Divorce is difficult for almost any couple but divorcing a spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder may be exponentially more difficult. Borderline personality disorder BPD is a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. It is estimated that between 1. Individuals with BPD experience intense emotions and often engage in impulsive actions and have problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety and can lash out at their family members during these episodes.
The possibility of facing separation or divorce may lead to self-destructive behaviors, self-harm or suicidal thinking. While only a trained professional can properly diagnose someone with BPD, knowing some of the signs may help you deal with a partner with a BPD and better maneuver through a pending divorce.
A person must present with five or more of the following:. When divorcing a spouse with BPD, it is likely that they may become more reactive than usual and they may insult you, threaten you or make unfair accusations towards you. The natural response is to defend yourself and match the level of reactivity. However, as you have likely seen during your relationship, this may only exacerbate their behavior.
Your spouse with BPD may not have the insight or skills to appropriately respond to finding out and moving forward with divorce.
When divorcing a partner with BPD, try to limit unnecessary communication with your spouse as much as possible but when you do need to communicate, keep your conversations consistent and matter of fact. It might be easier to communicate in writing to ensure you stay on track with your discussions and can also stop communicating or take a break if your spouse becomes aggressive, angry or threatening.
You should set structure and limits when communicating with your spouse and not give him or her extra attention if they are being reactive. If you find that communicating with your spouse in person is difficult and unproductive, your attorney can help set up guidelines or lines of communication which may mitigate some of the ongoing stress.
Additionally, your attorney can provide you with tips to lessen the conflict when communicating with a spouse with BPD. I collaborate with them to create a cost effective, efficient and sustainable roadmap for their future. Divorcing Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder Divorce is difficult for almost any couple but divorcing a spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder may be exponentially more difficult.
Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder While only a trained professional can properly diagnose someone with BPD, knowing some of the signs may help you deal with a partner with a BPD and better maneuver through a pending divorce. A person must present with five or more of the following: Desperate efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
A pattern of unstable relationships switching between extremes of admiration and hatred. Unstable self-image. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging such as spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving or binge-eating.
Repeated suicidal behavior and threats or self-harm. Erratic mood swings. Chronic feelings of emptiness. Intense anger or difficulty controlling anger.Many different kinds of close relationships are affected by borderline personality disorder BPDbut perhaps none more than being married to a person with BPD.
More specifically, marriages in which either one or both partners have BPD can be very tumultuous, conflict-laden, and dysfunctional. Learn more about how your marriage may be affected by BPD, and how you and your partner surprisingly may not be destined for divorce as you likely might have thought. Unexpectedly, people with BPD do not have higher divorce rates than the general population. By an average age of about 40, the divorce rate for people with BPD is around 35 percent, and this is comparable to the divorce rate for the average U.
However, people with BPD are far less likely to remarry after a divorce. In fact, only about 10 percent of people with BPD get remarried by around age 40 which is nearly half the national rate of remarriage. One way to judge whether being married to a person with BPD can be successful is by the divorce rate.
However, this does not take into account the quality of the marriage or the satisfaction of the partners. Unfortunately, there is limited hard research data on the quality of marriages in which one person has BPD. This means that the more severe a person's BPD symptoms are for example, fear of abandonment or intense and frequent mood changes the more likely their marriage will be chaotic and unstable.
Another study found that BPD symptoms were linked to poor problem-solving and communication skills in a marriage. Research has shown that BPD symptoms are associated with greater chronic stress, more frequent conflicts, and less partner satisfaction in romantic relationships. Interestingly, there is research suggesting that people with BPD symptoms tend to marry partners who also report BPD symptoms—a phenomenon called assortative mating.
This phenomenon brings about concern. The take-home message here is that even though divorce rates are not as high as one might expect in marriages where one person has BPD, being in a relationship with someone with BPD can still be particularly stressful and challenging.
Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Paris J. Implications of long-term outcome research for the management of patients with borderline personality disorder. Harv Rev Psychiatry. Kreider RM, Ellis R. Number, timing, and duration of marriages and divorces: Washington, DC: U. Census Bureau; Current Population Reports P70— J Pers Disord. Social consequences of borderline personality disorder symptoms in a population-based survey: marital distress, marital violence, and marital disruption.
J Abnorm Psychol. More in BPD. The Best Online Therapy Programs.I have been divorced for 12 years and 6 months. I was married for 12 years and 6 months.
I divorced my husband in January of Those words look so stark. And they should. Divorce is a stark and hard thing—a tearing, a breaking, a death. I believe God is calling me to share some of this journey with you, but know as you read this that this is far from my entire story.
This is a portion and a perspective. One reason I am writing this is because everyday I hear of a woman who is choosing divorce very early on in marriage. And I need to tell what God has revealed to me in the past few years about His heart for marriage, for miracles, and for covenant. Let me be clear that I am NOT talking to those in abusive situations. And there are different kinds of abuse.
You may be physically battered and bruised or your heart and mind may be battered and bruised. This post is not about me telling you that you have to stay in your marriage no matter what. Back when my marriage fell apart, God taught me of His great love, covering, provision, and grace for me. His presence came down and dwelt with me as a Father when I needed one most. My earthly father died five years before my separation, and I was in desperate need of wise counsel and fatherly care. He was tender to me.
He led me beside still waters in a valley and tended to me there. My ex-husband and I were separated for a year and a half and God pruned me, taught me, and comforted me in that time.
My marriage was difficult, and I did not take the decision of divorce lightly. My ex-husband has seen and approved this post. This is his story, too. I also want to clear the question of abuse. We had our issues, but that was not one of them. His family is still very precious to me. I was doing what I thought was my only choice at the time.The 3 stages of a relationship with a borderline woman
After 12 years and 6 months, the woman I am now would not have chosen to divorce my husband. You may feel like you made a wrong choice. Maybe you are distracted by another man, and you daydream about him bringing you a fresh start.
Will My BPD Ex Come Back To Me? Here Are My Suggestions
Wherever you are, I hope you will read this and ask God what He would say to your reason or reasons for divorcing. Looking back, I just wish I could have had vision beyond my circumstances, to see beyond myself, to walk by faith and not by sight. I hope my 12 years and 6 months of perspective, of living and learning and regret, will be insight for you of what you might experience years from now if you choose divorce.
I am talking to someone who is feeling hopeless with no biblical reason for divorcing; someone who just wants OUT. My advice to you is to pause. Just stop. Make room for God to move, even if it takes years and it mightlook to Him, wait for Him to move and not your husband. Ask God what to do and then really listen to Him—and not through the lens of only what you want Him to say.
Give yourself distance, time, and space to evaluate your motives. Your best self is found in dying to self Gal.Mahari January Regrets: The Pain, the sadness and the reality. We all have some regrets. Borderlines, however, tend to pile up a rather large mountain of regrets and losses through patterned behaviour that they can seem determined and or destined to repeat.
Patterned behaviour that in young early life helped you survive but that beyone that becomes maladaptive and effects those who are closest to you in ways that you may or may not yet realize. Losses of relationships, jobs, loss of self etc, are often not understood by people with BPD until and unless they get into treatment. When I work with BPD clients in Coaching this is something I can help them begin to gain awareness of and create healthy change around.
The choice is up to each borderline to end this cycle of reptitive negative connecting to have others meet their needs. Regrets don't have to be a way of life. I would bet that no one gets through this life without some regrets. Then comes the reality of the fact that regrets hurt and that they must be grieved so that we don't carry that sadness around with us.
For many their regrets go all the way back to early in childhood. How easy is it to keep trying to own the actions of others while ignoring for years, at times your own hurtful actions to others? Too easy all-too-often, unfortunately.
There seems to be something about the desparation, emotionally, that many borderlines feel and let dictate their lives. This desparation seems to almost fuel the impulses that contribute to the kinds of behaviour that just lead to one regret after another. It is important to look at the patterns of your behaviour.
Marriage and Borderline Personality Disorder
All behaviour means something and stems from somewhere. It is natural to have regrets. The fact is though, by the time your pain or sadness is old enough to be a regret, or deep enough there is likely nothing that you can do to repair the loss.
Here again is where grieving is the only way to move on. Looking back with "what-if's" and "if only's". The fact is that behaviour impacts people.
If you have behaved in ways that have caused people to leave your life or tell you they can no longer deal with you, or in ways that have ended relationships, again, there really isn't any going back. Others have a right to heal too. Most often when they do, they do not want to go back.I was deceitful, I was awful and I am not proud of my behaviour. And if he is really honest with himself, so did my husband. We met when I was 25 and he was I thought he was sweet and kind and I found his gentle demeanour complimented my brain that never seemed to shut off.
After 4 years of dating I gave him an ultimatum. Marry me or I walk. He proposed soon after and we were married on my 30th birthday. I planned everything. He came from a big family so the wedding was large. I own my own business and have since I was I work hard and am successful.
After we were married my husband began doing work for my company on a freelance basis. We seemed to work well together but it was completely understood that my business was mine and his was his.
We had both signed a marriage contract specifically laying out the particulars so that there would be no grey area in the event of a divorce. We had children and life got really busy. My business was thriving and I was always being pulled in a million different directions. My days were long and gruelling and I worked many evenings. When I turned 40 I remember feeling extremely lonely. I was happy in my professional life but no so much in my personal life. Everything was up to me. I told my husband that I felt unfulfilled, that we were missing a connection.Moderator: lilyfairy.
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Forum rules. The reason I ask is the other day my UBPDW told me that she doesn't want to have a single memmory of me from the last 19 years. But I have days she will send me a book of texts - when I reply or a day latter it will go from you were my best friend, I am a shell of a person, I regret everyday what I threw away, It takes all my energy just to get through the day my whole life, etc That's why I try to keep it very limited If she sees me while I'm coaching my daughter she will hang around - then I will get some nice texts - then the next day it's just the opposite angry texts.
The limited contact has been pretty good - most of the time I wait for her to text first - on the few times I texted first asking if she was sure that this is what she wants - all hell breaks loose - if she texts first they are normally pretty decent or nice - I can always count on a random text every couple of days over something small and insignificant.
Related articles Replies Views Last post. Check Mental Health Matters. Mental Health Dictionary.Some of the most emotionally abusive relationships and traumatic divorces involve the mentally ill. One of the most difficult of these mental illnesses is Borderline Personality Disorder BPD because it is not easily diagnosed.
Behaviors can range from extreme violence to subtle patterns of emotional blackmail and projection. On top of that, many Borderlines tend to live in denial, constantly avoiding their own feelings of emptiness, insecurity, anger, disappointment and fear that more often than not stems from an abusive childhood.
Not all borderlines are focused on harming others. Some are so busy with their own inner demons that they are trapped in a realm of substance abuse, suicide attempts, and self-hate that for most can be traced back to child abuse or neglect.
If this is the kind of Borderline in your life, count yourself lucky. Often, such blaming for fictional behaviors is a form of projection used to distract from the Borderline doing the exact thing she or he is accusing the partner of doing. For instance, your Borderline significant other may be having affairs, but you can be sure you will be accused of having affairs even if you have never had one long before he or she will admit to one.
You may find that many of your friends and family will have heard about your fictional affairs long before you even realize your significant other has been lying about you far and wide. When you try to explain what is really happening, many will refuse to believe the truth because they have heard so many lies about you they cannot imagine they are all false. In order to deny and escape the truth about their own private hell usually rooted in an abusive childhoodthey instead project their own feelings of self-hatred and inadequacy outside themselves onto others.
Borderline projections can be very destructive and because most borderlines do not have healthy boundaries, situations can escalate and cause more unnecessary hurt and damage all the way to very serious false criminal allegations that can cost innocent people their jobs, children, and even their lives.
Often this is to create self-doubt. When you divorce someone who suffers from BPD, the emotional abuse does not necessarily end there. It can result in a high-conflict divorce costing you more than you bargained for, not just in terms of wasted money and time, but in very deep psychological wounds. The borderline ex is prone to litigate over everything and to refuse to cooperate with court orders, reasonable requests, and common sense.
She or he will likely make even straightforward property settlement issues costly, dragging out the legal process by refusing or avoiding to comply with court decrees to return property, split retirement accounts, repay money owed, and more.
He or she may manipulate others by crying poor, telling others that you have lots of money stashed away and have always been mean with money, when in reality they themselves have a much higher income and have more savings than you.
Again, this kind of behavior is projection and also a way to humiliate and dominate you. Another way Borderlines can mess with your mind and emotions is to try and suck you back into the marriage if it is the early stages of your divorce or separation.
Be sure to set your limits and be prepared to stand your ground and stick to your boundaries. Borderline behavior will swing unpredictably, one week they may call and want to talk for hours, the next week they may block off any and all communication from you. No doubt this will be very frustrating so it will be important that you have good legal representation — preferably an attorney who is familiar and understands what drives high-conflict divorces — and a supportive network of family and friends that you can trust.