Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
October 24, 2014, 03:30:44 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Moderators: DreamGirl, LettingGo14, P.F.Change, Rapt Reader
Advisors: formflier, Kwaminalivednlearned, maxen, Mutt, pessim-optimist, Turkish, Waverider
Ambassadors: Aussie JJ, caredverymuch, contradancer, free-n-clear, HealingSpirit, lever, NorthernGirl, ziggiddy
  Directory Guidelines Glossary   Boards   Help Login Register  
bing
Video: "Could it be Borderline Personality Disorder?" 17 million people in the US are affected by Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD traits.This is a disorder of extreme fear of rejection and limited executive function. People suffering with these traits of this disorder often have a lifetime of unstable relationships. This video describes the disorder in detail.
51
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: How to give an ultimatum?  (Read 3483 times)
cricket
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 257


« on: May 02, 2007, 05:44:05 PM »

Dear All,

I feel stuck.  In a holding pattern, to use an image others have used on this board.  Biding my time, spinning my wheels, pacing back and forth, rather than moving forward.

My uBPDhusband has not raged since shortly after a major episode in December.  (Please pardon repeated story details.)  After the spaz-out, which resulted in a broken door and my leaving the apt. for two days, my husband begged me to come back and promised to do "anything."  I had been in touch with his parents, unbeknownst to him; he had called them too, separately.  The parents are relevant because a) he has huge family issues and b) his dad promised to pay for H's therapy, as long as it might be needed.  Oh, and c) their family is very close, very traditional, and has many members with a constant stream of birthdays and events, especially as the summer approaches.

So.  H's dad and I talked pretty openly (back in Dec. and Jan.) about my concerns, and I said that my criteria for staying in the relationship would be that H get into therapy and get his meds checked out, and actively look for work.  (He was previously diagnosed bipolar; of his 3 prescribed meds, he'd stopped taking Depakote, but still took Prozac and Wellbutrin.  He stopped seeing his PsyDoc a few years ago because she cost too much, but he never contacted any less expensive alternatives.)  In a separate conversation with H, his dad laid out similar criteria in order for him to pay for treatment.  I did not phrase my "criteria" as "if you don't, I'm leaving," but I made clear that nothing like the broken door was ever to happen again.   

I also mentioned to H that Wellbutrin, in some cases, has been found to exacerbate anxiety and rage -- a documented side effect, and something that occurred to me, knowing that H wasn't taking anything to offset two different antidepressants.  H stopped taking the Wellbutrin (not anything I recommended) shortly before starting to see a new therapist.

H started seeing this new therapist in January, a highly recommended (and pricey) PhD, as well as a Psych for meds evaluation, recommended by the therapist.  He must have seen the therapist 6 or 8 times, and Psych. once or twice.  Both of them suggested that the bipolar diagnosis may have been in error.  As far as I know, a new meds course was never drawn up -- there are no new prescriptions floating around.  H stopped seeing the therapist in early March (I think) after the therapist allegedly "hit on" my husband (making comments twice about his "broad shoulders.") 

So, ugh.  Horrible to be hit on by someone you're just starting to trust, of course.  And grossly unprofessional.  But now H is resistant to starting up with yet another therapist, and never went back to the Psych.  Now he's taking no meds -- truth be told, he seems less volatile than he has been for a long time, but he's still anxious and completely stuck in a rut.

H is convinced that the Wellbutrin was the cause, or at least a greatly heightening factor, of his rages.  Therefore, it seems like he thinks the request that he see a T and get his meds fixed has been nullified -- because he hasn't been raging, or freaking out over little things the way he had been. 

Things in our home have been smooth-ish for the past couple months -- dull, not terribly open, but both of us trying to be kind to the other.  How do I re-bring-up the subject of therapy when there's no crisis?  I fear that he will think I'm coming out of nowhere with my request, even though the December event is so strong in my mind that there's still a very direct connection, as far as I'm concerned.

It seems as though an ultimatum may be the only way to get him to do anything.  Kindly encouragements have not been fruitful.  He hasn't been looking for day-job/income work (he's an actor, and occasionally books voice-over stuff, which pays but not consistently), and is now asking that I teach him the skills I use at my own dumb-day-job in order that he might find work in that field. 

I suppose I can answer my own question:  How to give an ultimatum?  Open your mouth and speak.  And I suppose it would be useful to get that response.  But, I guess my amended question is, how do I frame a context for this ultimatum?  And if giving the ultimatum itself turns into another crisis/rage, should I just take that opportunity to leave?

ForeverDad asked me a few weeks ago if I had a safety plan -- I do; I've gotten my most important files and legal papers out of the house, as well as invaluable books and some things.  I have a change of clothes, and I can find places (temp.) to stay.

Thanks for reading this windy post, and for your honest feedback.

Peace to all,
cricket
Logged
turtle
Distinguished Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5316



WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 06:24:21 PM »

Hi Cricket --

Can you just ask him a few questions to see where he is with this stuff? Such as:

1. What's happening with regard to his commitment to see the Psych?
2. Can you ask him if the "dumb day job" is what he's planning to do to pull his weight in the financial responsibilites and if so, when does he plan on starting that?
3. Can you ask if he plans on seeing a new T? (Do you really believe the old one hit on him?)
4. Can you ask him how he's feeling about not being on medication?

My best guess is that if you merely ask these questions, it will a) cause him to think about the answers and b) it will hopefully remind him that these things were agreed upon earlier.

Of course you need to be prepared that asking him those questions might trigger a bad response.  If that happens, then you know what you're dealing with.

If the two of you can't discuss things like this...well...you know what you'll need to do.

Turtle
 
Logged


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Are you on the right board?
This board is for analyzing and making the decision to either continue working on your relationship or to leave it. If you have already please advance to "L3 Leaving" or the "L4 Staying" board.
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. :-)
JoannaK
DSA Recipient
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 26380



« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2007, 06:34:10 PM »

I would also ask you to ask yourself questions...   What would make you content enough in this relationship so that you would stay?  And for how long?  Do you honesty see yourself with him 5 years down the road or does the thought of that really make you kind of nauseous?  Do you really have any hope for your relationship?  Right now it sounds as though the whole relationship is walking on eggshells.

But I do think a caring, but soft, conversation with him is a starting place.  See what comes out of that. 

Unless he realizes that he has big problems and he is honestly willing to do something about them, he won't be able to start on the road to recovery.   To recover, he's got to be doing this for himself, not for you or his dad... or else it is all in vain.

Also check out this post and the resources:

 http://www.BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56677.0

 Might be a bit of a help.   
Logged

Bailey
formerly marymac
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 822


« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007, 06:38:05 PM »

Cricket,

Oh, Cricket, I've been where you are now.  You must feel so stuck and worried.  (And, turtle, this is before Danny Boy.  Cricket's hsb sounds like my ex husband. )

Cricket, I have one major suggestion.  Get this book: TOO GOOD TO LEAVE, TOO BAD TO STAY.  Read it, answer all the questions in there, and you will discover what to do. 

Personally, I'm not quite buying the story that the therapist hit on him.  Usually a client will talk to a therapist about something like that, and usually the therapist/client can use the client's feelings in a positive way.  Am I making sense? Like, I thought my therapist was hitting on me, so I finally told him and it was a fascinating and helpful discussion.  And I was wrong about it.

Keep writing to us, keep reading, listen to your heart.

marymac
Logged
csandra
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2374


« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 06:43:35 PM »

You're walking on egg shells.  Ask yourself how long you are willing to feel like this...anxious when things are going "well", fearful that things will get "bad".  You deserve a life free of anxiety and fear, at least 90 % of the time.

 He will only change when things get bad enough in HIS life, not when things get bad enough in YOUR life.  I don't believe that the therapist "hit" on him, I think he told you that so that he would get your support in stopping therapy. 

There are plenty of very good looking people who manage to get professional help without being "hit"on.  My stbxh had strong NPD traits and seemed to expect that people would fall all over him, take interest in him.  He wasn't THAT great looking and/or special.
Logged

cricket
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 257


« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 06:54:23 PM »

Thanks so much for the responses.  It helps immensely to feel that I'm not alone.  (I've confided in a couple friends about how lousy our marriage/home situation has been at times, but it's hard to get that far in most conversations.  Plus, as seems par for the BPD course, our social circle is pretty thin these days.)


Turtle (I love your avatar):  The last time I mentioned that seeing a T would really be a great idea, especially since he's not on any meds now, and because he voiced that he "doesn't know what [he's] supposed to do" (i.e., with his life?) -- I said, hey, I don't seem able to give you any answers, so maybe it's time to get a third party involved -- he said, "I'm not really hot on third parties right now"... alluding to the "hitting on" trauma (which he has brought up several times as something life altering.  I don't mean to underplay the grimness of that breach of trust, if it indeed happened.  But, as a couple responses hinted, I, too, wonder if it weren't fabricated, or at least greatly exaggerated.  The T didn't charge him for a good chunk of change, though.  That makes me wonder if the T was indeed guilty.)

A couple weeks ago I told him I could no longer pay for both our insurance premiums.  This segued into his acknowledging that he really needs to "bring in more money."  No actual job-seeking action has been taken yet.

Thank you for listing the questions.  I may have to print it out and have it in my pocket to remind myself.

Thanks, Joanna, for the questions-for-me.  I don't know what would make me content enough to stay.  All I can think of is, if he were to become a different person.  And, obviously, that's unreasonable.  If he were to be self-sufficient.  If he were to take charge of his own life, and if our lives were able to mesh as a partnership (instead of the leaky boat that it is right now.)  You're right on the nose; I feel dizzy if I think about five years down the road.  I don't know where we COULD be, if things proceed as they are now.  Still falling down in our messy apartment.  I'd be dead.  So, things are untenable. 

I don't know if I have "hope" for the relationship.  Maybe not.  I think, inside, I know that I will eventually leave.  I just want to be sure I do it in a respectful way, if that makes any sense.  I'm sure, in the end, it won't be seen as "respectful" in any sense of the word.  I guess I just want to respect the parts of him that I once admired.  I've tried to let him know that I have faith in his ability to take charge of his life, but that isn't enough.

MaryMac, thanks so much for the recommendation.  I will try to pick it up.  As I mentioned above, I didn't really buy the "hit on" story either, but, again, the guy let more than $1000 go unbilled.  When H brought it up (according to him), the T just acted shocked and amazed and DIDN'T take the opportunity to build into a helpful discussion.  But, again, my H may be perceiving their exchange as he wishes to perceive it.

Lots to think about.  Thanks again for the clarity.
Logged
cricket
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 257


« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2007, 07:00:04 PM »

Csandra -- sorry, I cross-posted.  Yes, I am walking on the proverbial eggshells.  (And sometimes literally -- H is a huge kitchen slob.)  I think by finally starting this thread, I'm building up to doing something, anything.  He's been sick (in bed with some flu-ish thing) for a week, and I felt like I couldn't broach anything while he was in that state. 

Thank you for reminding me that I deserve a less anxiety-riddled life.  I honestly think 50% of my energy goes into anticipating and second-guessing.  Although, as I said in my first post, things have been pretty uneventful lately.  Perhaps this period is all a lengthy re-engagement and things will go south of their own accord.  (Mother's day, nephew's birthday, whatever.  Family obligations tend to set him off.)

Interesting to have the T-episode debunked by yet another FTF member.

Thanks again.
-cricket
Logged
Bailey
formerly marymac
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 822


« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2007, 07:06:11 PM »

Cricket,

He keeps saying he'll get a better job?  Or more work?  Oy, oy.  My borderline ex boyfriend did, too.  Indefinitely.  He'd send out a few resumes when I would get strong and insist -- and then he'd relax when I would let my guard down, and then I'd forget for a few weeks, until I remembered.

And, hey, who says the therapist isn't asking for payment?  The therapist or your hsb?

Sometimes finding the truth is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Logged
turtle
Distinguished Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5316



WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 07:57:54 PM »


Turtle (I love your avatar):  The last time I mentioned that seeing a T would really be a great idea, especially since he's not on any meds now, and because he voiced that he "doesn't know what [he's] supposed to do" (i.e., with his life?) -- I said, hey, I don't seem able to give you any answers, so maybe it's time to get a third party involved -- he said, "I'm not really hot on third parties right now"... alluding to the "hitting on" trauma (which he has brought up several times as something life altering.  I don't mean to underplay the grimness of that breach of trust, if it indeed happened.  But, as a couple responses hinted, I, too, wonder if it weren't fabricated, or at least greatly exaggerated.  The T didn't charge him for a good chunk of change, though.  That makes me wonder if the T was indeed guilty.)


Cricket --- thanks for commenting on my avatar -- I like it too.  However, I don't feel so much like a turtle these days -- my head is no longer inside my shell - dodging the hits from my BPDxbf!

Now this is just a thought ---- I own a business where I sell things to very picky and demanding clients. In my 18 years of doing this, I have run across a few hellacious customers whose behavior was so intolerable that I didn't charge them for things just so they'd go away and leave me the hell alone!  That T might have just been using her "cost of doing business" clause.  I mean really --- you can't reason with the unreasonable -- and who would know more about unreasonable than the T!  She may have just wanted to get rid of him and just did what she had to do to get him to move along down the line.  Maybe she did hit on him, but maybe she didn't  AND...I think it's a really lame excuse for him to use this incident (fabricated, or not) as an excuse to get out of it. So what?  A T hit on him -- Big deal -- that doesn't mean the next one will -- in fact -- if he's so worried about it, he can find a male T (who's not gay.)  My own opinion, which means nothing of course, is that the T didn't hit on him, but he wanted to make sure you know he's so fabulous that even his T would hit on him  barfy   Hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.  Cocky aren't I?   Sorry, it's just the way I see it.

[/quote]

A couple weeks ago I told him I could no longer pay for both our insurance premiums.  This segued into his acknowledging that he really needs to "bring in more money."  No actual job-seeking action has been taken yet.


Well...that sort of says it all.  He's not looking for work because he knows he doesn't HAVE to.  I did a post here recently on how men felt about being the breadwinner.  The ones who responded take great pride in that.  There are a lot of men in this world though (I've had 3 and there will not be a 4th!) that think it's perfectly fine to sit back and let the woman do all the work -- while they claim illness, bad job market, lack of education, or whatever.  While they're sitting around making excuses...WE'RE working.  Truth: If he WANTED to have a job ----- he'd have one!


I don't know if I have "hope" for the relationship.  Maybe not.  I think, inside, I know that I will eventually leave.  I just want to be sure I do it in a respectful way, if that makes any sense.  I'm sure, in the end, it won't be seen as "respectful" in any sense of the word.  I guess I just want to respect the parts of him that I once admired.  I've tried to let him know that I have faith in his ability to take charge of his life, but that isn't enough.


OK Cricket --- If you're looking to end this in a respectful way...do it in a respectful way for YOU.  No matter how you end this, HE will NOT perceive it as respectful.  At a minimum, he will be mad because his meal ticket has been cancelled -- and as you know, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Good luck Cricket -- whatever you decide to do and whenever you decide to do it, we're here for you.  I can tell you one thing...I haven't lived with my BPD for 6 years and life is so much sweeter, calmer, peaceful, fulfilling, clear, and it's VERY tidy (no chaos, no drama, no rages, no false accusations, no lies, no hitting, no eggshell discussions, etc.  -- clean and tidy.)

Turtle
Logged


cricket
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 257


« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2007, 10:17:43 AM »

Thanks Turtle and MaryMac for the latest --

I'll respond more later when I'm safely at my work computer.  I did want to clarify, though, that the T who allegedly "hit on" my husband was male, and is (apparently) married.  I think the homosexual element of the "hitting on" is what my husband has found so egregious -- less that he wanted to let me know that his T found him attractive (as it might be perceived, especially if the T were female) and more that all therapy is a big ol' scam, and Ts are not to be trusted, even married guys with PhDs from fancy schools.

 
Logged
Links and Information
Tools
Validation
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Triggering and Wisemind
Values and Boundaries
Becoming more empathetic?
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

Video
What is BPD - Family
What is BPD - Romantic
What is BPD - Child
End the Cycle of Conflict
Validation Skills
Empathy Skills
Parental Alienation
Dialectal Dilemma (audio)


Book Reviews
Endorsed Books
Other Staff Reviews
Member Reviews
Articles - New
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Diagnosis of BPD
Treatment of BPD
Series: My Child
Series: My Significant Other
Series: My Parent/Sibling
Series: My Failing Romance

Articles - Archive
Symptoms of BPD
A Clinical Perspective
Supporting a Loved One
Helping Him/Her Seek Treatment
Treatment of BPD
Leaving a Partner
Depression
Codependency
Sexual Addiction
Healthy Relationships

Content - Messageboard
Top 50 Questions
Top Workshops
About Us
The Mission
Professional Endorsements
2,000 Member Testimonials
Policy and Disclaimers
Blog


Messageboard
Directory
Guidelines
Appeal Moderation
Help-Technical
Manual

Donations
Become a Sponsor
Your Account

Other
Domestic Violence Crisis
Suicidal Ideation

EMERGENCY
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Top Spacer
Choosing a path
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2010, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!