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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Blended family and BPD Wife

Topic: Blended family and BPD Wife

  1. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    13 November 2018

    Unfortunately I find myself dealing with the fallout of separating from my BPD wife...

    I met my wife through online means. She was everything I wanted and more - her values, her wit, her looks, the sex, the similarities and instant compatibility. The romance moved at record rates and seemingly without a hitch. We met each others children/family/lives and no alarm bells sounded.

    Then due to matters of coincidence I found myself need to move house (I was renting at the time) and she insisted we should be together. I moved to hers and it seemed so easy. Before too long we spoke of buying a place together and then marriage.

    After 12 months and one new house later we got married and this is where the fairy tale ended.

    The night of our wedding came the most illogical aggressive argument about nothing. Her venom laden words seemed to morph into new topics with no time to stop and evaluate what the issues were. It was like a 3 year old tantrum. The fight finally came to a close when she uttered the words 'it's me or your child - you choose' (I am an every second weekend dad).

    As soon as those words came I knew there was something much darker at work than simple unchecked emotions.

    From there my wife could barely go for much more than a week without firing up at me or her youngest daughter (living with us). I started to notice the same daughter suffering - little OCD's and hurting herself behind her bedroom door to silence the pain. The oldest daughter had already been kicked out by mum to live with her dad.

    The unpredictability escalated & I found out she used antidepressants.

    I started to research the symptoms and behaviours and stumbled upon countless BPD forums and guides - this was it without a doubt: the love bomb tactics, everyone else is to blame, distorted facts, lies and excessive anger, the changes of subject when confronted, not answering questions, the use of whatever shouted verbal weapon would get results & the quest for forgiveness and compassion when she'd ebbed down days later.

    I managed to get her to go to a Psychiatrist. She was at least honest (I was in the room). Although the assessment process seemed short the Doc said she showed enough traits to be considered mild BPD. Since then its only intensified.

    In moments I know she has tried to get better and I've loved, supported & been patient with her. I've not been mentally affected but I know its time to sell and say goodbye to the dream - it was never real anyway.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    13 November 2018

    I think the hardest thing about separating from someone with a mental disorder like BPD is that you give so much of yourself to what you hope will be a shared future... only to have it fall well short... to have nothing to show for your efforts.

    Then when it comes to the crux and you're faced with no alternative but to leave - despite the countless efforts to help her find a pathway to a better life - it leaves you feeling very empty.

    Its been almost a year of solid mood shifts and I need to remember that. A year of walking on eggshells just in case she goes off... just in case someone sits on the couch the wrong way (despite the dogs having free reign) or drops a piece of popcorn and BPD takes a sharp turn… I was even blamed for not doing a chore that she asked someone else to do - that's right - I wasn't even asked but I was supposed to know to do that job if they didn't!

    There are moments where her sanity prevails and she knows she's behaved badly but says she can't remember what she has said in the heat of the angriest moments to me. I guess I will never know the truth there.

    Momentarily I have just twinkles of self doubt as I go through this journey. But I've called this off and for good reason... there has been one too many rolls of the emotional tantrum dice at my or other's expense... How can I be a good father and set the example of what is and isn't acceptable if as a man I just swallow bad behaviour.

    Of course she seems unmoved by it all - so cold... Yes there have been a couple of "I hope you remember me fondly type of texts" but nothing to indicate the slightest genuine remorse and not one single tear.

    Part of me wants to demand to know why it has to be like this - why on earth you would choose to get married when this is all you bring to the table... unfortunately inwardly and logically I know that mental disorders possess no logic and perhaps that's the hardest thing I face - accepting that there is no rationale that will make sense and asking the question will only leave me falling short of knowing the real truth.

    There are times I wish I could park common sense and just let everything out in a loud unfettered scream like she and others do...

    For those that read this... please share your thoughts... its the thoughts from others than provide capacity to digest a bitter pill.

    For now I choose to remain silent in our house while we wait to sell...

  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    13 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    the FarSide,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Incan understand how confused you were to see how your wife changed on the wedding night and how you have cope with walking on eggshells.

    Firstly, I do not have BPD but do know people who do have it and I u derstand it varied from person to person.

    I do have bipolar. I know the difficulty of being in a relationship when one has a mental illness.

    What I know about BOD is that there is a big fear of being abandoned and so some people will behave so badly so the other person will leave and then they can say, see I was right everyone leaves me.

    Do yoi know if your wife had issues of abandonment in her childhood?

    A friend that has BPD knows that she pushes people away and tests people and at times says really hurtful things but she says she can’t control it.

    it makes no sense and trying to find sense with a mental illness will just frustrate you as you have found out.

    Does your wife take any medication or attend counselling for her BPD.?

    There are threads about BPD and if you find the search box at the top of the page, you may find threads that you may find helpful.

    Feel free to post here as much as you feel like.

    I am sure people who have experience with BOD will reply to you.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  4. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    13 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Thanks Quirky for taking the time to read and post.

    My wife was sent up for adoption as a baby. I believe there is also some sexual trauma during her teenage years however this is a subject that at best was glossed over in passing.

    There are certainly some indicators that BPD may have been triggered by these and other as yet to be disclosed events. She now won’t talk to her adoptive parents or the non related brother they adopted as well. Her eldest daughter and her cant go two minutes without fighting. The youngest daughter is remarkably well adjusted and a good human being despite what she has to endure.

    At this stage she has regressed even further with the separation process upon us both - any conversation is greeted with aggression. Stay or go - I don’t feel I have many options here I can be a good father as well. I have forgiven her more times than I can count in our time together but at each stage of being forgiven she seems to increase in destructiveness... I have chosen to advise her to not ask me this time as it will not be given - that’s about severing ties and making it clear that what has gone on is unacceptable.

    I have genuinely loved her but she no longer wishes to address any notion that she may be the cause or at least even a contributor to her own unhappiness... more so than ever she deflects to everybody else being the issue. She only really speaks to me in upper volume shouting now and not a lot of sense can be found in what she says.

    I wish I could get her to break down her protective barriers and even just cry so we could make some headway. I am compassionate and supportive and have done nothing but try to be helpful until it became apparent that she would not even help herself... last time I forgave she swore black and blue to do whatever it took but 48 hours later we are back to the same stuff - I didn’t even unpack anything I’d packed up from the previous breakup,

    She has at least called some agents herself for the sale of our property so at least she is moving forward to some degree by acknowledging the end...

    there is only so much a person can do ... if she can’t be accountable to her own actions she can never learn.

  5. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    387 posts
    14 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    From what i can gather you don't seem to know much about your wife at all, didn't know she was on anti depressants, don't know her real back story from when she was your young and only refer to her as an illness.

    Even if she has bpd, it doesn't mean everything she does is because of it. She's entitled to be emotional at times and be annoyed at things.

    There's a lot of blame going to your wife for the breakdown of your marriage, and no admission of fault on your side.

    For someone that's done everything to help her, you dont seem to have any understanding of someone with bpd.

    Just because she has some of the 9 traits required doesn't make an diagnosis, and half the population would show alot of these traits in there personality.

    Maybe try and understand what triggers these outbursts from her. I feel for your wife as she clearly needs help from someone who understands her way of thinking

  6. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    14 November 2018 in reply to Guest_7403

    Thanks for your reply

    I certainly appreciate that all people have moods and moments including me.

    I am also very far from perfect as a person and no doubt I have done things in the relationship that would cause her annoyance. The type of things that would be the cause of an everyday fight between couples.

    I fully accept my contribution to the relationship including my steps to follow the speed the relationship developed and the plans we put in place for our future.

    Unfortunately many things were hidden from my view despite having what I thought was an open dialogue to each other’s lives. We only ever know the things about other people that they are prepared to share or that we find out by accident. It takes time together to learn about the other person and we both failed each other with allowing that time.

    Ive typed to this form because I have exhausted my capacity toI hold her hand further... I have been there in every way shape and form possible to offer her love, support & guidance. I’ve listened to her and taken on board what she has said.

    Its not a descision I’ve taken on lightly and I truly feel I had no other choice.

    You simply can’t stay in an environment where children are labelled with expletives...

     

     

  7. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    14 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    Hello FarSide

    Welcome to the forum. This forum is for everyone who needs a place to vent their feelings, ask for helpful suggestions and understand this is a safe place to be. Because it is safe we can, within the bounds of courtesy, talk about anything that troubles us.

    I have little of knowledge of BPD other than it is a difficult illness to live with, both for the unwell person and family members. I believe at one time it was considered nothing could be done for those unfortunate enough to have this illness. However the world of psychology has moved on with real hope for managing this illness. Like all illnesses, both psychological and physical, the person must want to get well. I suspect it's very hard for someone with BPD to change and I say that with compassion, not judgement.

    It is sad to feel you have made no difference to your wife's life and that she is now facing abandonment again. No, not taking shots. Please believe me when I say this. I am thinking this is how she must feel. I take your point about setting up scenarios and solutions that fail which prove to your wife that she is a failure. That must be so devastating for her no matter how she tries to hide it.

    I have no idea where you live, I am in Brisbane. I believe there are groups set up for people with BPD. An acquaintance of mine went into hospital for three weeks to complete a specific workshop/training program to help manage her BPD. This friend acknowledged she could be unkind which is a huge step forward and I understand this workshop has been beneficial. It's the second time she attended. Is there anything of this sort near you? Perhaps the psychiatrist your wife saw could help here.

    I do not believe either you or your wife is to 'blame' for the difficulties you have been having. I have just come home from a carers meeting where those who attend have a spouse with dementia or Alzheimers. This group meets to support each other, have somewhere to meet every month and listen to speakers on topics related to their lives. I am there as a support person not a carer. They do an incredible job in all sorts of circumstances.

    Can you talk to the same psychiatrist as your wife and work out ways to help her without becoming wrecked. Or the psych could refer you elsewhere. Your words show you are desperately unhappy with your life and how disappointed you have become and I am sorry this has happened to you. Perhaps you can find a way to help your wife as I have suggested above.

    Mary

  8. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to White Rose

    Thankyou Mary for taking the time to read and to provide your thoughts and ideas.

    We do have a well established centre locally that has trained staff that deal directly with BPD and DBT - its only 10 minutes away however she has refused to attend. They run individual and group sessions over a 12 month program. Initially her objection was about cost but when I removed that obstacle she still did not wish to try.

    But things seldom stay the same for very long - yesterday we had arranged for Agents to come through the house to quote for sale - 1 each. Not long after her Agent had been through I asked her if separation was the only path that she saw we had available. I asked her whether she wanted to explore options that did not include us parting. It was said in a calm fashion with lots of reassuring words and no pressure to make an immediate decision. Whether the timing was good or not I'm not sure but we were about to make a decision affecting the rest our lives.

    Within moments her mood shifted to complete anger (& in part may have been self defensive). I didn't want to escalate things further so I said Id be happy to talk calmly later if and when she felt she could and left the room.

    A few hours later she came to me in a deep state of emotional tears. She apologised for always being so angry, that she didn't know why she does what she does and that she didn't want to lose me. It was clear from her state of being that this was no time to talk about it further. I got tissues, a drink, held her and just let her cry it out.

    Ever since our wedding day I have researched and researched to understand what was going on. I've encouraged her to participate in DBT programs, to seek any other available help, to use books and forums and to lean on those that love her for help.

    Even with where we are now I'm not asking a lot of her to work forward together - just attend the local DBT group and don't use expletives/language when referring to children - just to begin the process of working on herself so there are taking steps forward.

    Its a difficult balance between the interests of blended family stepchildren, her mental health and my own mental health - without the latter I cant help the former. Unfortunately my child is also an issue in all of this - that's become clear in her words when lashing out - which in part is why I feel I have been cornered. I have a responsibility to my child to provide a safe environment whether I am a 2 or 14 day dad.

  9. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    387 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    I'll play devil's advocate by pointing out how I'd see that situation from a 3rd persons perspective

    You've told your wife who has fear of abandonment issues already that your separating from her (but then continue to live there)

    She then does what you want by beginning to organise the sale of the house through a real estate agent

    (This alone would be stressful for a person, let alone someone that's doing it because there husband is leaving them)

    She then goes through the process of having them do a tour of the house for valuation etc

    For them too leave and you say to her, is this the only way forward and should we talk about options for staying together etc

    If I'm honest I'm not surprised she blew up, I wouldn't be surprised if any person that would go through that to have the person who just said there leaving them turn around and question them for doing what they said was the only option.

    It would undoubtedly be confusing and frustrating for her.

    You can throw around words like dbt, cbt all you like but that doesn't mean anything to someone with borderline, especially since they are clearly struggling

  10. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to Guest_7403

    Thankyou for the response and your views as a devils advocate.

    The difficulty with putting your life on any forum is all the limited and missing info and somewhat disjointed picture it creates... the words no matter how carefully chosen can be interpreted differently by different people.

    Long before any talk of separating came into the picture and before any labels appeared, avenues of everyday personal support were there. The simple stuff - conversation, exploration, holding hands, reassurance, listening, time together... as time went on and the traits became more pronounced then other options were discussed between us.

    As I said in my previous post about what happened yesterday, I know the timing probably wasn’t great to ask that question and the reaction was to be expected... but time was also running out - it was probably getting to be the last throw of the dice to try and look at what alternatives could be considered.

    As the person on the receiving end of unpredictability who has a younger child who can get caught in the firing line, it becomes very difficult to think quick, keep your balance, remain calm while trying to be supportive to all concerned and to minimise the impacts. The reality is as a parent your role includes the health and welfare of your children... going to get a drink of water as a child shouldn’t involve walking on eggshells... some may disagree.

    Separating has only come because of all I’ve typed in my messages above and much more... it’s not a descision made lightly and a person has to be pushed around a lot to get there... it’s also not what I wanted from it all - I love her and want to help... she says she loves me but also flatly refuses any help on any level - professional, couple, personal or otherwise... so the unpredictability cycle continues affecting all around.

    If I could find the answer to that then that would be gold!

  11. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to Guest_7403

    Hello The Far Side and Theborderline

    Both of your emails and points of view have merit. Theborderline sees things from the point of view of someone who has BPD while The Far Side sees the action from the spouse viewpoint. Two very different perspectives. Neither has the right to exclusive attention.

    As an observer I can appreciate both points of view, but it's not my place to tell anyone what to do. Far Side, it's up to you to manage this situation with as much help and support as we can give you. Theborderline, it would be nice if you could give some specific suggestions to help Far Side, suggestions which include the reason and the 'how to'. It's a new ball game for Far Side in that he does not have the lived experience. BPD is difficult to manage as I understand it. Like many, if not all mental health issues, it is difficult for the affected person to be rational all the time. Most people have their 'days' and it's often a long process to gain the necessary insight.

    Far Side there may still be time to rescue your marriage. Can both of you see the psychiatrist together? Ask him/her to help you make a plan to help both of you through the very difficult time. Set boundaries on what is acceptable from each, how to manage blow ups (both people), and how and when to speak to each other. These are important areas which need to be worked on. You also need to recognise that changes will not happen fast.

    Your conversation about your wife not wanting to attend a DBT group sounds a bit like the way my husband (now ex) used to tell me to lose weight. Yes I was over weight and I tried hard to lose it but had no real support from the ex other than a suggestion he would buy me a bikini when I had become slim again. He would not eat 'healthy' meals to keep me company but insisted on all those foods I should not eat. No surprise I never lost weight. I felt he saw me as being attached to him and should be beautiful. I saw him as having no compassion or common care for me. We separated and I do not believe he has any idea why.

    Now your circumstances are different Far Side but it seems as though both of you are unable to see what the other sees. Hence my suggestion of joint therapy sessions for a while. Whether or not this will help I have no idea, but if it doesn't work perhaps the psych can help with an alternative.

    Mary

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    387 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to White Rose

    I typically refer family members to read the books "walking on egg shells and love me, don't leave me"

    They by far give the greatest insight into how someone with borderline thinks and views the world.

    Everything is black or white, there's no colours in between....it either is or isn't.

    So in terms of speaking to her about options and making things work, her mind doesn't view it that way.....your either with her or not in her mind. And if she feels your not she will react in the anger outbursts that have become a regular in your household.

    There's no point in trying to have such a critical conversation to your lives when she is having an episode or on the verge of having an episode.

    Start with.....when your ready I'd like to discuss us and our options....give her time to think about what she wants, so that she has time to rationalise her thoughts.

    I'm lucky in that I have such an understanding wife who knows my triggers and thus gives me space during an episode, it's the only way to deal with it. I too am like a toddler throwing a tantrum during an episode....no amount of talking to me will change that

    It's also important not to gas light your wife, if you know something that is bothering her don't fuel that fire.

    I'm always happy to help people understand more about borderlines, but to often I see people cast them aside as toxic people who bring nothing but hate and problems.

    I'm sure your wife loves as equally hard as she does hate, it's most likely what enforces that anger when she goes into fight or flight mode

    1 person found this helpful
  13. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    15 November 2018 in reply to Guest_7403

    Thankyou Mary and Borderline for your posts and insight.

    Thankyou for the book suggestions - funnily enough I had ordered the “eggshells” last week and is on the way. I will have a look into the other book you have suggested as well.

    Today my wife is willing and able to talk. We had even dropped each other a few ‘how are you’ texts during the day and I was greeted with open arms when I returned from work.

    We then had a conversation about where things are, what we wanted and what needed to be worked out. She said she wanted to work on the relationship and appologised repeatedly for being such a ‘horrible person’ - in her words. I did what I can to reassure her and move her away from that thought process. She also seems willing to explore trying a few things out - at least it’s a starting point - whether that’s joint counselling with the physchiatrist I’m not sure as yet.

    We also discussed the matter with children I had flagged in previous messages - it being one that I can’t shift on and is a boundary. She understood and I can only hope this isn’t something that gets tested.

    I also appreciate the weight loss and bikini analogy and the support that wasn’t there. I’ll need to work out what part of the joint work piece I am part of but also what part of the triggers I might be as well.

    From what I have seen she also behaves like a toddler when the mood shifts and I need to learn to let her have the space necessary to go through that process. This is a lesson for me to learn as I’d always been taught to never let the sun go down on an argument...

    I know that tomorrow things could be different again but I can’t plan around that - I can only be prepared. Its a shorter post this time around but at least a post with some hope where none really seemed to really exist.

    Thankyou again for taking the time to read and to provide your thoughts. Will have to see what unfolds from here.

  14. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    18 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    Yesterday’s thoughts:


    So there is no doubt both of us are somewhat like bruised fruit from this experience - I feel thoroughly put through the ringer. She may also...


    We are speaking well and she has committed to doing the DBT workshop which I can help, assist & be part of depending upon what works best.


    While still being supportive both of us clearly need a little time still right now just to breathe and let the moments get behind us a little in time.


    My child is coming over tonight and I am nervous inside... I have lost so many good weekends with my kid with fights erupting over the littlest things...
    In the midst of it all the heated voices during the last school holidays I had to return my little person back to mum a few days early. This was due to all of the instability and anger in the house and it was choice that again I felt I had to make... that of course meant explaining to mum what the situation was.


    I am worried that despite the boundaries we discussed and agreed upon that things may simply blow up again - I don’t want to pre-empt things but it’s also been the history of things.


    I’ve always given my wife the opportunity to come along, be included and participate in anything I plan as a dad but these days she never comes.


    Today’s reality:


    I have been walking on eggshells the entire time my child has been here and she asked me why.
    She could sense I was a little different and I know I have been. It’s been a very difficult experience to be yelled at, told I was uncaring, a liar and a manipulated and that my child is garbage.
    I then told her about how I’d felt - that most weekends when my child appears there are fights. That I was nervous and that in reality I need some time for things to centre again - for the bruise to heal...


    The last month had been almost non stop with aggression and it was disturbing to be on the end of. No one I know who has been privy to our relationship want me to stay where I am anymore - basically the general view is it’s untenable & unhealthy.


    From the conversation I know my wife couldn’t understand why we could all just be back to being happy with no worries and then started the let her unhappiness show through her words and actions.


    I know there are some people who will disagree but having a disorder doesn’t make the wounds any less real to the people they are inflicted upon.

    She says her heart wants to keep me but her head says let go.


  15. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    18 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    So it fell apart...

    There is nothing left to salvage and I don't want to this time. Nerves are raw. Emotions have been trampled on and beaten down at every opportunity. Maybe she has it tough - maybe having BPD is one step away from total misery - but the words, attacks and actions that come from a person with BPD when the moment shifts are pure venom and has no boundaries.

    The best thing now is to continue on with the agent process - to sell and settle quick and to move away from each with 'no contact' as soon as possible. We have no children together and no need to speak beyond selling the house and down the track, signing the divorce application.

    I am still deeply saddened at the loss of love/relationship but I am accepting of the fact I could do nothing more without just becoming a human doormat and punching bag. This merry go round today was so familiar - I could almost set a clock to the mood/thought process swing.

    There was a set of words that set the world on fire - about children - mine in particular and parental instincts kicked in. There are limits to what is acceptable. I have felt the brunt far too often only to forgive and offer compassion for such a long time now. There is no logic to it and I simply cant make it work - if I stay any longer I will need a psychiatrist to help me uncover what issues I must have that made me stay in such a hostile environment. This isn't just 2 weeks of a couples disagreement - this is 2 years of mental dancing on a knifes edge.

    Before I was even aware there was an issue to face, the DBT work book was apparently already back in my drawers. The reality is she was never going to look at it. She doesn't seem to care - almost as cold as ice -water off a ducks back. I struggle with this - there are so many forums online with stories from ex partners of BDP who struggle to understand what the heck just happened - where is the person I met?

    Sad is the loss of love.

  16. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    theFarSide,

    I am so sorry that things have worked out like this and I can feel your pain and disappointment.

    I can understand why you have made your decision.

    You said “ I know that some people will disagree bunt having a disorder does not make the wounds any less real to the people they are inflicted upon”.

    I agree with that and of course the wounds hurt.

    How do you see yourself moving on? Would you consider talking to a counsellor?

    Thanks for sharing your story with such honesty and I hope you can find some peace in the future.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  17. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Thanks for the message Quirkywords.

    I have been using EAP and will continue to do so during this process. The counsellor has been very knowledgeable about the workings of BDP and how it can be to be both the person with and the recipient.

    I've also done a lot of reading - books like Stop walking on eggshells, the DBT Workshop and High Conflict Couples as well as used the extensive pro and con views available online. Its given me a good perspective from which to look at my involvement - to know how and when I was co-dependant - to see if there were better approaches that may have guided us to a different outcome. It also has given me some skills to take forward.

    So I don't feel like I am to 'blame' or 'jaded' by the experience as such (and I don't label her with 'blame' or 'guilt' labels either). I doubt I could have seen this coming, how it would effect us all or done anything more once it had started to reduce the impacts I certainly cant force her to address what is essentially part of her make up. Now its fully on her shoulders to seek help if that's what she chooses (and I hope she does).

    Yesterday I broke down in a stream of tears at work. I felt physically ill... I am grieving the loss of something I had so much hope for... I've been to my Doctor and sought assistance there as well...

    But the reality is ... as always - the sun will rise tomorrow... I'll need to go to work... my child needs a dad. So I pick myself up - what else can you do.

    The next few months while we sell and separate of course wont be easy. I still love and care for her. She knows that. And already in her own way she's tried to pull me back again to look for capacity to continue this relationship through her messages but refuses to acknowledge any responsibility or willingness to address her part in the mix.

    Its horrible to say but I'm content in myself that I could do no more but the story isn't over yet so I will post further - I hope my story can be of some use to others.

  18. Guest_820
    Guest_820 avatar
    28 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    Hello TheFarSide

    So much written, so much said, so much to think about your posts.

    Am so sorry for You + Feel Your Pain of Frustration...

    Both of You Victims in Beyond your Own Circumstances...

    You have repeatedly mentioned about still loving her...

    What happened with Your marriage Vows?

    "Until Death Do Us Part"...

    Perhaps that doesn't seem to be applicable in this day + age as "anything seems to goes" to many...

    You married your wife for how you saw her...Her fine good qualities. Then within an instant she "changed" something that's totally out of her control that you weren't aware off..

    True Love means that if someone who has an illness, you just don't pick up your "bags + go" no matter how difficult the ride gets. Yes, it's extremely difficult for you to accept her illness, your being a compassionate caring person as you are...

    "Until Death Do Us Part"...

    Perhaps you haven't thought enough of the seriousness of those marriage vows...

    regards,

    from another borderline - chikkenleggs

    1 person found this helpful
  19. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to Guest_820

    Thanks for your response chikkenleggs.

    I do consider my wedding vows quite serious... but at what point do you say that is no longer acceptable... Whether it is physical or emotional abuse it is still abuse and it leaves a mark... I can honestly say I love her but I can no longer accept this behaviour for me or my child...

    Additionally where is her responsibility in all of this - she has an onus, especially having been diagnosed, to address things for the benefit of all - having BDP is not a licence to behave poorly. I think I even would've been happy with her just working through the DBT workbook with me - just to make a start towards addressing what is causing things to be the way they are.

    Maybe some would chose to stay - maybe my version of compassion isn't as resilient as some - however the internet is littered with how BPD has impacted people on both sides of the fence.

    While there is merit to your words about 'til death do us part', like the responsibility aspect I mentioned above, there is also an onus of honesty that falls to 2 people when setting out on a journey like this together. I thought we had an open dialogue but things weren't spoken about from her side and many things were kept from view prior the marriage. Like most people who start dating we have some faith that the person before us is actually telling us who they are and it is based on that knowledge that we make significant steps in our lives like marriage.

    If I could make it work I would - in none of my messages do you ever see that I don't wish things were different - but I can only control me and what I do...

    1 person found this helpful
  20. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    hello everyone

    As Mary wrote in an earlier post

    This forum is for everyone who needs a place to vent their feelings, ask for helpful suggestions and understand this is a safe place to be. Because it is safe we can, within the bounds of courtesy, talk about anything that troubles us.”

    I think that is the key that it is a place for us to express our feelings and sometimes we may disagree with other people but we are always respectful.

    Chickenleggs , I can see you feel passionately about To Death do us part” and many people feel that but there are times when people suffer physical and emotional abuse where that is made almost impossible.

    Also it is hard to know all the details of a poster. it is helpful that you expressed your thoughts.

    Farside, I am glad you have been able share your story and I can see you are feeling sad about the decision you are making as it has been very difficult for you.

    Only you can decide what to do and what is best for you and your child.

    I want to thank you for your patience and respect when answering people’s replies.

    I understand that this has been a difficult time and you have posted here to communicate what you have been going through . It has been a very emotionally draining time.

    Thank you again for your honesty.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  21. The Patrician
    The Patrician avatar
    3 posts
    21 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    If you have been mislead prior to your marriage then that is what the relationship is based on.

    I see this with my Dad and Mum on an ongoing basis. I'm turning 34 and am fair sure my Dad never expected Mum to be so mentally whacked. She has untreated bipolar which has affected my older brother, Dad and me throughout our lives growing up. I would say mostly me as I have tried committing suicide because of her a few times.

    There are 2 types of people with bipolar - the ignorant who don't want to hear about the truth of the problem which they have as they are ashamed etc and the one's who accept it and educate themselves on it and hate being an asshole to others.

    I guess you will know for next time what you prefer in a person. Sorry it had to be so tough.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    21 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    Thank you for wanting to protect innocent, defenceless, vulnerable children from ‘harm’ The Far Side.

    I use the word ‘harm’ as does the legislation on Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, because the word ‘abuse’ connotes intent.

    It feels the same no matter what, and it damages no matter what.

    If a women is violent or abusive she gets a diagnosis.

    If a man is violent or abusive he gets a record.

    In many ways your wife has been given some mercy, and a chance to seek treatment and repair her relationship with her family.

    I find it interesting that everyone on here that has become defensive or quoted wedding vows has the same diagnosis, coupled with zero regard for the children's mental health.

    I have mental health issues, and am equally made to feel ashamed when the media reports on it only when it is in relation to a violent crime. Sure, that hurts, and it is very offensive and I think that journalists could change the way they word their articles.

    But it doesn’t mean I have lost my common sense, become blinkered, that I get a free pass, and that it is not in the realm of possibility that someone can be both. Mentally ill and abusive.

    Some people milk their diagnosis. I'm related to them.

    Good on you Far Side.

    I wish I had, had a Dad like you who could tell the difference.

    Def

    2 people found this helpful
  23. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    21 November 2018 in reply to Definitely Otherwise

    Thanks to The Patrician and Definitely Otherwise.

    Thankyou for sharing your worlds and for taking the time to go through my story above. Both your messages were very real and valuable to read.

    My emotions have burst at the seems in the last few days. There have been tears upon tears and a real sense of deflation for failing this relationship. My employer is very supportive and sensitive to modern matters and the support shown has been wonderful... I am ok as a person - I know this process is normal and I know I need to grieve for what my heart yearned, planned and dreamed for.

    The fact is I was not informed of the truth of who she is (and was) in many aspects and deceit cannot form the foundation of a strong loving adult bond. If it were just me (and no children) to think of - I know there is a very real chance that I may not have reached out for help across this forum. I may still (like so many I've read about) have looked for the next glimmer of light that validated those longer periods of devaluation.

    I know I am not a perfect person, partner nor parent but as a man I give with all I have to those inside my heart. As a dad I have always had a strong parental bond and I have always felt that it gave me a good moral compass.

    There is still more to the story - Thankyou again for those messages of understanding.

  24. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    farside,

    Thanks for updating how you are coping. I am so glad you employer is so supportive and understanding as that will help me you knowing your employer is there.

    I understand this is a very difficult time for you emotionally and personally and you can post here as much as you like as you have found out this is a supportive environment.

    I cann see that you have tried your hardest for the relationship to work and that is all anyone can do.

    Apart from your employer do you have friends or family who understand your situation and can offer support or are willing to listen ?

    There is also grief you maybe feeling for the loss of a relationship that you had so much hope for , and now that it is over the the feeling of that loss would be hurting you.

    Once we become a parent it does change us as we need to think about someone else. Your child is fortunate to have you as a parent who cares so much.

    You are not alone and we are here to support you so when you want to feel free to add to your story.

    Thanks again for your honesty in revealing your emotions and I know that many reading this will be helped by your story.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  25. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to The Patrician

    Thanks again for your thoughts Quirky.

    We are still together in the same house for now but I have bridged the subject of one of us moving out before selling/settlement... this is a matter more of how we can work our financial situation is as we are tied up in the house. I know being in the same environment isn’t helpful to either.

    Yesterday I was away from work and slept for most of the day and last night - mentally I am exhausted... when I woke this morning I got ready for work and became ill. I hadn’t eaten for a couple of days and just the cycling of things had got to me.

    Ive just forced myself to eat a little coz I know I’ll be no good as a dad if I’m not looking after myself.

    The war of words has dropped off a bit but it’s a strange sensation to be trying to be almost like flat mates in our marital home. Almosy like two lonely souls looking for a moment of human kindness and warmth we have shared the odd hug.

    As for local support - what little remains of my family is spread across the country and I have very little contact with any. I come from a broken home where mum and dad were too young to keep me and to keep each other... it was also in a time when alternatives were not so welcome when it came to pregnancy... so I went to my dads parents at a very young age. They raised me and gave me a good life - unfortunately they have now many years since passed. I don’t have a parental connection to my dad or mum.

    Due to moving a few times I don’t have a deep friendship network... I have a small social network through work and also a small one through my hobby interests which is good for a little socialisation. With some I can speak about this but probably not to the depth of a dear friend, counsellor or similar.

    In times of crisis and need I have always turned to my partner - of course the current circumstances precludes that even being a consideration.

    The hurt inside is immense. The grief I know is natural but I dislike it all the same. I don’t think I feel lost as such - just out of place. There are no thoughts in my mind to self harm - I’ve never been one to feel that way inside - there is too much to live for.

    I’ve seen my wife has cry. She sees the pain and she says she is heartbroken for us landing where we are. Despite loving me she seems unable to break the shackles of what holds her where she is. She doesn’t really have a network of people to fall back on...many have been pushed away.

    Sad is the loss of love.

    1 person found this helpful
  26. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    Hello TheFarSide

    I am so sorry I have not replied recently but you have been in good hands. It's true we all have our different views on almost everything and part of that comes from our upbringing. Without trying to be a psychologist I am guessing your determination to be a good parent comes from your childhood experiences. In fact my ex's beliefs , feelings etc come from his childhood where his mother was so brutally cruel. In those days there was no family services etc so he and his siblings were forced to put up with it until they were big enough to stop her cruelty and eventually leave home.

    I experienced the outcome of his abuse and felt for a long time I should stay because it wasn't his fault. But like you I believe past abuse or mental health problems do not give anyone the right to abuse another. I am so sad you feel you must leave the marriage even though I can feel your hurt through your words. Unfortunately there is rarely an amicable marriage breakdown and in the end both spouses suffer.

    I wish I had some words to help you but all I can say is that life will get better. At the moment you can only see blackness and pain and the need to carry on because of your child. It's good you have someone who will keep you safe simply because she is there. I don't know what your child access arrangements are but I wonder if you can go away for a few days with your daughter and just enjoy her love and affection as well as giving your love to her. It may help a little with the pain but most of all it will show you are worthy of love.

    I am sure your wife feels regret and pain but just cannot help acting the way she does at this time. I feel she would have a happier life if she could work on it with a good psychiatrist but only she can make that decision as you have said. So until this happens she will suffer a great deal and unfortunately make others suffer with her.

    I am glad you have continued to post here and hope it helps. Do try to look at the material on grief and loss as it may help. When I was working there was an EAP for the organisation (public service) and they did great things. If you have someone who understands about BPD then that will be a great help.

    Love lost is indeed sad.

    Mary

  27. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to The Patrician

    Hello The Patrician

    Allow me to welcome you to the forum and thank you for your posts.

    There is a thread in the Staying Well forum called This Bipolar Life which you may find helpful and enlightening. It was started by someone who had recently been given a diagnosis of Bipolar 2 and tells of her struggles to come to terms with it. The thread is extremely long now and the author has since left the forum but her words are inspiring.

    Perhaps you would like to read the first page, possibly two pages of the thread to get the gist of it then skip to pages at the end end. I think it would be a marathon effort to read it all. I know you do not have bipolar but it may help when you interact with your mom or remember her actions. Understanding can help to reduce the pain you feel even though she probably cannot say sorry.

    Guessing your mom must be in her 50s? Probably not much help available in her younger days. Not an excuse but perhaps a reason. Try the thread.

    Mary

  28. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to Guest_820

    Hello Chikkenlegs

    Thanks for your post on marriage vows. In general most people would agree that a vow of 'until death do us part' means exactly that. No room for movement. I would love that to be the case for everyone with happy ever after endings. Sadly it is not the case. It's not a case of blame for one person but seeing how dysfunctional a marriage can be.

    I have written a little about my husband on this thread. I never met his mom who died of cancer before I met my husband. He and his siblings were severely abused. Should dad take them away from the marriage? Is it OK for one person to abuse children freely so that partners can stay together. I truly wish my husband had not had that childhood and I tried for many years (30) to stay with him. In the end I had no confidence in anything I did and felt I was a waste of space.

    I truly believe if I had not left then I would not be alive now. But here I am and I see him at every family gathering and he still tries to bully me and put me down. Fortunately I can ignore him to some extent.

    But yes it is a hard situation to live with. Making decisions that will affect a number of people are so complex and difficult. In the end we can only do what we feel is right.

    Mary

  29. Definitely Otherwise
    Definitely Otherwise avatar
    87 posts
    22 November 2018 in reply to TheFarSide

    You're right FS, sad is the loss of love. You must feel so disappointed. All the hopes you held for the future haven't worked out. You took a leap of faith moving really fast in the relationship. There's no shame in that, lots of people do that.

    It's really hard to describe to another person a home environment like the one you and your step daughter live in. People just do not understand, unitl you live it. The degradation of your self esteem. The constant feelings of worthlessness and not being good enough. The desolate loneliness. The lack of touch and affection and validation of my inner expereinces. The put downs and mocking me for wanting affection and then it being witheld on purpose as a power trip and to be made fun of. The split of them being publicly friendly and privately cruel beyond words, messed with my young mind. The explosive rage was terrifying. Something very dark happened to me when I was little. And that dark thing changed the course of my life forever and impacted every facet of my life. But when I compare myself to my mates who had similar things happen to them minus my home environment......they have faired so much better than me. The home environment put the boot in, and convinced me that I was truly worthless. Like some limp pathetic stuffed doll that adults can do what ever they want to. The fact that they had mental illnesses, and me being able to logically and rationally know that they were unwell, did not lessen my suffering one iota. Insight has its limits. Insight can only go so far, and at extreme times compassion can be naive.

    I really feel for your step daughters, the reverberations of their mothers treatment of them, will be life long. I thought that her life experiences would have softened her, made her more empathetic and determined to not repeat the cycle she was exposed to. She has felt acute rejection from being adopted out and it sounds like you also have had a lot of familial loneliness and rejection yourself. I thought that this would have the complete opposite effect on her and she would be ferociously protective of her girls.

    I've met some lovely people with BPD. But when I meet a person for the first time, if they disclose they have a mental health problem, I don't immediately trust or like them just becuase they share my health problems. Excessive empathy that makes me blind and naive puts me at risk.

    Grief is long and winding. Her girls will have to grieve one day too. They have missed out.

    Def

  30. TheFarSide
    TheFarSide avatar
    137 posts
    23 November 2018 in reply to Definitely Otherwise

    Thankyou to everyone who has posted their stories and words of support above. To Mary and Def for your recent posts and shared experiences. There are a lot of people in this world that have been affected by both the kindness and cruelty that other humans can bring into lives.

    My wife has once again returned to her kinder self. It had been a little less hostile for a few days so I think I was half prepared for the fact that there might've been a shift coming. For those that have seen and experienced this emotional shifting there is definitely some elements of confusion that this change of behaviours can bring. All I can do at the moment is view what occurs with eyes wide open and see what real change - if any - it may bring. In my own head I'm not reading anything into it at all - I am none the less quite happy for a little space and peace to gather thoughts and re-centre. Sorry if that sounded a bit offhand or reserved but despite wanting to be at least neutral about the change to her current state, there is a little self preservation going on as well - I am conscious that I don't want to end up cycling the same footprint.

    I will keep the post short for now and see what a little time brings.

    1 person found this helpful

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