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My marriage is not an easy one. my husband has lots of residual crap from a really abusive childhood. When we got married I was very naive and very innocent. I thought if I just loved him enough he would leave all the baggage behind. Dumb, I know that now!

Anyway, there are just so many rules. His mother has BPD. We know this for sure, she has been diagnosed by more than one counselor. Sometimes my DH acts like he has it too. he acts like i am on one big mission to ruin his life. However, I have gotten him to go counseling and they say that it is learned behavior, not actual BPD. He works on it...but there are just so many rules. It makes me tired.

I have stuck it out this long and don't plan to run out (18 years)....but some days I just don't want to have to work this hard for it.

I know there have to be other people out there who have difficult marriages. What do you do to convince yourself to keep going on those days when you feel like it is just too much? I know there are so many good things etc. I remind myself of those things often.

Today was just too much. I had to leave the house at a certain time to take my son to get his braces on. He was nervous, I was stressed because of the $$$$$$s with this experience. My DH woke up crosswise this morning. I know the rule....don't talk to him until he gets completely woke up because he is "edgy" in the mornings. He has had this rule for a long time. usually I remember it. This morning i had been up a while (I am a chronic insomniac) and he came down stairs to get coffee and mentioned he was feeling crabby about work (they got him a new phone that is an indestructible smart phone and he is annoyed about it for some reason I don't understand other than he thought it was going to be huge base don what someone told him). I didn't realize it was still off limits time because he talked to me. I looked up the phone and came to tell him that it is only the size of an Iphone, not a big deal...thought that would help him not be frustrated. he started talking - he talks a LOT....and all of the sudden, after about 20 minutes he flipped out because I broke the rule, came and talked to him etc. I just left the room, appologized etc. He went back to bed! that is what he does when he says that I screw him over...whatever. It was raining, they work outside, he could have worked at the shop on his truck today but not a big deal that he didn't get there early.

I tried again before I left to encourage him that the counselor has told us to keep short accounts. That I was sorry, i didn't know etc. He went off on me again about not respecting him. It is like a switch flips and he becomes this totally irrational, unreasonable person that I don't know. that happened this morning. i know we all have moments like that...I do too. I told him that it was never my intention to upset him, that I was sorry he misunderstood my intentions and that I was going to take my son to get his braces.

When I got home, he was still here, and still angry. I just went into my office and shut the door. At this point I started to cry because everyone has their limit. He happened to walk in and started going off about how I disrespected him and it is not too much for a man to ask for respect from his family in his own home. I again told him I was sorry, that it was never my intention to upset him. That was all I said. Later he came in and asked what it would take for me to "move on". I told him I was done with the discussion. I have class today, he needed to go to work and to just drop it.

I know that at some point he will flip the switch back and be reasonable again and will be very sorry and embarrassed for his behavior. I also know that i forgot the "rule" and I shouldn't have interacted with him until he initiated it...I just misunderstood and though that his conversation was initiation.

Anyway, my ultimate goal is to make this WORK. i don't want to leave the marriage etc. When he is not like this, I do love him very much. I just wish it wasn't so much work. I never talk to my friends IRL about this stuff because I don't want people to judge him or look down on him. I know how the description makes him sound. Sometimes I just feel very lonely and upset and tired.

What do you do when you are just tired of working so hard? Or maybe other people were smarter than me and didn't marry damaged people? I know that what is there when the damage is not showing up is incredible. it is just that when the damage does show up, all he can focus on is how all this affects HIM. No one else figures in.

I am very glad that he doesn't present clinically like BPD, but it might help to have an explanation! He has problems with depression and ADD. the medications for depression make the ADD worse. But he doesn't like to take meds for the ADD because he feels like the "dull him too much". I have learned to deal with that. he has been evaluated and ruled out for bipolar, the shifts are too quick. all in all, his behavior presents very much like BPD except that it only happens like every 4-8 wks that he is really a jerk. Not pervasive enough for BPD according to the therapists we have seen. They say it is more indicative of PTSD and something triggers his "defense mechanism" and he freaks out. I know that mornings with his mom were terrible. He won't talk about it but his sister has told me some things that horrify me about the level of abuse on every family member in the mornings when they were trying to get out of the house. I know that he needs to just align his world in the mornings, I understand that and I have great compassion for him.

I guess sometimes I just wish I could be the weak one for a day! I wish i didn't have to remember all these rules. I wish I could just be ME and it would be okay. :(

Pity party for 1 today apparently. Tell me to get my big girl panties on and to grow up please!
 

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I think you have got to stop apologizing to him and start demanding that he apologize if he wants to keep waking up next to you. Stop worrying so much about following his rules and start recognizing what your rules are and how to follow your own needs.

It's irrelevant if he feels he can control these episodes of his. Your needs are what matter. If he cannot control his episodes then you have to distance yourself from him. It's really that simple, which is what makes is so incredibly difficult.
 

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Whether he has BPD or ADD or anything else he is irrational and not able to control his anger (has he ever done any anger management courses...he might need to). It doesn't look like his meds are doing what they should be.. does it? It's going to be really difficult to work on your marriage with someone who turns from Jeckle to Hyde every few weeks.

Do you feel safe around him?? When he goes off?

His rules are just stupid and childish. No one can live like that. Stop playing by his rules... despite what he thinks...he's NOT the boss of you... unless you let him be.

You know.... people treat us the way we let them. When he 'goes off' on you why not just say you'll talk to him when he calms down and leave the room. He'll probably get mighty p!ssed at you... stand your ground and don't allow him to bully you anymore.

It sounds like you need to pick your times to fight this battle...when he's feeling good and happy.

Stand tall. Be brave.

You don't deserve to be shouted at like that... it must be horrible.
 

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You need to grow a pair (figuratively of course).

Stop crying. Stop apologizing. Stop abiding by the "rules". He is feeding off the attention you give him.

Next time he has a tantrum, tell him to grow up. If he wants to sulk, let him. Stand up for yourself. You're letting him walk all over you.
 

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I have gotten him to go counseling and they say that it is learned behavior, not actual BPD.
They say? Who is "they"? To find out what you are dealing with, you should be obtaining the opinion of a psychologist (i.e., has a PhD degree in psychology). Although some MCs may be able to diagnose PDs, their skill sets vary far too much for you to be relying on a MC. And they lack the training to treat PDs.

Even assuming your H has been seeing a psychologist, you cannot rely on his therapist for candid information. I wish someone had told me that before I spent a small fortune taking my BPDer exW to weekly visits with six different psychologists -- and several MCs -- over a period of 15 years. I learned that, for anyone married to an abusive angry spouse, relying on HIS or HER psychologist to give you a candid diagnosis likely will be a disastrous course of action. I say this for four reasons.

First, psychologists may never witness your H's BPD traits. Because BPDers generally are excellent actors, it is a cakewalk for them to hide their BPD traits during a 50-minute session held only once a week. It therefore may take a psychiatrist years to see the dysfunctional behaviors you see all week long -- and it is highly unlikely a BPDer will remain in therapy that long.

Second, even assuming that the psych has sufficient time to identify a BPDer's disorder, it is unlikely that the psych will ever tell YOU. Therapists are loath to tell a BPDer -- much less tell his spouse -- the true diagnosis. Because BPDers have fragile egos, giving him the name of his disorder almost certainly will result in his immediately quitting therapy.

Third, in the very unlikely event he stays in therapy, telling him the name of his disorder may cause his behavior to become WORSE, not better. Because BPDers have a fragile, unstable sense of who they are, they are often looking to other people for cues on how to behave. The danger of disclosing the disorder name, then, is that it will give the patient a new identity as "the BPDer." The result is that a patient who had been exhibiting 5 or 6 BPD traits may suddenly start exhibiting 8 or 9.

A fourth reason is that therapists know that listing the diagnosis as "BPD" almost certainly means insurance companies will refuse to cover any of the therapy sessions. It therefore is common for the "diagnosis" to be listed, instead, as one of the side effects or comorbid disorders, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or adult ADHD -- all of which are covered by insurance. Of course, if the therapist cannot tell the insurance company the true diagnosis, he cannot safely tell the BPDer either -- or her husband.

No secret to therapists.
This withholding of information is no secret in the psychiatric community and has been discussed in academic articles for decades. See, e.g., the classic 1992 Dartmouth Medical School article at The Beginning of Wisdom Is Never Calling a Patient a Borderline; or, The Clinical Management of Immature Defenses in the Treatment of Individuals With Personality Disorders -- VAILLANT 1 (2): 117 -- Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research. More recently (May 2009), the Columbia Univ. College of Phys. & Surgeons devoted a workshop to this very issue, i.e., when to withhold and when to disclose the BPD diagnosis. See http://www.borderlinepersonalitydiso...sure_Hersh.pdf.

No secret to attorneys. Likewise, this withholding of information is no secret to the family-law attorneys who specialize in divorces and spousal abuse. One such firm -- located in Calif and NV -- explains on its website why there is little chance of being able to use a BPD diagnosis in the divorce proceedings against a very abusive spouse. This article, by trial lawyer Joel Douglas, states:
"Often mental health care clinicians in completing their DSM list of differential diagnoses will “defer” or simply leave an Axis II diagnostic impression blank, irrespective of whether a personality disorder exists."
Douglas gives four reasons as to why "many psychotherapists are loathe to list Axis II personality disorders." See full article at Bonne Bridges, Mueller, O'Keefe & Nichols - Do You Know Someone Like This: The Borderline Personality Disorder.

For these reasons, Carisma, I suggest you see a clinical psychologist -- on your own for a visit or two -- to obtain a candid opinion about your H's issues. I also suggest you be very skeptical about the declared diagnosis of "learned BPD traits."

For you to rely on his therapist's advice during the marriage would be as foolish as relying on his attorney's advice during a divorce. Such professionals are ethically bound to protect their client's best interests, not yours. It therefore is important to consult with your own psychologist, who is ethically bound to protect your interests. Take care, Carisma
 

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It's okay to cry in frustration about it all.

That being said.. One, maybe two apologies for breaking his "no talk rule" in the morning was enough/sufficient.

After that & he kept coming back to holler about him not getting respect... then I'd have told him. " I already apologized twice. I meant it. but I will not apologize again. If you cannot accept that & forgive me, that is your own anguish you are carrying.

Just because I wanted to discuss something with you does not mean that I disrespect you. However, the tone you are taking with me right now, does not respect me as your wife. I am not your child, I am not your mother. I don't appreciate you griping at me that way. End of convo".

Then, if you can, leave for a bit. Go take the son to the library, to Mc D's.. or just for a walk in the park.

He's just tooo angry.
 

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Whether he has BPD or ADD or anything else he is irrational and not able to control his anger....
Waiwera, I agree with most of what you say. With this statement, however, I believe you intend to say "has difficulty controlling his anger." If Carisma's H has strong BPD traits, as she believes, he is able to control his anger -- but chooses not to do so. And he will keep making that same bad choice as long as he is allowed to keep behaving like a spoiled four year old -- and get away with it.

If you doubt that a BPDer can actually control his own anger, you can quickly learn the truth the very next time he throws an ugly temper tantrum by simply picking up the phone and calling the police. As soon as there is one knock on the front door, you will witness an "out of control" man transforming -- in only ten seconds -- into the calmest, most rational guy you've ever seen. Like a young child, a BPDer has the ability to exercise control when he has an incentive to do so. This is why it is important that BPDers be held fully accountable for their own actions. Otherwise, they will never have an incentive to confront their issues and learn how to manage them.
It doesn't look like his meds are doing what they should be.. does it?
Meds cannot make a dent in BPD traits and thus likely would have little or no impact on the Jekyll-Hyde transformations you mention. They nonetheless are prescribed to BPDers to reduce the comorbid anxiety or depression that often occurs.
 
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