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Author Topic: An honest brain dump of frustration with the cycles  (Read 118 times)
Fewer than 3 Posts
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2

« on: May 07, 2021, 12:33:26 AM »

Honestly... I’m frustrated and tired. My husband has undiagnosed unconventional bpd. I love him deeply. He also frustrates me. I understand that it’s not his fault but at some point he does need to accept responsibility. He doesn’t have to stay married to me or co-parent our child. No one is holding him here.  But if he does and he says he does, then at some point he needs to seek out ways he can do those things without emotionally abusing us or at the very least not  keep us strapped into our seats on the rollercoaster of his cycles. I’m neurodivergent- I have  ADHD and I’m autistic. Neither of these were diagnosed until recently because I have been so good at masking since early childhood and am very introverted  so I made it through school by getting good grades and flying under the radar undetected. Up until this point this left me vulnerable to gaslighting & believing his lies about my apparent selfishness and weak character. I need a lot more alone time than the average human to recalibrate; otherwise I experience distressing thoughts, burnout symptoms, meltdowns, extreme exhaustion, physical pain, and so on. Building on the foundation my parents inadvertently  laid by not understanding neurodivergence in girls (to be fair not many did in the 80s & 90s), my husband had me completely convinced I was a self absorbed, rude, inconsiderate vile human. I’ve always carried a sense of “I don’t think anyone is right about what’s really going on with me” and sought therapy for the 4th time  in my life. This time I was fortunate enough to find a therapist who was able to wade through the masking and distractions and pinpoint the root cause. She’s helped me learn to use tools and build my self confidence such that I now use my particular brain as an asset and don’t allow it to shift into burnout mode. My point is that I understand...fully understand.. that folks with bpd are wired differently. They can’t help it anymore than I can’t help gagging at most foods or becoming overstimulated at parties. But I’ve done an incredible amount of hard work to be able to recognize overstimulation, decide which tool is appropriate for that situation and apply it. My husband instead seems to expect I’ll cater to him for the rest of his life because this is just how he is. And that’s unfair. I’m not asking him to change or insinuating he’s flawed.. I’m asking him to learn to cope better. He has every right to feel whatever he feels. I have no right to tell him how to feel. He doesn’t have a right to project that onto me and expect that I’ll process and manage his emotions for him. When our preschool age child is surpassing him in emotional intelligence and coping skills, there’s a problem. Mother’s Day is this weekend and he’s been an absolute jerk most of the  week- oscillating between the silent treatment and cutting remarks about how I’m ignoring him or an alcoholic or creating scenarios in his head about my weekend plans that contradict the true plans that we’ve discussed multiple times. That said he’s also had a couple  moments of genuine  vulnerability this week and I’m proud of him for that. His mother is a huge trigger and holidays are her favorite time to shine the light on herself. She has npd and bpd (heavier on the npd) and is truly the most selfish human I’ve ever met. She is a master manipulator and there’s no length she won’t go to for attention or to get the substances she abuses.  So it’s normal for him to struggle around this time of year. But I still feel angry when he asked what i want for Mother’s Day and I said nothing I just wanted to work in my garden and not be interrupted by our 3 year old 100x an hour. He responded by saying yeah “nothing” but actually you want a lot of things and you’ll be pissed when I don’t buy you a bunch of stuff (his mom makes life miserable if she doesn’t get gifts and things she wants). I pointed out that I rarely if ever  ask for gifts and he did stop. But it’s hard to constantly have him project his anger at his mother onto me when she and I are complete opposites, and I’ve been a stable and reliable source of love and support for him for 16 years.
The truth is as I’ve  been working with my therapist to improve my co dependent behaviors, set boundaries and understand how to communicate with him better, he’s come a long way and he is a much more open and vulnerable person in the past year than he was for the prior 15 years. This gives me a lot of hope. I know there’s a hurt, scared child hiding inside the rough exterior of this man. But I can’t be the only one working to find more tools. His inner peace is not my or my sons responsibility. It’s his. I wish there was a way to show him that the work is worth it.
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.

Cat Familiar
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 5927

« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 11:57:14 AM »

It wasn’t until I read Aspergirls https://www.amazon.com/Aspergirls-Empowering-Females-Asperger-Syndrome/dp/1849058261/ref=asc_df_1849058261/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312132020328&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12638995229130688387&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032610&hvtargid=pla-436570250341&psc=1

a few years ago that I recognized that many of the issues I had growing up and into adulthood had gone unrecognized due to Asperger syndrome being described in the literature as more relevant to males.

Like you, I learned to cover and adapt. And in doing so, I learned how to successfully fit in and avoid circumstances that can be distressing for me, like big parties where I know no one. One side benefit of the lockdown is that these events are not occurring in my social circle. The only way I can comfortably navigate big parties is to utilize the skills I learned when I worked as a reporter and start “interviewing” fellow partygoers. It allows me to endure the experience feeling less stressed, but still at an emotional cost.

So you understand that due to your mental makeup, accommodations need to be made so that you can thrive. And you realize it’s the same with your husband. He has acting out behaviors that he doesn’t seem motivated to understand or control.

You have an advantage because you’re good at focusing your mind and are inspired to learn and grow. People with BPD have an unstable self image and the idea of change is frightening to them. Most are very reluctant to either seek therapy or pursue it to the point where it actually makes their lives easier.

So where does that leave you? You are already working on strengthening your boundaries. I would suggest you learn how to “thicken your skin” so his insults and unkind words just roll off without leaving a mark.

When I first started doing that I felt like I was being selfish or narcissistic, insults that BPD people, including my mom and former husband, had leveled at me to get me to bend to their will. Now that I’ve been doing that for a while, if my husband accuses me of being self absorbed, I heartily agree with a laugh. It’s really defused any potential insult and has made our lives almost conflict-free.

If you don’t get upset by his behavior, he’s likely to do it less. As you’ve mentioned, he expects you to process his emotions, and people with BPD and their permeable boundaries, will project their emotions onto you, displace their anger towards others onto you, and as some here often say, vomit their emotions onto you.

If you can put on your psychic raincoat and hold your umbrella, you will stay safe and dry from his outbursts.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 12:19:47 PM by Cat Familiar » Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
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