Cannot cope much longer with BPD husband

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi everyone
This is my very first post and I am feeling very desperate.
My husband was diagnosed with BPD a couple of years ago. He does not manage his illness at all – he refuses to take any positive action with regards to his physical health, diet, outlook etc. and will only take medication. He recently stopped attending his NHS therapy.

I am struggling to cope with his behaviour and am very concerned that he has no one else in his life to talk to, turn to or take advice from apart from me (he does not have a single friend). We have separated many times but always get back together. The latest episode which has prompted me to seek help for myself is that he has been sacked (because he argued with colleagues) from two jobs since the beginning of this year which has left us in financial difficulties.

I am feeling very bitter and angry that my life is so affected by his bad decisions and all he says to me is that I should support him. I am so distraught as I write this. I don’t think I can cope with him much longer but don’t know where to get any advice from.

Is there ever a points where its ok to just walk away from a marriage? I feel like our relationship is completely one-sided - i take care of his emotional needs but he is not even capable of reciprocating. i feel like the marriage is draining all my strength, but i don't know why i find it so hard to leave him once and for all.
Elaine H
Oh Elaine

What a horribly painful situation to be in. We put up with so much, and something such as added financial uncertainty is bound to be enough to push you over the edge and make you question whether it is worth it any longer.

Of course there is a point where it is OK to leave a marriage. As much as you have made a commitment for better or worse, your main focus must be what is right for you and your state of mind. Do you think you would benefit from talking your feelings through with somebody? Maybe a counselling session or two? or maybe some marriage counselling?

In the mean time, feel free to vent on here. And do not beat yourself up about being a "bad" person for wanting to walk away. It is OK to feel angry and frustrated - they are normal emotions that everyone experiences from time to time.

(((Hugs))) Steph x
Sure it is OK to walk out of a marriage that isn't working, and it isn't as if you haven't tried. Fact is, your husband is exhibiting unreasonable behaviour, and this is not much different from a form of abuse: clearly he doesnt respect your right to have a normal life, enjoy friends etc. I also left a marriage that wasn't working due to the mental health problems of my wife - she coped OK as it happens, found herself an older man who was more patient and tolerant of her endless moodiness.
Er, 'he says I should support him'....

Er, WHY?

You don't mention children, so if they are not in the mix, then there is nothing keeping you with this man, other than what seems to me to be a misplaced sense of loyalty, and an 'unreasonable hope' that one fine day he'll wake up and be the husband he should be (but so clearly isn't.)

If you feel 'obligated' to look after him because of his illness, or are hoping that is 'only because' of his MH that he is so 'horrible' to you (and demanding that you look after him is horrible!), then look at the situation this way....

It is BECAUSE you keep coming back to look afte him and put up with him that he is not improving his situation for himself!

YOU are the person who is 'making him stay the way he is!'

You are, alas, 'enabling' him to keep on not sorting himself out.

So, I would say, for HIS sake, it's time to leave. Without you as his 'constant crutch' he will learn to help himself, and his life will get happier.

And so will yours!

Make an appointment to see a lawyer next week, and talk through the financial situation, so you'll know what you can take with you when you go.

All the very best to you, Jenny
Hi Elaine,

what you are going through is very common for partners of people with BPD in fact a lot of experts believe that it is almost impossible for a Borderline to maintain any kind of relationship because of the extremes of behaviour from loving neediness to blind almost homicidal rage at the flick of a switch for no rational reason, the inability to empathise with others, the selfish and often childish way of thinking and behaviour that almost all borderlines have. That's why borderlines partners or ex partners are often called BPD survivors. Only yesterday I went to visit my wife in hospital so we could attend a meeting with her care team an all the way through the meeting she kept laughing at the consultant and pulling tongues towards him when he wasn't looking at her, then I took her out for a few hours and she was fine all day with me but the instant she realised I was taking her back to the hospital she started punching me in the chest, sitting with her legs crossed in the middle of the pavement refusing to move.

It's really difficult living with a BPD and if you are struggling and your husband won't agree to treatment then you really need to walk away because BPD can't be cured it can only be managed and if he doesn't want to learn to manage it then it won't get better only stay the same or get worse.
Hi I know this is a very difficult situation I have been there, not so longer ago. My husband has always had BPD but I haven't experience his mania till 2014, yes it was devastating he spent thousands all of our savings, he gave up a very well paid job and I had to give up my uni course to work to pay the bills, we can't have children because we are both scared of passing the condition on and yes there are times I resented him but those feelings go as the person recovers.

The ways I coped, vent on here you are not alone, have one good friend you can confide in, take time for yourself a short walk everyday helped me. What keeps me with hubby is because when he's ill he's not himself, when he is well he is the most beautiful giving man I have ever met. Do you remember a time when your husband was well? If you do hold on to that he will come back.
Thank you everyone who has responded. You're words have helped me so much. My hubby went on to loose a THIRD job in April and course I hit rock bottom with the stress. He yelled at me for daring to have a go at him for his irresponsible behaviour. And of course he blamed his employer for forcing him to walk out of the job. I have told him I want a divorce and he went into emotional meltdown saying how much he loved me, how good we are together etc but I know it's his condition. I am so worried about his mental health if I file for divorce. All of your comments on here and what my friends have told me, all equate to leaving him. I promise myself it will happen soon - that's all I can cling onto xx
Stay strong Elaine, my bpd wife unexpectedly got discharged last wednesday and her care team told me that above anything else I have to look after myself and learn to walk away when I need a break. It's really hard to do not least because we want to help our loved ones so much even to the extent of putting ourselves at risk. I really hope everything turns out ok for you and remember that no matter what your hubby says you have in no way failed or let him down by walking away and it certainly isn't your fault.

All the best

Mike
Hi, I am in a similar situation with my husband and don't know how much more I can take. He seems to turn the smallest thing into an argument, and is really nasty when talking back, he starts to smash up things up in the house and blames me for him getting to that stage. He was diagnosed with bpd 2 years ago, he's having dbt therapy and most of the time it helps. But there are incidents like last night when he flipped out and tries to manipulate it back on me. I'm really struggling with what to do, he is my soul mate but when he switches its a completely different person, I have a son also that has learning difficulties and autistic traits so they clash as well. It feels like my husband is jealous of him and I feel stuck between them. I don't know how much more I can take and at trade of what my husband would do if I tried to leave. :(
zara, would it be possible to phone a woman's refuge, and ask their advice? Sadlhy, they are probably all too used to wives/mothers with 'extreme' husbands.....