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Author Topic: How do you rebound after splitting behavior from your BPD spouse?  (Read 1057 times)
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« on: August 11, 2022, 12:09:18 PM »

TL;DR – How do you rebound after splitting behavior from your spouse?

I posted on here not too long ago and since then my BPDw just got a diagnosis of high functioning BPD from a psychiatrist which of course I’ve assumed for many years now. Unfortunately getting the diagnosis hasn’t really helped much which I also expected. I know I should really spend more time on here for support and to learn more, but I have the tendency to put my head in the sand when things are going well and try not to think of the “bad times” but sure enough when she has a bad day or we have a huge fight I’m left trying to put myself back together again. So, this is what brings me to you all for some guidance today.

I’ve been with my BPDw for almost 19 years and I’m beginning to realize the damage it has done to my own mental health. I never gave it much thought before because I had a really rough childhood with mental abuse which I always blamed for my depression and anxiety later in life. However, I’m seeing now that on top of all that I’m now laying down a new layer of trauma in dealing with her. I’m sure you’ve all experienced the splitting and heard lots of mean things. The problem is that given my history I internalize most of these comments and have had a hard time letting them go. After being married for almost 19 years she also knows most of my weaknesses and hot buttons too. So when there is a kernel of truth to some of the things she says while splitting it makes it that much harder to let it go.

To make matters worse, I'm an extremely logical person, an INTJ for those of you who have done personality types, and I have had an extremely tough time dealing with her BPD because its absolutely so illogical and I can never make sense of it. Over the years I unknowingly JADE-ed so many times trying to use logic to point out her unreasonableness only to make matters worse. And even though she has received this diagnosis and openly talked with me about it, she still insists I'm the one with the issues and that I should see a therapist (that's probably true, but for other reasons) and that I'm to blame for most of her "episodes" to begin with. She can't possibly acknowledge that she has ever done anything wrong or that her diagnosis of BPD has anything to do with our fights. But that's another issue I have to work through...

So, all that said, how have you all been able to focus on your mental health while dealing with a BPD spouse and trying to ignore all the things they say. I try to tell myself that she can’t control it, but sometimes things just strike a nerve, and I can’t forgive and forget so easily. I’m afraid that it’s eating me away inside and has impacted my self-esteem and self-worth to the point of no return. Thanks for listening...

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Cat Familiar
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2022, 04:08:00 PM »

INTJ here. Also grew up with some serious trauma in childhood…and had a BPD mom.

Two BPD husbands, though the second is mildly afflicted and is really a good guy when not impacted by his own internal demons. I’m well acquainted with depression, and have genetic markers for it, and recently discovered I’m low in an amino acid which is related to depression, which now corrected has made a big difference.

Until I arrived here, I was certain I could explain things well enough to work myself out of any jam. It worked with nearly everyone…with the notable exception of people with BPD. Yes, there’s no reasoning with their “logic” yet I still catch myself wanting to JADE.

Posting here, understanding BPD in more depth, seeing a therapist—all have helped, but perhaps the biggest impactful change has been to let go of caring what others think about me. Granted, it’s easier said than done.

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“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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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2022, 06:34:51 PM »

I am in 1.5 years. I started small when we dated. However, it just exploded once we got married. All the splitting and projections to the point where glasses were shattered and a point where I hit my head on two separate occasions. I have been advised these things by my therapist,
Sleep 7 hours
Hydration
Eating nutrition
Exercise 20 min
Once a week
     touch base with friends
     Lunch with colleagues
     Going to library or park
Maintain  hygiene 
Supplements
While the episodes are happening I try to remain calm, visualize ocean, if she belittles me I try to go back to a memory which proves that what she is saying is false. I try not to take it personally and be defensive. Hoping to get any kind of acknowledgment or validation from them about anything logical is hopeless. All I do is try to empathize. That backfires too. If I am too tired and I want peace I just agree. She is taking treatment. I have been told it will be three years to get her better. I am bidding my time.
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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2022, 01:12:37 PM »

I viewed a recent podcast by complex systems expert Chris Martenson (at PeakProsperity and author of The Crash Course to be revised in early 2023) where he stated there is a difference between being demoralized versus depression.  About 13 minutes into this link he described the difference.  Of course he's talking about our current global crises, not our sort of PD situations but I think it's a very interesting perspective... our stresses, especially as newcomers here, may not indicate we are depressed as much as we're demoralized.

https://rumble.com/v1pw4xh-system-failure-whats-coming-and-actions-you-can-take.html
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alterK
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2022, 03:16:55 PM »

Several suggestions: First, accept that this behavior on your W's part comes from things in herself she can't control. Often we're aware that, nasty as it is, it comes from a place of distress within her, and this stirs a little spark of compassion (sometimes guilt) within us. There is nothing you can do to alter the behavior, or heal the distress it comes from.

Second, you can walk away. She may follow you around the house, or at least her voice will, but she may quiet down if she knows you can't hear her. If she is like many people wBPD, her mood may change quickly, and if you rejoin her sometime later she may be perfectly cordial.

Third, you can continue with your own therapy. This will not solve the problem or bring you happiness, but if you have a therapist who is familiar with BPD you be able to cope better. If you are aware of vulnerabilities within yourself, you can work on those.
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2022, 05:05:39 PM »

“…….so illogical and I can never make sense of it. Over the years I unknowingly JADE-ed so many times trying to use logic to point out her unreasonableness only to make matters worse. “

Hello I’m sorry you’re going through this/ something that has been working for me is once I realized that you cannot solve and a logical problem using logic i felt a sense of freedom.

I’ve got to the place in life where I realize life is hard enough without having anyone giving you a hard time.
  it’s like if you’re in a boat and you’ve got a leak or two. Analogy  of our own problems in life and we bailed water out from time, exercise self-care kindness,  to time we’re still afloat.
  But if someone else is in the boat with you and they’re not rowing in the meanwhile drilling holes in the boat the whole time

There is a distinct  sinking feeling, and drowning is a distinct possibility.  Somehow people with BPD want to get in our  ‘boat’ ( life)  and then try to sabotage   it inadvertently instead of keeping their own boat in good order and enjoying the relationship.

You asked a very good question I can’t give a direct answer apart from …time alone away from the distortion to be in your own place and find happiness
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2022, 09:13:44 PM »

My husband's continual blaming did affect my self-esteem--but I've been on a journey of recovering myself. It feels great! So I don't think there is a point of no return, though it may feel that way.

You need to live the life you want to live, despite the protests you are likely to encounter from your wife. Take courage! Spend time with other people you enjoy being around. Balance out what your wife tells you with what you hear from friends, colleagues, a therapist.
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Couscous
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2022, 10:02:14 PM »

Cat, if may ask, which amino acid it is?
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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2022, 10:46:33 PM »

I wonder if Cat is writing about DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA)?  (my quick internet search)

Excerpt
DL-Phenylalanine, or DLPA for short, is a combination of two different forms of phenylalanine – D-Phenylalanine and L- Phenylalanine.

The D and L forms of phenylalanine have different beneficial effects on your body and brain.

L-Phenylalanine is used as a building block by your body to create a number of important proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters. This includes dopamine, norepinephrine and thyroid hormone – all of which are necessary for optimal brain and mental function.

D-Phenylalanine, on the other hand, inhibits the breakdown of endorphins. Endorphins are pain-relieving compounds that originate within your body.
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Cat Familiar
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2022, 10:37:16 AM »

 Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post) Way to go! (click to insert in post)

BINGO!!! ForeverDad, you got it!
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2022, 06:36:13 AM »

How to rebound? That's a tricky question. For me, since my H has quiet bpd, I can clearly see when he doesn't mean what he says vs when he does. From there on, I ignore it as much as I can, or do anything to not let it get to me. This can be venting in a journal, to a therapist, etc.

I've found that maintaining a sense of self has been the most difficult. Most of us tend to focus our entire lives on the other person, to the point where you begin to lose yourself. So for me, I am focusing on my life and my trajectory and what I want to do. It can be as simple as pursuing gardening, cooking, or even going on a daily walk until you build yourself up to do things that are of value to you. Don't let your SO's BPD define your life.

BPD IS illogical. It's been helpful for me to research and learn as much as I can about BPD, but at the end of the day I will never truly understand. So perhaps learning more tools can help you deal with your SO, but keep in mind that there will be so many questions you'll never have answers to nor will ever understand.

Do you have a therapist, support group, or friends you can talk to about this?
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2022, 10:58:52 AM »

It took me a long time to realize that the personal attacks are not personal. It does not mean, however, that you should take any verbal or emotional abuse. I have found that removing myself is necessary for my sanity. If my uBPDh goes off I go to my bedroom and shut the door. I will listen to music or a podcast on my phone to distract me. Or I will take a walk. I always tell him before I remove myself that I am not comfortable with the way he is talking or his behavior before I leave as opposed to just leaving which he takes as abandonment. I have found this helpful.
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Formerly known as broken person…


« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2022, 07:25:18 PM »


I’ve got to the place in life where I realize life is hard enough without having anyone giving you a hard time.
  it’s like if you’re in a boat and you’ve got a leak or two. Analogy  of our own problems in life and we bailed water out from time, exercise self-care kindness,  to time we’re still afloat.
  But if someone else is in the boat with you and they’re not rowing in the meanwhile drilling holes in the boat the whole time

There is a distinct  sinking feeling, and drowning is a distinct possibility.  Somehow people with BPD want to get in our  ‘boat’ ( life)  and then try to sabotage   it inadvertently instead of keeping their own boat in good order and enjoying the relationship.


Thanks for this analogy. I am drowning in self pity right now.
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2022, 11:08:12 AM »

This is one of those great threads to reread. I find the dsyregulation, splitting, shaming, silent treatments, etc. so exhausting. It's great to hear others remind me that it is illogical and it's better to work on yourself than trying to figure it all perfectly out. It "ain't" going to be perfect.

"Somehow people with BPD want to get in our  ‘boat’ ( life)  and then try to sabotage   it inadvertently instead of keeping their own boat in good order and enjoying the relationship."
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2022, 03:05:07 PM »

I appreciate your post. It's made me reflect on my own situation. At some point in my 10 year relationship I got tired of having to have, or feeling like I have to have my wife's BPD foremost in my mind to be able to survive. I dropped this for a long time and then realized I've been shrinking away from having a fulfilling life, or at least a fulfilling home life because asserting myself with someone who's BPD is like inviting abuse. Over Thanksgiving I was reminded by visiting family that my logical brain's  desire to calmly explain to my wife what her behavior is like or how it affects me will never resolve issues that arise because of her uBPD. (Or my sort of logical INF/TP brain.) They also reminded me that while I choose to be in the relationship I'm not responsible for her splitting or the meanness that borders on sadism. She calls it the "puerile joy" one gets from tearing someone else apart with hatefulness. So, she knows people act that way and almost certainly knows she does it even if she doesn't remember it after a splitting incident. Consequently, part of my holiday was spent getting tips and reminders about the skills I can use to rebound from the criticism and shaming that's soooo much a part of my life. Things like making sure I exercise, eat right, sleep, and don't give up people and pastimes I enjoy. I know I have been giving up too much, because she can't handle seeing me happy and engaged. So, there are things in my life I have to reclaim. The first thing I'm working on is exercise. Nothing big, just walking and riding my bike when spring gets here. Reading helps, too. I get to immerse myself in stories that have nothing to do with my life.

One of my big challenges is going to be getting back to doing projects on the house. That is doing things that will definitely get her attention and likely stir up some insecurities in her that she'll rage at me about. ... At the same time she's raging at me for not doing things around the house. Or raging at me because I'm not hiring it done because we really can't afford it (mostly because she's terrible with money). ... In this case I was reminded to set boundaries and then expect escalations in her destructive behaviours until the boundary is really set. They gave me some phrases: "I'm not going to talk to you while you're yelling/being disrespectful." "We need to take a break and talk after we've calmed down." Stuff like that. I struggle with this some, because my experience has been that her anger and insecurities don't dissipate with time. She *has* to give someone an emotional beating for those feelings to go away.

To me all of this doesn't make sense. But it has its own logic in the context of the mental illness. I still have problems processing incidents of splitting.  I'd love to say I understand her triggers. Often I don't and I'm taken completely by surprise. I am learning that she gets triggered by things at work and takes it out in me. I feel lucky that she's working full-time, so I'm not complaining about that. I just know that it's a lot of pressure for her. So, I steer clear for awhile it the end of her day. Or if she works late I'm thankfully in bed at the end of her work day.

Also, I have had to give up stuff I would have wished for in a relationship: true intimacy; a commitment to mutual respect; sharing each others' interests (my interests are stupid and a waste of her precious time, that is I'm only precious to her when I do what she wants); etc. Over time I have begun to realize that she has limited interests and curiosity. I'm the opposite, so my very nature takes her out of her comfort zone. I'm learning to cope better with the lack of shared interests. Honestly, I like a lot of her interests, so doing them isn't such a bad thing. But with my stuff I'm on my own, or she joins in and doesn't let me forget how much she hates it.

I guess as I write this I'm becoming aware that over time I have to determine what to accept and what not to accept. Her abuse is a not accept. Her not sharing in my interests is an accept. Me keeping my interests and not letting her shame or ridicule me out of them is key to my survival. I have to keep them close to the vest and not hold them out for her to destroy.. They're where I go to rebound.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2022, 04:09:14 PM »

Modron, where do you go to have your emotional needs met?
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2022, 10:24:33 AM »

Coucous that's a complex question. 

I need to start my response by sharing that a few months ago after about ten years of the horribleness of our relationship I let her know I was done. Once in a calm, reflective conversation when I told her I wanted a peaceful home, not one filled with her hate. And once in a huge blow up over the phone when I told her she couldn't be ugly to me anymore. Our day to day lives improved after that. My days no longer begin with her hate-filled rages. She may feel it, but she doesn't express it and take it out on me dawn to dusk.

That's doesn't mean she/we don't still don't have our moments.

I've learned that the more I keep my interests or activities that I know stress her out or that she doesn't like away from her the less I have to deal with the hatefulness. On the other hand, doing things that are her interests can be problematic, too. I'll give you a couple of for instances. Last month was my birthday, so she bought something for herself as my gift. She got her sister in on it, too. Now I knew she was buying this item, but I didn't know she was going to make it into my birthday gift. It was a fairly expensive item that was not a good match for our home and probably would have been ruined in days. I had talked to her about that, but she bought it anyway. She builds failure into a lot of things. Then she gets angry when something that isn't going to work the way she's built it up in her mind doesn't work. So, I had done the calmly explaining thing of what would likely go wrong to ruin this item. Then, it's delivered anyway AND I'm told it's my birthday present. So, with no regard for me or her sister or, really, herself she has bought this item that will be ruined in days into our home and it's my present. ... This situation is prime for triggering an extended period of rage. So, I addressed my concerned about it again. Got screamed at. Got my CPTSD triggered, but managed. Ultimately, the item was sent back after she had a conversation with her sister -who she tears me down to behind my back, except when she's doing it right in front of me. Then I was asked what I want for my birthday. Not being sure how genuinely this was asked, I pointed out that what I wanted wasn't a consideration the first time and that really I didn't want anything to begin with. (We had already planned an evening out with friends which was all I wanted.) And in that case getting my emotional needs met happened when I asserted myself by repeating that the purchase of the item was not going to turn out the way she envisioned and would be ruined. And I got to assert that I hadn't wanted anything other than our planned evening with friends. Bonus, doing this saved me days, weeks, and months of her raging about the failure of my birthday gift.

Another example, last night we went to an event. The event was related to artistic work she's done in the community. And, she was already struggling with feeling inadequate, because that's her default position. We'd known about this event and been mentioning it for a couple of weeks. Never made plans to have dinner before the event. Three hours before we have to be there I'm informed I've ruined the evening. I have no idea why I've ruined the evening. So I'm informed that the evening's dinner is all about me and I needed to pick where we were going. Didn't know that either. So I pick an Asian place. And the response is "But, I want salad." Okay, so I pick a place where I like the salads. Nope, I'm wrong. We went to the place she wanted to go to get a salad. I had the presence of mind not to make it an issue. By the end of dinner the evening was no longer ruined and I didn't have to deal with rage. If I had genuinely cared about the dinner that I had not known anything about for two weeks, then I would have employed the approaches for dealing with the BPD for asserting myself and setting boundaries. And then dealing with the fallout. Not worth it. And, bonus, after the event we got to have a lovely chat with a friend who'd been in the performance. Got bigger benefits from picking my battles -I was never going to win a battle that was triggered by her insecurities about going to this event that had nothing to do with dinner- rather than feeling set up and letdown by her about dinner and how I'd ruined the evening before it began.

See complex question. In these two instances my emotional needs were her least consideration. If I'd relied on her to get them met, I'd have been feeling really sad and angry, and probably been really reactive and cancelled the evenings. But, I found a away to avoid/dodge/diminish her ugliness and get the bigger benefits of having evenings out and seeing friends which was really the important thing to me. And that's what met my emotional needs.

As far as the intimate relationship between her and I, the cost is too high. It triggers all kinds of manipulation and sets the relationship back enormously. There's a boundary there somewhere that she cannot have crossed.

I do know that because of the shaming and criticism I've gotten for things I enjoy that she doesn't like or is insecure about I have shrunk, allowed myself to be diminished, and stopped doing those things. I'm trying to create avenues to get back to them. I have to keep in mind that the mere mention of them will elicit hatefulness. I need to do some projects around the house and those really trigger her. I know, I'll have to remain positive and do these things anyway because they are necessary or for the happiness they bring me.

It's weird to be in a situation where getting your emotional needs met starts with "Cool, I didn't get raged at for hours." But, that's pretty much the position I'm starting from beginning with understanding what my emotional needs are and the responsibility I have to myself and her for getting those met. It's a balancing act I did not know I would have to engage in. I have set aside any expectations that I'm in this relationship with someone who shares my interests or provides support for things we have to do. Once again if I get those things: bonus. And here we are.
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