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Video: Validation -- encouraging peace in a "BPD" family Alan Fruzzetti Ph.D. provides an in-depth explanation of validating and invalidating communications and the importance of creating a validating environment for the entire family. This is a "must see" for any family that has a family member who has a highly sensitive personality or who may be suffering from BPD.

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Author Topic: Working at my relationship but her son is just so mean to my son  (Read 276 times)
emotionaholic
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« on: June 29, 2013, 12:15:47 AM »

I have been in a relationship with a woman for about 3 years, though it has been off and on.  Her T told me after our last breakup a couple of months ago that she has BPD but has not told her yet.  I am so thankful to have found this site and although I do not post much I do lots of reading and appreciate the wisdom and support I see here.  After a month of almost NC during which time I read and research BPD and initiated contact.  We have been spending some time together but have not had any serious discussions about our relationship, just enjoying each other.  I am working on validating, and acceptance that she is who she is and I can only change and work on myself.

There is on major hurtle that I do not know how to deal with properly.  KIDS.  We both have 10 year old sons who are in the same class and for the most part good friends.  Her son is difficult quite possibly BPD himself.  I personally can handle him fairly effective, but when she is around he gets to do and behave in what ever way he wants.  I do see that she has problems with relationships and that she was never able to teach her son about how to properly interact with his pears.  He lacks empathy.  She acknowledge this but lets him be that way and then of course mirrors it onto my son.  Not being her sons father I can not possibly say anything about his behaviors or all hell will break loose.  Most of our breakups have been over my telling her that I do not like the way her son is treating my son.  He is demanding, mean and selfish and once he gets his share he wants the other persons share also.  Today was the first time in 2 months that the 4 of us did something together and sure enough her son made mine cry.  It was something small, her son not getting his 90% of the turns diving into the pool for the key ring, but I find I can not say anything about it.  The kids ate in silence each mad at the other.  Her son closing the door in my sons face and refusing to acknowledge my sons presence.  The two of us had our dinner conversation and then instead of a sleepover for the kids followed by a boat ride for them tomorrow I told her that I was sorry that tonight did not work out and left with my son.

I want to work on this relationship and learning about BPD has given me alot of insight and tools, but as far as kids go I dont know what to do. 
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allibaba
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 09:52:59 AM »

Hi emotionaholic,

This is just another example of a good place for boundaries.  She can let her son behave however she wants BUT you do not have to accept her son treating your son the way he does (phew did that make sense?).

BOUNDARIES: Upholding our values and independence

BOUNDARIES: Case studies

I am not familiar with you, but here are a few links on boundaries that might be helpful.  Your BPD does not need to buy-in to you boundaries.  You do not need to explain your boundaries.  I'm not sure that its really worth trying to explain yourself to her.  She probably won't get it.

You did just the right thing -  you enforced your boundary.  When your son wasn't protected from her son's behavior, then you excused yourself and your son to protect him. 

The only thing that I would add is if there is a way to explain why you left...  it may not be bad to gently explain that you weren't comfortable with her son's behavior.  I hope that some of this helps and I am sure that others will weigh in if I am off base or if they have more to add.
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emotionaholic
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 10:43:27 AM »

There was no need to explain why my son and I left.  Before I left we had gone outside to talk for a couple of minutes.  There was no fighting or arguing between us.  She openly admits that her son is difficult but that she has no idea what to do about it and that she is so tiered of telling him "no" and correcting him that if her son wants to hide in his room and be rude she is going to let him.  The boys have been friends for 5 years now and with our relationship the behave like brothers which brings with it a bit of sibling rivalry.  Her son being the dominating "older brother".  I have an older sister who was mean as can be to me when I was younger so I see this very clearly.  About a year ago her T suggested that her son may have a mild case of Augsburg syndrome and should look into it.  She did not want her son to get a complex so the issue was dropped.  Her son gets upset that my son gets all the positive attention that everyone always takes my sons side.   Which is true do to the fact that her son instigates 95% of the trouble.

I did on the ride home try to explain to my son that when her son is upset that it is not his fault and to try to not take it personally and go about his business.  My son does have a hard time expressing his feelings and standing up for himself then he hides and sulks.  I just feel sometimes like when the 4 of us are together that I have a thirty some year old woman with the emotions of a 6 year old, a 10 year old with the social skills of a 2 year old, another 10 year old sulking like he is 5 and me wanting to send all of them to their rooms without dinner.
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Grey Kitty
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 07:48:44 PM »

I did on the ride home try to explain to my son that when her son is upset that it is not his fault and to try to not take it personally and go about his business.  My son does have a hard time expressing his feelings and standing up for himself then he hides and sulks.  I just feel sometimes like when the 4 of us are together that I have a thirty some year old woman with the emotions of a 6 year old, a 10 year old with the social skills of a 2 year old, another 10 year old sulking like he is 5 and me wanting to send all of them to their rooms without dinner.

That cracked me up, but I think it is about right. Your son isn't old enough to really do a good job of coping with her son, although you can help him.

I think the only thing you can really do here is use your boundary pretty much as you did. Make sure you understand your boundary and are comfortable with it.

You mention something else, and this might be an opening for your next step:
She openly admits that her son is difficult but that she has no idea what to do about it and that she is so tiered of telling him "no" and correcting him that if her son wants to hide in his room and be rude she is going to let him.

Perhaps another time like this will give you an opening to give her some guidance?

We can help you use some of the communication tools that are validating like S.E.T. to work on a conversation like that.

She might be more open to suggestions that she could use than she is to you disciplining her son.
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