Need help dealing with BPD wife
 Talk About Marriage
  The Marriage Advice and Relationship Help Forums
  right
Forums - For Therapists - Link to Us - Advertise  

    A Public Forum Provided by The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory
Register FAQ Community Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By t10eml
  • 1 Post By KathyBatesel
  • 1 Post By Uptown

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Default Need help dealing with BPD wife

I realize this might not be the correct place for this post, but I didn't see any forum dealing with mental illness. If it is not, I apologize in advance.

I feel like I am at my wits end. I don't know what to do anymore (which is why I came here; in desperation). If you are not familiar with BPD and its destruction, I'm sorry, but I can't explain it in this thread, if you are then I need some advice.

I feel like I am falling down a hole and there is no escape and no end. The worst thing about the BPD is that my wife doesn't think she has a problem (which of course is a huge symptom of BPD).

She is very abusive to me and the kids and I can't stop her. I don't want to leave because of the kids, but I can't live like this any more. Something has to give.

She's not physically abusive so I have no evidence. Just verbally and emotionally.

I don't know where to turn anymore. I am getting so depressed. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. I am losing hope and just falling. I know the first thing most people say is to get a therapist for myself. I've talked to counselors and they are not much help other than to agree that there is no cure for this and the person has to want to cure themselves before it will change and until they do, it will just continue like this so I just have to learn to live with it. I hate living with it, but I won't leave the children to the wolf. I am here only to protect them.

So here I am; stuck.
joe_schmoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
KathyBatesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kansas City Metro area
Posts: 3,394
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

What is it that you want to see happen by posting here?

That someone will have a way to help you feel happy about being treated abusively?

That someone will offer you a magic wand to cure your marriage?

If you keep doing the same thing, you can only continue to expect the same results. If you want to make a change then you have to BE the change you want to make. The people who understand these things have told you everything you need to know to make an informed decision and you continue to ignore them because you somehow believe that letting your children grow up with a role model that teaches them to see abusiveness as their "normal life" is a good thing.

You're not protecting them. You're not protecting yourself. You're simply comfortable and miserable in your own denial.
__________________
Please visit my blog for more relationship articles and advice, or check out my latest gift and greeting card designs.
KathyBatesel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 45
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Hi joe_schmoe, you have come to the right place. Please search for posts by Uptown for some of the best information on dealing with spouses with BPD.

In fact, see my recent thread here.

I'm sorry to say, however, that the bad news is that such behaviour will probably continue until the end of the marriage. So, unfortunately, you must make a big decision to continue living this way, or to take care of yourself first.
t10eml is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

No, Kathy, Joe is right.

BPD will turn and "attack" one of the kids in Joe's absence.

His role (until he can get them all safe) is a lightning rod. As long as she can play villain on Joe, she will likely not target the kids.

Absent Joe, she will likely select and turn one of them into her target.

=====

Joe, you are correct. THAT is a mess. A big one.

Any chance of her into therapy (and maybe meds)?

Start planning your exit -- will all the kids -- but since one of the hallmark triggers of BPD episodes is Fear of Abandonment, you are going to have to it Very Sly.

Have you read >>>

Amazon.com: Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (9781572246904): Paul Mason MS, Randi Kreger: Books

Also check out Welcome to Oz >>>

Borderline Personality Disorder Information and Support - BPD Central
tige is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 07:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Kathy, Thanks for responding to my message but your response is one I have heard many times and very typical of someone on the outside looking in. If you have never had to deal with this face to face, you can't just take the position of "you need to change". No amount of change on my part is going to make her mental illness go away. So my ONLY solution is either leave or stay and right I can not justify leaving.

Thanks Tige, You are correct. She will (and does) attack the kids in my absence. So knowing this, and knowing the court system, I can't leave the kids with her more than I have to.

And yes, I am the punching bag for all of her ills. If I am not there, she will attack the kids instead. And yes, she blames me for everything that is wrong in our marriage (typical BPD).

I've tried to mention that she needed professional help and that didn't go over too well. We've been to 4 different marriage counselors and they have not been much help (MC doesn't usually help with BPD. Generally they don't know how). One marriage counselor we were seeing suggested that she get more help than he could provide (psychological help) and she stopped going to him. We are currently in MC with another counselor and she is not very helpful. In private she said that did see the psychological problems, yet she never deals with them in our sessions (she's not equipped). I try to bring them up and she changes the subject. The next session with her will be my last. I'd love to find a MC that is also a psychologist. So far I have not found one.

At any rate, to answer the question of what did I expect by coming here? I am looking for people in my situation who have found ways to make things better for themselves and their families. Something I may not be able to see right now. Tactics that have helped others deal with the outbursts, the rage, anger, jealously, etc. Something other than the usual "just improve communication and everything will be alright" BS.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
joe_schmoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Thanks T10,

I read your post and UPtown's as well. There is a lot in there. I'm in the exact same boat. I've been trying to set boundries and still trying to learn what's the best way to handle her when they are broken. I'm trying to cut down on the amount of fights and arguments and confronting her when she breaks a boundry only makes it worse. I've read the books and done a lot of research. I know this isn't going to get much better, but I never stop looking for that needle in the haystack.
joe_schmoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Emerald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,864
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

I am sorry you are going through this. The link above to the website for families of BPD will help you with coping skills.

I admire you for staying until the children are grown. For them, you are making the right decision.

I'm posting to give you some hope. It may seem like forever right now (depending on the childrens' ages) but time will pass quickly. I stayed in my dysfunctional marriage until my children were grown also.

It worked out.

My daughters are healthy, happy & productive & I am enjoying a peaceful life now.
Emerald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
Forum Supporter
 
Uptown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,077
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_schmoe View Post
Kathy, ...your response is one I have heard many times and very typical of someone on the outside looking in.
Joe, clearly you, Kathy, and Tige all agree that you should do whatever is in the best interests of your children. At issue, then, is what is best for them. None of us on this forum can know, with any certainty, what that is because we are all "on the outside looking in." We have never met your family. We don't know how strong your W's BPD traits are. We don't know how old the kids are. We don't know how abusive she is to your children when you are present -- versus how abusive she is when you are absent. Hence, you are the only person who can decide whether they are better off with you staying or leaving.

As a GENERAL proposition, Kathy and I believe children usually are better off when the fighting parents separate into separate households. One reason is that toxicity in the home usually goes down when the abused spouse leaves because that spouse -- despite his continual efforts to sooth the BPDer -- does more damage than good. His soothing efforts are counterproductive because he serves as a frequent TRIGGER to the BPDer's fears of abandonment and engulfment. In contrast, children are so fully dependent on the BPDer that, with HF BPDers, they typically do not strongly trigger those fears until puberty.

A second reason is that the vast majority of BPDer parents are high functioning (HF). If your W were low functioning, you likely would never dated her, much less married her. I mention this because, although a HF BPDer can still satisfy 100% of the diagnostic criteria for having full blown BPD, her ability to properly raise children far exceeds that of a LF BPDer.

A third reason is that, by staying in the marriage, an abused spouse puts himself at constant risk of being arrested on a bogus charge and thrown into jail, as happened to me after 15 years. This often happens when the BPDer W decides she wants more "validation" that she is "The Victim" -- or, when she is fearing abandonment, decides she wants the added leverage (of having you declared a physical abuser) for any future custody battle that may occur. If that occurs, the abused spouse may end up being able to protect his kids only a few hours a week, during supervised visitation -- far less than the 50% he could get by leaving early, and far less than the 100% custody he might get if he builds a careful record using a VAR to capture rages and the kids' screams.

For these reasons, I agree with Kathy that -- as a general rule -- the kids usually are better off when the parents split up and the constant fighting stops. Whether this "general rule" applies to you is a judgement that only you can make (hopefully, with guidance from a professional). Certainly, it doesn't apply if -- as you seem to suggest -- your W is badly abusing the kids in your absence and you have no evidence to use against her in court.
Quote:
We've been to 4 different marriage counselors and they have not been much help (MC doesn't usually help with BPD. Generally they don't know how).
I agree. I took my exW to several MCs and it was a total waste of time and money. And, if the BPDer is unwilling to work hard in therapy, a team of psychologists will be equally useless. I spent a small fortune taking my exW to weekly sessions with six different psychologists for 15 years -- all to no avail.
Quote:
I'd love to find a MC that is also a psychologist.
It is highly unlikely it would make a difference. It is rare for a BPDer to have the self awareness and ego strength necessary to be willing to fix herself. Therapist Shari Schreiber says you have a better chance flying to the moon strapped to a banana than ever seeing a BPDer stay in therapy long enough to make a difference. And, even if you persuade her to stay in therapy -- as I did with my exW for 15 years -- the chances are good that she will only play mind games with the therapist, at enormous expense to you.
Quote:
I am looking for people in my situation who have found ways to make things better for themselves and their families. ...Tactics that have helped others deal with the outbursts, the rage, anger, jealously, etc.
Joe, the best place for that information, IMO, is the "Raising a Child when One Parent Has BPD" forum at BPDfamily.com. There you will find a hundred other people who've been there, done that.

My experience is that, if your W has strong BPD traits as you believe, there is not much you can do other than leave or continue tolerating the abuse while walking on eggshells to help reduce it a bit. That way, your kids will have the benefit of less screaming -- largely offset, however, by the harm of seeing their own father being a doormat.

As you already know, enforcing your personal boundaries is essentially the same thing as choosing to leave because, if your W has strong BPD traits, she almost certainly will not tolerate that. She will tolerate your presence in the home only as long as you continue validating her false self image of being "The Victim" by allowing her to abuse you and blame you for every misfortune. Once you stop doing that and stand up to her, you will be of little use to her.

One possible remedy, then, is to start standing up to her more -- in a very calm way and with a VAR running in your pocket. Of course, you will get a dramatic increase in tirades and temper tantrums. But you may collect enough recorded evidence that, in your lawyer's opinion, would win you full or primary custody of the children.

Yet, as difficult as it is in our court system for a H to obtain 100% custody, the kids may be better off if you continue on your current course of being the frequent doormat. Indeed, if your W's BPD traits are not very strong, you may find that you don't have to be a doormat at all because she will be able to tolerate your enforcement of boundaries. That is a judgment call that only you can make.
Uptown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
KathyBatesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kansas City Metro area
Posts: 3,394
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Tige and Joe, I think you misunderstood my post. Uptown caught what I was saying more accurately.

I am not saying you should change you to make the marriage work. I'm saying it's up to you to create whatever changes are necessary to produce the outcome you want to see.

I think you should leave and take the children with you, not leave them in her care. Being a "lightning rod" only serves as a bad role model for them to learn from. Whatever happens in our childhoods is what we learn to measure the world by. What was "normal" and routine in our childhood environments is what we are most comfortable with as we grow into adulthood. By staying there and engaging like this, you're putting your children at risk of a lifetime of going through what you're experiencing or teaching them to become like her.

I don't buy the "outside looking in" excuse. The bottom line is that you are wishing you were on the outside of that situation. We can make all the justifications and rationalizations in the world to keep us stuck. You happen to be married to a BPDer. I've been married to an alcoholic and abuser, and used the same kind of denial thought processes to stay stuck longer than I should have. It all still comes back to you are not taking care of yourself and your children. You're welcome to disregard and reject what other people say, but please do not impugn others' credibility when it's not about BPD. It's about YOUR choices.
__________________
Please visit my blog for more relationship articles and advice, or check out my latest gift and greeting card designs.

Last edited by KathyBatesel; 12-08-2012 at 10:40 AM.
KathyBatesel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
Forum Supporter
 
Uptown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,077
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by tige View Post
BPD will turn and "attack" one of the kids in Joe's absence. His role (until he can get them all safe) is a lightning rod. As long as she can play villain on Joe, she will likely not target the kids.
Tige, I agree that this is a possibility that Joe should consider. My experience, however, is that many high functioning BPDers do quite well in raising young children. Unlike narcissists and sociopaths, BPDers can truly love their children.

Moreover, as I mentioned above, young kids are so fully dependent on the BPDer parent that they typically do not strongly trigger the parent's fears of abandonment and engulfment until they reach puberty. Indeed, it is this lack of triggering that explains why HF BPDers typically get along so well with business associates, casual friends, and complete strangers.

Hence, if it is the case that Joe's kids are not triggering their mother's fears, they may be much better off with Joe outside the home -- where they can live with him 50% of the time. I say this because, if Joe is frequently triggering his W's rage, that rage will spill over onto everyone in the household. IME, a parent's anger does not strike out only at the tallest person in the room. Hence, I'm very skeptical that Joe's role as a "lightening rod" will undo all the damage created by his role as a "trigger" that frequently releases her anger.
Uptown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 43
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_schmoe View Post
Kathy, Thanks for responding to my message but your response is one I have heard many times and very typical of someone on the outside looking in. If you have never had to deal with this face to face, you can't just take the position of "you need to change". No amount of change on my part is going to make her mental illness go away. So my ONLY solution is either leave or stay and right I can not justify leaving.

Thanks Tige, You are correct. She will (and does) attack the kids in my absence. So knowing this, and knowing the court system, I can't leave the kids with her more than I have to.

And yes, I am the punching bag for all of her ills. If I am not there, she will attack the kids instead. And yes, she blames me for everything that is wrong in our marriage (typical BPD).

I've tried to mention that she needed professional help and that didn't go over too well. We've been to 4 different marriage counselors and they have not been much help (MC doesn't usually help with BPD. Generally they don't know how). One marriage counselor we were seeing suggested that she get more help than he could provide (psychological help) and she stopped going to him. We are currently in MC with another counselor and she is not very helpful. In private she said that did see the psychological problems, yet she never deals with them in our sessions (she's not equipped). I try to bring them up and she changes the subject. The next session with her will be my last. I'd love to find a MC that is also a psychologist. So far I have not found one.

At any rate, to answer the question of what did I expect by coming here? I am looking for people in my situation who have found ways to make things better for themselves and their families. Something I may not be able to see right now. Tactics that have helped others deal with the outbursts, the rage, anger, jealously, etc. Something other than the usual "just improve communication and everything will be alright" BS.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
MidwestDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 43
Default Re: Need help dealing with BPD wife

Hi Joe,

So sorry to hear about your situation, it is so similar to many others here. Truly BPD seems like the most common personality trait/disorder that damages marriages. It is certainly damaging mine.

I so agree with you, the glib "just suck it up and change things" is not particularly useful advice in the real world. There are any number of things that may force you to suffer along with this situation, and one of them is your children, especially if you believe that leaving her would expose them to some mistreatment. Only you can say when it is time to leave, when staying does more damage to them than leaving. I feel so badly for you because this is a heart rending situation, it is obvious you are a caring person. But as you may have read it is common for BPD oriented people to seek out caring/empathetic spouses, since they can be more easily manipulated.
MidwestDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Am I dealing with my wife's depression right? sights2 Physical & Mental Health Issues 8 05-24-2012 11:04 AM
Dealing with wife and friends newbie12 Self-Help Marriage & Relationship Programs 2 04-20-2012 06:20 PM
Dealing with abuse from my wife thegreatwm General Relationship Discussion 34 08-21-2011 06:18 PM
dealing with friends wife aldorakitty General Relationship Discussion 23 06-01-2011 01:38 PM
Dealing with an ex-wife Susan Brown The Family & Parenting Forums 1 03-26-2010 06:43 AM

Member Area

Find a Therapist:


Sponsor Ads


Sponsor Ads




Get The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory Help Guide via Email:
Name:
Email:




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 AM.



Copyright 2007 - 2013 © Talk About Marriage