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My 19 Year Old is Getting Married...

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by KeyFin, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    So, you guys know all about the struggles I went through with my older daughter the past 4 or 5 years...she has borderline personality disorder and she's been in and out of temporary-stay juvenile psych wards over and over again. Fortunately though, she is scared enough of the adult facilities to actually take her medicine and stay pretty balanced out...she's ALMOST 100% normal on her meds.

    Another big thing that helped was her moving in with my wife's parents about 8 months ago; I just think she needed to get away from us since she has so much resentment in our home. There hasn't been any serious meltdowns since she left but then again, they don't challenge her on anything either. She doesn't clean up after herself, doesn't take care of her dog, doesn't have a job anymore, etc...so there's zero stress involved and nothing to stress out over.

    Plus, she's smoking weed (illegally) which mellows her out anyway.

    A big part of her doing better though is a guy that she's been dating- they were friends for a long time and she wasn't interested in him at all. But this guy was always there for her, always supportive, and he could often calm her down before she started to go ballistic when nobody else could. They finally started dating about four months ago, started sleeping together maybe 6 weeks ago and then a "promise ring" came immediately after that.

    The boyfriend is madly in love and will do everything he can for my daughter, plus he's a really good guy. I mean, he's spending 8+ hours on his days off doing chores around my wife's parents house...chopping wood, painting rooms, etc. He's 23ish, a meat cutter at a grocery store and seems pretty career-driven, so I'm not worried about him being there for her or supporting her. I mean, they'll be broke...but they'll get by.

    But part of borderline personality is obsessions and as soon as the promise ring arrived, my daughter wanted to get married right away. An engagement ring came two weeks later, mainly out of pressure from my daughter for the guy to get it NOW. And I'm thinking in my mind that this is going to be an absolute train wreck- she's nowhere near ready to be a life partner and support this guy like she should. So when he asked for my blessing, I said no because he was going to get crushed if he rushed into this...he's never seen my daughter at her worst and she's not putting in any work to be able to deal with life challenges.

    Now my kid has gone full bridal though, she's already bought a dress (that the boyfriend paid for) and she expects us to pay for the entire wedding of 300+ guests and growing. For now, the wedding is penciled in for July.

    Statistically, this marriage has about a 1% change of being successful due to my daughter's conditions. But at the same time, how hard do I actually push against it? Do I bide my time and let it self-destruct on it's own? Do I support them and just cross my fingers? I don't think my kid can handle a breakup of this magnitude but she won't do anything to better herself so the marriage can work.

    So what the heck do I do?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  2. Steve-Mo

    Steve-Mo 'Saban' Guy

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    You mentioned that she's doing good at at taking her medications, but is she still receiving therapy? It's imperative that she continue to work on her core issues. These medications are symptom relievers. Using in conjunction with marijuana can make those lows even more unbearable (IME).

    It is worth noting that marriages with a partner with a borderline are not statically less successful than a "normal" one.

    You mentioned she's not being challenged and is thus more stable at this time - clearly she's managed to manipulate her situation with her SO and has accelerated this process because of his lack of boundaries; I am worried that he may not fully understand the situation (of course, neither do I).

    I think you're right to be resistant and clearly understand you're in a fragile situation. I implore you that if you decide to move forward, that you consider therapy a requirement... betterment for her and conflict resolution for her partnership.

    Many mental health professionals see BPD and look to refer to another because they're difficult cases. So these people are in limbo, getting referred to new doctors until they find someone willing and able to assist.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I wish the absolute best for you and your family, Key. Short and long term. But as you said, the marriage is almost guaranteed to fail, sadly. Heck, anyone getting married that young is a bad idea, IMO.

    I have no great advice, and my own kids are only 6 and 4 so I don't have experience parenting someone that age, but is there a way for you or someone else to convince her to just stay in the relationship, and be as happy as she can, without getting married? I imagine that you've tried that already, but with something this important, I would give it all that I had and not give up.
     
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  4. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    That helps A LOT Steve, thank you. She hasn't gone to counseling at all anymore because she figured the problem was us- now that nobody asks her to do anything, she feels like she's cured and the therapy is not necessary. And like I said, the boyfriend has seen her sad/depressed, but never in a complete meltdown mode where she will say the most hurtful thing imaginable just to hurt you and ultimately get her way.

    This may not make much sense to anyone here but you, but I love my daughter very much....and I also hate her for the unfair wrath she brings when someone tries to help her. It's always a glaring double standard since she abuses away, yet if we say, "You're being mean," then she thinks we're the devil for offending her so badly. So then she treats us even worse moving forward....that was the loop we were stuck in before she moved out.

    Like you, I don't have the answer either...I have no freaking clue what to do. I am extremely concerned for the boyfriend though- he knows what's going on but at the same time he really doesn't have a clue of what he's signing up for. Does that make sense?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  5. Steve-Mo

    Steve-Mo 'Saban' Guy

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    I wrote a long response. Had a series of unfortunate events and lost it. Round 2...

    I just hope I am able to help in any way. I do not know of how to exactly help in your situation. I have no experience in your shoes. I have been on the other side though, so I hope some use can come from my candor. (FTR: I was misdiagnosed as borderline in my teens, received treatment as such for years, and have known many as we tend to attract each other.)
    This is a dangerous way of thinking. Through treatment, she should have gained a better sense of self, a sense a "why" certain things invoke a reaction, and sense of "how" to cope. We called this mindfulness. I wish this could be imprinted into her because it is paramount to truly getting better. A diagnosis like this (or any personality/mood disorder) isn't a life sentence unless they let it be. But she either has successfully played her therapist(s) or was not treated often or by a novice.
    I understand very well and my heart goes out to all of you. I too gave much grief to those that merely wanted to help and it's often in my thoughts, my regrets. It is clear from your posts here and in the mains that you've put much thought and time into her, and whether you can believe it or not, I do think that you'll see her appreciation later as she matures (again, this may seem impossible. She is so young). I think I was much like her early in life.
    Few people understand what BPD can actually look like. I'm not sure they can until they see it for themselves. It can defy nature.

    On one hand, I feel as though you should do whatever you can to delay this wedding. On the other, we both know it's an extremely sensitive situation - I don't think you'd be able to and trying to will likely do more harm than help. Support could go a long way toward regaining the trust she's lost with you.

    This is why I think you need to "leverage" your assistance to the wedding with her getting real help, if at all possible. It's the only "win" I see in an otherwise "no win" situation. Me, I use the significant other. You have my blessing if she begins counseling now. It's on you to make sure she sticks with it. A man who truly understands her precarious situation would do whatever he could to help, to avert an otherwise inevitable crisis.

    How frequent are you communications with her? Mostly through your wife or another child? Who is she open with?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  6. Puka-head

    Puka-head My2nd Fav team:___vs Jets

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    And the hits just keep on comin huh Key. I would suggest you find a way for him to understand the real issues. Make her going to counseling with him before you'll pay for a wedding. Postpone it for a year until clarity of communication is achieved. Who does he look to for advice? Reach out to them.

    Hard work to not put her in complete defensive mode, but you ain't scared of hard work obviously.
     
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  7. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    You have no idea how much your perspective helps because you once thought like her (or still do to some extent). I can't tell you how much I appreciate just chatting with you and gaining your insights. And honestly, I don't know if my daughter is BPD or not. The one great psychiatrist we saw thinks so because she's so manipulative, but you get diagnosis from a checklist and half the things on there could be from immaturity. We do know she's bipolar since she has the high highs and the really low lows, but the rest is almost anyone's guess.

    She's also very lazy at home- is that a lack of self worth or simply part of the manipulation saying "you can't make me clean up after myself?" Nobody really knows.

    I see my daughter almost daily since we live close to the boyfriend, and she stopped by last night when nobody else was home. So I told her, "We have to talk and you're probably not going to like what I have to say." She remained calm and agreed. So I laid everything out for her...how hard marriage is, how she's doing well because she's in a stress-free environment, and how desperately she needs counseling now before she walks down the aisle. I explained that if she really loves this guy, she needs to put in the work to make sure she can deal with challenges in life since marriage is full of them (lack of money, lack of time, little freedom from being so busy, etc.). I laid it all out and she calmly listened.

    I explained that if she didn't do this now, her marriage wouldn't have a very good chance of lasting and I didn't think she'd be able to handle the breakup without being admitted somewhere.

    Her response was that she tried to stop herself and think whenever the boyfriend makes her mad- she doesn't yell at him and they can usually talk through their problems (which is HUGE). She also said that she's matured a lot over the past nine months and she tries hard not to make rash decisions, but she would be open to counseling if the insurance can cover most of the costs. I also mentioned joining a help group and she was receptive to that....so all the right answers were there with the right attitude. I kept waiting for the meltdown from me "judging her" and it never came; she took the high road and just listened.

    I also told her that she needed to stop being so lazy- she had to help clean up, cook meals, etc. The boyfriend can't work and do it all, and if she allows that to happen then eventually he's going to get burnt out and resentful. She argued a little here but nothing outside a regular conversation, so I really have my fingers crossed that some of this sunk in. I do think she loves the guy enough to want to make this work.

    Here's what I'm wondering...should I ask her to move back in with us so I can help with getting her to therapy? We took her off the road because she wrecked two cars and refused to slow down, and I don't think it would be a good idea for us to put her back in a car at this time. If we brought her home then at least she'd be getting pushed again towards being responsible, taking care of her dog, cleaning up after herself, etc. Nobody else pushes this stuff because they're walking on eggshells afraid of the bomb to go off...which they've never fully witnessed. But I think she needs to be pushed, at least to the point where she's being an equal family member so she knows what to expect being married and dealing with life.

    My daughter will turn 19 in month from now and she has really matured a lot over these last 9 months. I'm just so scared that once she gets under some real pressure, she'll slide right back into that familiar path and become ultra depressed. She is finally on the right medicines and that's a huge help, but as you said the meds don't fix anything...they just curb the worst of her emotional swings. So do you think I should be optimistic here....or really scared?

    The big thing is that while my daughter hates me more than anyone, she also knows that I probably understand her the most. I was always the one pushing her though, keeping her on track and taking the abuse when she didn't get her way, so it really is a love/hate relationship that's hard to explain. She does know that I have answer though....or at least that I'll find the answers if I don't know.

    However, the wild card here is that I had a heart attack a year and a half ago from all the stress she created (and working nonstop to be able to afford all her therapies/in-house stays/family traveling). So it's a double-edged sword...if she regresses, we'll have to kick her out again. That makes this a lot more complicated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  8. Steve-Mo

    Steve-Mo 'Saban' Guy

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    This sounds like great news! It's seems like her attitude in this conversation is a huge departure from her usual response. A year ago this conversation would have went much differently, right?

    On face value, it's easy to say she's doing better because she's not being pushed. But it sounds like her problem solving skills are progressing nonetheless - while outside of home

    For a lot of people, they have to step outside their usual environment to get better. Home itself, or even the town, can drag them down. They look around and it's a place where they have felt ostracized, singled-out and attacked - a million things in one. Just the familiar house associated with these negative feelings can weigh the person down because they're fighting these feelings merely being there for lengths of time. Mentally they are pulled in many directions and it can be both exhausting and infuriating.

    When you have an inner conflict as to who you actually are as a person, how can you progress to be a person you see as worthy, as good, when your environment itself is a reminder of disconnect and failure?

    This is a tough one that I'm pretty conflicted on. I don't think so. I think you do what you can without her actually living there for many of the reasons I put above, plus your health concerns. But it could work. It's definitely something worth talking to her about and gauging her feelings.
     
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  9. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Quick update- my 19 year old called two days ago and said she was getting married at the county library within the next 15 minutes; they decided not to wait for a real wedding this summer. So that happened...

    Anyway, we're crossing our fingers and hoping for a miracle. The guy she married is a really good dude and he has a solid work ethic, so it's possible everything will work out just fine. I'm pretty worried that my daughter's mental issues will get out of control once she gets comfortable in the marriage, but all I can really do is hope at this point. Since she's married, I'm pretty sure our insurance will drop her within the next couple of days/weeks, so hopefully she gets on her husband's insurance quickly.
     
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  10. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Best wishes for your Family, Key. I hope that things are able to work themselves out. I know it must be hard to have to watch it play out with almost no control over what happens.
     
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  11. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    It is kind of funny that the first two threads in this forum right now, both started by key, are:

    My 19 Year Old is Getting Married

    and

    Gun Advice
     
  12. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Funny enough, they are both highly related. We couldn't get a gun until she moved out. =)
     
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  13. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    Speaking as a 37 year old man with a 23 yard old daughter, I can relate.

    Luckily my daughter found the right guy the first time around. Although I also have a 14 year old girl on the horizon so i'm crossing my fingers for similar luck.
     
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  14. Bumrush

    Bumrush Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It looks like there is nothing you can do at this point other than to hope things work out.

    It's highly unlikely the marriage survives. BPD is an extremely complex personality disorder that cannot be fixed by medication or short term therapy. It would take your daughter many years of talk therapy combined with CBT to retrain her initial emotional reactions to common situations. I'm sure the guy is highly empathetic, understanding, positive... He is in the idealization stage which will shift to anger once she realizes he's a human being that his own set of needs. BPD is a black hole, there is little he can do to fix her.

    I really hope that for both her sake and his sake she continues therapy at a high level because it's the only way things will ever work out for them. Keep us posted.

    Oh, and sorry for taking such a harsh stance.. I know the feeling all too well. When I was much younger I was involved with a woman that had BPD.. She was masterful at hiding it in the beginning and had me hooked like a drug.. Once that drug wore off it was hell on earth, brought on by the most trivial day to day issues all of us face. It was a real nightmare.
     
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  15. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    No reason to be sorry- I completely get it. Nobody has seen our daughter to the degree that we have; I was told for years and years that we were overreacting or being controlling parents. Then someone would see my kid explode and they'd be like, "Oh...okay. We didn't expect that...I see what you were talking about."

    My daughter is not in therapy even though she desperately needs it. She seems very stable for now, but then again she's not working and has zero stress on her...anyone can be stable like that. I know she loves the guy though and she tries to keep her feelings/emotions in check around him, to take a breath before reacting, etc...to me it just feels like a ticking time bomb though. I give the marriage maybe a 5% chance but we are crossing our fingers and really rooting for them.

    The guy is a really good dude though and practically worships her, so there is a chance it works. It's just not a very good chance. The thing I'm the most worried about is her meds- she tends to stop taking them when she's happy and feels balanced. After 2-3 weeks of no medication, that's when all hell breaks loose.

    As to your situation, that old girlfriend probably did really love you and want things to work- it's just a different wiring. Their brains work overtime making up ways for everything around them to fail and they make themselves paranoid that people have turned against them, etc. I'm sure it's a crappy way to live because you end up destroying all your relationships with friends, family, etc. basically over nothing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  16. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Well, about two weeks ago they ran off to the courthouse and got married- we were given 15 minutes notice if we wanted to rush over there and attend. I was outside covered in dirt/grass when I got the message so my wife went and I didn't. My parents were furious they weren't invited- it was a typical Alyssa thing to do on impulse and expect everyone else to come running at her beckoned call.

    So far though, they seem to be doing okay. He works all day so she's at his dad's home alone sleeping...which will quickly lead to depression. He got her a job though at the grocery store where he's a meat cutter- she starts next Tuesday and we're hoping that works out. They seem fairly happy though from what little I've seen of them; the guy still hasn't talked to me other than to say hi. He's just not a big talker to anyone though.

    Anyway, they'll make it the first month and they're talking about getting their own place to live soon. We'll see what happens and I'll keep everyone updated. We are still having the big wedding at our house in July if they make it that long; so far it seems like they will!
     
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  17. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Good luck, Key. I'm rooting for them...and you! :)
     
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