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Author Topic: >My son is dating someone who we (and our therapist) suspects has BPD  (Read 220 times)
Lake Lady
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
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« on: October 21, 2021, 10:25:01 AM »

Our 24 year old son started dating someone, who we suspect has BPD, 7 months ago.  Things moved extremely fast and our family is now torn apart.  She has isolated him and he hasn't spoken with us in over 2 months, because we told him we were worried about some of her behaviors/actions (red flags) and that we were concerned at how fast things were moving.  We have found out from one of his friends that she has moved in with him recently.  Also, his savings has been almost depleted and he was always a big saver.  Very fiscally responsible.
The only communication we are allowed with him is via email, here and there.  My husband and I have been seeing a family therapist to help us navigate through this.  We have offered for him and even her to join us but he (they) will not.  He agreed to meet with us, with her present....but not in front of a therapist.  Our therapist has advised us not to do this as things may blow up and make things worse if we do not have somebody facilitating the discussion.  We were an extremely close family before she came along and we have felt like we have been grieving the loss of our son over the past 2 + months.  So worried and don't know where to turn.  I know he is an adult and we can't control him, but we are so worried that she will ruin him.  I don't mean to sound insensitive to her disorder at all.  I am just worried like crazy about our son.  
Any advice would be much appreciated!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 11:38:16 AM by Cat Familiar » Logged
Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Sancho
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2021, 05:28:33 PM »

This is heart-breaking for you. There are others who have posted here who have had/are having the same experience.

It is really good that you have a therapist to guide you at this point.

In talking to your son I imagine you relied on your close bond to ensure that it was a private conversation. Unfortunately when these things are told to someone with BPD - or sometimes a partner without BPD - it creates that position of pushing the person into a choice - family or me!

You will be feeling so sad and anxious at the moment. It is good that you can appreciate the difficulties of the BPD person, when you are so distressed by what is happening to your family.

Thinking about what I would do . . . .

I would just use the email - not too frequently - to chat about ordinary things. Just to keep your son in your family loop, and also connected to ordinary - ie not emotional - things.

BPD people have intense emotions. Keeping things calm and ordinary can be an antidote.

I would also double check my emails to make sure there was nothing that could be construed as criticism of the girlfriend - that would probably mean the emails would be stopped.

All this has been so fast. That is often the way - and things often change too, just as quickly.
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Lake Lady
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 11:10:42 AM »

Sancho,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply and advice.
We received some good news this morning, actually.  Our son (and the girlfriend) have agreed to meet us for therapy.  He found a therapist himself and the two of them are going to meet first, then the next session will be my husband and myself, and then all 4 of us.  This is a huge step.  I am actually surprised that she (the girlfriend) agreed.  We will see if she ends up sticking to it.

In response to your comment about the emails possibly having criticism about the girlfriend, I made that mistake early on when our son first requested for "space" from us and wouldn't accept our phone calls or texts.  My initial email to him was full of emotion (reacting) and I said some things that weren't very nice.  No name calling or anything like that, but definitely that could be labeled as criticism.  My husband did the same in the form of a text to him. We take full blame and responsibility for that.  We were hurt and were reacting to his cutting us off.

I am hopeful that this therapy will help us start repairing our relationship.  I am just so very curious how she is going to act during it all.

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Sancho
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2021, 05:55:56 AM »

That is really good news. It is such a difficult journey - understanding BPD and working out how to relate to someone with BPD.

It will be a steep learning curve and reading posts here I think should be a great help.

People here talk about 'boundaries' - so its well worth thinking about those before engaging.

The other thing is that the bpd person is like someone who has no protective layer - so that things that you or I might ignore can trigger intense feelings of being rejected, or rebuffed in some way.

I so hope things get off to a more positive start now!
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