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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am married to a BPD woman for 30 years and just recently

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I am married to a BPD woman for 30 years and just recently realized that the problem has a name as she effectively refused treatment and disaknowledges her problem, making it hell for me and my sons who are both adults now. I am thinking seriously about divorce now because I don't feel like I'm alive anymore as I get blamed for everything, my treading on eggshells becoming really hard now and I don't have any self-esteem left after being deprived from love and respect all these years. I get manupilated especially with having to reply the much too little sex (she thinks it is my only need) with tasks in the house and "loving her" as if I don't do it- she is shifting the goals all the time confusing me so much as to exactly give her what she needs. I am never good enough no matter what I do and I think it is time to move on (30 years are enough) It won't be easy but I'm willing to have one last try if you can give me hope. MY QUESTION; HOW DO I GET HER TO AKNOWLEDGE THAT SHE HAS A PROBLEM AND NEEDS TREATMENT! PLEASE HELP ME TO HELP HER AS SHE BLAMES ALL HER PROBLEMS ON ME. She fights furiously with me at the slightest suggestion of seeing someone for help. Previous actions for marriage counselling (there were lots) were all ended by her and I was convinced by her that I just need to love her and she'll be fine. I just need to shape up, as if I wouldn't have done it in 30 years if I could! How do I get her to aknowledge her problem? Hoping Husband.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If your wife is not willing to get help, it can be very frustrating. Getting someone to get treatment when they refuse is always difficult, especially when dealing with an adult that you have no control over. You want them to see the importance of helping themselves but for some reason, they refuse. It can be upsetting when you care about the person and they will not listen. You can see what they are going through, but they are not willing to address any of their own issues so they can recover.

Unfortunately, the law prevents anyone from being forced to get treatment (even if they desperately need it) unless they are threatening to hurt themselves or someone else. And if your wife is not doing that, then it has to be up to her to decide to get help. But there are some things you can try-

If you can, try to see if your wife is willing to see her own doctor. Sometimes a person will talk to their doctor when they refuse to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist. If she is willing to see her doctor, call ahead before her appointment to let the doctor know what is going on. He or she may not be able to share anything with you, but you can certainly tell them what you are witnessing with your wife and they can address it with her.

You can also enlist the help of friends or other family members. Sometimes a person will listen to someone from outside of their immediate family because they are not so easy to dismiss.

Here are some other resources to help you with ideas on how to help your wife:

I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment-Xavier Amador.

You also need to take care of yourself. What you are experiencing with your wife is very stressful. Living with someone who has a personality disorder can feel like you have no life at all because everything revolves around them and never around your needs. And as you mentioned, you get blamed for everything so you are always on the defensive.

It can help to learn more about personality disorders as well as get support for yourself. There are support groups on line and in person. Even just reading forums about the issue can help you feel less alone and give you some answers you can try. Here are resources that will help:

Also, consider counseling for yourself. You need the support and help in deciding if you can stay in the marriage.

I hope this has helped you,
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