Archive for March 5th, 2010

In my last blog entry, I talked about the phenomenon of someone with dissociative identity disorder (DID) having alter parts that do not feeling married. This is disconcerting, to say the least, to both the host personality and the spouse. In the case of some people with DID (but certainly not all), an alter part might take over and have affairs because the alter part feels no connection with or commitment to the marriage.

My best advice is to focus upon healing from the underlying trauma and accept each part of yourself as “me,” even the parts that appear to be “betraying” your marriage. The truth of the matter is that every single part, even the “unfaithful” part, IS a part of you. The more you hate that part, the more you disconnect with it, and the more out of control your life is going to feel.

Instead, you need to reach out to those parts in love and acceptance, embracing them as “me” because they truly are a part of you. Invite those parts to share their stories with you. What memories and emotions do they carry? Those memories and emotions are yours. As you love and accept each part as you, you will begin to integrate with that part (which, to me, means to begin melting the internal ice that keeps you separate). As you begin to merge together, you will begin to see that both sides don’t have to be polar opposites.

You will begin to recognize that the parts that love, hate, and are indifferent toward your spouse are all parts of you. Ambivalence is normal in a marriage. The big difference is that those with DID feel each part separately, which makes it very hard to balance it all out. You need each part working together to understand why you feel ambivalent and what needs to change to meet your needs.

Try not to judge yourself harshly for betraying your marriage if you have done so while you lost time. Hating that part of yourself is only going to make things worse. Instead, open up dialogue with that part of yourself to understand why that alter part felt the need to go outside the marriage. What is missing? What is that part of yourself seeking? As you grow to understand the motivation behind the choice to look outside the marriage, you can figure out other ways to meet those needs. You might also find that your marriage is not as fabulous as you have tricked your host personality into believing.

Healing from DID takes a lot of courage, and marriage is just one more area that can get complicated. The more you can be open to understanding your truths and yourself, the more smoothly this part of healing will go.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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