Divorcing a Spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder
Many of the symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are capable of causing trouble in a marriage and heated conflict during a divorce. Some people afflicted with this illness have extreme fears regarding abandonment and might engage in deceptive or manipulative behavior to get they want. In certain cases, BPD sufferers change their minds quickly and without any apparent reason, so negotiating terms on parenting and financial arrangements can be a real struggle.
As you end your marriage with a BPD-diagnosed spouse, following these ground rules might make the situation easier:
- Make a plan and stick to it — It’s not uncommon for individuals suffering from BPD to take drastic measures in an attempt to preserve a relationship that they believe is threatened. If you’ve taken the time to reach a thoughtful decision regarding divorce after a long period of frustration, it is usually best to move forward rather than being swayed by promises to change or brief shifts in behavior.
- Verify important information — Many spouses of people with BPD have talked about being lied to on important matters, even when their partner was a fundamentally honest person. It is always wise to verify financial information and have key representations on divorce issues confirmed in writing. This is particularly true in divorces involving a BPD-afflicted party.
- Keep your perspective — While BPD can make a marital relationship more difficult, hundreds of thousands of American couples break up every year for various reasons. In fact, studies have shown that there is not a substantially higher divorce rate in marriages where one party has BPD. Rather than dwelling on your spouse’s condition and what led to the divorce, your focus should be on reaching favorable divorce terms and what comes next for you.
- Don’t do it alone — Divorcing someone with a psychiatric disorder presents numerous challenges, but there are professionals who can help. A therapist could be very useful to one or both of you as you manage this transition. You might also take extra care to find a Long Island divorce lawyer who has substantial experience handling complex cases such as those where a spouse has a mental condition that affects their behavior.
As the Long Island divorce leader, Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. is well versed in representing clients in cases where their spouse is afflicted with BPD, narcissistic tendencies or some other personality disorder. To discuss your situation with a qualified New York attorney, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.