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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Getting Clarity and Moving On  (Read 385 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 4

« on: March 06, 2017, 12:51:15 PM »

Hello, I'm a codependent people pleaser getting help to stop looking for those that can't love me back.  I got involved with my wife eight years ago and married four years ago.  Initially, before the marriage, things were pretty good between us, but we just talked during the week on the phone and saw one another on weekends.  There were some odd occurrences that caused me some concern and much more attention now in reflection.  First, we went on a get to know one another along with two of her "friends", they were in fact her ex-husband and his brother, which I was made aware of later by asking questions.  I thought it was a little odd, but put it down to them being emotionally mature.  Our first date out her son, the golden child, called 16 times to check-up on her.  We went to her ex-husbands for dinner and the narcissist ex gave this long rendition of how the marriage/divorce was all his fault while my BPD and two kids (Golden Child, GC, and Scape Goat, SG) nodded and smiled to confirm every word.  I was in bewildered shock and thought it was the oddest behavior I'd ever witnessed in the course of meeting someone’s family.  A number of years later she informed me of a family vacation that was in place of one we had planned, but she was of the mind that we had not set a date and she couldn't get out of it with her son. I was in disbelief, but backed down and agreed to go. Then, about a week latter, I'm told her ex and his wife is joining us.  I'm not happy, this guy has no boundaries, talks incessantly about himself and his toys, makes as mush sense as a 12 year old, and acts thoroughly superior with a 10th grade education.  In addition, the vacation is a secret, because they don't want the SG to know since he's not invited.  The vacation was very odd, in reality it was a celebration of the GC and we were all there to witness his greatness.  

After we became married we went on a hike with her ex-NPD, the NPD's wife, BPD-2, the GC and his girlfriend, that ended in my wife of six months going off on me for no reason other than a false perception.  Athough it may have had other factors contributing like not being happy with the GC not fulfilling his obligations.  Again, I was in shock, her GC even put in a word against me.  The only one trying to lessen the situation was her NPD-ex.  I was completely baffled trying to understand the whole situation. Latter that day I told her it was the most traumatic situation I'd ever had with a significant other and I needed an apology. What I got was anything but an apology, it was a justification with a backhanded apology, which made me feel even worse. Since then, I’ve gotten about ten of these apologies that were verbatim to the first, as thought it had been rehearsed and memorized.

As time went by in our marriage I saw and heard many things that just didn't make sense or seemed/felt very abnormal.
The GC:
GC said he "saw" what happened if you didn't do as you were required, referring to the SG.
The GC is extremely accomplished academically. I once saw one of his daily plans that dissected his day in 15min intervals with breaks; meals study time and entertainment for the entire day. He has a big focus on money, prestige, personal appearance, or anything that promotes him to others, but also talks about others behind their backs. The GC takes positions in order to boost his chance of reward. Would constantly talk badly to others about the SG and would do so in front of his parents without rebuttal or with their approval.  However, putting down the SG was something they all did.  Initially, I was told by my BPD that the GC was not very accepting of others and was cautioned, by her, about him early on in our relationship.  I was struck by the amount of power they gave him and his outward sense of entitlement he displayed with such arrogance.  

The SG:
I bought into that he was a problem child that had been afforded every opportunity.  The SG was definitely troubled with an extremely distorted sense of self.  He's very intelligent with an excellent memory recall.  He would regurgitate a lot of information, but if I questioned him on it he couldn't reflect on it and didn't understand the subject, other than the material he had just read.  He was constantly vying for attention for his intelligence/memory or imagined accomplishments.  He would form friendships with kids many years younger than himself.  This progressed until he crossed the BPD and she justifiably, so I thought, kicked him out of the house.  He lived on the streets for years and then got a little direction and was marginally stable for a short time. He definitely has a form of NPD, which is based on complete lies. His lies are of outlandish accomplishments and center around having jobs with immense responsibility. He goes into relationships with these fabrications and causes a lot of pain in his wake, it probably reflects his childhood pain.

The NPD-ex:
I was seriously dumbfounded on how this guy could get by in the world, but he does very well monetarily and that's probably about it.  However, it appears that money is success to him and his family.  He spouts about technical issues and makes no sense, while those that surround him give him their attention.  I can't spend much time around him, because I become anxious and just want to escape his black hole.  He has no sense of boundaries and my BPD would say "that's just _____”(Bozo is my nickname for him) as a blanket excuse. I’ve seen and heard him stand-up in front of a group and claim responsibility for the upbringing and accomplishments of the GC on two occasions.  He has expounded his loyalty, admiration and acceptance into “their” family, while divulging personal information, not to mention complete manure of acceptance.  His wife, who I think is BPD, all the while is watching me like a hawk.  I know that she has major outbursts of anger will the GC and SG were staying with them every other weekend.  However, when the SG turned 18 they no longer wanted him to live with them and despite the GC turning 16 and being given a car also moved out, because it was 10 minutes farther from his friends and school.
After that it was brought up several times that her allergies to foods, especially to eggs were responsible for her mood swings.

The BPD wife:
She is extremely: Black and White, thoroughly structured, totally committed to her hobby/exercise/martial arts, one of the most closed-minded people I’ve ever met.
Initially though, she was immensely charming with the biggest smile and laugh I’d ever known.  She has an absolute aversion to negative emotions and will deny being angry or upset with an air of how dare you suggest she is.  She can turn on her charm like a fire hydrant and I used to believe, for most of our relationship, that it was genuine.  However, from many observations, it became apparent that it was how she structured the views of others, which served as being her “self image”.  In addition, I think it was protection against any accusation that she was less than or responsible for molding the SG.  However, both openly claim responsibility for the GC and it’s loud and clear.  In contrast, the SG had risen from abysmal depths, family big secrets, to just being referred to as “going his own way”.  The SQ took some very drastic steps to fulfill his need to succeed and it was contained. I had a falling out with a business in her circle of her image and she settled a bill I disputed without my knowledge.  The BPD would make lots of decisions that I would hear about much latter from her NPD-ex thanking “us”, or just in passing.  She has a major fear of abandonment issue. When something is happening that she disproves of she becomes another person, she speaks in a demanding, un-empathetic, outwardly controlling, my way or the highway.  I only witnessed this behavior with someone other than myself once with her sibling and I gave it my full attention.  The sibling stated that if this was how she behaved with me, BPD husband, that he was very sorry for me having to endure her.  I had experienced several of these episodes in our marriage.  The only way to get her to stop was to physically remove myself, abandonment, threaten divorce, abandonment, or physically, gently with force, escort her out of my room. She has an extremely hard time with emotions.  Any questionable behavior on her part is justifiable and therefore no apology will be forthcoming, like it’s an admission of not being perfect and that’s not an option.  She has a great figure and in excellent physical heath, but she eats like a bird with the most restrictive diet imaginable.  
When her desires are not fulfilled it triggers this vindictive mood where she comes back at me with: long-term silence, things I’ve said, mocking me, sarcasm, this tone devoid of empathy or any understanding and an attitude of clear supremacy.   There are not a lot of these episodes and they diminished drastically when we got into therapy.

Her first husband was demonized where she thought he was going to kill her and she won’t even tell me his name.  She married her NPD-ex twice.  I thought their first divorce was from his infidelity, but in a therapy session I said that I was really tired of her ex-NPD’s games and was going to bring up his infidelity.  She was beside herself and it came out that she had seen an email

She’s a major overachiever in her first year she got Employee of the year.   She has very low self-esteem and is hypersensitive to any criticism. She will sometimes twist my words meaning to suit a defense for an imagined offence.  The big one is she never commits to an action with words she is very quite, I do the talking and she takes it in to use it latter as in “you said”.  I’m not sure what she did with the compliments I gave her and she really never gave me any.

She is still going to therapy and she seems better. She has had a very difficult time in try to make decisions, except with regards to her kids.  It was the only information that the NPD ex confirmed and was quickly silenced by the BPD-2.  

Codependent, adult child of alcoholic, people pleaser, fixer, seeker of those that can’t love me back, newly introduced to al-anon.  I’m very thankful for this relationship, because it showed me who I am and those I attract. It’s the best wake-up-call I could get.  I was very depressed and needed out, but wanted that charming woman I thought I had….I was sick and crazy thinking it was there.  I was definitely part of the problem. I wanted her to complete me, fulfill my desires and then everything would be excellent. When she wouldn’t fulfill my expectations I’d go from resentment to anger and that was not an acceptable emotion.  I started to think that I’d prefer to be a SG and retaliated. Now I’m just taking care of myself and trying to see this as it was and respond in a calm manner and she’s good practice.  I have boundary issues where I don’t stick to them.  I had asked her to live together for 6 mounts prior to our wedding, but she steadfastly refused and I caved.  I used to take her stuff personally and now I’m aware that it’s her stuff and I don’t make it mine.  I show my love in many ways and one in particular is in service.  I would fix her house up and she would tell me she didn’t care.  Then a few days later she would say how much she liked it and then, later, remark how she didn’t care.  I’ve pretty much decided on not getting into a relationship until I don’t have a need to rescue or feel someone would fulfill me, which are probably one in the same for me.

Early on in therapy I would refer the GC as her “golden boy” before being aware that a GC was part of a NPD-BPD family dynamic.  I also referred the SG as a delusional NPD black sheep, but was not aware that the NPD-ex was NPD.  I was watching a video on Trump and realized that BPD’s ex was NPD and that accounted for my not liking him.  I then searched for NPD articles and in one of them it mentioned a GC and SG.  After that, I started to see a better picture, but couldn’t place my BPD as a BPD.  I made some wild assumptions; the worst was that she might be a Covert NPD, which put me into a panic.   After a lot of reading I feel that these disorders are in degrees and have a lot of crossover.  I believe my BPD is a waif with queen traits,  but the latter is based on a single article that says the BPD w/Queen traits denies any anger or bad thoughts as unacceptable.  My therapist never indicated that she had BPD and didn’t test for it, to my knowledge.  In contrast she downplayed everything I said, except she acknowledged that my BPD was responsible for the SG’s NPD.  I think this was an initial slip on her part that she caught after our session, either on her own or with another therapist, because what followed was her constantly rationalizing the behavior of the BPD and her family and making light of that behavior.   I’ve had six therapists and not one of them has mentioned Al-anon, knowing that I grew up in an alcoholic home; to me this seems very bizarre.  Al-anon has become my focus because it is a program designed to help the individual, me, to know themselves and deal with life in a manageable way.   Al-anon has given me choices, hope, and awareness for working out my own dysfunctional behavior to attain the “me” and “a relationship” that is “healthy”.  

I was completely unaware of BPD and NPD personalities until our marriage was in divorce, but have been trying to figure it out in order to make sense of it and moreover sense of me.  I’m the only one I can change and trying to change anyone else is crazy, but when I change for the better my relationships will also change for the better.

I hope this helps anyone involved in a BPD/NPD relationship.
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: In process of divorcing
Posts: 995

« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 08:24:20 PM »

Hi Free1

Thanks for sharing this with us, and you are right, we can only change ourselves!

Sounds as if you are resolved and ready to move forward with the next part of your life.  Feel free to keep posting if you have any questions.


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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 4

« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 12:25:06 PM »


My soon to be ex-wife and I were seeing a therapist for the last two years.  During that time, I talked about things that caused me great concern and confusion. Things about her family were: narcissistic ex-husband, narcissistic adopted son and black-sheep 25 yo, her natural son as a golden boy 23 yo, to mention a few.  Things about my wife: perfectionist,  dieter to an extreme, the most black and white person I had ever met, extreme silent treatment, ultra sensitivity to minor incidence, almost complete suppression of negative emotions and when the negatives surfaced they were from minor things but way out of per-portion and without reconciliation.  When she expressed her dissatisfaction she was relentless and she seemed to be another person.  The therapist stated that she also had an extreme issue with abandonment.  The only time the therapist acknowledged my concern was that my wife was responsible for causing the narcissism in her adopted son, but subsequently would dismiss all my other concerns offhandedly.  In my gut I could feel that something was going on and I researched it online. In a very short time I found an article that mentioned a golden child and a scapegoat dynamic, which led me to the conclusion that she is a high functioning BPD.

I'm just coming to terms with the BPD, but the fact that the therapist intensionally withheld this information and mislead me is bewildering.  I've read that this is an archaic approach like a physician sparing a patient by not telling them they have cancer and that it is not the way to handle it. The therapist is about 75 yo.

Does anyone have an experience like this?

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced Oct 2015
Posts: 10365

« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 02:51:45 PM »

Hi Free1, 


I'd like to welcome you to bpdfamily. I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience. I can relate somewhat, I went to a few marriage counselors and none of them detected BPD but from what I learned here, BPD is niche in psychiatric circulars and some professional aren't knowledgeable in it. Are you currently in the divorce process?

"Let go or be dragged" -Zen proverb
Senior Ambassador
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned by SO in Feb 2013; Mother with BPD, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety: RIP in 2021.
Posts: 11451

Dad to my wolf pack

« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 10:36:05 PM »

Hello Free1,

From what you describe,  it does sound like the family dynamic which you happened upon with your research.  Hard to say what the therapist's reasoning is here,  but I'd guess trying to remain neutral.  Members have a wide range of experiences here.  Some counselors suggest reading Stop Walking On Eggshells (a kind of back-handed Dx)  while others do what yours did.  Mine didn't like "pathologizing" but tried to get me to focus on dealing with behaviors. 

It sounds like separation and divorce is in process. What's your goal here? We can help educate you with what you may be dealing with through a divorce,  and can certainly support you in understanding this and detaching. 


    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
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