Hello dear readers,
On my last post I told you that this blog would be driven by you!
If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them here on The Tracy Barker Blogs. The first question I will be addressing is…
Could you please address when the spouse is getting angry to the point they tell us we’re not safe?
Just as we’re moving out, they beg us to stay and promise to get help and to change.
My immediate response to this question is this: your safety MUST come first!
From the point of view of someone who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I know only too well the hurt and distress it might cause your spouse if you leave, but if you don’t feel safe you absolutely must look after yourself.
You are not responsible for how your spouse feels or reacts to you leaving but you are responsibly for your own safety.
There are no easy ways to leave someone with BPD, even if the separation is only temporary, particularly when they are having what I call an ‘episode’. However, there are things you could do that might help you both to find a way forward and to make a separation marginally less painful…
- Try and talk to your spouse when they are calm, and explain to them how you feel. Explain that this pattern of behaviour is unhealthy for you both, and you have to put your safety before theirs.
- Have a look together at help that is available near where you live, and encourage them to arrange an appointment.
- Learn all that you can about BPD, and encourage them to do the same (for example, A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder might give you a bit of insight and help you to understand what might be happening…) Understanding the illness is the first step to healing and learning to manage the symptoms.
- Make arrangements to meet up while you’re separated, if you feel safe to do so. That way your spouse will understand that you are still committed to them and to your relationship, and you can gauge how they are and know when you might feel safe living with them again.
- Set clear and firm boundaries if you need to, while you are apart. For example, you could arrange a set time for phone calls, or ask them not to come to where you are staying without prior agreement.
If possible, try to make any major decisions when things are relatively calm and try to involve your spouse as much as you can. Don’t wait for a heated moment where you will feel swayed by their emotions.
And remember, people with Borderline Personality Disorder CAN heal! With the right help and support it is possible to learn to manage the symptoms.
If any of my readers has any other ideas, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
We’re all in this together!