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Spouses/Partners with Personality Disorders

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Poppy704 posted 2/20/2019 15:37 PM

Narcs are very good at isolating. Iíve been with him since I was 14, heís had a very long time to build a prison keeping me here. Iím working on escape tunnels.

ElZorro posted 2/21/2019 09:01 AM

For those who have dealt with diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how similar does this sound to your partner?

"I love to torture you." (hardly ever said "I love to make you happy")

"I guess I can show the kids more affection than to you because I feel like they're a piece of me."

My STBX was "forgetful" on bills and other responsibilities/chores. At best I could describe our dynamic as opposite: I liked getting things done in a timely manner and her's was "I'll get to it when I feel like it."

In terms of her caring/nurturing/giving in the relationship, I would describe it as cold, bare minimum effort, I felt like my emotions/needs/wants didn't matter or that I didn't feel heard. Rarely was there effort made above and beyond saying "Love you" and asking for a hug and kiss. I was told I had too high of expectations, so I guess I'm trying to reality check that as well.

I know it's not my problem anymore. I'm trying to figure out if this is a common trait with other BPD's or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I'm not trying to play Dr. Google, but if atleast the traits align with others who have experience the same then I feel like I'm not going crazy.

barcher144 posted 2/21/2019 09:22 AM

"I guess I can show the kids more affection than to you because I feel like they're a piece of me."

Oh yes, this is one of her main arguments for getting more than 50% physical custody of our kids in the divorce. That is, she has always done the majority of the "care giving."

My STBX was "forgetful" on bills and other responsibilities/chores. At best I could describe our dynamic as opposite: I liked getting things done in a timely manner and her's was "I'll get to it when I feel like it."

Yep, STBX has only worked 30 hours per week for our marriage because she needed extra time to clean our house and run errands and stuff like that (forget the fact that I help clean, but just roll with it). Since we separated (in-house), she rarely cleans, if ever, because she's "too busy." Since we separated, we no longer have any shared credit cards. She literally claimed that she was "too busy" to pay her 3 bills this month.

She doesn't clean... she works only 30 hours a week... and she is around only 50% of the time (because I am the designated parent the other 50% of the time). She apparently likes sex with men other than me... but I seriously doubt that she's having that much sex these days.

WornDown posted 2/21/2019 09:39 AM

"I love to torture you." (hardly ever said "I love to make you happy")

"I guess I can show the kids more affection than to you because I feel like they're a piece of me."

That sounds more sociopathic than NPD. I don't think NPD's actually admit that they are hurting you.

That's my armchair diagnosis. YMMV

WornDown posted 2/21/2019 09:39 AM

Poppy -

OK. Keep digging to find daylight.

ElZorro posted 2/21/2019 13:07 PM

Conversation today went like this in "how we should be towards each other". I brought up I want her to just be her. It's all I ever wanted. She said "Well you wouldn't let me be mean to people. You didn't like that." I said I didn't mind if you talked bad about people in private, but in public is what I preferred her not to do. These were quotes from her:

"I love being mean to people. If they run into me at Wal-Mart they deserve to be called dumb and stupid. I'm going to be sure to tell them."

"My dad asked me the other day if I took my "Smart Pill". So I guess he has a point."

"You're the reason I couldn't be mean to people because you so worried about me embarrassing you."

"I asked [our daughter's name here] if she took her "Crazy Pill" because she was acting so crazy today." (our child is very energetic and happy...not crazy)

Not sure what to make of this exchange.

Kygrandma1 posted 2/24/2019 18:29 PM

Redfury, I am new here but from everything I read about the site, I'd you are concerned that all your posts are being read by WS, maybe you should change screen name, password, email, etc. Only a suggestion

ElZorro posted 2/25/2019 08:24 AM

Finished "Stop Walking On Eggshells" and wow...just...from start to finish so many great tips, insights, and tools that I wish I would have had from the get go.

Definitely will be referring back to it OFTEN. Any other book recommendations?

Lemondrop10 posted 4/25/2019 15:32 PM

My WH has not been formally diagnosed as NPD but I saw our MC for IC after he fired us because my WH wasn't putting the work in and he told me he was afraid for me and said he believed my WH had NPD and he very rarely used that term on anyone.

My WH has had multiple (at least 12) affairs. He has been verbally and physically abusive with me. He was spying on me with hidden cameras and recording us having sex without my permission. He blames me for everything, the affairs because I wasn't attentive enough, him hitting me because I don't know how to shut up, rationalized the camera stuff as it was better than him looking at porn and thought I should be flattered that he wanted to see me. He ruins every happy moment in my life somehow, usually by not showing up or being a complete asshole to me. He's either Mr wonderful or Satan himself. I tried for so long to believe the good part of him was the real part, but I think I'm lying to myself.

When I met him I thought I won the lottery. He was so attentive and did so many nice things for me. I felt like the most beautiful cherished thing to him. Slowly though, he isolated me from my family and friends, killed my self esteem, took my strength. He destroyed me. I know I'll never be the same. I have no friends, no life, no interests. He slowly made himself my everything and I didn't realize it until it was way too late.

I guess what I wonder is... does he know he's an asshole? Do they know that they're doing? Do they purposely hurt those around them, planning their little mind games? Or do they feel right and justified in all they do? Do they actually feel love for someone or is it just about what someone can do for them?

WornDown posted 4/26/2019 16:17 PM

I guess what I wonder is... does he know he's an asshole? Do they know that they're doing? Do they purposely hurt those around them, planning their little mind games? Or do they feel right and justified in all they do? Do they actually feel love for someone or is it just about what someone can do for them?

I think it's all about what can someone do for them. When that person has used up their usefulness - they get tossed. My opinion.

I don't think they really care about others feelings, other than do the other people think they (the personality disordered) are awesome.


When I met him I thought I won the lottery. He was so attentive and did so many nice things for me. I felt like the most beautiful cherished thing to him. Slowly though, he isolated me from my family and friends, killed my self esteem, took my strength. He destroyed me. I know I'll never be the same. I have no friends, no life, no interests. He slowly made himself my everything and I didn't realize it until it was way too late.

Yeah, that's what they do - isolate you and convince you that you can only exist with them.

Are you divorcing?

I can speak from experience that once you get free from them, your life does improve dramatically. You won't be the same - we never are after any experiences - but you can re-find yourself.

NorCalLost posted 4/26/2019 17:51 PM

My ex was never officially diagnosed with a disorder, but something is definitely wrong with him - whether it's NPD, BPD, sociopathy, psychopathy...it had a hand in the demise of all of his relationships, including ours. But so did his disloyalty and dishonesty, which he cannot blame on anything but his own character flaws.

I did the don't-leave-me dance more times than I care to admit. I took blame for things that either were not my fault or that I had not done. I begged and pleaded. I desperately made physical changes and went to a therapist because he made me feel like I was 'broken' and needed help. When he was the person who broke me.

His unpredictable, explosive temper, the disloyal way he would talk about everyone behind their backs, his inability to ever be alone (and rage whenever someone pointed that out). Him going behind my back to pursue other women, after picking fights with me to have an excuse to leave - all so he could tell his potential dates that he was single. The way he lied about me to everyone after he left me for the final time. The way he raged at me when I exposed him.

He's definitely not a stable person, and I'm lucky to be away from him. But I will miss the fictitious husband I loved for the rest of my life. It's like I loved a ghost. Realizing who he is after all these years, and realizing that he never truly loved me - I may never fully heal from that.

[This message edited by NorCalLost at 5:53 PM, April 26th (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 4/29/2019 08:51 AM

Norcallost - sadly I felt like your post could be my own with a few exceptions.

My WH has also not been formally diagnosed with any PD, but he is working with an IC (that he's admitted lying to - what is the point in that you ask?!?! He admits because he wants to appear a certain way, apparently even to a therapist you're paying almost $175 a week to out of pocket ) and he doesn't seem to talk about others behind their backs at all. The rest - unpredictable, explosive, abusive verbally, controlling, manipulating....yep.

And this - there is always this for me too:

He's definitely not a stable person.... But I will miss the fictitious husband I loved for the rest of my life. It's like I loved a ghost. Realizing who he is after all these years, and realizing that he never truly loved me - I may never fully heal from that.

I am looking for books to read as well. I'm not codependent - after reading SI I convinced myself I was but my IC has assured me that I have a very stable attachment style and that affairs and betrayal usually bring out a side of ourselves that seem to mimic codependency but that it's temporary, like situational depression. I think I'm coming out of both as I have reached acceptance...the man I thought I had is just fantasy and love to him isn't what I think of it as at all.

I see someone referenced walking on eggshells as good for dealing with BD, but I think in my situation I'm dealing with someone who has scored high on the narcissism scales but who apparently wants to change but has an internal struggle about that as well. He admitted that half the time he just wants to run away and pretend all this never happened - and the other half he thinks there is seriously something wrong with him (he's right there). So any books about narcissism or avoidant/dismissive attachment issues anyone can recommend (for me, not for him - about how to deal with this mess while I'm still in the same house with him)?

Oh, and Norcallost - I can relate, for what it's worth. :(

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:54 AM, April 29th (Monday)]

Lemondrop10 posted 5/2/2019 15:12 PM

We are divorced but never really split up, we still live together. I filed after I found out about his secret filming. I never intended to go through with it, I thought it would scare him into therapy and real change. Instead it scared him into 3 different vaginas. My lawyer urged me to go through with it to protect my finances (I make 4 times what he does) and my counselor encouraged it as well. Believe me not a week goes by that it's not thrown in my face that I abandoned him and I was the one who broke our marriage vows.
I have kicked him out a few times, he's left a few times. He always ends up squeezing his way back in. My IC has told me time after time that I need to be the one to end it, he won't leave me permanently unless he finds a better catch because he views his partner as a piece of jewelry to make himself look better and he'll have a hard time trading up so to speak (I'm a doctor, live in a nice house, make a decent living, not to mention I've put up with his shit for so long).
It just sucks feeling like an empty shell of myself. When he's gone, I have no idea what to do with myself other than work. I lost my personality. I have no interests. And what really sucks is that the rest of the world thinks he's so wonderful because they see his act. Very few people know the real him.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 5/2/2019 15:32 PM

I have kicked him out a few times, he's left a few times. He always ends up squeezing his way back in. My IC has told me time after time that I need to be the one to end it, he won't leave me permanently unless he finds a better catch because he views his partner as a piece of jewelry to make himself look better and he'll have a hard time trading up so to speak (I'm a doctor, live in a nice house, make a decent living, not to mention I've put up with his shit for so long).

I have felt this way with my WH as well minus the earning capacity (I'm a lawyer, make a nice living, etc, but my WH earns a nice living as well - his AP earns the identical living to him so it's not about money). My WH gets a certain "ego boost" out of people knowing I'm a lawyer. Funny thing is he's pointed out to me numerous times that I will tell people that, unsolicited, and that it seems like "bragging" to me (much like medicine I'm sure, things happen or people are talking about situations and I will offer some guarded information that could be viewed as advice and I always feel the need to tell someone "I'm a lawyer, but ________ ISN'T legal advice" before I say anything) but when he say it, it's okay. I used to think that he was "proud" of me on some level but I realize now that in all likelihood it's just to impress people about him, and has no bearing on what he thinks of me except as a reflection of himself. He made a comment a few days ago about how "soon" I'll be 50 (I'm in my mid-40s" and that bothers him. Why? He didn't say but I'm guessing that 50 to him means old (he's 8 years my junior) and he doesn't like the reflection of that on him (nevermind he's losing his hair and has gotten a bit pudgy when he used to be that guy who everyone told me was "extremely handsome" as a matter of course). We saw his Dad a few weeks back who is in his 60s and he looked like he's not aged that "well" and he looks just like my WH but older...but my WH doesn't see that at all and seemed really offended when I said he looks "just like" his Dad.

On some hand I'm sure your WH sees you as your therapist has suggested on some level. The question to ask yourself (same one for me) is what do YOU see in HIM? I have gotten to the point where when I look at him I can't help but think I know what is going on in his head - and 75% of the time it's generally something I find unappealing. I will give him this - when I ask what's going on up there normally he will tell me, even if he realizes I will think it's pretty ugly. That's the acceptance part of it for him...and sometimes he knows it's ugly and other times he seems clueless.

The amount of work he would have to do to be not only a remotely safe partner for me is mindboggling, and maybe with his limited mental normalcy it might not even work anyway. I'm not waiting for anything to happen to get better at this point as it seems unlikely at best. So what are you waiting for? (And please don't take that as a jab - I'm truly wondering as I sit here having just had lunch with him, saying very little, likely because he has nothing good to say and his A is as likely as not to be ongoing).

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 3:37 PM, May 2nd (Thursday)]

Tim3167 posted 6/9/2019 20:09 PM

I know this thread is intended to surrounding personality disorders but I had posted regarding struggling with my wifeís bipolar previously.

I wish there was someplace focused on behavior disorders.

My wife did such horrible things while in long periods of undiagnosed mania that Iím still having trouble coming to terms with it all and who I thought her to be then as well as the person I see now.

Iím struggling with accepting the out of character over the top hyper sexuality that went on and I think her shame now when I talk about it now makes it even more confusing for me.

Iwhen I found out how bad it all was I thought something was seriously wrong emotionally with her but since I learned of her bipolar 1 diagnosis I struggle not to see it as an excuse.

Any others out there trying to heal with a bipolar wife who cheated in spectacular ways but is doing the work now with intense therapy and meds?

HeHadADoubleLife posted 6/9/2019 21:51 PM

Hi Tim!

You can definitely ask a mod to start a thread re: mood disorders.

I'll reply to you here though just for ease.

My SAXH is not bipolar (most likely borderline, he has not been formally diagnosed but my IC and I have talked about it a lot and have agreed that it is likely). BUT, my younger brother is bipolar 2, and having just been through his first manic episode about 3 years ago, I can tell you watching a loved one go through it is very difficult.

My brother's episode was so bad that he was actually in the psychiatric ICU for 6 weeks before they felt comfortable releasing him. He was HYPER sexual, making all sorts of comments and gestures, although in the controlled setting of the ICU did not have a chance to act on any of those impulses. I can't imagine how hurtful it must be for you to have discovered her As. It must also be really difficult to define what happened due to her chemical imbalances, and what was just due to poor boundaries etc.

I can tell you that watching my brother when he was manic, it was clear to me and everyone around him that he was absolutely not the person we know and love. It was a total mindf*ck because, apart from the lack of hygiene which so many manic people have, for the most part he looked and sounded the same. But his actions and the actual words he was speaking did not line up with who he is as a person.

It took a while to get his meds figured out. But I will say that getting into a very regular routine of working out every morning, going to bed and waking up at very specific times every day, as well as religiously taking his meds, has improved his well being immensely. He is the brother I know and love, only now he is even more self aware and takes care of himself first and foremost.

I've spoken with his psychiatrist and he maintains that my brother was one of the worst cases he's ever seen, tied with only one other patient in his 20 year practice. He also says that he is one of his biggest success stories, and he strongly believes that his workout regimen is a huge factor in that. He also recommends melatonin for sleep, as well as fish oil for cognitive function improvement.

Because my father has now been seeing him and the dr. thinks that he has some bipolar tendencies as well, he has recommended that my other brothers and I also go on fish oils, as these things tend to run in families, and the medications that work for your family members often also work for you too.

Does her family have any history of bipolar? It would be incredibly helpful for you to find out.

Also, in regards to the shame over the behaviors, this is something that she should be addressing in regular therapy. Many of the behaviors my brother engaged in while manic were absolutely ridiculous to any sane person, and he had a hard time even believing that he did them at all, as his memory of the episode was incredibly foggy. Even the things he did remember were very, very skewed from the reality of what was actually happening.

He also had a hard time wanting to stay on the meds for a while, because when he was manic he felt invincible and afterward he said he "missed" the person that he was when he was unmedicated. It took some time for him to come to terms with the fact that most of the "experiences" he remembered from his manic state did not even actually happen, or if they did, the details were far different from what he remembered. He had to go through the stages of grief and mourn that "reality" as something that would never come back.

Anyway, I know how difficult the journey can be when you love someone who is bipolar. I hope your wife goes to therapy to work on her shame. I'm sorry that you probably won't ever know which of the behaviors were just regular old A behaviors, and which were due to the chemical imbalances. Unfortunately, it's next to impossible to figure that out. But hypersexuality is an extremely common symptom amongst bipolars who are in a manic state, so hopefully you, and she, can find some comfort in knowing that she is not alone in that.

Cooley2here posted 6/10/2019 13:16 PM

Tim. The ďexpertsĒ change definitions almost as much as they change their underwear so for the sake of your wife I am stating what I think holds true. A mental illness can be treated with medication and therapy. In some cases schizophrenia is very difficult because paranoia makes treatment tough. Bipolar can be controlled as long as the patient remains dedicated to it. You canít fix a personality disorder.....although there might be something on the horizon that I donít know about. Your wifeís illness is treatable therefore it is a true illness.

Tim3167 posted 6/10/2019 14:16 PM

Thanks for the responses.

She really has embraced weekly therapy as well as really sticking to her medication. She really seems to not want to ever be "that person" again.

Before the eventual Bipolar diagnosis, she was working with a therapist who focused on childhood issues leading to this overwhelming need to feel desired. What never quite made sense to her though is why she felt like another person when those things happened and didn't feel those needs currently. She was totally acting out of character with multiple partners and risky locations.

As mentioned though there is a part of all this that is not bipolar but other deep issues like self esteem and needing external validation.

As a BS though, it can be so confusing. If you took the actions during that time alone, she would hardly seem a candidate for Reconciliation. There are things that happened which I know would get pages of leave that woman now comments if I shared. The part that makes it confusing is that she is so focused on her treatment and feels so much shame and confusion over how she acted. Some of this info is only 8 months old for me and at times I still feel the need to talk with her about it and it drags her back into hating herself so much and impacts her treatment which has really been focusing on reducing negative thoughts which have been a trigger for her in the past. I will say though that she doesn't complain about talking about it but just ends up crying because she hates herself so much. Its a bad cycle and I'm trying my best to break it.

I guess just looking for some support from others in the same sit. I know there is no easy answer or path. Just talking about it can help but maybe not to her all of the time.

fallendown posted 6/17/2019 13:28 PM

Hi Tim

I've struggled the last 7 years with my WW, who we now know is bipolar. It's been awful. It's why I'm here.

The have been many affairs, I doubt I ever got the full story on any one of them. Three and a half years ago she slept with my sisters husband and I couldn't go on. I asked her to leave me, she did, she went to her home country and we haven't lived together since then. But neither of us has ever let go, and what that means is that her illness and the associated behaviour has continued to hurt me.

Really it's so tough. I love her. But how can I when she does such hurtful things. Her IC once, and against all the rules, contacted me to try and explain that I should understand that when she is manic she is a different person. But I just can't get my head around that. It's not just the foul behaviours that hurt me it's the selfishness too,the abject lack of empathy. I often feel she uses the behavioural treatments she is advised to follow as an excuse to be selfish. To explain what I mean; it can often happen that I'm having a bad time and reach out to her for support and she will tell me her therapist said she can't discuss this with me. Or she will tell me she has to follow her routine and right now that means she's got to go swiming so I have to wait. Man it's hard.

It's also very hard to tell if it's the bipolar or just her being nasty when she comes across as so cold and heartless. The there are times she comes a cross as very narcissistic, when the going gets tough in a conversation she will bring out all the self pity and say stuff like "well we both know I'm the most evil thing alive, I should just kill myself" etc.

She really has the ability to convince herself that her lies are true too. That's a whole different post right there man.

I'm rambling, I'm not sure if I'm helping either me or you with this.

Basically for my WW, if she is even that, we only see eachother max twice a year, but go through stages of telling eachother that we are both just waiting for each other, whatever. Basically for us it's just become so toxic, some people do say mental illness is infectious. I belive we probably all fit into the spectrum of some mental illness and that when it starts to effect your ability to lead a healthy fulfilling life is when you need to address it and get treated.

She will go months of doing really well and then slip into depression and then come out into mania and turn to alcohol and weed and cruise with all kinds of unsavoury characters. She has her favourites too, her go to guys that she knows will give her the attention and make her feel good about herself, basically they don't care for her and will play along with her incourgable behaviours cos they enjoy it. Why wouldn't they, she can be great fun, she's sexy, pretty and very seductive. She knows how to keep a guy doting over her. When she slips and regresses I sometimes feel like she's just not trying.

So yeah after all that, yes there are others, like you, struggling to keep thier heads above water because we love someone with this damaging illness bipolar disorder.

FamilyMan75 posted 6/19/2019 00:44 AM

So I had seen my IC today. I've had seen her on and off for just over half a year now. Today while I was telling her about something I said to my wife and how my wife responded, she asked me if she has ever been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

I've told this therapist about how I met my wife, the cheating, the affairs, how I reacted, how I'm coping. Etc. So when she asked this, I asked her to elaborate. She just told me she has the characteristics of someone with antisocial personality disorder and/or borderline personality disorder.

The thing is my wife has seen a psychiatrist who says while she has some symptoms, but not enough to diagnose her with any personality disorder.

I'm not saying the psychiatrist is necessarily wrong, but a few people who haven't met my wife in person have said she sounds like a sociopath, and is detached, selfish and has no emotion. There are times where she was emotionally detached and selfish, but that isn't her to the core.

So I guess I'm wondering, what to make of this.

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