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Author Topic: Looking for others who had an ex with BPD and NPD traits  (Read 1820 times)
Indigo Sky
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« on: November 06, 2009, 01:02:30 PM »

Just finished talking to my therapist, she thinks that my exBPDw has very strong NPD traits, with BPD mixed in for good measure. She said the chances of this combination seeking help are extremely low.

What caused the end of our marriage (not saying something else wouldnt have struck her fancy) was her perceived betrayal by me. She felt I put my first wife above her...she was also upset that I told her that I felt she had a personality disorder.

Basically, I get crapped on for everything, she thinks she walks on water...and I love her...I think that pretty well wraps up our 3 years...

If you had a partner with NPDand BPD, would like to hear what your experiences were?
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livingw/ochaos
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 01:41:54 PM »

My H is diagnosed BPD/NPD/ASPD.

He did (and still does) seek help for himself.

There is a lot of overlap in these disorders.  I actually think people on these boards report A LOT of NPD traits when discussing their BPD - more on the Leaving and Inlaw/Parents boards than on the Staying board . . . but then that makes sense.

In many ways, I think these Axis II disorders are related more in a continuium way than they are separate disorders.  Meaning, I wonder if you wife isn't more fully BPD and crossing into the realm of NPD. 

As many will say, however, does it really matter what the diagnosis is?  So I'm curious why you ask.
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Indigo Sky
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 01:55:09 PM »

I am confused by how they define the personality disorders. Read a couple of sites, they classify one way, then I read another site and they classify it another way. I agree there is overlap.

I talked to the therapist and she feels my ex has more NPD traits that BPD, maybe the NPD is just more in your face...when the BPD is in the clinger phase, its a nice break from the hater.

Was hoping the thread would help distinguish between the two as far as how others see it.

I see NPD as being the dominant part, and the BPD as being more the submissive part.


Saw this on the net:

So how can you tell if your emotionally abusive girlfriend or wife has Borderline or Narcissistic traits? The following are general rules of thumb I use when trying to tease out the difference.

How do they approach relationships?

The Narcissistic Woman: “Love me–or else.” If you don’t unconditionally accept the NPD and all of her horrible behaviors, you are, as one of my readers describes it, “unforgiving and mean.” She initially charms and then bullies you into loving her. If you reject her or she thinks that you’re criticizing her, you’re treated to a narcissistic rage episode or cold sullen withdrawal and the death stare.

Every now and again, a narcissist will be nice to you, even affectionate. This is because she is:

about to manipulate you into doing something for her;
making a public display in order to be seen by others as magnanimous or loving;
celebrating because she’s duped or tricked you about something; and/or
lulling you into a false sense of security because she’s about to clobber you again.
In other words, if she’s being nice to you, be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Borderline Woman: “Please love me. I didn’t mean it. Don’t leave me.” Initially, the BPD will mutate into the woman she thinks you want her to be. This ideal fantasy woman has nothing to do with who she is in reality. She’ll do everything in her power to please you in order to make you love her and then the mask starts to crumble.

Can you feel sympathy for her?

The Narcissistic Woman: The NPD woman is a very unsympathetic creature. It’s damned near impossible to feel sorry for her. If she manipulates you into feeling sympathy for her, it’s to get you to let down your guard so she can steamroll you again. They invented the term crocodile tears for NPDs. She cries when she’s terrified of losing control over her half dead mouse–that would be you–or of having her true self exposed.

The Borderline Woman: Even when she’s off the charts crazy, there’s still something sort of pitiful about her. It’s easier to feel sympathy for a BPD, but pity and guilt shouldn’t be the glue that holds a relationship together. Intention does not negate consequence. In other words, even if a BPD woman can articulate, “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” it doesn’t absolve her from the responsibility of having inflicted harm whether it was intentional or unintentional. A person with these issues has a very hard time understanding this.

Is she capable of accepting personal responsibility?

The Narcissistic Woman: She rarely, if ever, admits she’s wrong unless it’s to zing you with a thinly veiled insult. For example, “I thought you were a kind and generous man. I see now that I was wrong.” She never ever takes personal responsibility for her hurtful actions. If you call her on her bad behaviors, she claims it was your fault for pushing her into it (i.e., you deserved it) and you’re a bad man to make a good woman like her act that way. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Alternatively, she’ll use dime store psychology or dogmatic religion to justify her inexcusable behaviors. For example, “A true christian practices forgiveness” or “You have unresolved issues with your mother” or “My therapist said I should do what’s in my heart.” How do you not respond, “You’re kidding, right?” to these kinds of statements.

The Borderline Woman: The BPD will admit what she did was wrong, BUT she’ll follow it up by blaming you for triggering her. That’s not real personal responsibility. It’s what a 5-year old says when they get caught doing something wrong. “Yes, what I did was wrong, but it wasn’t my fault.” The NPD won’t acknowledge any wrong-doing–that’s the difference. The NPD believes she was right to hurt you.

Is she capable of empathy?

The Narcissistic Woman: The NPD is virtually incapable of feeling empathy for others. She is 100% ENTITLED, which means other people’s feelings don’t really matter.  There is one exception. If someone else is giving you a hard time, the NPD will say, “Well I never had a problem with ‘Joe.’ He’s always been nice to me. He must be really stressed. You’re probably bringing this on yourself.” The NPD woman shows empathy for others at your expense. She’s a real gem.

The Borderline Woman: BPDs can be guided to feel empathy by reminding them of specific instances when they felt bad, but it’s usually pretty fleeting. Bottom line: A BPD’s emotional distress takes precedence over everything and everyone else, no matter how empathic she may seem to be from time to time.

Is she capable of giving?

The Narcissistic Woman: That would be no, no and no. NPDs are all TAKERS. It’s definitely a one-way street when you’re involved with a narcissistic woman. She may make a show of being kind and generous in front of others, but that’s only because she wants to protect her highly controlled public image. Alternatively, if she does something “generous” it’s because she believes “those are the rules” of etiquette, society or her religion. NPDs are big rules and regulations types. She will then expect to be lavishly acknowledged and praised for her act of generosity (or something as minor as cleaning up after herself in the bathroom) and never lets you forget it.

The Borderline Woman: BPDs are givers, but it comes with a price. It’s part of what I mentioned earlier about doing anything to please you to get you to love them.
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trax
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 01:59:31 PM »

My xh has NPD traits.   He has had many diagnoses throughout his life, stemming from (my opinion) a childhood brain injury + abuse.  Two years ago he was diagnosed with bipolar, BPD and depression.  Hard to say what he really is, I am just going off his diagnosis when I post here.

Whatever it really is, he refuses to get help.
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Are you on the right board?
This board is for members with failed or failing relationships that want to detach from their relationship and relationship wounds. If you are still analyzing the decision to stay, please post on Undecided: Staying or Leaving
All members living with a pwBPD should learn to use the Stop the Bleeding tools - boundaries, timeouts and other basic tools - to better manage the day to day interactions with your partner. If you have questions on any of the tools, feel free to go over to Staying: Improving a Relationship with a Borderline Partner and ask for help. :-)
Indigo Sky
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 02:11:42 PM »

Hi Trax,

Quote
Whatever it really is, he refuses to get help.

Good point and in the end thats all that matters.

My therapist gave me an attaboy for trying and look like...plzzzzzzzzzzzz, what were you thinking,  in a teasing way.

And after all was said and done, all I did was push myself out the door when I crossed her boundary of absolute obedience...by questioning her...i still can hear the trap door creeking as it swings gently in the breeze...

She is clever though, never admit, reading like crazy about BPD, she is now much better at hiding her symptoms...yeah me...I feel for the next guy...
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livingw/ochaos
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 02:39:00 PM »

I guess I don't fully disagree with the BPD vs. NPD list you posted.

But I do shutter when I read these sorts of cold-hearted, highly editorized (ie: "She’s a real gem.") versions of mental disorders.  It's kind of like reading someone with"Schizophrenia conveniently will hear voices telling him to do what he wants to do".  I think these Axis II disorders are a whole lot more complex than what is being said.  For example, when it comes to empathy; it's not just like someone wakes up in the morning and decides "I don't feel like being empathetic today".  Empathy is human nature.  To not display appropriate empathy absolutely will have negative affects for the person.  I don't doubt that sufferers of NPD have some injury to the natural ability to process empathy.

I just don't know how healthy it is for us nons to cling to some "black and white" version of certain PDs.  It only serves to build resentment toward our s/o.  I can understand in the short term this sort of resentment can aide in moving passed a bad relationship . .  . but in the longer term I'm not sure this is helpful.
 
So if your X is truly NPD, she is a damaged soul.  It perfectly reasonable to protect yourself with NC. 
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Indigo Sky
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 09:32:21 PM »

Our love relationship was just as described in the article posted here - idolization - clingy - hater (push-pull), and she fits the borderline waif (she is agressive but when challenged she turtles and gives the poor me perfomance...but then you can see the wheels turning in her mind, you know whats coming next isnt going to be kind)...But...she also fits ALL the NPD characteristics...double standards like you wouldnt believe...

Quote
“Love me–or else.” If you don’t unconditionally accept the NPD and all of her horrible behaviors, you are, as one of my readers describes it, “unforgiving and mean.” She initially charms and then bullies you into loving her. If you reject her or she thinks that you’re criticizing her, you’re treated to a narcissistic rage episode or cold sullen withdrawal and the death stare.

Every now and again, a narcissist will be nice to you, even affectionate. This is because she is:

about to manipulate you into doing something for her;
making a public display in order to be seen by others as magnanimous or loving;
celebrating because she’s duped or tricked you about something; and/or
lulling you into a false sense of security because she’s about to clobber you again.
In other words, if she’s being nice to you, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Yep

Quote
Can you feel sympathy for her?

The Narcissistic Woman: The NPD woman is a very unsympathetic creature. It’s damned near impossible to feel sorry for her. If she manipulates you into feeling sympathy for her, it’s to get you to let down your guard so she can steamroll you again. They invented the term crocodile tears for NPDs. She cries when she’s terrified of losing control over her half dead mouse–that would be you–or of having her true self exposed.

Yep

Quote
Is she capable of accepting personal responsibility?

The Narcissistic Woman: She rarely, if ever, admits she’s wrong unless it’s to zing you with a thinly veiled insult. For example, “I thought you were a kind and generous man. I see now that I was wrong.” She never ever takes personal responsibility for her hurtful actions. If you call her on her bad behaviors, she claims it was your fault for pushing her into it (i.e., you deserved it) and you’re a bad man to make a good woman like her act that way. You should be ashamed of yourself

Yep, when I snooped her phone it was a big scandal, she ate me alive, when I had proof that my snooping was in response to her looking on my phone first, she didnt even bat an eye, she said " of course I look your phone, why not"? She felt it was her right. She had an affair for 6 months AND kept on dropping bigger and bigger hints to boot that she was having it, she was angry at me for us getting married, to her marriage = I was controlling her, oh yeah, then when I confronted her with proof...no apologies, only words to the effect it was none of my business...beauty...

[
Quote
Is she capable of empathy?

The Narcissistic Woman: The NPD is virtually incapable of feeling empathy for others. She is 100% ENTITLED, which means other people’s feelings don’t really matter.  There is one exception. If someone else is giving you a hard time, the NPD will say, “Well I never had a problem with ‘Joe.’ He’s always been nice to me. He must be really stressed. You’re probably bringing this on yourself.” The NPD woman shows empathy for others at your expense. She’s a real gem.

Zero empathy, when I hurt my head and had to go get stitches, she was mad at me for wasting her time and (my) money...

Quote
Is she capable of giving?

The Narcissistic Woman: That would be no, no and no. NPDs are all TAKERS. It’s definitely a one-way street when you’re involved with a narcissistic woman. She may make a show of being kind and generous in front of others, but that’s only because she wants to protect her highly controlled public image. Alternatively, if she does something “generous” it’s because she believes “those are the rules” of etiquette, society or her religion. NPDs are big rules and regulations types. She will then expect to be lavishly acknowledged and praised for her act of generosity (or something as minor as cleaning up after herself in the bathroom) and never lets you forget it.

And a big 10-4,

Quote
So if your X is truly NPD, she is a damaged soul.

Yes, my therapist said, its almost impossible to successfully treat this type, they cant see what they are doing is wrong...even when it is obvious to others...



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trax
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 09:41:35 PM »

She will then expect to be lavishly acknowledged and praised for her act of generosity (or something as minor as cleaning up after herself in the bathroom) and never lets you forget it.

This is my xh, completely.  I could do a hundred things around the house that would never even be mentioned, but he would do ONE thing and expect me to fall at his feet with praise.  I often heard "after everything I have done for you" and variations.
 
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newworld
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 10:08:52 PM »

both are in my family tree in isolation and as comorbitity...the whole lot are in freaudian therapy which only serves to fuel the delight in beinng the center of attention as well as fuel the rightousness of the behavior with no thought to behavioral modification or changing destructive patterns, simply understanding them as a defacto part of the self.

from what I have seen, I would say that there is so little hope for the dual diagnosis it is not even worth thinking about as a possibility  ?
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 01:44:07 AM »


I just don't know how healthy it is for us nons to cling to some "black and white" version of certain PDs. 

Well it would be a  PD traits wouldn't it.  More overgeneralization, still butting our heads against the wall, trying so hard to make sense of things that don't make sense.

Maybe better to look at likelihoods rather than cut-and-dry rules.  For me, it was helpful to read here after the fact that NP's were a lot less likely to re-engagement post-relationship.  Which could also mean those borderlines with a greater % of narcissism.  Sometimes it seems like jargon, sometimes it helps.  They may be more likely to "move on" (now there's a euphemism) than to stay in contact with some combination of threats, groveling, begging, etc.   But X had a behavior for every occasion, for every volley back and forth.  Nothing was too out-there, no blow too low -- maybe he used the whole playbook, who knows.

Anyway, X and I were about to start out with our 8th marriage counselor.  I said I'd even pay on my own for it.  I was beyond desperate.  He had lied and manipulated and posed his way with all the rest, and it gave him all kind of bluster -- again --  to resist going in for the final round -- "it would be just like all the other times."  Well, Hell yeah -- he had gotten so good at playing the therapists and watching me spin out in total frustration.  He'd stay calm, calculated, a little sullen, doing whatever combination of resistant and charming best suited him -- and would lie thru his teeth.  And I'd get slapped on the hand for interrupting.  (Damn, I should have finally blown up, just that once in 20 years, in the only environment safe for that.)

I had met the 8th MC at the retreat where I had resolved not to take the abuse anymore.  A week later I engaged her as MC, she and I met at her request for an initial one-on-one session.  I let her know my objective, that unless some miracle breakthrough happened at the first couples session, I'd have to tell him my decision to divorce.  At that appt., it was the same old crap.  So I told X it was over.  What happened then was classic.

He sobbed and sobbed, collapsed on the couch -- after a few minutes, took the box of Kleenex, dried his eyes and ASKED THE THERAPIST
WHEN IT WOULD BE OK TO START DATING!

When she said she couldn't answer that for him, he said
OH I MEAN, WHEN WOULD IT BE LEGAL FOR ME TO START DATING?  I'M STILL A MARRIED MAN, YOU KNOW.

At which point all I could say was "you're not going to discuss this on my dime."
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Indigo Sky
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2009, 05:17:47 AM »

Quote
For me, it was helpful to read here after the fact that NP's were a lot less likely to re-engagement post-relationship.  Which could also mean those borderlines with a greater % of narcissism.

Innerspirit, thanks for that bit of information. I hadnt read that before, but it sure makes sense, and fits my ex to a tee. She didnt contact her ex husband for nearly 8 years, he contacted her repeatedly over the 3 years I was with her but she never returned the favor, until she decided our relationship was over, then started contacting him, when she felt things were steady with him, dropped the bomb on me...he is married with 2 young children...and my ex and her ex were together for 3 years off and on...I was going to write, we will see what happens...but I dont really want to know...and hope I never find out...the more I read here, the more I just would have packed my bags years ago...but its a learning experience to be sure...

It would be nice if medical studies get to the point where you go online, select your partners traits(regarding PD's), cross reference the old matrix...and tell you what your up against right away (Habits, % cure, their thinking process, degree of paranoia, etc, etc,) like my therapist gave me the its almost virtually impossible for a NPD+ BPD combination personality to change...it was either learn to live with it or leave...I should add, my ex also has some (ahem) sadistic and sexual sadistic qualities about her as well...I can only guess, but I think she was abused sexually as a child, but probably has suppressed it, saw her once really stressed, it was like in the movies, multiple personalities...scary at best...

The more I read, the more I understand there are many combinations and degrees of PD's. More medical study needs to be done. More education needs to be done.
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innerspirit
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2009, 08:17:44 AM »

Hi FB -- well, my X had so many ways of trying to manipulate me -- I guess I could "armchair" it and call the various disorders co-morbid in his case.  But like crusading to find out whether he's officially PD or not, it depended on what he chose to reveal in the T's office along with the huge buffet of behaviors he chose from at home.  And the T's ability/willingness to even venture the diagnosis.
So many people on the boards here ask "Could this be BPD"?  To a certain extent it's helpful to find out that some of the patterns match up -- we've a great sense of community established that way, we find out there's some twisted reasoning behind the acting out and that we as NON's aren't each so isolated.
But beyond that, I'm not sure how much comfort the actual label is -- at least for now.  One, it's about how we choose to respond.  Two, my experience is that the mental health community's ability to handle this was questionable at best.  Granted that it's an art as well as a science, and I'm so frustrated by what happened with me.  I feel betrayed by that system -- the only support I got was from professionals who never met X.  And with the ones he did see, he WON in his mind, which means ultimately that the system didn't serve him.
Those who have been diagnosed, have done the DBT work, and have committed to work on their respective relationships -- well, it's as if they are in a parallel universe.  I can sense the huge relief in breaking the denial and acceptance of the behavior, as well as the struggle of the longterm work.  But it continues to blow my mind that X's walls were so impenetrable --- and it's just very sad.   cry
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Indigo Sky
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2009, 08:55:16 AM »

Hi Innerspirit,

I feel deeply sad for my ex too. I know she is in a lot of pain even though we dont communicate now.

I also think that if I had the knowledge I had now, at the beginning of our relationship, I firmly believe it our relationship would have lasted much much longer, maybe even a lifetime, and here is my reasoning.

As the idolization phase was ending she tried to tell me in her own way many things. I didnt listen. She was trying to tell me in her own way not to stress her, to go slow.

The stress brought out all her coping mechanisms, which to say the least are not good.

She had absoluty no idea that she was now a completely different person in the post idolization world, or if she did would never admit it. There were many times she denied things until I gave her 100% proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, at which time she would say "So!".

I couldnt handle the change from the idolization phase to the post idolization phase. My stress went up and drove hers through the roof.

The question remains if I would be able to still really last with her in the post idolization phase, which includes the cheating and other strange thoughts, did I mention she is a sadist? I think I did.

But again, maybe if she wasnt stressed these behaviors wouldnt have occured.

She really has a zero stress level. The slightest thing sets her off like a rocket...

For me, knowledge is helping me understand what happened. That knowledge is helping me cope. I am a guy that loves math, I also love the human sciences, I believe all our answers to our questions are available, I may never find my final answer that I seek, but I want to try...I would like to be able to at the end of the day, factually sit down, look at what I know, and say, if I did A,B and C, it would have / wouldnt have worked out (Deep down I know life throws many curve balls at you and most likely 99.99999999999999999999999999% at some point we would have ended up in the ditch anyhow, just at a later date). That is why I like coming here so much and reading and writing, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here, its like finding a gold nugget from time to time, your little nugget helped me learn a little bit more. Thanks...
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