I just found this site when searching for information about Borderline Personality Disorder. I was looking for a place to find a support group or information dealing with recovery and stories/messages from people currently recovering from BPD. Everything I have found so far is either too medically correct (hard to read, in other words) or is too one-sided ("Leave her now!! For God's sake!").
I just found out last week of the status of my wife for 2 years, she is diagnosed with BPD. I found out because I finally confronted her on her sneaking around and growing distance in our relationship. Yes, it's true, she was cheating on me. I messed up though, I fell in love with the woman when I wasn't paying attention. I wanted to leave her, but decided to see what the problem was before making a decision to leave the love of my life. She has always stated her love for me and wants badly to repair our relationship (so she says)...and I am left with no choice at the moment but to believe her. I want to help her, I truly do.....either as her husband or as a friend. Our marriage is secondary to finding a way of recovery for her. I see her pain (that, of course, she doesn't "feel" very often) and it hurts me too. I love her and want to see her happy. Underneath her problems is a beautiful person I want to grow old with.
Thankfully we have no childeren (she got pregnant by adulterer #2 a month ago but miscarried....), so other than our time together we can have a clean break. But I am also in the military and it is becoming clear now that treatment for her is going to be very costly without the backing of a 100% medical coverage that the military provides. I know I am being somewhat of a doormat for her roller coaster of a lifestyle, but she does need help. Am I just stupid or something? Or is someone else out there in my shoes as well and feeling this situation?
I hurt so bad from the things she has done to me. I have always been faithful and I love her so much, but she thoughtlessly and deliberately went to another man to find the things she found missing in me....instead of finding them in me. I see her struggle but she doesn't let me in far enough to help her heal. She says she wants treatment now but is showing signs of "holding back". She also says she is more ready now than ever before and is willing to do whatever it takes..... What should I be doing with this? I really need some advice from some first hand people out there. Please help. thank you.
STzen I feel for you, I really do. I am somewhat involved with a man with BPD. I've read a couple books that helped explain things. I suggest you read Walking on Eggshells, taking your life back when someone you care about has BPD (although take into consideration that one of the authors has BPD and it is slanted toward them) for example, it says that sometimes the BPD does things that SEEM like manipulation, but they're really not, it's just the BPD trying to survive.....sounds like more sugar coated manipulation out of the mouth of a BPD. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book, but the NON-BP is still expected to coddle (for lack of a better word), and understand, etc....
It does give coping tips, etc. It's easy to read with a lot of case studies that really hit close to home. I also read I hate you, don't leave me. I don't know what to tell you. I've been off and on with this man for months now, and I'm getting tired of the abuse. Only you know how much you're willing to put up with. All I can say is, don't lose yourself in this persons problem. You didn't create it, you can't fix it. You can only save yourself. Also, please don't have children with her. I can't stress that enough. You can walk away now, or choose to in the future. If you have children, you will never be able to walk away. Good luck to you.
There are a lot of good people on this board. Nakita is a recovering BPD. Scaredwife is married to a BPD. The 3 of us are trying to give each other support. I urge you to read some of the other threads here, and we will be here to listen! Welcome aboard!
STzenn - I, too, am sorry to learn that you are in a situation very similar to mine. As Rose mentioned, my husband (who I've been living apart from for over a year now) shows all of the DSM IV criteria for BPD. It's been an EXTREMELY chaotic emotional roller coaster for me. One minute everything seems to be going well, the next minute it's like someone's pulled a plug.
Since we returned from our honeymoon in early Nov, 2004, I endured every sort of emotional/verbal abuse that you can imagine. I've been given the silent treatment for anywhere from several days to the present 4 weeks as of tomorrow. I have been called selfish, inconsiderate, evil, ruthless, a liar, sneaky, deceitful... and diagnosed by my husband with everything from ADHD, split personality disorder and even munchhausen (sp?) syndrome - which from what I've read is what women who intentionally make their children ill just to get sympathy/attention from ER nurses & doctors are diagnosed with. I've continually been told by him that I make bad financial decisions. Now for my reality:
A) I/we have no children
B) Anyone who knows me would tell you that I'm anything but those words written above.
C) I work a decent, respectable job with many responsibilities and good pay/benefits.
D) My bills are all paid on time and my credit is outstanding.
E) I even own a 9 acre lot that I hope to build on one day (bought before we married).
Now for his reality which he is in denial about:
A) The adjectives he's used to describe me apply a great deal more to him instead - even a licensed psychologist felt this was so and says this is him 'projecting' his issues onto me (something that is quite common).
B) In spite of earning $20/hour, he is thousands of dollars in debt - possibly due at least in part to a drug problem.
C) He doesn't even own his truck - it is financed/titled in his mom's name.
D) He owns nothing - except the $2500 mobile home his father recently helped him purchase. His credit is so bad that his father had to co-sign for the lot rent ($230/month).
E) If you get a chance to browse our other threads here, I'm sure you will see that, just like you've been, I have been loving, caring and supportive only to be treated like a total doormat.
Rose and I completely understand the hurt & uncertainty you are experiencing. We are in that same situation as well and know how tough & emotional it is. My heart goes out to you. You certainly sound like a very patient, forgiving man. You are enduring a lot - it may help you to get counseling for yourself. You have been dealt some brutal blows with those affairs your wife has had. Please consider the counseling for YOU.
In addition to the books Rose mentioned (by the way, I Hate You, Don't Leave Me is an EXCELLENT book to start with - & is available in paperback at a reasonable price), you may also want to look into the Stop Walking On Eggshells Workbook. It helps you assess your relationship with the BPD and helps you make a decision that is right for you.
We are all here for you and will do our best to be helpful and supportive of you, regardless of what path you take. Stay in touch with us and keep us posted on how you're feeling.
So sorry to here about your situation. I know I can relate to alot of what you describe because I believe that my H has BPD. One never thinks they would put up with that kind of treatment til you are stuck in the middle of it. My situation is a bit more complicated in that I have 2 children. They mean the world to me and I am trying to make the best decisions for all of us. I am at the point were I am planning to file for divorce. I can't take it anymore. Verbal abuse, suuspected drug abuse, etc. It has just gotten unbearable.
You seem like a very loving and forgiving person to want to continue to help your wife. I know without children involved I would have been long gone years ago. I wish you luck. I hope that maybe your W will get the help she needs with the therapy.
Thanks so much, amimcm, and I wish you worlds better than what you've gotten. I appreciate the support and you are exactly right, you never really know what your tolerance for something is or what you would really do until put in that situation. I do love my wife very much and the best reason I can give for not leaving by now is....it just never felt quite like the right thing to do...yet. I am glad I have hung on until now and I am glad for the experience so far, that is not to say any of the pain or sorrow or lies were "happy" experiences, but it has helped me grow in ways that I never thought imaginable. Hopefully this becomes a managable situation and an opportunity to achieve something great....and in a way, it already has. Even if she fails and never again attempts to regain her life, I have learned much about myself, life, and so much about relationships (even if it is "what not to do" learning). The way I see it, as long as there is still hope and faith, then we can still do something with what we have. And if we do something about it, who knows what life will bring to us. I know I might sound a little corney or cheesy, but sometimes the simplest things in life can be the most profound.
I hope you find your way in your situation and that it proves fruitful. No one deserves the pain and poison that can come from another persons heart....no one. Thanks again....truly.
amimcm - I'm sorry that you're living in this situation. Please consider it from all sides. Don't stay because of the children. Think about leaving because of the children. Children are like sponges. Children don't need to absorb all that negativity. They will grow up and have problems of their own and possibly turn into abusers themselves. I'm not sure how old your kids are but they shouldn't have to experience that kind of an environment at any age. If your husband isn't willing to change his abusive ways......REALLY CHANGE (and I don't know how possible that is with someone with BPD, UNLESS they REALLY want to), I encourage you to leave him, get as far away as you can and never look back. I'm probably better at giving advice than taking it because I haven't totally cut the cord with my estranged BPD'er boyfriend yet, but I know this can't last forever. Please don't subject your kids to any more pain.
I know what you mean, we learn so much about what not to do....LOL
We do so much learning.....I think if our partners put as much effort into understanding themselves as we put into understanding them, we'd have more of a fighting chance......we can only hope.
Take care and hang in there.....I hope things are going better.
I know what you mean. Recently I told my wife that if we spent as much time looking at the good things in each other as we do the bad things, then our marriage would be sooooo much better...lol. I suppose it's another paradox of sorts. You are right though, and the hope we have is sometimes all we have. And that's ok. It's life and what is life without the struggles of the heart. In a way, it makes all the rest more worth it for the battles we have had to fight to get what we have. For me, it's just another way to judge the value of what I've achieved. Some things require sacrifice, and a wise person once told me "To whom much is given, much is requried"......
I wish us all the best, and if we keep fighting the fights we know we should stand in, then we will see the best in life and the best in ourselves. Just keep up hope and do what our hearts tell us is best.
I just wanted to make it clear that I have every intention of walking away from this marriage. I realize it is unhealthy for my children and myself. It is just a matter of getting the finances together and the right lawyer.
My main concern is custody. I know I would get primary custody of my children, but he would still get his visitation. I believe it is every other weekend in most cases. It needs to be supervised visitation and I know that this is very difficult to get. His own family agrees with me on this. He is an unfit parent. Not only does he have mental issues, but a substance abuse problem now. He has lost most of his good friends and hangs out with losers like himself and many are even criminals. I will not let my children be around these types of people. They are innocent babies and I could not live with myself if something happened to them. I feel like I am in a lose/lose situation.
Choosing between their physical well being verses their emotional well being. How do you make that choice?
If you feel leaving is the only choice left, then it sounds as if your decision lies only with custody, like you said. If your hubby is a danger to himself or others, or more specifically, if you can PROVE he is a danger to himself or others, then you should not have a problem getting "supervised custody". I know from experience that is a hard thing to get across in court, so you're definitely right in getting the best lawyer possible, preferrably one who has dealt extensively with problems like yours (and won) and possibly even one that would let a BPD therapist get on the witness stand and state the mental/emotional state of your hubby. Talking to lawyers asap sounds wise.
And as for the criminal element hanging around your hubby, no worries. I have a pretty extensive criminal background and I can tell you, if they haven't taken your hubby down to their level yet, they will. It took me six years of criminal activity before I finally got caught in a big enough crime to have to go to jail for it. If it weren't for getting caught, I don't know if I would have ever been able to see my life for what it was at the time. I don't regret it, because it got me here and now, and I like my life right now, even with all the problems. But it made me a better person in the end. I can tell you this, in that time of my life I had a very small threshold for responsibility for myself, none for others. So maybe that helps you with your choice, at least I hope it does. Who knows, maybe one day your hubby can clean up his life, get some help, and begin living. Who knows?
I don't see that I have many options at this point. I have given him 100's of second chances. Every time he feels I have one foot out the door, he turns on the water works and gives me tons of empty promises. He cleans his act up for awhile. Just enough to get me and our families off his back and then he slowly slips back into his old ways.
"Proving it" is exactly my point. Everyone thinks it is so easy to just walk into a court and say someone is an unfit parent and the judge sides with you. It isn't. I have to have alot of proof. I know my family and even his all side with me.
So right now I am in the research and money saving mode. I am trying to research lawyers in my state and see what I can come up with. I have also been hoping he would get caught and arrested. Maybe that would be a wake up call for him to at least clean himself up. I know the mental issues are something he will always have.
I completely sympathize with you and your situation. Fortunately, my husband and I have no children - thank goodness for that. In your case, I understand how torn you are. My recommendation would be to put the kids first. It sounds like you're as fed up as I am.
My husband seems to back away from all of his decent friends and gravitates towards those with drug/criminal backgrounds. I don't know if this is for the purpose of helping him to feel better about himself or if it's the lifestyle of these people that draws him towards them. One guy is a crack addict who used to work for him. He couldn't wait to be rid of the guy. A month or so ago, he ran into the guy and exchanged phone numbers. Another one has a police record as long as your arm...forgery, theft, you name it - he's done it. He, too, seems worthy of being called a friend. The only thing this leads me to believe is that my husband is probably cut from the same cloth as these people. Why else would you want them around you? To bring trouble your way? The one who's been living with him for 7 months is a career freeloader. He seems to float from one buddy's place to another as needed.
Most people want friends who have similar lifestyles and goals. My husband refers to these people as 'low-lifes' daily - yet clings to nobody but these people. If he does have anything shady in common with any of these guys, I often find myself wishing for the same as you - for him to get caught and forced to fess up. So far, it hasn't happened.
So you hang in there. I understand completely what you're going through. The frustrations, disappointments, false hopes and empty promises that you find yourself clinging to time and time again. It sure drains a person, doesn't it? Just the other day when I took a vacation day, I slept 10 hours! Take time for yourself as you try to find your way. That's a very important step. Good luck to you!! I'm here if you ever need to talk or vent.
Ditto Lori's words, I'm here too if you need to "vent" or discuss, anytime. I think it's important to "let it go" somewhere, if not with your significant other (yeah, right, we wish!), then to somebody who will listen, preferably with someone who understands your pain....that means us. I definitely agree, you have to take some time with yourself, when you get a chance, no matter how long or short a time you might have. It'll keep you more aware and capable to handle whatever might come down the pipe next.
I'd love to be able to tell the both of you that every criminal gets caught but it just isn't true. Actually, people engaging in criminal activity for an extensive amount of time usually do get caught, but only after many, many sucessful crimes in most cases. And most of them get caught in the small crimes they commit, being more careful in the bigger crimes they commit. I've been talking to the both of you for a little while now and I guess it's ok to tell you that I am a cop in the military. This gives me a pretty good perspective on the criminal element and criminal mind, so I don't mind sharing this knowledge with the both of you, as it might help you to better understand and deal with your situations. My experience as a drug addict/alcoholic and a criminal only helped me perform the job I have today and I'm glad for it. Enough of that though.
I hope for your sake that your male counterparts do get caught, before someone really gets hurt and things get very serious. Unfortunately, just like BPD, a drug addict or even an occasional user will not get help until they truly want it or feel they need it....and there is no telling when, or if, that might happen. Either way, it's bad news and the more distance you can put between them and their habbits and yourselves (childeren included), the better. But of course, there is no need to reinterate that point, you both seem very intelligent.
Please keep writing, the both of you. It seems the more we put down in words the clearer the situation looks, at least I find this so. No matter what, please know that the both of you have helped me alot in dealing with my situation and I do truly appreciate it, so thank you. Always here whenever you want to share. Try to have a wonderful day! Remember, no matter how bad things get, they will always get better. I heard once a very powerful saying that I try to remember when I get a little too down on myself....."And this to shall pass". It's true, and remember also that there are people out there (and here) that care about you and want to see you happy! I wish you both the best today and everyday.
It seems so hard to believe that my posts are helpful to you. LOL When the reality of it all for me is nothing but total confusion. But yes, this board does give us a place to learn and to vent. It is very helpful talking to you and everyone else here.
What branch of the military are you in? It is so interesting to learn that you are a cop in the military. I'm sure you have a lot of words of wisdom for us. It also brings to mind a question I've been trying to get an answer to as well. My husband's father is a retired cop. I'm always being told about the psychological training that cops receive and my husband will even analyze me during our conversations, claiming to be knowledgeable from learning off of his dad. How extensive is the psychological training that police receive? I'm sure they are taught techniques to help them determine if someone is lying or possibly even how to get someone to fess up. I did ask my neighbor, who is a detective, and he said they are only taught the very basics - that they are hardly degreed psychologists. One attorney that I mentioned my husband's comments to sort of laughed at the remark and told me that for one thing, these 'books' that my father-in-law has & that my husband claims to have studied are probably very outdated for one thing. So anyhow, I was just curious as to what your input might be with regard to this.
I hope you are doing well and that you had a nice weekend. Rose hasn't posted for awhile and I hope she's doing OK. Her last post sounded very down.
I'm with you, I hope Rose is alright, and her last post didn't exactly give a "warm and fuzzy" feeling...but I wish her the best, wherever she is. The same goes for you. And your posts do help out, believe it or not. In the very least, it gives me another person to talk to about the conflicts and struggles that go on in my marriage and that in and of itself is helpful...so thank you.
I can tell you this, police training, even in the military, doesn't touch on psychology very much at all. But we have to deal with people on an everyday basis and have to listen to people "explain" what they have done, and guess what, most people lie, at least a little, to the police when questioned. After hearing the many excuses people give everyday, you learn what kinds of things people tend to say most. If a police officer wanted to, he/she could really do well in psychology. If we pay close enough attention to people, we can see how body language, reflection of a person's voice while they are talking, and even the words that a person chooses are all indicators of their emotion, the level of truth, and the validity of what they are saying and doing. It's very interesting, but most cops don't pay attention to these things as much as they could have....so no, cops are not experts in psychology, not by a long shot...lol. I just so happen to have been interested in the subject for the last decade or so, and I'm not an expert or anything, I just pay attention....lol.
For the record, It's been my experience that cops don't so much "study" people as much as they just try to figure out if you are lying or not. And out of the cops that really do "think" they are experts in psychology, they are just suspicious more than they are observative....which usually works with people, strangely enough. So I don't know, maybe that helps you out, I hope it does. Oh yeah, and I am in the Navy....