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Author Topic: TREATMENT: Why marriage counseling so often fails  (Read 6946 times)
MaybeSo
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« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2010, 08:33:52 AM »

Excerpt
Of course boundaries should be reasonable and fair, but if the ones he is using  are not, who is going to tell him that without an argument?

What kind of boundaries are you talking about here?

Ditto...I am wondering if his attempts at 'boundaries' are actually something else.  Many of us, upon our first attemtps to set boundaries, were not really setting boundaries...rather, we confused boundaries w/ trying to dictate the behavior of another person.  Which, usually, doesn't work, and doesn't go over well w/ the other person.

Boundaries, correctly done, may still not go over well w/ the other person...in deed, they usually do not!...but, I would be curious hear an example of one his boundaries.  What was it, how was it communicated (often they aren't even communicated but just acted on).   
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« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2010, 10:19:47 AM »

Actually, he has decided that his work and the things he feels he needs / wants to do WILL come first regardless of anything else planned and he has "enforced" this by just doing it, or by constantly "telling" me he must tend to his things first (to the point that I feel I am lectured about it daily). He feels this is necessary because he believes I am selfish and put myself before any of his needs. The fact is, there was a time when I had issues with him spending a lot of time at work, earlier on in the relationship...and it was due in part to the "activities" that had taken place "at work" before we were married. I have since changed that behavior because the relationship has brown, obviously. However, I still can't seem to get credit for that and he still feels the need to "remind" me he has things to do as well, even when I haven't said anything about it! He lived where he works, if that helps clear things up regarding the "activities" I mentioned. I have even asked to HELP him, and he still goes into his speech about how he has things he needs to do, etc etc etc...

Additionally, it was HE who decided he wanted to spend every waking moment of the day with me and then when he figured out that the things he needed to attend to were falling apart because of this, it became my fault that his things were not getting the attention they required, of course.

No win...
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MaybeSo
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« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2010, 11:30:16 AM »

hey...are you married to my fiance?

It sounds like there were some fairly signifiant trust issues caused by past behavior?  There certainly was in my case, too.

Excerpt
Additionally, it was HE who decided he wanted to spend every waking moment of the day with me and then when he figured out that the things he needed to attend to were falling apart because of this, it became my fault that his things were not getting the attention they required, of course.

No win

ughh...This sound very familiar, too.   Before DBT therapy, and especially the first year of the relationship, my finace did the EXACT same thing.  He overextended himself in requiring he be w/ me all the time...to the point where it actually felt werid to me, and I actually was verbally encouraging him to back off and to get back to work (he owns his own business) but I had to do that very carefully becasue I had already learned how hyper sensitive he was to any perceived critisizm.  :)espite the gentle proding to quit gloming onto me and to get back to work...he usually wouldn't...he had all sorts of excuses why not including that he'd been in a horrific 16 year long marriage and now that he'd found me (his perfect partner) he was more intersted in making the most of our time together and work could always wait.  And work did wait.  Until, finally some kind of crises would ensue (cause he'd not been engaged in work for so long).  Then, he'd grow extremely anxious, and would withdraw abruptly and almost completely, which would stimulate alarm in me especially when just days earlier I couldn't even get him to leave me alone...and when I'd try to check in to see when he was ever going to be availabe again, he'd speak to me in blaming terms about how he'd sacraficed his work to be with me...w/ a tone that suggested I had REQUIRED this of him.  It did feel like a no win...and it was crazy making.   We repeated this cycle on and off for the first year or more.

Over time and w/ therapy...his communication skills became better...he takes more ownership now of his own impulses and decisions.  Part of the crazy- making stuff was really crappy communciation skills, and part of it probably was a desire to off load the anxiety he was experincing by finding someone who 'caused it' who he could blame his bad feelings on.  That was really a bad habit and he is not so quick to do that anymore, but it took quite a while becasue in his FOO...that's how people operate...there's always someone or something outside of 'self' to blame, and no one takes any responsibility for their own lives/decisions.  

Now that he's been in DBT...he 'gets' that if he drops the ball on an aspect of his life, there will of course be consequences, and he is the one in charge of creating balance in his own life, not me, and not anyone else.  His first attempts to try to do this...were also...clumsy...and to me, his style was pendantic and abrasive.  I think he is less so now.  

To be honest...this, and all the other crazy making stuff, and the trust issues...did make me act out in a way that looked very borderline.  I gave him an article about BPD so that he might see himself...he probably saw me...I don't care...it got him into DBT therapy where he has learned skills that make him soo much easier to live with!  If he thinks all his learned skills were necessary to handle MY borderline traits...that's fine by me!  There's more than one way to skin a cat!  I don't even CARE anymore who the BPD is...I'm just gald this crazy making b.s. no longer permeates our lives!
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toomanytears
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2010, 04:29:41 PM »

We've just been to our fourth session of MC. My BPDh is loving the attention and he is getting something out of it. I am not really, but am conscious of taking a back seat to allow H to explore himself. Yesterday he actually broke down and cried in our MC session. This was about his sister who died 40 years ago. Obvious he had never been able to grieve before. However, this self revelation has made him very anxious and he's now in a blue funk and picking on me for all kinds of stuff - mainly to do with money. I have poured myself a large brandy and have gone to bed in the spare room. Smiling (click to insert in post)

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Nutts45
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« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2010, 09:37:25 AM »

I suggested MC just to start somewhere.  My H responded why, I wouldn't listen to anything that they would say I needed to work on.  So when he did his little song and dance on how I was the one with the problem and continued to tell me why.  He opened the door, I took it, made my own T appointment.  I will say he did try to sabotage me making it..didn't work.

Am so glad I went to my T, and luck had it that I found a good one.  When I repeated that my H wants to do joint..she said not in mine or his best interest and because of the problems of black and white he would have to see a different T.  She recommended another T and he has an meet and greet appoint friday with a new T..who does at least work with personality disorders.

Even now..I shudder to think, what MC would have been like..especially after a session.

The worst part out of it all...I have worked with mental health clinics in the past...but the realization on the time frame encompassed with setting appoints, waiting, referring to another..my heart really goes out to those seeking help.

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« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2010, 11:00:32 AM »

dsnutt: I can tell you exactly what it would have been like - disaster after disaster. Your T is exactly right - and mine came to the same conclusion after meeting with us jointly for a few sessions. We've stopped that. I'm doing my individual now. I'm NC with my W but I think she was going to continue with the same T. He actually asked if I thought that would be ok, which I thought was nice of him. He did mention that she needed a "higher level of care" than he might be able to give.

In short, seems like you are on the right path and your T did you a big solid.
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Nutts45
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« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2010, 11:11:24 AM »

My T was going to see him.  I told her that it would not bother me but she had to know that he had already brought up that I probably poisoned him against here.

Although I really wanted a T for him that is as good as mine.. I had previous read some post on this, I did not hesitate to bring it up. 
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« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2010, 12:24:58 PM »

Excerpt
Missinterperted for what it's worth...IF you are accused of being BPD...it's not a bad thing...IF your mate is truly convinced, then HE should be the one reading up about how to deal with you. And at the same time, you learn about how to take care of yourself and recognize some of your own bad habits and fix them.

Couldn't agree more! I guess it is just so frustrating that they can't take a look in the mirror because they are too busy looking at us. My husband won't ever look at himself in a BPD light and that is just a shame. I am certain he reads up on BPD because he uses little "treatments" and "tricks" that he learned and they frustrate the hell out of me because I feel like I have to play the game just to keep the peace. I am truly not happy at all because of this game...it only makes me feel that as long as he has me to work on (and fix, and blame and "treat" that he will never try to fix himself (because in his world, he requires no fixing).

I will agree that I had MANY BPD traits back in the day but I have worked very hard to change those things within myself that even I felt were unacceptable. I am a better woman for it too. I love me!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2010, 01:34:17 PM »

Excerpt
Missinterperted for what it's worth...IF you are accused of being BPD...it's not a bad thing...IF your mate is truly convinced, then HE should be the one reading up about how to deal with you. And at the same time, you learn about how to take care of yourself and recognize some of your own bad habits and fix them.

Couldn't agree more! I guess it is just so frustrating that they can't take a look in the mirror because they are too busy looking at us. My husband won't ever look at himself in a BPD light and that is just a shame. I am certain he reads up on BPD because he uses little "treatments" and "tricks" that he learned and they frustrate the hell out of me because I feel like I have to play the game just to keep the peace. I am truly not happy at all because of this game...it only makes me feel that as long as he has me to work on (and fix, and blame and "treat" that he will never try to fix himself (because in his world, he requires no fixing).

I will agree that I had MANY BPD traits back in the day but I have worked very hard to change those things within myself that even I felt were unacceptable. I am a better woman for it too. I love me!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Wow! The commonality of many of the post's on this forum are eerily similar. I simply can't comment confidently because I am so new to all this, yet I will say this...take heart, if your husband is interested enough to read and learn, he will learn in short order that this IS about him, and not you. The content of this site at least, has little to do with who's who, and what's what...as much as it is taking personal responsibility to improve oneself...that's what I've learned at least.

If there's one singular fact that I have learned here, and CONTINUE to learn...is that from all the research I do, and this site also, is about ME! It's not so much a label of BPD, and who has it, or not...the sypmtoms are so complex and varied it's vuirtually impossible to accurately diagnose...that's the not the point for me here...for me it's recognizing how I can be a better person. In that regard, it's EXTREMELY been helpful.
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« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2010, 08:01:13 PM »

My borderline wife and I have been going through counseling for a couple of months now. After a few sessions, the counselor told me privately that he detected that she has BPD. His awareness of this does help with the counseling, because it enables him to treat it as a "BPD situation". He told me not to tell her that she has BPD, but to let him gradually work towards the possibility of reccommending medication to her in one of the upcomming sessions without even mentioning the words "BPD". He says that eventually, no matter how carefull he is, he is sure to do something or say something that will trigger her anger towards him. My wife does a lot of the talking and the marriage counselor asks a lot of questions... If only my wife could see how ridiculous some of her "thinking" is - she would be embarrassed. It is truly "nuts" how she takes and interprets things. The counselor told me in private that I need some stress relievers like working out and taking walks. That is for certain! I almost feel like I need to be hospitalized after dealing with years of my wife's abnormal thinking, intense fits of anger at me, and verbal abuse. If I could only get someone to "babysit" my wife for one week, so I could get one week to detox from her, I'd be greatly relieved. Her secular job is a blessing, because it is about the only think that gets her out of my hair, so I can have a little space and sanity!
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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2010, 05:16:50 AM »

If I could only get someone to "babysit" my wife for one week, so I could get one week to detox from her, I'd be greatly relieved. Her secular job is a blessing, because it is about the only think that gets her out of my hair, so I can have a little space and sanity!

Why don't you just take a break of a week? No need to babysit an adult. She is more functional than you think and she is likely to be more functional without you. You don't need her permission to do that...
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2010, 10:20:56 PM »

They aren't able to do any self evaluation. They don't have the skills to be compassionate or offer empathy, since they are so often in self defense mode that they can't take their eyes off their own internal pain. They don't have the skills to self regulate or soothe themselves, so they blame us to make themselves feel better.

My SO is a hypochondriac and uBPD.  I read the bits above from UFN and thought... wow, this explains my SO's hypochondria and why it consumes them to the point that they don't realize how it impacts others.    It also explains why the pain never goes away for them.   

I've connected the two issues for years now, but it's interesting to read these BPD traits and see them as feeding the hypochondria.    It's tough to feel better if you have no mechanism to psychologically make yourself feel better. 

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« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2010, 06:37:12 AM »

If I could only get someone to "babysit" my wife for one week, so I could get one week to detox from her, I'd be greatly relieved. Her secular job is a blessing, because it is about the only think that gets her out of my hair, so I can have a little space and sanity!

Why don't you just take a break of a week? No need to babysit an adult. She is more functional than you think and she is likely to be more functional without you. You don't need her permission to do that...

I think a ligh bulb has been lit over your head here.  Idea

Being trapped in this relationship comes from not understanding the mental illness. At least for me, gaining clarity and then dettaching has brought some much needed rest and freedom. I have begun to take responsibility for me and my stuff and have let go of thinking i am also responsible for her stuff. I ran on empty for a long long time. I had nothing to give because the tank was empty.

I have a picture in my head af a force field or shield around me that protects me from the verbal attacks and F.O.G. (fear-obligation-guilt) tactics or staying trapped in a very unhealthy relationship.

Your T is right on the money. Take care of yourself. Have fun. Eat well. Enjoy the company of others. Take a week away... or more.

Be prepared for the counter-moves! Decide what you are willing to allow in your life and set boundaries.

Stay strong and flexible.

God Bless you,

Enoch
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« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2010, 06:47:53 AM »

As a follow up to my last response: Adressing the idea of taking care of yourself.

It cannot go without saying that your BP mate is not going to take lightly the changes that you make. They have lived with you for a long time and are extremely perseptive. The slightest change will set them off. They will try all kinds of things to suck you back in to their comfort zone. To hell with your comfort zone!

Trust: My wife used her lack of trust in me to manipulate me for years. Of course, she did have some reasons to "not" trust me... I made mistakes. But I have been paying the price for mistakes that I made 20 years ago. (who wants to live that way?)

Well, let's put the shoe on the other foot. I think we trust our BP mates too much. We let them control us with their anger and their threat of punishment. We dance around issues for fear of rage ... etc etc ad-nauseum.    We actually tink we can fix them or keep them happy. Now that is just plain wrong!

Take care of yourself. I am not advocating harsh treatment, but on the contrary a very strong stance that will not allow fear obligation or guilt to control you... in  grace filled state!

Back to therapy question: Getting individual therapy ios taking care of yourself... get healty and understand your role. Make those changes and your world will take on a much brighter glow.

Love and peace,

Enoch
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Checkmate
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« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2010, 09:57:08 AM »

How did MC work for those who did try it?

This is a great topic and couldn't come along at a better time.

We have been seeing a MC for a few months. Things had started to get better.

Then a week ago my SO did something small but the context it occurred in undid all the gains. Even our MC said that.

So it seems taht we now have to start over ... again. The truth is I don't know if I can or want to go back to ground zero. I'm also beginning to wonder if there is a point anylonger.



What went wrong?

I think that some of my expectations where to unrealistic and that contributed to some issues.

However, my SO doesn't open up in therapy. He doesn't open up much anywhere. But I am finding I do all the talking in therapy. I might as well be there alone.




What went well?

I developed a better understanding of myself. But right now, I can't claim that our relationship is better for therapy.




Did/Is your SO going to any individual T sessions?

Yes, he goes to individual therapy and has homework he is supposed to do. But he's really bad about doing his homework. The longer he goes not doing the work the more likely he is to start BPD based issues again.



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« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2010, 10:27:01 AM »

>>How did MC work for those who did try it?

- It helped me - not the marriage.  It was the first counseling I had and after 20+ years living with a person with no empathy and very invalidating it felt good having my feelings finally validated by someone.

- At the time I went I didn't realize (was in denial really) that husband had BPD and was pretty much at the end of my rope and loosing it with him big time.  MC helped me get back in control of my emotions.  I was so lost for a while there.

>>What went wrong?

- My husband's version of reality was very different then what reality was. 

- he would not admit to his actions.  He was physically abusive to me and completely denied it in counseling.  Can't work on the problem when they don't own up to it.

-He would tell the counselor what he felt looked good and said he would work on communications and stuff and when we got home he didn't try at all.  We would go back and he would say he tried doing what she told him and I was the problem - totally not reality.


>>What went well?

- between us - not one thing.  When we came to a list of actions we would try he would not do a thing when he got home.  Nothing changed at all.

>>:)id/Is your SO going to any individual T sessions?

- He was going to individual T all along and has gone for years. 
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« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2010, 11:06:43 AM »

My wife and I are separated and we've had a few MC sessions at this point.

It's been interesting. She is already long since diagnosed, and we are both already in individual therapy, so the whole "will this lead to her getting diagnosed/treated?" thing is not going on. And also because of that, the MC will absolutely not comment on whether anything is healthy or unhealthy in itself (outside of the most obvious "communication issues", anyway) - the MC will focus only on "so can you work that out, can you both be OK with that, can you both agree to a change".

My internal jury is still out on whether this will be helpful in the long run ... we'll see.
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« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2010, 02:00:13 PM »

>>How did MC work for those who did try it?

- It helped me - not the marriage.  It was the first counseling I had and after 20+ years living with a person with no empathy and very invalidating it felt good having my feelings finally validated by someone.

- At the time I went I didn't realize (was in denial really) that husband had BPD and was pretty much at the end of my rope and loosing it with him big time.  MC helped me get back in control of my emotions.  I was so lost for a while there.

Yep ... its me doing me more individually rather than "us"


>>What went well?

- between us - not one thing.  When we came to a list of actions we would try he would not do a thing when he got home.  Nothing changed at all.

I am finding a similar situation. My SO may make some minor changes but it doesn't "stick" ..
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« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2010, 12:37:22 AM »

DBT is like emotional kindergarten for those who suffer from BPD. They need to go back to the very basics and learn emotional management 101. It ain't easy for them, since for all their lives they've trusted their defenses to take care of them - and now they are finding out that their defenses were actually destroying those around them.

What they thought was real, is being proven to be fake.

What they thought was fake, is being proven to be real.

It takes time to integrate and accept those kind of major changes.

Regular counseling just can't do that.

Marriage counseling just can't do that.

Neither of them explain things in ways they can get.

Neither of them helps them build the skills they are missing.

Having someone who suffers from BPD go see a marriage counselor is like essentially asking them to build a rocket and then not giving them the plans on how to do it...they don't know how to do what is being asked of them, so they rebel. We see it all the time in schools with children who can't read. They act up to shift the focus off the fact that they can't do the assignment. They would rather get in trouble for bad behavior than risk having anyone figure out they can't read and possibly believe they are too dumb to do the assignment.

pwBPD need more than regular therapy - they need more than assignments from a MC... they need emotional tutoring that only DBT provides... 
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« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2010, 02:32:48 AM »

Ironically, CC helped me end the relationship...

After an hour listening to her spin events, make things up and outright lie to convince the counsellor I was crazy, I finally saw her for what she was and realised I had to get out. I still didn't know about BPD, but I knew this wasn't something I wanted to be a part of.

Oddly enough, after an hour of vitriol, accusations and stating she 'didn't feel safe' with me around, she waited at the bottom of the stairs for a hug/kiss. What she got was "I'm sad you think those things about me" and 13 months (and continuing) of no contact.
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« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2010, 12:47:47 PM »

Books on BPD (like Walking on Eggshells) and this site is my T-sessions (no kidding).  I've learned more tools here than in months of T-sessions.  When the T gets close to a dx, we leave.
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2010, 05:55:36 AM »

DBT is like emotional kindergarten for those who suffer from BPD. They need to go back to the very basics and learn emotional management 101. It ain't easy for them, since for all their lives they've trusted their defenses to take care of them - and now they are finding out that their defenses were actually destroying those around them.

What they thought was real, is being proven to be fake.

What they thought was fake, is being proven to be real.

It takes time to integrate and accept those kind of major changes.

Regular counseling just can't do that.

Marriage counseling just can't do that.

Neither of them explain things in ways they can get.

Neither of them helps them build the skills they are missing.

Having someone who suffers from BPD go see a marriage counselor is like essentially asking them to build a rocket and then not giving them the plans on how to do it...they don't know how to do what is being asked of them, so they rebel. We see it all the time in schools with children who can't read. They act up to shift the focus off the fact that they can't do the assignment. They would rather get in trouble for bad behavior than risk having anyone figure out they can't read and possibly believe they are too dumb to do the assignment.

pwBPD need more than regular therapy - they need more than assignments from a MC... they need emotional tutoring that only DBT provides... 

When I went to MC, as we discussed issues, the therapist immediately zeroed in on the way that my SO was handling some things in our relationship and had me admit some things that probably wouldn't come as a shock to anyone who has watched a sitcom over the last 40 years (for example women are often less interested in sports than men, guys aren't as into clothes shopping as women).   The MC's basic point was that a marriage is a give and take, and what my SO sees as bad is a part of who I am, and how I'm trying to show my love.   

Of course, this is the point in the sitcom where the couple hugs and says sorry until the next episode when they mess it up again.   

Instead...   SO's reaction was to completely miss the point because the MC was "attacking them."

The upside was seeing someone who barely knew us so easily cut to the chase about the issues and have someone validate ME for a change.       
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« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2010, 03:18:33 AM »

my bf of 10yrs is uBPD and i'm only just accepting the reality of this.  i know counselling wouldn't work for us because he is 110% convinced that all his feelings are my responsability.  there are no BPD counsellers in the uk that i know of either.  but i know going would be another drama, listening to an inexperienced therapist assume that he is 'normal'.  it would be very damaging to me to have another pity party for a BPD at my expense.
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« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2011, 11:19:09 AM »

We tried couples therapy.

I spoke my own truth. My uBPDw did not.

From her point if view I  got labeled as being angry( by her, projection) and in need of anger therapy and she came out smelling if roses. It made ni sense to me as she was the one raging at me.

I have since met up with this therapist who said he could see it all way back then but there was no way to begin to explain. " besides you were not in a place where you might listen".

He was amazed that we got another 6 years out of our relationship.

pwBPD tend not to be totally honest during therapy. They hold a lot if stuff back and are overly concered with what others might think of them. So the show only their therapist what they are comfortable revealing.

MJJ
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« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2011, 07:24:27 PM »

My BPD partner and I each started individual therapy last summer. She has since stopped going stating she doesn't "trust" the therapist - or anyone else for that matter. I have literally been begging her to go with me to couples therapy for months. She always comes up with some reason to delay it into the future.

My question is am I just wasting my time by trying to get her to start couples with me? I've read on other sites that NPD/BPD people usually don't do well in these settings because they lack insight, can't handle or express feelings, and refuse to take responsibility for their part in the problems of the relationship. I can see this might be so since my SO accuses me of being the crazy one. 
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« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2011, 07:42:15 PM »

The fact that your wife(?) always has a reason not to get therapy is not exactly a good sign that counseling would be effective.  If she does go then it may likely to get you fixed as she doesn't need fixing.  Don't be surprised if she views it as an opportunity to rage at you and try to get someone on her side.  One upside is several T's and MC's were willing to testify in my divorce and custody battle in ways that favored me.

While this was my experience your mileage may vary considerably. 
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« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2011, 02:46:14 AM »

HA!

I remember when I brought this up with my partner.

I had told (ex bf of 2/3 days ago) Josh about how I believed that to solve many of the co-dependancy issues with my mother that we would need to see a professional. explaining that the experiences my mother and i had shared were pretty huge so we were going to need something huge to get as out. i explained that our issues are similarly very massive and that we would need something massive to get out. i asked would he like to do therapy? his response - i think your issues with your mother are bigger.  |> I wish I had taken that red flag there... but I didn't know then what I do now. If he doesn't want to seek help for our relationship there was not much I could do. I simply brought up what I was doing with my mother to demonstrate that I was taking ownership for my problems. i was also disheartened because i had really been sensative to his feelings. i made the suggestion more as a question rather then telling him what to do.

colt, I am curious as to how the discussion to do therapy was brought up?

however, the work you have done in therapy i am sure has been very real.. and it's good that perhaps you sought help for yourself as an individual. Currently I am reading the Buddha & the Borderline by Kiera Van. Gelder.. it mentions something about Internal Family Systems Therapy. I am looking at doing it myself as an individual.. because I am always an individual in a relationship too. IFS might be worth googling, I am getting get the opinions from others on here about the subject. I found it a struggle to read some of the books of therapists at the start.. and have half-started most of them.. Josh found it difficult to express what he was feeling so to read a book by someone with BPD helped me to understand the pain that he was in. I also delighted and got addicted to watching some people with BPD on youtube. Once I came to understand the pain that he was, I also recognised the pain I was putting him in by staying in the relationship. Ultimately, I sought help for my self because I was able to have compassion for him. But yeah Kiera's book is awesome. I can't put it down.
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« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2011, 11:06:12 AM »

Don't be surprised if she views it as an opportunity to rage at you and try to get someone on her side.

This is what happened to me. He succeeded. It was a horrible experience. I was verbally abused in therapy, with the therapist's support and approval of that abuse -- therapist insisted that I was the one misbehaving because I kept pointing out that black-painting/projection things he said were simply not true. (for some reason it became more important to validate his feelings about those things than validate my feeling that I am not the devil) He broke the 'rules' of the therapy and punished me for things I said in therapy, kicked me out of our home in response to something I said in therapy, and the therapist was blase' about it and in fact I had to tell her that this was against the rules she'd set out for us at the first session.

The marriage counseling, and (I very strongly suspect) the individual therapy he does now have had very negative effects. All they've done is teach him more ways to justify his behavior and blame me, and frame abusing me and being crazy controlling as self-care.

It's not much different from DBPD MiL. It took several years for her therapist to figure out it was BPD. And during that time there was a fair amount of "I described this to my therapist, and she says you're (insert psychobabble for "bad" here) and I should (insert psychobabble for "treat you like dirt" here)."
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« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2011, 11:53:22 AM »

My question is am I just wasting my time by trying to get her to start couples with me? I've read on other sites that NPD/BPD people usually don't do well in these settings because they lack insight, can't handle or express feelings, and refuse to take responsibility for their part in the problems of the relationship.

When my uBPDh raged that he was "sick and tired of competing for my attention with our 5 year-old son," I made an appointment with a counselor the next day.  I was 6 months pregnant and couldn't reconcile bringing another child into this situation. 

All told, I think we have seen at least four different therapists, been to Marriage Encounter, and done twice as many group sessions as our Kaiser insurance plan allowed. At our last (and final) meeting with a (very, very good) therapist, he was asked to describe the traits he would want in an "ideal" wife. His answer was to say that I (his current, and actual wife) have a drinking problem, he would love to "help" me lose weight, and that he has always seen me as the type of person who picks up a friend, gets what she needs, and then drops the so-called friend.  He’s waiting for me to drop him.  (We’ve been married for 37 years.)

To say that counseling with him is hopeless is a bit of an understatement.  He defended his horrible, horrible comments by saying that he thought the purpose of our seeing the therapist together was so that he could help me.  ! 

A)   I don’t want or need his friggin’ help.

B)   You can see that counseling will only help a person who is open to needing help, and willing to face his/her own issues. 

My stupid soon-to-be-ex is an adult child of alcoholics.  In counseling, he feigned ignorance of Al-Anon.  Claimed to be unable to find a meeting to attend.  (There’s one in our neighborhood, about 10 blocks from our house.) 

I’m not telling you not to try.  There are people who actually claim to have recovered from borderline personality.  And I have no reason not to believe them.  But they absolutely must want to change.  More than anything else. 

If you decide to pursue couples counseling, my advice to you is to keep an open mind, and watch and listen carefully.  Clarify everything that is said, and make sure that the conversation is about the relationship.

Oh, and make sure that you have a really good therapist.  That means that the therapist should not ever take sides with either one of you.  The therapist’s role is to facilitate clear communication between the two of you about things that you cannot talk about on your own. 

Good luck.  There’s hope, but  IMO, it’s a long shot. 

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« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2011, 01:00:58 PM »

colt,

I have been on these forums regularly for four years. In that time I have never seen a post reporting that couples therapy was successful in any way. The posts above are pretty typical of what to expect. I've read one where after couples therapy, they went back to individual therapy, and the T told the Non that she was the one with BPD, not him!

Read the success story currently in the Staying board. It starts with you focusing on YOU. Keep your therapy separate.
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