How should we deal with a Mean Spirited and Abusive Spouse? My wife may have Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD).
My wife of 20+ yrs. has had a mean and abusive nature about her and it has gotten worse especially lately toward the teenagers as they have added more stress just being teenagers. CAF Forum poster, Bkoz, posted some web sites that describe pretty accurately our situation. These are some of the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder:
From the Web Site:
“Borderline Personality Disorder is a relatively recent addition to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Accordingly, the majority of practicing mental health professionals graduating prior to 2000 have not been trained on the diagnosis and the treatment of this complex disorder as part of their professional curriculum.”
There are 1-2hr. questionnaires that the Professionals use to determine if someone is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Here are some of the symptoms;
Mother In Law used a lot of shame to raise my wife and her siblings:
“Adults shamed as children fear intimacy and tend to avoid real commitment in relationships.”
“Adults shamed as children frequently feel defensive when even a minor negative feedback is given.”
“Adults shamed as children frequently blame others before they can be blamed.”
“Adults shamed as children often feel angry and judgmental towards the qualities in others that they feel ashamed of in themselves. This can lead to shaming others.”
“Mothers with BPD, for instance, are characteristically volatile and have difficulty controlling intense, inappropriate anger that is often precipitated by environmental changes and/or intense abandonment fears. Their strong outbursts of anger can be detrimental to the developing child, and many children of mothers with BPD are victims of verbal and/or physical abuse. Suggest that “a mother’s hostility, rage, and destructive behavior may be disguised as love, making it difficult for a child to trust his or her own perceptions of reality.”
“Being mean, cruel, or cold-hearted; verbally, relationally, or physically abusive; humiliating and demeaning of others; willingly and willfully engaging in acts of violence against persons and objects; active and open belligerence or vengefulness; using dominance and intimidation to control others.”
“a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.”
The Mayo Clinic:
“Relationships are usually in turmoil. People with BPD often experience a love-hate relationship with others. They may idealize someone one moment and then abruptly and dramatically shift to fury and hate over perceived slights or even misunderstandings. This is because people with the disorder have difficulty accepting gray areas — things are either black or white. For instance, in the eyes of a person with BPD, someone is either good or evil. And that same person may be good one day and evil the next.”
We have 3 children. Marriage has been sexless, .ie. meaning we are intimate less than 10 times/yr, she is Catholic but distrust the Church and very critical of the Church publicly and in front of our children.
Has anyone dealt with this Disorder before or have a list of books, web sites or additional resources.
I am not sure not sure if my next step is to educate myself or look for a Therapist/Counselor who could test/determine if my wife actually has this Disorder.
Bkoz - please feel free to jump in with additional info and thoughts you have compiled.