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Husband of a BPD wife

J

Johnnybravo

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Leicester
Even though it hasnt been confirmed, we are sure my wife has BPD. Lockdown 1 was awful as my wife started drinking heavily, hiding bottles etc...on one occasion she was arrested.

When she drinks she becomes extremely aggressive and speaks bizarrely saying things like she hates me and suicidal talk.

Reflecting back I believe she has always had a "mild" drinking problem..her mum is an alcoholic and chuldhood was turbulent.

She had breast cancer in 2015 and after making a recovery this is where our marriage really struggled..since Chemotherapy it feels to me like her brain doesnt work correctly. She doesn't think things through, cant regulate emotions, becomes impulsive, narcissistic, angry and defensive.

We have two children aged 13 and 8 and social work/doctors involvement and I hope some support through psychiatric support and DBT.

Our marriage is pretty much over, I am exhausted from trying to help, being pushed away and "hated"...i stay at the moment to support the children and some days can be fantastic..which confuses me anymore. I have read a lot about BPD to gain understanding and I am also a therapist..this is both a blessing and curse i feel! Its good to have the self awareness and understanding but my natural deeply grained empathy struggles with getting through the day..espesh in lockdown. Her mood can change at the click of fingers....like xmas eve..i reasonably asked her not to go out at 1020pm that night coz kids get triggered etc and to try and work through the intensify of her feelings at home....she became highly excited, aggressive and wrote down funeral plans! Ive reported it to social workers..the next day she was lovely again. I would always support her "in sickness and in health " but feel need to get out..she doesn't want my help, in denial of her own issues; stonewalls me...i think she feels a bit "threatened " by my counselling knowledge....not that I try to be one with her at home...not at all....but i cant help try to make suggestions at times.


She thinks we better as friends, no intimacy in two years or sharing a bed..shes probably right but i worry about the impulsive behaviour...and of course the kids. There is also the dual disgnosis of alcohol and bpd issues and how they feed each other. I guess we just gotta wait till the medical intervention....again...i am more confident this time after a long chat with het GP.

But i feel numb, lost, on edge a lot.start my own therapy on the 21st which I am sure will help. Not sure what looking for here..just support and shared stories i guess.
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
3,257
Location
London, ON
the drinking would make anything worse, bpd or not.

I had a friend who had his cognitive abilities affected by chemo, so you might be right about it changing your wife.

I think therapy for you is a great idea, even if you can't get her to work on her own issues.
 
IcyShadow

IcyShadow

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
14
Location
UK
I was with someone for 10yrs who had BDP, the experience completely changed my personality. You can't expect yourself to be her 'therapist/Dr etc' you can only be her husband, otherwise you'll put too much pressure on yourself. But if the marriage is over, like you say, then don't feel guilty about wanting to get away from it. The complication of children and the lockdown makes everything more difficult of course.
With me, one minute she'd be loving, the next she would be arguing about the stupidest of things, and hate me. I too became numb. Years later I'm still not right, the damage done to me is, I think, permanent.

You need to care for yourself and your children.
 
J

Johnnybravo

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Leicester
Thanks lots ...very much appreciated. I dont feel i could go into there is progress with the alcohol/bpd issues...in social workers eyes I am the "responsible" parent and caregiver. And of course I wouldn't leave them. My daughter is soooo much like me..so they clash and she gets comments like "just like your dad" etc

Shame its come to this.
But gotta think about me and hopefully we can co parent healthily...IF she can get some help like DBT and really own up to the responsibilties and problems without this tiring feeling of " everyone getting at her"

Yes i certainly switch off to a large extent the therapist in me of course..but its soooo hard with my intuition and knowledge ive gained...but yeh i dont say much/anything as it escalates quickly. Today has been a hard day of her 'splitting " and being quite childlike..and i just pray to get through the day without a big drama..more for the kids sake than mine really.

Thanks again...and hopefully brighter days ahead.
 
L

Lostlady333

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Christchurch
Thanks lots ...very much appreciated. I dont feel i could go into there is progress with the alcohol/bpd issues...in social workers eyes I am the "responsible" parent and caregiver. And of course I wouldn't leave them. My daughter is soooo much like me..so they clash and she gets comments like "just like your dad" etc

Shame its come to this.
But gotta think about me and hopefully we can co parent healthily...IF she can get some help like DBT and really own up to the responsibilties and problems without this tiring feeling of " everyone getting at her"

Yes i certainly switch off to a large extent the therapist in me of course..but its soooo hard with my intuition and knowledge ive gained...but yeh i dont say much/anything as it escalates quickly. Today has been a hard day of her 'splitting " and being quite childlike..and i just pray to get through the day without a big drama..more for the kids sake than mine really.

Thanks again...and hopefully brighter days ahead.
First of all, you are doing an amazing job. I have bpd and we must be the hardest people to live with. It’s a bit hard to explain, but it’s not our choice, usually it from past trauma etc. I could be loving and hating all within a few hours. And sadly my marriage of 23 years didn’t last. And it must be so hard not knowing how your wife will be feeling even from minute to minute. Deep down she loves you and your children. And I know you are a therapist so you can somewhat understand her struggles. Couples counseling and dbt may be helpful. But you also have to look after yourself, and sometimes two parents who love their children is far better than two parents at war with each other. Good luck.
 
J

Johnnybravo

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Leicester
First of all, you are doing an amazing job. I have bpd and we must be the hardest people to live with. It’s a bit hard to explain, but it’s not our choice, usually it from past trauma etc. I could be loving and hating all within a few hours. And sadly my marriage of 23 years didn’t last. And it must be so hard not knowing how your wife will be feeling even from minute to minute. Deep down she loves you and your children. And I know you are a therapist so you can somewhat understand her struggles. Couples counseling and dbt may be helpful. But you also have to look after yourself, and sometimes two parents who love their children is far better than two parents at war with each other. Good luck.
Thanks..it can be hard to know where the BPD stops and the alcohol begins to be honest...odd behaviour last night where she seems adrift in her own closed off world. She went to her "support bubble" last night..and came back a little drunk...things didn't add up in what she was saying. To some it would sound like shes having an affair (quite concerned that when i think of that possibility i am just at the stage where id feel indifferent about it really) but deep down i don't think so...the only affair would be with a bottle...her coping mechanism. The docs have changed medication from Citalopram to Sertraline so we are having those withdrawal difficulties too..she feels ill today..tonsillitis we think ...but she self destructs all the time.
 
D

Dagoon

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Np20
Even though it hasnt been confirmed, we are sure my wife has BPD. Lockdown 1 was awful as my wife started drinking heavily, hiding bottles etc...on one occasion she was arrested.

When she drinks she becomes extremely aggressive and speaks bizarrely saying things like she hates me and suicidal talk.

Reflecting back I believe she has always had a "mild" drinking problem..her mum is an alcoholic and chuldhood was turbulent.

She had breast cancer in 2015 and after making a recovery this is where our marriage really struggled..since Chemotherapy it feels to me like her brain doesnt work correctly. She doesn't think things through, cant regulate emotions, becomes impulsive, narcissistic, angry and defensive.

We have two children aged 13 and 8 and social work/doctors involvement and I hope some support through psychiatric support and DBT.

Our marriage is pretty much over, I am exhausted from trying to help, being pushed away and "hated"...i stay at the moment to support the children and some days can be fantastic..which confuses me anymore. I have read a lot about BPD to gain understanding and I am also a therapist..this is both a blessing and curse i feel! Its good to have the self awareness and understanding but my natural deeply grained empathy struggles with getting through the day..espesh in lockdown. Her mood can change at the click of fingers....like xmas eve..i reasonably asked her not to go out at 1020pm that night coz kids get triggered etc and to try and work through the intensify of her feelings at home....she became highly excited, aggressive and wrote down funeral plans! Ive reported it to social workers..the next day she was lovely again. I would always support her "in sickness and in health " but feel need to get out..she doesn't want my help, in denial of her own issues; stonewalls me...i think she feels a bit "threatened " by my counselling knowledge....not that I try to be one with her at home...not at all....but i cant help try to make suggestions at times.


She thinks we better as friends, no intimacy in two years or sharing a bed..shes probably right but i worry about the impulsive behaviour...and of course the kids. There is also the dual disgnosis of alcohol and bpd issues and how they feed each other. I guess we just gotta wait till the medical intervention....again...i am more confident this time after a long chat with het GP.

But i feel numb, lost, on edge a lot.start my own therapy on the 21st which I am sure will help. Not sure what looking for here..just support and shared stories i guess.
Im the wife that has bpd. My partner although he isn't a therapist. Helps just by being there. I had an abusive childhood and teen years which left me with insecurities.
It seems to me that you no longer love your wife. And trust me. She knows this. We sense stuff that's not there, imagine what its like when the stuff is real.
Its hard living with us, and we know this, its hard for us too. And when you feel vibes from those close to us. We can act out. Mainly out of frustration because we don't know how to deal with our own emotions never mind explaining them to someone else.
They are very painful they get so intense its actually physically painful. My head at times is agony. I dont drink smoke or take drugs, but I used to, to help cope with what I didnt understand. I cant touch the stuff now as it plays havoc with my bpd. Unfortunately it doesn't come alone. I have depression and anxiety. Its hard being us. And having to deal with the fact her kids may get taken from her is so stressful. Be patient. How would she be if it was you?
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
289
Location
Southern USA
Even though it hasnt been confirmed, we are sure my wife has BPD. Lockdown 1 was awful as my wife started drinking heavily, hiding bottles etc...on one occasion she was arrested.

When she drinks she becomes extremely aggressive and speaks bizarrely saying things like she hates me and suicidal talk.

Reflecting back I believe she has always had a "mild" drinking problem..her mum is an alcoholic and chuldhood was turbulent.

She had breast cancer in 2015 and after making a recovery this is where our marriage really struggled..since Chemotherapy it feels to me like her brain doesnt work correctly. She doesn't think things through, cant regulate emotions, becomes impulsive, narcissistic, angry and defensive.

We have two children aged 13 and 8 and social work/doctors involvement and I hope some support through psychiatric support and DBT.

Our marriage is pretty much over, I am exhausted from trying to help, being pushed away and "hated"...i stay at the moment to support the children and some days can be fantastic..which confuses me anymore. I have read a lot about BPD to gain understanding and I am also a therapist..this is both a blessing and curse i feel! Its good to have the self awareness and understanding but my natural deeply grained empathy struggles with getting through the day..espesh in lockdown. Her mood can change at the click of fingers....like xmas eve..i reasonably asked her not to go out at 1020pm that night coz kids get triggered etc and to try and work through the intensify of her feelings at home....she became highly excited, aggressive and wrote down funeral plans! Ive reported it to social workers..the next day she was lovely again. I would always support her "in sickness and in health " but feel need to get out..she doesn't want my help, in denial of her own issues; stonewalls me...i think she feels a bit "threatened " by my counselling knowledge....not that I try to be one with her at home...not at all....but i cant help try to make suggestions at times.


She thinks we better as friends, no intimacy in two years or sharing a bed..shes probably right but i worry about the impulsive behaviour...and of course the kids. There is also the dual disgnosis of alcohol and bpd issues and how they feed each other. I guess we just gotta wait till the medical intervention....again...i am more confident this time after a long chat with het GP.

But i feel numb, lost, on edge a lot.start my own therapy on the 21st which I am sure will help. Not sure what looking for here..just support and shared stories i guess.
I hope you don't plan to leave your children with her.
 
P

PuppyBackpack19

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
21
Location
The World
I hope you don't plan to leave your children with her.
I grew up with a mother who probably has BPD, she never admits that she has a problem, well she doesn't admit that she has a problem with narcissism, pushing people's boundaries, shifting moods, egocentrism and so on. I swore I wouldn't go back there to my parent's house but due to the current economic downturn (i'm in my early 20s, so sadly not a ton of savings yet) and tons of folks being unemployed, I'm back there again. I try to stay as far away from her as I can.

Thanks to the childhood experiences, I've got all sorts of anxiety and depression, and of course my mom doesn't admit her role in that stuff.

But yeah, I highly recommend NOT leaving the children there if you can.
 
J

Johnnybravo

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Leicester
Some good comments here ...and a little judgement too disappointingly...
Think its worth remembering that all circumstances can be different even if the symptoms are the same.

At the moment she is waiting on her psychologist referral which i encouraged...and glad to see she is being positive about that. I care for her very much, ive also been assaulted by her...the drink fuelled rage is far far worse than the BPD on its own...and on a "good" day for her I haven't experienced any empathy or intimacy (of ANY kind, i am not talking sexual) and she wants to encourage a separation..but i am doing all i can. We have a team meeting on Thursday.


I am optimistic for the future...however that looks. Thanks for your support
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
289
Location
Southern USA
Some good comments here ...and a little judgement too disappointingly...
Think its worth remembering that all circumstances can be different even if the symptoms are the same.

At the moment she is waiting on her psychologist referral which i encouraged...and glad to see she is being positive about that. I care for her very much, ive also been assaulted by her...the drink fuelled rage is far far worse than the BPD on its own...and on a "good" day for her I haven't experienced any empathy or intimacy (of ANY kind, i am not talking sexual) and she wants to encourage a separation..but i am doing all i can. We have a team meeting on Thursday.


I am optimistic for the future...however that looks. Thanks for your support
It is almost like you do not hear yourself at all.
 
PetitPois

PetitPois

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
1,058
Location
Somewhere
Hi @Johnnybravo :)

Things would definitely be better if your wife could get on the right medication and stop drinking so much.

I have BPD and yes living with someone who has this can be hard. I do want to say though, that as long as the person with BPD is committed to working on their illness. It can be okay too.

It took me years to get to the stage I am at now, but long gone are the regular days of turmoil. At least outwardly. I have minor wobbles, that I generally resolve within myself fairly quickly.

I guess I just wanted to say if you and your wife are both prepared to really work at it, then there is hope of a positive outcome for all of you :hug:
 
J

Johnnybravo

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Leicester
Hi @Johnnybravo :)

Things would definitely be better if your wife could get on the right medication and stop drinking so much.

I have BPD and yes living with someone who has this can be hard. I do want to say though, that as long as the person with BPD is committed to working on their illness. It can be okay too.

It took me years to get to the stage I am at now, but long gone are the regular days of turmoil. At least outwardly. I have minor wobbles, that I generally resolve within myself fairly quickly.

I guess I just wanted to say if you and your wife are both prepared to really work at it, then there is hope of a positive outcome for all of you :hug:

Thank you..yes i really do hope so....i would never leave the children. I want her to be the best version she can be..for her....we actually had quite an open talk today...and traced a few steps back together where things started to get difficult in every sense of the word
 
L

Lostlady333

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Christchurch
Thank you..yes i really do hope so....i would never leave the children. I want her to be the best version she can be..for her....we actually had quite an open talk today...and traced a few steps back together where things started to get difficult in every sense of the word
Good on you for trying your best to keep your family together. If she could get her drinking under control, life would improve for you all. I get it though. Drinking kind of helps to numb some of the pain, but has disastrous side effects, especially combining alcohol with meds.
I wish you all the best with her appointment. With the right help and a lot of understanding, you can get through this. All the best.
 
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