I have been dating a woman for about a month and a half now; a week or two ago she confessed to having BPD. The more I read up on it, the more worried I become. There are two areas I wanted to clear up:
1- a BPD trait seems to be a willingness to manipulate. How serious is this, and is there a way to be cognizant of it?
2- are there any rules of thumb concerning what to say/not say to prevent outbursts and hate spells, or a way to approach conflict?
I enjoy this woman very much, but nearly every single person I've asked for advice who's had experience with BPD tells me, with no subtlety, to "run for the hills". If that's the case then that's the case, however I would feel an immense sadness leaving someone over an illness; I would feel like part of their problem of it being difficult to maintain relationships. What should I be aware of/not care about?
hi mate, from a male point of view, I don't think anyone can say what not to say, to stop an outburst, as everyone has different triggers, but saying that, abandonment is a biggie for me! then I manipulate & punish, and my dark side comes and takes me over, where I need no one, I don't talk for days, but there are other triggers for me, but I've been in an out of a particular relationship for nearly 10 years now, just over the past 2 years we've started to understand it a little more and more.
watch out for the splitting of the borderline & others, which is basically a powerful black and white thinking coping mechanism, this can be very confusing for both borderline & partner,
borderlines can be real loving people, but we need to be shown that we're loved every day, as our minds have a "love amnesia" we know that love exists but we really don't believe in it,
it's a tough ride being in a relationship with a borderline my fiancé says but it's what makes me me,
hope this helps a little, any questions just ask, I'll try to help as much as I can, but maybe a femail borderline may give a little better insight
Thanks for the insight! So it seems you're suggesting that an honest conversation with her about it might be a good idea; is there a way I should go about this? Are people with BPD sensitive about the subject enough that I should take some care, or should I not worry so much?
Also, I'd like your opinion on this. During an episode in which your, as you say, "dark side" takes over, what sorts of things has your partner done that worked, and didn't work? Are there certain things that your partner does that defuses the situation or helps quicken things back to a good emotional area?
As a BPD woman, I think "it depends" is the best answer. BPDs have a lot of good qualities like depth of emotion and "intensity" that people are often drawn to. Depth of emotion can make a BPD a really loving partner (and also a moody and insecure partner when they get really attached to you). It depends on where this woman is in her "journey." How hard is she working to learn healthier coping strategies, because how BPDs handle their emotionally intense "episodes" ranges from substance absue and self injury to crying, journaling, and seeking support. Is she working with a qualified therapist and also learning as much as possible about the disorder?
My most successful long-term relationships were with men who were patient, sensitive, and willing to learn as much about the disorder as possible, so assess yourself. I'd recommend you check out the Stop Walking on Eggshells book/workbook. . . it helped my family understand some of the more confusing behaviors and helped them take things less personally when I did act out.
As with any new relationship, try to take things slowly and remember that your borderline woman may need frequent reassurance.
People with BPD are sensitive about whatever their particular "triggers" are but the common trigger is fear of abandonment/rejection. For me, if I feel I'm being treated unfairly, I turn into a momma grizzly bear. Any conversation on an emotionally charged topic can be like walking across a landmine blindfolded, so proceed with caution and monitor her body language/tone so that if she starts to seem uncomfortable, you can offer reassurance of your interest and affection and shelve the discussion for a later time.
Hi I am female 26 years old and have bpd and bipolar disorder. I have been married for almost 4 years now which is quite an archivement for someone with bpd.to answer your first question we really don't mean to be maniputive it often just seems this way. It's the fear of abandonment that puts us in situations that make it seem like we are manipulative, but really we are just so scared that you will break up with us.you will have to let your girlfriend know that you are not going to leave her on a daily bases. Always answer phone calls or messages so she won't worry that something has happened to you. Me and my husband have gotten through the tuff times he has stuck it out with me and loved me anyway to spite my illness.he is the most loving kind man I could ask for. He has come along to see my psycolgist with me and my psy doctor whenever we were having problems. I'm on medication too, which helps with my illness.ok so to answer your second questions how to avoid hate spells and outbursts.theres going to come a time where this will happen no matter how hard you try to avoid it. For me it's like all I want is my husband to understand why I'm so upset.he might not agree with me but so long as he understands WHY I'm feeling this way. We have had so many fights until one day we finally worked out why we were never getting anywhere and that's because all I wanted was him to say he understood why I was feeling like the way I felt. If you really love this girl please give her a chance or "chances" because she is worth it. We can be the most caring fun outgoing loving People if you just take abit more time and understanding then you would with someone who doesn't have our illness. When it comes down to it,it's not our fault that we are like this. You wouldn't leave someone if they had cancer or some other psyical illness. No one will ever love you like a person with bpd.
Hi there hun. I have been suffering borderline and all of it's many awful problems for 30 years and most of those years I've been without any help or support from Dr's or coworkers. In fact I've only recieved the official diagnosis two years ago so that shows you how little is really known about borderline disorder. I can relate to everything you said, oh you poor chap!! However what I really wanted to say is that all of the answers/responses are so so helpful so digest and ponder over every one of them please. Yes, you may well become somewhat anoyed and bored with all the daily reassurences that you will surley have to do but if you come to love your girlfriend then it's very very worthwile. It won't all be hard going and if she is anything like me then even in a short time you would have already worked out she is totally insecure and she sure has her reasons which she absolutely cannot help at all. Borderline is a difficult disorder to deal with even if you are family so I do infact feel for you, hang on in here and yes, learn as much as you can about this disorder from this site. There is much to gain from both the professionals and the sufferers, see it from both sides which applies to any disease or disorder. I wish you good luck and do come back to tell us how things are going. XX
At the moment everything seems to be going well; she is taking medication, acknowledges that she has BPD, and actively seeks treatment through her own willpower. Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. Please keep them coming if you think of anything else.
I really liked your "love amnesia" analysis -- that explains why I have a hard time whenever I have to be separated from a partner -- why even when I know in my head that it's a business trip and only a couple of days, on the inside, I freak out and get so anxious and start worrying. Your simple explanation will help me be able to explain my bizarre need for constant reassurance to others. Thanks!
Just warning- everything is going well, but it can turn on a dime. If she splits you black that is it- she just wont like you. Unfortunately, to try to predict what you could do to get her to split you black is impossible, and it might never be something you could suspect. A business trip where she calls your hotel room while you are still at dinner, you saying that you cant make some event because you are too busy. Just be prepared that no matter how much you invest, it can turn on a dime. It's not like other relationships where you can do 1, 000 super nice things and flub up a tiny bit once and those will be averaged.... the 1 think will make the 1000 go away, and the 1 thing may not even make sense as a flub.
Thanks for the input. I'm enjoying the relationship but at the same time thickening my skin for what may come; as I'm sure I've said above, though, I don't want to break up with her on a pretense. She's just started mentalization therapy (a therapy specifically for bpd), so I think it'll be relatively fine; she's very self-aware about it.
Hi, just beware of the 180..it will totally do your head in. I was married to a high functioning bpd wife and believe me when it happens you are a shot duck. Mine is a reg nurse the last person you would think would be bpd. I to had no idea of the disorder, there where heaps of red flags early on that i know now what to look for, not that it matters for i will not trust again it has trully done me in. Jus imagaine that you think all is going ok next thing you have the police telling you that if you return to your home you will be charged with trespassing, so i left loosing my car thousands of $ in tools the furniture i bought for our home my pets and a step daughter. So just beware false acussations are are tool that can cause you a whole mess of trouble....Regards Ashlee
I think the fact that she admits she has BPD is 90% of the battle already won for both of you. I am 100% sure than my wife has BPD but she will not admit it and is not interested in getting help (I am the one with the mental problems apparently). This is exacerbated by the fact that we live in a country with a very poor healthcare system, especially when it come to mental health disorders. Good luck, there will be some wonderful times and when things are not going so well, just remember not to take anything personally.
Hay again dear chap! Oh lovely, a lot of response. I'm back to reinforce a good point which some members mentioned. Yes, ask or let her tell you what HER personal issues are with BPD because there are long lists and a lot of borderliners won't suffer them all. I'm glad you haven't ''ran for the hill's'' as was said early on!!! In any relationship, even so called 'normal' ones, the early days are for getting to know each other. Believe me EVERYONE has a good side and a not so good side. I live with my 77 year old father (I think he's 'normal'!!) but my, folk living in our road think he's wonderful and full of fun - well he ain't, really ain't!!!!!!! They don't see the not so good side. Doesn't matter, |I'm just saying thats all, as an example. OKi, thats it. Just have a Happy Christmas whatever you may do. X
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