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Partner with bpd. Am I a bad partner or is it his bpd?(26 Posts)
Didn't know whether to put in mental health or here but it's about us so here goes.
I'm so upset this morning. My partner has bpd and we have been together over 10 years, he has always had MH issues (although I didn't know the extent at first). Recently diagnosed as bpd. Anyway he's in a new ish job where he is stressed and finding it too difficult to deal with. For weeks all he comes home and says he hates his job and it's causing him to feel low and a lot of anguish and anxiety. I work part time and look after DD at home on the other days. I try to support him by cooking most meals, and all the weekly chores while he at work. I do a bit of job searching for him too and send him links etc. He comes home and I feel I do listen to him but he says same thing every day and I know so its probably to a point where I don't know what to say anymore. He feels now that I don't truly understand him, he's not happy as I make him feel like a second rate citizen by (as far as I understand) sometimes snapping at him for little things.
Yesterday our DD was asleep in car and my DP saw something and was like oh look it's ..... But he kinda got excited and was a bit louder. So I automatically say shush, you'll wake up DD! Maybe a bit abruptly I can't remember. Anyway I apoligised instantly as I knew I'd upset him and then he didn't talk to me all day apart from yes/no. This morning he came to talk and said I make him feel bad when I do that, and life is hard for him and all he wants is support and love etc. It hurts me that he thinks I feel that way, I try hard to make everyone happy. I feel confused most of the time. I tried to give him a hug but he was sitting with knees up so I said well move your knees then and he took offence to that, apparently not a genuine hug as I said that. Sorry for long post. I have absolutely no one to talk to.
If you have partner with mental health issues it can start to change you as a person, monitoring what you do or say so that you create a calm atmosphere.
Its also very tough to support a partner if you are not getting emotional support yourself.Its like a car running on empty.
This could be the lowest stage, new job, recent diagnosis, (has treatment been offered? But you also need to ensure you are being looked after.
I'm reading "shall I stay or go" which is very helpful to set your thoughts on what you should expect, even if your partner had mental health issues.
At some stage your partner has to accept he can't blame you for everything and needs to take responsibility for his behaviours.
Can I check if by BPD you mean borderline personality disorder or bi polar disorder?
Sorry yes I meant borderline personality.
I find it harder to support him since having my DD who is now a toddler so even more demanding some days. I often feel like I have no one to turn to. I will look up that book you mention hermione, thanks.
I get so confused as to whether I'm responding normally or if really a bitch who doesn't take into consideration his feelings. Not many people understand mental health let alone bpd so it's hard to talk to anyone about it as they don't get it.
The onus is on him to get help to control his emotional responses, not on you to walk on eggshells around him to not set him off.
Blip - snap! I'm going out so can't post lots. I've just posted on another thread in relationships 'am I enabling him' little bit of my background there.
Do you feel like you have two DC's?? I really feel for you.
will be back later, hugs.
Ok I know nothing about bipolar - I don't know a lot about borderline either but I was reading up a lot lately due to situation in my own life and I found this useful, wanted to share it with you if it was the right BPD
Living with a partner with MH issues is really difficult. You have a lot to deal with and you need to think of yourself and dd. Tip toeing around him will break you, he needs to take responsibility for himself as well.
My partner suffers severe depression/ delusional disorder....it sometimes feel like I am looking after four children instead of the three I actually have.
Whilst he cannot help having the condition he has, you cannot solve his mental health issues by being "nice" to him. Subsuming your needs to his won't cure him, and it's unfair of him to expect you to take responsibility for his feelings and emotions. If his reactions are part of his disorder he cannot expect you to 'manage' them for him. And if they're not, then he's being manipulative and unpleasant. I don't know very much about borderline personality disorder, but whatever the extent that he can't control those reactions, you can't be expected to do so on his behalf.
I cannot explain how good it is to read all the above as it makes so much sense. I felt like a weight lifted after reading the replies. Mostly because it's how I feel. Thanks for the link RJ, there seems some other useful info to read there too.
I do feel at breaking point sometimes and I just cry like this morning although we've sorted it out now and he's aware he over reacts but during his rough time that I could be more supportive and nicer, so to speak. He's got his first psych appt soon
Plus it is like I got 2 children at times both demanding my attention. I don't really get a break except going to work but that's stressful now too
My Ex h has / had bpd.....
I read a book called stop walking on eggshells which may be dated.
I found after my DS was born his behaviour detiorated..I think because I had less time to pander to his moods and had less attention to give him..
My relationship became abusive and I left ...However I did the freedom program and the one thing I learnt was how many unacceptable behaviours I put down to his MH problems..
Another person who dated a person with borderline personality disorder. I ended up with no friends, in hospital with a breakdown, and my self esteem in bits. It's taken me two years to rebuild myself and I still have a lot of work to do. I am a different person now. My advice to you? Run. I applaud every person with BPD that succeeds in getting help. Also Bpd family.com has some good message boards with people trying to detach. My story is very common on there.
It may be helpful to look into codependency as well OP
Op your post resonates with me. Been with dh fir 16 years. Initally he was diasnosed with bipolar but looks like he was misdiagnosed. He thinks its complex PTSD l think he might b right i also think he is borderline, like his mum he had an horrendous upbringing. Anyhow, hes a long way from mnntally well.
We have 2 DCs. Our relationship has been a roller coaster. It wasnt so bad before kids but thrre wer red flags that i ignored. I thought noones perfect. We moved half way acroos the country with 2 small kids which in hind sight was about the worst thing we could have done. Hey ho.
Things got way bad stress wise. We were both keeping it together in the early years. Work was horrendously stressful. I was part time but had to go full time. We were both made redundant and had to find others jobs, which we did. Me full time again till i had a wobbly and told my boss i couldnt cope. Luckliy he let me go part time. Dh started his own business. More stress.
As hhe years went by, i just sucked up the lions share of the housework nnd childcare. He was ill of course and stressed. I use to let him go off to his room, get stoned an play computer games. What a fool i was. He basically checke out of family life whilst at home. He is a workaholic too. Im so very non confrontational an d a people pleaser . So i just let it ride. But of course the resentmnnt built up and up.
The more i did the more he expected. He woukd never demand anything. He would just play the poor me card. He was always more ill than me. He trumped me every time. If i needed any help, he would listen to me, talk about the solutions and then, that was it. No help practically.
I starte to recognise certain patterns of behaviour. He would come home nnd rant and rave about some injustice. Of oourse i would hav to listen. Hhen after 10 minute or so hed ask bbout my day. By then i was a seething ball and would have to get away from him. I started close down emotionally and withdraw. This must have happened over the course of about 4 years.
I stopped "helping" gradually. I just couldnt take anymore. Our sex life was non existant for the last coupke of yerrs. Not very sexy being hhe dumping ground and having to suck everyhhing up. He also use to plead with me bbout sex being really important to him and its good for his mental health...
The final straw came over some very entitled behaviour, expecting m to drop everything and bring him something he had forgotten. He had our dd with him at hhe time. Apparnntly he had a rant and banged the window. Said to our dd he wanted a divorce and what was hhe problem with me helping him out, after all i only work part time.
We are still living in hhe smme house but seperate rooms. Went to see soliciotr this week. I told him back in May its over, he mnnaged to talk me round to staying whilst he "gets better" he basically said our dd would hate me for chucking him out when hes ill and what lesson would that be? She would think that she wasnt allowed to get ill or she would be rejected.
Of course i played my own part in this. As some pps have mentioned, enabling is quite common in these situations. Also, co dependancy etc etc. I wont be bble to affkrd counselling when we divorce but right now all i want is out. Then i an going to steer clear of ALL men tbh. I need a very very long rest. I am exhausted
Apologies. On a new tablet and its driving me mental. Excuse typos
I have BPD and I'm a parent. It is possible to learn to manage his emotional responses. PP got it exactly right. It's not your responsibility to not trigger him (although being aware of what they are can be helpful for you both), it's his responsibility to recognise the triggers and challenge his response where it is inappropriate. If he's under a MH team you could see if he could get onto a STEPPS course which is specifically designed for people with BPD and teaches them how to recognise their triggers, filters and challenge their inappropriate responses.
It's definitely him, not you.
I suggest you read "Stop Walking on Eggshells" and look up other resources - www.bpdworld.org could be a good place to start.
Don't underestimate the impact on you - you need some kind of support, from an understanding friend, a qualified counsellor and/or a specialist helpline or online forum.
Maybe he should move out until he has his bpd under control.
Thank you so much for all replies and I will reply later or tomorrow properly as I'm out at mo.
Sparkly that sounds bad, sorry your going through that now. I don't think DP is that bad. He is very self aware and knowledgeable about his mental health. These incidents have been happening our whole relationship and I've always wondered if What I did or said warranted a reaction so severe as the one he gives I.e. Like I've made him feel like he is a piece of dog shit or something really bad. It's like I've been really horrible to him when I haven't or that's when I question myself. I have changed over the years your right PP above. I have less friends because he isn't very social and I walk on egg shells sometimes as I don't want to upset him. He is never abusive in any form but it's like he plays a feel sorry for him card or something and I'm the nasty one. I told him how I feel last nite and he said he understood and never looked at it from my point of view, he was sorry of course. I love him as he is a good person otherwise, he is helpful around house and funny and kind when he is feeling good mentally. He's just very complex and troubled at times but he's my DDs dad and we are a family so I hope we can all stay together. He starts therapy this week so that's good thing. I think I need to find myself some support as just posting here has really helped me and made me feel confident it's not always me. Thank you
you have to set firm boundaries and stick by them. I say this as a former BPD sufferer, now undiagnosed after treatment (it does not have to be a permanent condition)
It will be very tempting for him to blame everything he does or says on his illness, but it does not absolve him of personal responsibility. You need to take responsibility for yourself too - by not enabling him.
Now that he has been diagnosed is he getting treatment? Being diagnosed was the best thing that ever happened to me, as I then knew what I was dealing with and was able to break free, but I was highly motivated to change and not everyone is.
Maggie well done on helping yourself! What an accomplishment!
Blip...id encourage you to check your threshold for pain...you already are beginning to doubt yourself. Do you regularly self sabotage? Are you masochistic? Some very difficult questions to ask yourself. Would you consider counseling?
Erm no not masochistic. Why would you say that?
DH was diagnosed in 2002 with BPD. Psychiatrist I worked for told me to leave him he will never change. It's bloody hard work but after almost 20 years together it's definitely like having another child. He is moody a lot of the time but we cope because he knows I won't stand for his crap and he kind of kicks himself .
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