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Author Topic: daughter with BPD demanding that I leave my partner  (Read 278 times)
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Not sure
Posts: 1

« on: November 20, 2022, 08:49:25 PM »

My young adult daughter with BPD is particularly unwell right now and is demanding that I leave my GF/partner of 10 years. She is refusing to join the extended family for Thanksgiving and saying classic splitting things like “if you loved me you’d leave her.”  I am having difficulty validating when she says awful things about my GF.  We have already left for the holiday and Daughter was supposed to join us here. I would appreciate any ideas about how to respond.  
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
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Posts: 519

« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2022, 06:43:25 PM »

Hi RomperRoom
This reply probably won't be helpful in relation to Thanksgiving. You are in an awful position due to the fact that BPD folk find it so hard not to be the total focus of someone's attention.

Feelings of abandonment can be triggered by the slightest thing and it is the case that if you are on the other end of the outpouring that comes when this is triggered, all you can do is find ways to manage (this is just my opinion from my experience). In other words, I think the not JADE ing is a good description of how to respond - or not respond.

The horrible things that my BPD dd says are about me. I imagine it might even be harder to have them said about your GF. My way is to let these words 'fly' past me. I see them as a kind of therapy for dd. It is a way of letting the frustration and pain out.

I can't fix anything for my dd. I try to keep my own life going as best I can and manage the interactions with dd as best I can. Mostly this involves JADE ing and greystone rock ing!

Someone with bpd often won't own the consequences of their decisions (it is too painful to do so I think) but you have to let them take those consequence eg not joining for Thanksgiving. (Different with some decisions eg self harm etc).

We love our children and our lives are just so difficult. Living with this difficulty is the price we pay I think for the love we have.

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Posts: 1387

« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2022, 12:59:03 PM »

My BPD daughter also demanded that I divorce my husband or she would cut me off.

Divorcing my husband would violate my values. That's not a decision she can or should make for me. Giving her that power does her no favors. It's inappropriate to give that decision to a child.

Not divorcing him meant (to her) that I chose him over her. As painful as it was, I cannot control the way she sees this.

She has not spoken to me at all since March. I sent her a text that said, "Happy Thanksgiving," and in her mind that was an unforgivable violation of boundaries and invalidation of the harm I caused. She's also influencing her sisters, who also don't talk to me because of her.

Know that anything you clarify is more for you than for her - she likely will not waver from the way she sees your relationship.

Know that this is her problem. You cannot change her mind.

I've found a small measure comfort and stability in standing firm in my values. I am incredibly sad that she can't coexist with my husband, but I know that divorcing him wouldn't solve her problems or heal her.

   Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? ~CS Lewis
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 1009

« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2022, 12:18:23 AM »

Hi RomperRoom,

The way you validate something like this is, first by flexing your boundary muscles, and then by writing an email that says something to this effect:

Dear Daughter,

I empathize with how upsetting this is for you and how disappointed you may feel, but I am not going to be leaving my partner. My decision is final and I am not willing to discuss this matter with you further. I know that you have been struggling with her, but I have decided that I am simply no longer willing to listen to your complaints about her. I trust that the two of you will be able to work things out.

Talk soon!


Then you stand your ground and refuse to discuss the subject again. Since this will likely not be an easy feat for you to pull off, I suggest a few resources, namely two books: Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward, and Boundaries, by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. You also may wish to check out some Al-Anon meetings to help you to “detach with love”, so to speak. All the best to you. 

I also like to suggest that you read two books. One is Emotional Blackmail, and the other, Boundaries, by Henry Cloud.

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