consistency, acceptance and validation should go a long way to help your children.  They will also learn from you.  Encouraging them and accepting them when they do make mistakes may help.

Therapy sounds extremely important for all of you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been reading up on BPD for months due to my wife's difficulties, and out of desperation, I approached her about it, and she went to her psychiatrist and asked her about it, and I've never seen a more vitrial response than I got from her psychiatrist. I guess if you don't have a PHD or MD behind your name, you can't report behaviors that you've seen daily for several years--the "professional" has to do it based on 30 minutes a month for several months. Wow. I'm frustrated and don't even know where to go with it from here.
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Avatar_m_tn
The original posters situation is exactly what I have been going through for 18 years. I have only recently realized that my wife has BPD. I had never heard of it before that. I think I loved her in the beginning, it's hard to remember now. But 18 years of mental torture she has put me through has dissolved any love to nothing and left only pain and hatred for her and myself for not having the strength to make a break. I am now trying to work out how to get out of our marriage in a way that will not make her turn every weapon in her arsenal against me. I don't think I have the strength for that.
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