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 Post subject: So confused all of the time.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:26 pm 
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My wife has bpd, we've been married for a year now, and she just told me that bpd was the reason she acts like:
Last week, she played a reggae song for me while I was cooking a grilled cheese sandwich. She asked me what I thought about it, and I replied that it was ok. She knows I don't like reggae, so it should not have come as a surprise for her. She stopped the song, slammed the laptop closed, layed down on the couch and screamed "I hope your sandwich f**king burns! Why did you wait so f**king long to make it?!" This sort of thing happens more often than not, with me tiptoeing around her half of the time.
We talk about it, and she just says "I can't help it." I suggested talking to a mental health provider and she says that she's done it before and it didn't help. I don't know if I should just come out and say that she is able to control these outbursts and feelings and to take responsibility for them, instead of using bpd as sort of a "get out of jail free card", or if I should go at it another way.
Last night we came up with a plan to put her in a sort of time out, for the length of my choosing, for her to cool down. I thought today that we could have a pen and paper there for her to write down her feelings and actions and the reasons behind them, with us to discuss them afterward.
Anyone have any advice that may help things further?


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 Post subject: Re: So confused all of the time.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Sounds like a very difficult situation. Here, though, we're not going to tell you about things that are going to help her. We will talk about things that are going to help YOU. She has BPD, but that doesn't mean that you're not suffering from your own emotional issues over all this. If she doesn't want to help herself, you can't make her. No time out, no counselor she goes to because of you will help unless she wants to make a change. And it's not like, snap! She can get all better. It's hard work. It takes time. You have to REALLY want to be better. And it's possible. It seems you're doing a lot of her work for her.

So.... what issues do YOU want to deal with for YOURSELF? One thing I didn't hear mentioned is the issue of boundaries. What boundaries can you set to protect yourself from being hurt when she has one of her episodes?

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 Post subject: Re: So confused all of the time.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:09 am 
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Werx wrote:
We talk about it, and she just says "I can't help it." I suggested talking to a mental health provider and she says that she's done it before and it didn't help. I don't know if I should just come out and say that she is able to control these outbursts and feelings and to take responsibility for them, instead of using bpd as sort of a "get out of jail free card", or if I should go at it another way.


It seems to me that her "I can't help it" is half true. It's more like, we don't know how to act differently. But we can grow and learn.

That's her stuff. But, why I mention it to you is because it affects setting boundaries. Setting and keeping good boundaries are important both for yourself, and for her. Good boundaries are firm, but flexible. So, understanding that "I can't help it" has some truth, and yet, isn't really fully true, can help you in choosing what boundaries to set; can help you in knowing what boundaries are reasonable. (Of course, boundaries don't have to be accommodating to the other person. But sometimes being flexible, being understanding of the other, is preferable to choosing to leave if we don't get what we would like.)

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 Post subject: Re: So confused all of the time.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:15 pm 
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Hi werx-

My wife also is diagnosed with BPD, and we have been through many difficulties.

Boundaries are definitely something to look at ... a boundary is a "rule" for yourself, not her.

Your boundaries are totally up to you. Some examples might be:

"If someone yells at me / calls me names / is otherwise verbally abusive, I will leave the room."

"I will not ride in a car when someone is driving dangerously, or disturbing the driver. I will take my own car, or take a cab, or stop and get out, or not go, etc."

"I will not stay in a relationship if someone in it will not get appropriate medical treatment, including mental health treatment."

Again, any boundaries you come up with are "rules" for you, not her. They are intended to protect you, not to change her behavior. You don't even have to tell her about them, though you might, depending on the boundary and your sense of the situation.

Does that make sense? What are your thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: So confused all of the time.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:51 pm 
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EllenKMR wrote:
It seems to me that her "I can't help it" is half true. It's more like, we don't know how to act differently. But we can grow and learn.


Just to clarify, not trying to analyze someone I don't know. What I mean is: seems to me, when people say "I can't help it", the reality is usually...

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