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Caberg, I've read a number of your posts on the Relationship board and have found them articulate and insightful. I also found that they set a level of respectfulness to which I will aspire as I take issue with several of your statements.
[QUOTE=caberg;4248448]No one other than a qualified mental health professional conducting a clinical assessment of simplyD's boyfriend could diagnose him as having BPD.[/QUOTE]I agree. None of the posters, however, attempts to render a diagnosis. Indeed, none of us has claimed that a diagnosis is necessary. A strong pattern of BPD traits -- even when that pattern falls below the diagnostic level -- is sufficient to destroy a relationship and make your life miserable.

At issue, then, is whether SimplyD is capable of recognizing a strong pattern of those traits when it occurs. Like Della and Rosequartz, I believe she is. Indeed, I believe most 18-year-olds are capable of doing so and should be provided this information during their senior year in high school (or first year in college) so they have a prayer's chance of protecting themselves. Millions of them could avoid years, if not a lifetime, of pain and suffering if they were taught how to recognize basic behavioral traits at the very time they are starting to search for compatible mates.

As Rosequartz says, this is not rocket science. By the time you were in your late teens, you likely could easily identify women who were too selfish and self-centered for you to consider dating, much less marrying. And you were able to do that without being able to determine whether the selfishness was so severe as to merit a diagnosis of NPD.

Like the traits of being selfish and self-centered, the nine BPD traits are surprisingly easy to recognize once you've read about them. What is difficult is determining whether they are sufficiently severe to warrant a diagnosis. More difficult still is knowing how to treat the disorder effectively. Hence, diagnosis and treatment are the province of professionals. Identifying the traits, however, is easy because every healthy human being exhibits all nine BPD traits, albeit at a low level.

If you think you can wait for a psychologist to give you a diagnosis, please think again. It is unlikely to happen. For one thing, you cannot afford to drag a psychologist along on every date. More importantly, strong BPD traits (when untreated) can destroy a marriage and make your life miserable even when they fall well short of the diagnostic level. Imagine being married to a very selfish woman who does not have full-blown NPD. Hence, the absence of a BPD diagnosis does not mean you are safe.

Moreover, psychologists seem very reluctant to tell a patient she has BPD. One reason is that insurance companies usually refuse to cover that disorder but will cover depression or PTSD. Another reason is that they know a patient suffering from BPD almost certainly will terminate therapy when given such a feared diagnosis. So, in the unlikely event your GF is given such a diagnosis and tells you, so much time will have passed that you will already be married to her and have several kids, some of whom may have inherited her disorder.

Of the nine traits, the one that seems to be the most exotic and intimidating -- by far -- is splitting (i.e., dissociation). You exhibit this trait, for example, when you are driving and suddenly realize that you cannot remember anything about the past ten miles, not even the three stop-lighted intersections you passed through. It also occurs when you walk to the kitchen and, while opening the refrigerator door, suddenly realize you have no idea what you came into the kitchen to get.

In both of these situations, one part of your mind is daydreaming while another part is driving your car and walking you into the kitchen. Importantly, while this is happening, your consciousness is in touch with one part but not the other. That is, the two parts of your mind are "dissociated" or "split" because they are not connected.

Indeed, your brain is hard wired to do splitting whenever you are suddenly scared or startled. For example, when you are in a crosswalk and suddenly look up to see a truck bearing down on you, your mind is incapable of rational, logical thinking. Instead, it does only black-white thinking, i.e., splitting. It thinks only "jump left" or "jump right." These traits, then, are behaviors that all of us can learn to recognize.[QUOTE]Nor can anyone here predict exactly what the boyfriend will do, or where the relationship will go, based on an unsubstantiated, amateur guess....[/QUOTE]Agreed. That is why the posters are trying to help SimplyD understand what typical untreated BPD behavior is like -- so she is better positioned to judge for herself whether her BF exhibits a strong pattern of BPD traits. After all, she knows ten thousand times what we know about the guy. And she knows far more about his behavior than most therapists are likely to see during their 50-minute sessions held once a week.

Moreover, our inability to accurately predict is why we are sharing our experiences of living with our BPD partners. If SimplyD should decide that her BF has strong BPD traits -- and the title of this thread reveals she has already done so -- our experiences may give her a better idea of the probable outcome if she remains with her BF, following the path that so many of us pursued for years.[QUOTE]I think it would be helpful to focus on this issues without looking through the prism of BPD....[/QUOTE]Perhaps you are right, Caberg. I nonetheless believe that SimplyD is best positioned to make that decision. As explained above, I feel she is fully capable of recognizing a strong pattern of BPD traits in a man she has been living with for nearly two years. For starters, she has already read the most popular -- and one of the most respected -- books ever written about this terrible disorder.

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