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Author Topic: My BPD partner is trying to separate me from my parents  (Read 778 times)
Oz2016

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« on: July 07, 2019, 11:51:46 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and keeping healthy.

I imagine a number of you have experience with this and so perhaps can give me some advice.

As I've said before, my partner shows very strong signs of being BPD even though she has never been diagnosed as such (she hates and fears therapists!).

My parents live overseas and I am very close to them. They've always been very good to me and my previous partners have never had a serious problem with them (nor does my sister's partner, who shows no signs of BPD).

But ever since we got together, my partner seems to have made it her mission to break the bond between my parents and I. She always makes sure that there is some kind of fight going on between me and her when they are around, or she tries to start one with my parents. In some cases, you could make the argument that she had a point, but she has been involved in so many dramas around my parents that it's hard to think she is *never* the one at fault. Probably the worst case was when she tried to make me ban my mother from coming to visit our son unless she completely quit smoking (no willingness to entertain any kind of compromise, for instance my mother not smoking in the house, or changing clothes after smoking etc). In the end it didn't happen because my mother compromised and stopped smoking in case it caused any trouble. Whenever my parents are around, she keeps completely silent and has a look of pure resentment on her face. My mother tries her level best to relate to her in some way, but I think her patience is (quite understandably) wearing thin. My father, who is a little less patient than my mother, finds it pretty impossible to conceal his dislike of my partner. Even phone calls with my parents are hard. My partner hovers around and starts to get angry if I take more than about half an hour to talk to them. I can't feel comfortable talking to them while she's around - it actually feels more like a hostage video than a genuine conversation.

The thing is, my parents are coming out soon to visit us. They are staying with a relative in order to avoid friction, but I'm pretty sure my partner will find a way to cause trouble. She always does.

I have a strong suspicion that she wants me to break off all contact with my family, because then I would be easier to control. Every time I try to talk about it with her she explodes. She blames my family or blames me, never takes responsibility, etc.

I'd like some advice. I know it's hard, but I love my family very much and I cannot bear the idea of not talking to them. However, I hate the way that they spend so much money to come over and visit us, only to have an awful time because of the problems my BPD partner creates.

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 12:45:17 AM »

This issue comes up many times on this forum. I'm sure people with more experience than I will post some of their experiences and advice. (My husband's ex-wife is uBPD/BPD and attempted to drive a wedge between him and his family, but he stood strong, and it did not happen).

How much work have you done regarding your personal values and boundaries with your wife? What will you tolerate, and what goes beyond your values and thus causes you internal conflict?
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 07:02:06 AM »

This issue also comes up frequently on the other board for family members. If you could read the posts from heartbroken mothers who have sons who cut them off to placate their BPD partners, I hope you would be moved by their stories.

You have a son.  You love him and you know one day he will seek out a partner who he loves. It's OK with you, this is the normal part of becoming an adult. But how would you feel if, after 20+ years of raising and loving him, you were cut off from him by his partner?

I think you would be heartbroken.

I don't understand why, but I have seen a pwBPD perceive another family member as a threat, or competition for their partner's love. It has not happened in my marriage but it happens in my family with BPD mother. She perceives people as being "on her side" or "not her side".  She sees herself as a victim on the Karpman triangle. The family member is the "persecutor". She expects her partner ( my father) to rescue her- take her side against the family member.

You can't change your partner's thinking or perspective. It comes down to boundaries. What will you stand up for? Will you stand up for your relationship with your parents? If not, then you would end up choosing to give it up. This may buy you momentary peace. You will also hurt their feelings.

You are in a tough situation, but it isn't about your partner, it's about you, your values, what is important to you and what you are willing to give up. Are you willing to face friction with your partner to maintain a relationship with your parents, or willing to give it up to placate your partner?

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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 09:22:25 AM »


Can you give some examples and he said she said of prior "friction".

I get the smoking thing are there other examples. 

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 11:43:32 AM »

I think it helps to keep in mind that the reason for the feelings- behavior- is emotional - it isn't logical. The answer given may sound logical, but then when you fix the answer, the feelings remain. This is because the reason given wasn't the fix for the emotions.

I don't think the "reason" is a lie. I think it's a product of projection. They don't see their feelings as something internal. It must be due to something or someone else causing them. So they provide that as the reason- because that is how they perceive their feelings.

Sometimes the "reason" can be legitimate. I think the smoking is reasonable. I would not want someone to smoke around my children. But your parents "fixed" that and stopped the smoking. If this were the source of concern, it would be finished- but it wasn't finished.

When the "reason" is fixed, but doesn't fix the feelings- then there is a new reason. These reasons may not make sense.

We can chase this by fixing reason after reason, but at some point have to accept that many times, it is feeling based.

Having a relationship with both your partner and your parents  could be an ongoing struggle. It may be best to not involve your partner and your parents together. I know it is difficult to do this if they come over. I don't think it is wise to triangulate by speaking much about your partner, but I also don't think I would hide the issue from them. They already are clued in that something is up and she doesn't want to see them. Personally, I would go see them alone, visit alone, call them from a workplace out of earshot of your partner. She doesn't have to like them. But you can. There may be friction between the two of you over this, but at least it keeps your parents out of the triangle by not having them all together and expecting everyone to be cordial.

She may cause drama about your son seeing them, but if it is possible, take the child with you to see them. Meet them at a restaurant or a park where the child can play. If your child is very young, know that he will grow up and your partner will have less control over him.

It might help to take a long range perspective on this, if you intend to stay with your partner. My BPD mother has had conflict with my father's family over the course of their decades long marriage. ( which ended when he passed away). I don't think his family saw much of us kids when we were little, but by school age/teens, BPD mom was quite happy to have us visit them for extended times as she didn't want kids around all the time on school breaks. My father did travel on business and saw them on his own. There were rare times they were all together with her. It might help for you and your son to see them on your own when you can.
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 11:50:25 AM »

Hey Oz2016, I have been in your shoes, as I suspect have many others on this site.  I agree with Notwendy:

Excerpt
I don't understand why, but I have seen a pwBPD perceive another family member as a threat, or competition for their partner's love.

In my view, it all stems from a fear of abandonment.  Those w/BPD perceive love as a limited resource which they are afraid to share.  This fear leads them to attempt to isolate you from family and friends, which is dangerous because you will need your family and friends when the going gets rough in a BPD r/s, as it always does.  Isolation is a technique used to break down prisoners of war, so don't allow yourself to succumb to this pressure.

As Notwendy also notes, it's about keeping good boundaries.  You have the right to see your family and friends, no matter how much the pwBPD complains, so be firm.  Without family and friends, you can lose all perspective in life, which is not fun, believe me.

Concerning any possible fallout from spending time with your family, I like to quote Admiral Farragut, who said: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"!  You will likely encounter torpedoes from your pwBPD, but don't let that stop you from seeing your family!

LuckyJim
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 03:04:57 PM »

fights about inlaws are one of the most common conflicts in a marriage. like many things, with bpd traits, it can be more extreme.

whats behind it? well, it can be fear of abandonment. it can also be jealousy. maybe a person in that position sees an aspect of closeness and care that theyre jealous of, or dont feel in their relationship. it can also be low self esteem...fear that the inlaws dont like them.

what does any spouse want? to know that their partner puts them first. to know that their partner is "on their side", has their back. to know that partnership isnt threatened.

in order to resolve this, it will require a lot of listening as to what is really driving it, and it could be a combination of things.

speaking generally (and depending on what drives it), it could take some reassurance. it could take doing some big or small things to demonstrate that you prioritize your wife and her feelings. it could take some listening, and letting her blow off steam. it could take some creative finesse, maybe your parents stay in a hotel so theyre more comfortable, and you all plan things together, that your wife has some role in.

just ideas. what do you think is driving her feelings toward your parents?
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 03:55:11 PM »

Oh boy, I can really relate to this one. My husband and I relocated to the same city as my parents nearly three years ago, and at first we stayed with them. My uBPDh, who had BEGGED me to move and move in with my parents, started dysregulating literally the instant we arrived. He said the fact that we couldn't park in the garage and the fact that my parents had meat in the freezer (when he, at the time, was a vegan), were "signs" they didn't want him there. Meanwhile, my parents bent over backward to try to please him (my mom is a HUGE people pleaser). He was rude to them and barely talked to them, except when he decided to have a blow up.

For months after we moved, he would go on lengthy tirades, complaining about them. It was really hurtful and so, so untrue and unfair. I finally had to set a boundary there and would leave if he started going off. They were the target of some fierce hatred, but when I would say, "Well, you hate my parents," he'd get upset and say, "No, they hate ME!" And, of course, with his wacko, rude behavior, he caused them to not like him very much, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They ended up moving away, and I suspect if things had gone differently, maybe they would have stuck around. That said, it hasn't kept us from being close all along. We have kept in communication and I went to visit them by myself over the winter. My uBPDh eventually got over it, I suppose, because they were no longer a "threat" being so far away.

I think he was jealous of my relationship with my parents and they also triggered his own memories of abandonment and how painful and invalidating his childhood was. I can certainly be sympathetic to that pain, but I really made sure while this was going on, to maintain contact with my parents, even if it was going to upset him. For a while, I just talked to them when he wasn't around because it was easier. After a time of him not being exposed to them, and not getting rewarded for his tirades and tantrums, he figured out that it would be better to be nice to them. They visited recently and he ended up having a nice time with them. I think the key is limiting their exposure, validating them, and setting boundaries when they dysregulate.
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 04:03:53 PM »

Agree w/once removed: attempts to isolate can also be driven by jealousy and low self-esteem.

What bugged me a lot was how my Ex prioritized seeing her family, yet kept my family at arm's length.  Have you noticed this dynamic, Oz?

Sure, it takes effort to reassure one's BPD partner about his/her importance, which is worth a try.  Yet I had limited success with attempts to appeal to my BPDxW's reason, because she could be so irrational.

I reached a point where I said, Look, I'm going to see my family.  Either you and the kids can join me, or you can stay home, but I'm going no matter what.  After that, my BPDxW often developed physical symptoms that allegedly prevented her from attending family events.

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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 11:16:53 AM »

Excerpt
For a while, I just talked to them when he wasn't around because it was easier.

Sure, I did the same, WEW.  I would call family members from my office, not from home, in order to avoid an emotional outburst from my BPDxW.  I was walking on egg shells, trying to avoid the next meltdown.  Yet now, having parted ways with my BPDxW, I would say that is no way to live.  Needless to say, it is a red flag.   Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)

If one allows oneself to become isolated, it can lead to depression, as I can attest.  My suggestion: continue to reach out to family and friends, no matter what.  You're going to need their support.

LJ
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 07:49:29 PM »

Man I completely relate. My wife constantly has issues with my family. Hers is perfect and can see the kids whenever she chooses. My parents barely get to see them and she says the kids are not “obligated” to see them. It is a “privilege” as she says, like the kids are solely her possession and me being the father has no say. It’s really sad when bpdW act like this. My parents have always been great to me and to see them not get to be the grandparents they should be hurts me to the soul. I’ve tried being firm but she is a master manipulator. I’m in one of those cycles right now where I am emotionally and physically spent. I went from being the best man in the world over the weekend to being the worst dad and husband for the last two days. Absolutely nothing happened but in her head all kinds of things have happened. . Try to keep in touch with your parents, they’ll always love you. It’s been tough for me to keep talking with them because everyone is so hurt including me and them.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 04:40:33 PM »

Thanks everyone. I'm so grateful for your replies

I wish it was possible to reply to your posts individually but I'm not sure how you do it on here. Doesn't seem to be possible.

I'm seeing a lot of similarities with my situation. My wife does indeed give her family privileged access that my family do not get. Her mother, for instance, seems to be quite clearly also a borderline. Her father has I think been completely broken down by decades married to a borderline and behaves pretty badly too. Her mother frequently splits, threatens suicide, peppers my wife with insults. Her father physically assaulted her the last time she visited them. Yet still they get to see my son whenever they like. My parents would never dream of doing anything like this but every time they visit it's a bit like visitation hour in prison - the guard is always watching to make sure you don't go over time.

My wife also manages to contract mysterious illnesses whenever my parents are around - illnesses she won't go to a doctor to discuss. However if I go to see my parents when she has said illness I am being a heartless monster.

On some of the issues she arguably had a point. For instance, my sister wasn't great to her. We got married at very similar times and my sister got angry at us for taking the limelight away from her. I thought that was silly. My sister is a bit of a diva but not remotely comparable to a borderline. Though I have had my issues with my sister I wouldn't put her in the same category as my wife.

To reply to some of the posters, no there is no way on earth I will ever cut off my parents. They are good people and if I get PLEASE READ from my wife for seeing them that's something I'll just take. My concern more is how to manage the situation better so that they have a semi- decent time when they come to see us. That may not be possible given my wife's behavior, but at least it would be good to try something.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 06:59:36 PM »

My bpd mother also had “mysterious “ illnesses and excused herself from social encounters.

My fathers family disliked her from the get go. It was mutual. Out of respect for my parents- they kept their mouth shut. After my father died at an old age, and I was an adult I got to hear from them what they really thought.

I recall one time my fathers mother- then widowed - came to stay with us. Don’t know how that happened or how my mom agreed to that. Otherwise the only times I saw them was when we got to stay with them ( not with mom)

Little kids are cute and compliant. Not so much older kids and teens. I didn’t see my father’s family much when I was little but later BPD mom was glad to send us to stay with them and not with her on school breaks.

We loved it too.

You might hide some hostility from your parents but I’m pretty sure they know what’s going on. They may just be able to tolerate each other for short times. I’d say do the best with it . Try to see them away from her, even if she calls you “heartless” ( it’s heartless to hurt your parents like this)


Hopefully as your son grows he will start to form his own relationship with them and reach out to spend time with them.

I wish I had better advice but it’s not really possible to control your wife’s behavior with your parents as far as I know. Working around this worked for us. We are still close to the relatives on my fathers side.

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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2019, 11:47:35 PM »

...
I imagine a number of you have experience with this and so perhaps can give me some advice.
...
Oh boy, fights over my family and in-laws (i.e. mostly my mom) were insane during our marriage, and could last for weeks, even though my mom rarely saw us - maybe once a year - due to XW's hostility.  But the mere mention of my mom could send my wife completely over the edge.  So I know what you're going through. 

Also, like you, I would feel there was a bit of truth to my XW's complaints - my mom isn't perfect by any means, and can get a little too talkative and annoying, for example - but my XW's reaction and hostility to comments that were innocent, or innocuous was obviously excessive, and made in bad faith. 

I also caught my XW inventing conflict, or intentionally misquoting things my mom did or said to her a few times (she would lie about text messages and emails that I could go back and read!), so that helped me understand that I wasn't going crazy... it really was my XW stirring the pot. 

Eventually I would just leave and go for a walk or to the bar if my XW brought up my mom... there was no point in discussing the topic with her, as she would quickly dysregulate, and it would be like trying to talk to a hurricane.  Unfortunately, sometimes you're in a place where leaving isn't possible or an option. 

I have a strong suspicion that she wants me to break off all contact with my family, because then I would be easier to control. Every time I try to talk about it with her she explodes. She blames my family or blames me, never takes responsibility, etc.
In my case, on a couple occasions I angrily asked my XW if she would be happy if I cut my family out of our lives completely, and she would always calm down at that point and say no. 

I suspect she was more than happy to use it as a continuing source of conflict; conflict seemed to be the main way she expressed herself.  She wasn't interested in any resolution. 

also, she talked to her parents frequently and we eventually brought her mom to America to live with us, and she knew I would've insisted she cut off her family if I had to cut off mine, so she wasn't willing to surrender her pretend "moral high ground" here where she was the victim of unfair treatment from my family, and a husband who didn't put her first.
I'd like some advice. I know it's hard, but I love my family very much and I cannot bear the idea of not talking to them. However, I hate the way that they spend so much money to come over and visit us, only to have an awful time because of the problems my BPD partner creates.
I wish there was a workable solution, but pwBPD seem to thrive on conflict, so in my opinion, no matter what you do, she will find a way to create conflict when your parents visit.  It's only a matter of how much you can endure.

One thing that helped others deal with my XW: A few months after hearing from several people I confided in that my XW was likely BPD, or "on the spectrum," I shared my concerns about my XW with my mom, and told her not to take any of my XW's nastiness personally, and that I understood and sympathized with my mom, and did not feel she was to blame for any of the continuing conflict. 

My mom thanked me for that, as she said there were a few occasions when my XW would - unprovoked - send her a nasty email or start text-bombing her, and she'd stay up all night wondering what she did wrong, and whether she was going to lose her son and grandkids because of my XW's hostility to her.

There isn't much else you can do, I think, other than communicating what you won't tolerate to your W, set boundaries for yourself as to what you will and won't tolerate, and how you'll handle violations of your boundaries, and having the fortitude to ignore her dysregulation or attacks, and have the relationship you want with your parents.  Your W will never accept this graciously, but depending on how far into the BPD spectrum she is, may only grumble a bit, and otherwise accept it.  Or she may escalate things to a place that is not tolerable for anyone.

When my XW felt her threats or attacks weren't working and I was not giving in to her demands regarding contact, or communications with my family, my XW would take things to a really crazy place by hinting she felt my mom was a predator and she didn't trust her alone with our kids... so yeah.  In my case, I felt there really wasn't a way to resolve this conflict in a way that worked for me.  I wasn't willing to tolerate all the vile attacks and conflict just so I could see my family once or twice a year.  Now I'm happily divorced, and my XW has no control over whether I take my kids to see their grandma, or my aunts & uncles and grandparents whenever they're with me. 
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2019, 01:05:02 AM »

Thanks again folks. For those of you who have had happy endings, I'm so pleased for you. For those of who are still in hard situations, hang in there.

I appreciate the advice. Yeah basically there is no other way I think other than to assert my boundaries. I will have a look at the website and see what it says about the subject. I also asked my Mum to read 'Walking on Eggshells' since that could help - she will understand a little better.
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2019, 06:23:29 AM »

Thanks again folks. For those of you who have had happy endings, I'm so pleased for you. For those of who are still in hard situations, hang in there.

I appreciate the advice. Yeah basically there is no other way I think other than to assert my boundaries. I will have a look at the website and see what it says about the subject. I also asked my Mum to read 'Walking on Eggshells' since that could help - she will understand a little better.

Make sure to tell your mom (and dad) to keep your suspicions about BPD to yourselves. 

If your uBPDw hears that you think she's borderline, or are telling family members she's borderline, you're in for a whole
other type of misery (there are threads about that here), as she will deny it angrily and start making all sorts of allegations about your mental state, and telling everyone she knows that you're borderline.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 08:51:47 AM »

Yes, be sure to tell them to keep quiet about BPD. And I would suggest being careful who you tell what. I was a little too talkative with some members of my family and they now hate my uBPDh and refuse to have anything to do with him -- which has complicated things even further.

Anyway, I've been in the same boat you're in. My family has always been a sore subject for my husband, but when he was in a big dysregulation phase last year -- whoo boy. Any trigger. Any upset. Any annoyance he found a way to turn it around and somehow connect it to my family.

They're not perfect. We're a very big but kind of reserved family. H is a major introvert. So, the large number of people (many of them noisy kids) caused him to sort of close off at family gatherings. My family members are also shy and they felt awkward about approaching him since waves of discomfort and "don't talk to me" were coming off him. Failings on both sides where they never really connected. They were nice to him, though. And he always enjoyed my parents and one of my sisters (she's developmentally delayed) when we saw them solo.

When he was in his phase, though, he was constantly accusing me of taking their side. Saying I was too tied at the apron strings. I put them first. They're all horrible people. I should just cut them off. He insisted cutting family off for 6 months or so is perfectly normal and everyone does it. At one point, he even insisted that my father must have molested me. Thankfully, my parents don't know about that one.

H has come to a much healthier place with all that, thank goodness. But I still fear that this could all come back up again, especially since most of my sisters have declared they want nothing to do with him. Now that I know about BPD, though, I no longer totally blame myself. And I've learned about boundaries and won't fall for the manipulations anymore (he convinced me to write a letter to my parents telling them about all the things they've done wrong -- they were shaken to the core and I felt awful).

I'll just back up the others. Stay strong. Maintain boundaries. You're definitely not alone.
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 10:31:18 PM »

...
what does any spouse want? to know that their partner puts them first. to know that their partner is "on their side", has their back. to know that partnership isnt threatened.

in order to resolve this, it will require a lot of listening as to what is really driving it, and it could be a combination of things.

speaking generally (and depending on what drives it), it could take some reassurance. it could take doing some big or small things to demonstrate that you prioritize your wife and her feelings. it could take some listening, and letting her blow off steam. it could take some creative finesse, maybe your parents stay in a hotel so theyre more comfortable, and you all plan things together, that your wife has some role in.
...
So, from my own experience, I have to respectfully disagree with the approach you've laid out here, once removed.   

This (call it "the good faith approach") was the same approach I took after things got really nasty the first time with a major fight during a visit from my mom and SD: XW screaming at my mom, then sobbing hysterically in other rooms of the house - making sure we could all hear her of course - and after my mom left, unhinged screaming matches with me that went on for days on end; she really wouldn't drop it.  The cause?  My mom didn't take her shoes off when my XW asked her (not very nicely, FTR), and made a mildly mocking comment about "there's too many rules in this house" while taking her shoes off.  That was it.

Our son had just turned 1, and while my gut feeling that this was all wrong, she (my XW) was not being honest or up front about her behavior, and was being manipulative and intentionally creating this entire conflict, I STILL felt honor bound to try to find ways make this work for our son's sake.

So we went to MC, and the counselor suggested much the same approach as above: make sure to put your wife first, reassure her, discuss feelings, work out compromises, etc. while also telling my XW that my mom (her MIL) was 3,000 miles away most of the time, and to drop it, and not string conflicts out like this. 

Well, that works with a normal, non-disordered spouse.

When dealing with a pwBPD, it just leads to endless, and escalating conflict as it goes along.

Every reasonable suggestion I made would be countered by inconsistent demands, and eventually screaming and fighting when I noted the inconsistency and accused my XW of acting in bad faith.  And, that's when she'd really take things to a crazy place, claiming the fact that I defended my mom showed I'd rather sleep with my mom than her, and my mom was a predator and a deviant, and other bizarre allegations. 

These are (were) clearly the thoughts and actions of a disordered mind; trying to "meet her halfway" and compromise and "put her first" lead nowhere I could tolerate going. 

If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't have engaged with her at all on this, and simply dictacted my decisions regarding family to her.  Giving her an inch, she'd take a mile (a mile straight to hell). 

Maybe that would've lead my marriage to end sooner than it did, but maybe that wouldn't have been a bad thing, I don't know.  I pretty much knew at that point (a year and a half into it) that I was not going to be able to stay married to her and grow old with her; it went on for another 4 years though. 
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 06:29:41 AM »


I used to feel "obligated" as well to show a great example. 

So..let's say there is an argument and FFw is 90% wrong and FF is 10% wrong.  I used to be deliberate about examining my own behavior and "owning" it and asking forgiveness.   Even if FFw didn't.  I figured it would show me the "bigger" person an and example to follow.

Well...we were having a conversation and I remembered something I wanted to apologize for..ask forgiveness for...and when I did my wife laughed and said some other horrible things.  Then denied she said what she said.  I had it recorded.

Anyway...that was the last time I asked forgiveness for anything...and I doubt I ever will again.  I can't imagine a situation where I would change. 

Yep..a devout Christian just typed that. 

I would still encourage others to try the "good faith" responses first and also be diligent about seeing what the pwBPD does in return.  Ask yourself if the relationship improved or deteriorated by using "good faith". 

Not just one time..but look at trends over time.

Good thread.  Keep it up!!

FF
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 08:58:25 AM »

Deteriorated.

My thinking is that it plugs into black and white thinking. in the mind of a pwBPD each player is either guilty.... or not guilty.... there is no grey. Admitting your 10% guilt = 100% guilty. It's also rescuing to a certain extent, rescuing them from the potential guilt of being 'wrong' or 'bad'. Accepting wrongdoing lumps all blame onto the "perpetrator"..... YOU.... ME.

I do still admit blame, however, very carefully and concisely, knowing full well what the outcome may be. I'd rather live knowing I'd had the integrity to be open and honest, something she is unable to achieve..... and that's not a slight on anyone who doesn't make themselves accountable to their spouse.

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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2019, 11:22:00 AM »

Very interesting thread which I was drawn to in order to try to get inside the mind of my brother (i'm his twin sister), who has a wife with bpd traits and sees my relationship with him as a threat. Seems that in private she plants seeds of doubt in his mind about me and my parents while simultaneously keeping a mostly composed face when she is in our company. She likely remains composed because we do a lot for her and she doesn't want to have that taken away from her. Everything seems carefully calculated to meet her needs but to feel secure she needs my brother to always have some doubts about us. Oz2016 you said that since you got together your partner made it a mission to break the bond between you and your parents. That's a very serious red flag and you must have known it. Why did you ignore it? In psychological terms, you let the dragon of chaos in right there at that moment. If she is trying to brake your FOO bonds, she is not capable of considering your feelings, which is correct because BPD's are egocentric. She is locked inside herself, a prisoner of her own mind.

Even phone calls with my parents are hard. My partner hovers around and starts to get angry if I take more than half an hour to talk to them. I can't feel comfortable talking to them while she's around - it actually feels more like a hostage video than a genuine conversation.
My brother's situation also. Your intuition/gut feeling is delivering you a message - you are a hostage, could lead to 'stockholm syndrome'. You are tolerating what you know to be wrong according to standard human ethics and enabling your own mistreatment. Do the natural thing, that your god-given intuition and gut instinct tells you. You are already aware of the problem but you need the courage to speak your mind. Stand up to her. Show that you have some values and integrity, that you know right from wrong. Don't ever negotiate with irrationality - what kind of reality is that? Don't be the devil's advocate.

I have a strong suspicion that she wants me to break off all contact with my family, because then I would be easier to control. Every time I try to talk to her about it she explodes.
My brother has the same 'problem' and his inability to stand up to her means that the chaos extends to other people in his family. This is what happens when people don't take responsibility and don't stand for what is right; there is no peace and everything that is good is destroyed because one person isn't acting with integrity (brother). Basically if you ignore any red flags you invite chaos, if you take responsibility you can have peace/order. I'm intrigued because of my brother's passivity, but what is it that makes you stay or not consider your options? What are your fears? She is robbing you of a basic level of happiness. I agree with Notwendy[b/] in what she suggested as a possible strategy to deal with this, but the fact remains that if you have to negotiate with her unreasonable demands then she has power over you. This is not an advice to stay/leave, but I just want to know your inner thinking in the hope that I may gain some understanding.

Best wishes.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 11:41:55 AM by Jareth89 » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2019, 12:13:06 PM »

Oz2016 you said that since you got together your partner made it a mission to break the bond between you and your parents. That's a very serious red flag and you must have known it. Why did you ignore it? In psychological terms, you let the dragon of chaos in right there at that moment. If she is trying to brake your FOO bonds, she is not capable of considering your feelings, which is correct because BPD's are egocentric. She is locked inside herself, a prisoner of her own mind.

Million dollar question. I could have asked the same of my father. I also know from dealing with co-dependency that I submitted my own feelings and boundaries to keep the peace in my own relationship ( to a milder degree, did not include my family)

I will answer from my own perspective that- we don't get involved in these kinds of relationships if we have healthy boundaries in the first place. Where do we learn them? From our own families. People who are raised with dysfunction and poor boundaries don't often get the chance to see an example of emotionally healthy relationships and so don't recognize the dysfunction in theirs.

What makes these relationships different is that they are romantic and sexual. Many times the partner ignores red flags because this part of the relationship is so good--- at the moment. You probably see your SIL more logically and objectively than your brother does, because he's in love with her.

What makes you different from your brother? It isn't unusual for siblings to be affected in different ways. Gender, which parent is disordered, the relationship of the disordered parent to the child, the role in the family ( scapegoat, golden child ) and the child's own resilience influence the effect.
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2019, 02:25:24 PM »

This issue comes up many times on this forum. I'm sure people with more experience than I will post some of their experiences and advice.(My husband's ex-wife is uBPD/BPD and attempted to drive a wedge between him and his family, but he stood strong and it did not happen)

When your husband stood up to his uBPD ex-wife, how did she react? What ultimately caused the divorce?
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2019, 06:03:05 AM »

Thanks again folks. For those of you who have had happy endings, I'm so pleased for you. For those of who are still in hard situations, hang in there.

I appreciate the advice. Yeah basically there is no other way I think other than to assert my boundaries. I will have a look at the website and see what it says about the subject. I also asked my Mum to read 'Walking on Eggshells' since that could help - she will understand a little better.

0z2016, in your relationship what is it about this woman that makes you accommodate her insanity? In other words, what will you miss if she isn't there anymore. What does she give you that forces you to overlook that she can't function behaviourally on a basic adult level. I mean, for me in relationships if the guy can't behave properly I don't even look at him. Behaviour is a sign of maturity, and it's embarrassing to be dating someone who can't conduct themselves properly for whatever reason. What needs does she meet for you that makes you overlook her massive behavioural flaws? At the top of this page you mentioned 'staying healthy'. Well you are having to shield yourself against your partner's craziness in order to stay healthy! Staying healthy is becoming a conscious struggle for you (and your loved ones)! The person that you are in a relationship with should not make it a battle for you to stay healthy. There are so many red flags. You can set down your boundaries, but you shouldn't have to use a 'special toolkit' to interact with someone. What if she doesn't like your boundaries. I mean the very fact that you are having to set down 'boundaries' which other normal people regard as basic principles of civilised human behaviour that do not need to be pointed out to them, is troubling! Is she an asset to your family....is she a paragon of human virtue? Best wishes.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 06:08:12 AM by Jareth89 » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2019, 08:55:48 AM »

Staff only

This thread has reached the posting limit and is now locked. Part 2 is here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=338433.0
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