Half a Husband?

I had a conversation with a woman I was interviewing to see if, as a therapist, she’d be a good match for my daughter. We discussed my husband’s BPD and I mentioned that my daughter has half a father, for all practical purposes. She then asked me if that means that I have half a husband.

This question caught me off guard. If someone would have asked me this a year ago, I would have said that I have no husband. But suddenly, I couldn’t decide how to respond. I just chuckled. When I thought about it later, I decided that I had 3/4 of a husband. I don’t have him emotionally or romantically but physically and financially he is there. Hmmm. So maybe that is half a husband. One can argue that the physical and financial part of him being there adds to the emotional stability. Arghhh.

One can also argue that not having a spouse being there for you emotionally or romantically is so demeaning and painful that it negates the other areas where he does have presence.

I believe that it all depends on the lenses with which I choose to view my world. If I am to stay married, and keep up whatever work I want to do here – it does me no good to focus on the negative and harp on what is missing. I know my husband is not doing anything with ill intentions. He is handicapped.

I am working on being less satisfied and OK with him not being available for me emotionally or romantically. I have been talking about it in therapy. Expressing my feelings and opinions there is very difficult but it sure is a cinch compared to expressing my true feelings to my husband who is a borderline personality.

I often think to myself that it is obvious that the purpose of this marriage and our time together is not for romance. It is for growth and lessons learned. I hate that sometimes. I am changing for the better because of him and I believe that he is changing for the better because of me .. although I can’t say for sure.

Time has this way of passing very slowly for me. I wish I was above and beyond time and space so I can get a measure of comfort. Sometimes I am given little hints of love that prove to me that I am not living this life alone. There is some-One out there who is looking after me.

 

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Vitamin Surprise

I see a marked difference since I filled the pill boxes with vitamins and he started on them. It’s 11 days and he is nicer- the overall bitterness and nastiness is now gone. He is still a kvetch but nothing close to the sharp-around-the-edges porcupine he had been 2-3 weeks prior. 

My husband has high blood pressure and at one point wanted to try vitamins. I had a kinesiologist test for him exactly what he needed. He took the vitamins for a few days before quitting and I still have a 3 month supply. Those vitamins are excellent for the nervous system. 

This is the first time he took supplements directly related to stress on a steady basis. It’s 7 vitamins 2x a day. I am very grateful that it’s gotten this far and that I have seen a difference in him. 

There are just some things you can’t control. (Hint: second to -1)

What Does It Take to Change? ~ Poem

but for the pain
I feel
I carry
but for the load I bear

I would not feel
or know the truth
hidden
from me

but for the trickle of hope
I feel
but for outlandish
pain
but for the outcast, the student of loss
but for the current of shame

I would not hear
the songs in my ear
I would not have the urge
to change

I would not feel
or know the truth
hidden
from me

“Date Night” with My BP Hubby

Something interesting has been happening at home recently. We began a date-night ritual which, for us, consists of a 45 min. – 1 hr. outing. It is not a romantic date. It is just a time for us to go out and take care of a small errand that we don’t find stressful and we catch up with each other at the same time. There are no heavy-duty conversations. So far (we did this 4 times) my BP has not used this time to one-up me, blame me, complain or rant. This, my friends, is a MIRACLE!

After the first week that he offered to go out with me, I thanked him for it. I told him how much I enjoyed the small outing. I mentioned how much I enjoyed it one more time during the week and asked him if he’d have time for me the following week, as well. He said “Let’s make it into a ritual!” I was happy to hear that he enjoyed it as well.

This past week we were not able to go out together on the usual night so we made a rain-date. On the night of our rain-date, we realized that my youngest son would be home alone and very bored. We both felt that it would be the right thing to invite him along with us. My son was glad to come along and get out. We ended up going for pizza and relaxing.

This is also a breakthrough for my BP hubby. He usually tries to get possessive with me. This means that if he has me for himself he gets extremely upset if a child encroaches on his time or space. This has caused him to act in a very insensitive manner towards the children in the past. I believe that there is a time and place for everything and balance and sensitivity are of supreme importance. It was truly a sign of progress that he realized that sometimes it is correct to break from routine EVEN at a time that I was technically “his”.

I hope to keep reporting progress here!

Note to Self ~ Morning Pages

Dear Sarah,

Good Morning! I am so happy to have this opportunity to communicate with you. Today I wanted to talk about the morning pages. I know that you feel that it’s not going to figure into your recovery the way that therapy does or a 12 Step Program does. You may not ever use these morning pages to write a book or to get your artist out. However, you will use them to become the best you possible. To spill the brain onto the page and to let it go is so important! I know that you are just at the beginning of your journey into a great big unknown where you will need as much courage as you can get. If you take 15 minutes to get your morning pages done, I am sure that you will see a big difference in your day. Your happiness level will change. These pages are yours alone and are the product of your mind and soul. Nothing will be produced in its equivalence.

Do it! I support you!

Love,

Your greatest fan ~ Inner Nurturer

I Am Doing This For Love

I had two voices speaking within the other day. (I will not admit to talking to myself here.) One of them, which I can identify as “me” said that she doesn’t know what to do about the marriage. Part of the problem is that being straightforward about feelings and attitudes can blow up into a huge fight with a Borderline Personality. It’s not that my husband does not want to please. It’s that he wants to please so badly that he can’t handle the fact that maybe I want him to make a small adjustment somewhere. (This post on Borderline Babbler’s blog really woke me up to the depth of the problem.) The other thing the voice was saying is that she really wants to feel love for her husband but it’s very, very hard – now after all she’s been through.

The second voice had a great idea. Time for a new marriage experiment. I had very much enjoyed the first experiment I did called Praise and Pleasure. It did so much for me and I am happy to admit that praising my husband comes naturally now. In addition, being able to tolerate pleasure and finding new instances of giving myself pleasure has also become more natural and I am really beginning to enjoy life. I signed up for a monthly writing class, a bi-weekly voice class and a weekly yoga class. What fun!

I am ready for a new experiment, said the second voice. And here it is.

The love part in this marriage does not feel natural. I am not overflowing with love. When I do my husband a favor it is either done out of DUTY or out of RESENTMENT. And for sure not out of LOVE. This is the part I want to change. Switch out Duty to Love and the chemistry will change.

My task is to choose ONE thing a day that I will do for my husband OUT OF LOVE. I need to set the intention before I do it and let the love flow. Whether or not it’s “natural” or 100% true, is not important. I am training myself to feel love. I need to say very clearly “I am doing this for love.” Opportunities to do something for my husband out of love need not be an errand or a difficult favor. It can be calling him or answering his call, setting the table for dinner, or looking at him directly when speaking to him as opposed to fiddling around with my phone.

That night, I went to pick up his pants from the tailors. All the way there I said out loud “I am doing this because I love my husband. I am so happy to do this.” Then when he thanked me for it, I said with genuine feeling, “I am so happy that I can do this for you.” Yeah! It felt very good. I hope to find more opportunities to do this.

Note to Self ~ Self-Sabotage to the Rescue

Dear Sarah,

Aha!!! So it happened!! You were aware of change! And you were aware of the resistance to change. Because the change was for the better. And God Forbid if your life gets better. God Forbid if you become more independent, more HAPPY. OK, I’m being sarcastic. Sorry.

Let’s back up.

Dear Sarah,

I am happy. Do you know why? Because you have discovered a pattern and now that you see it, YOU CAN BLOCK IT!  You see that there is actually a choice: to take the easy path of the known or to try a new approach. Until now, there was no choice. You kept on falling into the same ruts each time because you didn’t know what was pushing you in there.

And here you have it very clearly defined: The Fear of Success pushing you, driving you, getting you down. YOU NOTICED IT! I am soooooooooo proud of you!

You know, I have heard so much about the Fear of Success and self-sabotage but honestly I didn’t know that it had anything to do with us. That was for entrepreneurs who need to work on believing that they are real and that their business idea can make it.  But for little old Sarah? Really?!

And here you have it. You were feeling so high, so ready and so grounded. You had a thought about what time management meant to you and how you can utilize time for your own advantage. You became unafraid of time. In that moment of relief and clarity, you had the meaning of time in your back pocket. Life would be great. No more shriveling up in the face of others’ demands or others’ schedules. No more unidentified flying objects coming at you from nowhere due to lack of time management. It all made sense. Boundaries and structure work hand in hand with time-keeping.

And then you were up all night. Couldn’t sleep. The next day was not a productive day. You felt blah and down. You easily could have fallen into the trap that your little fear devil was trying to lay. However, instead you didn’t get too bogged down either way. So today was not a great accomplishing day. Tomorrow will be better. The freedom you acquired from that great epiphany you had about time was not going anywhere. It is here to stay. You are not letting this back you up or put you to bed.

New opportunities have been presented to you in the past 24 hours – a yoga class at a friend’s house, a voice class…. Life is sending you messages. You can choose to move on and not get lost in the morass of self-sabotage. The negative feelings think they are serving  a purpose but in reality they are not helping you. They are just keeping things status quo.

It’s time for change. We are ready!

So excited!! Loving you so much,

Your Inner Loving Guide