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BPD partners moods affect my son - Carers UK Forum

BPD partners moods affect my son

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Hello I'am new to the forum and hope someone can help me with advice on getting my 18 year old son support or counseling as he has been very tearful, upset coping with my partners extreme mood swings due to BPD.My partner blames myself and my sons for his difficulties in life and changes his moods rapidly but has been advised to go to wellbeing therapy. I'm concerned about my son and feel so guilty that I keep forgiving my partner because I am unable to get support when times become really strained.My partner has been advised that some of his ways are not due to his BPD.
Karen,hi, and welcome.

May I ask how long you've been with your partner? I take it he isn't your sons dad? (That's why I ask how long you've been with your partner, ie, how long your son has his step-dad.)

I think you're answer may modify my answer, but I would say that if your son has had a chance to 'bond' with his step-dad (ie, he basically 'grew up' with him) then he might, if he wants, try to invest in the relationship even when it is troubled - ie, if he, your son, is 'getting something out' of having your partner around.

But, if he hasn't really ever formed a bond with him - perhaps because you've not been with your partner long, or maybe, sadly, if he hasn't been a very good stepdad (or, more kindly, his BPD has prevented that) - then maybe the best for your son is to 'write off' your partner as far as he, your son, is concerned.

Obviously, if your partner means a great deal to you, then in the years to come, I'm sure you son will be 'nice' to him, etc, and do his best, but he won't, I would suspect, really ever care for him or about him (he will care about you - somewhat different).

What is the immediate future for your son? I think that's another question that may affect my reply. For example, if he is about to head off to uni, leaving home, then, again, if he is getting upset now, that may not 'matter' too much, as he'll be gone in a few more months, and will only be back for Xmas, Easter and the summer next year (if that!). Many students love uni so much, they are often there for longer than their terms. So you may be entering a period where you don't see much of your son anyway, and so in a way, it won't matter if he doesn't get on well with your partner, as he won't be seeing much of him!

But, if your son is not going off to uni, or it's close enough for him to live at home, or is going to be working near where you live, and so still living with you, then I would say that yes, counselling would be a good idea indeed.

All that said, alas, I fear the real problem is not your son - it is your partner.

I find it very worrying that your partner blames you, your sons (what's happening with your other son by the way?), indeed, blames everyone but himself!

This isn't healthy ,because firstly, it isn't true, (!) and secondly it sounds like he won't accept responsibility for himself. That means he can hardly be a 'good partner' for you - indeed, isn't really a 'partner' at all, as in, just blames you and does not support you at all.

I guess this is all boiling down to asking you - what is in this relationship for YOU? And that, right back to my first question again, may depend on how long you have been with him.

Living with anyone who has personality disorders of any kind is VERY challenging - sometimes love is enough to let you cope with it. Sometimes even with love, the PD can 'win' and the relationship just has to end.

I know this might sound a bit 'harsh', and, yes, your 18 year old is about to become an adult, but I do feel your first responsibility is to your sons, and their wellbeing, not to your partner's well being.

Is there a more positive aspect to your relationship than is coming across at the moment? I do appreciate you've only put the 'problem' aspects down, so maybe it doesn't seem as bleak as it look at the moment??
Just to clarify . You don't mean Bi-Polar do you?

But is your partner taking any medication?
Thankyou so much for your reply Jenny which has helped me a lot today.I have been with my partner for a long time 36 years! also he is my son's father but was diagnosed with BPD about a year ago.He has been gradually been getting worse with his rapid changing mood swings and got a late diagnosis of cyclothymia due to previously being an alcoholic. My eldest son is at university so not always home and seems to cope better but my other son lives at home and is starting Uwe which will keep him living with me.My son often states he wished he'd gone away to uni instead and regrets this.We just returned from a holiday which was upsetting because my partner was hardly ever with us as a family and kept going off on his own preferring to be sitting with random strangers.
I spoke with my partner today and he has behaved like all is fine and forgotten and refuses to discuss how anyone feels or apologise.
He has moved out now,I don't even know where he has gone and he thinks I'm a miserable person who just wants to be with my sons.I feel really drained from it all because I have tried to get him therapy which has not happened and the crisis team will not assist unless he is suicidal.
Colin_1705 wrote:Just to clarify . You don't mean Bi-Polar do you?

But is your partner taking any medication?
Hello Colin,my partner has been diagnosed with cyclothmia which is a milder form of Bipolar 1 and 2.He gets rapid cycling with his moods and has been prescribed Quetiapine 300mg once a day.We both met with his doctor to discuss his condition which get worse at weekend's and he still gets lack of sleep on several occasions but was told that it was best to keep his meds the same and get well-being therapy which has been declined as my partner was having a difficult day when the assessment by telephone was done.Several times my partner has asked about changing his meds but this has been decline by the doctor.
Karen, OK, that's given us a bigger picture - thank you.

First off, though I'm sorry your partner has taken off, at least this will give you all a bit of a 'breathing space' (is your elder son at home at the moment, or will be coming home shortly?). Maybe you can all take stock together.

In practical terms, if your partner has now left 'permanently' (though I would think it unlikely - it sounds a rather impulsive action and he'll turn up again shortly), then that takes the pressure off your younger son. He could, I assume, face living at home (keeping therefore his living expenses down - not to be sniffed at!), if it's just you there.

I think it might be worth having a word with the pastoral department at his university, before he starts in late September. I think they need the 'heads up' that he has a 'difficult' home situation, exacerbated by mental illness in his father. By and large, pastoral departments (or whatever they are called these days) are usually very supportive - my niece and nephew got a lot of 'slack' cut for them for various reasons associated with 'extra need' - and I think it would be sensible if it were 'on record' that he has a difficult home life, and is (at the mo - see below) living at home. This means that if, say he struggles with his course work, or meeting assignment deadlines, especially in the first year or around exam times (high pressure!), this domestic situation will be taken into account.

On the 'at home' issue - would it be possible, perhaps during the course of the first year, to consider him 'living out'. Just because his home is nearby doesn't mean he can't live out! The main issue, of course, is cost, and he may have to get some kind of maintenance allowance or whatever crumbs the government pay out these days! (That said, maybe if it's his local uni he's expected to live at home anyway?????). As he settles in, he might be able to find mates to flat with, that is affordable???

Finally, on the uni front, he may find it's not too late to change universities! You might want to investigate that as a possibility. I take it is his local uni that is his first choice, and a 'remote' one that is his insurance choice? (Is he expected to make his grades for his first choice?). I know they are supposed to accept their first choice if they make their required grades, but it could be that he's OK to opt for the insurance ones? Or possibly even change during clearing (some students can 'trade up' if their grades are higher than predicted, and they then become 'eligible' for a 'better university that requires higher grades, so there is always a bit of flux in who goes where once the results are in in August.) That said, again, he'll have to get skates on to sort out finances for maintenance, unless you can afford to sub him until they come through??

(Any chance he can go to his brother's uni, and they can flat share there to save money???!!!!)
Is your partner getting. Help from a CMHT? If so, ask if you can accompany your partner to his next appointment. Then ask them whether they can review his meds.

Has he ever had ECT?
jenny lucas wrote:Karen, OK, that's given us a bigger picture - thank you.

First off, though I'm sorry your partner has taken off, at least this will give you all a bit of a 'breathing space' (is your elder son at home at the moment, or will be coming home shortly?). Maybe you can all take stock together.

In practical terms, if your partner has now left 'permanently' (though I would think it unlikely - it sounds a rather impulsive action and he'll turn up again shortly), then that takes the pressure off your younger son. He could, I assume, face living at home (keeping therefore his living expenses down - not to be sniffed at!), if it's just you there.

I think it might be worth having a word with the pastoral department at his university, before he starts in late September. I think they need the 'heads up' that he has a 'difficult' home situation, exacerbated by mental illness in his father. By and large, pastoral departments (or whatever they are called these days) are usually very supportive - my niece and nephew got a lot of 'slack' cut for them for various reasons associated with 'extra need' - and I think it would be sensible if it were 'on record' that he has a difficult home life, and is (at the mo - see below) living at home. This means that if, say he struggles with his course work, or meeting assignment deadlines, especially in the first year or around exam times (high pressure!), this domestic situation will be taken into account.

On the 'at home' issue - would it be possible, perhaps during the course of the first year, to consider him 'living out'. Just because his home is nearby doesn't mean he can't live out! The main issue, of course, is cost, and he may have to get some kind of maintenance allowance or whatever crumbs the government pay out these days! (That said, maybe if it's his local uni he's expected to live at home anyway?????). As he settles in, he might be able to find mates to flat with, that is affordable???

Finally, on the uni front, he may find it's not too late to change universities! You might want to investigate that as a possibility. I take it is his local uni that is his first choice, and a 'remote' one that is his insurance choice? (Is he expected to make his grades for his first choice?). I know they are supposed to accept their first choice if they make their required grades, but it could be that he's OK to opt for the insurance ones? Or possibly even change during clearing (some students can 'trade up' if their grades are higher than predicted, and they then become 'eligible' for a 'better university that requires higher grades, so there is always a bit of flux in who goes where once the results are in in August.) That said, again, he'll have to get skates on to sort out finances for maintenance, unless you can afford to sub him until they come through??

(Any chance he can go to his brother's uni, and they can flat share there to save money???!!!!)
Thankyou Jenny that is really good suggestions and I have already spoken with my son about some of them which was a great help.My eldest son goes back to uni in September and is really calm about things at the moment. He tends to stay in his room alot writing, playing music which he enjoys and studies.My other son has been cheerful since his father has left even so he did pop back to wash his car acting unusual, not talking.I still think this will not last but I do need space right now. Going to a family wedding tomorrow and wondering whether my partner will just turn up unexpectedly as not heard from him yet.
Colin_1705 wrote:Is your partner getting. Help from a CMHT? If so, ask if you can accompany your partner to his next appointment. Then ask them whether they can review his meds.

Has he ever had ECT?
He did receive home visits in the beginning from the CMHT which was really supportive and enabled him to get diagnosed and medication. Then he did visits at their workplace where copy strategies were discussed and contingency plan put in place but he ripped it up in a temper one day when he was suppose to follow this as support. He has had 2 different CMHT whom I met but when I ring the crisis team I often have to speak with the duty team and not people that have met him.The CMHT did suggest his meds changing to Lithium but the psychiatrist did not agree when I visited them with him.I do try to attend appointment's with my partner because he can portray things incorrectly. I have also attended Bi polar UK meetings with my partner but really needed support for myself but there was not any carers there. ECT has not been mentioned at all but my partner use to take more than his prescribed dosage of meds just to get asleep at times as hyper.At the Bi polar meetings others seem to agree his meds needed changing.My partner does not get extreme lows but on occasions is unable to work for about a week when he does feel low mood.