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Worst Ways To Handle Conflict

Readers Respond: Should You Divorce a BPD Spouse or Stick It Out?

Responses: 16

By

Updated November 29, 2009

What is your advice for others considering divorce from their BPD spouse? Did you stick with the marriage? Have you been through a divorce from a BPD spouse? Is it possible to make a BPD marriage work? Share your own experience.

Mixed Emotions

I have very mixed emotions regarding my ability to continue to stay married to my spouse of 23 years, whom I've known for years to be struggling with some sort of mental illness but never sure what. Recently BPD was introduced as a diagnosis and he is in therapy, however, I'm completely worn out and burned out, both physically and emotionally, from trying to live with the verbal abuse, the limited physical abuse, the constant need to act upon and discuss his obsession with sex (he doesn't care who is around whether it be our children or grandchildren when he wants to launch into a discussion about sex and gets angry when we try to explain to him just how inappropriate this is). His inability to let go of things in my past that occurred when we weren't married has just about drove the entire family completely bonkers. I love him but am not in love with him. I feel sorry for him. I don't want to abandon him, but I don't know what to do to save him, myself, or my family.
—Guest Gerty

Showing the Truth

I have BPD and it came full blown a little over a year ago. I got physical with my wife, the one woman that has stuck with me through everything. I have made her abandon close friends because of the paranoia and jealousy. I would do anything for this woman in a heartbeat. I truly love her and want to spend my life with her. I am starting treatment again and back on medication. At what cost though? She is willing to walk away from her best friend for me. I know that this is wrong but it has taken such a huge burden off me. I ask all the time if I am worth it and she tells me she loves me and I do make her happy and that's all I want for her is happiness. I hope I can be the one for her and spend a lifetime with her.
—Guest chad

Yes.

By the time I figured out that my spouse had anger issues that went way beyond normal, the damage to my self esteem was done. I was married 27 years. The three years since the divorce have not been easy, but I now can feel safe in my own home and am not the victim of verbal abuse and anger every day. It's your choice!
—exmainer

Pain of Staying with a BPD Spouse

Having just reached 36 years of marriage to a BPD Spouse, I can say that the moments of pain and sorrow far outweigh the moments of any real happiness. I just knew that when I met my wife that she was truly the ONE for me. I had a glimpse of just what was in store for me shortly before we married. As we were driving through town, my wife to be suddenly got upset over my telling her that I would not be able to see her the following weekend. In the middle of traffic she suddenly put her left foot on top of my right foot which was on the gas pedal and pushed my foot to the floor. Needless to say I immediately was about to have an accident. I turned to look at her and her face and eyes showed me someone that gave me cold chills. Thank God I was able to get the car stopped. Just as suddenly as she had flipped out, she suddenly acted as though nothing had happened. Like a Fool, I let this "Glimpse" of who was hiding behind the mask, come and go. No longer able to work, I am now trapped.
—Guest Ray

Run, Run, Run

In my own experience, like many or some of you on here, I've been married to my husband who is a strong candidate for this disorder for seven years. I can barely take his changing mood swings, his binge eating, excessive spending, his violent behavior, or even his paranoia. Seven years ago, I didn't pay much attention to it! Now, I do and I am ready to end this marriage. I am 34 years old and he's 42 years old. He's showing other signs as well and can't understand how other people feel. Young women my age and below, when you see a man and he starts to show signs like this, run ! Run in the other direction! Men that have this disorder certainly are most likely to be excessively jealous, want to know your every move, paranoid about everything, and accuse you of everything. My point, don't get invoved.
—Sunna8

Doink

It's sad to be with a BPD, even harder to leave, because it's clear your leaving someone in poor health. My wife has been terrible to me for 10 years. Sadly I feel as though I haven't seen her for a long time, that she has abandoned herself to the disorder. She won't get help for herself, and lives of the crumbs of a marriage in shambles. All I want now is for her to be happy, but I no longer want to be a part of it. I don't believe I'll ever see the person I married.
—Guest tank

Response to Annette

I do have compassion for BPD people (including my wife), because they do need love, but they drive it away. I feel bad that the disorder can mess things up so much that people say "stay away from BPDs." That must hurt. However, in response to BPD people thinking like Annette: You say you wish yours had stuck it out. The one thing you admit to is being "intense" and that that has driven everyone away. I'm sure you have wonderful qualities, but your reply is chock full of warning signs for anyone seeking a healthy give and take relationship. I urge BPDs (including my wife) to take responsibility so you can move forward knowing what to try to work on. Listen to Annette: My husband wasn't able to handle...as I kept changing meds...and finally abandoned me. I will never forgive my ex for making my worst nightmare come true. When do you take responsibility? You blame your ex, why not all those other deserters? Try to have empathy for your support person. YOU don't know how THAT feels.
—Guest Gabe

Wish mine had stayed...

I have had BPD for sometime now, and had a major downfall last year which included a nearly successful suicide attempt. Instead of staying when I needed him most my husband of 5 yrs and partner of 7 decided to bail on me and proceeded to have a very open affair with the supposed best friend. This has done nothing but cause me more pain and suffering, as now I have no trust in anyone and fear I will always be alone, that no one will ever be there for me because when I needed someone I trusted the most they tore my heart out. And for me the intensity of my emotions is off the scale. Love is patient, love is kind... people with BPD aren't bad people, we just require more patience and understanding. If you truly love someone you are there for them no matter what. It has been 8 mos. since he left me and my emotions are still very raw and intense. But I'm holding on, someway somehow... I refuse to let this win over me and cause me to again attempt that which I would regret.
—buttabee

whatever you decide

Whatever you decide often won't matter, a BPD can make it pretty impossible to stay. Whatever the outcome...forgiveness is the only way I know of to get over the pain and disappointment without getting eaten up with anger. I know its tough to realize my BPD will probably get better without treatment and may even have another relationship that works for a good long while. However I wasn't willing to go back. I had no emotional or spiritual strength to offer that man after giving all my attention and affection to him. He expertly can blame everyone and me for leaving, though a part of him knows he is the one who made me leave. Picture an angry grown man holding a gun to a little boy's head. That is my BPD - both the little boy and the grown man. I reached out to the little boy in him...and the man pointed his gun at me. Bye!
—acceber1

Yes, we can.

When I met my wife she was 24 and I was 55. We started a intense love affair and decide to live together. We´ve been "married" for 7 years. We have two baby girls. She had some of the symptoms of the BPD, mostly sexual addiction, abandonment fear, emotional instability. I knew her problems before taking the decision of taking her as spouse. But I always believed that I could manage things. And I did. The key idea is to consider the BPD person as a child in the crisis occasions. Hold them, censure them, threaten them with divorce and, as we must do with child, do everything you say. She improved a lot. She´s controlled her tendencies and is an excellent mother. Once in a while, when she seems near to fall under a temptation (flirting) I immediately show to her the consequences. I simply keep her a little bit away. Don´t say anything. She easily understands. They are extremely intelligent, as you know. But she knows that if she betrays me, I´ll leave her immediately.
—MarioArc

Finally saw the light

My wife has had BPD since she was a teenager. I knew that she was a cutter, (but not that she had BPD) and married her thinking I can give her the love that she deserves. The last 8 years have been the most traumatic part of my life and my life went from ever happy to miserable. I also lost almost all of my self-esteem. Recently when she started cheating on me and sleeping with other woman to begin with (I tolerated that too) and then started getting very drunk and sleeping with random men - and that was just a little too much for me to handle. I am sad about the fate of my children, but I know that I just cannot stay in this any more. I gave it all I had and got no sense of appreciation back. It is a sad feeling after having tried for so long, but at some point, you need to realize that the effort is just not worth it and that no one can save the BPD except themselves.
—Guest Suffering

Lost and confused

To listen to all these stories is eye opening. I have been married to a woman with BPD for 14 years. We started as friends before my first divorce was done. I should have seen the signs right then. Seeing her get plastered and look at me and tell me she hated me (even though we weren't even dating). To dating and it being the best thing in my life. To every 6 months to have it crash. The "I can't do this anymore" then "I messed up I love you you're the best thing in my life." The quitting her job or being let go every so many months. My not doing a damn thing right, not good enough or just did it the wrong way. Living like this and her walking out 11 times in 14 yrs, being divorced and remarried. Always unhappy, always feeling empty. Loving sex and drinking a bottle or more of wine every night. Yes, she did get diagnosed and ignored it. It can't be her. I have never loved anyone like I do her, but emotionaly I am dead
—Guest Brian

I'm bolting

I've been married to a BPD for 26 years. All this time I was made to believe I was a worthless bastard. Major drama over the smallest frustrations, and it was always my fault. Finally saw the light and am leaving this woman. I don't hate her but I can't possibly live the rest of my life with the never ending drama. If your girlfriend seems bpd, run for your life. You have no idea of the hell that waits should you marry her.
—Guest bailing out

I Have BPD

I have been successfully caring for my BPD for over 10 years. I no longer self injure. I have many interesting friends who confide in me and love me. I have worked very hard to not relapse. I have been in a romantic relationship now for about a year. I just learned that my partner cheated on me habitually for months. It really hurts me to think that this person I adored cheated on me. It hurts even more to think that my feelings and reactions are the result of a mood disorder and not legitimate hurt. I have BPD. I have been receiving ongoing psych treatment for years. i am a wonderful woman- the only thing that makes me different from you is that i tend to feel things a bit more intensely. i think ppl who choose to date those with BPD should be considerate of this condition. Ppl with BPD are not a**holes looking for a free pass to act like reckless kids. Ppl with BPD just need a lil consideration & we expect that from our partners.
—Guest carolyn

I wish mine had stuck it out

I was diagnosed with my BPD the same year I got married, though I had been in treatment for many years before that for "misdiagnoses." My husband wasn't able to handle my mood swings and erratic, self-indulgent behavior as I kept changing meds, and finally abandoned me altogether. It's been almost a decade since then, and my "intense" personality has driven away every "friend" I have ever had (of both sexes) and I have not been asked out on one single date. I now know that I will always be alone, and I will never, ever forgive my ex for making my worst nightmare (abandonment) come true.
—Guest Annette

Run while you can...

My girl fit every single aspect of the BPD diagnosis, even drug smuggling for thrills, can't be sure she's heterosexual, morbidly fearful of being alone. Yet, no diagnosis until I met with very skilled professors to present her behavior and phobias. All agreed she's classic BPD - all the while I thought I was a terrible person. Finally, getting her to agree to meet with a doctor, he diagnoses her with PTSD. Why? Because she's hot and insurance won't pay for BPD treatment. So, she'll never get better, has no insight, has quit seeing even the wrong diagnosis doc who just wanted to screw her - no insight and no way to get better. Goodbye, beautiful - now I ask every woman I meet about the diagnostic criteria and run like hell if they sound remotely BPD.
—robwillie

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