Partner with BPD and I'm drowning


I am hoping to just be able to vent/speak to someone about things. I have found recently my support system is diminishing, not because of my relationship, because of work/personal difficulties and them struggling with their own demons.

My partner has BPD, he had support during his childhood, but still ended up on drugs (his adoptive parents were abusive) and in psychiatric wards. Now he is in full time employment, doing something he absolutely loves and has successfully given up all drugs.

Our relationship has been a roller-coaster, as to be expected. And of course the bad includes him distancing himself, devaluing me, dismissing my feelings and cheating (in the form of inappropriately messaging others). The worst is when his psychotic like symptoms worsen, when he is fully relapsing, and he just accuses me of cheating, spreading lies about him and talking about him badly - none of which are true. He also thinks the world is out to kill him, his phones being tapped etc so it is never just directed at me.

A few months ago I walked away from the relationship because he had relapsed. My wellbeing had to come first. He did get himself support, and a referral for DBT has been made at last (nhs has really let him down over the years) - we rekindled our relationship, it was positive and he was talking about our future again, and him wanting to be a better person and partner.

But I feel him slipping again, I can also see he is trying his hardest to not. He’s still trying to be affectionate and caring, and when he starts feeling angry or frustrated he leaves the room. But he still struggles with the belief that people hate him, are out to hurt him (voices in his head) and I can tell he’s starting to relapse because he accused me of muttering horrible things about him (not true). He is also struggling with the desire to be impulsive and go out and do drugs/drink heavily with any one but me. The recklessness is always a sign of a possible setback in his mental health.

The hardest part for me is that he doesn’t talk to me, he bottles it up. Like I can see he’s upset, so I ask, he tells me “I’m tired” but I that isn’t true and it’s frustrating. I find myself getting annoyed and start getting cold which he probably reads as me getting angry at him and wanting to leave the relationship. It’s just such poor communication!

In fact, I’m actually predicting the outcome of our relationship on a daily basis and getting frustrated by something that isn’t even happening. It’s putting a lot of pressure on him as well, I think I’ve read too much and too many horror stories - and dreading the idea of him relapsing because he always pushes me away when I just want to support him.

I just wanted a space to vent and maybe get some advice on how to handle stuff like when he is low, what’s the better way to respond.

He’s not a bad guy, he’s made mistakes and he is actually trying. He’s always apologised for his hurtful behaviour and in the past when he’s asked me to leave its been because he wanted to protect me from him. He’s got a big, broken, heart. And if I’m honest I’m struggling with my own personal stuff (I lost a baby) that is probably why I’m feeling so low at the moment and placing that pressure on him.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Elanor,
Welcome to the forum. Feel free to vent, as and when needed.

I don’t have experience of caring for someone with mental health issues, but others on here do.

It sounds like you are struggling because your partner is relapsing and can’t/wont engage with you about how he is feeling but also because of the loss of your baby.

Are you receiving any support re your baby? I have just googled baby bereavement counselling and there are quite a few charities and organisations that offer support, but not knowing the circumstances, I can’t recommend which would be best.

Is he the father of the baby? He may need bereavement counselling too, could grief be the trigger of his relapse?

It is good that your partner has been referred for support. Perhaps he can’t open up to you because he is frightened of hurting you. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone we don’t know.

The MIND website has lots of info for both those with MH issues and those supporting them


Hello Melly,

Thank you for responding.

I was receiving counselling for general support at the time this happened but have had to take a break due to funds. I would look at NHS but the waiting lists are quite long and I will probably be able to afford private again at that point.

Yes he was the father, I actually hasn’t considered that as a potential difficulty I noticed his relapse symptoms worsened after spending a day with his biological family (complicated and triggering) but this involved a lot of interaction with children. I assumed the relapse was because of the relationship in general and hadn’t considered that this may be a huge factor, thank you that’s really helpful.

I think sometimes I blame myself, which then means I get cold. Very unhelpful responses. It’s nice to be able to vent and get a better perspective. Sadly my friend’s are quite dismissive.

Thank you so much

Hi Elana,
glad I may have been of help.

A lot of us find our friends don’t understand, hence why we all come to the forum in the first place. Even though our situations are varied, a lot of the issues resulting from caring are the same.

Please continue to visit the forum to read and post, if it helps.

Don’t feel guilty - easier said than done, I know.

You may find this thread helpful, for lifting your mood