Help Me Keep My Borderline Husband From Alienating My Friends
March 18, 2013 10:26 PM Subscribe
My husband has many strong Borderline Personality Disorder traits. Many, many, many. We are separated. I believe he may have convinced some of our mutual friends to side with him and against me using blaming tactics, slick people skills, possibly some fake crying, and major cognitive distortions of reality. Pathologically motivated to avoid abandonment, he might say a great variety of untrue things in order to secure friendships for him and him alone. Please help me maintain and repair my friendships while being the kind and upstanding person I mean to be.
posted by WelcomeCat to Human Relations (33 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
MeFites suggested the possibility of his being BPD when I posted recently about his behavior, and it's a good fit.
I am worried about his ability to alienate me from friends by presenting a BPD-distorted version of the "facts" to them, making it look like I am the angry/mean/crazy one.
Since separating, I think my husband may possibly have already alienated from me a couple we had both been friends with. They aren't avoiding him and weren't avoiding me until they spent time with him.
I had initially broken down and told the wife when we first separated that my husbad had been alcoholic for the length of our marriage and had engaged in way to much arguing with me (I didn't go over the full breadth of his abuse) and had finally kicked a door so a wall so hard he broke his foot when I refused him sex when he was drunk. (Sex was a bad idea when he was drunk, and he had been warned)
I said to the friend that I left the house when I couldn't locate all the guns in the house and I felt unsafe since his anger had become physical.
I followed up with the friends the next time I saw them by saying "My husband is in pain. We have both been in pain. But I care very much about him and I know he feels better with friends, so I am not going to insist that you exclude him socially when I am around. Please be friends if you want to be." I was on a kindness and caring kick.
My husband and I actually see each other frequently, and when I asked what he told them, noting that I had put in a good word for him, he was pretty cagey about what he had said.
Am I guilty of badmouthing? Am I merely guilty of spilling the beans (the truth) under stress? Am I guilty of TMI? These friends were not best friends, but I had previously shared personal information with the wife, and it had seemed fine.
I guess I was out being social that evening, trying that on for size, yet feeling super stressed because of the separation, yet not wanting to spend so much time by myself.
I feel self conscious about spilling these beans because I know I'm walking this weird line between hiding from everyone my husband's shenanigans and looking for support and connection for myself. I feel very unsure what is the "right" way to act. My closest friends live elsewhere. I have hidden my husband's behavior from everyone I know where I live until recently.
I had just come off of him lying and gaslighting me and fake crying in front of his parents, minimizing his alcohol abuse and bad behavior, successfully shifting blame to me and suggesting I was kind of nuts to feel unsafe.
He can be very persuasive. He had been cruel, unpredictable, and heavily blaming. You add in kicking something so hard you break your foot and guns lost in the house, and my gut said get out. Your gut may vary.
I am also worried that my husband will take advantage of my uncertainty in the area of friendship.
I am thinking about contacting people and issuing a generic statement if our marriage proceeds towards divorce, saying something like the road may get bumpy, you may hear things that surprise or shock you, please contact me if you have any questions. Will I look like the crazy one if I do this?
Do you think it's worth saying something like that to friends who have already been potentially alienated? It's so awkward because I don't know for certain what's going on with them. They are just not responding to emails and didn't show up at my party that they said they were coming to.
I would also, in general, like to take the high road, and not adopt his behavior as mine. I have had my fill of his bad behavior, but I recognize BPD comes from a deeply sad and injured place, and it is my wish to be kind, if in a detached way. But I don't know how to play nice with someone who will be nasty (and doesn't have the insight to realize that he is being nasty).
Do I just buck up, prepare to lose friendships, and have faith that I can make more friends?