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post #61 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:34 AM
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Re: Distressed

Yes I thought I was "normal." Even after I was diagnosed with BPD and a few other disorders I just thought I needed medicated. I never really stuck with any medication. Most of it made me act and feel like a zombie.

I didn't feel like I was "missing" anything. I just knew that I wasn't happy and I hated anyone else being happy. I felt like what right do they have to be happy when I'm miserable.

Like I said, I had to hit rock @ss bottom before I got help. I read a book someone recommended called "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" and it hit home. I could relate to just about all of it. I cried as I read it.

Now that I am more self aware I am much better. Am I "normal" yet? I don't think so but, I make a conscious choice to be happy and to treat people the way I would like to be treated.

I'm glad I could be of some help to you.
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post #62 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:37 AM
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Re: Distressed

Berilo - I know she has issues but you really need to lay out the boundaries and your expectations if you haven't already done so. She may get mad but you need to establish what long term will mean. She also needs to understand that your not going to negotiate on waht you need. She needs to do the work and show the ACTIONS not words if you are to move forward. MC and IC are a must and in her case it MUST be a psychiatrist not a phsycologist so he can adequately deal with the BPD. You should insist on going the second time and it should be required that the MC and IC converse so that the MC can act as a go between on the things he sees and your expectations. Yes her IC is her IC and there to treat her. BUT he has to understand there is a marriage at risk here because of her behavior and hear about her behavior from your perspective. If he refuses, find someone else. Get both going quickly for both of your sake even if your not sure you want to R. And as far as her resisting it, obviously it will do no good to force her. Just explain that this is one way she can show her intentions to R and make the relationship and herself better. If she can't honestly do what is needed WILLINGLY, she is not worth trying to R with.
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post #63 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:40 AM
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Re: Distressed

Pidge, would you suggest he get that book? Berilo, I would suggest Not Just Friends from Shirley Glass. It will help you to get your head on straight as to how DS behaves and is drawn into this.
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post #64 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:52 AM
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Re: Distressed

I would suggest he get the book only if he wants to R. Another good one would be "Stop Walking on Eggshells.".

If his W does have BPD she needs behavior modification and cognitive therapy. Meds can help to some extent with mood swings but, not much. If she truly has BPD she needs help "rewiring" her brain so to speak.

Giving ultimatums will NOT work. She has to seek help before anything else. Some people never get better. BPD'ers rarely stay in therapy.
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post #65 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:17 AM
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Re: Distressed

Pidge, what would it take to have Berilo's wife hit rock bottom?

'I'd rather live by a dream, than live by a lie.
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post #66 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:19 AM
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Re: Distressed

I'm not sure. You've read my story if you remember. Everyone is different.
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post #67 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:23 AM
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Re: Distressed

I know everybody is different but since you are our SME (subject matter expert) on BPD, I thought you might want to share some information that might be common with a lot of BPD that have cheated. Did you husband have any role in helping you hit rock bottom?

'I'd rather live by a dream, than live by a lie.
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post #68 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:26 AM
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Re: Distressed

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Originally Posted by Berilo View Post
I was wondering how I could have possibly gotten myself into this situation, marrying such a clearly issue-laden woman.

But things did seem so perfect for the first year. It was exactly like Uptown describes in a post on another thread regarding initial attraction to BPDer:

"Could the attraction have been her mirroring your personality so perfectly that the two of you were convinced you had met your soul mate? Could it have been the most passionate and greatest sexual experience of your lifetime? Could it have been that childlike quality that gives her a warmth and purity of expression that is unmatched by any other woman you ever dated? Certainly, all three of those things were true during my first year with my exW. Until other men have dated BPDers, they cannot imagine why the attraction is so big that we are willing to spend a year or two trying to reestablish the blissful conditions of the honeymoon period. Indeed, I communicated with many "Nons" who say they may have great difficulty "settling" for a an emotionally available, stable woman after having fallen in love with a BPDer. Simply stated, a BPDer is very, VERY good when she is splitting you white."

And I was sure split white -- raw.

I am now paying the price.




You have gotten completely off track. Go back and read your own thread. It seems you have attention deficit disorder your not listening only venting. Pay particular attention to lordmayhem's posts. Get off your a$$ and do something to save your wife. Confront other man and cotact his wife immediately. At this point you look like a willing co-conspirator. If you don't man up you might as well start packing.
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post #69 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: Distressed

I don't want to thread jack. Some BPD'ers try to fill the hole in them with alcohol, drugs, spending sprees or promiscuity. It is a vicious cycle.

I cheated on my H and while we were supposedly working it out, he cheated on me. That is what caused me to hit rock bottom. Unlike some stories on here where the LS is the one crying and begging, I was the one doing that.

Maybe the best thing Berilo can do is start divorce proceedings. It MIGHT serve as her bottoming out enough to seek help.
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post #70 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by chapparal View Post
You have gotten completely off track. Go back and read your own thread. It seems you have attention deficit disorder your not listening only venting. Pay particular attention to lordmayhem's posts. Get off your a$$ and do something to save your wife. Confront other man and cotact his wife immediately. At this point you look like a willing co-conspirator. If you don't man up you might as well start packing.
The OM she slept with is divorced.
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post #71 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 11:27 AM
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Re: Distressed

Dude... you gotta get off your ass NOW! What are you waiting for?
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post #72 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 12:43 PM
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Re: Distressed

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Originally Posted by Berilo View Post
This makes no logical sense at all -- how can someone fear being abandoned but fear being close at the same time -- but is very real.
Yes, I know, craving what you most fear is such a paradox that it is difficult to comprehend. But we can often gain some understanding of paradoxes by finding a poetic reference to them using terms and concepts we already understand. An ex-partner (of a BPDer) on another forum provided a poetic description I found very helpful. He wrote, "When a BPDer talks about intimacy, it's like a vampire talking about sunrise: every one of them wants to see a sunsrise, but they are frightened to because it means death if they do."

The paradox actually makes perfect sense, however, when we consider the BPDer's delimma -- always having to choose between two evils: moving closer and triggering her fear of engulfment or moving away and triggering her fear of abandonment. The conumdrum, of course, is that the solution for one fear is the very thing triggering the other fear.

This is why, when you are married to a BPDer, a wonderful evening or great weekend often is followed -- the very next morning -- by an argument that she creates out of thin air. Although she does not consciously realize it, she creates the fight in order to get breathing space. Indeed, the push-you-away and pull-you-back cycle you likely have witnessed every week or two is a hallmark of BPD.

Because your W has an unstable fragile self image, any time you draw close in intimacy (real intimacy, not just sex) she will experience engulfment. It is very frightening because she feels like she is being taken over by your strong personality -- like she is evaporating into thin air. To get breathing room, she will push you away. It may happen that same night or the next morning, usually taking the form of her creating an argument out of nothing.

Yet, as you back off to give her space, you will trigger her other great fear, abandonment. So, after her tantrum dies down (they typically last about five hours), she may wait a few hours (or days or weeks) and will then start reeling you back in. Of course, as you draw close, the cycle starts all over again. For 15 years, I kept hunting for the "Goldilocks" position between "too close" and "too far" to avoid triggering both of those fears. I can tell you that, if that safe midpoint position exists at all, it is a knife edge that is continually shifting.
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Our first problem, before we got married, was that she pushed me away completely (and nastily) for a week for no reason. ... I think that she realized that if she married someone else would take residence in her home and psyche, which freaked her out.
I believe you are correct. A woman with a weak, fragile, unstable sense of herself has a tremendous desire to live with a man having a stable personality that can center and ground her -- providing her a sense of normalcy and a sense of direction. Yet, when she gets exactly that, she will feel controlled and dominated and feel like she is loosing the little sense of identity that she has. It is a very frightening feeling. This is why you cannot fix her by loving her. Trying to do so is the equivalent of trying to help a burn patient by hugging him.
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I even tried to explain to her that most things in the world are shades of gray, but only now I see she probably didn't have any idea of what I was talking about.
You likely are correct. As Pidge explains, she felt for decades that her way of thinking was mostly normal. Because a BPDer has been doing the all-or-nothing thinking since early childhood, she typically has no idea that other people do not do such black-white thinking so frequently.
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Do BPDers know what they are missing? Do they really think they are "normal"? Doesn't the process of turning one white knight after another into a punching bag cause them to reflect or seek therapy?
My understanding is that, although the thought distortions (e.g., projection and black-white thinking) are usually invisible to BPDers, they nonetheless are aware that the false image they project is false. Narcissists, in contrast, are so totally out of touch with their real selves that they usually are convinced their false self image is true, which is why they become very indignant with anyone refusing to validate that glorified image.

And, yes, a few BPDers will be sufficiently self aware -- and have sufficient ego strength -- to seek therapy after reflecting on the large number of departed friends. Yet, as Pidge points out, it is rare for that to occur. The ones that do tend to be very low functioning BPDers who are in such severe pain they are forced to confront their illness.

The vast majority of BPDers, however, are so high functioning that they are able to conceal their BPD traits from business associates, casual friends, and strangers -- because none of those folks pose a threat to their fears of abandonment and engulfment. It is very unusual for a HF BPDer to be willing to enter therapy, much less complete it. Therapist Shari Schreiber says you have a better chance riding to the moon strapped to a banana than ever seeing a BPDer stay in therapy long enough to make a difference.

This is why spouses and ex-partners (like you and me) so enjoy the rare opportunity to converse with a treated, self-aware BPDer like Pidge. Folks like Pidge are so rare that I've never met one in my private life even though I've met numerous BPDers. Yet, due to the wonders of the Internet, I have conversed with nearly a hundred "self awares" in the past five years. I always find it a joy to do so. After 15 years of living with a woman who could never see the elephant in the room -- and taking her to six psychologists who would never mention the word "elephant" for fear of alarming her (and voiding insurance) -- it is such an unmitigated joy to speak with folks who not only can see the animal but also have decided to stop feeding it.
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It's tragic, actually. She is very intelligent, a high functioning professional, but empty inside somehow.
Yes, many HF BPDers are extremely intelligent and do very well in intellectually demanding professions. A common complaint is that they feel an emptiness inside that leaves them feeling unhappy most of the time. As you found out, it is impossible to fill that void. Moreover, you will not get much appreciation for trying. The lack of any lasting appreciation is largely due to the BPDer's inability to regulate her own emotions, resulting in a daily flood of intense feelings that push aside whatever feeling of appreciation she once had. Hence, trying to build up a store of good will (on which to draw during the bad times) is futile. It is no more productive than building a sand castle beside the sea. It will be washed away by the next tide of feelings flooding her mind.
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So we have everyone who is one step removed from her thinking she is the absolute greatest person, professional, and casual friend. But there is a telling absence of people who are really close to her.
Like I said, a HF BPDer can be outgoing, caring, and generous to casual friends, business associates, and complete strangers. They cannot trigger her two fears. There is no LTR to be abandoned. And there is no intimacy to create engulfment. Those folks, then, never see her dark side. This is why you can expect them to believe whatever terrible things she says about you during the divorce. Ex-spouses and ex-partners typically lose most of the common casual friends.
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It must be difficult for a person not to have any solid emotional bearings. I can't imagine not having solid, stable (not usually intense) relationships with family members, close friends and colleagues.
Yes, it is extremely painful for a BPDer to lose the stable man in her life. What some BPDers have told me is that they don't so much miss the man himself as they do the stability he provided in their lives. This is one reason that BPDers hate to be alone. And it explains why they are so driven to find another man to live with even though they are aware it likely will result in another painful breakup. As you said earlier, Berilo, "it's tragic." I wouldn't wish this illness on my worst enemy.

That said, the illness can only explain the bad behavior, not justify it. It is important that, if your W is a BPDer, she be held fully accountable for her own actions. Doing so likely provides the only opportunity she will have to confront her BPD traits and learn how to manage them. This means that, if you were to continue walking on eggshells so as to keep her in the marriage, you would be harming her by enabling her to continue behaving like a spoiled four year old.

Last edited by Uptown; 08-07-2011 at 12:52 PM.
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post #73 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

Thanks to those who are prompting me to confront my wife about the affair immediately. I appreciate the support, and I will do so soon.

I am just working through the fact that this is not a "normal" affair situation, I seem to be dealing with a mental illness. This is not a mere digression or distraction from the "main purpose" of my thread.

I had suspected for the past 6-12 months that there was some serious psychological problem at work here, but I wasn't sure and didn't know how to go about finding out. It wasn't until last week that I saw to my horror that the pieces all fit almost perfectly together in a diagnosis of BPD.

This means, as Uptown and others have so eloquently and helpfully explained, that the usual rules of spousal confrontation and disciplined, principled approach to reconciliation or separation aren't likely to work. As Uptown put it, I need to be prepared for an explosion and a highly erratic counter-attack. I think the odds of reconciliation are low so I must prepare for the worst.
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post #74 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 01:54 PM
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Re: Distressed

So... what you're saying is that your wife is cheating because of a psychological issue? I think they're ALL mental when cheating is involved. Her throwing it in your face isn't a psychological thing, it's DISRESPECTFUL.
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post #75 of 338 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Distressed

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When the infatuation evaporates, the BPDer no longer perceives you to be the perfect man who was sent to save her. For this reason, her two great fears (abandonment and engulfment) can no longer be held at bay.
Uptown, I just recalled an episode that should have been a RED FLAG to me when I started going out with my wife.

About three weeks after our first date, I received an angry, agitated call from this unknown guy. When I finally returned his call, he said he was her boyfriend and demanded to know why I was screwing around with her. I was dumbfounded.

When I asked her about this, she said she had ended their relationship three months before, and he was just trying to hold on, was the jealous type, etc etc. So I shouldn't worry, and she apologized for the inconvenience.

A month later, she tells me the old boyfriend has hacked into her email accounts, but doesn't seem too fussed about it -- or the fact that he now has a record of our personal correspondence of two months intimate relationship. I cleaned up her drive and the trojan he appears to have planted.

They didn't live together and weren't engaged, but they had a relationship for about two years. She said it wasn't working out with him, for reasons X, Y, and Z, and it was time to move on.

Looking back, I think what happened was: 1) she hit the mark where he was no longer seen as a "white knight"; 2) she complained a lot to him, but didn't actually, definitively break up with him before she started with me -- that accounts for why he called me in an agitated (probably shocked) state; and 3) I heard through a friend of hers a year later that my wife treated this guy badly.

There appears to be a very sad pattern of serial selfishness and cruelty here.

I am just sharing this observation, which just hit me.
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