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Relationship Health Message Board

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Lucymorton, I am so sorry you are going through such pain with your H. It sounds to me that, like my exW, your H is suffering from strong traits of BPD (borderline personality disorder). Rage and a lack of impulse control are two of the hallmarks of BPD. Because most BPDers were abused in early childhood, they carry an enormous amount of hurt and rage with them throughout their lives. That anger is easily triggered by innocent things you say or do. This may why you feel you are always walking on eggshells around him.

BPDers are very afraid of losing control over their loved ones and thus are extremely controlling. One reason is that they are so afraid of being abandoned. Another reason is that their childhoods were so totally out of control.

Your H's mean treatment of strangers, may be due to some disorder other than BPD. There is little chance he will change regardless of where you are.
What is needed is a psychologist who is highly trained in treating this disorder. And, of course, the BPDer must have the sufficient courage and self-awareness to acknowledge having the disorder and be committed to learning how to manage it . Like I said, it is impossible for him to manage his disorder unless he acknowledges having a serious problem and is committed to fixing it. If you brow-beat him into going (with a threat of leaving), you will go down the futile path that I took. He will go through a series of therapists and play games. The therapy cannot work unless he wants it for himself -- not for making you happy.

I mention this because, if you want to know what disorder he has, it would be wise to go to your own psychologist -- who will tell you candidly what it sounds like to him based on your description of his behavior. because you have no children, I advise you to leave him if he will not seek therapy with a psychologist and stay with it. You are in a toxic relationship that is harming both of you.

Significantly, the toxicity is something you BOTH are doing to each other. His contribution to the toxicity is obvious. Yours is less so. You are harming him by serving as a "soothing object," preventing him from confronting his disorder and learning what the rest of us started learning when we were four years old -- how to sooth himself and calm himself down. That is, you have become an "enabler."

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