Adult daughter, wondering how to help

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Adult daughter, wondering how to help
« on: September 28, 2019, 11:45:45 PM »
Hi all,

I am an adult daughter of a BPD mother, and a father who (I believe) did his best. I am just wanting to understand him better. He decided to stay with her. They experienced significant tragedy together early in their marriage, which gave me context for some of why he might stay.

I am seeing him slip away now, in older age. He does not stand up to her, he seems to be fading away into the FOG. I am deeply sad. I may be posting in the wrong place, but I just wondered if the Dad's on this forum might shed some light on what goes on for Dad's who stay with PD mother? Did you know she was PD at start of relationship?  My dad does not want my help or even signs of empathy. Is there anything to do, at all?

With thanks for any of your thoughts.


Penny Lane

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Re: Adult daughter, wondering how to help
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 05:11:17 PM »
Not a PD dad but my two cents is ... your dad either decided to stay in the relationship because he thought it was best for him or you, or because he didn't know there was another option, or because he didn't have the emotional tools to set boundaries.

He's an adult who's made his choices. It's very sad but unfortunately you cannot save him. And as you've seen he probably wouldn't thank you for trying.

The best thing to do, I feel, is to try to have whatever relationship you can with him, without your mom's presence. Maybe you can take him to lunch sometimes when you know she's busy. Maybe it's just phone calls where you just talk to him. If she jumps on the call, maybe that's just sending cards.

I'm sorry you're dealing with these dynamics. It's hard to realize your parent is probably uPD. But it's also hard, and hard in different ways, realizing your other parent is enabling them.




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Re: Adult daughter, wondering how to help
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 05:29:42 PM »
I do not have answers for you though I do I agree with what Pennylane has said. Have as much a relationship with him as long as it’s healthy for you. There isn’t much else that can be said and down. He is an adult who can make his own choices.

I’m watching this play out with my dh’s Parents and it’s hard to witness. My dh struggles very much as he sees his enF as health(ier). We’ve had the full flying monkey act, saying one thing and ultimately choosing M and using us as a buffer when he could. We know there are childhood issues factoring in for both of them, it’s mind boggling to see the dysfunction. I suspect eFIL has underlying guilt and fear for what would happen to her if he walked away. They have BOTH lost access to all gc now and it’s still not enough to make changes at this time.  (EFIL tried to sneak my SIL’s kids to visit mil without her making amends with the parents and was caught. ) He chose to take vulnerable kids to a very unwell person over reconciliation and recognizing boundaries. To me, that makes him just as unsafe as her.

I’m sure that if he was asked, we are unfeeling and he doesn’t understand why we can’t give our love and compassion to bpdmil. “She is sick, she doesn’t mean what she says, it’s a mental health issue and the system is failing her! “ (and has failed going on 20+years)
I wish I had better responses for you. I recommended Understanding The Borderline Mother(Lawson) and  found the section on husbands of women with bpd enlightening. It didn’t fix the issue, but helped us relax knowing we couldn’t change either of them and they would continue their dance because something was working for them.
Peace and happiness to you  :kisscheek:
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 05:38:03 PM by P&K »