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 2022, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2011/01/for-partners-living-with-dissociative-identity-disorder
Author: Holly Gray
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?
I am right now in the same situation!!!
She put a restraining order for a year and I'm so desperate and worried for our 3 year old baby.
We're married for 8 years and she's been diagnosed for 2 and is in psychotherapy since and it is a very mental challenge for me
That affect everything and now I fell that all that I have gone through and stayed by her ,
Was in vein.
I'm trust that GOD can turn our situation around !
I am learning that all of us that are in a relationship with them are also broken and absolutely can benefit from therapy.
Other wise would be so easy to walk away from a relationship that is so hurtful unfair !
But we have a amazing compassion knowing that they were not born with but harmed so strongly that we find pride of then survived.
Unfortunately for us sometime we are treated as their abusers that they didn't get the chance to fight.
My wife had 10+ alters and I was able to meet all of them and learned about,still did not prepared for the ride!
My wife has did and has recently gone to the police saying that I beat her and rape her. Help what can I do? No, none of what she says is true but she is convined that I am this monster and she is divorcing me and trying to take our young children.
It must have been terrible to grow up in an environment such as yours. It also must be retraumatizing to see and hear your mother emotionally abuse you again. I do agree that you need to protect yourself. Even if it is your mother, and yes she is struggling, you need to take care of yourself and separate yourself from the abuse. It is healthy for you and for her to have strong boundaries against abuse. Her alters need to learn about appropriate boundaries and can only learn about them if others around her have strong ones. I hope the best for you.
My husband has DID. He has believed his alters were magic for the past year. He thinks I used to act that way too and sometimes am mean to him in my sleep, but most of the magic has gone away so I am not so much that way. Telling him it isn't magic has made his other alters very angry. He has two alters, very suddle if you didn't know him. One is childlike and playful and the other hates me. I do worry based on pictures he has collected that the alter that hates me sleeps around. I've dealt with it, and know if that is the case it's not him, amd have forgiven. This all started full force 2 years ago (married 4 years), at the time he remembered his chronic childhood sexual abuse. He has also become paranoid that people are after him, he also blacks out after the alter releases him. He has gotten significantly worse since we moved last year to a different state.
I am very worried, we are having another child soon and he refuses to recognize to get help. I rarely anymore see the real him. It is very stressful and hurtful to always be called names and yelled at, when he was never that way. I stay at home, as that is what the real him what me to do for our kids, but not the others. But I am isolated without a car, which he refuses to get another. He never has enough money and works excessive hours no matter what I say. I will never leave him, but am at a loss of what to do. Should I insist we move back or will that not help? I just don’t know and am very scared for him.
I (a single 45 year old devorsee of 11 years) was approached by a handsome, gregarious spiritual man, July of 2015. We got along quickly and couldn't stop talking to each other daily. He had shown signs of moodiness but i dismissed it as possible low blood sugar.So much was our attachment that against my better judgment of giving another year to know eachother, I agreed to marry him. Please follow your gut instincts! Three days after "I do" I asked myself "what did I do?!!" He ramble nonsence a threatened to leave me in the hotel. I was shocked and kept my eyes close not responding to him. For the next two months there was an argument at least once a week over silly things and at first there was an I'm sorry but as the contentious behavior continued there was either no recollection of the words or actions, let alone ever an admittance and plan to remidy the conflict. He would forget people we spent quality time with and act as if he hated me much of the time. Saying insulting things, belittling me and trying to offend me over things I enjoy. I finally lost it and blew up, told him to leave, he refused, so I insisted he not sleep with me because that was Scarry, he almost hit me twice awakening as if he didn't know me. A month went by and without a word he packed all his things and the t.v that was our wedding gift and left. Since researching D.I.D, so far I can see 4 individuals in him, at the hospital he had 4 different blood pressure readings. I thank God for peace but do warn anyone to truly give time and research into D.I.D. Its been a month since he moved out and he'll contact me about superfluous things but not once does he address plans or intentions for our "marriage" he was so sure about. I hope this discretion helps you reader know you're not alone, its real, its not you...you did not do this...the trama they had was theirs. Keep your mind about yourself. They need to want to integrate if not its a serious heartache.
My mother was diagnosed with DID in 1992 when I was twelve years old. I am her only child. Two of her alters are abusive (both physical and emotional) to me and it was a difficult struggle growing up. After a car accident four years ago, my mother suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her DID has gotten worse and she is unable to control her alters. Her behavior ranges from normal to explosive, delusional and paranoid. Recently she or one of her alters blew up, at me for forgetting something at the store. I didn't respond to her yelling, choosing instead to wait till that alter was gone. Her behavior has gotten worse. She has begun yelling and ranting at my husband and accusing him of keeping me away from her when I have chosen to take a step back. My stepfather has told me that I should be more understanding and just let her alters rant. The problem for me is that I can't handle being around my mother when these two alters have taken control. My own mental health suffers. Because things have not improved and have only gotten worse I have chosen to end all contact with my mother. I still love her and care about her but until she can control her alters again I need to back away for my own mental health.
I have a milder version of DID called Ego-State Disorder: from what I've read, the biggest difference between this and full-blown DID is that I don't lose time. However, I do have different "parts" of me with their own beliefs, goals, and memories, and they each struggle to stay in control of my body as long as they can. As far as relationships, the hardest part is that my alters are intensely jealous of anything that takes time away from them: a lot of times, I can be out with my girlfriend, and I can't focus on her because one of my alters feels like he's being neglected (which to him feels like he's dying). I've learned to just "tough it out", but it still affects my relationships, because I can't always be present for them. Everywhere I go--work, to the store, on a date--I have to bring my full complement of "children" with me, and they act like children generally act. It is an awful way to live, and I'm grateful for my girlfriend, friends, and boss for putting up with me, particularly when I do such a good job of hiding all the "tending" to my children that I have to do.
We have known that we have DID for the past roughly 20 years but was only diagnosed roughly 4 years ago (as initially was very distrustful and sort help late in life) have sort of learned to live, manage and cope in various ways to compensate for it as best as possible been married for 14 years together for 17 years and have a son. It has been a rough, exhausting journey and continues to be. Am just wondering though from everyone here as to the viability of DID relationships ultimately working out as have come close to divorce on numerous occasions. It is hard enough to live with all of us never mind maintaining a marriage and child relationship and other relationships with people. We are at a point where we sadly must say are beginning to doubt as to whether any human being is equipped to really love all my alters and manage a close intimate relationship with another human being. Like to see myself as a high functioning DID and work in a stressful position but life as we get older becomes harder and harder. Are more in touch with all alters and we are one might say pretty much in synchronization most of the time (one might say due to counselling have become more and more integrated if one can call it that). Honestly we all feel rather heart broken at this realization that perhaps we are all better off just never entering into or continuing in an intimate relationship and thus to remain celibate and abstain for the rest of our days, our support is The Lord and ourselves. The concern we have is as to whether it is possible and for how long can the human being survive without love and affection and connection with other human beings? Rather at a loss guess need some advice or just encouragement or a new perspective. Thank you
Take it from me learn as much as possible and don't go in blind or with a very vague idea of D.I.D you'll come out the worst for wear and blaming yourself and in my case my partner or alters putting the blame on me. Its heart breaking and the lonilness is unbearable. To live with someone with D.I.D takes more than a strong person. I thought I was strong but found out differently real quick. It doesn't help being someone who loves affection becasue it isn't always forth coming and thats hard. You wonder what you've done to get this treatment but I know know it wasn't just my fault and I urge anyone thinking of entering into a D.I.D realtionship to do as they say above read read read and know exactly what your entering into because its going to be a world of heartache and pain.
Rick, It is very evident that you love and are committed to your wife. This journey that God has both of you on may become more stressful the longer you are on it. My husband has found it essential to build a support system of men that he can be completely honest with concerning the stresses of living with someone that has DID. (he does this with my permission and blessings) Also, counseling has very much been a needed support for him during this time. I too have been in and out of counseling for years due to depression and anxiety. My husband has come to realize that we are on this journey together and God has much for him to learn also. Although he still goes through times of stress he has relaxed quite a bit since realizing that. I pray that God blesses your marriage and brings you guys closer together emotionally and spiritually than ever before. It is possible.
I don't know if your husband is in counseling or not but my husband and I have found it invaluable to go to my counselor together once or twice a month. It truly is needed to have someone to help my husband navigate this journey with me and my (as of right now) 2 alters. It also may be helpful to remember that all of the alters are all your husband. It sounds like he is struggling with that concept right now (in feeling jealous). I'm sorry I don't have any concrete answers. Living with someone that has DID has got to be a lot of work and worry. I know my husband does get very stressed at times.
I am 65 my wife 62 . Married 43 yrs this Nov. My wife has suffered with depression and other mental health issues for many years . Recently she was diagnosed as DID. As I now look back now getting educated as much as possible on this illness I think she has been DID From adolescent years. As I come to get more information the picture puzzle gets clearer . Her alters have become much more outward,she acts out more and more openly. She rarely sleeps well and keeps us both up most of the night fighting with her alters and other imagined enemies that she believes are trying to poses her so they can be with me. No matter how much I try to assure her these are just aspects of her illness she is utterly convinced it is real . Our relationship is coming under extreme stress. We are Christians of great faith and are determined with Gods help to fight this to the end . I would never consider leaving her . But any help would be appreciated THANK YOU
My marriage is falling apart. My husband 35 and I 30 have been together now for over 10 years. I have known about his dissociative identity disorder from the beginning. It's been a hard bumpy road in the beginning 1 alter hated me and wanted me out of my husband's life completely. In time (6 years) he realized that I do truly love him and that I'm in it for the long haul. Another alter a young boy named Kyle still comes out to talk and play.. my battle right now is another alter named Anthony he is a young man who is 26 needing attention from other women. He engages in relationships with multiple women online. Once he met a woman and had a sexual relationship with her. I have gotten to know this Anthony and has developed feelings. It seems since he knows I am interested he stays out of other relationships. This makes my husband very upset (jeslous). I am battling what is best. Do I continue having a relationship with Anthony with the peace of mind that my husband is being faithful. Or do I tell Anthony I want nothing to do with him and he goes off to have other relationships with women? Please if there is anybody out there that can talk to me with any advice it would be very appreciated thank you Jessica
Hi Jessica, I was wondering how things turned out for you. I am in a similar situation. I sure could use some advice.
Our relationship is only a few months long, and honestly, the hardest thing so far is just keeping everything straight. It's just him and one other alter. So instead of everything being drastically different, its stupidly subtle. Same gender. Same age I believe. The name is even the same just spelled different. I'm getting better at recognizing a switch and he's on medication so he doesn't come out too often. I have to help him remember things, because he'll blackout during a switch. Or since his alter isn't out much, he often forgets (or simply doesn't know) things about people or even their names. But I don't mind any of it and an actually excited to see our relationship grow. :)
My wife was diagnosed with Bipolar a month ago, but after reading this I truely think that she has DID. She went through hell all her life, being sexually abused and recently raped for the second time in her life. It is very hard, she often disassociates and swears at me, insults me and even hits me sometimes. It feels like she is getting worse, and she refuses to take her medication because of the side affects. She always says she can beat it by herself, very stubborn...What should I do? This is affecting our relationship and I'm thinking of getting a divorce...
I have a question for what you would do in my situation. I have been with my wife for 4 years, we have been married since June. She was diagnosed a year ago.
She has 2 alters, and they both hate my wife. We are afraid one of them is sleeping around.. I feel hopeless. Any advice?
Becoming a puppet in a relationship is not linked to whether or not one partner suffers from DID; if someone is going to become a puppet then they'll do so whoever they have a relationship with.
Elsewhere Holly makes a very important point that those of us who do not suffer from DID can choose to be in a relationship that causes us to need to understand and come to terms with the condition, but thise who di suffer of course have no such choice. If we become puppets it's because we choose to be and not because we somehow become enslaved because the one we love suffers from DID.
My partner suffers from DID and because I love her I'm going to do all I can to help her enjoy as stable and fulfilling a life as possible. If that means I must be selfless then so be it because selflessness is an important aspect of love. I will try to support her to be at peace with each of her alters and as far as is possible I will try to provide a supportive environment within which no part of her complex personality feels neglected. I am neither blind nor stupid and I choose to go into this eyes wide open in the knowledge that I might fail and one day she may switch and demand I leave.
Given the divorce rates around the world, the reality is that there is anyway no guarantee in relationships or marriages. But at least I have a choice whereas she, at least so far as DID is concerned, has none.
You might let her know so that she can discuss it with her Dr or therapist. I know my wife tells me when she knows I switch so I can track it as much as possible to try to find triggers to my switching. Rather she knows it or not something is triggering her switching maybe when she sleeps her mind races to much and that makes her switch and maybe her Dr could give her something to help her sleep better
I have a question. My wife has did. She was diagnosed 9 years ago. We have been together for 5 years and her alters talk to me when they are out. They have been very helpful giving me information she has blocked out. We are working to find a experienced doctor to help her. My question is...when she switches should I tell her that she switched? She often switches while she is asleep and wakes up in the middle of the night as one of her alters. So she doesn't even know she switched. She has an idea bc she is super tired although she slept "all night" but in reality she didnt. So do i tell her or do I just not say anything about it?
Thank you for letting me know. I'm sorry this blog is no longer. Maybe someone will want to take it over...such a valuable site.
Robbin, We no longer have a moderator on this site and I do not have experience with what you are asking about. I have had my DID diagnosed for about 9 months and have been married for 22 years to the same man. I only have two alters and they are child alters. Although my husband misses me when the children are out, they do not act out towards others. It sounds like your partner probably has many more alters than I do. I would really encourage you to get counseling if you are still considering pursuing a relationship with this man. It will give you the support you need and a better understanding of DID issues that will help you make decisions based on the big picture of what is going on.
I really need some insight. I have been seeing a man with DID for about 8 months. It's an odd relationship. We have texted daily. We used to see each other every other week for intimacy but that has now trickled to once a month. It has lessoned since he has told me he has DID and the more alters he introduces it seems the more he pulls away. I have told him how honored I am that he has shared this part with me and that he is so very special to me. He has one alter that wants to engage in wild sex parties with him. I told him I wouldn't want to ruin my chances with others if I engaged in that with him. Also, the few times I have indicated that I want him as a partner he said as good as I am it cannot be because he is DID and I have only met a couple of them. However, he has introduced me to a few more since he said that. He also tells me that DID people are best solitary.
I am so confused. I'm trying to make some kind of sense of it all. I have fallen in love with this man and I can't even tell him because I am afraid I will scare him off. I do know he has been divorced 4 times and his longest marriage was about 4 years.
Do I engage in wild sex with his alter since he is the one that really likes me? would it ruin my chances with the others? His mains don't have sex because they have responsibilities. What hurts the most is we will be so non-sexually intimate via texting and yet he won't see me. Why is that? Can anyone help?
Hello Debra, I have been newly diagnosed (in the past 6 months) but have read several books and several articles on DID. In short, no, not every DID person cheats. Not every DID person has total amnesia during a dissociative episode (I have all my memories when another alter comes out but I do not necessarily have control). But, those people that do not remember what happens when an alter comes out does not mean that the alter will cheat on a partner. None of my alters have cheated on or even flirted with other men. Now, not all my alters happen to like my husband ( my abuser was my father) but that is something we are addressing in my counseling as my husband gets more and more comfortable with the idea of my having DID.
My husband and I are in counseling together and that really helps us communicate through issues like this. Are you and your partner in counseling together? It would also be helpful for you to have your own counseling during this time. It can be a very traumatic time for you also. Please remember to take care of yourself.
Is it a fact that all people with DID cheat? I have been I thought happily married to someone we just recently discovered has DID. I am now scared to death. Please someone explain this. Also, my husband denies knowing of ever cheating and I of course believe him in the states I have seen he would not cheat. He was abused horrifically and originally believed he was to fault for it or at least responsible and that some of it was consensual but that is now obvious it is not the case at all. There was no consent to what a dx sociopath does to a child. I may be reading these messages wrong but advise do not have a monogamous relationship? One Alter may not know what the other is doing?? Please someone help!!!