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, April 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2011/01/for-partners-living-with-dissociative-identity-disorder
Author: Holly Gray
My partner was diagnosed with DID a few years ago and while it has been hard for both of us, this channel has really changed our life. It's an educational channel run by an individual with D.I.D. A lot of the questions that I had and a lot of questions that you have in this forum is answered in these videos. The channel also focuses on helpful tips for those struggling with DID.
If you have a chance, I would recommend checking this page out (and no, this is not sponsored). I'm just an individual who has experienced the pain and hardship that comes with D.I.D and want to do my part in helping those who are going through the same thing.
This is the link to the channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6kFD5xIFvWyLlytv5pTR1w
I would like to talk with you!
I recently got put of a relationship with the one I love. It is so hard to want change but powerless to help. My SO had 12 parts amd only 4 wanted me in their lives....
I'm glad to tell you my experience. I have been together with my wife for 14 years now and we have two kids (twins 4 yo). Last week she betrayed me for the third time so I definitely know what you must be going through. Please be free to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org take care!
I guess what I’m wanting to know is normal for people DID to just try and push people out then want them back? We haven’t been able to see each other in a month and she has been working a high stress job. All she has wanted to do is fight with me on the phone and make me feel like I can’t do anything right. I couldn’t get Christmas right and basically broke up with me today. When we(were) together everything was fine, though it took a while to break the wall down. when we apart she like would build up this wall. I’m just at a loss and trying to learn more. Thanks
To date I have met most of the "others" as we call them in conversation (as they do also). There are twelve of them. One I was told died. I assume from what I have learned this particular one merged. None the less. This makes for a full house. I brought three children with me into this marriage. None of them to date have been told of the others.
It makes for an always changing, sometimes chaotic, stressful environment for me. Also, as noted above, sometimes lonely. I admit it has made me mad, sad, laugh and cry. I sometimes think, I did not sign up for this! But, I did. I married her because I loved her, all of her.. sickness and health, 4 year old or 60 year old.
I am searching for avenues of support as I can't talk to anyone about this. A couple friends know, and we get that.. "oh really?!"..
Today, "A" told me that their therapist and the others voted that he needs to reintegrate, in order to strengthen "C," the main core of their system. I am devastated, but of course i understand. I love them all in their own ways, and want whatever is best for their system as a whole.
We said our farewells today. "A" said he won't be fronting again. I still am going to be friends with "C," and the others in his system of course... But... Do you have any insight as to how i should best deal with this loss? I feel like there's been a death, even though "C" is still alive. I don't want to burden "C" with my grief, he's struggling enough on his own right now, and, it's really complicated for me to explain to my own therapist, i don't feel like she'll understand it. I don't know anybody else who was close to "A," (he was a protector), so, there's nobody for me to grieve with about this... I feel like it's selfish of me to feel this way, and of course i want what's best for "C," and for their system as a whole... But it hurts so much, and i don't know where to turn. There's almost no information on navigating relationships with partners who have DID, or relationships with alters, let alone how to cope with losing someone to integration.
Thank you very much for your comment. While the original author is no longer available, I am happy to offer my support to you and share my experiences as a married individual with dissociative identity disorder. Supporting someone with DID can be very challenging. I am grateful to have my husband's support. Please feel open and free to share with me so that I may offer my support. Thank you and take care.
All three personalities say they love me, but Kitty and HD really want to pursue this other relationship and I am really struggling. I feel like a third wheel. Has anyone else had an issue with the alters falling in love with someone else? How do you cope?
Lots of love to both of you!!
Where we finally got to was I couldn't do it anymore and she didn't want to hurt me. We talked openly about the effects of the DID and what it looked like but then there were other alters who didn't believe they had it. It is so complicated. I read so many books, blogs and websites. Very little support for loved ones of someone with DID but I see more popping up. I do know this: You have to be good with you and you have to care of yourself to live with someone who has DID. You have to have a sense of humor too. Some of it is comical. For me trying so hard to care for my love I neglected me. But it wasn't my love, it was my loves. They are different people in that one body. Sometimes with how much I have educated myself on DID I find it difficult to grasp. One of the books that helped me understand what it might look like inside her mind was by Cameron West titled "First Person Plural". It always helps me not make it about about me when I know she cannot control who pops in and out. She said to me once "We do so well until the DID drives a wedge between us." I replied "Yes, Love"
I have also surrendered to I Can Not Love Her Well!
Peace be with you.