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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I met my wife 2 years ago when I relocated to a new job in Georgia. I was going through a terrible divorce from my x wife and for awhile while we were dating my x wife made my life hell and didn't want to see me happy. me and my wife now did everything we could to fight through and make sense of our relationship. we were honest from the start and i knew that she also had been divorced from a man that she was with for 10 years and left her with two boys of whom he has nothing to do with and only pays $50 in child support. my ex wife doesn't allow me to see my son so we shared a natural a common bond that i felt we shared. we both were tired of being hurt and mistreated and wanted the best for us and we felt we deserved to have happiness together. she has been through alot in life with her parents growing up in a broken home, an abusive mother, and people letting her down all her life. after a short while we moved in together and we instantly became best friends. we sat and watched movies all day, we went out and enjoyed life, and sex was great.

a few months we decided to have her children come down here and live with us for awhile to see if we could manage it. little did i know she and her mother agreed that her mother could stay down here because her mother was going through a situation with her husband at the time. i agreed and all hell broke loose. we were often broke, due to the fact that my child support took away a good chunk of change away from our household, and i began to find ways to bring extra money in. i took a interest in night club photography, which took up some of our family time and caused such a terrible riff that i let it go. everyday i was being accused of cheating or what i was doing i was doing that reminded her of her ex husband and i never once cheated.

mom wasn't to helpful during that time either. long story short her mother was down here abusing her and i called the police on her mother because she was becoming such an issue. her mother left and the kids stayed. money was still and issue but there were times when God would bless us with a little here and there to make it on.

during this period we fought and argued alot and i began to drink heavily. the stress from work and home was becoming too much and i turned to the bottle instead of God. there would be times when we'd fight and she would get so mad and start throwing my things and yelling at me. she started locking me out of the house. i can remember several times where i've had to restrain her or push her away from actually hurting me. she claimed she was scared of me after this and there was an instance where i did choke her because she was going bizzerk and that was something that i've never done before to any woman and it scared me ****less. during all of this my wife's x of 10 years got remarried and it seemed to take another hit on her. she was frustrated and cried and got upset when i was made trying to understand why she was so hurt by it, literally crying over it. she said that i shouldn't be so selfish because that was the person she wanted to be with for the rest of her life with. i moved on from it let it go. eventually do to our financial situation and the fighting her mother and stepfather all agreed the kids should come back to live with them. she was depressed for weeks and understandbly so.

i felt awful like it was my fault and we couldn't do what i had promised her from the beginning which was help her take care of her and her kids. the fighting continued and during one of these fights i saw on her facebook where she sent a old friend "i just need to find someone who can be a man and take care of me and my kids." this caused a huge fight and this was the time i had to restrain her, she was kicking, throwing things, biting me, hitting me i didn't know what to do and i was scared. we worked through those issues and for several months we were okay, but things were never the same. knowing all of this we decided to get married in march of this year and things were okay for awhile.

in september i changed jobs and left the military after 5 years and decided to move on to new and better things. i stopped drinking committed myself to doing better and i have. the past 3 months have been hard though on us again financially. before i was able to give her $200 every two weeks to help with bills and that's including what else i would help pay for. the army held my last pay check for 2 months and during this time i found a new job working at the railroad and she's even gotten money from financial aid (the past year) and threre was a month she had to pay the cable and phone bills. even through then i was still giving her as much as i could to help and never asked her to use any of her money to help me with my bills. she even asked me to take money out of my child support money orders so she could get her hair done! i was shocked.

the arguing continued but our communication dwindled, i've spent alot of time on the couch or in "my room". the sex has changed to about once a month at best because it pains her to her sex now. we barely touch each other and even when we do it feels forced or like "let's get this over with". because of that and when would ask she would either be too tired or not in the mood i started looking at playboy. i can remember he even telling me because she saw i went a website that my ex use to do that and that's how he started cheating on me. her ex husband had 2 kids on her while they were married and cheated brought home stds, would laugh at her when they had sex and compare her to women he was cheating on her with, he was awful to her. she put that all on me when she saw i had a playboy account saying she didn't care if i left because i wasn't mature enough to handle marriage.

when i came back from training for my new job she was upset because i told her i couldn't trust her. but how can i trust someone who constantly compares me to her ex, who says hurtful things like "i don't believe in love", or "don't count on people because they'll just hurt you in the end" or who won't ever discuss her feelings or emotions when they're upset. how am i suppose to be with someone who refuses to share intimacy and emotion and would rather sit on their ipad or computer all day playing online games or on facebook. whose only conversation is about her day and all of her problems and when she's depressed and i try to make her feel better just sits and won't accept my love? who doesn't want to cook, clean or even go out? who can't and won't be a team with me? how am i suppose to trust someone like that? so for the last month she's been all depressed about our finances, about life and work. she's been seeing a therapist but doesn't want to take meds and is going through cognitive behavior. she says i need to see someone too but i already went through counseling last year and the year before when my ex wife was putting me through hell and to this day year later hasn't allowed me to see my son...but that's another story.

now this week with my new job i had to work on thanksgiving. my wife took vacation to go home and once again i'm the selfish one. last week she said apart of her being so depressed is the money i've given her has gone down and she doesn't think she'll be able to see her family. once again God blessed us and i got money from the va and was able to give her a few bucks to go home. she's been playing the lottery alot lately and his this addiction and won $75 dollars that i didn't know about. when i found out this tuesday i had to work on thanksgiving she said how bad she felt and all and wanted me to go so she left to see her family while i'm here alone by myself. so i planned come up thursday after work and come home friday with her. somehow we miscommunicated and she's not coming home til saturday so i said forget it i'll stay home. she got upset and said i was being selfish and childish and i suggested how could i be selfish when i wanted you to go home? i even told her if it was me i would've stay home but my family is on the west coast so i have no other choice but to be here alone so why would i make her stay with me? she was so depressed and sad about not seeing her family now she's mad and upset because in her mind i was making her choose between seeing her kids and being here with me when i never once said that. now it seems like we're back in this vicious circle of arguing and fighting and i'm tired and want to leave. i'm too scared to leave because i don't want to be a disappoint to her and her boys who are the eye of my heart and whom my parents love too and i'm afraid of not being able to support myself either. i don't know what to do anymore and i don't want to be in a loveless marriage either. i've suggested marriage counseling but it doesn't seem like she wants to go. i don't know what to do...sorry for the long story but this has been on my chest for sometime and i don't have anyone to talk to and i'm going crazy trying to decide should i leave or go...any help would be appreciated...Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Please guys I know this is a long post but I had to give a back story in order to tell this...please help! I don't wanna leave but this love is killing me and I want to fix this...
 

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Lawrence, welcome to the TAM forum. Many of the behaviors you describe -- the verbal abuse, physical abuse, temper tantrums, inability to trust, inability to control her emotions, lack of impulse control, and rapid flips between loving you and devaluing you -- are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Importantly, every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all of the BPD traits. At low levels, these traits are not harmful. They become a problem only when they are strong and persistent enough to undermine one's ability to sustain a close LTR.

An important question, then, is whether your W has most of the BPD traits at a moderate to strong level. I don't know the answer to that question. Indeed, I've never even met her. I nonetheless believe that you are capable of spotting strong occurrences of those traits if you take time to learn what red flags to look for.

This is not to say you will be able to diagnose your W's issues. No, only professionals can do that. You nonetheless should be able to spot any and all red flags that are present. There is nothing subtle or nuanced about BPD traits such as verbal and physical abuse, temper tantrums, irrational jealousy, and inability to trust.

If you decide that she does have most BPD traits at a strong level, I would encourage you to see YOUR OWN psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you and the boys are dealing with. Seeing your own psychologist is important because, if she actually does have strong BPD traits, it is very unlikely that a therapist treating her will tell her (much less you) the name of that disorder. This information is routinely withheld from high functioning BPDers for their own protection (which is why, if you suspect BPD traits, you should NOT discuss your suspicions with your W).
she would get so mad and start throwing my things and yelling at me. ... i've had to restrain her or push her away from actually hurting me....she was kicking, throwing things, biting me, hitting me.
If your W is a BPDer (i.e., has strong traits), these physical outbursts would not be surprising. Such physical abuse is strongly associated with BPD and, to a lesser extent, with Antisocial PD. A 1993 Canadian psychiatric study, for example, found that nearly all of the spouse batterers studied had a PD and half of them had full blown BPD.

The reason that BPDers are strongly associated with spousal physical abuse is that they have great difficulty controlling their emotions and also lack impulse control. On top of that, they frequently do black-white thinking -- i.e., they can flip in ten seconds from adoring you to devaluing (even hating) you based solely on a minor comment or action. If your W does a lot of B-W thinking, it will be evident in the way she categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad" -- and then, in ten seconds, can recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other based on a minor (or imaginary) infraction.
she has been through a lot in life with her parents growing up in a broken home, an abusive mother, and people letting her down all her life....her mother was down here abusing her and i called the police on her mother
Well, I don't know whether your W has strong BPD traits. But, if she does, we both know the likely source: her mother. A recent large scale study (pub. 2008) found that 70% of BPDers say they were abused or abandoned (or raised by an emotionally unavailable mother) in early childhood.

Importantly, being abused in childhood does not necessarily mean the child will have BPD. On the contrary, most abused children do not develop BPD. Such abuse, however, GREATLY raises a child's risk for developing it.
after a short while we moved in together and we instantly became best friends. we sat and watched movies all day, we went out and enjoyed life, and sex was great.
Because BPDers have extremely low personal boundaries and very weak self images, they will quickly mirror the best features of the person they are attracted to. It therefore is common, on meeting a BPDer, to have the feeling you've known her for a long time -- after only an hour or two. And, within a few weeks, it is common to feel like you've met your soul mate. Hence, if your W is a BPDer, your courtship period likely started out with intense passion, great sex, and fireworks.
the sex has changed to about once a month at best because it pains her to her sex now.
It is typical, with BPDers, for the intense passion and great sex to go off a cliff several months after the marriage ceremony, if not much sooner. If I understand you correctly, you had about 3 months of such a passionate existence when you started dating. Then the kids and MIL moved in and everything soured. And then, after the marriage, you had another 2-3 months of passion before it went over the cliff.
i saw on her facebook where she sent a old friend "i just need to find someone who can be a man and take care of me and my kids."
If she suffers from strong BPD traits, she is convinced she is "The Victim," always "The Victim." Because that is the closest thing to a self image she has, she will maintain a death grip on it, always looking for validation of that false self image. This is one reason she goes out looking for "The Savior," i.e., the man who will come in and save her by caring for her and her kids.

But a BPDer doesn't really want to be saved at all. Rather, she only wants validation of her being "The Victim" who needs saving. Hence, if your W really is a BPDer, every time you pull her from the raging seas, you will find her jumping right back into the water as soon as you turn your head.
she even asked me to take money out of my child support money orders so she could get her hair done! i was shocked.
Yes, that behavior is shocking -- but it would not be surprising if your W has strong BPD traits.
her ex husband .... was awful to her.
Do you know that for a fact? Keep in mind that she has already started bad mouthing you. As you noted, " she claimed she was scared of me." If she is a BPDer, she likely will say awful things about all of her exBFs, thus reinforcing the notion that she is a poor little victim in need of being saved. And, if that is the case, she will soon be saying the same about you. My BPDer exW, for example, told me for years about how her exH had abused and beaten her. By the end of our 15 year marriage, she was saying even worse things about me. Indeed, she had me thrown into jail on a bogus charge of "brutalizing her." Like you, I had pushed her away from me during one of her many rages.
[She]... says hurtful things like "i don't believe in love", or "don't count on people because they'll just hurt you in the end." ...everyday i was being accused of cheating ... and i never once cheated.
You are describing a woman who has a strong fear of abandonment, because such a fear typically results in irrational jealousy that is untouchable by logic or a rational discussion. I mention this because, if your W does NOT have such a fear, she does NOT have a pattern of strong BPD traits. The fear of abandonment, the fear of engulfment (from intimacy), and emotional instability are the three key traits of BPD. Although there are other traits, those three are essential or you are not describing a strong pattern of BPD traits.
i told her i couldn't trust her.
If she is a BPDer, you CAN'T trust her. The reason is that a BPDer is so emotionally unstable that she cannot trust HERSELF. Until she learns how to do that, she is incapable of trusting anyone else for an extended period. It took me 15 years to learn that, when a woman is incapable of trusting you, you can never trust HER. The reason is that she is capable of turning on you at any time -- and she WILL turn eventually.
she's been playing the lottery a lot lately and has this addiction....
Addictive behavior indicates a lack of impulse control -- another classic trait of BPD.
now she's mad and upset because in her mind i was making her choose between seeing her kids and being here with me when i never once said that. now it seems like we're back in this vicious circle of arguing and fighting.
If she is a BPDer, she has been carrying enormous anger inside since early childhood. You therefore don't have to do a thing to CREATE the anger. Rather, you only have to say or do some trivial thing that TRIGGERS the anger that is already there. Moreover, a BPDer typically regards all of her intense feelings as "facts." That is, the logical part of her mind does not intellectually challenge her intense feelings. It therefore is common for a BPDer to insist that you do something and then later -- when she has tired of it -- to turn around and chastise you for having done it.

My exW, for example, would beg and plead for expensive items (e.g., a $3,500 piano and $6,000 on sewing machines) and then, when I asked why she never used them, she would claim she had selected defective products because she feared my reaction if she had chosen a quality product. Similarly, she was always thrilled with my expensive gifts of clothing, furniture, and jewelry -- for a week or two. After that, it was always the wrong color, wrong size, or wrong style. And it was always my fault.
i've suggested marriage counseling but it doesn't seem like she wants to go. i don't know what to do...
I suggest you start by reading about BPD traits to see if most sound very familiar. An easy place to start is my post in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings a lot of bells and you suspect your W has strong BPD traits, I would advise against seeing a MC or an IC who is treating your W.

When BPD traits are a strong risk, your very best chance of obtaining a candid professional opinion is to see YOUR OWN psychologist who is not treating her. It is important to see a professional who is ethically bound to protect your best interests, not hers. Finally, if you would like to read more about BPD traits, I would be glad to point you to good online resources. Take care, Lawrence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate your response Uptown and it does make perfect sense. I still now I have some questions that maybe you can shed some light on seeing as how you dealt with this for the better part of 10 years.

First let me start by giving you some dynamics..anyone else please feel free to chime in.


Family Dynamics

We both grew up in very dysfunctional households. My mother reminds me of her so much. It's scary how much their moods are so much the same. My mother argued and screamed and father for the stupidest of things. She'd yell and cut my father down never giving him an ounce of credit for anything. Nothing my dad does is ever really good enough, but since it's been the two of them for the last 5 years my mom has calmed down more as she gets older. Her mother and father were divorced when she was young and when she was 12 she had a nervous breakdown. Her father is there but chose not to deal with her mother. Her mother to put it in a term is very manipulative and controlling. I've heard her mother call her to her face everything to a ***** to *****...literally. She has two boys from a previous marriage that are her world and it's great seeing her with them. They live about 250 miles north of us so she misses them alot too. I have 1 year old I never see.


Mental Health

We both have had difficult bouts with depression. I have also been diagnosed as having general anxiety. I've gone to therapy for 2 years when I first came to Georgia and it changed my life in a major way. I did often drink which fueled alot of my depression sometimes as well. There are days when she's flat out depressed and says she "just want's to be alone". 2 weeks ago she slept on the couch 4 days in a row and slept in the same clothing. i try to help her but she becomes really irritable and says i'm bothering her and she's fine. My moods are often laid back and easy going but because of my anxiety i become easily frustrated and nervous, so it's hard to help her when she's going through her bouts because i don't know if i'm doing anything to help, she never tells me what's wrong and it frustrates me. She is now going to a therapist and I hope that she takes the time to work on herself because we both need it.


Love/Emotion

I know that we love each other and it shows itself through some of the kind things we do to each other. We laugh and smile but not enough to carry us through some of our tougher times. It's hard to judge her emotions because there's days when she's very stressed from work and other things and talks constantly about she hates her job, but then there's day when she comes home and is as chipper as can be. I think someone mentioned like walking on egg shells. I'm a very emotional person as well and I like to talk about things where she doesn't so much and it frustrates me because she's so unavailable at times.


Affection/Intimacy

I'm often affectionate trying to make the first move in any type of contact. Whether or not it's holding hands or things in the bedroom I make a effort to try to show her love. There times when I become frustrated because I can't judge her mood or when she'll ever be in the mood because either she has stories about how the past men in her life treated her badly and makes it hard for her to be any of the above or she's in pain everywhere. There are times when she does want to do things like have me hold her or sex but it's only when she wants it and other times it seems like it's just so I won't "bother her" as she puts it.

Selfishness/Caring

We are both very caring people. Sometimes I think I care too much and try to make things as right as I can and it back fires. She's very caring to almost to the point where people will run over her. She's a very hard worker and a smart person and is a straight A college student. I'm going back to school because of her. She has a tendency to be very selfish at times and it's hard to tell whether or not it's being selfish or she flat out just doesn't want to do things. We both get lazy we the house chores but we clean when we're both not so much tired. Lately she's stopped cleaning all together and cooking. We eat out every night and we have groceries in the house, so I've been picking up a majority of those duties. I always go to the store if she needs something where times because she's so into the internet, phone or whatever else it feels like the only time we talk is about her issues and when I can do something for her but those are my insecurities and I try to just do them anyway.

Physical Health

I'm in good physical health and my job on the railroad keeps me on my feet mos of the day walking so I stay in pretty good shape. I can stand to loose some weight but I'm just too lazy to work out. She has hip, shoulder, knee, leg, headaches often, and takes alot of medication for it. She's in constant pain and recently has been going to the OB/GYN for fibroids which she says is common in her family. We went to the doctor together and he found nothing so I can say all I know is it causes her pain.

Projecting/Transferring

Alot of this goes on between us. She has a bad habit of accusing me of things I've never done and digging up things that's happened to her in her past as evidence that I may be doing the samething.

Trust

She says she trust me but it's hard to know how when I've had to literally change my gmail, facebook, twitter, and put a lock on my phone because she would run through it. She just told me about the other day when I was looking up the effects fibroids and what happens to women during and after if they need a hystorecemy. She thought I was looking at how sex was going to be but I was honestly trying to gain some knowledge just like know to figure out how to handle her and not be ignorant to her situation. Neither of us have ever cheated. She has the worst issue with me talking to women or women talking to me but it's okay for men to call her or for her to communicate with people she's been intimate with before. I had to worst issue with her talking to a supervisor at our last job whom she slept with and was married and talked to his wife like nothing happened. It just was so messy and it pissed me off. I got in touch with one of my ex's while I was doing photography to ask if she knew anyone willing to take pictures and it was a huge fight when she went through my phone and saw it.

Lying/Truth

I don't see any issues with this. She says I don't tell her the whole truth but when I try to she'll blow up about things so I just tend to avoid the confrontations. She did take $5 out of my wallet a few weeks back and didn't tell me...oh boy let me touch her wallet.

Communication

We communicate when we're discussing our personal problems but when we talk about our marriage things go haywire. Either we fight about it and never come a conclusion, she becomes sarcastic, or everything is my fault and I wind up being the one to always say sorry. I can count on my hand the times she's said sorry and she's never been wrong. I think this is the biggest issue we face because she's so emotionless and shows no empathy to anyone's situations but hers it frustrates me to no end and we just never come to any kind of resolution or compromise...another huge issue. I often try to compromise but she blasts me with "Well what about when I tried to do that" like asking me to hold her in the middle of the night when I'm dead sleep at 3 A.M. We're both guilty of taking the things we say about each other personally and I believe its because we talk at one another and we both talk over each other and we eventually don't hear one another out.

Finances

Lately things have been tough financially but we put ourselves in that whole. She's stopped cooking and so she'll buy food breakfast, lunch and dinner some day. When she wants something she has to have it but I'm the same way if i know I have the money. She recently financed a iPad which she had to have soooo bad. i smoke so my money goes towards that and she's picked up this lotto/scratch off habbit of her mothers lately.


Do people that suffer from BPD commonly cheat?

Are they able to reach any kind of rational conclusions?

Are they unable to be affectionate/intimate towards their partner?

Do they have a tendency to have hypochondria.

What can I do to help her out and how can I better understand how to cope with BPD
 

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You've married your mother and seen how nothing pleased her. It sounds like your wife is very similar. While I do see signs of her potentially having borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder, the question I have for you is why don't you deserve better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I ask myself this alot too but I guess it's fear of failing in another marriage plus the fact that I don't want to give up. People can change and I know I can't change her she's got to want that for herself, but I want to have patience because she had that while I was going through my struggles as well, but now it's almost as if in me waiting and being patient she's giving me her ass to kiss to now it's a two edged sword.
 

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Do people that suffer from BPD commonly cheat?
The vague estimates I've seen for the incidence of cheating by all wives seem to range between 10 and 15%. I've never seen any estimates, much less hard data, for the comparable figure for BPDer wives. My guess is that BPDers would be more likely to cheat because they typically are impulsive and engage in risk taking. But I seriously doubt that most high functioning BPDers cheat during a marriage.
Are they able to reach any kind of rational conclusions?
Yes, absolutely. Their problem is being unstable, not stupid. The vast majority of BPDers are high functioning, which means they generally interact very well with casual friends, business associates, and strangers. It is common to see HF BPDers excelling in many demanding professions such as college teaching, psychiatry, nursing, social work, and film acting.

Indeed, I worked for four years with an extremely bright, intelligent, rational attorney who was my boss. Needless to say, I was careful to never cross her. She therefore "split me white," holding me in high regard for the full four years. Indeed, she gave me a big hug when I ran into her on the street a few years ago. Others were not so lucky, however. She would punish the most minor infraction (e.g., a simple disagreement) with harsh treatment (banishing people to other departments before the work day even ended).

It therefore is common to see a HF BPDer being highly rational all day long at work -- and then go home at night to be very irrational around her spouse. Remember, although BPD is considered to be a "thought distortion," it does NOT distort one's perception of the physical world. Rather, it only distorts the perception of other peoples' motivations and intentions. And, for HF BPDers, that distortion typically occurs only when the other people try to become a close friend, thereby triggering the BPDer's two great fears (abandonment and engulfment).
Are they unable to be affectionate/intimate towards their partner?
No, on the contrary, they typically crave intimacy and affection like all the rest of us. And, when they are intimate and affectionate, they exhibit a level of intensity and passion that you likely have never experienced with a normal, stable woman. Further, they typically exhibit a warmth and purity of expression that otherwise is usually seen only in young children.

The problem is not that they cannot be intimate but, rather, that they can only tolerate it intermittently and in small doses. After a short period of intimacy, a BPDer will get a frightening feeling of being engulfed -- of being suffocated and controlled -- of being dominated by her partner's strong personality. When a person has a fragile, unstable sense of herself, she finds herself in a lose-lose situation. On the one hand, she craves to be intimate with someone having a strong personality that will ground her and center her. On the other hand, as soon as she gets it, the intimacy will quickly feel suffocating, frightening, and painful.

This is why BPDers are notorious for creating arguments -- over absolutely nothing at all -- to push you away immediately after a wonderful weekend spent together or a passionate evening. They need the breathing space. When I took my exW on expensive vacations, for example, I usually found that she would create a big fight about 3 days into the trip (if not sooner).
Do they have a tendency to have hypochondria.
Yes, I believe so. A recent study (pub. 2010) shows that 3/4 of hypochondriacs have at least one personality disorder. See The prevalence of personality disorders in... [J Clin Psychiatry. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI. Another study (pub. 2008) found that most BPDers have a comorbid Axis I disorder, which could include hypochondria. Yet, when it comes to the percent of BPDers having hypochondria -- the very issue you raise -- I've not seen any hard figures or estimates.

Instead, I've seen only a lot of anecdotal evidence of the strong connection between the two. See, e.g., AAPEL's discussion of it at AAPEL - BPD and somatoform disorder. AAPEL lists many small scale studies, one of which (pub. 1994) found that, of 18 patients with factitious illness (Munchausen syndrome), half had BPD.

One reason that BPD is widely believed to be associated with physical complaints is that BPDers have a continual need to validate their false self image of being "The Victim." It therefore seems common for them to develop a subconscious feeling that they have various illnesses and body aches. At a conscious level, they truly believe the illnesses exist. Another reason is that the depression, anxiety, and anger associated with BPD will actually weaken a BPDer's immune system and make her more vulnerable to various ailments.

Despite the lack of hard data, BPD is believed to be strongly associated with fibromyalgia. See, for example, Is there a Link Between BPD and Fibromyalgia? * Is there a Link Between BPD and Fibromyalgia? - Dr. Leland Heller is a family physician who has treated thousands of patients with the Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD is a medical disorder and that. Anecdotally, I can report that this certainly was my experience. My exW and her two sisters, all of whom developed BPD after being sexually molested by their father for years in childhood, always complained of vague body aches that moved from one part of the body to the other. All three were diagnosed as having fibromyalgia.
What can I do to help her out?
Not much, if she is a BPDer. You cannot fix her. She must do that for herself and, sadly, it is rare for HF BPDers to have the self awareness and ego strength needed to do it. With a stable woman, you could help by loving her and holding her tight. With a BPDer, however, being loved is nearly as painful as not being loved at all.

Hence, trying to heal a BPDer by loving her is as counterproductive as trying to heal a burn patient by hugging her. The best that can be done -- if she has only mild to moderate BPD traits -- is to learn how to validate her feelings. Validation techniques are explained in the book, Stop Walking on Eggshells. My experience, however, is that it doesn't get you very far. As to MC, that is totally worthless until a BPDer has had several years of IC to learn how to manage her issues, which go far beyond a simple lack of communication skills. MC can be helpful, however, when a spouse has only mild traits of BPD.
How can I better understand how to cope with BPD?
I don't know that you need to. As I said, I don't know whether your W has most BPD traits at a strong and persistent level. I therefore am NOT trying to convince you she does.

Instead, I have been encouraging you to learn how to identify the red flags because I am confident you will be able to spot any red flags that are occurring. And I have been encouraging you to see your own psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid opinion on what you and the two boys are dealing with. Yet, if you already believe that your W does have strong BPD traits, I offer the following suggestions:

As an initial matter, I recommend that you NOT tell her about your suspicions. If she is a BPDer, she almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you, believing YOU to be the BPDer. Instead, simply encourage her to see a good psychologist (not a MC) and let the psych decide what to tell her.

Second, if you haven't already done so, I suggest you read my post about BPD traits at the link I provided above. If that description rings a lot of bells, I would be glad to discuss with you how some traits seem to fit or others don't fit at all.

Third,, I suggest you read Stop Walking on Eggshells, the best-selling BPD book targeted to the abused spouses. Or, if you ever decide to get a divorce, I recommend you read Splitting: Protecting Yourself when Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist. Both books are written by the same author.

Fourth, I suggest you start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum I've found that is devoted fully to the spouses and family members of BPDers. It offers eight separate message boards on various BPD issues. The ones that likely will be most helpful to you are the "Staying" board, "Leaving" board, and "Raising a Child when One Parent Has BPD."

Fifth, while you are at BPDfamily.com, I suggest you read the excellent articles in their resources section. My favorite is "Surviving a Breakup with Someone with BPD" at T9 Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder - Columbia University, New York.

Sixth, I again suggest you see a clinical psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with.

Seventh, I suggest you give serious consideration to Kathy Batesel's advice. I always do. Lawrence, you are lucky to have attracted Kathy's attention.

Finally, please don't forget those of us on this TAM forum. We want to keep trying to answer your questions and providing emotional support as long as you find our shared experiences helpful. Moreover, by sharing your own experiences here, you likely are helping many other members and lurkers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Uptown

Thanks again for the information and I you opened my eyes to a lot

Kathy

I am a nice guy and I've read the 180 Its time for me not to be scared and try
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