Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Leaving a Person With Borderline Personality Disorder

The beginnings of a relationship with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be intoxicating when your partner is brimming with jubilation because you are in their life. Then inexplicable dark moments of resentment begin breaking through the infatuation and your partner acts in cold and even cruel ways.  These extreme highs and lows are commonplace in “Borderline” relationships. .

In the most troubled relationships, it is not uncommon for a BPD partner to unexpectedly abandon the relationship or do something so hurtful that one cannot continue. Your partner may emotionally discard you or become abusive - leaving you to feel oppressed and broken. Or you have invested yourself in the relationship and all the latest communication and relationship tools, but the relationship has eroded and you have no more to give.

So they leave you - or you break up with them - or one of you finally decides not to reconcile, yet again. If any of this is you, read on.

Disengaging can be difficult. Rationally, you understand that leaving is the healthiest thing you can do now, yet your emotional attachment is undeniable. This conflict confuses and intensifies your struggle as you feel hopelessly trapped by your desires to rekindle a relationship that you know it isn't healthy - and may, in fact, not even be available to you.

Often we obsess and ruminate over what our BPD partner might be doing or feeling, or who they might be seeing. We wonder if they ever really loved us and how we could be so easily discarded. Our emotions range between hurt, disbelief, and anger.

This guide explores the struggles of breaking away from a partner with borderline personality disorder and offers suggestions on how you can make it easier on yourself and your partner.

Breaking Up Was Never this Hard

Is it because they are so special? Sure they are special and this is a very significant loss for you - but the depth of your struggles has a lot more to do with the complexity of the relationship bond than the person.

In some important way this relationship saved or rejuvenated you. The way your BP partner hung on your every word, looked at you with admiring eyes and wanted you, filled an empty void.

Or, your BPD partner may have been insecure and needy and their problems inspired your sympathy and determination to resolve. Doing this made you feel exceptional, heroic, valuable.

As a result, you were willing to tolerate behavior beyond what you've known to be acceptable. You've felt certain that your BPD depended on you and that they would never leave. However challenging, you have been committed to see it through.

Unknown to you, your BPD partner was on a complex journey that started long before the relationship began. You were their “knight in shining armor”, you were their hope, and the answer to disappointments that they have struggled with most of their life.

Together, this made for an incredibly “loaded” relationship bond between the two of you.

Ten Beliefs That Can Get You Stuck

Breaking up with a BPD partner is often difficult because we do not have a valid understanding of the disorder or our relationship bond. As a result we often misinterpret their actions and some of our own. Many of us struggle with some of the following false beliefs.

1) Belief that this person holds the key to your happiness

We often believe that our BPD partner is the master of our joy and the keeper of our sorrow. You may feel that they have touched the very depths of your soul. As hard as this is to believe right now, your perspective on this is likely a bit off.

Idealization is a powerful “drug” - and it came along at a time in your life when you were very receptive to it. In time, you will come to realize that your partner's idealization of you, no matter how sincere, was a courting ritual and an overstatement of the real emotions at the time. You were special - but not that special.

You will also come to realize that a lot of your elation was due to your own receptivity and openness and your hopes.

You will also come to realize that someone coming out of an extended traumatic relationship is often depressed and can not see things clearly in the end. You may feel anxious, confused, and you may be ruminating about your BPD partner. All of this distorts your perception reality. You may even be indulging in substance abuse to cope.




 
BPDFamily.com provides support, education, tools, and perspective to individuals with a loved one affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. BPFamily is a non-profit, co-op of over 55,000 volunteer members and alumni formed in 1998. We welcome you to join our free 24 hour on-line support community and grow with us as we learn to live better lives in the shadow of this disorder. For more information or to register, please click here. www.bpdfamily.com




2) Belief that your BPD partner feels the same way that you feel

If you believe that your BPD partner was experiencing the relationship in the same way that you were or that they are feeling the same way you do right now, don't count on it. This will only serve to confuse you and make it harder to understand what is really happening.

When any relationship breaks down, it's often because the partners are on a different “page” - but much more so when your partner suffers from borderline personality disorder.

Unknown to you, there were likely significant periods of shame, fear, disappointment, resentment, and anger rising from below the surface during the entire relationship. What you have seen lately is not new - rather it's a culmination of feelings that often arise later in the relationship.

3) Belief that the relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance

You concede that there are problems, and have pledged to do your part to resolve them.

Because there have been periods of extreme openness, honesty, humanity and thoughtfulness during the relationship, and even during the break-ups, your BPD partners concerns are very credible in your eyes.

But your BPD partner also has the rather unique ability to distort facts, details, and play on your insecurities to a point where fabrications are believable to you. It's a complex defense mechanism, a type of denial, and a common characteristic of the disorder.

As a result, both of you come to believe that you are the problem; that you are inadequate; that you need to change; even that you deserve to be punished or left behind.

This is largely why you have accepted punishing behaviors; why you try to make amends and try to please; why you feel responsible.

4) Belief that love can prevail

Once these relationships seriously rupture, they are harder to repair than most - so many wounds from the past have been opened. Of course you have much invested in the relationship and your partner has been an integral part of your dreams and hopes - but there are greater forces at play now.

For you, significant emotional wounds have been inflicted upon an already wounded soul. To revitalize the relationship, you would need to recover from being a wounded victim and emerge as an informed and loving caretaker - it's not a simple journey. You need compassion and validation to heal - something your BPD partner most likely won't understand - you'd be on your own to find it.

For your partner, there are longstanding and painful abandonment fears, trust issues, and resentments that have been triggered. They are coping by blaming much of it on you. For your partner, it is often much easier and safer to move on than to face all of the issues above.

5) Belief that things will return to "the way they used to be"

The idealization stages of a relationship with a BPD partner can be intoxicating and wonderful. But, as in any relationship, the "honeymoon" stage passes.

The idealization that one or both of you would like to return to isn't sustainable. It never was. The loss of this dream (or the inability to transition in to a healthy next phase of love) may be what triggered the demise of the relationship to begin with.

BPD mood swings and cycles may have you conditioned to think that, even after a bad period, you can return to the "idealization". Your BPD partner may believe this too.

A more realistic representation of your relationship is the one you have recently experienced.

6) Clinging to the words that were said

We often cling to the positive words and promises that were voiced and ignore or minimize the negative actions.

Many wonderful and expressive things may have been said during the course of the relationship, but people suffering from BPD are dreamers, they can be fickle, and they over express emotions like young children - often with little thought for long term implications.

You must let go of the words. It may break your heart to do so. But the fact is, the actions - all of them - are your truth.

7) Belief that if you say it louder you will be heard

We often feel if we explain our point better, put it in writing, or find the right words….

People with BPD hear and read very well. But when emotions are flared, the ability to understand diminishes greatly.

Most of what you are saying is being interpreted as dogmatic and hurtful. And the more insistent you become - the more hurtful it is - the less your partner feels “heard” - and the more communications break down.

Your BPD partner will not likely validate or even acknowledge what you have said. It may be denial, it may be the inability to get past what they feel and want to say, or it may even be payback.

This is one of the most difficult aspects of breaking up - there is no closure.

8) Belief that absence makes the heart grow fonder

We often think that by holding back or depriving our BPD partner of “our love” - that they will “see the light”. We base this on all the times our partner expressed a fear that we would leave and how they needed us.

During an actual break-up it is different. Distancing triggers all kinds of abandonment and trust issues for the BPD partner (as described in #4).

People with BPD also have real object constancy issues - “out of sight is out of mind”. They may feel, after two weeks of separation, the same way you would feel after six.

Absence generally makes the heart grow colder.

9) Belief that you need to stay to help them.

You might want to stay to help your partner. Possibly to disclose to them that they have borderline personality disorder and help them get into therapy. Maybe you want to help in other ways while still maintaining a “friendship”.

The fact is, you are no longer in a position to be the caretaker and support person for your BPD partner - no matter how well intentioned.

Understand that you have become the trigger for your BPD partner's bad feelings and bad behavior. Sure, you do not deliberately cause these feelings, but your presence is now triggering them. This is a complex defense mechanism that is often seen with borderline personality disorder when a relationship sours. It's roots emanate from the deep central wounds of the disorder. You can't begin to answer to this.

You also need to question your own motives and your expectations for wanting to help. Is this kindness or a type “well intentioned” manipulation on your part - an attempt to change them to better serve the relationship as opposed to addressing the lifelong wounds from which they suffer?

More importantly, what does this suggest about your own survival instincts - you're injured, in ways you may not fully even grasp, and it's important to attend to your own wounds before you are capable of helping anyone else.

You are damaged. Right now, your primary responsibility really needs to be to yourself - your own emotional survival.

If they try to lean on you, it's a greater kindness that you step away. Difficult, no doubt, but more responsible.

10) Belief that they have seen the light

Your partner may suddenly be on their best behavior or appearing very needy and trying to entice you back into the relationship. You, hoping that they are finally seeing things your way or really needing you, may venture back in - or you may struggle mightily to stay away.

What is this all about?

Well, at the end of any relationship there can be a series of break-ups and make-ups - disengaging is often a process, not an event.

However when this process becomes protracted, it becomes toxic. At the end of a BP relationship, this can happen. The emotional needs that fueled the relationship bond initially, are now fueling a convoluted disengagement as one or both partners struggle against their deep enmeshment with the other and their internal conflicts about the break up.

Either partner may go to extremes to reunite - even use the threat of suicide to get attention and evoke sympathies.

Make no mistake about what is happening. Don't be lulled into believing that the relationship is surviving or going through a phase. At this point, there are no rules. There are no clear loyalties. Each successive break-up increases the dysfunction of relationship and the dysfunction of the partners individually - and opens the door for very hurtful things to happen.

Author: Skip 



BPDFamily.com provides support, education, tools, and perspective to individuals with a loved one affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. BPFamily is a non-profit, co-op of over 50,000 volunteer members and alumni formed in 1994. We welcome you to join our free 24 hour on-line support community and grow with us as we learn to live better lives in the shadow of this disorder. For more information or to register, please click here. www.bpdfamily.com 

58 comments :

understanindg people with BPD is sometimes really hard we automaicly defend ourselves this is to protect ourselves by the way i didnt know that it is 18 million people suffor form BPD that is quite a few i thought it was about 7% of the country

This article just exactly described the relationship I had with a man, not so long ago...I can't describe how painful it is, eventhough it has been 5 months since we finally broke up for good...

How likely is it that people with BPD can find hapiness with someone? are they able to be happy with someone with a certain type of personality for example?...

I wanted to thank you for this article, "Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder". It has given me the closure that I would not have achieved with my ex-boyfriend who displays textbook signs of BPD.

I have been going to therapy both while in and out of the relationship with my BPD ex and nothing my therapists said resonated the way that the article did.

I spent so many years thinking that I was the one with the problem, feeling guilty that I wasn't loving him enough, holding on to the coattails of a tornado, in essence... I finally broke away from it after the 200th time. My therapist recommended that I read up on BPD because she had felt after hearing all the things that I told her that he was suffering from it. So I googled "how to recover from dating someone with BPD" and came across your article.

I can't explain how thankful I am. I finally feel validated. And I sincerely appreciate the last two sections of the paper. So often I have felt like checking up on him just to make sure that he hasn't collapsed like he said he would if I left him (only to find out that he had already moved on with someone else), so reading that it's a greater kindness for me to step away helps me in not regressing.

Many thanks to the writer of this article. I am truly indebted to them for helping me move on with my life.

Z.

I am going through a breakdown now with my husband who I suspect has BPD. I have been with him for 8 years and throughout all this he has been aggressive, controlling and expressed verbal abuse towards me for work-related stress or if one of my children from my previous marriage runs up the internal staircase, coughs or forgets to switch off a bedroom light. He has convinced me that it has always been me, he never remembers how he was the one who starts an argument but will always remember that I in turn expressed anger in response to defend myself, my children, family and friends.

Your article describes exactly the situation we have been in. I have been experiencing difficulty in letting him go, despite all that he has put me through. He has already met another woman, yet has now agreed to go to counselling (while maintaining the relationship with the other woman). I am still at the point where I need to make sure that I have tried everything before I abandon this marriage. I will also seek individual counselling for myself as I can also recognise signs of BPD in me in relation to the fear of abandonment, excessive spending and reacting to his actions impulsively.

Finding this article has helped although I don't want to lose hope that perhaps we can fix this over time.

Thank you for providing insight into the motivations of the parties involved in a BPD relationship. I ended my marriage to my BPD spouse three years ago and I still live with an empty, hollow feeling. My marriage and my life was a nightmare. For the sake of our daughter and my own deteriorating health, I had to end the insanity. We made a clean break but in my heart I know I never really let go of him. After reading your article I understand much better what I had suspected about myself. I blamed myself even when I knew I was dealing with a very troubled man. I was unable to help him, or to find a way to not react to his personal attacks, accusations and name calling. I had to throw in the towel and give up any hope for a happy ever after ending. I was aware that all of his relationships ended the same way but I thought that our marriage would be different. I felt like a failure, and three years later, I still do. Everyday is a challenge for me just to get out of bed and get to work. I constantly read self-help books and articles in order to rebuild my self-esteem and to refocus my thoughts away from the past and him. It is important to understand that we are not to blame for the BPD's behavior and attitudes. We cannot allow ourselves to accept the blame that they lay at our feet and to live with guilt for the things that we cannot change. Thank you for a great article.

I'm a single father. And though I did my best to shield them, I never want my kids see the pain I went through. All I ever wanted is just one woman I can grow old with. Right now I'm too traumatized to be in a relationship.

I spent 6 long years with a woman whom I found out, at the tail end of the relationship, had BPD. I will not enumerate the 100 or so fights we had. For every 10 gloriously happy moments there were 3-4 excruciatingly horrendous and painful ones. Two steps forward, one step back. In time it adds up. She would blame me, I would blame myself just like the other people who posted here. When I finally would refuse to take the blame she would still find ways to make me the excuse for how she's acting, just like the last and final fight we had.

I'm no angel, I'll be the first to admit that. It came to a point where I flew into a rage and threw her to the ground and slap her. It was something I've never done in previous relationships. I was so ashamed of what I did that I profusely apologized and knew it was time to end it after 75 or so breakups. But what sickened me is that it made her want me more, even asking me to make love to her right after the incident. Yet, in time, she'd do an "about face" and use my moments of weakness against me.

I thank you for this article. It helps me when I miss her. It helps me when I want to get back with her. It helps me realize it's not my fault. It helps me to realize I did all I could. It helps me realize I wasted my time. It helps me when being with other women scare me. It helps me when I'm lonely.

Every day is a struggle. And it pains me to think she's likely moving on so easily, so quick to discard almost a decade of being together, so easy because she's thinking "it's mostly his fault".

I also like to thank the other people who posted. It feels good to know I'm not alone in this. It feels good to know it really isn't my fault because you all know what I'm talking about.

If I may borrow a line from another Anonymous, "We cannot allow ourselves to accept the blame that they lay at our feet and to live with guilt for the things that we cannot change."

God bless you all and I wish you all a good life.

I am 39 years old and I am leaving alone since I left my wife of 9 years relationship. I have 2 kids that are my life and I fear for them, My wife has suspected BDP and she does not admit it. I could not either understood her behaviour, self destructive actions , her constant crying without motive, nastiness, sexless actitud, careless behaviour, lies, changes of mood in minutes, impulsive expenditure, one week of perfection followed by 3 weeks of constant argument..after my counsellor told me... Now I am out of this relationship with very deep feelings of guilt. Thanks to this article I can see things clear and it was not all my fault...

As someone of a very caring nature, who would give all in a relationship, I can only agree with what is posted above. My partner left me saying she was "too busy" to have a relationship, even though we were planning to marry and have a child - a seemingly common tactic BPDs use.
I was her saviour, the person she loved, her soulmate for life, someone who respected her, who cared for her, who touched her heart when we made love - all utter nonsense of course. It was all about manipulation of me, for me to always be at her calling, to answer texts immediately, to never be late, to have no control over my actions, to give up my hobbies so we could "be a family", to support her interests above anything else.
As the relationship went on I realised I meant nothing to her, it was ALL about her, everything was about her. As things got ugly, being accused of things I didn't do (looking at other women for example), not caring for her, not wanting her as much as she wanted me, getting screamed at for having a shower instead of a wash, being threatened, being begged not to leave her as I could "break" her, getting the silent treatment for unknown reasons, being told she would tell the police I raped her during an argument, I can only say I am happier away from that environment.
Although I cared (still do) for her well-being, and the "love" she could give was good, a relationship that a BPD offers is NOT a healthy one.
I have now been away for 4 weeks, changed my mobile number, my email and moved from the area, and I feel a lot happier. I have MY life back.
Do I wish I could experience the "love" she offered in the initial stages of our relationship - yes, is that possible - No. Do I hope she gets help - yes, is that my responsibility - no.
I am free, I will survive, and I will move on. Unfortunately her life will always revolve around her illness. As a human being I find that the hardest fact.

This was by far the MOST enlightened article I have read on the subject. After reading countless books, essays, and articles on BPD they all tend to mesh together and say the same thing after a while. This article hit "reality" for me. I have been involved in an on again/off again relationship with a woman who has BPD and it is excruciating! Every one of the points listed hit home, especially #9. Every time she distances and says cruel things, I inevitably stop contacting her and try to move on and deal with the hurt. No sooner than I leave, however, then I get an email from her "apologizing" for the way she acted. It has come to a point to where I can pretty much track her cycle by a calendar. The sad part is that now, just like the author said, we are using one another for sex and the "high" of the honeymoon phase. This lasts for about 2 weeks, which is then followed by another week or two of her slowly pulling away, which is followed by a week or two of her totally hating me and being annoyed at everything I do. Whether I am an active part of her life during this hurtful period or I distance myself, if still doesn't matter. Her anger is solely focused on me. I become exhausted and as much as I LOVE this woman, I decide for my own mental health that I must leave...then the cycle begins again. I am fortunate because unlike most who have written, I am not married to this person nor do I have children with them. For those of you that have to put up with this same torment in a marriage, my prayers are sincerely with you. I am sure the frustration and pain that I feel is only multiplied for those who are in a more permanent situation. Again, kudos on a fantastic article!

My marriage of 12 years recently imploded when i found text messages revealing my wife's emotional affair. I pushed for councelling and we were just building up steam when our councillor recognized BPD in my wife and codepwndency in me.

A couplw days ago I was ready to tell my wife we needed a trial separation. Of course my wife magically started acting kinder and more"there" than she had in months. Now i dont know if I can do it.

She doesn't know she has BPD yet. The therapist waa discussing aome thinga with me and I connected the dots (with Google's help).

I am so scared - for my wife, myself, and our daughter. The laat thing in the world that I want is to lose my qife, my family. But all evidence suggests she's already gone; she's just clinging to me for...caretaking? familiarity?

This article helps reinforce what I nwws to do. I am not strong enough to support her while she attacks me and destroys evweything I ever thought she wanted...especially me. But I just dont think I'm strong enough to leave either.

Thankyou so much for publishing this article. I am 21 years old and have been dealing with a breakup from a BPD ex boyfriend for 2 months now. As others have said, I'm finding it so hard to move on and not contact him..only because I know how emotionally unstable he Is. He has his moments where he sends lovely texts and calls me wanting to talk...then other times he blames me for trying too "force" him into getting professional help.

The logical and rational part of me knows it's best for me to move on..but the part of me that loves him still wants to keep holding onto the hope that we'll get back together and be better than before. Unfortunately though, the harsh reality is that until my ex gets help for his BPD..we'll never have a healthy relationship. And that's something I have to deal with everyday....

So glad I stumbled on this article. I was with an undiagnosed BPD. We were together since I was 16. 11 years together. I cried everyday. We fought everyday. I hated it. We have 2 kids together. For my kids sake I am researching BPD so that they will know that THEY are not at fault. I need to protect them, and I hope I can learn to 'deal' with him better. Prayers for all. <3

Thank you-reading this article has finally allowed me to move on and know that everything that happened was not my fault.

Thanks for this post, I have to say that i truly hope it changes my out look from here on out. I am 25 years old and I have been dealing with an unhealthy relationship on and off for the last 7 years. It was not easy to see at first but after reading this post I am sure that this has always been out issue. I have followed these cycles for the past 4 years not and every time I have to leave after he has an "episode" I find that it hurts more and more.

After a while the words of anger seem to fade and its not the content of what he is saying that hurts anymore its purely just that he is doing it again. This is my first time reading about BP I stumbled upon it through "Leaving toxic relationships".

The part that struck me most about this post was when you said "There will never be closure" and that I am the "Trigger". It makes sense to me. Although I love him dearly and i know that he does love me, he doesn't know how to love me. This is going to be a long journey but in the end maybe it wont hurt as much. Hopefully next time i wont believe that "HE has seen the light and is going to change" AGAIN!

The only words that instantly comes to mind is that God has directed me to this site. I've been living this life of the past 10 months of blaming myself, crying myself to sleep, praying for my husband to return home, I think now that it will never happen. This an eye opener for me. We met in 1989 and married in 2001. There were so many red flags that I ignored, and with this affair he is currently having, as it states "out of site out of mind" that is me. After my extensive research now I know what I am dealing with of my husband. I will continue to pray for him. Thank you for this article, and hope to see more to help me with my closure.

Fantastic article. I've been dealing with someone of this nature for 3-4 years. The "highs" of the relationship were insane. Something I've never experienced before and I knew it must be true love. Boy I couldn't have been more wrong. So many parts of this article hit home. I do have codependent tendencies and we made a match alright. I wasn't allowed to have friends even text me let alone girls. I was not allowed to talk to ANY girls for any reason. Looking back there were so many red flags but I just didn't fully understand since I've never been through anything like this. I'm 34 now and she is 29. This has been going on for 4 years. I can identify with every single part of this article in some way, shape, or form. In that 4 years I've never been so sad in my whole life. My blood pressure was rising. There were times I thought for sure I was going to have a hard attack. Every time she left then came back I thought for sure she had "saw the light". This article made me understand that will never happen. I do still care for her immensely, just as everyone else here seems to. But I understand that I am the trigger and there will never be one last episode. Luckily we never married and have no kids together. I do have a son from a previous relationship and I feel terrible for making go through this. It's all about concentrating on him and myself now. I'm taking a time out from any relationships for a while. You cant just heal overnight and like it says, "disengaging is a process not an event. I've asked her not to contact me anymore so that we can move on with our lives. I'm fearfull that she will contact me again in the future. She knows me so well and she can easily manipulate me. We had moments of such truth and honesty (or so I thought) that she knows me inside and out. I've never been so close to someone and hurt so bad. You just wish that things would go back to when you were so happy. And they quite possibly would. But what's guaranteed is the downward spiral back down. You cannot try to understand the thought process of someone with bpd. Be strong and look out for yourself. There are other people out there who arent so messed up. Nobodys perfect but noone should have to feel the emotional pain like that from someone who is supposed to care for them. I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN DO BETTER! Take your balls back and keep them. Make plans to be with your friends and family as much as possible and repair those relationships that suffered so much damage as a result of your bpd partner. Hit the gym and take time to heal and work on yourself. DO NOT rush into something else. I've tried that before when we were broke up for 3 months and all I could do is compare it to my previous relationship and there was no comparison. It just made it worse and I missed those crazy highs and ended right back up in it. I'm done for good this time and it feels absolutely amazing saying that and taking control back of my own life. I thought I was alone but I guess this is more common then I thought. I will never find myself in this type of relationship again. Take care of yourself people. Everything will get better in time. You deserve better!!

Wow... seeing all this really brings some light to me... I have been so confused, hurt, accused, rejected, and at fault so many times I was beginning to say I am sorry ALL the time.. even If I haven't done a thing wrong. Even after a fight years ago.. he feels the need to make sure to tell me what I did wrong and make sure I understand how he felt. I am in a struggle right now trying to get away from this man. I do love him or do I love the man I thought he was.. after all his pattern is to be the knight and shining amour that saved me from the hell that I was going through with my ex husband. In turn I have never been hurt by a man as much as I have by this one. Reading all these things confirms to me that hey maybe I'm not crazy after all or being so confused agreeing that I said or did something that I did not. I have been in and out of this relationship for 13 yrs. I did the no contact thing for 8 1/2 months was doing better and then ran into him one day, it was right back on. This time he has crushed every part of my being
because he had moved on and now is trying to rub my nose in it. It is destroying me. I am on my way to get out.. reading these things are so helpful. Thanks everyone right now I don't even feel that I know WHO I have become and I need to find me again for sure.

Bob Rugh
This article has helped me see some light. I met my ex-wife in 1996, married in 2001, separated in 2009, and officially divorced in 2010. Two children. The gigantic roller coaster ride I have been on is unrivaled I believe. From total ups, great sex to total beat downs and extreme distance. I can write a book on the last 16 years.
As you can see, it is 3 AM and what am I doing? Up at night thinking of her. I can't get over her, God, even though I absolutely understand BPD and the absolute waste of time it is in such a relationship. This article has helped me and now I need to realize once and for all, IT WILL NEVER WORK! I want it to so badly, because of our two children. They don't have a normal family life and that makes me feel hurt for them and guilty.
My ex is the most difficult person to deal with I have ever experienced. But, I have to deal with her constantly because of the children. It is a nightmare! Constantly being accused, blamed, ridiculed, minimized, hated. Why in the world would I want to go back to that? Obviously, I need to get help to get over these feelings.
She is absolutely gorgeous, but that is where the beauty stops. She has a new boyfriend, and I am told by my son that they have major fights and issues. That guy better get out while he can.
Well, I am envious of all of you who have gotten out of a BPD relationship before marriage and children. You can try to get away for good and never have to deal with that person again. I can't! So, you people who are in a BPD relationship and are having problems, be careful. It doesn't get better. Believe me, I am a veteran of the BPD war. Good luck to you all and God bless!

I have suspected my wife has BPD for two yars now. We have been together for 4 and have a 10 month old son. Yesterday she blew up at me for the smallest thing; I asked her to grab a toothpick out of our sons hand for fear he might put it i his mouth. Somehow this offended her and wihtin 10 minutes I am being called a bastard and yet another 10 mins later she wants a divorce. It's the same song and dance every time. People say that I am extremely patient, almost to a fault. I tend to to agree.

Yesterday was the last straw. I called a lawyer about an hour ago. I'm calling her bluff, but this time I'm going through all the way. I'm done. I can't take the abuse anymore. She says things to me I could never imagine saying to a friend much less a spouse. I feel a sense of relief but I fear for the future of our son. I fear for how I will cope once the reality of it all sets in. She will backtrack and try to patch it up as usual, but I have never been so sure as I am now that I have exhausted my patience and willingness to persevere in the hopes of better days. The stress levels I have reached in this relationships ultimately triggered illness that I am battling with, all the more reason to leave and try to repair my mind and body. When your relationship makes you suicidal, it's time to go.

I left my home country, friends, family to be with her. That's what hurts the most because it makes me feel like such an idiot. Never again. Now I have to start from scratch and she keeps my son. That's the part that breaks my heart, not seeing my son every day.

I hope that we can find some peace at the end of this long road. Just keep reminding yourself that things will get better and it's not your fault. You were in a relationship with a person who does not have the ability to love in the proper sense nad was just using you to fill a void. And remember to move slowly the next time you meet someone, it always seems perfect in the beginning.

My post--
I fell in love with a borderline man about 2 years ago. At the time, of course, I did not suspect borderline. Psychology has always been a side interest for me (read books on various psychology topics) and an understudy in college. I fell for a guy that is very intelligent, professional, fun, funny... In the beginning he was attentive and did little romantic things and wanted to spend time with me; however, he was also ending a previous longterm live together relationship. I quickly found out that he had cheated with numerous women during the longterm relationship. For some reason, I chose to accept that and expect he'd be faithful to me because he knew how important it was to me. I do think that he was likely physically faithful, but not emotionally faithful. He continued regular/frequent contact (phone, email, text and once in a while meeting) with several of the ex's. He did not move all of his things out of the ex's and had excuses why. I told him that friends is okay with appropriate boundaries. Except it wasn't appropriate boundaries. The ex's contacted him frequently, sent love cards in the mail, acted needy. He kept saying that he wasn't abandoning friends that counted on him. In addition, he often flirted with other women in front of me, frequented porn websites, and commented on his interaction with pretty women. He never thought it was rude and often said he was "high testosterone." In the beginning he showed many signs of jealousy, intense anger with me and others, depression, self loath, suicide remarks, anxiety, short disappearing... The entire time we were together, it was a rollercoaster of rocky road then fun times and back to rocky. A few months ago, I realized that these aren't just issues with the last longterm relationship, it clearly is BPD. The last few months, he started cutting me out slowly -- un-friended me on facebook, blocked my email from his personal account, deleted my info. from his cell and told me he only had time to spend with me on Sundays. I am incredibly hurt by his behavior. My head tells me he doesn't really love me whole-heartedly because he can't, he's so afraid of abandonment that he keeps all the ex's hovering, he can't commit to me because he is so afraid of abandonment if he has to let go of the others, he controls me with his conditions on the relationship, he struggles to say I love you, he has inappropriate anger often, he is in AA, he sometimes is a loner, he says he imagines women cheating on him so that when it happens he can deal with it, and he sabotages our relationship with imposed restrictions. The other side is: I fell in love not knowing those things at first, I felt we really connected at first, he was fun and happy, I loved his bright eyes, humor, voice, and touch. I sometimes think some of my letting go problem is about rejection more so than love, and I've never felt so comfortable with anyone before. I'm 49 and feel like it might have been my last chance and I'm terribly sad. I am smart and educated on the BPD subject, yet I still fell. Maybe I'm just foolish for love since the real deal is soooo rare. – LMV

I recently broke it off with my GF of 6 years. My new therapist told me she sounded like someone suffering from BPD, and so I read up on it. It was like reading the story of my life. I was in disbelief to know I wasn't alone in feeling this crazy, this helpless. I was in disbelief to discover that this was a defined disorder. I am even happier to read articles like the above. As one of your readers wrote, it's validating, and the healthiest alternative to sitting around thinking about the way things could be.
We lived in different cities, I was married and she was much younger. The first year was so amazing I honestly thought that perhaps I never really experienced true love before. She was everything that matched my personality. She was my 'soul mate'.
Then, one night she discovered an inconsistency in the date on a digital photograph, and tho I was mistaken about it she was convinced she caught me in a lie. I have to say our relationship has never been the same since. I moved into my own house to have the freedom to see her. For the next 5 years, with any sign of loss the meltdowns would occur. It didn't matter where we were... on the street, in a hotel room, in my house, her apartment, on the phone. I was convinced she was bipolar. Still I'm the one that felt guilty. I'm the one that would send her money, take care of her more, do more things to show her everything would be okay.
Obviously, the relationship regressed to the point where I finally saw someone new. When I did, she immediately fell in love with her new roommate. This triggered MY abandonment issues and I felt a sense of loss I'd never experienced before. I fought to get her back, but her crosshairs were already on a new man. The problem was, he wasn't that into her, so she tried keeping me in place while she figured out if he loved her like she felt she loved him.
After 10 months of waiting and being patient, trying to believe in her lies, why she couldn't answer the phone in the middle of the night, why she was always texting etc but still telling me she loved me more than anyone... I left her.
She still texts me daily. It's an insane thing. I've been part of it. I'm looking at that, addressing it, my own issues. But thank you for this article. This does help me stay strong and realize there is no way to put the cat back in the bag and have what we had. Maybe a day here or a day there, but overall it would be madness resulting in violence that might lead one of us to jail. Neither one of us are violent people, but this is so toxic I can imagine it happening.
That's my story. Hard to even write it. Thank you for this page, and all the corresponding letters.

I have been trying to get out of a marriage with a personality disordered husband for years. Somehow he keeps me in it, with guilt, fear, and the hope that things can somehow just get better. I always feel like I can give it one more try, maybe this time we can be happy and I won't make him angry, suspicious, etc. I have endured being called terrible names, being told I am a bad mother, I am inhuman, I have no morals. I've endured being awakened at 3:30am to try to fight with me, I've endured being accused of having affairs, or of being interested in other men... I don't know why, this last time, I didn't just FOLLOW THROUGH. Now, I'm back in it, and I'm thinking "if he does just ONE MORE THING." but of course, I've told myself that countless times. Now I really do understand why some people commit suicide.

I am in the middle of a separation from my Wife, she has BPD and over the last three years it has become more and more defined. I myself was never one for conflict, every time she exploded I would shut down and go silent scared almost that if I told her the truth she would arc up again, or ever worse, internalise. She has had 10 jobs in the last 5 years and now that I finally said I dont love her like she loves be she has broken down and wants constant explanation on why I have done this. I cant explain anything because she doesnt see her behaviour, she just says all she ever did was love me completely.
We will speak about the separation sometimes like we are friends, but within a day she is on the phone making me feel worthless and guilty telling me it is all my fault for lying to her and I have destroyed her dreams, that its my issues that have done this. She never sees that she has hurt the relationship just as much.
I should have been stronger, but I cant do it anymore and be true to myself. I feel weak, and I feel like it is all my fault, and I am deserting her.

The worst part is we started off as best friends and now I have to hurt my friendship in order to free myself.

I'm just now seeing this article; thank you for writing it. I've been married to a BPD man for 7 years... would have been 8 in March... and after the honeymoon was over it's been all down hill (easy to see now), with patches of good stuff.

I now understand how and why I fell for the BPD sales pitch; these guys are really good at finding you when you're temporarily vulnerable. My story shares many similarities to those above, so there's no point in re-hashing. We're finally divorcing now that he feels it's his idea, and he has a new woman to re-start the cycle with. And while I might feel bad for this other woman since I very much know what's headed her way, I'm glad she's there because now he'll let me go so I can become completely free of him to start recovering my authentic self. Thank God we didn't have children together!

I wish you all the very best life has to offer, and knowing what I know about what we're all going through/have been through, I can confidently say you're valuable and deserving. Just don't YOU forget it!

Thank you so much. Your article spoke directly to me, to my heart, to my mind, at a time when I most needed to hear your wisdom. Thank you for the enlightenment. Although, it's all so very sad the fact is that I must leave someone I love who enchanted me to my core.

wow, i really can't believe what i'm reading or the accuracy to which i relate to what i am going through and have been through. I am relieved and amazed at the same time. My friends and family have been praying i stay away from a two year relationship that imploded in the worst of ways that left me destroyed. I am rebuilding my life and working on myself to heal. I informed her last week that I have moved on (but haven't) and that it would not be fair to my new relationship if she continued to text and email me little thoughtful notes like she has been...she is in a new relationship but is still trying to keep me strung along. All the signs were there from the beginning and it all makes so much sense now. Thank you so much for this information and for all those who have shared their experiences here. Stay strong and carry on, good luck and God bless.

Wow, finally two years my relationship ended what I suspected all along is confirmed. I had a suspicion while we were together that the convoluted expression of love weren't real, they were too far fetched. She got together with one of my closest friends straight away which broke me completely.

They've finally split up after 18 months and now my instincts that the cycle repeated with my friend feel well and truly confirmed.

Almost everything in this blog post is exactly what happened to me.

Yep, we were going to get married and have a family Yep, there was no one like me (except my friend of course, and whoever comes next), and yep I'm angry and feel stupid.

the idealization of me, the unstable identity, the sudden coldness, the hysteria, delusions, paranoia, the unacceptable behaviour, the crushing of my self esteem..

I was treated for post traumatic stress afterwards (which I recommend btw, look up EMDR).

Thanks for this article; I wish I'd found it earlier.

To the author Skip-this is the most relevant article I have come across. Extremely helpful. Six weeks into the break up, no face to face contact during this time, but a final GOODBYE text from him. I now miss even the little friendly messages he was sending. The part where the article says "Understand that you have become the trigger for your BPD partner's bad feelings and bad behavior" is so relevant to me to help me understand why there seemed nothing more I could do to save our relationship. I took a tremendous amount of verbal abuse (then always temporarily forgotten by the Love) because I actually gave him a good reason to lash out at me. After being together with minor problems for a year he abandoned me over a small issue -came back 4 months later asking for forgiveness and we got back together. After a month into the renewed relationship which was going quite well--long story short I lied to him and he caught me with another guy I was trying to decide between the two and know it was wrong. I had tried to break up prior, but he swayed me to not leave him and I caved in and started seeing both. Anyway he wanted to forgive me and I interpreted this as True Love Meant to Be like in the great love novels. So we got back together. He then proceeded to put me through hell for another year and a half. I took so much because of my guilt and knew he was so sensitive and so very hurt. But his reactions were extreme, and my friend a psychologist was feeling he was BPD, but I ignored this and felt he just needed more time and after all it was horrid what I did to him. It never ended-he lashed out at me all the time over the course of these last 15 months. I started to think in terms of being "persecuted" or "crucified". In our case this was the overwhelming theme of fights as he perseverated continuously on this-and one other irrelevant issue which he blew to gigantic proportions. There was other stuff too typical of this disorder, but my realization of how bad his behaviors were was clouded by how he had convinced me I was so bad and he was so hurt and so I allowed myself to be punished far to long and far too brutally (verbally/emotionally). Then he'd get over it and it was wonderful again, then flip out again at no provocation. That's where I see just my presence was now a trigger as this relationship after every short break up just declined more-meaning he acted out more frequently and over more things. The relationship had soured, but it's hard to see that when you're on the rollercoaster. I know for any man after a betrayal who chooses to forgive it would be hard to trust again; in the case of a BPD it is I think impossible-and what I've learned now from all my researching this d/o is that he probably couldn't leave me in the first place because of the abandonment issues and in his heart there was the splitting of me being all good or all bad. He could not accept it as a mistake even though he first acknowledged people make mistakes-that was the cognitive ability-but once emotional he could never reconcile it. He kept promising he was over it-but the lashing out never ended. Our breakup happened because of what the author states-I just didn't reconciliate this time after mean and inconsiderate things and it just finally sunk in this would never end. Also my pain or feelings were never acknowledged after his trashing me because after all I'D CAUSED HIM LASTING HURT-his was always the bigger hurt we both focused on unceasingly. I've read this article several times to help me from seeking him out. I'll always wonder how things would have turned out if I hadn't lied to him. Wonder if his disorder were mild enough we could have managed or if it would have eventually fallen apart regardless, or been a life filled with strife forever.

Eight years ago I meet the girl of my dreams. We dated for two and a half years. In the end she cheated. Somehow she convinced me it was my fault. I didn't know it then but she is bpd. All these stories are like reading my own. After we ended she taunted me. She moved across country with her new girlfriend. Finally I could move on, or so I thought. Anytime i tried to date she would interfere from afar. Sending many cruel post cards. No way for me to defend myself against this. I cannot move, can't reply. She always got the final say. This went on for years. Eventually it led to emails & phone calls. Then one day i walk into a bar & there she was. My heart nearly exploded. I thought w could have a decent conversation but i was wrong. Once she returned to her out of state home the constant texting & calling began. We found a friendship. Or so i thought. She moved back with her same gf & i was suddenly the bad guy again. Even going a far a getting me uninvited to my own sisters house because they were going to be there. After that relationship ended, things got worse. She ended up dating my very best friend. Drive a wedge in that friendship that will never heal. I finally hardened my heart to her. I was over her. I felt as if she could hurt me no more. This year on my birthday we has a few beers together. Since then it has been six months, dating or whatever you want tho call it. I don't know what its wrong with me. I do feel like I'm to blame. I am a smart girl in every aspect of my life except for her. My heart breaks more and more everyday. The fights are so bad and over nothing, literally nothing. She won't let me talk to my friends for advice. I find myself smiling the fake smile I've become so good at wearing. I don't know how to get out. I'm sick of hiding my life because no one else could understand. I'm not allowed to feel hurt my the cruel things she says. One cocky sooor-rey &i have to forgive & instantly feel fine. I can't, i shouldn't. I have never loved like this before or after her. She made sure of that. I should hate her but i can't.

I'm broken..

Incredible.Im comming out of a 6 month lover relationship. It was a most fullfilling relationship. She started warning me that she has a problem with herself that affects relationships in her life. She once told me her mother stated she feels sorry for the man that will one day be with her. Red flags started popping up when after havinga great week and we were both really busy. She was going to the mall and i commented that i was to go there around the same time but for a short period due to a very busy evening. When i suggested i can run into her for a short moment, she text back stating" I hate hate when people set time limits". i was taken back only to say " i really was hoping to see you because i miss you but no worries we can see each other at another time. This was only the beginning. As the relationship progressed these events would pop up getting worse. I would never know what or when it would set her off. One night googled some general word trying to make sense of all this. Once i came across BPD it was so revealing. In her case, there was no substance abuse, cheating but slowly i started being blammed for all her suffering. She was an extreme romantic, always listening too love music, expect me too be texting with her every 5 to 10 minuted daily. The text clinging made me think this was a norm only to become like her. Suddenly one wrong comment whould set her off. i would contact her withe the attempt to consider her and get closure from a simple misunderstanding. She would break off contact and hybernate into her room with no response to my calls. Once i was just about to move on she come back to her original self. But she was never at fault. Once i started not reacting to her moods and actually replying with a positive response she would start to appoligize only to swing back into the moods again. we would have a calm discussion on for her to take a fit and storm out of the car ovoiding days of contact. Then she sent a text stating how can someone she loves cause so much pain to her. I loved her to the point I was trying to save her. Somehow I believed this would get better as we stuck together. Im in the fresh process of getting over this. I have been so drained by the hard effort and consideration i put into her.It has been a challenge to let go.

This is going to be quite a long story, as it involves the time of meeting my partner to divorcing him after six years.
In 2007, when I just turned 18 years old, I started dating a guy who quickly became controlling, obbsessive, and needy.He did not allow me to have a social life or go out with my friends due to his "fear of losing me". Three months into the relationship I became his psychologist to issues involving his family and death of a friend. I emphasize this point because I dont think its quite normal or healthy to involve someone you've dated for three months into ones world of issues. But i felt bad for him and I initially thought that he has extremely poor self-esteem, so I tolerated it. I always tried to explain to him that Im not the type to go off cheating or doing something that can harm anyone - human or animal, it is not in my nature. Either way I was constantly trying to live a normal life and reasure him that I cared about him. Also three months into the relationship he showed up uninvited to my house everyday after his work and stayed at my house until he went home to sleep. A year later, he won my heart over. He shared many things with me, his history, his dreams, his fears, his hopes, his interests, his interests towards me, and so forth. I opened myself up to him aswell - things that I did not even tell my own mother, my hopes, dreams, my train of thinking, my past, my fears, my whole entire being. He seemed like such a compassionate and caring person, someone who was honest and warm, hardworking, moral, someone that you can have a great conversation with, similar opinions, beliefs, expectations, etc. Shortly after, we got engaged and a couple of months after engagement, the relationship was heading towards the bottom. Half a year after engagement he started to be distant, his entire character seemed to change, its like he lost interest in me. I was only 20 and this was difficult for me. He argued for no reason and many times it got out of hand and it never should of. He was physically abusive, but that did not hurt as much, as the emotional neglect and mental abuse I endured. I was always left with with feelings of confusion, resentment, shock, fear, guilt, shame, everything you can imagine. So the relationship continued after a brief separation. He said he was a new man. The physical violence stopped for a while but the emotional distance remained. He was always "too tired" to even have a conversation with me, and "too busy" with building his "empire" of a business. His character changed too, it was not the same person I fell inlove with and that I shared so many moments with in the past. He was extremely jelous, irritable, and quick to anger. Nothing was ever resolved, the conflicts always got out of hand. I couldn't even talk to him like a regular adult, he always use to blow up, put the blame on me, accuse me of things, and at other times just run out the door and leave me alone, wondering why and wondering if he was okay. On several occasions he told me that he calculated the distance, angle, and speed he needed to drive into a cement bridge, in order to die on impact. He once also took a belt and tied it around a bar in the washroom and attempted to hang himself. But would he do it? I dont think so, i didnt think then either. He was much too egoistic and I could tell that he wanted attention and for me to "feel bad". I did anyway.

The rest of the relationship was hard, i always wanted to explain things to him, try to fix things, try to make him feel comfortable, try to do everything to avoid his feelings, and ultimately try to understand why he treated me like the biggest sh*t. The only thing that was lways stopping me from ending the relationship was the memory that I once shared with him, of a better time. We got married on June 4th, 2011. I felt alone of my wedding. He did not even say one word to me before or after the ceremony. Its like his mind and heart werent even there. For him all that mattered was his family - mainly his father, mother, brother, and thrid cousins. That was the worst day of my life. I left the reception after dinner and went home. My parents didnt know what was going on so I didnt want to worry them - I told them I was getting sick. Suprisingly, after the marriage it got even worse. He was so hurtful verbally, distant, he blamed me for everything, he was arrogant, he started treated me like some child, he started criticizing me, calling me all the names that you can imagine and for no reason. I was married but have never felt so lonely in my life. Sometimes i fought back with him at other times I just grew tired of prtoecting myself, trying to explain, trying to make a marriage work, but I couldn't do it by myself. All through out the marriage he, in my opinion, picked fights and always headed to a hotel. (He always blamed me for everything and this was his justification). In September 2012, after one of his rage episodes, he litterly threw me out of the house. I was so hurt - it was like adding salt to an already existing wound. I was shocked he didnt want to be married to me anymore. I was ashamed to tell me parents. I felt like an object, and this coming from a person who vowed something to me, who should of been responsibile for my wellbeing - in all aspects. But I shouldn't of expected more, considering how he treated me for the past three and a half/ four years. He left me with a car to pay off and I was still a student not working anywhere. He left my father responsible for for getting my furniture.

He never wanted to change this relationship, he never cared about me, he never cared about anything other than the drama which him and his family thrived on, and his business. He never took responsibily for his actions and on the contrary blamed me for every single thing not only in the relationship but in life. We separated and I was having a hard time but somehow could function. I continued with school and found a job. Towards the end of October he contacted me and told me that he misses me, he told me that he would change, he told me that he loves me and that he cant imagine a life without me. He told me that hes sorry (for the first time in the entire relationsip), he wanted to be married to me and work on it. I was hesistant but his toxicity made me agree to it. We went to talk to a priest on a couple of occasions, we went to one session of couples therapy. Nothing helped. He went back to his destructuve patterns and i think it even got worse than before. I did not recognize his character anymore. His beliefs, his opinions, his interests about concrete things changed, to the point where I couldn't tolerate it. He started to critisize my personal appearance and my character, aswell as my friends, my parents, my parents marriage. He started to ignore me and neglect me all over again, blame me for everything, pick fights just to hurt me. The things which he promised were empty lies. He just needed someone which he can control, which he can have for himself, which he can destroy. Oh and I found out of his double life during the entire marriage and the one he had while being separated with me and the one he had when reconciled with me, at a time when we were working on our marriage. He destroyed me. He was filled with contradictions, with lies, with empty love, empty promises, no ability to see or feel guilt, no empathy, no humanity. So now its a second separation and this one is going straight to divorce. At the age of 23, I think I endured enough torment from a tyrant, who has no sense of control, no ability to percieve clearly, no morality, no respect, no sympathy, no empathy, no love, just lust. Its been one week since my second separation, and my extensive research brought me to the conclusion that his doctor misdiagnosed him for having bipolar, when in fact, he represents a portrait of borderline personality disorder. And despite everything, I feel bad for him. Only because whether it be genetics or developmental problems, he will miss out on the true human potential and experience: to love and to feel. He will never have that, he will only have love which he only understands through the confines of his mind.

As of me, Im 23 and getting a divorce. I gave all of myself towards this relationsip and to this man: my heart, my thoughts, my life, even my virginity. I did everything Im capable of doing to help. And this was enough. People need to understand that they are not capable of changing someone with this disorder no matter what, the wont change their reckless behaviours. It is a disorder - there is nothing that anyone can do to help. It will continue to be a repetitive cycle of negativity and it will do harm to you both mentally and physically. Every human deserves better, deserves someone who wont have a personality change from hour to hour, that wont have some rage episodes, that wont be reckless, that wont be distant, that wont give you some silent treatment. As much as you want to change that individual, you wont. As much as you want to help them - you wont. It is a toxic relationship, it is torment, it is the worst type of torture. I was one of those woman who always needed to find explanations, who always needed to help and believe me, its not worth your health. I dont know how long it will take me to get over these six years. I dont think I will ever forget him because in my stupid head i love him and probably always will (even if i know that what he was doing was manipulation and his love wasnt love at all, just lust). He ruined my being, my soul, my identity, my self worth.

all of this "suspected" or "textbook" BPD.. is not BPD. It is a complex illness and is actually different for each person. Unless your ex partner was diagnosed by a psychiatrist, don't say anything. You are not a doctor and what you're doing is perpetuating a stigma that is incredibly harmful to people who have BPD and their loved ones. Intensive research into treatments is just beginning to take place, FINALLY.. after years of silence on the illness. and whoever said 7% of people have this... no, every scholarly article and psychology text i've read states 1%-4%. This article stereotypes people with this illness and it's incredibly biased and frankly bigoted. Many people with BPD are aware of their illness and can see when episodes are happening... my thinking is logical and reasonable the majority of the time. But my partner and I are both capable of pointing out my BPD behaviours and doing what is necessary to cope with them.

This article....God, thank you. This describes the relationship to a 'T' that I've had for years with my best friend, and I am just now realizing I have to say goodbye. The highs and lows, the rollercoaster of I'm sorry's and blame, and wracking my brain trying to figure out what I said or did that was perceived as wrong...I am exhausted and heartbroken but I am finally now starting to understand.Thank you so much for the post on this, truly.

I have been trying to get out of a relationship for almost a year now. He is very manipulative and mentally abusive. At first I thought maybe he is bipolar due to the ups and downs of his moods. Knowing what I am going through, my cousin suggested I look up what a sociopath is. After reading up on this disorder my mouth dropped. The article I read said that out of a list, there are usually three identifiers. Well my boyfriend is all of the above. Which lead me to this article. I have put him out once before but I can't officially cut the strings due to the child we have together and my need for affordable child care. He has broke me emotionally, financially, and mentally so I know what I need to do is the right thing, but his selfishness and unwillingness to let me go is making it extremely difficult. He calls me his wife for life which use to be endearing, now it is just plain scary. I even made a plan to leave without him knowing, which only made me feel guilty, and the thought of me feeling guilty makes me even madder. He hasn't cared about how he talks to me or treats me, so why do I care so much even though I cannot wait to leave and start living my life the way I want to and not how he wants me to. It is scary to read that it is no closure. I went through the whole thing with him trying to harm his self which is how he ended up moving with me the first time I tried to end it. But reading all the stories has given me hope that I will be free one day. Hopefully sooner and not later.

Hello I can relate to all of your comments on here. I left my husband over 3months ago as I suspect he has bpd... it was the hardest thing but something from above told me to leave. I knew he was cheating on me by his actions hiding of the phone verbal abuse everything always my fault he lost interest in me all of a sudden he stopped talking to me just one worded answer's for the ladt two weeks begor I left our home and marriage. He planned to leave me .. as I suspect ed and the nxt night I went bk there and he had gone ... only taking a few clothes fragrances etc... he didn't contact me for 6weeks untill he had to cause he abandoned me and left me with the house to sort out clear out which I did with the help of family and friends.. he txt saying wherd is all the stuff etc... im sorry ive broken yr heart were just not meant yo be togther (repetitive) and that he needs me as a friend in his life always. Cant not ever have me as a friend etc...

Hi there. .. I think my hub has bpd as I walked out on him over 3 months ago .. have not seen or spoken to him face to face hes dissappeared on me abandoned me as soob as I left him rhat nifht. Left him our rented house he abandoned that... I suspect ed he was cheating on me again ir happened 8 years ago... the same pattern his personality switched in front of my eyes he then lost all interest in me for at least two weeks before I left him. I c hes straight into a full on relationship living with her ... its so crazy. Plz help there is much more to my story as its so heartbreaking because we was what I thought soul mates best friends. .. but I got tired of the verbal abuse. . Not seeing my friends.. not doing anything for mysel and everything for him! Please any advice thanks

Wow, thanks for all the time, effort and understanding to come ip with such a brilliant article. I can deeply relate to it. I recently realised that i have bpd and my partner believes he does too. This gives us an amazing understanding which we hope will help us understand the hurt, damahing behaviors and start making changes. We know it mau never be perfect but we are aiming to try to minimise instances when ut gets extremely damaging and ugly becuse we deeply love each other. Thank you so much - for doing this so well. Its great to feel understood

I want to thank the author for this entry. It was perhaps one of the best reads in trying to understand what is happening to me after watching a relationship end only 3 weeks ago. It left me confused, angry, hurt, betrayed, and deeply lost. I realize now the other is very probably BPD, and the description here only solidifies that opinion. Thank you for offering this - its helping to save my own sanity while processing the loss of a deep love that I felt was never understood or fully appreciated.

I want to indeed thank the author for this entry. I broke off my 4 month relationship with my gf. We started out as friends for about a year through work. But once we started to take things to the relationship stage things went the way the article so accurately describes. She had all the red flags from love and sex bombs in the beginning to saying I was the love of her life in a matter of weeks. Thankfully I did not get carried away and do anything stupid. Still though was tough when it ended. After reading other peoples comments I am grateful I never married this person. I also feel for the people who did take that dreadful step. One thing I was told is if you have a gut feeling about a person its usually right. Glad I got out and happy to hear the above people also found there way out too. Life is too short to feel guilty for something thats not in your control. Yes there are people with BFD but with a planet filled with 6.7 billion people there are plenty of good men and women out there so stay positive!

Many of you have been blessed by finding this article at a place in your relationships that still allows you to have lots of years for healing and personal growth. I have been married for 24 years to this second husband, after being widowed at the age of 38 by my true love husband of 19 years, with 2young teenage sons to raise. When this husband and I met, it happened under exactly the circumstances as this article outlines........and over the years our marriage has disintegrated exactly as this article outlines, due to what I now know must be his BPD. As a Christian wife, with a strong belief that God takes us through whatever he takes us to, my faith enabled me to survive through many episodes. But the past couple of years of our marriage have sent me, not him, to counseling, which did teach me to "stop walking on eggshells", only to have that culminate in my husband's final threat of having to be "done with me" no matter how broke he ends up, or what he has to do. I say, "final threat" because this time it was accompanied by an unpredictable explosion that had him with his hands brushing against the base of my neck, and my necessity to demonstrate an almost evil wrath back at him to back him down. In the past, I've waited it out, focused on the good times, thought my life comforts were equalizing the bad times. But the insanity of our marriage has to stop in order to allow me some remaining years of real comfort as I progress on past my mid-sixties. Luckily, we had no children together and have taken measures to keep our respective former estates protected for our own kids, and managed to build a respectable base of marital assets as well. I have my first appointment with an attorney tomorrow to discuss the end of my marriage, even if this time my husband actually does go ahead and have me served with the divorce papers he's threatened to do several times. Discovering this article when I did was a gift from God, and I see it as validation of important scripture that justifies us as humans to break free from the forces of anger and hate that are perpetuated upon us by others -- and in this case even if it has happened during the sanctity of marriage. I do not expect to enjoy being alone, without a life partner after experiencing nearly 44 years of total married connectivity. But, facing reality, if my 68 yr old husband were to die unexpectedly, I would have to face the reality of widowhood again, and this time probably prepare to realistically go it alone anyway. I have a strong support network of caring and understanding family and good friends that I know will have my back. I know I can lean on them and they will help guide me through the pitfalls as I grow forward into a life of experiencing the world through my own eyes, with no fear of admonishment, guilt, or need for approval seeking. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, author dear, for this life adjusting article. I am ready to follow the path towards the rest of my life, free from the destructive bindings of an unhealthy relationship with an unhealthy person.

I just broke up with my bpd boyfriend. We'd been together almost 3 years. I cut if off abruptly, and attempted no contact, but it isn't working. He is blowing up my phone, and threatens to come to my house, although my landlord has banned him from the property (neighbors called the cops during a domestic violence situation we had). I'm finding here that I should have disengaged first. He's an emotional wreck, begging, pleading for me to come back, etc. I didn't know I was supposed to disengage first. I feel like I have to backtrack now. I could do no contact......but it triggers him even more... how do I disengage, distance myself, etch after I've already broken up with him? He is NOT letting me go. I have NO desire to get back with him, and just want him to go away. He won't. Help!

I cry as I write this I know its all true,8yrs wasted ,from idealisation to rage abuse and what I used to call "accidental hurting time" ,he'd be in one of his moods,I'd try to stay out of his way,bt he'd always find a way to hit me in some way,brushing past me in the hall,would result in me ending up on the floor,or I'd sit as far away as I could,bt I'd end up with a knee to the face.the hardest thing to read was that he never felt the same way as I did,I had already come to that conclusion,but to read it in the article was devastating conformation.then came the porn addiction and dating sites he joined,always denials ,lies story's excuses,I feel so sick.I get that there something wrong with me because I let him rule me,the day I met him I found out my dad had cancer.its all starting to fit and honestly I'm overwhelmed.its been 2 days since I left,the texts and calls are tapering off,the first day I left he professed love,today he wished I was dead and that my daughter would be raped.today I saw him with another girl.this is about the 1000 attempt to leave.BT its different the time,I'm not alone,all the BPD websites I have discovered,its as if they know him,they help me realise that I'm not crazy,I'm not alone,I can do this.thank you everybody.rose

Wonderful information! This helps me better understand the one-step-forward, two-steps-back cycle that was happening with him for 3 1/2 years now. I understand I am the "trigger" though I have not done any of the things I have been accused of. I am trying to find ways for closure yet know it is unattainable because I know I have not done these things. I understand it is best to get out while I still have some sanity left. Yet I question, as someone up above did, are BPDs ever able to find a good relationship or is it going to be one woman after the next who ends up being their "trigger" and so many innocent people get hurt? Are there people out there with strong enough boundaries for the BPD to "realize" they must stop their manipulations?

This article and the comments below - reading other people's experiences with BPD partners has really helped me to understand what happened to the break down of my relationship with my BPD partner... like the article says...there is no closure, but i found some in reading your experiences. i am just so relieved that after years of thinking it was all my fault it actually wasn't like he always used to make out. thankyou...thankyou....thankyou.x

I just went through a serious breakup with my girlfriend. She most definitely has BPD. I have taken months to come to that conclusion after going out with her for just over a year. I didn't want to make a snap judgement and just observed what was happening between us. I wanted to reveal to her at the right time that she may have BPD and that she should read up on it but the relationship got so destructive and crazy at the end there was never any opportunity. I mean in any relationship sometimes we make mistakes but in a normal relationship if you kiss and make up you try to resolve the issues, no so with a BPD. She used my mistakes against me again and again, making me feel horrible. There is no compassion at the end and they literraly blame you for anything and everything wrong once the relationship goes sour. I highly higly recommend people do not get involved in these relationships unless you are cold and immune to your "loved" ones actions. You have to have a solid character and confidence about you that is like 95% perfect and even then they will randomly at their own time attack you. All this is not intentional, but nonetheless devastating to someone who is "trying" to make the relationship work. These relationships really take a toll, and it has most definitely taken a toll on me. I would compare it to a an emotional rollercoaster on steroids. If you are in a BPD relationship and things are good, I would recommmend having a talk with them immediately because sooner or later its going to hell anyways and there is nothing you can really do about it until that person learns to manage and deal with emotions and stress or triggers in a better way. I honestly do not wish this on anybody BPD or not, and I wish everyone the best of luck with this. Most prudent thing would be to get out, but if you stay please get help for yourself and the person that has BPD.

I ended my 4 year relationship with my BPD girlfriend, I never experienced so much pain before in my life. I wanted to share with the world that you can overcome this type of break up so I took the plunge and posted on YouTube my recovery and healing of this ordeal. Please search out, "Self Misdirection" I posted 25 videos on what I did to help me get my life back.

I just broke up with my bpd ex. It wasn't my first relationship nor was it my first break up. But I must say that this is the most difficult time in my life. I've never been in so much pain in my entire life.

I had my own share of guilt though. I was ignorant to what bpd really is. I mean, I knew the definition of bpd and I did a half assed research about bpd and figured out that people with bpd feel afraid of abandonment. But I didn't understand the full extent of bpd. I thought by keep reassuring him that I love him and that I will always be there for him and that I have no intention of ever leaving him would be enough to make him feel secure.

I didn't know that the extreme mood swings, depression that stretched for days, the hot/cold behavior and cruelty/rudeness was also part of his insecurity. I simply couldn't understand how could someone who is so afraid of being abandon ever try to push away the very person who wants to be with him. Shouldn't he cling instead of pushing away?

The dark moods and depression was terrible. At that very time I seriously felt like a rescue boat trying to save him from drowning in the sea. Here he was screaming, crying and flapping his arms for help but at the very same time refusing to take my hands. The more I tried to help, the more he yelled for me to leave him alone. I did try my best, or so I thought, for more than 2 years. At the end of it I was like; "Fine, go ahead and drown. There is nothing I can't do to help you if you don't want to be helped.", and I walked away from the relationship.

I wish If I had known more about bpd before I walked away, maybe I could understand and accommodate his behaviors a little better. Now I feel really terrible for confirming his worst fear in life by abandoning him. He wants nothing to do with him now and I am left guilt ridden.

I wish there were a way for me to contact you, because I know how you feel. I was/am in the same boat. Please, don't blame yourself, or think that you could've done something differently. Like the article says, there is nothing we can do. Keep reading the article, it is a Godsend for me! I've read it several times. All of the points are valid. If you are feeling guilty though, refer to #4 & #9. I'm sorry for your pain. I wish I could help.

Any ideas on how to save a marriage if my wife of 4 years who has displayed all the behaviors and torment listed above suddenly moved out and wont let me see our 3 year old. She deleted my entire family off face book and keeps posting hot pics of her self on her home page. We have a sharded family plan so i can see who all she is texting and talking to which the list is grown in less than a week of leaving me. She doesn't even text me anymore when we used to text hundreds of times a day. She ignores my calls and wont reply to texts to talk to my little girl. I have heard from friends that there are some new guys commenting "gorgeous" on her new profile selfie. Should I give up hope? is there a way to reach out to her and let her know I still love her and care about her? This is killing me and I hate seeing all the attention she is getting from all these people after 4 years of high and lows with her. When she wanted she was my best friend and the most passionate lover. I love her so much and her actions and behavior are hurting me so bad. She went to go get her kids from her ex and never came home. She quit her job one of about 6 in the last year and a half, and took kids out of school. Any suggestions ?

For whomever wrote this article, you have hit the nail on the head. It describes my situation to a tee. I have come to read this on an almost daily basis, for my own survival. After being single for years I finally thought I met "the one". But the troubles could be seen from the first week we were together and only worsened with time. Those around me told me to flee. But I felt a need to prove them wrong. I thought that love would prevail. I can only hope now that a new love, a new healthy relationship can allow me to find love again. My soon to be ex-wife continues to hurt me with her actions, her deceipt and outright lies. I am still healing and one day soon hope to move on. It seems she doesn't want to take the steps to make her life better and probably never will. The key to this all, which is the hardest thing to do, is to move on and take care of myself. Once again, thanks to the author of this article. It has almost become a daily prayer to me!

Thank you for so eloquently putting down the painful truth. My BPD husband of ten years is leaving me, before I can leave him. I left once and came back. There isn't much left of me. I only hope I can go on. I am frightened, alone and devastated. The scars I leave with nearly killed me last year when I got sick and nearly died. I wanted to die. I was seduced, enchanted and loved so compulsively that I didn't recognise the control and abuse until it was too late. I have read many things now, but your article was so painfully true and accurate. I hope there is a bright future for all of us, instead of this pain just trying to breathe.

Hi Jason

This was written some time ago now, how are things 2 years later.

Kindest regards. Sue. (Non-borderline)

I am a 27-year-old woman and I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I do agree with a lot of what was written... I may have this very difficult disorder but I am not a monster and I am easy to live with; as long as you don't trigger my button! Interpersonal relationships are always wrought with turmoil, and I am beginning to see my role in it. However, it should be mentioned that as distressing as a Borderline's behavior is to others, it's even more distressing to US. We don't fully understand ourselves, so how can others try to figure us out? As a Borderline, I fear abandonment more than anything. But my symptoms only show up when I'm stressed or upset. The best way to describe it, it's like being carried away down a deadly fast current, and we struggle to keep our head over the water, desperately reaching out for anyone to save us. Yet we pull them down with us. The saddest part is, many Borderlines (including myself) abhor our actions and the way we inflict pain on others. That is how self-loathing develops, in droves.

Borderline from Louisiana

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