I Read All These Stories Here That Seem Hopeless...but There Is Indeed Hope

I only recently decided to "figure out what is wrong with me".

One thing that many people dont realize about BPD folks, is that we just don't realize how crazy we are. We have lived with our thoughts and mood swings for much of our lives, most of us were also likely raised in families that experienced similar mood swings, and so we have very poor contrast and perspective to even see that we have a problem. I have been batshit crazy for 29 years, and here I am just realizing it.

We seem to mostly come from highly unstable childhoods and mine was no different. 4 kids, 1 bipolar mom, lots of rage, anger, constant fighting.

The stories I read here have been so heartbreaking to me, as most of them are written by the victim s of BPD spouses; They could have been written by either of my wives. They help me to realize that my wife remembers all of those terrible and nasty things that I say, even when I don't. I hope that all of you out there living with a BPDy realize that they likely care so much more about you than their words and actions can dictate. Something that seems common amongst BPD folks is the "mask" we put on for everyone. When that mask comes off...we are truly vulnerable, and we create that vulnerability by sharing our true thoughts with someone else. My personal theory on this is that, as we become closely entrenched with another person as BPDs, we so closely associate ourselves to them that we almost become one. The truth is, for me at least, that your proof that we love you is that we are BPD about your ***. When you see us put on that mask for someone else, its because we dont really and truly care about them, for myself it seems like the only people I've ever really truly been able to care about were the people on the ****-end of my BPD stick, talk about some tragic irony.

The real problem with that, is that we hate ourselves, and since you are now a part of us, we hate you too. We can't discern between the two, when you do something that rubs us the wrong way, we spout off that same inner rage that we beat ourselves up with every day. The sad difference is that I can forget all those nasty things I tell myself, and you cant forget those nasty things that I tell you. For BPD people, our personal image is so fluid that we can lose ourselves, reinvent ourselves, and find ourselves again all within a single day.

I am struggling with BPD now, and I've finally realized what it is. There is hope for the spouses and BPDs themselves out there; I know because I have beaten this before, and I will beat it again.

My first wife and I were married at a fairly young age, she was my second girlfriend. The first 2 years of our relationship were almost impossible, the amount of rage and anger and tears that poured was terrible. I always used her past sexual experience as a reason to beat her up(emotionally) and belittle her; I used it to beat myself up, and belittle myself. She would go from being the light of my life, to being a terrible **** 10 minutes later. Sometimes the rage would last hours or days, sometimes it would subside. I always felt so justified in my actions, -I- was right, -she- was wrong; She should have KNOWN how her actions would affect me. This was all HER fault. After some 3 years of being together, I finally found a way to defeat this inner demon that had been eating at me and her and our relationship for so long. I picked a role-model, someone I looked up to, someone that wouldnt be having these problems, someone that could deal with this ****. I picked him and i put him in my head, everytime I would start to feel my mood slip, I would imagine him saying "come the **** on, are you serious? Look around, look how lucky you are, get the **** over it".



Over time, if you keep yourself from getting stuck on those railroads in your mind, those thought cycles that feed your negativity, if you stop letting yourself go to that place in your head...it goes away, or at least it gets buried. For nearly 2 years, towards the end of my marriage, I was totally calm and peaceful in my head; it is impossible to describe how satisfying that is for someone who struggles with BPD. Eventually my wife left me for a man twice my age, who made half my income, and she did it because I killed what love she had for me. I killed it with my constant negativity, outbursts, anger the years prior, and it just never recovered; This was obvious for some time, and I was not surprised when my wife asked me to leave, as I had unconciously engineered it.

I say that the thought-cycle gets buried, because for me it has returned.

Now my current wife has to deal with my BPD issues on a weekly basis. Our relationship started off amazingly, she was the most loving and sweet girl that I had met. Unfortunately, a few months into our relationship I began to suspect that she had been lying to me, and I was right. I did my work and found that she had indeed been spending time with her ex-boyfriends, telling me they were just friends; This was happening during the first several months of our relationship. She once "got a job at sonic" which turned out to be her just going and hanging out with her friends, several of which she had been sexual with. She assured me that she hadn't cheated on me, but I just kept uncovering lie after lie, though none of them were clear 100% proofs of infidelity. This dishonestly was the initial catalyst for my BPD's return, and has been the primary driver behind all of my negative thought cycles since it happened.

The difficulty for a BPD person is figuring out which emotions are rational and which ones are crazy, because we can make those crazy ideas seem very legit. Perhaps my distrust for my wife isnt without cause or origin, but the truth is that this stuff happened 3 years ago, and dragging a grudge through the mud, dirt, and tears for those years has been the most damaging thing I could do to relationship with my wife. As a BPD person, I realize that I wasnt wrong to feel bad about my wife lying to me, she was wrong in those cases, but at some point I either have to accept it and let it go, I can't keep carrying this grudge with me forever.

I have read like many of you, that there is no cure for BPD. There is a cure, but it isnt a pill. We are creatures of habit, our habits rule every aspect of our lives, and our the thinking habits of BPD individuals are flawed. Those thinkin habits can be changed, I have changed them and been better, and now I have to change them again. I know I can do it, and I know that for those of you suffering out there at the hands of BPD individuals, they CAN get better, but not if they don't accept that they have a problem. So here is me saying out to the interweb world that I have a problem, and ************ I'm gonna fix it.

I'm going to fix this using the following approach, and I'm sharing it here so that it might possibly help someone else in the future.

a) build my sense of self, restore my true confidence
b) Keep myself from getting stuck in negative thought cycles, as a BPD person, my emotional stages progress MUCH faster than a normal person, and allowing myself to stay in a negative thought cycle for EVEN A MINUTE is dangerous and can lead to a downward spiral.
c) "Act as if you are, and you will become." Act like the ideal version of yourself, what would you be like if you didnt have these problems? Be that person.
d) Learn that your facial expression, posture, diet, sleep schedule all factor into your mood. One time I was deep into a negative thought cycle and i passed a friend in the hallway, she could tell I wasnt feeling well and said "Just smile, you'll feel better" She was right. Next time you feel your negative emotions creeping up, put a smile on your face..the kind of confident simple smile that says "ive got all this **** figured out". Raise your hands in the air for 2 minutes(victory style), this is PROVEN to improve your mood and sense of self-worth. Apparently the human body cant fist pump the air without feeling like a boss.

I hope it works for me, and I hope all of you here find some peace with your BPD spouses and yourselves, you CAN find it, and it is so worth it.

BPDhubby BPDhubby
26-30
11 Responses Dec 9, 2012

I am a wife who has bpd, newly diagnosed and losing my husband who has put up with so much crap from me. This is a crazy disorder in many ways, please do not give up on your loved ones. We do the best we can with what sometimes feels like 50 different emotions racing around at once. With the abandonment, yes that is how it feels to us, it is difficult to keep going. Good luck bpdhubby.

I have just started looking up BPD. Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. I told my husband 4 days ago I don't want to be married to him anymore. I cannot subject my 3 lovely children to this anymore. He has broken my spirit. Nothing is good enough for him. I love him but resentment is starting to take up more space. He uses a mood enhancer but it doesn't stop the outbursts. I can not live up to the perfection he thinks he is. Or want me and the kids to be. I wish he could be as open minded about this as you are.

I'm really glad you posted this story... because I have been wondering about alot of the things you mentioned. I have been married to a BPD spouse for 12 years... he 'falls in love every other month' with someone else. Although, when I find out, it is always the same thing... "She didn't mean anything to me" "Do you really think I would leave you" "I can't live without you". It has been very difficult for me to decipher if he is even "capable" of real love.

Dear BPDhubby,
Your post made me cry! It was "Oh so familiar" I will say, that after a marriage of 35 years...today...I am desperate for a solution. After 30 years of marriage, my husband went on Wellbutrin. The lowest dose. What a difference! We were almost happy. I know he struggles with staying on this med. So there are slipups. He has been kinder & more affectionate (non sexual) since being on it. Yesterday, was a bad day......making me question whether to give up or not. I am diagnosing him. Everything here feels right. Kaiser has never diagnosed him.....not to my knowledge. It helps so much to have a diagnoses....so you know what you are dealing with. He is never bad enough to leave.....but never a happy existence. He is a loner with no friends. Too serious. I can relate to the self-loathing! Self-flagulation. We can't talk about things.....because he is so angry. He is definitely a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. :( I know this is so disjointed. I have so many thoughts in my head right now. But Thank you for sharing.....and trying! :)

From what I've been reading it seems that for a BPD person to even admit they have a problem is a huge step in the right direction. I commend your honesty and drive to be a better man and husband. I wish you well...stay strong. xo

Thanks. I am about to leave my BPD hubby, but I go back and forth because I do love him and there is a lot of good in him, plus we have a young kid. But that's also a reason why I think I may have to take this chance to leave. I'm afraid our child will be exposed to a lot of crap if I stay. My hubby wants to come home and has taken a lot of responsibility for what he's done, but I don't know if I can recover from walking on eggshells for 7 years. I will be afraid around him for a long while. He tried to get me in trouble w/the police by making up lies just because he was mad at me. Now he says he's getting therapy and stuff. It's hard to believe him because of past lies, but I don't want to just give up on him. He doesn't drink or smoke or cheat. Hard to know the right thing to do. It's sort of now or never regarding leaving him.

Are you getting therapy? How did you come to realize you have BPD? If your wife is still in your life, give her a hug today!

Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Thank you for posting this.
Ive posted just a few moments ago about my biggest fear being that my ex, never loved nor cared for me. The articles you read on the internet, some can be very cruel, and yours makes me feel like he is deep down, normal, just ran by these emotions and fears.
I do have a question though, since you are a man dealing with this, like my ex, what made you realize you were in fact acting irrationally? He has sort of admitted before, told me not to leave when he tells me to, almost as if he cannot help it, and told me he needed me to help him. I saw those as crying out for help, but if I were to tell him, I think you have this, he would flip out. Even though Ive decided to move on, for the health of me and my baby, I would love for him to get help, I can see that he suffers greatly.

The thing that helped me to realize that I'm acting irrationally is that when I look at the people around me..noone ever seems to outburst like I do. I can say that without a doubt your ex cared for you, i've never been bpd with someone I didn't care about. When he pushes you away, its because in his head, hes imagined that you have wronged him terribly in some way. It seems like that for us, all of our imaginations and inner fictions are incredibly negative, and also incredibly real. I feel like i have a greatly exagerated since of imagination in a sense, like what I imagine is true. It even makes watching certain things on TV very difficult and I think that kind of empathy is also what leads us to adapt to people like we do.

TrueBlue

You are very loyal and committed to your spouse and I commend you for that. I am afraid for you in that the odds may not be in your favour, but you never know. As long as you can cope and be happy with yourself. You live with integrity and you have emotional depth and those are important qualities to have!!

I'm trying to heal but it will take time and effort. I hope you will be able to heal within your relationship. You have tremendous awareness and a great sense of humour. I laughed at our I Love Lucy reference. Your husband is very lucky to have you!

I agree with the observation that male BPDs fear engulfment. My (undiagnosed) BPD would tearfully beg for closeness...a previously unspoken need (like falling asleep with hands entwined)....then when I gave this to him, he would reject it. It seems like a tormented dance between clinging and rejection.

This story helped me a lot in that I now sort of understand how I would be shocked at how he never seemed to fathom how awful I felt after he said something cruel, like "you are vapid and shallow". I was supposed to drop it, forget it. He had moved past that. It is crazy making.

Well I can't make happy with someone who doesn't want me. He rejected so many rituals that I cherished...and with such hatred. I still don't know if he loved me or hated me. Since he left me, I think he hated me. 27 years, two kids, and he is acting so happy being the single guy.

Poor Zensters; I'm sorry that your patience and persistence were not appreciated by your ex. I realize this could happen to me too at any time. Lots of similar situations: complains that I am withholding affection or attention, then when I give him it undivided, he is disgusted with me. Last week he suspected me of cheating on him with a repair man. It was like something out of I LOVE LUCY. At first he voiced his fears jokingly so I played along, only to get the sledgehammer for not taking fidelity seriously. Then, when I pledged faithfulness a dozen different ways, he announced that he wanted to go out and "talk to" other women. Later on he texted me, "Do you really love me?" I can't win. He will kick me around until he has had his fill. I've tried leaving him but I can't. I've always been "in for a penny, in for a pound."

TrueBlue135,

You are right. I was being accused by my ex-bpd partner for countless time. Initially i thought he was joking and when I didn't take it seriously he 'snap' and said I don't want him, I don't love him enough, I will leave him. Like you, I tried to tell him and giving him examples that how I had love him, but he then said I need to earn his trust first. I was so hurt. I admitted after so many similar incidence, I was like walking on eggshells and scared of anything come out from my mouth. I scared of saying the wrong thing/word. I scared of express my feeling.

He is going to be really happy as a single guy, when BPD people are single, they can do really well because they dont have anything to be ultra negative about and they can start to establish a self image. If he doesn't get better, next time hes in a relationship his self image will get muddy and he'll start losing himself to negativity again...

I doubt that, BPDhubby. The chances of a BPD getting suicidal go way up when they are alone. There is really nothing for him to gain by losing the support of an understanding and supportive spouse/partner. It's not like we grow on trees!

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Sounds like you doubted your first wife without cause for years and paid the ultimate price. Now you are married to someone who does cheat and lie, but you are focusing on your own behavior instead.
Getting better is never simple. If you could have focused on your own behavior in the first relationship, things might have worked out. Now, even if you improve yourself as a husband, you may not change her behavior.
Male BPD's seem to fear engulfment more than abandonment (the boon of female BPD's). When things were too harmonious with the first wife, it felt like you two "had become one" and you projected your own worst characteristics onto her. With the second wife there is no engulfment to fear since she puts distance between the two of you with her infidelity and double life.
Just an observation from a BPD spouse.

Correction: should be "bane" instead of "boon." Female BPD's fear abandonment most, and male BPD's dread engulfment the most.

I cant speak for other male BPDs, but for me, I don't fear engulfment at all. I fear abondonment a great deal, though. That fear of abandonment comes from my childhood, but mostly I'm worried because I know that I'm a very difficult person to live with. Who wants to be with a crazy person when there are so many more normal people out there? I love spending time with my wife..I ask her to sit with me and be close all the time. In fact, when she is distant..I feel terrible and uncomfortable, in a very dependant kind of way.

Then you are a rarity, I would have to say, amongst BPD males. For example, you openly call yourself "BPD," and most guys with this disorder are in denial about it. By the same token, I would wager that most BPD males would never admit to fearing engulfment in those terms. They would blame it on the spouse, maintaining that she created the distance or provoked his behavior. Most guys don't like the feeling of emotional dependence, and if they have BPD, they react to it with hostility.

Well, OK then; I guess you have your experiences and readings to support the claim. I guess what Zensters and I and other wives of BPD guys have experienced is a different cluster of symptoms. I've done a lot of reading too and I've seen sub-types of BPD, such as high-functioning male. That's the kind I feel is associated with fear of engulfment more than fear of abandonment. All the definitions in the DSM-V are now being challenged anyway as unscientific.

The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the USA declared DSM-5 invalid on May 8th. The NIMH will compose its own diagnostic manual. You can find this under "Mental Health" on the Kaiser Health News website.

As far as citations of sources that describe a "symptom cluster" for high-functioning BPD males that privileges fear of engulfment, it would take me a while to track those down. It's certainly my experience with my husband. He is a competent professional (and so absolutely denies that he has BPD) with a few troubles that crop up at work from his "splitting" his co-workers or superiors into heroes or villains. Anyway, good luck. I'm glad you realize certain painful truths about your feelings and behavior.

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