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Author Topic: Son’s soon to be fiancé has BPD  (Read 149 times)
Threedognight
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2


« on: January 24, 2023, 03:55:31 PM »

Hi, I’m hoping to find some hope here- my son has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for 6 years and had told friends and family that he is planning to propose. They currently live together. My husband and I, as well as our other children have welcomed her into our lives.As an example, she has very strict dietary restrictions and whenever they are at our house I make  sure that everything I prepare  adheres to those restrictions(despite grumbling from the rest of the family).I felt very strongly about this as I wanted her to feel comfortable.

I had very mild reservations about her from the beginning: she rarely smiled or seemed especially happy, she seemed distant. Our family tends to be very talkative and we joke around a lot and she really didn’t participate. At first I wondered if she was depressed, then I thought maybe she was overwhelmed by us but eventually we all got used to her and just figured she was quiet. They moved in together about a year into the pandemic and I started noticing that we were seeing very little of them. They live about 30 minutes away. On a few different occasions I asked my son about this and each time he would give very vague answers or simply deny this was the case. My husband and I have always had a close relationship with him, so I accepted his answers and assumed it was all part of the normal transition into adulthood. I did notice that they were spending a lot of time with his girlfriends family. I listened to others who said it was normal and that sons typically gravitate toward the female’s family. At this point we were basically only seeing them on birthdays and holidays and we were never seeing our son alone. He had many reasons why he couldn’t stop by to watch a game or have dinner, very few of them made sense.

In January of 2022 my son told us and our extended family that he planned to propose in the fall of 2022. We were pleased by this and told him so. He cautioned me not to say anything to her about it, which I found strange but did as he asked. Fall came and went and he did not propose. I had a conversation with him about this and he began telling me how stressed he was about the proposal because he had to plan “so many parties and come up with a memorable way to propose”. I questioned the need for a party on the day of the proposal, a second more formal engagement party and a surprise choreographed proposal, all of which he told me were necessary. I encouraged him to simplify the process and to focus on the engagement and marriage. He even told me he had to come up with a special way to ask her parents permission(other than just asking).

Fast forward to December and I called him to ask about the holidays. He became very anxious and wouldn’t commit to a plan. I suggested they come to one family Christmas Eve and the other Christmas Day. This did not ease his anxiety so I offered to have our family Christmas on a day other than Christmas-still he couldn’t commit. Eventually my husband and other son pinned him down and he agreed he would spend Christmas Eve with us(alone) and Christmas Day with her family. This was fine, or so I thought.

The weekend before Christmas we had a holiday party that included family and friends and they attended. His girlfriend arrived looking more sullen than usual, barely spoke and refused all food and drink( again all the food was prepared with her dietary restrictions in mind). Needless to say we were all very uncomfortable and sadly, relieved when they left.

The next night my husband and I received a call from the two of them-my son was essentially non-verbal during the call and his girlfriend very aggressively told us that we have been upsetting our son to the point of him not being able to fully function for the past four weeks. Keep in mind, we had spoken to him at least weekly in that time and he had just been at our house the day before and nothing seemed amiss with him. She went on to say that this call was her chance to tell us how the pain we caused our son had adversely impacted her life and she wanted an apology! Our heads were spinning-neither of us had any idea what she was talking about and told her so. She went on to say that she doesn’t feel comfortable in our home and particularly with me-I asked her why and she had no answer. She went on to complain that my daughter spends too much time with me at get togethers, that my other son doesn’t talk to her enough and she is tired of getting “stuck with the old people” (my mother and in-laws). I pushed back and asked her to adjust her tone( I had never heard her speak so aggressively). This must have thrown her off her game because she then just began making random insulting statements, mostly aimed at me. My husband and I were in shock, at times speechless. Our son said virtually nothing.

My husband and I were up all night trying to process what had happened and we concluded that our son is more then likely being emotionally abused and later after talking with therapists and doing research, that his girlfriend likely has BPD (with Narcissistic traits).

Our son did come on Christmas Eve, we calmly spoke with him about the changes in his personality and how worried we are. We were advised to bring her up as little as possible and instead to focus on our worry for him and the fact that we love  and support him no matter what. He listened but says very little.

In the weeks since he has stated that HE called us and HE did all the talking on the phone call-this couldn’t be further from the truth. His attempts to take the blame reinforces our belief that she is abusive.

We have seen her once since the phone call, at a party for my in-laws-she said next to nothing, According to my son they were taken aback that WE haven’t apologized for the phone call!

The only good thing is that he still hasn’t proposed, so on some level he knows something isn’t right. I asked him to start therapy and he has done so-he says to learn how to “stop trying to please everyone”.

There are many more examples of our son trying to take the blame for something she has done as well as his blaming us for something she actually did. We know what we are dealing with and are so scared he will propose but we feel paralyzed. It seems there is no positive next step. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Thanks for listening,
Threedognight

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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
Turkish
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned by SO in Feb 2013; Mother with BPD, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety: RIP in 2021.
Posts: 11802


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2023, 09:59:55 PM »

Excerpt
I asked him to start therapy and he has done so-he says to learn how to “stop trying to please everyone”.

This is a good thing! I'd handle asking him about it with kid gloves though.
Listen with empathy.


The tools are good communication devices with anybody, not just people with BPD.

Your son's in crisis, but he needs validation of his emotions (not judging his choices) to choose what he wants to do. It sounds very hard given his gf being controlling. There's likely a fear of losing her going on, notwithstanding over 4 billion other women on the planet. You know that. I know that, but he's likely fearing the loss of her. I've been there. To this day I don't know why I didn't cut my losses when I had the chance before we had kids.
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Threedognight
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2


« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2023, 11:16:18 AM »

 To this day I don't know why I didn't cut my losses when I had the chance before we had kids.
[/quote]

Turkish,
Thanks for your reply and your supportive words. I’m curious, is there anything anyone could have said to you that would have helped you to see and pay attention to the red flags in your relationship?

Thanks
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Pook075
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married but Separated
Posts: 78


« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2023, 03:42:59 PM »

There are many more examples of our son trying to take the blame for something she has done as well as his blaming us for something she actually did. We know what we are dealing with and are so scared he will propose but we feel paralyzed. It seems there is no positive next step. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I've been separated from my wife with BPD for 6 months now (after 24 years of marriage), and I can tell you that I had absolutely no idea how much abuse and manipulation I took unwittingly over the years.  So much of your story resonated with me because an outsider would say, "Oh my gosh...there's red flags and warning sirens everywhere in that story."  But most of us here couldn't see it because we loved so deeply and we were so committed to doing whatever we had to in order to make the relationship work.

Your son has the right to love anyone he wants to, but I'd strongly suggest mentioning therapy just to have someone to talk to about how he's feeling.  He may not open up to you guys because you're "part of the problem" in the girlfriend's eyes, and confiding in you is betraying her.  So many of us here have walked this road and it rarely ended how we expected...but it pretty much ended exactly how everyone else expected.  We just didn't listen because we loved too deeply.
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Turkish
BOARD ADMINISTRATOR
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned by SO in Feb 2013; Mother with BPD, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety: RIP in 2021.
Posts: 11802


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2023, 08:37:26 PM »


Your son has the right to love anyone he wants to, but I'd strongly suggest mentioning therapy just to have someone to talk to about how he's feeling.  He may not open up to you guys because you're "part of the problem" in the girlfriend's eyes, and confiding in you is betraying her. So many of us here have walked this road and it rarely ended how we expected...but it pretty much ended exactly how everyone else expected.  We just didn't listen because we loved too deeply.

For sure. We've seen parents push a little too hard and then become cut off.  

No one said anything to me because I had been years single and I seemed happy. They certainly said a lot after she left!

Utilize the validation skills (HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS SITE at the top of this board--->Quick Tips), start with SET, mostly with your son.
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
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