If you think the woman you love has Borderline Personality Disorder, but don’t want to end the relationship, I suggest you learn some basic survival tips for coping with this woman’s frequent and erratic emotional storms.
The only way to deal with these women, should you choose to continue the relationship, is to:
1) Set reinforced steel boundaries and clear limits in regard to her outrageous behavior.
2) Hold her accountable.
3) Stay calm and focused on the central issue when she spirals out of control. She enjoys nothing better than when you spiral into the outer orbits with her. Why? Because then she can depict you as the nasty angry jerk later on when she’s in victim mode and avoid taking responsibility for her own behavior, which probably causes her to feel a great deal of shame.
4) Develop a strong support network. Don’t let her isolate you from people who can help you reality test when she’s flying through the favorite Borderline hot spot, the Land of Distortion.
Should you choose to end the relationship, brace yourself for the inevitable threats, emotional blackmail, bargaining, smear campaigns, possible pseudo-suicidal gestures and stalking behaviors. Ending an abusive and toxic relationship is a healthy choice. Why do you feel guilty for not wanting to be abused and jerked around?
Many women and men with borderline personality disorders are virtuosos at playing the poor little me victim role. Many Borderlines fear abandonment, yet their behaviors seem designed to drive others away. It’s sad that they do this, but they’re adults. I feel most sorry for the people who are on the receiving end of their more abusive and crazy-making behaviors.
This woman is no victim; she’s an energy sapping, self-destructive predator when she’s in high gear. She has an innate ability to push people’s buttons that can’t be taught; it’s instinctual. It’s how she keeps people engaged. Again, her greatest fear is abandonment, yet her toxic relationship behaviors drive people away.
Remember, you’re not the crazy one. One of the most damaging effects of being involved with a BPD woman is that you become programmed into believing her distortions–you’re the bad guy, it’s your fault, you’re angry, you’re not loving, you’re not understanding, she’s a saint to put up with you, you’re beating her down, you’re selfish. Borderlines generally resort to name calling and verbal degradation, which they then justify by wrongly accusing you of doing all sorts of horrible things from insensitivity to infidelity.
One of the most maddening aspects of being involved with a Borderline, or any abusive personality type, is when they deny things they’ve said and done after they’ve calmed down. For example, after her most recent thermonuclear meltdown, you try to talk to her about the verbal grenades and false accusations she lobbed at you.
Her response, “That never happened. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must be imagining things.” She denies it ever happened, recounts her own highly distorted version of events or insists that you need to understand the reasons behind her hurtful behavior and forgive her even though she’s likely to repeat these same hurtful behaviors over and over again.
As a result, you begin to doubt your memory, which leaves you bewildered and questioning your own sanity, which may induce a state of learned helplesness within you. This also serves to invalidate your feelings and experiences. You’re not allowed to have your own feelings or viewpoint; only her feelings and distorted experiences matter and, therefore, are the only ones she’ll recognize.
If this happens repeatedly and you don’t have outside supports for reality testing, it’s only natural to believe her twisted perspective over time. She’s forcing you into a role that lets her live out the script she has in her head. By the way, this is usually completely unconscious on her part, but that doesn’t make it okay.
If a man treated a woman the way many Borderline women treat men, it’d be labeled abuse. It is abuse. It’s just that our society paints men as the perpetrators and women as the victims. Just because a Borderline has mental health issues doesn’t mean she isn’t responsible for her actions. You have a right to feel angry, hurt and frustrated. You have a right to be treated with respect, kindness and stability. It’s up to you to decide what you deserve and want in a relationship and how much you can tolerate.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.
Tornado by Bakko Brat on flickr.
by Elle Moss on flickr.
its an exciting article. my gal has high BPD. & i completely agree with the points as they are really helpful.
You have my sympathy, Deep. You must really love her to stay with her. When I used to practice, I could only tolerate having two BPDs on my caseload at a time. They’re crazymaking, draining and trying to set boundaries of appropriate behavior with them is like trying to herd a pack of cats.
I hope you have a good support system and are taking care of yourself rather than getting sucked into her bottomless pit of un-meet-able needs.
The article was amazing. I’m 20 and my girlfriend is 26. In a lot of ways, this was my first real relationship and it’s been great. Though, the info I just read describes my girl elecquently during one of her episodes. I thought I was crazy, but you made me believe otherwise with your article.I will continue my relationship in hopes of overcoming BPD or at least putting it into check. Thank you Dr. T.
I stumbled upon this website while searching for how I was feeling. after reading alot of the info and taking a few quizes. I realized that what I was feeling and have been experiences for over 20 years and 4 kids is that there really is a problem and that im not the blame for it. For along time now I was trying to figure out what could the problem be. I was thinking that it was totally me because financially things havent been that good for me. But on the other hand Im thinking no matter how much money I have. I dont think it would change the relatiionship. MOst of your articles here talk about how to get away from a person like this. One of your articles said writing about it would make you feel better. I have many years of experiencing this type of stuff. It honestly had/have me second thinking myself. I have been down and depressed for some time. But now REALLY knowing that it is my relationship that is messing me up. Its a little easier to deal with. But only I know about this info. She doesnt know or I dont think she would take it to easy if I presented this to her. She would think that Im trying to attack, but in all these years. I just wanted a constant loving relationship with the mother of my children/wife. Sometimes I think that she tracks my time on the computer so I hope this is one of them times. So she can know what I know. and somehow we can work on this issue and finally move forward and get some help or figure out a way to deal/live with the issues.
If your wife is indeed abusive, I’d recommend you clear out your cache and do not show her this website or similar information from other websites. Abusers turn the information around on you. She will accuse you of being abusive and controlling. If you suspect your wife has these issues, find a qualified mental health professional who has experience with personality disorders. Trust me, your wife will not have an epiphany after 20 years and say, “Yes, darling, I see the error of my ways now and I will work on getting better.” More often than not, they double down on the abuse and become even more controlling and mean.
I already made this mistake, she spies on my internet usage and my life is a living hell now and I really don’t know what to do about it. I just feel like stepping out in front of a bus lately…
Stepping in front of a bus is not the answer. Find a good therapist who believes that men can be the abused partner and start focusing on how to rid your life of the abuse.
I made an appointment with a therapist today, though I don’t have any confidence that it will do any good. I’ve tried to deal with this in the past and it usually leads nowhere…We somehow had an unexpected kid and there are step kids and therapist have told me that I just need to be a man…good thing I have lots of hair cause I’ve been pulling it out lately.
Any of you guys see a common denominator of miss crazy pants being a big fan of Opra network or Lifetime (men bad, women good) channel ? Any time I watch that stuff, I get queasy….start to doubt my take on things.
Dude , Run!!!, it will not get any better don’t do what I did or what most of the other guys on here have done , you are young and you deserve a much better partner. You are only fooling yourself and setting yourself up for a long stressful disappointing relationship, Im 47 now and most of my life has not been good with this woman, she has been a burden around my neck for 18 years, go look around you can find better and don’t jump in bed with one until you do find the one that will treat you like you deserve. Thats where I messed up and probably most others also.
Looks like it’s been a while since anyone has posted to this blog but I need to vent after a particularly stressful day with my BPD so here goes. I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I have been married to this BPD for 30 years, especially since I first noticed the abusive nature she possesses in the first 6 months of marriage. I married her because I got her pregnant without really getting to know her. (old school, take responsibility, do the right thing) after several years of the single life. I initiated a divorce from my first wife that I still carry guilt in my heart for. My first wife didn’t deserve the womanizing I perpetrated on her but I’m happy to know that she is now happily married to a guy that treats her well. She and her husband and I are casual friends now but no one in my family or circle of friends knows of the true state of things here.
There is an 18 year difference in my present wife’s and my age, she being younger. Today, I’m 71 andam just really, really tired of it. Despite the fact that I can’t afford to divorce (retired), if I don’t do something soon, I know it’ll kill me…and soon!
I could write a novel about my life with this 53 year old woman with the mental development akin to a 5 year old. I have convinced myself over the past years and still do even today, that I stayed to provide some stability for my son who is now grown and gone but looking back, I have sacrificed a major portion of what could have been a a normal life.with a person who really loved and respected me, something that has been missing in my life for the past 30 years. Also, in large part, I suffer from the guilt of my failure to sustain my first marriage and have allowed myself to become a martyr and victim. I did provide some stability for my son but at a great cost.
To add fuel to the fire, she is an alcoholic, has likely always been an alcoholic and has been through rehab but I foolishly took her back (we were separated at the time) Her father died aqe at 65 of a heart attack exacerbated by alcoholism. She has a younger brother in prison for drug related offenses so there is a history. Her father abandoned 8 children and provided no support, financial or otherwise, so that is likely the root cause of her BPD, as she was only 7 or 8 at the time.
I don’t think there is anything that I can be counseled on that I don’t already know. Instead, I would offer that if this tale of woe strikes a familiar chord with any of Dr.T’s readers, don’t make the mistakes I’ve made. Get it together and get away from the poison that you are unrelentingly subjected to.
IT AIN’T NEVER GONNA IMPROVE, IT JUST GET’S WORSE…AND WILL ULTIMATELY KILL YOU !!
I moved the site to its own URL in late 2010 (https://shrink4men.com).
These individuals rarely get better and often get worse with age. They need to be in very specialized treatment. Otherwise, most just end up with counselors who enable their behaviors and abuses.
You may also want to check out the forum (http://www.shrink4menforum.com).
Dr. Manu says
same story here..I am 28 and married to this BPD for the last 3 years, and we have a 1.5 year old son.The funniest thing is that we both are doctors.I really get frustrated dealing with her. My dad, mom, and sister suffer besides me. She gets irritated easily, and her anger has no limits, and after that she is the loving caring lady. She want the things to be run in her own way..
I am really confused now..about what should i do now..My sister is about to get married in an year..
i am really fed up..
There is no limit to what people with this disorder will do when they are angry. I was with a woman for over a year and we talked about being married and having a family together. Just recently she started seeing someone behind my back which I was quite used to anyway. I didn’t even fight with her about it, I simply moved on and started talking to another woman. Several weeks later the woman I was seeing got contacted via face book message about what an awful person I was. How she would have to be crazy to be seeing me, and how I will rob her, lie to her, and do other things only a monster would do. I confronted the borderline ex, and of course she lashed out. She devised a plan. She asked her new man to send people to beat me up and put me in the hospital. I was very lucky because at this point, the man contacted me. It was an old friend who I hadn’t seen in years. So as fate would have it, I got very lucky. She had no idea we were friends, and neither of us had any idea the other knew her. So we put her on a 3 way phone call where I recorded her saying that she didn’t care how badly I was hurt. She wanted me in the hospital for being so “mean” to her. He asked several times what I had done. She said he treats girls so bad. An he was so mean to me he always makes me cry. He asked again how badly she wants me hurt and again she replied, as bad as possible. This is a woman who shared every intimate detail of her life with me. She spent last Christmas with my family and hours in a hospital room with my dying father. She hugged my mother, my nieces and nephews, and knows all of my friends. I treated her like the person I loved most in the world and was always good to her. To my memory, I never made her cry. I always went out of my way to be good to her even when she made me angry and upset. But even if I did make her cry, would that warrant me being put into a hospital? This disorder knows no boundaries and has no limits. Be careful all.
Hi mate. I am a doctor too…. my wife is a lawyer. Married just over 1.5 years ….. she has BPD -a terrible case ! I too am confused …… and fed up ….. so how are you going ?
Unfortunately, you can’t overcome BPD. Please make sure you have a solid support system outside of your relationship with your GF. Don’t let her isolate you from family, friends and others who will remind you that you’re not the crazy one.
Also, be careful that getting involved with women who have these issues doesn’t become a pattern for you. It will bring you a lifetime of misery.
Dr T. is right on with this article.
As a survivor of a relationship with someone with BPD, I would encourage anyone who suspects they are in such a relationship to think long and hard about why they stay, and what they want out of a relationship with someone who exhibits these traits.
Everyone’s situation is different. In my case I had no idea about BPD or personality disorders (BPD can, and often does, exist with other PD’s that can make your life an even more “fun” ride to emotional hell) until it was much to late to avoid the inevitable pain and emotional damage these people can inflict on the one “they love”.
I suggest anyone wanting to stay and make it work read and study everything they can about BPD. You will need that knowledge.
First, thank you for reading and posting comments. It means a lot that to me that people are connecting with my work. I’ve known many people, professionally and personally who have suffered a lot as a result of being involved with emotionally abusive men and women. BPDs are highly emotionally abusive.
Second, you’re absolutely right. If you’re involved with a BPD or or any other emotionally abusive personality type, you have to ask yourself what you’re getting out of that relationship. There are usually deeper reasons beyond, “but I love her.”
Some men are playing the hero/rescuer. Some are addicted to the rush (heaven help them). Some are recreating relationships from childhood and trying to have an emotionally corrective experience. There’s always some “benefit.” However, you can’t save another person. Eventually, the constant drama will wear down even the heartiest soul. And you can’t fix the past by repeating it.
Thanks again for weighing in, Bryce.
Roger Ezell says
Wow!!! Dr. You have described me perfectly in the above article. I became involved with a woman in 1992, married her in 1995. She knocked out my front teeth during one of her rages and cheated on me with numerous men. She carried on an affair with a co-worker from August 2010 until May 2012. We separated January 2011. The more I read the more convinced I am that she has this disorder. I lost count of the number of doctors and therapists she has seen. She is now dating a man who is bi-polar. It almost killed me but I divorced her on adultery after she was arrested for Criminal Domestic Violence against me in front of our two children. I am dating now. At the first red flag I leave these women. I appreciate the information here. I would rather be with myself than to be with a person who has this disorder. Some people may call it being alone. I prefer to say being with myself.
All the best to you who are involved with someone who possesses this disorder.
Roger Ezell says
Update—-After years of therapy I finally became involved with a brilliant woman who is happy, sane, contented, successful, and simply amazing. Comparing the above relationship to the one I now have is unbelievable. It almost seemed strange in the beginning to have someone this nice. My life is so wonderful. My opinion is that these people will never change. If so, the odds are so stacked against you. Most therapists refuse to treat BPD. My ex was fired by her therapist. It took me a long time to realize that I wanted a broken woman to fix. It is so much easier to find a happy and sane woman. I am no longer into fixing. I suggest that if you are involved with a BPD you are deluding yourself. Run and never look back. I miss my ex like a toothache.
I am very happy for you, Roger! It is so wonderful to read you were able to move on, heal and find happiness with a grown-up who can reciprocate your love.
So, Dr. T.:
It sounds like you are suggesting that there is no possibility of ever having a “relatively” healthy relationship with a person who has BPD disorder. Am I understanding correctly? I am recently married with a woman who seems to exhibit many of the hallmark behaviors. We are at our umpteenth separation and she is saying, I know you deserve to be with someone healthy, but I would like to get help and want to be with you if you’ll have me. It is more than “I love her” she has become my best friend, for ever time when her behavior makes no sense t me, the is another time when she get’s me like nobody else ever has. So while I know i need to look after my own health, I also don’t take marriage lightly. I said I would have her in sickness and in health, and that includes mental illness. (but I know that behaviors can stretch the bounds of this promise).
I know it is a long shot, but I really pictured us spending our lives together and I’m wondering if anyone out there, has a story of a BPD individual learning healthier patterns through therapy/medication, etc.
Would appreciate any feedback.
Saying she wants to be better and actually taking steps to get better are two very different things.
My suggestion is to read through all the comments on this website by men and women who have been and are in your shoes. Additionally, if you don’t have children with her yet, I implore you to be very careful with birth control. The last you want to do is have children with an undiagnosed and untreated BPD individual.
Sucker No More says
My ex is a counselor – and I believe she knows what she has. I suspect she has BPD but she never told me what her official diagnosis was. She called it ‘depression’. My point is that she knew exactly what she was doing and couldn’t stop herself. She used to say the same kinds of things, e.g. I know you deserve to be with someone healthy, etc. Then go and do the Jekyll Hyde thing. Another thing is she also used to stop taking her medication often saying that she really didn’t need it – she did!
I can go on and on but what I am telling you is it is not your job to fix her – or put up with endless games and other shenanigans. If she wanted (or could) fix herself she would have done so by now. Watch out that you are not being manipulated. Stay strong – read the articles in this site.
My current is an apprentice counselor in training ( Psych Master student). I have the feeling she is in the mental health education field to be above it all, because how could the doctor be sick? It sure is not to learn to be fair to her husband. She’ll help everybody but me. Disdain, affairs, drinking, F my life. How altruistic of her! I’m afraid many are sick in the mental health field. This is particularly sad when they should treat their mate as well as they would treat their patients. Well, I guess I’m her first patient, ah ah.. Stats would be interesting. Seriously the worst characteristic of BPD types are that they are nice to everybody but you. The intimate relationship is a nightmare with these folks.
Thanks Dr T.
I wish I had had the benefit of your advice years ago.
Hero / Rescuer; What an easy role that is for men to fall into with BPD women.
I equate staying in a relationship with a BPD to help (rescue) them, to assisting a cripple to cross a busy street.
They will cling to you, lean on you, and tell you how wonderful you are.
Only with a BPD, once you have safely, and lovingly escorted them to the opposite side, they will viciously turn on you, beat you with their cane, and leave you bleeding in the gutter as they gleefully run off with the next hero who happens to come along.
These days, I limit my rescuing efforts to homeless and abandoned pets!…. lol
As I’ve often said to my male friends who fall into the category of hero, “These women don’t need rescuing; they need a mood stabilizer.”
Great analogy re: beating you with a cane–it’s funny because it’s true!
Thanks again, Bryce.
We’ve recerntly discovered that my wife of 6 years fits the BPD descriptions very closely. I’ve been studying psychology in an attempt to figure out whats happening, and BPD makes sense. I’ve been so confused, especially since I am a Rescuer. Articles like yours help me a lot while I decide what I want and find out who I am again.
I’m very sorry you’re having such a painful time. I wish you the best in this process; it’s a very difficult one. I’m honored you find my writing helpful.
If I can figure out how to set up an email, I want to start taking questions from my readers to tailor my writing to their questions. Please check back and my best wishes to you.
Get out now. They don’t change and most get worse with age. You can lose entire blocks of your life and
god help you if you have kids.
Guy says to another guy “hey, ya ever have one of those times when ya say opposite of what ya mean to say?” The other guy says “no…I don’t think so” the other guy continues “well..the other day I was in the minneapolis airport and i went to the counter and this gal had a huge chest….i needed a ticket to pittsburg but it came out i need a ticket to Titsburg! God…i was so embarrassed.” The other guy says “oh yeah…i had an experience like that the other day….my wife and i were at the breakfast table…she said pass the sugar… and i said “you F*&#@%# B****!…You wrecked my Life!!”
Just hang with this lady 10 years or so….You WILL be the guy at the table.
At 5 am Nick, you gave me a great laugh, I needed this. Thank you even if you wrote this 6 months ago.
Fantastic article. So happy to have found this site. I just got out of my 2nd relationship in a row with a Borderline woman. (Yes, it took me two to finally learn my lesson – the hard and painful way) However, in my defense, you never can tell that they’re borderline at the beginning because everything is so great. It’s not until the 3-6 month mark, when the possibility for real emotional intimacy develops that they get triggered and all of the borderline traits come out in full bloom. Your article above describes the whole experience very aptly. They have such an astonishing ability to turn every thing around to make YOU out to be the bad guy to the point where you really do blame yourself, question yourself, and in the end feel downright crazy. When, during the whole relationship, all we ever tried to do was to rescue/support/build them up. From what I’ve come to understand, this is all part of the projection of their ugly parts on to you.
It’s taken me a couple of months of therapy to wash the toxicity off of my psyche and I’m just starting to feel like myself again.
I love the analogy of the cripple across the street. That is exactly what you end up feeling like. Only the scars from that kind of emotional abuse don’t heal nearly as quickly as bruises from a cane would.
Thanks for your blog!
You’re welcome. Good for you for getting out of your BPD relationships and breaking the cycle! It can be incredibly difficult to do. I agree. Being beaten with a cane is preferable to a relationship with a BPD/NPD. When you want to rid yourself of the offensive cane, it doesn’t fly back at you like a boomerang. I always thought the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” was a crock. Physical scrapes and bruises eventually fade; emotional scars can last a lifetime.
Please keep reading and commenting.
You are right, I’d rather beaten with a Cane…..That would be easy to identify and understand.
I think I have been ‘dating’ someone with borderliner too. My situation is quite painful and I am exhausted. I have met the girl in question only a year ago. She got accidently pregnant and from there on thing got worse and worse. I recommended her to consider an abortion but once it was clear that she did not want that I went 100 % for the baby. Since then she has been agressive verbally abusive angry for reasons that I still not understand and worse bad mouthing me to her family. At some point I decided (i thought together with her but she denies that now) that it would be best if she lives back home with her parents for a few months in view of the stress and the potential effect on the baby. I still went to all the NCT courses with her but at the last moment when she was about to deliver I was not longer welcome and was treated like a complete stranger at the hospital. Now the baby is born and i ahve seen her once She is some days is normal and send me clips of the baby but the follow day does not respond or is angry again (the agryness is usually because i am not there but if i want to go there she treats me bad). I dont know if i should attach to the baby because i dont know what her next step will be. I am heart broken because I already love my little daughter but I know if i go to the mother she will break me down more and uses the power of my attachment to my daughter. She explained me she owes me nothing I am just the sperm ect etc and the next moment she wants to show my daughter on webcam well the usual border stuff i supose etc etc..She does not want to give me parental rights so basically that makes me at her mercy in view of the child. My question now is what would be best for my child and what would be the best steps to take? I consider just letting it go and learn to live with the pain because I do not see how I can help her and if i am out of her life at least maybe there s more peace for my child? best D
Hi I’ve had the same as you met a girl she got
pregnant we kept the baby I was their at the birth
she moved out 2 weeks before cuz we had a row
anyway I was at the birth I just felt numb something
didn’t feel right her mother never spoke to me though the whole
birth 1 week later we weren’t talking she went and
registered my son without me I never had anychoice
in his name middle name or last name but .I was so angry
at this but just put up with it he’s 15 months know I
only see him when it suits her .I have 2 more children of my own
which I look after 24/7 plus I run my own business
she seems only to help me when it suits her I get so
tired I get constantly slagged by here no matter what
I do it isn’t good enough the last outrage was last week
she tried to get her friend to txt me to see if I would
meet her but it back fired on her as I’m not like that anyway that night
after a drinking session at the pub cuz she left my son with her friend
for 2 days. She came round my flat banging the door
kicking the door throwing newspapers through my letter box
woke my son up who lives with me he’s 7
saying she doesn’t know nothing of the woman in question who had
been txting me anyway I changed my number couldn’t believe
her friend afterwards said at least she knows what your like know
absalutely mental.also she’s kicked the doors In on my car slapped my face .had a christening for my son I wasn’t invited to it which hurt
I’m just numb know I can’t take anymore from this woman
I relate to the walking on eggshells thing
she’s called my daughter a fat bitch slagged her of cuz my daughter
is half cast calling them black bastards she seems to always attack late evening never in the morning always late on the night when I have work
her family hate me I’m at a loss what to do I want access to my son
but she tells me that they come as a package
apparantly I don’t do anything for my son although I buy him
clothes and stuff he needs even the cot I bought and had it delivered
to her moms house I do question myself weather it’s me
who is the problem but after Reading stuff on here I think
I know realise it’s her with the problem. She’s even said to me I should
worship the ground she walks on why don’t I .she doesn’t work
and has no intention of it I pay all my own bills and she helps
with nothing even though she stays over for 4 or 5 days at a time
then swans back of to her mothrs after she’s caused havac
in my flat she gets jealous of my children if I take them out
without her the whole situation is a living knight mare
for me and my 2 kids here with me they deserve better
even down to watching tv I’m not allowed
or playing the ps3 nor my kids and she constantly picks on them
all the time and hates my closeness with them
always comparing them to my new child (fin)
I love my son (fin) but I’m getting the stage were itcjust feels numb
to me I have no say in anything that goes on with him
like the christening his name his upbringing
but she says it’s all my fault as I don’t bother
I’m not allowed at her moms house cuz I’m a total
dick head to them even though I’m running my own business
and bringing my 2 kids up great .it has been quite
a burden on me I want access to my son but she won’t give it me
she said my child don’t need me and my money just her and her love
is all he needs.as for the friends thing if she had it her way I wouldn’t have any nor family (they hate her)she constantly says I have no
structure for my children Slavs em constantly and if it was left to her
they wouldn’t be alloweed to have anthing
I’ve been with her just over 3 years it’s been hell
her tantrums are riddiculous .she did it on holiday
with us before my sonwas born and had to go and sleep in another room
cuz of the fight we had she gets me so frustrated
and angry half the time I don’t know what planet
she’s on constanly accusing me of sleeping with other peolple
it’s driving me nuts but I’m slowly seeing through her armour she no longer
stays here at all I just want to get her out my head but what
do I do about my son how do I make and kind of contact when she’s like this any help would be appreciated or advice would be helpfully
there’s loads of other stuff she’s said and done
just so vindictive it’s unreal my one friend can’t believe that I put up with it
brian from the uk
Danny IMHO you are the best example on this blog, showing what this blog about, and what happens when there are kids in the relationship. I am married to a Ms. BPD since 13 years, and I envy you because you have this experience early enough to bring you clarity. I believe in love, distance from the bad, time, and reading through this whole blog and anything else you can find.
Thanks Dr Tara for this blog. It is a great help, hope to be able to get in touch soon
Wow, Great Info.
Very helpful information, can the women with such disorders hold down a job and have friends as well? My ex-wife displayed some of these characteristics, but she also works as a teacher and has friends both male and female? Is she likely to be narcissistic or borderline? I only ask for future reference and my ex has my children so I still have to have some contact with her.
NPDs don’t really have friends. If they have “friends” their individuals who make the NPD feel better by comparison, whom they can hold court with and impress with their “wonderful personage.” BPDs have intense “friendships,” in which they get really close really fast. However, they’re generally tumultuous with a lot of idealizing/devaluing and cut offs.
NPD and BPD traits fall on a continuum. There’s usually a mixture. You haven’t shared enough information for me to hypothesize which end of the continuum your ex lies on.
happy in the country says
As an outsider looking in (engaged to a non B.P.D. who was married to a B.P.D. for 27 yrs), I had no idea that this sort of behavior existed let alone was tolerated by men who blamed themselves for the way that their bpd spouse was acting. I cant imagine how and why someone would think that they are obligated to stay in a marriage that is so abusive, dysfunctional and erratic.
It has been so difficult even as an outsider to pardon this behavior, never mind forget and forgive. my soon to be husband is as normal as you can get (Thank God), but because of his ex, who will not let go of him ( they have been in divorce court over two yrs with no delaying on his behalf, of course). i have to endure her ongoing tirades, blackmail, threats, emotional attempts to pull him back into a relationship with her, attempts to destroy his professional reputation, trying to take everything he owns—even his own friends and family to the point of calling me every name in the cuss word book.
All i can honestly say is that i can see that they have no soul, and they will do what ever it takes to destroy you and make your life miserable. You think they are weak people? you really believe they are gonna crumble into a pile of dust if you leave to save yourself? Think again, my friends…
they will survive and function especially now, since they think they have something to live for… and that’s to make your life torture. my best advice is to leave unexpectedly, make sure you take all your precious belonging and your half of the money, because if you don’t, they will not give it back to you—even under a court order! My non bpd fiance ran so fast out of fear for his life with only the clothes on his back and his car. now all his boyhood items, heirlooms and things that he has collected, bought, earned, or were given to him will not be returned. When asked, his ex replied, “what are you talking about? you came with 3 uhaul trucks and picked up all of your property!” always a bunch of lies with her.
My non bpd did leave that relationship after 27 yrs. He just couldn’t take that emotional and physical abuse any longer. Now he is with me, a very well rounded, kind loving woman who will stay by his side through this rollercoaster ride. someday soon, it will be over, she will no longer have any say so. she will no longer have any control over these divorce negotiations, and she will have to sign on the dotted line. it does come to an end, even if that seems impossible.
Hi happy in the country,
Thank you for reading and posting. Kudos to you and your fiance for staying strong and committed to each other through the onslaught of his ex’s “seek and destroy” tactics. You’re absolutely right about these women not crumbling into a pile of dust if you leave them. These women are ferocious in their desire to punish, that’s what you should be afraid of when you leave them. Their “poor little victim” act is just that; an act. If you fall for it, it leaves you wide open to be blindsided later.
My best wishes to you and your partner.
Round and round she goes, just found out my wife was on a antidepressant for 13 months, then stopped for 7 months, then went on a much higher dose, and recieved a diagnosis of major depressive episode, moderate, i last week, im sure she has him( therapist)e snowed, no doubt she is BPD, she hid the anti-depressants from me, never had a clue till checking our online insurance account, she is also drinking close to a bottle of wine a night. Midst of the divorce, going through a custody eval, thank god becuase i think this guy (custody eval) will discover her, the litanty of tests he gives is one where it picks up on personality disorders, the mm something – 3 i think its called, is there a way she can beat that test or if she is BPD will it come out in that test?
Thanks your site is great
Yikes. It’s not good to mix alcohol and meds. Yes, she’s probably snowed her therapist or the therapist is humoring her so as not to drive her away and keep her coming back for repeat business.
The custody evaluator may not discover your ex’s issues. These women are convincing, practiced liars and highly persuasive blamers. You should also plan to meet with the evaluator and bring any damaging emails, voicemails, recordings, etc., that you may have to make your case and expose her for the abusive, volatile person she is.
I think the test you’re referring to is the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—not sure if it’s still on the 2nd edition or if there’s a 3rd now—haven’t administered this in a while). This inventory has a number of validity scales built in to detect dishonesty, faking good or faking bad, etc. Specifically:
1. The “L” scale. The “lie scale” is designed to detect attempts by individuals to present themselves in the best light. A high score usually means the person is deliberately trying to present her- or himself in the most positive way, rejecting shortcomings or unfavorable characteristics.
2. The “F” scale. Detects whether a person is faking good (making self look better) or faking bad (making self look worse) by catching contradictions in their responses.
3. The “K” scale. The “defensiveness” does the same thing as the L scale, but is more subtle and, therefore, more effective.
There are other validity scales, but the above three are the most important, in my opinion. Here’s a link if you’re interested in reading about the others. The MMPI-2 has 567 true or false items and takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. The sheer length of the test makes it difficult to “beat” it by giving false responses because it’s near impossible to keep track of all your responses, although, it can be done if you’re super smart with an excellent memory.
I hope this helps.
Yes very helpful, the other two tests the evaluator listed in the intake form were the MCMI 3 and the SASI, i asked if they wanted me to take those and they said no. From what i read the MCMI 3 focuses on personality disorders, will BPDs be able to get around this one? Will the SASI pick up on her drinking problems, im hoping for validation from the evalutor. I did present him with all the emails i have sent her trying to communicate about the kids, she responds to about 20% with one or two word answers and if its a sentence it has her failing to accept responsiblity and being very ambigious, sound familiar?
Our relationship started when we met initially via a website. Things started out well – although with hindsight “S” made a few comments that should have made me think more about progressing a relationship with her.
“S” and I were married via muslim nikaah on 11th November 2007.
Throughout the coming months “S” changed and became verbally and emotionally abusive regarding myself and my children.
My son came to live with us (“S” agreed to this) and although she did treat my son well to his face – she kept telling me how useless he was and how he would never make anything of himself etc……something I am sure he could hear.
In front of everyone else (friends and family) “S” was a lovely lady and could do no wrong….but to me when she was not in front of anyone she was verbally abusive and regularly hit me in the face. However, “S” was so lovely when she chose to be and at times like that she was my ‘perfect partner’.
• Constantly check my phone – but delete her own texts and call log (as I did check her own phone on 2 occasions as she threatened to have sex with someone else to teach me a lesson) – this included her having texts from her male friends, her ex boyfriend and various males from work who would keep texting as they wanted to ‘take her for dinner’ etc (her behaviour clearly shows that she can do whatever she wants but I could not even text any female friend however innocent)
• Check my emails – but keep hers password protected and delete them
• Check my bank statements (as can be seen from the attached note)
• She would go mad if I was late home – but she regularly went for a drink with her friends on the way home from work and not even call me….upon getting home she would either be happy or mad….I never knew which it would be
• Although she told me I should see my children she would always quiz me and if I had picked them up from somewhere she didn’t like or anything I did could be scrutinized and turned into something that could be twisted then she would go into a rage
• Although her son lived with us (my son had moved out) she told me that if my kids were to visit she would go out so she didn’t have to see them – she constantly called them ‘illegitimate bastards’
• I could not keep contact with any of my longstanding female friends – although “S” kept very regular contact with her male friends…including having a drink with her ex-boyfriend – because they were her friends and I was a ‘fucking whore’
• She constantly told me how she was too good for me etc..
• She told me on at least 4 occasions that she would have sex with someone in our bed to teach me a lesson – although I have never been unfaithful to her on any occasion.
• She constantly (almost every other day) accused me of infidelity – she even came with me to hypnotherapy, sat outside the office, and still accused me of having sex with the therapist when we got home.
• She threw my telephone at the wall on two occasions – once smashing it.
• She woke me up at 2:30am one morning demanding the keys for my car so she could check it for condoms.
We did split up for a short time – I cant remember the date as I have lost my emails but earlier in the year 2008. She had been constantly abusive both verbally and physically which ended up with her smashing my mobile phone and telling me ‘I was a useless father’ and ‘my kids didn’t really want to see me’ and ‘what sort of man are you that deserts your kids’….etc. I did react by placing my hand over her mouth and telling her to be quiet. I asked her to leave and she told her family and myself I tried to strangle her – something that did not happen. For a while she convinced me I put my hand on her neck – but I certainly did not. In fact, I asked her how many hands I used – she told me both – which cant have been as I was sitting on the bed sideways and she bit my finger, so my hand was on her mouth………………her brother later asked me why I throttled her and I told him I didn’t and asked if there was any mark – which obviously there wasn’t.
We did get back together again and things were good for a short time and then the abusive situation started again.
The two instances detailed below are only two out of a large number. This is something that “S” has never apologised for and in fact she has no remorse whatsoever and blames me….telling me I need to make her love and respect her again and that I have constantly humiliated her for constantly asking her to move out.
Her family are always told lies – telling me I cant keep asking her to leave when we have an argument.
On this morning I received a telephone call regarding my son from his school counsellor. I went to the school and was concerned with his behaviour (and that of his friend) and decided to meet with his friends mother (who he now lodged with) and discuss reporting his behaviour to the police.
I spoke with “S” by telephone and told her what I was going to do.
I met with ”L” (his landlady/friends mother), had a quick coffee and we decided to report the incident – which we did.
This was only the second time I had ever met “L” – the other was only to take my son his belongings.
On the way back home I got a telephone call from my son’s counsellor who asked me to go directly to him as my son had a breakdown and was on his way there by taxi. I told “S” all I knew at that stage and told her I would call her.
My son arrived and was assessed and I was asked to take him to Hospital for admission – this was early evening.
“S” called me and agreed to meet me at the hospital. When we got there I obviously couldn’t tell her all as we were with my son. We went to get a coffee and “S” asked if she could speak with my son – I said yes and went outside.
As I was without my son I decided to call “L” and tell her (as she was his landlady) that he was being admitted and wouldn’t be home. “S” came outside and went into a rage because I was talking to her – I tried to explain that I had to let her know my son wouldn’t be home…..but she was in a rage and told me I was having sex with this woman all afternoon and I was a whore and didn’t tell her anything….and how dare I spend the afternoon with this woman.
I told her to leave me alone as it was bad enough to be admitting my son let alone dealing with her.
“S” left and I stayed at the hospital until 11:45pm.
On my way home in the car “S” called me – she was in a bar in Auckland and was very drunk. She asked me to pick her up – I told her to get a taxi.
She send me several abusive text messages – which I didn’t keep but could be sought from Vodafone.
She then telephoned me and told me I was a ‘fucking bastard’ and ‘fucking whore’ and if I didn’t pick her up she ‘would have sex with one of the guys in the bar’.
She didn’t come home until about 1:30 – 2:00am.
Wheh she arrived home she came into the lounge where I was sat and told me I was a bastard – she told me I was shagging my sons landlady. She went on to tell me my children were ‘bastards and always caused trouble’ and they weren’t ‘even conceived in marriage’ and therefore they were ‘fucking illegitimate bastards’
She then struck me in the face – again and again – I didn’t count but estimate it to be 12-14 times. This caused quite a lot of bruising…..and again I asked her to leave.
There was bruising to my nose and both sides of my face.
We got back together August/September 2008 and things were really good. When we were apart we found that our Muslim wedding was not legal and as things were really good – I asked “S” if we should get married (legally) on the beach and she agreed. (I thought she has changed and everything was really good and this could show her the high level of my commitment to us – especially as I didn’t have to do this)
We got married – and on that VERY SAME DAY – everything changed. It was that very evening that “S” started to accuse me of things – we were watching our wedding DVD and she accused me of having sex with one of my friends and I told her that the difference between her and me was the fact that she maintained contact with all her family and friends (both male and female) and I was only able to maintain meaningful contact with a couple of mine. The next day my daughter emailed me and “S” went into a rage about it, the next day I got a text from someone I took out 3 times (only asking me how business was and I asked her not to text again) – “S” told me she would call her (I did ask for her ex’s telephone number so I could reciprocate – but she wouldn’t provide it).
She told me she was ‘going to have sex in our bed when I was at work the next day with her ex boyfriend to teach me a lesson’ – I got home and “S” had changed the bottom bed sheet, (this was once of only twice I checked her phone), deleted her text messages and cleared her call log – THIS WAS WITHIN 4 DAYS OF OUR WEDDING.
This carried on with something different every day for over 3 weeks.
On another occasion:
I left my home with my wife (“S”) to visit the beach. Had a great day.
Upon leaving the beach “S” suggested we visit my friend as he lives there as we were planning to stay at his house on New Years Eve. I called my friend and he said that would be great and asked if I remembered where he lived (as I had been there previously for a coffee) – I replied yes.
I told “S” I thought I could find it – she started shouting at me as I knew where he lived, so she told me I had been at his house having sex with another woman. I told her that was ludicrous but she continued to scream at me. I drove towards his house but she started screaming at me to pull over and let her out. I eventually turned the car around and told her we would go home – I called my friend to tell him we wouldn’t be coming.
I stopped the car and “S” got out and continued to scream at me – she told me ‘I was a whore’, ‘I was no good’, ‘my ex-partners partner was more of a man than me’, ‘all of her ex’s were better looking, younger and more successful than me’, ‘I was a eunuch and that she’ would let me know what it felt like as she was going to have sex with other men in our house’ and that this she kept telling she would do “I swear to you I will”.
I asked her to get into the car and we would go home – which she did.
On the way out of the town she started to scream at me again – telling me I was a whore etc….. – she then struck me in the face (whilst I was driving)
I did not talk to her again – but she kept telling me that she was going to have sex with other guys and that she swore she would and started called me a eunuch. I was still driving and slapped her knee and told her to shut up.
She stayed quiet for about 10 minutes and then punched me again in the face (I was still driving at this time) but it had enough force to startle me and knock my sunglasses off.
We did stop briefly at a toilet and she tried to tell me it was because she loved me so much.
We did not speak again until we got home.
I went to bed and so did she. She then got up and went downstairs. She then told me she was going for a drive.
When she came back she started telling me I was a whore and told me she had checked my phone and I had a text from my ex-partner. I told her this could not be true as she would not have my number – but she told me it was her as she had just called the number. I asked for the telephone and called the number with her present. It was in fact another friend – an old plutonic friend from UK. The message read: ‘Happy Christmas my far away friend. xx’. I told “S” that she was a friend and that I hadn’t even been to the UK for 2.5 years – but she continued to call me a whore and told me she was swearing she would bring guys back to our home to show me what it was like.
I got out of bed and told her I would leave as I had had enough. She wouldn’t let me leave and when I went to get my car out of the garage she once again punched me in the face.
I gave up my attempts to leave and went to bed.
On the Monday:
I got up around 8:30am and left to meet with my daughter and eventually my son.
I returned home at around 3:30pm.
I made a cup of tea and went upstairs. “S” was in the en-suite. I walked into the doorway and asked her who she was going to meet. Without warning she picked up the air freshener can and struck me on the head. She was screaming at me – telling me I was a bastard for accusing her for going out to meet someone – I didn’t mention a guy, but even if I had, she had been telling me how she would sex in our bed with someone. Blood poured out of the cut and ran down my face. I knelt down and blood was dripping onto the floor. “S” ran downstairs and came back with a tea towel and ice. I wiped the blood and stood up. It continued to bleed and “S” asked if she could take me to hospital – I declined. After approximately 10 minutes the bleeding did not stop so I told her I would go to the clinic. I attended to clinic – I stated on the ACC form I had slipped over (as I did not want her to get into trouble at that stage). However, I did discuss it with the doctor and nurse who recorded the same.
The nurse cleaned the cut and applied a sealer.
“S” and I stayed together for a further week – until the next weekend when “S” grabbed me around the neck whilst in the car – scratching both sides of my neck (which were seen by various people)
I left the next day.
“S”’s sister did call me and ask if I would go back and talk with “S” and her brother and sister – I declined due to the fact they must have all known and were powerless to help me.
“S”’s family tell me I cant keep leaving every time we have an argument – these are not arguments and I don’t see why I should live in this environment.
“S” also sets up telephone calls that can be heard by her family to make me look like I and mad – telling me ‘please don’t keep playing games Mark’ etc….
I am also aware “S” telephoned her family after striking me on the head and asked them not to ask me about my head – as I was embarrasses because I lost my temper and hit myself over he head with a perfume bottle.
All the lies have been designed to make me look mad – as “S” told me her family thinks she should leave as I have serious mental issues.
“S” has shown absolutely no remorse. She has never apologised. She has always made it my fault and told me I have to make up for it.
This is something I believe she had done to others. “S” has to be accountable. I should not be made to be even more of a victim and “S” continues to ensure she abuse the situation – even to the point of coming to my house when I was not at home (although my lodger was)…..probably with her sons spare key. What right does she have to think she can continue this behaviour and come into my home?
These events do not depict the complete situation as the number of incidences is too great.
Since this time “S” has assaulted me further – which took place a month after we split up and was reported to the police who arrested her. Her family think its all my fault although she pleaded guilty.
There was a period of reconnect – but it reverted to this same old situation within days.
Is it safe to assume you’ve left this relationship for good?
If not, please take a moment to re-read your post, and then ask yourself why you haven’t.
There is no reason to stay in this. It will never get better. She will not change.
Just the few stories you’ve provided (and I’m sure there are countless more, and even if there weren’t) are all the reason you need to get out, and get as far away as possible.
You don’t need this.
You don’t deserve this.
This is not love.
You staying is not love.
Please, if you haven’t already, get out.
Good luck, brother. You’ve got a long road ahead of you, but (and I’m assuming, based on you having a Muslim wedding that you are Muslim), as the saying goes, “God does not burden a soul beyond capacity. Each will enjoy what (good) he earns, as indeed each will suffer from (the wrong) he does.”
While I do not claim to speak for God, I would suggest that the road to healing is the burden your soul can bear.
This marriage, is not. Nor should it be.
Peace be with you.
Kev, many thanks for your comments.
No, I am very definatley in this still – I know she will never change….I do think she has NPD as well as BPD and HPD – so its a lost cause.
I am not a muslim – but chose to accept her based on who I thought she was. I accepted both her and her son.
I just thought I would post it as I am sure many others will think they are on their own – but they are not.
Sorry NOT in this
I suffer from borderline, but I think you are harsh in your jusdgement about us who suffer from it, you picture us like crazy people with no heart and that the only thing we want is to destroy and hurt people. I love my husband alot and I would never want to hurt him physically or pschycologically, I’m not the same person when I have my borderline break outs as when I am calm… I think you should change your post so it fits the reality better than your ugly lies.
I imagine the information posted on this site does seem harsh to you. Before I continue with my reply I’m going to post the email you sent in addition to the above comment:
I’ve been suffering from BPD since the beginning of adolescence I think, the cause probably being my traumatic childhood. However, let’s get to the point.
I’ve been reading alot on your blog about BPD women and I must say that you are right in many things, but I also see you are judging everyone exactly the same, as if all people with BPD has exactly the same feelings, thoughts and behaviour – and that’s just not right!
I love my husband with all my heart and I would never want to hurt him whether physically or emotionally, I try to do my best to keep my temper in control and to treat him the best so that he loves me even more. I am not the same person when I have my tantroms as when I am calm. My disorder, is a disorder, it is not ME. Atleast not fully, because I’m not a crazy idiot who want to hurt and destroy, I’m a nice girl who try my best in life.
I am not looking to manipulate, humiliate or in any other way embarass or hurt anyone, certainly not the one I love.
People with BPD also deserves to be loved, and instead of writing articles about how to leave these “manipulating, crazy bitches” maybe you should try to focus about HOW to help us instead, how to deal with BPD, not just how-to guides for men to leave their wives! Do you seriously want every sufferer of BPD, to live alone for the rest of their lives? Don’t we deserve love and intimacy, a happy life, like any “normal” woman does?
A BPD sufferer
You begin your email by stating your BPD is probably caused by your “traumatic childhood.” Perhaps it is, but your statement telegraphs, “It’s not my fault. I’m not responsible for my behaviors.” You’re an adult and you’re responsible for your actions as an adult, no matter what happened to you as a child.
Am I judging all BPDs and/or NPDs the same? I write in broad and general terms. There are degrees of severity to both of these disorders and not all characteristics apply. This is discussed throughout the site.
I’m sure you love your husband and for his sake and yours, I hope you’re in a very structured regimen of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps you set strong boundaries, grounds your emotions and holds you accountable for your behaviors.
Stating that “[you’re] not the same person when [you] have your borderline break out as when [you’re] calm” is an example of a borderline defense called splitting. You are the same person when you’re having one of your episodes. It’s not like you physically walk out of the room and another woman enters the room. It is you. This is another example of refusing to hold yourself responsible for your abusive borderline behaviors. It’s another side to your personality. It’s an ugly hurtful side, but it’s part of you and just because you label it as “not me” doesn’t make it so. Does your husband have the option of divorcing the abusive woman who is “not you” and keeping the “calm you?”
I am not looking to manipulate, humiliate or in any other way embarass or hurt anyone, certainly not the one I love. I believe you don’t want to hurt or manipulate your husband or others, however, intention does not negate consequence. Just because you didn’t intend to do something or didn’t mean to hurt your husband with one of your “break outs” doesn’t minimize the damage when you do. People who drive drunk don’t intend to kill other motorists or pedestrians when they’re under the influence, but their behavior often results in just that outcome. Do their good intentions absolve their culpability?
People with BPD also deserves to be loved, and instead of writing articles about how to leave these “manipulating, crazy bitches” maybe you should try to focus about HOW to help us instead, how to deal with BPD, not just how-to guides for men to leave their wives! There are far more resources out there to help women and men who have BPD, but very few that help the targets of their abusive behavior. Don’t you think men and women who are suffering because of a loved one’s hurtful BPD behavior deserve help, too? Or is it all about you and your needs and feelings?
Don’t we deserve love and intimacy, a happy life, like any “normal” woman does? Yes, you deserve love when you can enter a relationship without damaging another person’s body, mind and soul. Until then, I believe both men and women have a right to know exactly what they’re dealing with and should have the option to opt out of an abusive relationship. If a man or woman has full disclosure about the nature of BPD and/or NPD and the prognosis and wants to stay in that relationship, that is their conscious and informed choice. However, I believe a person has the right to end a relationship if they don’t want to subject themselves to “borderline break outs” or narcissistic rage episodes and the host of other abusive behaviors that accompany these two disorders.
Thank you for sharing your views. I hope you’re in a good treatment program and wish you and your husband the best.
Amazing, I can quickly diagnose mechanical issues…I can diagnose Sporting event nuances as well….much more quickly than most professionals. I cannot see the nuances of the Human condition like you can Dr. T.
I read her post and at first it all seemed very plausible to me.
You break it down like John Madden breaking down the New England Patriots defense with a chalk board. It is so clear to you what is occuring and how it occurs and why.
Me, however, I see it all for face value and nothing any deeper than that.
Lemme give you a great example. There is the Swedish Parent on My son’s Football team. The Parent has a really loud voice. The Parent (Non descriptive Gender intended) always yells “Bring the ball to the Goal ERIK!!!” Well, to be blunt, “Erick” plays defense and does not carry the ball…..but what does this Parent from Sweden know about American rules Football?? Truth be told (and the parent will openly admit) they know not the first thing about how Football is played…….
My point is, when it comes to understanding these things about this BPD situation, I am the Swedish parent…I have no way of understanding as I have no clue about what is and what isn’t
Dr. T, Thanks for the Chalk Talk diagram. I have gained a bit about BPD….I think I am ready to play in a “pop warner” league.
I would add that those of us involved with bpd/npd are sucked in by the good side and totally mind f’d by the change up..of the good and bad. My ex actually told me that I “brought out….bad Susan” I stood there dumfounded..waiting for her head to spin and barf pea soup!!!
Well, 4 years later my opinion still stands that like me you probably wanted to be just a husband and not a shrink, punching ball or pacifier for your other HALF ( capital letters intended).
I suppose as people we are rigged to be supportive of our loved one in sickness and diseases( like cancers. etc.). But walking mental disorders are pernicious and when you meet them they don’t announce themselves.
Who has ever heard of anyone introducing themselves like: ” Hi, I’m Jodi. I’m cute, so charming and loving that when I’ll have you hooked up I will F your life and your world”. Who would go for that?
When someone not centered end up in your life through sweet fake behaviors, when the first problems erupt the cause is usually blamed on everything but the BPDs behaviors.
When they become apparent the usual concrete-reinforced titanium-plated denial doesn’t help to find solutions. Granted none of us grow up objectively introspecting as we just “are” and nothing really becomes serious before we marry and breed or at least live together with our other half. So if you don’t know you are mentally disordered as you were just growing up you can’t really be blamed for that.
By the time it shows up the damage is done and it is the hinge point where business has got to be taken care of, which it usually doesn’t as denial, power and control take precedence to being in harmony.
I guess prevention through taught awareness before everybody “get some” would be a good requirement to getting a marriage license. A “just in case” class. That would be progressive, You have to take exams to get a driver’s license or any license except for a marriage license. ? . I don’t blame BPD types for having BPD behaviors. But I do blame them for denying them when they are apparent, as well as I blame the social system( social services and justice system mainly) for easily placing the BPD as a victim and his/her partner as the perpetrator. Where’s the hero in this equation? Oh yeah, you got to be that too. Not only do you get screwed but you get to take the blame and fix it. It’s exhausting, and I’m talking from experience. What a wonderful bamboozle, we might as well laugh about it.
Well this is my first post I have been wondering for the past 27 years WTF is wrong with my wife
Slowly it has grown from the usual symptom as listed to now at 51 she has a SOLD check mark in all 13 boxes and its been the worst for the last 3 years twice in 27 years she has said I’m sorry and it was a shock and that was about 10 years ago and once 2 years ago when I confronted her a bout her ( at min emotional affair ) as she was completely surprised that I found out and it was not even 2 days later she started blaming it all on me.
It has been a constant berage of incoming missiles ever since
we saw a JOKE of a marriage counselor for 8 months she had him eating out of her hand
and after I refused to go back it was three months and now she is in her 4 th week of individual therapy and its been a roller coaster as always.
ill put up more details later
I read your post, and Dr. Tara’s reply to your email post. What intrigues me is that your words here, along with those many others who say they’re BPD elsewhere, say the same things again and again:
–PLENTY of excuses
–NEVER, EVER, EVER any apologies for your behavior.
Not for nothing, as Dr. T points out, you acknowledge that “Mr. Hyde” is a bad person. OK…but why can’t “Dr. Jekyll” APOLOGIZE for the “other”‘s actions, particularly when you KNOW and ADMIT to what they’re doing?
Sarah, I believe that my wife loves me very much…but, for God’s sake, put yourself in our shoes for a moment or two. Today, your wife thinks you’re the best, and is kind, loving, and forgiving. Tomorrow, you say the slightest wrong thing, and BOOM-you’re Satan personified. Imagine what’s going on in OUR heads, knowing damn well that the “minor infraction” wouldn’t even register on a normal person’s “radar”!
Sarah, I will agree with you that you and your fellow BPDs do deserve love; but you need to be honest with yourself here…if “your love” consists of controlling and bullying behaviors, how can you define that as NORMAL reciprocal love, which is the BOTTOM line basis of ANY intimate relationship?
And again, the complete and utter failure to acknowledge the emotional, mental, and PHYSICAL damage and wreckage that you have wreaked does not bode well for any type of stable, reciprocal relationship. Sorry, but read our stories…many of us have spent years and DECADES trying to cope with our BPD spouses, so do NOT try to lay a guilt trip on me…I’ve done my best, and just cannot do it anymore…if there was a HINT of “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”, well, that might be different, but one of the hallmarks of BPD is a failure to admit to one’s shortcomings.
Mike91163, Yup, Mine can never ever apologize for anything. She never accepts a shred of culpability.
Many a long heated discussions around culpability and the way “I” felt when she committed “X”.
As usual, Mike and i are on the same page. my ex could be absolutely the sweetest girl in the world one moment, then next moment BAM!!!. i’d go from the greatest guy to walk the planet, to a lousy, rotten, self-centered, arrogant asshole whose “only reason for being in the relationship is to stroke my own ego and dominate” her. you don’t know me, but the LAST thing i want to do is dominate anyone. that is not a relationship i want, cuz it’s not real. and the kicker is that i didn’t do anything of consequence to deserve that type of behavior. i was accused of cheating on her, i was told things like “you’re not a man, you’re a fucking pussy” and that was more than once. there is absolutely NO REASON for anyone to be treated like that. and the last time she called me an FP was the last big fight we had. i had a lightning glimpse of me grabbing her by the back of the head and shoving her face first thru the windshield. i never EVER want to be that mad again, nor do i ever want to have that thought ever go thru my head again. i went to my family and told them “i have to get out or else i’m gonna hurt my self or i’m gonna hurt her because this is so bad that i can’t do it anymore”. i had 115 rotten, nasty, degrading emails sent to me in less than 4 months by the girl. that doesn’t count to over 100 i deleted from the prior months. this is from a person who said she loved me. that’s not my definition of love, nor is it my definition of a healthy relationship. i can honestly say that i truly tried my absolute best to please her and to be a good man. but my efforts need to net me a better result than being accused of things i did not say, things i did not do, and all of the venom associated with trying to do my best.
now… having said all of that… i agree that she does deserve to be loved. i am not the guy to do it successfully. i want her to be happy, i want her to be healthy, i want her to be successful in everything she does, especially love. she is not evil, she is troubled. but i am not capable of handling the abuse she dealt to me over and over. when she is doing well she is a wonderful gal that has so much to offer any guy. but she needs to address her other issues in order to be successful. it is a tough thing to do, cuz there’s a LOT of personal honesty that has to take place, and a LOT of accountability. can she do it? i think so. i still root for her. i still cheer for her, even tho she still wishes hateful things upon me. even to this day… i wish her the best, and i always will. she wishes me the worst, and probably always will. go figure…
Reading your articles have made me cry horribly. As a person with BPD, I felt like you were making us seem like we weren’t even human beings. I understand this disorder is very destructive, but your approach made it seem like there was no hope for any of us. I do actually believe that I blame myself for a lot of the uncontrollable rage that I have put onto others and that hurts me. It really does. I wish I never had to deal with this disorder.
So instead of crying in your soup, have you ever though about going back to those that you destroyed and give a heart felt apology? An apology for the behavior and not an apology for getting caught??
I like how your rage against others “hurts you”. How about wishing that others that loved you in the past didn’t have to deal with the Disorder……
At first I didn’t want to reply but I was a bit angry because I felt like your reply was an attack towards me.
I have apologized before. I see that you said that yours can never apologize for anything. I’m guessing that’s why you were so quick to assume that I have never apologized before?
I actually don’t like to deal with the ones close to me anymore in fear of hurting them more. It is something that is hard for me to control, I want to show them that I am a good person but at the same time I want to stay away from them because I don’t want to hurt them further.
Also, when you said to wish others to not deal with the disorder, it felt like you were in way telling me to just kill myself off so they didn’t have to deal with me anymore.
Here’s a learning moment for you: YOUR FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS. jham did not state that he wishes you would kill yourself. He doesn’t know you and I’m sure he doesn’t care about you one way or another. Accusing him of wishing you dead is a major emotional distortion. It’s probably more accurate to say that seeing the hurt the men here have experienced because of the BPDS/NPDS in their lives makes you realize the hurt you’ve caused your own loved ones and that makes you want to kill yourself. Don’t project this onto the people here.
Here’s the problem: You are participating on a site that is not designed for people with BPD and NPD, but the targets of the abusive BPD/NPD behaviors. There are many sites designed for people with BPD, but you’re choosing to CROSS A BOUNDARY and take part in a site that isn’t meant for you.
After the BPD “boundaries don’t apply to me” move, you then engage in guilt inducing emotional manipulations. You’re not going to find much sympathy here. Furthermore, I will not allow these kinds of manipulations to be perpetrated on my readers. I will call every last one of them out.
It seems that you have true remorse for the pain you’ve caused others and I sincerely hope that you’re in a highly structured course of treatment. With a lot of work and effort, perhaps you can learn to control your thoughts and feelings, but it will require constant self-awareness and taking accountability for things you don’t want to face.
I wish you the best.
I will someday be able to see with that clarity and dissect like that.
You see there are moments with my gf that situations like that happens.
The manipulations are so subtle, and the crazymaking, so subtle as well, that I only notice what is happening way after its completion.
Thanks again Doc for being there for the benefit of all.
That’s the most insightful and well written response I’ve read in a very long time.
Same as Iron, I wish I had the same clarity too.
Well said and thanks Dr. Tara.
Yeah, that’s one way to look at it. The other way to look at it is the shameful way of insincere apologies to those you harmed and hypocritically moving on to greener pasture where there’s something to harvest, like the self esteem or lives of others.
If you are still doing the same thing with no consideration for others even though you are aware of it, which way do you think is your way?
Good morning, Stefania…
While I’m happy for you that you “believe” that you blame yourself, this is entirely different from actually taking responsibility for your actions.
I would suggest that you seek professional help. I am not a qualified psychologist, but I hear that DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) is very helpful for a number of people with BPD. Find a therapist who specializes in this, go to them, be COMPLETELY HONEST with them about what is going on with you, and start treatment.
This is how to deal with this disorder.
If you’re looking for online support, there are plenty of resources out there online for people with BPD. This, however, is probably not the best place for you to start. This site has caused you an emotional reaction. I hope it has been powerful enough to make you see the types of damage your rages cause, and to not only want to do something about it, but to actually go seek professional help to stop them. BPD rage is not “cute,” nor is it “funny,” nor is it something the recipient can just “shrug off” or “excuse” (no matter how difficult your life is/was). It has serious, long-lasting effects. If seeing the results of your actions hurts you as much as you claim, then do something about it. Actions speak far louder than words, and you seeking help will be far more meaningful than one more apology that we all know will only be temporary.
I wish you luck.
Well said Kev…
Stefania, if you know that you’re the one hurting other people, then get help to stop. NOBODY wants you to hurt yourself. that doesn’t even the score. NOBODY requires or wants penance of that nature. you can not change the past, only the present and the future. you can not go back and get a do-over for something that you’ve already done or said. but you CAN start a new life and new attitude fresh with help. i’m sorry only goes so far, even if it’s 100% sincere and said a hundred times. in real life, you only get so many “forgive me father for i have sinned”. it is your mess to clean up. but it can be done. if you’re as proactive in defeating the abusive moments as you are in expressing them… theoretically they will subside. but it takes a lot of work on your part to get the job done. nobody can do it but you.
Wow. When I read these words in the article I almost felt like crying. They were –
“One of the most maddening aspects of being involved with a Borderline, or any abusive personality type, is when they deny things they’ve said and done after they’ve calmed down. For example, after her most recent thermonuclear meltdown, you try to talk to her about the verbal grenades and false accusations she lobbed at you. Her response, “That never happened. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must be imagining things.” She denies it ever happened or recounts her own highly distorted version of events.”
I have lived this for years and have began to doubt myself. Recently as divorce is approaching, it has become much, much worse. You can’t logically try to solve a problem when the other person doesn’t even have a clue as to what really happened. Unfortunately, I also see that this behavior is not completely out of their control because the distortions always favor them. If my wife would even open the door to acknowledging her role in the problems, I might consider staying with her, but I realize now that she is destroying me. Thanks for the help and encouragement.
in for the long haul says
I have a child with a BPD woman. Our son is 7 and he’s with me half the time (maybe a little more), but then he’s with his crazy mother for half the time too. He’s very well adjusted and generally happy. But as he grows older he seems more exhausted and filled with dread at the prospect of “Mom time.” I try to go over to see him regularly even during her days, because I feel like he needs the help (he needs the reality check, the affection, the unconditional love). If I stay in the picture I can see that it helps him deal with her –I try to model for him. I show him how to endure a shit storm and still keep cool and not get beat down. But now I feel like she’s turning up the volume on her usual manipulations –using my son as a way of keeping me close. She knows I’m totally devoted to him and exploits this fact. If I didn’t have a child with her, I would NEVER see her again, but that is not an option. My son needs me in the picture in a major way.
I’m writing to this group to get some wisdom from other fathers who have dealt with a similar situation. How do I keep protecting my son, but also minimize the drama? Can someone reassure me that my son can handle all this?
I have 2 daughters (4 and 20 months) and I’m just getting started with this. My wife has totally flipped and filed divorce since I refuse to be her doormat. It is the strangest thing to be married 7 years and then be considered a mortal enemy. Well, I cried, got sad etc. but then realized just like you, that it’s about the kids– I can see that I am like an oasis for them in this shit storm already (and they are very young) My oldest is 4 but very perceptive. Kids can adapt– I think the main thing is to show them the unconditional love no matter what drama happens. I know that’s what I’m doing. Just tonight, I mentioned to my wife to enjoy the holiday and that I would not see them until the 29th. I requested an extra day so that I could drop them at school. Of course she said “no” I just realized that everything will be drama with them. They are dramaqueens. The key is not to engage (poker face) and keep the interaction brief (yes, no) and then move on… this seems to really get to them… they thrive on conflict.
Let the games begin! I have two sons (3,10) and am also in the middle of a divorce. So far, so good except for getting her to finalize our property agreement and the manipulation of the kids. (I fear only because she still thinks she can work her magic and get back in with me)
Mine has a constant need to know everything and know it first. It makes her feel important to be the constant source of new rumors and other peoples drama. She will use anything and anyone including the kids.
Be prepared for her to pump the kids for information about you and your situation. Take the high road! I truely believe what goes around comes around and your kids will figure it out. Focus on providing them what they truely need which is a loving and STABLE household to live in. I can’t imagine that if we all do this then that is where they will want to be. Remember at some time in their life the kids will have the choice!
I have to say this website is a huge help to me. I am currently dating a girl who fits the bpd/narcissist trait fairly well. She makes huge demands of me constantly. I can bend over backwards and for the most part she’ll be happy. The one thing I can’t do for her will make her spin into a huge depression and ultimately she’ll question my love for her based upon my inability to “do” something for her. Then whenever we argue she connects her behavior to her “abusive” past boyfriend. Through some detective work I have found that this former boyfriend was apparently a saint and would always do nice things for her. In a nutshell, she is concerned about herself first and foremost and expects everyone to go out of their way to make her happy. Sadly, she does not reciprocate anything. She claims she loves me. Whenever I can’t take her attitude anymore and bring up the topic of us not working out the way I expect she automatically goes into a tailspin of “woe is me”; claiming that she can never do anything right and she feels like a failure. She has no friends with other women. She has a few guy friends but even they are few and far between. In short, she’s very demanding and ego-centric. At times she’s sweet and loving; at other times she’s downright thoughtless and mean. I wish to God I would have never met her.
RUN for the Hills! Trust me .. I am going through a divorce now 7 years later and with kids. You will regret it!
I suffer from BPD and this website was so helpful to me, thank you! It gave me such a great perspective of what the person on the receiving end is feeling. I am so in love with my fiance yet I do and say the most hurtful things to the man I love so much. I just started going to counseling and it has helped so much. It is really heartbreaking for me to see myself in all these mens girlfriends/wives. Especially the cheating part. I am always paranoid he is cheating on me when he’s at work or out with his friends and I constantly accuse him. I wish I had better self control. I know what I am doing is wrong when I am doing it, yet I continue to do it! Then after I feel so horrible and low. And it is just this vicious cycle. I hope to god I can get better, for myself and for my fiance.
Best thing you can do is be honest and seems as if you are based on your quote. My partner was not and we are now in a divorce. She is high-functioning BPD and is not going to a specialist in personality disorders. It is getting worse although she is putting on a front that she is strong. My kids can even recognize that soemthing is wrong due to her intense/rages. Her mother came to visit her 2 weeks ago in her new apartment. I love her but can no longer tolerate this behavior so I will be focusing on being a good Dad and moving on.
Did you look for this, or did he show it to her. I want to use this to explain to her what’s going on, but she is so defensive, I think it will just piss her off.
Excellent article. These women are definitely out here. I’ve been married to one for 7 years. It doesn’t matter what you do.. houses, money, kids, friends trying to be kind.. They don’t know how to receive love and have huge trust issues and cannot communicate. They usually have an enabler.. in my case it’s her mother who probably feels guilty for what happened to her daughter– child/sexual abuse when she was younger. Of course this didn’t come out until we were married. It was masked and brought up as “depression” and “abandonment issues.” I am sure she had a diagnosis and did not want to share that. They are just not happy people– the behavior is so bizarre– it’s baffling because they can seem completely normal with the “mask” on and then they will completely flip. My wife still wears her wedding ring and shows me subtle hints that she actually still loves me although she has taken me to court, accused me of abuse, etc. I tried to go “no contact” and just pick my kids up to the school but she declined. I guess she is not all that scared of me like she told the court. C-R-A-Z-Y I’m looking for a nice Virgo or Capricorn in 2010 after I get past this episode. Psycological testing required from now on!
Ok, so now what? We just got engaged, I don’t believe in “no-win” scenarios,what can do?
Ok, I have explained some of my story in an email to you Dr. and as I read more and more from this site I think I possibly have the tools and strength I need to keep my BPD wife out. We have kids so its not so no contact or indifference is difficult without more to go on. I really suspect that she has cheated on me throughout our relationship but I never found proof. During breakups or fights I try to play with her mentally and pretend I have cheated and I tell her that I would give her details if she would give me hers. It almost works everytime but for some reason I always quit when she wants me to give names and details. I think it’s because no matter what I say after I think she will always believe that I really cheated and also she might not even end up telling me if she did or not afterwards. I really have a strong belief against cheating and I am very confident that if she admits any cheating that it will be all the closure I need. Why is she so against telling me? I think she knows that I would cut her off completely with much more ease. She hints that she has done things during this last breakup but she never tells me. She just says “let sleeping dogs lie.” I try to convince myself that it’s so obvious she cheated and try to move on but it is not the same. I know you might say I don’t need that to move on but I would really like that information because I think I would feel free. I was wondering how you think I can go about this to get the answer from her from a psychological perspective? She was so close to telling me one time and I truly believe she was sincere. Conversation went something like this: Me: “So now that were broken up let’s just put everything out there since it doesn’t matter anymore.” Her: “OK. You first.” Me: “OK. Let’s take turns piece by piece. I messed around with someone during one of our last breaks.” Her: “I messed with people too but not during a break. Your turn. Who was it and what did you guys do together. I don’t like it like this. Just go all out and tell me everything and then me. I can be real if you are.” And that right there put me in my dilemma. This was all through texts. I just kept thinking if I should go all out but then I reasoned that she would have way too much power over me if I came all out. So then I said no, lets give info. piece by piece and she replied that she didn’t like my game and that she was going to sleep. I also share the same feelings with another gentleman from another blog on this site that I wanted to bring up. I have issues, just like him, with my soon-to-be-ex-wife jumping to new men so quickly and hurting the shit out of me. We just broke up like 2 weeks ago and she is already talking to 2 new guys. She texted me by “accident” saying that she was still awake and that she was waiting for her boo to come. (Long story short – she fled with my kids, put an order against me, I don’t know where she is staying and she comments that she can do whatever she wants with men and there is nothing I can do about it but never actually admits anything) I pay for her cellphone so I see who she is calling and texting a lot and it is these 2 new guys. She said she didn’t send that text that night and made a bullshit excuse that her friend was using her phone for a second and texted me by accident. She said that she was sleeping but she’s lying and it’s so obvious. Plus, I saw on the bill that my wife is sending one of the new guys picture text messages (she used to send me naked or provocative pictures when we first met so a part of me thinks that is what she is doing). She swears she is not messing with anyone but is quick to remind me that she can if she chooses. I’m in a lot of pain. I really love her for some reason and I think BPD is a disorder that can be fixed through therapy. I know I’m making excuses for her but I always have hope and I really wanted to work it out with the kids and help solve our problems through counseling at least before we truly quit. If she were to sleep with another person, if she hasn’t already, it would ruin any chances and I would have to prepare myself for a whole new goal in life. I can see my self contradicting, even in the middle of this very comment!! Seriously though, if she were to have messed with someone then I am definitely ready to move on and I will look forward to this new strange life I have ahead. Until then the hope in me is too strong. I try to convey the importance of us not jumping into anything and to just give this break sometime even though she has completely disrespected my family and I. I can forgive her if she were to come to me soon and agree to counseling. I want to try that before I give up. I don’t want to live with “what if” for my entire life so I feel justified unless I am made aware of her messing around with guys and such. What do you think about this and again, do you know any psychological tricks I could use to possibly get information out from her about cheating?
I encourage you to find a counselor who understands the issues that someone n a borderline relationship faces. You need support and someone who will talk straight with you right now. Instead of worrying about who your ex is or isn’t having sex with, you need to find a father’s rights attorney asap and work on custody. If your wife indeed has BPD you cannot leave the kids with her.
I don’t think I’ve ever said that if a BPD shows a rare moment of empathy that she has greater chances of recovering. I don’t think it’s ever fully possible to “cure” BPD so that an individual is symptom free. At best, they learn how to regulate their emotions a little better and how to gradually tolerate boundaries and being held accountable. This does not happen over night. It can take years—over a decade—and it requires the person with BPD to do a lot of extremely difficult work consistently over time.
I know it’s painful to think of her with another man or men. She’s effing with your head right now and very well may have begun new sexual relationships. These women tend to crater if they’re not receiving constant attention, so she probably is engaging in some kind of flirtation and has the added bonus of making you jealous, which puffs up her ego. It seems like she’s lining up new victims in her crosshairs.
I encourage you to stop worrying about her and start worrying about yourself and your kids.
I am rowing the same boat as you. I have caught my wife five years ago and at the end of the day her biggest concern was “how did you find out”. She needed to know so she could become a better sneak and not make the same mistake twice..
Unfortunately, I tried to work it out and think the same thing happened again. Because she did something in public I have had friends, parents at my kids school, and friends from the neighborhood confirm the same story. Of course, she denies the events in their entirety.
My advice is don’t expect the truth. Don’t need the truth. If she is the same as my wife then the truth would ultimately make it wrong and there is no way to positively spin that. Even if you get the truth my experience is these woman are master manipulators of data and events. They may ultimately acknowledge the behavior but getting them to be truely accountable is a whole nother issue.
One more thing. My wife has showed the worst traits of BPD. It is truly like she is 2 people. Sometimes I think the nice caring person is fake but other times I think it may very well be real. It appears at times that she is in a constant internal mental struggle with herself. That at times she really does notice that what she is doing is wrong. Don’t get me wrong. It is very rare but being the hopeful person I am I feed off of those glimpses. They are not things you can fake. I recall one time where she had a very guilty conscience and ended up telling me something she lied about. Could this have been a selfish need to make herself feel better or was it sincere and frmo the heart? I’m not sure but the way she dealt with her conscience before telling me was horrible. She tried to make me mad so that she could have a reason to hate me and I didn’t go for it. After days of me not cracking she said she had something to tell me. She proceeded to tell me that she was not at school one day the week before and was in fact at her gay heroin addict friend’s house for the entire day. Also, I sat down and spoke with her about how I would like her to try harder in fights to not make it a war. I definitely noticed her holding back in many fights and I know it took tremendous effort on her part. She almost fits into your category where you state that if the BPD individual shows compassion and concern for their spouse’s issues that it might be worth a shot. Unfortunately in my case it is not so black and white. These moments of compassion from my wife are very rare but I believe they are genuine and that is why I want to help her out of the mode she is in right now. The mode she is in is what I usually refer to as her other side. It is so hard to reach her once she is there. It seems impossible to crack her defenses almost everytime but what keeps me trying is that I have done it before. What helps me is the fact that I realized that she really believes the bad stuff she says about me. She’s not trying to manipulate and even if she were I don’t feed into it. My mistake the last time I reached her was that I did not immediately go to counseling due to time restraints with school and work. If I can reach her this time I will never make that mistake again. It feels good to just vent this stuff out!
The caring person is an illusion. It’s the hook she uses to keep you in the relationship. It’s what keeps your hope alive. It’s heartbreaking, but that’s just the way it is. The sooner you wise up to this the better off you’ll be.
I have posted elsewhere on this site about the things my ex has done and is still doing to me.
A question has come up for me, and i feel the need to ask.
My ex is a very high-functioning BPD. She is almost at the end of her psychology degree, and is a lifeline telephone counselor. She has used her new skills against me very covertly and very successfully over the last few years. How can someone who has the knowledge and understanding, and has to show empathy on telephones,be so intent on blaming me for everything that goes wrong, so open and almost trumpeting when she does good things (that don’t include me) and so unconcerned to my feelings and my thoughts ?
It’s been my experience that the mental health field is teeming with diagnosed and undiagnosed individuals with personality disorders—especially NPDs and BPDs. It’s disturbing. I can remember sitting in many of my graduate classes and thinking, “I wouldn’t let them counsel my dog much less a fellow human being in trouble.”
It’s disturbing. I also think it’s why there are so many therapists who enable BPD’s and NPD’s. It’s as if they recognize kindred spirits. It’s also why I won’t work in a clinical setting anymore. I’ve been in one too many sick systems with these broads (mostly women because so few men enter the field anymore).
I can speak from both sides- The man that tried to work out his issues with a non-diagnosed wife and the one who is now divorcing his still non-diagnosed ex-wife.
As they say hindsight is 20-20. The signs are there from the beginning if you want to admit it. In my opinion, each day with this type of person involves a certain amount of chipping away at your “normal”. A comment, demand, glare, fight, make-up, absurd request is almost always followed by a feable apology or the cold shoulder until you apologize. If you do not accept their apology then the anger, resentment, or onslaught of past events you have done will validate why she is allowed to act this way. Note that looking back I truely believe every event for these people are auditions. They can be whatever, whenever. They are chameleons by nature and are only comfortable when they can assume the personality, life, or things of the person they want to assimilate at that time. I know this to be true due to the constant need for things, friends, and status that at any time can be disposed of for a new set of things, friends,….
Even in the middle of a divorce, that she filed for, the excuses are many. My ex now explains to me that both her therapists feel she had a mini-breakdown (plausable excuse to convey to friends, family,.. etc) that lead to her acting like a 20 year old college student for six months. With two kids at home and a husband of 13 years she decided that going to bars, flirting, leaving with guys and ultimately asking her husband for a divorce on a friday afternoon was a “mini-breakdown”. (This is after an affair five years ago with a co-worker, that lead her to leave the marriage and her 4 year old son in the same fashion).. Coincidently, both times she has left there has been an onslaught of attempts to fix or repair the marriage.
It is draining both mentally and physically. Not holding this person accountable not only validates their behavior it also re-enforces that it is normal and acceptable for them to do it. They really need to believe that what they do and how they act is normal. Believe me when I say “THEY” want the easy way out and “THEY” want whomever they hurt to be part of the solution if not all of it. This makes it OK for them to do what they do! It is also why so many friends will be stunned at the breakup and the truth. (If you decide to tell them)
I think at the end of the day you have to ask yourself ” what do I want my normal to be?” I recently was sent a quote from a good friend of mine and it goes somethink like ” we are suppose to love people and use things, not use people and love things.” What type of person are you in a relationship with?
I have been involved with a woman for 6 yrs, I did fall in love with her to the point that when I had to decide to give up myself, i.e. family friends, church, school, I didn’t see the danger. I thought that she had so much to offer, little did i know that what she was offering was not beneficial. Anyway it got so bad that i tried to escape thru drugs. Three months of that and i could now blame the problem on me, self fullfilling prophecy. i went to rehab voluntarily and will never touch that crap, but now I am labeled with ta host of disorders which only seem to manifest in her direct company, i.e. anger. Do I need to just get away?
The posts on this article, especially Page 1, have been well they have been amazing in both a re-assuring way and in a very scary and heart-wrenching way. My heart tugged for the woman with her problems but then I went through a bit of anger. It’s like the Cheating Spouse going on a website for those who have been cheated on and then expressing “excuses” for their behavior and expecting to be embraced by the community. There will be no such weakness on here. I appreciate Dr sticking up for both her wonderful Blog and for us males whom never seem to get anyone who does this for us. I wonder to those other viewing here, does your ex or current show moments of sarcastic sympathy for you during the meltdown? I often have experienced her calming down for a minute within the episode where she says things like “Ok, I am going to say this slowly to you…” but she says this like an enraged pouting child yet trying to be the parent and talking to some ignorant fool (me). Just for a second I think she is calming down and realizing the past 20 minutes of vulgarity were wrong but it ends up that it looks like she is just regaining strength to slam me again. I dont know if this is a common pattern or something unique to my situation? I embrace any feedback from my fellow new friends on here.
I have been dealing with a BPD wife for about 9 years (starting since 2-3 months after we got married) – severe name calling and emotional neglect, disrepect and being treated like a slave. After starting joint therapy last June, then separate since she has stayed in denial of her issues, I am convinced that divorce is the only way to save myself. After my own therapy I have discovered why I have picked such a person (childhood issues of my own) and have greatly awakened myself after seeking a network of friends and also reading “Love Is A Choice” and “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship”. My fears start because we have two children, 5 & 3 years old. She has shown signs that she will slander my name relentlessly to them. She herself has a PHD in Clinical Psychology so I am afraid that if we have physcologial tests done during divorce, she may be knowledgeable enough to fool them. Is it safe to assume that with her education she knows what she is doing far more than she is acting? She always seems to come around “temporarily or in small increments toward getting better” after I put down firm boundaries and tell her exactly what she needs to do do save our marriage (really after I started getting courage and confidence after I had my own therapy and friends, so I think she is really afraid of losing me. She has promised to go to therapy after I threatened divorce but after three weeks did not follow-through. Two questions: How would I protect myself with child custody? and am I really fooling myself into thinking she will change permanently, even if she does go to therapy? What are the real odds of her changing a BPD’s behavior? The reason I am currently staying in the relationship is to avoid damage to children going through a divorce in hopes she will change enough not to damage them in our marriage. Although I am thinking now that exposing the kids to her behavior under our roof is really more damaging to them than what they would go through during a divorce. I have been feeling very depressed and numb for the past 4 years.
dr. anna says
As a psychotherapist that has worked for years in the field, I have seen many misdiagnosed abuse reactive women falsely labeled BPD. I caution you to look closer, those who fit in your description are [usually] actually misdiagnosed Anti-Social Personality Disorder; just as some males are wrongly dx with Anti-Social P.D. when they are actually BPD.
This an interesting comment. Could you elaborate?
What do you mean by “abuse reactive women”?
Here’s a link I found on reactive abuse: http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/2008/03/reactive-abuse-what-is-it.html
Basically, reactive abuse is when the target behaves in abusive ways in response to being abused by the reall abusive partner (i.e., the man). I may be confused, but it seems that Dr Anna is saying that many of the wives/gf’s/exes of my male readers actually aren’t BPD/NPD/HPD/APD. Rather these women behave in abusive borderline ways because their husbands/boyfriends are really the abusive ones. I hope this is not Dr Anna’s point. If so, Dr Anna and her views are not welcome here.
I have to ask the point of the post. If I’m not mistaken, APDs are still Cluster Bs and part of a PD diagnosis includes some common traits. My ex-gf would not agree to counselling so I don’t know what flavor Cluster B she was. I dealt with a clinically diagnosed APD who worked for me and my ex didn’t fit that pattern. She also didn’t fit any of the peolple Cleckley or Hare describe as APDs. Some material describes my ex-gf as a “Borderline Waif BPD.” Marion Solomon bins her out as “Narcissistic-Masochistic.” All I know now is we couldn’t make it together and 20 years later she appears to be living with another woman in the house she got in a divorce settlement.
Since the vast majority of us will never have the benefit of a clinical diagnosis, what practical difference will it make if they really are APD vice BPD or NPD? They make your life just as miserable.
I agree with you, Mellaril. Individuals with Culster B traits often move up and down the continuum of behaviors—with BPD being at one end of the spectrum (the most primitive personality) and APD being at the other end. Dr Anna, whoever she is, is correct. There’s often a lot of misdiagnosis. Borderlines often get diagnosed as Bipolar.
There are probably a lot of men diagnosed with APD who are technically BPD. I’ve long believed that BPD in women is the feminine version of sociopathy. Due to our cultural gender bias, it’s more palatable for most practitioners to label women as victims and men as predatory villains. People who have had encounters with BPDs understand that they’re very predatory and they are not victims. I’m sure there are many female BPDs who would be in jail for their behaviors if they were men.
In the end, the diagnostic acronym doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get out, heal yourself and move onto healthier pastures.
Dr. T, how common is the misdiagnosis of bipolar for BPD?
I ask because my wife’s mother was diagnosised years ago as bipolar, but has the peculiar ability to bring on a depression episode at will and to also recover from it at will. Amazingly it always seems to have perfect timing with some desired goal of hers and it seems to always work out for her.
My wife for a long time has shown the same behavior only refused to allow her mother to label her with the same thing.
For many years I have accepted the manipulation and blame and when about 5 years ago I began to question her version of reality in our marriage and to ask how I could be at fault constantly for all those years, she went from covert to overt.
At one point she claimed my questioning had caused her to suffer from a “mental condition”. She has all the BPD traits you speak of in this and other posts. I especially loved the POW torture description because for many years all of those techniques had been used on me to varying degrees.
The break 5 years ago came when all I did was email and converse with a female friend of mine who lives many miles away and to basically ask questions that would give me a reality check. I asked questions about whether her actions were normal for women in general. Of course when the answer came back in the negative I was a little shocked back to reality.
But then the wife snooped into my email account and found the emails and immediately turned our few very generic conversations into an affair. I did find it amusing at first since the emails were very clinical in terms of my questions and my friend’s answers.
I have to say I hesitated to post my question, but figured it might help others as well to know how frequently this happens. Of course some of my concern in posting is due to my proper brainwashing after almost 20 years. About 3 years ago I would have simply not posted this because if caught I would have to deal with whatever her choice of punishment was going to be for the offense.
I am hoping someone can offer me some advice here. I have known a woman that was first a workplace friend at a prior company and when I started a new business, I brought her over to be a business partner. She was a truly great person to be around and work in the business, except for the nasty behavior that came later (and I still believe this, if only she didn’t exhibit the negative emotions and BDP issues back in 2008 when I was working with her directly). Things were great for several months, then she started having serious personal problems and despite that I was generally supportive, I made a few comments and she decided to turn on me as if I was the enemy (a couple rages and then giving verbal abuse and refusing to speak with me and do any meaningful work for the business, except for creating drama of course!). Before everything exploded, I did NOT know she had mental health issues. Having no prior experience with this type of behavior, I did not know how to respond (and still don’t know what I could have done after she exploded, she wasn’t willing to listen or be rational). After 3 months of that, we mutually agreed for her to leave the business and go her own way.
It has been 1.5 years since then and all of a sudden, we have made contact and are getting along very well. The question is whether anyone thinks it is possible for someone like this to improve and get better? I need some help with the business and she lives 300 miles from my location, so my thought are if there is geographic distance then she won’t feel close enough to start the crazy behavior with me again? I do not know if this is possible or simply wishful thinking.
Despite that I am now able to speak with her again in a healthy manner (for the time being), it appears at first glance that she has not completely improved as a person. She has said some nice words to me, but has been unable to truly fess up and apologize to the horrible unprofessional behavior previously exhibited, she basically pretends as if everything is great and nothing ever happened (does she really not remember what she said and how she acted???). After meeting her two weeks ago (after a long hiatus from speaking), she told me that she is 6 months pregnant from some guy and she had silly excuses for not even having a wedding date set up (didn’t want a wedding looking overweight, doesn’t want to jump into anything, etc.). I fear that if her relationship blows apart with this guy, that she might again be unstable (last time around the instability was created by personal issues as well). What that would mean for a business relationship or mere friendship, I am not quite sure, but I don’t want to do anything stupid if it would be likely to re-create any drama in my business or with any clients. She is approaching 31 years old with a child coming, perhaps she might be forced to learn to be more responsible and act in a reasonable manner?
Unless you live in Greenland there is probably someone within 300 miles who has neither a track record of abusing you nor current red flags. Why would you even consider letting someone like that have an influence over your ability to generate an income in the future? I agree with your ‘wishful thinking’ diagnosis. My advice – move on, or feel free to respond with further framing that may help us understand why this is a tough decision, but certainly don’t commit to anything given what you have written.
Wow…that is my wife to a T. Unfortunately the courts granted this psycho my two sons. I pray every day to find away to expose her for the true evil she is.
I’m having a similar experience, and i know what to do
I have a relationship with my gf for 3 years. she is too jealous. she checks my email accounts, facebook account and always aks me questions about the girls i know. her parents divorced when she was 6 years old. she doesnt trust any men, even me. her mood changes so fast, one second ago she was the happiest girl, one second later she is the saddest. it is difficult to guess her reactions before. her mood changes independent of what we do, where we are. sometimes she gets so angry that the best thing to do is to escape. bu i never thought that she had bpd. last week a man called me and told that he had a relationship with my gf for the last 1.5 years. they even went on holiday twice. i didnt believe him until i saw the pictures and the little notes she wrote to him telling how much she loves him. she and i were living together for 1 year, i can not believe how i could not understand she was cheating me. we were together 7 days a week, she was also with him 7 days a week. i am totally shocked. when i read articles about bpd in the net, i asked her to go to a doctor but she rejects. she doenst want to break with me, she says she will commit suicide. i dont know what to do?
Old Guy says
Use Dr. T.’S suggestions re: exiting an abusive relationship and get out as soon as you can.
Don’t worry about the suicide threats. These are just part of the game. Based on my experience, it is extremely unlikely that she would make a serious attempt to harm herself and in any event, this would be her entirely her choice/decision and you are not responsible for her choices/decisions.
She’ll just find another unsuspecting victim to latch onto.
As mentioned to you earlier, that I am out of that relationship & have a very peaceful lady as my partner, now. Infact now I got back to my old female friends as well like older times. Now when I sit & think what did I do when things went right with my BPD partner. Suggestions to all who are suffering:
1. This was suggested by Dr. T, & it work wonders – Power of ignorance, anytime your gal acts funny or bizzare just don pay any heed & carry on with your own.
2. Love her but don get too immotional when she is around
3. Don counter things with logic – it will not work & will only drain you
4. Never argue during pressing situations, as they are probably created by her. Pursue when she in a good mood.
5. Last not the least – Leave as soon as you can but ensure to have good moral foundation around you… Might sound crude, but have an affair to get out of it.
Cheers & all the best folks.
i only dated my ex for 5 months, but it was one of the most traumatic things i’ve ever experienced. i’ve had many relationships end, & some of them left me heartbroken. but none of them produced the level of emotional turmoil that this one did. 4 months out, & i’m still sick to my stomach & have a knot in my throat. it’s on my mind constantly. the thing is, i know i’m better off. but i sure don’t feel better off. i don’t eat, i don’t sleep, & my hands shake. i’m a mess. but i can spot them now. i’ve spotted 3 since the break up. my radar has received a significant upgrade.
I’d like to thank you for your article and the comment area, it has been a big help to me after a very traumatic time. I knew from the beginning that my female friend had a history of emotional trauma and had things to work through. That led to me being tolerant of the bad times and hopeful during the good, but my responses would have been much different if I had understood this (these) disorder(s) and had been able to see the pattern. I was enabling something toxic to BOTH of us, and I didn’t know.
The relationship is very over now, and like others here I suffered the worst post breakup depression I’ve ever had. It has been greatly reduced by my learning that her disorder has a name, a predictable pattern, and a huge commonality of experience between the people who have been unfortunate enough to fall under the spell of someone with BPD. It has helped me find some peace.
I’d like to try to help her find some peace now. I know she has a therapist but not once in the entire time of our association have I heard BPD mentioned, or any of the buzzwords that might indicate she was thinking of it. When I first saw a description of BPD my immediate reaction was “Oh my God, that’s S______!” Is it possible he doesn’t see it or has somehow avoided it? Or is it possible that despite how simple it seems to me that he sees something different? She doesn’t satisfy all of the criteria (no self-harming, no suicidal thoughts that I know of).
I will be at a social function in a couple of weeks that her best friend will attend. It would be possible to take that friend aside and talk about this. I sincerely would like to help the woman get better but am conflicted about butting in. I also know that if my friend ever heard that the comments were coming from me, she would reject them out of hand as part of my projected evilness. It is complex and confusing. Any suggestions?
My advice is to stay completely out of it and stay as far away from the former friend you suspect has BPD as is humanly possible. You seem to be falling prey to the “rescuer”/”savior”/”fixer”/”hero” complex. These types cannot be saved by someone else nor can they be “loved” better. They will only hurt and vilify you for trying to help them. My hunch is that wanting to help her is more about you than it is about this woman and her serious issues. I encourage you to figure out where your compulsion to fix the un-fixable is coming from and work on that as it will only attract you to similar kinds of women in the future. If this woman truly does have BPD, she will move onto her next victim soon enough. You’re better off avoiding being sucked into her wake of emotional wreckage and finding healthier friendships.
Hey she’s already on to her next victim, and armed with a better understanding of her problems I can see all the signs right now. The guy is toast.
But there is a difference between wanting to be a fixer or a rescuer and genuinely wanting to help someone get better. She had a shitty life, she’s working really hard to build a business and raise kids, and if I can help (at a distance) to point her in the right direction then I think that is an honorable thing to do. It is possible to show love towards those who have hurt you. Not everything has to be a compulsion.
I understand the genesis of your remarks – that many do feel a compulsion to help and this becomes a vicious cycle. I am not on that cycle. Even though they have hurt us, we should remember that women with BPD didn’t choose it. It’s the end result of lives so shitty that they would scar the rest of us too. We should show compassion in this.
It is only safe to feel compassion from a VERY safe distance, which usually means not getting involved. She will not thank you for it. You would be better off directing your charitable impulses to someone or some organization that will be appreciative.
BPDs may not have asked to have their personality structure they have, however, even when confronted with the truth, most choose to continue to blame others rather than changing. Furthermore, I don’t buy into the lore that BPDs aren’t capable of controlling their bad behaviors. Many can and do behave right when it is in they’re trying to manipulate, charm or are afraid of being exposed or if they’re in front of a bigger bully.
Many of the individuals who frequent this site can attest to this.
My advice remains the same. I believe trying to help any BPDout of love or noble intentions will only come back to bite you in the arse later on. These women demolish trained psychiatric professionals with years of training. The expression “playing with fire” comes to mind.
Nevertheless, best of luck to you.
Old Guy says
I agree with everything Dr. T. has said.
From what you’ve written, your and your ex’s lives have parted and I’d suggest it would be in your best interest to keep things this way.
You know that if you speak to the friend, she will share this with your ex; your input won’t be welcomed and there will likely be a reaction, e.g., angry email from your ex to you.
If your ex is seeking therapy because she has concerns about the impact of her actions/words on those close to her, rather than for some reason such as trying to figure out why she is drawn to men who hurt and abandon her, or somesuch thing, I’m sure there will eventually be some discussion of personality disorder.
I had a very on-again, off-again relationship with my wife in the first few years after we met … the off-again being initiated by her in every case.
After each, I’d tell myself and others that “it was really over this time”.
Eventually, I’d do something like send her a Christmas card just to, I told myself, show there were no hard feelings or whatever other reason I convinced myself was the case, because I told myself it was only the “right” and “decent” thing to do.
And each time, strangely enough, we’d end up back in contact … leading to me eventually climbing back onto the, so to speak, the merry-go-round, until she knocked me off again.
You can take what you will out of this.
Old Guy says
Forgot to mention.
My wife also had some really bad childhood experiences, which I’ve heard about mostly from her and but also from other sources.
Like most, I excused much of her behaviour as being due to these experiences, which perhaps it was.
As the years went on though, it occurred to me that very few of us haven’t had some unfortunate experiences in our early lives and yet most of us don’t grow up to devastate the lives of others.
I also realized that my wife had also had many positive influences in her life who gave her a significant amount of support and a good idea of how people interacted with one another in “normal” relationships.
I think the majority of us come out of childhood with emotional baggage that we may not realize we’re carrying and some learned behaviours from our family lives that aren’t all going to result in great success in intereactions outside of our family. Most of us learn this when we enter the broader world and see that not every person or family acts identically to what we grew up with and we realize that in some cases, what we grew up with isn’t necessarily always the the best way to do things.
I, for example, grew up in a family the engaged in rather sarcastic humour, which I carried with me when I “wento out into the world.
Through the years a number of people told my I was “too sarcastic” and/or that some remark I’d made had hurt them.
I was only trying to be funny without any intention of hurting anyone, so I felt badly when it was pointed out that I had.
So, through the years, I tried to really dial back the sarcastic humour.
I’m sure most people have had similar expoeriences from which they learned and grew and became better people.
The difference between us and those with personality dosorders is that they never seem to learn, or want to learn, or acknowledge that their behaviour needs to change in any way.
There’s no introspection or self-evaluation.
My wife knows the difference between right and wrong. If she saw another woman raving at her husband the way she often has at me, she’d tell me it was awful too watch or “she shouldn’t have treated him that way”, etc.
But, she has a complete blind spot when it comes to herself.
And not because it hasn’t been pointed out to her many times by both me and others that her behaviour is extremely hurtful at times and her way of thinking is often couter-productive or outright bizarre.
I know I’ve suggested to her on many occasions through the years that she might benefit from some counselling and/or medication … if only to help deal with her self-created anxieties … and I’m not the only person who has mentioned this to her.
However, she maintains the attitude that there is nothing wrong with her and therefore has no need for therapy, medication, etc.
The bottom line is that she just doesn’t care about how her behaviour impacts her “loved ones”, or at least care enough to do anything about it, and chooses to remain in her little universe where everything is another person’s fault and other people “make” her behave as she does.
I’ve been visiting a few BPD related sites the past few months and have seen the “they didn’t choose it” remark a few times.
I don’t disagree with this in respect of a child or young adult who truly may not understand why they do what they do or the impact it has on others.
But, when it comes to adults, and particularly adults who have had it brought to their attention that their behaviour is destructive to both themselves and others and they continue along the same path, I’d say that they have in fact chosen to be what they are.
“What they are” would be one thing if they realized their “uncontrollable” behaviour was damaging to others and knowing this chose to avoid personal relationships.
However, this generally doesn’t seem to be what happens and they continue to weave a path of destruction from one relationship to the next.
I’m sorry that a person with a personality disorder isn’t a better person however, am way past having any sympathy for people who simply suck up the love, support, belief, etc. of others and give none in return or make any effort to acknowledge the damage they cause to others or make any effort to change anything they do.
Most of us don’t want to pass along anything wrong with us, e.g., the flu, to others and take step to avoid doing so.
I know if I felt the “unbearable pain, self-loathing, emptiness”, etc. these people purportedly feel, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else.
People with personality disorders seem to take the opposite view, i.e., if I feel bad, everyone around me should feel worse.
So yeah, I’m way past the point of desiring to give any sympathy, understanding, etc. to these people.
Getting back to my wife’s childhood experiences, as told by her, I’ve recently been wondering, given the many lies, distortions, exagerations, etc., I’ve heard from her about me and others through the years, how much of what she told me about her childhood is actually true and how much is just part of her game to suck in the sympathetic?
Guess I’ll never know.
My experience is that during physical rows were she would try to slap me or throw things and even resorted to swinging punches at me, then I would defend myself by trying to restrain her. This was then twisted around by her and she almost had me thinking that I had started it and was the aggressor. It was like a light switch went on and I thought “hang on a minute, I as a human being am entitled to defend myself from punches and physical abuse.”
You have to be very, very careful with BPD’s because they are experts at making you feel like the aggressor and making you out to be the one with a problem. It was only when I sat back and thought “in 41 years of life I have never had a fight, even as a kid I would walk away.” So the common denominator here is her! Yes all my troubles and abuse started when she came into my life. It is very easy to think all relationships have physical fights and my now EX would even say “oh stop being silly it wasn’t that bad.” It was as though to them it really isn’t that bad but to me it devastated me for days or weeks!
Even now my EX even tries to lay blame at my door. She will blame me for her situation now, she will blame me for the crap life she now has. Yes I did ask her to leave and yes she did leave but I am no longer responsible for her or her life and that feels good. I am looking forward to NO CONTACT day but for now I have to speak to her because I need her to pick up the remainder of her things…she even retorted recently “Uh so you want me completely out of your life, like I never existed, you just want all my things gone and then you can move on.” Ermmmm “yes” was my reply.
So guys do as I have done and get rid, I spent 5 years trying to sort out her BPD but it is just not possible. Even with all the love and attention and money you can’t do it. The volatile nature is like juggling nitro glycerine and you just never know when it’s gonna go BOOM!
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – Dalai Lama
My friend’s history is too horrid to tell. My experience with her was pretty damn awful too, but not nearly as bad as what she’s been through.
Learning about BPD had two very strong effects on my life. One was that I was able to understand why such awful things had happened during our relationship. The other was that I realized that I would never have the relationship with her that I wanted. That finality was sad, but it did bring peace.
I was very badly scarred by the experience, but while I can look at her actions and resent that I was essentially “set up to fail” and can resent the anguish she put me through, I also know that the things she did come from her own intense pain and fear. No matter how bad my experience was, it was nothing compared to what she’s going through.
I agree 100% that BPDs should not be allowed the idea that they are justified in their actions. She certainly used that one on me a number of times, and I bit because I didn’t understand the pathology behind the comments. If I act with compassion though, what I want to see is an environment around her that pushes her towards realization and pushes her towards the breakthroughs she so desperately needs. I cannot be part of that environment, but I wish her peace and I wish her the joy that the rest of us get to feel in life. This is part of my letting go, and that compassion is part of my happiness and my healing. She hurt me badly, but I would still like her to be happy.
I offer this for your consideration…
Compassion (according to Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary) is a sympathetic understanding with a desire to help. I your case while you may compassionately understand and have a desire to help, just as I have a desire to experience the ground rush of jumping off the Empire State Building, we’d both be fouls to unthoughtfully indulge them.
You can truly let go without action AND be compassionate. If not the definition of compassion would read “compassion: a sympathetic understanding with a unilaterally taken action in the hope of being perceived as helpful.”
Truly letting go as the final application of good boundaries is a unilateral exercise that requires no self-initiated interaction. If you’re reactively are rude to her (as you accept) OR you’re proactively engage her (as you reject) then you cannot truly claim to have emotionally ‘let go’.
If you choose to not let go, then the following may be useful:
It has been my experience that we select friends based upon a broad based philosophical alignment – after all, only someone we know deeply can claim the title friend and who wants to argue with friends all the time if they disagree with us at our core ?
From this it is inferred that your ex’s friend is likely very similar to your ex. As evidence of this I offer that there ‘friendship’ is probably no more than cosmetic or it would implode as your relationship did. Thus, the friend is unlikely to recognize what you are saying or will accuse you of being ‘judgmental’, ‘controlling’ or ‘interfering’ either from her perspective or that of your ex should you express a wish for her to convey you thoughts.
In your circumstance I would suggest leaving without the further emotional abuse of foundationless accusations, but the choice remains your responsibility.
Dalai Lama; One of the reasons to adopt a strong countermeasure against someone who harms you is that ,if you let it pass, there is a danger of that person becoming habituated to extremely negative actions, which in the long term will cause that persons own downfall and is very destructive for the individual herself. Therefore a strong countermeasure, taken out of compassion or a sense of concern for the other is necessary. When you are motivated by that realization, then there is a sense of concern as part of your motive for taking that strong measure.
I too am a rescuer, and are currently seperated from my wife who is a BPD ( i only recently discovered this from my councellor, her Dad had said it was bipolar and or asperges). In the last 7 years she has left me on 4 occassions but this last time was after 3 .5 years together a marriage and 2 chilren.
They are blameless, they tell lies almost instinctively, they demonise you to any and everybody to justify leaving the relationship with the children, they are neurotic projectives, that is the thoughts they have of themselves will convert to the way they percieve and believe you to be. My wife has now joined AA as she believes this is her only issue. She has started a relationship with another AA all within 4 months of leaving, first month she picked up a guy off the street and followed him home in her car and had sex, the 2nd month she had sex with me, the 3rd month she saw a male prostitute and than the AA guy who is clearly a predator upon vulnerable people.
Unfortunately i still love my wife, but reading the blogs on this site has helped me understand i am not alone. I am now trying to focus on my children and hopefully the love i have will die one day.
Also I would like to add that I’m sure most guys on here would say that the women involved refuse point blank to accept they have a problem. I expect life would be much easier if you had a woman that accepted she was BPD but the reality is most think it is you that has the problem.
I have begged and begged for her to seek help but this just enraged her even more so I stopped and just accepted the fact it was never going to work. I have written on her before that after massive rows her view of what had happened was so badly skewed in her favour that it was scary. She could not remember throwing tables and even if she could it was justified in her mind because I had said such a thing or I had done this that or the other. In reality often I had sat cowering trying not to enrage her any further.
So you see, having a women that accepts the problem in most cases that I have read on here is just not going to happen. Be very careful feeling sorry for these women or like me you will find yourself taking them back and be right back at square 1 with the abuse and suffering. Yes it will be great for a couple of weeks and then BOOM it kicks off again, usually over something very trivial.
I wish to hell I could have fixed it but I am not even sure Dr T could have fixed someone that will not accept they have issues and is as volatile as a bag of ferrets. Good luck to you guys trying but after 5 years of pain and abuse and being very calm and supportive I have finally got out and I deserve to be happy and have a life as well and so do you.
Any suggestion that they have BPD or any other issues will be highly counterproductive, hence the problem is very difficult to bring under control. After we seperated and i found out about BPD i sent my wife a sms asking if she had heard of BPD all i got back was a dozen sms’ stating made up 3 word sentences that had the BPD letters as the first in each word. The denial is vehement.
No they don’t usually acknowledge that they have ANY problems, even right after coming down to planet Earth from a psychotic raging episode…. my ex BPD/NPD would twist reality on its head, forget things she said only hours before, or have a highly distorted version of what happened… if you are hoping for a sane outcome in these arguments, discussions, verbal boxing matches FORGET IT. I never met anyone more clever..if they couldn’t drive you completely nuts with their distortions, my ex would resort to the “I have to go”.. cut and run, or just a barrage of gibberish and then hysterical BPD laughing (you know… goes along with the eye rolling), anything to derail you, disregard what you’re saying and keep her sense of unreality in check. God forbid if you crack thru their ugly haze with a ray of ‘reality’, that’s too unsettling for this woman.
Nothing is more shocking tho, than to realize how cruel they can be. They seem to get off on believing they’ve caused you a lot of torment. And they won’t apologize for anything…NOTHING, and if forced to, it will be a very false “okay fine whateva sorry..there do you feel better now asshole ?” type of response. REMORSE is not in their vocab. ACCOUNTABILITY isn’t either. They can fly into a psychotic rage at the drop of a hat, and then laugh about it or pretend it didn’t even happen a day later. If you say “You’re really sick, and abusive and you need to see a counselor” they will laugh at that and tell you “you’re the sick one, you go, I’ll pass” . Its all extremely toxic and draining, and prolonged interaction with one will make you physically ill.
The interesting thing for me was realizing that my ex’s mother was a BPD and the husband was an emaciated, near cripple, disabled person, likely from 4 decades of the constant turmoil and abuse, which still goes on..and do they change much ? Hell no, this woman plots out what she will do with his money and house once he’s dead, and the daughter laughs about it too and defends the mother’s sickness as if she’s the sane one…. Christ Jesus nothing in that toxic house can be sane or healthy.. I”m guessing thats why the Gold Fish the daughter has die within a week… or uhhhh….after I told my scatter brained ex, “You have to change the water in a fishtank silly..they urinate in there and the ammonia buildup eventually kills them….DON”T YOU REALIZE THAT A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT KILLS LIVING HEALTHY ORGANISMS ?”… she was baffled, “oh didn’t know that”. The comment flew right over her head too.
Thats another thing I notice about BPD/NPD. They do not connect irony, and make other logical connections often. There are so many cognitive defects in this person’s brain, faulty neural wiring, that its hard to imagine how they can function.
Its also difficult to realize that they are suffering from severe depression, shame, fear, fear of abandonment, etc. when they are raging with that blank satanic expression on their face too…
I suspect that suppressed fear from childhood trauma..and the associated PTSD does something to the brain, that later in life while BPD’s are raging, they are truly experiencing the fear associated with the early trauma and the adrenaline response (fight or flight), and an amygdala firing out of control (rage center) all at the same time… what WE experience on the butt end of the abuse is a crazed lunatic who could run us over with a truck and feel not a thing… but if we could sit inside their body at the same time, I suspect that we would experience a blinding haze of overwhelming fear and dissociative response, unable to fight or run…they scream in place, as if they are being burned at the stake…in response to even subtle triggers, things we aren’t even aware of causing their rage.
You can have empathy for them, but don’t waste too much energy. They will suck you dry of that and leave you paralyzed and sprawled out for the vultures.
Old Guy says
“Nothing is more shocking tho, than to realize how cruel they can be.”
The cruelty and other behaviour mentioned in your comment really isn’t that shocking when you recognize that the personality disordered are emotional children in adult bodies.
Children can be very cruel from an adult perspective. The only real difference is that the best a five year old can muster to hurt you is “I hate you” while an emotional five year old with thirty or so years of experience behind them can come up with far more imaginative comments to throw at you.
I was a fairly nice kid however, I can remember while in the company of friends finding it “funny” to torment, if only at times to avoid becoming the “tormentee” myself, the oddball kid at school and not being overly concerned as to how this affected them.
But, most of us grew out of this and came to view other humans as having the same feelings we have and understand that these should be respected.
Personality disordered types seem to be more emotionally disordered than anything else, in the sense that they remain anywhere from two to ten or so years of age emotionally throughout their lives, and if you think about how kids really are, there really isn’t anything surprising about anything a personality disordered person does.
There may have been one or more traumas that arrested their emotional development however, my view is that their undesirable behaviour as adults is more a result of their emotional immaturity than it is the trauma or traumas they suffered.
For adults, I see personality disorder as more a choice than “disease” as I suspect few get through life without hearing from numerous people that they could use some “help” or have a serious “problem” and for the most part they ignore this simply because it is easier not to change than it is to change, particularly when they have one or more relationships which continue to enable their behaviour in one way or another.
Personally, I think empathy and understanding are the very worst things you can do in repect of a PD, for yourself if nothing else.
And I say that having expended a massive amount of both towards my wife through the years.
That is SO good. I’m continually amazed at the ability of people like you to articulate my experience. I sit around in a fog. You gave me great clarity with your post.
HO-LY COW!!! I’m not crazy, I’m not alone. I’ve been reading articles about this issue all morning because of the most recent “episode”. As i sat wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I began to wonder how i could be bad guy or at fault when i didn’t do anything other than catch her in an affair. Of course this isn’t the only instance but, this time it really crossed the line. No remorse on her part at all, in fact she believes she should still be able to be “friends” with this guy and I should be ok with it.
This site has provided some of the most enlightenning insight to what I’ve been dealing with for the last eight years.
Thanks for your insightful articles –
I’ve been married to my wife for 11 years and I am just now figuring out that she’s been emotionally abusing me off and on during our entire time together – I work in social work, with DV (domestic violence) issues and I don’t know why I didn’t see it before but I’m living in a cycle of DV myself: blowup, guilt, lull, another blowup – she fits the narcissistic/borderline profile you describe so much – she blames me for her blowups, and I can never do anything right –
what has really gotten to me are the meltdowns in front of our young children (age 5 and 2), and then bringing them into it when they are scared and crying (“it’s your daddy’s fault”, telling them that if I wouldn’t have said or done some little thing she didn’t agree with, then she wouldn’t have “had” to blow up like that – I’m sick of it
I’m really good at this point of remaining calm, and balancing her antics with distracting manuveurs for the children’s sake – but why do I have to keep putting up with this? they don’t need this – but leaving her is not an option, my religious views are that this is lifelong committment, plus our children need us – they love her – I love her in as much as love is a choice – all other feeling is numb, been suffocated away long ago –
I sent her an article on emotionally abusive relationships and she was highly offended “do you think I’m abusive?” I told her yes, verbally and emotionally – she said that I’m pushing her down, throwing this in her face – I told her bottomline she has to refrain from doing this in front of the children, but she goes into how she can’t help it, and I’m insensitive to her needs and what she’s going through –
It’s gotten to be I can’t trust the “good phase” when it comes because she could flip any moment – I don’t let my guard down – I hold my breathe, waiting for it, because it will come – even when she smiles, I see the hateful shrieking face I’ve become too familiar with over the years – I must figure out how to cope and live a sane life and raise sane children in this environment
thanks again for your articles –
Jim Ward says
My mother is BPD (beatings, name calling, unpredictable rages). My first wife is BDP (assaults, name calling, a slob). And my second wife is BPD (wild and fun sex at first but later layed there like a dead fish, name calling, nothing was ever good enough, snapping fingers at me, “I told you not to…” and blame, blame blame). Everything was my fault. The beratings and name calling was unbearable. Through your site and other sources along with three years of counselling I have finally figured out how and why I am drawn to these types of women. I am now single again and I’m feeling very relieved and at peace especially since escaping the clutches of my second wife. I seriously thought I was going crazy. It’s been a long, long road but for the first time in my life I finally feel like I have a grip on myself. I feel like a whole person and a man and it’s a very good feeling.
I have been in a relationship for about 18 months now with a woman who seems to have BPD though she has not been diagnosed as far as I know. I knew at first that something wasn’t right… constant drama, weird behavior, She seemed to fall for me very fast ECT… although I noticed these things right away I chose to ingore them because I enjoyed the company and the passion. I really wish I would have listened to my instincts because I’m miserable now. We started fighting soon after the relationship started and I hated it but didn’t break it off because there was always some big drama going on in her life (illness, job loss, car accident) that would make me feel guilty for wanting to leave. Many of the things described in the article have happened. My friendships have suffered, I have censored myself just to avoid an over the top reaction that I knew she would have. I don’t answer my phone when I’m around her because she will ask prying questions about my conversation no matter who it is or what it’s about… and heaven forbid the caller be a female friend for any reason. I have never experienced anything like this. Anyone who knows me understands that I’m about as calm and laid back as they come yet somehow she can make my blood boil and get me screaming with almost 0 effort. Finally I had enough and tried to end the relationship about 3 months ago but it hasn’t actually happened. She begged for another chance which I very mistakenly agreed to (only to put a stop to the melt down she was having) because to her that means that I can’t change my mind back to the relationship being completely over. I feel trapped! She has threatened to kill herself and tells me that if I leave that she won’t be able to handle it. Her family doesn’t live close and she really has no good friends who live close. I want out but I really believe that she may try to harm herself. She is talking to some kind of therapist and she now admits to be the source of the problems. I don’t want to tell her that I think she has BPD. Should I? I really just want out of this knowing she will be ok because I do care about her and I like her family.
It’s 12:30 in the morning and I’m writing this in the dark, hoping my wife won’t hear the key’s tapping and come into the room accusing me of looking at porn (which I don’t do, ever, she has no basis) or worse, see me reading this blog.
Yup, another fight. She’s mad this time because I asked my mom to come with me to a court date I have coming up concerning an accident I was in. My mom knows all the details of the case, my wife and I were separated at the time of the accident. She accused me of not trusting her to be supportive. this was the first telephone conversation I’d had with my mom (dad picked up the spare phone, he never gets a chance to talk to me anymore) with her in the apartment in months, I haven’t seen my parents in weeks, because she gets so mad when I leave. I wanted to cry after talking with my parents, I was so happy, I felt so good, a 23 minute conversation with sane people will do that to you. Then hell breaks loose, and ya I blame myself, she’d been drinking. What was I thinking? After 3 years I know better than that.
But I read the posts here, and it seems so bleak. I’ve seen light in her eyes, i’ve witnessed change. She does DBT, takes meds, apologizes, takes responsibility. I see her try so hard. I know she loves me, I know that she hates herself for being this way. I love her so much.
Here is the funny part. I am a therapist, I work everyday with BPD adolescent girls in a long term care home. My wife and I, we are both women, me a devote lesbian, I am her first gay relationship in a long line of chaotic relationships with men. I didn’t realize until we were deeply involved how severe BPD she was. I thought I could help, on our good days I still think that I can, that I have. Tonight is not one of those good days. Tonight, I am relieved that tomorrow is Monday and i’ll go back to work, to similar episodes, similar everything. Except at work, I have control, boundaries, a staff of professionals to back me up, ground me. Here in this apartment, I am lost, alone and I am to embarrassed to ask for help because if anyone should know better, shouldn’t I?
My mother is a Borderline, and right to the stereotype I guess you could say. I have problems just dealing with it as her eldest child whom she abandoned when I was quite young, so many things go with it. It’s nice to read things like this as it can be an immense burden for any family member. Thanks! To many who don’t know a borderline personally, I can imagine reading this it’s almost humorous or harsh!
Dr.T Thank you for being here. I started looking for answers to my brief and former GF behaviors not long ago and found your site. After my divorce I thought I found the “right “one in a co-worker.. What a mistake, i am far from perfect but I am not sure if this woman (who by the way has been divorced and single for 12 plus years) is B.P.D , B.D.D or both. she exhibits both behaviors I think but i am far from an expert.
My biggest mistake was trying to make it work again and again. Now she just wants to be friends with no strings attatched (so she says) and its up to me to fix the mess i caused.
I wish i knew how to get away from her without any more pain for either of us . her constant belittling, put down’s, accusations, and other verbal abuse about the past have me on the verge of quitting my job just to get some peace. by reading the posts here I know now that I’m not the real problem and your site has opened my eyes. Thanks again , Tim
Hello Dr Tara and others.
I have read right through the site today and many stories are familiar for me – in amongst a loving relationship (I thought) I am regulalry told I am an idiot – pretty much everything under the sun – the worst abuse, I would be told to leave the house and kids, my wife tells me she will cheat and I deserve it, that she hates me, she thinks I have had an affair, its a shambles all round and I most of the time just listen when she winds up – I would never argue.
What I cant understand, just starting out on this journey, is how I can come to accept that this abuse is not my fault. One of us must be wrong in our relationship and my wife makes it clear it is me – that I am useless.
Pretty much 2-3 times a week she is out of control with anger – only ever towards me – not our two kids. The modus operandi is that my behaviour sets her off (although my behaviour isn’t that bad I feel and most of the time she has misread something) but I accept, even writing this now, that I deserve whatever is dished out. I dont know why I accept this and reading your articles is the first time it has ever occured that she may be unjustified in the abuse. I truly mean this and I guess further reading will help me change this perspective. But now she has started to yell at me in public and this is difficult in front of friends – so of course I just dont hang out with my old friends. She also has no qualms about yelling at me in front of the kids and her ‘new’ girlfriends just totally off her nut humiliating me, especially in front of our daughters, the worst result is that I struggle to engage with my girls meaningfully – unable to discipline and love outwardly for fear she will come through the door and tell me its not good enough (although her abuse is sophisticated enough because sometimes she will, in the open make a real scene about how great a Dad I am). I dont mean to ramble but after 15 fantatsic years together (with no sign of this stuff) the last 3 have been awful. I think it started when our eldest first went to school and our second was born, throw in the mix prior to this (the preceeding two years) my wife had three miscarriages, both her parents died, post partum psychosis, there is a lot of something going on in recent years but I know I have always done the right thing – by any measure. I initially saw this grief as the reason for the abuse and believed it would pass. But she now uses this stuff against me – telling me I was responsible for her psychosis and I am trying to get her locked up again. There are some bizarre things here because I have never had a problem with her at all – she was and still is a lovely personality and really hot, I actually have always said that apart from the anger I would be very happily married, she is a wonderful person – I think. So it must be my problem. The insights from other letters has been great but for me and my case, I can’t accept or see how her behaviour is not my fault nor that I don’t deserve it. Any feedback welcome, thanks again for the site – my own toolbox is getting near empty.
Hope Lucero says
Is there ANY information/help for the child of a borderline mother??? I am now 27, and my mother did such an outlandish act 10 yrs ago….that my brother and step-father haven’t associated with her since. She doesn’t know our addresses. She somehow got my cell phone # and leaves the occasional “holding back her tears” message.
As her daughter, growing up, I felt like I mothered my own mother. I felt older and wiser than her at 9 yrs old. It took a long time for me to let go of the feelings of NEEDING to take care of her, to “make her world OK”! It took years for me to realize that isn’t healthy. The fact that she is not in my life PLAGUES my mind when I stop and think about it. I feel SO SAD for her, I wish I could comfort her and show her love. But what she did, and her DENIAL of everything, puts everything to a stand still. What will it ever take for her to be happy, to love herself, and to realize the mess she put herself into!? As a consensus, we all agreed that she must be dealt with by NOT being able to be in our lives, in any way! You give her an inch and she takes the mile!
She was not invited to my wedding. She did not even know I was engaged. She found out IRONICALLY through a leak my brother made to a cousin! I was so afraid she would just show up…call the church and get the info she needed.
I miss my mother, as CRAZY as that is! It hurts me that I have to hurt her every day of her life…because we have left her. But at the same time, I feel this is what should happen to SOMEHOW crack through her insanity. Are we right???
She will NEVER accept who she is and what she has done! I pray so hard that she does and finally finds peace within herself…but I cant help but feel that is an impossibility. And meanwhile I fear every BIG STEP in my life, knowing she wont be there…and mostly I fear the day she dies, and I was never around for a lifetime, all because she could not learn the truth of who she is! Its tormenting, and my heart feels so torn! I was her first child, and I was a bastard. she decided to keep me and make me her world! And she did, but in a very needy, twisted way. She named me Hope–because I was “the Hope of her life”. I always found that beautiful, until it finally became clear to me how screwed up that was…her life was on my shoulders, the shoulders of her CHILD, and for years we fed that to each other willingly! Until I finally let go…
I am very aware of who I am. And I always am careful to notice if I portray her traits, especially since BPD is so prevalently passed from mother to daughter. The women in her WHOLE family are crazy!!! They feed each other denial, and cling to one another so close, that they will never let my mother see the light.
I just don’t know ANYBODY who relates to this, as a victim child.
Reading this article made me think of my step-father and the 12 years he put up with her erratic,destructive behavior. And when they divorced, OH MY did he receive the repercussions of her insane wrath! Child services being called on him, she claimed he abused her (even though their fights usually involved her throwing breakables at him!), and in the end she won custody of my little sister–because he finally gave up after YEARS of court battles!
The irreconcilable act she did, was acuse my brother of molesting/SODOMIZONG his 7 yr old cousin! This was via her crazy sister, of course, but my mother was part of the big plan. I remember her sitting with my Aunt before the hearings, not speaking to my dad, me, or my brother. When we entered court, she would then sit on my brothers side!!! My brother was 13 at the time. He was hand cuffed in the middle of class at his new highschool, had to take a lie detector test where he was asked questions VERY uncomfortable for boys just entering real puberty. It was all construed, all lies! (about every 2 yrs, my aunt takes SOMEONE to court for molestation of her or her children! Makes we wonder what SHE does to her children!) My brother NEVER wants to see his “mother” again! The case was settled (LOL) with my step-father paying for my aunt to REMODEL her entire home as it held “bad memories” for her daughter!
So, in all this, my sister who at the time was 4, could not stay at our house since there was a possible “sexual predator”. Throughout the court hearing for my brother, simultaneously were the custody battle hearings. After all this my step-father threw down the gauntlet. I don’t know if I can blame him, but I feel angry at the same time. Now my sister is 14 living with my BPD mother. From what I can tell my little sister is a pill popper and has even meddled with meth…this was even at 12!!! I CANT IMAGINE THAT POOR GIRLS LIFE! A mother who hates her life, hates who she is, but will NEVER accept her accountability, and who probably rages and cries in front of her daughter, and takes her daughter to her boyfriends house while she has sex!
So I rambled there! But even after all that I feel torn! I feel sorry for my mother. Is there any literature of children of a BPD?! I could really use some help and reinforcement by people in my shoes as a victim child.
Thank you so much!
Whoa… I don’t know if there is any help for children of BP, but for right now you are doing the best thing possible by staying away. Far away. On another planet light years away, kind of away. Don’t feel torn by your need to stay away from your mother. Yes, its sad and unfortunate, but what you are ultimately doing is feeling guilty about not being around to be abused by her. Sound crazy? That’s because it is.
As for your baby sister, call a child protective services type of agency on your mom. You can do this anonymously so don’t worry about it leading back to you. Go into detail about what you know and let the agency know that the girl has stable, mentally balanced relatives who will take her in. The agency should be able to go in, test your mother, and remove your sister before any more harm comes to her. Be prepared to get that child some help!!! She’s going to need it in order to stop the cycle of insanity that your family has been engaged in. Good luck with this one, Sister!
I have been seeing this girl for about a year now. All this time I have believed these lies about how bad of a person I am. I never had any experience in a relationship like this one. I really hardly ever quarreled in previous relationships. I used to be quite a happy person with clear views on what I wanted to achieve in life. At least so I thought until she came along…
I recognize so many things about never being good enough, never “doing” anything for her, showing me the cold shoulder. No reciprocity at all. The past few weeks have been especially hard to deal with whole situation, since the accusations started that I had cheated on her.
Since then even I have had to deal with my own ever more emotional outbursts of frustration to the point that it made me doubt my own sanity. I hardly ever let her pick fights with me in person (we didn’t live together). Usually we had a few good days together. Usually the weekends. Then after parting came the silence. Then after inquiry as to what is “the matter” came the accusations. The list of things I did wrong over the weekend. On holiday I did not hold the door for her on one occasion. She went mostly silent for the rest of the holiday. She would only make certain negative remarks. Then all hell broke loose after we got home.
In such cases there was never any reasoning with her. She provided her distorted version of events and things that were said. The littlest of things can make her feel angry. It was of course always my fault… I paid extra attention to how I would say things. How I would look at her. Trying to always remain calm so I could better remember the exact words that were said. It was a great shock to see the fabrication of her reality unfold every single time. I was not a real man. She did not feel loved. Etc. Set off by simple things like; “I did not like the way you looked at me and I knew from that moment you were angry at me!”. In reality, all the time nothing was wrong, there was no anger from my side. Amazing…
I have seen enough and I am removing her from my life systematically now. I had asked an old friend of her if she is always like this. Yes, she always had been… I wish I had known sooner, but I guess I am lucky to not have taken it even further.
Thanks for this good information. I may seek some counseling myself because this has really taken the better part of me recently. I can no longer focus at work, I hardly eat and sleep and it really feels some happy part of me died.
Your story is remarkably similar to mine. Be grateful you found out as early as you did. I wasted 4 years with my exgf and it took another year on top of that to get rid of her. At one point, I asked her to marry me and blessedly, she declined.
Now that you’ve decided to leave, it’s likely she’ll change her persona. If you’re really lucky, she’ll just go away. She may become the sweetest person on earth or she can become Queen of the Apocalypse. The ride may get bumpier before it wraps up.
Keep reading the other posts and good luck. You can do better than her.
Thanks for the heads up!
I remember another funny anecdote; Once I came over to her place to have dinner. I took off my shoes and she noticed there was a tiny hole at the corner of my sock. I noticed how her face immediately turned slightly read and a rather cramped up smile came unto her face. I did not immediately make the connection…
Then when I came home later that evening she started a fight over this small hole in my sock. I was completely surprised at this. Socks sometimes have holes. No big deal. I throw it out and check my other socks for holes as a preventative measure; Sounds like the most you can do right?
Well, no. She could not stop telling me how real men do not have holes in socks. How dare I come visit her with a hole in my sock. Etc. It was funny until the realization set in that this was real. This was her reality. I showed her disrespect by having a hole in her sock. She had every reason to be very angry because I had a hole in my sock…
Another obsession of her was money. She did not have much of it. I have quite a good job. What I did not know at the time, and this may very well explain part of her obsession: Her father was always very obsessed in saving money. He would go to extreme lengths to not spend money. Even when this served no real financial purpose. She often told me I gave her a feeling I did not like spending money. She made me think I was a cheap bastard. In reality, we went on holidays, city-trips about once a month. I would pay for everything. We would regularly go out for dinner or drinks and we frequented the opera. I brought her roses and gifts a few times. It was never going to be enough. Once I asked her, being a little short on cash, in a shop I had not been in before, if she believed they would accept payment by card. Of course she did not reply. She was already in her world of anger. She scolded me for asking this simple question later. Claiming I was putting stress on her and telling me a real man always has money. I did have money; just not in cash. Simple questions. Simple things. Huge problems. At first again it made me giggle to see how tiny her understanding and tolerance can be, but that soon again turned into absolute astonishment at the abuse she would then throw at me.
I think I will get out of it without much problems. She did at some point start practicing telephone terror; Calling me about 50 times in one hour. Literally. I did not really mind because I never picked up after the first time I hung up on her.
But usually, and this is perhaps going to be my luck, after some time she will “punish” me for ignoring her problems by ignoring me. This is a good position to be in, especially knowing you want it to end. I guess sooner or later she will try to contact me again, but I shall just have to be strong and if I do decide to pick up and talk; Tell her clearly I no longer wish to speak to her. I shall not engage in arguments again. I shall not listen to sweet words or apparent realizations of her bad behavior. I have seen it before. I am not falling for it again.
In fact now that I have read up a bit on borderline women; I think I have dated one before. She was less “crazy” in picking fights and less harsh in her judgement, but the behavioral patterns were the same. I made a lucky escape then too, because it was a long distance relationship that I could easily get out of.
My best friend (a female) has recently gotten out of a relationship with a male borderliner. I will seek her company and try to deal with this together.
Thanks again for the advice, it is greatly appreciated!
Amen to that JPJ
Brandon Postler says
I guess my relationship with my (possibly/probably) BDP girlfriend is still comparatively new, so I’m glad I saw this article. I love her so much but I’ve never been one to sit through the bullshit and not fight back (hence the truly WW3-scale fights we encounter) and now I know that regardless of what the issue is I will not sit back and let the abuse roll over me. I owe that much to myself after all I’ve been through for this girl, and I won’t let that ideal go now. Thank you.
That is my girlfriend exactly, its creepy how you have just described her, she has attacked me with a knife, a hammer and she scratched my eyeball with a coat hanger, she has taken me for the scarest drive of my life at night with no lights on and straight through a red light.
how can i get out of this endless cycle of hate and abuce with a woman that is never ever wrong and will never admit to her mistakes, its driving me crazy, but for some stupid reason i love this girl.
A thought I like to reflect on for my own life – we choose from the choices we think/feel we have.
Just my opinion but I bet you think/feel any choice you have about your future has to include your girlfriend, because of the perception that this fabulous feeling of ‘love’ you experience (probably less and less) IS her. She is the source of this feeling.
Like when she showed up, she opened some secret bag she had and inserted something magical into your body. And that created this ‘love’ … and if she left, she’d reach inside you and take out this magic thing she inserted and leave with it … and so you’d no longer be able to experience that ‘love’ …
Something I realized about myself as well, is that I was the sort that preferred to stay in a bad situation and talk about it, rather than do something to change it.
In regards to the inner experience of love I had a sort of ‘a-haaaa’ moment recently thinking about this in relation to myself.
There’s a big difference between the experience of love I feel inside myself, and the person outside me that I associate that feeling with. I psychologically weld these two different things together and call them one – ‘she’ IS the ‘love’ in me. Truth: She IS NOT the love in me.
It’s a subtle concept, but really … everything is in me. Every reaction occurs in me. And when she leaves, she doesn’t take anything out of me.
It’s almost like this really damaged woman that passed through my life was a ‘tour guide’. She took me into places inside myself, and lit up parts of my psychology … stimulated circuits inside me, like few others. But the thing is that it’s all inside me – still. Just not being stimulated by her. And actually by the end, the cost/benefit analysis was like paying $10,000 for chewing gum.
It’s like once it’s over and they’re gone, you don’t lose anything. Everything is still inside you. Some circuits are finally not being stimulated, others are starting to be stimulated … but it’s all happening in you.
Granted, making love to someone, sleeping with a body next to you … these are obviously real things outside you. But since we’re talking more about the psychological and emotional experience of being alive, that’s what I’m referring to.
If you’ve ever been in love with someone else (I had several woman who, during the time I was with them, I thought they were ‘it’) … just think about it – obviously the experience of ‘being in love’ is a ‘made in me’ experience. This person outside of me is causing me to believe (right or wrong) that she is worth getting all excited and ‘love-stimulated’ about. And that’s what I’m doing … I’m waking up these circuits inside my self – firing them up. Right – or Wrong. But, it’s all inside me. Her taking off removes nothing from me.
My ex was very emotionally unstable, plenty of BPD characteristics, but she only physically lost it once with me, started trashing my apartment. I restrained her and told her she would not get my violence. Pulling a knife on me – even once – would have been an immediate game over.
Imagine you’re watching a surveillance video on Youtube of your woman flipping out and being physically violent towards a guy … externalize it from yourself. Then imagine after she’s whipping him with a coat hanger, the guy turns to the camera and says “I love her”.
What questions would you be asking yourself about that guy? Like, define love.
“how can i get out of this endless cycle of hate and abuce with a woman that is never ever wrong and will never admit to her mistakes”
This sounds like you are waiting for her to apologize (won’t happen) or tell you it’s ok to leave because of what a crazy bitch she is (won’t happen).
Somewhere, maybe in a box in the attic, maybe behind something in your closet, out in the garage somewhere … somewhere (I eventually had to go looking and found mine) … somewhere you have to go find your balls and put them back on.
Then it’s as easy as saying … “sweetie, sorry but I found my balls. And now that they’re hanging on me again, I realize what a crazy abusive bitch you are and I’m going to go find someone who I can respect and that will treat me with respect. Because from this moment on – you don’t deserve my attention for another second”. That’s a game changer!
She’ll still want to play, suck you back in, say she’s suddenly singing a new tune. Keep walking. How did she suddenly have 3 years of intense therapy and x,000 of dollars of therapist work in a few seconds, weeks, months … of course not. All part of her crazy-bitch-bs. Enjoy the feeling of wearing your balls again. Keep moving. Take care of David.
Then, as easy as that, you’ll leave. Balls … they really work, and suddenly you realize you’re the man, and she’s the crazy bitch. Be kind. Just leave. There are other woman in the world.
hi…thanx a lot for the information…it seems i am not the only one who suffers…she keeps our son as the bait…for preventing me from getting the divorce,,,.only if i read this information some 12 years back…..anyway this is a great service…thanx
I live in the situation that was talked about in the article. Currently we are seperated, and while my wife threatens divorce all the time, she never proceeds with any of her threats and in the end she wants me to come back home. When I refuse she blames me for all of the problems, and accuses me of being a bad father and husband. While I do wish I could make this work, I am not sure how to approach her and get her help? I want to protect my son, and I want to love my wife but as things spiral out of control I just feel helpless. Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to approach her and get her some help? Thank you
Christopher Dumas says
I am trying to extricate myself from a BPD/Narcisstic woman after only two+ months of living with her and 8 months of dating. It has been a living hell. As your very informative articles say, trying to leave someone like this brings more hell. She is refusing to leave my home of 7 years which looks like I’m going to have to formally evict her. I actually have to stay with a friend because domestic violence is surely going to result. She is mean, almost evil at times (no kidding). This will end, but do you have any advice? I’m glad I am getting out of this relatively early compared to some of the other guys.
Talk to an attorney and/or the police about removing her from your own. If her name isn’t on the lease/mortgage you may be able to request that a peace officer come and stand by while she moves out.
Protect yourself and your home.
I had the same problem. Could not get her to leave. We got in a fight one night and she stabbed me in the arm with a balled point pen. It was not a serious wound but there was bleeding. I told her I ought to call the police so she ran into the bedroom and called them first. I just knew I was going to jail because I thought the police usually took the woman’s side. Anyway they believed me and asked if wanted I to press charges. I said I really didn’t want too, I just wanted her out of my house. They said because she had established residence there I would have to have her evicted. So I pressed charges to get her out of there. The next morning I went and talked to the Justice of the Peace and got him to put a restaining order on her. She was finally out.
A great book I’m reading now is, “Stop Walking On Eggshells”. I had always thought of my ex as being a total Narcissist, but once I started reading this book, I am convinced that she is more Bordeline with a “splash ” of Narcissism thrown in.
She has all the traits of Borderline except that she is the one that threw mwe out a few times and she doesn’t “freak ” if I threaten to leave. It easier to move a Wall than it is to move her…that’s where the Narcissism kicks in…hard as nails….
Almost adicting to read some of these stories
Been married to my wife for 13 years and currently seperated for the 2nd time.
So here is a few days in the life of Matt
4:52 am on Thursday Morning.
I get a lengthy text from my wife saying she cant sleep and how we need to work together to bring back this relationship. Prior we had sort of reconnected until about a week ago. We had spent a lot of time together over the last three weeks until one night she was so “Overwhelmed” and “Maxed Out” I tried to talk to her about what was making her feel this way. She couldn’t explain so I got fed up and went and hung out with my daughter playing the wii. She then told us to leave and go eat fast food. On and On and On. That was about a week ago. So back to Thursday. Between 4:52 and 6:49 she sent me 26 texts trying to get a hold of me. Unfortunately I woke up after the first one. In between the texts she proceeded to call my cell phone then my house phone 12-15 times. I finally responded about seven because she had a flat tire and couldn’t take the kids to school. Once I responded she went on like nothing even happened. Oh ok, and by the way can I borrow a few plastic bags from you. Never even mentioned one word like why didn’t you pick up the phone.
So here we are on Friday I just stayed my distance She had to kids and was going to do pumpkin carving with them that night. We had decided to do it seperate, or she decided that when she was upset with me. So I had realized I forgot to transport my 3 years old daughters blanket with her and decided to bring it over to my wifes house. We only live a few miles away from each other. I get there and walk in and my wife and two daughters start begging me to stay and do pumpkins. Kind of hard to get out of that one. So I stay, the wine starts being poured and the perfect wife comes out. messing around with the kids throwing pumpkin seeds, mind you every year prior it was how quick can we do this and clean up. We even carved a family pumpkin and she chose a big heart for hers because she is so loving. So after all that and kids are down she dives into talking again about how we need to come together and all that when she promised we wouldn’t bring any of that up tonight. So I left pretty irritated and wasn’t too nice. Before I even got home I got this nice text from her how she had so much fun and tanks for coming over.
Saturday morning. Soccer day for kids big jamboree for my son and one of my daughters. We had made plans for me to take him down there first so the other two didn’t have to wait around so much. Oh no, she would be taking him now and she had some more of my things out on the porch and wanted some wine glasses and a shirt she had recently given me. I told her I had already worn the shirt on a trip that I was on. I travel a lot for work. I brought it because before I left SF we had made plans of them meeting me in the city when I returned but then that got cancelled of course so that is what I planned to wear when I say her. So of course she accuses me of wearing it out when I was in Nashville assuming that I was trying to attract females. As you could imagine on and on and on about it. Then a lengthy text about just needing to return if for the money since things are tight right now then professing how she was having such a great day and how she was being the best she could be for her kids. See you at soccer. This was after 30-40 texts. So after soccer I get kids. Pretty mellow day watching soccer and exchanging laughs and jokes. Of course because there are people around. Then around 7:30 a knock on the door. Guess who. Shows up unannouced to ask me if I wouldn’t mind having coffee with her in the morning and she had a friend who would watch the kids for us to talk. I reluctantly agreed being my girls were standing right there. Then just text me some friendly texts throughout the evening.
Coffee, well we never set an exact time just like after we got up and going. It was after nine and hadn’t heard from her and my little one was still sleeping. About 9:20 she text me saying you could have just told me you didn’t want to go. I was like whatever our little one is still sleeping. She had made arrangements for 9 am but didn’t tell me. So before I even get a text response guess what…. knock knock knock. Are you ok she says. I was worried you didn’t call or respond to my text. I then got very irritated and told her she couldn’t just show up. Her response I would love if you would have done that for me. Just showed up and invited me for coffee. So I sent her on her way. Then here come the texts. I am setting you free Matt. I have tried to make this work blah blah blah. I won’t say another word. Until the next emotion hits and you text again which she did. Then sends me another novel text later in the day professing all this stuff again. I didn’t respond. But she ended with have a great day and a bunch of animated happy faces. Then calls that night to say goodnight to kids. From then haven’t heard much from her. Which is kind of nice but is probably the calm before the next storm. We managed Halloween together with kids and friends. Once again perfect time around friends. She even dressed up for Halloween this year imagine that, first time in 15 years together. Dressed up as a sexy scarecrow, really turning up the heat knowing I like that! But I was able to leave without any more issues. Haven’t heard from her at all today.
So thats the life of a NON BPD. I am exhausted. But the typing is good therapy, not many people to talk to about this. The ones I can are exhausted with it too.
Hope this helps someone, please give a response.
Yes, it is exhausting.
And yes, sometimes it’s nice to just type away and get stuff off your chest with people who can relate to your situation.
I’ve always had difficulty discussing personal problems with other people.
Partly this is because I’m a pretty private person. Partly because I always figured they had their own problems and didn’t need to hear mine. And partly because I was embarrassed by what was going on and really didn’t understand why things were as they were before coming across this site and a few others.
The strange thing is that while I been on the web since before IE, it never crossed my mind to do a “is my wife crazy” search. I came across the site while looking for info that had nothing to do with my wife.
It’s amazing how some things come to seem “normal” after you’ve lived with them for awhile. I never questioned how it was that I was respected at work and by the people I knew and then found myself portrayed as pretty much an absolute failure at home … interestingly enough by someone who never accomplished or tried much themselves.
So much in your post is exactly what I … and many others … have heard and experienced.
These people seem to live in a soap opera universe that the rest of us can never be a part of or understand … all of them mouthing the same inane lines over and over again.
All we need to understand is how why we allowed ourselves to get dragged into it and why it seemed so hard to escape before we … for those of us with kids … became pretty much hopelessly entangled.
To my mind it isn’t so much understanding them … which is a completely lost cause … as it is why we got ourselves into the mess in the first place and, assuming we ever in some fashion escape and actually want another relationship, ensuring it never happens again with a similar type of person.
Okay so I’ve commented a few times but didn’t give my stuff up. Here goes:
I don’t actually have a spouse with BP. Can’t say that I had ever encountered it myself within relationships, but I’m on here doing research because my uncle (U) has a wife who is crazy as cat-sh*t. J (the wife) goes up and down, happy one moment, sad the next and U is exhausted. He never gets any peace and seems utterly miserable. He is on anti-depressants a result. J is on meds too, but they don’t seem to be working at all. I don’t think she has been diagnosed with BP and has managed to manipulate her therapist (if she has one) into not medicating her or treating her properly.
After reading 4 pages of entries of the men on this site here is my humble theory:
BP is basically a medical “a**hole card”. Its a “condition” that we have given people to try to explain in our minds their inappropriate/ flat out evil behavior. And make no mistake about the behavior is wrong. They are wrong. They are bad people. Bad people usually come from families of bad people, hence this “genetic link” the doctors talk about. We learn our values from our families. There are exceptions to every rule, but that is how it is generally.
The solution is to remove these people from your life, not to try to cope or fix them. Just leave. Pack your sh*t and leave. End of story.
LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN for those of you who are in love and think it will get better and all that fluffy cloud and rainbow sh*t is coming next.
THE SUN WILL NOT COME OUT TOMORROW!! Pack your sh*t and leave her/him. It will not get better. The behavior of these people is a permanent defect. You will end up sick too if you stay because these liars will have you questioning reality!!! I’m hoping that my uncle will see this fact one day, but I can’t make a decision for him.
Good luck to you fellas. As a sane woman, I feel for you.
Thank you so much for this. I am going through a divorce with a BPD/NPD wife of 15 years. We have 4 children. I think I deep down have always known she had a problem, but it was diagnosed as depression and most recently Bi-polar disorder. though she may have those, her BPD is most prevalent. My Psychologist friend has helped me finally end things (almost there) and has helped me through this hard times. I worry about our kids now though who are 8, 6, 6, and 3. Though much of the advice you give is what my psychologist friend has given, the way you explain it here is very helpful. I just believed my friend because of my trust in him, but you have helped me better understand the reason behind the advice. Thank you.
Please lord tell me this thread is still active… Ive been dating this Girl for 4 years now and weve been engaged for a year now… At first she was the NICEST PERSON in the world and i mean that! she has the biggest heart and does things for people that you would not imagine! She is a fantastic friend too.
The problem is, when it comes to me, she is extremly posessive, Crazy jealous, she used to stalked me two years ago when whe broke up, once she came to my house to blame me because i hadnt been there for her when her grand mother died , while we werent dating anymore and i hadnt heard of it… She is not extremly aggressive with her words, but has a way of making me freak out even when she is not around. People dont understand and think that i am joking because i am like 6 feet 2 and she is like 5 feet tall and seems harmless but only I know how “crazy” she gets when we argue, making me scared of dalling asleep at night in fear of being stabbed or something… let me stop here as it wud be too painful to lay this all out here if this thread is dead already…
Bonjour InPain … Well, I’ve been there. Looked at the kitchen knives and wondered if I should put them away before going to bed with Madame Crazy in the head-heart-body. And doesn’t that produce restful sleep?
After seeing this hyper-jealousy thing more than once, I’m convinced it’s a major red flag that your mate might be cheating on you. Contradictory right? I mean – total double standard, cake and eat it too, etc, etc. Exactly!
If all your energy is going into defending yourself against empty accusations, how much is left over to start noticing tiny clues in her behavior that she might accidentally be exposing. Kinda hard in the face of combat to notice a weird text message, email or phone call.
Plus, I mean, how could she – the one doing all the accusing, actually be cheating herself? That would be impossible.
I’d love to know the stats, but my experience is 2 for 2 with PD and hyper-jealousy. And as others have said here … Her Rules Are For You – Not Her.
My ex claimed to experience painful stomach aches over the thought I had had an afternoon bite with a long platonic female friend that I had even introduced her to at one point. Her response was to go full-metal batshit crazy on me, escalate the event in a major betrayal, and then “self-sooth” her poor battered emotions but going out dancing that week a couple of times with the boys at the salsa clubs. Poor emotionally beaten girl … she just needed consoling in the arms of other men.
Logically, it’s a way to justify her own behavior – if you’re off cheating or fooling around or whatever, why shouldn’t she? The bigger the conviction that you’re cheating, the easier it is for her to sell her behavior to herself. After all, in her mind it’s only fair.
And – if she has a fight, “breaks up” with you, and hits the clubs dancing and flirting with other men, she’s not really cheating on you because technically you’re broken up at that time. She can make up with you after if she needs it.
The best defense is a good offense.
So hyper-jealousy and being at the point where you’re looking at the kitchen knives and wondering … do you still have to ask questions about if you’re sleeping with the right person?
I see my BPDex as a volcano of Rage, covered with a thick deposit of Entitlement, and wrapped in a thin (very) sexy faux-big-hearted ‘Snow White” cellophane. Initially all I saw was the cellophane. They’re good at hiding what’s inside for a while but only for a while.
Don’t hide the knives, lose the loser.
I agree with Zibot’s comment, though I wouldn’t use the word “logically” in respect of these people. Only because some misunderstand this to mean that logic can be used to understand their thinking and in doing so, devise a means to deal with or change it.
And in my view, this is only a trip up a blind alley.
My own experience has been that these people are masters of projection, i.e., the accusations they throw at you are generally far more applicable to themselves than you, e.g., they accuse you of being cold and insensitive when in fact it is they who are this way.
I would say that this is a sign of their own guilty conscience except for the fact that in my experience, they possess little or no conscience, at least nothing in the way of what most of us understand a conscience to be.
Right, I agree with you Samson. You wouldn’t want to begin to hope you can devise a means to deal with or change them. What a prescription for self-torture, ill health and a destroyed future. Been there, never going back.
Sadly, once you’re in BPD/NPD/anti-social territory – you’re dating the DSM-IV. As I mentioned elsewhere, the National Institute for Mental Health website (not exactly a flakey organization) refers to BPD et. al. as a ‘serious mental illness’ … we’re not talking about a bad mood, pms, or a misunderstanding. Forget thinking you can make a few more (and more, and more) compromises and happiness ensues.
We’re talking medication, years of heavy therapy and no guarantees after that.
You’re totally right about projection. I think the best way to know what these people are inside themselves, is just to listen to what they are accusing you of.
Replace the “You this” and “You that” every time you hear it with “I this” and “I that” … and welcome back stage to your ‘Significant (…ly disordered) Other.’
Missing In Action / Left Behind In The Womb / Never Developed / Destroyed By Life :
“conscience |ˈkän ch əns| noun
… an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior : he had a guilty conscience about his desires”
Agree with everything you said, Zibot. Just have a couple of comments.
Re: “BPD et. al. as a ‘serious mental illness’”
Just wanted to point out that based on discussions I’ve had with mental health professionals, regardless of the DSM-IV not everyone within that community views these individuals as “mentally ill” or will have anything to do with them … though I think all would agree they have and cause serious problems.
I only mention this because I’ve seen a few comments scattered about this blog re: people feeling guilty about leaving them because they are “ill” … as I think the norm for most of us would be to support their partner through a physical or mental illness, e.g., depression.
And as concerns the individuals we discuss, my own view is that they are neither “mentally ill” … though obviously “character deficient” … and that no one should feel any guilt about walking away.
That’s just my layman’s view.
You said “We’re talking medication, years of heavy therapy and no guarantees after that.”.
I agree with this, particularly in respect of “no guarantees”.
Just wanted to point out that they have to first admit there is a problem (with them) before you get to the medication and therapy part of the equation … and most of us know the recognition of their having a problem will likely never happen … as in their view we, everyone else and the world in general are the problem, not them.
And even when they admit that they might have a “problem”, my own experience has been that even if this is a sincere admission, it doesn’t last long and there is likely to be no real or long lasting to attempt to address the “problem”.
And given that at best they operate on the emotional level of a child, I guess this isn’t surprising … given that young children will often do everything in their power to avoid admitting fault and accepting consequences.
Hey Samson … we got quite a thread going here, whose buying the next round?
RE: “I only mention this because I’ve seen a few comments scattered about this blog re: people feeling guilty about leaving them because they are “ill” … as I think the norm for most of us would be to support their partner through a physical or mental illness, e.g., depression.”
I know, I agree … this label is a sort of double-edged sword that I myself have gone back and forth on. For sure, we are ‘built’ from the inside out to want to help the ones we love, through whatever illness they may have. Slippery slope.
And while the label of “mentally ill” conjures up extreme images, we have to remember we’re all laymen. We’re not saying severally retarded, what exactly does the term mean to professionals?
Unless we study it and work in the field, I’ll defer to the professionals who I am sure employ the term with a lot more nuance and precision.
I too have noted that there is occasionally a dissenting voice of professionals that don’t label it a mental illness. I’m not sure if this has to do with concerns about stigmatizing people, playing to some sort of political correctness, or there’s really a strong defiant voice against the label.
Personally however, the term finally became somewhat liberating for me. I actually don’t have a problem allowing what I witnessed to be described as someone who is mentally – ill. She was.
There was no other way to describe the behaviors I experienced than to say that person isn’t well, mentally. This is a very different realm of illness from physical illnesses like MS, cancer, or kidney failure.
How you consider others, yourself, personal responsibility, honesty, empathy, valuing the other person, compromising your personal ego desires, consistency of personality & character, not wanting to hurt someone you love, being able to love, fidelity, care, pragmatic thought …
… all these and many more, as relatively speaking “sane adults” we develop and grow these things. And we come to understand a certain range of tolerances to stretching these psychological ‘ways’ … while still being in the realm of healthy.
People like my BPDx have not developed these things, they’re disordered, it’s tempting to say altogether absent. In hindsight, it even seemed faked, or hollow. This is an illness. It doesn’t work right up there.
One minute shaking and crying because I’m so important to her, the next (literally) throwing a Christmas gift in my face and insulting it – things didn’t work right up there.
Once I accepted ‘illness’ I realized it was outside my skill set to help her, regardless of how impressed I was with myself and my ability to compromise – adjust – tiptoe around her explosive delusional hypersensitivity.
I mean, professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping people will, as you said, avoid working with these folks. And they’re getting paid good salaries to do it.
What the hell could I hope to do, a laymen with degrees in business and arts. I’m sorry, but that is out of my depth, that’s what it helped me realize.
So finally – for myself – accepting that, as I said, the NIMH describes BPD as “a serious mental illness” … I let it go.
Her and her therapist were referring to her having BPD, I’m good with mental illness, good with not ‘guilting’ myself for having the sanity and sense of self preservation to let bigger talent than me fix her – and good with stopping the train wreck I allowed her to turn my life into … for nothing except the promise of more train wreck.
Like you said, it’s more likely for the Earth to change orbit then to see these folks accept responsibility for their illness and commit to fixing it.
It’s sad. I loved her, no doubt. I care about her well being, no doubt. But sacrificing my life only to feed her illness, in return for abuse, disrespect, betrayal, no – no guilt and no shame in leaving.
I accepted it as a fact and it helped me … she is mentally – ill.
That’s one of the best capsule descriptions I have seen!
It’s very sad, but excepting a few very lucky edge cases I don’t think BPDs have much chance of change. It’s a very grim thing that is going on in their heads, too grim for them to confront honestly. I have the benefit of perspective now, and the benefit of having watched how my ex’s life has unfolded since we split. Everything I’d read about BPD behavior and its causes plays out over and over and over again with her. It’s unstoppable, and there are only two states of being for the rest of us – physically/emotionally distant or collaterally damaged.
Sad but true…
Hey there Dr T. I was jsut going through your website.
Well first off I m actually 18 with a 16 year old girl. But I m beginning to suspect that her BPD traits are very dominate even though they cant be diagnosed until their 18…. Ps. I ve been with ehr for more than 16 months and i m questioning my relationship.
But Heres my story, when i met her i really thought this was the woman I wanted to work hard for and marry. I really thought that i may have met the one and how lucky am I to have somneone like her in my age. ( i really thought she was my soul mate and loved her so much)
She showed all her positives, lovable , kind ,caring compassionate. But this was at the honeymoon phase.
I know she had issues with her dad, and how she doesnt trust anyone cause everyone eventually leaves etc….
As we progressed, we ended up having sex ( we ost our virginity to each other) but after sex everything was so different. I thought it would bring us closer like how it should but NO. It i felt so apart from her. She started shouting doing the reassureance cycle where she would pull the cold shoulders on me , say every mistake that happened in the relationship was my fault i do take responsibility for my mistakes but she never does. The relaitonship seems heavier on my shoudlers where i constantly try to woe her. I bought her an expensive item on our first anniversary and even cooked for her did a romantic set up. but she says that shes not being treated like a queen. When issues with her dad or family arrises i drive off to see her and protect her and comfort her. Everything was never enough. She has this website where she vents all her anger on me saying i dont do enough or shes never good enough, she wants someone better , she doesnt deserve this life etc. ( yes I have considered that the website i her diary and she has the right to feel the way she wants) but these are not normal things.
She even pulled threats during the woeing stages like we re not meant for each other. and constantly breaking up with me. and to be honest I m getting tired of it. Idk if i should be choosing my heart or my mind.
Any advice / idk what to do right now?
You are far too young to consider marriage — especially to such an unstable young woman. The kinds of behaviors you describe only worsen as time passes.
Also, her abusiveness and lack of stability combined with the fact that she is a minor makes me very scared for you. Do you know what the age of consent is in your state?
I understand, right now I m weighing my options to choose my heart or my mind. The age of consent is 16 from where I am from. I respected her. I didnt rush or pressured her. We agreed to what was going through…
And Dr T just last night I m back to the abusive cycle. Shes been cold to me since I havent been seeing her. This due to the fact that I m studying for my national exams and hoping to get a chance to university. And because shes not getting what she wants, she pulls the cold shoulders on and ive been try to support her to do well in her national exams. She even said we shouldnt see each other till its over. But however shes been cold to me and I asked her through txt saying do you need space? and her reply was “yes away from you” so I simply did not reply back and just started studying. But 3 hours later she txts me saying saying “Shes been having second thoughts about us and she wants to end it.and that we shouldnt talk for awhile” Meanwhile not knowing this was happening shes been considerably sick things on her website saying I dont care about her, Shes unhappy, she says she feels worthless, shes not good enough, that love has an expiry date etc etc……
To be honest I dont know anymore? I feel emotionally drained from this emotional vampire. I swear I can keep going but I dont know if I can hold on much longer. I m in a state where I m really confused. I know what I want. But what can I do about her? Every girl Ive met at her age seems to be more stable than her? and this confuses me….
with that comment you reveal that you have a bigger problem with women than this one girl.
If you go around looking for a woman to serve then you’re sure to find one who thinks men are supposed to be her slave.
wouldn’t you rather find a relationship where you’re as honored and respected as she is by you?
What I meant by that was the sense that i was willing to work for a future. ( like go to university , try to finish a degree and have a decent job where I know I can financially support myself and whom I want to marry.)
I exaggerated a little to make a point, but only a little.
Even in your response to mine you talk about supporting the woman you marry, which confirms my suspicion that you put women on a pedestal.
That kind of chivalrous outlook is dangerously out of date and I implore you to re-examine it.
You’re young, so it’s understandable, but you must let go of any illusions you have about women being, relative to men, either superior (morally, ethically, intellectually, etc.) or weaker/more delicate, and hence deserving of being supported financially, protected, sacrificed for, tolerated when they act childish, forgiven endlessly when they act cruel, etc.
They’re just as tough and strong as men, just as capable of cruelty and thoughtlessness. No better and no worse.
Healthy women want to be loved, appreciated, & respected for who they are, they don’t want to be adored on an altar or treated like children. Those who get off on being worshipped soon tire of it and look for fresh fans. Those who become dependent on a man hate themselves for their dependency and eventually take it on him though often continuing to live off of him.
I wouldn’t think of getting involved with a woman who doesn’t earn her own living. And if I were screening for a wife I would make sure to find out what she expects after children arrive (does she expect to stay home forever) and how she feels about custody, alimony, child support, etc., in the event of divorce (does she think moms have a sacred union with the children that only women can understand, and so the ex-husband’s role is to be her part time baby sitter and full-time ATM).
I’m a lot older than you so the dating pool I’m swimming in is full of divorced women. I won’t give the time of day to a woman who takes alimony, doesn’t believe in true shared parenting/custody, or lives in a McMansion her ex pays for while she hangs out with her friends all day, “raising the children”, pounding the Chard and complaining about what a bastard he is.
In our society it is quite possible for a divorced man to become an indentured servant for 18-23 years to a woman who hates his guts. You have no idea what misery is until you find yourself in a situation like that.
You MUST pick wisely, with a cool heart and with your own self-worth and well-being at the forefront of your mind.
Be the prize, and find a woman you can trust and who will enrich and ease your life and be thankful to be a part of it.
Otherwise, why bother? Sex? Please.
I just wanna mention JP that just last night I m back to the abusive cycle. Shes been cold to me since I havent been seeing her. This due to the fact that I m studying for my national exams and hoping to get a chance to university. And because shes not getting what she wants, she pulls the cold shoulders on and ive been try to support her to do well in her national exams. She even said we shouldnt see each other till its over. But however shes been cold to me and I asked her through txt saying do you need space? and her reply was “yes away from you” so I simply did not reply back and just started studying. But 3 hours later she txts me saying saying “Shes been having second thoughts about us and she wants to end it.and that we shouldnt talk for awhile” Meanwhile not knowing this was happening shes been considerably sick things on her website saying I dont care about her, Shes unhappy, she says she feels worthless, shes not good enough, that love has an expiry date etc etc……
Only thing you do when you find out your partner has BPD is leave. Its just not worth staying. I’ve been there. The threats, abuse, manipulation, lies, its not worth it, My partner split from me, a few nice threats in the past about going to the police and telling them I’d raped her didn’t help our relationship when she thought I was leaving, the usual stuff that goes on. Well, its not normal and not usual in a relationship.
Look under the skin of someone with BPD and you find enough in there to keep a psychiatrist happy for years – anxiety, paranoia, low self esteem, anorexia, emotional incest, conversion disorder, body dysmorphic disorder. How the heck can you deal with that.
BP people can’t help being ill, but they can do something about it. Most of them don’t as they seem to be “happy” living the lives they do.
Stuff them all, its not worth it.
I return to this site time and time again as a place of solace and sanity in my topsy turvy world.
I’ve been married to my wife for 12 years and it hasn’t been until the past year (thanks in part to this website) that I’ve begun to figure out what has felt so wrong about my marriage, really from the start.
My wife has basically treated me in the most hateful disrespectful manner over the years and I just put up with it, like I thought a good Christian husband was supposed to. I picked up the slack from her not cooking or cleaning, I bent over backwards to try to keep her happy, but never to much success – there was always something else. But I recently have learned better, and have been trying to develop a strategy to cope since I don’t want to leave (mainly due to our young children 6 & 3.)
However, this past weekend threw me into some serious thinking, and rethinking, about what my best strategy should be:
We had arrived in Orlando for a family vacation to Disney World – we were getting ready to go down to the pool to swim, and were in our bedroom getting changed. She suddenly blew up over a truly minor little comment I made (she had asked if I thought people 6 floors down could see her changing through the window, and I said no I didn’t think so, could she see them?) and she turned on me and said in a most seething venomous way: “You’re just a piece of shit, you know that? And I’m sick of it – sick of it!”
I couldn’t believe it – and at Disney of all places. Why’d she have to start off the vacation like that, with the worst thing she’s ever said to me? She has certainly treated me for years like “a piece of shit”, but never has until now come right out and said that she really thought it. I have thought for some time that she hates me.
I said something lame like “that’s not very nice” and then she said that “it’s your fault” and stormed into the bathroom to finish getting ready. I quietly went on downstairs with the kids to the pool.
This comes a few weeks after she called our children to their faces: “stupid stupid kids” which I heard a great deal about after I got home from work – the kids made sure she told me first thing, and she confirmed that she said it, being fed up with them in the car. It truly made me mad (especially after she had just the day before been miffed with my son’s 1st grade teacher for not putting him in the “advanced” spelling group – she was afraid that he would think he wasn’t smart – but then to call him stupid herself to his face!) but I did nothing, said nothing, but was more withdrawn and solemn around her after that, and she noticed, and she started acting very nice and overly sweet, that is until our recent trip to Orlando.
I knew from Dr. Tara here not to let my guard down due to an apparent good attitude on her part, and I knew it was only a matter of time. She can’t hold it together for very long. She even said after her outburst that she has been holding it all in for a while now, but I “made” her go off like that again.
She can’t handle the little minor give-and-take discussions normal married couples have, like where to go to eat, or which side of the street to stroll down, or how to best handle the children’s misbehavior. She take different opinions so very personal.
Later that night, after she noticed that I was completely withdrawn from her, trying to decide on how to best handle the situation, salvage a happy vacation with the kids, and proceed with the rest of my life with someone who considers me “a piece of shit”, she came out on the balcony and said that she was sorry for saying that to me. I said quietly to her that now I know where she stands about me, and she stormed off again. In bed later, she again said that she was sorry, and I said that I forgave her, but I was trying to figure out how she could say something so horrible to me. She said that she had gotten so frustrated with me that it just “slipped out.” I again said that I didn’t understand, and never would have thought that I would be called that by my own wife.
She rolled over, turning her back to me, and tossed out one last volley: “I’ve been depressed for years now and you haven’t done anyhing to help me – I never thought my husband wouldn’t do anything to help me.” I made no response to this, but despite the pain I felt, I smiled to myself because this last followup comment of hers sounded so familiar from reading about BPD, it was like right out of the textbook. The game continues…
My kids were 2 and 3 when I left my narc/controlling wife. I’m not a christian but my belief in marriage and staying for the kids is the real thing. But the fact is, if I stayed I never could have been the kind of father I want and need to be. My kids would have seen me constantly henpecked, belittled and tooled, and as a result constantly shifting between states of anger, depression, confusion and mute rage.
Now, 5 years after splitting up I can tell you that my kids are doing great, I have a terrific relationship with them and my time with them is totally joyful…all the time. I lost a lot…full time life with the kids of course, and lots of friends and other social stuff from which I haven’t fully recovered…but my kids see me the way I want them to…spontaneous, happy, authoritative, leading, warm, etc., and unlike with mom, my home is a safe place for them to be honest, make mistakes, take chances, get their sense of reality validated, etc. And as they get older and into the stormy years, I think my place will become even more of a safe, sane haven for them.
And even though they’re not with me 50/50, they think of my place as home every bit as much as they think of their mother’s as home.
I’m not saying divorce is easy…far, far from it…it’s been a shattering, emotionally & financially catastrophic experience, and in some ways I will never make up the lost ground, but as far as my kids and my relationship with them goes, I couldn’t be happier.
Bottom line…in my view…don’t let staying for the kids be the reason you decide to keep living with a woman who hates your guts.
I appreciate your feedback, and I’m glad your relationship with your kids is great –
Every situation is different, and I know the tilt of advice on this website is to “leave”, I can’t do that, for several solid reasons:
I cannot give up being a full time dad, living with them, playing daily with them, giving them baths (I’m the only one who does), tucking them in at night (generally me every night) – in short, honestly, I am the most important person in their lives – when they come in our bedroom in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning, it is my side of the bed they come to – in the dark of night, what they call out is “daddy, daddy” – my wife likes it that way, she gets to stay in bed and sleep longer – she has been a sub-average mother, but I have reaped the benefit as I have gotten to be an above average father to fill in the gap – I am their protector when she rages and is out of control towards them like she is with me – she not only treats me foul, she treats them foul as well, and for me to leave to protect myself would leave them without protection in their tender ages.
No, she is the toxic one, she should be the one to go – she has threatened this, but never will leave – she knows that will look bad.
One theory I have is that she is treating me so horribly in attempt to make me leave my own. If I leave, she wins: she gets to paint me as the villian, and herself as the victim, since she could tell everyone “he left me” – she also would have free rein to turn the children against me, which I fully believe she would – and she can’t handle the children on her own for extended periods, I am their primary caretaker after I get home from work and on the weekends – she is vegging out on Facebook, or sleeping, or just laying around feeling “depressed” – she does this mostly when I’m at work too, because I come home to a house that is a disaster, and no food to eat except what I can conjure up myself –
I will not choose to be the one to be removed from our children’s lives. What I must do is focus my intelligence on finding a morally acceptible way of extracting her from our lives, in a way that is safe and healthy for my children and for myself.
Worst part is not being there full time for the kids. Never have accepted it myself……..
Rick in Denver says
After years of being dominated, controlled, cussed out, lied about, treated like a 4 year old, I may have found a solution: Be a man– AND a not so nice one. Take charge and frankly, declare “war.” (not in a physical sense) Draw some boundaries and treat her as she is behaving: like you would an out of control, beligerant teenager. I finally did this. And she exploded with a rage like you cannot imagine. I held my ground. But after almost 3 months, FINALLY, (once she figured out her idiotic juvenile tantrums were not going to work this time) she is actually coming around. Calming down and actually reasoning with me like an adult- instead of exploding and demaning her way. I even had to go so far as to lock her out of the checking account, make 100% unilatteral decisions -without her permisison, and threaten to sell her car off. SHE treated me like I was Charles Manson. It was the sickest behavior you can imagine.
BUT- she figured out it was not going to work- and is ACTUALLY attempting something new: SHE is actually reasoning with me like an adult. A start– but it seems genuine. AND she has admitted that she/ we need counseling- after fighting it for years.
NO MORE MR. NICE GUY. I am now convinced the the counseling field that has pushed this “be mr. nice guy and be sweet and kind” nonsense has given a blank check to absurd behvior like this.
NO MORE Mr. Nice guy for me. It WILL NOT WORK. You have to become a rock solid tough guy to deal with jerk women like this. And if she didn’t like it, I told her she was free to leave. ONCE she believed it, she began changing.
Good luck with that Rick. I did the same. Set boundaries – she went ballistic. Then over time her tactics changed. This technique is called hoovering. It was just another manipulation attempt for my STBX. The second I started believing it, and treating her like a partner again instead of a child she reverted to her own ways.
So that was my question, did I want to live in a relationship with an adult child the rest of my life or have a real partner to be named later? I figured in the end she would either eventually get her way again or leave. I chose to end it before that happened.
This was very inspiring to me. I too am in a dreadful relationship with a woman who hates my guts. My boys are young and are really the only thing on my mind at this point. My latest chastising was a thrashing about how I am a wimp and dont stand up like a man to my boys. I think I have made the first small step towards getting out. Just need confidence that my boys will be OK and that I will not lose contact. My wife will DEFINITELY try to demean me to them.
Sounds like you brought a demon to Disney World – and security didn’t mind? I never had kids fortunately … but it all sounds familiar.
“She suddenly blew up over a truly minor little comment”
… and eventually before being spoken, every last syllable becomes weighted, distilled and evaluated for its potential to provoke the highly unstable and explosive gray matter / twisted emotions of these _____.
There goes spontaneity, impulses for humor, playful kidding around, slack.
Simple comments that a normal, healthy person would ignore, play with, turn into a joke or not react to – hit their “explode now” button. I’m sorry to hear something so potentially positive for your family was crapped on by another one of these women.
They really should be tattooed or labeled with a warning – “Men, Avoid This Woman”.
It seems special events (trips, holidays, birthdays, etc.) elevate the hypersensitivity and desire to rage and denigrate. I noticed that.
For an exercise in futility (but essential to keep in mind) try to get her to differentiate between 1) what triggers an event (this is essentially your role) and 2) what her reaction is.
My BPDex would never look at her reaction (was it really a ‘reasonable’ reaction to throw around the furniture, or call ahead and cancel all our reservations while we’re driving there, or scream psychotically at the top of your lungs, or storm out of the apartment over a remark of concern for your well being, etc, etc,). Forget it.
But realize for yourself these are two totally different realms altogether – trigger vs reaction.
I let the magnitude of my ex’s neurotic/psychotic reactions feedback into my evaluation of myself.
These are really simplistic creatures. We afford them way to much mental maturity and interact with them as if they warrant the full weight of our maturity and intellect. They are arrested in their emotional development and processing. Self-reflection is absent.
Their view is that “ANY reaction on my part is ok because YOU did whatever triggered me. So even my reaction is your fault” – “FAIL!”
Eg.: A misunderstanding leads to a comment – “did you mean to say …”
A misunderstanding leads to raging, screaming, denigrating comments, slapping, grabbing a fork and gabbing my arm … hummmmm? Sorry, reaction is something to be evaluated separately and independently of trigger.
Keeping the focus on the guy with accusation prevents the focus going where it should – WTF are you thinking by saying, doing, behaving like a spoiled, classless, insulting emotionally arrested 6 year old?
Here’s one a friend suggested to me once – during the next tantrum, just look calmly at her and then finally say ‘Are You Done?’
Then get in the driver’s seat and tell her what’s going to happen next: “You keep this up, I’m cancelling the vacation and taking the whole family back home. I didn’t come here for you to ruin everything.”
“You ever do that again and I’m out that door and not looking back.”
“You ever speak to me again that way, and those will be the last words you ever speak to me, until we’re signing the divorce papers.”
And mean it.
I eventually realized that the only thing that caused my disordered angry Ex to shelf her inner bitch-child was when I put my foot down – like once she was raging and heading for the door and I said “You want to bolt out of here, fine, but don’t ever effing expect me to let you back in here again.”
Hello disordered “rejection-obsessed child” – bye bye disordered “bitch-child.”
Someone has to sit in the driver’s seat. Acquiescing to her inner bitch-child, ultimately kissing my emotional abuser’s ass, just said to her “give me more, don’t worry, I won’t stand up to you.”
I thought I was saying “I love you”, “I forgive you”, “I’m willing to work on myself” … nah! I was wrong.
Unfortunately once in, no one can live this way. You’re looking for coping and parenting skills to tolerate an angry rebellious child, not having a relationship with a mature, emotionally healthy woman (nor, for all intents and purposes, someone that can attain that.)
Thanks man, for the good advice – I am constantly tweaking my approach, by trial and error, to see what will best work on the homefront –
What I have come up with lately is the low-lying approach: very little spontaneous talk from my part to her – I often have thoughts I’d like to share, but swallow them back down and remain silent, simply because I don’t know how she will react and I don’t wish to engage with her –
You were so right when you wrote:
“There goes spontaneity, impulses for humor, playful kidding around, slack.”
It has really ruined having a truly human and living relationship with her – it is only a tactical careful manuevering on my part to avoid the next landmine.
When she rages, criticizes, taunts etc, I simply remain quiet, listening, but not agreeing, let her finish, then go off and have fun with the kids or something, and let her hear us having fun, while she is their moping, or zoning out on facebook.
I do the things around the house and for the kids that I feel I need to do, I don’t cave to her every whim or need – if what she requests is valid, I will do it, but if it is not, I won’t – she has gotten angry that I don’t “help” her anymore, which means I don’t bow to every wish like I used to do – She accuses me of “beating her down” and making her depression worse – actually, I am taking care of myself and my children, and her too when it is reasonable and sensible – I do an awful lot, really, compared to the husbands of her friends, she knows that and says so when she is in a “sane” mood – but it is not enough, never enough – but I am comfortable with it, though, because I have a very strong internal conscience, and am motivated internally to do a great deal, over and beyond, without her nagging and griping – it used to make me anxious when she got to griping at me to do this or that (usually both at the same time!), but now I don’t care – I am calmly and deliberately doing what I think best, she can deal with it if it doesn’t measure up to her unreasonable expectations.
Never ever have a told her how sorry a spouse and parent she is, although I think it every day – Never have I called her a name or used profanity, or made a disparaging remark about her looks or clothes or behavior or hobbies or interests, or told the children how mean she is – but she has done all of these things (and much more) towards me –
One more thing that has helped me immensly is to explore and develop my own interests and hobbies and not let her in on it, so that she doesn’t have the opportunity to criticize and belittle and otherwise befoul them – it has been extremely helpful to my mental health to have those secret joys and happinesses apart from her – indeed my happiest moments now are when I am not with her, when I am doing something else, either alone or with the children – I am really a different person, freer, happier – but then when I return home, or when home and I hear the garage door opening, signaling her return, I get that sinking heavy feeling, and I retreat back to the quiet mode, expectant for prickly comments, cold stares, or all out rages – I cannot trust her relatively “good moods” when they come, I’ve learned that those can transform into acidic demon-rages in a split second, and she no longer cares if the children are present or not –
It is not WWIII all the time, it is more like the Cold War, with a few intermittent huge huge explosions that remind me again that I am dealing with a very emotionally and mentally volatile and dangerous situation.
I could have written this! I cant tell you how many times I have sat on the couch and the garage door opener goes off and I run like a scared animal up the stairs to my “retreat”. My wife’s recent rant was around a decision I made to buy sliced mushrooms as opposed to whole. These are more difficult to wash and I got my due punishment for this unbelievable error on my part. So, whats your plan? Do you stay for the long haul or are you getting out? I so want out, but dont even know how to begin. I have young kids and am scared to death of losing them
Marshall "Dopadoc" Davidson says
I have an ex gf turned stalker and it is not flattering but very life-disrupting. She suffers from BPD and has succeeded in making life a living hell via proxy (anonymous IP address) websites and phony email addresses and Skype telephone from where she indulges her unfounded rage against me and my family. The FBI and local law enforcement say it is out of their jurisdiction because she is now in another country. Lawyers from that country have been useless takers of good money. ANYHOW your article describes what I’ve been through as though it were a biographical movie script…The BEST summary of BPD I’ve read yet…Thanks Dr T…Marshall Davidson MD
Maybe you can sic the CIA and NSA on her for being an international terrorist. They could snatch her off the streets and put her, bound and hooded, on a secret midnight flight. Guantanamo should be just the place for her. A little waterboarding to give her a taste of her own medicine, perhaps? Is my bitterness showing? Sorry, but after what I (we) have been through, what can you expect?
I stumbled across this article during the one of the many phases of breaking up with someone, I’m 25 and she 23. Her parents split when she was young, possibly abandonment issues, she didnt trust me, she said she did but there was always wild accusations about exes and friends but it was fine for her to see hers etc and she did end up cutting me off from my friends and I didn’t realize it was through fear of accusations, whenever I did see my friends it was to “talk about her behind her back”. she said I didn’t articulate my feelings enough and other things along that line. So when looking up how to assert myself i came across this and the “10 signs…” article of the same ilk. It made me realize that I wasn’t entirely to blame for the break- up and that I was unhappy with this girl. we had had talks in the past about her possibly being depressed or bi-polar but i stupidly refuted the fact that she might need help (to try and encourage her that she was strong, mindful and healthy in a supportive manner) and tried to carry on but it didn’t work. there was the usual bargaining afterwards, anyway, in trying to get my feelings across I showed her the article about 10 signs youre in a relationship with abusive girlfriend, because it lists how the partner is affected and she was not happy! she played on the “im innocent, im depressed, how could i possibly be a bully, i was alone i had no- one and now youre saying i was abusive?” needless to say she won’t talk to me, but i feel like i can’t just turn around and tell her she might need help after telling her all that time that she doesn’t, not that its any longer my responsibility but i do still want the best for her.
also looking back at other relationships i do see this pattern developing and it’s happened 2 or 3 times in the past. I’m quite an easy going guy, some say to easy in that i rarely express myself. i maintain that i’m just not that emotional. people i’ve been with have said that i rarely speak up if something is wrong…is this through learned helplessness or fear of repercussions? do i indeed need to learn how to assert myself? and how do i spot the signs as soon as possible that someone is abusive? is it just a case of keeping in mind those tell- tale erratic behaviors?
How do i get my narsistic, bpd x girlfriend to stop harassing me and leave me alone? I cant take it anymore, thanks,
My brother found this website after I talked to him about my partner. I have an ex with whom I have 2 children with and my current partner has a real problem with her. My ex made a couple of comments about my current partner about a year ago and made a jealous nasty remark when she found out my current partner was pregnant. Foolishly I told my current partner about these remarks and now because I just brushed them off at the time as unimportant because I didn’t care about my ex’s opinion my partner now holds this against me because I didn’t “stick up for her”. She has an intense hatred for my ex even though they have never met and she blames me for making her feel that way. Whenever anything or anyone annoys her and puts her in a mood it always comes back to the fact that she hates my ex. We end up arguing and then she will run off and stay with her mum or dad and won’t speak to me for a few days. After this she begins saying we are over and then after another few days starts saying she misses me and she comes back to me telling me she loves me but that we need to sort things out because she can’t go on arguing. I feel like I am constantly watching what I say or do and even the most innocuous comment is taken the wrong way and it starts again.
I love her deeply and I can’t bear the thought of being without her but she drives me crazy and I don’t even understand why she cares what my ex thinks or why she holds it against me after so long when all I do now is support her!
Would a failure to apologize be an indication of an abusive relationship? I have been married roughly 9 years and I can count on one hand the number of apologies I have ever received after an argument, none of them were ever given before I pointed out the fact that I was always the sorry one and even when I have recieved apologies for some behavior I still had to apologize for my part of whatever situation. I am tired of being sorry.
Me. 17 years with a cluster b and a total of one maybe two-apologies.
Mine will apologize. She says, “I am sorry for doing whatever I did wrong BUT, if you hadn’t treated me so bad, I wouldn’t be that way.” She is the queen of “I am sorry but…..” “I wouldn’t scream at you if you would do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it.” “I can say whatever I want and all my friends on facebook say that you are lucky that I keep you.
Little does she know that the exit strategy is being planned and the wheels have been set in motion. Thanks to Dr. T, this site and many of the contributors I will be on the road to recovery. I feel better already just knowing that it is just a matter of time.
One of these days Alice, POW, right in the kisser!
I forgot one part. After she says I am sorry but….. She will then tell me that I owe her an apology for making her act that way.
Can’t wait to get my sanity back.
Mine said that I brought out….not her name…”Bad Alice” in her. Which to me is the best proof that she does indeed exhibit two entirely different people. Actually, I’ve always said there were THREE…and you do not want to meet two of them….
Hi, my name is Dave, I’m new to this site. I ended it with someone about two months ago, and would like to get some clarity around what happened. a lot happened in eleven months, I did some things that weren’t very nice like sending a message to another gal on a dating site one time only after we were together for a month and txted a couple ex’s but not to aske them out. She found out like she had esp. I did it because I never felt comfortable about us and part of me knew something was wrong.
Our relationship started out with an eleven hour conversation and the next night on a date, in bed and together every day after for a while. She refused to be accountable for being on time and blamed everything on my “breaking her trust with the internet message I sent… etc…
Fast forward eight months later she was accusing me daily of things I didn’t do like being on dating sites which were opened over a year ago and not looked at since. She wanted me to take pictures of the places I went and sending them via cell phone when I wasn’t with her to, “Regain her trust… …
before it ended she found out I did put up a dating add. It wasn’t live but just ready to go. She sent a long message to Evey girl on my Facebook page saying the worst things possible about me. later she hacked into my Facebook page and posted that she was the love of my life…etc… like I was the one saying it… At one point she got pregnant and later had a miscarriage although I never was allowed to go to the doctor with her.
At one point I finally did cheat on her to try to break free, yes, I was very insecure, she found out, she always found out everything, she would go over all the internet dating sites to see if I was on them. She didn’t break up after she found out but things just got worse. I was hoping she would break up or part of me was…
Everything was my fault because everything she did was a “reaction to the things I did in the past.” It finally got bad enough that on day she said she hated me and never wanted to see me again and I broke all contacts. The txts and e-mails and showing up at my house and a couple other places started. I called the police four times. It’s been over two months and I got a txt from her tonight from a new phone number. I wonder if she changed her phone number because I blocked the other one.
I still think about her but have not once contacted her since I made that break, oh except once when she threatened to sue me because a friend posted on my Facebook that someone, no name mentioned hacked my account and it wasn’t me… I removed the comment and txted her just that once that I would never purposely blemish her reputation.
I read an article entitled something like, “How to tell if your ex is a borderline personality disorder and she seemed to fit a great deal of the criterion and would appreciate some feedback from you very much. Thanks!!!!!
Just wanted to add to my previous post, she txted me again tonight, it’s been over two months since I’ve cut off contact. It was horrible, I’m finally healing and she sent a
pic of her in bra and nighty saying, “Just teasin u, dont get pissy, lol, call my home #, im here waiting for U.” She’s thirty five years old. I can’t wrap my mind around her mind works…
Thank you for the information on this site. I have left a twenty year relationship with a BPD woman. We have children so even now total separation is not possible and life can be difficult, which is why I browsed to this site.
The first 6 months of the relationship were fantastic, the next two years alternated between good with patches of emotional rages that I couldn’t get my head around. Over the years the abuse steadily grew worse. I felt she absolutely hated me one day and then the next it would be like nothing had happened. Whenever I tried to raise how I felt she would rage again and blame me. When we were out with friends she would be bubbly and normal. As soon as we left to drive home it was like a demon possessed her and I would be made to feel terrible about who I was and how I had behaved. Eventually my head couldn’t take it any longer and I lived my life trying to not do anything that would bring on these awful rages. Work was also stressful and I developed a debilitating anxiety order and ended up on a concoction of anti-depressants. She hated me even more for that. I looked back at the person I used to be, the strength I had, the nice people I used to know and wondered how all this could have happened. She dragged me to marriage counselling sessions to address my issues but my side of the story was never heard. As soon as we were outside the counselling sessions I would be told how pathetic the counsellor could see I was behaving and what a waste of time it was.
Why didn’t I leave earlier? Early on the abuse was less frequent, and later when it had become more often than not I had lost most of my resolve and getting through the day was hard enough without telling an extremely volatile and angry person you are leaving them. I had no idea what BPD was other than I was in a living hell that I didn’t have the strength to leave. The few times I had suggested that the relationship was not working had set off such a traumatic chain of events that I feared ever going down that route again. To complicate things further we had children along the way and I had taken on the role of being a buffer between my partners emotions and them. Every day I promised myself I would leave a soon as the kids had left home.
To cut a long story short, one day I just said no more, I can’t live like this for the rest of my life. Leaving was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and the fallout from leaving a person with BPD is even worse than I had thought.
BUT now I am separated and it was the both the hardest and best thing I have ever done. It has been 5 years and life is so much better. I am still healing and have the space to do so now. Interestingly, my ex partner has been through five relationships, numerous nannies and friendships and guess what! It is all my fault! Now I just hang up the phone and try and see the funny side.
My advice to anyone that is entangled in a relationship with someone shows any signs of being hurtful and volatile – get out early, don’t wait as long as I did as it only gets harder and more destructive.
To the few BPD people I have seen posting on this site, I don’t hate my ex partner, her life is extremely difficult and I can see it is a disorder but I cant help feeling resentful about how I was treated. It bloody well hurt and I still carry scars. If you know you have BPD then you are in a privileged position to minimise damage to the people you love. My ex refuses to acknowledge her behaviour is in anyway unusual and it still continues unabated and adversely affects anyone close to her.
Sucker No More says
“To the few BPD people I have seen posting on this site, I don’t hate my ex partner, her life is extremely difficult and I can see it is a disorder but I cant help feeling resentful about how I was treated. It bloody well hurt and I still carry scars. If you know you have BPD then you are in a privileged position to minimise damage to the people you love. My ex refuses to acknowledge her behaviour is in anyway unusual and it still continues unabated and adversely affects anyone close to her.”
Very well put. I feel this way too. I also put in 20 yrs trying to figure it out.
Jack D. says
My wife is an ISFJ (Myers Brigg). Does this correlate in any way to these types of disorders? I looked over the “Is she a crazy bitch?” and the “13 Signs” Postings on this sight and by all that is good and holy she fits nearly every single one of the descriptors. I love the woman completely and would do anything for her, but my question is do I a) pull the rip cord and pop smoke now (aka get the hell out of dodge) or b) stand my ground and use everything in my power to push her back until she sees reality as it really is. A little background: We’ve known each other seven years, dated three of those years (two years the first time and then again for a year before getting married six months ago). I saw alot of these aspects of her the first time, but I’d expected that almost three years apart had allowed both of us to grow up a bit. She was in alot of ways a different person when we got back together. However, looking back at it I get the feeling I was simply addicted to her and had a relapse. So, what do I do now? Pop smoke or dig in for the Battle of the Bulge?
Pulling the rip cord is not as easy as it sounds, even when looking at the smoking gun. How do you just leave someone you’re ‘addicted to’ or ‘completely’ in love with? Your option A) is a lot of work and a hard sell. And reversing gears now that you’re married is going to demand a lot of perseverance – it’s almost certainly the sane choice unfortunately.
OTOH if you really have the sort of woman on your hands that we’re describing here, personality disordered, actual real mental health problems … option B) will get you nowhere.
Push leads to over-amplified push back. Many here, including myself, have tried the ‘force her to see reality’ route, or some equivalent and met with dismal failure. And, at great emotional and psychological cost if you decide to adhere to a sustained campaign.
The good thing about option B is if you try to pursue it, you’ll get immediate results – failure. Or you’ll get lip-service looking like success that will quickly prove itself to be disguised failure.
If she’s all the ‘charming’ things profiled in the posts you mention, ‘Crazy’ and ’13 Signs’ … why would you invite that crap into your life and make it your reality to wrestle with every day?
All here will sing in one unified voice – Run!
One piece of advice to please very seriously consider – don’t fall into the trap of getting her pregnant and bringing children into that war zone thinking something like … ‘this will solve the problem, she’ll be a mother and it will fix everything.’ Read around this site for illumination on that one.
Myers Briggs is about categorizing healthy psychological individuals – you’re not talking about a different way of perceiving things, you’re talking about being married to the DSM-IV … you’re not in Kansas any more.
Think carefully and read here, and Gettinbetter.com – there are no happy endings, just self-knowledge at great expense and the search for new beginnings with healthy women.
Why wouldn’t your emotions matter just as much as hers? Why doesn’t she demonstrate what a normal healthy woman would be expected to – nurturing empathy for you when needed? Why would you be willing to put yourself on her emotional treadmill chasing a carrot that will forever hang just out of reach in front of you?
Good luck Dude … tough choices ahead I think. Again, just to reinforce it – don’t bring a child into that mess if you’re asking the question you’re asking. A child will not heal a mentally disordered individual, and just the opposite – a mentally disordered individual will ruin a healthy child.
I just have so much thanks to express for all the inciteful sharing here. It has really opened my eyes and will help me to deal with the aftermath of a marriage to a woman with narcissistic/BPD (I am unsure of the correct terminology this is quite new to me). She has my kids so I am locked into dealing with her at some level for quite some time but knowing that there are supports like this is very re-assuring.
I have also recognised that my Mother (love her as I do) is right up there with the worst of the BPD’s. I wasn’t on the recieving end of the worst of it but the ramifications of growing up watching (and still seeing) my Father being subjected to humiliation, physical and emotional abuse, control etc make this site even more relevant to me. This is a particularly tricky situation as I have a close relationship to my Mother and love her very much but can’t forgive the way she treats my Dad. I have told her about what she has done a couple of times and how its impacted me but she can’t seem to assimilate it into reality. Last time I said something I did so in a very calm direct matter of fact way and did so when she was quite vulnerable (I feel bad), she went into a deep depression shortly after but somehow has never been able to recognise why. Its perplexing to on the one hand have so much love for someone yet disdain for their actions. Now I find my self on the recieving end of an even more agressive this time narcissistic and insidious person who has all but ruined me. I am still looking for a way to fix her, (thats actually why I was searching this stuff) I won’t be, but its an effort to avert my attention elsewhere like looking after myself which is what us VICTIMS need to do.
I am in awe of Dr Tara’s ability to slice open the veil of self deciept and lies perpetrated by these BPD’s. Great stuff.
I have an observation that comes from my experience of having situations and reality turned upside down by a BPD person to the point where you start to believe them yourself (I think you all know what I mean). Every time I brought up a concern or criticism or even had an idea this was ALWAYS somehow turned around and became her concern or criticism and her idea, if I questioned it I was berated and made to BELIEVE that I was loosing my mind and had short term memory loss. I was only 28 but she had driven my self esteem so low she had me convinced of it.
In the 5 years of dealings with my BPD ex and 33 years with my BPD mother I have recognised that this turning things around works the other way aswell. I have recognised that if the BPD person is making accusations about you or someone else then its quite likely that they have feelings of guilt over their actions or thoughts that they have. I have seen it in both my Mother and ex, time and time again. My tip is that if your partner is hurling accusations of infidelity at you like I see on so many posts here then in my experience it would be because they have guilt associated to infidelity themselves.
How this is useful is two fold.
1. The accusations or preoccupations they have give you an insight into the thoughts of the BPD and help you predict whats to come in the way of further deciet.
2. Because they don’t seem to recognise that an idea from somewhere else even your own is not actually their own you can manipulate what they think of by quietly making a suggestion or comment and waiting a few weeks/months for their mind to formulate it into their own idea. It actually works. Sounds a bit stupid I know, but if you have the displeasure of having to deal with someone with BPD, try it, its very helpful. The thing is they will resist and completely shut down anything that is not their own doing or idea but if you just put it out there as a thought or story and let it drift by they will very often make it their own and you have gotten what you wanted. Brilliant.
Unfortunately, I don’t think you can make them happy, giving, empathetic people by suggestion but practical things like where the kids should go to school or what activities they should do after school and such really works. This power of suggestion seems to work better on BPDs than non BPD as they can efficiently (sometimes a matter of days) take an idea someone has clearly and un-reservedly made, shut it down and tell you its stupid, let it muddle about in there brain for a while, make it their own and be completely oblivious to fact that it wasn’t their idea, and this is great because they will be their usual willful, pushy, forceful self about it even though it was your idea in the first place. Its pretty weird but so is a lot of the BPD behaviour, their brains just work differently.
Please let me know if you have any other practical strategies for dealing with BPD persons.
I am a lesbian who has experienced all that has been said here with a Histrionic PD/BPD woman for 5 yrs. I am worn out and down and have been physically, mentally and spiritually abused. Even robbed. I am the more male gender partner and even though I was much larger than her she was the abusive one much like many of these men have described. I am trying so hard to stay away now. My need stemmed from my childhood with an abusively dominant BPD mother.Pray I make it this time.
Good luck Diane, make sure you do stay away. Be strong.
Hey Diane –
Gender doesn’t change the difficulty one faces getting and staying out of these types of relationships so I wish you strength and courage. Sorry to hear what you’ve been through. The good news is that if you can get out and stay out, health regenerates.
Since you mention a BPD mother, you’re not only trying to escape your BPD relationship, you’re also trying to escape your past. If you’ve never read up on the term ‘repetition compulsion’ google it, you might find it interesting. We all carry our past – forward.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sheri’s website, you might also enjoy reading some of her articles. One specifically referenced lesbian relationships … I linked it here: http://gettinbetter.com/lesbian.html
Good luck, stay strong. z
B Frank says
Great post and I’ve learned some cool things with the comments and everyone’s lifelong experiences. I’d like to share some concepts on BPD that I didn’t really see a lot of, or at least share my perspectives. Why? I want to help everyone and anyone I can.
But, first, thanks doc for creating this forum.
OK, here’s just a few concepts I wanted to bring out on BPD and based on my 7 years of marriage with a BPD…which has been hell.
Like many (most?) of you, after reading some of the posts here, I’d definitely consider myself a “rescuer”. In fact, that role has gotten me into some of the biggest problems looking back over my life.
We all know BPD (maybe that’s why so many confuse it with BiPolar Disorder lol) suffer from fear of abandonment and that’s the SOURCE (original traumas when they were young) of a lot of the manifestations or fallout in relationships.
What hurts me (like a lot of you) is I want a genuine loving relationship with my wife/sig o, but I can’t have that without any sense of what I call “connectedness”. BPDs don’t give you that sense of any genuine connection because they don’t want to feel attachment (another symptom, yes, similar to attachment disorder), and they don’t want to feel attachment because that represents potential loss (potential abandonment).
After reading this post and studying all the comments, I asked my wife today, “tell me about a time in your life where you remember feeling abandoned”….I was AMAZED that she was able to recount a LIST (at least 3 …I knew others I didn’t bring up from just having known her). I was really shocked. I mean people talk about how BPDs often have low EQ (well, it hasn’t been written about a lot but it’s similar to a lot of the lack of insight). My point is it’s amazing that they DO have “insight” (or at least good memory) for times they were abandoned (or seemingly abandoned). In many cases (as in my wife’s case), she was “abandoned” every time her father (and mom) went off on fishing trips for 2 weeks at a time and left her with her aunt (heck, I think all of us would have BPD if that happened to us lol). Anyway, she recounted today how she remembered each and every one of those as very painful separations.
She also took lost her brother and grandfather in her arms, each of whom she’d taken care of for years as a young child. She’s a Filipina, and you know how they care for their family members, even from a young age.
So it was amazing to put a lot of my reading here together with her stories. That’s why I thought to come back here today and share all of the following insights:
Like every one of you, I’ve been through it all and seem to know this disease all too well:
1. Borrowing from an article I’m reading now here psychcentral.com/lib/2007/characteristics-of-borderline-personality-disorder/ , “Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.”
I think what gets a lot of us is that we try so hard not necessarily to “save them” but to save the relationship (I myself am just born inherently loyal, it’s in my blood, and I’m not sure that’s necessarily always a good thing–makes it hard to get out). So the problem is this (example): My wife and I get along “all great and stuff” UNTIL THE SLIGHTEST ROCK OF THE BOAT. Then it’s like all hell breaks loose. If you keep everything perfect, it’s gonna be a good day. If you rock the boat, criticize her (i’m talking feedback man), or close your door to get work done, in HER head, she thinks there’s a possible abandonment situation. SO INSTEAD of trying to rectify things (honey, can we talk?” hahaha. Yeah right, you’d NEVER hear a BPD do that), it just spirals out of control IFFFF you argue with them. I’m no p*ssy, and I always say what needs to be said and wanna talk things through, but I’ve learned (see “learned helplessness” earlier) that you just say nothing. Yeah, sounds like a lot of spouses who grow up with abusive alcoholics. But that’s for other forums. Similar though, right? So, like the original article was saying, you sort of get caught in their reality, and you frigging get ISOLATED!! I’m a VERY sociable guy and make friends SUPER easily. But, since i’ve been married, she constantly puts down every single potential friend or acquaintance and has NO friends of her own and won’t “approve” of any of MY friends, OR family. So I feel like I’m on constant “lockdown”. Yeah, people might say “so just leave”. It’s not that easy. You guys know.
First, an old concept (for me at least): I know why they call BPDs “borderline”, but for me, it has a new meaning. For me, it means that your relationship is CONSTANTLY on the “edge” or border (again, my own interpretation). I tried to take her to therapy. I said “I can’t take this anymore” etc etc. I mean this girl was jumping OUT OF CARS!!! I had to report her to the cops and file a report on my OWN wife who just jumped out of the car WHILE i was driving and several times!! can you believe it?? Self-destructive behavior ? of course. Making me/you feel guilty constantly for NOTHING? of course. Manipulation? of course. Anyway, after years of this type of hell, I said it’s therapy or the end. So, she pretended to capitulate. I set it all up. Guess what??? I ended up going for 2 years and she only showed once!! It’s true, I went cuz it also gave me a chance to discuss all this with someone since I’d been so isolated. Sound like a p*ssy? nah, i’m totally not.
So, one major problem (hellish component) with the dynamic in these relationships is that (and i’ve said this often): “IT’S LIKE YOU’RE BREAKING UP EVERY DAY”. It’s horrible.
I know that all of us go thru this same thing. It’s like every day is ANOTHER breakup (imagine Ground Hogs Day meets BPD, lol). Anyway, here’s the concept I wanted to share and why I came back here today after discussing that stuff with my wife at dinner (which was after finding this post earlier today):
Getting back to the abandonment symptomatology, I had a unique concept I wanted to share with you guys (well, at least I haven’t seen it written about anywhere). It’s this:
I think that BPDs, because of their fear of abandonment (and related fear of attachment) / fear of rejection, do “PREEMPTIVE STRIKES”, aka “the best defense is a good offense.” Because BPDs SUCK at CONFLICT RESOLUTION (right?), they subconsciously PUSH YOU FURTHER AWAY creating the so-called “SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY” in BPD where they essentially NEVER resolve conflict making you wanna leave. Oh yeah, they love sex (not always but commonly) to “resolve the conflicts” with you, but that’s a temporizing measure, equivalent to sweeping the dust under the rug or pushing all the clutter in the closet.
But here’s the (I think?) unique concept that hit me today: I was trying to figure out WHY BPDs have this NEED to RELIVE this cycle OVER & OVER & OVER EVEY G-damn day with us. And that’s when it hit me:
EVERY TIME YOU DONT LEAVE AFTER a SEEMING ABANDONMENT (let’s call it a failure to resolve a conflict), SHE’S JUST (in her subconscious) “UNDONE” the abandonment(s)—even 1/1,000,000th—so my THEORY is that–EVEN THOUGH BPDs #1 fear is abandonment— BPDs create “MOCK ABANDONMENT SCENARIOS” so that, everty time you DON’T leave, you’re ACTUALLY “UN-ABANDONING” her! Right?
So, IRONICALLY, perhaps in some MINISCULE way (because in theory it makes sense, but we don’t see any improvement in our relationships), perhaps we are…somehow…”helping”. But I agree with the poster who wrote something like, “They don’t need to be rescued. They need medication”.
In fact, I would go further to say that BPDs “seek out” rescuer types, or at least highly loyal-type guys who, because of our nature, will be less likely (or take longer) to “abandon” them (save ourselves). Yes, I do pity any guy who has a kid with a BPD. I can’t even imagine how bad that would be.
The additional bummer, though, is that guys like us who may be inherently loyal and “good guys for relationships”, also need that sense of connectedness building off a STRONG BASE/FOUNDATION. However, BPDs will NEVER EVER let you build that base with them (you build base when you resolve conflicts in my opinion). So, the relationship is CONSTANTLY like the THINNEST spider web that’s EASILY breakable. It’s like she just wants to be MARRIED ROOMMATES with no real connection. It totally sucks cuz all my interpersonal and relationship skills are designed to create bonds (heck, all of us I’m sure, that building is survivalistic, perhaps evolved). We need to be able to trust our partners to survive “thick and thin”…but it’s all for nothing if you haven’t build a foundation of trust and a history of conflict resolution.
I wanted to share one last thing with you guys (in case it rings true for 1 or 2 of you). It’s the WEIRDEST THING…but after learning so much today (and over the years), it all makes sense:
My wife has some sort of….I don’t know what you call it…”UNjealousy fantasy”(???), where OPPOSITE of a jealous person, she likes get me constanly pissed at her so that she creates EVEN MORE distance between us AND so that she can imagine me with other girls. That’s all good, probably ever guy’s dream, lol. But that’s where the joke ends. Here’s the big, unusual & hellish problem I face daily. I hope you can help or give me some unique perspective:
Because of that fantasy, she subconsciously (or consciously!) pisses me off so that I’m always on the brink of leaving or turning to another girl and trying to escape. EVEN if I DONT turn to another girl for comfort, she STILL “wins” or feels strengthened because she still imagines that I’m with someone else. If I’m kind, she doesn’t allow me to be kind or loving to her. She feels ice cold. The point is when I try to get close (for ever), she ALWAYS pushes me away. Her comfort zone, apparently, is me enraged at her. In previous relationships, I’m not the type to get enraged/angry (almost NEVER), but I find I’m always furious at her DAILY. She intentionally tries to get me angry because the consequences (it’s f’d up) turn her on. Some people call it a “love hate relationship”. I call it “hate-hate” relationship.
So, she feels EMBOLDENED by all this, and it’s as if she loves me to hate her, because it turns her on (not because i hate her, but because, in her twisted mind, I’m going to turn to another girl). That feeds her fantasy, which makes things worse. I know the obvious solution (sounds ez to say) is “leave her and find someone else. there are other fish in the sea”.I WOULD LOVE THAT. But, I can’t really do that now because many other unbelievably more serious situations I can’t go into. I tried for years of hellish relationship with her to ask her to leave, with cops and everything many times, but, for reasons I can’t go into, i cannot leave here right now. Enrolled in couples counseling. I ended up going alone for 2 years. She refused to go and showed up only once. I think she felt it was a sign of impending doom or something “bad”…um, duh, so she avoided it.
BOTTOM LINE: she’s turned on, in whatever sick way, by having me hate her more and distance myself, but she won’t leave, will never leave, and I’m SURE will never let me leave. I often tell her that all these things make me really hate her or “love her less”, but she (like some joke) says “but I love you”. So I tell her “If that’s love, I don’t want that kind of sick love!”
So, when you think about it, all this goes back to fear of abandonment and what I called “preemptive strikes” or “self-fulfilling prophecy” and “MOCK ABANDONMENT SCENARIOS”. Do you agree? Every time they create these scenarios after an argument where we DONT leave, we’re essentially “UN”-abandoning them. It destroys us slowly…unless we can leave, and perhaps to BPDs (?), they see it as exercises testing the RESILIENCE of that “border”. I like the analogy of the guy assisting the cripple across the busy street and of course getting beat up after having helped her. But I have another analogy (not as amusing but perhaps as apt): Dealing with a BPD in a relationship is like this:
YOU’RE THE RUBBER BAND and she’s CONSTANTLY STRETCHING (>>fill in your sex jokes here << just kidding) the LIMITS of the relationship ie testing YOUR ELASTICITY ("Will you spring back?"…or will you "snap and abandon her like everyone else…you jerk"? Every time you STICK AROUND, you're "winning" and "passing the good-guy test", but you're KIND OF CONTRIBUTING to her false reality (while allow yourself/ourselves to be brutally emotionally abused by the constant ups & downs every day). The FIRST QUESTION is: does the rubber band (YOU) get MORE elastic (see "learned helplessness" above) the more it's stretched? YES, it does. And every time we do, we've returned to her and "un"abandoned her and have done something (in our subconscious) that is "heroic" and courageous and awesome….but as you know that "VICTORY" is SHORT-LIVED WITH BPDs. It lasts seconds or minutes ONLY. THEN IT STARTS ALL OVER THE NEXT DAY…just like Ground Hogs Day. But the more times she pulls that rubber band and tests you out, the law of averages says eventually you're gonna "break" and NOT come back to her, and fail the "good-guy" test because you were pushed beyond your limits of sanity. This scenario is actually the one where you survive (by escaping–don't ask me how–that's the hard part each of us has to "plan" ourselves, not unlike a woman who's being physically abused). Sorry but it's true. If you wanna survive (yeah, this is a pep talk for me too!), you gotta get the hell out. What can be WORSE that living with them daily?
BY THE WAY, I REALLY WANNA KNOW OTHER GUY'S EXPERIENCES in regards to WHY IS IT THAT I'm CONSTANTLY GETTING MY ENERGY AND PASSION SAPPED FROM THIS WOMAN??? WHY DO BPDs do that to their significant others?? IF SOMEONE COULD EXPLAIN THIS, it's the one thing I can't quite figure out yet.
All my accomplishments just get "sponged up" (I'm talking about great accomplishments I make in business etc). I share them with her and they just get doing doing doing….fizzle out in 3 seconds. THere's no "Wow. How'd you do that?! Let's go out and celebrate!!"
But worse than that is the COMPLETE & UTTER lack of inspiration I get from her. There's no sounding board, no sense of connectedness, she's a BROKEN MIRROR to me (meaning she makes me feel like the devil personified, like the other poster was saying). I don't know if these last 2 paragraphs are BPD-related, or just "her", but if someone wishes to comment, that would be cool and appreciated.
Well, I know I wrote a long frigging essay. I had a lot to do, but I thought I could make a DIFFERENCE in others' lives by making a good effort here to share my experiences and SAVE (yep, rescuer for sure) ANYONE I can from the hell I've been through, and hopefully shared some unique or at least provocative concepts with you guys.
Thanks for the opportunity.
The thing that's amazing here is that it takes a GOOD guy to be the perfect "SUBJECT" for BPDs. What do I mean? I mean that the rubber band should be a good one, good enough to be resilient and bounce back enough times and endure a lot of abuse. That's a "good guy" in her subconscious. Most a**holes wouldn't tolerate these girls for a day. They'd leave'em on the side of the road / kick'em out of the apartment with NO remorse. However, BPDs are wise to choose guys with LOTS of thoughtfulness and guys who are conscientious and guys who stick around. Because of their disorder, they need that more than the average woman needs that. So the girl with BPD (let's call her "Coral") snags our anchor, formerly our most "enduring qualities", ie that quality within us that sticks around. The toughest part of all is to cut that line because the line is part of the anchor, and that anchor is an integral part of the loyal guy who has endured and passed all their tests over & over & over. Therapeutic for them? possibly. Devastating for us and our legacy/ies? Absolutely. Let's encourage each other to find a way to unsnag our lines.
I was thinking of something new today…for those of us who are married…one of our oaths is "through sickness and in health"…and MOST of us (I think) might first think "I'd never abandon my wife if she were physically sick, in the hospital etc."…but what about MENTALLY sick and MENTALLY unfit??? I don't think it's necessarily fair for us to have to FEEL we need to ALSO bear that burden…because that burden is UNLIKE physical sickness, because MENTAL sickness takes us down with it. I'm not saying show no cares. I'm saying that we ALREADY show TOO MANY cares by repeatedly sticking around and passing these albeit subconscious mock abandonment scenarios/tests. Are we truly "heartless" (as they want us to feel) if we boogie? I don't think so. I feel it's surviving a BPD and "cutting yourself" (pun-intended) free is one of the most NOBLE feats and one of the greatest accomplishments any man can accomplish in his life. It's that difficult. Again, it's no different than spousal battery. Only these batteries never die, ha. And there's no "battered mens' shelters" for victims of BPD. Rare forums like this one are, interestingly, our only shelter. BPD's, being the great denyers and geniuses at playing "victim" can almost never get to therapy. In any "normal" marriage" when there's problems that can't be worked out together, you go to therapy to give it a final effort. When BPDs refuse, you just gotta get out.
Ask yourselves: why do we stay and endure this over & over ad nauseum? I don't have the answer. For me, it's because I'm inherently a loyal type…that'll be the end of me. 🙂 I'd like to hear other guy's stories, hopefully with some new and keen insights.
Good read. I have also learned that being a “rescuer” in any way doesn’t work with these BPD types. The more you give the more grief you get. I wish i had known they existed before my mess. There should be a hazard label tatooed on all of them!
Christopher Roussell says
Thank you for your very helpful information. I have been with a woman for over four years and up till now thought I could save her or that these outbursts may just disappear over time. Constant accusations of infidelity I thought could be eased through the commitment ov engagement and recently marriage. I am now convinced after less than three months of so called wedded bliss that divorce is the only answer to save my own sanity. It is very sad because we have a toddler and one on the way but I also recognize these explosive outbursts affecting our beautiful daughter. Thank you again for helping me to know that I’m not the piece of shit that I’m often made out to be. This is a great forum…cheers!
B Frank says
This is my 2nd post. My last post was pretty long, so wanted to focus today on the nitty gritty: GETTING OUT. My wife of 7 years now has BPD that I detailed in my previous post.
What I’ve been struggling with since that post a few days ago is the whole power play thing, if you will. In other words, I’m normally a strong leader, but over time it feels like she’s kinda whittled me down slowly. So I’m trying to regain my strength and my sense of reality, so I can muster up enough of my good senses to get the heck out and save myself. She’s tried many times to kill herself if I tried to kick her out, jumped out of our car three times (yeah, just opened the door and jumped!) while I was driving like 40-55 miles per hour on the high way. Total psycho. Fortunately she didn’t hit her head or i didn’t run it over. Anyway, here’s what I need your guys help with as independent observers:
You guys know that these chicks (patients) LOVE to “negatively engage you”, meaning they love back and forth bantering. It “authenticates” them or helps them feel real, by (I would add) definining the EXTREME borders (borderline) of your relationship. They seem to always be pushing the limit (your limit).
So I TRIED SOMETHING NEW. I’ve tried it for a few years off & on, but the other day, it just felt so right. They want you to argue because it shows you CARE. So, instead of letting the ridiculous topic spiral out of control (where I have to always bring us back to “normal”), I JUST SAID “FUCK I DON’T CARE”. It immediately empowered me and took the wind out her sails (stopped the drama cycle / spiraling / arguments). I did that same line throughout the day whenever she got into her insta-panics. Because when you CARE, and you allow them to control/manipulate you, as we all know they’re good at.By the way, I came up with a cool mnemonic “LTR” as in 3 things needed for a successful “Long Term Relationship”…the ol’ you gotta LIKE’em, gotta TRUST’em, and gotta RESPECT’em. I’ve gotten to the point (hope this doesn’t shock a lot of you) that I no lonver have ANY OF THOSE 3 ESSENTIAL ITEMS…and it’s been that way for YEARS. I basically hate her. Not hate wanna put a bullet thru her brain, but hate her in the sense that I want to get free and I “DONT CARE” that I’ll no longer be her caretaker because I’m WAY past getting dragged down into this frigging quicksand.
But here’s what got me: When I TRIED that, it felt GREAT, because I was DIS-ENGAGING myself from her(which is OPPOSITE to what I’ve preached to her for years, telling her “hon, ur so distant from me. I need you to be close and I wanna feel that sense of connectedness two loving people have in marriage)…She always has laughter in her eyes when I say that stuff like she’s really feeling “Why? I just need a roommate who pays a lot of bills! Who cares if we love each other?! I don’t need your love. The love I have for you is ENOUGH”. Which is another thing I hate about girls often (getting off the BPD topic quickly). They BASICALLY say “I don’t need you to love me. My love for you is enough.” So what pisses me off is that they REALLY DONT CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THEM and they DONT CARE that you ARENT GETTING THE LOVE THAT YOU NEED, WANT, and DESERVE.
Now back to this quandry. So I tried DIS-ENGAGING from her everythings-an-argument negativity and just said “WHO CARES” and I FRIGGING DONT CARE” all day long… cuz it’s kindof like every time she argues with me she WANTS to drag me down and make me miserable and that, in so doing, she derives a measure of strength from that, if not some complex power play….which I’m still working on understanding.
Anywy, when I tried doing that, I suddenly had this GREAT SENSE OF PEACE….as if I AM ME and YOU ARE YOU….it felt SO DAMN GREAT. I recommend you trying. It’s the VERBAL first step to physically disengaging with her (getting the frick out).
Prob is, once I started displaying that confidence, she (always does this) STARTED MIRRORING ME, COPYING EVERYTHING I DID, I MEAN MY STYLE… SHe always does this. It’s like she’s trying to say ” GO AHEAD FUC*ER, LEAVE….WE’LL SEE WhAT HAPPENS”….or maybe as if she’s saying “GO AHEAD, I WANT YOU TO LEAVE”…I can’t figure it out yet. Remember, in my first long post (yeah this is getting long too I know lol), I wrote that she has some strange UNjealousy fantasy like she likes to imagine me with other girls. So I”M GOING TO CALL HER ON HER BLUFF, “AREN’T YOU AFRAID THAT I MAY JUST TAKE OFF WITH ONE OF THEM AND LEAVE?” I WANT TO KNOW IF SHE’S JUST BLUFFING or if she REALLY wants me gone (as bad as I want her gone) OR if she’s doing what I was talking about earlier creating “MOCK ABANDONMENT SCENARIOS” or exercises, where she can test the EXTREME BOUNDARIES of our (relationship) universe.
She’s really playing some mental game with me lately because MOST of the time she’s trying to get me to FOLLOW HER LEAD, so I stopped that, and THEN SHE STARTED MIRRORING ME…it was very weird and not “normal” behavior. It was as if…. HELP!! I CAN’T FIGURE THIS ONE OUT….What’s going on here? Is this a borderline feature? Kindof like no matter what scenario we create, she’s making it a power play: If I’m leading and acting confident showing her (thru my behaviors) that “I can leave at any time”, she ALWAYS MIRRORS my way acting “the same” (opposite really) which is “GO AHEAD. I WANT YOU TO GO.” (but I think she’s pretending).
If I let her take the lead (she talks all boring stuff, ALWAYS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING…I SPEND HALF MY DAY CORRECTING HER…. I’m enraged all day long at this frigging girl). So to avoid losing my mind, and NOT engaging in arguments (like all you guys are saying) I “lose myself” a little. I mean it’s not only EXTREMELY LONELY (cuz this is my wife and only person who’s with me 24×7) but I’m EXTREMELY BORED out of my mind. So, if I just “chill” and “go with it” and yes hon and “whatever”, I’m FURTHER ISOLATING MYSELF by “buying” into her reality, which the original article discussed, the isolation which TO ME IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO LEAVING. Going with the flow and not arguing, on the ONE hand, can be that “learned helplessness” some have talked about here. However, going with the “Whatever, I DONT CARE” routine FEELS EMPOWERING because it creates emotional distance, and shows her “I’M SERIOUS ABOUT MOVING ON.”
The irony, as you can see, is that I’m the one always telling her for years “Hey we’re never close. There’s a big emotional distance (classic BPD) between us. I never really feel close to you. I want to feel close. I want to be in love.” Because of her fear of getting close /fear of abandonment, that NEVER happens (kindof like the other “NEVER” which is that they NEVER show remorse, NEVER apologize and NEVER admit they’re wrong. So the irony part is, with my recent “Who the F*CK cares?” approach the other day, I was just taking HER approach to the LIMIT, meaning instead of me CONSTANTLY trying to sweep the pile into one pile of dust that she keeps blowing away, I just got out the leafblower! lol!! It was an amazing feeling…very hard to do at first…but kindof liberating…I’m not 100% sure it’s gonna work but i’m going to TRY IT AGAIN and see how things go.
Tied in with the above “I DON”T CARE” play was a “NO FEAR” play. What am I talking about? These girls have a way of making you alway feel DREAD (fear) and HATRED loathing)….which is REALLY part of their makeup ironically!! (fear of abandonment combined with alternating idealizing/villifying you). Anyway, the NEW “WHO CARES?” CONFIDENCE came out of my ability (that one day) to LOSE MY FEAR of what she’d do/try to get in a divorce. Every guy knows that this country’s legal system is VERY pro woman, and guys ALWAYS get screwed with the old “half” system. Plus these girls are such AMAZING actresses, they’ll make anybody (even the judge) cry for them, lol. But I just had this confidence that day PRETENDING to myself, “Heck, I have nothing anyway, what’s half of nothing?”
MY POINT IS THAT AS SOON AS I CALLED HER ON HER BLUFF, she initially (I forgot to say) went OUT OF HER MIND with anxiety and was fidgeting like mad)….so I was able to see her REAL self come through, and her real fears even though she pretends “you should watch out if you try divorce” (thru her actions). So, when I CALLED HER ON THAT, it was VERY REWARDING. MY POINT? They use/manipulate FEAR in you to keep you when you start getting stronger.
One last thing, on a sort-of related note. Have ANY of you guys ever noticed this from your gf’s/wives with BPD….where, as you’re getting stronger and possibly more successful, and they think they’re gonna lose you, they SUDDENLY GO ON STRIKE on all their household chores/duties and just lounge around….essentially dragging you back down so that your resources are essentially UNchanged? The idea is that, as you gain resources (money/power/wealth/decion-making abilities, etc) that you can attact new girls. So my theory (this is probably true for ALL wives) is that the more successful you get, they find a way to dig their claws into you because they want your success for THEM, not for you IMHO.
So, I just wanted to share those possibly-unique experiences and thoughts with you guys in hopes in rings true for some or all of you, and hopefully you can share your thoughts on these ideas.
I’m more interested, as you can see, in the concepts, motives, etc than in telling all the little day-to-day stories, because if you know the underlying motifs, you’ll understand the big picture, and how to get the F out. 🙂 We all can provide key insights. Let’s help one another by trying to tie in our stories with one another. Remember, we’re already isolated in our personal lives if the BPD in our life has done their job right! 🙂 Extricate. Heck, make it one of your projects, just like it were one of your work projects. I’m sure you’ll accomplish it if you look at that way! Plan it out carefully, step-by-step, like you’re charting your course to freedom…hey, why not make it a challenge, like one of our favorite films, Escape From Alacatraz. Whatever “moves” you. Get moving! (Yup, this is also a self-motivational speech *wink*)
I think you’re fooling yourself. You say the post is about ‘getting out’ then you write a couple thousand words micro-analyzing the dynamics of your interactions and your ongoing efforts to find a way to get some power back.
If there’s one lesson you should take from this forum it’s that you can’t win with BP women. After you come to the conclusion that your spouse is BP, any more time you spend analyzing or engaging with her is htime wasted, time you’ll never get back.
Wanna know how to get out? Just walk away. You don’t have kids with her, right? Then there is nothing holding you back. She’ll kill herself or she won’t. Not you problem. She’ll probably make some dramatic gestures, and then when she sees you’re not coming back, she’ll switch gears on a dime, get a new rescuer, and do just ‘fine’ without you.
B Frank says
Thanks jp & zibot. Both of you make a good additional point, which is that the very nature of analyzing our relationships with these women itself can act to bind us further by essentially usurping emotional resources that might otherwise be used to plan an exit or, at a minimum, visualize your life without her. Obviously we got to keep in mind that the whole point of this forum is to educate guys on this poorly-understood mental disorder. It’s why I felt so compelled to share all those concepts on BP that I hadn’t seen written about in any of the posts. There’s no shame in providing more insights into this disease. Without a doubt, the more you know, the more you empower yourself.
It’s essential to get a better understanding, at least ONCE, of this uncanny disorder and show guys who are entrenched in these bizarre relationships or, worse, starting to “adopt” their BP partner’s sense of “reality” (which undermines one’s chance of escape…because who’s gonna leave if “they”‘re causing the problem? we aren’t the problem!), that, in the “precious moments” that you’re still there, the LEAST you can do is understand what the f is going on and how your ego (ie your sense of self) is eroding day by day…essentially (thanks BentButNotBroken), the shadow of their disease.
Never be ashamed to ask all these questions; never be ashamed to…yeah, analyze. Don’t make a frigging daily journal for 10 years though, lol. But, no, there’s no shame in wanting to know more. It’s like the medical student who was too afraid to ask questions on rounds just so he could look smart. Like learning about anything, you’ll only empower yourself. Ultimately you can never hurt yourself by knowing more about a disorder, esp on such a complex disorder that, as bent wrote, “…is the only illness where the symptoms show up in the people AROUND the one suffering from it.” For sure. And when the only way you have to learn a disorder is by the shadow it casts, and that shadow is…in fact… you, if you want to keep your sense of self intact (in this relationship and the next), it pays to understand this disease inside & out. And you sure as hell better know what’s “you” and what’s “not you” to stand the best chance of surviving. If your survival is based on trusting your instincts and listening to your inner voice which keeps telling you “Look what you did! You created this whole mess! What kind of rescuer are you if you’re just gonna walk out?!! “…then you’ll quickly see that a little analysis goes a long way. Until next time, I remain…just a work in progress. 🙂 Thanks all.
I agree JP … I found I ran for cover into my thinking mechanism to attempt to cope with my ex and the destructive chaos she filled my head / life with.
That eventually becomes a trap to get stuck in (as you say ‘micro-analyzing’ everything) …both, in the deluded and wishful thinking this might lead to a solution, and in a sort of ‘licking-the wounds’ impulse replaying one insane episode after another obsessively (often sharing stories of insanity with others in that misery-loves-company way).
This just further bonds you mentally to that poisonous relationship.
The hardest thing to realize, to see, is that we’re *always* standing right next to the exit door – It’s inside our head.
We have to avoid being sucked into the chaos, the micro-analyzing, the wound-licking, the obsessive inner-dialog … long enough … to open the door and simply walk away.
It really is extremely hard to shut down that impulse to intellectually chew and chew on all the suffering.
Marriage/Divorce, children, shared assets, lawyers – for sure these are big issues to deal with. But as we’ve often read here, with thought and planning and time they get worked out.
This is a way healthier use of our time and our ability to micro-analyze … planning and executing a well thought out exit.
A wise person once told me that BPD is the only illness where the symptoms show up in the people AROUND the one suffering from it. One of the symptoms is that frantic hamster wheel mind that a BPD mate can cause in you, and the only cure is to get away from them. Get away, ~stay away~, and do it for long enough that you remember what normal thinking feels like. It might take a while, but it will feel so good when you get there.
Since it sounds like you dont have kids with her here is my 2 cents. Get your money situation worked out as best you can……make sure you have a car in your name and cash set aside…..set up another place to live where she can’t find you. Move all of yor personal items to the new place bit by bit so she doesnt notice. Once the escape route is set go attorney shopping. Explain to him the situation with her mental state and tell him you want out as quickly and painlessly as possible. If you have to give up some things to get rid of her consider it money well spent. Make sure he tells you the day he plans on serving her with divorce papers…..all of your stuff needs to be taken care of by then. Make sure you friends, family, and employer know whats up because likely she will contact them to stir up problems. You really don’t even have to speak to her once papers are served……I’m sure through the years you have given her a thousand reasons why you would divorce her so explaining it to her again will not do any good. If you have a good attorney and dont squabble too much over asset split it shouldnt take long. Once you are officially divorced start your new life. Just stay away from her……those of us with kids have to but you dont. There is nothing she can do for you except cause more problems. Hope you get out. Living a great life away from her is the best thing you can do. Don’t look back.
Peter M. says
I was truly amazed to find this site and read the stories of other men who have lived with BPD women. I’ve lived with a woman for over twenty years (but am about to finally leave her as I’ve just had enough) who has this condition I believe and in fact seems to display quite ‘text-book’ symptoms of BPD.
It’s a been a dreadful life at times, which somehow I always thought was something to do with me (a story that has appeared with others I see) and I have felt enormously depressed on occasion about our life together, which I have kept largely hidden from my friends and family.
She and I were very much in love at first, and she (now and again) behaves as though she still is, but I realise now that this is just part of the condition with BPD. It’s tragic really, but for the sake of my own sanity and future life, I have to go now and find my own way without her.
I won’t detail all of the personal ‘horror stories’ here, as many of them are very similar to others already posted, but suffice to say, there is no way to change things with these women (I only wish there had been) and leaving is the only way to regain your own sanity.
It’s also the only way to find your self-respect and personal worth again.
Thanks too for all your posts, it’s helped me enormously to realise that it’s not me that’s ill.
Jennifer Joel says
I feel my step children need protection from their bpd npd mother. I’m raising them as we have joint physical custody. She has lost a very expensive legal battle and even put the court appointed phycoliogist on the stand which hurt her. I can’t get her to pick up her young children on time when it’s her day. If I leave then they come home to be locked out and they are to young to be responcible for a key and I want to hold her accountable to this responcibility. Should I sue for contempt which is her threat to us all the time even though it’s irrational. She just spends money like its water and we are supporting 4 kids with no help from her and she chooses not to work. Help! I am not the mother and I deserve to be able to make plans on the day she’s supposed to have them. She’s so mean and irrational and has no empathy for my time. I have told her over and over that my home is not her babysitting service and she tells the kids that I don’t want them. The older ones refuse to speak to her but the two little ones are taking care of her emotional needs. She had an affair with her own father who also molested her little girl. She has turned her own child who is 13 into a BPD child. The child is stealing lieing etc and it’s horrible to live with! I want that bad apple at a therapudic boarding school but I fear what she will do to my 10 year old boy. She has remarried but still often goes to visit her father. What should we do?
I am very sorry to read what you and the children are having to suffer because of your husbands’ ex. If she is in arrears on CS, you may want to speak to a lawyer about pursuing her aggressively to the point of having her jailed for failure to pay, which would keep her out of your hair for at least a short while.
Regarding not showing up on time for visitation, you could take her back to court, but that would be costly and may have no effect. Are the judges in your jurisdiction mommy biased? She is playing a game with you re: visitation, deliberately trying to cause you stress and using her own children to do so. I would stop playing that game with her.
If you want to use that time to run errands, I would hire a sitter or perhaps have a neighbor come over with the understanding that their mother may or may not show up. Alternately, if she does not arrive within 15 minutes of the agreed upon time, pack up the kids and do your errands/activities. Either course of action gives her a natural consequence for not being punctual.
Once she realizes you will no longer allow her to control your time that way, she will stop. And if she wants to make an ass out of herself by taking you back to court to lie and whine about it, show the judge a log of her erratic visitation behavior, which is not good for the kids (CONSISTENCY). Of course, she will find a new way to try to torment you, but that is what individuals like your husband’s ex do. It sucks.
Hope this is helpful.
I can sympathise with the predicament you are in being a step mum to children with a bpd mother.
My ex-partner is bpd and I am in a long term relationship with a wonderful partner who shares your frustrations. One of my children is also modelling some of the irrational rages her bpd mother has.
We have a blended family like yours and do our best to co parent with my ex bpd partner. I have lost count of the number of times we have felt used and manipulated by my ex partners irrational and attacking behaviour. We quietly get on with our job of parenting and then suddenly, out of the blue, my ex will start fighting fights over issues that aren’t there. The children are told lies, our friends are told lies, court and police action are threatened and we become the object of very personal and stressful attacks. Her behaviour during these periods is abhorrent and totally UNFAIR.
I wish with all my heart that we could never have contact with her again.
HOWEVER, we can’t totally walk away as there are children involved. NOR would I win a battle for sole custody and I dont think it is in the interests of the children.
Any kind of co parenting with a person with bpd is going to be fraught with difficulties. What is really important is that you provide a stable a home where normal non-bpd behaviour is modelled to them, as they will not be getting that at their mother’s house.
I don’t know how to stop their mothers behaviour but I have learnt some survival tips that help us and might be useful to you.
1. Pick the battles that are the most important, you’ll get exhausted reacting to and fighting every battle.
2. Put up fair but strong boundaries on the issues that really matter. (read the “stop walking on eggshells book” – it has helped us a lot and still refer to it regularly)
3. Remind yourself that that the children love their bpd mother, even though she probably has periods of being a terrible parent.
4. I have had more success resolving difficult issues with a skilled psychologist as a mediator, rather than through the court. My ex-bpd partner loves to battle and fights to kill. She manipulates the truth into lies and the courts don’t always get it right.
Good luck! You are in a position to make a real difference to the lives of those children, but don’t expect their mother to thank you for it! You have taken on a lot and I hope it all works out for everyone in the long term.
Wow… I just read this and realised that this describes my mum.. My dad puts up with her every time and he tells me to be patient with her.. My dad must really love her.
Thinking about it… This must be why i fear getting into a relationship.
Rick in Denver says
Dr, T- WOW, your no nonsense advise about excuse making is awesome. My wife is spends most days doing both: being and explosive angry bully AND all the while giving a litany of horrible things I and others are doing to her (all exagerated nonsense for the most part.) AND counselors and friends are more than willing to coddle this poor soul (my wife) as they believe her self pity stories. ONE friend of hers FINALLY heard my side and was shocked and abrupty ended the friendship with my wife, (after she found out that my sweet soft spoken wife called me an “f*** a**hole for 20 minutes straight,.. among other things.
It suddenly blew her “poor victim” image. THANKS for telling it straight!
Wowwwww, I just found your website. Dr. Tara, I’m so glad I did. My wife and I have been together for 25 years now, 21 yrs married and 4 yrs dating. Things have been really bad for over a year, sleeping in separate rooms, etc. She has always had a temper as well as a sweet side. But this time, she threatened to leave and take our 1 and only daughter with her and file for divorce….after we just returned from our family vacation (with her side of the family).
We were suppose to continue counseling; but the only thing I remember since our last session is, how wrong I am or how I need to be fixed. One minute she asks me to share my thoughts with her, my day at work, etc. the next she turns on me. She then fights and competes with me on everything, who earns more, who’s the best at raising our child, it’s ridiculous. She has to have the last word. I’ve been accused of being abusive to our one and only child. I’ve NEVER hit or threatened, punished or raised my voice to our daughter. I love my daughter with ALL of my heart. She’s my little flower. The ONLY thing that has happened is I’ve calmly but sternly suggested the need to respect adults and show responsiblity. As a father, I believe there should be boundaries.
1) She is now 16 but she didn’t have chores.
2) Our daughter has hung out in our bedroom past 10 pm, weeknights included and is in our bed watching TV. She does her homework, but I take exception to her hanging out in our bedroom at that time.
I had to put a stop to it by saying, It is time for bed.
3) My daughter has been heavily influenced to only spend time with family on my wife’s side. She declines to come to visit her grandparents (my parents), when I offer to take her. My parents are local and they used to see her all the time. They’re now in their 70’s. It’s disappointing to me but I haven’t and will not force her. My wife cleverly (sarcasm) takes our daughter to her friends and my in-laws to visit.
4) My wife has involved her mother, brother and now our daughter in our important personal decisions. For example, my wife has shown our daughter her paystub and my daughter comes and asks me, Daddy, “I want to see your paystub, can you show it to me?” I told her, “Nah, that’s not of your concern. You need to concentrate on keeping up your grades. That’s grown folks business.” I consider myself blessed and fortunate with my current income. But I will not be sucked into that.
5) Forget the lack of intimacy. THAT has been a TUG-OF-WAR since our honeymoon. Yeah, that’s right…we argued on our honeymoon. Why? Because I wanted more, she wanted less….AFTER we said, “I do.”
6) Her wedding ring was damaged some years ago; but I took her to the jeweler for another one. She didn’t want to get the original fixed. The one she did pick, cost as much as a new Nissan. So while I tried to save for one, I suggested she wear a simple band until then. No dice.
Regarding my gut feeling, I don’t have proof, but it things will eventually come to light.
I refused to be emasculated, demoralized and manipulated any more.
I had a scare a couple of months ago. I thought I was having a heart attack and she drove me to the emergency room. Instead, it was an anxiety attack; but the doctor warned me that I could have an ulcer. Can you believe that while waiting to have an EKG, my wife wanted to talk about having her mother move in with us? This is the same woman who threw a birthday party for me last year (this time); but this year she tells her family how bad of a husband and father I am?
55 years old and extracting my head out of my a*s to confront the reality of my wife’s 30year behavior is the most painful thing I’ve ever had to face. Its time to embrace the horror. I love the woman, but the chronic and pernicious mind f*ck she has put me through has caused me to question my own memories and sefl worth. I’M SORRY YOU THINK I SCR*WED SO AND SO 30 YEARS AGO WHILE WE DATING!!! (I didnt…not that it matters). The more I let her awful behavior roll off, the higher she raises the stakes. A few nights ago while spitting vile bombs at me, she told me she had constant unresolved feelings for a teen boyfriend she reconnected with on FB and that he was a better man than I could ever be. That one struck a cord. After the episode ended I told her a single contact with the old friend and I was finished, but that she should go for him. True to form, she begged forgiveness saying “you know when I’m in manic mode I say things that I dont don’t mean”. And, “he’s a lost boy that Im trying to encourage…nothing more”. Soooorrrrrrrry! Now she’s sulking…”you don’t want me to have any friends do you?” I suspect she’s already circled back to guy after FB “unfriending” and showing me a text to him ending their friendship. This BPD woman is a chronic liars. Irrespective of her possible feelings for the other man, the thought of another woman having me in the future would drive her over the precipise to complete insanity. You’re a stunning and beautiful woman hon…but notwithstanding your decades of telling me no other woman would have me and I’m a pathetic failure, I’ll do just fine. Really.
After reading some of the comments I have a question would it be wise to confront one of these women about her condition .
No, it would not. More than likely, she would become angry, defensive and then turn it around and project it on to you — just like she probably does with most issues that are HER issues.
I’m 24/M, child of a BPD mother and stumbled upon this article in my ongoing attempts to understand my past and get rid of all the confusion regarding my childhood years. This article is wonderful and offers a lot of recognition, even from a child-parent perspective.
I just wanted to offer my thoughts to all the fathers and mothers who escaped a relationship with a BPD partner. When my parents split up, my father left the house and I lost the stability that my father offered me, however little he was around. The times I spent visiting my father provided me with the only solace I ever got, outside of a yearly visit to a distant friend’s home.
Unfortunately, I fell pray to the constant emotional abuse from my mother, which included constantly filling my head with the idea that my father did not care about me, that he had no interest in matters like emotions and such, that all men are bad and shallow. She made me afraid that if I expressed to my father how bad I generally felt at home, he would reject me, so I always acted as if everything was okay when I was over at his place. Looking back now, I realize that my father was the one who actually did care about me. He offered me plenty of times that I could come and live with him. I never took him up on the offer for two reasons:
– all the negative ideas about him that took hold in me despite the fact that every time I saw him, he did care about me
– a fairly constant stream of subtle suicidal threats from my mother, leading me to fear that if I did go to live with my father, my mother would kill herself.
I’m writing these things NOT to make the fathers and mothers here regret their decision of having left an abusive relationship, I’m writing them to illustrate what a child of a BPD parent can be put through. I see a lot of parents’ reactions in the comments here and it is obvious that they care a lot about their children. I would encourage any parent having gotten out of such a relationship or considering to do so, to go through with it and to try your best to get custody of the children. I understand the confusion that comes from having been in such a relationship for years and years, but you should not doubt yourself. If you have never lashed out violently (physically or verbally) at your children, they WILL be better off with you. Even if it would mean moving away from their hometown and friends, they WILL be better off with you. I can think of few things more damaging than the constant stream of abuse and denial of that reality that a BPD parent in full fledged psycho mode will inflict on their children.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You got suckered in by an expert manipulator and once you’ve realized what is going on, all you can do is try to learn from what happened. Try, best as you can, to offer your children stability, understanding, a healthy perspective and most of all unconditional love. Good luck to you all, both with being a parent and trying to work through the hurt that was done to you!
I saw a few comments of other children of BPD parents. I can recommend the book ‘Surviving a borderline parent’ by Kimberlee Roth and Freda Friedman, which I’ve found helpful in disentangling my fragmented memories of the past and all the conflicting messages my mother gave me.
Hi, I’m interested to learn more about how BPD first appears and then develops in a relationship and also how it is comparable to things like low self-esteem (can BPD be mistaken for simply a combination of immaturity and low self value?). I have been with my current partner for 8 months now. She has a very colourful past, one that is littered with lack of boundaries, inappropriate attachments and impulsive behaviour. Things that I have worked hard on to accept – trusting and believing from now on she will make the right choices.
Since knowing her I’ve noticed that she is emotionally immature, unaware of herself, difficulties expressing (and wanting to express) feelings and has a problem regulating her boundaries with people versus what she truely wants. Sometimes she promises the world and then doesn’t live up to it (and with poor excuses). She makes up little lies (to myself and to others) to deflect her real opinion and to make sure “people like her” as she puts it. I have questioned her a lot, and stood up for my own values, beliefs and boundaries and generally tried to protect myself, since most of our arguments seem to be down to misunderstanding and communication. Slowly I have noticed a change in her over the months (in a good way) – in general her words and actions are starting to align more, she expresses herself better and is more willing, we have even discussed about her insecurities and past indiscretions (or “dark side” as she puts it), for which she has acknowledged and wishes to “fix” by herself. When I ask her what she needs from me, she replies to just keep giving the love and affection that I show her. But there is still a way to go before I can be comfortable. In some ways I’ve re-learnt how to focus on myself a bit more.
Her relationship with her mother is strange – she blames her mother for problems in the relationship of her parents and idealises her father. Her mother is sometimes degrading to her and questions her actions and occassionally uses a form of manipulation to get what she wants. She has expressed guilt and responsiblity for their relationship problems and feels the need be around them (almost every weekend) to mediate (although it’s not mediating, but more observing and reacting emotionally). She has also compromised agreed quality time for us to go “rescue” friends or family at other events. When I question her about her goals or opinions she is quite elusive and can’t express it in the moment (I feel I have to keep pressing her over time for an answer).
So, I see some worrying bits which I didn’t expect to find in a “mature” relationship (we’re both 30) and I can see potential problems in the future if things don’t improve. I see her as immature and not fully self-aware, and sort of a caretaker. My question is – BPD? A case of immaturity? How do you distinguish the two? When does it get to a point where one should be really concerned? And finally, is there any specific advice for what I should do to help us/her and to help myself?
Thanks for the article and any subsequent advice, it made me really think……
I’m normally a very secure, confident guy. However, with my borderline wife, I constantly feel, not just miserable, but extremely insecure. That’s one of the things I hate the most. I don’t feel insecure with anyone else. I know borderline personality disorder, I think pretty well. However, there’s one thing I can’t figure out. I want to know the psychology for the following: What is it about being with a borderline (non-cutter) that makes you (the “normal” partner, and normally very secure) feel extremely insecure and constantly nervous? Thanks for helping because, I think once I can conceptualize this, it will help me survive easier. Thanks for providing some insights.
This article changed my life.. 9 years of thinking I am crazy – but through it all I have become a stronger man and hope that her behaviors don’t’ effect our children – if there was only an article detailing how to exit a BPD relationship and how to co parent children with a BPD woman.. if there is please email me at REMOVED BY ADMIN I sure could use that information about now…
I have had an on and off again relationship with what I believe is a BPD. We got back together after 6 months of not talking and it was amazing like the previous time. The most unbelievable sex I have ever had!!! Slowly she started to pull away from the relationship and I could not win with anything. We broke up and decided to slow things down. Then we found out she was pregnant. Again, everything was GREAT!!! She blamed the breakup on pregnancy hormones which did overlap. Then again she started to pull away from me and stopped the “loving, clinging, can’t get enough of you” part of the relationship. She recently told me she didn’t want to be with me anymore and went and aborted our 14 week fetus against my wishes. This is a prolife woman with a son from a previous relationship. She made all of these decisions after a big argument we had. WTF is wrong with her?!?
After her latest round of game playing with the aborted baby, which may or may have not been your — that is, if she was even pregnant — I hope to gawd you are using birth control (i.e., condoms that she does not have access to before and after sex).
Oftentimes, people with BPD are shitastic parents who inflict a great deal of damage onto their children. Do not give her another hostage/weapon to use and abuse. I also recommend you get yourself into therapy to break the cycle of getting Hoovered and, also, to find out what the attraction is to this kind of person. It ain’t healthy.
Doug McKirahan says
I have a question I’m hoping someone can help me with. I’m trying to do research on the web and don’t know if this falls into the “borderline personality” (which can be a trashcan term at times) or not. I have an older sister by two years that throughout her life has never been able to be without a man; I’m aware that a lot of people are like that, but she’s quite a bit different: I’ve watched her change her personality in huge ways in order to “meld” with her current man or husband’s points of view… as an example, I’ve seen her go from extremely liberal men to very conservative ones with total changes in her personality in order to take on their beliefs, very much like a chameleon. She also is an alcoholic, and drinks pretty excessively (my nieces and nephews have described her coming home at night, throwing up in the corner of her bedroom from drinking so much, and then leaving it there and getting into bed and passing out until the next morning, when she finally cleans it up). When she’s single – which doesn’t last very long – she isolates herself and drinks alone, and becomes a very angry, bitter, almost abusive person to others; I’ve watched this carefully, and can’t quite tell if the anger is her real personality, or if she’s angry because she has no idea what her personality is (if that makes sense). She can also be incredibly manipulative and often works hard to lock other members of the family out (usually me) in order that she be “number one.” She’s extremely charming and it seems to work for her, and she consistently comes out on top… however, after people get to know her for awhile, her “real” personality comes out, and they see her in a different light. I have no idea how you would label a personality like this; the most disturbing aspect to me is the change in her personality in order to “become” whoever she’s with, and have no idea if there’s an actual name for that. She’s been like this for as long as I can remember, and I have memories of her attempting to manipulate my mother and being quite confident that she could do it as far back as when she was five or six. She’s currently on her fifth husband. I’m gay, and she also went thorugh a gay phase for a couple of years, which she dropped for what appears to have been feeling ashamed, and now she’s taken on an anti-gay stance and has become a staunch Republican. What would you call a personality like this? Every time we’ve attempted to patch things up, I end up getting “used” for some kind of gain she’s working toward. When I call her on it, she turns the whole thing around and I become he bad guy, and plays the victim. The frustrating thing is that it works for her. Any help would be greatly appreciated… I can’t figure her out, or find any way of helping her that works.
Please email me as I am begging for some help. The girl I’m in love with has this and she knows it. It makes me feel so sad And depressed when she leaves me and makes it to be my fault. She’ll make things up just so we can fight. And then I have to actually look back and think to myself if it really happened. Like maybe I missed something. But no it’s just how she is and what she does. She tells me I’m her best friend and the only person to understand her. That she wants to marry me. And then says I’m not ready to be with you and I don’t love you like that. It’s heart wrenching and unfair. It makes me wanna die quite honestly. If you could please email me I’m reaching out for help. I’ve tried to leave her so many times but somehow I always get dragged back in. Maybe something is wrong with me that I’m unaware of.
If you would like to schedule a session, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is my fiancee BDP? Evereything was great , and she was moving from her state to mine in two months. Then she started chatting this man online and i found out. I confronted her and she cut it off but made 1000000 lies about how her computer wqas hacked etc etc etc and that it wasnt her.
She also has very toxic evil neighbor women friends who she hangs around every day. They used her phone to text me insults id be ashamed if her kids saw. Then they helped her pursue the online guy who found out about me and dumped her before they met and then she rushed back to me.
She blocked me from face book then i asked why and she re added me. Next day i posted a photo of me and her and she called and went off on me and i was in shock as to what brought this on. She blocked me again.
I asked her if she was still moving down here and she started crying and making up lies how her stalker on line was her and he had been arrested that morning for hacking her computer and court was on a certain date.
She said she wasnt sure if she wanted to move down with me. I was like, only 3 weeks ago we were making plans.
Then she said she needed space. Mind you before this we used to speak on phone like 5 times a day. Now she needed space. She calls me once or twice daily. We speak well and laugh and joke. I told her i was really down by the events of our relationship. Three days later i was felling better and when she called she asked if i still felt bad and all and i said i was so much better. She said i wasnt better and i said yes I was.
Then we speak for another 10 minutes and she says she will call back. She doesnt. I end up calling her when shes in bed and she answers and i say good night etc etc and hangs up. I call back and phone is turned off.
Dating a person with BPD is like watching a 2 hour movie, with emotional highs and lows – euphoria, pain and disappointment, becoming completely invested in the outcome – only to learn at the end that it was all in the mind of the main character who’s been sitting in a mental ward the whole time. Nothing really happened. No catharsis. No resolution. Only confusion about which one of you was the crazy main character.
I was looking for help and I came across your posts. I am not sure what to think. I feel dumb, defeated, lost, sad, worthless, ugly and guilty all at the same time. I moved into my girlfriend’s home three years ago. I lost a good paying job, I have been struggling financially ever since. I am a worker; I work hard and have many talents. I like to do things around the house for her. I want to do all I can to please her, give to her, and show her what I can do. I cook meals every day after work. Feed the animals, keep the yard and maintain everything. I buy most of the grocery’s and dog and cat food and anything for the home. I try to contribute in every what that I can.
I am at the point where I cannot take anymore of her words. I am having chest pains, it is hard to breath, and my hands go numb and I am overly jumpy. At times, I want to cry in a little ball. I watch the clock while staying busy and clean before she gets home. I get scared when I hear the garage door open. I have no wear to turn no money to go anywhere and the thought of moving out is so overwhelming to me. Yet something in me makes me feel that I want to stay.
I used to be so happy and people seemed to love to be around me. Now I have no one and nowhere to go. My girl blows up at the smallest thing and I mean BLOW UP. Even if something comes on the TV or our cat meows too much, BOOM! It is not all the time sometimes, everything is good, we have fun and I feel loved. We laugh then something happens, I remember all the hurtful words and our history so my emotions and feelings come right back. At times, I take what she says wrong or she gets upset at me. I feel that I may be the one doing this to her because of the things she says to me. I am all confused and in doubt of my own mind and feelings.
rick in denver says
OK, when, oh WHEN is this idiotic crisis going to be addressed? Angry domineering out of control women. I AM so sick of talking to men who encounter this. If it’;s an out of control man, society and counselors are all over it.
An ally MIGHT be Dr. James Dobson, the Christian psycologist. Many years ago, he pinpointed ANGRY women as being the most common and most disturbing aspects of bad marriage.
THIS MUST BE addressed. I am seeing tow counselors- including our pastor and THANK GOD, they are finally begining to gently confront my wife that she has a problem.
The Bible says that women are supposed to let the man lead… WOW, amazing. Maybe the God of the Universe just might be on to something!
Save what you can, devise a plan…then get the hell out of there!!! They won’t change!!!!!
Abd El Hamiid says
I met this girl in 2009; she got pregnant in 2010 and unfortunately she had a miscarriage in march 2010. Since then it has been my fault. Many threats including physical abuse; breaking house-hold equipments, tearing apart my glasses, and other personal belongings, slapping me and yelling at me all sorts of nasty words you can never imagine of and when I show that I do not give a rat’s behind on what she is talking about; she calms down and tells me how she loves me so much; how she can not do without me. After 30 minutes she is in good moods; we can chat; talk; kiss; even have sex; all of a sudden she changes again like weather; she erupts at me like a volcano; goes silent and doesn’t want to talk to me; denies me sex and talks all sorts of lies against me with her mother who herself happens to have a great deal of BPD; actually; its a “like mother like daughter” situation. She complains am a drunkard, stay out all night and come in the morning; she complains am having extra marital relations with whores, married wives and young girls as old as teenagers hoping to have me embarrassed before her family. I used to explain myself and excuse myself until I landed on your website and I stopped explaining myself to a crazy control freak.
Recently when she involved me in a one to one chat and told me that she thinks we gonna grow grey hair together still in love because of the way we both love each other; I simply replied; “I do not know what you are talking about because I am not so sure of what you are going to do to me in the next five minutes” and she got insane. She decided to go silent for the next two days and when I returned home from work only to find the house empty as she had once again completed her 9th run away this year (2012) hoping to have me move day and night looking for her which I am not doing. (By the way; in this absence of hers I have been sleeping like a baby and waking up early for work.
Today in the morning she decided to post a funny statement on my facebook wall saying that “she is in love with someone else and this time she is so serious with him” hoping to get my attention desperately. Her uncle knows our problem because we have been involving him in many fights we had; he advised me to forget this woman and move on and start a new life as this one is just gonna mess me up which of cos I adhere to.
I tried many times to have her go back to school so she completes her studies and she refused, I told her to look for a job and she couldn’t as she ain’t even qualified I understand why. She has always told me that she would like to be a model and I always replied that highly paid models are educated, smart and nice to people qualities that she lacks.
At the moment I have met a new girl; she is simple; educated, respectful of my opinions and ideas who loves to work and to improve her life by hard working and making savings and finding a partner that understands her and that shares with her a life and interests. She has a degree in LAW and I have told her of my past relationship which was driving me crazy and I told her how scary I am to ever meet a new girl similar to thewh EX. She has asked me to trust her; and to give her a chance to love me and to stop doubting her lest I push her away; a statement she said in a very respectful manner.
She frequently phones my neighbours when she is away to get to know who comes in and who goes out of my apartment and am sure she has learnt of the new girl thus the new funny statement I saw on my facebook wall!!!
I can’t tell you guys how happy I feel I am to be in peace after 4 years of pain and grieveances living with this particular NARCISSIST which I have decided to dump for good.
The earliest you dump these NARCISSISTS the better chances you have not to ruin your heart for the next companion that you may get in the future!!!
Ronald M says
Thank God I found this website! I’ve been with a BPD woman for 10 miserable years and I finally discovered she has this horrible disorder and not everything is my fault.
Her actions are exactly like the ones discussed her: Alienation of my children, never at fault, always my fault, etc.
I know what I’m going to do: Run like hell as far as I can get away! “The truth will set you free”! AMEN!
“Tired & Beaten-Up”
I had 2 1/2 monthes of happiness with one of the most energetic, smart, fun and loveable woman i had ever met. Then things started to change…rapidly! I look back and now see the subtle hints and flags which I brushed off; these were issues that came to arise…..Full Force! The last month my head was a wreck, I was confused and thinking “I” was some kind of psycho! It was all me! This princess (so I thought) could say, text and e-mail me the most nasty of nasty, hurtful below the belt comments! Up to and including not caring if I blew my head off! Her distrust was uncomprehendable! I never cheated! She would smell my freeking breath! I was afraid to answer my phone in her presence. If I did I knew I was going to say something she didn’t approve of, then the questioning, from every angle. By the end I didn’t know if I had said or did what she heard.She would make one hell of an interrogater; no crime unsolved, guilty or not! It’s over now, I’m in my 40s, in the military and been divorced 6 years. Seen alot, but that takes the cake! I have been obsessed to try and figure these actions out. BPD is the only rational thing I can find. Abused childhood, drugs, alcohol, suicide attempts as she made me aware, part of her past. She “is” sober now so my only outlook is the problem still lies within her? I’m no Psychologist, but this is all I can figure. I need to put it to rest! One question, is it likely for a person with BP to take action or recource after a failed relationship she deems, All my fault?
well i know thi is meant for men …I found it first while looking for the subject …but well I am a woman I am gay ..I have a gf ( we just ended for the million times..but she usually comes after me at first polite..then soon the I love yous and the honey moon faze ..the idiota here falls back ) my ex has a some of this borderline and of narcisism and well she is manipulative.. sarcastic .. vain extremely well she is very beautiful and she knows it..but shecan be so shallow..she is spoil .. get her ways but sweet looking faces..she is all black and white there is no middle..and is very hard to talk to her..she gets defensive and is like talking to a wall 🙁 she makes me feel like a idiot.. she even says things like “am I too much of a woman for you ” or ” are you afraid you are not too much of a woman for me ?” ” or I am the best you ever had.. no one will love you like I do.. ” oh will you cry? you are so sensitve … ..she knows all the buttons to push..she is very sarcastic ! she knows how to go back and use things you said year ago we are 3 years together..and dump back on you..she is very very manipulative…passive agressive .. sweet tender baby voice talking but dumping a sweeet abuse..
ah that was not abusive that was nothing you are so sensitive! you make storys up n your head..
she puts me down..in indirect ways many is all indirect
she has said things I cant belive.. but she says she is sorry when he gets me back she never wanted to hurt me she just has a strong personality..she is mexican ..well
never mind that..but she is 8 or 800 ..if is all going how she likes..and is all about her she s super clingy..all my time has to be for her.with her..she is like a flee so I call her that.. she
is then crazy in love is all intense pasion.. you are my love live.. she wants to get married..she is crazy in love .. well that she never changed ..but she wants me all for herself
she gets cold or she punishes me with cold talk or silence treatments if I am not with her..and with others..If I have to be with my horse..she sounds jelous of my time with my animals ..im all hers .. ..I do feel nervous I feel its love? I like to feel loved..I told her this i not love so she left me cos i dont trust her love for me . i know she is crazy for me..but I want just a real love .not a abusive person that is not love..but now I lost my self steem..i was bullied as a teen being gay is hard..she is just 23 I am a little older…but I really love her..or do I love me?
or well she hates all my exes called then all ugly and never saw them! she does not want me to even look at any girl..and I dont! Im not flirty or into that stuff im very loyal! but I like my alone time too . well I feel depressed at time..I get a lot of panic attacks at night. ..like Im choking on my neck chain /
well sorrry I know this is for men .I jut like the subject
Women are welcome here. Looks like you’re involved with an abusive woman, just like many of the men here are. Are you getting support? Are you trying to get out? Why do you want to be with someone who treats you so badly?
Great article and great site. I’ve also been involved with someone with bpd. She already gets treated for depression but i felt there was something else going on and after researching i finally figured out that she also has bpd. Of course she refuses to believe it since I’m not a trained therapist, stupid etc.
I guess the take away from the article and the comments is to just end the relationship?
Right now were at the “not talking to each other”stage but i want to and that’s what i having struggle with, how to overcome that desire to call , txt or see her? or if she contacts me how to not fall into the cycle again? Any advise will be appreciated.
The best thing you can do is work on your own life. Trust me. You do not want to get into a roller coaster ride with “hoovers and crocodile tears”. I went through 8 months of hoovers and it was partially my own doing. I finally got the strength to run and go NO CONTACT. After reading the articles here, I learned more and more. But the answers are truly within yourself. It was NEVER her fault. Always mine and she hardly ever apologized for anything. It’s detrimental to your health by the way! So if you find yourself feeling stressed, pulled in a bunch of directions, it’s time to look at the facts with intellect and not keep all of your emotions in it. Look very hard. If you aren’t happy, just realize that things will not magically become better any time soon.
Thanks Dr. Tara. Ur blog is straightforward, bold and very informative. It helped me a lot making some decisions about my BPD ex-girlfriend whether I should stick around her or not. I suddenly realized that I’ve let myself abused by her day after days without even thinking I am the victim.
Finally i found this website (thank you !) I am living with an incredibly intelligent woman with severe BPD. Ive been married 1.5 years and suffered a recurring cycle of painful abuse. She is a living picture of Dr T’s description. Counselling has not worked. She will not seek help from a psychiatrist (because she doesnt believe she has a problem) I would love to know. . is there hope ? Or is the only solution to leave …….
If she will not acknowledge her problems and the damage she causes, no, she will not get better. You didn’t break her. You can’t fix her. Only she can do that.
If you don’t have kids yet, thank your lucky stars, find a shark of an attorney who has experience with BPD divorce cases, get out, get some therapy for yourself and don’t look back.
how can one help such a wife, if you love her and dont want to leave her alone with the kids, where does this BPD come from and how can it be solved? please dont tell me to go to a shrink with her, she believes Iam the one who’s sick and if there’s anyone going to therapy, it me, myself and I :/…
If your wife doesn’t believe she has a problem and refuses help than all you can do is protect yourself from her and do not have children with her. If you already have children, get them a therapist who can help them to understand that their mother is sick and it’s not their fault.
I encourage you to get therapy for yourself, too. Not for helping your wife, but to understand why you’re willing to tolerate the abuse and call it love.
I have been dating a woman for the past six years and she is the most violent woman I have ever met, I am sure that she is suffering from either NPD as she seems to have all of the traits of this affliction, as a child of nine she was a refugee and she spent three years in a camp in Thailand before coming to Australia at the age of twelve, I feel that this period of her life has made its mark of her psyche and her current condition is a direct reflection of the kind of abuse she must have endured in the camp, she has a fear of going to any type of counsellor and she has broken up with me over 100 times, I would like people to know our story eventhough we have been apart for a month and a half this time as well she in on dating sites looking for other men, this last fact is what is tearing me apart and I cannot stop thinking of her, I’m at a total loss at this point in time because she attacked me then dumped me and has gone total N/C with me to the point of changing her phone number. I know I should just let her go but she is in my head.
I wish I would have had access to this type of information BEFORE I got married and had a child. I firmly believed the victim story I was given as an abuse based explanation for the crazy outbursts and outrageous accusations. In other words, there was a reason that made this awful behavior not her fault. And she seemed to not want to act this way. Your right, just because its sad doesn’t mean it’s OK and the bigger problem that it will only change by morphing into other inappropriate behaviors. . After 6 years and thousands of dollars worth of counselors, she has only gotten better at lying and manipulating. Our last marriage counselor discontinued seeing us after my wife accused her of favoritism towards me when the threat of accountability became visible. The prior couselor informed her she was emotionally eclipsing the relationship with her emotional problems. For all of you that aren’t on the hook with one of these women yet, get out while you can because all the therapy and drugs in the world do not work. Once you have a child, your stuck trying to steady a mess that will leave the stongest of you tired in your bones.
1. Go NC with her
2. Keep Busy
3. Be Patient
4. Keep Moving Forward
“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
How is some one diagnosed with having a bod? My ex is this person in this article to a Tee. It’s been 8 months since its been over and 3 weeks of no contact finally. But the pain is still their on my part while she lives her life happy like nothing happened.
It’s doesn’t get any easier mate, I was with my ex for 6 years and its been 2.5 months for me too and she doesn’t even know I exist ether, but You should be happy with the knowledge that the next poor guy will have to put up with her crap and I wonder how long he will last.
Thanks for the comment back. It’s so tough. My fear is she will be perfect with the next guy. She tells me she doesn’t want a relationship in general but then tells me that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still want me back possibly in a month or two or when ever whe she feels like a relationship again. It’s just a game and she denies all of it. You question your own sanity.
hi mate she is playing with you the same way my ex use to play with me, if i were you i would block her out of your mind and hang out with a couple of different attractive girls, not more than 2 girls and one at a time, all you do is hang out with these girls where her friends hang out and see what happens, but don’t kiss them or hold hands if you really want this girl back you had better make sure that she gets help if you do get back together or 3 months from now you will be in the exact same situation as she will never change otherwise.
But getting back to your initial fear that she would be “perfect for the next guy”, she was perfect for you too once and how long did she keep that up for, so don’t worry about her being perfect for anyone without getting help as her condition will not allow her to change and cracks will soon appear after a period of time.
“My fear is she will be perfect with the next guy.” – Probably not.
•Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy? (September 7, 2009)
•Crazy Bitch the Musical! The Abusive Woman’s Script and Why She Won’t Be Different with the Next Guy (March 8, 2012)
The Next Guy: Did your Ex-Girlfriend or Ex-Wife Downgrade? (February 6, 20130
I am with a BPD girl for nearly 4 years. I m 20 now & she’s 18. And it has been so frustrating. (Even though it was smooth & great in the beginning). I am a very sensitive and caring guy and I’ve done “everything” to make her happy, always been there for her when nobody else was. I didn’t have a clue that she had BPD until last year she has been sent to a psychiatry by her parents because of her self-destructive behaviors and suicide attempts. She always used to tell me that i m the only guy she wants to be with and I am all she ever wanted (She still does), but broke up with me over 100 times. She literally never cared about MY feelings. Most other times, i HAD to break up with her because i caught her cheating on me with other guys so many times. I always was sympathetic each time and accepted her when she ran back to me. (The last time we broke up she found a quite older online guy on omegle who she calls to be her best-friend). She video chat, exchanged phone number with him all “secretly”, until i found it out on her skype. It massively broke my heart because out of the blue he was her new savior and she started to compare me with him in every aspect, non-relevantly (some things which were enough to destroy my manhood) and in one point she said she is happy with him and loves him. I was furious, we broke up immediately (she made me leave in other word), I was having a hard time. I tried to move on and finally made some peace with myself and made a lot of new friends and got some good female friends too. I almost forgot about her.
UNTIL, recently she came back to me after five months of no-contact. [I checked her facebook and the interesting fact is, i saw she was flirting & random playing on with so many random guys she met on omegle, on her fb picture comments, ‘i love u’ to them. I m sure they are shallow friendships. It made me sick]. But at the same time, she begged me to take her back and that she can’t live without me and there is no hope in her life without me etc. I refused her to take back, but she kept threatening me of suicide if i don’t rescue her from her pain etc.. To be honest, I felt bad & sympathetic again seeing her condition (a little scared too of her suicide attempts). I decided to give her another chance, but not like before, this time i decided to set some boundaries before she jumps into my life whenever she wants, i told her i needed to gain trust on her first. And i gave her an ultimatum that if she ever lies to me, or cheats on me again, doesn’t care about my feelings, I will leave her for good and that will be the end of us. She said she would try her best and would change for me, and would prove that she can be good for me etc.
Now, 15 days has passed since we are spending times everyday again. But the truth is, I dont feel good at all. and i doubt that she will ever change and stop doing the same things she did with me before. She still messes with my head. I insisted her on taking therapies from professionals, she promised that she will make an appointment with a therapist by the end this month. So, I m sticking to her until her therapies start.
I dont know if I’m doing the right thing! I am having a mental-conflict letting a girl again in my life again who caused so much damage and knowing this relationship is irreparable by all means. How can I put myself in a safe position so that the past doesn’t repeat itself? Please give your opinion.
I would really like to offer you some encouragement mate, but unless she is prepared to actually undertake the professional help sessions you are doomed to another 4+ years of exactly the same and believe me when it comes to being dumped for no reason I am with you on that one mate because the exact same thing has happened to me with my ex, but I was unlucky enough to be with her for 6 years, if you really want to do this you have to set your boundaries in concrete and do not compromise one bit or she will be back to,the push pull routine in no time, but you are totally right when you say they get into your head.
Thanks for your comment, David. It kinda feels good to know there are a lot of guys out there just like me who had to suffer this much because of a BPD gf. Anyway, I think i will just observe her if I’m with her and try to keep myself safe from her abusing and manipulating me again. Now I’m trying to educate myself to keep myself safe as much as possible by other experienced guys’ ideas and knowledge.
The problem with staying and educating yourself is that it gets worse. I’ve been there i did it. I figured I set boindaries and I would be in control and it would be all fixed. Wrong my friend it got worse for two reason. One her behaviors now stuck out more and I didnt question it i just knew she was trying to suck the life out of me. Two she always had the upper hand because they have no rules. They will cheat l, lie, fib, and do what they want with no regard of your feelings. It’s not easy. I’m not with her for 8 months now and it still hurts like it was yesterday.
#New Fact, Yesterday i asked her, “If you really love me and have all this feelings for me, why did u leave me, made me suffer and cheat on me and why have u come back now? Couldnt the other guy make u happy?” Her answer was, “I really love u. For me, love isn’t a feeling. To me, Love is like a person. And it happens to be you. And i can’t survive without u. I could not stand another second without u. So i came back. Because you are the only hope in my life.” And i am sure that it’s enough to leave any guy speechless.
The major problem is, there’s always a ‘what if’. What if she gets capable of being good? (I know chances are very slim). But, the thing that amazes me is that, despite she treated me brutally all the time, cheated on me & stayed apart, she never stopped stalking my facebook, youtube activity frequently, she was always listening, liking the the same songs i listened to etc. It backs her up with the idea that she might be “totally into me”, “she’s so in love with me”. She set my photo as her cellphone’s wallpaper. Thats why its extremely hard to understand if her feelings for me are true. Or they are all professional manipulation? I think it will put any guy into a mental-conflict between staying with her and leaving her. 🙁
You need to understand that these people don’t love, they value which is a different concept, at the moment you are on a pedestal which is not a good place to be as she can change her mind at any time and in her mind she will devalue you to the same degree as she valued you in the first place, as for the cheating it is more likely her way of punishing you for no longer having value to her, she knows it hurts you and she derives pleasure out of your anguish when she is in that part of the cycle.
It’s weird because all of the relationships I see discussed on this site seem like we are all living with the same woman, they all seem to display the same behaviour patterns, so you would think that someone would come up with a formula to counter these cycles, but no one here has managed to master the art of being with one of these emotional vampires with out Being caught up in their vicious dance of love and hate.
She cheated bc you stoped offering something she could get out of you. Your a host. She wil take everything she can then once you got nothing more to give they cheat they move on. This is the cycle. They build you up they tell you how amazing you bc when they turn things around you say to yourself but she loved she said we were soulmates. This is reality my friend. She cheated bc she was done with you. She came back to you bc the other guy push her aside or stuck up for himself and she can’t deal with that. So she checks to see if your still desperate and when you say yes she knows she has got you. She will cheat shown she is only using you till she finds another host.
@paul, Makes a lot of sense now. I’ll be careful. Thank you both, brothers.
Just remember the what if will drive you crazy. It is very hard to accept. I had a therapist once tell me if it smells like sh.., it probably is sh..! The what if will never be. The only way she will be different and actually love the next guy and be perfect is if she finds a codependent person who has zero self respect zero self esteem and zero boundaries. She will be able to control and do as she pleases and will never leave him. Don’t forget she has no rules. She will still cheat lie do as she pleases but as long as that this guy doesn’t give her grief he will be the perfect guy which is like a puppet takes all her abuse she will never leave him. The worse part is she will advertise how happy she is and how perfect he is because in her twisted mind he is perfect because his life is wrapped around hers.
The biggest thing you need to understand is there are no rules. She will lie and do what she wants no matter what. That’s the way it is. They don’t have the mind set to look at in any different way. They don’t take ownership because in their eyes they didn’t anything wrong. These people seek prey and look for the weak. And they say well he should of been strong enough to know I was using him. It’s not my fault he has a low self esteem. It’s a crazy way of thinking but it’s the truth. It’s tough facing the harsh reality. I was with mine for 4 years left her 8 months ago. She was very abusive and crazy. But I still think about her every day. It’s just how it is.
So true. They will use u, and when u stop putting up with their crappy behaviors, they will hate u. (That’s always been true each time before). It has been around 20 days we are spending time together. I have put boundaries with her just like i said in my previous comments. And I threw her the challenge to be with me and earn me again. Now whenever she does something wrong and starts the crazy behaviors, I dont argue now. I simply say, “I’m sorry, it’s not working, let’s end. There is no sense in this relationship.” It makes her hold onto me more, she starts to be sweet again so that i dont leave her. And she says, “Dont leave me please.” (#Is it a common loophole in their behavior? Or it’s just her character? Because now I’m bossy & I’m not putting up with her crazy behaviors anymore, but she still isn’t letting me go). I dont know how long it will work. It’s like you are playing the same game again, but with different mode.
It really depends but whenever I was sweet to her she seemed to walk all over me. When I stood my ground she would back down more. Haven’t been with her since October now. And it’s been relatively quiet lately but then the other day she messaged an ex on face book. I don’t know what she said or what she claimed I did, but my other ex made a big stink. Saying I threatened her and what not. Not only have I not threatened her, I haven’t even spoken to her in two years. I don’t know how to get out of her web. She tells people all the time that she wants revenge against me. I always ask them revenge for what? What did she say? They always have the same response. She doesn’t say for what. She simply says I’m trying to ruin her life.
The easy way to get her to back off is to invite her over for a coffee to discuss the issues and see if you cannot resolve them, but before she gets there place a spy cam so that it can record everything as well as what she is saying, then when she goes ballistic you will have it on camera,then you can play it back to her so she can see that its her and only her starting the arguments as well as telling her that if she doesn’t want this to be the next viral hit on YouTube she should back off.
I ordered my cam from http://www.foscam.com as they have some great cameras that have fantastic sound recording capabilities, but unfortunately we broke up before the cam arrived. It’s not a spy cam but I was going to hide it in the sound system cabinet.
I’ve tried to contact her I work out whatever problem she seemed to be having. She blocked me on face book and she blocked my number. I contemplated calling her parents, as she still lives at home, but I thought I’d be Hurting them more than anything.
Then you need to go NC as that’s the same situation I am in’ if the next guy dumps her because he thinks she is a nut then you will more then likely get a chance to ether get her on film or get some action off of her as if she is anything like my ex she uses sex as a way of punishing you so she will contact one of her ex bf,s for a “service” as she knows that she can get it on tap from them, but don’t let her Hoover you back in again mate, but it will only work if you stick to NC.
Sorry to tell it won’t work. In the mean time she is telling you don’t leave me ill be sweet but you will novice gradually she will start to let go and not caring. Right now she is looking for somebody else to be with so she will date you and look for the next victim. It’s the harsh reality. It happen to me. I went through 4 months of it. We kept going on and off on and off during that whole on n off period she was seeking somebody else once she found the next guy she dropped me like a bad habbit. Like a hot knife through butter. I was thrown away bc she knew I wouldn’t put up with her behavior any more. She had no choice bc they need to be in control. Yours is doing the same thing right now. In sorry but I wood gurantee. You got all you can out of her you might as well break it off on your terms a d be strong and ignore her behave she tries you away bc if you let her throw you away it’s worse mentally and is harder to recover. Best of luck
@David, Yes. It really feels like we are dealing with the same twisty woman. I wish there was a cure for it, though. 🙁
You guys aren’t alone. Every story I read here feels like its my ex. It’s so weird it’s almost as if they all read from the same script.
Now i feel the same, bro. Same script, just different sets of actors. It scares me. Makes me believe these women are some kind of programmed frankensteins wandering around us. Sad but true.
Ya I haven’t seen her or talked to her since November. I still think about her everyday. And even though I understand why she acts this way, I still don’t understand it fully. It’s almost as if my brain simply won’t accept something like this. With other breakups it was never nearly this hard and I think it’s because she made me really feel as if I were the only man on earth that she could possibly love. And just as quickly she took that all away from me… And it was MY fault, even though I never did anything wrong. Makes your head spin.
Yes that’s the hardest thing to come to grips with because in her mind you are the reason she did what she did to you and there is nothing that you can do to change her mind, my ex drove me to the back of a park at night and tried to pull a knife on me, after I stopped her she jumped out of the car and grabbed the hammer that she just happened to have in the boot of her car and was going to give me some free dental work with it until I took it off her, but in her mind I drove her to do that and I should apologise to her for getting her that angry, so logic is not at the top of the list when dealing with these people, do what I did and think of it as something that you cannot change, stressing about it will not change anything mate. I am slowly getting over my ex, but its a long process.
Wow very similar to my situation. Well the violence part anyway. I posted this awhile back in the forum so ill just give a quick run down. She was angry with me and tried to get a guy she was seeing to “talk some sense into me.” I was on three way call with him during this (she wasn’t aware we were friends). If I didn’t hear it myself I wouldn’t have believed it. He gave her several opportunities to call it off and she said an I quote…” He should learn a lesson for being so mean to me.” Scary isn’t it??? That some people can have no logic. Or worse yet in her mind, perfect logic. This coming from a woman that hugged my mother last Christmas and sat with me in my fathers hospital room while he died. Doesn’t make sense.
My ex was a stunner and she was tiny so no one believed me for ages that she could be so violent, have you ever had a hot Asian girl wearing nothing but sexy undies try and smash your head in with a vibrator because you said something that she didn’t like, It was not until she hit me in the face with a coat hanger and scratched my eyeball and one of my mates Herd this taking place did people finally start to take notice that she could be so violent, but it never stopped though out the entire six years.
Wow guys mine fits that same clone again! Shocker right? She is the most gorgeous little thing you could ever meet. She’s a blond hair blue eyed little Barbie doll. She’s about 5″1 105 lbs and has natural Pamela Anderson like features haha. So once again, were all in the same boat. I wish they had support groups for us.
Very true mate
Man! It fits again. My BPD girl happens to be is a tiny little stunner too! She’s only 5″1.. So hard for people to believe she could be so violent. [Her friends and family still think I’m the bad guy. Her friends don’t know that she has BPD] Because she knows exactly how to seduce a man with her ‘poor me’ helpless behavior. She’s so ravishing and a great actress, just like u guys say abt ur exes. Geez! Are most of the BPDs tiny little crazy-makers? It’s a great defensive equipment, i suppose.
I don’t know for sure but I have read articles online that say most are beautiful women. Not sure if this is true or not but I have definitely read it. Mines first name is maureen. I wonder if any if u guys are talking about her haha. I heard Marilyn Monroe was bpd also.
Most of them are very attractive for what ever reason. They get a custom to the praise. They get used to people telling them how good looking they are. This type of praise has two affects. In one way their egos get stroked on a regularly basis and they love the attention. Who wouldn’t love being told by strangers how good looking they are? On the other hand with these type of people they were never loved properly as a child. They were lacked the affection or attentions as a child from their parents. So their self esteems are kinda of low and they seek attention. So in the end when there given the attention and they go home and think about it they wonder why I am always being told I’m pretty or I’m special? Is there an issue with me? It adds a complex and then they get defensive when you tell them that something they did to you upset them. It’s a circle jerk. I know they say you can’t live with women but you can’t live with out unless there a narricist. You have to live with out them.
@paul, Thumbs up for ur great observation. The things u just said is exactly how it was like with my BPD girl too. She always craves for attention when i m away. she’s so desperate for attention that even it doesnt matter if they are complete strangers or shallow friends.
Yea that’s what they do. They surround themselves with swollow friends and then wonder why at times why their friends are flaky. The worst part is her gf gave her no loyalty but when it came to them she gave them more loyalty then me and I was the one that supported her, lived together and was always their. It’s a crazy world with these people.
Dean Rogers says
After twenty years of dealing with a woman who is beautiful, cunning, devious, and can make someone believe air may disappear I have come to understand that these people never change. If this person drives you crazy, run. Do not look back. I don’t care how beautiful they are, how good the sex is or how many children you have with them. It will not work. Spend the same amount of time or less on becoming the right person (partner). Then, look for a sane and healthy partner. I married a beautiful lady who is beautiful from the inside out. My life has changed so much. She is wonderful and always has my back as I have hers. You can’t fix “crazy’. Run and don’t look back.
Very true mate, but some times it’s not as easy as just walking away when she has gotten into your head.
you want to get away but you are drawn back to her even though you cannot stand the way she treats you, she has this hold over you, it’s like she is your dealer and you keep going back for your next fix, after 2.5 months for some weird reason it still feels like we broke up yesterday.
I have a new girl who is sane, 6 years younger than my ex and she is also hot, but I still miss my ex and I am really afraid that if my ex hoovered me I would go back to her.
It’s amazing what type of these women have on us. I can be with another women they could have zero flaws and I will still think about my ex N all the time. It’s crazy to think that. I think it’s the complete disregard she had when it was over. How it was like choosing whether or not to have dessert after dinner. I use to say to her you throw me away like your donating an old pair of jeans to the needy. I think the worst part of it all is that despite the bad times when you click with these people you can get really get along and share some special memories. My ex N And I could have fun in shoe box and it wouldn’t have to be about sex. We just had chemistry that flowed. That’s the point though. When they flip you think about those memories and you say do I want to give this up because she can’t apologize for hurting my feelings. It doesn’t matter because at the end it was never about me or us. It was always about wha she needed and what I can supply to her.
I feel the same way. I still love her to this day and we shared so many special times also. More so than anyone else. She has almost brain washed me to the point where I still think she wants to marry me!! I don’t get it. We need help of some sort to be able to stop feelin this way.
Think about how good you felt when you were with her. What did she provide at the time? Was it confidence, a different lifestyle, going out somewhere where you would never do that solo ? Those are just examples. But you need to do some sole searching and try to figure out what she did for you to feel that way. Then you need to try to do those things for yourself. My N gave me the confidence to go out live out of my shell. I grew up in a small town always wanted that trendy city style of life. Never knew how to do it on my own she did it with me. She was my partner in crime we paraded all over NYC for 4 years no spare in expense. Think about it. Now I go out all the time in the city. Met some people though a support group and created a seperate circle with out her. It felt so much more rewarding. Don’t get me wrong still now I continue to think about her daily but I then think about how it was all a falsehood. I need to take her off that Peticle that I put her own because she is not truly this lovely human being. At some point we feel bad for them but now it’s to hard too.
okay, so help me out her. I have a daughter in law whom I feel is BPD to the max. She has two kids from a previous soul whom she has destroyed. She has alienated my son from me and she knows that I adore him and visa versa. She has alienated him from his brother and his new baby, also. The funny thing is, she doesn’t interfere much with him and his father’s relationship ( yes his father and I are still together) because he is of no threat to her. I haven’t seen or heard from my son in 6 mos. because of her.I worry about him all of the time, and about the emotional agony that I know she can cause him. But also I worry about the physical aspects too. I know there is nothing I can do at this point because he is COMPLETELY blindsided by her charm, beauty, and stupidity.But for those of you who have been there,what can I do as his mother? AND is it possible to get an upper-hand from a psychological standpoint ?
Check out Parents Issues section of the Forum.
Ill be honest I’m not sure what to say to you. I have dated two people like this in my life one for 3 years that was 7 years older than me and one for 4 years that was 5 years younger than me. I’m currently 31 years old. Both these women were similar in some ways and very different in others. Key things you need to remember. These type of people have no rules no compassion they do as they please. Some times there not even aware of the pain and the agony that they do because they don’t have the mindset to understand. In their own eyes they are perfect and could do no wrong. They lift there spouse or partner up make them feel perfect make them think that they are this perfect person only to later abuse them and treat them like garbage. I suffered from low self esteem and low self worth. Most of us on this site do that’s why we are here with these women. Not all of us can admit that. You have to contact with your son and look at his personality. See what she brings to the table. It really needs to be him to figure out she is no good because it was my friends and family wold tell me about my exes how selfish she was or how cruel she was I deseved better and I never realized it untill I had it with all the lies and plus learned about bpd. It has to be him that truly realizes it. The reason why were with these women is because they provide us something we don’t know how to provide ourselves. I’m sorry for your pain and concern as a mother. I hope I was able to help. All the best.
Dean Rogers says
These women are experts in the art of manipulation. I spent twenty years with one. Work on yourself. Read, study, and get therapy. People, by nature, continue to repeat the same behavior. Find a sane woman, and work on yourself. I did it. I am free at last. She no longer has any hold on me. You will never change another person. You can only change yourself. I am now married to a lady who is soooooo nice. I never worry about “which” one will be at home. There is something quite wonderful about “the same.” Trust me, I have been there. She did knock out two of my front teeth. All the best, Dean
My sincere thanks. I’ve been searching for some answers and found many here. I’ve decided to take my life back. I’m 65 and I will not be abused further. Thank You . GRB
Hey everyone, I don’t know if this gets read anymore but I would love some comments or thoughts. My girl has BPD. No doubt. When I have tried to leave in the past she threatened suicide. She would throw things in anger. She would yell. She would blame me for things I didn’t even do or say. She would take what I am saying WAAAY out of context.
So now, since January she has been in therapy. On medication. She apologizes to me for getting angry and since being on medication she can actually see things clearer. She still has a ways to go because I still get the our-of-proportion responses from her. Arguments always get turned on me and get turned into guilt trips and emotional roller coasters with her ending it in tears and apologizing to me.
Is there hope for me/us? She read the book her therapist gave her “The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide” in one day. She is actively seeing a therapist, taking medication, and uses her motivation to keep a relationship with me and for her to get better as a reason for wanting to get better. She recognized a problem and is trying to get help.
Is it easy for me to sit by and support her? No. Do I feel as most of you have? Yes. I know I suffer from a white knight syndrome but I do have genuine feelings for her. I keep imagining in my head that it would be so much easier with a stable person so I wouldn’t have to deal with this but I think for most of you like me, you feel like sometimes you just can’t help who you fall in love with.
For all her wonderful, sweet, caring, poetic, and go-getter qualities… her “dark side” completely baffles me. I am trying my best to seperate myself mentally and not take things at face value with her when she gets like that but it’s not easy… because I tend to believe what people tell me. She would tell me i’m the financial burden in the relationship, she would tell me my tone of voice is wrong, and that I am yelling and being a asshole.
I think of it as a illness. Just like you don’t leave your wife if she has cancer. You try to be supportive of the people you love and to help when you can. There are success stories. It seems to me that most of you have had the extreme versions of BPD in your significant others and I highly empathize because I am going through similar stuff but I think a life is possible outside the realm of this debilitating illness if the person really wants to get better. I tell her that just like someone with the flu needs to see a doctor to get better, you need therapy and medication to get better. In fact, most people statistically with BPD get better the older they get and on average of after 2 years of therapy don’t even meet the criteria for BPD diagnosis. So there is hope but the person needs to be willing to stick to therapy and take responsibility for their own lives and actions.
It is not a easy road and most days I question why i stay, but I remind myself that at one point in my life I needed somebody to lift me up. I have told her if things ever got too much for me to handle I would walk away… and she understood and said she understands.
I feel for you, at least yours is seeking treatment. In most cases they don’t seek treatment at all they say your the crazy one. Ill be honest I’m not sure if these people will ever fully understand there behavior and the effects they have on there partners or love ones. You have to understand having bpd or being narcissistic is all about control and there ego. These people were missing crucial nurturing as children. They didnt feel the love a normal person gets from there parents. So there left to themselves to make them feel love. As they get older they need to be in control. They need to feel like there on a pedestal. They need people to feed there ego so they feel important. I don’t think she will change, and if she does it will be alot if time and therapy. Don’t forget they live the shallow lifestyle. They can just leave and pick up find someone else and they will lie about there past. These people have to many skeletons in there closets and they gave no problem doing it. When I talk about control she could be going to therapy because she doesn’t want to loose you but that doesn’t mean she is practicing what she is doing. Is she faithful, does she lie, is she sneaky, does she have double standards? These are things you need to know the answer to really know whether she can and will change. My bpd swear to me that she would change threaten suicide the whole nine yards. I lasted a month when I broke it off. She lost control. She knew I hit my limit. After a month of hearing how she would change and do everything for me I caved got back together. She got me. She lasted on her best behavior for 3 weeks after that it was back to normal but I was to caught in her webs wondering why did you beg me to come back why did you threaten suicide to treat me like shit again. Of course I was the crazy one she said she was perfect and I had the issues. Untill I caught her sleepy with another guy and that was the week of Christmas. And still she blamed me for cheating. She had all the control because at that point I was the opposite of when I left her 3 months earlier. Now I was left wanting her and left confused wondering why did she lie. Best of luck.
I totally empathize you Samsung user. I have lasted 18 years with my abusive wife. Many asked me why i stayed. Whithin the many excuses i have fabricated over the years is that i stayed because of the good times, the stabiliy periods and the hopes that things With time would get better. But they never have, the good times are seldom now and for the most part i produce them myself. The stabiliy periods are followed by worsening events every time. And finally i realized that if i stay i Will be a nurse the rest of my life. Cáncer is a terrible illness that affects an individual physically, an abusive personality disorder affects the caregiver first emmotionaly then physically. The abusive personality disorder individual couldnt give a rats ass if they have it or not if it werent for the fact that they run the risk that caregiver or victim gets tired and wants out after a while.
I wish you the best in your endeavour, but i would urge you to consider if being a nurse of a sick person is what you always wanted out off life. Abusive personality disorder people are fully functional and can survive without supervision.
For my part i am taking the necessary steps to end this non sense and regaining my life to be happy and free for the rest of my life.
What do you expect out of your life?
I meant “empathize with you” . Again, my best wishes on your journey.
I just broke up with a girl I’ve being seeing off and on sense April because of many of the behaviors you described in your articles on borderline personality disorder. Any chance she will let me go in peace
This maybe off subject but, I can see why i was so entrapped by my emotional vampire and i think that its the same story for a very high preportion of the other guys here, it’s because they like my ex GF are normally very beautiful people and its our own shallow personalitys that makes us put up with this crap, if they were ugly we would kick them into the curb in an instant, it’s because they are beautiful we put up with being attacked with a knife or a hammer and still go back for more in an ever spiralling dance of love and hate, it has taken me nearly 6 months to get my BPD ex GF out of my head, but now I can sit back and take comfort in the fact that the next poor sucker will have to go through exactly the same crap I had too.
My new partner is an awesome woman, she is like a breath of fresh air, even so i have not totally healed from the 6 years of mental abuse and from time to time when situations arise that would normally start one of those fights (that time of the month or i said no) I do find myself waiting for her to go ballistic and then wondering why she carried on like a “normal person” with a kind of anticlimactic feeling in my stomach. Lol
Nice to know that there can be healing. How long before your ex left you alone? Are there any special concerns I need to be aware of?
Concerns? There can be many.
•Female Stalkers, Part 4: Attachment Style as a Predictor of Who is More Likely to Stalk and Abuse and Who is More Likely to Be Stalked and Abused (February 23, 2011)
•Female Stalkers, Part 3: The Case of the Ex-Girlfriend Who Won’t Take ‘No’ for an Answer (February 17, 2011)
•Female Stalkers, Part 2: Checklist of Stalking and Harassment Behaviors (February 16, 2011)
•Woman Calls in False Bomb Threat to Iberia Airline Flight to Stop Boyfriend from Leaving (February 14, 2011)
•Female Stalkers, Part 1: What is Stalking and Can Men Be Stalked by Women? (February 8, 2011)
You may decide to end the relationship but they decide when it’s over.
all i did was forward one of her poison text messages to her best friend and then CC’d her friends on all texts and emails, the last think a high functioning BPD wants is for their peers to realize that they have mental issues, So she went N/C and told her friends not to have any contact with me what so ever because she dosnt want them to know the real her, im really good with that as my new Gf is wonderful and normal, but i will say that for a time i did find myself being attracted to the very similar type of woman as my ex Gf so you have to be very careful of that.
Thanks, it’s good to read this stuff. I was involved with a BPD female for 4 months. For the first month she came on strong, then started backing off after that. In the end I just wanted to be friends, but she cut me off completely and didn’t answer my calls. I realize it was a good thing because I never got much else but pain. I tried to be good to her and don’t understand why she rejected me. Do you know why? I will not pursue it, but it hurts. I feels as if I wasn’t good enough…yet she kept in contact with her ex eventhough they kept having fights. I suspect she was sleeping with him. Anyone’s insight here would truly help.
It’s not you Joe, what she has done is called N/C it’s very common in BPD people my ex for six years went BPD after I told her best friend about the way she attacks me, so she also told all of her friends not to talk to me ether, with her is was because she didnt want anyone else knowing what she was “really like” and that may be the case with your ex as well, as for the ex boyfriends on the scene during your relationship, that’s also common place and I hate to break it to you mate, but he may have been one of many guys that she was seeing while she was with you, he is happy to keep in contact with her as he knows every argument that you guys have he is going to get laid shortly afterwards, as for the constant arguments with him and her that’s just her BPD and he way of hoovering him and if you checked her mobile I am sure that you would have found more than just arguments.
So true, dave! Specially the last line.
Yep, they always have many preys waiting to be used. Well at least one. They often act like social butterflies to keep in touch with a reservoir of options. They are outgoing and fun with everybody else but you. As life sucking vampires they can’t function otherwise. If they end up in rehab or AA, they will rally to and get brainwashed by their newly found cult members who are there for similar reasons. Their energies comes from outside. If you act up you get punished with further neglect. The silent treatment you get is inversely proportional to the conversation the other man gets, or her supporting friends that she brainwashed into hating you because being that she is a victim you are the perpetrator.
I’m still married to but separated from what I believe is a medium level of mixed BPD, narcissist, and heavy alcoholic woman. Being a foreigner I am strongly thinking about putting about 4,000 miles between me and her and go back to where I come from. After 20 years of excuses, rationalization and alcoholic FOG, the situation is entrenched as in WWI. A lot of distance sounds like the kind of cure I need as leaving beats going to war abroad or ending up in jail. I need to break out of the trenches and I won’t be running towards the enemy.
These characters are losing stocks and as long as you keep investing in them they stay somewhat afloat, while you sink. The best is probably to let them drown in their own lies and let them butterfly from relationship to relationship until they die or accept therapy. Wasting years like I and apparently many others have done is the sure way to see them get worse and worse over time. As a reality check would you have gotten with that person then as you know who she is now( granted minus the normalcy of aging, stress of life, health issues etc?) Too bad for the memories of a great mate( intense but early in the relationship) and the hope of a happy life for your couple and the kids. It was a lie from the go and they don’t have a problem with that, you just didn’t know it. I have great kids who love me and that is the only positive thing I can see out of the whole situation.
All the whack jobs are truly lousy human beings. They cost a lot in emotional pain as well as in financial pain. Heck, they cost a lot to this country.
What should I do when there is no donught that my wife has BPD and she doesn’t? There’s no way of telling her. If I even start to mention anything I get told that I’m the reson she feels the way she does and everything I’ve ever done wrong since we’ve been together gets brought back up again. Stupid on my part to try and say anything and I didn’t bring up BPD
I had the same issue with my ex every time i mentioned that she had a mental problem, but i called a mans help line and they gave me the best advice i have ever been given, they said tell her that you have been told not to play her “Victim Game” and her continuing this line of abuse is ging to be pointless.
itza sekret says
It’s a beguiling premise… that there might be some way to successfully deal with a borderline in a relationship. I sure tried and many many others here have too. It was a never-ending chess match or… more like Gandalf struggling with Balrog just to survive. And that ignores any expectation of happiness in a relationship. You almost have to immerse yourself in, and wrap yourself around the BP’s issues.
I tried setting limits, boundaries, demonstrating accountability. I understood that it’s a maladaptive coping mechanism. I was patient, but the hi-conflict shouting was destroying my committment. What I discovered was the longer I stayed in the relationship, the more it made the BP’s behavior seem OK… and that I was somehow wrong for not appeasing that behavior. Talk about bass ackwards!
A BP truly is “virtuoso at playing the poor little me victim role”. It’s a -very- convincing routine… and any rescuer type personality will jump right in to help. And that’s the first, biggest mistake.
Now… I think the only way to -possibly- deal with a BP in a relationship is if they OWN their affliction. If the BP can say “this is my affliction, and here’s what I’m doing to manage it”. Otherwise…. GTFO…. and find better.
Mine broke it off with me in May. Not a word. I miss her. Sad thing a out it. I would jump right back into the abuse, the game playing and the lies to have her back again. Love her
I’m real tired. Feel very old and empty.
Mine did the same thing after i told her friend what she was “really like” and she found out about it, being a high functioning BPD she went N/C to protect the illusion of her being “perfect” amongst her peers.
It was very hard at first as i missed her terribly, she was also stunning and I think that’s why I stuck it out in the early stages until she get into my head.
Now i know that it was not her that i was missing at all, it was the conflict and the strong emotions associated with that conflict (strange it may seem) you actually become addicted to the endorphins that are released during this conflict, then when its all over you face the grim reality that you are going to have to go “cold turkey”, it takes a while but you are a much better person after you get through that period, my new GF is 8 years younger than my ex and she is an absolute dream to be around, no violence, no cheating , no lies and no manipulation.
You will find a better woman if you can hang in there mate.
My was a knockout too Miss her. Miss the great sex
Jackie Nelson says
Hello my name is Jackie. I really hope you can help me. My 19 year old brother is with a 22 year old and she has been diagnosed with personality disorder. This is the first sexual relationship he’s been in. He’s such a humble good person and gets great grades in college . My moms a mess because he has no power over his life and is scared of His insecure emotional well being. He thinks he’s worthless hes lost all his self-esteem. She’s hits him and scratches him. Were don’t know what she’s capable of. My brother is gone, he has know idea what she’s doing to him. We don’t know what to do. Is it advisable to take him home from college for a semester and get him counseling? He lives so far away from us and has lost all his friends in college. She consumes every little minute of his time. They have been together for 1 year. She dropped Out of college and her family lives in CHICAGO. We have tried talking to him and he won’t hear us. How can I save my little brother? This is effecting my family emotionally because my brother is really helpless. What do we do?
Sorry to hear about your little brother. I could understand your concerns. Honest there’s very little you can do for him in my opinion. I’m 31 yrs old and have had two relationships with girls that have had bpd or narcissistic type personalities. In my experience having friends and family talking to me didn’t make to much of a impact. I really needed to discover it on my own. Going to counseling help me a lot. It help make me aware of the behavior and how wrong it was. That could be the first step for your brother. Promote counseling as a good and healthy thing. Most people that goto counseling sometimes feel as though ashamed to go. So you need to be positive. You have to realize that your brother is in a dark place, and that this women has a hold on him that is more powerful then anyone else can have. Best advise I can give you, is you need to be positive with him, try talking to him about his own self esteem issues. There’s codependents anonymous groups out here he can research. He needs support but not in a threaten matter. If you in any way bash his girlfriend, it will only put more of a distance between you n him as he will tend to stick up for her bc he feels that’s the love of his life. In overall you should educate yourself on the disorder, and focus on him finding him self. Sorry if I didn’t make to much sense, but I think anyone that’s been abused by these people needs to discover it on there own to realize it. After that then you can truly help him. For now you need to be supportive and there for him and watch over him.
Jackie Nelson says
My mom is keeping him home this semester an not letting him go back . He will have to go to another college. Hes been skipping counseling apt and is not abiding by rules. My parents had to take his car away because he let her drive it. My brother grew up with all girls no boys and dad was really never in the picture. My sisters and I were so good to him that he doesn’t understand theirs evil women out there. This is a pattern he has to break, on his own, but hes young enough to be brought home to get help. If he was older our Window of opportunity wouldn’t be available and their would be nothing to do. This is all about my brother and getting him help, not her… Thank you guys very much for responding back to me. Good luck with everything and I hope you find good women to be with because they are out there honestly, don’t lose faith…
If you haven’t, check out the Forum. There are several people posting there with loved ones in abusive relationships.
There’s not much you can do until he decides he’s had enough. You can educate yourself to be in a better position to help if that day arrives. Dr. T has a blog on the subject.
•Abuse Tears Families Apart: A Sister Mourns the Loss of Her Brother (August 10, 2012)
I am so glad I stumbled across this blog. I was actually searching for information to work out if I was the emotional abuser. Reading these articles and comments has made me realise that I’m not and that my partner is definitely Borderline.
I won’t bore you with the details. My life has been a living hell for the last 11 years. I can’t afford to move out yet… but I will. Understanding who or rather what I am dealing with now makes it easier to cope with her illness until I can afford to leave. I refuse to allow her to force me out into homelessness.
If that was all there was to the situation, then I would be fine about it. She’s ill, she can’t help herself, I can’t cure her, she’ll be pissed off with me when I leave but eventually she’ll find another target. Then I’m free to have a life and maybe meet a woman who isn’t ill – they must exist.
The problem is that we have a son and I love him so much it hurts. I’m terrified of what may happen to him after I leave. I know she will use access to him as a weopon against me and that I will never fully escape from her abuse as I will have to have contact with her in order to see my son. I don’t think she will physically harm him – she loves him. I just feel like a coward for even thinking about leaving him alone with her abusiveness but legally I can’t take him with me. According to the law I have to leave my son with a mentally ill person. He’s 10 years old and this is the reason I have stayed with her all these years – to be the target of the abuse in case it gets turned on him.
Do these abusive women turn on their children or do they just seek out a new adult target?
How can I leave and still protect my son from any potential emotional abuse?
Any helpful thoughts or advice would be really welcomed.
Still realing after my friend left me. Tried getting back up with her she just busted my chops. Made me look and feel like the evil one She left my after I confronted her on her behavior. Now she says I’m the one who sucked the life out of her. That I’m the one incapable of love. Hard some Times to keep going on. Miss her. Will never tell her again but love her. Maybe I am crazy
I’m going through that right now… I love my wife but she’s blaming me for ruining our relationship and “I don’t love her” guilt trips, feels she’s not good enough for me, etc. Now she filed for divorce and even got a restraining order on me, cause I reached out to her dad and friends for help….AND her dad and her turned it on me, saying I’m reaching out to set her up to get custody of our daughter! Not true….I love my wife and am trying to keep our family together! Is there any hope she’ll drop the divorce??
DW and all, I have been is this type of relationship for 22 years now. I knew something was wrong years ago, everything was fine between us then the crazy NR episode would hit. I figured it was high emotions, stress, etc. It was somewhat manageable for the most part. The NRs were maybe twice every 2 months to twice every 6 months. However the NRs have increased over time and since her mother died have become more and more frequent and more and more enraged. The NRs are now weakly. She is loosing control. I swear I see the flames of hell in her eyes when she is raging. I have often thought and have not ruled out demonic possession. I do not mean that as a joke. Its one of the saddest things to see because, to me, it reveals the core engine that’s at the heart of this disorder. The Kids ARE NOT off limits. I have stuck around to protect them because I know she would implant in them whats inside of her. I distinctly remember the day I told her she was a monster due to the way she was raging on our youngest. she didn’t even blink an eye. She didn’t even take a step back. The kids are almost gone, they are of legal age. The relationship is breaking down even more. And I find myself ever scrambling to help the kids understand it’s not their fault, they did hear it right, and it really didn’t happen that way. Its all fabricated. it’s one of the hardest things to tell your kids your mother is whacked it’s a disorder and have them understand it.
I and her mother have tried to get her help but its always me that is causing her condition. Never a shred of accountability for anything.
So does anyone recognize the stage she is in?
-Once a week raging
-Taking an event and twisting it to justify her rage.
-Fabrication of objects and conversations. I missed the turn because a car was blocking me. There was no car. “You said this that’s why I reacted that way”. It was never said. its to the point of large scale delusion.
-An uplifting “fix” received by her when she causes mental anguish.
-Control to the point doors are locked and then unlocked in the house.
I’m not sure there are stages but its to a point I expect a melt down. Does a npd/bpd finally melt down? If so what does that look like? Will she be raging 24 7? Will she fall into deep depression?
The way I see it this will be the only time she will pursue help if ever. I’m not sure I will be around when it happens. I am spent.
Jimmy Bobo says
Nearly ten years of my life I’ve known a woman. We were, at one point, romantically involved. But only now am I coming to terms with all the lies, manipulation, and thinking I was going crazy.
The history is so long, that I can’t even begin to describe it. But rest assured, it was hell, speckled with spots of occasional joy that became less and less frequent.
I nearly lost my mind with this woman. She nearly dragged me down into her pit of insanity, but by the grace of some higher meaning, I’m escaping by the skin of my teeth. The last argument I had with her was the last straw.
A few months before it, I was the best, most considerate, caring man in her life (again, for the 400th time in years), because I took care of her when no one else could and when she was starving.
And yet, lo and behold: I stick to one tiny little boundary, and it’s the silent treatment I get for the thousandth time, leading to the inevitable fight (which, depending on how angry I get with her, either endears or causes her to disconnect even further . . . until she comes back).
I should’ve picked up on it sooner, but I feel she WANTS/WANTED me to verbally abuse her. She wants me to treat her in a cruel and emotionally distant fashion.
There’ve been instances when I’ve gotten fed up and cruely called her out on her silent treatment. Guess what happened? – it brought her submissively closer to me! But when I’ve been understanding and patient in the exact same situation (which she says she prefers), she then pushes me further away and gives me even more silent treatment!
DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM A BPD when they say they just need love. This is false and you will end up bruised if you do that.
I have told and shown this woman how much I love her over and over again for YEARS, we’re talking nearly ten years here. And have never been bad or mean to her. But if I even dare to call her out on her bad behaviour, she’ll accuse me of saying she has no heart and that I never loved her, and that I’m being mean, etc. Again, she’ll continue to ignore me if I’m nice and considerate.
When she sees me as All Bad, she’ll accuse me of being clingy for striking up a simple, pleasant conversation every now and then – y’know, as you do with friends. I’ll be called annoying, be told that I’m talking to her too much, everything. . . . But then she’ll proceed, when she eventually sees me as All Good, to contact me every single day, almost begging me for attention, and blowing up my phone like I’m gonna be sold out soon.
If I bring this up the next time she’s in silent treatment mode, she rationalises out of it: “Oh, I was just bored. I barely think of you. We barely talk!”. And again, when that bad mood has passed, it’s back to “You’re so important to me. I couldn’t imagine life without you. You’ve been there for so long”, text, text, text.
It’s not Sparta. It’s madness.
I love her dearly and would honestly do a lot just to make her happy. I’d walk 100 miles just to make her happy. But this time I’m walking. I’ve fought myself over it for years, telling myself that she just needs love and understanding, if only I did this or that. Well, I’ve done everything I could’ve. And it’s not because she said cruel things at Christmas – I have thick skin – it’s the genitalia carousal and her need to be hurt that I can no longer deal with.
She’s not stupid. I’m not stupid. I know she pushes me to the side when her other orbiting frankfurters dry up. I’ve told her this (she denies it). She’s lovely and well-meaning, but also a user and a fake. She doesn’t even know what’s going on inside her own head.
I love her so much, and every day I fight to not go back to her. She’s beautiful, unique, and very sensitive. But what can you do when the only choices are Leave or Stay and Go Crazy?
And trying to be/being a narcissist with your BPD woman won’t work. They’ll simply find a richer narcissist, or they’ll catalogue every narc thing you’ve said/done and triangulate you to paint themselves as victims of your cruel/selfish wrath, which, of course, secretly turns them on.
Hi…I believe my wife has BPD, but she hasn’t been diagnosed. She moved out a month ago, after threatening to jump in front of a bus and biting me. Earlier that day, we were so in love, then out of no where said she isn’t good enough for me, etc. And ALL of the signs & symptoms of BPD!! Now, she filed for divorce and I am hated!! She got a restraining order against me because I reached out to her dad to help with our marriage, etc. She said it’s harassment. She’s gone into rages, did $1000 of damage to the house, hit me and even started smacking herslef out of anger one night! She blames me for ruining the relationship and says she has no faults. Even lied and turned her family against me. In the past, she goes from love to hating me, to love again a few days later. I love her and NOW JUST learned of BPD. How do I reconcile my marriage?? Now that I understand it, I know how to handle her. Is there a chance, since she filed for the divorce, that she will regret it at some point and stop it, as a BPD? ….Thanks!
This is my life and I have 4 kids I brought to this marriage she has 2
Love her but this is destroying my mind
I’m a strong man but little and helpless
Horrible place to be
But I love and when it’s good it wonderful!
I find it strange to read these comments and find so many men saying run for the hill, when they will not leave themselves! There is all sorts of excuses like too old to leave or I should have done it years ago but it is too late now. Well along those lines anyway.
It is always the same, it so easy to tell someone to leave a relationship, but it is extremely hard to leave a controlling relationship, as those still in one know.
I am 51 and have been with my wife for 8 years, and in the last year she has ended our relationship at least a dozen times, mostly because I had the nerve to try to stand up for myself. I failed of course. As you know, the reason you are under their control is because she chose someone who could be, and you fell for it hook line and sinker.
That said, I know just how easy it is to fall for the kind of creature. She found me through online dating. It was my first attempt at this, and I was really just having a bit of fun. I had been split from my first wife of 20 years for about 2 years, and in that 2 years I was having a not too bad of a time. I had seen lots of women and had lots of fun, I was getting myself back on track after my marriage, and a friend of mine said why don’t you stick your mug on this dating site.
I laughed it off at first as I thought it crazy, I wasn’t doing that badly without it, and I was about to visit my old mates in Australia for 6 weeks. That’s right, I was doing great. But then, I made the mistake of putting my details in a dating site, and within just a few days, I was getting all sorts of contact from all sorts of women, and I do mean all sorts.
The one who snagged me, had seen that I had been a family man, and that I had two young daughters that lived with their mother. She saw that I had travelled and wasn’t bad looking. She read into my profile, and I became the prey, easy prey for her as it happened, because I was too nice, to forgiving, too easy going, and obviously too stupid to see her coming.
We met, and straight away I was attracted to her, she was beautiful and funny, she had travelled and seemed sure of herself, although I was put off a little when she told that whenever she went out she had men climbing all over her trying to buy her drinks. She seemed very much in love with herself, but although I was a bit put off, I liked it too, because I liked myself quite a bit.
Over the next few weeks we became much closer, but there were signs so early on that I just put to one side. She told me how her last partner of 10 years had cheated on her, but he had said he hadn’t. She said his family were a pain in the arse and that he seemed to care more for his family than he did for her. She said that one day he just left and didn’t come back for 6 weeks, and then only came back for his things. It was his house and she was still living in it when I met her, he just kept his distance. I know, I should have seen problems, but it sounded to me like he was a big softy and wrong.
Within the first months I went for a drink at lunch time only twice with my oldest best male friend, and I got grieve the second time for it. These were the only times I went out without her. I don’t watch football or prop bars up with the lads, or had any real hobbies other than going to the gym and the odd dabble at a video game or 2. The video games also stopped at this time as she told me it took time away from her. The meeting my friends stopped because she told me she thought I was meeting other women, as she had an ex who did that. I felt a bit sad for her and guilty that I had made her feel so bad, and so never went for a drink again.
I could easily fill the internet with what happened in the 8 years that followed. But I will just say that I am no longer the MAN I used to be and I struggle to remember that man. I was alienated from my family and friends, but most hurtful was that I lost a lot of respect and the closeness of my children. I lost my job, lost a fortune, put 5 stone on, suffer from depression and anxiety, and god only knows how many years this has taken off my life.
2 Weeks ago she ended the relationship and I am now trying my hardest not to take her back. After just a few days of my being gone, she was begging me to take her back, telling me I mean the world to her and how she has never loved anyone as much as she loves me.
I am living in a static caravan in the garden until the house sells that I have now put on the market. She is living in the house, I pay all the bills still and live in a caravan, we have tea together and part company each day. I know this sounds weird, and I can tell you it feels weird, but I don’t feel like I have any other options. I just want the house to sell as soon as possible so we can both go our own ways and never have to see each other again because she will move back to her home town and I will move back to mine.
My family have been very supportive and have all got together in support. The same with my friends who heard what was happening and have been on the phone to me to tell me that if I need anything, I only have to ask. But the most important people to me are my 2 daughters who have said I am doing the right thing and are looking forward to me buying another house closer to them so they can come over to stay sometimes. They said they didn’t like the way I have changed and wanted their dad back.
Like I say, it has only been 2 weeks, and it is as hard as hell. I have joined a gym and go there every day to get fit. I have already lost 20 pounds and my family have said I am getting my old self back. They are telling me to be strong and to not let her get me back. They think she is a monster.
Because I see her every day, I remember the good times and not so much the bad, so by writing it down, I can go over it every time I feel I am cracking. A few days ago she broke down in front of me. She said “look at you, you seem happy with it all and your turning into the man I have always wanted you to be”, she went on to say “it makes me feel as though it has been me all along”.
Now, she isn’t saying she things she has been the problem with regard to what she has done, she is saying she thinks she has been the problem with regard to me not wanting to have ever been with her. She is saying that I have used her and taken everything she had to give for all those years. She has never taken any responsibility for any of this, and never will. She will move on to the next guy in no time at all, I know her now, and I don’t like what I know.
Anyway, I have to stay strong like my family and friends have said. I need to somehow get through this for my own good, the good of my health, my family and friends, and my daughters, but most of all for me. I want me back, I want the guy I used to be, the fun loving guy who love life. I will update my situation on here soon.
THis article made me think of a song that Roberta Flack covered back in the 70’s (Killing Me Softly): “[She] sang as if [she] knew me in all my darkest hours.” It’s as if you’d witnessed everyone of our fights and distilled the dynamics down to 500 words. Praise GOD that I found this site!
Thank you all for a lot of interesting and sometimes very alarming posts on various degrees of trouble. My heart goes out to all those ‘Good Boy Scouts’ like me, who can’t help getting out of our way and helping those we truly love, perhaps sometimes to a point where we nearly lose ourselves in the process.
In order to make this post as short and concise as possible I’ll try and relate to you in short-ish ‘points’ some of the experiences I’ve had with a wonderful woman whom I still love very much in the hope that some of you might be able to spot and recognize some of the symptoms and idiosyncrasies that have occupied my mind for a long time and perhaps help me clarify if I’m completely of my amateurish track when I get the idea that she might actually be a Hgh-Funtioning BDP-sufferer who needs solid professional help from someone capable of spotting the disease – she’s in talk therapy but for all I know about what goes on between her and her therapist he’s not come any further with her yet than to see the need for her to ‘mentalize’ in order to gain a better grip on her ‘impulse-control’, which I recognize as a classic BPD-trait and challenge from what I’ve read.
1) She’s an author and the bulk of her work deals with a highly relation-troubled, totally self absorbed, sexually aggressive and self-destructive main female protagonist, a character very much like a previous, more youthful and perhaps only slightly exaggerated version of herself; she is highly professional and competent when she performs readings and other intellectual work such as talks and lectures on various literature related subjects and she’s recently received many honors for her work. When she works ‘live’ she feels completely disconnected from herself, she’s ‘in an automatic state of performance’, like a trance: She’s feels that she’s not really there when she’s ‘on’ but she’s experienced a few anxiety-ridden minor gaps from time to time. Emotional slips that are usually over soon. She gets no real satisfaction from the performances themselves; she’s sort of numb and neutral when she performs, but very tense, sometimes very angst-ridden and unstable for days, especially before but also after.
2) Throughout her entire life she’s had a very high degree of trouble forming solid, trusting and emotionally stable relationships with other people, be that her parents, siblings, kids, lovers, husbands, relatives or friends.
3) Every single relation is either very troubled and painful, and over very soon, or tightly controlled and ‘managed’ in a highly superficial and efficient way to avoid any form of real emotional investment and exchange, if she can. She has a tendency to keep all her exes in line (online and to some extent in real life)and in store for later use. She ‘needs’ to feel in possession and control of them and the storytelling surrounding her experiences with them.
4) She’s been married three times and has had several more or less degrading escapes and escapades with other men at the same time. She seems to repeat the same pattern of getting close with someone only to find a way to escape the close proximity by secretly being with someone else on the side. It’s as if she can only manage the close proximity and exposure to another human being when she has an ‘out’. She currently also fears to the extreme that ‘love itself will die’ if she’s not involved with two men at a time, which I’ve come to interpret as her way of demonstrating the BDP-abandonment trait.
5) Historically, and with me, she finds the experience of investing herself in mutually trusting romantic relationships to be extremely painful and negatively considers it ‘a loss of self’, ‘too painful’; she’s very afraid of the effects on her of love (she seems to have a very limited understanding of her effect on others)and at the same time she’s horrified of the prospect of living without it.
6) It’s as if she just can’t stand being fully emotionally open and available to anyone, to one single person, that the exposure itself feels so threatening to her that she can only do it for a very short time and in a secret setting that has no real bearing and influence on her life as a whole. Trust and true love needs to be in another world, a world separate from real responsibility and consequence. With the lines of Leonard Cohen that have often occurred to me to fit her emotional habitus: “You who must leave everything that you cannot control / it begins with your family / then it comes around to your soul”
7) In her romantic relationship with me she’s unconsciously attempted to stay immersed in a super-dependent symbiosis in which she at first felt absolutely free for the first time of her life to be herself in all her complex glory only later to turn around and tell me she feels trapped, panicky and in a state of ‘false comfort’ full of fear of the loss of me and my love; she has acted out in very emotionally aggressive ways out of fear of loss of my love and trust which I’ve given her and still give completely and without limits in very clear and solid ways. – I’ve made a full and very clear dedication of my life and all my resources to her but this seems to scare her very much even though she’s begged me and convinced to do exactly this for her. She sometimes tells me I must be crazy to want to be with someone like her, that I must be ‘enjoying pain’, that something must be wrong with me for wanting her, etc.
8) Currently she has broken up with me (for the sixth time in 1 1/2 years)but she needs constant affirmation and confirmation of my being there for her and at the same time she does not want or does not dare to be near me in the physical and sexual sense; our relationship has the quality of being constantly ‘pending’, or on the brink, as she doesn’t dare to make a real investment in it.
9) She distances herself completely from me from one day to the other and breaks up with me again and again(always on the phone/by text) only to seek me out for affirmation, comfort, deep understanding and empathy shortly afterwards; it’s as if she needs to be in between, distanced, in the grey zone to see herself clearly, to talk to me, and when she sees herself from this perspective she has no empathy with me and no ability to understand and relate to the pain and agony she causes me (or others)in the process. Our relationship was at first ‘always on’ in the sense that she idealized me (way over the top)and craved my attention 24/7. Then it was on/off in a relatively fast cycle with a few breaks and now she’s at a stage where she’s hermetically emotionally shut off from me, completely unavailable unless we have sex. As it is now, it’s only during the actual sex that will she open up and be emotionally ‘there’, only to shut herself off from me minutes after the act has ended.
10) It intuitively feels as if she’s constantly testing me, somehow like an insecure child, a child very fearful of the loss of love and understanding and trust, would test the patience and possible extent of the love and care of an opposite sex parent rather than a grown-up equal; there’s an expectation that she doesn’t need to give anything in return for my love, that in a way it must come free of charge and demands of mutuality. ‘I owe you everything but I have nothing to give” as she chillingly put it to me at some point.
11) She gets very aggressive and defensive if I very gently reject or challenge her attempts to project the nature of her personal pain into me. I often get the strong sense that she unconsciously needs to project her personality into me to see herself clearly mirrored rather than seeking to see me for what I am as would more or less be the norm in a relationship. In many ways over time, she has subtly accused me of being the one who possesses her problems, sometimes to my great bewilderment and confusion, as she can be very assertive and convincing.
12) When I gently seek to clarify to her that she can’t always be a hundred percent right about her interpretations of my life-story, my emotions, and that I think exchanges of that nature must be a matter of mutually open two-way interpretation, analysis and argument, rather than something she can take the sole ownership of, she sometimes gets horribly angry with me(or shut off, frustrated and deeply wounded) for not succumbing and complying fully to her interpretational ‘authority’. What is supposed to be a free and playful exchange of interpretations fast becomes what she perceives as an ugly power-struggle if I don’t fully accept her rigid views: It’s always very black and white with her in that sense.
I could go on for pages and pages as I do every week to try to keep track of myself and her and our highly tension-ridden relationship, but I’ll stop at this for now and ask all of you good people in here if any of this rings any bells? As I said in so many words above, I’m very sceptical about branding her with a homemade ‘diagnosis’, and what I’d really appreciate would be some feedback if any of you have experienced similar things with an emotionally disturbed but perhaps highly eloquent, educated and intelligent woman.
If you’ve gotten this far I thank you very much for your time,
Dr Tara Palmatier says
So what do you get out of this relationship? Is this healthy for you?
Dear Dr Palmatier,
Firstly, thanks for your personal response and for this gem of a page/forum; I’ve been reading here for days with a lot of positive reflection and recognition ensuing from it.
Those are terrific questions that I’ve also been posing to myself from time to time, from the very beginning of this unusual, but in many ways also very mind-opening and highly emotionally enriching relationship, when it got tough and stressful. But I can’t help considering her to be the love of my life.
When we met we made a deal to get her out of alcohol abuse, sleep meds and antidepressants together; she was in a very bad state and wanted more than anything else to get clean. This deal I took and we succeeded on all three counts, but I always knew that some deeper complex of psycological trouble could possibly emerge ‘on the other side’ when the chemical numbness cleared from her mind.
It’s a long story to tell if I’m to do it justice, so the myriad of significant details both very beautiful and dreadful I’ll reserve for the novel I’m writing about the whole thing(because I need to), but to put it short, the relationship has been a complete revolution in my life, because of the explosive sexual chemistry between us and the demands for highly focused loving attention, solid interaction and emotional and intellectual development it’s put on my person; I’ve always liked a challenge and this particular meeting and mating with another human being in various degrees of trouble has forced me to confront everything in my own past, to gain a much more broad and clear insight into my own family history and the minor psychological problems and pre-dispositions which I myself have been more or less shut off from understanding fully before I met her. One could say, that In some ways I fit the classic personality type of a grown up who as a child wasn’t given much love, comfort and stability from a stable mother, and who then in some ways became a caretaker, someone who tried to help his mother by reversing the positions to gain her love in that way, and I now fully realize that I’ve had a tendency to attract and fall for ‘damsels in distress’ in my ‘career’ as a romantically afiliated man.
This relationship has helped me to fully realize the influence of this emotional pattern within myself, which I consider a great and good thing in itself. We have in many ways helped each other heal a lot former pains and have opened up one another and dealt with a lot of issues and problems that many couples never get to a stage where they are able to address. I’ve become much more of a emotionally grown up man during this crash course in ‘unusual’ love.
85-90%% of our actual, physical time together has been nothing short of magical compared to everything else I’ve experienced in my life. She has a fine, original, and to me, highly stimulating mind and she posesses great imaginative and artistic powers, along with an all-permeating sensuality and an unbound sexuality that I’ve come to feel as the gift of my life, combined; we are in many healthy and ‘pedestrian’ ways just a perfect match as we basically enjoy the same things in life with a passion and share the same core interests.
When things are working well and she feels free to give herself to me, I feel I’ve met the woman who was designated to me from above. I’ve never felt such a sense of ‘completion’ and wholeness In my entire life as I have with her. Never did the term ‘my other half’ feel more fitting and I’ve never loved another human being so completely and without barriers and doubts.
I realized from the beginning that the relationship would mean a lot of work for me, that I’d really have to apply all my best interpersonal skills and my full attention and empathy, but I also saw the possibility of a great, mature happiness and a full life with the woman I truly love if I and we succeeded.
So, what I’ve gotten so far is the most mutuallly reciprocal and most satisfying relationship of my life, almost throughout the year 2014, even though it’s been a tough and sometimes painful and stresful road to traverse. The more disturbing and volatile on/off trouble I described in the post above started out last December and has continued until now.
So is it healthy for me? Right now, no, I don’t really think and feel so as I’m in a suspended and tormented state of unrequited love, that I’m hard pressed to find the solutions to heal, but it has been very healthy and highly self-educational overall. What do I get out of it? When at her best and most trusting she has loved me, stimulated my entire being and fulfilled me as a man like no one ever has and naturally I want to do all that I can to fix things and help her in any way I possibly can so that we may be together as a couple for life, but if my intuition and my reflections on her current mental state and the problems she (and I) are deling with are right and it turns out she’s some form of a BPD-sufferer, I will have to consider and reconsider everything in a wholly different light and from a different perspective. Basically, if I think I have it in me to go the whole nine yards.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Okay, so you’re willing to trade orgasms for your psychological well-being. That’s a choice, but the strength of your sexual attraction may just be mutual pathology at play and nothing more. Specifically, the mutual pathology is intense, not the sex itself. If you were doing the same exact sex acts with a stable and healthy women, I’d be willing to wager it wouldn’t be the most fulfilling/meaningful/ground shaking experience of your life, or however you wish to describe it.
Whether she has an official BPD diagnosis or not is irrelevant. Even if she qualifies for the diagnosis she may never be officially diagnosed. What matters are her behaviors. You say, at great length, that you experience her behaviors as abusive, that she’s gotten worse and she’s not changing in any meaningful way.
You seem to be in analysis paralysis and focusing on the wrong person. You’re not her therapist and you’re not her parent. You can’t do the work for someone else. That’d be like you trying to help her lose weight by running 20 miles/day for her. Change doesn’t happen that way. Change happens for most people when the consequences of not changing become too painful.
How does “apply[ing] all [your] best interpersonal skills and [your] full attention and empathy” onto someone who is abusing you help you to heal and resolve your own issues? And how does it help her? All that does is tell her she can be as shitty as she wants to you and you’re going to stick around for more all the while being more loving and understanding in the face of her ongoing abuse. No one loves and respects a doormat.
Instead of trying to figure her out and practicing “radical acceptance,” I encourage you to focus on yourself and the issues that attract you to someone who mistreats you as badly as you describe. If you do that then everything ought to become quite clear — like the nearest safe exit.
I’m stuck here… My wife is BPD and for the first time in 3 years it is starting to affect me severely. I really don’t know where the rage is coming from anymore. Before I used to know more or less what triggers her… Out of nowhere, she starts breaking furniture, screaming loud that I ruined her life, ripping her hair, throwing stuff my way. And my silence doesn’t work anymore… It tied remaining calm, leaving the house, talking her out of it. NOTHING worked…
Things are really getting worse now. I feel like every time she apologizes and I forgive her, she takes it as permission to “turn it up” next time… If I was living next door and hear her screaming I’d think somebody is beating the crap out of her, which is incredibly painful to me as someone simply standing there but had to deal with the neighbors’ looks… I don’t even have friends anymore because they’re all ‘after her’ as she says… They all make fun of her she thinks…
I’m really burned out here, and she is refusing therapy. I offered to pay once and she used the money for clothes… Please, any advice is appreciated. Thank you!