An Asperger's man and Borderline (BPD) woman

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alana
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27 Dec 2009, 1:18 pm

it sounds like a match made in h*ll. My (undiagnosed aspie) brother married a borderline and she pretty much ruined his life and is now ruining his child's life. The reason I say it is a bad match is because of aspie gullibility and sensitivity and the corresponding consciencelessness and insensitivity of a borderline. If you try to make this work you need alot of support and a diagnosis for the borderline and a willingness on their part to really work on their issues, with DBT therapy etc. Borderline is curable, sure, the reason it has such a poor prognosis is because so few borderline are willing to accept *they* are in fact the problem in their lives, and even fewer are willing to do the very hard work to change. NT dealing with borderline are regularly driven over the edge...add to the mix someone with aspergers who may not pick up the fact that what they are dealing with is projection instead of being the reason for someone's miserable life... I can understand how we *would* be driven to attract borderlines, being that we wouldn't be able to read sociopathy as well as NT, probably, and might get sucked in before we knew what we were dealing with...I feel like my poor brother had a great big target on his back. I know this sounds bitter but it comes from watching my niece, an innocent child, suffer for years because of her mother's behavior and instability.



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27 Dec 2009, 1:56 pm

I don't recommend it. Escape while you can. I am an Aspie and I MARRIED someone with BPD. She took advantage of my gullibility and my literal sense and manipulated me into thinking that I was always wrong and she was always right.

She also smothered me and would constantly say that there was something wrong with me when I was being alone and not paying her attention.

After a year, we started going to therapy, marriage counseling. After the first meeting, the counselor just wanted to see her. After a few sessions with the counselor, she stopped going and it got worse again.

One day I just got tired of being controller, manipulated, smothered, and put down. I walked into the room she was in, said "I'm done", and started gathering my stuff. I moved back in with my parents for a bit before I could get my own place. She disappeared a few states away, and I had to hire someone to track her down to sign the divorce paperwork.

Two years after we were married, and a year after we were separated, I finally got my life back and a great was lifted from my shoulders.

She was my first sexual experience at 25, and we were drawn because we were both desperate for companionship, essentially. It was NOT a good way to start a relationship, to be with someone just because you didn't want to be alone.

Now I'm single and dating quite a bit. It gets lonely at times, yes, when I'm sitting in my one bedroom house all alone, but my cat keeps me company and I get to go out and see people once in a while. I'm mostly content.

And now I have my life back and won't let anyone control me like that again. A lesson learned.



EDIT: WOW. Also, everything that Alana said. Wow, sounds so familiar.



Salonfilosoof
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28 Dec 2009, 5:50 am

alana wrote:
The reason I say it is a bad match is because of aspie gullibility and sensitivity and the corresponding consciencelessness and insensitivity of a borderline.


I would't say they're all conscienceless and insensitive, but they do seem to either not care or be insensitive to the misfortune they cause with other people and they do have a tendency to manipulate.

alana wrote:
If you try to make this work you need alot of support and a diagnosis for the borderline and a willingness on their part to really work on their issues, with DBT therapy etc.


I was considering making her aware of her condition, but I'm not sure how. Maybe it's better our borderline lesbian friend tells her (she's the one who pointed out that my ex is probably a borderliner)....

Nevertheless, I would agree that continuing any sort of relationship without getting her at least diagnosed and figuring a way how to deal with her condition is necessary. Fortunately, she seems to be realising that she's done some things wrong as well and she seems to feel guilt about what she has done. She isn't as heartless as some borderliners tend to be.

alana wrote:
NT dealing with borderline are regularly driven over the edge...add to the mix someone with aspergers who may not pick up the fact that what they are dealing with is projection instead of being the reason for someone's miserable life...


Fortunately I do pick up those kind of things. The problem was that I didn't know how to counter the process as she often made me feel entirely powerless because her social skills are so superior to mine it's pretty easy for her to get to dominate me before I realise it.

alana wrote:
I feel like my poor brother had a great big target on his back. I know this sounds bitter but it comes from watching my niece, an innocent child, suffer for years because of her mother's behavior and instability.


I can imagine....

Philotix wrote:
I don't recommend it. Escape while you can. I am an Aspie and I MARRIED someone with BPD. She took advantage of my gullibility and my literal sense and manipulated me into thinking that I was always wrong and she was always right.


She actually managed to convince you you were always wrong and she was always right?

My ex also had a hard time accepting that she may be wrong sometimes as well, but she never managed to convince me that I was actually to blame. My whole comprehension of the world is based on logic and her logic for explaining why not she but I was responsible for some problems there were just wasn't strong enough to convince me...... Not that that helped any further, because any attempts from me to make her realise that she made a mistake as well would always lead to fury.

Philotix wrote:
She also smothered me and would constantly say that there was something wrong with me when I was being alone and not paying her attention.


My ex never did that, however she did complain about not getting enough attention from me when we were in company.

Philotix wrote:
One day I just got tired of being controller, manipulated, smothered, and put down. I walked into the room she was in, said "I'm done", and started gathering my stuff. I moved back in with my parents for a bit before I could get my own place. She disappeared a few states away, and I had to hire someone to track her down to sign the divorce paperwork.

Two years after we were married, and a year after we were separated, I finally got my life back and a great was lifted from my shoulders.


Not an easy decision to make, especially for an Aspie !

Philotix wrote:
She was my first sexual experience at 25, and we were drawn because we were both desperate for companionship, essentially. It was NOT a good way to start a relationship, to be with someone just because you didn't want to be alone.


True. It was the same for me with the girl I have before my last ex. We were together for 6 years....

My last ex and I had something special, though. I don't really know what it was, but I felt a connection with her I never felt with any of my other exes.... Otherwise, I wouldn't even bother trying another relationship with a borderliner.

Philotix wrote:
Now I'm single and dating quite a bit. It gets lonely at times, yes, when I'm sitting in my one bedroom house all alone, but my cat keeps me company and I get to go out and see people once in a while. I'm mostly content.

And now I have my life back and won't let anyone control me like that again. A lesson learned.


Are all Aspies cat persons or is it just us :wink:

I personally can't stand loneliness even after having had 5 relationships in about 9 years and getting heartbroken after every single one. The fact that I still love my ex very much doesn't make things any easier.....



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29 Dec 2009, 5:33 am

People with borderline personality disorder are incredibly needy. Emotionally starved. They need assurance and love in high doses. Simple words aren't enough, they need real honest affection and acceptance, 24/7.

Most people flee from someone with BPD. But I think it could work.

People with ASD have the ability to 'disconnect', to view emotional outburst of others logically. In that way you might make it work. However if you get focused on the details and allow her words to cut into your self-esteem, you will both fare badly.

It seems to me that you love this person, and are willing to give it a go. You've heard other's opinions, and yet you're still saying you love her. So I say go for it! Realize that you could very probably get hurt - not because she wants you hurt but just because she won't realize/understand how easily her actions can hurt you. Be upfront and direct with your feelings. State it as it is. Most importantly, establish boundaries with her.

For example:
"when you talk about hurting yourself it upsets me deeply. I won't listen to that kind of talk."
"I won't accept the blame for everything that's gone wrong in your life."
"I will only be with you if you visit a therapist so that you can talk to them when things are bothering you, I have a lot of social difficulties and I cannot help you when you need someone to 'just listen'".
"I cannot fix all your problems, I cannot rescue you, if you want to be with me, you will have to build an outside support system."


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Salonfilosoof
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29 Dec 2009, 7:33 am

Vivienne wrote:
People with borderline personality disorder are incredibly needy. Emotionally starved. They need assurance and love in high doses. Simple words aren't enough, they need real honest affection and acceptance, 24/7.


Like many Aspies would, I did give her honest affection and acceptance. If only that was the issue, there wouldn't be an issue.

The problem is : if you actually give them honest affection and acceptance, they will drive you away once you get too close to them or once they discover a tiny side of your personallity that makes them feel uncomfortable (in my case, everything started to go wrong when I drank a bit too much which somehow reminded her of her alcoholic father). People with BPD are scared about intimacy because intimacy forces you to open up and expose your weaknesses which is something they've actually learned to avoid.

Vivienne wrote:
It seems to me that you love this person, and are willing to give it a go. You've heard other's opinions, and yet you're still saying you love her. So I say go for it! Realize that you could very probably get hurt - not because she wants you hurt but just because she won't realize/understand how easily her actions can hurt you. Be upfront and direct with your feelings. State it as it is. Most importantly, establish boundaries with her.


We arranged a meeting in a bit more than a week. We will avoid having contact op until then because after more than two weeks she still refuses to talk about her feelings about what we had and it's pretty much impossible for me to maintain a neutral email or MSN conversation as long as I'm left with all these unanswered questions she keeps avoiding.

Because it's getting a bit too much for me, I've decided to give her an ultimatum. Either she opens up and we try everything all over from the dating stage onwards or we say goodbye and never see each other again. I see no middle ground because I can neither be friends nor lovers with someone who blocks her emotions with a large wall and considers it normal to maintain this for several weeks in a row. However, if she actually manages to open up and address her emotions, I see no hindrance to becoming lovers again if we take the time to let it grow.

Before I make that ultimatum, I'm planning to give her a list of all things most men would probably feel uncomfortable with that I am willing to overlook just because I love her so much.... My best friends (a lesbian BPD couple) are certain to help me create that list. In my opinion, it is important she gets confronted with herself and her own behavior in a really drastic way before she can have a serious relationship with anyone.... I know that I might jeopardize any possible future I could have with her, but at this moment I fail to see another way to open her eyes to the mess she's created for herself....

Vivienne wrote:
"when you talk about hurting yourself it upsets me deeply. I won't listen to that kind of talk."


She doesn't self-mutilate in any physical way. It seems she rather has the tendency to engage into abusive engagements with other people and just accept abusive conditions as a normal part of life. I've often got the impression I'm the first boyfriend she really connected with and who loved her for who she really was, whereas the others were just a desperate search for intimacy that ended up being very superficial and empty.

Vivienne wrote:
"I won't accept the blame for everything that's gone wrong in your life."


She never really blamed me for everything that went wrong in her life, but rather everything that went wrong in our relationship. Basically, everything was either my fault or nobody's fault. She could never do anything wrong apparently and any criticism of her behavior led to her getting pissed off and closing off entirely. Whenever I dare to mention that she might have made an error herself, such a statement is qimply unacceptable to her and any further discussion is impossible until I change my perspective.

Vivienne wrote:
"I will only be with you if you visit a therapist so that you can talk to them when things are bothering you, I have a lot of social difficulties and I cannot help you when you need someone to 'just listen'".


I was planning to mention a therapist to her, but I have so be careful with that as she is not aware of the BPD herself yet. My friends and even my parents recognised it and she knows that she's "different" somehow but up to know she hasn't thought of anything more drastic than ADHD herself thusfar. But when I read the diagnostic criteria of BPD, it does all seem very familiar.

Vivienne wrote:
"I cannot fix all your problems, I cannot rescue you, if you want to be with me, you will have to build an outside support system."


After she ran away from her parents, she lived for a few months with her big sister. When her big sister turned out as controlling and manipulative towards her as she was towards me, she could no longer live with her sister and decided to live on her own. She keeps spending a lot of her time with her sister (her "best friend") but now they seem to get along much better.

Still, after a few months of living alone and spending a lot of her time with her sister she pretty much managed to convince herself of the illusion she's strong enough to stand on her own to feet and that she doesn't really need anyone. Her sister gives her the emotional stability she needs and if her sex drive forces her to seek another man (like many women with BPD, she has a powerful sex drive for a woman) I'm sure she can easily find another guy to have the kind of empty (or even abusive) short-term relationship she had before..... She is not really that hot, but her BPD emotionallity does give her something über-feminine which many men (including myself) find attractive.

So even though she is very needy, she isn't aware of it herself and mentioning it to her will only feel like an insult to her, which further disables me in communicating with her. Her support system is her sister and to succeed in any succesful relationship, she will actually have to loosen the ties with her sister a bit and let her boyfriend slowly fill the void that remains. Unfortunately, I've seen no indication that she would be remotely willing to do such a thing.... and just the idea of mentioning it to her feels like stepping in a snakepit.

As much as I still love the flawed but charming human being that she is (it is still hard to think about anything else but her), I fear that she is still too trapped in her own emotional little world for us to have any future anymore... It saddens me deeply, but I'm graduately losing all faith in believing that the wedge she's put between us will not continue it's path and drive us apart even further...



alana
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31 Dec 2009, 5:59 pm

sorry I messed up the quote function here ~~~"The problem was that I didn't know how to counter the process as she often made me feel entirely powerless because her social skills are so superior to mine it's pretty easy for her to get to dominate me before I realise it."

The social skills of a borderline are like freaking evil superpowers, in my experience. They are like human tsunamis. My SIL managed to maintain custody of her and my brother's child, even having a (physically obvious) raging meth habit, she was that good at manipulating in court...despite the fact that her boyfriends testimony directly contradicted some of hers, and he was her witness. They are pretty much unfathomable to me. AS and BPD to me is like a lion dating a gazelle or a grizzly bear dating a salmon.



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31 Dec 2009, 10:12 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfaRPev8cbA[/youtube]

This is a funny video. Bi-polar disorder is not like this for me...exactly..., but it's a good idea to laugh at ourselves whenever we become irrational. There is always at least a little bit of truth in humor.


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01 Jan 2010, 2:21 am

Magnus wrote:
This is a funny video. Bi-polar disorder is not like this for me...exactly..., but it's a good idea to laugh at ourselves whenever we become irrational. There is always at least a little bit of truth in humor.

Weird. This "Terry" seems more gay than anything (or bisexual, I guess, from the title), and bipolar mood swings usually aren't that quick. Borderline personality disorder has the more rapid mood lability.



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01 Jan 2010, 3:12 am

The video sums up my boyfriend surprisingly well. Even the polar bear part, given he's in Manitoba.

I really don't have much to add, since I'm neither Asperger's male or with a BPD girl. But I will suggest, Salon, that you be friends with her first, rather than trying for a relationship right now. Support her as a friend and guide her to the help she needs. If she's not even prepared to acknowledge her problem, she's in no shape to be dealing with a sexual relationship, whatever the cause of her distress. With such issues, she doesn't need someone who desires her like that because it can mask what's going on, be a crutch of sorts, and make things worse.

You say she has a sister, and that's good. While she should be getting help, she should never rely on you for the things she feels her sister gives her. You can be that force that pushes her toward help, but if that doesn't work, the healthiest thing you can for the both of you is to jump ship, as painful as that is.

As I said in Toad's thread, BPD isn't love, but it can feel like it. In fact, it can feel like no other love you've ever known -- and that's exactly why it is what it is. People with BPD have designed their moves to reel in their partners, not to be malicious, but to ensure supply. In that way, it's a lot like histrionics and narcissists, but the tactics are different.



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25 Jun 2010, 1:26 pm

I'm an Aspie myself (diagnosed at 13, now 30) and the woman I've been in a relationship with off and on over the last 3 years just got officially diagnosed last month with BPD (we broke up for the second time a few months ago and she went back to live with her parents in another town, it was a Dr. there that finally diagnosed her; both she and I have been suspecting something like her having BPD for some time now). She's now getting steady treatment set up and is beginning what she can on her own. We both love each other furiously, but sometimes love alone isn't enough to keep a relationship going steady. This doesn't mean it has to end; just that sometimes distance can be the bandage needed to allow a relationship time to heal and grow better.

I've been reading a bit about it, and I'm finding some interesting things. From what I can tell, yes, a relationship CAN work; the problem is that while the BPD is getting treatment, living together will be hard and pretty much detrimental on both parties. The Aspie needs the space to be able to function in their own routine without feeling as though they're being emotionally abused, but at the same time the BPD needs steady, routine contact and positive reinforcement at her own pace.

Thank the gods for the modern miracle of the internet :P

I have to say this topic has become a large interest of mine, though researching it more is going to take me some time; my reading speed isn't great and I'm trying to get some work while doing market research for becoming self-employed (hard on BC Disability Benefits, but not impossible) so I research when I can. I'll post any new thoughts I have here for people; not meaning to offend anyone, but I gotta say I'm seeing a lot of emotional backlash in this thread against the people with BPD rather than actual information as to where the issues are and how they can be worked out if that's desired. I'm not saying that they didn't or don't deserve any of it, I wasn't there; I am hoping to see more actual information posted, but maybe I'm in the wrong thread for that?


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Salonfilosoof
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26 Jun 2010, 12:08 pm

Well, I'm glad to read that things seem to be working out OK for you right now. The chemistry between a male Aspie and a woman with BPD can be very strong, but the tension can be extreme as well. It's far from an easy match, but if you both have the patience to endure one another's deficits and you're both willing to work on your own, I think it can lead to something more beautiful and more passionate than any NT-NT relationship can possibly be.



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27 Jun 2010, 1:42 am

I seem to get along well with bi-polar folk drawn to me like magnets, they are much easier to befriend than the average "NT". Recently I attempted a relationship with a bi -polar woman I had known for almost 3 yrs. Her poor communication, attention seeking and not being there when I needed her wore thin fast I had to let her go it wasn't worth the pain. This is a pattern for this disorder great for friends not so great for girlfriends, my advice is move on if it is meant to be she will come back to you.



AthenRahl
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27 Jun 2010, 11:32 am

ilivinamushroom wrote:
I seem to get along well with bi-polar folk drawn to me like magnets, they are much easier to befriend than the average "NT". Recently I attempted a relationship with a bi -polar woman I had known for almost 3 yrs. Her poor communication, attention seeking and not being there when I needed her wore thin fast I had to let her go it wasn't worth the pain. This is a pattern for this disorder great for friends not so great for girlfriends, my advice is move on if it is meant to be she will come back to you.


Um... thanks for the advice... but we aren't discussing bi-polar o.o We're discussing Borderline Personality Disorder. Kind of similar, but also quite different. Is there a different thread about Bi-Polar?


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27 Jun 2010, 11:36 am

Salonfilosoof wrote:
Well, I'm glad to read that things seem to be working out OK for you right now. The chemistry between a male Aspie and a woman with BPD can be very strong, but the tension can be extreme as well. It's far from an easy match, but if you both have the patience to endure one another's deficits and you're both willing to work on your own, I think it can lead to something more beautiful and more passionate than any NT-NT relationship can possibly be.


I agree, and I really do think that it takes proper treatment of BPD as well as physical distance during said treatment. She's learned that there are feelings and thoughts she has that have little or nothing to do with reality but she can't just push them away, so it's actually safer for us both for to just be away from me when she has those "funk" moments. She just lets me know she's in a funk and I let her deal with it and she lets me get on with my business without dragging me down. neither of us would deal so well with it if she were here because I'd see she was in a funk and constantly be wanting to help her out of it, which she would not react well with right now due to the current extent of her BPD.

So I guess the old saying is true; "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" :lol:


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28 Jun 2010, 2:41 am

AthenRahl wrote:
She's learned that there are feelings and thoughts she has that have little or nothing to do with reality but she can't just push them away, so it's actually safer for us both for to just be away from me when she has those "funk" moments. She just lets me know she's in a funk and I let her deal with it and she lets me get on with my business without dragging me down. neither of us would deal so well with it if she were here because I'd see she was in a funk and constantly be wanting to help her out of it, which she would not react well with right now due to the current extent of her BPD.


I wish I had known all this by the end of 2009. It could have saved the relationship I was having back then.....

AthenRahl wrote:
So I guess the old saying is true; "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" :lol:


Sometimes it does. Sometimes it just makes you forget. Everything is relative.....