[quote="Roger1, post:1, topic:195658"]
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.
Not to be curt with an answer, but you would be surprised at just how many people do have a personality disorder. As I learned quickly while working in a psychiatric clinic, I gained A LOT of insight and teaching from the doctors on this particular topic and it is very sad. I needed to learn quickly how to deal with and interact with these particular patients, it became very exhausting.
It looks like from your description of your situation that there could be a strong possibility of BPD, but only by seeking out a psychologist and/or pschiatrist will you know the diagnosis.
Just from my experience I would encourage you to seek out one of the above rather than a counselor, you need to seek out a doctor. I personally would go to a psychologist first and tell that doctor your situation, after speaking with your wife of course. I would treat this gently as you do not know what the real diagnosis is, it could be multiple things AND some things you might not even know about, your wife as well. You'd also be surprised at what some good therapy can do, metamorphises truly.
The psychologist will want to see your wife and you, seperately and together, generally. A part of the diagnosis is your marriage state and that includes you as well......it takes two to tango as they would say.
I wouldn't so much go head long into the psych. books until you contact a doctor and have a meeting.
Where I live there is a small group of Catholic doctors/counselors, what a blessing.
I would call your diocese first and ask them if they have any referrals.
Next, if you do have health insurance you need to call and ask to see if you have any mental health/behavioural health care coverage. It is a carve out of benefits seperate from your basic medical, so starting there will help. And then call the doctors, remember too that going to see a psych. doctor your'e going to be wanting a good fit, so if you aren't comfortable after a couple of sessions you can ask to be referred out. You have that right.
God Bless You and I pray God leads you to the right doctor!