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Author Topic: New to this forum and in a romantic relationship (engaged) to a person with BPD  (Read 51 times)
itsmorning
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: We are engaged to be married in September 2020
Posts: 1


« on: August 01, 2020, 03:03:32 PM »

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I don't know what to do.  I am engaged to be married to a man (47) with diagnosed BPD.  He is educated (pursuing his doctorate) and has even served in a State level political office previously.  His in employed part time as a security guard and is studying ministry.  He seems to be highly self aware and constantly speaks of using the tools that he has garnered over the past 20 years in coping with his BPD.  He suffers from panic attacks though mainly when he sleeps alone (initially he told me that we couldn't sleep in the same bed because doing so gave him attacks but that was disproven - in fact, he only has them now when he sleeps alone).

My frustration is that we can't go three days without some sort of  'crucial conversation'.  He likes to have lists of grievances that he wants to 'calmly discuss'.  The only problem is that he began quite early on accusing me of having BPD or some other mental condition.  I have been in therapy around divorce but I have never been diagnosed with any mental condition outside of depression that was related to my divorce.  Having a 'calm discussion' is nearly impossible because everything is turned on and focused on me.  When his role is highlighted he refuses to acknowledge it.  This frustrates me and angers me and I often show it.  I won't be pushed around by his tools.  He has often said the he needs to be whipped in shape but I am not a coach - I don't want to whip anyone into anything.  As is apparently typical with many with BPD, he is highly sexual (but so am I).  The sex is great and loving.  He has no problem telling me that he loves me.  He always compliments me.  He helps around my home but I sense that he may try to drive a wedge between my family and me.

My 81 year old mother will be living with me soon.  My home is large and has a private apartment on the second level which is where she is excited about living.  I also have a 28 year old daughter who does not live with me.  She recently moved into a new apartment after staying with me while she looked for a new place.  She has a number of items here that she has been scheduling time to retrieve for several weeks - today she postponed again and I could tell this aggravated him.  Yesterday, he had some strange question about why I said that I was happy that she found someone and that I was happy because then she couldn't say anything to me.  He didn't understand that although I made that statement over a month ago.  He often brings things up out of the blue and wants to have a long discussion.  To me it feels as if he just wants to start conflict and project as well as show me how I somehow did something wrong.  Well, going back to yesterday, when talking about my daughter he kept repeating the same topic over and over and I finally told him that I don't owe him or anyone else explanations for how I choose to interact with my family.  A few times I rolled my eyes and let up exasperated breathes to which he said he didn't care about my demeanor but then when I began to stand up for myself (which I will always do) he told me that I had better watch myself because I was tredding on thin ice or something like that.  I am not afraid of him - period.
 He has never been violent (I checked his background) and if he EVER ACTED like he would become that way, I would have him hauled out of here so fast it would make his head spin.  I truly don't think he would ever do that and he has become very sad previously when I told him to put a butter knife away when he was going on and on about yet another perceived way I had wronged him.  He couldn't believe that I would think he would harm me and of course THAT because my problem.  Anyway, he then called my daughter a 'f---ing b---h' and said it as if it were fine that he did.  I was so enraged and shocked that I used a technique that we previously discussed that I would do if I had enough - the time out signal.  It was the first time I had done it and the look on his face was downright stunned and, to me, quite priceless.  That really sent me over the edge but I didn't argue.  In fact, I tried to give him examples of parent-child since he isn't a parent.  His reply was "but I have been a child" (honestly my thought at that moment was, "and you still are", but I didn't say anything).  He seemed quite relieved that I didn't just walk away but eventually I stopped talking, got up, took two Tylenol and retired to my room.  He was planning to buy us pizza but that exchange was my "enough moment" - I had lost my appetite.  He seemed shocked again and when purchasing the pizza still got half for me - I didn't eat it.  Today has been like no other day in our time together.  There has been little conversation and no laughter and little affection.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is his pulling away moment though he has said he is breaking pattern and not leaving.  I am the first person that he has introduced his family to and his second engagement (the first was years ago and to a woman who ended up cheating on him).  Help.  I want to be able to survive this because when he isn't wanting to have deep discussions (which he says is God fast tracking our relationship to cover everything and get us prepared to be a model couple for others), we have a good time. 

I apologize for the length of this but I have listened to videos and to him.  He has participated in talk therapy for 20 years but COVID-19 has halted that.  I just need to know how to deal with him when he is projecting and trying to make it seem as if I have BPD or whatever other diagnosis he comes up with (he also has a credential in pastoral counseling but I told him he is NOT my counselor and not to use his training in this house).

As you can see, I have spent time researching and I have listened to the suggestions of how to deal with someone with BPD when they experience a trigger.  What no one talks about is how to deal with a person with BPD who has been in counseling with talk therapy  and DST (?) AND has a treasure chest of tools that they
then use against other people.  How do I deal with this?

Thanks for listening.
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Rev
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Divorced
Posts: 480


The surest way to fail is to never try


« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 06:51:24 PM »

Hi there and welcome.

And good for you for reaching out before!

I would suggest something. When you feel ready - read this out loud to yourself in front of a mirror.

Maybe do it twice but not more than three times so that you don't become desensitized to then words.

What happens to you when you do this? 

The answer to your question is already in everything you have written.

Happy that you found us.

Rev
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