[quote=Jonny Be Confused;17147417]
I can see that I will need to see a psychiatrist weather we get divorced or not even for my own benefit and understanding of the situation and how it has affected me over the years.
Jon, given that you're seeking an "understanding," not medication, I suggest you start with a psychologist
. That likely will cut your office charge in half because a psychologist has only a PhD in psychology. With a psychiatrist
, the fee about doubles because you're paying for that PhD in psychology together with an MD degree.
Generally, you will want to see a psychiatrist only if you need medication for treating a mental disorder (e.g., bipolar, ADHD, or schizophrenia). Yet, if you only need something like Zoloft for two months to help you deal with temporary mild anxiety or mild depression, you likely can get a prescription for that from your general medical doctor.
My experience is that psychologists and psychiatrists are about equally good at diagnosing a mental disorder. And, because psychiatrists spend much of their time writing prescriptions and assessing the need for a medication change, psychologists usually are the ones who are more experienced at providing actual therapy. If a psychologist believes medication will help, he/she will refer you to a psychiatrist.
As to the diagnosis itself, the psychologist will be able to diagnose your issues but not those of your W. A formal diagnosis cannot be made without seeing the patient. The irony is that, if a psychologist does see your W and determine she has full-blown BPD, he likely will NOT tell her. Nor is he likely to tell you the name of her diagnosis if it is BPD or NPD. I explain the reasons for this withholding of information at Loath to Diagnose
Hence, when BPD and NPD may be involved, your best chance of obtaining a candid professional opinion (not a formal diagnosis) on your W's issues is to see a psychologist who has not treated or even seen your W. That way, you are assured he is ethically bound to protect YOUR best interests, not hers. Although he won't be able to give you a diagnosis, he can say something like, "It sounds to me like she may be suffering from ...."
He can do that based on your recollection of nearly 20 years of dysfunctional behaviors. Keep in mind that a therapist seeing your W may have to see her for two or three years before he sees any of the abusive behaviors you see all week long.
Relying on your W's psychologist for a candid opinion during the marriage would be as foolish as relying on your W's attorney for advice during the divorce. Like the attorney, her psychologist is ethically bound to protect her best interests.
How do you convey what is going on to someone that is a perpetual victim and will have a hard time accepting that their behavior needs to change?
You convey it by saying it once
and then showing it in your actions. As you know all to well, it is pointless to try to argue or reason with a BPDer. The only thing that is likely to motivate her -- and there is very little chance of it actually working -- is to allow her to suffer the logical consequences of her own choices.
At this point do you think it would help to get separated as a way of letting her know I can’t put up with verbal abuse anymore or is that a futile effort at this point if she does not see any problem with how she acts?
If she does not have sufficient self awareness to see the problem with her own behavior, there is no way she is going to spend several years working on a problem she cannot see. Even if she does see the problem and has great self awareness, it is still unlikely she will do the hard work it takes to improve. I've not seen any figures on it but I would guess that perhaps 1/5 of the self-aware BPDers have sufficient ego strength to stay in therapy long enough to make a difference.
Would it help to say either we see a psychiatrist to help deal with these issues or I will file for a divorce?
No, that's the mistake I made. To preserve the marriage, my BPDer exW readily agreed to weekly therapy and proceeded to play mind games with the therapists. Over 15 years, she was "treated" by six of them and 3 MCs. Of course, it cost me a small fortune and did not make a dent in her BPD traits. Not one dent.
As I said earlier, therapy only works if she has a strong desire to do it on her own without being forced into it. Even then, there is absolutely no guarantee that she will do the work necessary to improve. Moreover, how would you really KNOW when she has made a lasting
Like the many smokers who are always quitting and throwing away their "last pack" periodically, a BPDer typically will be seen making great improvements every two months or so. So how can you possibly know you are seeing a lasting improvement in a woman who is greatly improving half the time? Remember, even a roller coaster moves upward half the time.
I informed her that is not what I said but she continued to accuse me and blame me for saying it.
Why are you discussing this with her again? As you know, even in the unlikely event she would agree with you, that agreement almost certainly would be ignored or forgotten in a few days. If she is a BPDer, you are dealing with an intelligent, highly educated woman having the emotional development of a four year old. Hence, as with a young child, you explain the situation and your personal boundary once. No arguments. Then you start enforcing that boundary as soon as it is violated.
Then while I was preparing breakfast for myself she came up and tried to hug me and be sweet to me, which is not normal behavior at all for her....
Like I said earlier, she almost certainly has a great fear of abandonment if she is a BPDer. This means that, once she sees you establishing personal boundaries and enforcing them, you are going to scare the ****ens out of her.
Once she realizes that the love bombing and manipulation no longer work, you likely will start seeing a rage and vindictiveness that you never even imagined she was capable of (even when she was trying to stab you). My BPDer exW, for example, was so convinced I was going to leave her when I started enforcing boundaries that she became frantic and furious.
She chased me around our home from room to room. When I pushed her away from a bedroom door she was trying to destroy, she tripped when stepping backward and fell down. That's all it took for her to call the police and have me arrested for "brutalizing" her.
When I got out of jail 3 days later, I learned that she had obtained a R/O barring me from returning to my own home. So I had to rent an apartment for 18 months until the divorce was finalized. For a BPDer, having her partner arrested is the height of success in establishing her own self identity.
It is the equivalent of being given a Harvard Ph.D. in Victimhood. She may even want to hang your arrest record on her wall. I therefore suggest you start preparing by reading the book, Splitting: Protecting Yourself while Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist.