Potential BDP and needing support


I’m a 40 year old man based in the UK. I have a partner who is 55 and is suffering mental health problems. She has recently telephoned her GP who is referring her to the community psychiatric nurse for assessment.

I have been trying to find out what has been happening in our almost 6 year relationship, and the closest thing I can find that fits well is borderline personality disorder. It might not come as a surprise to some (from what I’ve learnt recently about this condition) that I have been told I suffer from dependent personality disorder.

We are both suffering tremendously, especially as things have come to a head, which is why she’s finally sought some help (if it is legitimate).

I’m looking for some support. Right now I have none. I only have one close friend and he is going through problems and so is mostly unavailable.

I would appreciate some guidance on which section of the forum I should post. I’d like to explain the situation more, and ask some questions if that is ok.

Thanks for reading.

I was widowed in 2006. We had a happy marriage, I was married at 19, we discussed things between us and found solutions. After I was widowed at 54, I desperately needed someone outside the family to share things with. Now I have a counsellor I can see when I need to. I would suggest that counselling would help you too.

Hi James,

I was diagnosed with BPD approximately 15 years ago. It was actually a relief to get a diagnosis. With therapy and research I have really overcome alot of the traits connected to the condition.

I wanted to reply to give you hope that things can improve. I’m fairly new to the forum so not sure where you’d need to look but wish you both well.
Claire :slight_smile:

Bowlingbun - thank you for your reply. We’ve been in touch with Mind who are going to arrange a weekly phone call for a period of time for each of us individually, I can’t recall how long they will do that. I’m also booked to speak to my GP on the 6th January which I hope will lead somewhere.

It all seems very far away at the moment, though, And more than anything, I would like to speak to people who have experience of BPD because despite lots of internet searches and reading and learning over the past few weeks, much of what is happening and has happened with my partner makes no sense to me.

Daisydip, Claire - thank you too for replying. The thing I’m most confused about right now is that my partner claims to have no memories of most of what I have uncovered that she has been doing. With me she is one type of person, virtually everything a man could want apart from the terrible anger outbursts and arguments that seem to happen for hardly any reason, sometimes based on completely misinterpreting and misremembering something I’ve said.

Away from me though, or with me but texting someone else, she is a different person. A very poor view of men including me, at times very disparaging of me although I was able to cross-reference with texts to me and see we were not getting on well at the time after the latest argument. Unhappy doing things for me despite telling me it’s no problem, and showing no signs of gratitude for things I’ve done which have really put me about and took a lot of effort.

She won’t look at the texts, gets very upset and scared, said she is frightened to death that there seems to be another version of her of which she is not aware, no memory of. Yet I can bring something up and she’ll immediately lie, create a cover story, but be adamant she isn’t lying and get into a terrible state where she ends up eyes closed, hands grabbing hair on each side of her head and quite unresponsive, crying or in turmoil.

We have talked a lot over our relationship, she seemed to share the same morals and principles as me. We talked of morality and unacceptable behaviours like flirting. She has actually been flirting heavily for years, I’ve discovered, and despite denying it for hours one night when we were talking recently, she suddenly admitted remembering a tiny bit of it, and told me it was because I don’t and never have shown her enough attention. The next day she said she couldn’t recall the conversation. Since then she says she sort of recalls it but can’t remember giving a reason for it.

She now says she cannot talk about any of it because it’s breaking her mind, because she cannot stand the idea of being different to how she feels she is when with me. There is limited evidence she’s had affairs but she said last night she cannot bear hearing me talk about the possibility because she would not be able to cope with finding out she had, that guilt would destroy her. She said “please let me keep that remaining bit of integrity for now, since I’ve lost it in all other ways from the things you’ve told me I’ve said and done”.

This is very hard for me, I just want to know what has happened and why. It seems she may be seeing someone now, or at least keeping someone on the back burner. But since she says she has no memory of anything and emotionally breaks down at mention of the possibility, denying strenuously that she could be doing such a thing, what can I do?

I do not know if she is being honest or lying. She says she hates herself and is the cause of all these problems. Keeps saying I would be much better off without her and don’t deserve what this has put me through. But I don’t know if that’s the truth. Don’t know if she really does want help, or if she’ll put a stop to it when she actually sees someone. In short, I don’t know her, after almost 6 years together.

When I bring up something which is very suggesting she has done something, she creates an excuse on the spot and will try to convince me that she’s told me before. Her eyes become panicky and her anxiety soars, but she says she is not aware of that happening and that it isn’t coming from the “her” stood in front of me, because she isn’t feeling that way. Some of the excuses are absurd. I’ve taken to recording our conversations when we talk about all this, to ensure it isn’t me who has the problem and is forgetting or changing things she’s said. I’ve confirmed it isn’t me.

I don’t know where to turn. Helplines do not go into specifics like this. There’s no ability for me to call a BPD specialist or a psychiatrist for a chat. I feel very lost and alone, full of pain and worry, it’s affecting my health and recently I had to go to the doctor’s after something frightening with my heart and have to take beta-blockers now, I was told stress and not sleeping was likely the cause.

Sorry for the long post, I’m getting some of it out of my head I suppose.

My partner has recently been diagnosed with this and is awaiting D.B.T. He was abused as a child, so there is lots of back trauma. I have no support network and have to work full time, and feel physically and emotionally drained. I had to leave work early on Saturday due to an anger outburst at a neighbour over parking as our car ended up damaged. I’m getting to the stage where I wonder if I should give up work to look after him to stop this sort of thing. Anyone in a similar situation I totally sympathise, I found this forum today after a friend told me I should stop trying to handle everything on my own.