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Skills we were never taught
98
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: Spouse is BPD waif. New here is this term known?  (Read 12000 times)
Grey Kitty
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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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RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM SOLVING
This is a high level discussion board for solving ongoing, day-to-day relationship conflicts. Members are welcomed to express frustration but must seek constructive solutions to problems. This is not a place for relationship "stay" or "leave" discussions. Please read the specific guidelines for this group.

NotPerfect
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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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NotPerfect
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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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NotPerfect
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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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Grey Kitty
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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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Grey Kitty
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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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NotPerfect
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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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NotPerfect
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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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waverider
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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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Grey Kitty
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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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NotPerfect
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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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yeeter
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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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NotPerfect
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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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yeeter
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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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yeeter
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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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Not normal
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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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GreenMango
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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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tuli

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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."  

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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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NotPerfect
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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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