Tips For Partners Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder
Living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) presents unique difficulties, whether you're the one that has it or the person who loves the one living with it. I can only imagine how frustrating, confusing, even painful it must sometimes be to have a partner with DID.
I've witnessed how challenging it often is for my own partner and, if some of the comments I've received here at Dissociative Living are in any way representative, her experience is typical. But it's also largely ignored. Partners of people with DID don't get that much support or encouragement, primarily because only those who've been there can truly understand (Caregiver Stress and Compassion Fatigue).
3 Tips for Partners Who Love Someone Living With DID
As someone with dissociative identity disorder, my perspective is different than my partner's. I think that's what makes hers so important. Significant others are in a unique position to offer viewpoints and ideas that might otherwise be overlooked. When I asked my partner what she'd say to someone in a relationship with a person with DID, this is what she said:
- Know and maintain your own boundaries. You can't support others if you aren't supporting yourself. You're going to let your partner down sometimes. That's true in any relationship. When you let someone with DID down, the ramifications can be far-reaching and surprisingly painful. It may be tempting to make your own needs negotiable in order to ensure peace and stability. But that will backfire eventually by sowing the seeds of resentment and creating an unhealthy imbalance. Knowing your limits, and making the hard decisions required to honor them is vital. Believe me, sacrificing yourself won't heal your partner's wounds anyway.
- Nearly impossible, but try to learn how to not take it personally. You're going to be the villain to some no matter what. People with DID generally have trust issues that nearly incapacitate them in relationships. It's not unusual for protective alters to attempt to sabotage intimate relationships. That's not about you.
- Learn as much as you can, but remember all systems are different. There is no way to be in a relationship with someone with DID and not be profoundly affected. Living with dissociative identity disorder is just plain hard. It only makes sense to educate yourself. Not for your partner's benefit, but for yours. It's awfully hard to cope with something you don't understand (3 Ugly Truths about Dissociative Identity Disorder).
Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder Is A Choice for You
Those of us with DID don't have the option of walking away from the illness. You do. For my part, I'd like to remind you that no matter how it feels, DID isn't forced on you. You can leave, or choose not to get involved at all. Those of us with this disorder would spare you if we could. So when it gets rough - and it will get rough - please remember this: living with dissociative identity disorder is a decision you're making, not something we're doing to you. Blame us for our choices and behaviors ... not for having DID.
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Photo by Randy Pagatpatan
Gray, H. (2011, January 17). Tips For Partners Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2011/01/for-partners-living-with-dissociative-identity-disorder
Author: Holly Gray
Yeah! That would be great. I totally see the one fractured personality. And no, it's nothing like Sybil or United states of Tara. Part of him is religious/spiritual like me. Some parts think I'm full of shit. Some parts of him support my dreams and want to be involved somehow. Other parts again think "oh that's nice ?, you have fun with that." So it's looking like I have to just realize when to keep my mouth shut and just keep it to myself? Sometimes I'll have a partner, other times an aquantence who just kind of puts up with me like a room mate?
When you think you are all alone and then read something like this. My wife was just diagnosed and it's been a blessing and also overwhelming. Just reading others having the same issues makes this world a little less lonely and terrifying.
Can I get some advice?
I was talking to a guy for almost a month when I couldn't meet him for dinner one night he got a little upset but said he understood. A few days after he wasn't replying to my messages as much. He finally told me he had another personality named Travis and that he had be flipping on and off. Just a few days ago he sent me a text saying leave us alone Tyler is a loser and he don't need to be happy. I am very hurt and want to talk to Tyler but Travis won't let me. What can I do?
It's understandable that you are hurt. It's difficult to communicate with a system when there are parts who do not agree with the relationship. There may also be parts involved who sabotage in order to protect everyone in the system. You can't force it. You may have to be patient until Travis backs away to talk with Tyler.
I've encountered similar situations with my girlfriend who has 18 alters of varying ages. My advice would be to talk to Travis and ask if it's ok to talk with him (Travis) and try to find out more. Why does he think Tyler is a "loser". It feels like Travis doesn't trust you or doesn't want Tyler to be happy. We "Singletons" do that too with self destructive behavior. With my girlfriend's alters I took the time to get to know those that come out regularly and first PROVE to them that they can trust me. Without that, you'll never get anywhere. DID can be challenging to maneuver for us, but it's even more so for them. We have a choice. They don't. So if you're in it, be honest, be vulnerable, set boundaries and respect theirs. If you need to chat more, let me know. :-)
I mentioned your situation to my girlfriend and she had a few thoughts. When you made a date and broke it, he may subconsciously reacted by switching to the fear of rejection even though he said it was no big deal. Just curious, did you follow up with a rescheduled date or give him attention immediately afterwards? She said DID alters are usually formed very early in life through some type of trauma. It's hard for them to trust. Even a simple change of plans without reassurance or a reschedule can lead to feelings of rejection or a new trauma. He may have reached a point of intimacy to where he now wants to test you. Will you run, will you agree with the "loser" assessment?
Sorry to post here, but I couldn't find the new comment spot. But I need advice too.
I'm almost 39, have had mpd since I was 3. And I have always had the problem of making friends. While I have been married, had 2 wonderful children, been divorced, n currently in a relationship for almost 5 yrs to the most wonderful man alive, I just can't make a true "friend". I have learned years ago that I just can't trust anyone, or tell anyone my deepest, most darkest secret. That there are several of "Me". My boyfriend will tell you at least 6. I gave up 10 yrs ago trying to figure out how many there are. My dr said there were at least 4. I'm not close to my family back home. My kids I see rarely cause their father refuses to let them talk to me, even tho I raised them by myself for 14 yrs. I've lost many good jobs due to my disappearing act. People think I'm on drugs cause I'm never "the same" and I am always losing or gaining weight.
Anyhow, My boyfriend and I are going through some hard times right now, and the more stress there is, the worse things are at home. I recently confided to a "friend" from work who we have know for three yrs, about the others. I thought I could actually trust her. I've always been there for her in her times of need, wither it was guy issues, her friend issues, or even if she needed a few items from the store. Confiding in her was a BIG mistake.
I work, but it's not enough. We can't afford groceries and gas for my car right now. I don't get food stamps. She was going to the store and asked if we needed anything. Just milk n a bag of cereal was all I asked for. We had NOTHING. Our landlord even had to come in the house and look in our fridge and cabinets to see that we truly had no food in the house. They thought we were lying. I had been bring food home from work for my bf and animals. But a manager refused to let me do that any more. While letting the next coworker needing food for her family to go in and grab $50 worth. Like I said, everyone thinks I'm on drugs. Anyhow, we hadn't heard from my "friend" about the milk n cereal, and when I texted her, she did the same thing all the other so called "friends" do to me. Told me I was crazy and that she never said that she would help us out. That hurt. Cause I thought she was a true friend. And I remember her telling me at work that she would help. Not that she is obligated to help, but she said she wanted to. And now the mind games began. And I hate the mind games people play with me when they figure out I'm a little off in the head. And I always figure it out. Sometimes it takes a while, and I look like a fool, trusting her and being there for her or whoever, while they play their game with me. But I come back and figure it all out. And once again, learned I just can't trust anyone but my man. And I'm tired of it. But I let it go. I'm not out to get her or anything, but I don't know how much longer I can do this. I woke up Thursday morning 5 hrs from home in some rest stop with no phone, scaring my boyfriend and missing work. My boss thankfully not firing me. But no longer finding me reliable.
While my boyfriend understands and loves me, I don't know how much longer he can deal with it, and I don't know how to talk to my boss so she understands. And my "friend", I'll continue to be nice to her, but there is absolutely no trust there any more. And just because I'm use to this happening, doesn't mean it doesn't still hurts. Cause it does.
So how can I talk to my boss and get at least her to understand my downfalls? Cause the older I get, the harder it is to keep it together. And we can't afford for me to not work.
Im so confused. What do y'all mean by "Alter?"
the other person or persons that share your mind and body
Alters are another name for alternate identities, parts, etc.
So my girlfriend has DID. Which I'm totally ok with. But the alters want to date people and have intercorse and stuff but idk how I feel about it. Help me?
Hello! Sorry to comment here but has anyone here experienced alters trying to become romantic with main personalities, or sharing a common head space in general? I’m confused and I want to help but to help I need to be knowledgeable.
Hi everyone, wow you're all echoing my life right now. This is soul diminishing isn't it?!?!? I'd never heard of DID, I just chanced upon it during one of my numerous web searches asking for help with my fiancé of 7 years. I too thought at first it was because he was hooked on drugs, then I thought it was the alcohol, then whatever else was thrown my way. But it's only because of chancing upon a description of DID that I was able to look back at our past, very tumultuous relationship, that I began to 'see' when he changed, and how often he changed. Surely there HAS to be a way to talk to them, the host, or to draw them out of hiding?!?!? I've been told once, when I asked when my partner was coming back, "he's not coming back!" Is what I was told. That was 2 years ago and our relationship has been no where near as close as it used to be. I'm starting to think he actually hasn't come back and I've been trying to fix our relationship with an alter.
I've witnessed a switch. This probably sounds melodramatic but it really did look like his eyes rolled back in his head (they didn't) but his eyes became very, very dark, his face seemed to darken too, and any signs of empathy disappeared completely. I call this one the gatekeeper.
The thing is before I was aware of what I was dealing with I said some pretty dumb things to him. I thought at one stage he was possessed, so I walked up to him, looked him dead in the eye and said "give it your best shot buddy, you don't frighten me. If anything YOU should be scared of me!" ..... oops! That's the LAST thing he needed to hear. ☹️
Oh this is so heartbreaking. He's moved back in with his parents and I know/feel very strongly that they are either the cause of this or they've tried to bury it, cover it up and just pretend nothing happened. Because around them is when he switches more often. Like the rest of you, I just don't know what to do or where to go for help. I've promised him I won't abandon him. I never have and never will, but he has shut the door on me! So what do I do?
I am going through the same thing. There's no professional help on our small town. I don't know what to do. I've said the same things to him as you did. At the time I had no idea he had DID. He has four alters and one is really mean. I don't know what to do. We were together for ten years and then we married and that's when things changed.
I was reading this and it struck a cord with me. I usually don't leave comments, but I just want to say that my mom has d.i.d. and this is a confirmation for me. No matter all the goods things I've done for her, she makes me out to be the villain. She went to extremes and helped other people to bring me down. I don't take it personally, because I recognized that something wasn't right when I was a kid. It doesn't feel good with the abusive behaviors of my mom, but I've learned to keep my distance and set boundaries
Can someone send me a email about this i Have a partner and we are going true a horrible stage of did and I have to talk to someone that has it too to get a diffrent view point.
I met a guy online started out as a friendship within 2 wks I decided he seemed harmless then he told me he loves me after a month that's a red flag. As the relationship progressed he flipped then act as nothing happened. He plays people just like teens do between parents to get what he needs. He mentioned he grew up in an abusive home. But then he says his mom's a cardiologist Dr. He graduated high school early joined the Navy and college. I had a worse childhood and dealt with it. What he'd tell me never made sense I'd catch him in lies. I'm 10 yrs older than him. He's destroyed the other families house where he was living he's not from here so of course I felt bad excused his behavior on alcohol. I told him he can't drink alcohol and he needed to seek help. He's been here 9 months we dated for 7 on and off. I recently found out he has a gay alter this person showed me the picture my ex sent him a dick pic and a message professing his love for the married man. He gets lost easy and panics. I constantly have to repeat myself. In the meantime I have a disabled son I'm disabled with rare spine disease and my dad is fighting cancer an aggressive cancer. He's too much to deal with especially when he adds more problems. My ex never said he has DID. He is on disability he told me he lied to get it. I figured it was because he was in the military. He's told me he has iq of 160. He doesn't act like he does in the last 4 months he's been arrested 4 times. He's 38yrs old and never got his driver's license. I had him removed from my home. It's been over a wk. He's still bothering me I've blocked 6 numbers he's called me from. He's on probation and homeless I even told him please go find someone else. He uses emotional blackmail to get his way. It's draining I think he sneaks on my property and sleeps behind my garage ugh he can go to the homeless shelter what else can I do so he'll leave me alone I feel he's obsessed with me.
I have been married for 3 years, and we have been together on and off for about 8 years. Recently, it seems my wife can not get over issues we had together in the past. She only blames me. It always my fault. The past 6 months I have been beating myself up over this, but recently when I was removed from our relationship by an order of protection, I could finally see things differently. In the order, my wife stated I had issues such as I abuse my legal meds, I am mean to my stepson, when everyone else knows differently. If I ever made 1 mistake, it is held against me to this day. What didn't make since in the order of protection, is that she told fabrications about me being an abuser of my meds,( since I did not stop taking them after my 1 yr old son accidently digested part of one,) yet she still allowed visitation with her alone with the kids and I. It is as she had to control the circumstances of our relationship.
My wife had a very difficult childhood. She only gave me glimpses into the past. Her parents where constantly fighting in front of her, and she once told me about her mom throwing glass dishes at her. Along with this, she had an accident in which she fell on a 4 inch knife and has a large unexplained gash in the back of her head. She to this day, doesn't know what this is from, but based upon her hating her parents for a number of years, I believe she thinks it was because of them. Like dropping her as a baby.
Given the difficult past of my wife, and the back and forth of her treatment of me, I found many similiarities between DID and her.
Yet, I don't want to accuse her of this? I have asked her to go to counseling with me, but she refuses. She told other she would go to marriage counseling, but when she talks to me, it comes to my issues. This is really how its been for the past 3 months. But prior, one minute she would love me, the other she would hate me. In the last months, we would be getting along great and then, all the sudden, it was as she put up her guard and was someone else.
What really hurts, is my wife has been through this before. In her first marriage, she completely removed my stepsons biological father and grandparents from his life. She never even had the discussion with my son, about his legal last name. He learned his legal first name on the first day of 4th grade when he attended a public school and they required him to use his legal name. Based on what I gathered over the years, the dad and family tried, but after 2 years, they called it quits since his dad wasn't that attached after 4 months with my stepson when he was a baby.
Now, I have an order, and it is turning into the same scenario. At first the order was place against me, and now she has told my parent they can no longer see the kids, because I am mismanaging the money. Yet we came to agreement in court on this, and this was her idea, now when it effects what she wants to do, it sets her off. And just days before, she was crying and breaking down in my arms, and then she wants to have me arrested the next week.
I am not a doctor. And the last thing I want to do is make this claim in court, but if anyone that reads this maybe able to offer some suggestions, outside of get out of the relationship, it would be appreciated. I am fine moving on, I've accepted that over the past 6 weeks of the order, but now my concern is how to move forward, so I can still be in my 3 kids lives.
I have been reading a number of articles, about behavior similar to my wifes, and DID and her have a lot in common.
Oh please tell me this site or link is still up. I have so many questions.
My husbands suffers from DID and paranoia schizophrenic . We've been married for 12 years, and it has been extremely difficult. He has left me multiple times and has had affairs, which were my fault due to him thinking I was cheating. He has moved us from state to state away from my children and family. I feel isolated and alone. He doesn't sleep, every noise he hears, makes him Paranoid. He thinks someone is in the house, or that I'm hiding a man under the bed.He has the house with Booby traps, constantly accusing me of cheating or hiding things. He is watching my every mood, makes me feel as if I am a bad person. I'm lost and torn on how to handle him at times. I don't feel safe at times due to mean scary threats he makes. I don't know how much more I can take. I love him dearly and have supported him thru all of this yet I feel as I'm being punished for his altars. What to do? Lost and alone joy
I didn't intend to comment here but Joy I would love to get in touch with you. My husband has exactly the same conditions and I know for a fact I am unsafe. My husband has more than once held me hostage with a knife to my throat or scalp or eye or knees and I also feel so incredibly alone. I can't talk to any of my professors at uni because title ix will require them to make a report and I don't want bad things for him I just want him to get some help. But it's hard for me too, he calls me an asshole or a bitch pretty much every day, he is constantly gaslighting me telling me where I "really was" instead of at school or the store or whatever place I told him I was (and actually was). He accuses me of cheating multiple times every day and in the last month has left my body bruised and even hit my head hard enough I am pretty sure I had a concussion. I even experienced difficulties walking and some fairly severe dysgraphia. I thought for sure I had some brain damage at the time but it seems to have healed ok. I can't imagine anyone in my life really cares, even when I have pointed out the bruises (he's good at making sure they are places easily covered like my breasts, stomach or thighs) most people even those who are supposed to care just sort of shy away and change the subject. On the extremely rare occasion that my family does come to visit they spend their time complaining about the broken things, holes in the walls and how cluttered the house is rather than taking thirty seconds to ask if things are ok. They aren't. He has been bitching lately that I don't trust him and the truth is I don't, how can I trust a man who can go from sweet, loving and supportive to literally a different person who is violent and angry and mean all because he didn't like my tone when I said "no" or because he's SURE that I'm lying when I said I put the leftovers away last night since he can't find them today. The dog is my only friend and I feel so guilty for keeping her because he has during episodes choked her or held a piece of broken glass to her throat and threatened to flay her (skin her alive). I told him once that I thought maybe we should give her to my mom or someone else after one such episode because I thought it wasn't likely we would go the rest of our lives without another fight. That meant I was an asshole too, I was choked that time. I sometimes wish he would just kill me and get it over with but I'm afraid too, how much does it hurt to have your throat slit? He'll make sure it's alot I assure you.
its not your fault he had affairs because he “thought” u were cheating. That is unacceptable.
Oh dear Joy... I am so sorry for your turmoil. I have no medical answers for you however I am a minister and I just wanted to express to you my heartfelt love and concern for you. Do you have a bible? If you do I can send you some verses that give so much hope and promises for our future. This WILL PASS Joy. I will pray for you. And know that our heavenly Father sees your pain, as well as the pain with which your husband suffers. Take care of yourself and please email me if you would like to have those healing verses.
Hi I am a 37 year old male who is now living with a 44 year old woman who I love and care for more than life itself...I have come to the conclusion that she suffers from DID relating to an horror of a child hood where sexual abuse was very evident... I have been with her for almost 4 years now and about 2 years ago we had a heart to heart where she admitted that because of her past she does not enjoy sexual encounters with me...this at first upset me but I quickly realized that this was not her fault...but something she found very difficult to live with she also gave me the name of the person that had done these terrible things...and described to me how when she reached adolescent age she became brave enough to tell someone...and they shut it down accused her of lying and completely disbelieved her...well i believed her and thought that i would contact the police in order for her to tell her story and get some sort of closure knowing that i would be right there with her...well short story for the 3 years constantly and regular every week the person had done this to my gorgeous woman was let off the hook and we were told that he had served his time for the crime against her and had served 250 hours community service...well obviously I had to stand by and watch my woman fall to pieces...since that moment it has got a lot worst...I.e her being triggered... Switching and the rage and violence that she will take on...all I am asking is if there is anyone with any advice whatsoever...? I love her and I am definitely in for the long haul...and am willing to help her in anyway I can..:)
Thank you for your time in reading this.
I read your story (and many others) with great interest, tremendous sadness and great concern. It all mirrors my story. I too had a wonderful relationship for 5 years; or so I thought. To make it worse, we were working together. Work never lasts, even though he is very capable, he cannot hold it together. Too much switching... I am now pretty sure that the alter I am in a relationship with is gone. I do not believe that alters 'die'; but they can go into hybernation if they are not needed. And my 'man' has been gone for over a year. I've gone through 2 bouts of severe depression with this man, where he normally cuts me out for 6 months; and he had a breakdown in front of me earlier this summer. Things have gone from bad to worse (we have a long distance relationship), and now he developed flight phobia. I have not seen him in over 7 months and working is impossible with him being in a different country and afraid to take a plane. I personally believe this is engineered flight phobia of some kind. I also do not see any improvement through therapy and I have reasons to believe that the therapist is working against me. He is the only person he (allegedly) speaks to in an open way (but who knows...). Some alters speak to me sometimes - and they are not all friendly, neither do they follow what you would call a moral code of behaviour. I have been betrayed many times; thought I cannot confirm this for sure. There is also extreme paranoia involved. He doesn't give anything away and gets completely crazy over simple questions like 'where are you going" when he sits next to me and books a flight. He will immediately switch into his aggressive protector mode. I am now dead sure this guy leads various double lives - unaware that he is doing this.
To cut a long story short; a friend of mine - a therapist herself - told me something important. She said: "it's sociopathic behaviour, whatever the cause might be. People who can compartmentlise do not have conflict and morals issues in the way we do. You are not being treated well at all and you must not allow this. It is not your fault he is like this. You cannot fix him". She was right about this. Only he can fix himself. I have stopped financing him. I do not want to be an enabler for a sick minded therapist. Since I can't influence his decision regarding the choice of therapist, I can at least cut the means to pay this guy to ensure he is not getting worse. Given I have many professional reference points, I do understand that therapy would not try to cut out the only safety net this man has. I totally get what you say: you are not leaving a spouse who is having cancer. But... She would tell you she has cancer and you would both go on this journey together. Here, most of us have never been told about DID (only once was it confirmed by him - and then quickly retracted soon after). We did not know what we got ourselves into when we started this journey. We are the ones with a huge capacity for love and compassion - but we are kicked in the teeth for this again, and again, and again. I am in great conflict over this right now. I simply do not know any more what the right thing to do is. You can't talk to anyone because others would think you have lost the plot. You can't even speak to them. They do not want to know, or at worst, it activates a suicide alter. It's a very lonely life for us who are not suffering from DID. Is it worth it? I no longer know the answer to this question...
I have Schizophrenia and my husband suffers from DID. Times can be very difficult for both of us when stress triggers more of the symptoms than usual, but my advice is just to learn as much as you can about your loved ones specific mind, not just the disorder. We both are very detached, recluse people however with each other we just understand what the other is dealing with more so because of our own experience, although different disorders. Just be understanding and do not hold their words or actions against them if they were unaware. Everyone says stupid things they don't mean when they get upset, I recommend looking at it like that. We both had these disorders before we got together, we've been able to remain in a successful marriage despite our problems just taking the time to get to know how we both work and what is the best method of relaxation is. Good luck to anyone who is struggling, it's hard but you can have a happ relationship.
Also, just to add, when dealing with aggressive alters it took me years of persistence and patience to break through. My husband experienced enough trama to develop multiple dominant alters. However, now I have became a part of his alters lives as a friend or someone to share with. Each alter of his has a piece of his core I can always see even if he can't switch back for prolonged periods of time. You just have to stand by their side and learn how to help with each individual alter (I know it can be hard) but each one has its own way of handling problems and coping. I recommend studying each alter as if it were a different person entirely at first. Then you may be able to see which traits carried over from the dominant alter. I can now inform him after a switch with little agitation and acceptance.
I am sorry, but you sounded - exactly how you described your partner.
Gina I completely understand your story. I have been married just about 10 years (will be 10 as of Oct 2017). At least 8 of those years have been hell.
You're all echoing my thoughts and feelings
Hi Gina, if you get this, could you please send me an email so we can talk? I'm not sure if I've asked you this before (no it's not D.I.D, lol, I have ADHD ; which means I'm highly disorganized, forgetful and easily distracted just to name a few of my best points, lol) I have pretty much always had a very cheerful, positive disposition but the last 7 years has been an eye opening journey I just can't share with anyone I'm close to. Because as you, and everyone else here on this forum knows, we just sound like raving lunatics and the general consensus is 'it's not your problem, just leave him! To me that's like saying "oh your husband has cancer? That's terrible but it's gonna make your life hell so leave him now before he becomes too much of a burden!" FFS is everyone so bloody heartless? Yes it is confusing, yes it is heart breaking, and yes it is HELL! Especially when our DID partners are oblivious to the pain and suffering we endure...as far as they're concerned they hold the key to pain.
I just had an idea...if we could start up a forum, blog whatever these things are called (I'm not very up to date with all of this sorry, ?) but surely as partners of people with DID we could share our stories and possibly find solutions???
Psychologist can be trained to understand this disorder but WE live it an WE know what really happens???
Anyway it's just a suggestion?
For anyone who wants to talk to me about this my name is Sally, I'm an Aussie and it'll let you know in advance that I have a shocking memory so if you contact me could you pretty please say why you're contacting me in the first few lines or I may accidentally delete you as spam! Please forgive me if what I say next is insulting, but sarcasm runs in the blood of most Aussie's and we can sometimes confuse other nationalities....so, if you email me, and I do t reply quickly, send me another (or the original ?) email starting with "Oi Dickhead, it's 'name' from Partners living with DID!" Lmfao. That'll get my attention AND believe it or not, when you get even a small window of laughter, it helps to soothe the soul.
Take the piss out of me (and yourselves) make jokes about serious stuff, give yourselves the freedom to just laugh. ????? We'll have plenty of deep and heavy stuff to discuss too. But if anyone is interested, I'd really like to help our partners and everyone else who is suffering from this.
Cheers, hope to hear from anyone and everyone (including people with DID please, if you feel safe to do so, because no one knows exactly what you're going through better than you do. Big hugs to everyone, and remember that old saying 'smile and the world smiles too, frown and you frown alone!"
Ok my email is email@example.com
Wow, I didn't know there were so many married to DID/MPD seeking for answers. I needed a place to find understanding, compassion and encouragement.
My marriage of 16 years has ended. Like many, I tried everything I could, I almost completely disconnected with who I was in the process of trying to care for her. I don't regret the changes, it made me a better person in many ways. But for the past 2 years she has been literally ignoring my existence, we lived as roommates. I kept believing that there was a plateau of safety she could reach with my help and support, but it wasn't to be.
Her physical health is always a see-saw, although doctors can't diagnose anything. And for a protector alter, the safety is everything. I suspect different alters "make" her sick to retain control over her. I love all her alters except a couple, one of whom finally came out after we had been separated for about 6 months, to say in a mean voice that he was responsible for sabotaging the marriage. I received him with grace, forgiving, etc. But also trying to help my wife deal with this revelation. But although my wife had been repenting, asking me not to divorce her, we had started making plans to find help together, suddenly I get an email telling me it was really over. Despite her newfound tenderness toward me.
So once more I got stabbed to the heart. I have sensed for years that she was being groomed online through relationships she developed. And I had been in agony for years over this. It does hurt deeply, you come to believe that you are crazy, if you take everything to the first degree. I discovered I acted as codependent, and she acted like a narcissist. But it's nearly impossible to get a clear idea of what she truly thinks, or feel, and I had to come to the realization that I am not a health care professional, and my competence is limited: at some point, the people who love them the most does become the person they need to control (parts live in fear) and push away.
I believe I too have a few alters but I wasn't diagnosed. We enjoyed doing simple things together, we had a great friendship, and childlike playfulness (duh). But the bar of perfection is always so high, and often moving. In the end, it is not about me doing anything, but it's about her conditions.
My story is like many others, so you know that I'm not sharing everything, it would be inappropriate, and too long. But a few months ago as I came back home after "giving her space" for 3 months, I found out that she had changed the locks on the doors. She basically claims the house as her own (although both our names are on the title). Now I live in my own place and pursuing divorce.
It is really hard to face divorce as an outcome, mainly because I can see she is in an acute existential crisis caused by her system. I've been her cheerleader for years, but it ends up being a life journey she needs to take alone. Nothing I say is received, on the contrary. It hurts to see her act this way, but ONLY with me. I've carried guilt and shame for so many years, but I'm slowly realizing that no matter what I do or say, anyone in the radius of her space is bound to get the brunt of those few alters who ruin everything. I understand they are in pain easily, but I can't understand the type of pain easily.
I decided the most loving thing I could do was to accept her move and make it mine. Forget doing an intervention. But treating her as normal is also not an option, and that's where I have a hard time: would I abandon my wife if she had cancer, or been in an accident? No. But this isn't the exact same situation. Pray for me I stay the course, and that she would find help she can trust, and follow-up with.
Thanks for reading, sorry it's so long...
Whew. I don't know how to feel. I just went no contact with my partner. Suspected DID for some time now, but if I tried to discuss it with her several alters would rise to defend their position of nonexistence. They have an interest in not being acknowledged, because that might mean she is not perfect.
Anyway she attacked me one night leaving bloody bites, scratches bruises and sprains. I was careful not to hurt her in my self defense. My name for her most vicious protector is Leon, and boy did she hit the roof when I told her about him.
Still trying to make sense of it all six weeks later. Constant death threats and details of how her few remaining relatives will torture me until I beg for death. I did not do anything to her. It probably is not even personal, but how can it not be taken that way? This whole world is filled with people abusing and retaliating continuing an insane circle of vengeance.
seeing my own therapist now for ptsd. What a dangerous woman to get involv d with, but in the beginning she was perfect like that other guy (rdbrewer)was describing when it all went to crap in just two weeks. I have never seen someone so mean.
DID's have really gone through hell to turn out this way. Just want to cry for them, and their victims... will it never end?
A couple alters are alcoholic, most are narcissistic, and at least one is borderline. The one I fell for was the open minded new age hippy, who has gone away forever, not needed anymore because now they got him hooked and he will stick around a while hoping for her return.
I am sorry for what you experienced, and I hope your therapy helps you heal from your PTSD.
I do want to clarify, that people with DID are not all victimizers, or abusive. They are no more prone to violence as any non-DID person (and actually, some say that they are even less likely to be violent). I don't think it's right to say there are victims of DID. The DID in itself was not the cause.
I'm thankful I found this. Been in a relationship with someone with DID for about a year and a half. It has been difficult and we are just starting to get to a good place. One of the alters had another girlfriend when we first started dating. I didn't find out until about 4 months in the relationship. She was long distance so I at least tried to cope with it. He tried to justify it. Other alters tried to explain it and I just refused to accept it. That situation is finally coming to an end. He has no interest in getting help and I don't want to influence him to try. He has been to numerous doctors in childhood and it only made it worse. So one question I have, is it common for alters to be jealous of the host and visa versa? He also has alters that don't want him to know they exist. I made the mistake of telling him of them in the past because I felt not telling him was lying. It got REALLY bad. He went cold and lost an alter that had compassion and was very open and caring. It almost tore us apart and I found myself dealing with an alter that was very indifferent of me and sometimes cruel. We've gotten past it, but my question is what could be the repercussions of an alter being 'boxed away' as he puts it? He knows I really want to understand, but me asking questions doesn't go well because either not all the alters can keep lies and truth straight or he doesn't want to know or acknowledge the alters. Am I doing things wrong when I acknowledge the alters by name? Sorry to ask so much. Thank you for helping.
I was diagnosed PTSD 31 yrs ago. During my 1st marriage. About 4 yrs later, I met a woman, who 1yr later, was diagnosed MPD (before DID came to be the normal term). I learned much as our friendship grew, and as her personalities, became more evident to me. She got me involved with a support group, that she went to. Before I met her, my PTSD diagnosis came to be, as I was discovering my marriage was abusive, and issues from my childhood were being triggered. My therapist, wanted to confront my husband about the abuse but my husband figured out why he wanted him to attend a session with me. Needless to say, my husband didn't go to that session. It was about 6yrs later, that I kicked my husband out, when he became physically threatening. And we divorced. I met someone eventually, and remarried. We have always had our ups and downs. But we have managed to remain together, 20 yrs now. But recently, he kicked me, and our daughter out of the house. This was something new for him. It was a shocker, to both me & our daughter. It wasn't making sense, his outburst, and the fact that he kicked us out. That was 3 mths ago. Since then, we have both moved back into the house, cautiously. Trying to stay aware of his behavior, and our own. Over the coarse of the last month, as her and I have talked, and recounted things over the years, we have come to realize, that he too is dealing with MPD/DID and possibly PTSD. My initial awareness of this, came about, because the day after he kicked us out, I went back to the house to talk to him, and the person who sat down on the couch, to talk to me...well, he wasn't my husband. The person sitting there, was forward on edge of the couch, hands cupped inside the other, face looking at the floor, not at me. This was strange in itself, but then the voice that talked(as though it was coming from someone else), mentioned money, bills & being taken advantage of. That comment struck a cord...I had heard it before, that exact same phrase. Years before, when we had separated for about 3-6mths. He was scheduled to go through back surgery. He had moved out, and then called, to come home. He had said the same exact phrase, when he was saying he wanted to come home. Now, coming back to the day after he kicked us out - after hearing this phrase again, and he was still looking at the floor not at me, I broke the silence and asked "what about ___(our daughters name)". He looked at me, and said "what?...she left, that was her choice." I looked at him and said"___(his name), you told us "both to get out. You said "both of you get out". He said "I didn't....I don't remember saying that". When he said this, I wondered if he had had a TIA or seizure or something. Maybe that is what happened day before, was the cause for him kicking us out. But like I said, once our daughter and I got to talking about everything, we have realized, we have been seeing different personalities all along, and I just didn't realize it. I was oblivious to it. Maybe it was my selfs being protective, of me, or blinding me to what was going on. Well, a few days ago, we confronted him, with our concerns and observations, and he has said he will contact a doctor, to get an appt. setup to talk to someone. Guess we will see. Not going to be easy trying to be aware of his, and be aware of my own selfs. and keeping them separate...keeping it all straight. LOL Anyone ever heard of 2 persons with MPD/DID's being married before? Thanks for being here. :)
Glad to hear he is willing to contact a doctor! I hope he follows through with it.
In my experiences participating in DID groups (online), it isn't uncommon for people with DID to be in a relationship with another multiple.
your post is so heart breaking. I'm the person with DID in my relationship, and my husband linked your post to me. I haven't been diagnosed with it, but the episodes have been becoming more and more extreme lately. I'm also an alcoholic. I see many similarities between myself and your wife, actually. It isnt just that she's deeply ashamed, it's that she doesn't want to hurt you anymore. I dont know what to say really, I just wanted to say something. I appreciate your candidness. It helps me so I wont make the same mistakes your wife made.
My husband has DID, he was diagnosed 8 years ago .. I have just found this blog and am surprised but also delighted to see other partners living with people who have DID.. Always felt alone .. Living in Ireland. I see this site is American based. Great stuff to see this. Has put a smile on my face. As well you all know it can be hard work at times. My husband has 19 alters , whom I chat to when they are in the form, even have a laugh with the kids when they come out. My kids sometimes get it better than I do
The reality was she just sensed what I wanted and molded herself to meet my needs. For example, she started calling her son “our son” within a few months. I had talked about always wanting to have a son of my own. One of my dreams. She used her son to get me, and then she used her son to hurt me at the end.
I want to take that part back. The alters I married are wonderful, beautiful people. "My Becky" is the sweetest person I have ever known. Calling her son "our son" was another one of her ways of being loving and caring. The protection alter who used him as a weapon... well, that's a different story.
We had so much love. I've never had love like that before. We could complete each other's thoughts. We had identical senses of humor and made each other laugh constantly. We laughed in bed as much as anyplace else. We would talk about everything. We had frequent intellectual discussions, but we preferred not to live in that zone, so to speak. It's like we were made for one another, a perfect match. And our lovemaking was powered by that. I don't know if this makes sense, but I wanted to be with her out of the love I felt as much as from the attraction I had. And it was like the love increased the attraction.
It's painful that I didn't know how to handle switches. I made things so much worse. I became a horrible nightmare of triggers for her, I know. I would blurt things out that I wouldn't have said if I'd known more. The most ironic thing: psychology has always been an interest of mine, and I've read about various aspects of it for decades. I'm very tuned into a person's affect, and I would've been the perfect partner for her if I had studied D.I.D. I would have known how to handle the switches and to gently greet the alter and provide useful information like how we got to where we are and where we were going--but in an indirect fashion. And I could have influenced her intentionally like I was already doing unintentionally, like when I would make "Dr. Becky" laugh at the end of the day and instantly turn into a more relaxed and happy "my Becky." One example: one time "Dr. Becky" was being haughty about a recent raise. It was like she was looking down her nose at me. I went into a "yeehoo" happy dance and "raise the roof" thing. She switched, smiled wide and joined me. I could have used that ability to influence her to help her outlook.
But I reacted with fear and anger during that last two weeks. After a recent concussion, an MTBI, I wasn't thinking too clearly anyway. I thought she was intentionally lying. The more freaked out I got, the more I would yell. I was trying to communicate she was hurting me and scaring me--trying to make her quit--but that wasn't how to do it. I kind of hate myself for that. I could have handled things better.
The final irony: I have hyperthymesia. Not like the people you see on TV who can remember every single day of their lives, but I have something very close to that. I don't have to dwell on anything to remember it; it's just there. That's how I was able to assemble enough information after the fact to map out her alters. She, on the other hand, can forget anything she wants or needs to avoid by simply going into another corridor in her mind. So I no longer exist for her. I'm a source of triggers. She can never say "hey, I'm sorry," for example, because that would cause guilt--about things that I now understand and have long since forgiven her for.
So I will never get a kind word. I've been dying for a kind word all this time. But I know I no longer exist for her. And I'll never be able to forget a moment with her.
I am sorry to read about your difficulties in your prior relationship, but know that you did not do anything wrong. There is no handbook for being in a relationship with someone with DID, and more so, you didn't (and couldn't) know she even had DID at the time. Your reactions are understandable. Don't hate yourself for them.
My wife didn't tell me. I just thought she had different moods. Later, on my own, I started nicknaming the moods. One was "Bo Peep." Bright sundresses, happy, weirdly sultry. I realized later she actually introduced herself one day when she walked in and said very sweetly but completely out of the blue "I'm vulnerable." We weren't even talking. I was on the computer. I thought, jeez, that was weird, but I just smiled. I think now the "v" should've been capitalized. There was "Dr. Becky." Dr. Becky (she's an M.D.) is a juggernaut. She's the freight train that could punch a hole through a tornado. That's the alter that got her through the day. I was always able to make her laugh, and that helped her turn into "my Becky" at the end of the day. She was the main alter, but she wasn't as strong as many of the others.
So I married three alters. She was a chronic drinker, and when her son asked me if I could do something about her drinking, I felt it was my duty to try. He was my stepson we had bonded as father and son. In fact, he had started calling me "dad." But I was arrogant enough to think I could conduct an intervention without professional help. That didn't go well. With the assistance of her ignorant and defensive mother, she concluded that I was trying to destroy her. In fact, she said that out loud a couple of times. This is when several protection alters appeared. In two weeks, it was all over.
Remember, at this point, I still had no idea she had D.I.D. I started seeing her in this aloof and fey mood that barely recognized my existence. I called this one "the gypsy." She would wear hair extensions and other clothes I'd never seen her wear before. Hair extensions. (Note: She had more clothes than anyone I've ever seen. Now I get it. Her alters all had their own wardrobes.) The gypsy wouldn't talk to me, no light banter, nothing. One time I told her she looked very sexy in her shorts. She said, "You're making me nervous."
I was trying to keep her from drinking so much, and I was putting on the pressure. Then ugly and nasty alters came out. They seemed to be defined by the particular mix of personality disorders. There was "Dr. Becky II" who was narcissistic. She was angry and had no empathy whatsoever. There was "the gypsy II" who had horrible BPD and a touch of NPD. Again, no empathy. She was occasionally psychotic when very angry. She did a number on me with friends--a "borderline distortion campaign." These were people I liked and cared about. Neighbors, for example, that I spent a few minutes talking to every day. Actually, the neighbors knew me well enough to know something was going on with her; it was her family that I cared about the most and that I saw the least who had no way of knowing she was lying her brains out or taking kernels of truth and blowing them up into cotton candy proportion. This was also the alter who shared the most private feelings, thoughts, and dreams I'd trusted her with. For example, my father had died a few months earlier, and sometimes I'd get sad. One time I said I wished I could be with him and see him again. That one became "He's suicidal. He wants to kill himself to be with his father." Isn't that nice?
By the way, since then I was able to figure out the difference between the transient psychotic episodes and the full-on confabulation. Of course, both of them looked like pure psychosis to me. She would switch and start saying things that had no basis in reality. I stole her wedding ring. I stole her watch. I've been seeing other women. Her ring and watch were in the bathroom upstairs, and I spent no time with anyone but her.
The worst one I saw I called "the badger." Her faced changed. She looked like an angry animal. I've come to realize since that this alter was a very angry child. I found her sitting in the dark in a closet one night. Her eyes seemed solid black when I flipped the light on and she turned toward me. It was scary. I said "Becky, what are you doing?" The badger was boiling with anger. I think the badger is the original abused child. The badger is who she became back then--or how she felt back then--after her father abused her, starting around first grade.
During this two week period, of course she used her son as a weapon. "Our son" became "my son." She would pretend they were in great danger and that she had to take him to a hotel somewhere to get him and herself away from me. So much more dramatic that way. Very scary for me, because I didn't know where they were or how they were doing. She told the police I broke into the house when I had the key right there in my hand. "But the window is cracked," and she pointed to the door. It was leaded glass, and a long time before a quarter inch square piece had broken out. You could maybe push a pea through the hole. I said, "Becky, you think I came through that tiny hole in the window?"
I'm starting to ramble. Long story short, I lost everything, right down to my clothes.
We were together a year and married for several months. We had 50 weeks of laughter and fun and about two weeks of stress, and that was all it took for her to file on me. It took me about a year to figure out what happened and then map out all the alters. There were clearly seven; there was good evidence of three more, and there was some evidence of a few beyond that, but that's speculation.
They had their own clothes, their own hair styles, their own handwriting, their own signatures--everything. They would sometimes not seem to know how we got to where we were. That was the main puzzle piece that put it all together. I started researching amnesia and found my way to D.I.D.
If I seem kind of clinical about this, it's because I'm numb. It has been several years now, and I can't move forward. I'm the kind of person who honors agreements, keeps promises, tells the truth, and tries to be decent person, even though I know I fail sometimes. I think most would consider me a good man. But this whole thing blew my world apart. Losing my faith was as bad or worse than losing my wife and son. It was something that had given me strength since I was a child. It's gone.
I married late, by the way, at 46. I married after decades of praying to meet the right person. I thought she was it. She was perfect. The reality was she just sensed what I wanted and molded herself to meet my needs. For example, she started calling her son "our son" within a few months. I had talked about always wanting to have a son of my own. One of my dreams. She used her son to get me, and then she used her son to hurt me at the end.
I hate the lies told to me about God. If there was one, he would've shown up. And not because I deserved it either--because I prayed for his grace and asked in Christ's name. And I did so with strong faith. I kept telling myself it would be okay and that God would fix things. That was years ago. Now I'm being treated for PTSD, depression, anxiety. There's no way I can get back to where I was.
"My Becky" or "regular Becky" can compartmentalize in the extreme. She hasn't faced me since the moment I started learning about the extent of the lying and the scheming. We were going to go through counseling, but I don't know what happened to that. Regular Becky is terribly ashamed of the horrible things she's done and said, so she's put me out of her mind. I doubt she ever thinks about me. Regular Becky knows the promises we made to one another. She knows the love we shared. She knows the trust we placed in one another, especially the trust I placed in her. So regular Becky can never face me again. That would mean feeling guilty about bad things. Out of sight, out of mind.
You aren't alone but it isn't easy. Stay healthy and find support. I have been married to my wife and her alters (I actually call them shards) for 22 years. At one point, I was exactly where you are. If it helps, after a few months my wife (the host) began calling me asking to reconcile. Similar situation with her parents but add a curfew and constant checking up on. At the time we had been married 10 years and I wasn't aware of her DID. She wouldn't receive the diagnosis for a few more years.
I know its hard but hang in there. We still have periods of time where we separate, sometimes for months and actually are in the midst of a period right now. It is a lot easier to make it through the dark times if you have a support group that can encourage you to be patient. I try to use these periods to focus on my own personal mental health and healing so at the end I am strong enough and prepared to be her support.
There are going to be a lot of rough patches in the future. Try to get a handle on what the alters purpose and motivations are. It exists for a reason. I'm not a counselor but what I've been able to piece together about a similar alter in my wife is that it is very focused on trying to maintain a relationship with abusive parents. I think it was essential for her to survive childhood and there is no magic switch that turns it off just because she is grown and has kids of her own.
If you are really struggling, I suggest seeking a therapist familiar with DID to help you support her in constructive ways. Don't try to be her therapist, just her husband. To do this I know I have needed help and guidance in how to support our spouses with DID.
If you want some more of my experiences let me know here. I can't promise that it will all be helpful. But if it helps you endure the hard times for when she will really need a patient and understanding partner I will share what I can.
Lastly, I imagine all relationships with a DID spouse are exceptional. Exceptionally hard, sometimes exceptionally rough, but also can be exceptionally great. And I have found that it isn't all one sided. Mine has been able to reach down and rescue me when I've been fighting my own personal battles.
I have read these posts and become hopeful and scared to death. My wife has DID and I went into it with a vague idea of the disorder 10 months ago. She picked up and left me 4 days ago. Moved almost everything out and went to live with her kids and mother. All of whom care only for the work they can get out of her. Her mother severely abused her as a child and adolescent. I am so worried for her. I did many things wrong I'm learning. But I am learning. I believe it was an alter, a protector, that initiated this action for several days, maybe weeks before this, she became, insulting, nasty, and degrading towards me. The alter seemed delusional and paranoid accusing me of things I didn't do and things I wouldn't do. Everything I said was a lie though I was not lying. I do love her and don't want to give up. The environment she is in now will keep triggering her. She has talked about going to therapy but was taken advantage of by one therapist. She certainly doesn't have the time with all the work she is made to do. She does talk to me but has talked only of the work and how exhausted she is. She still considers us married but this is no marriage...the way things are. I continue to tell her that I love her and miss her. I try not to blame. She won't consider coming back yet and I try not to push. She doesn't want to see me yet either. I wonder if the situation has gone past the point of no return or do I give it time, be reassuring, and pray.
This may sound ridiculous but... Is it weird for my personalities to have different lovers? I already have a boyfriend while alter, Nocturne has one as well. I do have others, but they don't seem to be interested or they haven't found one they're fully interested yet.
I was married to a woman who had MPD. The last five years I faced five attemps of her trying to kill her self. One alter tried to end the life of the host seven times. She was a director of Nursing and the other personalities were at times doing her job.She had 13 personalities.
She would never disapline the children. The host would switch out. then alters thought hell with these kids. Their not mine.
So the kids thought I was mean because I had to keep the children in line. Their mom spent most of her time as one of several child alters. The child alter played with the kids. So the kids thought mom was great.
Some nights when my wife got off she would get in her car and drive several hundred miles and show up in the middle of the night.
One night she was so sleepy she drove off the rode twice. The same recker company pulled her out both times. They said they had never done that before. Some day's she would pick the kids up and do the same driving for hours and hours. The kids would beg her to take them home.
She ended up in several state hospital and mental health wards. The police would hound me because one child alter would present and drive. In our state it is not against the law to go off the edge of the white line. I don't know how many times I was called by the state police to come pick her and the kids up in the middle of the night.
The doctors and social workers told this was having an effect on the kids like I did know. When she was stable I did divorce her. Shortly after that she started in again.
You, as you are right now, deserve to be in a forever relationship. It is an option but, depending on your triggers and the severity of your dissociation, the relationship may look different that other relationships. My husband and I have been married for 23 years. I've been diagnosed a little over a year. We just realized that we will never have a "normal" sex life (due to the type of abuse I endured). We can grow in emotional intimacy, which we have been doing this past year. My husband and I are also in marriage counseling, which I consider very necessary to us making it. He needs time to process his fears and frustrations in a safe environment just as much as I do.
But, the bigger question that I think you are asking is about your worthiness after being abused. The only way I can wrap my head around it is to think about someother little girl. If a little girl is abused.....Does a little girl deserve the abuse? Did the little girl cause the abuse? Does the abuse mean that she is unclean? The answer to each of these questions is a resounding and loud NO. The little girl did absolutely nothing wrong at all. She was being little and cute and totally innocent. You, Jen, are acceptable now, you, Jen, are a whole person worthy of love and acceptance. What was done to me and to you was horrendous, and causes us to have to work exceptionally hard at life. But, yes, we are worthy of love. And yes, DID makes close relationships difficult....but not impossible.
One thing that I have had to accept is that my husband has had a lot of growing, changing, and learning to do through this journey too. His learning and changing couldn't have happened unless he walked this journey with me through DID. He has learned that throughout our marriage he has blamed me for anything wrong in our marriage where the truth is that it was his lack of care and concern for someone other than himself that caused a lot of his anger and discomfort. He has come a long way in this past year. Before this, he never valued emotional intimacy. Now, he counts it as just as valuable as sexual intimacy.
Also, I want say that after I was first diagnosed that things were quite difficult. But now, things have settled into a bit of a routine and although we go through difficult times they are not as long lasting as before. Please know that you are worthy, valuable, and not stained. You have wounds that with help can heal.
You definitely deserve to, we all do no matter what. I'm no expert in anything, I don't have DID, but I do love a girl who does have it. My advice is to focus on doing everything you can for your own stability and enjoy life, and I believe you'll meet kind, supportive, and understanding people. From there one who will love you as you are, however that happens to be.
I was diagnosed with DID over a year ago...completely sunk my battleship. I am working with a great therapist who is helping me find my sense of balance. He knows of why I split...the reasons are many...and there was documentation of the last of it...though I don't have any solid recollection...just flashes. I was married for 18 years before my divorce. Been single now for almost 9 years. Here is my concern
Am I ever going to be a person who deserves to be in a forever relationship or is that just not an option for a person like me? I read all the posts before and it is rather discouraging. Because of my past and things I had no control over...I am no longer an acceptable person to love. I have become one of the untouchables...the unclean. Is it possible to be someone with DID and a good partner?