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Relationship Health Message Board


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I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you think you can change her by trying to "ward off" some of her extremes, you are going to be in for a long, exhausting, painful ride. All of the things you are describing are very typical for someone with BPD. One of the big issues for people with BPD is fear of rejection and abandonment. She is going to feel this way regardless of what you do. Even if you start spending every day with her, she is going to start reading into the littlest things you do and interpreting them to mean that you don't love her, or don't care about her, or are going to leave her. and she is going to become increasingly dependent on you to relieve this fear. She will start doing irrational things to alleviate this fear.

I can tell that you really want to give this girl a chance and you are very interested in her. I think you should carefully consider what you are getting yourself into. It is extremely difficult, if not totally impossible, to have a "normal" romantic relationship with someone with BPD. The very nature of this disorder is that BPD sufferers have a innately disordered way of viewing the world and interacting with people. Their interpersonal relationships are not stable and they manipulate people into meeting their needs to preserve their sense of self.

I don't want to offend anyone with BPD with this response, but I want the OP to understand that this isn't some minor phase this girl is going through. She will have BPD for the rest of her life and it will likely be a tumultuous life. I think most people with BPD would say that they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemy. I don't have it, but I have a friend who has borderline tendencies and her life is filled with huge ups and downs, and there are a LOT more downs than there are ups. She is constantly in terrible emotional pain and repeats the same cycles of misinterpreting people's behavior toward her over and over and over. I spend hours on the phone with her trying to reassure her about various aspects of life on a regular basis. I have been doing this for years and nothing has changed - it's the same thing over and over and I often tell her that I am struck by how hard it must be to be her. I don't think she will ever lead a happy life. Please, please, proceed with caution.
I agree with the previous reply. I suffer from rather mild BPD and as I get more therapy I come to understand more and more. A person cannot fool themselves forever! The tragedy is, the more good-intentioned support from a BF I recieve, the more I cling. I am trying to find out why. In the meantime, this is so tiring for him!
My previous relationship was with a nice guy for 7 years- he did every thing for me. He did my taxes, he paid the bills, he gave me advice, he soothed me. I in turn did all the cooking, cleaning, social organizing, and gave him affection. The problem was, I was also a leech! Yes, I recognize that. No matter how much direction he gave me it was never enough, and exactly, I resented him WHENEVER anything even unrelated to him went wrong. Like, he was my body-guard, protector, and somehow he should have stopped all wrong things from happening. I loved him the best I was able but somehow, since he got involved in things he should not have (accessive reassurance, guidance, protection, etc), all boundaries were down.
Advice to the guys who are involved with BPD: please keep all boundaries up, forever. We BPD's simply take, and once in that mindframe need more and more. It is hard to explain, b/c it is a feeling and that feeling is a black hole. Basically guys, take care of yourselves, don't get caught up with her needs when they are emotion-based. Refer the BPD to a therapist when she has tantrums or crises.
I was diagnosed post traumatic syndrome with BPD last month -- it was a struggle and a rude awakening for me. My honey for two years had to really threatened me before I would wake up from this haze cloudy mind of mine to really seek help. Once I got the help -- I began to feel so much better because I have the tools now to get better and help our relationship grow in a very healthy way -- communicate better, control my emotions better and be able to set up boundaries for myself. I understand that he, too, need to do his thing and need some time alone because being with someone like me could be at times tiring and very exhausting. I feel that I am lucky to have him by my side to help me through this haziness. I understand that he doesn't have to but the fact that he has the intention of wanting to go through this together -- that itself is enough. So please give her a chance and don't give up on her. Tell her truthfully and give her feedback on how you feel. Maybe ask her if you could go see her therapist -- ask her what is the best way to help your girlfriend.
Thanks for being so concise about the role of the co-dependent!! The solution to being addicted to sugar is not to add more sugar. Meaning just because the BPD says: "hug me all day", does not mean that hug will help at all.
The co-dependent, nice, selfless giving man who probably has low self-esteem would be able to develop out of co-dependence by having that unconditional love experience- maybe from a religious or family figure: one not reliant on external acts or events, and that may help the co-dependent get their self-love and self-confidence back.
I really appreciate how you describe that the co-dependent needs vacations too! I was wondering why my "x-victims" (past BF's) would tolerate my absolutely aweful behavior and then withdrawl mode: that was perhaps the co-dependent's chance to collect themselves emotionally- to take a breath and maybe even invision an escape.
All I can repetedly say to all the nice guys (and gals) dating the BP who are reading this is: don't be so nice, don't be so giving too much too soon or the BP will expect it always, don't solve the BP's problems by whisking away all the bad stuff in their life. DO have consequences when they show bad behavior. DO remind them you are a human with your own needs (and you need to find out what your needs are!(read book; Non-Violent Communication for needs list). DO force boundaries and space even if you don't need them (b/c the BPD does). DO hang in there and know it may take many years for real trust and real relationship to bloom.
Currently as stated above I am a high-functioning BP, someone who is a stranger to myself most of the time and ruled by the superego- doing good in society in every direction. But when my unclotted emotions start to run and run, I somehow become a monster and feel very ashamed. I cry, yell, and swear, and hurt myself. I have improved as I don't physicall hurt others anymore. The more comforted I get by my current BF, the more I feel scary emotions, until crying several hours, the exaustion hits and we are all safe again.
In reply to rosequartz...firstly, I am glad you are free of an abuser.

why would you voluntarily sign up for something like this?

Because BPD's have many positive traits. Your tone sounds extreme. I think that many BPD's are lovable, including me. The difference is I chose to not think of the label BPD as a threat, and I chose to investigate and get help. If a BPD person does not want to get help then yes, I would agree, either adapt to the behavior by putting up boundaries etc, or get out of the relationship.

Itried to fix it, realized there was no fix and I didn't want to spend my life being someone's scapegoat.....hopefully you will realize that before they've destroyed you.

See- that is the problem for the non-BPD: trying to fix someone else. The fix comes from within and with the aid of a counselor, and then the non-BPD person can be educated about where the BPD is at in their stage of "fixedness".
Ofcourse some BPD traits will not be "fixed", but do they need to be? Many people in society have maladaptive quirks we call "eccentric" and we don't lock them up. With good boundaries, we may even accept them. I think that BPD is something that both the BPD sufferer and the non-BPD have to first come to terms with and accept, then try to get help, then have some sense of resignation that this BPD may not ever be what society calls normal.
I am well aware of the positive traits of BPD. I begged my BPD boyfriend to PLEASE STOP drownding all your wonderful good points with your anger.....
he just wouldn't stop.....
the relationship was good for 3 months and bad for 9 months....
at that point, when the bad had outweighed the good, for 3 X as long, it was time for me to move on.....I wasn't willing to be destroyed. I had escaped an abusive marriage, I sure wasn't going to let a boyfriend put me back in a similar situation.....
To the ones who have dated/loved someone with BPD:

Maybe he/she isn't strong enough to get it under control, maybe he/she's not getting proper therapy, meds and support.....The anger especially is torture....I can recognize it coming sometimes and try to get out of the situation so I don't hurt anyone but that takes a lot of work and sometimes it just pops up in less than a second and I'm off the deep end...for no apparent reason. And I hate it.

I don't want to be like this and wasn't born this way. I was created into this person by the abusers in my life. Unless you are BPD, you can't understand what we go through day to day inside our heads. Our thought patterns are not normal and we see things very different from the so-called "normal" people. Our feelings are facts to us, not just feelings, we can't differentiate. We are ruled by our thoughts and feelings and of course they're all negative. Being with someone like us takes a real, true, strong commitment as well as a ton of understanding.

I have a very strong, supportive, loyal man who has stood by me for the past year and a half while I have beaten him down with my anger, tore him and everyone in my reach apart, and then continued to pull myself away from all relations to isolate myself while dreaming of killing myself. I have been trying to get help for almost a year now and I've been a guinea pig for many different meds. He has stuck by me through the hellish side effects and horrible withdrawals. He has let me (yes let me) take out my pain on him over and over.

My lack of self worth really gave me no reason to get better for the previous 15 years. Also, I had no idea what was wrong with me...Why should I try to get better when I think I'm a waste of air? But knowing that I have someone who loves me unconditionally has given me a reason to try harder, to make a daily effort. His support is what keeps me going, without it I don't know where I'd be.....has he wanted to quit? Many, many times. He's not quiet about that! But he hasn't and I'm truly blessed.

I'm sure if you asked him the ratio of good to bad for our relationship, it'd go something like 15% good, 85% bad.....why he's still with me is purely out of loyalty and his vision of our future together because we can have one, a healthy one. I had to be shown what it felt like to lose him. Not once but like 10x. I don't like that feeling at all, so I keep seeking help. If your partner is shown this and is still not trying to heal then there's nothing you can do but walk away. Don't tolerate it. Make an ultimatum because there are NO excuses for abuse. I know how we treat people and it isn't nice.

The important part is knowing where *your* life starts and stops. Knowing when to take time off for yourself, seeking your own help to deal with a BPD partner, setting strong boundaries not just for your mate but for your own health. BPDs have to be held accountable and shown how we hurt people we supposedly love over and over. Make sure you and your family's needs come 1st because we are a lot of work and take up a lot of time. It's easy to get lost in that and then we all lose out.

None of this is said to make you feel guilty or like an insufficient partner. I just want you to understand a little more...Only you can decide if this life is for you. There is no known cure and it will be a life long battle for all involved. If you can not commit 100% then you're better off getting out now.

I hope that helped someone.





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