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Possible BPD husband

(136 Posts)
gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 18:25:23

I've posted a few times about our problems. Long story short, I left him six months ago because I could no longer live with him, he begged me to at least continue our relationship in different houses if he promised to get help for his anger issues. I agreed and since then we have been together but living apart. He did see his GP and is waiting for an appointment with the mental health team.

Anyway, yesterday we were talking about the issue of women-on-men abuse in soaps. He started looking something up on my iPad and he must have found something which caught his interest as, after about half an hour of thoughtful surfing he asked me if I had ever heard of Borderline Personality Disorder. I said I had and asked him why.

"Because I think I might have it," he said.

Cue several hours of looking into it and half a dozen online tests which all seemed to point the the strong possibility that he might have moderate to severe BPD. A lot of the websites we found contained 'typical' descriptions of the way people with BPD act, think, behave etc and they are him to a tee, especially the whole Mr Nice/Mr Nasty thing, which his ex-wife told him as well.

One of the tests gave results for ALL personality disorders and he scored highly on Borderline/Antisocial/Histrionic, but very low on Narcissistic (which was a relief) and the others.

So now he's a bit scared about this and what it might mean. Personally I'm relieved as I had suspected he might suffer from some kind of personality disorder a while ago but I didn't like to present him with that thought as he would probably deny it extremely vocally. So for him to come to this by himself is very interesting and encouraging.

So, what do we do now? Obviously he needs to bring this up with the mental healthy person he eventually sees in the hopes of getting a firm diagnosis, but how can I help him? How can I support him? It doesn't help that I have suspected Asperger's and am awaiting my own diagnosis so, in his words, "We are both nutjobs."

Despite my last thread, I am not prepared to give up on my marriage, even though we currently cannot live together, but I want to help him with this. I want the nice husband back.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 16-Dec-12 20:24:29

Getting a diagnosis doesn't materially change the current situation. Just because you can pin a label on someone's behaviour it doesn't increase your obligation to stick around taking the punishment. The support you give him is the support to get in front of medical professionals and to then take full responsibility for his treatment.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 20:31:34

Forgive me, but how will putting a label on his appalling behaviour help at all ?

You are living apart for a very good reason. Absolutely nothing has changed, other than you desperately trying to find an excuse for his poor treatment of you

Just calling it "BPD" (or whatever) changes not a jot.

He needs to seek help on his own account, and you looking for ways to "support" him in that (a grown man, with free will and the ability to think for himself) is counterproductive if you ever want to get your marriage back on track

mcmooncup Sun 16-Dec-12 20:34:18

If you like labels, have a read up on 'co-dependent'.

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 21:47:08

You're missing the point. I don't feel 'obliged' to stick around. I want to help him. The very fact that he is looking at this proves that he is finally admitting that he does have a problem and is desperately looking for help. If I didn't love him I'd walk away in a second. But I WANT to help him get back on track.

It's okay, I'll look for strategies elsewhere, I'm sure there will will be some. I just thought I might get a bit of support here. Silly me.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 21:49:39

You are getting support. Just because you don't want to hear it doesn't mean it isn't valid.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sun 16-Dec-12 22:08:13

We want YOU to live the best YOU can.

Your H can live a normal life, he can get help, get treated and yes, he can change his behaviour today. If he wants to.

You sticking with him may not be conducive to him getting that help.

If he loved you, he'd agree with you keeping yourself safe.

Just consider that please? Protect yourself.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sun 16-Dec-12 22:10:24

"I want the nice husband back"

Didn't we all? sad

That Nice person was a mirage, sorry.

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:16:53

So the only answer is, "Leave him and let him get on with it by himself"? I'll take it under advisement. Thanks.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 22:20:45

That is your perogative. Good luck x

mcmooncup Sun 16-Dec-12 22:20:47

BPD is notoriously difficult to treat with any great success.
So although you may want to help, it's really likely you will be wasting your time sad

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:25:45

See, I know NOTHING about it. I was kind of hoping to get some useful information from people who have experience with it, especially successful experience.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 22:27:26

Define "successful"

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:29:03

Where the person has improved their behaviour and been able to control the Mr. Nasty.

Snorbs Sun 16-Dec-12 22:30:07

What HisstleToe said. If he does turn out to suffer from BPD then the "nice husband" you recall so fondly was him putting on an act. It's not the real him.
You can't "get him back" because he's not a real person. Or, at least, if you do get him back for a while it will only be temporary until the mood changes.

Someone suffering from BPD will have serious difficulties in maintaining a solid relationship because of the condition they have. They tend to view people and relationships as very black-and-white. It's either great or it's awful. You're wonderful or you're horrible. There's no middle ground. And you can find yourself being cast as great one moment to then, suddenly, be the target for a torrent of abuse the next because the view has flipped.

There's a very good book called "Stop Walking on Eggshells" that is aimed at those who are in a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD. There's another, "I hate you - don't leave me!" which isn't as good but I think the title sums up another common theme in relationships with those suffering from BPD. The push-you-away, pull-you-back dance can be exhausting.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 22:30:49

OP, does your husband treat his boss, his friends, his acquaintances like "Mr Nasty"

or just you ?

EdnaScoggins Sun 16-Dec-12 22:32:01

Post under Mental Health, gladiolus; or look at the MIND website - they have a useful quite positive online guide to BPD and its treatment. There are several MNers with a BPD diagnosis. (I'm not one of them, but I have often noticed that they are very open.)

Did you know also that Fuzzpig has/has had a long-running thread about Aspergers diagnosis (which she has)? Again under the Mental Health topic iirc.

DewDr0p Sun 16-Dec-12 22:32:21

OP I don't know much about BPD per se but can I suggest you call Mind's helpline? They are really helpful. Hth.

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:36:11

Yet, that contradicts something we read last night that says the BPD person is not being willfully nasty, that they actually cannot control it.

"..BPD behavior isn’t willful."


"...It’s going to be tough, but try to hold fast to the notion that your family member and the border-lion [aka Mr. Nasty] are not one and the same."

But there are so many things that we read that ring bells. Just one of which was the feeling that he put me on a pedestal at the beginning of our relationship and when I failed to be as wonderful as he thought I was, he took it out on me, when I was just being my-flawed, imperfect, human-self the whole time.

Don't tell me that the only answer is to give up on him. We are just beginning to make some progress!

He really wants to do something, he knows he's made mistakes. The fact that his first wife and kids left him (and his kids didn't speak to him for four years), and his second wife (me) and her kids left him, both saying pretty much the exact same thing, I think has made him take a good hard look at himself.

Snorbs Sun 16-Dec-12 22:36:36

Incidentally, "Stop Walking On Eggshells" does not automatically advocate leaving a relationship if you find your partner suffers from BPD. What it offers are some good strategies for minimising the effects on you as well as some strong communication techniques for stating your needs in as non-confrontational way as possible.

It's good. I really recommend you read it.

EdnaScoggins Sun 16-Dec-12 22:36:39

Here, MIND booklet on BPD.

EdnaScoggins Sun 16-Dec-12 22:40:05

Fuzzpig's thread.

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:40:12

"OP, does your husband treat his boss, his friends, his acquaintances like "Mr Nasty"

or just you ?"

We talked about this also. It's not just me, but anyone he has close relationships with, so kids too. Superficial relationships where there is no emotional involvement, are fine. It is a whole different dynamic when you live with someone and, no, I'm not making excuses for him - I know exactly what he can be like. But living with someone creates tensions that simply aren't there in other relationships. He works from home so has limited contact with work colleagues.

I think he is right, that he does have BPD. There are too many things he identifies with, and the descriptors are exactly him. Question is, what do we do about it now. CAN I help him? CAN he change?

gladiolus Sun 16-Dec-12 22:42:25

We found that MIND booklet last night, and the eggshells book also. I'll have a look at Fuzzpig's thread, thanks. I am hoping to get an appointment soon to get my own diagnosis, I had a phone call the other day so things are starting, which is good. Just need to get him sorted now.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 16-Dec-12 22:44:33

The thing is, glad, all you have at the moment is this

1) you are separated because you cannot live with him how he currently treats you

2) you have read a few websites and found some convenient labels to explain and excuse his behaviour

And now you think you should be "hanging on in there" and "helping him" ?

At least wait for a formal assessment and diagnosis, by experts in their field. It's all smoke and mirrors at the moment. he is making all the right noises...but actions are the key. That is Relationship Counselling 101, and no manner of fancy names to explain his mistreatment of you changes that.

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