Sorry for the long story you can skip to the simple list if you'd like, at the bottom.
Me and my boyfriend have being going out for about 3 months. I love him to death, but I noticed some problems right away but sort of ignored them at the time. He has a very, very low self esteem. He considers himself a monster, but blaims everyone else for what he does. He gets into fights often, and when he tells me about them, its sounds to me like he picked every single one of them! But he seems to think they did by like looking at him wrong when he was clearly in a bad mood...stuff like that.
But that never involved me, he always treated me great and was sweet to me. So I didn't say much about it...and then I found out he slept with his friends girlfriend...whom is over there often since his friend lives there. I had a problem with it, because I didn't think it was nice and it says a lot about being able to trust him. But of course he believes its his friends fault for having a slutty girl, and her for coming on to him...So I said wow, and that's not very cool to your friend. He got mad and said I was wrong for judging him...I don't know somehow I ended up apologizing...saying I was sorry I just have trust issues sometimes. Since he assured he would never cheat I let it go.
A week after we have sex and the next day he freaks out on me saying it burns when he pees. Accusing ME of cheating, and saying I gave him an std. Of course I'm clean...and it must have been caused from something else but he still doesn't trust me. And finally just last night I don't know what was going on around him but he broke up with me. ..I was crushed but I said ok if thats what you want...an hour later he calls back, saying he took a bottle of pills and he was killing himself. He asks me to come over and by then I'm crying I say ok. Before I leave I tell my mom and she says I have to call the police...so I do and they sent someone over.
He calls me again pissed off now, yelling saying it was a huge mistake and I was going to regret it. I told him I was only worried about him because I love him and I didn't know what to do. He says I'm just like everyone else, and he can't trust anyone now. The world is out to get him. And that was it...
But today he calls me, completely normal. He did say "sorry I went a little insane yesterday" and that was it. He was saying he loved me and he missed me ssoo much. Then moved on to talking about what he was eating. Of course I can't just shrug it off so easily I ask him what happened why he did that. He claims to not remember anything that happened. And that he never broke up with me. But that's still not enough I mean he broke my heart and tried to kill himself and now its like it didn't happen. So I keep asking, and he says he told me he doesn't remember...and I hear the warning in his voice and I start to cry. And he's not sympathetic at all! he just gets angry, he asks "what your breaking up with me now?" And stupidly I said "No I'm just hurt by it all, I want to talk about it" He tells me he already said he was sorry, and he was tired....So I told him we had to talk about it tomorrow then. And then he was fine again...he said he loved me and goodnight.
Besides all that craziness, most of the time he is very loving, he wants to hold me in his arms all night and he says the sweetest things. He gets sad when I have to leave, and insists I stay the night so he can hold me. That's why when all this started to happen I was completely in shock, thinking there must be something going on since he wasn't being himself, I wanted to help...but after yesterday, I'm starting to think that's just the other side of him. Everyone wants me to dump him...I know I should it's stupid to let him treat me like that, and it may just get worse it being the beginning of the relationship...But I love him, and it hurts to think of us breaking up...I just want to see if there is another option.
So what I have gotten from reading, his symptoms or other weird behavior I have seen are :
Poor self image
Mistrust in others when he has no reason to
Impulsive (getting into fights, stealing, ect..)
Suicidal threats AND self mutilation
Anxiety (he complains of this often)
Becoming angry out of no where almost everyday (usually not at me though)
Accusing me of cheating
Angry when I confront him
Getting very lonely when no one is around, and calls me at 2am
Doesn't want me to leave when I come over
Usually when I ask him how he is doing, he replies with irritated, pissed off, lonely, or something negative.
He says he is mean to people, but he is nice to me because I haven't wronged him. (Idk what that could mean)
I don't know could it be that he is borderline? If not what do you think? And what can I do to help him and get the old him back?
I was in a 1 year relationship with a man with BDP... and, there are some things that I recognize in the description of your boyfriend that I saw in my ex-boyfriend. But, it's hard to say if your boyfriend, indeed, has BPD. So, I'll go through your list and compare it to what I saw in my BPD ex. Maybe you can relate to some of this.
*My ex showed to have a big ego (he's a bit of a know-it-all.) But, on the other hand, he didn't like himself much. And, he was always calling himself a loser.
*My ex not only distrusted people... but, on many levels, he disliked people and avoided social gatherings and crowded places.
*Like your boyfriend, my ex was impulsive and was prone to pick fights and engage in verbal confrontations with total strangers for insignificant things... like a parking space, an error on a cash register receipt or someone supposedly looking at him the "wrong way."
*My ex attempted suicide several years ago... and often spoke about feeling that he "... was better off being dead."
*My ex showed to have a great deal of anxiety and was constantly uptight and stressed out. Relaxation was a major struggle for him.
*My ex could be seemingly happy and content one moment; and, a hysterical raging lunatic the next moment... and usually over something benign and meaningless like someone changing the station on the car radio; showing up at a store and finding it closed or discovering a menu change at a favorite restaurant.
*I not sure if my ex was exactly Paranoid; but he did personalize quite a bit and took insult from comments and actions that weren't even being directed at him.
*My ex never accused me of cheating on him; however, he often questioned my love for him... and often misinterpreted my compliments as being put downs, hidden insults and criticism.
*I avoided confrontations with my ex; so, we didn't deal with the anger issue in that respect... I discovered, early on, that if I got into a debate with him, he turned it into an argument and he'd explode like a stick of dynamite.
*As for self victimizing, I'm not sure what you mean by that.
If you mean self mutilating; my ex is obsessed with his hair and plucked and shaved all of his body hair... everywhere!
If you mean self pitying and playing the role as the victim, my ex was an expert at that.
*And, although he wouldn't admit it, my ex was a very sad and lonely man and he often spoke of having an empty, hollow, "vacuous" feeling.
*My ex not only didn't want me to leave him; he didn't want to share me with anyone or anything... including time spent with my parents; time spent at my job; and, believe it or not... going to church and practicing my religion.
*My ex was negative and, for the most part, he was always sullen and complaining about something or someone, and spoke about how rotten his life had been. He saw very little goodness in the world.
*And, that last one on your list... about being mean. My ex was ill-tempered and could be very hurtful and insulting. I would say, at times... he was downright hateful.
I know that you love your guy; I loved my BPD guy too. In fact, in a sentimental way, I still do. And, I miss him dearly. But, there comes a time when you realize that life is hard enough dealing with your own problems and you can't possibly mend someone else's broken life.
Good luck to you and to whatever you decide to do.
Thank you so much for replying, that is very helpful
There are some things I didn't even think about, he's a know it all as well. I can't tell him about anything without him thinking he knows more on the subject.
The mood swings for sure, at least recently
And definitely negative! He complains all the time about the people in his life, my friends, and his past situations...When I call him he is never having a good day, but when I see him he seems happy.
Well from the the victimizing himself I meant that he constantly wants pity, even in situations where I don't really get why, but I always try to understand...But he seems to crave sympathy constantly but cannot offer any in return, especially if he's the cause. But I haven't been upset until recently...I'm a really happy person normally, but I find myself crying almost everyday because of him! He used to make me feel amazing being around him just everything has changed.
I don't know, it's all very hard...I've tried talking to him any chance I get, but all he wants to do is yell and the way he is talking scares me...so finally I tried to break up with him yesterday but he blew up on me. And made me cry...he said he had to worry about his life and sanity at the moment, but he won't lose me from all this. And that it wasn't his fault. So eventually convinced me to stay. Even against my better judgment. I want to be with him, I'm scared though I mean is there any hope? Can he get through this little episode or whatever he's having?
Girl, i feel your pain. i really, really do. My "boyfriend" has BPD... we dated for a few years, he is the love of my life. I know him intuitively. He & i have a connection that is so strong and so unique it goes across space and time. He is the most intriguing, interesting, deep, and sexy man i have ever met in my life. Then again, he also has this side to him that is just very isolating, hard to read, inconsistent, contradictory, and he can be very hurtful. It's so hard to imagine it's the same person that cuddled up next to me and told me how much he loves me. It is. Welcome to the world of BPD.
What I am about to say is written with such an understanding of what you are going thru. You sound just like me a few years ago when I began dating a guy with BPD. Surfing the internet, keeping a diary of "triggers" of his behavior, trying so hard to use every little bit of strength i had to get to the bottom of his very confusing behavior. It can sound so hard for others to imagine.. how you can care for someone. I'll be honest.. that list you wrote up w/ so many symptoms being BPD symptoms aren't exactly the qualities you dreamed up for your "knight in shining armor" to be showing, when you were a little girl growing up. Am i right? But still, you are determined to understand... b/c he is so sweet and loving too... and affectionate, and protective of you... and you just know how much he loves you... b/c when it's good, it is good to the heightened intensity that you've never ever felt before. I know i'm right... b/c I have been there. I wish i could write you a detailed entry of exactly what to expect, what to do/what not to do, and how to make things better... but, I obviously can't do that. Also, i don't want to give out a lot of detail details b/c this is the internet and all... and it's a really private thing... but what i can do is give you something that will help you... so, here is my take on this all:
He has caused me so much pain, but this pain came with so many red flags.. that i cast aside knowingly, in a sheer attempt to try to be THAT ONE THAT REACHES HIM, gets through to him, helps him, that shows him love and through that love, he realizes what he is doing and wants to be better.
Well, for years, I was there for him... i was the sweetest, most empathetic girlfriend to him, that you could imagine... not to toot my own horn, but it is true. I dedicated my time and energy into being there for him, loyal to no end, making him feel safe, and just loving him unconditionally. Helping him was such a passion that it almost became an obsession... i was so interested in doing this, but @ the same time, he was so non-chalant about it all... like he didn't have a care in the world. So why was I caring so much? Why was i doing things he should be doing? Well, i didn't know so much at the time, but looking back, i see that i was co-dependent, i was addicted to him, and in a weird way, by taking him back all the time with no consequences, i was enabling him and his negative behavior, that i was trying to get rid of!!! Ironic. True though. Boundaries and consequences are essential when dating a BPD. Back then, man, I fought fire with fire. I was so overly emotional about everything, and THAT was not healthy for him. He had enough trouble sorting out his emotions.
Needless to say, despite our differences, we became best friends and soul mates. The chemistry was out of this world.. you couldn't beat it... it was truly the deepest love I ever felt for any man. What was really cool, or so i thought, was that he was this rough tough guy with everyone else... but would just melt in my arms and do anything for me. It was almost like he finally met his match with me... b/c he would become putty in my arms and love me so much he cried, over and over again. He made me feel like i was the apple of his eye... guess what that is... idealization. He idealized me. It felt so good... i do know he loved me, genuinely. Before he loved me though, he idealized me. Almost like i could do no wrong. I was perfect in his eyes.
Then what happened? Well, he had difficulty handling his emotions. Because of his BPD. He loved me so much, that in time, he could not handle the vulnerability that resonated in his love for me. BPDs have difficulty feeling vulnerable, and he loved me so much that he would bask in a bubbly bath of vulnerability that just added fuel to the fire when it came to his emotional stability. And so yeah, sure, the BPD symptoms got worse.. or maybe he was more comfortable with me that he just didn't mask them as much... he let his guard down... and let me tell you, i saw some really scary stuff. He has a very violent side.. which is the scariest part about the BPD. Anger can escalate, and if you're somebody like me who feels the need to stick up for yourself or put up your dukes and fight fire with fire at times in heated arguments, i see that MY behavior, or rather, my reactiveness to his behavior, was just not good... it made his anger increase 10 fold.
BPD isn't something to take lightly. If you're dating someone with BPD, please please please check out bpdcentral online and learn the facts... so you can live free and be yourself without walking on eggshells or waiting for the next shoe to drop. Believe it or not, knowledge alone, will be very effective in helping the person with BPD lessen their symptoms... if you truly care. There are code words they can use with you to "warn you" of some impending rage. If they trust you, they will open up, believe me. It takes some coaxing, but they will seek therapy b/c they know something isn't quite right deep down.
Anyhow, my take on what happened is that his handling of his emotions got so out of control, he felt so vulnerable, and unsafe, that he was in a constant state of inner chaos. He'd get angry about the littlest things... and sometimes the anger would be real anger, but other times, he would feel/express anger in place of other emotions... such as fear, gratitude, and yes, even love. Think of tasting corn chowder okay... you know what it tastes like. Now, taste pizza and cheeseburger and icecream and have all of that taste like corn chowder... and have it be that your tastebuds are recognizing a taste but having difficulty defining THAT particular taste... but still, everytime you bite into that pizza, you are convinced its tasting like corn chowder, and have no reason not to, because in your own mind that is what it tastes like, and you trust you more than anyone. Well, people with BPD rely on their recognition of emotions... and when they feel anger, they think they really are angry.... when in reality, many times, they just lack the broad spectrum of being able to define THAT emotion. This is usually only when things get heightened, more intense, more complicated... like when dealing with emotions such as love. So anyways, the more he loved me, i saw the angrier he'd get at stupid little things... and it'd cause fights b/c i would get suckered right into those arguments and try to reason and rationalize myself as being right... another big mistake... b/c when the BPD is raging, they are incapable of reasoning. That is specifically why you should just announce you are leaving, that you will talk about this later, and leave. This creates a sense of safeness within the BPD, b/c you are showing emotional stability in your actions.. you are acting with a cool, calm head, which makes them feel safe, you are asserting your boundary, which makes them feel nice (they will test boundaries, but they do like and need boundaries even if they get angry or seem to resist, they are very much like kids with regards to this, oddly enough), and lastly, you are following thru w/ that action, by actually leaving. For an hour. Or a day. Or a week. Maybe even he'll use a code word to let you know he needs his space, before it escalates into a fight. B/c people with BPD are very moody, and really don't want to hurt those they love. Oh, another fact, it wouldn't hurt to tell him you love him as you walk out the door either, b/c that will show that you are not abandoning him, which is a fear they have (whether they have reason to or not, it's always at the very foreground of their deepest fears).
In my particular situation, i think that emotionally, he couldn't handle it anymore. He became impulsive, and unpredictable. He was so scared that I would leave him, that he had to be the first one to leave. The weird thing is, as crazy as his behavior had gotten, i was so deeply involved that i don't think i would have left him... case in point: that is what i mean about keeping track of your own emotional stability. sometimes when dating a BPD, it takes you on an emotional rollercoaster journey and you think you're still that same stable person you were on the onset of the relationship, and then much much later after time and clarity you realize that it took its toll on you and effected your judgment, making your actions "reactions" instead of actions based on your own innermost desires. So, my advice, don't let your actions all be a "reaction" to his actions... learn to take actions that are inspired by your own desires and thoughts. Act. DON'T REACT. It kind of ate up a big part of who i was at the time. He held the key to whether i'd have a good day, a bad day, feel beautiful, feel lonely, or whatever, b/c i started reacting to his moods... OOOH and we know that is not healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knowing what i know now, there is no way in #(# i would let somebody get away with that. I forgive myself for being naive though. And at the time, i wasn't seeing so clearly. Needless to say, we did eventually break up, but he initiated the breakup. Which was just wacky b/c he had such a good thing going. He though started reacting to his own moods. We had gotten into a fight, and he had really taken his anger to the next level, and started saying these horrible things to me that were just completely unfathomable... and he put me in a headlock. It was one of the worst things he's ever done to me, so i was absolutely livid and with reason. Now, his anger had taken on a new level of its own, which was downright scary. He was saying and doing things that i never in a million years would have thought he'd say and do... things that didn't seem like him. AHHH... but they were.. the good, the bad, and the ugly... all that wrapped together is him... i learn not to "split" him apart from his BPD. He is a man living with BPD... and is to be looked at collectively in that light, and not his good qualities separated from his bad and vice versa.
Anyhow, i was trying to show him he can't just do that to me and expect things to be fine... so i didn't return his calls for a week. I was soo angry/scared and p.o'd that he thought he could treat me like that, and like i said, i am feisty, so this time i wasn't playing around... i wanted him to know exactly how i felt and until i got that huge apology, i wasn't budging. So, there I was, thinking i was being strong and all, it was sooo hard to not call him back, but i wanted it to sink in that what he did was wrong, and i was secretly waiting for that perfect genuine apology that might make him wake up and live life differently so-to-speak. That apology never happened. Instead, he in his own mind, perceived that i would reject him anyways, b/c he knew that he acted WAAAAY out of line this time, and so he ended up leaving me first so i wouldn't have the chance to leave him, and in his mind, he convinced himself that there would be no way i'd take him back.
BPDs will do this. It will shock you. If you have been there for your BPD like i have been for mine, it can really send your mind into looneyland thinking THEY would be the one to initiate the breakup. So you expect this luxurious apology and they are already setting their sights on your replacement. Just like that. And the deal is done. And from the looks of it, they are happily moved on... and you're there wondering how they could break up with you, appear to have gotten over you and fallen inlove again. Don't take it personally. It's BPD. Like a rabbid cheetah in the wild, that takes on a giraffe b/c its hungry. It's sad... but its their animal instincts kicking in... and w/ the BPD, its their defense mechanism, they don't really even think it up themselves so much as they act impulsively the way their brains are wired to behave.
It's part of the rejection sensitivity symptom so deeply en-rooted in the BPD. When it comes down to it, and they think they're really going to be broken up with, they would much rather be the DUMPER than the DUMPEE, and they will pick another person to cling to and really project all their instantaneous feelings of love onto them in the quickest manner. Idealization is what is is though. It is hard to imagine... but when they split you bad, the new girlfriend is split good.. and they project their feelings for you onto them... and idealize them instantaneously.
So, to clarify, he was so ashamed for how he behaved that he thought i definitely wouldn't want him back this time, so his coping mechanism was to subconsciously (not purposely) "split" me bad (check out BPD and splitting)... and within 2 weeks, he had another girlfriend, that he moved into his apt!!! Living with her and all!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it. Heartbroken. It devastated me. Everytime i tried to talk to him, he had this mean look in his eye, and said he hated me. But i hadn't done anything for him to hate me for. I was waiting for HIM to apologize to ME. WTF? How could you hate me, i thought? Your the one that wronged me?!! What is going on here?
Well, him "hating me" was really his splitting me bad... thankfully, at this point in time, i had read enough BPD books to get a firm grasp on what was going on... and prevented myself from a big downward spiral. I tried not to personalize his behavior. I tried to believe in our love, and know that he truly did love me... so much so, that he had the capacity to hate. Not real hate, but those are the terms they think in. Black and white.
He had to hate me in order to rid himself of the guilt of being so cruel to me. He had to hate me. It was either me or him, he said it himself. One of us had to be split bad, b/c he couldn't handle the emotions.
Anytime you catch yourself feeling sorry for yourself, imagine what it is like to be the BPD. They don't ask for this... they don't like hurting people they love. Imagine what it's like to love or hate another person, well, you can escape that other person. Now, imagine you love or hate youreself. You can't escape yourself... it is such a horrible thing that the BPD goes through... the self destructive behaviors and such are things they do in order to try to take the pain away... b/c they "hate" themselves during these times... they feel guilt, fear, etc.. and it is their way of handling those emotions. SO i know its sucky to be in the middle of this, but remember to have compassion and empathy for the BPD.. b/c they are going thru far more than you will ever dream of going through. An inner turmoil that can only be fixed by them admitting to it, and getting help... the problem with that, it's hard for them to admit fault to anything, b/c even the littlest thing (such as over-cooking steak) can make them feel like a failure and trigger feelings of worthlessness... so just be aware.
I remained myself throughout the entire breakup. I had learned how my behavior helped enable his, so @ this point in time, i had read the "Stop Walking on Eggshells" book and did the workbook and all, so i was a pro at this. I didn't want to escalate his anger. It took all the self discipline i had to convince myself that was his BPD talking... that he didnt' hate me, and that he just split me bad. I remembered hearing stories of other things in his life, people to hobbies to goals/career and personal, that were never consistent... and i reminded myself those are just other examples of his BPD. I was split bad. *****, i thought. So this is what it feels like. I guess i'll just wait for him to split me good again... but not "wait" as in twiddle my thumbs... i'll continue on with my life, and no matter what, i will always be cordial and respectful and non-reactive to him. And guess what happened, he & the ugly girl he was dating and living with, started having problems, and then he split her bad, and then i was the angel... out of the blue, i'd get all these calls and texts and such... but guess what, i was (still am) the same person. I just said that i would always be here for him, and that i always will love him...
Even when he said he hated me, i responded with kind eyes telling him I love him, so much. (then, went home and cried my eyes out).
I backed off and decided to let him take the fall and learn for himself... and he did. Yes, i saw it coming. I knew he'd be back calling me and saying how sorry he was. It just took him months to realize that b/c he lacked the emotional forsight that most of us take for granted. I knew. I hurt, I was in pain, but ultimately, I understood.
So i am dating him again now... with a new set of wide eyes, that have the where-with-all and knowledge to learn from my mistakes. I can't walk away from him, because I do love him, and i don't walk away from people that i care about. I am inlove with him still. Despite it all. Crazy, maybe. You can judge me if you want. But i know for a fact, that the passion is there... the love is there... love and passion like i have never felt before... and i never want to lose it again.
I have learned to accept the whole picture... the BPD side and the loving affectionate side... it's all the same guy. I have learned not to split him... and extricate his qualities and see him as all good... or all bad... b/c i admit, i didn't hold him accountable for many of his behaviors in the past b/c i knew the "real him" wouldn't do that... but i should have held him accountable. He should have been seen for all his qualities, good and bad. That was my coping mechanism though, how i learned to handle dating a BPD man. Still, we've been seeing eachother again for a couple of months, and i have noticed how hard it is for him. It's a struggle. All those emotions are there... i am the love of his life... and he knows it. With that, my friend, comes great uncertainty and emotions that he is still not equipped to handle. It's scary... not being able to perceive your own emotions properly and act appropriately. Feelings equal facts and that is their reality. That is the world of the BPD. And b/c its a chosen relationship, that is the world i live in now too.... and it's scary. I don't really trust him. I want to, but i can't yet. He needs to earn that trust. I might think he'd never cheat, or do this or that, but the aptitude for impulsiveness is still there...he just knows how to cope with that better now. Simply b/c he's aware that he gets like that. He still has a lot of learning ahead of him though, and a long way to go... but I am going to atleast give it another try for myself. I have to.
I respect that it's really a shock to his system to be doing this... splitting me good then bad then good again... and i don't know how common it is for them to be able to trust people they feel "wronged them" (even though i never wronged him, his feelings equal facts equal reality, so in his eyes, i wronged him)..but b/c i understand BPD and what is going on, and b/c i am better equipped on how to handle it, i can be a better girlfriend. Still, i don't know what will happen. I am strong, but it is very trying on me... it takes a lot out of me... the only difference now is that I respect his wanting to be alone when he's in his "moods" and i don't force him to talk about whats bothering him... and then, like a storm, it passes, and he's loving and affectionate again. I have the tools to handle dating someone with BPD... but still, it isn't all that and a bag of chips. It isn't ideal... and i honestly don't know if this is what i want, but I do know that I love him enough to try. And so it goes... (wish me luck!)
So now that you have my story, this is what i know about BPD:
Relationships are very challenging. Why? Because it involves emotions. Obviously everybody needs love and wants love... and yes, there is enough love for everyone of all walks of life and just because somebody is diagnosed with being BPD doesn't mean they are incapable of loving or being loved. It's just more complicated, that's all. Remember, that as the relationship intensifies, so do the symptoms of BPD. When somebody with BPD invests their emotions into you, you will feel things pretty intensely begin to rise to the surface.
The most important thing to remember is it's not done on purpose or to manipulate. It looks like that, it really does, but BPD are just experiencing the same emotions as other people, to a heightened extent, with the propensity for sudden mood swings... and all of this is a built-in defense mechanism, that they use because that is how their brains operate. Simple.
So yes, emotions of any kind will aggravate the symptoms. Basic emotions, okay... they have a good hold on. But turn up the amp on those emotions... and turn thinking somebody is cute into having a crush on her into loving her... and it challenges and puts a weight on every other emotion that accompanies that... and those emotions are heightened before they're really properly identified. Capeesh?
That is why it is so vital that the BPD partner be understanding of what BPD is.. b/c you can't control it, but you do have some control. No, you can't control his behavior. But yes, you can control yours. Your actions, your words, and how you react to his behavior.
Keep a journal... that's what i do.. it helps. Write your emotions.. and also keep a journal of triggers.. things that trigger his behavior.. and then your responses... and learn how to respond in certain situations. Everyone is different... but BPDs like to be listened to, and respected, so they feel alive, when their sense of self is weak. They will test you time and time again. Be firm with your boundaries. This will help long-term, though it will be bumpy short-term. Just tell them you'll always love them, no matter what. You don't need to always be there as a friend, and you don't need to be a buddy buddy friend, but it might be comforting to them to know that even if the relationship goes sour, that you won't be "abandoning" them. If they are being scary or threatening your well being, go. Leave. That is serious, and that is a risk you cannot afford to take. My advice is, put yourself and your needs first.. at all times.
Try to stay emotionally stable when in confrontation. Set boundaries. Try to muster up enough strength to NOT be reactive to them... rather, find a quiet time when they have calmed down to discuss the issue at hand. A lot of times, BPD cannot perceive their own emotions on command, in ways that you and i can so articulately, and so they experience what is called emotional flooding. They also get angry, and that anger covers a broad range of emotions, but every time they feel certain emotions, instead of feeling it in its appropriate detail, they feel that emotion as anger... that is why he's angry all the time. It's not that he's REALLY angry... but that he's feeling emotions and has trouble reading them, so every emotion will be interpreted as "anger". This occurs during certain moods of course, when the "emotional flooding" is overwhelming him, when he's stressed out (stress can make BPD symptoms worse), etc.
Those who have BPD, like your boyfriend, here is where it gets tricky. The more they love you, the more capable they are of hating you. It's almost like the candle is burning on both ends... equally. Haven't you noticed that the more you love something the more scared you are of losing it? It's along those lines. Only, you will see all kinds of emotional things come out the closer that you become. Have you heard of "splitting"? Or "Hoover" technicque? These are classic BPD behaviors and symptoms, that you have described. This is where your own self-esteem, and mental stability, can be eroded, when you think things are absolutely fine and that atleast you are in control. Well, when you get emotionally involved with somebody who isn't emotionally stable, you slowly begin to slip up in this dept. You won't notice it right away, but it's almost like a person gaining 15 lbs doesn't notice it on themselves b/c they look in the mirror every day, but to someone they haven't seen in awhile, they might notice. That kinda think happens to your self esteem and control, when you are strong and feeling like you can conquer the world... so watch out for that okay... just be aware. Okay, now onto the splitting, this is what your boyfriend is doing. Things are split in good and bad, black and white... 2 very opposite extremes. He does this with himself, with you, and the world in general. It's a defense mechanism... and although he can be aware of this (if done in the proper psychiatric setting) so he can learn conflict resolution techniques, he will always have an inclination to think in such terms.. b/c it is biological in nature. Cognative behavioral therapy can do wonders though... so there is a rainbow in all of this.
So, i want to say, that in my opinion, this "boyfriend" of mine with BPD is the most brilliant, loving creature in the world.. and together, he and i will conquer his demons... and learn how to handle this and live with this BPD diagnosis together... WHY?? Because in my opinion, love is the answer. And, I love him with all of my heart.
I'm back.... so after reading my "novel of posts"... i had just wanted to comment on Meagan's post more specifically... here it goes:
BPD sign/Rejection Sensitivity/ he freaked out in a panic thinking you were going to break up with him
BPD Sign/Fear of Abandonment/ he thought you were going to break up with him so he beat you to it; then, it passed; and he wanted to forget it all.. especially b/c he knew that in talking about it, blame would have to be assigned, and he did not want to take any responsiblity for the blame. So he swept it under the rug.
BDP sign/Splitting/ he split himself bad by saying he was a monster... mine would say things to me like "i'm an @sshole"..
BPD sign/Inability to take the blame (for overcooked steak, dropping a bday cake on the floor, silly little things that you or i would laugh about and get over, they are sensitive about to the point that it makes them feel like a failure)..so whalaa, that is PRECISELY why your boyfriend has trouble taking blame and casts blame on others... b/c each little mistake is perceived as a HUGE FAILURE, causing him feel worthless and like he is "no good"... He will not articulate this to you. But this is what goes through his mind. It's much easier to project blame on others, to spare him from the daunting task of feeling like he's even more a "monster" than he already is.
BPD sign/Suicidal threats; this is serious. I'm glad you called the Police. You did the right thing.
BPD sign/Impulsivity/ He slept w/ his friend's g/f.. probably right when his feelings for you were getting stronger/ to offset his vulnerability
BPD sign/Disassociate/sometimes during BPD rage, they do disassociate and so they have trouble recalling the events (i'm sure he does remember to some extent though unless drugs or alcohol were involved)
And my take on him breaking up w/ you and not remembering... well, he was trying to deal w/ the repercussions of emotion (guilt) that he had from cheating on you the week before.. and felt so guilty that he attempted to split you bad; but you were so kind and calm about it by saying "okay if that's what you want" that he saw how good you really are, and then felt bad about himself again. He couldn't get rid of his guilt by splitting you bad, b/c you weren't feeding into it (you were being what you are, sweet and loving) and so he realized the guilt belonged to him; then split himself bad; and became self destructive w/ suicidal threats... then; in time; after you set boundaries and consequences (good job girl, proud of you!) by calling the Police, and he knew you were taking his threats seriously, he embarrassed, the next day, after the rage wore off, he wanted to shrug it off like no big deal. Don't split him into good or bad though. He will make it so easy for you to. Keep holding him accountable, keep having important discussions, and make sure he uses protection b/c they are so impulsive sometimes BPD have unprotected sex w/ random people as a symptom of their self-mutilation/self-destructiveness. And you might not even have the slightest clue. Remember BPD is a real mental condition that is diagnosed and can't be "willed" away. SO PLEASE, take responsibility for your own health... I applaud you for your efforts and wish you the very best w/ the BPD that you love. xxx
Is it wrong to tell your boyfriend that you think he may have this disorder?
I am in a no win situation with my bpd boyfriend. He had always shown signs of the behavior, but one recent weekend he really started to escalate. I was fearful...I finally called his mother to let her know something wasn't right and to ask if he had any history of mental illness or depression.
At first she was helpful, but now I am getting blamed for his behavior. I have no one to talk to. I have a shrink but she is out of town this week. I have to be sensitive to him and his bpd, but he won't let me discuss anything with anyone. He doesn't want me talking to his mother (even though I have been), he doesn't want me talking to my shrink, and he doesn't want me talking to my family or my friends. So that only leaves him to talk to and he can't handle it. I am feeling tremendous resentment and anger for his treatment of me. He takes out all his fustrations on me. I understand the disorder, so I get why. But it still hurts, everytime.
I feel like I am just making things worse at this point. I don't know what to do.
If I lived with him, I would just leave. But he lives with me, and when I have suggested a break, he digs in deeper, tells me he loves me, he can act better, and so on.
He has just started therapy and gone on anti-anxiety pills and anti depression pills, but has not been diagnosed formally with BPD. He is very angry that I would even suggest he could possibly have an issue that extreme.
I do love him, but I am losing my self in this. I am definitely losing my patience. I have bought books and read psychiatric journels to better understand the disorder and that has helped. I would think that his understanding of the disorder would help too.
He asked to read a study that he caught me reading the other night, after he went into a rage over something silly, and I let him b/c he asked for the paper. I told him what it was about and he wanted it. I didn't force it on him. I have been very open and honest with his mother through this ordeal and told her about the article and sent her the link to read it as well. Now she is pissed with me for giving it to him. That he is too fragile to handle this stuff. How can we move forward if no one will acknowledge that this may be an issue?
He doesn't want you to talk to others because he wants exclusive relationships. Him and you. Him and his mother, etc.
BPD can range from mild to severe. Many people with it are high functioning.
I would probably feel offended if someone suggested to me that I had a personality disorder (if I weren't already diagnosed with one).
I think it would be appropriate for him to raise your concerns with his doctor or therapist.
I would recommend therapy for yourself to help you work through how you feel and to look at what you need to do to make your life work for you.
He is starting treatment and that is a good start. If things still aren't working for you you may need to look at your living arrangements.
Hello iam1butterfly and to everyone. I read your post last night and was thrilled to come across it as it helped me to understand a man that I had been 'dating' on and off for the last six years. I am not sure if the guy I was with has BPD but the more I read on this sort of thing, the more it makes me wonder if he does have it and therefore it would explain for his behaviour.
When I first met him he was very happy and very pleased to have met me. He was also very polite, thoughtful and seemed to have a genuine interest in me as a person. Then he went away for awhile to sort himself out as his marriage had broken up and he needed to work out where he was going to and from there, so he took off overseas for seven months and we corresponded via online chatting and emails.
When he got back there was an instant kind of chemistry between us and to cut a long story short we actually got together within a week of him coming home. He told me that he wanted something 'laid back' as far as relationships went and I did not seem to mind as I too had a marriage break up some years before. Over time we started to see more and more of one another but it was often on his terms and I would go and stay with him at weekends as I would be working during the week and he had decided to go back and get some formal qualifications. Life was wonderful for awhile and he and spent many a time cooking up a storm together in his little apartment and we lived simply and basically enjoyed one anothers company.
Over time it was natural that I wanted him to introduce me to his family and friends. I had invited him to a few of my family get togethers but sadly saw nothing from his end. He told me that his daughter was not ready to meet me yet and I respected that but as far as friends went, I saw few and family well I was lucky if I got that. Eventually I met his teenage daughter and sporadically met a few 'friends'. He appeared to know many people but as far as friends went, they were few and far between.
As time twindled by I found that he just like to flop in front of the tv and not really talk much to me when I came over. Granted he had been at study all week and was tired but there was very little effort on his part. I did not mind this because my life was rather quiet too but it would have been nice if he had made a bit of an effort. Our love making although shaky at first, was often beautiful and nine times out of ten, I felt like I was on cloud nine. He had taken me to nirvana and back when we did. Sadly I miscarried a couple of years later and although he told me via online chat I could talk about it with him and all that, I found he was never there and was never there whenever I needed him in many of lifes events such as my parents getting sick and when I needed him the most.
Over time I developed a bit of Post traumatic stress, I was trying to be there for him and help him when he needed it and also deal with the loss of the child. I sunk into depression and ended up seeing help about it, encouraging him to come but he never did. I found him over time to slip from being that nice guy that I had met into a man who would have screaming matches with his computer or if something went wrong, they were horrifiying for me to watch and it was like a baby who had spat the dummy basically and naturally I would react. Overtime I had to learn to just try and block it out but it was very hard for me as I knew that they were not something a 'normal man' would do. He also was becoming more and more aloof and as a musician he was very gifted and talented in what he did. He practiced alot and I loved listening to him but he was also like a bull with a red rag if you dared to interupt him. He was very much up and down much of the time and although I was there for him in so many ways I felt that he was rather hurtful at times especially when he said to me not to expect him to be my knight and shining armor. Yet when I tried to break away after he thought we were better off as friends, he would come back to me. He would send me texts asking me if I was allright and he still called me babe or sweety. I told him that that I found that hard and although we went back and forth all the time it broke my heart knowing the more love I would pour into him, the further he would try and break away from me. When I finally met his sister at his graduation, I had a panic attack. I was so overwhelmed by the whole thing. I tried to write his Mum an hand written letter asking for her take on everything and I never heard back. He spent little time with her and what time he did spend with her and his sister and other siblings was very minimal compared to myself and my own immediate family. It was if he was doing all this study to get himself ahead (he was a househusband in his marriage) and they were perhaps wanting him to just get a job. He had hardly worked before so I guess I could understand really where they were coming from but still I continued to be there for him as best as I could. He told me I was the only woman that could put up with him and then towards the end of last year I was ready to throw in the towel. He had finished his degree and had just about finished his Masters and now in one of our forces bands. He invited me up to stay with him but had hardly been home to see me in the months before. Everything was strained and he even went on two overseas trips without me. He was basically breaking my heart over and over again. I had lost alot of trust I guess and alot of love too was starting to go, I did not know whether to trust him or not and I guess I was beginning to distance myself even more. I was getting sick too.
Anyway he told me he just wanted a friend and that he did not want or need a relationship. He said that last year and I guess that was a bitter pill for me to swallow after I perhaps became so co dependent on him and everything we had. He had a job now and got his qualifications and here I was hoping he would settle down and he then told me that. He and I continued to keep in touch but each thing I told him he thought I was 'in upset' not really understanding my need for wanting him to stop being a stupid man. He is older than me by a generation and a bit and I felt annoyed after putting so much into someone and gave him that love that any person would lap up. I felt very much like one of those make believe animals- a pushme pullyou. Anyway on New years of this year I told him I couldnt do it anymore and he just probably saw it as a bit of a joke. His emails (his preferred method of contact aside from texting and online chat to me) were sporadic and I lost hope. In February he then announced he had met up with an old flame and as I have learnt she has plenty of money and all those things I do not have right now. My guess is that he will be using her now and will be taking advantage of that being all nice and sweet and then... boom the sh** will hit the fan. I could tell you lots of stories on here but like you say there is only so much one can say. But the more I read your story and an article called Romeo's Bleeding
the more I think he has BPD.
Oops I hit send too quickly. I guess that I would like to know how things are for you, its been awhile since you wrote your article and I wondered if you are still with your BPD man. A part of me still loves this man but I realise that they actually mould themselves to your personality. This guy is very smart, scary smart in fact. In fact part of me wonders if he knows he has this condition but was afraid of telling me. Strangely enough he still keeps me on his Gmail account (I can see when he is online and vice versa) and on his Linkedin account. I have not bothered to take him off yet when I said hello once, he did not reply. Interestingly enough I feel he was watching me and when I have set myself to invisible he is not online as much. I know that he played 'games' alot with me when we were together and when I sent him a message recently to say he had mail that was delivered here awhile back. He would text back but then if I asked things of a personal nature he would go all quiet. My guess is like I said earlier, he will be using that other woman as he seems very good at getting where he wants to go and using people along the way. It pity's me to think how he or anyone could do that.
I will close now but it would be great to hear your thoughts on this. Best wishes.
Yes, it has been quite a while since I wrote that.
In fact, I'm so far removed from that relationship that I needed to re-read it twice to refresh my memory. Many of the situations that I had written about have faded from my mind... and, my recollection is vague at best. Still, other situations (the more bizarre, over-the-top hysterics) are so vivid that I can see them in my "mind's eye"... and, I relive the experiences as though they occurred only yesterday.
But, in answer to your question, am I "...still with [my] BPD man" the answer is, no. When he and I parted ways in late 2008, that was it. No phone calls; no e-mails; nothing... well, almost nothing.
I'm certain that he has kept my e-mail address saved in his Yahoo account because I used to received facebook friendship invitations (supposedly) from him. So, that's been the most contact that we've had.
But in truth, I don't miss him... and, I rarely think about him... except when I hear some song on the radio that reminds me of him... specifically, The Turtles' "Happy Together." It was our song. But, that and a few other songs are fond reminders of our good times (our first 4 months together). So, I prefer to remember him for the joy and light that he brought into my life; and not dwell on the his dark side. But, it took years, nearly 2 years to be exact, for me to reach that point. Time is the great equalizer... and, while it sounds cliche-ish, Time does heal the wounds of failed relationships and Love... gone wrong.
Also, researching and reading up on relationships helped me immensely. One book that I found to be very insightful is titled "Boomerang Love," by Lynn Melville. It's emphasis is on abusive Borderline relationships and getting "unhooked" from them.
Take care and do feel free to continue sharing your thoughts. I'd like to hear more about your "ex." I suspect that he and my "ex" are a lot alike.
Thank you for replying it was really good to get a response. I am not sure where to start to tell you the truth. I guess that for me I am more aware about this sort of thing now that I am not with the man but it does leave me wondering and although we have had sporadic contact since our break up I have not actually physically seen him since Christmas eve last year when we exchanged gifts. Part of me really misses him and the other part of me realises that I am perhaps much better off without him in my life. That said I do miss the good times and the shared interests we had and I think that is what hurts me the most. But I am strong and have been reading a pdf version of Stop Walking on Eggshells. I have yet to come across your suggested book so I must look that up at some point. I think for me right now the biggest thing I am doing is looking after me, after being with him as long as I have I am really not ready to start another relationship. I have gone back to study myself now and in two years I will have own degree. Its been a struggle at times as I became sick after everything fell apart this year so I know I just need to take each day as it comes and ride the good with the bad. I think of him often and although I do not think I need any counselling, I realise that thinking about him will only add pain to my heart. I just pity the new *** old girlfriend at the moment as I can actually pinpoint what he will do in terms of their relationship.
"Stop Walking on Eggshells" was the first book that I read this topic.
Another good book is, "I Hate You-Don't Leave Me," by Jerold J. Kreisman, MD & Hal Straus. That book serves as a guide for recognizing and understanding the Borderline Personality.
As for entering new relationships, I know how you feel. I tried entering a couple of new relationships soon after our breakup... mainly for "validation." But, in reality, I wasn't in a "healthy mental space." I'd say that it took me a good 2 1/2 years after our breakup before I felt "recovered" enough to where I could date someone without bringing the emotional "baggage" with me.
Also, there's nothing wrong in thinking about him... there really isn't. Talking or, as we're doing, writing about such relationships is very therapeutic... cathartic, I'd say.
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