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BPD and Romantic Relationships: If You Really Loved Me

June 10, 2014 Becky Oberg

Romantic relationships are difficult enough without mental illness entering the equation. But when one or both of the people involved has borderline personality disorder (BPD), relationships can become sheer hell. I live with BPD and was once in a romantic relationship with a man who had BPD and bipolar disorder; it was probably the biggest mistake I ever made. That said, I learned a lot from it.

With Borderline Personality Disorder - Be Prepared for Manipulation

Not only can people with BPD be manipulative, but they can be easily manipulated. My ex controlled my life, and I let it happen because I thought I was in love with him. He had a facial expression that caused me to give in every time. He also convinced me I was trying to manipulate him. He was a master con artist who referred to me as "the fiancee from hell"--and I believed it. I put up with a lot from him because he had me convinced I was the problem.

A relationship with a person with borderline personality disorder can be challenging. Learn what to expect from a romantic relationship with a person with BPD.People with BPD may not always realize they're being manipulative. It may not even be their intention. I sincerely believe my ex was trying to meet his needs the only way he knew how. It is important to establish some rules if you're entering a relationship with someone with borderline personality disorder. Set healthy limits. Most people with BPD will initially be angry, but will eventually respect that.

For example, tell a person who self-injures that you will automatically take them to the hospital if they self-harm. Tell an alcoholic that you will not give them money for their addiction. Refuse to be taken advantage of. State clearly how you feel about a request. Be gentle, but firm. Let them know that while they are not responsible for their diagnosis and that they are not bad people, they are responsible for how they manage their symptoms.

When I broke off the relationship, he called me to blame me for his suicide attempt. I refused to talk to him and told him that unless he went back on his meds and back into therapy, it was over. He didn't respect that, so I got a restraining order against him. That got the message through to him.

You may need to take extreme action in a relationship with a person with borderline personality disorder. Know your limits, make them clear, then stick to them!

Remember, You're Dealing with a Sick Person

People with BPD often stopped developing emotionally in childhood. This carries over into adulthood as unhealthy coping skills such as substance abuse and self-injury. You are dealing with a sick person and should adjust your attitude accordingly. Be patient, but don't be a doormat.

My ex was fond of pointing out my symptoms while denying his. He eventually went off his medication, saying, "Medication don't do nothing Jesus can't." He denied he was sick and told me I was the one who was sick. He was fond of telling me, "If you don't calm down I'll have you I.D.ed!" (An I.D. is a 24-hour psychiatric hold.) Healthy relationships do not have this element of fear. Healthy relationships face conflict and work to overcome it. Thus, a relationship with a non-mentally ill person can be unhealthy, and a relationship with someone with a mental illness can be healthy. It all comes down to how you handle conflict.

Learn What You Can About Borderline Personality Disorder

If you're going to enter into a relationship with someone with BPD, learn what you can about the illness. HealthyPlace.com is an excellent resource with pages ranging from the symptoms of BPD to types of treatment to information about medication. Knowledge is power, and the more that you know, the more you'll be able to prepare for the highs and lows of the relationship.

You can also find Becky Oberg on Google+, Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin.

APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2014, June 10). BPD and Romantic Relationships: If You Really Loved Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, January 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2014/06/if-you-really-loved-me-bpd-and-romantic-relationships



Author: Becky Oberg

Cynthia
July, 29 2016 at 2:10 pm

Nice comment Lady!! it's hard to rise above the whole thing and take the time to understand when it means we have to be strong and suck it up while they can be weak and break. I would love to hang in there but just imagining what I would have to deal with on a daily basis when they do not understand that they need help is to much for me to handle. I have to hang my head and walk away, never seen anything like it before in my life. I know it's real, I know it like I know my name but it's to much drama, to much anger and most of all it comes out of no where, one minute everything is great and within the next 10 minutes you go through a fear that leaves you traumatized and wondering if your in the twilight zone for weeks. The one question that continually goes through my brain is "why would anyone put themselves in through this?" No matter how much you love them and they love you, how could you deal with so much conflict?

Lady
July, 28 2016 at 11:26 pm

Ajah, Brandu, you are right that it isn't fair being gossiped about and disparaged. But people who have to put up with rages and bad treatment, whether it's from bpd or not, end up being filled with anger and resentment too. It's like you said, we're only human. We have emotions and we get angry and hurt and exhausted. We complain to others who sympathize and offer support. It's what humans do.
I'm married to a man with bpd and he is the meaning of life for me. I can't imagine life without him, even though he becomes extremely cruel and abusive in his rage. I know he can't control his anger and he feels guilty later. I am trying my best to help him learn to trust me and learn to calm down. Now that I'm studying bpd, I understand him more and it's made me realize he does love me and isn't using me. But he does need to stop raging and act like an adult and stop being afraid to apologize. Blaming and refusing to apologize are his downfalls, everything else about him I absolutely love to death. I know he is my soulmate and I plan to make this work forever.
BPDs out there, As much as it might hurt your feelings to read it, you really will end up scaring people who love you away, if you can't learn to apologize. If you know you hurt someone you need to apologize, even if what happened is not your fault and the other person started the fight. This is how neurotypical relationships stay alive. Apologies don't mean you're wrong or weak, they mean you acknowledge that someone is hurting, that you recognize their pain exists. That means a lot to people. That makes people feel better and making someone feel better strengthens bonds between people.

Cynthia
July, 28 2016 at 1:22 pm

Brandy sounds just like all the BPDs, always whining and complaining and blaming everyone else., tooooo sad

Cynthia
July, 28 2016 at 1:21 pm

Just broke it off with a BPD, so sweet and loving and then totally crazy mean, raging out of control out of no where, expecting others to be strong and they are so week they can't even make the effort to get help. They can control their emotions until they have you and then you will pay dearly with your money, emotions, and body. If they say they can't control it then they are just being the biggest liars that are true to their sick brains. I'm holding but the more I read and hear the more it's time to send him to prison since I have the means to do so, everyone will be much better off.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Bpdpplrntbad101
February, 21 2018 at 11:21 am

Hey guess what I’m bpd I have hyper empathy and I’ve never abused anyone. These ideas you have are bull reading all this this morning has had me crying. Bpd people already have to live with endless suffering in their heads they may lash out but it isn’t personal and they aren’t trying to be manipulative. If a person displayes signs of abuse perhaps they have npd of psychosis. Saying bpd people belong in jail personally disgusts me I’ve never done ANYTHING illegal. In fact someone who raped me 140 times and raped 8 other women who not all of them were mentally ill won’t be sent to jail BECAUSE I have bpd. And now I feel like I deserved to be abused because all you [moderated] are saying because you had one bad experience with someone bpd we are all terrible manipulative people. That’s like saying this dude I dated with depression was terrible so everyone who is depressed is terrible. Maybe think or research before you speak. Most people who are bpd take it out on themselves with 80% attempting suicide or harming themselves and 10% successfully dying. You are promoting people to kill them selves w articles like this I’m honestly just disgusted how you can stereotype an entire group of people.

Ajah
July, 11 2016 at 10:58 pm

Its this kind of support and attitude that hinders recovery.
We don't choose to feel this way.
Nor would anyone choose to if we had the choice.
With people like this, I have no faith left in humanity.

Brandu
June, 2 2016 at 5:16 pm

I really wish you people would stop saying things like with a bpd!! We are people and we do have feelings!! Here's a bpd episode for u guys to gossip about my bpd self wants to punch all of u in the face!! Your not doctors and your not perfect!! Stop giving advice just because u know or been with a person!! That has bpd!! You know nothing about what goes on in are heads or what we go threw and I'm not sick I'm different and I will learn how to deal and live A healthy life with bpd because once again... Iam a human ND I do have feelings!!

Brandu
June, 2 2016 at 5:08 pm

I have bpd and bipolar disorder and I don't think I'm a bad person if anything I use my emotions way to much and love way to hard and I try not to but it just happens. I'm in counseling and on medication I just found out today I didn't know what was wrong with me this whole time it feels good to know but it's also sad because I just wanna be normal and have a normal relationship.but I don't think I'm not a good person Kimberly I think you need to look in the mirror because no one is perfect.

Lost
June, 1 2016 at 8:13 am

I went out with my wife for 8 months and it was the best time of my life. In that time I received more affection and love than I received in a long time. I knew that she had BPD but it didn't matter because I felt we were meant for each other. After we married the marriage totally went down hill. The affection is now almost non existent. We don't even sit together anymore to watch a show on TV. She told me that her parents have been married for 50 years and that is what married couples do. That what you see on TV isn't reality.
What I tend to struggle with is she never joined her finances with mine. She has credit cards 'in her name only' that I don't know about and don't know what she spends her money on. She only gets a disability check and works a part time job but I feel that couples pool there money together even if its 5 cents.
Now she doesn't even do my laundry. I work a full time job plus a part time job to handle all of the expenses. Her check goes towards her credit card bills and her car payment. What I could write could turn into a book.
I truly don't want to end my marriage but somedays I feel like I may not have a choice. I have two kids that live with me from my first marriage and she's having an effect on them as well. Nothing is good enough. She calls them slobs and they are to some extent but they are teenagers. There is no such thing about "picking your battles" with them. Somedays I feel like I am doing them a disservice by staying in this relationship. I was married for 22 years in my first and would hate to see another fail.

Blejo
May, 29 2016 at 6:31 am

I feel I just wasted 3 years of my life. My bdp gf just broke off me again for the 6 time in 3 years. This time it was the worst. She doesn't want the commitment anymore. A year ago she asked to move in but I hesitated because I knew she was going to have family moving in for a few months (6) and I didn't want to start our coliving like that, to wait until they got establish and leave and then we can continue our plans. But no, she took it like I abandoned her and since we have been on/off for almost 6 months now. Mind you, 3 weeks ago everything was great. Also a situation happened that she was changing jobs and she asked me not to say anything. We work together and in a conversation with a coworker, her closest friend, I mentioned she was leaving, innocently, OMG, she erupted like a volcano. Mind you she had already formally resigned but it was the fact that I said it, and for her I betrayed her trust. Imagine 2 weeks later she cancelled the resignation and stayed. Crazy. The defensive mechanics of projection was so true. She disappeared, the silence was driving crazy but when I contacted her, she blamed me as the one insecure, anxious, desperate person. She had moments of rage, highly no trust, her insecurities are unreal, she always thought I was lying or that there was a alternate motive, always negative, behind an action either from me or others was something to harm her. She always just to tell me that I love pain because she couldn't belief that I put up with her. She goes from silent to rage. Loving and hate. Like a switch on the wall. One day she is hugging her son the next day she is smacking him for something. I truly love this woman, and I have endure and stay to try to help and hoping that with my love for her would make a difference but it seemed the more I tried to more she shot me down. Going on a month with seeing her. My heart is broken but like many have said, can't help someone that doesn't want to get help. We had a future planned, wedding date etc but all out the window. Very disappointed.

SMS
May, 9 2016 at 8:00 am

Unfortunately, individuals with BPD are usually unaware of what they are doing. Unless they have been to therapy, college, or to see a psychiatrist, they will view their behavior as 'normal'.. that is because it IS normal for them. What they do not understand is why others aren't as emotionally 'involved' as they are. These moments of outlash are sometimes a cry that means, "show me you love me and care just as deeply".. which their (splitting- viewing you as all good or all bad) behavior makes the exact opposite happen in relationships, making their symptoms worse. If you enter a relationship with someone with bpd, awareness needs to come FIRST! If it is something you cannot deal with, LEAVE. You will make the situation a lot worse for the sufferer as well as yourself. If you do not understand bdp, the relationship will be an emotional struggle and do extreme mental damage for both parties. Individuals with mental illness are hard to understand and deal with but they are certainly still human and deserving of love ;) -take care!

Marie
May, 5 2016 at 8:39 pm

I just wasted 9 years of my life with a BPD . I was so crushed when he left me this time, more so then all the other times. I had changed my life so much to fit his that I didn't know who I was any more. He was manipulative and hurtful when he was split I was the worse woman in the world. I gave him everything because I loved him. He would give me tiny pieces of affection that kept me in this relationship. I ended up in counseling this time which was a blessing. I have learned that all his exits had nothing to do with me. He is sick and I have to except that and never look back. He recycled me so many times I am ashamed to say the number. He tried to come back this time but I am stronger now with the the help of therapy. I will not go back to that life nor will I ever date another with any of these bpd signs. Yes it is a mental illness but I believe they are aware of what they are doing much of the time. I have no sympathy for him and I pray that some day the anger I feel for him will go away and be replaced with forgiveness. We planned a future together and when he walked I am now stuck with the debt of those plans. People feel sorry for him because he has to start over again. Nobody is feeling sorry for me while I clean up the mess he left behind. Yes it was a waste of my life to be with this man that I loved with all my heart and he could never love back. Wish I knew about BPD years ago. He returned to his bar stool and will never admit to his problem.

Sert
April, 23 2016 at 6:11 pm

Your bf was right about medication, there is none for BPD.

Aaron
April, 21 2016 at 8:22 pm

Laura, there is a book called "stop walking on egg shells" that is really helpful.
I am totally new at this, but gleaming that it's more about changing ourselves and setting an example of love, steadfastness balanced with firmness for protecting our needs and values, etc. I too will go to the ends of the earth for the one I love. But am learning that means telling them at times I need to take a 15- 20 min break from them so I can settle down.
My BP has become a absolute dream come true, and forcing me to be a better more resolute confident person. We are both stretching and growing, learning to trust each other. Very cool.

Kimmi
April, 20 2016 at 2:29 am

Mental illness is just that! Illness. Sickness. Disorder. And it's horrible! I'm married to a man with severe BPD. Incredibly, low signs of this during courtship. Bits and pieces now come together, if I really reviewed this time in our life. As soon as the vows were sealed I suffered a crack rib, black and blue, restraining and tearing my clothes off. All because I wanted to go to bed and he didn't. This is a true case of Jeykll and Hyde. On the other end, he is sweet sensitive remorseful and walks in shame. A person with BPD emotions are extreme!! My husband would become sad, crying, won't eat, threaten suicide, have panic attacks. I feel as though I'm in charge of his feelings? After a day of extreme 67 phone calls and non stop texts, threaten to kill my family and friends...all because I wanted to spend time with girlfriends, one is getting married....after the rage and threats, he seems to lower into a fetal position and it's up to me to snap him out of it?! I have Stories! If I discuss leaving him, he either becomes enraged or extreme sadness and cries.
This is not about love. I love the man he is when kind generous helpful loving etc. he can be the life of a party, funny, witty, makes me laugh... I love that part of him. But the other man I cannot deal with. He is all of the traits of BPD and misdiagnosed for years. ADHD, toxic anger, bipolar, depression, anxiety.. You name it he's been it. To leave a man you married with BPD....... Walking on eggshells right now and trying to keep the peace while I plan my escape. My life with him would be on the best sellers book shelf. Love-Hate, Jeykll &Hyde... The Ultimate Price.......

Kimberley
April, 14 2016 at 3:13 am

This is spot on and just touches on the surface of the crazy!
8 years trying to work a relationship with a borderline.. I've seen and learned a lot. They're never satisfied and are not good people. They take pleasure in causing others to suffer, through control. There should be a website to warn others about what's under the mask before it's too late.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tiffany
September, 19 2017 at 3:18 am

OMG! Are you freaking kidding me? We're not good people?I take pleasure in causing pain? Again, are you kidding me!! Oh yeah, I just LOVE hurting people so much that I push them away so I won't! I just LOVE being all alone because of my stupid emotional trouble. I choose NOT TO DATE because I have BPD and don't want to hurt anyone. I LOVE my family so freaking much and would do ANYTHING for them because they have always been there for me. I have not hit anyone! I have not told anyone it was my way or the high way. I can't even yell at a person without breaking down because I feel bad. Gee, yeah, I sound like SUCH a HORRIBLE person. You know what? I'm on medication, and it has helped me. At least I know what I have! [moderated]

Fiona
April, 12 2016 at 5:51 am

What a mean and insensitive blog. 'You're dealing with a sick person?' Many people successfully manage their BPD symptoms and pages like this are not helpful for the whole stigma surrounding mental illness, as if life wasn't difficult enough for sufferers!

Aaron
April, 12 2016 at 5:43 am

Had a ruff couple of nights with my BP. However, while on the road read an amazing book on tape that gave me lots of skills to practice with my BP. They really worked to help me not get hooked and get her through. "You can turn conflict into closeness" by Emil Harker. I highly highly recommend it. Guy does go one and one a bit when he can be more direct but if you can get through the book it really helps. I practiced the material in my car, which I am finding really helps. If you have a game plan going into any, difficult situation, and have rehearsed it enables you to keep your cool, and protect yourself while providing your BP with the love and assurance they need to get through their emotional fire storm.

Laura
April, 10 2016 at 8:14 pm

I read some of these comments and am in tears.
I am in love with a man who behaves exactly like most of the ways described in many of these comments. I have been trying to help him---in his moments of clarity he states how much he wants to change for himself, his son, and for our relationship. But in his moments of rage he basically has a "F everything" mindset.
I can't be sure he has BPD, because he has never been diagnosed. At age 16 he was diagnosed with depression after a suicide attempt, that he has since admitted was more about manipulating his parents than an actual want to end his life at that time. All I know is I would do anything to make this work because I love him with all that I am.
I am sensitive, but level headed and strong. Loving, nurturing, and forgiving. A "rational" and cold side of me has said many times "what the heck are you doing staying in this?" But the side of me who has known him for five years now and has seen him at his best so many many times, and who knows how amazing we can be together is head over heels in love with him.
I'm looking for support. I'm not quitting on him. Please if there is a place I can specifically go for support in this---chat rooms, forums, anything, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you to those who commented about their long term love relationships with BPD individuals. I will fight and love through anything I have to for him. You give me hope.

Aaron
April, 3 2016 at 6:36 am

Jade's comments are super accurate. My relationship with my BP has been blossoming since I have slowly learned to set boundaries. However, I am also reading tons and learning like every other important thing in life you have to have game plan and pre-rehearse or at least map out your communication strategy with a BP well in advance. This helps you stay in control of your own emotions and not get hooked by their questions, or attacks or irrational behavior. What I have learned is that you can't change them, they have to change their selves. It's your role to set an example that they can follow if they so choose. This will only make you a better person, standing firm, with love. Look at them as if they were your young child, never give in but show them love and that you will never leave them and want to understand them.
When you do get triggered, which you will because you are human, try and say "I am starting to feel myself get triggered and it's making it difficult for me to really hear what you are saying, which I very much want to do. I need to take a 15 minute pause or we need to change the tone of this conversation". They will of course object and get angry. Stand your ground and go take a break. Repeat the process over and over, each time showing them love, and a willingness to try and understand them. Don't defend, attack, retreat, don't apologize for what is not fair, shift the conversation back to their feelings, and emphasize as much as possible. Don't try and rationalize with them. They won't hear you. Just show love, that you wont leave them, however, expect that you are spoken to fairly, not criticized or put down.
All this is super hard, especially if you get angry and want to defend yourself. Just know that will never help especially with my BP. They can't listen to you when their triggered, however, you have a right to be treated fairly, etc.
Like working with a small child getting through their terrible 3s, stand firm, show love and that they can trust you wont leave them. But you will not accept to be treated unfairly, etc.
I am learning that you have to really talk to them about boundaries when they are happy and not triggered. They will be most receptive at this time and will make the process of reinforcing boundaries easier when you have to.

Mel
March, 29 2016 at 5:58 pm

The original post is in NO way offensive nor putting down of people with BPD. In fact, the article is right on target. People suffering from BPD and any other type of emotional issues or mental health issues DO NEED BOUNDARIES. It is not OK to seek relationships when one is not in treatment and sadly, many people with disorders such as this REFUSE to recognize they have a problem or they lack the insight to understand what they are facing. This is unfair to everyone including the sufferer themselves. If this experience is this woman's experience, then how can anyone discount it? Instead, draw from it whether you are a non or a person with BPD. Take a self assessment of yourself, no matter what side you are on, and decide what it is you need to do to be healthy.

Jade
March, 28 2016 at 1:41 pm

All people can get help and rise above ANY challenges IF they want to AND COMMIT AND TRY! Somehow you have to find a way to encourage a BPD sufferer to do so. Only with them trying and you trying to understand will you be able to truly strive for a healthy relationship :) You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped . . . If they do then the sky is the limit :)

Jade
March, 28 2016 at 12:47 pm

AND theirs! You love this person and do not want them to be in pain! You will do anything to 'fix' it for them! What you are however doing is reinforcing that they can do/want whatever they wish (even if they are constantly taking from you) . . . Thisis not healthy for you/them or your relationship :( YOU need to set boundaries SND stick to them! You need to teach them not only through example but through insistence of how/what is acceptable . . . This is hard (to put your foot down) when you know they are struggling and in pain however without this you will never get a 50/50, healthy relationship and unfortunately in the end it will fail and you will have to leave and they will suffer FAR more and you will have only reinforced their view that they are unlovable and everyone just leaves in the end . . . :(

Jade
March, 28 2016 at 12:32 pm

You think that if you give them everything (like they were denied as children) then they will learn by example. That one day they will give to you like you have given to them . . . The trouble with this theory is that (too often) they are undeveloped (like an under 5 year old) and without healthy limits (and what I have found to sadly/difficultly) demand certain behavior (with a kind but firm hand) they will manipulate and try (like a child) to get away with murder! AND then blame YOU for it! ( Please understand that this is their coping mechanism . . . They are often unaware of this . . . The same as they are often unaware that they pick fights before you may go out without them or on a day that is important to you/shouldn't be about you . . . :( They don't know how to cope! They will do this subconsciously to return themselves to a 'comfortable'/familiar place . . . :/ Have pity and understanding for them and their feelings of sacredness/fear/being overwhelmed BUT learn (for their sake NOT to let it rule your life ot theirs . . . If you want to save your relationship you MUST sey healthy boundaries AND stick to them (however hard they might try to manipulate you into feeling bad for them and giving into their every whim [at your detriment

Aaron
March, 14 2016 at 6:10 am

So, I posted a note a couple of days ago and after a really ruff night of being judged, pocked and walking through a minefield of emotions, I wanted to say that dating a BPD is not for the faint of heat. At one point when she was downstairs I packed up a bunch of my belongings (we live together in her apartment). When she got back up I told her we had to talk, and I remembered to start with noticing her emotion. I said I am noticing a lot of tension in the room, do you want to talk about it, do you want me to just listen or give you some space. Her response was totally irrational and mean, but I was able to gleem (through prior peace notes and talks when she was calm) and listening to her that she needed me to just be with her through the storm. She was able to despite everything, sit next to me and compassionately, touch my arm. This is our signal that she is listening and really trying. The next morning we had a beautiful loving drive together to work and she sent a heart felt sorry and thank you for being there. My point is inch by inch we are finding tools to work with the BPD, knowing that we both really want each other. Know that when they are in a fit, nothing logical will come out of their mouths, try not to take it personally. However, with this said, you really have to know yourself and this is seriously not easy to put into practice.

Tony
March, 12 2016 at 7:53 am

I totally agree with Alex. I have endured the chaotic relationship with a bpd. I let him move in and out for many years in the name of love. I always thought I could help him or make it better but I couldn't. I changed my entire life for him. He would be happy for a short time then return to his dependent non-connective self. He told me he would get help many times to get back in my life only to leave again at the drop of a hat. I will probably always love this man but never will I go back to the unstable life I was living. It is very painful to be in a relationship with a BPD.

Aaron
March, 11 2016 at 8:47 pm

I've been in a relationship with a woman now for over a year and a half and am realizing that she likely has BPD. She is the most wonderfully considerate person I have ever met, and I love her dearly. Yes, we have had our battles, I am no saint either, but being highly rational I have struggled intensly trying to understand the mood swings, abandonment fears, hurtful comments and sharp language. However, at the same time there is an understanding that we both want this relationship to succeed. We are both reading books, trying to communicate with each other and even named our moods, the monsters. We can joke, that the monsters were back, after a difficult fight. I do feel like my patience is wearing out faster than her ability to grow, but together we will survive focusing on true love. I am realizing that you can't change a BPD sufferer, you have to change your self and set an example for them follow. I am just not learning about the concepts of not engaging her anger but to deflect it, I am learning to set boundaries that I never could before to protect my right to be treated with respect. All of this is making me a better person while also showing her test by test that I will be by her side. When we are happy, the love is more special than you could ever imagine, and it's all worth it. I love my BPD GF and hopefully soon to be wife. What I am learning is not to take her to seriously, keep reminding her that we are both "normal" human beings and its ok to get angry or upset. But be mindful enough not to buy into our stories. We constantly bounce our crazy stories off each other and it really helps. In the end id say don't take BPD to seriously, stand by your partner but set firm boundaries to protect yourself and take care of yourself. So to all the girls out there looking for a true partner out there, just be honest with them about what you are feeling, and help them to grow as you do.

Scott
March, 6 2016 at 12:34 pm

My wife clearly has BPD and the mental and emotional abuse is crippling and the silent treatment for other a month is absolute torture. She won't apologize because she's afraid I won't accept the apology so I have to go to her. If i try to discuss an issue that was never resolved she says "I don't want to fight, that was the past" even though it happened yesterday. She's always on FB flirting and doesn't even have her status of being married or pictures of us on her page. She blocks me when ever she gets mad and then later demands that I adder back as a friend. If a woman ever says anything nice to me like "you look great!" she accuses me of cheating. Every single time we have an argument she says she wants a divorce and that alone makes me feel not very loved. She's always texting other guys and I've seen some sexting going on and she says she was just kidding with them, but if I ever spoke to another female forget it, I'm a cheater and she wants a divorce and won't talk to me for weeks. She calls the police on me claiming domestic violence and I have to live in fear that I will be arrested and explain that she lying. Let me just say this and tell you what true Hell is like. In Hell it's all supposed to be bad so at least you know what to expect. but with people with BPD the true hell is their loving you and making you feel safe again, having the best sex and closeness and being your best friend and just feeling like the luckiest guy in the world and then one day out of the blue she flips out about something and tells you to get out, that she doesn't love you anymore, that she wants a divorce and she's going on a date with someone else. Takes away your property, keys, car, wallet and threatens to call the police if you don't leave now. And then you don't hear from her for weeks and I'm going nuts thinking I did something wrong and I have to make the first contact after a few weeks later and it takes a few days to go back and forth apologizing and trying to reason with her until she finally gives in and this all via text messaging because she refuses to talk on the phone or in person. I can't tell you how many times she's dumped me through text messaging and when she's all calm again she loves me more than anything and the cycle repeats itself. When I as her why she treats me this way she says it's because she loves me and that she hurt so she wants to hurt me. Now I've been diagnosed with PTSD because of this mental abuse. and the sad part is now we are fighting and it's been 3 weeks now and I miss her more than anything. The sad part is that would actually go back to her if I could just hold her again and b with her loving side even knowing the price I would have to pay later. Talk about how screwed up i am. She has me convinced that we are soulmates and to be honest we do have this unique connection and I've never felt this way about anyone. I need to run far away from all of this and get help or she's going to be the death of me.
One last thing. I'd rather my wife punch me in the face or stabbed me than to be mentally and emotionally abused like this. For those who have BPD you have no idea what this feels like to be on the receiving end so I'm sorry if this blog hurts your feelings because everything hurts your feelings. You have no idea what hurt feelings are until you've walked a day in my shoes.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jane Doe
July, 25 2018 at 3:02 am

Yes we do. I also have PTSD, along with social anxiety, depression, anxiety, bpd, codependency, suicidal, self harm, etc. Fortunately I have great control over my behavior when it comes to others that's my blessing. But I take it out on myself. We hate and abuse ourselves on an even deeper level which is the cause of the behavior in the first place. I was engaged to a BPD male who had psychotic rages so bad... I mean, throwing me to the floor, bashing my face, kicking me, almost killing us both in the car... Was nothing compared to the verbal abuse. During his BPD rages he would be like a faucet stuck running with a broken handle. No filter... Beyond cruel soul crushing things would come from his mouth that would make Hitler look like a kind man. But when happy, said the most loving and beautiful, sincere and loved so deeply... He was so passionate because of bpd too... Raw and emotional. He almost knocked himself unconscious after hurting me because of the guilt. He left me because he couldn't stand hurting me anymore despite loving me. I felt the pain deep inside of him. I forgave and love him still although I realize it was a toxic relationship that had to end. But guess what? I also have the excruciating emotional sensitivity and pain and fear of abandonment myself that comes with Borderline so I know the depths of his pain. I don't have the rage, but the intense fear of abandonment. We feel extreme emotions. Not just pain, but love. Intense emotional levels that reach higher ranges beyond the normal person. Feelings of intense happiness, love, fear, hate/anger (not for me but many bpd's), etc. The degree of sensitivity is like being a burn victim with no skin, even the wind can hurt. I felt just a touch of his pain along with my own and my God. Having BPD and my fear of abandonment and worthlessnesa was more painful to me than being abused by him. I'm not saying that anyone should stay with someone who abuses you, but empathy and love is the very thing we need so desperately because we don't know how to love ourselves. In fact, we feel so worthless... I cannot even begin to explain the depths the pain reaches because it comes from within. It comes second only to insanity, and panic attacks for me. I have walked in the shoes of the abused and felt the pain of fear of abandonment and worthlessness. That pain is so severe it can make lie, hurt yourself, or commit suicide just to not feel it again. Rejection feels like being cast out by god and losing yourself and identity. Most could not walk in our shoes no less even try them on.

sedna
February, 27 2016 at 6:09 pm

I have BPD & I don't react this way so I think I'm right if I say this post is warped. BPD is an emotional disorder & the symptoms what she describes here feels like Borderline to me. There is always a reason that would trigger a BPD & in most cases the reason is caused by the other person & a couple unmet emotional needs. She is somehow to blame for how things turned out.
I can read pain & dissent from her words too & I hope she got over the breakup.

Mike B
February, 24 2016 at 5:59 am

Did anyone here actually read this article before commenting on it? Seems most here are bashing this article as not being about BPD or giving the m a bad image however read the title. this article is about the authors dealings with an ex suffering from BPD. Its not an indictment of the problem but an interpretation. Further it was said that the author made these generalizing broad statements about all people with BPD are manipulative and stopped emotional growth in childhood. however, this isn't the case. the author clearly writes that these things CAN or MAY happen and to be prepared for that. This article is well written and laid out. It is not a research paper nor is it any type of diagnosis. It is an article explaining one side of a story and how it affected the author nothing more. And its a story that resonates with me as my experience in a relationship with a person who has BPD was very very similar. so although this article may not be the best written one from the author, in my opinion she knows what she is talking about.

Alex
February, 9 2016 at 4:49 pm

This is a very interesting post and the comments give a lot to think about. It's tough living with someone who's BPD.
I empathize with both sides, but I have to say that the pain of being on the receiving end of a BPD episode is incredibly painful. For those who say that shunning or leaving the BP is cruel, try our side if you can. Imagine that instead of insults and threats she has a baseball bat and takes one swing at your skull each time she wants to insult you. True, she can't control herself. True, he loves her. But it hurts like hell and doesn't stop. How much love does it take to repeatedly allow your head to be hit by the bat? And then to hear that its your fault? Man up. It shouldnt hurt. And for how long will you allow yourself to endure it? It hurts.

Yaogui
February, 5 2016 at 8:32 am

"It is important to establish some rules if you’re entering a relationship with someone with borderline personality disorder": Yes, but you will only need one simple rule, don't enter the relationship. Problem solved.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Monica
May, 27 2018 at 8:02 am

Agreed

anon
January, 16 2016 at 7:44 pm

Tell a person who self harms that if they slip up and use a coping mechanism you don't find healthy enough again, you'll stick them with an expensive hospital bill on top of all their other problems!

John
January, 10 2016 at 5:04 pm

Well, I have had quite a lot of experience with regard to borderline relationships, and what I get from this article, is that the writer should seek medical help, as I believe she is a BPD sufferer herself. Borderlines very rarely have injunctions against them, it is usually the other way around, and for usually no real reason at all. A borderline will typically never take any blame for anything, unless it's to get something else. A borderline will never agree to meds or to be even told they are borderline, unless again, it's to try to keep a relationship going or as part of a bigger plan.
How to avoid getting stuck in a BPD relationship:
Listen to those alarm bells, that's why we have them.
Listen to what the person says about her previous relationships, how many times the police have been involved especially.
Are they still able to keep it simple with ex's or are all of those ex's the worst people in the world.
A borderline can move on to the next relationship really easily and quickly, and will usually go for an easy target, someone that may have children or at least be family oriented, a kind and generous person. The will tend not to go for those types that have their lives in order and are living life to the full, this would be too much like hard work for them. This will be a short stop for a bit of fun, nothing more.
They want you to move in or to move in with you really quickly, and might even complain that they are scared to be alone.
These are just a few things to look out for, but the bottom line, listen to you gut.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Lauren
July, 8 2019 at 7:55 am

Spot. On. Alarm bells all over the place.

Manda
December, 25 2015 at 9:20 pm

As someone that has BPD and Bipolar II, I am offended by this article. I don't mean to devalue your struggles but your story is generalising that all people with BPD and Bipolar II are not to be gotten in a relationship with.
Just so you know, there's varying degrees of both illnesses, for example, I can hold a job, hold my emotional state together whilst performing said job and behave like a normal member of the community. I won't lie, there are times when I drive my partner absolutely crazy and I am very thankful for the love that he has for me but I am constantly trying to better myself for a better quality of life. How dare you say "never get into a relationship with a BPD and Bipolar person". Maybe take a look at yourself first before making hurtful statements like that when you have no idea how a person feels inside. I can't believe you wouldn't even take someone's suicide attempt seriously. I'm absolutely speechless on that one.

Marc
December, 15 2015 at 12:47 pm

It is very telling how some of the comments disparaging this blog are undeniably textbook defensive responses from people suffering from BPD. Those comments engage in the straw man fallacy that stating fact regarding the symptoms and manifestations of the disorder are an attack on those with the disorder. No one here is accusing those with BPD of being "awful" or "monsters" or "evil," nor any other unfair label. Discussing the very real and often emotionally destructive side of BPD is not the same as vilifying those who have the disorder. My ex has BPD. She is the most amazing, brilliant woman I have ever known and she was the love of my life. However, when she would switch at the most seemingly benign triggers, it was like being tortured to death. I regret leaving her every single day, but I also know that if I had not left her, the physical and emotional effects of her behavior would have destroyed me.
Once again: stating the facts about the behavioral manifestations of BPD is not a personal attack on those suffering from the disorder. It is not fair or honest to make such accusations, even if they are components of a defense mechanism.

v
November, 25 2015 at 2:46 pm

I just read an article about emotional abuse, not BPD.

Jennifer
October, 28 2015 at 11:34 pm

Greetings. I am a recovered Borderline in love with unrecovered Borderline. I am more healthy than him emotionally, have superior coping mechanisms, and much higher self esteem. This is because I was lucky to find a wonderful psychiatrist who also does my therapy, because I am a parent ( two kids 23 and 7 who adore me) and because I was married to a very supportive man for over 20 years before he came out to the world as gay.
( we still have a great relationship with him by the way)
So no, I dont have to deal with him, (my borderline boyfriend) and yes (since I knew what he was) I could have run away from him after the first date. But you know what made me stay? Empathy and love, and our moral requirement as humans to pay it forward. I got better because somebody loved me, and now I am helping him get better by loving him. Yes,
I do set boundaries, and yes I have made him suffer the consquences for his own actions. But when he is sorry I take him back- bacuse first hand I know how sorry a borderline can feel after acting out. (sorry enough to feel like you are a really bad person and deserve to die, and sorry for all the pain we caused) Abandoment is our greatest fear, so you abandoning us is pure torture to our mind our soul and our heart. I have been in this relationship for 2 years now and I love him so much. Partially because he is so sweet and funny when symptom free, and partially because its like I found myself in his soul.
I really know what he is going through, and I truely understand what he wants and needs- because frankly, I was him over 20 years ago: unloved, unwanted, depressed, suicidal, angry, and DESPERATELY seeking someone to care about me. We are not manipulative, we do not mean to hurt you, and we do not want to ruin your life- although it might seem like it. We really just want to be loved and for you to heal the awful pain from our past. So yes, it does take a strong person to love a Borderline, but if you take that chance and love us, see it through until we heal, we will be a grateful and loyal companion for life!

Jeremy
October, 16 2015 at 9:55 am

"a women worth a little suffering for! I no longer ‘manipulate’ in such negative ways, or become suicidal when alone."
I think this statement is a great example of some of the distorted thinking that compells and allows some of the behaviors associated with BPD that are destructive to interpersonal relationships. From my view, I would not have the expectation that someone I loved and loved me was required to suffer to prove their love or worth to me. Hopefully, trust, love and loyalty had developed and my partner would be with me to help weather storms that came, while I did the same for her.

bpd mom
September, 21 2015 at 12:42 am

It all comes down to how you handle conflict. offended...betrayed...hated... im bpd and thats what triggers my emotional side. then I react offended just as all the bpds just poste here. honestly we cant take critism. read the bible let Gd tear down the walls with his words dont be offended by Gd its a humble issue. as Jesus said some fall and are offended. we bpds are usually spiritual but never ACTUALLY read the whole bible for healing. I stopped dating and stopped idolizing my abusive boyfriends because it was deaths lure. I read hosea and isaiah and gave that energy to gd and said im going after gd the way im going after my ex bf. abusive relationships are the secret suicide that nobody could blame me for STOP IT it IS evil and if your bpd your still heading towards* gravitation towards* going towards *death. read ..the..bible...desire Gd not death.

karl
September, 14 2015 at 4:41 pm

if you like the quite ordinary life you wont find it with a person living not suffering with bdp. those that don't allow them selves help and therapy. sorry but there daily life is to much of a challenge. to even be able to take care of themselves let alone a partner. but those living with bdp. that's a different story my wife lives with bdp .yes we have bad times but the good out weighs the bad times. my wife does have rages well they call them that but to me my wife just gets a little more angry. but only rages when all else fails. she is a very busy mum who does an amazing job of raising our children. while battling constant thoughts and the belief she does not deserve her family .don't get me wrong the lady can boom if she feels the need .she does not like to be bored this can lead to finding other outlets for her energy. so we live a very active life in all areas lol .i cant tell you how to game your lady or fella but you gotta find what makes them addicted to you .without manipulating them any sighs of ill intent will only reinforce there own belief your an idiot .and they will play you not game you .if you dont know the difference too play is to play for object or gain. to game is to keep them hooked on you. they love attention good or bad .they will take both i find if i bombard my wife with too much detail .she finds it annoying because of black white thinking plain facts work best otherwise all good .i have the skin of a rhino you need one too .my wife can say some of the most hurtful words but i am mature enough to not to say them. back i say thank you this gets to her and make her realize that she is hurting me .because im thanking her for her shitty behavior it works for me .the push pull thing my wife cant help but do .when my wife pushes away she goes and stays with friends. its better that way than pushing her away by trying to pull her closer. this can trigger a fear of control and me being needy. i do have human needs like every one my wife does meet them all as i do hers above and beyond. but on my wife this is a great strain. my wife will not ask for advice but loves to receive it complicated yes .very but i also had to learn my self when she was asking or just explaining something to me. like she may say a friend is having an affair its bad this is asking my advice on the matter .any think more and my wife is explaining to me .i dont say tell my advice always explain. this is adult you tell a child you explain to an adult. i find i get a lot less hassle its part of the rejection thing my wife in the early days of our life together found it belittling to be told .and had beliefs i rejected her as an adult the issues bdp face are most from child hood. avoid this time in there lives its pain for them and you your too close to them. only after they have faced and had therapy for that time in there life. my advice wait till they are ready to open up too you and after you have been tested to the max .to see if your trust worthy. somewhere in there life they got let down badly and unfortunately this stays with them. and you will be tested daily for the whole relationship you have to be trust worthy from the start and understand the fact you cant fail. dont be secretive dont be inconsistent. work your relationship around each day i find my wife is to busy thinking about today to think of tomorrow. gotta love diaries pls dont be cruel with there thinking or feelings example your partner may tell you a friend is being horrible dont feed this you will know when you need to agree with them. this can be a test to see if you like there set of friends. because they may not ask how you feel about there friends they need to be able to trust you with there friends .pls dont make the mistake of chatting to there friends about them without them .they may blow you both out there lives trust and abandonment issues may kick in be careful. in other words don't talk about them behind there back even good things will seem negative. as researched and witnessed in my own marriage bdp relationships are not for the insecure needy types. you need a strong will strong heart and mind and thick skin. you have to be every thing a bdp needs not wants. they like you to be stroppy this gives them the drama they crave .don't give in to the drama its wont help no one. positive thinking direct action they need this daily .or so iv come to believe be firm not angry i have been married for 16 years together 20 years my life has been bat crap crazy since but i cant say ive had an ordinary life if u like not knowing who you gonna wake up next to every day and dont mind the rock hard place scenario dont give a monkey if ur loved or not then a bdp relationship is a good thing otherwise get out you may lose all hope and sanity i hope i offended nobody sorry if i have

Doug
May, 30 2015 at 12:31 am

I had never heard of bpd until yesterday when I was searching for symptoms my wife exhibits on a daily basis. I moved out a month ago because I couldn't take the toll the stress was taking on me physically. I've tried to reason with her and plead. But when I try to distance myself for a little while to let her cool off or try to defuse the situation. I come home hours later to the locks being changed and the police at my house. With accusations of physical abuse. Sure there was physical abuse. Just not by me. Sure I got mad and I'll admit said some horrible things. But I take responsibility for those. How can you reason with someone who is never wrong or apologetic. No matter what she does its my fault for causing her to react the way she did. And will continue to lie when I know the truth. U can't help someone who has nothing wrong with them and it's always someone who causes her vindictive ways. Sorry for the long reply just don't know what to do. Shes about got me convinced that I'm the one with all the issues. I can't help but be guarded when she intentionally tries to punish me for imagined wrongs. I've read so many opposite suggestions. Is there hope or is there?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Monica
May, 27 2018 at 7:50 am

Yeah. I feel for you. I personally couldn’t deal with the behavioral problems my partner had. It ruined who I was and only got worse over time. Get out, and get out fast. Yes, get away from these types of people. There’s a stigma surrounding personality disorders because THEY’RE AWFUL. Sucks if you have it, but willingly putting yourself in that drama is just dumb. It never gets better. It can and will make you crazy and consume every last thread of your happiness and sanity. Get out. Trust me.

Sonia
June, 26 2018 at 10:23 pm

At last someone that is saying things like they are. The manipulation and endless drama is no joke. Those who felt offended by Abby's words are in denial. Living with a person that has BPD is exhausting...like walking on eggshells...you never know what will trigger their next tantrum. Please!!! If you can, run as fast and far away from that nightmare....it is not worth it.

Lauren
July, 8 2019 at 8:07 am

Monica, Sonia, sadly I agree. ((I can understand that there is probably a sort of spectrum and that some, as many here seem to be, can work through issues and have successful relationships. Just not the guy i was with. He’ll never have a ‘normal’ relationship, poor thing.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

G
October, 18 2018 at 2:52 pm

I'm there with you brother. Same story. Are you me? In trying to find help for this scenario I came upon this years ago. Then in made the mistake of v suggesting she has this (psychiatrists and counselors were aware of her mood swings but couldn't classify it as bipolar because it didn't fit) they wouldnt go down the path of BPD because she actually hadn't followed through on any of her suicide threats). She's starting to get physically abusive and I'm starting to believe all of her accusations of me being abusive and manipulative)
I feel like I'm losing my mind. She stopped being intimate years ago and says I've got to continue for 3 more years and fix myself before she'll even consider a future, while trying to get me to leave, and then not wanting me to leave when I finally do.
Each of these rages are shit test. Unfortunately I've been failing them more than I'm passing them.
I really recognise what the blog poster wrote here, but feel that the explanation of one of the responses above to be more accurate.

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