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Author Topic: 1.05 | Telling Someone You Think They Have BPD  (Read 10553 times)
Kathi Stringer
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« on: December 02, 2007, 01:37:25 AM »

I wrote this a while back - I thought it would be informative and helpful here.

LETTER/QUESTION (Cristina Cabrera, M.A., Interpersonal Communication, July 29, 2003):

My wife is unaware she is a BP.  The advice I had from the Psychologist is that it would not be helpful for my wife to know she is a BP and in fact it might be damaging.  I find it difficult to withhold information as having been marriage 42 years I have always operated on sharing our lives in all ways.  I can go on withholding this information if it is the wisest path to follow.

At different times I have tried to open the subject but there is always a reaction of hostility.  I have attached a note I gave her in the hopes it would open the doorway to my being able to discuss the matter.  It definitely got the thumbs down and only started a hostile reaction.  The general reaction is to tell me I need fixing and that she is all right.  Unfortunately over the years I have approached a number of professional people (who did not understand borderline personality disorder) and she subsequently came along.  I think she is now at the stage of professional burnout after so much unhelpful information.

I have approached our local psychiatric unit and they have a program running to assist BP.  It seems that it would be very helpful to her, but unless she knows she is a BP and approaches them they cannot help.

I believe that knowledge is power and it seems to me that if you know all that facts about yourself that you are in the best position to make decisions.

Have you any thoughts on this matter, as I would like your opinion.  I realize it’s a knotty question.


The Undiagnosed Insult

There is quite a bit of information against disclosing a possible diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) to those we love and care about….and for good reason.  The phrase “personality disorder” comes across as an insult, even in the kindest delivery.  For example, imagine if you felt there was nothing wrong with your intelligence and someone empathetically tried to convince that you were in denial and that you are actually severely retarded.  How would that go over?  Perhaps you may recoil and shout, “I’m not stupid, you are the stupid one!”  Then of course, things get escalated from there and any therapeutic window for discussion is now highly defended.

Identity Expansion

There is a second reason, however that may keep a treater from disclosing a diagnosis.  Lets say for example through discussion with the treater it is agreed the client meets the minimum of 5 of the 9 symptoms for Borderline Personality Disorder [1].  Now lets say the client suffers from confusion and is lacking identity. Now we have a troubled client that is relived to meet the newly official diagnostic criteria to open a pathway toward individuality (upgrades to identity).  Of course the client is excited to learn more about herself and studies all of the symptoms for a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.   Through research the client finds there are 4 more symptoms that she has managed to keep ‘in check’ but now realizes she has some latitude, a more extensive range to express her newly discovered identity.  It is as though she has received a license to be complete, however maladaptive that may be.  The reasoning maybe, “An maladaptive identity is better then no identity at all.”   Now we have a treater that is frustrated with the extra symptoms that the client had previously been able to manage.   So now what?  Lets look at a few other items first and find out what a ‘disordered’ diagnosis amounts too.


The DSM-IV is a dialogistic manual to aid treaters to formulate a diagnosis [1]. The DSM-IV views personality problems as ‘disorders.’  Therefore, it may be helpful to take a closer look at the DSM and understand how ‘disorders’ are rated.

The DSM-IV splits up a comprehensive diagnosis into five different categories referred to as “Axis”.  Axis One is basically reserved for disorders that are treated with the ‘medical model’ such as Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective.  Axis Two is reserved for the personality disordered such as NPD and borderline personality disorder.  The primary difference between Axis One and Axis Two equates to the  ‘medical model’ vs. ‘developmental model.’  In other words, Axis one in more likely to be treated primarily with medication, and Axis Two with talk therapy as a way to work though the arrested developments.  (Note: Mental Retardation is also on Axis Two) Axis Three relates to prior or ongoing physical problems such as cancer, surgery or physical limitations.  Axis Four relates to environmental or situational problems that may be giving rise to some of the symptoms.  Axis Five (GAF) relates to the Global Functioning Scale that is rated from 0 to 100.  Zero would be suicide and 100 would be perfect functioning.

A DSM-IV Diagnosis goes something like this:

Axis 1: Depression NOS [Not otherwise specified], rule out Bipolar

Axis 2: Borderline Personality Disorder, Severe

Axis 3: Lacerations of the wrist and diabetic

Axis 4: Relationship problems, job loss and legal problems

Axis 5: [0-100] 10 (suicidal, liable, unpredictable and confused)

When it comes to care planning a doctor is required to make a diagnosis on each axis along with the driving symptoms.

Disorder vs. Organization

The word ‘disorder’ immediately suggests a defect. There are some grassroots’ organizations and individuals that are peeved at the notion of being labeled as disordered, and for good reason, because in some cases at the risk of annihilation they created these psychological structures to help them survive an abusive childhood. It comes off as a double negative. First, the individual is beat up in childhood and second, they are beat up again as being labeled disordered.

Otto Kernberg, a proliferated writer, theorist, and treater is a distinguished expert on borderline personality disorder. However, Kernberg refers to borderline personality disorder as “Borderline Personality Organization” [3],[4] which seems to relive the stigma somewhat, and recognize the personality as an adaptive organization at the time when higher levels of defensives were not yet constructed within the mind. Kernberg recognized that ‘borderline organization’ is an arrested developmental phenomenon that remained ridged in the personality because abuse or neglect road blocked expansion to age appropriate adaptive defensives.


Personally, I think I would rather be identified as relating to others with a certain ‘personality organization’ instead of ‘personality disorder.’ The mitigated descriptive use of ‘organization’ is helpful to invite self-examination of ‘symptoms’ rather then disorder – defect. The treater and the client have a greater advantage toward treatment if collaboration is focused on the acute symptoms rather then the pigeonhole disorder.

Treatment Considerations

Now lets move on toward disclosure of ‘personality organization’ to a loved one to facilitate treatment. Frankly, an accusation of an ‘undiagnosed’ personally disorder toward a loved one, no matter how well intended can stir up a tit-for-tat problem. Before proceeding we need to consider a few things first.

Have these symptoms always existed before a commitment to marriage?

Have the symptoms escalated over time during the marriage?

How likely is it that your spouse will accept the idea of treatment for their symptoms?

How important is the idea of having peace in your life?

Are you willing to make sacrifices to have a more rewarding life?

These are important questions, because when it comes down to it, you cannot help anyone if they are not willing to accept that help (Stringer) [4]. If your spouse gets into treatment, that is one thing, but refusal begs for another question to be asked of yourself. “Can I continue in this relationship the way things are going?”

To help answer this question, consider that all relationships are ‘value-for-value.’ Are you getting enough of what you need to stay in the relationship? If not, consider your option of leaving. If you decide to stay in the relationship, ask yourself what you are receiving emotionally or physically, and is it worth the trade-off?

Changing A Person

Often co-dependent couples are disillusioned with romantic love and there is a sense of “I can fix her, and change her, and make her whole” and on the flip side “he can save me, provide for me, and nurture me, and make me whole.” Then later down the road it dawns on the fixer that he is not able to fix or change his spouse. It was assumed by the fixer that once married and his gift of ‘fixing’ were engaged, the partner would heal and everything would be hunky-dory. Instead things may have gotten worse because the spouse cannot get fixed enough and will up the stakes to bring on more of an urgency to be fixed. So, things have indeed changed, but for the worse because the needy became more needy and burnout is just over the horizon. In essence, relationships are practically doom for failure if one or both partners are not happy at the point of marriage and are expecting ‘change.’ Basically, a person ‘marries’ what they agreed to marry when they say, “I do.”

Discussion Time

If you want to try and save the relationship, then set a time aside for discussion. Try it again. Make sure you toss the word “I” and use “Us – We – Our” to denote “we are in this together” For example, “Honey, I would like to spend some time with you and discuss something very important to us. Is there a time when we can do that?” Then later at that time “Thank you for making time for us, it is very important to me and I appreciate it.” Then… “I am very concerned about ‘our’ relationship. We are having problems communicating and getting our needs met. I’m afraid if we don’t get some outside coaching soon, we may not be able to survive our marriage.” Expand on this as much as you like, but make it about ‘we’ and it will increase your chances of getting treatment going. Accusatory statements such as ‘you made me’ or ‘you did it’ or ‘it’s not my fault’ will create setbacks and a defensive stance. Save those problems for your treater.

In Treatment

Once treatment has begun, begin with sessions together and also apart to express concerns. As things move along, hopefully the individual that needs the treatment the most can receive it and the other individual can decrease treatment or discontinue all together. Once in treatment the treater can make judgment calls as to the timely revelation of the full Axis workup for the client, whereby taking you off the hook.

Treatment Refusal

Now we are back to the phrase “value-for-value.’ Are you willing to live with a person that refuses to seek treatment? Do you think that getting treatment for yourself can help you continue to live with your spouse, and enhance your chances for happiness? I would suggest that you try it, or continue the relationship as usual, or dissolve the relationship.

These are hard choices for sure but the problem will not go away, only the remainder of your time on this earth toward a chance for happiness will go away. Something to think about.


A suggestion of borderline personality can come off as an insult.

A diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder can provide an identity for those lost in emptiness and therefore may increase the symptoms.

A diagnosis toward care planning is categorized in 5 Axis’.

Kernberg’s borderline organization is less demeaning then borderline disorder.

Addressing symptoms has its advantages for getting a person into treatment rather than the tit-for-tat insult of ‘personality defect.’

Consider the value-for-value to remain in the relationship.

It is not fair to expect a person to change after marriage.

Setup a time for discussion

Enter treatment as ‘We’ rather than the accusatory ‘you’ to get things moving along.

Consider options if treatment is refused.

This website is designed to support, not to replace, the relationship between patient and their physician.

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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 03:19:14 PM »

Here is an article and a Book Review on this topic... . This book has received much acclaim:


Thank you for your participation in this Workshop!

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 06:39:10 PM »

From VeryWell.com:

by Erin Johnston, L.C.S.W (March 7, 2007), reviewed by Steven Gans, MD


"It is important to look at the reason behind wanting a spouse, or anyone, to be diagnosed with a personality disorder. Often, relationships with BPs are difficult and fraught with hurt, anger, and misunderstandings. It can be hard to empathize with the BP, and it can be difficult not to see a diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) as a validation, proof that the BP has been wrong and hurtful in the relationship.

Having a therapist seemingly agree with the BP and not give a diagnosis of BPD can cause additional hurt and frustration. However, it need not be the invalidation that it seems. When invited into someone’s therapy session, discuss the specific issues that are present in the relationship and don't get too caught up in the diagnosis.

If a person gets a diagnosis of BPD, it is not going to immediately change her behavior or feelings. A diagnosis only gives a name to the symptoms and difficulty a person is and has been experiencing. Her relationships with others will pretty much remain the same, for the time being.

Use the therapy sessions as an opportunity to clarify some of the issues in the relationship. The therapist will listen and make a diagnosis based on his assessment of the clinical presentation.

Meanwhile, look at some books written for friends and family members of those with BPD.


Deborah A. Galaska
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2008, 10:47:49 PM »

First I would say be willing to acknowledge that you cannot control the person's decision to see a therapist or get into treatment. Put yourself into the other person's place - no one likes to be told what to do or that they need help. So if the approach wouldn't be palatable to you, it probably won't be something the person with BPD will be receptive to either.

Then I would recommend the techniques that come from motivational interviewing.

The four major principles are:

1) Express Empathy

-No judgment or criticism – nonjudgmental attitude

-This does not mean condoning the behavior we are working toward changing

-Experience the person’s world

2) Develop Discrepancy

-Reflect discrepancies between behavior & the person’s stated values (e.g., drug use & stated commitment to parenting) to motivate change

-You say you want to support us, but I thought you just told your boss to f*&^ off - I'm confused... .

3) Roll with Resistance

Resistance to change is natural - think about it - how long did it take you to decide to change jobs, buy your home, pick a college, quit smoking, etc - most of the time making a major change is a process not something you "just do"
-Understand & respect both sides of ambivalence

-Meet arguments against change with empathy & acceptance – this defuses resistance

avoid arguing

4) Support Self-Efficacy

-Show you believe the person can carry out the actions needed to succeed in changing

-The BPD is responsible for choosing and carrying out personal change

- Offer to be available as a consultant/supporter as needed - don't try to do it for the person

First you figure out how motivated the person is to change - what stage of change the person is in. People are always more motivated to change if they believe the idea comes from themselves than if they feel talked into it by someone else.

Stage 1: Precontemplation-not considering change

I don’t have a problem, there’s no point in trying- could be defensive, unaware, complacent, afraid, or antagonistic

Techniques: Consciousness raising – develop discrepancy, get on his/her side, Gather information, Roll with resistance (i.e. don't argue), Listen for the person's goals, Look for self-motivational statements – problem recognition, concern statements, intention to change, optimism for change

Stage 2: Contemplation-characterized by ambivalence

Could be blaming others, wavering, undecided, half-hearted, lacking confidence, arguing, interrupting, ignoring, or have practical limitations (time, $, energy, knowledge)

Techniques: Consciousness raising, Two sided reflections– sounds like part of you wants x, part of you wants y…,  Emphasize personal control, “Columbo” – play dumb – I don’t get it, a minute ago you said… but I thought just now I heard you wanted…. But I’m probably confused…., Tip the balance-get the person to talk about both reasons to change & risks of not changing, Pros & cons – what will happen if change or don’t change. you could suggest a menu of options without pushing any particular option and try to get the person to talk through the pros & cons of different options; Avoid heavy confrontation, labeling, assuming expert role, blaming

Stage 3: Preparation/Decision – ready to make a change sometime soon, committed

The person is asking questions about the future, fewer questions about the problem, experimenting with change, resolve, self-motivational statements

Techniques: Coach the pesron with problem solving courses of action; Increase chance of success-help the person focus on what he/she believes is possible; work through Cost/Benefit of Changing vs Not Changing – separate lists or one table; work through a Change plan: specify change, reason to change, steps in changing, ways others can help, how to know plan is working, things that could interfere with plan; talk about goals

Stage 4 is the Action Stage

If your loved one is in the action stage you wouldn't be asking this question:)

As you can see, though, we are often doing things that might be helpful in stage 3 or stage 4 to a person who is in stage 1 or stage 2 - which makes it less likely the person will actually progress to stage 3 or 4.

None of this is to say that if the individual you are dealing with is posing a threat to your safety and well-being you do not lovingly set firm limits and boundaries. That, however, does not mean you necessarily will be able to control exactly how the person achieves change. You may be able to suggest that you would like a certain change and you believe that going to therapy would help that change happen more quickly or that going to therapy would assure you that the change is more effective for your relationship.

These are some preliminary ideas toward the issue of inspiring someone else to go to therapy.

One final idea is that if any member of the system goes to therapy, the dance will change. In changing the dance, the system must change. It may not change the way you expect or at the speed you might hope, but therapy for the person affected by the person with BPD can be very effective and helpful.


This website is designed to support, not to replace, the relationship between patient and their physician.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 08:41:49 PM »

This can be quite a controversial question for sure. I think that, as someone who had BPD and recovered, knowing what the problem is gives a person the best chance to make choices to deal with the diagnosis, learn about it, and find and get help and treatment.

When I first found out, when those three words, Borderline Personality Disorder, were aimed at me, at the age of 19, by a professional, I had no idea what that meant. At the time I didn't care at all either. And for over ten years I wouldn't bother to seek out any understanding of those three words. Three words that encompass a world of hurt and an often mysteriously puzzling world of constantly inconsistent feelings - feelings that are split off from one's thoughts.

Yet, years later I would come back to those three words, Borderline Personality Disorder, reluctantly, at first, but eventually I realized I had to adopt a willing approach to all that these three words really encompass, mean, and describe. If I hadn't have persevered to a deeper understanding of these three words, of that label, BPD, I'm not sure I would have been able to come to understand just how much I had to take responsibility not only for myself, and the reality that I had been diagnosed with BPD, but also for what all of the choices that I needed to learn much more about making. Knowing I had BPD and ten years later choosing to find out what that actually meant - though I knew a lot about what it meant in my daily life, life experience and the relational devastation that existed in my life for 33 years.  Making the choice to accept whatever BPD meant for me, without worrying about the parts that didn't fit, I was able, in therapy, to gain increased insight and awareness. Insight and awareness that are necessary for those with BPD to find so that they can make choices that are truly the foundation of recovery.

I am sure that whether or not someone should be told or will benefit from being told they have Borderline Personality Disorder would vary greatly from one person to the next. However, from my own experience, I believe that people have a right to know and that even if, in the short term, it seems negative for them to be told, it can be, in the long run more positive.

However, having said this, I wouldn't recommend that friends, family members, loved ones, ex or relationship partners do the telling. I think that is best left to and with the diagnosing and treating professionals.

Knowledge is power. Ironically, though, many in the active throes of BPD, are entrenched in the victim role and its subsequent "reality", perception and experience, not to mention the learned helplessness of most with BPD. So, what one might think would be empowering information to impart to someone often ends up being received in a totally opposite, defensive way that then produces more need to protect against this information and to rage and/or punish the "messenger".

Knowledge about BPD, at least initially isn't so much about it being power to or for them as it is about them feeling hopeless, helpless, broken, unworthy, and actually abandoned and rejected by the label itself.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 10:29:19 AM »

The phrase "getting someone into treatment" implies that another person can influence a BPD into treatment. I was an optimistic non, always thinking that the yellow brick road would lead to a place where the BP makes the self realization that treatment could restore their life to normalcy. I always thought I could "help" the BPD come to that realization. I was very, very wrong.

BPD is a disorder very similar in nature to an addiction, specifically because part of the disorder includes strong denial. Most people that are told they have a clogged artery, don't react in denial (sure some do) but instead react by saying "I am glad it was caught now, how can it be fixed doc?". On the other hand, no BPD will react to a mental health diagnosis in that manner -- the BP won't say "Ok, how is it treated" but instead enters strong denial. That is the nature of their illness -- denial is probably central to the disorder. Just like addiction to drugs or acohol. Maybe BPD is just an addiction to BPD behavior? But instead of being addicted to coping with life through drugs/alcohol, they have developed their addiction to living life behaving exactly as they do. So just as you can't force someone into rehab for an addiction and expect it to work, it is the same for BPD? And just like an addictive illness, maybe the wall of denial can't come down until the individual hits proverbial rock bottom?

After 5 years of trying to find a way to make a BPD see there is a problem and urge to get help, I am left realizing that this particular BPD is much more mentally ill than I ever realized.  This particular BPD is willing to risk losing her children to continue the BPD behavior. She has lost her husband, has lost her home, has lost 50% of the time with her children, etc. Yet still she insists "I'm fine". She will go to the grave living her life status quo. She simply cannot allow her mind to think it possible to live without the defense mechanism that her mental illness provides.
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 11:02:15 AM »

Maybe BPD is just an addiction to BPD behavior? But instead of being addicted to coping with life through drugs/alcohol, they have developed their addiction to living life behaving exactly as they do.

I think that is a very good observation, T.  I just quoted something by Emmie in the Workshop "inside the mind of a borderline", in which Ennie describe the conditions of the BPD in her life and how that impacted her behavior... .  The difficult behavior is a coping mechanism that may have worked for the child and may work sometimes, but increasingly does not work as the years go on.

I think that if you read this particular Workshop as a whole, it is clear that you can't "get" a BPD into treatment.  But this is one of the most commonly asked questions from new members here:  How do I "get" my BPD into treatment?  Which is why it is the topic of a Workshop.

Thanks for your contributions!

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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2009, 09:56:38 AM »

Amador urged family members and mental health professionals to understand that collaboration with treatment by someone who has a severe mental illness is a goal, not a given.

According to Dr. Xavier Amador, professor in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, denial is a powerful deterrent to recovery in mental illness. What is often thought to be immaturity, stubbornness, and defensiveness is a much more complex and difficult problem. His book talks about how delicate a process this is, as well as do's and don'ts. Amador has written about getting people with serious mental illness to accept treatment in a book he coauthored with Anna-Lisa Johanson titled, I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help: A Practical Guide for Families and Therapists, https://bpdfamily.com/content/support-child-therapy

This are an excellent videos

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lstn6WNnCRc

Part 2 https://youtu.be/Lstn6WNnCRc

It is important instead to develop a partnership with the patient around those things that can be agreed upon.

Amador said that family members and clinicians should first listen to the patient's fears.

Empathy with the patient's frustrations and even the patients delusional beliefs is also important, remarked Amador, who said that the phrase "I understand how you feel" can make a world of difference.

The most difficult thing for family members to do in building a trusting relationship, he said, is to restrict discussion only to the problems that the person with mental illness perceives as problems - not to try to convince them of others.

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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 11:01:14 AM »

As I mentioned above, we also have a book review on the Amador book that Skip mentioned above:



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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 01:06:16 PM »

Sharing of the above referenced perspective is helpful to consider now... .as mine began her 1:1s, just 2 sessions ago, while we have been in couples counseling last 8 months... .  The kicker appears to be, as a  very high functioning acting out pwBPD, she's using her individual sessions to individuate from me, as just another man in a series of relationships who has hurt and betrayed her... .and in her "codependence" taking care of me financially---which is being translated now as my taking advantage of her financially... .greeeaaaaat.  Am hopeful, that i might be able to accompany her to possible session with her therapist (to at least help with firming up the dx so she can avail her self to possible treatment, transformation, including functional and happy intimacy... .and potentially... .mitigate the destructiveness with which her vindictive, punishment, vengence is about to unleash on my masochistic aXX.)

{OK, so now how have i hurt you worse than anyone else in your life ever has... .

your last husband who suprised you out of the blue with a demand for a divorce with his core reasons as to why... .being you are "too self-absorbed, too hard on him" -- ah, i think he might have meant verbally abusive... .just sayin... .After which both of your sons chose to stay with him, not you... .including your eldest born from a different biological father who didn't really want to talk to you... .which might have had something to do with all the basketballs of his you punctured with knife one day in a rage ... .okay was it 1 basketball as you say... .or every single ball in the house as he says... .does it even matter--- am i being too literal... .

Ok, so how have i hurt you worse than anyone else in your life ever has... .including the guy who you got pregnant with  in high school, whose family rejected you and did not want a thing to do with you... ."don't ruin his life" resulting in raising your son while in high school with your parents functioning as defacto primary attachment figures... .?

Ok, so how did i hurt you worse than your first BF who raped you at 13... .?

Ok, so how did i hurt you worse than "something else you never told anyone else before that"... .?

... .Oh... .i hurt you worse because "WHEN WE FIRST MET, I THOUGHT SO HIGHLY OF YOU, I IDEALIZED YOU--- yup, I was your knight in shining armor--- and "BEFORE I MET YOU I WAS A MANHATER" yup, and my EGO, my HEART, (my narcissim... .really?... .ugg) thought wow man, i can help you love another man again... .watch this... .


ALL MY INFIDELITIES?  Yes, there was that one... .which we talked about, and talked about and talked about, in which i apologized, and so on... .that one? Or the times we had officially broke up, and you brought me over a bag of condems, or you told me some of the kinkier sides of how you wish you could have been there and joined in, or the times we would reconcile and in the heat of passion you would tell me "bring it all back"... .

What about yours... .OH, THAT WASN'T THE SAME THING... .  OK, but that was 5 years ago, didn't we talk through all that?  So why did you marry me again?

(again ... .banging my head against the wall... .how in the HXXX did that happen,  since marriage of one year/but together 8)... .(all set to begin business out of home 1 year ago after marriage, ready to hit the ground running... .after 2-3 years of preparation, high level training, expenses... .  essentially being ALL IN and READY to hit the ground running... .with the expectation/assumption wife would be helping out a few hours a week, more or less as a co-record keeper/financial manager/money counter (she's the one with the dual degress ///MBA and others which i was instrumental in helping her achieve) to track monthly cash flow/expenses that i was to be generating... .learning the business herself so as in the event something happening to me... .she could potentially carry on the gift or any potential legacy as well as passing it on to her sons... .oh, the road of good intentions... .  And she knew essential for my success-was an emotionally controlled environment- calm, with a concentrated focused mind... .  So as i am growing increasingly frustrated... .with one distraction or disruption or argument or new worry/anxiety after another... .I realize I am losing my Mind... .in which 95-99% of my stressors are correlated with maritial strife.  AND STRUGGLEING NOT TO BLAME HER AS THATS NOT OWNING MY RESPONSIBILTY FOR MY APPARENT BUSINESS FAILURE... .And this is coming from someone who is pretty mentally tough, trained, very much reality oriented, highly educated/sophisticated in his of  own right, etc... .except now in the mornings rather than having an empty relaxed stateOFmind... I'm replaying these crazy making arguments in my head, where I am confused about my own sensibilities of what is and what is not... .in trying to refigure out what the heck and how the heck did that just happen... .as my grip slowly begins to loosen... .  i revert back to 1. taking care of my marriage-trying to fix it, 2. caring for my wife, and 3. struggling not to forget taking care of my self... .and not being too selfless... .not forgetting to own my own ADD issues--including self-medicating with thc and moderate etoh (which as a previous high achiever, usually i kept managed with a highly structured environment, supportive environment, lots of excercise, healthy diet/sleep cycle, and Wellbutrin... .) which are now suddenly off - the - hook, owning my anger issues--- A LOT of crazy making on this one -- i.e., ("YOU'RE THE ONE WITH AN ANGER PROBLEM"- honey, we both have anger problems, don't cha think?---"YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSSED TO GET ANGRY"- "YOU CAN'T BE ANGRY"---"YOU CAN'T RAISE YOUR VOICE"--- Ok, so i can't get angry, but you can get angry, and raise your voice and yell and scream?--- as the circle of reality getting ever more whacked.---The near constant threats of divorce---

Fast forward:  so i go get an eval, in addition to couples counseling... .start up on adderall - 3 months ago- and instantly any urges for thc essentially cease... .and my thought processes begin to improve... .oh-oh... .

So what ever happend to OUR DREAM and my cheerished DREAM CAREER... .our plans for this type of shared financial achievement based on our family business that I would lead which would take us beyond just your income... .the more immeadiate profits used for a downpayment toward the house of your choosing... ."THAT WAS NEVER MY DREAM! THAT WAS YOUR DREAM!--- said in a condescending, you loser tone of voice"... .Oh, you mean, WE were never on the same page?

Oh... .so when i'd come home after a week intensive of training ready to hit the ground running... .and all the new material my brain was processing ready to focus on , discuss and share... .meant we'd find a way to argue about something something or argue that we were arguing,,, huh?

(that was kinda disruptive)

Ok- so finances are tight-- you have proclivity of impulsive overspending, previously been in bankruptcy, I'm the one with a pretty clean financial background... .except that now my procrastination/ADD also means some bills aren't getting paid... .so I/we really need to get on top of things

Ok-- so finances are tight, so we can't wait till our first anniversary to go on our honeymoon until we square away our finances... .WE HAVE TO GO ON A HONEYMOON TO HONOR OUR MARRIAGE... .ah, ok

OK--- so while on our honeymoon, did you really need to buy a time share?

Ok--- so 3 months after our honeymoon, and while on honeymoon your purchase of a time share... .did you really need to go on yet another cruise ship vacation with your youngest son... .12 years old (AGAIN---his 4th?)in order to "bond with him"

OK--- so did you really have to buy a new pet... .a puppy... .without discussing it with me first?  But, honey we already have a dog?  THAT'S YOUR DOG-- YOU NEVER DISCUSSED GETTING HIM WITH ME WHEN YOU GOT HIM-- honey, that may be true... .i adopted/rescued him 3 thanksgivings ago... .he is very well adjusted... .he's overcome his startle response... .his temperment is excellent... .i immeadiately invited you and your son over, for bonding with the dog... .i waited 3 years after my last dog died (oh yeah the one you were jealous of... .)  WELL, YOUR DOG IS TOO MASCULINE, I WANT A NONMASCULINE DOG LIKE THE KINDS OF GREW UP WITH... .OK, so you went to a high end breeder, got a pretty puppy of this somewhat possibly potentially neurotic breed if not handled well, with out telling me... .ah, and so now you are going on a cruise... .and i'm going to take care of your puppy?

Honey, bringing a puppy into the home is like bringing a child into the home (oh, yup, her exhusband and his new wife just had a newborm child... .that coincides with a week of two of her puppy being born)... .Ok, so you really like this breed cus you grew up with them as a little girl and those are some of your fondest memories?  Ok so , how many of these dogs did you have while growing up?  9 or 10? Sequentially? Well what happend to them?  ah this one ran away, oh that one bit someone and got put down, or that one got hit by a car... .HUH?

Ok- now you are back from cruise... .now can i focus on business?   Oh you are having surgery... .Oh... .now recovery is more complicated... .oh okay so you will now be home for another 2 weeks and i get to care for you... .oh and I can also go with you to your other doctor appointments to show my support and understanding?

And on and on... .

So finally the light goes on... .there is always going to be something that comes up... .if by september... .i am not full on engaging in business something is wrong... .oh maybe not all me... .oh could she have a passive-aggressive thing going on... .

Begin to bring that up... .gets even worse... .I realize my head/heart/mind are way flipped flopped... .and i have a 10 day spiritual retreat that i decide to attend in October... .renew, reconnect, rediscover... .my own body-mind restorative practices... .

Become informed of BPD (high functioning acting out)... .when i only knew of BPD in the context of cutters/suicidality... .as now unmistakenly accounting for what's going on with my wife in the context of our close relationship,,, and how after we got married... .the sXXX really started to hit the fan... .

2 weeks into her individual therapy:  she's now more resolved than ever to end marriage and "WEAN ME OFF"... .and stop taking advantage of her financially... .

Ok-- got it... .6 months from now, I'm the one who could be broke, not afford house payments, as i search for A JOB -- (dream career on hold... .) to help make ends meet in my recovery of self-sufficiency... .my regaining sense of self, sense of soul, sense of career, new housing? and you go on with your 6 figure salary--- I helped you achieve--- big high profile career  (which i am proud of you for, etc)--- and your distortion campaign of my being an abuser you finally got rid off... .

Well-- I'm getting ready... .and radically accepting... .and still gonna show love and patience... .but as my mom/shero/incredibly wise old woman (my dad was my emotional abuser) --- you have to be independent... ."i'd rather be a little mouse, with a little roof over my head... .than go through this every time"... .   deep breath... .courage... .determination... .flow... .responsible to do and be my best for me, for her, for whatever the future brings... .becoming a better more whole person again... .

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 72

« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 01:31:04 PM »

I am glad to have found this. Someone I care very much about shows the types of behavior I see in posts here. I had been doing a lot of reading on the subject and writing as well comparing what I was reading with what I experienced.

They inadvertently found and read it. They are very hurt. I am very hurt for having hurt them.

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 2

« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 06:50:25 PM »

Debye thanks for your response and techniques about how to deal with BPD. You've help me a million! Don't know how to appreciate it
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