How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Michael Your Own Question

Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
28397935
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Michael is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Dr. Michael, Heres an update and further question on original

Resolved Question:

Dr. Michael,
Here's an update and further question on original material. Our couple's counselor has just instructed my partner to get a workbook generally used by sufferers of Borderline Personality Disorder. If her affair partner had this disorder and my partner also has it, I'm feeling like this doesn't bode well for our chances of righting our relationship. One of the most horrible aspects of her infidelity was the sneaky and callous nature of the other woman and that none of this factored into my partner's choice of her for a new romance. Even when accompanied by tears my partner's apologies have seemed strangely hollow and as I read more about BPD many of her responses make sense. I'm not sure what kind of depth of feeling there has been on my parnter's part for either me or the affair partner. Can you enlighten me more on this issue?
Laura
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Hello. There is a fair amount of controversy about whether people with BPD experience normal empathy for others. I suspect that they can empathize with how others feel. HOWEVER, they are typically so self-absorbed in their own intense emotions and have such poor emotion regulation skills that they cannot use their executive functions (ability to pause, plan, think, step outside of their experience in the moment) to actually engage in empathy. The greater problem beyond empathy is a BPD persons' tendency to be preoccupied or narcissisticly focused on their needs and wants, so again, they seem un-empathic on many occasions. I'm going to pause here and make sure I'm addressing your concern. Rephrase your question please, if I'm missing your point, please.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Your answer is helpful. But what I guess I'm thinking is that I've known my partner for over 13 years and it seems that only in the last 3 years since infidelity disclosure has she seemed to take on the qualitites of Borderline personality. Is it possible that by being involved with a Borderline lover for several months that she adopted some BPD symptomology or that affiliation exacerbated tendencies she already had?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Yes, in general, people are HEAVILY influence in their behaviors by those around them; we know that even in an evening out of partying, people pace their drinking based on how much others drink; they talk loudly if others talk loudly, etc Kids for example, probably learn about 80% of their social skills by observational learning and social modeling. Adults are not much different---they are influenced far more than they realize by the attitudes, behavior and values of others. People with borderline personality features especially, and others with a less-than-adequately defined sense of self are more prone to be 'chameleon like' around others---readily adopting the expressions, behaviors, emotional reactions etc., of those they admire. This is a very prominent feature of borderline personality disorder; these individuals gradually 'borrow' part of the identity of the person they are with in an intimate relationship. I knew of a college student who was borderline, and she adopted the jewelry, socks, sweaters, mannerisms, and handwriting style of a girl she idealized. So it is quite likely for someone to be influenced by, and adopt BPD symptoms by affiliating with someone who has them. This is most likely if the person has a few BPD characteristics themselves, in mild form to begin with.

I hope this helps.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
Dr. Michael and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You've been very helpful. The area of least transparency is our sexlife. I feel if lacks the depth of feeling that I thought was there prior to infidelity. My therapist says that sexlife in a relationship is very fragile and is the first to go and last to return in many cases. What do you think is our prognosis from what I've told you.?

Laura

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
If you and your partner can begin talking more honestly, openly and comfortably about your sexlife, then the prognosis for improving it is really quite good. If your partner seems to want to escape or avoid talking about where your level of intimacy is today, compared to how it was historically, and you sense she is simply uncomfortable about the topic or talking explicitly about your sexual behavior together, then the prognosis is probably poor. It is most definitely true that the quality of the sexlife in a relationship is one of the first things to 'go' and one of the last to return. This reflects how emotionally sensitive and highly personal it is for both partners in the relationship. It is an area of the highest level of 'self protection' and vulnerability. So you can guage where your relationship is headed or its status, based on your attempts to communicate more deeply about this aspect of your relationship, and how she responds.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
Dr. Michael and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education