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
60 Responses Nov 3, 2008

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.

What can i say but only to have wished i came upon this site sooner. Im newly married to a husband who was diagnosed with BPD. Before i met him i had plans to work abroad and informed him that this will be the case even if we are to get serious in our relationship and even if we are to marry. <br />
What makes things worst above all else is the fact that I was diagnosed with depression odd few years ago and have sought therapy that has helped me alot.<br />
We finally got married and two weeks later i was on my way to work abroad <br />
In those 2 weeks together I was kinda shocked to see what BPD was really like and getting as much info as i could prior our getting married didnt seem to click until the day we said 'i do'<br />
Everything revolves around him. The walking on egg shells is what gets to me the most. He is a loving man with tender emotions. He is smitten with love for me that my love for him seems inadequate. Being away from him, i miss him and long for him yet reading the above comments and stories, its maybe not thing to have happened.<br />
there might be a possibility for him to come and stay with me and we have been discussing this. The thought scares him but he has seemed to make up his mind to come up to me. Being away from him is tormenting because i need him and I need his support in this new venture in a new country - a project for the next 3 years. <br />
What do I do? How do i ease him gently to not come if that is what I decide, without having to be blamed that i put him on emotional rollercoasters? <br />
I miss the fun loving times but am scared of the emotional tantrums, the self pity and him draining me out.

i love my husband more than anything...and I diagnosed him myself.. He found me.. I was married to a great man for 22 years and divorced and left my 3 kids because this man was everything I ever wanted. How hard a life I have had since. He was saved last year and we both are Godly people and he tries so hard. I beg God to heal him. I have to believe that he would like peace even more than myself. As for now I cry and cry and cry. How do I stop taking every mean thing that he says to heart? I can't believe that he wants life this way. Don't you just want to be happy and love one another and have a great day??????????? BPD's aren't capable of that. I can't get used to it. I hurt almost every day. He isolates me and is mad at me so often and I haven't done a thing. I am not one to just keep my mouth shut so it always sets him off. I think of leaving every single day and honestly can't imagine starting over at my age (47) or living one day with out seeing his beautiful face and feeling the love that he has for me when he isn't a monster. No one has ever loved me more or hated me even more. ROLLER COASTER life. I still can't believe I am living it. I too search for help and answers. Honestly...there really isn't any is there?<br />
No drugs that help... no psychiatrists that help. Family thinks we are nuts for putting up with it, and it is just painful. To the person that says ohhh he is being great right now and this and that helped him... fooling yourself only hurts worse when the next tiny thing sets him off..<br />
I love my hubby like crazy but I may have to give up the fight and throw him to the wolves as I see it, Just one more person that has given up on him. but I ache and hurt and cry and i am not heatlhy because of it.<br />
Thanks for listening<br />

Thank you so much for you words. You don't know how much they help me cope with such an illness. I am currently at a cross roads because all of the behavior you have described I have been living with for the past two years. I love my boyfriend deeply but can no longer deal with the constant blaming, projection and unfaithful behavior. I feel terrible because we recently broke up and I feel responsible for abandoning him. I reached a point where I began to question myself. My life is stable when I am not with him. I do love him and do miss him because he is a good person and my dilemma is to continue having him in my life or just let him go even though I love and care about him? Your words paint a picture where I have to ask myself can I continue living like this?

My husband and I currently have no contact because of the protective order in place. I am very seriously considering changing the divorce to a legal separation, since I do love him so much. He has been my best friend since we were 16 (15+ years), though I don't think he's ever been completely honest with me. He is attending church almost daily, going to a counselor and going through a 36 week anger management program. I think he has just been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD, though he has been very emotional and 'sad' for the entire time I've known him. <br />
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I know his mother was ill with kidney problems for most of his childhood and he wasn't really nurtured much as a little boy. She also played major favorites among her own children and still has a nack for manipulating and pitting one against the other. I'm not sure what else happened but I have this feeling there is more to it. For instance, he would never discuss his first sexual experience and became extremely defensive and angry anytime I would mention it. I feel like I have let myself out completely to him and trusted him so completely and he never fully trusted me. It is so very frustrating. <br />
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I am not sure whether I am going to take out a long term protective order. I guess I am mostly afraid of him abusing my 2 baby boys (psychologically especially). He acts like the way he was brought up was the best.. but look at him. He was given an unusual amount of responsibility at a young age and he was expected to stop needing his mom from the time his sister was born (when he was about 18months old). And of course he says I was just a spoiled brat, when really, I was just nurtured like a normal kid. But that was a tactic for isolating me.. turning me against my wonderful loving parents.. convincing me that my mom was an overbearing control freak, when she was really just concerned and wanting to share her own insights with her only daughter. <br />
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I want to trust him again, but how can I after he was so abusive.. especially after the physical abuse and out of control temper. If I take out a long-term protective order, he will loose his job and never be able to get a job that requieres a security clearance.. he is in computers/IT field. But this is also the only way to guarantee that I would get full custody of the kids if we are to divorce. I LOVE HIM with my whole heart, and part of me wants to have a meeting with him to be able to tell him all of the ways he hurt me and all of the things he did, so that he can realize the depth of his problem. He mentioned to a mutual friend that he would be willing to meet with a mediator.. going through our lawyers. Do you think it's a good idea to do this at this point. I'm not sure what to do..

Hi Derek2354,<br />
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I am sorry that you and your wife unfortunately have to deal with this. <br />
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Thank you for your kind words regarding my sharing my story, it is always greatly appreciated when I know that my experience may if only for a brief moment give someone a glimmer of hope, so again I thank you.<br />
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To answer your question, yes I am still hanging in there and I can happily report that things have gotten significantly better. The coping skills that I have used and continue to use are learned skills. When dealing with someone with this illness, love is simply not enough. It is easy to become bogged down in trying to help our love ones and now looking back, I can honestly say it was not until I got the support and help that I needed, that things started to turn around. <br />
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I was too focused on helping him and forgot about me. Once I learned a new way of thinking which is totally out of my character, taking a me first attitude, take care of me first. I had to also learn how to set boundaries - (ex. if you are going yell and throw a temper tantrum I will not just stand there and engage, I will walk away even if that means getting in my car and going for a drive) I learned all the techniques I used from lots of reading and joining the forum at I also started reading works written by recovered BPD persons and took to heart how they described their feelings of uncontrolled rage, so I guess I am saying I tried to attack it from both sides of the coin. It has not been an easy road of it, but for me personally it has paid off. <br />
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He still has his moments, but when he does I take what I call a time out, which allows me to do whatever I want with my time. Usually his moments are triggered by stress or if we are getting to close and he needs me to back off. Closeness scares him, I've learn not take it personally.<br />
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Take Care of yourself and your wife, you two remains your priority.

Hi Sunnyrn35,<br />
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My heart goes out to you and your family as I can sympathize wholeheartedly with what you are going through. It is such a catch 22 dealing with someone suffering with BPD and they are suffering. Unfortunately you can not help them, the person has to be willing to help themselves. However, we can control how we deal with the situation, and what we will and will not allow. I am talking boundaries with clear consequences communicated to our family member. You can better learn about this by joining forum and spend sometime working through the workshops. I particularly like the staying board, even when I had thought about leaving I found the support I needed was there. Like you, although I was hurt, continued to and still do love my husband through it.<br />
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Yes, things have gotten waaaaay better between us. I honestly think it only happen when I stopped trying to change him and worked on me, we called taking care of me. Things are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination , but very doable. As for your decision to stay or go, only you can make that decision. Physical abuse in ANY situation is never a good scenario.<br />
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Take care of YOU first. This is a quote that I live by now:<br />
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Consider how hard it is to change yourself and then you will begin to understand your chances of changing the behaviors of others.<br />
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You do not have to be alone in this.

I have been married for 6 years to a borderline and just realized it. He has slays bee extremely sad and emotions..the abuse started when we had kids due to my not being able to give every moment to him. I had a protective order put in place because of his threats to take the evil, call the police, kill me, and claims that I am evil. He has also picked me up by the neck in his rages.. especially if I try to argue, defend myself or I won't shut up. I love him so deeply and have lost myself and become very emotionally repressed and depressed as a result. I have been so isolated for the past 2 years that I have no friends and little support. I love my kids more than anything and have filed for divorce. But I still miss him and want to help him. I know he needs me and I don’t want him to think I just gave up on him. But I want what is best for my kids. I need to know he is getting help.. how can I get him to recognize that he has this condition when he thinks psychology is b.s. and thinks there is nothing wrong with him..I think he's seeing a psychiatrist just because of the restraining order and has him convinced that I am the problem and that I am actually a pathological his mother. From what his sister is saying, he thinks he just has an anxiety problem. Is there any hope?

My fiance suffers from a personality disorder, although he does not admit it, from the fear of losing me... However I found out by asking at websites about his 'weird behaviours' and I was told he must be having a serious Personality disorder, most likely borderline or passive-aggressive personality disorder. He was taking anti-depressant pills (when I wasn't looking) but once I found out, I then started to get suspicious. He can be violent sometimes. His favourite movie is 'the Clockwork Orange', and when I discovered that I was so sick. I though, such a sweet, loving man, how can he have such a big blemish, a real psychiatric problem? When he realised I was suspecting him, he detached himself, and never spoke to me or called me again. He wanted to make me feel like it's my fault for not trusting him. <br />
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I was advised by my priest, family and friends that I am better off to leave him. And most likely, he was a liar, masking his illness. It was so hard for me to leave him. It took me 5 months of suffering and still, I am not ok. I don't know if I ever will recover. II am 38 and he was the only marriage proposal I ever got. I would do anything to help him. And yet, I can see the facts, there is NO CURE. These behaviours will be coming back, especially if someone marries, the stress of married life can make them really angry, and sometimes escalate to even dangerous.<br />
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My only hope it seems now, would be to beat this with the power of God. He can cure any illness, so why not a mental illness. But I know I have got to be SO faithful, SO strong, in order to accomplish that. Can I have the severance to pray for as many years as it may take for him to get cured? And there is no guarantee I will manage it.<br />
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If there was a 'magician psychiatrist' I think we would all know about it. There is not. I think only through self-help, self-strength, and faith to God, can someone overcome this problem in their lives and in their marriage. <br />
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If someone has managed that, we would all be so thirsty for a hope! Marriage should be about making our life nicer, and not constantly thinking how to walk on those eggshells…

I too, like you, believe God can cure/heal all. Even a mental illness. My husband, (bpd) says he is a Christian, but he worries about everything and tries to control everything. I told him that is not true faith. He gets mad at me if I "give it to God" and don't worry about stuff - then he tells me I don't care about things ... I dunno. So frustrating. Utterly and totally.
and the constant lying about stupid crap just really gets me and then says "you don't trust me - you always think the worst" - AAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!

I do not want to cause you more negative feelings but I don't think that you can assume that your daughters are "emotionally healthy". I am sure that my mother always thought that I would "turn out ok" even after all of the chaos that I grew up in. I always thought that I was ok, that I had "beaten the odds" when compared to those who are reared in highly dysfunctional families. I am not ok. I am in my later 30s and am falling apart. Just because your daughters may appear emotionally healthy does not mean that they are. Please do not assume that your daughters are/will always be ok. They may act/say that they are ok now but this may not always be the case.

can any one help me,my husband has bpd,has walk out leavin blame on me,says i was his problem,i love him,he says he hates me,glad i am suffering now,is it possible that they will miss you,i do text but he wont answer,is it all one way thinkin wit them

Thank you so much for this post. I have been married and living with a man now for 4 years and couldn't, or rather, wouldn't (since I am in the mental health industry) understand why his behaviors were so "out there", and why he was hurting our family. At first, I thought it was me - especially since the first 11 months of our marriage were WONDERFUL. But then I figured out he was lying about everything - except the abuse and neglect he endured as a child. Between us, we have 3 children. His biological daughter is so wary of him, but she blames me for "changing" him. So it isn't just the diagnosis we deal with - it is the whole family and their own perceptions of him we deal with. <br />
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After being laid off and then having his Father die suddenly, he went off the wall. At first, I put this down to severe depression. But then he started in on these wild mood swings, detachment, emotional manipulation, threats of suicide if I didn't quit my jobs and be with him continually, drinking heavily, smoking heavily and having hallucinations. His IQ is off the charts, and so he easily manipulates and usually gets his way, but then is absolutely miserable - and then we are all miserable. That was 3 years ago, 3 years of this. He is now trying to find a job, and I hope he gets one soon. I totally understand the "walking on eggshells" as that is what I constantly do. His jobs all seem to be overseas in dangerous places. At first, I thought it was another "poor me" thing, but then realized that I wasn't going to enable it. I feel at this time, I need a break. And I feel horrible for admitting this. <br />
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However, after reading this post, I feel I should finally admit to myself that my husband has BPD, and that I should learn to find ways to better understand and cope with it. It's hard to just admit that you were wrong. Harder still to realize you could have walked away from a relationship without knowing what the issues were/are. Hard to look yourself in the mirror when it was so obvious but you didn't want to admit to anyone or yourself. So not only do I have to learn to cope with his BPD, I have to learn with my own stress and find ways to overcome them in the future.<br />
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Again, I appreciate the post... for waking me up, and for looking more positively into the future for all of us.

Hello All,<br />
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I am happy that my sharing has been helpful to some of you. The key is to continue educating yourself and finding ways for you to cope. There is nothing we can do to help our BPD family members they have to be willing to help themselves. What has helped through the years is joining on this forum are workshops and boards with others who are going through, and have gone through these trials in their lives. There will get continued support and the strength to decide what is best for your personally.<br />
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I can now share that it wasn't until I changed my behavior in how I was dealing with my spouse did I start to see positive changes. I am happy to report that this summer and up to this point I have my husband back. I don't know what he is doing to help himself and I don't ask but his efforts in our marriage reminds me of old times. Will it last, probably not I hope it will but one just never knows. What will I do if it goes back to the way it was? I go back to living my life and taking care of me, setting boundaries of what I will and will not accept, walking away from any abusive speech or actions. It has been a very long haul for us, but I can truly say it wasn't until I let go of trying to help him help himself and started to take care of me that I was able to cope. I suspect that he has seeked therapy on his own and if that is the case that is the only way he will ever be serious enough to stick it out. As for future affairs, my experience does not necessarily have to be yours, so please do not judge your husband's actions by another. If you plan to stay learn how to cope and take care of yourself.<br />
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My thoughts and prayers continue to be with each and everyone of you who are dealing with this illness, and if you don't take anything else away from this post please remember to take care of YOU.

Wow...someone does know what I have been living! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have to say though that reading your words brings terror to my thoughts. My husband has BPD and we are coming off of three years of pure hell in our marriage. We have been married for twenty years and have had a beautiful marriage. He truely was my best friend. Almost three years ago I found out that he was having an affair. It continued for two and half years while he constantly told me it wasn't anything to do with me. He has now sought help for himself and is making appointments on his own and keeping them. The affair has stopped. I am trying hard to educated myself on this disorder. I am terrified that everything I am reading sounds like another affair is in our future? Is this the case? He will not allow me to be a part of his therapy and all I want to do is help him. Do you have any advice for me? Any resources that you could share? My heart is broken over the pain that I see my husband live each and every day and knowing that there isn't anything I can do to make a difference. All I know to do is to continue to love him and support him. Thank you again for your willingness to share.

I feel your pain - I was married to a woman with BPD for 15 years, and together before that for several more. In the end I could not go on with it, not for the children and not for her. She started and stopped going to therapy more times than I can remember - that's one of the classic signs of BPD, apparently. I read once that it takes an average of 24 sessions before a patient will build up enough trust in their therapist for it to actually do any good. When things got really bad she'd go back in, sometimes 3 times a week for a month or so and then, inevitably she'd just stop.<br />
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And yes - there were terrible childhood abuse issues. Her father had sexually abused her and her sister over many years. She had absolutely no memories of her childhood until one of her therapists hypnotized her - that's when all the memories came flooding back. After that she just never was the same agian. I finally made the decision that in order to keep some of my sanity I had to let her go.

my mom has this problem, I had to put a restraining order on her because she is one of the one's that doesn't really improve at all... it is sad because there were nice times during her nice periods but if I didn't act like a robot she would be set off at the smallest things and has no concept of boundaries.

Hi, me again, just forgot to add, regarding the original ops story, i noticed 2 people were inspired by your story and im so glad for them. But for me the fact that you are surviving says it all, everyday i ask myself "Do i really want to COPE with his disorder" Honestly .... no not really, i want to live and enjoy life with an Equal, not someone i have to constantly "check your behaviour " with. My intention is not to offend, i am feeling really low i know but im also being honest with myself today and its so scary cause i feel trapped.<br />
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Hi, new to this forum but just had to post, Crackerlady reading your story is like reading my own. We have 3 kids and have been married 9 years this year. I didnt know my Dh had Bpd and nor did he until recently and im glad that i now know why he behaves as he does. But being very honest with myself it does not help. The Cpn and medical staff are ok but they dont have to experience every painful hour i have to endure. I absolutely hate my life and its my religion that keeps me in my relationship. I surprisingly do love my husband but hate what he has done to my life and what he is doing to our kids lives, i try to shield them as much as possible. But my eldest who is only 7 already is very cautious of him and has gone from being a child who absolutely loved his daddy to being very aware of how things can change in a split second. Ive never know such a manipulating and nasty piece of work and still cannot believe how i was so decieved by him. To the op who is getting married to her bpd partner, i dont want to hurt your feelings , but if it were me i would run a mile. Our lives have been shattered by my husband and i have no hope for the future either. Im sorry to vent but i am so frustrated and on this day " mothers Day" it just feels worse than ever.

thank you for sharing your story. it reall healped me out. next year i will be marring the man i love and he has bpd. everything you find online is about women not about men. it is really hard for me sometimes. god has a lot to do with us bein togehter. we met at church, he asked me to marry him in the same church. there have been a lot of things that have tried to put up road blocks but we worked it out. now we live together this is the chalanging part for us. i dont understand things with him and he dont understand me sometimes. i would like to know if maybe you would be willing to help me with somethings that i am trying to figure out. thank you so much for sharing your story it helped. i want to be with him the rest of my life but i need help to undrestand him better

I can relate to so much of what is being said here. My husband is not diagnosed with BPD, but so much of the descriptions match him. I think he is a high functioning BPD. No suicide attempts, no risky behaviors. He has done a lot of work to try to manage his addictions and his anger. We have been married for 16 years and the first 11 involved physical abuse. Something happened at year 11 that stopped all that and he hasn't touched me in anger since. I am so very grateful for that. But, still, his close relationships are chaotic. He frequently says he feels abandoned, threatened, alone, angry. His emotions are always so intense and strong. There are no mild feelings. I have never known someone to be so sensitive emotionally, so vulnerable, whose sense of identity is so vulnerable. Sometimes, it feels like our whole family life is structured around his sensitivities and inflexibilities. I think he tries to gain a sense of control by wanting to have a say in everything. If he is not being impulsive, he is trying to control everyone else, or just plain having a hard time moving on with his day and what he needs to get done. He frequently has trouble getting things done. He is basically self employed, so he has to set his own schedule and deadlines. Oh my! He gets on such tangents and can't seem to just get something done quickly. Everything takes such a long time... he sees so many options and possibilites that he can't seem to move on or can't be pinned down to decide something. He doesn't seem to pick up on cues from other people and misinterprets the level of relationships. And his sense of identity is often like a camelion, but never defined, always questioning himself. Therefore, he often feels threatened.<br />
He has been gone for a week, away on business. When he is gone, I feel like a real person. I feel so free. When he is here, I feel so tired from his intensity and needs, especially from the apparent need to keep order so he doesn't have swings. Everything seems to be my fault. I so often think, "If only I was perfect, everything would be okay." At times, I vow to myself that I will just not say anything, in an attempt to avoid conflict. I start to feel so heavy and depressed that I just want to escape to a hole and never come out, I want to disappear. But when he is gone, I have energy, joy, I don't feel like I am such an awful person. <br />
If indeed he does have BPD, it would explain so much of our difficult relationship and why his relationships with our kids are so difficult. They are not very comfortable around him. I know they are walking on egg shells. He will lecture them for hours at a time. I try to interupt and see if I can help bring the talk to a close, but he always says no. If I push, he gets angry. I can relate to the person earlier who said her spouse just rolls right over other peoples boundaries. I can totally relate to that. I sometimes vow to never say no to him, because if I do, it will just blow up in my face. The kids work hard to be well behaved when he is in the room. When it is just me, they will hang around where I am. When he is around, they often will scatter to other parts of the house. "Where did everyone go?" I hate that life is so much different when he is not around.

Om goodness. Mine is the same way. I have tried to address it with him.. yep, you can guess how well that went. He says he knows he has "anger control" issues - but that is it. But that the anger is part of who he is.. so if he loses that then that will change who is and therefore not the same person that I fell in love with. Yeah, well, I didn't know about the anger - rage til after. My kids are uncomfortable as well and it is the same my household. When my husband isn't around I, and kids alike feel good and play and laugh, etc. They will hang out with me. When he is around they scatter. My daughter is 12 and is beginning to spend more time to herself - i think a natural tendancy at that age anyways... but my husband though began to realize that he may be part of why she keeps to herself so he decided to create an experiment - so he set times on the router so that if she was on her laptop in her room on the internet it would shut down. He didnt tell me he had done this until much later. But if she came out of her room when the internet was down then he decided that the experiment was a success and that it wasn't him that she was uncomfortable with but she just wanted to be on the internet. He found an excuse to rationalize in his head that he is not at all responsible for the tenseness in our home. He has asked the same question.. "where did everyone go?" then if I go upstairs to spend time with the kids then he feels like we are ignoring him and being mean - that we have "a cliq" like in highschool. So frustrating..

It is so nice to see and know I am not alone with questioning what to do in my marriage when your partner will not change or go seek help. Me and the children walk on egg shells all the time and I think my youngest is picking up the same bad habits as my husband now with the temper tantrums to get his way and over speak and controll people. I am not sure what to do about that peice but do not want him growing up this way and treating his wife one day the same way.
We have fun times together but I always know right around the corner will be another screaming match in front of the kids. It is truely hard to stayed married to someone who treats me this way but fear divorce and what it will do to the children at the same time. It comes up in front of them all the time and one will say yes it would be the best way and the other one gets very depressed. How can they just snap so easily and act out that way. I feel it's very selfish and controlling to me and the children. Not sure what my next steps will be but I do know that if it continues once the kids are out of school I will move on. There is no need to spend the rest of my life this way or theirs for that matter.

thank you for sharing. it's been half of my life that I've been walking on eggshells. I can hardly believe that I've survived this long. it's so frustrating also because my husband is financially dependent on me. and i feel sad to say but I have lost all respect for him. how can i still help him when i feel this way

I'm at the edge of let every thing fall. Today I would ask my husband to get professional help. He is in total denial, his only excuse always is "That's the way I'm, deal with it, or go" I think that has always been helpful for him because his entire family (his parents divorce when he was 7 and he chose to live with his dad), his parents, family and friends found esier to let him be that to deal with him. I love him with all my heart he was my first and only love (I had in between relationships but always came back to him).<br />
He has the most extreme mood swings and shuts down at feelings like fear or sadness.<br />
Recently his father was diagnost with cancer. So you can imagine the consecuences that brought into my home, his symptoms are worst than ever, he is right now a text book BDP, drinkiing, fighting, yelling at the smallest thing one minute and the next totally depressed and sad, then neutral and then again yelling. I think he really believes that is the way his personality is and we have to accept it. But I refuse to live felling fear from the person that is supose to confort me and support me to face the world together.<br />
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I'm posting this because I felt so alone before founding these site, I needed to express this.<br />
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Thank you.

Thank you for telling the facts, and how you are dealing with your spouse. I am struggling to let God teach me how to deal with this disorder in my spouse also.

DragonN<br />
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I was exactly where you are for many years in the sense that my bpd spouse was in deep denial that anything was wrong. We tried counseling on several different occasions of which he would stop every time as soon as it got to hard. That is, as soon as the pain that he was always fighting to keep at bay surfaced, he would stop rather than learn how to deal with the pain as most of us do on a daily basis.<br />
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When a bpd hurt, the hurt is extreme and torturous to them and when he acts out towards you, it is to relieve himself of is own pain. However, in trying to help the man you love, never, never, never succumb to abuse. If the situation is becoming violent you may need to remove yourself temporarily, go to the store, a friend or a family members house until he cools down. Get your family and friends involved so they can be a support system for you, especially if he has the potential to get physical.<br />
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A book that has helped me to understand cope is called "Stop Walking on Eggshells" Taking your life back. <br />
The best way to deal is to accept that "Knowledge is Power" This book helped me long before my husband got his diagnosis. Find out everything you can about this terrible disorder, read bpd forums from our side and read what some bpd's themselves say about what they are feeling inside. I hope this helps, only you can determine what is best for you in your relationship.

Thank you so much for your comment. It helps me to know that, that which is inside was able to be conveyed through words. Yes living with someone you love that suffers from bpd is taxing, it is a hurt that is unexplainable to those who do not live it, but so would be cancer or any other debilitating disease. I am not saying that everyone should be able to deal with their own personal situation as I have. Because I have a strong faith base and tons of support, not to mention I am always actively searching out new information. But what I am saying is, if the shoe was on the other foot and we were the bpd and they the supporter, wouldn't it be so comforting to us to know that no matter what, as long as the boundaries that we sat out were not crossed, for them to know that we are here for them.