Scarlett, I am saddened to be welcoming you to the BPD forum at a time when you are in such pain. I am one of the Nons (non-PD) here at this forum. I will try to answer some of your questions based on my 15 year experience with a BPD wife.
scarlett321 wrote:Does it sound like the stress has caused this?
Yes. Although your husband has had the same BPD traits with him since early childhood, they will get worse when he is under stress. Given that you were expecting a wonderful experience when moving abroad, it seems evident that his BPD traits were mild before the move. It sounds like the move -- especially the demands of learning a new language and working for himself -- has greatly increased his stress level, triggering the meltdown you are witnessing.
Most likely, he is now scared about how long it will take to build up a base of customers for his new venture, which may explain his "I am a failure" remark to his mother. Note that stress is a "trigger," not the cause. The underlying cause, of course, is the BPD he has.
Another likely trigger was his watching you drive away, leaving him behind in the new home by himself. As you must know, BPDs are easily triggered by anything that can be perceived (misperceived, actually) as abandonment. Moreover, they generally have difficulty with feeling that you still love them when you are out of sight (i.e., he probably has an "object constancy" problem caused by his BPD).
Because his BPD traits are now at a very strong level -- as seems evident in the heartless way he is treating you -- he does not trust you and is willing to blame all his new-business problems on you. When a person does not trust you -- and I leaned this the hard way from an untrusting wife -- you can never trust him because he can turn on you at any time he is under stress -- as he is doing now and will do again if he does get several years of treatment. Significantly, as the years go by and he watches his body age and his family members die, his life likely will becoming increasingly stressful at some point.
Is that an excuse or do BPD's think that could be true?
Given his current condition, you would drive yourself crazy if you were to try to tease apart all his lies from his misperceptions. Because the illness distorts his perceptions of you and other people, he may well believe most of the outrageous claims coming out of his mouth. BPDs are able to do that because, when their emotions are intense, the conscious part of their minds is out of touch with the logical adult part. That is the result of dissociation (i.e., splitting).
This is why he will be able to say things that you heretofore could not have imagined any person being able to say with a straight face. During these periods, you are essentially talking to a man with the emotional development of a four-year-old. That is, you are talking to his inner child, the part that takes over when his emotions are strong. With the child, your logic will not make even a dent.
What are the chances of him coming round from this. ... The woman he is with has been there 5 years so she is very useful to him too!
The answer heavily depends on how severe his BPD traits are normally. It therefore would be helpful if you would tell us (a) whether he has been diagnosed as having BPD, (b) whether he is working hard in a treatment program to learn how to better regulate his emotions, and (c) how many satisfactory years (i.e., fairly BPD-free years) you have already had with him.