Divorcing a person with BPD
September 1, 2011 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I need to end my marriage, but don't know how to tell my husband I want out, since I fear for my property and personal safety.

I am not a psychiatrist, but my husband's behavior leads me to suspect that he may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. I have been bending over backwards for several years to accommodate his frequent mood swings, groundless accusations and unstable behavior, but the latest (ongoing) episode is the final straw for me. I need to get out of this relationship before it destroys my own hold on sanity.

Before you ask: Yes, both I and his family (whom he has largely alienated) have been trying to get him professional help, but he steadfastly refuses to see any doctor or mental health professional, or even a marriage counselor.

When he is having one of his "episodes", he drinks himself into a stupor every day, and when he is drunk, he gets destructive. Today he destroyed the last two remaining chairs in the house, together with a bunch of dinnerware.

I have reached breaking point, and need to end this marriage now. My fear is that if and when I tell him that I am leaving him, he might go on a rampage, destroying everything in our house, and potentially attacking me and/or hurting our pets. This is a very real possibility, based on past behavior.

So, my question is how/where/when do I tell him I want out, and what steps should I take to minimize the possibility of violence?

Important details: 1) We are both male, so the resources available to females in an abusive marriage are not available to me. 2) He is younger, fitter and stronger than me and will be likely be able to overpower me in any physical confrontation 3) I brought the house and all the possessions we have into the marriage . He has never contributed a cent to anything we own, so I obviously cannot just walk away.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
1) We are both male, so the resources available to females in an abusive marriage are not available to me.

No, this is not necessarily true. Domestic violence resources are not all just for women. The first step here should be to call a domestic violence hotline, and there are many that work with men and/or with LGBTQ people.
posted by Ashley801 at 10:08 AM on September 1, 2011 [25 favorites]

Get local help. Call a domestic abuse organization in your area.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:13 AM on September 1, 2011

I agree with Ashley801. A good option for you right now is "safety planning," which is figuring out when and how to leave an abusive relationship to minimize any risk to you. Domestic violence resources are excellent at this and are not gender-specific; call 1-800-799-7233 to be connected to a hotline that can guide you on this better than AskMe can. Additionally, http://www.thehotline.org/ has resources (if you feel like you might be put at risk by looking at such a specific DV resource, please just call or use a safe computer somewhere else). It can be really hard to leave this type of relationship, but it's great that you're reaching out for resources that can help you do it safely.
posted by verbyournouns at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233): "Hotline advocates provide support and assistance to anyone involved in a domestic violence situation, including those in same-sex relationships, male survivors, those with disabilities and immigrant victims of domestic violence."

Hotline Services Include:
- Crisis intervention, safety planning, information about domestic violence and referrals to local service providers
- Direct connection to domestic violence resources available in the caller’s area provided by a Hotline advocate
- Assistance through e-mail on the contact page
- Informational materials on such topics as domestic violence, sexual assault, battering intervention and prevention programs, working through the criminal justice system and related issues
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:15 AM on September 1, 2011

Also worth noting: your stuff is replaceable, your body is not. Please take care of yourself first; it's not an either/or situation, and you can definitely make a plan to protect your assets as well as your safety, but don't endanger yourself to protect your property.

If you feel more comfortable seeking LGBTQ-specific resources, the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project also has a hotline (1-800-832-1901) that would be an excellent resource.
posted by verbyournouns at 10:18 AM on September 1, 2011 [6 favorites]

If you think you are in physical danger (and it sounds like you do), you need to get away right now. Property is not an issue. See how much you can stash away, and make a run for it. Make a call from a pay phone or send an e-mail asking that he make a new plan. This is serious at this point, and you need to take care of yourself. My best wishes to you.
posted by Gilbert at 10:21 AM on September 1, 2011

Can you email the mods and tell us where you are, more or less?

If I were in your position, I would be talking to anyone I could trust. I bet friends would come out of the woodwork to help you. A couple weeks of couch surfing could be great for you on a lot of levels- safety, comfort, companionship, perspective...
posted by small_ruminant at 10:23 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Please, please make arrangements to remove your pets as well. I have heard horrifying stories of spouses taking their anger out on the animals. I am worried about both you and them. Your veterinarian or the local SPCA may be able to help you figure out what to do, if you can't keep them with you.
posted by tully_monster at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2011 [7 favorites]

Also, the traditional way for this to happen is for you to plan out where you're going to go, get a storage locker and a truck, wait for him to go to work (or whereever) and then you and a couple of large, burly friends load up what you need. Leave a note for him or if you want to do it face to face, make sure the large burly friends are with you.

Why break with tradition?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2011 [14 favorites]

What about getting a restraining order? Fearing for your personal safety is HORRIBLE and an extremely stressful ordeal in and of itself. A restraining order would keep you safe while you deal with the physical stuff, and the police would have to remove him from the situation in order to exercise the restraining order. It's awful to come to that, but if he's this much of a physical threat/danger to you, then you need to put yourself first. It sounds as if his family would understand since they know his past.

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

You need to get out though. You are in danger.
posted by floweredfish at 10:26 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, I'm so sorry.

This will take some planning, but you can do it safely.

1. Talk to a lawyer and to your local domestic violence hotline.
2. Remove sentimental/valuable/informational items from the house, and store them in a storage unit (that only you know about, of course). Also take enough clothes for a week. Do not leave your laptop laying about anywhere - pretend it's broken if you have to to explain why it's not around the house.
3. Arrange a day (soon!) when you'll be able to drop the pets off for boarding or with friends.
4. Set up hidden camera in area where he's most likely to have a rampage. (Check with lawyer on this first.)
4. On your chosen day, wait for him to go to work. Take pets to boarding. Call/text partner and ask them to meet you in a public place after work. Break up, including letting him know how many days he has to move out. Bring a friend if you need to. Do it via email if you don't feel safe even in a public place (which would not be surprising!)
5. Go and stay with friend for 1-2 nights. Let him go home and have a temper tantrum, hopefully on camera.
6. Hopefully, by this time you've developed solid contacts with your local domestic violence organizations, so work with them on going back to the house and how to ensure your safety there going forward.

So your fear is "...if and when I tell him that I am leaving him, he might go on a rampage, destroying everything in our house, and potentially attacking me and/or hurting our pets."

Nothing you can do about him going on a rampage, and it's not your fault. Protect yourself and your pets, that's all you need to do. The rest of it is just material stuff. You're going to be ok.
posted by HopperFan at 10:27 AM on September 1, 2011 [20 favorites]

This is my experience in a similar situation.

1. I loved my "stuff", my house, my nice furniture, my dogs, my garden. I obviously couldn't just walk away...that is until I realized none of that shit mattered even a little fuck if I was dead. Seriously. You can just walk away, and lord, it'll be an adjustment, it'll be scary, but you can walk away from all your belongings.

2. Plan. Plan. Plan. Copy important papers, store them at work. If you have sentimental items sneak them out in bags, keep at work, your trunk, whereever. Sneak clothes out when you are going to the gym, laundry, friend's house etc. Just don't bring them back in. I had ten rubbermaids stuffed with things I cherished and clothes tucked away at a friend's house, slowly snuck out over a four month period.

3. Tell all your friend's your intentions and as much as you are comfortable with, you don't want to be not missed if you disappear.

4. For god's sake, don't tell him you want out. Not in person anyway. He is breaking chairs, he is most likely capable of breaking your face.

Either just leave, or if you really think its worth keeping your house, First leave (LEAVE!) , then send a certified letter stating your intention to evict him, go through whatever process you go through in your state to evict, TAKE A POLICE OFFICER when you go re-enter to either get some of your stuff or make sure he is gone.

4. I didn't do this, but you may want a lawyer to work out all this shit and consult regarding property rights, restraining orders, etc.

5. Good luck. Find your strong self, get ready for a radical shift in how your world works, and go for it.
posted by stormygrey at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2011 [17 favorites]

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and so glad you're thinking through how to extract yourself safely.

You've received great advice above. Just one addition: if you do email the mods about your location, you may also want to mention what kind of pets you're seeking to protect. You might be able to find a local MeFite who can help with temporary pet housing/care if you don't have friends who can take that on.
posted by cranberry_nut at 10:34 AM on September 1, 2011 [6 favorites]

FYI: Here's a state-by-state analysis of the availability of protection orders to victims of same-sex domestic violence.
posted by virago at 10:35 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you need to get out faster than you can make use of a domestic violence hotline and/or a lawyer, the absolute fastest exit plan for safety is grab pets, walk out door, retreat to friend's house, call spouse and tell him you have left, do not disclose location, do not go back.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:41 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I left an abusive relationship several years ago with my cat in tow. Here's my advice:

1. Find someone you and/or your pets can stay with. I ended up staying at one place while my cat was at another home for a couple of weeks until I got my own apartment.

2. You don't need to tell him face to face that you're leaving. You're allowed to just leave with no explanation or big discussion. If you can slip away without a confrontation, go for it. It's not cowardly, and you don't owe him anything. Leave him a note if you want, but get out the safest way you can.

3. Don't go back to get your stuff alone. Depending on where you live, you may be able to request a police escort to "keep the peace" while you move out.

This is definitely worth doing if you're concerned about violent behavior or even just scared of being alone with him.

Don't feel like it's a waste of police resources. They would much rather be there while you're packing up to keep you safe, than show up after a domestic abuse incident to deal with the aftermath.

4. Once you're out, see a counselor or therapist. I was a mess from all the egg-shell walking I had to do around my ex in the futile attempt to not set him off. The unpredictability of it all really messed up my head about how people would react to things.

Having a professional to talk to really helped me sort out what was going on.

Good luck.
posted by burntflowers at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]

Before you pursue a divorce you'll definitely want to find a lawyer that will help with the process. I only say this because there has been some fairly depressing stories of people having more difficulty getting same sex divorces recognized than the marriages that have been fought so hard for. Find out from a reputable lawyer what the current legal challenges are in your state....but don't let that discourage you from getting away from any potential danger do yourself asap.
posted by samsara at 10:43 AM on September 1, 2011

Some domestic violence shelters have partnerships with local humane societies who will care for the pets of people who need to make an immediate exit from an unsafe situation. If you contact a shelter or DV program for help, please ask them about your pets--they may be able to hook you up.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:49 AM on September 1, 2011

P.S. As an animal person, I totally get your desire to protect your pets along with yourself. This site includes information about including pets in your safety plan:

* Establish ownership of the pets: obtain an animal license, proof of vaccinations or veterinary receipts in your name to help prove who owns the pets
* Prepare the pets for departure (collect vaccination and medical records, collar and identification, medication, bowls, bedding, etc.).
* Ask for assistance from law enforcement or animal care and control officers to reclaim the pets if left behind.

Here's a state-by-state directory of programs that provide safe havens for animals belonging to people in domestic violence situations.

You've gotten a lot of great advice here. I can't overemphasize the importance of safety planning. I volunteered on a domestic violence hotline for several years, and during our training, we learned that the risk of violence escalates when a victim of violence is preparing to leave the relationship -- the abuser is retaliating for his/her loss of control over the victim.
posted by virago at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

There is some great advice here so I only want to emphasize your safety.

You reference past experiences when talking about potential abuse. If he has hit you before, proactively getting the police involved isn't a bad idea. If they pick him up when he is away from the house, it would minimize a lot of collateral.

And you already know it's not your fault. Cheers for being strong enough to make this change.
posted by aca.int at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2011

I am going to echo what everyone else has said about abuse assistance resources. You don't have to be a woman to take advantage of abuse support services.

I'm not terribly familiar with divorce law, especially as it pertains to same-sex marriages, however, I'm fairly certain that any assets one partner brings to the marriage are assets you can walk away with, even if there was no pre-nup. If the house is legally in your name, for example, and he came into the house after you got married, and you can prove that he never contributed to your mortgage payments... you can walk away with your house. I would consult a divorce lawyer in your state for more specific advice.
posted by tckma at 11:03 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

however, I'm fairly certain that any assets one partner brings to the marriage are assets you can walk away with, even if there was no pre-nup.

I think this really depends on which state, etc.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:10 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fuck all your stuff. Get yourself and your pets out. Virago's suggestion about establishing ownership is good. If you have to, board them somewhere for a week while you get yourself sorted out.
posted by radioamy at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2011

There are a number of gay domestic abuse hotlines out there, all of whom have likely dealt with situations very close to what you are going through.

You should probably contact them directly rather than getting advice second hand through people on the web.

Your situation is not unique, nor (sad to say) even that rare. There are a lot of resources for you out there.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:33 AM on September 1, 2011

Here is a good list of what you should get together practically in preparation for leaving an abusive relationship, and also how to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

Of course the more time you have, the better, though it sucks for you in the meantime - and remember to cover your tracks while you're working at it if you feel he's checking on you when he's sober. There's information about that for the Googling, as well as resources about how to hide and stash money. Clear your history and cache on your computer after every use; start new accounts; re-direct mail; get a cel phone he doesn't know about, etc. Use cash as much as possible, or get a friend to broker it all for you. You would never believe, how many friends will say "I knew." or "I'd guessed." and "I've been waiting for you to ask." That's what's more heartbreaking than anything, sometimes - that humiliation. And then it becomes your comfort - that you are loved.

But if you don't have any time, and you have to leave without a moment's notice, I can assure you, from personal experience, that you can leave a home where someone has literally stripped you naked and is holding your i.d. hostage and is hurting a dog you care for (and you may steal ripped XXL sweatpants and a stained tee shirt off someone's clothesline and return home with a burly friend and only time to fill one suitcase under a hail of spittle and invectives and leave again) - and you will eventually be okay. Never the same - but okay even good and surprisingly great again. You'll be okay. Your life is worth more.

Threatening pets is one of the marvelously evil ways abusers have found to control humans. Thankfully, there are Safe Pet Foster Programs for Victims of Domestic Violence out there - on preview, some have been linked above. Do we know where you are? I will happily help to find a resource for you for that. If you're in Toronto or Buffalo, I will help personally - our family has been mulling over signing up for the program here.

I'll hope for the best for you. I know it's awful, and you're not alone in this and while yes, the helplines do have the resources - the practical knowledge and application is harder to come by. It's hard to find the time to call, it's hard to not burst with emotion during it, and you walk away with nothing in your hand but a head full of all the things you have to do and a feeling of being overwhelmed and helpless when you need to be cold and steely. You may have to work in bits and pieces, not one fell swoop. So asking specific questions will help us to help you too. Create an action list where you can check off each thing, and look at what you're accomplishing. It's huge, but you start eating the elephant with the first bite.

So to answer your specific questions:

So, my question is how/where/when do I tell him I want out?

When you really mean it. When you're ready to move out/hide the pet/tell your friends/call the cops have him evicted/committed/arrested/file the paperwork and change the locks and have made preparations to follow it through. Don't you use that as a weapon in a fight, and then let him do his thing in return. It only escalates it. If you've ever said it, he doesn't believe you until you do it, and not until some time after. Or, when you're scared enough that you risk your life to grab the pet and run screaming to the neighbour's house with the porch light on. Or, don't tell - just act.

In the cold light of your dawning realization that this has to happen, that it's going to happen, and that you're going to see it through THEN you do it - and you know, having done your best to secure all weapons and anything that can be used against you from boiling water to knives and pry bars and easily unscrewed chair legs beforehand. Having friends or family or someone there when you do it if his physical violence is of the handsy sort. Have people stay with you, change your patterns and let your workplace know so that they can help you - or take time off so that he doesn't make trouble at your work until you're more in control. But people need to be aware of it at some level (says the person whose fiancee would show up and spit on her in front of customers after hours of circling the block in his car) and it's humbling but you need their help.

Or do it, and tell him after it's done, which is easier.

What steps should I take to minimize the possibility of violence?

Don't provoke, but do realize if he senses you're leaving, he may escalate any of his behaviours. Get your safety and back-up plans in order. Know whom to call to deal with his violent behaviour. Press those charges. You can get it together, and move out long enough, with your pet, to make him realize it's over and give him no hope, no consideration and nothing that helps him cross the boundary you're going to set (even if you have to sell the house and start fresh elsewhere, which is probably a good idea). Document, document, document.

Take advantage of the stupors to get some work done, and when the violence happens, to create the paper trail you need. If he's the one that's got to go, though I've never done this - have his papers ready and his stuff packed and the rooming house/motel booked for him for a few weeks and perhaps a lovely bottle or two "to go" and an escort party waiting to lead him away and protect yourself as best you can and hope that his next drunken destructive episode makes him suffer the consequences by himself - even if that means medical and legal repercussions and don't feel one bit bad about it.
posted by peagood at 11:35 AM on September 1, 2011 [6 favorites]

Mod note: From the OP:
Several commenters asked for details about my location. I am in Vancouver, Canada.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on September 1, 2011

I'm so sorry you're going through this, anon. Everyone is giving great advice, please listen to them and stay safe and healthy. I did want to mention that if money is a concern for you, a legal aid society will most likely be happy to help at no or a very small cost. Here in the States, at least, domestic violence cases/divorces are a HUGE part of what they do. It looks like you've got one in your neck of the woods, give them a call.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:58 AM on September 1, 2011

Vancouver General Hospital offers counseling services for men and women who have been abused by a domestic partner. Services are provided regardless of gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Our Emergency Department and PreAssessment Unit and Clinical Inpatient Units provide:

* screening
* assessment
* treatment
* documentation
* referral

Contact info:
Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) - Jim Pattison Pavilion - Emergency Department
920 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C V5Z 1M9


Here are links to a domestic violence safety list and resource card.

posted by virago at 12:07 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

The second link gets you to a general description of the program. To access the safety list and resource card, click on the LINKS tab below the overview.
posted by virago at 12:11 PM on September 1, 2011

Also, VictimLink BC stresses that its 24/7 hotline -- 1-800-563-0808 -- offers "information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence," regardless of gender.
posted by virago at 12:19 PM on September 1, 2011

I didn't feel up to reading all the (no doubt wonderful) responses, but I wanted to relate something from my experience that is really important in dealing with people with borderline BP:

Resist with every fiber of your being any attempts that he makes to contact you after you leave.

Borderlines are famous for the black/white, "I hate you don't leave me" and they can be VERY convincing when faced with abandonment, which is one of the predominant diagnostic check-offs for this personality disorder.

I'm not going to lie, it may be excruciating. For a good while. But worth it.

And yeah, leaving (some) stuff will suck. As someone who was the 100% earner, living in a place that was mine, all the stuff in it mine, leaving (most of) the stuff sucked. But worth it.

I'm pissed about it (and the debt he created), about 4 years later. But I'm alive. I am dead serious in saying that it could have gone another way.
posted by Pax at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Do you and he currently live in your house?
posted by dgeiser13 at 1:17 PM on September 1, 2011

Another possibility - use your judgement on this:

If you are the owner of the house, then change the locks while he's at work. Instead of packing up your stuff, pack up his and put it in a storage unit. Email him and tell him 'we're breaking up, here's the address of the storage locker, they are holding the key for you, if you make any attempt to contact me I will call the police." Then be prepared to contact the police.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:19 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

You can definitely call the VPD and ask for an officer to keep the peace while you move out or have him moved out. They're really happy to help out in situations just like this. Even if you have a group of friends there to help you, having an officer in uniform accompanying you will seriously decrease the chances of violence or verbal abuse.

This is information directly from a friend of mine who's an officer in the VPD, not just random hearsay.
posted by burntflowers at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

My husband walked away from significant equity in a home, a porch he built, a lot of furniture. It was totally worth it to completely untangle himself from his ex ASAP. I left a car, great pair of headphones, and a few yearbooks with my ex. Still pissy about it considering he didn't work a day the whole time we were together but SO WORTH IT. He harassed me for months after we broke up but I got through it and so will you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2011

Far too little of MexicanYenta's thinking here. I think you want a consultation with an attorney, with an eye towards calling a locksmith &c. Find out the right way to do it, and do it.
posted by kmennie at 9:50 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think you are getting sterling and solid advise here, and it also sounds as you are a sensible person and that if you think your husband is suffering from BPD he really might be (obviously I am not your phychiatrist)I have watched a person with BPD almost destroy her ex-husband who kindly took her in after she had broken up with her other ex-husband while she was having an affair with yet another man. In both cases she used the men's pets against them, in one case giving her second ex-husband's dog away to someone in another state and also kidnapping and attempting to give away her first husband's dog in an attempt to blackmail him into giving her money, she also took and held his passport to ransom, he is someone who needs to travel frequently for business, in another attempt to extort money, she took money which he found out she was using to give to her second ex-husband and her lover(I know,it gets confusing and you couldn't make this stuff up!)
He was allowing her to stay as a friend, they were no longer romantically involved, he had given her a very decent settlement.you hvae to realize-and I think you know, that YOU CANNOT REASON with people like this, that they will lash out in unpredictable, violent and manipulative ways.In the end he went to the police,she had refused to leave the house and was told that there was nothing that they could do unless she attacked or assaulted him-this was in the UK , so there maybe there are different rules in the States.They told him to find out when she was away from the house, pack up all her stuff and store it and let her know that this had happened and then to change the locks and take out a restraining order immediately-they could after that offer him more protection if she then violated the restraining order.
I am so sorry you are going through this, but you shouldn't have to give up your house or your pets.Do take care and I understand that you are in very real danger of violence and if you have to go then just go and don't look back but do try whatever you can legally to preserve your property first. My thoughts go out to you and don't look back, don't think that this guy has changed,BPD is very difficult to treat and in my experience people like this simply don't change.
Please let us know how things go.
posted by hitchcockblonde at 8:05 AM on September 2, 2011

Aggh! Read fully before posting! Thank you mexican yenta and kmennie.
posted by hitchcockblonde at 8:26 AM on September 2, 2011

I would do it in the following order:

1) contact attorney and collect documents you need immediately, find out options re: having him evicted from your home and protecting your assets. getting HIM out is the goal here, but it will depend on how much marital property is considered common in your jurisdiction and alot of other things. just because the house was yours going in does not automatically mean you get to keep 100% of everything; you may need to go through alot of proving who contributed what to the marriage, so SAVE PAPERWORK in addition to valuables before he can destroy them, too. If he takes the deed to your house or mortgage documents, good luck trying to prove the house is yours.

2) clear all traces of history on your computer, change the password to your email, online banking, everything. if it were me and he was really technically sophisticated and I thought he might have installed a keylogger, I might reinstall my operating system entirely and lie about having a virus from a hoax email or whatever. do it away from your home network. empty joint bank accounts or do whatever you can to prevent him from getting at your cash and electronic information.

3) gets pets out ASAP. take them to a friend's house, make up some story about them needing to stay at the vet for a while for observation or whatever. LIE.

4)start taking things out of the house to a secret storage unit. do this in small batches over days and weeks with the most valuable things first so he doesn't notice, or do it all at once and be prepared for shit to go down the same day he notices alot of things are missing. also be ready for him to try to break back in to take or destroy property later, which is another good reason to get it out of the house. be ready to call the police at ANY time.

5) have an emergency kit ready (snacks, change of clothes, cash, etc.) to flee the second he gets violent again. call close friends so they are aware of situation and are ready to put you up if you need to crash on their couch, or be ready to crash at a motel without taking much with you.
posted by slow graffiti at 12:24 PM on September 2, 2011

With respect, slowly taking things out of the house or doing anything with the assumption that he will not notice is a bad idea, because he is already on high alert.

People with severe BPD tend to be extremely paranoid, suspicious, and constantly on the lookout for signs of betrayal and abandonment. With anything you do, you should be prepared for him to notice and react.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:16 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Agreed- I guess I read mostly "violent but dull" into the OP's description of his husband, but if he's sharp and will notice any degree of sneaking around and preparation or watches the OP so closely that it's impossible to get away with small lies, obviously it's a bad idea. Only the OP is in a place to judge how much he can get away with, but obviously being sneaky would buy time and help the outcome go in his favor in the long term, but that's not worth risking physical harm.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:50 PM on September 2, 2011

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