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Newest Member: Bert

Just Found Out :
My world has turned upside down.

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:19 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

I know a woman whose behavior stopped a friendship after a few times of her outrageous behavior. She has BPD. Claiming deep faith, cheated on husband many times, hospitalized several times for emotional breakdowns, divorced, children refused to live with her, married again to a PD man, loved the chaos, would start drama over nothing, etc. etc. etc. She tries therapy but can’t stand it when it comes close to digging too deeply. Does this describe your wife. PDs are for life. Therapy might help. Medication might help. The inner turmoil is like a monster rattling the cage your wife tries to keep locked up.

I hope you are looking after your health. Stress can kill.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 11:48 PM, Friday, December 24th]

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 6:21 AM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

However, are you familiar with the sunk cost fallacy?

Yes, the flaw with this theory is that it requires the ending to be an expected failure. That does not apply in this case. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In our case, we are not doing the same thing. She has applied herself in her treatment and in therapy. She is opening up and being less resistive to conversations. She now understands what her mind is doing to her and she has the tools to fight them. These are all different behaviors, its a different path for her. That means the ending here is unknown. Its not the same behaviors or mistakes being repeated. So the sunk cost fallacy doesn't apply.

Each of us is nothing other than the sum of our actions. Your marriage is in fact defined by her affairs, but not solely by her affairs. It is of course defined by the sum of her actions. Hating you. Vilifying you to others. Using that negative energy to justify infidelity marked by an extreme level of contempt and cruelty.

What you say here has merit, but its also a complex situation. Her hatred and vilification was not her attempt to justify having an affair. It was her mind splitting from the borderline personality disorder, creating a reality where the only thing she could see was the negative things in our marriage. She could only see the arguments, not the moments of love and compassion. Her mind told her that everything I did was a slight to her and I was abandoning her. She believed it to be true, even to this day. She thought of me as the worst human being ever and wanted to escape and her affairs gave her people she attached too. Some of the symptoms of BPD is impulsive behavior and risky sexual behavior. Some BPD patients have multiple partners because they fear abandonment and for them, having a backup protects them. They see only the good in an AP, ignoring the disrespectful behavior they show to them and their families. I was the villain because the crazy within her said I was. And because neither of us knew she was having that problem, she took it as reality and my response to her behavior was frustration and anger. So no, her affairs do not define our marriage. She lived in a world where she was always going to be abandoned and her husband hated her and didn't show her attention. If anything, the first years of our marriage may have been defined by her BPD, but not her affairs.

As you describe it, the good times are few, fleeting, mostly involve your kids. You've not described any good times that involve a high degree of sexual brio from her directed to you.

I never said that at all. We've had plenty of good times together. And I only mentioned our kids once in what we do together. We do things together when we can, and when we do, we have fun. And I didn't bring up the times we had sex on the beach, or in a tent or any of the other things we have done. I didn't say sex was lacking, I said it was infrequent. When we got it on, it was great. Sometimes she was vanilla, but sometimes she wasn't. But it was enjoyable.

At some point, if a married couple grows old together, there is a decent likelihood one may be called upon to provide physical care and even palliative care to the other. When this happens, the care-giving spouse is him- or herself old and frail. If it's you, will you have the drive to provide this to her? For most spouses in this stage, that drive is fueled by the stored memory of the tenderness and love received from the care-needing spouse. If the tables are turned, will she have the empathy and capacity to be your caregiver? Will you be able to rely on her?

Where did you get this from? First, she has already taken care of me. From my repeated back injuries that have taken months to heal from, to a heart procedure over a decade again, to gall bladder removal, to leg injury that took me down for three months, etc. She has been there for me, reliably. In fact, it is often when she is most attentive to me because I was not a threat to her BPD's fear of abandonment.

I'm just saying that while she made the decision to have her affairs, she does have a valid reason to have the fears and thoughts she did. She could have communicated with me or saw a therapist, she chose to cheat. That hurts. The things she said and thought also hurts. But it also hurts to learn that she was mislead by her mind into thinking I was abandoning her. It hurts to think that had I paid more attention to her behavior, I may have realized she was dealing with more than depression. And our therapist woke us up to every single sign we missed.

Now I watch her break down and cry as she tries to learn what emotions are real and what are not. BPD is not a joke and it hurts to watch her try and fight through sudden bursts of emotions. So for me, I have to face her betrayals, my best friends betrayals, her BPD and try to recover while understanding that she isn't evil or cruel or wanted to hurt me. She's a victim as much as she is an adulterer. So it is hard to separate the two sometimes.

Our situation is cruel and painful. Because I can R or D anytime, I don't need to hurry to make a decision. But just remember that the information I have shared is not everything in our lives. There are moments we shared that are just as momentous as our worst moments. Before I kill our marriage, I owe it to me to see if we can make it right now knowing the tools to communicate and make each other feel connected. I think as a husband who vowed to be with her in sickness and in health, I can't abandon her just when she is learning she has something wrong with her. And so far, our therapists have agreed that this is a good step for us.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:05 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Betrayedmale

I see some positives in how you post.
I still think it’s a tough situation and as a rule I don’t post on threads where there is diagnosed mental issues. However I want to share a couple of thoughts.

It hurts to think that had I paid more attention to her behavior, I may have realized she was dealing with more than depression.

Please – a KEY ISSUE to reconciling from infidelity is IMHO that the betrayed spouse totally 100% refuses any accountability for the WS decision to cheat. This is SO important. If we did anything that made them cheat or could have in any way prevented them cheating then there isn’t really any way we can prevent ourselves from repeating that behavior.
Doesn’t have to be the same behavior or actions. Like if you think you missed out on her dealing with more than depression and you think that had you noticed you could have prevented her from having an affair… What if – 2 years from now – you miss out on her being angry at you for forgetting her birthday? Could that trigger a "reasonable" response from her to have another affair?

All you can do is monitor her well-being. See to it she’s seeking therapy, taking her medicine, and tending to her needs. Just like she should be tending to yours. However – if she decides to keep secrets and decides to react to provocations (real or imagined) by having affairs… not something you can prevent or predict.

Believe it or not the above is IMHO the key to successful reconciliation. The fact that you BOTH realize you BOTH have free will and can do what you want. Only that means the other can react as they want. Once she realizes that if she strays you can decide to leave, and once you realize that you too can leave it creates a pressure and freedom that is conductive to you two working your ass off to reconcile. If possible.


The second issue is regarding advice offered here. Some of it has been harsh. Not wrong per se but maybe harsh. Sometimes its just the wording. I for example try not to use the f-word on JFO simply because I think it can hit the BH like a icepick. But then – sometimes an ice pick is the correct tool for the job.
What I suggest is that you look at the posters last 5 posts or so. If they consistently offer the same advice to each and every situation and that advice is relatively one-sided… then take the advice at the value it’s at.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:00 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In our case, we are not doing the same thing. She has applied herself in her treatment and in therapy. She is opening up and being less resistive to conversations. She now understands what her mind is doing to her and she has the tools to fight them. These are all different behaviors, its a different path for her. That means the ending here is unknown.

The benefit of a forum like this is that we are anonymous strangers, all brought here because our lives have been impacted by infidelity. The anonymity affords a certain blunt frankness in our advice that close friends and confidantes may be reluctant to provide. Please be assured that, at least from my part, it's offered as a sounding board to get you to look at multiple facets of your situation. It comes from a place of filial loves, as a fellow brother who was the victim of infidelity.

The drawback of this forum is that we can only respond based on facts you present. People tend to come here at time of emotional crisis and post only those facts that are front of mind. We generally don't get the continuum, or if we do, it's only after many posts.

I respect the level of analysis here. Speaking personally, for me, a wife's infidelity driven by a mental illness or condition of this nature would be easier to forgive and reconcile from than the much more common pattern of mid-life ennui circling the drain and leading to an emotional vortex of resentment and stepping outside the marriage. Though I was dumped by my cheater for another man, most of the patterns you describe occurred in our life and, in hindsight, I reckon she was also a person who suffered BPD.

Which leads me to two points. First, as I said in one of my earlier posts, being married to anybody who has a mental illness of this nature -- BPD, alcoholism, etc. -- that's really hard. I understand there is an element of being noble, and it is of course an extreme instance of honoring one's marital vows, but hats off to anybody who perseveres through this. I've often felt, in hindsight, that my own cheater spared me this exact process by dumping me for an AP.

Second, I would caution you to be mindful of relying too much on the diabolus ex machina as a sort of hall pass for shyte behavior by your WW. As true as it may be in some circumstances, your WW is no different than any addict. If you allow her the conceit of "that was the BPD talking" too often/too easy, you remove accountability and progress will stall.

I say all of this because you appear to have a handle around the challenges existing with respect to a BPD condition, and yet here you are, on an infidelity support forum, posting about the cheating. Specifically, you are posting about the three-way with your shyte friend and his shyte wife. Clearly it's bothering you enough to search on the internet, find this place, create an account, and post about it. What is interesting to me is that, though you have taken all of those steps, and though the anguish about the threesome is palpable in your posts, when I press you on it, your response is, essentially, "that was the BPD talking and we are getting that under control." Are you really getting it under control?

It's okay for a person married to a spouse with an illness to throw in the towel, "enough is enough", all of that. I feel that this threshold may be what you're struggling with. You say:

Before I kill our marriage, I owe it to me to see if we can make it right now knowing the tools to communicate and make each other feel connected. I think as a husband who vowed to be with her in sickness and in health, I can't abandon her just when she is learning she has something wrong with her.

I get that. I was there, in that precise place, even as my cheating partner looked me in the eye and said she would be taking her son (my de facto stepson) and moving in with her AP forthwith. There is a horizon, a place where you can legitimately check the "I tried as hard as I can" box and move on. That horizon lies far closer than death. I sense that this is why you're here. You're trying to suss out where that horizon lies and whether you are close to it, or not. I wish you success in this. My first point to you was the forest/trees thing. In every one of your posts, this over-arching issue resonates in my ears. It is so tempting and, in a way, easy to focus on each micro-step, each tiny fraction of progress, to get buried in the mountain of details, one can completely lose one's self in the process.

I do think that letting her blame the totality of the threesome on the "that was the BPD talking" is too glib and too easy. Where is the personal accountability? The ongoing EA element of the EA/PA continued for a sustained period of time. There must certainly have been periods where it was not the BPD talking; rather, it was your wife, making you into the unwitting brunt of their three-person private joke. Has she taken accountability and ownership of that? I sense that you need her to do this in order to heal.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 3:09 PM, Monday, December 27th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 2:48 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I have a lot to say but the last to posters gave you a lot to think about.

So I think it’s best to say something simple here and ask for your response;

You have described in detail all you are doing to help her heal from her disease and the awful choices you both believe it coerced her to make.

But I read very little about what she is doing to help you heal from the devastating pain those choices inflicted on you.

This recovery appears to be HER centered. True reconciliation comes when the focus is more on the person who was betrayed. Yes lots of work for the Betrayer to do, but healing of the BS needs to be the highest of priorities. I just don’t feel like that is happening here.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 3:54 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

This forum has many insightful, caring people that give fantastic advice. Sometimes we lean a bit too much toward projection based on our experiences but still, the quality is high. Everyone who comes here needs to sort out what applies to them and what does not. Usually I feel that roughly 80% applies to everyone with infidelity, 20% is peculiar to the situation.

In your case the % that applies may be lower. Or you could think of it as it still applies but the BPD context is so specific and overwhelming that it changes the dynamic thoroughly and you need to put every scrap of that 80% in a highly unusual context that would not apply to most situations here. As others have essentially said, the BPD puts part of your story above our pay grade.

I continue to be impressed with your compassion despite being wounded by her infidelity. But be sure to work on your own healing and push her to help you heal even as she herself is working through both the BPD and her cheating. I think your compassion could get in the way of healing yourself and you need to have a discipline during this to pay attention to that.

Also, while this betrayal is very severe, I think the BPD somehow makes it potentially easier to recover from than if there was no such diagnosis. That doesn't mean R is a given, R will be easy or R will be successful. But it offers a very momentous context for her infidelity that most people here do not have. Of course living with BPD is something that I have no experience of and may also be seen as a double jeopardy rationale for D.

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:06 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

But be sure to work on your own healing and push her to help you heal even as she herself is working through both the BPD and her cheating. I think your compassion could get in the way of healing yourself and you need to have a discipline during this to pay attention to that.

You seem to have made a decision about what you will be doing in the near future, and you're keeping yourself flexible. 'Compassionate' seems like a good description. So does 'pragmatic'. I use both terms as compliments here.

But etch Trdd's words in your head, gut, and heart. Your W's mental illness does nothing to mitigate the pain that you feel. To heal, and to roll with the punches that inevitably come in R, the more pain you process out of your body, the more likely it is that you will get to the best solution for you.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 6:14 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Your R seems so very focused on your wife getting help, getting better.

That's not R.

What about YOU?

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annb ( member #22386) posted at 8:30 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I would caution you to be mindful of relying too much on the diabolus ex machina as a sort of hall pass for shyte behavior by your WW. As true as it may be in some circumstances, your WW is no different than any addict. If you allow her the conceit of "that was the BPD talking" too often/too easy, you remove accountability and progress will stall.

^^^This. To the T. I read your post earlier this morning and was thinking exactly the same thing. Not all of her actions can be explained into a box.

I agree with the others, you have experienced infidelity trauma. You need to place a great deal of focus on YOU because honestly the reality of all of this is going to set in, more likely than not you are still in shock, and your emotional state is going to take a huge nose dive from all of this stress.

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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 8:33 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

If anything, the first years of our marriage may have been defined by her BPD, but not her affairs.

The "first years" of a M are typically still considered "the honeymoon phase", but you have been married 24 years and she first cheated on you 20 years ago on year 4th, however despite that, IMHO you seem too quick to blame the recently diagnosed BPD (btw have you asked for a 2nd opinion ?) at least in part or indirectly for her decisions to commit adultery, keep in mind many people have BPD and don't cheat, but even if we take that at face value (and that's big if), BPD or not, Affairs by themselves are major life altering events and whether you were aware of some or none of them at the time, your WW knew she was having them and make no mistake about it, the affairs had a direct impact on the M and the relationship as a whole (still does in the aftermath), and a M that involves affairs is "defined" as a failure by most at least during that time and regardless of the possibility of a successful R.

Of course we're just internet strangers and this is your life and your decision but at least don't take any direct or indirect blame for her As, those were choices she herself made repeatedly, and again BPD or not, based on what you posted she would have most likely made the decision to leave you for AP had he not moved to TX. Surviving infidelity is hard work that take years even with a fully remorseful WS doing all the necessary work, still there are no guarantees, it's even much harder when it involves serial cheaters, double betrayals, and other factors like BPD, FOOs, Alcoholism, etc.). Despite my initial advice to D, since you are going to try R I wish you the best and suggest you confide in a trusted friend or family member if possible, you could use their support and advice.

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 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 11:25 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

First, I want to make clear that I'm not upset or taking anyone's advice negatively, it's hard to take context from written correspondence. I'm also not getting defensive, I just want to make sure that there is a context in play people are aware of and to not just treat it like a normal affair.

Second, I'm here because even though her BPD is a major component of her behaviors, the feelings I have are the same as other betrayed spouses. I still get the feelings of anger, shame, disrespect, demasculating loss of self, etc. I find myself in a place without friends to talk to about this. I can't vent or get feedback from anyone except our therapists. Because this is shameful and embarrassing, I cant find myself talking to anyone about it in my personal circle. The only person I thought I could talk to slept with her. So that means trusting anyone else will be hard. Don't want to discuss this with family because I don't want those judgemental eyes staring at either one of us if we R. But right now, I'm consumed by feelings of wanting revenge against her APs. The fact I'm hurting and going thru this and they get off without consequences bothers me. They all knew she was married and they didn't care. It'd be different if they didn't know, but they did. I've met most of them. They all met my kids. So I want them to hurt back. And knowing I can hurt them but I'm not hurts me even more, like I'm letting them walk all over me.

Third, my treatment consists of seeing an individual therapist and a marriage counselor. We've been given books to read as homework, and I'm going over the impacts of the affair on my life. I'm already dealing with PTSD for another issue (which is why I don't have a lot of friends), so this made things worse. But I'm working on me, and I have establish boundaries with her on what I need and what I expect from her.

Forth, what has she done to help me heal?

Please – a KEY ISSUE to reconciling from infidelity is IMHO that the betrayed spouse totally 100% refuses any accountability for the WS decision to cheat.

She has taken 100% accountability for her actions. Her BPD may put her mind in the position to cheat, but she knew it was wrong and still chose to do it. She could have said no, but instead drank to lower her own inhibitions to make it easier to say yes. She wanted to cheat. She admits it. She has told me what she remembers, including very detailed descriptions of what happened. The only time she tried to hide something was the threesome, but she confessed to that on the second day. While there are some questions she still hasn't answered because she says she can't remember, it has been nearly a decade and she has told me far worse things to hear than any of the answers I've asked for. I have access to her phone, accounts, even the secret one she used to hide her affairs. I have read her journals, then and now, to see what she was thinking. She has been transparent. I get enraged sometimes by what I'm told or read, but I listen. It was her idea to post here to vent because I was bottling it up. But we talk daily, she answers questions whenever they pop in my mind. So she helps me with my recovery.


What if – 2 years from now – you miss out on her being angry at you for forgetting her birthday? Could that trigger a "reasonable" response from her to have another affair?

That's a legitimate concern. It's her biggest fear. But in two years, she'll have a better understanding of her BPD and the tools to control it. Right now, she doesn't trust herself and has closed nearly all of her social media accounts and dropped all of her friends. She had isolated herself. But she's read more books the last month than the last few years and she's learning the tools to evaluate her emotions to understand them.

IMHO you seem too quick to blame the recently diagnosed BPD (btw have you asked for a 2nd opinion ?) at least in part or indirectly for her decisions to commit adultery, keep in mind many people have BPD and don't cheat,

I keep reading this from people. I'm not blaming the BPD for her affairs. She had choices, she chose to cheat. That's on her. But she does have BPD and it does cause impulsive and self destructive behavior. And BPD does influence life choices. I cannot disregard either of those facts: she chose to cheat and she does have BPD as diagnosed by 2 therapists. As for the remark that many people with BPD don't cheat, that's not the argument. The real argument is how many people who cheat have BPD?

Marriage therapist Daniel Dashnaw, who specializes in marriages of people with personality disorders, wrote: "Serial infidelity has been correlated with personality disorders. To be specific, three personality disorders; Narcissism, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Psychopathy... Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by unstable emotions. They are partners who are fundamentally emotionally unstable and inherently unreliable. They are also poorly organized, careless, and self-indulgent. They find it very difficult to resist temptation, maintain personal boundaries, and resist attractive others...The essential problem with BPD is poor impulse control, compromised adult reasoning, and an inability to self-soothe and express empathy. In all intimate relationships, including illicit ones, a person with Borderline Personality Disorder will often display irrational jealousy, emotional volatility, and may become both physically and emotionally abusive... For such people "love" is subordinated to intense feelings of painful yearning and powerful desire. Thus, people with BPD are often compelled to chase partners who are emotionally unavailable. Their yearning is fueled by the chaos and drama of pursuing an unattainable partner."

Infidelity and BPD does have some connection to each other and in undiagnosed patients, it's a time bomb. This is why her treatment is important to my recovery. If she cannot utilize her treatment and maintain control of herself thru CBT/DBT therapy or maintain my boundaries, then we can't R. If I don't help her, then it's counterproductive to her mental well being, making her feel the abandonment she fears internally, and we can't R. So we have to work and help each other, because if I can't see her putting in the work, I'll never trust her again and we can't R. Helping her means I can process why she did what she did as I go thru her journey to understand her BPD.

But I do have my limits. She must attend therapy for her BPD. She must be honest with me about everything. Any lies and I'm out. She must be transparent about everything. If an AP reaches out, she must tell me. She must also tell them not to contact her ever again and block them. She must tell me anything she remembers about her affairs that we haven't discussed. She must tell me her feelings when she gets upset so we can keep her emotions under control. BTW, that's been working out great. We've had less arguments now as we process her emotions when she gets upset. It's interesting how little a thing can trigger a response from her.

Lastly, I think we need to be careful on how we give advise to people. We all hurt, but we were all hurt in different ways. I think we need to be careful and not transfer our stories to another person. I think telling someone who caught their spouse in just an emotional affair or sexting situation to DNA test their kids or get an STD test might be excessive. And people are quicker to tell others to get an attorney than they are to get therapist. You can get a divorce anytime, but mental health recovery needs to start right away. Maybe we can start focusing on the betrayed person and ask them what they feel and what they want and help them get to a point where they can decide what they need. Instead of saying get a DNA test on the kids, we ask if there is a concern about the timing of their affair and when their kids were born. No sense telling someone whose spouse just had an affair this year to get a DNA test on their 12 year old kid. It's already stressful and poisoning there thoughts makes it worse. Being direct sometimes makes things worse, we just need to build them up to a point where they can take it in. Follow the stages of grief and help them process where they are. That's why I'm here.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 11:29 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

I don’t want to be the person that gets jumped on but I have to say this. This is the only personality disorder that has some chance of being somewhat managed. The bottom line is that borderline people are terrified of abandonment. Every interaction they have with anyone is fraught with fear because that person might turn on them, turn their back on them, or leave them. So they cannot relax because every thing is one minute away from disaster as far as they are concerned. The cheating may or may not have anything to do with this disorder that she has but it is one of the hallmarks of i.

This fellow on here is asking for help and the best we can give him suggestions that he get as much knowledge as he can about her diagnosis and then make decisions based on what’s best for both of them.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 4:46 PM, Tuesday, December 28th]

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 1:24 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

As for the remark that many people with BPD don't cheat, that's not the argument. The real argument is how many people who cheat have BPD?

Most people who cheat do not have BPD, and if you keep reading this forum and others about infidelity, you will probably eventually realize that even though BPD is not a rare occurrence when it comes to infidelity, it's not a factor in the overwhelming majority of cases, neither is alcoholism, drugs or FOO issues, again these are not rare but certainly not majority of cases. That been said, I do agree however that now that she's been diagnosed and confirmed by a 2nd therapist she needs to be treated for that as well, and since you have decided to try R of course she will need your support too but let it not be at your expense whenever possible, I'm glad to hear you have "limits", so I recommend you get mentally and legally prepared in case R is not successful, I sincerely wish you the best in your efforts to R successfully.

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:14 PM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

Statistics don't matter to a specific WS and BS. Each WS and BS is an individual who will go one way or another - and many of the ways a person may go will surprise everyone else.

BetrayedMale is in charge of himself, just as you and I and everyone else here are in charge of ourselves. That includes MrsBetrayedMale. Over 95% of adults in my town have done _____, but no one has done 95% of ____. Each person has done either 100% or 0%; 95% of the adults have done 100% of _____.

I'm OK with the proposition that odds are against R for BetrayedMale, but I'm also very confident that 1) he describes himself and his W accurately and 2) that his odds are higher than for most couples because both partners want R and both partners are working for R.

Shirley Glass stated that 20% or the couples she treated who said they wanted R did not end up R'ed. I think that means that 80% did. MrsBetrayedMale's BPD may make it impossible for her to complete the work, but 'may' is very different from 'will'.

My reco, BetrayedMale, is to keep going. I think you're asking the right questions and putting your energy into things that will payoff the best for you. There are no guarantees here. Maybe R will succeed; maybe it won't. You'll have to wait to find out. But I think what you're doin now will prepare you for the worst - and for the best. That's pretty good for right now.

*****

The sense of humiliation comes from your negative self-talk. IMO, the best cure is changing the negative to positive. The fact that your W is BPD could help - it should be relatively easy to believe that without the BPD, she never would have cheated. But whatever works, only positive self-talk will cure the humiliation.

And here's the thing: whatever self-talk works for you will have the advantage of being true. Even the very generic 'My WS cheated because of their issues, not issues with me or our relationship' is true.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:27 PM, Tuesday, December 28th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27113   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8706288
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hatefulnow ( member #35603) posted at 10:43 PM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

BH here,

I'm sorry for your troubles. I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me if your wife was mentally ill she was taken advantage of. Even if her assailants didn't know of her illness they may still be culpable. I'd investigate this.

posts: 261   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2012
id 8706323
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:52 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

The reason I made this comment:

Please – a KEY ISSUE to reconciling from infidelity is IMHO that the betrayed spouse totally 100% refuses any accountability for the WS decision to cheat.

Is your comment in your original post:

Had we known about her mental health issues, we could have avoided what happened because we would have known what red flags to look for.

Your original comment – the WE part of it – leads to the assumption that you are shouldering part of the blame for having not prevented her cheating. For your own sake get rid of that thought and replace it with that whatever condition she was in at the time you had she always is accountable for the final decision.
There is a lot of freedom involved in realizing everyone has free will. To me the most empowering thing in a marriage is the knowledge that both my spouse and I are there only because we want to – not because we have to. That "want" is what makes us work towards being together.

There is an old African tale along the lines of a snake asking a passerby to help him out of a ditch. The passerby at first refuses, fearing that the snake will bite. The snake gives a solemn promise not to bite so the man reaches into the ditch and lifts the snake out. Once out the snake bites him. As he lays there dying the man asks the man why he bit him. What did you expect – said the snake – I’m a snake!
I fear that by making the BPD the issue – the sole reason she cheated being some consequence of the BPD – then she might cheat again and your response would be; What did I expect – she has BPD!


As often I agree and disagree with my brother-from-another-mother Sisoon.
Statistics do have meaning. Only they don’t predetermine the outcome. If 9 out of 10 people that try to cross a road get run over it would be stupid to assume you will be that 1. However, it would be sensible to see what the other 9 did and try something different. Better yet would be to discover what that one person did and emulate his actions as much as you can.

I actually see a lot "different" in your approach to the issues. I see a lot of positives. I think you have a real fighting chance. Don’t see my comments as discouraging, but rather as points to even further get you to your destination.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10604   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8706511
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 Betrayedmale (original poster new member #79696) posted at 2:29 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Your original comment – the WE part of it – leads to the assumption that you are shouldering part of the blame for having not prevented her cheating.

Thats not the case at all. By saying we, I'm referring to what all couples do for partners with medical or mental health issues, watch them for symptoms and help get them treatment. She showed symptoms back then and had we known it, we could have addressed it like we do now. That's just a statement of fact. Can't be responsible for something I didn't know about.

And also, people keep talking about her having another affair and using BPD as an excuse. She had undiagnosed BPD during her affairs. She did not process emotions and thoughts properly and had no tools to help her understand that. To her, the thoughts and emotions she had at the time were real to her. Now she has been diagnosed, she has the tools to process those thoughts and feelings. So for her to have another affair would mean that she decided not to use those tools or it was not BPD related. In either case, it wouldn't be due to BPD and odds are, I'd probably already be gone is she stopped treating her BPD.

Married 24 years.Me: BS (43)She: WS (42)Four Daughters (6)DDay: Sept. 7, 2021 (WS Confessed)Still together and processing.

Mental illness is not an excuse, but it cannot be discounted either. Those demons suck.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Dec. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Florida
id 8706514
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TruthIsPower ( member #75776) posted at 5:45 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

She did not process emotions and thoughts properly and had no tools to help her understand that. To her, the thoughts and emotions she had at the time were real to her.

To be brutally honest, this is the common trait for any WS, with or w/out BPD. In many cases tools=skills. This might be the reason for previous posters' concerns for a repeat offense.

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 178   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
id 8706535
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 6:02 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

So for her to have another affair would mean that she decided not to use those tools or it was not BPD related. In either case, it wouldn't be due to BPD and odds are, I'd probably already be gone is she stopped treating her BPD.

Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT trying to discourage you from R. Not at all. I'm in R myself, so I know that it's hard, but it's doable. I also think that you've got a great head on your shoulders and that you're doing fine in terms of handling your situation. There are a couple of things that are bothering me though, so I'm just going to put them out there and you can do whatever you want with them.

First, I believe that cheating is about character. It's about integrity and a person's relationship with their own values system. If a person really stands for their core values, Fidelity and Honesty, they don't cheat and lie. The cheater has a "but..." in there. ie. "She believes in fidelity, but... not if she's having a mental episode." I'll be honest with you, while I do agree that BPDs are generally a high risk for cheating, I don't know that we can assume it's just the disease. Not all BPDs cheat. Not all bipolars cheat. And if we get down into the weeds on why... it comes down to the strength of their core values, meaning what they believe.

Your WW hasn't cheated for nine years. It's possible that she's made changes since those days, and that's what needs to happen for WSs who want to be safe for their partners. They have to reexamine their relationship with their values system, decide how they really feel about their core values, understand where they've gone wrong, and then build strong boundaries. The good news is that your WW might have worked a good bit of that out for herself. Or... she's white knuckling her infidelity sobriety. I do think these things are worth talking about though, just so you can be a little more sure.

The other thing that I'm worried about with you is that it seems like you're spear-pointing her accountability system with her disease. What bothers me about that is the authority dynamic, whereby instead of husband and partner, you get viewed as jailer/dad, someone who's authority should be tested and rejected. You're the nearest adult with eyes, so yeah.. it makes sense that you'd be the bell-ringer if something seems off. But I think you would be wise to talk with her therapists and minimize your role as an authoritarian in her life. She does need to be accountable. But maybe there's a way to do that without you becoming jailer/dad.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5431   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8706540
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Wanttobebetter ( member #72484) posted at 8:35 PM on Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Your WW hasn't cheated for nine years. It's possible that she's made changes since those days, and that's what needs to happen for WSs who want to be safe for their partners.


^^^^The above.

If not mistaken, she was undiagnosed for BPD in those nine years, yes? In those none years, her thought process/rationalization (seeing only the bad and ignore the good, fear of abandonment) shouldn't have changed much if she had BPD during her affair preceding those nine years. One would think this could lead her to further infidelities but that wasn't the case. Something had changed in her that made her remain faithful even with the undiagnosed BPD.

Yes, she has BPD but (in my opinion) you seem to wrap her cheating around the undiagnosed BPD. It is your life to live and how you want to live it. R or D is totally your decision and yours alone. Like others, I just want to point out her cheating is 100% on her, BPD or not.

Good Luck.

posts: 187   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2020
id 8706575
Topic is Sleeping.
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