, thanks for the call out.
This all sounds great, clean house, chipper and put together wife, happy children, dinner every night, blowjobs every night.
No, JPP, it doesn't "sound great."
Rather, it sounds just like the unstable, toxic mess you've been living in for the past 6 years. The sensational sex, for example, is nothing new. As you said four weeks ago (1/21 post), "Our sex life is sporadic, we will be intimate every night sometime a few times a day for 3-5 days and then not at all for 1-3 weeks. Sometimes it's good and passionate...."
As you said then, "when it's good it's great, but when it's bad it's miserable."
We have gone to counseling discussed this among other things, it will get better for a period of time and then eventually go right back to the same thing.
If she is a BPDer -- as we discussed
four weeks ago -- marriage counseling likely will be a total waste of time until that underlying issue is treated in independent counseling -- a process that usually takes several years in the very unlikely event she will remain in therapy and work hard at it.
She mentioned that other day when she was crying and apologizing she would see [a therapist], I'm curious to see if she follows through this time.
If she will lick your butt to keep you from leaving, she certainly will be willing to see a therapist. That's the EASY part. What's HARD is getting her to go to therapy for several years (at the very least) and to work hard on acquiring the emotional skills she never had an opportunity to learn in childhood. It is rare for a high functioning BPDer to have sufficient self awareness and ego strength to be willing to do that. Instead, the BPDers who go to therapy at their spouse's insistence usually only play mind games with the therapist.
My BPDer exW, for example, went to weekly sessions with six different psychologists (and 3 MCs) for 15 years. It cost me a small fortune, an amount that was matched by my insurance carrier (because I paid half). At the end of 15 years, I realized -- when my exW had me thrown into jail on a bogus charge -- that her BPD traits had only gotten worse.
If anyone does have any advice I am open to hearing it.
My advice, JPP, is to take the following steps: First
, see a psychologist to obtain a candid professional opinion on whether your fiance is exhibiting strong BPD traits as you believe. This is important because the latest study on BPD heritability indicates that, when one Parent has full-blown BPD, each child has roughly a 30% chance of developing it. (Because the few studies on heritability are all very small, their results are only suggestive of what the real figure might be.) As a responsible parent, your first action should be to determine the risk confronting your daughter. Second
, consult with a family law attorney who is experienced in dealing with child custody cases involving a very vindictive parent. If your fiance is a BPDer as you suspect, the custody battle likely will get very nasty very quickly -- no matter what wonderful promises she is making now. Remember, a BPDer's perception of your intentions is distorted by whatever intense feelings she is experiencing AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Third
, start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com, which offers eight separate message boards on various BPD issues. The ones that likely will be most helpful are the "Detaching from a Borderline"
board and "Co-Parenting after the Split"
, while you're at BPDfamily, read the articles: Surviving a Breakup with Someone Suffering with BPD
and Leaving a Partner with BPD
. At other websites, I recommend High Risk Parenting
and Pain of Breaking Up
, read an explanation of how we excessive caregivers get to be this way during our childhood. The best explanation I've found is Shari Schreiber's article, Do You Love to be Needed?
Schreiber argues that, due to childhood dynamics with parents, our desire to be needed
(for what we can do) FAR exceeds our desire to be loved
(for the men we already are). If you've been married to a BPDer for 6 years, you almost certainly are an excessive caregiver like me. Sixth
, although you suspect that your fiance has strong BPD traits, do not try to persuade her of that view. If she is a BPDer, she almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you, believing YOU to be the BPDer. Instead, simply encourage her to see a good psychologist (not a MC) and let the psych decide what to tell her. Seventh,
inquire about your fiance's history of behavior during the teen years from her family members -- to find out if her BPD traits started showing strongly well before she had the drug problem. When you see the psychologist, he will want to know whether the BPD traits (e.g., impulsiveness) likely caused the drug abuse or, instead, the reverse seems true. Eighth
, start carrying a small VAR in your pocket whenever you are in your fiance's presence. It is important that you start collecting evidence of the way she threatens to kill herself and occasionally "flies off the handle" when upset with you or your daughter. You may need it in a custody battle to protect your daughter -- or to stay out of jail if your fiance tries to get you arrested on a bogus charge. Finally
, please don't forget those of us here on this TAM forum. We want to keep trying to answer your questions and providing emotional support as long as you find our shared experiences helpful. Moreover, by sharing your own experiences, you likely are helping numerous other members and lurkers. Your threads already have attracted over 2,000 views.