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My wife of 4 years has a borderline personality - probably the "electric fence" personality Dr. Harley refers to. We have one child together who is 3, and she has two children from previous marriages. She is my first wife. It took me a couple years to figure out why things were so difficult between us. A few months ago I realized she was having a internet affair with an old acquaintance.

Before having read any information on this website, I left her basically a Plan B letter, and left the home, asking her to stop this affair before I could come back home. Probably I jumped the gun abit but the damage is done. She refuses to even admit to carrying on the affair, and refuses to even consider that we need to work on our marriage together.

I still love her, but I have been out of the home now for 4 weeks and things appear to be moving towards divorce. I know for certain that the internet affair continues, although they have not yet "consummated" their relationship. I cannot even raise the issue of working on the relationship with her without sending her into a rage.

Appears hopeless. Any advice out there?

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You are going to have to show her that you have proof of the affair before she will admit to it. Has she said how she feels about you leaving? She needs to see that a marriage is 50/50 and that if she wants to be apart of your life and your child's life she needs to try. Does she know that you still love her? You need to be able to talk about it. But maybe she needs some time to think, but don't give her too much time.

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Hi Ambv

I would like to respond but am new on this board myself. Maybe you were a little fast at throwing out the ultimatums but that is what the heart does.

Don't make anymore decisions until you get feedback from the wealth of knowledge and direction that is here.
It is an amazing fount of insight and compassion. Wait out your drive to react without thought.

dag

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Best article I have read and I read them all.


Borderline Women


Divorced:
"Never shelter anyone from the realities of their decisions": Noodle

You believe easily what you hope for ernestly

Infidelity does not kill marriages, the lying does
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Marriage toa borderline is sheer hell. I think most here will agree that if you are dealing with a BPD, Harley's methods will not work.
I feel for you, having been through this hell, myself.
You need to see an attorney and do hat you can to protect your child. Most likely you will not get custody, but look into it.
Even if you do not, your residence can be a refuge for your child when you have her.
And, look into IC. A relationship with one of these vampires is very damaging.

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I guess the real question I have is does Harley's methods have any benefit in this situation - and you answered that for me based on your own experiences, thanks.

Its still early for me - I am reading lots about BPD, and it sure looks like tough sledding...not sure I have the energy and resolve to go through this. I have basically been isolated from all my supports for the past few years, but now that I have set a firm limit and moved out of the home I am hoping I can restore some balance and perspective in my life and see if there is any chance she will follow me. Very difficult to convince a high functioning BP that she has any issues.

Really appreciate everyones comments thus far.

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Listen to Zelmo ... he's the resident BH expert on BPD.

Plenty of redflag redflag flying ... 3 children from 3 different fathers ... no remorse, or even acknowledgment of her wrong doing ... severe mental issues.

I bet you have a new perspective on her XH's NOW? I'll venture a guess that she's demonized both of them to you ... NOW, you see "the rest of the story". These poor guys were probably blind-sided just as much as you've been.

This stuff is VERY difficult under the best of circumstances, and basically impossible under yours, if you wish to have any semblance of a stable and quality remaining lifetime.

Conventional WISDOM is to PROTECT yourself and your child from this dysfunction, and remove WW as far and as fast from both of your lives as is practical.

We have literally seen dozens of BH's try to work things out with a "BROKEN" WW, and it NEVER works. Remember, her actions are not an abheration of her character, they DEFINE her character.

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Originally Posted By: Zelmo
Marriage toa borderline is sheer hell. I think most here will agree that if you are dealing with a BPD, Harley's methods will not work.
I feel for you, having been through this hell, myself.
You need to see an attorney and do hat you can to protect your child. Most likely you will not get custody, but look into it.
Even if you do not, your residence can be a refuge for your child when you have her.
And, look into IC. A relationship with one of these vampires is very damaging.


I can second the part about protecting your child.

I'm a child a of likely BPD. My BPD pretty much raised me-meaning my dad just enabled my mom's behavior. I've spent the better part of my 20's and early 30's in therapy. It's affected everything-from my work life to my personal life.

Protect your child.

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Myrev, is right. The tendency is to think that this is just some out of character episode, when, in reality, it is who she is.
These BPD's are often bright and atractive and one does not see their true selves untiul enmeshment(marriage, kids, mortgage, etc) is in place. Then, the mask comes off and you get treated like crap. It blows you away , as it is so different thant what you expierienced during courtship,
At first, you think it is all your fault and you scurry about, walking in a minefield, trying to keep the peace, esp for the kids.
You start doubting yourself:Why , when everyone else likes you and you are successful in other areas, does your spouse think you are the devil incarnate(iterspersed intermittently with times when you are a hero((that gets less frequent until it disappears)).
You are lucky, in a way, in that you have a diagnosis. Most BPD's will avoid therapy and a diagnosis like the plague. So, you do not have the uncertainty that many involved with an undisagnosed BPD do.
Also, understand that , despite the name and the categorizing BPD as a personality disorder vs mental illness, in many cases, it is way more serious than a mental illness, like Bipolar on some type of neurosis. It is not amenable to meds and treatment (although somewhat controllable with DBT and some meds). These folks have no insight into their distorted views. Your wife truly believes that all her abusive behavior is okay and that all the responsibility for the marital problems lays with you. She really believes this.
She feels others have caused her to cheat and that it is her right. My XW told me that she is entitled to stay out until 3 every night when we had 2 young kids. She was a magna cum laude law school grad and she could not see the absurdity of her feeling on this.
Anyway, in short, despite the intial pain, you will have a much better life excising her from it.

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Having moved out will hurt your chances at custody.
Talk to a lawyer that specializes in father's rights.
You may be advised to move back into the marital home.

Does your WW work?
If she's at home caring for the children all day that hurts your custody chances as well.

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Originally Posted By: inrecoverynow
Originally Posted By: Zelmo
Marriage toa borderline is sheer hell. I think most here will agree that if you are dealing with a BPD, Harley's methods will not work.
I feel for you, having been through this hell, myself.
You need to see an attorney and do hat you can to protect your child. Most likely you will not get custody, but look into it.
Even if you do not, your residence can be a refuge for your child when you have her.
And, look into IC. A relationship with one of these vampires is very damaging.


I can second the part about protecting your child.

I'm a child a of likely BPD. My BPD pretty much raised me-meaning my dad just enabled my mom's behavior. I've spent the better part of my 20's and early 30's in therapy. It's affected everything-from my work life to my personal life.

Protect your child.



I'm giving this a third about protecting your child. My mother was borderline and I suffered from every type of abuse that there is. With borderlines- or so my therapist said- medication doesn't really help- because it's ingrained in their personality to be that way. Also, they rarely seek therapy because they do not think anything is wrong with them- it's everyone else. Even if they do seek therapy it's usually a long time before they show any little type of progress.

Has she been diagnosed or are you guessing based on her behavior? I'd hesitate to do that because in reality alot of a person's actions in an affair mimic those of a person with BPD. Many times the betrayed spouse seeks out an explanation on their own and since the actions match the definitions it's assumed they are BPD. Because to believe they are capable of those actions without BPD is not somewhere they want to go mentally. Sort of "Oh yeah, she's borderline which is why she slept with my friend and is acting crazy"

However, if she has been diagnosed by a licensed therapist or doctor then I believe you should focus on protecting your child. Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. I'm in my 40's and have been in therapy on and off since my late 20's. The damage she could do to a child would be lifelong and life altering.

My mother was a narcassistic borderline.

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I was hoping to hear that someone out there had actually had a BPD in their life recover...I know in my head that probably better for my own health and sanity to bail out now, but at the same time there is guilt, shame and still that F@$%@% desire to rescue her from herself!

If not for her issues, I think I would fit nicely into the neglectful husband who did not provide for his wifes emotional needs. She actually has told me in the past that I was not meeting her needs and amazingly enough they are almost identical to Harleys top five for the average woman. So, although it may seem like a Black/White issue - she is BP so you must get out, I still wonder if getting the relationship somehow back to basics with both of us committed to change may give it a chance. The almost impossible part is getting my WW to admit that she needs to change too.

But...I am conflicted....I almost want her EA to continue and allow me to escape more easily, versus it end (as it surely will), and then have to deal with her emotional melt-down which inevitably is unleashed on the rest of the family.

Anyway, the plan is to stay out of the home, start to make plans prior to an eventual Plan D by getting counsel from some professionals, and make sure the kids are doing okay as best I can. Unlikely I will be able to find a counselor experienced with BPD in the region I live in but will try. Will also talk to the GP of the kids so he is aware of what is going on.

My Plan B is actually a plan A+, as I am still in almost daily contact with my wife, so a full fledged Plan B is still an option but I do not feel it will be helpful.

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Meeting a BPD's needs is next to impossible. They truly are bottomless pits.
Chances are, if she is a BPD, at one point you were trying to meet those needs. But, it is never enough and with the abuse and raging, one has to detach out of self preservation. Thus, the efforts to meet needs diminsishes.
Look back at the beginning to assess your efforts in that reagrd. Don't go by the way you acted toward the end. By then, your spirit is pretty dead and you have little energy to do anything but survive.

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I agree with Zelmo.

Listen, there used to be a website called bpdcentral - not sure if it is still up. At any rate, I was in an online support group for women whose mothers were BPD. I was in this support group for three years- and at the end was truly helping women because I was a senior member. Do you know what slang was used to describe the mothers? We called them "nada" as in Nadda Mother.

Some of these women had it much worse than me. There was a girl who posted there whose mother had actually killed her pets- because she was jealous of them.

My own mother told me that my stepfather deserved to try to have sex with me because he put me through private school. Think about that for a moment, how cruel that was. That is the kind of things that borderlines do.

The splitting into all bad/all good. The sucking you back in just when you think they have changed and them bam! They do something worse than you ever expected. The worst thing she did was rewriting the truth. For example, I knew something happened a certain way- but when she would recount the story she would tell it another way- making herself look better. You would actually think "Maybe I am crazy" because she could almost convince you she was telling the truth.

I suffered emotional, physical, verbal abuse at the hands of my mother. She basically gave me up to her husband to have sex with- then said I was lying that he tried to. I have been told by therapists that most people in my position are either dead, in jail, or a prostitute or drug addict. I am neither of these.

She has been dead for years- and I've never cried a tear. That sounds awful to people who don't understand what I went through but it's true. The damage that she could do to a child is longlasting and life altering. If you can prevent it don't take a chance with it.

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Originally Posted By: Cymanca
Best article I have read and I read them all.


Borderline Women


I haven't read past this post, I apologize, but this one? Really chaps my arse, because of this quote from the article:

Quote:
I’m curious about how a female would handle being tied for virtually the rest of her life, to a guy she had a one-night stand with, just because he'd conceived a child with her.


Ummm...what???

Isn't she the one carrying the child, ALSO tied to the father for the rest of her life?

*scratches head*


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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Quote:
Isn't she the one carrying the child, ALSO tied to the father for the rest of her life?


I think you are misinterpreting the point being made. Of course both parents are tied to any created child. The author is attempting to show that an "unwanted" pregnancy is frequently the modus operandi of a female BPD used to ensnare a man AND THAT TECHNIQUE CAN BE ONLY USED BY THE FEMALE BPD. At least that is what I was taught in medical school.

Have you read the article cited? It appears not since you have focused on one possible characteristic when there are at least a dozen or so enumerated and one of the sub-paragraphs specifically discusses the fact that all characteristics are not necessarily seen in all BPD's.

You might want to go back and spend time to reread the section dealing with the characteristics and weaknesses of the men who date/marry BPD's. I found that to be a real kick in the teeth but I had to grudgingly admit that the author was on the money. You can't change your BPD wife but you hopefully have the courage and self honesty to recognize and change those factors in you that keep you enmeshed with her. Pay particular attention to the discussion concerning the BPD's ability to manipulate the man into a "crazy making" opposite of his normal self.

Sorry about your arse. May I suggest a low dose hydrocortisone cream?

Best of luck


Divorced:
"Never shelter anyone from the realities of their decisions": Noodle

You believe easily what you hope for ernestly

Infidelity does not kill marriages, the lying does
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Excellent article, Cymanca. It is exactly how it went down with me and I can relate to the characteristiccs of the guys that get involved with these fols.
Nice thing about having this weakness is that it is fixable vs the intractable personality disorders.

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Okay...So what I'm getting from those of you with personal experience in this particular issue is that the best, only reasonable thing to do is to get out of her reach as soon as possible. That's a bitter pill to swallow. I've been on the BPD websites, and read a few books, and high functioning BP types are the more difficult ones to get into treatment and see any benefits.

I am able to check by scanning her emails what is going on with her EA. I have now become the scapegoat, and several of her friends are now also targeting me as the "problem" - what really kills me is that they are actually supporting her in engaging in this affair - WTH? Our marriage history is in revision, and she shows absolutely no remorse or admits to any issues with herself.

My three year old daughter is now asking me whats going on, and seems to be reversing her toilet training the last two days.

My WW is now being very sexually explicit in her emails, and trying to get the OM to leave his family for her. He appears to be hesitating, obviously she has him partially hooked even though they have not yet met.

I've already confronted her more than once, but she still denies anything. I havn't shown her the documentation I have - not sure in this situation that would be wise.

I need to make a decision soon about ending the M or trying to fix this.

If I opt for Plan D, then I think I'm better off disengaging, playing dumb, and just letting things drift apart until I can get the D order - I'm in a no-fault D region, and have to wait an entire year separated, or else be able to prove adultery.

I think this is "the year of living dangerously"

Anyone see any flaws in my thinking? I'm open to input.

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I may have missed it, if so I apologize... but did you say whether she's been officially diagnosed as BPD?

ETA- I'd hate for you to end the M without even trying, based on a misdiagnosis.

Last edited by jayne241; 05/10/09 09:43 AM.

me - 47 tired
H - 39 cool
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DS 8a think
DS 8b :crosseyedcrazy:
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(Ack! Now he's not even a blockhead, just a word! That's no fun!)
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No, there is no "official" diagnosis as she refuses to admit she has any issues, and will not even talk to her GP about her feelings of stress, depression, anger etc.

I myself am a physician, and very familiar with DSM-IV. I have hesitated for years to "diagnose" my wife because I know being so close to the situation impairs your judgment and insight, but... There is no doubt in my mind that she has significant BPD traits that are causing her serious dysfunction in her life - in my mind thats enough, and I could fill several pages here of the incidents that have occurred since we have been together.

I work with BPD individuals in my practice, but I think most physicians only really see the low-functioning types who are demonstrating more extreme behaviors such as substance abuse, cutting, suicidal gestures etc. My WW is quite high functioning, and to the world she looks like a beautiful, bright, fun-loving person. At home its a different story.

While I had hope that the MB program could help us. I am losing even that thin hope now, and to be truthful I almost want her A to continue and evolve so that I can exit this M with minimal damage. I really don't see any future with her based on the past years, and the pattern of entrenched behaviors that she is demonstrating. My family is in significant emotional turmoil all the time, and if I don't act in a firm manner with boundaries and limits we will be financially broken as well.

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