Q. Husband telling people I have borderline personality disorder: I recently found out from a friend that my husband has been telling our friends that I have borderline personality disorder. I was completely flabbergasted and shocked, because I have never been diagnosed with this in my life. I confronted my husband, and he refused to talk to me about it, saying he didn’t feel “safe” talking to me. I immediately made an appointment with my therapist and explained the situation to her. She reassured me that I do not, in fact, have BPD. I again talked to my husband, told him to stop lying, and that I wouldn’t stand for it. He agreed but did not apologize.
A few weeks later, I checked his texts (I know—cardinal sin of marriage), and saw that he had drunk-texted his colleague at 11:30 at night that I had BPD. (He was so drunk that night that he threw up after he DROVE himself home.) I’m at a loss. We’ve been having marriage problems due to lack of trust. He lies to my face frequently, e.g. will tell me he was at work all day, and later I will find out that he had spent the whole day at the shopping mall. Or he will come home late reeking of alcohol but insist he never had a drop to drink and was at the office the whole time, and later I find the receipts showing he had gone out drinking before coming home. I think this is the last straw, but I don’t know what to do. He has been trying to be a better husband in a lot of ways (has stepped up his contribution to housework, is learning to cook, makes lots of thoughtful gestures, etc.), but he continues to lie and refuses to apologize. He just says I’m in denial about BPD and asks why it bothers me so much that he tells other people. He says he’s just worried about me and “looking for advice from friends.”
A: I think this is the last straw too, and I think I know what you should do: I think you should leave him. This is abusive gaslighting of the highest order (“a form of mental abuse which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception and sanity”). You have plenty of reasons to end your marriage already, between his chronic lying and drinking, but when you add to that list the fact that he has repeatedly lied about your mental health to your friends and refused to apologize (!!!) when confronted with this fact, what you have is less of a marriage and more of a hostage situation.
I don’t believe your husband is worried about you in the least. I think he’s interested in making you doubt yourself, in feeling isolated, in keeping you in the dark, and in controlling you. I don’t care how many dishes he washes. This is a person who will ruin your life, and I hope you can find somewhere else to sleep tonight. Don’t let his half-hearted attempts to pick up more dirty socks convince you that you’re suffering from a mental disorder you don’t have, then doubling down by suggesting you’re “in denial” when you call him out on his vicious lies.
Don’t let his half-hearted attempts to pick up more dirty socks convince you that you’re suffering from a mental disorder you don’t have, then doubling down by suggesting you’re “in denial” when you call him out on his vicious lies.