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A Therapist's View on DIL Bi-Polar behavior

Started by Pen, November 16, 2009, 01:43:43 am

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from the site:   http://www.mhsanctuary.com/therapist/569.htm

Ask the Therapist

Daughter-in-laws Behavior

Question: I have a daughter-in-law, who has been diagnosed as BPD (Bi-Polar Disorder.) She has suceeded in separating my son from all his siblings and myself. She tried to separate him from a daughter by another wife. I know he is partly to blame for allowing it to happen. My question is this: Is there anyway I can repair the family, or do I just have to admit I have lost my son and go on with my life? We tries therapy, but all she wanted to talk about were things that happened 8 years ago I dismissed as unimportant. Like my behavior at a birthday party fot my grandaughter. I feel as if she walked into my life and blew my family apart. That is when it all started.

Answer: Your daughter-in-law is doing what is called splitting. She is doing this to protect herself from some imagined emotional threat. There is nothing you can do to change her behavior. On the other hand, your relationship with your son is, or should be, independent of the triangulation that she has created. So, you can repair the relationship with your son, if he agrees to remove himself from the thrall of her behavior. That's the real question. It's not about what you can do, but what your son is willing to do.

The problem you are facing is that BPDs are often predatory, whether they know it or not, and will prey up another person's emotional dependence. It's a sort of psycho-social addiction. If your son recognizes the problem, sees that it is destructive, and is willing to separate himself from the source (not necessarily his marriage, but the power he gives over to his wife), then there is a chance. Otherwise, you are tilting at windmills. It's not about what you can do, but about what he is willing to do.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


November 16, 2009, 04:55:08 am #1 Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 04:58:17 am by AnnieB
Wow!   :o

That just about said it for much of what I've read here, some DIL's and some MIL's.   Whew.  Thanks for posting that.

Ohhhh... I see I got another - vote..... It would be nice if whoever gave me that had posted a reason why or sent me a PM.... but.. um.. I think I know... it's OK.  Love ya anyways.  :D


Well, AnnieB, since I'm the only other one on here except you, I can assure you that it must have been a phantom because I've never given anyone one of those things.  Sometimes I'd like to but I don't stoop to that level.  Good luck in finding out.


errr... chickie,  you and I aren't the only ppl who post in here......

I happened to notice it when I posted...that doesn't mean it was posted by ppl who were on...

lol, you said you tend toward the paranoid!  ;D


I don't appreciate that, AnnieB...I really don't.


November 16, 2009, 07:36:34 am #5 Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 08:54:38 am by AnnieB
My apologies for the paranoid comment (my humor gone bad and a classic case of me projecting since I'm always the one who says I'm paranoid).  But the post wasn't directed at you.

There are other people, obviously, who post here at all times of night and day.  Just because I posted something when you were on line doesn't mean I was directing it to you.  I don't post on here like it is a chat room.


That's perfectly okay, AnnieB.  I hope this site can be a source of comfort for all of us.