People with personality disorders and how to gain clarity in my own thoughts about them.

In many situations involving friends / acquaintances, I ask myself how I could coach them if they were a client coming to me for help with their situation. Here is one example.

I have a friend who has been married for 27 years. He grew up Catholic and swore he would never divorce because he didn’t want his children to have to deal with the aftermath of the divorce. His wife is dealing with (apparently) some form of mental illness, and I suspect it is Borderline Personality Disorder. She has had a long history of not sharing real information about things going on in her life, but she does make up very elaborate lies about practically everything. I have only known this friend for about five years but he is very solid and honest, has a very respectable job that requires high level security clearance, etc. His wife has accused him of beating her up, breaking her jaw (she told a marriage counselor that when they tried marriage counseling briefly), doing something inappropriate with their 17 year old daughter, accused him of stealing stuff from her, and many other things. He recently moved out and filed for divorce after she hit him in the head with an iron that was hot while she was ironing.

Just for some perspective, she has never worked since they had children. She has always been a stay at home mom, which was her choice. He has always worked and supported them well. She constantly accuses him of stealing her money.

If you could please help me sort out how to coach someone when they are trying to figure out if they want to stay in their marriage or leave and how to maintain sanity around someone acting so crazy.