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Author Topic: Spouse is BPD waif. New here is this term known?  (Read 11995 times)
NotPerfect
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« on: February 14, 2013, 11:41:54 AM »

My spouse is BPD. She has all the symptoms. But I think she has been able to deny it and escape the BPD diagnosis because of how she presents herself.

Her therapist and psychiatrist both endorse her going to DBT.

She is on Wellbutrin, Xanax (daily), and is on Abilify.

What she does not do is outwardly direct her anger and rage (except toward me)

She directs it inside and it eventually leads to suicidal thoughts.

She attempted suicide twice as a young teen as a result of sexual abuse that her parent knew about and did not stop.

The hard part is that after 10 years in the relationship I am just realizing that her form of manipulation is to steers the conflict so that she is always the victim.  I truly don't think she does this as a conscious malicious act, but she has been the victim all her life, has been institutionalized, has a BA in psych, almost done with her masters in psych and has seen what happened when her borderline mother acted out (rage, manipulation, harassment, vandalism) after her parents split up.

She will say confrontational things and then when I react I am made out to be the bad guy.

I recently started just asking for an apology.  That was even worse.  It spiraled into a serious suicidal vortex within 24 hours in which she was admitted and evaluated at the hospital. ( They wanted her to spend a few days inpatient, but released her on the condition that I would stay home with her and keep the medicine, car keys and hide all the knives)



I have so much more to say, but cannot over do it on one post.
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 01:47:05 PM »

I highly recommend starting with the Lessons.

Demanding an apology from her is unlikely to do anything helpful. BPD is a serious psychiatric disorder. You can't just demand that someone suffering from BPD simply stop handling their emotions inappropriately, any more than you can just demand that a schizophrenic stop hearing voices.

DBT is good and appropriate therapy for BPD.
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NotPerfect
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 02:02:02 PM »

Thank you. 

Right now I am overwealmed with a sensation like before you jump off the high dive.

I am just realizing this could either be the begining of our real relationship or it could be the end.

I could also just be an A-hole and a brute, and I feel drawn to play that role because it would perpetuate the current norm. 

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yeeter
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 02:16:13 PM »

Hi NP,

I dont understand the context of the term - 'Waif'

In fact, to me it carries a negative connotation, and my first reaction is that it is condescending and somewhat disrespectful.

But I admit I dont understand your intended usage - can you help explain it to me?
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NotPerfect
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 02:40:26 PM »

I searched "borderline waif" and it is one of Christine Lawson’s Four Borderline subtypes

The Waif (Vulnerable) is helpless, fearful and fragile. She is vulnerable and dependant on others. She lives in emotional chaos and forms deeply enmeshed relationships with others. She turns to addictive behaviors to self-soothe and lives in a permanent pattern of panic attacks and suicidal episodes. These are both expressions of her pain and a way to attract soothing, sympathetic attention from others. She seldom exhibits harsh or volatile traits. She often looks for males to rescue her.

The bold print are the things she does. The things in red are contrary to this definition.

She exhibits volitile behavior when under stress. 

However, she is high functioning and seems to have some other mechanisms to elicit the desired status quo.  (scenarios in which she is the victim)

We have been together for 10 years and I am now wondering if we are together solely because I have the ability to both save her and enable her to be the victim.  Like I said I am not perfect.

But minor things seem to elicit the most volitile reaction and when I don't back down it can get very ugly. Not physical, but really nasty. 

It must be more complicated than this.

Am I doing what she does? Trying to categorize people.  My view has always been that some people fit into a type and some do not. She says she does it so she can understand people.  I think she does it as an extension of black and white thinking. 

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yeeter
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 02:45:33 PM »

We have been together for 10 years and I am now wondering if we are together solely because I have the ability to both save her and enable her to be the victim.  Like I said I am not perfect.

The great thing is that both of these are items completely under your control.  Several of the lessons deal with this tendency of enablement and codependency - you do have the power and ability to break these habits.


Thanks for the definition - it wasnt anything I had seen before.
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 02:50:39 PM »

Are people talking in these terms on here? or is it just you have BPD or you don't.

It took me a while to realize she is BPD and not just: depression, PTSD, anxiety, emotional irregulation, suicidal spiraling thoughts.

I realized that the spiraling thoughts are a form of dissociation after the last suicidal episode.

And the uncanny way that every incident eventually ended up looking like she was the victim.

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 03:02:07 PM »

We use the BPD term.

But past this, we dont spend a lot of time focused on different flavors or 'labeling' (sometimes high functioning vs low functioning). 

Instead, our focus is on things WE can control.  And our own actions and behaviors.  By working on ourselves, we learn to interact differently and thus the dynamics of the relationship changes.  But improvement pretty much always starts with ourselves.

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NotPerfect
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 03:11:32 PM »

So, BPD covers everything?

I guess everyone has their unique presentation of BPD.

Ok.  I need to do the lessons.

I am afraid of how she will react when I no longer do what she expects. 

What happened in your relationship when you followed the rules?

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 03:20:35 PM »

My wife was exactly the same way... .  she also was not active with people but started a texting EA ... .  and turned me black as black... .  after 19 years she turned from being this loving woman (which she informs me was an act) and a whole new side came out... .  I've seen glipses before ... .  but never like this.  She has so much hate and anger towards me that she has bottled for years from past arguments going all the way back to 22 years ago. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 03:24:23 PM »

What do you mean "active with people" and "texting EA"

Is this some terminology I don't know.  Or do you mean she was a loner?
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 03:33:08 PM »

Yes she was kind of a loner.  It would take her months to form friendships.  In fact some of our good friends thought she hated them for the first year.  The EA stands for emotional affair.  She was great at having a "fantasy man" through facebook or texting, but honestly if she was with people in person she is shy and not very outgoing... .  unless drinking or drunk... .  which is how this texting affair started... .  she was a drunk bridesmaid before the wedding and he was a groomsman.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 04:12:46 PM »

Ok.  I need to do the lessons.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Read. Post. Practice. Read some more.

Fear of how she will react is covered (read about FOG)

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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 04:38:28 PM »

She exploaded on facebook when I got her an iPhone in October. 

She posted that I am verbally abusive and she has lived in fear of me for the last 10 years as her status.  She got alot of validation for that one and several help line numbers, shelter addresses and several other women telling her that a man like me will never change.

She also told the world when she was released from the hospital at 4 am after being suicidal. She failed to mention I was the one who took her there when I knew it might lead to divorce, luckily the enabling psychiatrist determined that her meds were not working right. So I was off the hook.

Do most BPDs refuse to ask their peers their opinion.  I have often asked her to compare what I say with her peers, but she won't. She'll post on facebook that she was just released from the hospital for being suicidal, but she won't ask the teacher she's known years if her husband says this. 

It's like like she is hiding and dodging the truth. 

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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 09:18:05 AM »

She will say confrontational things and then when I react I am made out to be the bad guy.

I went through a lot of that. Eventually I came to understand it a bit--My wife would get angry about something. Her mom was an alcoholic who would rage horribly when she was drunk... .  and wasn't really safe when sober either. So she grew up knowing that she wasn't allowed to express her own anger. i eventually realized that what she would do was push my buttons until *I* would express anger (at her).

Then she could blame me for "yelling at her"... .  I bet you know the pattern

What I finally learned was that when she started pushing my buttons, I just had to get out of contact with her for a while. I knew that eventually I would blow up at her, and it wasn't something I wanted to do. I would leave her to her own devices. I usually go for a walk because it would allow me to calm down. Sometimes I would call a friend to talk while I was out walking. Other times I just get some exercise.

The other consequence was that my wife wouldn't get the release/distraction from her own angry feelings--If I yelled at her, she could turn it around and be the victim in her own mind, and didn't have to confront her own feelings of anger (or whatever she was feeling). If I left, she was left alone with whatever she was feeling. It wasn't very comfortable for her, I know... .  but ultimately it proved to be one thing that helped our relationship.
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2013, 10:18:20 AM »

Not Perfect -- (good name, btw) -- back towards your start . . .

A little late into this, but yes -- very clear match on the Waif model, and I tend to use that term internally as it fits us very well.  More cynically, I use "Victim-for-Life."

We have a near same model as what you are describing in our house.   Have you read about the Kaufman Drama Triangle, as well?  It is a very important part of this game.  Three roles -- Vicitim, Rescuer, Prosecuter.  To get yourself out of this, you have to step off the triangle.

In our case, been together about 12 years, have three kids -- 10, 8, 5.  Momma/Mrs. Somewhere has pretty much been a Waif since we met.  Allways tries the Porcupine Cover -- that she is wantabe tough, and then retreats to Waif.  Pulls this on just about anyone she can.  Poor me this, poor me that.  :)id it on me for years, so I could play the other end of the game -- Rescue/Hero.  When that does/did not work for her, she would roll to the Petuant (Passive-Agressive) model.

Since Rehab (she is back about 70 days, now -- Eating Disorder), she was trying to do the Paint Me Black routines, on and off.  That is where you are placed in the other corner of the triangle as the Prosector -- gives them an extra reinforced Drama Triangle.  But I will no longer play any of the roles, have walked off the Fantasy Theater stage, and am just sitting in the audience.  She still tries the projector/projection games on me out in the audience . . . but I just sort of smile and wave from the balcony.

Like I say, things have been a little off-the-rails around here, too.  Re-hab took away her coping mechanisms.  What has really screwed things between us is because I got some real help for me.  On her side she is avoiding the BPD tag as she also has the formal education, like yours.  They really (really, really) do not want the stigma and self-responsibility that incurs.   In our case, she is a LMSW.  Heaven help the people they would help.

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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2013, 10:47:32 AM »

I believe it's called the Karpman Drama Triangle. There are victim roles, but raising awareness around the roles we play on the triangle  (rescuer, persecutor, and yes... .  we spend time in victim, too... ) helps to change things.
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2013, 01:29:17 PM »

She will say confrontational things and then when I react I am made out to be the bad guy.

Then she could blame me for "yelling at her"... .  I bet you know the pattern  I know the pattern indeed.  I am known as a cruel husband to her family, friends and co-workers. I wish I could tell them the truth, but I have boundaries about my personal information and that of my friends and family.  Also, I would only look worse if I tried to explain.

I would leave her to her own devices. I usually go for a walk because it would allow me to calm down.

The other consequence was that my wife wouldn't get the release/distraction from her own angry feelings... she was left alone with whatever she was feeling. It wasn't very comfortable for her, I know... .  but ultimately it proved to be one thing that helped our relationship.

when I leave her with the uncontrolled thoughts she becomes suicidal. Even if I leave before it even becomes heated.
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2013, 01:39:29 PM »

We have a near same model as what you are describing in our house.   Have you read about the Kaufman Drama Triangle, as well?  It is a very important part of this game.  Three roles -- Vicitim, Rescuer, Prosecuter.  To get yourself out of this, you have to step off the triangle.

In our case, been together about 12 years, have three kids -- 10, 8, 5.  Momma/Mrs. Somewhere has pretty much been a Waif since we met.

 They really (really, really) do not want the stigma and self-responsibility that incurs.   In our case, she is a LMSW.  Heaven help the people they would help.

Thank you.  I got a little lost in the metaphors. 

We have two kids 4 and 1 1/2.  If I pull all the stops on support we are all screwed. As it is now the house is a bit of a sh@t-hole.  I do what I can, but I can't do it all. Heaven help me if I ask her to clean, her superficial facebook friends and relatives will say " Why doesn't he clean? " She plays the sexism card. What can I say to that? 

I am already over loaded.  I am self employed and can make my own hours, but if I don't work I don't get paid. To her it's like I have all the free time in the world.  Meanwhile, if she gets off work ealry she goes shopping and posts pics to her facebook style analysis group until she picks up the kids and brings them home to a kitchen with old food on the table, a full sink, and no clean dishes.

I know what I need to do, but it is really great to be in a forum where people know what I am going through.
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2013, 01:53:56 PM »

OK.  I hope this isn't petty.

But, how the hell do I get my wife to hold her own with the house cleaning when the slightest mention of it means I am a sexist?

Not to mention anyone giving advice to her is saying,  " He thinks just because he is a man you will do all the cleaning"

I admit it, I was a slob when we met.  I haven't been a slob for years.

I know people will say just don't play into her game, but I have 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old.

I want them to grow up to be normal and a filthy house is damaging.
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2013, 02:52:52 PM »

We all have different SOs.

Mine cannot watch the kids for more than two hours without becoming overwhelmed. 

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« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2013, 03:06:29 PM »

I believe it's called the Karpman Drama Triangle. There are victim roles, but raising awareness around the roles we play on the triangle  (rescuer, persecutor, and yes... .  we spend time in victim, too... ) helps to change things.

You are correct.  Thanks.

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« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2013, 08:03:45 PM »

This is not a BPD issue per se, so I am a little confused why you are bringing it on this forum, but hey, whatever. 

Always a very good subject IMO.  Sexism in relationship to marriage and cleaning would mean that you expect her to only do stereotypically female type chores while you do the stereotyped male chores. 

Or it could mean that you are doing the labor outside the house bringing in the income, and she is expected to be doing the labor inside the house.  Really the only time this comes up now a days is when the woman is expected to work fulltime and also do all the chores.

The only thing that either of you should be looking at is fairness of division, and that is the ONLY thing that feminism is looking at, equality.  If it is not equal it is not okay.  Who does what is just a matter of preference and negotiation.

Now, down to division of labor.  How divided is your labor?  I know from experience that taking care of those two kids at that age is about 8 hours of physical labor per day including housecleaning.  Where are the kids all day?  Daycare takes that down to about 3 hours a day.  How many hours do each of you work?  That goes into the division of labor.  It doesn't matter how you divide who does what.  Negotiate on that and divvy up everything until it feel really, really fair.  And be honest, and don't stop the process of deciding who does what until both sides feel it's fair.  Okay?  Good.  Done.  Now moving on to... .  

Slovenly behavior.  Hygeine comes first for kids.  Don't be obsessive about cleanliness unless you both are, but it needs to be safe.  Go by what the average person would think of as hygeinic or what a doctor would recommend.  Esthetics?  Neat or messy?  That's just what you have to work out.  You should end up either somewhere right between you two or have rooms that can be messy, rooms that are clean or some combination.  Keep negotiating until both of you have to be okay with it. 

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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 08:16:40 PM »

It sounds like she is a classic waif borderline, particularly with the smear campaign, (google borderline smear campaign) but I am a little confused as to your role in things here.  You say you yell at her all the time.  A lot of people consider yelling at a spouse all the time as abusive.  I am wondering if you feel this is normal and expected behavior towards your spouse.  I know in some cultures it is normal.  Chronic yelling wouldn't be okay in my marriage and that would be something that I would expect an apology for each time or I would take it as abusive. 

It sounds like you have a classic waif borderline, but your behavior makes things a little bit messy to look at.  Can you clarify?

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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 08:18:55 PM »

Or picking your battles.  Is there easy functional solutions that don't involve a huge emotional discussion.

Go for solutions ... .  

-if you can afford it hire a housecleaner.

-make a chores board (sometimes its miscommunication of expectations-Dearman is good here).  


It's good to remember radical acceptance too... .  this person may not be capable.  :)o what you gotta do to keep the hygiene clean and the kids tended too.  And monitor for your resentment.  Having a mentally ill partner often means being the healthier person in the relationship with more responsibility/the caretaker.  It's not equal, it just is sometimes.
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2013, 09:58:16 PM »

I have this problem and in my case it does come from a BPD  characteristic.

With my partner it is about "herself", she will do what I would call headline acts... A flash meal, buying showy items, grand gestures, in other words the things that will gain praise and popularity. But anything that is just mundane that gains no real praise eg cleaning, prepared regular meals at normal times, going to the store for mundane things like bread and milk, never. There is no "glory" in them, and her level of responsibility/duty is not sufficient alone.

Only thing i will stay is that demanding these things need to be done causes her to dig her heels in. If I ask her to help me do something then she may make some effort. Making a song and dance with over praise for chores doesn't work either as it that comes across as sarcastic/patronizing.

It is an area I find I have to just use a lot of acceptance and just do the bulk of mundane stuff myself, cant be bothered with these unwinnable battles. Learn to live with some parts of the house looking like a garbage tip, its not the end of the world.

It is a disability, things just wont be normal. Changing your expectations so that you are less resentful is something you can do
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2013, 11:20:38 PM »

when I leave her with the uncontrolled thoughts she becomes suicidal. Even if I leave before it even becomes heated.

There are resources for when someone is suicidal. (There is a SAFETY FIRST link here if that is coming up) Posting on this forum isn't timely if it is happening NOW.

My experiences were milder. My wife has never attempted suicide, but has done some self-injury. It was both scary and crazy-making for me to experience.

A few times when my wife was self-injuring or sounding suicidal, I did say "If you don't stop that I'll dial 9-1-1 right now." (With my cell phone out and only needing to press "send" My wife did back down a few notches at this point. I'm pretty sure she knew I wasn't making any sort of idle threat--I *WAS* that close to dialing 9-1-1.

One time I was just at wits end (actually prior to finding this forum.) I just had NO patience left. I managed to go out the door with a parting comment of "I am going away because I'll say or do something I regret if I stay with you right now." I left on a LONG walk. Probably 4 miles out, and just as far back. I think when I made it back I was still too upset to go inside so I went off in another direction for a bit longer. It was at least two hours. I think I returned to find her sobbing instead of raging. Later I discovered that she had written self-hateful things on her body with a permanent marker. Much later I found out that she had also thought enough to decide how she would commit suicide.
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2013, 08:05:47 AM »

This fight has several parts:



  • You want your wife to take a larger share of house cleaning than she is. (This desire is completely valid on your part.)


  • Apparently, she does not want to take a larger share of house cleaning tasks. (This desire is completely valid on her part.)


  • There is no ultimate answer coming from God about what the fair balance would be.


  • When you speak of it to her, she accuses you of sexism.

    I doubt you are being sexist... .  but whether you are being sexist or not, there is no way to convince her that you aren't, and trying to convince her of this will just be invalidating, and make your relationship harder to live in.

    I would add that in many arguments/conflicts you will likely hear your wife say things that are hurtful accusations and just plain wrong or untrue. YOU don't have to believe them. The best EASY thing to do is to pretty much ignore that part of it. Don't invalidate her by proving that you are "right."


  • It sounds like she is complaining about this to others and getting support for her side of the story.

    Sorry to say, but that is outside your control. Let it go. You won't do any good pulling them into your fight with your wife. Besides they may not even agree with her, you never know.


  • "how the hell do I get my wife to hold her own with the house cleaning?"

    You can't control your wife. You can't "get her to do something." This is true whether she has BPD or is emotionally healthy and mature. Time to let go of that.




Pick your battles. Using the tools to negotiate this with her is hard work. If it is really important to you, go ahead and make the effort. The first useful step in this direction would be to stop invalidating (nagging) her.

Hiring a house-cleaner is much easier if it can fit your budget.
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« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2013, 08:12:46 AM »

Great advice given here

How are you doing with the lessons reading notsoperfect?  Any particular ones that jump out as especially relevant to your situation and you can work on?

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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2013, 09:08:15 AM »

Before you say this is petty.  Imagine your SO "pantsing" you in front of the neighbors once or twice a month. Definition 2.C.www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pants

My SO always leaves the blinds up and about once a week I have to hit the deck when I am caught unawares walking by a window neked. I have an old Victorian with windows that come down to about 24" above the floor so anyone who happened to be looking would get the Full Monty.

We live in an area of close by houses.

It's hard to put into words why this is upsetting.  Forcible boundary violation is the only way I can sum it up.

A few years ago she diagnosed herself with Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 which gave her permission to leave the blinds open. But this doesn't explain why she does it all year round.

I can say to myself.  "She's being self-centered by not considering my basic right to privacy"

Or I can say "She leaves the blinds up because it makes her feel like she is safe when other people can see in"

She is a victim of sexual abuse in the home as a child.

What else can I say?  What do you say to your SO? 
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2013, 09:30:04 AM »

It sounds like this is an ongoing power struggle between you and your SO. If so, then the stakes are already high, and she is probably very sensitive to criticism or invalidation in this.

Can you defuse this by just staying clothed enough that you don't mind walking by an open window? Can you re-decorate with sheer translucent curtains that go up above "full monty" height and are fully open above that, letting in lots of light but providing some cover?

It sounds like this is important to you. If you can't find a work around, I recommend you read the lessons on communication techniques that work here like DEARMAN and SET Then post here how you would try to say something using the tools. People here who have used them will help you get it right.

I think you already know that if you just dump your feelings about this on her, it won't go well. Give yourself a pat on the back for figuring that out!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2013, 09:38:58 AM »

Great advice given here

How are you doing with the lessons reading notsoperfect?  Any particular ones that jump out as especially relevant to your situation and you can work on?

Well as per the lessons.  Several jump out. 

I have barely enough time to take a shower.  And at the end of the day when the house is quiet I have nothing NOTHING left upstairs.  I just turn my brain off and watch a few sitcoms. 

So.  I have read but a few. I have covered all of lesson one.   

Projection come to mind in this case. 

It is not that I want her to do more than me. I would like her to do at least 25% of the interior work.  I already do 100% outside, 100% car work, 80% cooking, 80% cleaning, 100% home improvement, we both work full time.

I would like to be able to ask her to do something without her calling me a sexist.  As it is when she gets free time she takes a bath, reads a book about mental disorders, eats chocolate, or blogs about color analysis, body types or personality types.

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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 09:48:34 AM »

I believe it's called the Karpman Drama Triangle. There are victim roles, but raising awareness around the roles we play on the triangle  (rescuer, persecutor, and yes... .  we spend time in victim, too... ) helps to change things.

You are correct.  Thanks.

It may seem like I am post crazy and not study crazy. But I am doing the lessons as best I can with limited time.   

I have  Karpman Drama Triangle on my short list.
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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2013, 09:55:15 AM »

DEARMAN and SET Then post here how you would try to say something using the tools. People here who have used them will help you get it right.

I think you already know that if you just dump your feelings about this on her, it won't go well. Give yourself a pat on the back for figuring that out!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Well, I am dumping them here so I don't dump them on her. 

Shears been there done that.  She swings the shears up and I notice as I am walking by.

Often what happens is there are no towels in the bathroom and I am running through a cold house to get them from where she has left them all.

I have a robe, but she took that when she lost hers.

I would jsut get dressed in the bath, but she often has all the towels in her room.  I suppose I could permanently secure a towel to the wall, but that would get gross after a week.

We tried semi transparent window film.  But that still feels imodest and at night I fear that it would be worse because of the sahdow puppet effect.

I will read dearman and set and post again.
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« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2013, 10:05:04 AM »

Buying a new robe for yourself sounds like a cheap solution.

Better yet: Buy a nice robe for her that she will love to use, and then you will get yours back. Plus she will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. (This could come across backhanded and make things worse. If it doesn't feel kind, safe, and genuine just buy yourself a robe)

Storing clean towels in the bathroom sounds like a practical solution. If you do the laundry, bring (at least some of them) up there when you are done.

And keep reading up on invalidation, validation, and communication techniques.
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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2013, 10:10:26 AM »

Projection come to mind in this case

Yeah, I can see some projection. Understanding what she is doing helps you deal with it.

Excerpt
It is not that I want her to do more than me. I would like her to do at least 25% of the interior work.  I already do 100% outside, 100% car work, 80% cooking, 80% cleaning, 100% home improvement, we both work full time.

That is a very reasonable thing to want.

If you ask for it that way (reminding her how much more you already do than she does) you will be invalidating her, and it won't go well. (I think you already know that)

Excerpt
I would like to be able to ask her to do something without her calling me a sexist.

If you want to get that, you are going to have to work for it. And by work for it, I mean ask for it in a way that is effective. You already know how to ask in a way that sets your SO off. So you need a better way to ask. I think I pointed you at the workshop for DEARMAN and SET in another thread.

One of my personal lessons is that there are things I want to say... .  but I know that if I say them the way I want to say them, I'll get results that I DON'T want. It sucks. The good news is that I am starting to know better and not make things worse Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2013, 12:51:39 PM »

Dearman Nd set on the shortlist... a robe for her  sounds like fantastic idea thY she would not take the wrong way.
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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2013, 01:08:29 PM »

You have all been giving me great advice here.

I realize I don't have to believe her. I also have come to the conclusion that she is not lying because she actually believes it. It is not true, but she is not lying.

What I need to control are my reactions. I huff, sigh, move quicker, if I am already worked up I may be rough with things like toss a handful of utensils in the washer. This makes me feel better for about a microsecond until it triggers her heightened fear response.

Just need to reprogram.

Question... .  am i totally out of line to vent here? Am I upsetting people?
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2013, 04:45:26 PM »

What I need to control are my reactions. I huff, sigh, move quicker, if I am already worked up I may be rough with things like toss a handful of utensils in the washer. This makes me feel better for about a microsecond until it triggers her heightened fear response.

Good you recognize these passive aggressive responses. These type of reactions are probably more draining on you physically and mentally than getting on with it as though you were living alone.

Venting is fine, as long as it it done in the tone of openly wanting to know how to address things, otherwise it just reinforces your own and others downers.

But hey we are human and we are under a lot of stress at times and better here than at your partner.
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2013, 06:27:13 PM »

Question... .  am i totally out of line to vent here? Am I upsetting people?

Vent away NP! 

Sooner or later you have to let some things out.  Even if they aren't rational (since it gets to a state where we are no longer fully functional ourselves).  May as well be here.

What you will find that will get the biggest reaction, is when you are not willing to look at yourself and your own behaviors and issues.  We all have them.  And this is the key to im,proving the situation.  So as long as you are genuine in posting, and willing to look at and do the work on yourself in the process... .  Pretty much anything goes.

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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 08:27:46 PM »

The robe for her sounds like a good idea.

The thing about getting them to agree on something is that it relies on their goodwill- if they want to turn back on their promise any time, they could.

If they have agreed before and have broken that promise, they will break it again.
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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2013, 10:21:23 PM »

Yeah, venting is OK here. Sometimes it even helps others because they may be experiencing EXACTLY what you are venting about!
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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 11:20:04 PM »

It helps to hear advice from people who know what I am dealing with.

The validation is really refreshing. My hope is that after I get some validation I can let it go.

Has anyone seen a thread on character rebuilding or reputation rebuilding?  I could have sworn i saw it here somewhere, but cant find it.
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« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2013, 05:08:02 AM »

Rebuilding the reputation.  Yep, lots of stuff here about that.  Search for the term 'gaslighting' or 'misrepresenting' or 'rewriting history'.

These are threads filled with instances where the other person is rememebering and representing things VERY different than how you see it.  And these representations almost always reflect negatively on you.

The way around it is - ignore it.  You cant control what she says or does.  Live your life.  Take the high road.  Interact with people and in time they will see for themselves and form their own opinion about who you are and what you are about. 

Let your actions do the talking.  Walk the walk.  Actions speak louder than words.

It will be noticed.  (takes a little longer than direct confrontation, but directly arguing something via third party turns messy and confusing quickly, with no real upside to gain)
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« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2013, 09:07:55 AM »

I appreciate that, but it doesn't really apply.

BPD presents itself differently in each person.

MY SO is quiet, soft spoken, shy and a victim.  

She is slender.

She is high functioning.  She respected and excels at work.

She appears to be thoughtful of others.

She appears to be a little aloof.

I am outgoing, 260 pounds and look like a brute.  I look like a jock frat boy. Like the stereotype you see on TV. Though if you spoke the me you would realize I am the exact oposite.

She is normal most of the time, but if she gets triggered she acts borderline, but in a way that almost always ends up with her looking like the victim.  I think this is why she chose to be with me.  I am the perfect cover for her craziness.

She acts normal most of the time and keeps raising the bar of craziness each time she has an episode.  But only if it makes her look like the victim.  

Question: My SO has a serious deficiency in the common sense department. Like leaving a broken paine of glass jutting out of the garbage can (we have little children that walk right by the garbage can every 2 minutes).

Is lack of common sense a problem with your SO.  Is it something other people say?  

It seems like complaining about your SO having no common sense will just make me look like a grade A @sshole even here.
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« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2013, 10:25:48 AM »

Not perfect, you are sounding a little panicked.  You aren't giving out certain information that might be helpful for the people here who are experienced with dealing with these difficulties.  I get that this situation is very panicking, particularly if a therapist is not helping.  That is very stressful. 

An SO with borderline traits is different than a full-blown borderline.  You do need to read the list of traits that defines the diagnosis so you know what you are dealing with as best you can.  Therapists are not going to give that diagnosis to a high-functioning BPD, so you need to try to figure it out yourself.

I understand high-functioning makes you feel that much crazier and it's a lot harder to tell who is to blame.  But it's necessary to figure out how to handle things. 

The main thing I am noticing in your threads is that you do not have a clear sense of what your rights as a partner are, or that you have any rights at all.  You have so many minor very solveable problems going on that you are panicking about that are going to make it very hard to deal with the hard stuff, like you being the victim.  Move the cobwebs out of the way so you can focus your energy on that.

You do not seem to have had the communication that you need with her about household management.  You need to have discussions with this woman not about window treatments, but what is behind it, her values and beliefs that make public nudity exposure okay.  She needs to be asked what her views on public decency are.  Right now she is acting in a way that rebels against social convention.  Not okay.  And you need to be clear on what you need.  I think you are pretty strong in that area.  (btw whole spectrum light bulbs can take care of this problem.)

With the glass in the garbage.  Wow.  I am sorry.  You need to have a separate discussion about safety and children.  Not chastising her.  You ask her if she thinks it is okay to have glass out like that.  I am sure there are other safety issues with the kids.  You need to sit down and get her beliefs on safety.  Borderlines' views on taking care of others can be shockingly lacking.  A serious problem.  She may need serious education.  If you can get her to tell you her beliefs in this area, and report these in couples therapy.  You will at least get the therapist to see that she is seriously non-functional in the home. 

If you have difficulties in these conversations with her, bring it back here.  Lots of people very good at handling borderlines trying to wiggle out of accountability who can help you.  Just my suggestion if you feel it fits the situation.



   
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« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2013, 11:23:50 AM »

I guess given the physical exterior appearance... .  My advice is still exactly the same

Walk the walk and let your actions speak to the outside work.  in time they will figure it out (and outward appearance is only fleeting)


I appreciate that, but it doesn't really apply.

So from my read, yes, it does still apply.  (from what you wrote/tried to explain, I don't see why it doesn't apply.  Maybe you can explain more why you think it wouldn't?)

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« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2013, 11:37:12 AM »

  You have so many minor very solveable problems going on that you are panicking about that are going to make it very hard to deal with the hard stuff, like you being the victim.  Move the cobwebs out of the way so you can focus your energy on that.

   

I agree.

Most of us land here in crisis mode.  At wits end.  Gasping for that next breath of air.

Do try to step back, take a deep breath, and assess what is the most productive thing to work on.  A dozen different things all at once isn't going to be effective.  Pick 1 or 2.   It's going to take TIME, so don't expect to change all this at once. 

Start with getting your own mind settled.  Your posts are all over the place, indicating that your mind is all over the place as well.  Not conducive to productive work (which again starts with YOURSELF... .  Most of your posts are still all about HER.  Which means you haven't gotten very far with ACCEPTANCE phase)

Take a deep breath and ask yourself... .  What would be the most productive thing to learn and work on this month (not an hour or a day or a week even... .  Give it time!) that will have the greatest long term impact on my life? 
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« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2013, 11:48:19 AM »

as far as housecleaning goes... .  my BPD SO is an absolute neat freak. me, on the other hand, i'll clean up when it starts bothering me. i rationally know it's childish, but it's a 'trauma' thing for me. i've had situations where for me to not HAVE to clean up is an ultimate freedom. my H and i constantly butt heads over this issue. he feels like he is always telling me to do the dishes, yada yada, and i feel like he's constantly nagging. if it bothers him that much, let him do them. i work, he is at home on disability (for both physical and mental).

his case is that if i make the mess, i clean it up. my case is that i am at work, and he is at home having a good ol' time.

in my case, there is absolutely nothing anyone can say to me to motivate me to WANT to clean up. NOTHING. without being browbeaten and nagged to death, i won't do it until it bothers me. i wouldn't want it looking like an episode of hoarders.

So, from the other side (BPD SO is the neat freak, i am NOT)... .  i know it sucks, but to keep the peace, if it bothers you, then YOU clean it up. otherwise, you will constantly bicker about it. i feel resentful that i work and have to some cleaning up and cooking, etc., while he gets to sit at home and live. cleaning up (or lack thereof) is a constant source of triggers and fights. it would answer my prayers if my BPD SO would just leave me alone about cleaning up. if it bothers him that much, let him do it.

that's just my two cents.
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« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2013, 12:09:40 PM »

Great post here. Thanks guys!

Dear not perfect,

Thank you for your post. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

My uBPDh does nothing around the house (except highly praised things, thaing wash n dryer, sometimes and preparing an extravagant dinner once or twice a month... .  ) And I 'll do everything else including taking care of our toddler and holding a full time job.

I blame myself for not setting the right boundaries at the start but its not too late... .  I will certainly try again.

After doing 98% of the housework while he plays games online, I'm still termed as the not clean partner of the house. Or the lousy wife!
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« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2013, 01:24:16 PM »

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2013, 02:53:43 PM »

I guess given the physical exterior appearance... .  My advice is still exactly the same

Walk the walk and let your actions speak to the outside work.  in time they will figure it out (and outward appearance is only fleeting)


I appreciate that, but it doesn't really apply.

So from my read, yes, it does still apply.  (from what you wrote/tried to explain, I don't see why it doesn't apply.  Maybe you can explain more why you think it wouldn't?)

Agreed.

The fact remains - you can't control what she says to other people. You can't control anything that she does. You can only control what you do.

One of the things that mentally ill people sometimes do is to share their distorted views of things with the world.
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« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2013, 04:05:26 PM »

Excerpt
One of the things that mentally ill people sometimes do is to share their distorted views of things with the world.

Very true.  The problem is when you start believing this stuff and letting a person with a mental illness define your reality.

You know you clean, cook, etc. and do 90% of things.  You know the truth.  It's kind of the deal be the healthier person, you have more responsibility.  A person who's ill is going to "think" all kinds of things and think it's true too.  Let it slide if it isn't hugely destructive or massive violation of your bottom line values.  Picking at it... .  makes things worse.

Maybe it would help to read up on some of the cognitive impairments that people with BPD can have.  It's not a fake illness... .  its a real one, and can be very serious. 

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« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2013, 10:54:19 PM »

Thank u all. Yeeter I don't know what I.meant it doesn't apply. I forgot.

But you are all correct just try and act rationally and not irrationally. I do realize it is serious mental ilness and that what she see is not real. But its a little more belivable when she says my husband in mean to me or my husband doesn't help with the kids then it is when my schizophrenic cousin says he can burn

the bark off trees through meditation. 

But I know that the only thing I can do is just be my  reasonably normal self and maybe in 25 years they will realize who I really am .
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« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2013, 09:54:57 AM »

But you are all correct just try and act rationally and not irrationally. I do realize it is serious mental ilness and that what she see is not real. But its a little more belivable when she says my husband in mean to me or my husband doesn't help with the kids then it is when my schizophrenic cousin says he can burn

the bark off trees through meditation. 

But I know that the only thing I can do is just be my  reasonably normal self and maybe in 25 years they will realize who I really am .

Odds are, it won't take 25 years.   Smiling (click to insert in post) 

Things really will start falling in place once you get your feet under you and start to work through the Lessons here.  What are you doing to take good care of yourself through all of this?
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« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2013, 12:55:23 PM »

Great post here. Thanks guys!

Dear not perfect,

Thank you for your post. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

My uBPDh does nothing around the house (except highly praised things, thaing wash n dryer, sometimes and preparing an extravagant dinner once or twice a month... .  ) And I 'll do everything else including taking care of our toddler and holding a full time job.

I blame myself for not setting the right boundaries at the start but its not too late... .  I will certainly try again.

After doing 98% of the housework while he plays games online, I'm still termed as the not clean partner of the house. Or the lousy wife!

Thanks for evening things out a little from the other side.  I can relate, my husband is the neat freak.  I must confess that when I do a crappy job with the housework he will often take over and I do take advantage of this a little too much  Smiling (click to insert in post).

My mother in law is a traditional housewife, and I have learned by observation that their roles are evenly balanced.  I truly believe that if one partner is not working, they should agree to take over domestic work.  I think it comes down literally to how many hours of work each partner contributes to the family through work, and that if those are not evenly divided, someone is going to be resentful.  But this has to be negotiated when neither person is dysregulated, and if your BPD doesn't agree beforehand, forget it.  It will always be a control issue for them. 

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« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2013, 04:31:40 PM »

Notperfect there is a great video on how to communicate by Dr. Amador.  It may give some perspective.  The video is in the margin of the page on that link.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/how-to-get-borderline-into-therapy
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« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2013, 08:55:25 AM »

So yesterday I went into therapist and said.  I;ve been engrossed in this problem for the last two weeks since I realized that she is indeed BPD.

He said we establised that 6 years ago.  I was confused.  I thought we ruled that out because she doesnt do these things. 

He said its important not to focus on a label as that would be difficult for SO to handle.

Anyway. I guess I missed that or blocked it or whatever. I think SO was in denial and I played into it.

I've been trying to not assign blame, but still walk into her traps.

This morning she said what are you working on now?  I said I've been trying to go outside (as previously discussed) for the last 30 minutes.

She says " Are you saying me taking a shower is the reason you haven't gone outside?"

(SHOWER STARTED AS I WAS LOOKING FOR COAT.)

I said yes.

THE HOOK WAS SET.

SO, SHE WAS UPSET THAT I WAS ""BLAMING HERE FOR THINGS SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH"

(SHOWER, LEAD TO WATCHING KIDS, LEAD TO ME OPENING A PACKAGE WE GOT TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED WHICH OVERLAPPED WITH HER GETTING OUT OF SHOWER)

I DID MY BEST TO NOT MAKE IT WORSE AND EXPLAIN HOW SHOWER LED TO ABOVE FACTORS LED TO 30 MINUTES. 

SHE ACCUSED ME OF LAWYERING.  I WAS THINKING "PROJECTION!"

NOW OUTSIDE IN CAR ON LAPTOP INSTEAD OF STRAIGHTENING YARD IN THE RAIN.

I WILL NEED TO WATCH VIDEO.  THANK YOU GREEN MANGO.

DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY OWN THREAD SO I DON'T HAVE TO SEARCH EACH TIME?

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« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2013, 09:35:04 AM »

Excerpt
So yesterday I went into therapist and said.  I;ve been engrossed in this problem for the last two weeks since I realized that she is indeed BPD.

He said we establised that 6 years ago.  I was confused.  I thought we ruled that out because she doesnt do these things.  

He said its important not to focus on a label as that would be difficult for SO to handle.

Anyway. I guess I missed that or blocked it or whatever. I think SO was in denial and I played into it.

I've been trying to not assign blame, but still walk into her traps.

This morning she said what are you working on now?  I said I've been trying to go outside (as previously discussed) for the last 30 minutes.

She says " Are you saying me taking a shower is the reason you haven't gone outside?"

(SHOWER STARTED AS I WAS LOOKING FOR COAT.)

I said yes.

THE HOOK WAS SET.

SO, SHE WAS UPSET THAT I WAS ""BLAMING HERE FOR THINGS SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH"

(SHOWER, LEAD TO WATCHING KIDS, LEAD TO ME OPENING A PACKAGE WE GOT TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED WHICH OVERLAPPED WITH HER GETTING OUT OF SHOWER)

I DID MY BEST TO NOT MAKE IT WORSE AND EXPLAIN HOW SHOWER LED TO ABOVE FACTORS LED TO 30 MINUTES.  

SHE ACCUSED ME OF LAWYERING.  I WAS THINKING "PROJECTION!"

NOW OUTSIDE IN CAR ON LAPTOP INSTEAD OF STRAIGHTENING YARD IN THE RAIN.

I WILL NEED TO WATCH VIDEO.  THANK YOU GREEN MANGO.

DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY OWN THREAD SO I DON'T HAVE TO SEARCH EACH TIME

omigod!  Sounds like she may be De-Waifing on you!   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Feel your pain -- close but not quite match around here lately.

Keep working your side of the street.  Alanon folks tell me that if you take care of your stuff -- then things are at least 50% better.

After a while, your brain will catch up to what you are dealing with.  :)oes not make it better, and like you have observed, it will try to keep leaking out on to everything, anyway, but at least you will know what it is.

Sort of becomes like working around jets at an airport.  If you are talking you just let the noise pass, and go about what you are doing.

Heard my new "slogan" coming out of my mouth this week.  Seems to fit . . .

"It is what it is."  

======

As far as the shrinks . . .  it is strange how they clearly know what is going on but dare not speak the words.  Wonder if anyone can cure Cancer by pretending it does exist?

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« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2013, 09:17:44 AM »

We've been seeing the same therapist for 7 years.  A few members have asked what has he been doing for the last 7 years.

We starting seeing him when our marriage was in shambles.

He helped greatly.

He sees my wife individually and me sometimes. 

He has helped her work through some issues from her troubled childhood.

SO has become relatively stable and productive since last 4 years.

Now my question to you all is what can I ask him to determine if he can and will help her overcome the BPD coping mechanisms she has and begin to react to life, me, others more reasonably?

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« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2013, 01:24:51 PM »

Now my question to you all is what can I ask him to determine if he can and will help her overcome the BPD coping mechanisms she has and begin to react to life, me, others more reasonably?

You said that he established that she had BPD 6 years ago.

If he is vaguely competent at his job, then he is already doing this the best that he can.

YOU react to her BPD coping mechanisms. They are awful, so this is understandable.

Spend your energy working on finding more constructive ways for YOU to react to her poor coping mechanisms. The "natural" reactions you have make things worse. Change what you can easily change: your own behavior.

Read the lessons here and work on the ways you can help the situation by changing your own behavior.
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« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2013, 09:58:30 AM »

I know, I know, I know. 

and I know this sounds lame as hell, but I can't bring myself to read them.  I don't know why. 

Often I find myself procrastinating until the last possible moment or until I get one thing out of the way.

I really appreciate your patience and advice.

I have this online training I need to do to continue making a living and I think I can get it done in the next day or so. Then I have no excuse not to read them.

As far as him not doing a good job, he is about the only adult figure that she trusts that is a voice of reason.  It would be totally devastating to her to not see him anymore. 

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« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2013, 12:22:33 PM »

We have reached our maximum 4 page limit on this topic so I will be locking it up now.  If you want to continue the discussion you can feel free start a new topic.
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Can You Help Us Stay on the Air in 2019?

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Our 2020 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
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