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Love and DID: Sometimes More is Less

Today, I’m pausing my discussion of the contributing factors in the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder to talk about Dissociative Identity Disorder and relationships. Navigating relationships may be the single biggest challenge I encounter living with DID. I see the havoc my disorder wreaks on my most intimate relationships and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I watch my partner in particular struggle with abandonment, loneliness, and the chaotic nature of DID and I know that more personalities doesn’t always mean more love.

By LittleMissPip

Sometimes More is Less

I met a woman once who told me that ” … a pound of crazy weighs more than ten pounds of awesome.” It hurt to hear and that comment is a big part of why we never became friends. Even so, I see her point. Sometimes all the fabulous I can muster can’t compete with the destabilizing effects of DID. Loving me means accepting abandonment, making friends with loneliness, and strapping yourself in for a wild and sometimes nauseating ride. One day you’re loved and adored, the next you’re treated with cold indifference. Some alters see you as a comrade, but not a romantic partner. To some you’re a nuisance; to some a playmate. To others you’re a stranger, or even a threat. And it isn’t as though you can choose who you interact with or, as in my case, even expect the courtesy of knowing who you’re dealing with at any given moment. Intimate relationships are difficult enough without that degree of ambiguity and inconsistency. Love cannot live on sporadic nourishment, no matter how delicious.

Everyone seems to grow thin with me
and their eyes grow black as hunters’ eyes
and search my face for sustenance.
All my friends are dying of hunger,
there is some basic dish I cannot offer,
and you my love are almost as lean
as the splendid wolf I must keep always
at my door. -from Memoirs of a Mad Cook, by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Sometimes Less is Enough

My partner has learned to live with hunger. Parts of my system have worked tirelessly to push her away, with many near-successes. She’s in a relationship with someone who repeatedly leaves. Once she described it to me saying:

“Imagine you’re having a conversation with someone. In the middle of your sentence, they turn to stare out the window and they’re gone. You’re talking to yourself.”

This kind of small abandonment is part of her daily life. The loneliness that results is bound to be all the more frustrating knowing that somewhere in that body is your partner, but you can’t get to them. I vacillate between struggle to alleviate that loneliness and feeling resentful of it. I can’t make up for all the losses in my intimate relationships without incurring some of my own. So my partner and I try to accept the limits of DID. Fortunately for me, she decided long ago that ten pounds of awesome does in fact weigh more than a pound of crazy.

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73 thoughts on “Love and DID: Sometimes More is Less”

  1. Thanks you so much for this because my fiance acts the same way. I’ve known about her DID since the beginning but didn’t know how much it would effect our relationship. It’s been a countless cycle of Jane (the only one capable of love) loving me endlessly , then nick (the host) acting cold and indifferent and Samuel ( the hatred/motivation/protection) desperately trying to hurt me and push me away because he sees me as a weakness. I love both Jane, nick and Samuel but only Jane is capable of loving me the way I love them.But it’s been so hard staying because of how much I’m pushed away. But I realized I love her way too much to let her go.

  2. I’m so glad to have found this website. I found out that my husband is DID approximately one year after we were married. It first became evident something was wrong a few months before the wedding. I tried so hard to ‘behave’ and not trigger the alter before I realized that no matter what I did or said, I would always be the enemy. He literally hears words come from my mouth I haven’t spoken and if I don’t speak at all, that takes on a meaning I cannot imagine. I love him, and he’s a good man. However, only one of his alters loves me and the others find me either mildly annoying or downright despicable. I am the scapegoat for every loathsome or hateful thought and he projects all his anger and hatred onto me. The loneliness and isolate are sometimes brutal to bear, but I committed to him and I just try to be kinder to myself during the long periods. The worst part is not knowing who he really is…who is the host, and not knowing if the man I love so deeply, my ‘snow’ will come back.

    1. Just wanted to say that PRECISELY describes my experience with my now ex. I wish you strength. But be prepared that one day, the one that loves you might ‘go’ and never come back. I’m still struggle within an extended grieving process because it’s like he ‘died’… but… he’s still physically alive. However, the one who for a long time seemed to be his ‘main’, or ‘ANP’, the one I had a relationship and shared memories with, disappeared. The current ANP only has some basic working memory of our time and cannot recall details, emotions, and many significant events. It’s so very sad. He still scapegoats me and as you put it..”hears words come from my mouth I haven’t spoken” to cope with stresses in his life, or actions/decisions/fears he cannot admit to himself, and then use those as a rational for hostility. I cannot escape dealing with that as we share custody of 2 small children. I know exactly what you experience – you’re not alone. Hugs.

  3. is there anyway to bring the host forward at all … my fiance is the love of my life but her alter sees me as a slight threat , shes already done stuff to make me leave but i keep forgiveing her cause i understand her problem .. i love my fiance and will see this to my last breath and she sees how much i love her , but sometimes her alter comes through at bad times .. now i seem to be able to pull her back to the front but i dont know how many times ill be able to b4 her alter finds a way to stop me … does anyone have a idea

  4. My wife of 20 years kept here DID from me. I knew something was wrong but was never able to pinpoint it. She finally came crashing down and my life has been hell ever since. When I read about tips for people living with DID spouse, I checked all the boxes. It was very hard to accept there were alters but I met them and I dislike them all. I can get over some of the harsh realities I discovered but my biggest issue is feeling like a moron. I look back and say, red flag there and red flag there… I’ll admit I was a bit enamoured but I should have seen the warning signs. I have no idea where to go from here.

    1. Your wife may not even have known she was DID. My spouse (now deceased) lived with DID for over 10 years. I strongly suggest you seek help or therapy for yourself.

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