My partner has Borderline Personality Disorder, she is currently in treatment for it with a therapist and was making good progress until recently. I often feel like a carer rather than her other half at times.
Most of her issues stem from a Mother who doesn't know how to care for her daughter properly, without putting her through a rollercoaster of emotions, where my other half becomes the punching bag.
I have been really trying within our relationship for a long time now, and we have had periods that have been great, and others that are not so great. What I am really struggling with is her self absorbed behaviour (learned from her Mum) where any conversation is 'me, me, me'.
I have tried to communicate my feelings to her calmly on numerous occasions, only to have it twisted back so "she's the one" who is upset. For example, I am part of a WhatsApp group with her family which her Mother controls (and control is the perfect word). No matter how polite, kind, or involved I am, her Mother will constantly ignore my messages, but then if my other half puts something in the group she replies instantly. I am so tired of this toxic behaviour, that even when I mentioned it to my other half she got upset and didn't want to know.
I had been thinking about getting out of the relationship recently, but unfortunately she is now pregnant with my child. This has put me in such a difficult situation, struggling with her BPD the last couple of years has taken its toll on my own self worth, and self esteem. It is so draining, and now I feel like I am in a no win position for the following reasons;
- I never thought I would be a Dad, and as incredible as this could be I am SERIOUSLY worried about bringing the child up in this toxic dynamic, my other half is becoming a carbon copy of her Mother without realising it and I am worried about the detrimental affect this will have on the child. I know I am by no means perfect, but I think the difference is that I am 'conscious' of my own trauma from childhood, my own issues I need to work through and grow as a person, but my other half is just on automatic without a care in the world for anyone else but herself.
- If we break up, then the child is obviously going to suffer incredibly and I am a very kind empathic person and wouldn't wish this on anyone, but in the back of mind I am thinking do I really want 20 years of conforming to other people's needs whilst sacrificing myself, my own future potential, and my potential to grow as a person around people who uplift, inspire, and bring the best out in me? Currently in 4 years her Mother or Father have never even asked me a single question, it's all about them and what they are doing and this entire situation for me is turning into a bit of a nightmare.
Has anyone experienced anything similar, or does anyone have any advice? I know in life none of us are perfect, I have a lot of flaws myself, but then at the same time I know when I am surrounded by self absorbed people who have no regard for anything else other than their own voice, what they want to say, or what they think. I have spoken to my other half maybe 50 times about us evolving and growing, learning to communicate better, building boundaries with in laws etc etc, and I am not naive enough to think that you can change someone, but she simply doesn't care.
It's incredibly draining, thanks so much in advance for listening.
It will cost you a lot of money, potentially, but you'll have to look on that as paying for your experience.
How old are you, your partner? How pregnant is she?
You can only change and/or control your own behavior, not that of your wife or your in-laws. To that end, start with the suggestions here:
Leaving might ultimately lead to a better relationship with your child.
Learn to listen with your "third ear". Consider therapy for yourself.
Romantic relationships last various amounts of time. Is time up for yours? I don't know. Does BPD make it unworkable?
What can't be cured must be endured I suppose. I doubt blaming her Mother will help anyone. How far back can you send the blame anyway? Rogue genes from generations past & a line of possible struggling parents with their own issues?
Therapy may be a good place to safely discuss your thoughts & feelings & make a path forward.
"I never thought I would be a Dad" And there were ways not to be one either. So now you are going to be and you now have a responsibility. And no, I would not stay in this relationship for the next 20 yrs.
Now the baby, make sure you have 50/50 custody. You have the child one week, her the next. With this arrangement, there is usually no child support. This way you can reverse anything she or her family would do. You teach the child how do deal with them until he/she is old enough to make the decision which parent they rather be with. You be his/her soft place to land. If you feel the child is being abused, then you seek out professionals to determine this and get full custody.
Not wise to stay in this relationship to protect the child. Your daily interaction with the child's Mom could be just as detrimental if all you do is fight or you give in to Mom just to keep the peace. You will be a better father by parenting outside of this dysfunctional family.