Borderline Personality Disorder

Does anybody else struggle in a BPD relationship?
I’ve been in mine for over three years now and suffer from frequent rows which are emotionally charged and hard to recover from.
I am told they are always my fault.
If I try to communicate my feelings it always ends in a row.
Does anybody here have any tips or can offer support on how to make such a relationship work and avoid arguing?
I often feel like the only way to achieve this is to be robotic and emotionless but I am neither!

I have no support outside the relationship since it feels like a terrible betrayal to my partner to speak to anybody other than her.

Posting here is a hard decision because last time I tried, she discovered my posts and was terribly upset by it.

But I’m hoping to speak to her and let her know that I need outside support sometimes and three years of this emotional rollercoaster has become too much to hold inside.

Your partner needs long term therapy CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to deal with the BPD, all the bad emotions in their head, and how to deal with these bad feelings .

It is not easy to get through the NHS, shortages and waiting lists, if you can afford try going private, find a Good recommended therapist who is a member of the counselling organisations.

BPD messes up your head i think that’s the easy way of putting this, and it is very difficult to have a relationship with someone with BPD as you know.

Has your partner revealed why she has BPD, because of abuse? then possibly there are charity’s that can give free therapy.

You can live a normal happy life with BPD, there will be bad spots, ups and downs but with the right treatment therapy and support these will reduce.

And you too need help, you can cannot cope with BPD 24/7/365 without any help, surely your partner can realise you cannot live without any support.

Somehow your partner needs to agree that you need support, the therapy might help with this.

It’s really important you get some help and support, before this destroys you, and your relationship. You can’t pretend to be someone you are not, just to please her.
How old are you both?

Thank you for your reply

Yes, the BPD emerged from poor family mental health and then from childhood neglect, physical and sexual abuse together with other traumatic events that have happened during and since childhood.

She doesn’t believe in therapy and the offerings from nhs have been sparse.
She takes quetiapine and venlafaxine and believes these help.

I guess I think I’ve managed three years with no support so I plod on.
It’s hard for her to accept I need support because she feels like she has ruined my life by being with her. So my needing outside help must make those feels compound.

But sometimes I just feel like I need to talk. To have someone reassure me that no I’m not a bad person. Everything isn’t all my fault. I don’t make her worse by being with her (living and breathing for her!) I am a good influence on her life and our children’s lives.
It often feels like the bpd in her tries to destroy me. If you hear the same things enough times you start to believe them and question yourself : (
It can be hard to keep telling myself she is pushing me to the limit to see if I will leave
The limit is a heartbreaking and soul destroying place to be.

Bowlingbun I am about to turn 38 and she just turned 35

You cannot keep supressing your feelings and walking on eggshells trying to stop the rows.

Therapy does work but not easy and you need to find the right counsellor, one you get on with who understands and you gel with.
I don’t know if your partner has tried therapy and it has failed?

Everyone needs support, mates to offload on when you have had a bad day and even more when you are dealing with a difficult relationship.

Often people with low self esteem, low self worth don’t value themselves and are not worthy of love.

They often trigger rows to make the partner leave, when the partner just can’t take anymore and leaves, they will say to themselves, i told you so the person didn’t love me, confirming that they are unlovable.

Therapy is the only answer to raise your partners self esteem and confidence and make themselves lovable, capable of receiving love.

And yes it is heart breaking but your partner needs to change, accept help, instead of pushing people away.

The Survivors Trust can help find long term therapy, they have a free helpline you or anyone can ring for a chat, help advice and support.

Walking on eggshells and trying to avoid rows just about sums up most of my days!
I have explained to her that I am only human and that I have feelings too. She accepts that rows will happen but says she has never argued so much and it was never like this in any previous relationship she has had.
Obviously this makes me feel it’s all my fault.

Yes, she has tried CBT which failed.
Years ago.

Your comments about self love made me think of a recent example.
It was her birthday last week and I really spoiled her with presents and a steak meal she requested. I even baked her a cake and she knows that baking is not my strong point! I ran her a candle lit bath with a bath bomb that had earrings hidden inside. It was a lovely day. But the following morning she lost it. She told me it was all and act and I was putting it on for that one day.
I was devastated.

Sadly when I’m in the row I can’t step back. I can’t say to myself ‘it’s ok, this is just her struggling to believe it’s real, that you love her’. I take it personally and it tears me apart.

I think that’s where I need support.
Someone to soundboard and remind me not to take it personally.
Someone to remind me not to try to reason with her when her brain can’t reason.
To not seek empathy or try to show what happens from my perspective, when she is unable to see my perspective.

If I tried to explain to her how lonely and isolated I often feel then she would say ‘why are you with me then?? Just leave!’
Yet I don’t think a person could do any more to show and to prove their love for another.
I proposed to her last summer and it was not just a case of getting down on one knee. It was epic. Still, less than a week later she questioned this 6 month in the planning, £4,000 proposal : (
‘You had me believing you, but it was all a lie and an act’.

I have seen a hundred times that BPD relationships can’t last long term.
I don’t believe that. But if she doesn’t equal my effort then it’s going to continue to be this hard for me.

I’ll start by saying I believe we are all responsible for our own happiness, and a good relationship should involve mutual love and respect.
In 34 years, my husband and I never had a serious row, although we were both very strong personalities.

Feel free to disagree with anything I’m going to write now.

I’m always on the side of the carer.
I’ve been a carer for over 40 years, 10 carees in total.
Life hasn’t been easy.

I don’t see much respect or happiness in your current situation.
It sounds like you are doing all the giving, and she’s doing all the taking.
You sound fed up, and being used as an emotional punch bag by your partner.
It takes two to have a row.
I think you should both agree that in future you are not going to row.
If she starts having a go at you, walk away.
If she wants the relationship to continue, she needs to try again at getting help, as a condition of you staying.
Is this really what you want for the rest of your life?
Do YOU get any help or support when you are feeling down, or are ill, or is it always about her?

I have a lot of experience with mental illness and people who have been abused.

And can see what’s happening, your partner has probably never experienced true love, true care.

Normally you have a family, you bring up your kids with lots of love and affection, you look after them, proper food proper clothing, lots of family time, days out enjoying themselves.
Reading bedtime stories, help with the homework.

The kids grow up to be strong confident independent adults and go into good solid loving relationships.

With abuse, neglect and trauma, kids grow up damaged, very low confidence and self worth.
It has been proved that abuse damages the growing and emotional response’s from the brain.

Rational thinking is just not possible, that how can someone love them as they have been abandoned and neglected for years.

Yes thoughts will occur , why is this person being nice to me? as probably no one has been nice to them before.

Long term therapy is the only answer and it does take time and a lot of effort, you come out drained from counselling.

My first counsellor i didn’t get on with at all, my third counsellor, I just clicked, someone on the right wavelength as me and the counsellor really helped me understand.

A CBT specialist may not have understood fully about trauma and abuse, Specialist Abuse Trauma therapy is what is needed and LONG TERM.

Therapy through the NHS is probably 6 sessions, that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

And arguments and blazing rows, throwing accusations, at the very least this needs to be reduced, all it does is cause a great deal of upset.

You need to have some sort of time out, that you will agree not to argue, wave a white flag or something.

If you really didn’t love your partner, you would have walked out months ago, doesn’t your partner realise this?

But probably not with a damaged brain, rational thought is just not possible.

I suggest you try read a few books about abuse and trauma, sorry you might have done this already.

But people can come through the abuse and live a good life.

I am caring for a survivor of abuse and it is not easy at all, if you want to personal message me , i will do my best to advise.

But the Survivors Trust is the way forward.

I don’t get any help or support when I am feeling down or ill. I have told her I feel as though I’m not allowed to be either.

It’s strange though because from my perspective, it always has to be about her… yet she tells me she feels as though I make everything about me. It’s very confusing.

It is what I want for the rest of my life and that’s why I proposed to her. I am fully committed and that’s why I’ve been with her for over three years already. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I could be with her for 50 years and she would spend those 50 years wondering when I’m going to leave and if I truly love her. Wondering if I’m happy, never feeling good enough for me and wondering if I should find somebody else. It’s a terrible illness.

Where you suggest my simply not rowing and walking away. I hope to get to that point. I hope to be able to do that and stop staying to defend myself when she is unable to reason. Because yes it does take two to row and I should be simply walking away. Although I should say that leaving the room is enough to trigger her abandonment issues. She suffers from terrible paranoia and also insomnia. The paranoia is the single most horrendous symptom of the disorder in my opinion.

The arguments do need to stop and I realise this is on me as the emotionally stronger partner to do as bowlingbun says and walk away. I’ve known that for a long time but as yet haven’t achieved the skill!! Sadly we row on average probably every week. We rowed yesterday morning and she stonewalled all day and night. It devastates me to lose a whole precious day like that. Today we are ok but nothing gets resolved. We just ‘move on’.

She should definitely know that I love her. I prove it all the time in any way I know how. She must, deep down. I think her heart knows but her head doesn’t believe.

Thank you so much for the offer to pm. I really appreciate that because I am very worried that she could again see all I’m writing Publicly here and be upset by it. I think I’m just desperate enough for support to take the risk : (

Might be a good idea to change your user name, mine is Londonbound, totally anonymous, no one knows who i am.

But yes if you want to PM thats fine, if you can talk to the Survivors Trust, i ring up and talk to a really nice lady.

There is also NAPAC, Supporting Recovery from childhood abuse.

I understand & have gone through everything you have talked about & more. I am the parent of an adult child with bpd & many other disorders. I won’t say too much here, think It needs it’s own thread. But if you need an understanding ear, message me.
Take care

I have private messaged you if you wish to talk.
My boyfriend has bpd.

I totally get that feeling of struggling some days to walk away. Obviously we know that it’s the bpd talking, but it doesn’t make us not want our partner to stop seeing us in that severely negative light.

Hello there,

I too have a partner with what I perceive to be undiagnosed BPD. We’ve been together over 4 years, are both in our late 30’s and have had many rows and a few near break ups. We live together and he has two lovely children from a previous long term relationship.

I would highly recommend looking up Dr Daniel Fox. He has a channel on a popular video viewing site, and there are many useful videos on BPD, how to identify triggers (those little things that kick off the negative behaviour), and how your BPD partner can try to learn to identify when they have been triggered before things go too far. This isn’t a swap for counselling, however if your BPD other refuses to attend then this is something you could possibly persuade them to listen to. They just have to show to you they are prepared to make an effort, and follow through. I found the videos really helpful and an insight to understanding why my partner behaves as he does.

It’s very difficult, but you have to try and not feel guilt, feel any blame, stay calm and really put your ‘adult’ head on when your BPD partner/friend/family member has been triggered. You also need to be yourself, keep your friends and hobbies, and know that your BPD other’s reactions are a habit, but over time they can be changed. If you need someone to talk to, counselling is great but find a BPD specialist if you can. Your BPD other will not want you to attend, as they will automatically think the counsellor will tell you to leave them! You have to look after yourself otherwise what’s the point? You can give them all the support and love you have, but remember they must want to make the change and it’s up to them to do it, not you.

Good luck!

Hi blueberry

It’s obviously a very long time since you posted I hope that things have improved for you. I am in a really similar situation so please let me know if you want some support, I’m amazed at how similar things are and think it could help us both.