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Coping With My Borderline

After being married 27 years, rearing two beautiful emotionally healthy daughters despite their fathers strange behavior. We had and at times still have great times together, every day is not a bad day. Being married to and surviving a borderline marriage is hard work, but it can be done.

The reason I have been able to survive this far is because of my strong faith in a higher being. I continuously educate myself, from the borderline's perspective and from the non's perspective. And yes, it is downright heart-wrenching at times. It is important that a spouse of a borderline never lose sight of who we are as an individual. Surround ourselves with positive people and things, practice self preservation at all cost.

I had many good years with my husband of which I constantly have to draw on sometimes just to get me through a day. It would not be human to say the rages, infidelities, unreasonableness, the glass in almost always empty, self-pity, back-to-normal and repeat the cycle all over again that catches you off guard every time is not the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life.

This is where I have learned the art of mentally disengaging. The worst of his episodes has reared it's ugly head in the past six years now that we are empty-nesters, and he has retired. That which he used to shield his family from his wrath was gone, and I became his target.

At first the confusion left me questioning myself, and as I carefully scrutinized what role I was playing in the onset of these seemingly out of no where rages, I realized  they were actually appearing out of thin air. This is when I knew something was seriously wrong. It was always a joke in our family that he had three different personalities, a joke, yet each persona was recognizable by all of us. Each so uniquely individual that we had given each one a name.

After years of starting and stopping counseling before getting a diagnosis just at the point of him having to feel his wall of pain he would stop. It wasn't until about six months ago after I busted him yet another time, yet this time I made sure he could not deny it, did it send him running to counseling. The difference was this time, HE made the appointment, HE was responsible for keeping and making his appointments. He found a wonderful therapist that he trusted, as much as a borderline can. He opened up about things that he had never told anyone else. This was a major break through. His therapist had as part of his homework he had to share to a certain degree what he had discovered about himself with me.

I knew about the abuse heaped on he, his siblings, and mother by his father and always attributed his behavior to that. Yet once in therapy, it went deeper than that, deeper than either of us had expected to find. There was also sexual abuse  by a neighborhood baby sitter that his therapist attributes his many indiscretions.

The pain of confronting the past once again became to overwhelming, and he has since stopped therapy, again. It was not before receiving a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder/bipolar/post-traumatic stress from childhood with hedonistic tendencies. Part of his treatment was to learn how to deal with the on-going pain on his own without returning to old coping mechanisms such as the attention of other females as a quick pick me up. He was also told that the reason he chose that avenue to cope was he still felt the need to be in control, and prove to himself that sexually he was now in control.

He constantly lives in fear of my leaving him, yet will distance himself emotionally from me. This hurts like no other hurt. When I feel the need to emotionally disengage, needing to take some time for myself, he often feels abandoned and will act out by showering his attention on someone else that he has met, and once caught will give me the old; I can't talk to you, you are so busy doing your own thing, you are always mad at me spiel. This is even though I had explained prior  that I just need to take some time for myself right now,  not because of being angry.

I have learned to set boundaries within our marriage and constantly remind him what the consequences are if they are crossed. I am careful not to make threats that I have no intention of carrying out, because this only gives him more ammunition. I strive for my yes to mean yes and my no to mean no. Does he get angry when I stick to my guns on certain matters? yes. Does he sometimes act out because of my stance? yes, and badly.

Only now, that he has some coping skills under his belt I notice the obvious indiscretions have if not ceased at least slowed. For the first time in years he will let his guard down long enough to say I am sorry that I hurt you and remind me what he has been doing has nothing to do with me and explain it is almost like an addicting drug that you return to time and time again to get you through the rough times in your head.

I now understand that a borderline mate, because of not having a self-identity will mirror their feelings on to you because they can't handle the feelings themselves. I've created a life that I can lose myself in from time to time with hobbies, reading and other activities. I make sure that I don't spend all my time walking on eggshells. In order to make this work we must be strong enough with in ourselves and have a well-established set of boundaries in place. The hardest part is to try and separate the person from the disease, learn how not to take everything personally, establish a form of communication between the two of you that allows you to say to him/her, that one really hurt and I need to just step away from you right now to process this one. This may be in a form of a card, a written note, e-mail or something as simple as wearing a piece of clothing in a particular color that you both decided would be the cue to back off. Maybe red. Thanks for listening how I personally cope.

dearbea dearbea 51-55, F 53 Responses Nov 3, 2008

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I've been married 35 years, my husband has bpd. Reading the preceding posts is almost more than I can do. He tried to kill me, smiled when he thought he had succeeded. Blamed me when he was finally arrested. Still married, I need income and health insurance. Everyone I know thinks I'm an idiot, but I have no schooling or work experience. I've been a great wife, mom and grandma since high school. No one is will to pay for that particular skill set. Fortunately, we are not living together but are still working toward getting better. I'm still here because of the reasons stated above, and for my grandchildren, who are still too young to understand when I visit alone. He's had multiple relationships but claims they have all been emotional, not physical. I'm so exhausted by the lying. He tells me about all the 20 years olds who are hot for his bod, I don't believe it, and I just don't care anymore. I completely understand the woman who prays that her husband will have a heart attack, problem is, she will have one long before he does. I cried when I read a response by a gentleman with bpd, he is right, it seems so terrible. But the most horrific thing is, if that man did not have borderline, and his wife did, he would have left her a long time ago. Why do you think 75% of borderline's are female? Because men won't tolerate it from a wife. Women can't force men into therapy, so they are not often diagnosed. If I had somewhere else to go, I'd already be there. What makes me so sad if that if he were me, he would never stay. After more than 30 years of therapy, I have no hope and see no way out.

Your experience is similar to mine. I am married for 23 years now and from the beginning I saw the problem. It was just like I bought a big puzzle with a picture of it finished - only I had to make it on my own.

I have many flaws, like any other person, but I have some wonderful abilities such as a good insight or ability of diagnosing some things. Rewinding my tape, I remember when I was telling my husband about his odd behaviors and how they might end. I was right, only at that time I was not so theoretically equipped.

Reading all these posts here reveals that a BPD appears in many forms and intensities. Rewinding again assures me that I instinctively did the right thing:

I set up boundaries at an early times - frankly, not every time and not always firmly, but enough to make me survive, to make me grow, to keep the beast half-tame and to give our children a sane childhood (though they witnessed many of our quarrels) and parental support.
Result: they see their father for what he is, they are not very happy when he has his tantrums, but are strong enough to survive this with self assurance and humor.

Over there at a "I hate my mil" experience I occasionally bark at her, but all this is a well-known circle of reasons, motives and consequences. She is a BPD person and she has brought up such children. Enough of her.

Back to the man I live with. Why did I stay? First of all, our love and respect is unquestionable, we both proved it many times. From the beginning I knew that was a disorder, I had trust in myself and in him, though he pulled my nerves to a breaking point. And still, I do not consider myself a masochist or a victim.

What makes him a borderliner:
- intensive ups and downs in emotions,
- changes in insecurity-security phases,
- nitpicking in everyday life (house, garden, food, money matters),
- long, long, long preachings to me and the children (to which we smile now)
- getting overexcited over local and global situation
- workacholism and - "nobody can do it better than me" attitude...

It is all about the expectations, I am not one of those victim women, but I do not expect everything in life to go smooth. Yes, I did not expect so much bumps on the road, I was on verge of leaving him a couple of times, but generally I never look at things too dramatically, I always think that there should be the way out - found by yourself not expecting it from someone else.

Maybe I look at all this as a challenge, who knows. Is that honest, to consider it a sort of a chess game, I don´t know? It is not over, I know, but in the meantime I got some tools to cope with this situation.

And for every person dealing with a BPD partner self-esteem is essential.

THis is my husband to a T. He has lied to me constantly, cheated on me and took her down to meet his family while I unknowingly was sitting at home. He manipulates people by telling them horrible things about me, then sits back and grins while they insult me. He has screaming rages that can last for days at a time,. and of course, if the sky were the wrong color today, it is my fault. I have finally found a part of a way to deal with this. I garden, by myself, and he is in the fourth counselling attempt. BY HIMSELF. I made him go, but then, I have to make him do everything. I really hold his family responsible for this. They made him, they should take responsibility for him. I am not a mental health professional, I just want to stay in my home, and enjoy my garden. I am quite isolated, he doesn't want others around, unless he knows they will be ok with his unfortunate behavior. NOt many will, and those that will, I have enough of already thank you. don't need more insane people to deal with. My sisters came to stay with me a while back and were utterly horrifiled. I am now hoping to spend more time with THEM at their homes. One day, if I am really lucky, in the middle of one of his rages, he will have a heart attack. THen, all will be better. The counsellors are terribly slow and for years, kept trying family counselling. They were NEVER going to get anywhere, if anything, it just made his abuse worst. He is now seeing someone who has actually pinpointed his bpd and is working in the right direction, the problem is, they are very slow. And Everyday of my life spent in this hell, is a personal loss. Life is supposed to be happy and fulfilled, that cannot happen in the company of a person like this. They are morbid, evil creatures, and they delight in how to destroy you. My garden is my only sanctuary. PLease god, people are dropping dead daily, why not take this guy. Think of the good that could come of it.

I wanted to say something on your comments. I also suffer from BPD and other diagnosed mental illnesses. Yes it is hard on our Family which the things you said sound like my wife. Honestly do you think saying these things is helpful! Do you ever think how your husband feels inside dealing with this sort of thing! Where is the Love, where is the support! What if it was You! Would you want someone to say that they want you to drop dead or Hope that God takes their life! This is a sever condition which in most cases and like mines I did not cause it and I am continuing treatment! Maybe you might be the one that has an heart attack and dies! You say we are morbid creatures! Who do you think you are!!!! One thing for sure, you are not a person of compassion and definitely ignorant! That is why this world is they way it is! People are always wanting to push others aside when there is something that is hard to handle! My Wife is a Christian and I Love her very much even though she looks at me in this way and thinks it is okay to drag me through and toss me aside which hurts especially because she is a Christian as well as me but when those of you forget to look at the person's Heart and add more Love to it, the only thing you are doing is hindering the possible Deliverance! But just like my wife it up to you all if you want to dismiss us and so call move on! My wife went through a humbling experience with her Kidney and was able in a years time and was Blessed with a transplant! I thought that would open her eyes and see from that Blessing to extend that Love and Support to me to make it through! NOT! I feel that she hates me just like it seems with you and your husband! Honestly, it is very, very sad that those who suffer from Mental Illness are treated like this! Like the saying goes, "Every Dog Has It's Day!" Dont be surprised if one day you wake up and start to experience Mental Illness! I gurantee you that you will wish you never made those "Ignorant" comments! (And for the "Precious Heart" that initiated the article I just wanted to thank You for seeing past the illness and looked at the Heart of Your Husband and continues to shower your Husband with Love, Support and Understanding! In my book you are a "Diamond Without A Flaw" and you will receive "Your Blessed Reward!"

Dear Coolworld,

Thank you for your response. I somehow missed reading the initial response for which you responded too when it came through originally. Although it is written in a harsh tone no doubt out of anger and frustration we both have to do the right thing by keeping the writer in our prayers. I would hope those are not the writers true feelings but came from a place of panic. It sounds as if the writer has no support system and just needs to gain a bit more education on this illness and how to best support the sufferer. We are all in this together, my days are not always smooth especially when I myself is having a bad day. But I am quick to show the empathy needed as soon as I have stepped away to take care of myself for a moment. It is hard on both parties, but if we educate ourselves as to how to coexist in our relationships it can work. Not perfectly of course. But it takes two and only expecting from the other what they are capable of. As for me being a "Diamond Without A Flaw". Thanks for the compliment but I am far from that. I have had and do have my days, but love covers a multitudes of sins. Not abuse, but sins. As long as he keeps trying and showing some effort, I will be here to support him, even if at times when it is necessary to do so from a distance. You take care of yourself and thanks again for your post.

I totally understand how you feel. I hope you get some type of notification because I really need someone to talk to and listen to. I need to hear about what others are experiencing. I love my husband, but I get it. I understand all of the frustrations with trying to get help for your loved one and for your family and getting nothing...or getting some type of uninformed counselor who does not know about or understand or recognize personality disorders. Anyway, I just now came across this website, don't know exactly how it all works, yet.
Hope to hear back from you.

Going on 33 years with my BPD husband....so burned out emotionally and ready to quit.
All your stories sound like you've been watching my life. Always waiting for the storm when it's been calm..not enjoying the calm..just waiting for the shoe to drop..the latest thing to send him off in a rage..for the screaming monster to emerge. Sooo tired.
I see him as an emotional vampire..always taking..never enough. .never good enough.

Cpcompleted..I understand. .how do I throw him to the wolves? How do I do the one thing he fears the most and leave?
I have found someone who loves me...ME..the one my husband finds so flawed.
So strange to be shown respect
But how do I betray someone I promised to death do us part?
How do I justify what it will do to him if I leave so "I" can be happy?

For those of you debating if you should marry someone with BPD...know it's a long journey that may cost you everything that you
are. Learn everything that you can ..read every experience you can..see if it's worth all you are...it's a roller coaster that's very hard to get off once your on.

When things are calm(by bpd standards)you think..I can live with this..it's not too bad. It be comes the norm. Then the storm comes and the monster rises and Everything is on you. EVERYTHING is your fault...you will never hear he's sorry he lost it...that he hurt you AGAIN.
And like a storm eats at a the sand on a beach..your self and self esteem is slowly eaten away..your left alone because no one will ever believe the nice guy in public is a monster at home..and he's convinced you its all your fault any way.
I feel for you all..applaud those who have the strength to leave and pray for those of you who stay .
froggy

I'm not very good with social media thing. I am Not sure that you'll even get this message. But I just want to let you know reading your post made me cry. I have been married for 21 years feeling the same way. I actually stumbled across this site looking for ways I can set healthy biblical boundaries in my marriage.I don't know where you are in your believes in God. But I will continuein my marriage based on the understanding that I am never alone.and I'm not perfect. If God can love me then I can love my husband. I will pray God gives you strength to keep going. And protect you both through the storms.

thank you for sharing..xo

Thank you so much for your response. I am not married to this guy, but I am experiencing the same issues. I wish that I could contact you for emotional support because this is stressful. I love this man but his behavior is very hurtful. I need coping skills to deal with him. HELP...

Eykendrick.......You are right, if you plan to stay in this relationship you will need a support team of people around you that will love and support you through the good the bad and the ugly, and yet not be judgmental of your decisions. You will also need support from others who understand what you are going through because they themselves have dealt with, are dealing with, or are undecided as to whether or not they will continue to deal with these issues.To get this support join bpdfamily.com
Here you can bare your soul and receive support, workshops to give you coping skills as well as read many experiences they will sound like your own.
Hang in there and never stop educating and taking care of you first.

I married my BPD husband in 1982. We have raised three children and I can relate to your story about the good times and bad, the black/white thinking, the severe mood swings, and either viewing me as perfect...the woman of his dreams or completely worthless and the bain of his existence. He struggles with a chronic sense of malcontent and is always looking for the next thing to give meaning to his life. We have a very blessed life, but he cannot see that for longer than a few days at a time. He will go from sheer eutopian rapture about how he loves his life and family, to being utterly disgusted and wanting out. Of course, it is always all my fault. The violent, explosive rage can be very frightening to family members as he is 6'5"and 250 lbs and extremely loud and aggressive. He has actually kept me "prisoner" for over three hours and continued to spew vile streams of profanity, accusations, hatred and contempt toward me. His eyes become like a demon bent on utter destruction. Then, when he has had his fix, he acts as if nothing ever happened. He has thrown things at me, emptied the contents of the kitchen cabinets onto the floor, emptied the pantry or refrigerator onto the floor in one of his tantrums and then leaves to go about his business. After 31 years, I am considering calling it quits. I accepted he is mentally ill many years ago and have tried to make the best of it, but I cannot tolerate the constant retraction of admission there is anything wrong with him. He will admit his problem, stay with his medication, promise to stay in counseling, but then he constantly decides there is nothing wrong with him and I am crazy. We have to keep revisiting square one over and over and over and it is absurd!

Wow, ur story has given me such insight on my soon to be ex. Especially WHY he is always flirting with other females and having affairs. (I don't put up with it by the way) unfortunately, there is no hope of a successful relationship with a borderline as far as I'm concerned- I am too passionate about life and my own morals and values, to constantly be abused, cheated on, manipulated, and lose my self because of someone's illness. I wish there were a cure for Borderline and Bipolar Disorder. It really tears families apart. God bless.

JoyMoss........sorry for the delay in responding, as we are in a very bad place right now on my end. Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your input as we all continue to support each other through this. The more comments we get the better we are able to give the needed support to someone else.

Thanks again
DearBea

I'm so glad you're getting out, wish I had done it 35 years ago. Run, and never look back.

Your story has been very helpful. I recently gotten back with my child's father who is BPD. We were broken up for a yr. He used to be verbally and emotionally abusive, infedelity it was a mess. During that year he was with someone else and was still helping me financially he never brought the female around his family and always wanted me around his family as if we were still together. It had gotten to thr point the female had called me bcause she knew he was still in love with me. Since we been back together hrs been doing this hes never has done giving me compliments, taking me out being openly expressive about how much he loves me and missed me. I've been finding myself questioning him like if he's cheating on me bcause he had went a day wit out callback me just textin and after an argument he told me he needed a mental day cause hes been stressed and he had moved in his new apt. He had textd me pics and i feel bad he's been tryn. Now hes been initiating arguemnts and sort of pushin me away. Also i had told him a lil white lie about a dog I brought and told him I didn't want to tell him bcause didn't want us to argue or make him upset. I brought the dog while we were broken up. Reading your story gave me some hope. He told his family that we are gonna get married and told mr he wants to get engaged around Christmas.

road2recovery.......thanks for sharing your story. I wanted to comment on your statement that reading my story gave you hope. I am happy that you were able to see the positive in my story, because there are still good days. However, I just want to make it clear that there are also not so good times still, but I've learned over the years how to cope. The reality of the situation is there will be good moments, but without an enormous about of therapy and hard work on the part of the one suffering from BPD, there will always be the sort of cycling you are experiencing. When you are pushed away, you are later pulled back in and as soon as you get comfortable pushed away again.
I don't say this to discourage you, because if you are a totally self-sufficient person and is strong enough to understand that this will (possibly) be the dynamics of your relationship then I think we all are happy for you. Educate yourself about BPD, learn how to set boundaries in the relationship and seek out support from others. BPDfamily.com is an excellent forum, support, and education resource. I wish you well.

Thanks, I will look into that!!

Where can I get more information about borderline personality disorder?

Hello lmfr.....there are various sources on the internet regarding this disorder if you do a google search......one forum in particular that is near and dear to me personally is at BPDfamily.com this is mainly a support group for friends and family members of bpd person. There are also workshops and other resources and links that will give you more information.

I'm a male with BPD and I can relate to all of this and I SEE myself there. It's awful. I'm sorry that you had to experience this.

Thank you for sharing :)

I sooooooooooo needed to read that-- THANK YOU

My boyfriend of 3 years has BPD and just broke up with me. He said he will reassess how he is feeling at the end of July and see if he made a mistake by letting me go. <br />
<br />
Is there a way to tell whether or not he just really want to break up with me because he doesn't want to be in a relationship or if he is going through a push/pull phase?<br />
<br />
I'm so confused. I don't know what to do.

Ughhhhhhh I understand completely, I am having one of those days myself. Because we are not therapist, never should we spend too much time trying to figure them out. We can only be responsible for ourselves and our emotional well-being. Although hard, take this time to focus on you and do some deep soul-searching within yourself. Use this time as you own emotional time-out to get your head untangle from the web of confusion. Go out with your girlfriends, take up a hobby you always wanted to learn, take a short relaxing vacation etc.....the point is our well-being is first and foremost and is the only thing we have full control of....our mates are the only ones that can make it better, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it and it will not get better on it's own. You will make yourself crazy trying to figure it all out hun. Use this time to educate yourself as to how to survive in this type of relationship. Although there are many support groups one that I found to be very helpful personally is at www.bpdfamily.com. Read through the workshops and message boards where you will find others that are dealing with, have dealt with as well as a few recovering from bpd, ready to share there experiences. By reading the experiences of others it will help you to see, you are by no means alone in your pain and struggle. I wish you well. Take care of yourself.

Thanks for the reply. I just feel so lost.

He told me he doesn't want to be in a relationship and there is not chance we will get back together but at the end of July, he will reassess his feelings to see if he made a mistake by letting me to.

I'm so frustrated.

I will look into that website.

Thanks

I have taken the first steps in walking away. I have 2 young children and we spend our lives tip toeing around. I have been married for 10 years but been with him for 15. I have always though there was something not quite right and I spend all my energy putting on a false front that everything in my marriage is fine and trying to distract him from bullying and intimidating Our children. Not even my best friends know about the rage and dissasociation (I thought I was going crazy). My father died 4 months ago and I miss him terribly, now that he is no longer around my husband’s abuse and controlling ways are even worse. Luckily I have the support of my Mother and brother and a very informed social worker who is building a case as my children are extremely traumatised and they have also just lost their grandpa. I am absolutely terrified for my children and my safety but I can’t carry on like this anymore. I need to be able to breathe again. At least I know I am not alone after reading all these posts.

My heart goes out to you and I strongly would advise you to leave before your children get any older. I have been married for 9 years to a man who has made out lives a misery and my 3 children have suffered emotionally and needed counselling. If I could go back I would have left in the early days and not lived in hope that things could change. In my experience if your partner has no insight into his need to change and is not totally committed to seeking help then there is very little hope that you will ever have a peaceful home, which is a basic right for any human being. I hope you and your children will find freedom and happiness.

Hi Perelandra,
Thanks for the support. I am sitting at my desk feeling terrible. I issued my husband with a protection order and divorce summons on friday. My Husband is devestated and cant understand why I have left him. I feel so guilty and yet I have made up my mind and will not go back. Our children are missing their father so much.

I am so sorry to hear about all you are going through Fionah. No two situations are the same but I don't believe anyone should live with bullying, intimidation, control or abuse. My situation is different because my husband is step father to my 3 children. His first wife and 3 children left him and went to a women's refuge. He always maintained it was her who had the mental health issues and I believed him as he appeared to be well balanced, loving and honest during the year before our marriage. Only after our marriage did the rages and black moods descend and 2 suicide attempts. The bullying, false accusations and mind games made me doubt my own sanity. For 4 years I lived in hope that things would improve but left in 2008 with my kids to live in a flat. I visited him 4 times a week and stayed with him weekends and at least had peace that my kids did not have to endure the misery any longer. We returned last December at his request as my remaining kids were 18 and 21 and my husband had been quite stable for a while. However, I bitterly regret this and so do my children as we are back in the same place of mood swings, fault finding and constant fear.They will soon be moving away to study and when they do I am leaving too. I have tried hard for 9 years to meet his every need and I have received contempt, criticism, ingratitude and painful accusations in return. I have lost credibility with my children and his children who hate to see me constantly abused and coming back for more. To continue in such a situation achieves nothing, not even my husband's happiness because he is incapable of being happy. What kind of an example is it for children to see such a relationship modelled?
My 3 step children (whom I love dearly) are now grown up and have a better relationship with their father these days so I hope yours will come to a similar place. They know his selfish and abusive behaviour is wrong though and so do I.
It's a no brainer that I need to leave him and I can no longer pretend otherwise.
Take care x

I am so grateful for all of you, and equally saddened as well. I married a man I am sure is a borderline. After we got married, he drastically changed. Degrading remarks, isolation from everyone, constant verbal bashings, blaming me for things I never did, making up stories to police, to destroy my name and telling me I am too " prideful" as christianity states you should not be. I was always, defending myself. He holds no trust for anyone, or anything. He became jealous , oh, so jealous, of my karate instructors. Every word I said was scrutinized, but his mouth runs, and runs, it's foulness never ceases. He treats me worse than people who have truly harmed him, yet, I have never done anything to hurt him. Now, he is silent to me, and for <br />
weeks at a time. My heart feels like it has exploded. There are times when his love is euphoric, and I think , wow, there is the man I married!! It only ever lasts for 2 or 3 days...then he is back to being everyones critic. I am a strong woman, and this has exhausted me. I pray for all of you who feel you are not worth more than this. This is abuse at its finest. Cold, raw, abuse. They are aware of what they are doing . My husband has stated he doesn't like to deal with emotions and " stuff" like that, but has no problem dumping them on me letting me feel his pain and agony. he refuses to seek therapy and medication. . They like who they are, ..controlling, although he can't even admit that. He try's his best to use his intellect against me. People, this is devious, and takes a lot of pre- planning!! Consider your children, please....especially the little ones!! If anger, alcohol, or drugs mix with this it's called toxic, and you could check out of the life hotel way earlier than expected. I am fortunate enough to be very skilled in martial arts, so my husband will not touch me in a harmful way, but ladies, everything your children hear, or see is etched deeply into their minds..believe me!

crazyforkenpo.....thanks for sharing

If you are staying with him after multiple infidelities but believe you are standing your ground . . . HELL-OOOO . . . I think you are just hanging on to the marriage for financial security. After a man has stepped out on you several times and you are willing to forgive and forget, that is no longer a marriage. That is just a monetary arrangement in which you fear you will be laid off but still have not received a pink slip. You hope for the best so that you will remain entitled to half of his earnings and then pension. Believe me, I have weighed these pros and cons too, sister. I have tried to stay but if you respect yourself you must leave. You cannot let a BPD walk all over you. Maybe you would rather have the money than your self-respect; in my case it's the opposite. <br />
Blueshoes: I don't know how severe the rages are. Maybe it is best to stay (if he has not been unfaithful) if you do not wish to terminate the pregnancy. If you are in any danger, of course that should be your cue to leave. And my God, with four children already nobody would blame you for terminating. Remember there is a genetic component to the disorder and your baby with him could have a problem. Furthermore, you cannot count on BPDs getting better. it's all a question of how much you are willing to tolerate and what kind of abuse is being dished out.

Hello Trueblue135.....thank you for your post. I understand your concern for a fellow sister and it is greatly appreciated, however I can assure you I am not being nor have I ever been one to allow people to walk over me. My choice to stay with my husband of almost 31 years was mine to make and I stand by that. I am a happy striving human being whose worth was not determined by another. My self-respect is intact as it always has been. Your thoughts on your husbands monetary values are just that your thoughts, not mine. I have my own. Being married to someone with this order, is not cookie cutter whatever choice another makes in dealing with their situation should be supported. I support yours, my decision to stay was based on private factors that is just that, private. I hope that you are trying to come from a good place based on your personal feelings, but please remember in the future to try and keep it positive. I understand what you are trying to say but your approach could really be damaging to someone that are not in a place where we are right now. At Peace.

You are right. What I said was too harsh. I have been dealing with the "emotional" sort of infidelity and I chose not to tolerate it. I have children from before my relationship with my BBD husband and I feel that, if I should die first, he would not be good to them. So my situation is different. Peace.

Oh my, these posts describe my husband exactly. We have been married for 1 1/2 years after which I immediately started noticing these disturbing cycles of rage to checking out. I was at a loss as to their trigger. Finally called his former wife of 23 years and she told me he had dx of Borderline. He denies. Feeling like a horrible person wanting to leave. We are expecting a child together (not planned, I am 45 and he is 51) and he is so excited this being his first, my 5th. So scared for my unborn child and feeling guilty if I deprive him of her in his life. What to do? Help, I feel so unchristian when I think about leaving but need to do what is best for our unborn child. Thanks, Stomach in nots in the NW

Hello blueshoes1........your story touches me deeply, the fact that you are pregnant during the time of figuring this out concerns me. Only because this is a time when your focus has to be on you and the health of your unborn child. You can not fix a borderline, you can only learn how to cope or walk away. Right now you are going to need all the support you can get for yourself, support from others who understand what it is like to live with someone like this. There is no wrong or right way you have to do what is best for you and your personal situation. Whatever you do being scared is not an option.....educating yourself is key to making the best decision for you and your family. Physical abuse is not an option. For starters, try this support board for family members and read through the workshops and talk to others who are coping with, have left or are in the process of leaving. This will be an excellent support system for you. The board is at www.bpdfamily.com
Please relax a little and take care of yourself.

Wow c jessica,, you'v more or less written my life!! lv been with my husband 30 years and gone through all you describe, l too am taking the baby steps needed to finaly leave, the drama you describe about trying to leave is spot on, l left 12 years ago my children were in they'r teen's at the time so l had to go back, "he threw me out" in one of his rages. <br />
Do you know l was thrilled, he'd made it easy, ld been gone about 3 days ld left the kids with him (they were more or less self sufficent) while l stayed with a friend and looked for a place for me and the kids, then it happened "The U turn" he called me every min of every hour, he harrased my friends, family, employers begging me to go back, he started to drink heavily so my mum collected the kids as he just went into melt down, he would call everyone all hours of the night, visit them first thing in the morning, still l stayed away hoping ld see it through, (he didnt know where l was) this continued for about 3 weeks it was hell!! finaly friends and family were cross with me, calling me to "sort him out" it was getting too much for them they didnt want to be dragged into my separation, they felt sorry for him, he loved me so much, blah'blah,, l knew how it was to look into thoes puppy dog eyes and feel pity ld done it from the age of 14!!<br />
The final straw was our son, l picked him and my daughter up for dinner, we'd arrange a meet place they could sneak too after school as my husband drove round constantly looking for me at relatives and friends houses, they were both realy down which l understood, my son looked at me and said, mum, l think dad will kill himself, if you wont come back for dad will you come back for me? at that moment l knew l was in for a few more years, l went back set up the boundries, he tried as best he could and l went through the motions, that was 12 years ago, my kids are gone now and happy, my daughter has a baby boy, he's my world, things are steady most of the time but l want my life back, l care for my husband and have love for him but thats all, l plan to make a move in the next 12 months, l am dreading it l will have to sneak away, somthing lm not proud of but l think you know that sitting down and talking about stuff doesnt work with a BPD sufferer, and god forgive me, if he does atemp suicide, I AM NOT TO BLAME,, Iv done all l can do, l want a life too,

Trying to figure out whether my husband was suffering BPD or manic depression or suffering PTSD created an additional nightmare to the one I was already living by sharing my life with him. All the online quizzes said he's BPD, my counselor said he's BPD & that I should get away from him or get professional help, but approaching the subject of out-of-control-feelings always resulted in massive violence, suicide threats and emotional destruction. After six years together, the giant emotional mood swings, the constant controlling behavior, the threats of suicide, the affairs, the lies and constant over-the-top verbal abuse led me to seek further help for myself. I began focusing on taking care of myself--something intimately exposing yourself to a BPD person erodes. I focused on myself, started going to support groups, then more support groups. I focused on taking care of myself for the next six years, undoing the damage being around a BPD person does. I remained hopeful, open to change and faithful to my marriage. I filled in my own foundation, regained perspective and self esteem, and little by little, stop accepting the daily, unrelenting unacceptable behavior. Another six years past, me constantly working on improving myself, he doing the same old, same old. For twelve years I devoted loved this beautiful man despite the abuse and he did absolutely nothing to work on his behavior. During 2011 I adopted a Supernanny attitude: I had simply had enough. When he exploded I would leave. When he out of the blue curses at me or yells terrible names at me because of his own fear and panic I say that behavior is an unacceptable way to treat me, then I detach. I don't have to tell you how well this is going over. It isn't. The less I allow his tantrums to control my life the more he does it. I wake up in terror wondering when the drama dance will flare. But through it all, I very much realized I can't help him. Just like dealing with an alcoholic spouse, all I can do is remain calm, attend to my life and know he has his own God to answer to and I am not it. It has been a extremely belittling, health crushing experience, loving a man with such mental grief and, after many years of prayer and counseling I am preparing to leave him. I have learned it is not my job to stay with a person who is so emotionally destructive to me, even though I love him. It is my job to leave and find one of the 94% of people who don't have BPD to share my life with. Life is too short. Get away from these selfish destructive mentally ill folk sooner than later. It will only suck you down into the abyss. Good luck.

Wow! it is amazing how I identify myself a little with each one of you. I'm just decided to seek for professional help, although I understood its not the cure for a BPD husband. We are married for almost 25 years. I love him, but is beeing very dificult to cope with the erratic behavior on daily basis. Thanks for all postings. It really help others to move on, to understand better what is going on, and to find help.<br />
I also beleive in God, it has helped me a lots. It has kept me from going crazy, thinking I am alone and helpess. Today I contacted a psychoterapis in my area to set the 1st appointment for me, since he is in complete denial. He always blame the day he had, some traffic problem, business, etc.... Hope it will help me at least. I need to set the bondaries, educate my 2 daughters 18 and 12 about it. They already know something is wrong with dad, but just care in not being the sparkle of the bomb inside him. We are all walking on eggshels, and it is a miserable life. I hope I will find help. Thansk every one.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... I've been on the web all day scanning throughf BPD support blogs & communities and, frankly, yours is the first ray of hope all day ... just wanted to connect and say hey ... I'm REALLY at the beginning of all this, and have spent SOOO many years either in ignorance or denial. I've actually had 'walking on eggshells' on my shelf for years (recommended by a dear high school friend who's on the other end of a lengthy divorce / custody battle nightmare from her BPD ex-husband), and only took it down last year when my sister-in-law's behavior rung some SERIOUS BPD bells ... and then this Christmas morning 2011 I 'woke up' to my husband ranting and raving about how my three children and I only wanted him for his money and how we had ruined his Christmas b/c the 'kids' (age 17-20) opened their stockings without him ... reeling at the moment and wondering how I never SAW this before. Don't know if I'm in need of the hope or in need of an excuse to flee at the moment ... but its good to know that somebody who is willing to stay has seen healing and improvement. So there is an alternative ? Prayers soliceted !

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... I've been on the web all day scanning throughf BPD support blogs & communities and, frankly, yours is the first ray of hope all day ... just wanted to connect and say hey ... I'm REALLY at the beginning of all this, and have spent SOOO many years either in ignorance or denial. I've actually had 'walking on eggshells' on my shelf for years (recommended by a dear high school friend who's on the other end of a lengthy divorce / custody battle nightmare from her BPD ex-husband), and only took it down last year when my sister-in-law's behavior rung some SERIOUS BPD bells ... and then this Christmas morning 2011 I 'woke up' to my husband ranting and raving about how my three children and I only wanted him for his money and how we had ruined his Christmas b/c the 'kids' (age 17-20) opened their stockings without him ... reeling at the moment and wondering how I never SAW this before. Don't know if I'm in need of the hope or in need of an excuse to flee at the moment ... but its good to know that somebody who is willing to stay has seen healing and improvement. So there is an alternative ? Prayers soliceted !

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... I've been on the web all day scanning throughf BPD support blogs & communities and, frankly, yours is the first ray of hope all day ... just wanted to connect and say hey ... I'm REALLY at the beginning of all this, and have spent SOOO many years either in ignorance or denial. I've actually had 'walking on eggshells' on my shelf for years (recommended by a dear high school friend who's on the other end of a lengthy divorce / custody battle nightmare from her BPD ex-husband), and only took it down last year when my sister-in-law's behavior rung some SERIOUS BPD bells ... and then this Christmas morning 2011 I 'woke up' to my husband ranting and raving about how my three children and I only wanted him for his money and how we had ruined his Christmas b/c the 'kids' (age 17-20) opened their stockings without him ... reeling at the moment and wondering how I never SAW this before. Don't know if I'm in need of the hope or in need of an excuse to flee at the moment ... but its good to know that somebody who is willing to stay has seen healing and improvement. So there is an alternative ? Prayers soliceted !

As I research personality disorders to better understand my daughter-in-law who lives in our home with my son and their 1 year old son, my first grandchild, I have come to realize she suffers with BPD. Oddly enough, the personality traits that I have struggled with in my husband are similar, though not to the same severity. My husband has always recognized his difficult personality and we joke that he is bipolar. I have a strong resolve and self-esteem which I believe has allowed me to have compassion in the relationships with my husband and my daughter-in-law, however, I have always refused o walk on eggshells and just weather the fall out until the skies clear. I believe in dealing directly, honestly, yet calmly when things get rough, but be sure that these idividuals like to pull you into their moments of "hell" and the more calm you get the more agitated they get. My greatest concern is for my daughter-in-law who is more severe, more self-destructive, and does not have a tenderness or an empathy for others that my husband has, which has been a help to him. My husband also has a deep belief and faith in God through a saving Jesus Christ. My daughter-in-law seems much more hopeless within herself and has no sense of God, no recognition of her eternal purpose on Earth or beyond. Though many people are not believers, I believe it is an even darker place for those suffering with personality disorders and emotional illness. My husband, my son, my daughters and I all care for her so much but her workings within our home are causing my daughters to draw away from her and she takes no responsbility for her part in the destruction of relationships. My son is not fully recognizing the magnitude of what he is dealing with yet and is a patient and loving young man but growing frustrated at her inability to experience joy or contentment for any length of time. Her 1-year old son is a loving and happy little boy with many in his life who show him love. She loves him deeply but it was obvious from the beginning that she had difficutly maintaining that natural motherly connection. Even at a few months of age she would speak to him sarcastically and seems to enjoy the "dispslay" of being a mother and a family more than the routine of the day-to-day task of mothering. It just depends on her "mood." She speaks of "me" alot...asking her baby "why are you being mean to me" instead of asking what his needs are. It's sad more than anything to watch a young, healthy beautful woman sabotage her own happiness over and over. Every relationship she has is in turmoil at some point. She is never at peace with everyone in her life at the same time. I can't imagine what torture that is but I don't think she knows any different. I truly believe childhood experience contributes to this disorder. My husband was well tended to as a child and knew his parents loved him, but had a home with little affection and little ex<x>pression of affection along with a mother who dwelt on drama and the negative. My daughter-in-law was a child of divorce after living in a home of distrust and dysfunction. Her mother left the state when she was about 12 and she and her brother lived with her father who was emotionally controlling until she married my son. She has said that being in our home is the most contentment she has ever experienced and I want to hope that just as my husband, after some years of being in a truly loving, safe and drama-free haven, some of the damage can be repaired. The problem is, the drama she is now bringing to our home is destroying the haven for all of us and may not last long enough for that to come to fruition. Here is hoping that patience, firmness, love and God's healing will endure...

My wife and i have been having difficulties for the better part of the last 2 years. About 6 months ago i found out she was cheating on me. I decided to keep trying to work things out. She had a very difficult child hood, her emotions are up and down all of the time. She is a perfectionist and a control freak. This morning she became extremely angry with me because she said a gave her a bad look. She is extremely sensitive. When she gets angry she usually says its because i said or did something hurtful to her, but I cant ever figure out what it was. I try to talk to her about her anger or the way she treats me, but she gets very defensive and angry and blames me. I have just started researching BPD, but how can you be sure this may be the cause of behaviors. She fits a lot of the characteristics, but not all of them.

I am beginning year five of a divorce settlement in court although we had a valid pre-nup. After a four year lovely courtship I found that within a year after marriage he was a raging, volatile, boring, passive-aggressive lout with a high income. None of the counselors could diagnosis him because he lies -- or does he even know the truth. I think now that he projects from his childhood abuse and isn't even there when he lies or disengages --- he's dissociating.<br />
I so wish someone had the experience to help many years ago -- to simply say it like it is. BPD is known but has usually been assumed untreatable and in high functioning men (those with good jobs) it's been overlooked as a 'power struggle' - always in private so others can't find out. So many wasted years and he's more vindictive than ever. <br />
Words to the wise -- get out and do it secretly. Get one or two people you can trust and a good therapist to create a plan to escape before he knows. If it takes a month or two years, do it.<br />
These people don't love -- they simply need as a child needs and then they turn on you --- it's called splitting -- because they never were able to find someone to trust as children. <br />
You cannot help within the relationship. They do worse in relationship than without.<br />
May all needless suffering end.

This morning I had a "lightbulb" moment. I was doing some research on child abuse and it's effects for a project I am working on, and came across a page on BPD. Yes, I had heard of it, but didn't really have a clue what it was. As I read through the article it was such a revelation. My husband of 23 years fits the profile perfectly, with every paragraph my eyes got wider as I realized he exhibits several classic symptoms of BPD. I've suffered myself with depressive illness for the last several years - although I am currently well - now I can see it's hardly surprising given that I have been trying to cope with his erratic behavior. He's always told me that I'm the problem in our marriage, that I'm mad, crazy, need to be locked up, bi-polar, which I most definitely am not. I've actually spent the last few months planning my escape because I cannot cope any more with what his behavior is doing to me and our teenage daughters. For me, the worst has been the lying and the denying. I have thought I WAS going mad when he has told me that something has NOT happened, or he has NOT said what I know very well he HAS said, He seems like he really BELIEVES those things; now I see that maybe he is disassociating and truly DOES believe what he is saying. I hope you are following here! I often feel I have lost my benchmark of what is "normal" because of the constant mind games he plays. Our marriage has been chaotic - frequent changes of jobs because he gets into conflicts at work, moving all the time (we moved 26 times in the first 10 years of our marriage) - even between countries (we are in the UK at the moment), emotional blackmail, controlling behavior, hates me being at work and independent of him and doesn't like me doing anything that doesn't involve him. He has no hobbies and no real friends. He often accuses me of infidelity (I never have) even though I know he has been unfaithful on more than one occasion. He uses sex as a measure of how much I love him, and he has become markedly worse since he began having erectile problems. He has horrendous mood swings, and goes about pointless tasks in an almost manic way. He sometimes threatens suicide, He has been in and out of counseling quite a few times over the years but ALWAYS quits when it gets challenging for him, saying he doesn't need it, he refuses to take medication or accept that there is anything at all wrong with him. There has occasionally been physical violence during arguments which he has later denied - even though I have had visible injuries. Although it's only happened very few times I am scared of him because the threat is always there. I am at the point where I just don't love him any more. I've had enough, it's killed it for me and I know it is damaging my children - so I admire you all so much who are fighting for your marriages and relationships. I feel I need to get away for my own sake but I am afraid of what he may do if I leave. I've asked him to go on numerous occasions but he just won't. I don't think he has ever stuck with counseling long enough to be diagnosed but even if he was he would deny it and say they were wrong. I do suspect he suffered abuse as a child and he sometimes says that there's "something" he's never told me about, and that he won't tell me - or anyone else - and that it's not relevant to his life today. I see from what I've read that he is in a lot of pain, but I really don't think I have anything left to give. It is a relief to know there are other people out there going through these things, thank you all for your posts on here.

I have BPD, and I just want to say YEAH!!! You went through some traumatic times in your marriage, and yet you STILL stayed by your husband's side. I am only 34 years old and have been married 3 times. The only one that lasted longer than a year ended in his death. He was one of the VERY few people in my life who did not give up. I also want to say that it is VERY courageous of you to stay through the rages. This is scary even for those of us who have BPD. At least it is for me. I know that having a "breakdown," as I like to call it, is difficult for those around me. I am a completely different person.<br />
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I have only in the past three years started learning more and more about my disease. Yes, to me it is a disease. This is because it is treatable with hard work and perseverence. I will NEVER be completely cured, but I will be able to cope better. I am working on coping skills and how to identify those things that send me into a meltdown stage. <br />
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My only problem is that my family still doesn't completely understand the disorder as a whole. My mother knows that if I don't take my medication, antidepressants, that it can be almost disasterous. I have an aunt who understands, but I don't think she has ever fully explained BPD to my parents. My parents just "roll with it." They get mad when I mess up. They are almost always disappointed in me. <br />
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My #1 problem is getting into trouble with the law. I have just been very lucky that I have not ended up in prison for my escapades. I wanted to say stupidity there for a minute, but that is not quite right. I know right from wrong, but sometimes, most of the time, I just turn off that little switch that says to do wrong is to be bad....over simplified...<br />
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I just want to say "THANK YOU" for what you have done here by posting what you have gone through with your husband. It is so rare to find a person who is willing to deal with someone with our disease. Most people in my life just gave up. I hope things work out for you and your family.