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July 17, 2024

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EllieFebruary 16, 2016

I also live with a spouse with Borderline issues. He is never wrong, everything is everyone else's fault, he is a terrible name caller, is content one minute and destructive the next, only likes to hang out with himself, continues to belittle and demean our children, no matter the age, sees no wrong in what he says or does, is extremely controlling, doesn't like to communicate through issues, very verbally abusive, doesn't want to hear anyone else's problems nor care about their feelings, holding grudges and harboring harsh feelings about people for years. However, I have identified what he does like and what triggers him to anger so quickly, and sometimes it is just stress of a situation that makes him unpleasant and destructive on any given day. I try to shelter the children, but sometimes to no avail. He is an honest man except when he is lashing out and denying that anything was his fault. What I have learned is that the Atonement is for him to learn his weaknesses and for me to learn to forgive him and love him unconditionally. At times when he feels the Spirit and is not chasing it from our home, he is apologetic and loving. These are the bright shiny days of our marriage. He knows he has weaknesses and that I could have abandoned him years ago, and so he is grateful that I have invested in the marriage and in the family. Many nights my pillow has been wet with tears and the why me's, but I have changed my vision and now continue to pray for him and help him see the good in situations. I have learned what the natural man is. When I greet him with cheerfulness and affection, he responds like a puppy. When I teach my children that he is to honored and revered in the home as a priesthood holder and their father who only wants the best for them, he stands proud. I see him as a stone I am polishing. It has been difficult at times to push away the feelings of hate and anger and wanting to abandon him, but I return to the teachings of Christ, the Atonement, my covenants, and charity hoping that some day he will recognize the good I am trying to provide for the family. And it is working. Marriage is work. I would much rather be on a vacation in some happy location. But this is part of Gods plan, to learn the struggle and work out our salvation in our home. Progress is made. We feel that this is part of the reason we were put together. It has been a great test. But we are invested in our family, in our marriage, in our covenants, and in the Atonement. Having just watched the movie: War Room, it opened his heart to see the struggle that exists. I also recommend every couple to watch this show to learn how to work through their marriage. Blessings to all!

DONFebruary 15, 2016


DMVFebruary 15, 2016

I am looking forward to the series. My main response to this first article in the series involves your choice of scriptures to kick it off -- in particular Mos 3:19 and your discussion of a "new birth" that "[buries] the diseased natural man and [is] born again." The reason that this stands out to me is that, after years in a sexless marriage, I see how, years ago, I saw this "being born again" message as including a "sexual orientation change" from sexual to asexual. We tend to describe the sexual man and the spiritual man as if they are diametrically opposed. Because of this, I don't think we do a very good job of helping couples learn how to navigate the inevitable sexual differences that appear. If the success of Laura Brotherson's book is an indicator, there are many couples/spouses who believe that sex is not important to marriage, that sex is at best "allowed" but spouses should be "getting over" rather than pursuing sex in marriage. I personally don't believe any of this any more -- I believe that sex is an important part (though only one part) of building a good marriage. If you do not already have plans to address the sexual side of marriage (and, perhaps, how it is compatible with this "new birth" that you want to focus on), I think it would be a useful topic to include.

RickFebruary 10, 2016

I also face some form of Borderline Personality Disorder. The rage that erupts from her is very hurtful and she never takes accountability for hurting others. The flip side is any infraction I cause upon her is severly dealt with by her. I want to endure but also recognize that "Men are that they might have joy." It is a very tough spot with nowhere to go and no answers easy to find.

Wally GoddardFebruary 10, 2016

I honor those of you who do the best you know how under such difficult circumstances. Unfortunately my expertise is not in dealing with mental disorders. I really wish I could help you. You might find it helpful to read How to Hug a Porcupine by John Lund for some tips for dealing with difficult people. But, for the specific mental health issue, I recommend that you see a specialist who deals with those disorders. Blessings to you.

MaryFebruary 10, 2016

Like Andrew and Jennifer, could you please address serious mental illness in a marriage i.e. Borderline Personality Disorder. There is so little out there and such a need for the information. Thank you.

MIKEFebruary 10, 2016

After nearly 50 years of marriage, yesterday, at the urging of our Bishop, my wife and I met with an LDS marriage councilor. It lasted less than an hour and my wife stormed out. We have been having 'wars' about every month or so for the last several years. Lately the frequency has reduced to about once every week and it's killing me. It seems so impossible to continuing to live like this, in misery and anger and feeling rejected. There is a continual list of accusations against me which inevitably erupts into a new war. At the root of this there is prescription drug abuse and a refusal to acknowledge it or to seek help for it. I hate fighting with her. Many times I have thought, 'I have a choice, somehow learn how to live with it, or leave her.' After our meeting yesterday, I decided to just keep quiet on the long drive home. It was during that interlude I felt a new empathy for her... If she were sick and in a hospital facing a really grim future, would I leave her? If she were terribly injured and facing a long recovery, would I leave her? If she were in hospice at home and facing the end of life, would I leave her? All these different scenarios flooded my thoughts as we drove home and I just could not see myself leaving her. Yes she has problems, a sickness of sorts, and as unpleasant as it is to endure, I can't just walk away in the middle of her trials, any more than I could if she was dying in a hospital. "Endure to the end" takes on a whole new meaning doesn't it? I just hope I can endure it well...

JenniferFebruary 10, 2016

I too would like advice on dealing with a spouse suffering from borderline personality disorder. He has told such lies to ward members that I no longer feel I can attend church. The manipulations, verbal abuse and threatened physical abuse are destroying my health.

herm olsenFebruary 10, 2016

As always, Bro. G. makes some marvelous points. It's truly a pleasure to read his insights and try to adapt them to my own situation. Kudos and thank you's all 'round.

AndrewFebruary 10, 2016

Being as the Savior strengthens marriage. Could you address in future articles how one can best deal with a spouse that has a personality disorder, such as borderline, that includes very destructive behaviors in the privacy of the relationship and very positive external behavior.



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