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Author Topic: ex-partners of someone with BPD who have kids together  (Read 281 times)
liminalala
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« on: May 10, 2022, 07:49:31 AM »

I will start this off by saying I am a therapist. That being said, my stbx seems to be completely snowing his therapists. He's on his second one. Either that, or he's lying to me about what they say to him. He always uses them as one of his "alliance partners" to support how terrible I am when we're in an argument. "well x agrees with me" or "x thinks that you're blah blah blah too". So I'm wondering if most therapists do not recognize borderline behavior unless it's they're niche? It's not my niche but I guess I've had enough experience that I usually recognize what's going on with my clients within about 3 sessions. It would not surprise me if he's both misrepresenting what i say to his therapist and then misrepresenting what she says to me. how do people with bpd ever get better if they do this?? i don't care for the sake of our relationship, that's over. but i do care for the sake of our child.
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liminalala
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2022, 08:15:07 AM »

 Where y'all at?
I am newly separated from BPD husband of almost 16 years (together for 20!). We have a child together and I'm so lost at how to navigate this. I'm already exhausted (it took a looong time for the actual separation to kick off so this thing has been dragging on for awhile). Every week is a cycle of idealization/devaluation although currently we seem to be stuck in devaluation. Our daughter seems to feel bad for her dad as he paints himself the victim in all of this. I'm just so tired and want to protect my child from his manipulation/poor judgement as much as possible.
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drumdog4M
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2022, 08:31:32 AM »

Hi. I'm no expert, but my sense is that many therapists are reluctant to diagnose BPD or at least disclose the diagnosis to the client. He might well be lying to his therapists as well. Without a  thorough assessment, my sense is that it a high-functioning pw-BPD is hard to detect, particularly outside the context of a close interpersonal relationship. In addition, an individual might have only certain BPD traits or co-morbidities that they hide behind. My ex did that, attributing her behavior to other disorders. Ultimately she revealed a past BPD diagnosis to me, which validated my own research and observations.
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kells76
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2022, 12:01:08 PM »

Hi liminalala, welcome. You're definitely not the only MH professional on this site who has been in a relationship with a pwPD, so you're among friends.

Excerpt
"well x agrees with me" or "x thinks that you're blah blah blah too". So I'm wondering if most therapists do not recognize borderline behavior

Excerpt
Either that, or he's lying to me about what they say to him.

My sense based on my experience with my DH's kids' mom (strong BPD traits but not diagnosed) is absolutely the latter.

Whatever is going on in the session, the communication being conveyed to you will never be the whole, accurate, unskewed picture. It's easy for a pwBPD to "pick and choose" or "selectively hear" or "share a few factually true points" to give you one sense of what's up, when really, if you were there, hearing the exact same words from the T, hearing everything, and getting the whole picture, you'd have a 180 degree different sense.

I no longer ask the kids' mom for updates on anything. I go directly to the source as much as I can. Whether she "means to" lie/misrepresent/forget/distort or not doesn't matter to me any more; I've had enough experiences with her to know that whatever words she says or writes I can't trust.

So that being said, sure, it's possible for a PD client to "snow" a professional, perhaps if that professional "loves the story" or "hurts for them" or whatever, IDK. But that seems way less likely than your stbx portraying "what they said" to you in a way that isn't true.

Excerpt
how do people with bpd ever get better if they do this?

Weirdly, it's not completely impossible that perhaps the T is on to him, yet is still in the "trustbuilding" phase? Once he stops talking to you about how the T is on his side together against you... that's when I'd suspect that the T is shifting from "trustbuilding" to "growth/change". If the T becomes "evil incarnate" and he drops the T again, that's when I'd guess that the T was pushing for some introspection or "connect the dots about your choices".

If your stbx can have enough trust built with the T to stick with the T through the discomfort, then yes, there is a chance for him to get better. But it's up to him.

Anyway, whenever I see posts on here about people encountering "my pwBPD told me that their therapist said I was the problem", I just immediately want to give the feedback that -- that is so much less likely than the alternative. So I hope that helps you as you start asking these questions.

Again, welcome --

kells76
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SinisterComplex
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2022, 07:14:27 PM »

I will start this off by saying I am a therapist. That being said, my stbx seems to be completely snowing his therapists. He's on his second one. Either that, or he's lying to me about what they say to him. He always uses them as one of his "alliance partners" to support how terrible I am when we're in an argument. "well x agrees with me" or "x thinks that you're blah blah blah too". So I'm wondering if most therapists do not recognize borderline behavior unless it's they're niche? It's not my niche but I guess I've had enough experience that I usually recognize what's going on with my clients within about 3 sessions. It would not surprise me if he's both misrepresenting what i say to his therapist and then misrepresenting what she says to me. how do people with bpd ever get better if they do this?? i don't care for the sake of our relationship, that's over. but i do care for the sake of our child.

Welcome to the fam. You are certainly amongst friends here. So a few things...

- Smear campaign...that is pretty much what is going on.

- A simple answer to your question...most don't get better. Some can and do, but it requires extensive work. DBT can and does work.

- Most therapists are overwhelmed trying to figure out what is wrong with their patients and many therapists find themselves stuck in a quagmire of thinking I can't diagnose this patient as this because of this and this, but it's possible it could be this and this. In essence, analysis paralysis sets in. Typically what I have noticed from research and case studies is that many therapists will make a diagnosis, but stop at that diagnosis when there is more to the story. Sure, a blanket statement, but I don't think there is a right or wrong answer because just as it depends on the individual when it pertains to a mental health disorder it also depends on the individual in reference to the therapist. Additionally, it is very hard to diagnose Borderline Personality Disorder because Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder could be at play, it could be Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc. There is overlap and finding the separators becomes very tough. Although, those who have specialized niches will typically be more accurate in their assessments because they are looking for specific criteria from the start or they are looking for disqualifiers and perhaps will recognize they need to send the patient to a different therapist for a better read on what is going on.

-Lastly, you are on detaching, but you are more concerned with co-parenting and the relationship between your ex, you, and your child. Perhaps we should have this thread moved to a different board for better overall responses.

Regardless, keep your head up, live your truth, and of course please be kind to you and take care of yourself.

Cheers and best wishes!

-SC-
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Through Adversity There is Redemption!
PeteWitsend
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2022, 12:59:50 PM »

I will start this off by saying I am a therapist. That being said, my stbx seems to be completely snowing his therapists. He's on his second one. Either that, or he's lying to me about what they say to him. He always uses them as one of his "alliance partners" to support how terrible I am when we're in an argument. "well x agrees with me" or "x thinks that you're blah blah blah too".
In my experience, BPDxw would "forum shop" until she found a T willing to do nothing more than listen to her complaints about me and validate them.

This particular T was also the only T she said she'd be willing to go to for marriage counseling, and lied when I said I thought it was unprofessional for him to agree to see us both, after she had already been seeing him for individual therapy.  She claimed he was the only T she could find willing to see us on the weekends when our baby sitter was available.

In any event, we went a couple times, and the guy basically just sat there, and handed us literature on marital communication, and didn't seem to be bothered when I approached the sessions in good faith and brought up concerns I had and BPDxw stood up and screamed at me that I should go ahead and divorce her already... like he just sat there yawning. 

Oh, and he asked me to proofread his book for him.  Idiot. 

So I'm wondering if most therapists do not recognize borderline behavior unless it's they're niche? It's not my niche but I guess I've had enough experience that I usually recognize what's going on with my clients within about 3 sessions.
I've read - unfortunately I do not remember where - there are a couple things going here:
1) they may have trouble getting insurance to cover sessions if BPD is the diagnosis; apparently insurers don't like it.

2) BPD is notoriously difficult to treat, and so they're reluctant to diagnose something they know will be an exercise in futility.

I recall reading that a couple years back.  It seems awareness of BPD has been increasing though, so maybe the reluctance to diagnose it will decline as well.

It would not surprise me if he's both misrepresenting what i say to his therapist and then misrepresenting what she says to me. how do people with bpd ever get better if they do this?? i don't care for the sake of our relationship, that's over. but i do care for the sake of our child.
Apparently there are success stories out there, but I haven't actually encountered any here, and for a BPDer, the most common response to learning about BPD is either denial or projecting and claiming the Non- in the relationship is the really disordered one, or otherwise to blame for the BPDer's behavior
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yeeter
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2022, 07:05:24 AM »

What is the purpose of labeling?

Especially when the person you are communicating with may not understand the label at all.  And even if they did, they would not understand what 'level' of disorder or how it manifests.

Hence usually the advice is to focus on behavior and practical ways of managing both yourself and the situation (understanding that you can not 'manage/control' another person so acceptance that is just what it is).
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BKDamon

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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2022, 09:25:23 AM »

In my experience, BPDxw would "forum shop" until she found a T willing to do nothing more than listen to her complaints about me and validate them.

That’s also what I’ve seen with my uBPDx. She’s been in some sort of therapy almost since I met her 17 years ago and never really found any sort of relief from it. She’s seen a dozen of therapists and has admitted that she usually tries to be "the teacher’s pet" (sic) and to tell them what they want to hear. I don’t think therapists really want to hear anything specific, but whatever, you see how she approaches it. The thing is, all she really wants is someone who listens to her complaints and validates her. She admittedly doesn’t want to change, even if she knows there is something "wrong" with her. It would be to difficult, she says.

In our last year together, we saw two different couple therapists. She said she read things about domestic violence and wondered if I was violent. I’m usually seen as gentle and caring by most people, but I’m not really self-confident and I question myself quite often. And above all, I really wanted to take her concern seriously. So we agreed to see a first therapist, whom had seen our two oldest kids for different issues. After a couple of sessions, the therapist said she didn’t hear or see any sign of violence, and that disagreeing with s.o. is not being violent. Well after that, my ex never called this therapist again. Not for her, not for us, not for our kids, who went to another therapist instead.

After I discovered that she cheated on me, we agreed on trying to save our relationship, so we saw a second therapist. All seemed to be going well, the therapist said that we were making progress, my ex said that she was happy to see me again as the man she fell in love this, etc. But I found out that she was in fact still cheating on me. A couple weeks after I left her, I learned from a mutual friend that she criticized our last couple therapist for not being into this or that, meaning whatever new pop-psychology theory that she read about somewhere and that she hijacked to explain how her cheating, lying and manipulating is in fact normal. We separated a little more than a year ago, and she already went through two other therapists.

A couple of months ago, we went to family mediation to try to find an agreement on custody and financial issues. The discussion was sometimes a little heated, and she would just play the victim saying that me disagreeing with her felt like punches to her stomach, and that she didn’t want this kind of relationship anymore. One of the mediator said something like : "but can you see that BKD’s concerns are legitimate?". We never went back to family mediation after that. She cancelled the next sessions.

Either that, or he's lying to me about what they say to him.

I agree with kells76. It’s probably that. Maybe three months ago, my ex sent me an email saying that our kids’ new therapist said that if they misbehaved when they were with her, it was because I didn’t allow them to express their feelings when they were at my place. As a consequence, the therapist allegedly said that when the kids were with me, they should call their mom after three or four consecutive days of not seeing her (and vice-versa). I responded to my ex that what she described did not correspond in any way to the family dynamics I experienced at my place and that I would talk about it to the therapist, which I was supposed to see the day after with my eldest daughter. My ex responded that it wasn’t necessary, that she would find another way if I disagreed with the therapist’s (alleged) proposition. I didn’t really delve into the subject with the therapist after that, just mentioned it and her response was: "she really has to stop with all that. I though it was clear". Again, I didn’t insist on the matter, because the kids really like this therapist and I feared that my ex would just stop bringing them to her if this particular issue went to far.

That’s my two cents of the matter from my own experience. Hope this helps a little.
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