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Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
~Mark Twain

We are a psychologically sophisticated society. Emotional difficulties are now shared openly — not only by celebrities but by your average person. It’s not unusual for people to tell friends that they have an anxiety disorder, anger management problem, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorder, substance abuse problem, OCD or ADD.

Yet, there is a widespread psychological disorder that most people know little or nothing about. Why? Because its symptoms are largely interpersonal, causing many to view it as a relationship issue, not a mental health one. Also, people shy away from the term because of its unflattering name: Borderline Personality Disorder.

209 Comments to
Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

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  1. When I was finally diagnosed with borderline diagnosis it put me on the path to getting the help I so desperately needed – dialectical behaviour therapy & schema therapy have proved very helpful. Sad that there is such a stigma attached to having BPD, even amongst some mental health staff on acute wards. Ignorance and fear fuel the impression that we are potentially dangerous, attention-seeking, histrionic…

    • My life long best friend suffers from BPD, she has most of the traits pointed out in this article but has never been violent or abusive to anyone but can be very manipulating. We joked for years she was attention seeking drama queen. But there is so much more than that. She makes very poor choices that affect not only her but everyone around her for what seems like very selfish reasons. She thrives on crazy, when things are good in her life she creates drama, poor choices in men, baby after baby and lies to cover up lies. It is very difficult to stay supportive when I watch her self-destruct, I have had to Distance myself from being sucked into the drama she creates. I at times have felt responsible because i knew she was lying or or hating on people for no reason but to make her feel batter or get what she wants. Everything is everyone else’s fault never hers. It truly is sad to watch. She doesn’t get help because she feels she is controlling it.

    • I thought I knew my this man (my friend) of four years; although I hadn’t spent much time with him until recently. What an emotionally abusive, developmentally arrested and mercurial tempered man. Extraordinary Oncologist but his personal life is peculiar – at best. I don’t think he passed 11 or 14 years of age for some reason.
      I’m not a hundred percent myself, but at least I sought help for my problems. At the end of the day we as adults are to be held accountable for our actions. And I told him so. He has a sweetness to him that makes me stay -albeit at a distance – that leads me to believe he’s not really an Ahole, but is in pain. He’s in his mid 50’s now and cultivates an enabling and emotionally abusive relationship. That’s his problem though. I have all I can do to take care of myself, and these people (mother, father, included) are emotional leeches. But like I say, there’s some real pain there, so if I can help, by just being a friend, then I will. He fears abandonment and craves isolation; that’s fine. I’m not judging, but I have no sympathy, time or loyalty to those who are too special to attempt to be decent. “Do unto to others as you would have t hem do unto you” Or get lost.

    • Oh, yes to DBT! Don’t rescue and enable the BPD; let them hurt enough to get help. If there’s no money or ind for therapy, check out the wonderful, or Marsha Lineham’s own website.

      BPD’s don’t know why everything is hard and everything hurts. Many are doing the best they can. They know their best efforts only bring failure and drive people away. It’s a nightmare. Learning to Refrain and finding the middle ground in Black or White thought patterns remaps the brain away from the too-quick amygdala and out to the reasoning parts of the brain. Problems become right-sized and solvable.

      The findings on Neuroplasticity refute the “death sentence” earlier diagnoses gave BPD. People can have a whole new life, free of suffering.

      • My wife has several signs of BPD. She has been in therapy for over a year and a half. She also has anxiety and depression. She has a ton of friends and doesn’t push them away, but she pushes me away all of the time. Last night she asked for a divorce because she will never be happy and I appear to be unhappy. Her behavior has caused me to seek therapy for my anxiety, yet most of my therapy session is spent speaking about her. Do I love her, yes. Can I see myself going through the next 40 years of yelling, screaming, isolating, manipulating, and self-mutilation? After the past 3 years I don’t think so anymore. Ever since we got engaged things went downhill. She has always been a “dirty” person – doesn’t pick up after herself, poor hygiene, and just leaves everything for me to do. I have asked her for help around the house…she says I am complaining… Last night she said she wants to be alone and live in a dirty apartment and not worry about anything. Marriage counseling has been suggested in the past…but now I don’t know if I even want to try anymore. I feel drained and empty.

    • My wife is borderline and severe. She became catatonic. She confessed to murdering her 2nd husband with enough detail to place her at the scene of his death which was ruled accidental overdose and she was near him the day he died. He had thought she was getting a large inheritance but he had just changed his beneficiaries. She was a nurse and said she was very good at snowing patients who were near death and that how she did her X. Not certain she did it but she was convincing enough to make me report it to police and her psychiatrist. She held butcher knife to my chest daring me to move. Placed glass in my bed and huge shards of glass where she knows I am going to walk which a care giver noticed and alerted me about. She poisoned my medication with a chemical and a police woman tipped me off after she was hospitalized for cutting on her arms. She is fascinated with guns and watches the advertisements. Her son had a gun and she fixated on it right away sending him in he back yard after a “stranger” and when i went out one night and she was alone she texted me that she was waiting for me with the gun then called police to report a man on the porch to set up the scene for a shooting. The gun was actually locked up when she went to get it and its gone from the house now! My point….saying that people with BPD are unfairly suspected of being dangerous is a big mistake! My wife may have never harmed anyone and just fantasized about killing her X in great detail but the knife she held to me was real the glass was real and the poisoned medication was real the threats were recorded and if i die for any reason there will be an inquiry for certain. Her X brother in law’s wife died under mysterious conditions 3 days before a final divorce. Her best friend is borderline and her husband died in a hospital they suspect from too much pain medicine leaving her millions in settlement money. 2 Autopsies failed to reveal exact cause and the evidence disappeared along with the samples. She has a secret “Plan” with my wife according to an intercepted email for starting a business together except I am alive and that’s a problem! Maybe you think i am paranoid but i have said nothing that is not documented and safe should I meet an untimely demise. The real question for me is at what point do i throw in the towel?

      • =( That is really scary. I hope you can divorce her and escape that. My husband’s ex wife is borderline and she still stalks us sometimes.

      • She sounds 100 percent psychotic, not borderline.

      • You are actually asking at what point you throw in the towel???? I think you passed that a few shards of glass back!!!

  2. You make it sound like we with BPD don’t know we are hurting those around us. Those who don’t see they have a problem and are not self aware, maybe, but if I explode in anger its because I’m in emotional pain I was never taught how to express my emotions in an emotionally mature way. I hurt when I explode and I hurt ten fold after for verbally hurting someone. I don’t feel righteously angry, I feel scared, overwhelmed, confused, which translates into anger, the only emotion that comes out. I can’t stand it. Also, your version of the criteria is very judgmental and not exactly correct. Its good to get the message out, but this post made me feel hated and judged. I am doing all I can to manage this horrible illness which is entirely misunderstood. Us BPDs live in a world of torment that we do not wish to have. We hold on to the hope that one day we won’t suffer so much and be able to respond appropriate and be useful people in society. Most of us don’t mean any harm, we are scared, suffering people who just want to be loved… even though we are, we struggle to believe it because we don’t believe we are worthy of love.

    • Polly and Who Cares,
      I am the author of the article. Thank you for sharing your perspectives. It’s helpful to hear from those who suffer from BPD, even though this article was oriented toward the friends and family of someone with the illness.

      • I agree that this article is riddled with misinformation, as well as being condescending and stigmatizing. Ignoring respondent’s feedback because the article “was not meant for them” is beyond ridiculous, because you are specifically writing an article ABOUT them – you are pretending to be the expert of something which you are clearly not. You are not the expert of those who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, any more than I am. I am, however, an expert of myself and I live with experience of being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

        The spread of stigmatizing language and discourse is rampant around this diagnosis and I am sincerely disappointed that its marginalization is being perpetuated on a website that reaches thousands each day. What do we expect people to think or how to we expect people to react when they read BPD from this perspective of a problem of simply of conflict and anger? That “borderlines” are highly critical? Says who? Show me your peer-reviewed research that includes the voices of those actually diagnosed with the disorder.

        Even using the image of a woman screaming as the layout of the article is offensive. Also ignored is the gendered nature of this diagnosis as females are overrepresented in those diagnosed and this can be associated with the social construction of gender roles.
        And least, but not last, addressing those with the diagnosis as “borderlines” equates their entire existence to a diagnosis that is questionable at best considering the background of the DSM and its lack of client/consumer input.

        I am saddened and disappointed that in 2013 we are still seeing articles written using such a stigmatizing discourse.

      • Dr Sapadin,

        I’m currently in pretty intensive therapy (DBT based) for BPD, and I can’t really recall too many episodes of “exploding in anger” or harshly judging those I love really ever. My behaviors are very much self-directed – a lot of self harm – and if anything, my relationships are marred by an inability to speak up for myself and a tendency to trust untrustworthy people. Does this mean I’m misdiagnosed? I don’t think so. I think your definition and explanation of BPD is flawed and skewed toward the dramatic. While we BP’s seem to feel emotions more intensely and have a more difficult time than “regular” people in returning to normal after experiencing that intensity, there are a wide range of behaviors that correspond to that. We’re not just the scary people with the big emotions. If I were a spouse or loved one of a Borderline, your article would make me very much disinclined to hang in there. The portrait you paint of life with BPD is a grim, stereotypical one.

      • Dr Sapadin, my friend is in her 50s and I’m in my 40s.I’ve had an extremely sheltered life and when I met her at the most vulnerable, due to being on my own.I suffer from PTSD form childhood abuse which she also endured.I think however she has bpd.At beginning of our friendship and for a long time expressed great love for me ,she was open,kind, loving and apologized if she hurt me. I have showered her with love and have given up much to look after her these past 2 yrs. She has slowly turned nasty and indifferent to me and to be in her company is torture.She has subjected me to such casual cruelty and to try and talk about it she’s developed such bizarre self denial blame me language. She made me so sick one time I was hospitalized and suicidal. She did nothing and blamed me . I went back and apologized to her!! which made me more sick until I finally ended our friendship.I am very sick again and no response again .I know I will loose my mind over this or kill myself as each day I feel more disturbed .Please can you tell me what happend !! Did she ever love me? Could she still love me and be so savage ? Please help!

      • Dr. Sapadin…Thank you for your article. It is very good. You are right on with the description of what BPD is all about. For those patients who were upset by what you said, they have no idea what the other side is like. I have a sibling with BPD, and the last several years, have been a huge roller coaster ride. As long as things are going the way the BPD’er thinks it should, then all is fine, but when the tides turn, and you disagree then it is a different story completely. The “I want you in my life”, then after a while comes the “pushing you away” this is very frustrating. They will also gravitate to a new relationship, with someone that will agree with them. Those with BPD are afraid of abandonment, yet they seem to work overtime at making that happen, so they can blame the other person in the relationship for walking away. Thank you for getting the truth out.

      • Dr. Sapadin-
        I have a friend who suffers from BPD and he tries so hard to get help. The biggest struggle is finding a Dr. that is able to help him in our area. Are there suggestions that you have to finding a Dr that could help with this? I am desperate at this point. Thanks.

      • I won’t recount details of disagreements I’ve had with my Ex wife who experienced childhood trauma and has been diagnosed with BPD. She is outwardly highly functioning and has had years of therapy. I hope she finds peace and learns to love herself. It is incredibly hard to be married to someone who is scared of abandonment and pushes you away at the same time. Someone who, when they need you most, appreciate you the least.

    • Your rant just proved everything people experience with borderlines. Self-righteous pity. Boo hoo. Borderlines are evil. The best advice I could ever give to somebody who encounters one is…RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! It will cost you your money, independence, and possibly, your sanity.

      • I can tell you handled your relationship with someone with BPD the same way you responded to this article; insensitively, judgmentally, critical selfishly, ignorantly and without tact. BPD or not you deserve what was handed to you if this is how you respond to an ILLNESS.

      • I have lived with my own brother who suffers from BPD for all of my life. He has had 3 divorces, cheated on every single one of them and has 4 kids all from different moms. Although I love him, I don’t believe a damn thing that comes out of his mouth. He’s also a pill popper thanks to the Doctors! My first NEW boyfriend who I just discovered has it, exploded and threatened me for me telling him, “I don’t have time right now babe. I’m working.” He went A Wall. I thought he was going to stalk and haunt me for the rest of my life! The next day he was completely different as if nothing had ever happened. I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? Does he NOT remember the hurtful things he said to me?” Screw that! I dumped him in a FLASH and continued to work and study. I don’t need a man that bad! He asked me for money all the time too! He didn’t even know how to take a joke! My advice for living or engaging with someone like that is to RUN!!! RUN!!! RUN!!! And the one’s who just deal with them, that’s your problem. YOU LIVE IN TURMOIL for the rest of your life. It doesn’t mean we have to! They’re also really great LIARS!!!!

      • Some of these comments are very bitter and ‘tarnished’.I would suggest this may be due to the unfortunate experience of choosing ‘bad company’. It sounds as though some of these individuals may just be ‘not very nice people’ and NOT good ‘examples’ of people with a genuine BPD diagnosis. I would suggest that many of those with a BPD diagnosis are diagnosed because they are in turmoil as a result of what might be considered a ‘shortcoming’. If someone has behavioural problems and does not ‘care’ about it I would suggest their issue is NOT BPD, it may be they are just ‘not very nice’. There is a difference!

      • Thanks Depthtested. I wonder if you would mind if I corresponded with a bit, as your reply made so much sense to me. I am a woman coming out of a relationship with a BPD and would love to share perspectives. I find counselling enormous expensive here in Australia ($440.00 first visit! This is to talk background talk endlessly. Though the next visits are less, I can’t help thinking it is better to just have a fee things of my chest with someone who understands practically what happened. I’d appreciate your reply. [email protected]. Best wishes ‘Stella

      • While not the most sensitive comment it’s very accurate. As someone dealing with a very violent charming bpd who I have children with. I can tell you that when she is normal we have the best time but when she gets upset for any little thing ww3 breaks out. It’s so true you will never come up in life no matter how much money you make. Your Dreams will be shattered, your children will be emotionally scarred you will want to die.

      • I totally agree.. If my partner accepted it and wanted help, I’d stand by him all of the way. But being in love with a BPD in denial has left me physically, emotionally, and financially drained.

      • I am someone that prides myself on being non-judgemental. At all. In fact I get complimented on this, often. However, I have to admit that trying to live with someone with BPD can be hurtful and very traumatic. From what I have read, there are varying degrees, some with BPD are high functioning and some low functioning. For those of you who are high functioning, you would clearly be put off by such statements. But for those of us who have lived with or dealt with low functioning BPD’s, please understand that they can truly destroy your life.
        I have lost almost everything I had trying to “support” my BPD ex boyfriend. He was so charming and manipulating, I bought his BS every time.
        It wasn’t until he lost his 3rd job, took almost all of my money (I’m a single mom of 3), tore my family and friendships apart, my finances/credit are destroyed, he crashed my car, almost lit my house on fire, almost got my kids and I evicted, chose to buy drugs daily instead of help with rent/groceries, crashed his own car, and lost his temper with me almost daily (I’m talking put his fist through my walls) – that I finally woke up and realized there was NO supporting this person. He was pure chaos. Constant manipulation. There would never be any change. He was not someone going through a “tough time” as he had me believing, he LIVED like this. He left virtually everyone he knew, broken in his wake.
        He truly ruined my life and the lives of countless others, in every sense of the word. We’ve been apart almost a year now and I am still putting myself back together. I would highly caution anyone looking to jump into a relationship with someone with BPD, without setting firm boundaries up front. I made so many mistakes. He has changed my core being. I don’t like who I’ve become as a result of this.

      • My child has been told by two different therapists and three different doctors that she may have BPD. But no diagnosis yet. We live with her anger, self righteousness attitude, manipulation and self harm everyday. WE CANT RUN! She’s a child. As much as I hurt and cry over her rants towards me, I feel as though I’m the issue and I feel like I need to get help before I go crazy. But I can’t leave my child. She’s 11.

    • Thank you for saying that. I know what you mean. I’m sick of feeling like i’m only out to get the one’s i love. It paints a picture like were selfish and i’m so not im so selfless. I just wanted to be loved and not left.

      • Love is a two way street. I am very tired of those who DEMAND understanding, love, etc. , asking everyone to understand and cater to their illness but making little to no attempt to rein in their own behavior. Your suffering does not give you the right to impose abuse on others. I have finally come to see that this “disease” is really all about clinical narcissism. The intense navel gazing leads them to never really see other people with thoughts and emotions, only their own “pain”. After years of dealing with this, we as a family have decided to leave her to face the consequences of her choices. Lest you say it was somehow our lack of parenting skills that somehow caused this, we have two other delightful, loving responsible adult children who are sad about this but have decided to be kind to her, but at a distance so she doesn’t destroy their lives. I recently read a blog written by a BPDer that was filled with what everyone dealing with them shouldn’t do. A person would have to be God to follow their maxims, as it took someone beyond human to do it. The blog was actually very belittling of anyone who didn’t get how to talk to a BPDer. Funny that we are so afraid to call evil and malicious behavior exactly what it is. Maybe Hitler and Stalin just had borderline personality disorder?

      • I agrree with you. A lot of people on this blog don’t understand what BPD is a lot of does comments they make look a like that they talking about a person with narcissist personality our sociopath personality.

    • I hate seeing BPD people comment on all these articles about awful and judgmental the articles are. It’s just another example of how people with BPD are self-involved. I’ve had 3 family members, 1 friend, and a boyfriend who’ve had BPD. It’s so infuriating and hurtful watching them be mean and self-destructive and then act like it’s MY fault. Yes you have a psychological illness. But stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility!!

      • Yes, Yes, Yes! My GF now 52 could be the centerfold for BPD Monthly. Over the 3 plus years we dated break up fights happened at least 30 times. All her doing and demands, devaluations, demeaning, and discursively. She would rarely, closer never ever-never admit she was wrong, actually change the subject to examples of what she thought I had done not to her liking or approved or even created by her imagination, created, stored, always available to be brought up time and time again. I will give an example following this which I have done on a phone.

      • I strongly suspect my ex boyfriend is borderline. He has the traits (constantly accusing, implying, insinuating I was cheating, when I NEVER did). He was hot/cold with me, had trust issues, anger issues (easily insulted, easily irritated, easily angered, gave me the silent treatment when he was mad, would get mad and STAY mad, angry outbursts over imagined slights and MINOR things),and MEAN. But, when thing were good, they were VERY good. The bad far outweighed the good.

        The red flags were there from the beginning. When we first met, he praised me to high heaven, which was flattering. e had a lot of fun together. Over time I became emotionally attached to him. Then, after a couple months he went cold.

        He has a history of multiple failed marriages, and umpteen ex-girlfriends. He has a victim mentality, nothing was ever his fault in these past relationships. He was always “done wrong” by these women. He has several children, and is estranged from most of them. He, too often, told me stories of how he “went off” on co-workers when he was upset. Inappropriate, unprofessional behavior. I think the only reason he has not been fired is because he is a member of a strong union.

        He broke up with me 2 times in the first 6 months of our relationship. That last time was nearly a year ago, out of the blue, right before Christmas. We had just visited his family out of town for Thanksgiving. He lied to me, stood me up, then went silent on me. A few months later, he contacts me: wants me back, loves me, he made a big mistake, etc. He told me he broke up with me before I could break up with him. At the time I did not understand why he felt that way. I had no intention of breaking up with him. But, I have since researched BPD, and now know they fear being abandoned, but will leave a relationship before they are abandoned.

        I missed him and wanted to give it another try. Against my better judgment (because of our unstable history, I did not think it would last) he moved in with me. It did not last. He got mad with me, after an argument (something I apologized for). He gave me the silent treatment and did not speak to me for a MONTH. Imagine living with someone who will not speak to you. He would only communicate by text, when he wanted something, wanted to “argue”, or to send me a nasty message (He painted me black and I now had all these faults. He is very good at projecting. He started socializing without me, and started getting late night calls on his cell phone. I told him he was not treating me like his woman but like a roommate he cold not stand and did not talk to. I told him to move out. After that, he started speaking to me again. He admitted it was a “mistake” for him to stop speaking to me. He loved me, still wanted to date, etc. I was done with him. He moved out a couple months ago. We lived together for 5 months.

        After he moved out, I declined his invitations to visit/dinner, and I ignored his texts. Then, a month ago I replied and we started communicating again. He wanted to reconcile, really missed me, everything was his fault, things would be different, etc. I went to visit him. I felt myself “walking down that road” with him again, but, given our history, I was unsure of doing so. The reconciliation did not last long. After a few days, he yelled at me, insulted my intelligence (talked down to me) on the phone, and HUNG UP on me over an imaginary slight (he told me how to get tickets to a political rally. I wanted to go with a friend, and he told me to text our names, addresses and phone numbers, to a particular phone number. I asked a couple of questions about the event, and asked whose phone number I had to text my personal information to). He blew up at me, yelling and screaming. I told him I did not like the way he was talking to me. He hung up the phone on me. Really?? Over WHAT exactly? How disrespectful!

        The other day, out of the blue he calls, acting like nothing had happened. It has been a MONTH since our last communication, when he hung up on me. He invited me over for dinner, wanted to hang out, wanted to see me. Calling and texting a lot. I did not want to go and told him I was busy working at home. He wanted me to bring my work to his place or he’d come over and bring dinner. I told him I did not want his company. I wanted respect, and when he insulted, yelled at, and hung up on me, that was very disrespectful, and I deserved better. He explained he got mad at me because I was asking so many questions, as if I “did not trust” him. HUH?? I do not know WHERE or HOW he came to that conclusion. He has a huge chip on his shoulder. In any event, his reaction was extreme, inappropriate and unacceptable.

        He turned it around. I was the one with the problem. He does not feel he was disrespectful. I was “bitter,” and was dealing with “baggage.” He insulted and disrespected me, and yet I was the one with the problem??!! Absurd! He told me I keep “finding an excuse” to push him away when he was trying to “fix things” between up. I told him I just brought an issue to his attention-his disrespectful behavior, yet he blamed me for it. How, I asked, did that show he was he trying to “work on” things? I told him he put the brakes on us getting back together, and he was responsible for his behavior.

        My ex actually did me a favor. His outburst was a reminder of one of the reasons why I told him to move (his inappropriate anger) and one of the reasons why I decided not to see him again after he moved out (his disrespectful behavior). He is angry, emotionally abusive, and MEAN. He does not give a damn how I feel. Everything is, and will always be MY fault.

        I still care for him. But, I can care from a distance. The abusive behavior got worse each reconciliation. For the sake of my emotional well-being I will stay away from him. I do not deserve to be mistreated. I will not continue to subject myself to his abuse. I will trust my instincts, and work on not allowing my self to get in, and remain in wrong relationships. I recognize I have to work on that.

    • Thank you.. it is nice to see someone understands . I hurt more for the pain I cause my loved ones. I wish they would just let me go. They get mad and say I am disrespectful for saying it but the way I see it.. it would be easier to have me gone than to always hurting people and not being who they want me to be

      • I Am in that same place right now convinced it’s better for my husband and child. Unless new meds make a difference I plan on leaving so they can have a more peaceful future

      • This is what my wife says all the time. She asked for a divorce because she says she is causing me too much pain. That is true, but I would rather she try to go to DBT.

    • BPD may be a reason or explanation why we act a certain way. It is *never* an excuse.

      We all “want to be loved”. But–illness or not, we all need to learn how the world works.

      1. Nobody owes us anything.
      3. Love is a gift of others’ free will, not coerced.
      2. We cannot expect to be loved when we act unlovable.

      • You’re talking about something you obviously know nothing about.

      • This is so en pointe. It’s painful, but those three lessons are incredibly important to learn.

    • You recognize that you verbally & emotionally abuse the people closest to you? But you still don’t get that it’s not “all about you”? Well, congrats on being half way there! Wake up call, the people you emotionally abuse actually care about you and are hurt by your behavior. Anyone who doesn’t care about you would tell you to just go fuck yourself! We don’t want you to have emotional pain but we have to say “no, your behavior is NOT acceptable!” YOU are the one with the problem that YOU need to figure out how to correct. We victims of your abuse are not the ones who need to change!!!!

      • Well said – wife doesn’t want to hear it when I tell her this.

      • I don’t see how any of you put up with that crap. I would gladly tell a person with BPD to f-off in a heart beat. Because I see it like this, if you’re not showing me love and respect then I’m not giving you love and respect. I’ve never been in a relationship with someone who has BPD and and I’m not sure how this mentally effects the person who being abused by the person with BPD, but I do know that I come from a family of “apex predators”(women included). With that, I just wasn’t bred to take no crap, especially from a man.

        When I feel I’m being abused, I just CANNOT feel sympathy for you. Dude, I would drop a person with BPD in a heart beat, eff your illness that’s not my problem and I don’t care if you think I’m insensitive or heartless. Who are you? Lol I love myself FIRST(you need to love yourself in order to love someone else), and I can’t be with someone who don’t love themselves and project unto me. Stop using that illness as an excuse to abuse others because I’m not buying it and I’ll never buy it no matter your argument because I’m obstinate and recalcitrant. I have good friends who have bipolar disorder(I rather deal with people with Bipolar disorder, because these people find out their patterns and triggers. Then learn how to cope and control them, while those with BPD are totally random.) and they make effort to get better.

        Your foot stomping, whining, gas lighting tactics just don’t work on me. BPD people sound like a real Ike Turner no doubt. Those people seem like they’d beat the hell out of you just because the wind was blowing the wrong way…CRAP man! I’m just reading these horror stories and I’m shaking my head. I can understand certain family members like a child who has BPD or a parent. That you can’t just run away from them. But I would recommend putting your foot down. And putting it(the foot) down HARD! You can’t tolerate that BS, you gotta get your self-respect back man.

        It’s about being strong and having courage. See I’ve never backed down…ever in my life! When my schizophrenic uncle(40 something years old) hit my mother when I was 8 years old I pulled a knife on him and told him to “bring it”, I wasn’t about to back down when he charged me too. I didn’t get to stab him, because my mother stopped everything before it could escalate. Luckily for him.

        You gotta stand up to your bullies otherwise they’ll just continue to torment you. They’ll see you as weak and about “nothin”if you them steamroll over you all the time. I’m just not the type to sit back and cry and say “You hurt me”, I’m going to have to take your ass down a couple of notches or DEMAND that YOU be gone from my presence this instant because you disgust me in a very rude and hurtful manner so that they understand my disdain for their behavior.

        I love the people I love, but THAT does not mean I won’t tell them to eff off because they trifle with my well-being. My well-being comes first and foremost.

    • AMEN! This is so true. :(

    • I understand the struggle of the border loner personality disorder I have been married to a man who suffers from this for 22. I will be completely honest, I understand the torment you guys go through. The problem I have is the torment you inflict on those around you. I see tons of websites online for the BPD person and for those of us that love our BPD spouse,friend, relative. Most tell us how to adapt our behavior to deal the BPD person. Some you of that suffer with BPD need to wake up and realize that what ever trauma you suffered that added to your BPD diagnosis, you are now causing the same trauma to those around you. I have been a loving and supporting wife, raised our 2 daughters basically alone. He has been cruel, mean, violent and angry, never showing love, compassion,empathy or concern. I have pushed for him to get help and it is all my fault.There is a responsibility the BPD needs to take for their actions. Those of us that love a BPD end up damaged, wounded, empty and even with PTSD from living with you. So have some compassion for those you love the BPD person….you make our hell on a daily basis so I can see using the word EVIL, because the way we (spouses, daughters, sons, etc) are treated feels evil.

      • I too feel your pain exhausted..

        I have been married for 30 years to my husband
        Who I believe has suffered from BPD…
        He was diagnosed with depression 14 years ago..
        Was put onto Zoloft.. Was seeing a psychiatrist ,
        I was in the firing arm, accusing me of infidelity, coming home any time through the day racing through the door ” saying where is he , I know he was here”
        And NO” I was not having an affair..if he was to see me talking to the opposite sex or smiling to someone of the opposite sex, he would go into a rage.. This has continued on and off for the last 32 years, I am so drained I don’t sleep well at night after a explosive episode.. He has stalked me got into my emails read FB messages all looking for evidence of me being with other men… To be accused of this on a weekly basis has made me feel afraid to talk to a male when I am out in public with him.. He has gotten worse , he is now 52 years old.. BUT feels I have the problem there is something wrong with me, I bring this all upon myself, and if I hadn’t did what I did he wouldn’t act the way he did…I think what has taken it’s toll on me this time… We were at a friends house for a B.B.Q.. And he started out of the blue saying ” YOU CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH A MALE CAN YOU ” HOPE FOR THE FUTURE “.. COS THAT ENDS UP WITH YOU SLEEPING TOGETHER” .. I felt so humiliated and hurt, to see the look on there faces, and I had to play it all down and just say cos you can be friends silly.. When I challenged him on why he would say this to people about me after leaving the party that night… He accused me of over reacting and it wasn’t that bad he said he didn’t say it like that… I THINK that is the hardest thing to accept that they can be so explosive at any time, and then act as if nothing was said , and we should go make love or come and give me a kiss…I Don’t think I can go on living this life with him… So much damage has been done and he is not willing to accept that he has a problem.. I am the one with the problem and I am the one who needs help… I have been seeing a counsellor for the last 2-5 years.. She has helped me get through this and to this day I still see her.. As you would know to try and talk to BP partner, you only end up being shut down.. And it only makes them more angry, I am working at getting back full-time into the work force, as I only work part-time at present after the birth of our 3rd son.. And YES I worry that this learnt behaviour has passed onto our youngest son…

      • I struggle with a lot of the same things. My husband has been troubled since I knew him in high school, after issues with abusive parents and siblings. We’re in our mid 40s now and over the last several years, things have gotten worse. He only just last October agreed to start medication for anxiety and has been to a therapist a few times. As things get worse again I realize he doesn’t just have anxiety, his behavior is classic BPD. All this recent attempt at getting help has done is made him say awful things and then “I’m sick! I need help!” as an excuse.

        Now his GP and even his therapist have recommended I go to counseling and get on medications to deal with him. I admit it – I’m resentful. I don’t want to take pills to numb me to his outbursts. I don’t want to go to a therapist just to talk about him for an hour. He leeches all my time and attention as it is! Now I’m supposed to give him more?

        I just can’t. I want to love and support him but guys, the stuff he says and does is hurtful, illogical, sometimes violent, ridiculous, upsetting… sometimes he even tries to gaslight me, and he definitely sabotages my work because he wants 100% of my life devoted to him.

        Every day of my life I wish I had run when I had the chance.

        Please, if you’re in a similar situation and you can get out, do it. You’re in a real life horror movie and you need to run and save yourself. I’m not joking.

  3. I find this article to be extremely condescending towards those with BPD. Your statement, “If you’re motivated to change” pretty much insinuates that the behaviours are a choice – this is a mental illness that causes the behaviours, not a choice.

    You also make them sound like very angry people. I’ve had clients come in that had seen other therapists or psychiatrists whose main focus was anger management. They don’t need anger management, they need people to treat them with empathy and compassion so their frustration levels don’t escalate.

    My daughter suffered with BPD for seven years before she took her life. I have counselled a few BPD clients. The one belief they all carried is, “I am a monster” – so they are well aware of their behaviours and believe that they are unloveable.

    The sad fact is that psychotherapy is marginally helpful (with DBT being the most successful) and medication rarely touches this illness. Group therapy can be beneficial so that they don’t feel so alone with their illness. Fortunately, the disorder usually goes into remission somewhere in the 30’s, but keep in mind that they then have to struggle to achieve goals that may have been delayed because of the illness.

    How does one really live with somebody with BPD? Let go of your ego (this avoids unnecessary arguments), be loving (even though it may be rejected), be aware that you are dealing with a very sensitive person, respect their physical boundaries, show empathy and compassion, set your own boundaries; and, yes, I agree: keep your word.

    • this was so beautifully put thank you.
      BP- sufferer

    • Thank you for your kind words. I am motivated by hope. :)

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I was diagnosed with BPD, but my dr wouldn’t tell me what my diagnosis was because she felt I couldn’t handle it-her words. It was only in reading papers filed for my disability, three years later that I learned what it was. I felt like a freak, reading what others said about my diagnosis and thus about me.
      I wonder if your daughter had access to anything others have written about the diagnosis that was in a more positive light? I wish I had the link by one Dr who’d said he liked treating BP’s as they were capable of real change. Becoming self-aware was a big change for me.
      I have a lot of accumulated rage from severe abuse including becoming homeless at 13, rape and abuse by others including a spouse, and more recently, retaliation and firing by my employer when I complained about work conditions including OSHA safety violations and sexual harassment by two different managers. It goes on, but learning about my black and white thinking pattern has been the tool I needed to make changes. And you’re right about the antidepressants they did nothing but stupefy me and make me a fat, sitting duck. What I needed were thyroid supplements. Still, I’m alone today; it’s hard to stay alive and I struggle with it. My heart goes out to you in your loss.

    • Lord. Can you imagine telling a borderline diagnosed person to “forget your ego” and get used to “not feeling loved” ?

    • I am sorry, but I’ve been dealing with one person or another with BPD or the like, for my ENTIRE life. I have reached the end of my compassion for people who endlessly hurt me and think or tell me I deserve it.

      I’m sorry if they are overly sensitive and fear abandonment, but I am not sacrificing myself on the alter of this disorder anymore. Its nothing but a black hole and sucks the life out of me. People with BPD need compassion and understanding??? Really? Well I think they’ve gotten ENOUGH compassion from me. Since when is it ok to demand more and more compassion from people you continually hurt? And all while you insist you are not the problem or argue with a professional that they don’t know what they are talking about. Give me a break. All your comments just serve to prove what is in the article.

      I’ve dealt with it in various extremes for 47 years. I’m DONE.

      If those with BPD want relationships, then they need to seek treatment and DO what is needed to have a healthy relationship. All too often they never think there is anything wrong with themselves. Instead the ones I dealt with would re-write history to suit themselves and tell me I was the one that didn’t remember it right. I second guessed myself for YEARS until I caught them in this behavior and was relieved to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the problem was definitely NOT ME.

      Now that I know what I’ve been dealing with and I’m intimately acquainted with the signs, I will be avoiding people like this like the PLAGUE.

    • Yay! Much better. And don’t forget that a flourishing life can be obtained by ANYONE, with or without the “symptoms” of “mental illness”. Life hurts at times, but there is always hope… if you lose yours, borrow someone else’s for as long as it takes. And people who experience BPD- you are lovable and loving. It is your extreme sensitivity that makes you feel raw- remember that this makes you special and worthy of love, even if you are misunderstood by others who misinterpret your behaviour.

    • Yay! Much better. And don’t forget that a flourishing life can be obtained by ANYONE, with or without the “symptoms” of “mental illness”. Life hurts at times, but there is always hope… if you lose yours, borrow someone else’s for as long as it takes. And people who experience BPD- you are lovable and loving. It is your extreme sensitivity that makes you feel raw- remember that this makes you special and worthy of love, even if you are misunderstood by others who misinterpret your behaviour.

    • Sorry for your daughter and many thanks for your worlds.

    • It’s very had to live with a BPD spouse. In four year marriage, my wife hurts me physically every single day of life. I have been accused of cheating every single day of my life.
      It’s extremely hard to love some one who abuses you so much even knowing very well that the person has BPD.
      I have been hurt intensely so many times with every object that she can get her hands on.
      I get bruises all over my body but I cannot show to anyone and cry because I am a man.

      The only reason I cannot leave her because I have two kids with her. The innocent lives of my kids will be ruined if I get a divorce.

      Most people in society doesn’t know that some father can love the kids more dearly and selflessly than some mothers.

    • Well said

    • Thank you for posting your response^^. I am a sufferer of bpd. Having been able to identify it changed a lot for me. I finally had an explanation for my symptoms. It sucks. It sucks for everyone. The person who has it lives in emotional pain. It’s exhausting to have outbursts, calm down, realize that you hurt those who love you, and then turn around and not be able to control it…leaving it to happen again. To all you non-sufferers who have to deal with bpd people, be grateful. You can leave at anytime and recover. We are stuck with ourselves. We live with all of the failed relationships, rejections, and the knowledge that we are responsible for not feeling loved. Also, to the non-sufferers, I am so sorry that you had to experience us. I know it’s horrendous and you feel the same amount of rejection when you try to love us and we don’t know how to accpet it and return it in appropriate ways. Honestly, I would not want to be my husband. He is amazing and I am so grateful for him. If you’re a sufferer, please look for DBT. Also create lifestyle changes, so that you, too, can start to feel and interact more positively when you’re faced with your triggers.

      • “You can leave at anytime and recover.”

        Really??? When there are children involved and you are afraid for their safety and well-being? When all your friends and family have been driven away by your crazy wife? When your family life has been destroyed and you feel hopeless? When you’re worried about the threats and the stalking and afraid for your own safety as well as your property? When after years of ABUSE and trying to help, you finally just give up and wish for a quiet, peaceful death? Just leave and recover, eh? Spoken like a BPD. PLEASE! What a shameful comment. I have been very kind, considerate, loving, understanding. What I end up with is the desire to quietly die in my sleep and the need for therapy with over 2 decades of abuse, also with children needing therapy.

        I think most people with BPD are super-selfish, only looking at their own pain, and taking it out on others a thousandfold, on those who did not cause it, rarely bothering to consider what they are doing to others, pretending their rages are either your fault or didn’t happen.

    • well, we should all be as strong as you seem to be. after constant rejection of love and constantly being blamed for all “problems” in the relationship and being asked to adjust who you are and what makes you feel safe and ok…i don’t know, my ego is too big? nope, there has to be another way. there has to be growth and acceptance and accountability and all the things needed for relationship, compromise. people can heal with good help…asking loved to to “swallow it” seems masochistic.

    • Quintessential BPD response: accommodate me, me, me.

    • Beautifully put as well. I know my wife has no choice in her behavior. She is 31, turning 32. The disorder manifested itself when she turned 28 after we got engaged. Our relationship has gone downhill since then and I don’t know what I can do to get it back to where it was. Feeling helpless.

  4. I found this article helpful however I have an added complication – I’m bipolar II – and sometimes my child and I can trigger each other into reactions. I would love to see an article on how to deal with being the parent with an MI and a child with a similar MI. BTW I am a single parent and I have 2 children – one with BPD and one with anxiety – its an intersting life in our house some days

  5. After years of association with my ex-husband who refuses counseling (“I don’t need a nut doctor, I’ve always taken care of it myself!”), I finally have a name for the craziness I have experienced for the last 25 years. (My apologies but that’s what it has been from my perspective.) I’ve known for a long time something was wrong but could not convince him of that. My children and I have taken much abuse (verbal and physical). It was bad enough at home but when he starting being abusive to others out in public, it became very embarrassing for us. Then he would be angry because I didn’t support him. Part of the reason I was afraid to leave was because he is so bent on revenge for those who have “wronged” him. He has also pushed away anyone close to him – always found some fault with them. Then the anger and depression became more frequent. I couldn’t help someone who wouldn’t help himself. Today, at 60 he is bitter and very negative. I’ve read where symptoms decrease with age but he seems to be getting worse.

    • Hey ex wife. Im trying to be the ex husband of a undiagnosed BPD individual. I luckily only have 15 months of marriage but it still sucks getting divorced. This was my second and last marriage. I prayed for a very long time for God to send me my Proverbs 31 woman and when I met my wife, I thought she was it. I had my first signs with in 3 weeks of getting married that maybe I was wrong. I just didnt know how wrong. I just assumed it was anger management issues or her just being mean. I left my home of 14 years a month and a half ago because her outburst started one day and didnt stop for 3 weeks till I left. I was scared for my life because it started to get physical. I just found out 2 weeks after I left about BPD. From what I have read, it is a horrible illness. But I have noticed that there are plenty of sites on the web for those who suffer and for ones who have loved ones with it and have to stick it out, such as fathers and mothers and sister and brothers and children. What I want to know is where are the sites for those who DONT want to stick it out. My mother is Bipolar and I have dealt with her illness my entire life. I have learned that it is controllable if she stays on her pills but if she quits, then the world gets loopy. But she is responsible for that! Not me. If she stops taking them and starts to become manic, I do what I have to to get her committed (which use to be hard but not with the POA i have now). BUT SHE HAS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER ACTIONS. In saying this, if you have BPD and know it, then TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for it. How do you do that? STOP DATING!! STOP BEING IN RELATIONSHIPS!! And on the slim chance you do get in a relationship, DONT HIDE IT!! Tell the person you are with. Im very sorry that so many people have this illness but stop saying, “Oh. Poor is me. I act this way and everyone should just deal with it!” Thats BS. My life was perfectly fine til I married this woman. Now, I am homeless and she is sitting in my house while I have to continue to pay the bills. She runs into court and makes up crazy lies just to “make me pay” and I end up getting a protection order against me. My step father was one of the most abusive people I have ever known. He beat me daily basis, molested by sisters and my other brother, and beat and cut my mother all the time. If he ever got on a website and said, “Im sorry. I just cant help myself. Thats just who I am and you should feel sorry for me”, I would have puked. No. I dont have to accept you. If you have BPD and think the world owes you sympathy, then great. But just dont drag others into your hell and then tell us you should be loved and accepted as you are. Dont dog me down and then be pissed cause I leave. Stand up and say, “This is who I am and dont come near me cause I may kill you”
      Stop making us victims feel like we caused it.
      OK sorry for venting. I ask for forgiveness from anyone I did offend. Im just mad cause my life has been taken away by someone who has this horrible illness and she wont even get help.
      Stay strong ex wife and know that it is not you nor your childrens fault!!

      • Wow, maybe you’re the one who needs to stay out of relationships. Be open about it? So I meet you and you ask me out and my reply should be, I have BPD, just thought you should know? Since you seem to be a sociopath with the inability to feel empathy and compassion, I suggest you seek professional help. And please when you meet someone,please inform them that you are a sociopath. You may also want to look into anger management and help for your over the top bitterness, as well.

      • Bless your heart, how horrible. Your childhood was a nightmare! If you haven’t already my suggestion is to seek help for PTSD.
        I suffer from PTSD and BP 😛 I have a supportive family and a wonderful therapist I see weekly.
        Best of luck to you and yours.

      • Okay, let me start off by saying that your post’s level of sterotyping was off the charts. “Don’t get into relationships”?! Why do you have any more right to seek a loving, stable relationship than I do, or any other person with BPD? Do you think that you are some how ‘stronger’ or superior to us in some way? yes, congratulations, you don’t have BPD. Do you think I want this? I have been fighting this for more than a year, along with additional issues I’ve had from a warped childhood. I try. Every single person that I have gotten close to, or that I am or was close to, I have told them about my diagnosis, and I have educated them to the best of my ability. I HATE hurting other people. Now, i’m afraid to go the doctor when i’m in pain because the last time i did, i was told it was all in my head. Do you have the slightest idea what it’s like, having your pain passed off like it’s nothing?

      • Hi Shane, I found your post helpful knowing they can make your life hell as my friend has made mine. But where my friend seems to differ from other things ive read of bpd behaviour is that my friend expressed great love for me and physically showed it. She spoke of us being soul mates and of our future together and saying how much she needed me. Slowly she has turned nasty but most of all totally indifferent to me.As if I’m a drag and totally unwanted .I’ve ended friendship because You can’t be around someone who treats you like a nothing.To talk to her was torture, she wouldn’t even look at me and conversations turned into mean put down language and disinterest in everything about me my life and my feelings.Do you have any experience with this? She’s been gravely ill this past yr and a half and I’ve given my soul to her looking after her. I’ve shown more love to her than my late mother , who was my world! Our relationship has been going for over 2 yrs. Can you please tell me what you think. Im so ill now and I feel I can’t survive this .

      • Just found this site and comments!!! I’ve been dealing with issues with my girlfriend, so painful!! bpd is serious !!! All comments on both sides so helpful!!
        Thanks!! Help is Anwser , but as article said earlier , don’t be a rescuer, it just gets worse!! They have to find themselves !! I’ve don’t believe in giving up on someone, but part of bpd is the cycles ( in year half things keep repeating ) to the point I could guess what’s happening , I thought it was anger issues, and it’s hybrid , just enough to be roll coaster ride becomes unpleasant !! Thanks for having place to share!! Jhdm

      • You sound like someone who may be afflicted with BPD. You say you were abused. It is a trauma based illness. More and more evidence suggests this and it only makes sense. Plus keep in mind that not all BPDs are the same. Just because one person acts one way with it doesn’t mean others do too.

    • Hi! I read your post and can relate to what you have gone through. I am 31 and my husband is 28. My husband is bitter and constantly yells at me and my 5 year old daughter. He has no close relationships with anyone. I have been in a long struggle trying to get him to move out, but he just wouldn’t leave. He has been verbally and physically abusive toward me for the past year. I finally made him leave and changed all my locks. I am scared every day that he will come back here. He also seeks revenge on people he feels did him wrong. Thank you for your post, it makes me feel like I am not alone. This article made me cry because I can relate his behavior to this disorder and I now know that I am not crazy (even though I am constantly told I am).

      • I can relate to everything you say . My ex was verbablly and physically agressive to me. I had to involve the police in the end. He also would like to take revenge… He could never leave anything. Always brining up the past. I now know he must of had borderline personallity disorder. It ticks all the boxes. He said I was the crazy one too . x

  6. It should say they MAY have angry outbursts. Because it is one symptom, doesn’t mean we all have that symptom. I do not have angry outbursts hardly at all, like I used to. We are not abusive. We are reactive.

    • my daughter has been diagnosed with BPD resulting from a brain injury and severe bullying in high school. I agree that she is more reactive and also very anxious and depressed. she only occasionally has outbursts, but what female doesn’t?

      it annoys me that doctors will diagnose this but not tell you where to go for help!

      as a parent, what things do you suggest that I can do? too many people think I don’t push her enough, although if she is pushed too hard, the anxiety takes over. she is not a spoiled brat and is a very caring, loving and helpful person.

      any suggestions would be appreciated.

      • Hi Mom, I’m not a medical professional but share your daughters diagnosis, including the severe head injury. My suggestions on helping your daughter follow.

        If you’re able to, please get a work up from a neurologist, and make sure those results are known to anyone prescribing meds to her. My psych dr dismissed my head injuries and discouraged me from getting the same workup I’m advocating for you. (She said it would look like “Dr Shopping” which I find ridiculous, now that I’m off the meds she dumped on me and can think again.) Research done in Sports Medicine on head injury is revealing that more damage happens to the brain that was previously known and this includes depression and suicide, even years after the injury. Increased light sensitivity can be a problem, itself with employment and social consequences. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also act differently in an injured brain-I can’t tolerate any of them.

        I’d never had a psych Dr wait and order a medical evaluation before prescribing. Man, is this a group that loves to languidly wave their medical wand from their throne. When one considers the side effects of their drugs, this is criminal.
        BEFORE your daughter gets on psych meds I’d advocate for a complete physical and blood work. Be sure her thyroid’s checked. Getting that supplement has transformed me.

        We’re not used to thinking of restoring intestinal flora integrity as the root of “emotional” problems, but I’d encourage you to look into the bona fide medical info emerging, especially on probiotics. How silly we’ve been not seeing this basic connection!

        As regards behavioral, the single best thing you can do for her is educate her on her black and white thinking vs. social norms, then hold her accountable. I’ve read DBT is a terrific therapy that’s getting results. BPD is a treatable condition, not a pass to act out with impunity.

        She’s lucky to have you. I’m hoping for the best for you.

      • Hi
        I just wanted to express my relief to find other carers are suffering similar to myself. I’ve been dealing with my daughters emotional needs for 28 years. I have always put her needs before my own until recently when I refused to give in to her demands. This has resulted in her becoming very emotionally unstable and finally a diagnosis of bpd. I have felt so isolated as I have dealt with this condition. There really should be more help for those of us on the frontline of this illness.

    • Yes! Reactive. I think that some of these people either triggers or lumping badly behaved people in wtih this illness. I am never aggressive until I have been triggered. However, I never know when the trigger is going to be pulled. I do find that it’s usually after someone accuses me, passes judgement on me, when others are being treated unfairly, or when I perceive these things to be true. I don’t walk around just looking to pick fights with my loved ones. I am, however, hypersensitive. When someone says something crappy to me, it hurts very deeply, feels like my skin ignites and my muscles burn. Then I react…and it’s not to everyone, either…usually only to the people that I feel close to. Other random people saying crappy things to me, usually has little effect on me.

  7. Thank you for recommending my first book Stop Walking on Eggshells. May I suggest that you also take a look at my most recent book The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder. I wrote this a decade after SWOE and it is much more up to date. Thanks!

    • Randi,

      Thanks for the update. Will definitely look into it. Your first book was amazing and I’ve recommended it to dozens of people.

      Keep up the good work.

  8. OK, first off, both “Ex-Wife” and “Shane” are claiming that the people they were with had BDP but were NEVER DIAGNOSED. HUH? Did you just stumble on this article and go “OH YEAH, finally, I can label them and feel better about myself?” BPD is very hard to diagnose and is often mistaken as something else or is accompanied by other disorders. It also comes from a host of different issues in someone’s background. They don’t just decide one day to ruin your life. Lack of empathy on both your parts is exactly the reason people DON’T get help and AREN’T up front about it. Shane in particular, I agree with TNLady. Stay out of relationships. You have no idea how to be a decent person. You just came on here to vent about another failed marriage and a bad childhood. Nothing you said was helpful. Your language is offensive and so self-pitying, I wonder how much you did to exacerbate her problems. I feel sorry for HER for having to put up with you on top of any underlying issues she had (obviously, you have NO idea that she in fact had BPD, you are jumping to conclusions to make yourself the good guy). I have BPD and am a very nice, calm person. The only time I get angry is when my S.O. would prod me until I snapped, then point at me and tell me it’s all my fault. He knows I have BPD, that I am in therapy and work hard at it, and I’ve tried talking to him about how to help me. He’s a lot like you – no sympathy, all about poor little him. You did your wife a favor by walking out. You want to know the sites for people who decide to bail on someone who needs help? Try or a host of anonymous sex sites…Also try therapy, because, wow buddy, do you have some anger issues.

    And shame on Dr. Sapadin for writing this article which is so condescending and skewed, and for fueling people like Shane and Ex-Wife for taking no responsibilities themselves for treating another person with compassion. We are not monsters, we are hurting. Not everyone displays these symptoms, and you explained NOTHING about the actual illness, the reasons some people develop it, or how the person with it is feeling inside. I was so happy when I saw the title of this article, but no way I’m sharing it with anyone. Try again.

    • This is pretty much symptomatic of the views of many BPD sufferers. Even when they are not the subject of discussion they try to make themselves so. The article was aimed at those living with sufferers, not the sufferers themselves. I thought it was very informative and one of the few articles I’ve seen that consider the effect BPD has on those around those poor souls who are afflicted with it. The wording in this particular post bears a chilling resemblance to those I have heard. ” You don’t care”, “You don’t understand”, “I don’t have a problem, everyone else does”, “You need help, not me”. I empathise so much with Shane and Ex Wife. After my experience of trying so hard to deal with someone who suffered in a major way with BPD I’m now inclined to agree with Pat. Run afar, run fast. If they can’t or won’t accept they have a problem it will just drag you down. Incidentally, I have been on numerous BPD related sites and while there is no defined set of behaviours that define BPD there is a clear pattern and my ex matches every one. One site listed 102 ‘symptoms’ of BPD and stated that just because you identify 1 it doesn’t mean someone has BPD. I calmly and objectively compared my ex’s behaviour and found an exact match for 73, occasional matching behaviour for 11 and no match at all for 18. Pretty conclusive I’d say. Unfortunately I can’t find the link now otherwise I’d share.

    • The fact that the people with BPD are here defending themselves (not accepting responsibility) against what seems to be a resemblance of the abuse endured by the people who have to deal with BPD sufferers validates Dr. Sadpadin’s article. As Dr Sapadin’s peer (I am a PhD and a published author) I think that the article met the scholarly framework to pass for informative work. It has enough citation, appropriate, to support the subject matter. Good job Dr. Sapadin.

      • You hit the nail on the head. All these BPD sufferers are crying poor me. There are no words for being bullied and ridiculed by BPDs. My sister at one point said she wanted to KILL ME with a gun and shoot my brains out and I’m supposed to just be like poor thing! She has BPD??? NO sorry I’m going to be your doormat. Get help and get over yourself.

      • Hi Linda. I don’t think that the people who have BPD here are saying “poor me” I think they are trying to break the stigma that has surrounded this illness for so long. Mental health professionals have perpetuated this stigma up until recently. Fortunately there are many MI professionals who have come to understand that this is a trauma based mental illness and that it is very treatable. Marsha Linehan and her breakthrough treatment played a huge part in this turn around.
        It is also a very painful disorder. Unfortunately I see many here diagnosing others based on having a bad relationship with them. This does not necessarily mean their diagnosis is correct. I am saddened when I see MI professionals such as yourself misrepresent this disorder. It only serves to continue the misinformation and stigma. Please brush up on the latest information about this disorder. It is an emotional regulation disorder and I am sure by the time they come out with the next DSM that this is exactly what they will call it. People who have been abused often have difficulty regulating their emotions. This only makes sense as they were never taught how to regulate their own. I am not saying that this means everyone needs to fall on their knees in sympathy here but I am saying that the arm chair diagnosis needs to stop And also people need to understand that it is based in tauma and it is TREATABLE.

    • It is a problem when the BPD knows and does nothing to get help to get better and keeps causing trauma to those who love them. My husband said he knew what he was doing and he knew there would be consequences to his behavior to himself and the rest of us but doesn’t seem to care.

  9. Run the other way when dealing with someone like this.Life is too short for such aggravation. I had a mother and older sister with this condition . It took me until age 50 to realize that I didn’t need to deal with their abusive personalities any more. What liberation. Let them stew in their own venom and get away as soon as you can.

    • That’s exactly how I feel. My 16 yr old daughter has the disorder (with self-inflicted injurious behaviour), along with OCD, and reality becomes so absurd and ridiculous when everything is everyone else’s fault. She can’t look herself in the mirror and when she does, she just wants to self-mutilate, and does. I just want to walk away from this chaos, but I’m still legally responsible for her. Except she’s old enough to choose if she wants help or not, and what kind of help. What a conundrum. I can’t just walk away. Though I’m looking forward to the day I will have that freedom. It’s funny all the self-righteous, I’m a martyr comments made on this blog by BPD afflicted folks. OK, I don’t have the disorder and I don’t want it. And I don’t want to understand any more than I already do about it. I just want to be free of it. What a waste of time and energy. Absurd. It’s absurd.

    • Couldn’t agree more Pat. Whether the disorder originates from genes or environment is completely irrelevant. I have endured a life-time of abuse from my mother and 2 daughters afflicted with this condition, and it has been nothing short of a living HELL! For a long they had me convinced the problem lay with me. I’ve had several “breakdowns” and required hospitalization, antidepressants, anxiolytic meds and therapy to help me survive the unrelenting, sadistic torment. And despite this, I have remained loyal, tolerant and committed to helping, but this has gone unrecognized and unappreciated by all three who do not have one single complimentary or kind word to say unless they WANT something from me. Basically it is me who is the psychiatric basket case according to these horrid individuals. Fortunately, the therapy finally kicked in and I see it for what it is…..A WASTE OF YOUR PRECIOUS LIFE! These people are NOT rehabilitation material….it’s WHO they are and is permanent. Life with them is no life at all. My advice is to have as little as possible to do with them; preferably run in the opposite direction and leave them to deal with it. The point is, we teach people how to treat us and by permitting this toxic behavior to infiltrate our lives, we are enabling it. I am over being the rescuer. Time has shown me I cannot win this challenge and I’m fed up with stepping up to the plate to demonstrate my love when all I get it is a kick in the teeth and a ticket to mental illness myself!!
      One thing that stands out like a beacon here is the way those with this “illness” come out with all guns blazing to excuse themselves, justify their antics and CONTINUE to BLAME, ABUSE and BERATE well adjusted individuals. And all done in a vicious, defensive tone. THAT’S what Dr.Sapadin is talking about….they are oblivious to the havoc, chaos and carnage they visit on others. It is always someone ELSE at fault, never them. If you do get an apology it’s insincere and with ulterior motives. Anyone who has studied basic philosophy will know of the “utilitarian” theory which states “The ethically right choice in a given situation is the one that produces the most happiness and the least unhappiness for the largest number of people.” That being the case, and given the sheer numbers these people emotionally & mentally annihilate, it stands to reason that it is in the best interest of the masses to avoid Borderline P.Ds like the the Black Plague!! Unless of course you have a masochistic personality or enjoy being the wronged martyr. My heartfelt advice is to run like the Devil is after you….because SHE is!!!!! It’s their problem, let them deal with it. It’s a perpetual fight to maintain one’s sanity. Please show me where it is written that I must tolerate this artfully applied maladaptive behaviour?? Get out as quickly as you can, end the communication and refuse to engage in the many and varied destructive interactions. Do it now or risk a strait jacket in a padded cell during which time your Borderline will be happily tripping round trying to locate and ensnare her next unwitting whipping post. Horrible, nasty, toxic people….whether they can control it or not! Go….go NOW!

      • Thanks Anaphylaxis for sharing. You heartfelt advice is well taken and I assure you that I am going to put it to use. You have enlightened me on what I have been dealing with for over 13 years. Again thanks for sharing.

      • What a post. Wow. Well said. Every word spot on accurate. Describes exactly what I’ve experienced firsthand 100s of times if not 1000s of times as a victim of a Borderline wife or that which I have suspected to be the case as a result of critical thinking about my situation. I am so very appreciative you’ve invested that time and energy to make note of all of this. Even though I experience it myself still to this very moment, I find it reassuring, helpful, supportive, etc because NO ONE except for Dr. S and victims of a Borderline understands what it feels like to be abused and controlled and manipulated and conned and blamed and belittled by a Borderline.

      • Thank you for sharing your point of view. I have never replied to a blog but felt your post was spot on. I have been married to someone with BPD for four years. They are charming, manipulative, like to be the center of attention, and take no responsibility for their actions. It’s because of their childhood, family and maybe past abuse. Clinically I understand this diagnosis. And while I feel bad for this disorder, there is treatment to help. It’s called accountability. We are all accountable for our actions. Heck, they make sure we know when they feel wronged by us.

        Well after fours years of being abused verbally, emotionally, cheated on multiple times
        (for which this was my fault because I wasn’t showing my spouse enough attention) financially supporting them, etc…. I decided to be a victim no longer. I have filed for divorce. Sought out therapy for myself to understand why I would choose to accept this behavior from someone with BPD and more importantly try to help the person I loved who has this disease by leaving so that they can hopefully seek out the help they need. BPD is no different than any other disease that have available treatment options. Heck it could even be compared to some chronic types of cancer that may never be cured but it can be controlled.

        My heart goes out to those afflicted with this disorder but love yourself enough to get help and if you can’t then let go of those that you proclaim to love so much.

  10. Appalled that Psych Central contributes to mental health stigma by continually inserting freakish looking pictures of people alongside articles written about specific diagnosis like the one posted here. I recently noticed also that there were several articles about schitzophrenia that did the same.

    Actually-more harm is done when such pictures are published on mental health websites. People with mental health disorders are fathers, mothers, sons, sisters, teachers, scientists, restaurant servers, policy-makers, artists, students, nurses, and everyone in between.

    I feel bad for those suffering from borderline personality disorder. They didn’t ask for it or cause it. It’s primarily a disorder which stems from childhood trauma.

    P.S. Didn’t even read the article because I stopped at the picture.

    • Fawn, “I feel bad for those suffering from borderline personality disorder.” You should try living with one, for decades. I bet you would have a very different opinion.

      • I agree punching bag, I feel bad for those that suffer with BPD, but it is just as bad being a loved one of those suffering. We endure significant abuse and emotional trauma. Whether of not the BPD can help it or not, is not the issue, the abuse hurts just the same. My husband of 13 years has put me through the ringer with this disorder. I now suffer from depression and anxiety. I try to buffer as much as possible for my sons. This has taken a toll on every relationship we have with friends, family etc. I try to apologize or make excuses for his behavior but folks are tired of it and aggravated with me for sticking with him. I’ve almost lost my job because of him and now have a strained relationship with my family whom I’ve always been close with. People get upset with me for taking the abuse and for the fact he has drained me as a person both emotionally, mentally and financially. For those on here that say we aren’t compassionate about their BPD, if like to say that I’ve paid quite a price for this man. I am a very loving, empathetic, loyal person that is educated and has a good professional career. I know if I kick him out he will be on the streets because his family can’t deal with him and neither can any of his so called friends which are far and few between. Going through what I have gone through, I can understand exactly why so many people are bitter toward their BPD loved ones. Human beings can only take so much before they break. So the abuser may have a disorder and they are most likely suffering too– abuse still hurts as I’ve said before. It’s like someone kills you in a car accident –maybe it was an accident maybe they didn’t intend to harm you, the fact is you are still dead. That’s how it feels when you are abused by the behavior of a loved one with BPD. It’s a devastating disorder where everyone loses. I wish everyone the best and pray that one day we will be free from this horrid situation.

      • I couldn’t agree more with you and everyone else who writes from the perspective of what it is that applies for US who are VICTIMS OF SEVERE ABUSE as a result of a loved one who has BPD

    • Fawn, with all due respect your dead wrong. This article is not perpetuating the mental health stigma. I’ve taken courses on this very issue and can attest it meets none of the criteria for a mental health stigma. What IS however the case here, is that you yourself have a bias within your own mind that creates a stigma that exists for yourself. In other words, you think there is a stigma therefore that’s what you hold a perception of. But your bias and/or your perception is not actuality/ reality for anyone else — only you. John’s Hopkins University Medical Center does significant research on this issue including the stigma issue, societal stigmas and self-stigmas both. Read up on it to understand EXACTLY what it is and what it isn’t. Not make assumptions and refuse to seek clarity and run with those assumptions. That too is a Borderline trait

  11. I too must object to the way this article implies that all people with borderline personality disorder have anger issues. I have te diagnosis and I’ve never, ever had a rage at anyone, nor have I ever physically or verbally abused someone else. Also, there are other criteria that I do not have. For example, I don’t cut, I don’t threaten suicide, etc. There is a very real, and under-represented, group of people with BPD that do not “act out” and that actually take on far too much responsibilities for the problems in their relationships. These people have often been mistreated in childhood and have grown up with terrible self-esteem and then get into relationships with people who abuse them in the same way they were treated as a child. They actually try too hard to be perfect and never feel good enough. Psychological professionals need to start noticing and differentiating between these two very different groups of BPD sufferers. I’m shocked that so little it known about this.

    • Thank you – you said it perfectly.

    • This hits the nail on the head: the MH community as a whole is contributing to ignorance and the #1 driver of a stigma is just that — lack of awareness and no knowledge

  12. kate, your reply said it all.

    I think some of the confusion lies in the fact that DSM diagnoses for personality disorders describe those who externalize emotions and struggles, while those who internalize often don’t meet the criteria.

    Psychodynamic therapists don’t functionally use descriptive diagnosis. I think the lack of awareness comes from lack of psychodynamic (really psychoanalytic) thinking as shown on many of blog posts.

    I also dont meet the DSM diagnosis but think I am fairly borderline. Just as you described, I’m an internalizer too.

    Best to you.

    • It doesn’t help matters to change the DSM so frequently. Every time is reviewed it’s changed. I have a spouse with both BPD and DPD as well as who holds some NPD traits. All 3 of those PDs and two others — HPD and ASPD — are all in that DSM Cluster B category. They all share similar traits, so a person with dx of BPD will have some DPD, NPD, HPD and/or ASPD traits in addition to their BPD. Well, since that’s the case, the next time the DSM is up for review why not just do away with all the individual labels and call all of them one and the same such as APD — Abusive Personality Disorder, which is what all of those PDs has in common: abuse of others. Who cares what the “official” nomenclature is. Call it what it IS. All of those personality disorders are abusive; prey on others for one’s own sadistic self gain

  13. My girlfriend evokes many of the symptoms that are noted in this article. She was diagnosed as being depressed a year ago but the medication she was put on did not help her so she is now on new meds.

    The main issue in our relationship is her jealousy, I’m not allowed to have female friends(even lesbians). I’ve had her fly into rages over females that I work with. She even sent one an email telling her to back off (how humiliating). If I’m seen in any form of communication with another female she blows up, threatens suicide etc. The rage is uncontrollable, nothing I say can drag her out of it, and it can last a week if I don’t give in to her demands. It will always resurface too, even if I’ve given into her demands.

    We tend to brush her jealous rages under the carpet as she is on medication. I try to remain consistent and have told her I wont abandon her like others have done (I’ll keep my word despite how hard this is). I do feel trapped though and I’ve read that putting up boundaries is important. How exactly do I put boundaries in place?

    I’m consistently monitored, have to keep in hourly contact, everyone else is demonised and belittled so maintaining friendships is difficult. Going out with (male) friends is also difficult as she doesn’t believe where I’m going. I don’t want to be another person to abandon her. Funny thing is, none of my family or friends have a clue, she is brilliant at maintaining a happy public image.

    She is extremely sensitive to what I say, listens for slip ups (and creates slip ups), extremely conscious about her weight even though she is thin, anxious about all aspects of everyday life and doesn’t believe she is worthy of being loved. On a rare occasion she will realise how much she is loved and say thank you but then it just slips back to unhappiness. Help me help her please.

    • Hey Anton,

      Your girlfriend is definitely displaying characteristics of a Borderline. I am sorry you are having to deal with such abusive behavior.

      I currently am living with my girlfriend of almost 15 years and she has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have experienced many of the same things that you have. I feel your pain.

      I would say the most important thing that has helped me in my relationship is made it clear that I only have one life to live I will not spend it with someone who is willing to abuse me for any reason. When you make a promise like saying you won’t leave no matter what you open yourself up to infinite amounts of abuse and manipulation.

      I highly recommend you talk with her and let her know that while you love her and want to make things work with her, you are not okay with certain types of behavior. It is very important to be able to set boundaries. If you make promises that allow her to take advantage of you (i.e. I will never abandon you), then you will never be able to effectively address her behavior and you will continually be victimized.

      I know how hard it is to love a person like this but the key to being successful starts with respecting yourself enough to stand up for yourself. Patience is important too, it allows you to work through these things constructively without escalating situations.

      I wish you all the best of luck!

      Remember you only live once… always take the high road when you can and enjoy your life! You don’t have to be a martyr. If the benefits aren’t outweighing the negatives then I hope you all consider adjusting your situations.

      • Before making any “adjustment” to your relationship with a Borderline — or narcissist or other PD — be aware of the risk for serious revenge and retaliation including lying about you to the authorities — Borderlines are NOTORIOUS for projecting onto their target what only they themselves are doing to those people, so if your Borderline lover is for example throwing things when in rage mode, she/he will go to the police and claim domestic violence and give stories of you throwing things at them. Guess who the police believe? The person making the report. That’s who. Cops are NOT trained in psychology; they trust the “word” of the person giving a report. Borderlines lie, manipulate, twist around facts, create issues out of nonissues, distort reality, project onto their victims the accusations that they (the victim) is doing to them (the Borderline) what in reality only the Borderline is doing to them (their victim), and they do this with everyone they are in contact with, which is called playing the victim (Borderlines have this down to a science and an art; they are highly skilled in it), so they paint you (the targeted victim) as the abuser of them, and go to the authorities to punish you for having “neglected them” and your good name is lost forever as a result of their maliciousness just because you exercised your own God-given and state-given rights to freedom from abuse. Happened to me, 100% of the above. Beware of any Borderline ever getting hint of your exit from their control. Courts and jails are full of such innocent people but the legal system couldn’t care less. So beware when “adjusting” your relationships with you Borderline

    • Anton,

      Thank you for your honesty and empathy. I’m diagnosed with BPD, and though I don’t behave the same way your girlfriend does I can probably give you a little bit of insight. First and foremost: though it sounds strange, you might want to check out an organization like Alanon, or at least some of that group’s literature, as developing boundaries is a primary goal there. Like at least one previous commenter, I think you are setting yourself up by saying you won’t leave, ever, if what you mean by that is that you won’t ever leave the romantic relationship. You can be there for her as a friend if being there for her as a lover becomes too much. She won’t like the change in roles, of course, but her reaction is not your responsibility. In dealing with her, sensitivity and trustworthiness are important. Complete compliance with impossible demands is not. Some of the most successful relationships I’ve had are with people who express their understanding of my less rational thoughts while refusing to bend their lives around them. You are not the cause of her reaction. Live your life with integrity and sensitivity, but live it. Limiting your friendships is not really the right reaction to her reaction. In the end, your girlfriend needs therapy, and she’s not going to get it (or at least not the right kind) unless you start disobeying her with compassion because there is not a strong enough reason. Just my opinion. For her, I really suggest she look for a dialectical behavior therapy program. It has helped me tremendously.

      • Takes guts to accept and announce such a condition as BPD — and great inner strength to communicate so clearly, free from the defensive edge common in Borderlines. So much respect for and kudos to you, Mimi. Your advice is right on target. Boundary setting is critical. But holding to those boundaries is more important! And MUCH harder than merely setting them. The 12-step programs for other issues just doesn’t cut it for providing comprehensive help and knowledge and support for victims/ targets subjected to the volume of abhorrent stuff that Borderlines subject their targets to. My wife has BPD and DPD and NPD traits, and she also suffers from other mental illnesses (MDD,GAD,PTSD,SAD)and being in the healthcare industry for 28 years, well … point is there is ALOT more that could be done but isn’t due in part to how MH is addressed in this country. I’m working to change that system and also founding a nonprofit group for all victims of abuse irrelevant of the type of abuse it may be, because all of us each and all who have experienced it, have/ are suffering very similar issues despite the widely varying means in which said abuse has occurred. How to get that word out however is a big ??

  14. Hi, though I heard many bemoan their characterization but it is true no matter how much they suffer or realize or feel bad about what they do. What more MOST will never acknowledge the emotional pain n heart ache they put the non-BPD person thru. Its very cruel as they the non-BPD unfortunately try harder to please and love their BPD even more only to have their whole world destroyed by them. Yes certain technique help but its a punishing way to live to try to help save or satisfy them. It literally breaks you in two n you become sick either emotionally or phy. Or both. So please why I feel deeply for BPD people since they suffer as well,but make no mistake on the damage they cause intended or not. To those in relationship with them I truly wish both as many peaceful days as possible. I loved mine miss her but it was insanity to stay even though she love me too the best she could. Summary, its a very punishing life style but if they truly stick w counseling. (Good luck w that) you’ll have a chance.

  15. I spent 16 years married to someone with BPD. She would do anything to make sure that attention was always on her and systematically isolated me from my friends and family. She had a total obsession with cleanliness and insisted on me washing my hands several times a day. I was not allowed to touch the TV remote in case I got it dirty and if I stayed away on business I had to wash my feet at the door before entering the house. These are just a few of the issues I faced. About 4 years into our marriage I sought help form Relate. My wife refused to attend for the first 4 sessions and then came along. Because she didn’t hear what she wanted to hear she refused to attend again. I carried on but in the end the counsellor said it was very commendable I wanted to sort things out but without my wife’s attendance it was pointless. I spoke to our family GP about it and due to patient confidentiality said that she was unable to do anything. My wife found out and went absolutely ballistic. After 16 years I began to have dark thoughts about taking my own life and left. I then endured 10 years of relentless abusive phone calls, voice mail messages, text messages and letters. Admittedly, these have now finally started to reduce in frequency. I am now in a wonderful relationship with a marvellous woman. I feel I did everything I could to help my ex to address her problems but it had no effect.

  16. Listen folks, if you feel the article doesn’t apply to you personally, then fine, but he fact is that most people with BPD do have the characteristics listed here. You can disagree all you want and get angry and attacking all you want, but know that, very ironically, all it does it demonstrate exactly what the article is saying about righteous anger. Other people don’t exist just to make sure you don’t ever feel judged or uncomfortable by their statements or articles, no matter how much you chastise them and try to make them feel like terrible people. You believe the author should change their article just to avoid offending you and making you feel condescended to, as if anyone saying anything you maybe simply don’t want to hear about yourself automatically makes them wrong, judgmental, condescending, spreading lies, etc. and another example of your life as a poor victim of other people’s mistreatment. You would all do well to stop the “My life is bad because you are a terrible person who spreads lies about BPD” routine, get some insight and take some personal responsibility.

    • Tb,

      You and others are missing a key point of those who are responding with outrage at this author’s stigmatizing view of the diagnosis of BPD: that this information is heavily biased toward seeing those diagnosed with BPD as nothing but creatures of conflict and anger. Clearly, those who respond and say “Yes! That is my girlfriend/sister/mother exactly!” are unfortunately subscribing to the same world view. It is absurd to say that those who respond with outrage are “proving the author right” by being outraged. This article and its stigmatizing discourse is a legitimate reason to be angry – saying this anger is due to the diagnosis rather than a legitimate reason is beyond oppressive and it honestly saddens me. In addition, perpetuating the myth that those with mental health diagnoses choose to be sick is not helping anyone at the end of the day. If you are seeking to label someone with a mental health diagnosis simply to put them in a box and blame them for their problems, I am curious to know why you are interested in psychology in the first place.

    • YESSSS! My feelings exactly! The responses from the BPDs here simply demonstrate the accuracy of what the author of the article is saying! That’s why they’re unable to be rehabilitated….they just DON’T GET the impact of their behaviour. Males who exhibit similar conduct are known as “psychopaths”, whilst their female equivalents are diagnosed with having “Borderline Personality Disorder.” Different dog, same action, to a greater or lesser degree. After what my 3 female relatives have put me through I now have as much empathy, compassion and sensitivity for them as they’ve shown me…..NONE! Put the Nikes on people, make your escape and count yourselves lucky to be beyond the range of toxic, acid rain fallout!!

  17. I have been married to someone with BPD for 11 years, have a 10 year old son and I am at the end of my rope. At this point, I have chosen to leave and leaving my son behind with my wife. She has been verbally and physically abusive to me, kicked me out of our home which I built and paid for, left penniess and manipulated our son to ignore me and hate me. I have tried to be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding, to no avail. I have recently retired and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and in her bouts of rage she has wish for me to die. I think I am done…

    • Don’t let her insanity bring you down…..fight because you’re a fighter you lived through life with her and you can not give up….dust yourself off and get your head straight, your worth being around for someone who can really love you this time!! I hope your treatment is going well for prostate cancer…stay positive friend you are not alone anymore!!

  18. I have a sister who is diagnosed BPD. She is has all of the symptoms described. She cutoff contact with me and her family (and her husband’s and ex-husband’s family) for slights that were never explained. Never apologizes for years of silence! I have learned to navigate away from being pulled in. I feel deeply for her plight, but have my own things to deal with. Recently, I worked for someone with BPD–very similar to my sister’s behavior, and it was the worst job as I never knew from moment to moment how she would treat me. It was a relief to be laid off! This is a very challenging situation for anyone suffering with BPD and for those who live with someone who refuses to seek treatment. Prayers for all!

  19. I personally have just been dumped by my BPD girlfriend of 3 years. I’ve been working with a therapist and read everything on this illness now and my feeling is, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, it’s a duck.
    The pain guilt and shame I am going through is unimaginable. I am in the mental health field and did not recognize BPD initially. I just thought she was a little emotional. By the time I realized it and only after my colleagues who listened to my stories of woe stated, “she sounds like a borderline” It was too late. I was in love and thought I will try to manage this and make it work. It never does ! These poor souls maybe suffering but what they do to otherwise healthy nons is criminal in my opinion. Most won’t even recognize the damage they cause, They use sex as a means to get you and everyone else they bed hooked on them. The minute you start trying to make them happy you’re doomed. You can’t, and they will tell you all the things you don’t do right and remember and throw up everything you’ve ever done wrong. It causes you constant sorrow. When they are happy you are in heaven but when they are not, watch out ! I am out of it now and she was already sleeping with someone else and of course told me about it with such a vengence and callousness. It’s sickening but this is what these individuals will do. I am so lucky I did not marry her and or buy her the house she wanted us to live in. I was spared an array of things that could have ruined my life emotionally and financially. I’m still in the I love her and want her stage. It quickly turns to anger at times but I have maintained the no contact rule going on 3 weeks now. I am praying the insideous pain and thoughts will go away soon. I think of her 2 children who I got so close to and what they must feel or what she has told them.Her ex husband told me when I spoke to him right after the breakup that she is “pathological” and my best option was to move on. I will hopefully not overlook those little red flags in the future.

  20. I very close friend has BPD. I am trying to find out some answers so I can stay friends with him because I do care for and love him. My question is, when things are going well between us, why does he all of a sudden act out or try to remind me that he is “very mean” or a “monster” as he says. Is he trying to test me to make sure that I still love him even if he acts out? If any one can answer it would be appreciated as I would like to understand the pain he goes through so I know exactly how to act or react

    • I dated someone like this. All I can say is it sounds like he believes he does not deserve your love and affection — he believes there is something fundamentally wrong with him and therefore there must be something wrong with you for loving him. That said, he knows there’s nothing wrong with you — at least on some level — so he turns right around and internalises the blame (“they just don’t KNOW how much of a monster I am, I have to show them”) or externalised the blame (“they know how much of a monster I am and they are choosing to stay? What is wrong with them?”)

      I guess I am not explaining this properly. It’s not your responsibility to stay — especially don’t stay if the relationship turns abusive — although if you choose to stay, he could really use your support and understanding. You have to ultimately choose what’s right for you. Hopefully he will get help and figure out a safer and healthier way to live.

  21. It’s funny that BDP sufferers are defending themselves on this blog. Ummmm you realise you’re defending yourselves and splitting hairs BECAUSE you have BDP?

    This article was written for those people who have to deal with BPD sufferers – shock horror, an article not about ‘you.’

    The article is spot on and if you’ve got BPD and disagree then it’s probably you’ve got BPD.

    • Patronizing people who have a mental disorder…
      Does that make you feel empowered? Whether or not this article is ‘spot on’ those that suffer from BPD are not always ignorant of the damage they cause. Perhaps it is possible they were brought here to try to find clues as to how to help those around them while they persevere through their own inner turmoil. I hope whomever you know who has BPD receives more patience and faith from you than what you displayed here.

      • I reject this comment. A) you’re presuming I’m being patronizing. Absolutely not. B) Your rhetorical question of whether the comment makes me feel empowered is insulting, shame on you.

        “those that suffer from BPD are not always ignorant of the damage they cause” .. what is the point of this comment? Of course they’re not and of course ‘not all’ are violent but it’s still prevalent and a serious issue.

        “Perhaps it is possible they were brought here to try to find clues as to how to help those around them while they persevere through their own inner turmoil.”

        I disagree and beleive this is a small possibility, rather they stumbled upon it on google. I would also disagree that, in the vast majority of cases, they are trying to help those around them.

        “I hope whomever you know who has BPD receives more patience and faith from you than what you displayed here.”

        I could rip this comment apart for its rhetoric but I’ll take it on face value. To answer your STATEMENT, yes the person I know has 24 hour support from not just myself but 2 medical practitioners, 3 family members and 1 mate.

        Patience, trust, sympathy and empathy should be applied sparingly to those with BPD in my opinion as it can reinforce some abhorrent behaviour.

        If providing the sympathy they crave assists them in managing their disorder then i’m all for it but if it just assists them overcoming their latest episode then I would definitely warn against this.

        Again, a fantastic article for those that have to deal with people with BPD.

    • Yes, I agree BPD sufferers always like to make everything about them, please this page is for the ones who have had a tornado hit their lives and we are not looking to argue or defend ourselves against more BPD’s. We can have our own discussions without you…Thank you very much you can’t control everything!! I’m happy not that others have been through hell like myself but that there are others out there who have experienced similar situations that I can relate to, and I don’t feel like the only one going through this…Thank you for this page and non sufferers for sharing your experiences!!

    • yep, these are perfect examples…Dr Sapadin has indirectly (or directly, both apply) allowed BPS’s to prove themselves within the general guidelines of the disorder by vehemently decrying this article. Those here denying or vying for a different more “compassionate” definition do not see this article was not written for them and that it’s intended audience are those of us who have found this forum and can feel some “compassion” ourselves, from pthers who have, for whatever reason, intimately come face to face with Borderline symptoms. Almost a year now and i’m finally beginning to come out of the fog, abusive and painful and so demeaning. i get that BPD’s suffer and hurt, but until you start accepting responsibility and accountability of how your hurt and pain affects those who love you…until you recognize these symptoms, whether you fit them all or not, causes severe damage and endless, needless pain, there is no point in going further. the pain cycle will only repeat and you will always be blamed. it’s an exploitation of power that we all need to recognize for what it is, impossible. i have now given my ultimatum and have to stay strong in my conviction that staying with someone with untreated BPD will only become worse. my ultimatum is they seek help.

  22. I have a two year old son with my bsd diagnosed girlfriend. Our relationship started 5 years ago and in the beginning she was very sweet. Open and honest about her feelings in a way that was just amazing to me and I fell deeply in love. There were no outbursts of anger back then but strange episodes of sudden rejections or irrational behavior. Now our relationship is more or less like described in the comments above.

    Reading all the comment here i recognize all of it in our conflict. Very much selfrichous outrage from both of us. I feel hurt by her childish and aggressive behavior and in my anger i want her to see me and my feelings. Unfortunatly my first way of communicating feelings is by blaming, accusing and oftentimes sarcasm. I have tried to speak more about my feelings rather than accusing her of beeing a psychpath but it is almost too hard. It seems like an easy enough thing to do but i just dont seem to be capable in these situations. So our conflicts mostly excagerate into craziness, sometimes resulting in her throwing stuff at me, cutting herself or suicidal threats.

    I try to find meaningfulness in all of this. After all i chose her. We got a baby. And even if she wasn’t as aggressive in the beginning i kind of knew of her difficulties. Most of the time i still see myself as a victum. But i don’t want that. I’d like to think that there is some purpose, something to gain for me in all this madness.

    One thing is, my life was pretty lonely before i met her. Not that i didn’t have friends, but i often felt lonely even with them. Like we met without really connecting.
    Now i haven’t really felt lonely since i met her. It might be a personal thing but maybe someone else has the same experience?

  23. Absolutely fabulous string of comments: I too am married to a borderline and going through many of the trials described by the posters here. I’m in therapy, she’s in therapy, and now she’s coming to my sessions and, of course, making them “her” sessions. Solution? I’m on a good Medicare Advantage plan with no restriction on number of mental health related therapy sessions so I’m quietly seeing my therapist on a different day as I feel the need to let him help me work through what’s going on in my marriage.

    She’s been “temporarily” living with her married daughter and son-in-law for a couple of months. They have a now three year old son who is smart and fun to be around so my wife probably won’t be coming back any time soon. I am a little concerned about what might happen as he ages and becomes more a person and less of a playtoy for my wife but as is so often said: More Will Be Revealed.

  24. I did not read all comments but for the most part anyone who suffers with this illness seems to be in attack mode at the ones who have lived with someone who has this illness, we including myself have or are still living with the nightmare that affected the one we love. Some say they really don’t want to hurt anybody but they do, they just want to be loved,but how is someone suppose to get close enough to show you love? We walk on egg shells & torn down by the very person we are trying to help,love and understand. but we have feelings to and just because we don’t suffer from this illness doesn’t make it alright for this illness to continue destroying us, it’s frustrating day after day having empathy for someone is negative,destructive, verbally abusive etc. I have been trying to make a better life with someone for 11 years, who will not get help,who abuses alcohol, pills, drinking and driving, money, our relationship. We have a child together who is 6 and he tells her sad things like he is the worse daddy in the world, that he shouldn’t be alive or outburst that he needs drugs!!( just to name a few) Enough is enough and I am sorry for those who suffer with this I think that your mentally not strong enough to deal with what life throws at you and you act like a child when things don’t go your way and then you want a pity party. I have been kind,loving, understanding,his therapist, his best friend all to be continuously treated badly with a few exceptions… Before attacking me consider what your illness has done to others, because I’m done with feeling sorry. By the way in one of his binges he decided to leave and go drinking thinking he could come home 2 days later….nope not again, I won’t let him back he has been gone for over a year and still tries to manipulate his way home and it almost worked but for the sake of our child and my sanity thank god I stayed strong. Truth is some of you who suffer with this is you do turn into monsters and you want us to say no your not….but you are!! Again you will make this illness a pity party well poor you guys grow up life is hard and is not fair not even to you who feels the world does owe you something because it does not!! I wish the world well and peace!!

    • I feel badly for those people suffering from BPD who read this article and feel stigmatized. I, however, lived with a man for 12 years who I am fairly certain has it. I’ve had a doctor and a therapist suggest this is the issue and hopefully I can get a psych eval ordered by the courts. He is emotionally and mentally abusing my children because of me. It is a heavy weight to carry as a mother of 5 children, 4 of them are his. All of us are or were in counseling, EXCEPT for him. We were court ordered to do co-parenting sessions with a therapist. It is a living nightmare. It’s like being married to him again. He is one of the violent ones and I even had a protection order out at one point. I tried for years but the best thing I ever did for me and my children was get out. Now I spend every day doing damage control and praying that the courts will finally see what is going on and reduce his visitation. Or I pray he goes to jail. I wanted it to work but I can’t fix him or make him get help but I can try to help my children. Living with this is pure hell and nobody deserves to live that way.

  25. I found this article insulting to sufferers of BPD. Not only are there crazy wide generalizations, but the tone makes borderlines sound like dogs who need to be trained. It also doesn’t talk about the neurology of this disease, and in ignoring that, you reinforce the idea “it’s just a character problem.”

  26. I had not less than 3 relationships with BPD woman, one of them with Bipolar II, this means I have a vast experience about it. The article is surely cold, but it’s right. It’s mistake is only to do not put emphasis that there wonderful things about BPDs.

    Here is my hint to people that deal with BPD:

    1- Stay cold, but have empathy: Yes it’s hard. You must retain a sense of inner calm always, BPDs feel threatened by the minimal sign of confrontation. In fact even a dissent word may be considered an humiliation, you must be sweet when criticizing, in fact, make suggestive words is more effective than just put BPD mistakes into table. Instead of saying “you are doing it wrong”, say something as “Maybe you would try to do it another way”, instead of saying “you are being cruel and manipulative” say something as “You are so sweet, maybe it will be better for will to act with more kindness, it’s more according to your good nature”.

    – If the BPD is in crisis, say nothing, or say little: They will have the tendency to blame you for everything, they can hurt you, sometimes without knowing, sometimes really wanting to hurt you, they rarely notice cause and effect, they have a problem about knowing their own feelings and when they enter in outbursts of anger nothing rational that you said will work, so say nothing, but don’t ignore them, if they ask something, answer in a neutral tone, suggest that it’s better to slow down the behavior, and don’t touch about anything she said in the crisis later, ever.

    – Love them, have empathy, but don’t try to be a savior: Show to them that you understand their feelings, don’t try to achieve what is the cause of their feelings, not even them know, show that you love them the way they are, this will raise the possibility of they be extremely kind and lovable to you. Sometimes they will show just no gratitude at all, and even became insulted, because they sometimes invert the meaning of your emotions and acts. But despite stereotypes, they can barely recognize basic feelings, if they mistreat you, later they will probably try to compensate with huge acts of love and kindness. Sometimes they can show a false lack of empathy, don’t be silly, they are feeling more intensity than ever, they just hide it because they mostly fear abuse (my 3 BPD ex were abused sexually, physically and psychologically, several times) it’s obvious that they will create an emotional disguise, ironically it’s on this state that they are having the most intense turbulent feelings and thinking. They may become emotionally dependable on you, and feels rejected if they feel you are not giving your life to help them. You don’t need to be harsh and say “I will be not your savior”, but you may show love to them giving to them strength to help themselves, it will not always work, they are mostly unstable with random emotion, but it’s your only hope.

    – Show extreme love when they are feeling empty: The emptiness maybe is the best time to act without the fear of a sudden crisis, show that you love her, that you care, they are love hunger, hug her, kiss her, if she refuses, talk calmly to them, with a sweet voice, saying that you are sad too when she’s feeling empty, do not try to even suggest her to get out of the emptiness, it will not work at all, respect her dark moment, saying that you are with her, sad because she is sad, raise a bound of empathy that probably she will remember when it ends, she will love you more and be extremely kind showing her love for you, and it will be a very, very intense love, she will make you feel in a paradise dream, you will never feel so loved in your lifes.

    Now the hints for BPDs, from somebody that had relationships with people like you, and have friends like you.

    – In crisis, go to an isolated place: It’s not because you do not deserve attention or are not desired. It’s because you might hurt yourself and the people you love with this. It will make the crisis end faster and people that do not understand you will not escalate into hurting you. You don’t want to hurt yourself, your love, your parents, your children, you care about them.

    – If you make self-destructive acts, tell it to the medic and people you trust and love: If you are self-harming, using drugs, having suicidal thoughts tell it, even if you think it’s their fault, don’t tell him, just ask them for help, if they tell you to stop, please understand that most people don’t understand that these acts sometimes become out of control, you would not do self-harming or drugs if you did not have a psychological pain, but most people don’t understand, ask for them to help, maybe they will not know how to do it or will not do it right, but remember that they love you, even if your feelings say to you that they hate you. They are trying to do their best, if your love, parents, children and friends did not love you, they would be not near you, living with you, trying to live with your crisis and with you the way you are, “they love you, you are important to them”, just keep this mantra, don’t matter what your mind say. Sometimes they will flee, and you will feel abandoned, most of the times it’s a desperate act of a person who loves you but are desperate and don’t know what to do to help, they love you so much that they burst in crisis too, they want to see you happy and not destructing yourself.

    – We love you more than you think: Most of the times you get confused about how people thinks about you, and that’s ok. But unless your love, parents and children beat you, bully you or sexually abuse you, they really love you, they suffer with your pain too. We have empathy with you. Sometimes as I say before you must ignore your feelings and keep this in your mind as a mantra. We are living with you sometimes making sacrifices we were unwilling to do with other people… for… you… This is pure love.

    I don’t regret any of my relationships with BPDs, of course there was a lot of crisis, anger, cruelty, sometimes manipulating and deceiving behavior, that really make my heart bleed a lot. But there was a lot of love, caring, sweetness caring and even help in my depression crisis (yes, the BPDs helped me a lot in my own crisis, sometimes even when they were in their own crisis as well!). And the intensity of love that my BPD girlfriends give to me was unmatched by any other girlfriend I have, it was full love, the heat of her arms, their passionate kiss, I never felt a so great and true love from a non-BPD girl. I know that it’s a dangerous love, but the rewards are much bigger than the price of dealing with BPDs extreme emotional instability.

    Keep on the search of knowing yourselves BPDs, don’t care about medics and people saying you are incapable of that. It’s much harder to you, because you have a disease, but it’s not impossible and if you get it in the end it will be very rewarding.

    And thanks for the big love you give to me, you BPDs hurt me and make my heart bleed in an ocean of sadness a lot of times, but it does not compare to the times you make my heart stop to bleed from my chronic depression and feel full of happiness in an ocean of true love.

    Sorry for my broken english, I’m brazilian.

    Thank you.

    • Fantastic comment, thank you for taking time to post. I’ve been married 15 years to as yet undiagnosed BPD wife and you really did a beautiful job of sharing two perspectives…that is really needed.

      thanks again.

    • Very beautifully said, and perhaps the most insightful comment so far.

      You’ve a good soul.

    • Your post seems very insightful, but after 12 years of abuse and feeling like I was living in hell, I’ve lost any inclination to coddle or go above and beyond to help this man. Nor do I want my daughter to grow up thinking this is how a man should treat her or my sons to think that is how to treat women. It is a sick, revolving door. Your suggestions may be helpful in a relationship with no children, but I left that relationship to try to minimize the damage being done to my children. They shouldn’t have to tip toe around their father or sacrifice themselves because of their father’s illness. The children are the victims in these situations.

    • Very beautifully put. Thank you for this.

  27. I’m a victim of my sister’s terrible BPD. It doesnt suprise me to hear that people (mostly women from my investigations) that have this condition constantly claim to be the victim, when its them that is doing the abuse. So far my sister has alienated the rest of the family from me by telling them spin and half truths, refused to give me my personal possesions back ( 4 sets of keys ) and then eventually dumped a load of trash through my letterbox in ‘revenge’ because I asked for me keys back. She has recently set out on a campaign to try to have me detained by the police as she told them that I was suisidal (Im not). Last week she sent me an email out of the blue calling me a ‘nasty little sh*it’ which had approximately 12 exclamation marks after it. She frequently has rages so much so that she physically shakes. She spends hours sobbing and says to the rest of the family that I have caused this without ever giving an explanation of what I may have done. Her most recent project is to get one of her friends to publicly tell everyone on Facebook that I need to see a psychiatrist. Her friend by the way has panick attacks, is suisidal (she has a diary of how she is going to kill herself), physically fights with her husband, has an eating dissorder and has trouble holding jobs down…… Non of the rest of the family are prepared to send either to a psychiatrist.

  28. I have BPD and I’m just confused with all the misunderstandings being talked about on here. I really try to help my husband deal with me. I don’t have any hostility or anger issues thank goodness. But what makes me feel badly for him is that I also have multiple sclerosis (I can walk), fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis and arthritis. He has to deal with those limitations of mine too. I am 58 and was just diagnosed. I am also in DBT and individual counseling for depression and for whatever else comes up!

    • Kat,

      I’m so sorry that you have so many health issues. I have lupus and it is not easy. With regard to your BPD, you seem to have a good insight as to what is going on. That is huge and you should be commended. Having lived with someone who I am certain has it, someone who is violent and manipulative, someone who is emotionally and mentally abusing my children, someone who doesn’t realize what HE is the problem, I have lost hope that he will ever recognize the issue and get help. Best of luck and God bless!

    • I am writing years after this thread was begun: I have fallen in love with a man with BPD. He is 68, and not diagnosed. He is in “therapy” once/month. If his therapist has recognized him as BTD, she is not aware that it is a treatable condition. He has many good instincts: he knew he needed an accepting community, so he goes to AA (successfully clean 3 years). He has a prescribing psychiatrist and this LSW. He knows he hurts people who love him, yet cannot get out of this cycle of self-hate. At least he is no longer violent and angry, and tries to control his emotions so as to not drive people away.
      He told me I had to stop seeing me, because he got too close to me. Yet he will not really let me go.
      It breaks my heart to see him suffer so. Is there anything, in the wisdom from these pages, that you can offer me to help get him to go to another therapist? There is DBT nearby, with both groups and individual therapy. He feels hopeless and helpless, and thinks that he cannot do better than he is doing now.

  29. I’ve been living with my partner who has BPD for 12 years. Yes, she was diagnosed by a psychotherapist. This article is spot on. My life is a living hell because of this person. She lies, manipulates and is verbally abusive to those who love her….but strangers are her best buds…..till they get to know her. She threatens suicide, has attempted suicide and been in a psych ward because of it. She had been sexually abused by her older brother for years when she was young. He watched her after school while Mom and Dad where too busy working. To this day it is denied by her family. Her new addiction is Facebook. Safety there I guess….she can paint a pretty picture of herself and get the attention she thrives on. One day she loves you to the moon and back, then the next she hates your fucking guts. This goes for anyone who disagrees with her, or any imagined slight. Drama, chaos and daily abuse is ALL you are going to get from a relationship with a BPD person. There’s no reasoning with them, once they are in the red zone of anger like a dog, you can get seriously hurt. I’ve gone from being her true love to her caretaker. Let there be no misunderstanding that I cow tow to her….I stand up for myself and will not tolerate her abuse. I don’t soothe her down with loving words….I stand my ground. Yes I am staying with her…..everyone else has jumped ship. I come from the school of hard knocks….so dealing with craziness comes natural to me. As much as she can dish it out….I give it right back…..till she’s finally taped out of anger and goes to bed for two days. Then walks out good as new….till someone else pisses her off. My advice for those in this kind of relationship….get out…it is not going to change….they are not going to change… are living with a Sybil. They will say anything to hurt you, humiliate you in public and throw u under the bus at the first opportunity. They will seek revenge thru family and friends to hurt you. They remember every little slight and perceived slight, and will always pull that arsenal of slights out with each argument. They even write them down. I found a whole load of slight notes under her mattress. They will talk smack behind your back to friends, family and co workers. They will blame you for the problems they create. They go on spending sprees and rack up the bills then will blame you for it. Life is all about them and their needs….they have no interest in you or your needs. As of now I am being paid quite well to take care of this person by the family that made her this way. That is the only reason

    • OMG, down to the word — word for word, all the way through is as if I am writing it as regards me and my wife. I have experienced 100% of your words every single example of the Borderline’s traits. I suspect her older brother sexually terrorized her and to this day her family denies anything less than a stellar childhood for her. Her mother committed horrible abuse herself — MSBP (google search that acronym, it’s a despicable act for an adult especially a parent, particularly a mother to do to one’s child) and no doubt whatsoever both of those issues in my wife’s past created BPD in adulthood. And her neglect and abuse by her first two husbands certainly didn’t help matters. Then I come along, getting involved with her sexually as a result of opportunity presenting itself and our mutual desire and curiosity — and sex being so red hot with her we turned the sexual relations into a relationship. STUPID. Yes I know. Had we met the normal way, I’d never have held interest in her; too much the victim playing and such but I didn’t see it for what it was until we were married. Within a month of marriage OMG I thought I was going crazy insane myself due to all the shit happening to me. Just incessant mental, emotional torment, torture, anguish … The ONLY other difference for me is I am not compensated as her caretaker. I don’t take her shit either but when her Borderline Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde shows up and I confront her, it’s NEVER good. And it ALWAYS gets worse before there is any tiny hint of it getting better. The most recent episode led her admission for a week in the adult mental health unit at a large hospital. Did it help? No. I couldn’t have been more supportive and thoughtful during her admission. Visited every day — a 110 mile round trip from home every day. Total support and sacrifice and encouragement. Then on her day of discharge she made an assumption and refused to seek clarity/ no interest in verification of her assumption, which was invalid, and as soon as I walked in her room within 2 minutes of her being discharged, she went off on me in her typical harsh, nasty, condescending, condemning tone, and when I confronted her I was talked to by the staff at the unit for having triggered her. Bullshit. More evidence the counselors and MH community is only enabling such people to do the abuse they do and who suffers? We loved ones. Not the abusers, oh hell no, they do whatever they damn well please without regard for anyone, because in their mind, a Borderline is the ONLY one who matters. Anyway, I hung onto every word you provided. Thanks for sharing and being so candid. It is a HUGE benefit to know you’re not alone in your suffering; to know through others’ sharing of their own stories, that you’re not batshit crazy insane given the bizarre shit you’re experiencing, which seems so far-fetched impossible to believe to anyone who’s never experienced it, which only furthers the torment we victims feel

  30. I feel compelled to share….I am the eldest sibling of someone who only recently was diagnosed with BPD. He was “troubled” and diagnosed with just about eveything from about aged 7 and over medicated and in therapy constantly until he became an adult….stopped meds and decided “nothing is wrong with me”. As a family member you just want those you love to be happy, healthy & successful. He has lived with other family members briefly and sabbotaged those situations and bailed out of college so many times we cant keep track. He is so abusive, angry and threatening no one will even deal with him anymore. He was homeless 2 yrs ago and I was the last and only person left who made a committment to provide him a stable environment contingent on the fact he work and go to school. Well after two years of living hell and my sanity being compromised, I had it. When I made moves to remove him from my home he attempted suicide (which as a classic case he has done fairly consistently since aged 12) then after being hozpitalized and jailed brieflly, out of guilt, I took him back. Honestly, within hours he was raging and threatening again and attempted taking his life again. It was horribly violent and insane. This time while in the, psych ward, he was given a concrete diagnosis. When the nurse and doctor discussed it with me, I just cried. Finally, I understood. He exhibited all the characteristics…ALL of them. Everyone in the family had resigned to the fact he was simply a bitter, angry, selfish, narcissistic jerk who thrived off chaos, sabotaged evey decent opportunity presented and didnt care about hurting those who constantly expressed they loved him. I knew I told him I loved him enough, knew I hugged him enough, listened enough…god knows I provided everything for him even paying for college he either flunked out of or just dropped. Asking him to turn down the TV was a risk for him launching into a tirade of obscenities. Even the neighbors expressed concern for my safety. So now, we have hope. He is aware, understands and agrees with his diagnosis. He takes low doses of meds for anxiety and depression and will begin therapy next week. The entire family has rallied with a new understanding and acceptance. We all wish this had happened sooner, but technically he really couldnt have been diagnosed prior to adulthood, and he took himself out of the therapies he was afforded while still a minor. We always thought, nothing helped him, so he’s just an A hole who will mangle his life and emotionally destroy those around him. Now we know and can help him more constructively. Since I am his “caretaker” I am learning ways to manage his emotional state and will seek my own therapy. I appreciate this article and look forward to reading the recommended material. Those posting here that suffer and take umbrage with others perspectives, dont take it personally. Maybe more introspection is in order. I’m just thrilled at a definitive diagnosis and plan for healing not only my brother, but our entire family. I havent been able to host a holiday for two years as no one wanted to be around him. I am grateful he has taken responsibility and is practicing improved behaviors consistently.

  31. During her episodes, as I choose to call them, I feel like someone being stood in front of a train rushing towards me. I can do nothing to avoid being run over and I feel totally helpless and exposed. I have been with her for five years now. I love her and will do almost anything for her. I forgive her for all the pain but the episodes keep escalating and I now fear for mine and her safety.

  32. My mom has BPD and everyday is a struggle to live with her. I constantly have to apologize for the little things I have done to hurt her feelings whether it is talking to my dad on the phone (her ex) or not texting her back in the span of 5 minutes. I honestly don’t know what to do. There have been many events where I have walked out of the house, to go and live at my dads for a month or so because I could not take the hostile environment. The thought of her hating herself makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and sympathetic, but I personally do not know if I should be focusing on giving her sympathy or focusing on myself and maintaining a healthy mind emotionally. It is as if everything I say creates an argument that can never end. Whether it is a day, a week, or even a month of a peaceful relationship with her, there is always an episode that occurs and comes back. During these episodes, she usually brings up past events (like 5 years ago), saying “I miss the old you when you were a child and sweet, what happened?” When she says this I think to myself if she just thinks back on the past because she is extremely unhappy with the present. Does anyone else have an experience like this and know how to deal with such events? If so, it would be very helpful because I don’t know what to do anymore. She is my mom and I lover her a lot, but it is almost impossible to deal with her. It is as if she expects me to be the adult and act more mature than her.

    • Your statements were so well thought out and well written. Your situation is so much like mine, except that it’s my son who has BPD. He is our only son, and the problems we’ve been facing, dealing with him on a daily basis, has drained us, made life with my husband a constant strain, and is slowly destroying any shred of happiness in life.

      We’ve been to many counselors over the years, and they all say the same thing – Let him go. Allow him to face the painful consequences of his behavior.

      Once he hits bottom and lives in a homeless shelter, he may decide to get help, and he may not. But things will not get better if we continue to give him a place to live, food to eat, new clothes, a car, internet service and a cell phone, etc. etc.

      He’s not working or going to school, and he doesn’t do much of anything around the house – our house – which he lives in by himself because he’s just too violent and threatening to live with.

      I think the only possible way to handle life with a loved one with BPD that doesn’t want help is indeed the tough love approach. We just haven’t been able to do it yet.

    • My mom is the same way, and its only getting worse. She started with my sister. She ended up leaving, and never coming back. Then my mom started in on my dad. Accusing him of all kinds of crazy things, from 30 years ago. She takes one little minor thing, and dwells on it until its this huge plot against her. She even screams at my 90 year old grandma, telling her what a horrible mother she was. Blames grandma, my sister, my dad, and now me for everything wrong in her life. I don’t know what to do. She’s convinced shes gonna end up alone with nobody, and its everyone else’s fault. She accuses me of things now. Taking her money, trying to steal her car…things that I would NEVER do. She attacked me yesterday, screaming and yelling, throwing things, accusing me of hating her for divorcing my dad. I’m 35 years old for f…ks sake. According to her, shes the only one who knows shes perfectly sane, and we are all the ones who’re crazy. And, she’s right. In her own head, there is nothing wrong with her. I cant hold it against her, if she truly doesn’t know shes sick. But, I cant let her do this to me either. She’s going to kill herself one of these days. I can’t let her die thinking I don’t care about her. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out a way to help her.

  33. This disorder elicits emotionally charged responses regarding this article from those with the diagnosis & those that love/live/care about the diagnosed. I had no previous knowledge of this disorder until I started a relationship with a woman that has BPD & the confirming diagnosis, but withheld that information. I knew something was askew & after several months thought she was symptomatic of PTSD, bipolar & depression. The stories of her childhood also led me to these assumptions (they were assumptions & I’m cognizant of that slippery slope), but I still didn’t have a feeling of a true understanding & that was my motivation; understanding. Long/Short, over next one & one-half year, encouraged & gently led her journey into substance abuse recovery & therapy for her BPD as well as the PTSD, bipolar & depression. Through research & experience, found this disorder “usually” isn’t an island unto it’s self, but is comprised of several, which makes it all the more difficult for the person diagnosed as well as devising a line of treatment or adaptability for lack of a better description. I have no words of wisdom or deep insights other than I truely believe that at any given moment, that is the absolute best that they can do at that moment. In all castings, as angel or devil be mindful that this too shall pass.
    Best wishes to all.

  34. Simply Put:

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find Out What It Means To Me

  35. I am an alcoholic in rehab after 6 years of PTSD and anxiety and depression caused by involving myself with a married woman that has about 8 boyfriends and a drug problem . Her current boyfriend Rob now calls me and leaves sick messages on her behalf. I pray that they are both happy and live a long life. Her lies to one and all eventually will be her undoing. O dont have a borderline personality but she has that and way more. I have had professionals attend to me . She hasnt and never will. I pity her and her sad life. She is evil, sick and in need of help .

  36. I think my mom has BPD. She is very resistant to any mention of her ‘issues’ in life. She is in denial that she has any problems. If I mention this she’ll explode and yell that she “isn’t crazy” however, my dad (her ex husband, married for 33 years divorced for 2), my sister, and her close friend all agree with me. We have all come to the same diagnosis on our own. Do I risk upsetting her and telling her? Can I call her counselor (who I know because our kids go to school together) and mention our concern to him? Or do I just let it be? I completely appreciate this post, as I don’t know how to respond when she swings. But there is so much hurt she is causing as a result and I am so tired of hurting. If there is a name, then there is a pattern of help we can all follow.

    • Please, everyone, stop “diagnosing” friends, relatives, lovers. Unless you are a licensed professional, you lack the education and experience to do so.

  37. I have being in relationships with 2 people (one for 4 years, the other for a year) who fit the diagnosis for BPD and although I am fully sympathetic and empathic to their issue, it is easy to forgot how difficult it is for their partners too.

    Essentially, my conclusion is that sometimes there is nothing you can do to help that person and if after months or years of being truly supportive and trying to get them help and they still do nothing, to the extent where your own mental/physical health is suffering as a result, then I believe the best thing to do is give them the ultimatum of leaving or getting help. If they still won’t get help then leave because it doesn’t get better without intervention.

    I had mental health issues and was lucky enough to realise I needed help and had the support to get me through (I was never unpleasant to people; I was depressed and introspective). I realise some people don’t have this luxury but I do know that most people with mental health issues who have hurt people and are self-aware of the hurt caused (as with some cases of BPD) also have the capacity to seek help but mostly don’t, mainly due to being scared.

    My point is that there is only so much that a partner can do to help the sufferer get help. I have tried being everything that person needs, and creating a safe environment for them to feel comfortable getting help, yet they still refuse to seek help. It is those cases where I feel it is best to leave because it really grinds you down and can leave you with mental health issues of your own.

  38. I find this article one of many that make out that everyone with BPD are some Glen Close character in Fatal Attraction. We aren’t! Whilst your article makes some valid points, others is one sides and the manner in which it is written just is pretty tasteless in all honesty. Thankfully there are SOME people out there who understand. People with BPD are exactly that. People. Stop making out everyone is some manipulative, psychotic, toxic loony tooney.

  39. I’m currently dating someone with bipolar disorder. It can be difficult to understand her ups and downs. I find myself constantly wanting to help her and show her that she’s in the heart and hands of someone she can trust, and who she can tell her problems to. It can get frustrating sometimes to communicate with her. I think, though, with these tips, I’ll be able to make some more progress.

    Liz Ellsworth |

  40. I am well aware of my disorder. This makes it even more difficult for me because I really do try my best to not be this person. For those who have BPD, you know what I mean. For those who condemn us, saying that we are selfish, awful people, you could benefit from a therapist as well. Narcissism is a disease found much too often these days, and you have it. Congratulations on being so in control of your emotions. It’s not that difficult when you fail to care about anyone more than yourself. Those of us with BPD are not on a mission to hurt others. It’s actually quite the opposite. Believe me, we would change our patterns of thinking if we could. This does not bring us joy, nor do we feel rewarded in any way. We care. Most likely more than you, (the douchebag with the disparaging remarks). There is help and there is hope. Don’t try to take that from us. You haven’t experienced what we have, nor do you want to. As for the self righteous rant you’re sure to post, just know every letter you type emphasizes your ignorance.

    • THank you for your comment. I am married for 15 years w/BPD person, and your perspective is very much appreciated…

      My question…how to ever get a BPD person to at least acknowledge that they have issues and its not always their partners’ fault??? My wife is manipulative and not only have I put up with her manipulation, mind games and stretched myself thin trying to be there for my kids while she is in her never ending self-pity party…but through all of that she not only doesnt realize that and the pain she’s caused me, she openly says i’m emotionally abusive and she should file reports on that…

      So how do we talk to someone w/BPD? How do we get them realize the self destructive path they are on? They are professional victims, but in this scenario we are the victims–how do get them to realize that and let the healing start????

      • I really feel for you. We have stick together, us ‘normals’, as the BPD has a habit of turning their problems onto us as OUR fault! Their bleating about how hurt they are belies the fact that they are slashing and burning those who dare try to love them, all the while crying ‘poor me’! I’m tired of it, and will never be a ‘nurse’ or a ‘mommy’ to one of these vicious hypocrites again! Life’s too short to drown in someone else’s problems, we al just HAVE to be decent people, no matter how much we are (or imagine we are) hurting from OTHER people. imho, and with wounds to prove it, if you are with a BPD, run, before they eat you alive. And then ask why you would again ever want to be a rescuer, a helper, a nurse, or a crutch, for someone who has no conscience, and who, most likely, will never change. They LIKE the attention of others and are used to it. Many good people have fallen by the wayside trying, I’m sure you’ll have a happier life with a more balanced and kind human being than what we fleetingly see with these people. Sorry, but I’m tired and look forward to having my own life back, health and happiness to all – but you gotta work at it, gently, steadily, and with a good heart, and that’s hard to do while you are intermittently being ripped to shreds! (and yes, I know there are all grades of seriousness in abuse; I guess I just happened to get the worse).

    • I second this.

    • Typical garbage out of the mouth of a person with BPD . . . All of us who are fed up with your horrible behavior are cold hearted narcissists with no empathy for what YOU go through! What are you when you emotionally and verbally abuse those closest to you for hours on end? Do you care at all about the damage YOU do? And why is it most often directed at the people close to you? Because you KNOW that you can get away with it. Anyone with no emotional investment in you would tell you to go f@&k yourself. See? You are capable of controlling your behavior . . . So do it with the people who care about you most and life will be better for everyone!

      • OMG what a post! You are so right! That line really hit home for me: Borderlines only do this nonsense with exceptionally close loved ones, due to the emotional involvement, whereas strangers are free from it — you have hit it on the head, this is EVIDENCE it’s a choice, not truly solely an illness! If it were an illness it would be a 24-7 x 365 days a year situation and 100% of persons interacted with would experience it. But no, only a loved one gets it. That is evidence their BEHAVIOR/ ATTITUDE is turned on and turned off. That shows intent, an agenda, a choice. Not an illness at all. You can’t turn on and turn off diabetes or cancer or a knee injury. Those are TRUE conditions. BPD? I now see it as a matter of CHOICE not an illness at all perhaps. All due to your incredibly insightful statement

  41. I suffer from this disorder, we are not bad people just from bad and dysfunctional backgrounds! I have suffered from this disorder since childhood but I was just recently diagnosed. The ignorance I have read in some of the comments just appalls me! And goes to show some of the true reasons why people are suffering from this illness! We do not intend to place blame just a reaction, although truth be known it is not our choice to suffer nor make anyone else suffer! This illness is very tiresome and being undiagnosed as well as uneducated adds to the fatigue of BPD. So those that were negative and ignorant take a long look in your mirrors. People like you are huge contrbuters as well as massive roadblocks!!! We love wholeheartedly with the fear of being abandoned in the end our reactions and views are distorted due to experiencing major traumatic events at sometime in life. We are mortified whenan episode passes and reality that we stepped closer to the very thing we fear, as well as the scars our illness created on the ones we love will never completely heal have occurred. We do none of this out of malice but only by nature of self preservation, not excusing the actions but educating so that hateful people do not prolong the healing process!!

  42. Thank you for this. I am starting a blog about getting out of a relationship with someone who has severe personality disorder characteristics. Would love folks’ feedback:

  43. I would suggest people to stay away from a relationship with anyone with BPD. I married a woman and she was diagnosed with BPD after a year. I read the forums and all and thought she would be different. But you know she isnt. She just was very manipulative and managed to control BPD for a while. I should have taken a divorce when I had a chance. Now she is pregnant and Im totally stuck and screwed. My advise is you cant change them – the medication give them some level of control but its only while they are on it. And they wont always be on it. Im so depressed but I have nowhere to turn to since she slowly isolated me from everyone. I love her and despise her equally. My life is screwed but please dont make the same mistake I did. The good times are not worth the bad times. Somethings that are broken you just cant repair and “No your partner is never going to be any different how much ever you convince yourself they will be and that love will conquer all” .

    And to all those with BPD please try and understand your partners point of view – I know we are are flawed too and not perfect but really dont treat us like that.

    • I wish i would have known what you knew before I got married to one. She had already had the unwanted child with her first husband and he took off out of state. Her second husband’s death was ruled an accidental overdose but a year after his death and cremation she told me that she killed him! i thought she was joking and laughed and then she reminded me of that day he died and where she was… in her home town picking up her sons birthday gift from her X! And how her 25 years of nursing gave her knowledge of how to “Snow” a patient when near to death. Then I stopped laughing as she suggested the same might happen to me. Since that time she has chased me with a butcher knife and held it to my chest, threatened to cut my moms throat, laid a huge box of glass shards where I usually walk, poisoned my medicine and too many other things to report plus all the psychotic episodes, catatonic episodes, schizophrenia episodes. This all started to take shape after about 4 years but her history reeks with borderline indicators. Last kid picked for school activities, fights for moms attention, mother daughter conflicts, infidelity, “nervous breakdowns” cutting, Inflation deflation, ect. Of 60 or more behaviors listed on out of the fogs BPD indicators she has about 98% of them. She has bilked my business account, and I caught her on a date with a man but she doesn’t think she did anything wrong because i only have pictures of them holding hands and he post on face book how he loves her and will never give up! When will I give up is the real question? She won’t get treatment because nothing is wrong. I got her to a marriage counselor and she freaked her out when i played a threatening message she had left at my moms assisted living where she pretended to be a social worker and my wife could not recognize her own voice on the tape! The counselor said that introducing my wife to that other person doing the hanus things could be very dangerous and forbade me to out my wife’s other self in her office so nothing got accomplished there. How can I continue? I have never divorced someone that I love and I am an unrelenting rescuer! She froze in her tracts in the road once and i carried her to the restaurant we were to eat at and 6 police shook me down as staff took it as some kind of assault and instead of telling the police what happened she just sat down and ate a nice meal as if nothing happened and i started walking the 30 miles home. I have had to get out of the car and walk away from incredible abuse and her begging me to hit her which i won’t ever do but her last two did do it eventually. I used hate them for hurting her in her past thinking that i was dealing with her baggage from them and though i feel there is never an excuse to hit a woman the more i see the more sorry i feel for those guys!

      • It sounds like she has Antisocial personality disorder. Maybe check into that. Also what Charles Manson has.

    • Its wrong to generalize a group of ppl by telling others to give up on a person with bpd. And that they arent worth it. Your comment is very unappreciated.

      • I cannot understand some of the turbulent comments associated with nons. I have been dating a bpd sufferer for 4 years and have educated myself not only about the condition and the fallout of the symptoms but how I personally compute things and what my personal wants and desires are in a relationship. Together we have identified that when he is symptomatic it is his illness that hijacks his reactions and not him personally and a totally different hat needs to be worn to adjust and apply the necessary boundaries to starve the symptoms and realign his thought processes. It’s actually very easy to do when u learn that the symptoms are the perpetrators and not the man you love. When his symptoms go to sleep you see a genuine beautiful soul. I dint apply myself in the same way when his symptoms manifest we make adjustments he seeks counselling and is committed to going through the immensely painful discussions and he leanson his professional support network and not me. I am there when he is functioning and we are bringing positivity to each other. Both of us take responsibility is what I’m saying bothof Us move through the cycles with acceptance compassion and respect and tailor our relationship accordingly. We both want the text book relationship but naturally until his symptoms decline and until he acknowledges and embraces control over his reactions we can’t. But I hsve learnt great skills from my sufferer I have also seen my flaws and an appreciation of just how privileged my life has been. I respect my wants and desires and when his mirror mine when his symptoms stop squashing those for him and he is released from this wickedness inflicted in him by others with no ctrol over that it will happen. If things do not improve I will remain a friend with the same rules in place and I will always remember that this infliction is an illness and his and my reactions are due to the cruel symptoms and not who we are as individuals. I am proud and I am glad I came to know this beautiful man and I am glad of the awareness that symptoms are born from much cruelest people than he will ever be. So I challenge nons to take charge instead of expecting normal or do not get involved at all its very irresponsible.

  44. Wow this article really implies that those of us suffering with bpd are monsters. For those of you who do not have bpd and dont know what it is like to actually struggle with it, this article paints the wrong picture. I am 24 and was just recently diagnosed with bpd, though I have been struggling with it my whole life. I would say that this mental illness affects the ill far worse than those around them. In fact many of my friends had no idea about my struggle before I had a mental break down a few months back. We suffer within more than we show. Which is why often people with bpd commit suicide because they never find help or people who understand what they are going through. When someone with bpd is being “reckless” they are feeling the need to destroy themselves, not those around them. If you care about someone with bpd help them by understanding what they are going through. Dont judge them. My fiance truly saved me. Im lucky I found someone so understanding and caring.

    • Jeri-

      Your statement “my fiancé truly saved me” is quintessential BPD thinking..also, the need to be understood and sympathized with rather than called out for the very destructive behavior the disorder unleashes to loves ones. Also I have to disagree that those with BPD suffer more than those around them. You unfortunately are speaking like someone with the disorder. Rather than shine the light if responsibility on your own hurtful behavior and having the maturity to reflect on the pain it causes those who love you, you rally people to understand YOU. I don’t mean to attack you Jeri. I know it’s hell having to deal with this disorder. My mother has wreckedu family since day 1. My siblings and I do not have warm relationships and no longer talk…now I see this is due to the splitting and manipulation tactics of my mother. My mother is even now unleashing a hellish silent treatment on my wife and I AFTER only 2 months of a reconcile following a 4 year cut off instituted by me because I could no longer take her abuse(my dad too) he’s NPD. I also dated a BPD woman for 2 years and sat by as she ripped my heart out callously and coldly for which I did nothing to deserve. Yes I take my share of responsibility in that, but the cruel way in which I was discarded and replaced by someone just out of spite was painful beyond words. Thankfully it led me to therapy and have me the knowledge of bod in the first place!

      As a recovering co dependent, I respectfully disagree with you and urge you to seek help for the disorder and be brave enough( you can do this !) to recover. It will be hard work, but well worth it.

      1) stop seeing yourself as the one needing understanding and seek to understand first

      2) your fiancé is not your savior. That’s an unfair (pedestal) position to out them in

      3) if your own issues aren’t dealt with, your fiancé will be optionally used and discarded by the disorder also. He’s most likely a savior type with a hero complex…co dependent anyone?

      4) you’re young, if you are truly diagnosed, your current path is predictable, especially with your relationship with fiancé. Don’t be a BPD statistic and get the HELP you deserve.


      Learned the Hard Way

  45. It sucks beyond words having BPD..I keep emotionally hurting people I care about and I don’t want to/mean to.I do my best to cope with it;I avoid people I care about, the second I feel an emotional drop.It’s worked so far,but there are occasions where I can’t be alone and I have an outburst.Any suggestions?

    • As Stella says, 100% agree. Owning issues is key. NO change is ever going to occur without taking ownership of all behavior and attitudes and choices and actions — even when you may feel x thing wasn’t a matter of choice, but just happened without conscious thought, it’s imperative you take sole responsibility for your actions AND the outcome (feelings & emotions held by your target or in other words, the true victim) — and it must be sincere ownership not manipulation, which is about control, nor passing some of the blame to the victim, nor justifying and making excuses, etc. And do not express anger and rage or lay guilt on the abused one for them having voiced their hurt/ pain and suffering you have caused them. That is not taking ownership that is called playing victim, which is done to take the focus off the true victim and put all focus on you, which is a common Borderline trait (the playing of victim to put all focus on you and then transfer all shame and anger at the other person, which is the payoff of playing victim). Then, afterwards you’ll feel guilty and shame for having done all of this and will then unleash even more anger on your target, cuz it’s easier to blame another and express rage on them rather than own it yourself. You must also be sincere rather than put on a phony demeanor which is manipulative. My wife has a severe BP (diagnosed with BPD and two other PDs in the same DSM Cluster B category), she does all of this and more. It’s extremely frustrating when you get subjected to x thing that is 100% created by the Borderline, then instead of that person accepting responsibility for their actions and the responsibility for the outcome caused by their act of abuse and neglect (such as the pain/ suffering/ turmoil experienced by the target), they pass the blame instead and take no ownership — and that only furthers/ worsens/ exacerbates the pain and suffering and creates even more mental and emotional anguish for the victim, and when that victim then responds in a certain way — anger of their own, frustration, hurt, isolating themselves or wanting space apart from the one with BPD, all of those are consequences of actions, but not even that is accepted responsibility for by the one who has BPD! They will instead persecute the victim, belittling them, making slanderous comments to lay guilt or shame, etc, which is even more abuse and neglect. All the while, the one who caused it all via their Borderline traits takes zero ownership, it’s instead all the other person’s fault. So just making that ONE change as advised by the others, and taking ownership of everything without one iota of justifying, excuse making, blaming, pass of the buck, and being apologetic without accepting of the responsibility (which is an insult to a victim and just more abuse), all those measures WILL make a HUGE positive difference. One more thing: It’s important to not talk of change, and talk of how hard you’re trying, and talk of the promises of you changing — to a victim who is targeted over and over and over it’s all talk talk talk talk and talk is cheap and meaningless. Make the changes. Not engage in empty worthless talk which is so very commonplace with my Borderline wife at least so I presume the same talk is experienced by other victims

  46. Start working towards taking responsibility! One of the biggest problems with BPD is they damage and slash others emotionally, while crying ‘poor me, I’m broken and you can deal with it!’. Study behavioural modification. You are what you do, if you are a behaviouralist and if you hurt and would people who try to love you, YOU are part of the problem. Therefore YOU have to do your share. STOP, think and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, when your urge to lash out and rage appear. You can do it but yes, it will be hard work. Life’s like that for everybody – the tough stuff is what makes you a better person, so OWN it, because unless you see the problem, you can’t even begin to fix it. My last Post didn’t even get posted, I was so irate and fed up – guess that shows me something to deal with myself too! In my experience BPD’s easily give up on the goodness of those trying to love them, and turn on them. ONLY you can stop this! Never give up on yourself

  47. I consider myself of a survivor of BPD. I grew up with a mom who was a really bad BPD. It’s sad because she is in denial and will never get help. She’s in her early 50s now. I had to leave home as a teen and as a result of all the abuse I’ve suffered from my own psych issues. I will forever have PTSD and an anxiety disorder because of my childhood trama. I’ve tried recconecting with her but at almost 30 I now know she’s a ‘toxic’ person who is dangerous to my own mental as well as physical well being. She’s seemed to have simmered down with the physical violence but the verbal abuse is still there. As a child of abuse I feel like verbal abuse is much worse then physical because those are emotional scars that are very hard to heal if ever. Ironically I ended up dating a BPD guy who isn’t as a severe case as my mom. We’ve broken up and I’ve tried to move on with my life but he hasn’t allowed me to and now I need to put my foot down and do what’s right for me and gtfo. It’s sad because he needs help but you can’t help someone who thinks ‘it’s not them it’s you.’ As someone who suffers from my own psych issues my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from this disease. I get that there is a bad stigma for any mental illness. At the same time I agree with others that unless someone is willing to see they have a problem and get help you can’t have them in your life. My mom destroyed our family. My ex has been an absolute nightmare and has pushed me over the edge so many times. If you are someone who has BPD or think you might have it, please please go get help. You might not find the right therapist or doctor at first but don’t give up. There are good and bad docs out there, it’s all about finding the right fit. Don’t just do it for yourself, do it for those around you. I get that you are suffering but you can inflict so much damage and pain on others very easily and it can destroy their lives. Thanks for reading!

  48. I was married for 18 years to a BPD man. He was emotionally and mentally abusive. He never let go of grudges. When we went for marriage counseling, he brought up things that happened 14 years earlier and recited almost every mistake I ever made. We’ve been divorced for almost 16 years, and it’s taken me many years to get over the damage done by his manipulative ways and making me think I was always wrong. Now, my son is going through a bad time with his dad where they dissolved a partnership they had (mainly because my ex was jealous of my son’s success). He has said horrible, hateful, untrue things about our son. I keep telling myself this is not about me; however, because of what I went through it’s hard for me to stay emotionally detached. My son called a meeting with my ex’s family to discuss the matter and come up with some kind of plan to convince his dad to get help. Then his sisters decided my ex should be at that meeting and invited him, so I am not sure how that’s going to go but am praying for the best.

  49. I’m sorry but all the bpd sufferers are doing on here exactly what my partner does in real life, lash out at the other person and blame them, to make out that we are the ones with the problem. I’ve been physically scarred, bruised, punched, kicked, scratched, had my car damaged, my things broken, been accused of cheating and loads more. Despite all this she is never sorry and has basically said I deserved all of it because I did ya da ya da ya da…(something trivial). I’ve also been called the one who is abusive which I find mind blowing. Hard to show sympathy/compassion/understanding when your on the end of a pasting. I hope there are people who read this who can empathise as I don’t know what to do

  50. It is very very difficult for me to say this, but I would not wish this upon anyone. I have lived my whole life including childhood with my sister who suffers severely from this illness. She has absolutely turn me to shreds emotionally and psychologically over the years. She used to hate me and make me feel guilty that I was “thinner” than her when I was 10 years old!!! and she was in her late teens. She had always manipulated my parents and myself in every way possible for her entire life. She has threatened suicide at least 6 times in order to get things her way. She refuses to get help she causes constant pain and will abuse you with the thing that she know that will hurt the most e.g. When my mother didn’t have a job and was very upset about it, my sister would use that as ammo “you can’t even get a job you’re so worthless”.
    If I had a choice I would RUN. Run away before she tears your sanity, health, wellbeing and General happiness to pieces, and everyone close to you and your just STUCK and can’t di anything about it. It’s like suffocating slowly under a cloud of sadness and hate. I would never wish this upon anyone. Because not only are you being abused, you’re abusung yourself inside, because you feel so desperately guilty that you hate them so much but also want to love them so much. She virtually makes it impossible to want to be around her with the constant hurt and fakeness she puts on for everyone else. I know she has things to deal with but my entire existence is drained and I am sick.i look forward to nothing, im scared of when she’s comjng home and I’m terrified of upsetting her. Which is too easy to do.

  51. I was just recently diagnosed with this,and yes I did stumble across this on Google… But the thing is I’m trying to understand why I am this way and exactly what this BPD is… I didn’t realize that so many people were like me. I have my ups and downs and I know I have a problem. I have known for quite some time but trying to live a normal life is hard. I didn’t realize that I probably put my wife and parents through hell on a weekly basis, and as I read how cruel and bitter some of you can be it leads me to believe that it doesn’t get better with time.that with the passing time I will probably alienate every one around me and end up the subject of one of these rant forums. Since this is the forum for the victims of us monsters I will apologize for posting on here, I’m not trying to make this about me. I’m sorry you guys and gals had to go through this torment, I know how it feels to feel like its always my fault, I can imagine how it feels to constantly be told it is/was. I hope that everyone here finds the happiness they deserve. Good luck.

    • You are not a monster, and you are not alone. This is a forum where a lot of people who have suffered through situations with loved ones with BPD, and so it is understandable reading the content of some of these posts. This is however not the best platform for someone with the disorder, seeking help.

      I know because I have BPD as well, and I am in a fight for my life to get help and fight through this dysfunction. I have ruined relationships and hurt people I love and for years have asked myself why I am like this, but lacked the courage or maturity to truly seek the help I need.

      If you are anything like me,emotional and sensitive, DO NOT let that FEELING of hopelessness overwhelm you. You are doing the right thing by seeking help. Fight for yourself and do it for YOU. We are always going to have to fight harder to be healthy but it is what we have to do to make sure that we do not destroy ourselves and the ones we love in the process.

      You can do it and I am praying for you and anyone else that is battling this disorder.

    • I have BPD, I feel like I have no worth. I struggle to find a connection with myself others and the world. I have been abused in my younger years, I have been repressing my pain throughout the years. I have felt confused about my identity since I was a child, I didn’t always have borderline personality disorder but I develloped it in my 20s. I struggle with detachment, self destruction, and isolation. I have had many struggles in life aswell as an abundance of successes. But when I’m angry I forget who I am, it’s like I become split inside into a psycho and internally I’m also restraining myself from lashing out or hurting myself. I envision mass murder (not of anyone I know at all) but it’s scary because it kind of feels like I might become one of those people in crime shows and that would break my heart. Statistically I’m not supposed to survive in this world, I have brain damage, BPD, ADHD, PTSD…. the plan is to not be a statistic, these mental obstacles yes OBSTACLES, they have lead me to hurt others, but it’s important to place boundaries in my life and for myself that keep my BPD at bay, people shouldn’t Mess with me, if I feel threatened I can be dangerous, but I don’t seek to harm anyone at all. No one who suffers from BPD is doomed to an unstable future, but we do need support from others and the belief from others that we can be successful. We seem to forget that a lot. YOGA, MEDITATION, AGGRESSIVE CONTACT SPORTS, ART, all good tools to keep getting by. BPD sufferers are like a 50 50 ticket. Theres a 50 percent chance we can be successful and proud and accomplished in life and there’s a 50 percent change we’ll need a rubber room and a straight jacket lol. Please be self aware and communicate to friends and family your struggles your pain, your joy, your boundaries, your needs. And loved ones of BPD sufferers, get support aswell, communicate aswell, we are all people no one forget that.

  52. Hi…I am a mom of a bpd daughter. I have riding this roller coaster since she was in her late teens. She is now in her 30’s. She has three children from different men. The children do not need to be with her, however, no matter how hard we try she seems to get to keep them! She has overdosed 3 times in the last few months! I am so over being there to her encourage her. I just want to take her kids and run away!! She is in the psych ward as I am typing this. She knows she has her disorder and wishes she was normal but she just does not ever seem to get control of it!! She admitted herself a couple of days ago and did not put anyone on her contact list! I have stopped being an enabler and am trying to back away! I love my daughter more than anything. But, I have to take care of me and the kids too!!

    • You need a vacation, and your daughter needs to feel secure and not be worrying about getting her kids taken away from her.

  53. I have only been going out with my partner for 8 month today to be exact. We have had a turbulent time in our relationship. one being the fact i have lost my mother to cancer. I have fallen out with all family and to top it off, my BF contstantly has an issue with me and makes out it is my fault. I got him arrested previous due to his agressive and manipulative ways but then took him back as i felt i couldn’t be without him but the cycle still continues. Then as luck goes he has spoke to the doctor who confirms he has Emotionalunstable personality disorder and not only does he need medication, he needs anger management and phsyco therapy. It’s all good there has finally been a diagnosis. But i am just tired that every day is another day i am having to find the strength to go back to my own home as i know another arguement will be happening over nothing. Mostly i dont love him enough, i dont appreciate him enough. Telling his mum on our relationship (he’s 28 not 15)i dont know what to do really as i am stuck in this hole where i cant leave but i dont want to stay. One minute he is nice as ever cleaning, tidying up, everything i could ask for really. The next he is arguing that i am selfish, ungrateful and he rather be dead than not be with me and i dont think my head can take anymore to be honest

  54. First, thank you for the opportunity to read all of the many comments above. Misery loves company and sadly, there are many of us who are suffering due to a spouse with BPD. My experience mimics the above accounts only that I am a man married to a woman with BPD — and my wife also has DPD, and also NPD traits, as well as MDD, GAD, SAD, PTSD. In all, at least SEVEN mental illnesses and in sum my life 24-7 is an absolutely abhorrent nightmare. I have only been married to her for 3 years and in these 3 years I have suffered loss beyond words. I have lived a personal hell and am writing a book to share my story. My wife’s BPD is SEVERE; she has all 9 criteria and is bordering on psychosis in addition to BPD, etc. My daily life 24-7 is an abhorrent, egregious nightmare. Despite all of the meds, the higher doses of meds, the new meds, all of the psychiatrists consults, therapy by many different counselors and therapists, EMDR therapy, admission to an adult mental health unit at a large hospital, self-learning and workbooks, classes and support groups, support/ love/ caring/ encouragement/ forgiveness/ second and third and 300th chances etc, etc, etc despite it all it’s the same nasty, evil, vile disposition towards me and no matter how I respond be it gentle or with an edge in my voice or silence or seeking space from her or honoring my limits and boundaries, no matter what I do it is NEVER ever good enough and out comes the intense violent rage and anger and laying guilt and reminding me what a miserable person I am when I simply express my independence be it a different opinion or wanting to do x thing or asking for something I need from her, rather than incessantly give to her whatever she demands as if my sole value to her lies in what at that moment I am giving her and her holding zero value for me as a person independent of herself. It’s 100% take, take, take, take, take and give ONLY when it serves her too. It’s drained my energy reserves to the point I have nothing more to give and am depleted, empty, disillusioned, burnt out, destroyed and near dead on the inside. Yet she still demands more and more. It’s emotional and psychological abuse — which takes a toll on both mental and physical health and wellbeing. Hell I am not even allowed by her to use such terms. I am bad for calling what she does abuse. I am the TRUE victim yet she plays victim to transfer all of her inner shame and anger at me as if it’s all me who is at fault for her 40 years of misery due to what others in her life and she herself has done. And thus, when in victim mode directing all that nasty vile rage and disgust for me as if it’s all me who is responsible for her issues. When she is not in her victim playing mode she is confrontational or worse, passive aggressive — silent, not saying a word instead waiting to unleash it all on me in a violent rage when its convenient for her, which I have come to see is a pattern of unleashing rage when she needs to shift to victim mode which then in her mind evidently washes free from her all of what she has done to-date and projects it all onto me and vents HORRIFIC RAGE at me instead of at her herself. How convenient and “loving” that is. And I am supposed to just take it. The mental health care providers and even much of the content online or in books is all centered on how we, an abuse victim(s), must be patient and understanding and supportive and blah blah blah yet zero regard for the absolute hell that we are forced to endure. It is such an evil, despicable set of traits. Some of what is done is clearly intentional — she KNOWS what she is doing/ makes that choice cognitively, it is rather obvious at such times it’s a choice. At other times its seemingly a psychotic episode, a true mental illness not a behavioral matter. BUT HERE IS THE DEAL (FOR YOU BORDERLINES WHO CONDEMN US WHO ARE YOUR TARGETS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT BY A BPD PERSON) — it’s irrelevant whether or not the nightmare is a choice (behavior/ attitude) or an illness that isn’t a matter of choice. The outcome is the same either way and for victims subjected to this egregious abuse it’s the outcome that has 100% attention not the causes. The issue of causes is a matter of concern for only the BPD person and their psychiatrist/ psychologist, who must figure it out. Again, the cause as well as whether or not x actions is a choice or a mental illness is 100% irrelevant to us who are true victims subjected to abuse by those with BPD. After all, the outcome is abuse and when those with BPF minimize it they are invalidating what they themselves are doing and that is adding on even more abuse. Furthermore, in our society and in healthcare especially, which is my field, status quo practices and policies are furthering the abuse being suffered by both those with mental illness and their loved ones. One more thing … looking back to when I met/ involved my self with the person who is now my wife, I see how I got hooked in; what a fool I was. Believed all of her stories of how others had taken advantage of and used her and her expert victim playing, the poor me, help me, protect me, pity me, all of it worked, triggered my protective instincts and as a personal coach at the time, feel right into that mode and now can’t help but see it as a con game, pure manipulation and control. Same patterns she uses with me. And how does one exit such a relationship? She is not stable and acts out in despicable ways to retaliate and get revenge for even nonissues! So my God what the hell is she capable of doing when the issue is asking for a divorce? Frankly, I fear her and that is not healthy nor fun to feel that kind of fear 24-7.

  55. After reading the comments on here, I am pretty confused. My girlfriend has BPD and she is very hurtful, not physically, but mentally and spiritually. She has very low self esteem and she blames me all the time for her not feeling wanted, she constantly needs child like reasurance that my intentions towards her are true. She sets me impossible tasks, and cuts me dead if i dont meet them, she asks impossible questions that i cant answer, tells me she loves me one minute then tells me there is no point in us the next, ive fought for 2 years to get her the help she needs within the mental health sector, and now she has it, she uses the appointments to try and control me, saying she wont go because im not interested in her wellfare, when i took the NHS to case for not adhering to her needs. I am in a constant flux of hot and cold, charm and offensive, she sees no wrong in her behaviour, then the next minute says she wants to be well.
    My confusion arises when people say that in order to deal with her i must compromise my own morals and standards, let her take her frustration and anger out on my and just ignore it as she probably doenst mean it. Be consistant and dont rise to the occassion. The way she behaves, meaning or not is in the eyes of the law abusive. the behaviour of a person living with BPD is demening for the person who loves them, i love my girl so much, and the glimpses of the person i know she is are overshadowed by the monster that rears when the void she can not fill by over eating, or over spending becomes the challange that can only be filled by a torrent of abuse and hurt that she feels she must appologise for later….
    i am under no illusion that the pain felt by my girl is huge, and that even as she is saying the things she does, or cutting me dead saying she no longer loves me and she is leaving and i can shove christmas as far up as i can get it, she probably regrets as soon as it comes out of her mouth, but when do the caregivers and people who genuinly love someone with BPD get the recognition that we are in fact living in abusive relationships. if somone was hitting me i would be told to leave or press charges, but because she has BDP i must be patient and kind, turn the other cheek, its often too hard.
    i have the utmost respect for anyone brave enough to step over the boarder line and get the help they need, and i hope that everyone needing it doenst have to wait as long as my girl did….
    venting here makes me no different to her, but my comments are not aimed to hurt or demorolise or degrade anyone not ever her,
    but im giving in more and more with every challange, im not strong enough to be with this and i feel my influence though laced with good intention is not healthy.
    she is the love of my life, but i can not take one more suicide attempt, one more barrage of insults or whats more the cold heart that she knows hurts me more than anything else.
    Im disappointed in myself that i wasnt enough.
    im sure with time we will both heal
    my advice would be, if you can live with this then congratulations, if not get out so as not to hurt each other
    i am emotionally drained, ive got nothing left in the bank to offer her any more……

    • I’m a man married to a BPD woman. I truly do feel for you. Know you are NOT alone. Know you are NOT the one triggering or causing these incidents. It is her and her BPD. As a victim myself I do not advocate sacrificing your morals and values! Your needs and best interests independent of hers are equal to her needs and best interests independent of you. Meaning, BOTH persons have needs and best interests. One doesn’t hold more value for one’s own needs and disregard the others’ — that’s what Borderlines are about, but you cannot give into it because that is only enabling/ predisposing and perpetuating the Borderline traits. Trust me: no matter what you do it will not ever be enough to satisfy or please your Borderline lover. So hold onto your needs and values and enforce them as the boundaries they are. If you are not use to this term “boundaries” think of it like a border, such as the borders of the U.S. — there are checkpoints and border patrol guards at our borders for a reason: to prevent unauthorized access. Well your own boundaries with a Borderline work in the same fashion: protecting your values and needs; setting limits for what you will accept or tolerate. You must set and more importantly, hold to your boundaries. Not set them then allow the Borderline to crash on through. They will do this and will lay on the charm and other con games to get you to sacrifice yourself to serve them, but you must not. When known boundaries are violated that too is abuse and neglect.

    • You aren’t married and you have no children
      As far as I’ve deciphered. My advice to
      you, coming from 10 years and 2 kids, is
      to save yourself. Get out while it’s not as

  56. Lovely to see people who have chosen to be around people with BPD blame the person with BPD for hurting them over and over again. I don’t have BPD and but have met people who do, and my impression has always been that those who get hooked on people like this are mentally ill themselves. That isn’t a criticism, I also had mental illness (ED, anxiety, depression etc.) and suffer form similar attachment issues to someone with BPD to a much lesser severity. But knowing the pain of those attachment issues I can relate to them and understand the escalation process.

    The more you blame the person with BPD the more angry they will get because they already blame themselves. If you can’t cope, walk away, don’t blame them for being them if you’re going to keep yourself in the situation. If you want them to take responsibility, you’re also going to have to take responsibility.

    Equally, it is much easier for someone like me, with much milder attachment problems, to take responsibility for them and take action because they are manageable and infrequent (I’ve only twice in my life felt completely controlled by my emotions, and it was horrific and painful, but when the second time demonstrated it wasn’t just the situation it was something in me I took action). If you felt like that all the time it would be unbearable to face and it would feel overwhelming. So compassion from both sides maybe?

    • Anon, it starts with compassion – on one side. Lots and lots and lots of it. That’s part of what sucks people into these relationships.

      There is no compassion, however, from the other side. It doesn’t take long for the behaviors shown by someone with bpd to kill the compassion. If you read the comments, you’d see: even here, it’s all about them.

      If you haven’t experienced it, you don’t get it. It is truly crazy-making.

  57. It is indeed wonderful that we have such articles to help us cope with and live peacefully with someone that has BPD or any other mental illness however I do believe that the authors of such articles should also remind readers that these articles are not diagnostic tools and that they are not qualified (if they do not have a psychology or psychiatry degree) to diagnose someone with any mental illness whatsoever since those who are diagnosing can suffer a lot from it.

    I have been having anxiety problems and had a massive argument with a friend of mine once. The next day I called that friend up and apologised (even though I did not agree to what they said) because I cared for that friend and I did not want the friendship to end because of an argument. The day after that he sent me links about BPD and “diagnosing” me with it and telling me I should seek help. We are both bachelor students of a science major mind you. He also sent links like this to my fiancé and friends warning him to protect themselves from me. I was very hurt and I started doubting myself so much that I did visit a psychiatrist believing that I might have BPD. Turned put of course I didn’t and was just dealing with a lot of anxiety. Though my image between my friends has already been ruined and I am yet struggling to build my image back.

    To conclude: If you are worried about a certain somebody let the professionals diagnose and decide what is wrong with them. Try to politely ask them to visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist for help. Do not diagnose them yourself and certainly do not spread your idea to their friends and family.

  58. It is indeed wonderful that we have such articles to understand and manage people we care about that happen to be dealing with a mental illness or that are dealing with one themselves. I, myself have been dealing with anxiety issues and I have friends who are dealing with depression. However, as a suggestion, I would like add that perhaps it is best if the articles here do remind the readers without the necessary degree that these are not diagnostic tools as I was diagnosed with BPD by a friend who does not hold a degree in psychology or psychiatry and notified my fiancé and friends without consulting a professional. I visited a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with anxiety rather than BPD although my image has already been ruined. Please not that I am not attacking anyone here, the author or another otherwise. my heart goes out to those dealing with this illness and their caregivers. You are strong people and my comment is a suggestion. Thank you.

  59. What people need to remeber is there is over 300 different combinations of bpd, meaning that whilst sufferers may meet the same diagnosis, they do not behave the same way.

    As a BPD sufferer, when i have angry outbursts they are in private and the anger is only directed at myself. I suffer from Anorexia as well, and it kills me when I watch my family worry about me making me feel like a monster.

    Most of us with Bpd do actually have feelings and care about those we live. Not all of us feel like the world owes us. People need to have some empathy.

  60. The 180 my wife pulled on me seemed so
    outrageous I thought it a fluke of some
    sort. Totally blindsided me .You victims
    out there already know the details. The
    behavior started in preparation of our
    wedding.It never stopped after that.
    I assumed it was just a premarital
    freak out . I got sucked in to the fight
    but it didn’t take long to realize I was
    up against something else. Went to
    seek professional help and yielded
    no fruit. Tried working it out. Things
    seemed even worse. We had 2 children
    despite all this as I remained optimistic
    things could change. They have not.
    We’ve been married 10 years. I’m tired
    And my kids are now being affected .She
    seems unwilling to get the help she needs
    and blames me for most everything. I feel
    now more then ever it’s time to go. It’s
    my opinion the kids , ages 2 and 5 will be
    better off in that by staying I am only
    perpetuating the crazy. Everyone says
    get out. What can I expect to happen
    when I do.

    • I kicked her out after 8 years, we have a five year old daughter.
      Your question, what will happen if you seperate:
      You can expect to have problems regarding your children, she will use them as a power tool. Don’t be sure that you get the childeren, my expartner was even attacking the child and still it’s with her now.
      You can expect having a hard time for some months, because this crazyness will not stop in your head at once. You had to think for years about her to try to “understand” and live somehow with this behavior. So it will take time to get your mind back to yourself but it will happen.
      You can expect to miss the time when your Family was still together. Also when you have some energy back because the daily abuse has stopped you will wonder if it really was that bad and if it wouldnt have been possible to go on with the relationship if you really tried harder. But don’t be stupid the outbursts were real you didn’t dream them and the feelings of beeing hurt were also real and would always be.
      After you’re mind is not consumed with this person anymore you will feel some kind of relief. You recognize that you have yout life back. That’s not a sensational feeling but you have a chance of luck in the future. If you stay with your borderline Partner you know exacty what your future will look like: The same nightmare you had the last yaers in exactly the same manner.

  61. I have been recently diagnosed with BPD. I can tell that nearly everyone one here that has commented have not done their research. And have only experienced BPD from the the outside looking in. I can tell you all one thing WE CARE. I understand that I hurt the one close to me, but it’s not my intention. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just can’t simply control my behavior. So please don’t comment on this unless you HAVE BPD and know HOW IT FEELS.

    • I don’t have BPD, but my boyfriend does. I think the main reason that our relationship has lasted as long as it has (2 years so far, I know it doesn’t seem like a long time for most people, but I like to think that for those who have to deal with everything BPD involves, its a big deal) is my understanding of him. He has told me several times that the thing he hates most about his issue is how it effects other people. He tries so hard to keep it hidden from them and to keep people at a distance because he fears hurting them. He has broken up with me a few times, stating that he does not want to ruin my life, doesn’t want to hurt me. I only recently found out that BPD was even a thing, and finding out about it helps a lot, as I now know how to answer some of the questions we previously didn’t know the answers to. I know I’ve helped him a lot, and continue to help him just by being there for him and being someone he can openly up to safely, without fear of judgement, and because of that, I will continue to be there for him, no matter what. He shouldn’t have to be alone. Even with his BPD, he’s a wonderful person and I do my best to constantly remind him of that. If there’s such a thing as karma, let me be his.

  62. My wife has several signs of BPD. She has been in therapy for over a year and a half. She also has anxiety and depression. She has a ton of friends and doesn’t push them away, but she pushes me away all of the time. Last night she asked for a divorce because she will never be happy and I appear to be unhappy. Her behavior has caused me to seek therapy for my anxiety, yet most of my therapy session is spent speaking about her. Do I love her, yes. Can I see myself going through the next 40 years of yelling, screaming, isolating, manipulating, and self-mutilation? After the past 3 years I don’t think so anymore. Ever since we got engaged things went downhill. She has always been a “dirty” person – doesn’t pick up after herself, poor hygiene, and just leaves everything for me to do. I have asked her for help around the house…she says I am complaining… Last night she said she wants to be alone and live in a dirty apartment and not worry about anything. Marriage counseling has been suggested in the past…but now I don’t know if I even want to try anymore. I feel drained and empty.

    • It is the same thing over and over
      Isn’t it . My wife makes messes just to see
      if I’ll clean them up. It’s a freakish control
      method. I’m not Frlix Unger but I like my
      house clean. I’ve tried leaving the mess
      but that just makes me even crazier . Frustrated
      husband do you have kids? If not then get
      out now while it’s not as complicated

  63. My wife suffers from BPD and it cause a lot of friction in our union. It is nice to read the comments from people who have opened up about their ailments. I learned SO MUCH from your comments and doing some in-depth research on this affliction.

    I’ve known of BPD and her condition for a long time, but I never took the time to read on the issues. There are times when she can burst into a profanity-laced tirade, and then there are moments when she can be crying as if she were at a funeral. I do walk on eggshells from time to time. I fear the reaction I’ll get if I say or do anything contrary to what she wants. This isn’t a daily ritual, but it does happen with a degree of frequency.

    She is fully aware of her condition. She doesn’t try to hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist. This has been a lifelong issue. She’s made progress, but she still has a quick temper and will spit all types of words when enraged.

    I will try to apply a lot of you guys’ comments when dealing with these issues. If you have any additional tips, please pass them along.

  64. My bpd daughter is now 25 and pregnant. For the first 2mths of pregnancy she appeared calm and considerate for the first time that I can remember but then she reverted to her previous bpd pattern of behaviour. Her partner is now the focus of most of her abusive out bursts. I am worried yet again for the future and wonder how she will be when the child is born. Myself and her 3 siblings have been spared the excesses of her abuse and manipulation since she began this relationship two years ago.
    She has a good job and appears to have good working relationships. Although I suspect they are manipulative as she is very ambitious. The partner she has chosen is also about furthering her career. He has remained loyal and supportive and has tolerated her outbursts. He has his own issues as at 30 he had not had a previous relationship – I suspect he has Aspergers. I wonder if this will help him cope with her bpd.
    We all hope for the best as I have never seen her be cruel to children or animals.
    Maybe she will find a maternal instinct and hopefully her outbursts will start to subside
    Selfishly I’m glad that she has stopped her constant abuse of me at the moment.
    Although she has threatened to have an abortion at 2mths. This is typical of her emotional roller coaster behaviour and designed to upset those closest to her.
    I have read that the symptoms of borderline’s diminish with age. I live in hope
    Let me add I have great sympathy and indeed empathy for all those in close relationships with Bpd. You cannot protect yourself for you love them. Whether they love you in return is not clear. I suspect they want you to stay but are somehow stifled by your presence preferring the company of those who are indifferent to them.

  65. I went to therapy for years and never got a diagnosis. When doctors wanted me to participate in their [taxpayer-funded] experiment I had to provide my informed consent as the law requires nowadays. That was when I learned of my diagnosis and BPD, at age 31. Many are reluctant to diagnose mental illness in teenagers but that would have been helpful. Also, many professionals are unwilling to discuss diagnosis or prognosis but that’s what the patient needs the most. Imagine seeing an oncologist unwilling to discuss cancer.

    But that was 30 years ago, many jobs ago, many apartments ago, and many moves ago. That may be an important defense mechanism, that is, just flush the past down the toilet and move on. I’m so poor at maintaining relationships its better not to be reminded of how many times I’ve failed.

    I can’t stand being alone and I can’t stand being around people. In recent months, it seems like isolation may be one key to stability. If I can go days without seeing or talking to anyone I sleep much more restfully. Without the daily ups and downs of social life I can regulate moods a little better. Since I’m never going to have a stable, healthy, adult relationship, it makes some sense to avoid relationships altogether.

    Of course, a life in isolation is no life at all. It’s more like clock-watching or counting the days until I die. But my sleep has improved and that’s what I’ve missed the most, sleep as respite from unpleasant mood swings.

    Many claim there’s always help to be found. Not really. When I was young, maybe, but now, most professionals hear my diagnosis and case history and want nothing to do with me. Strange how the mental health profession doesn’t want to deal with troubled individuals. What help is offered is expensive or out of reach. DBT requires a “treatment team” of 3 or 4 therapists. Not many people can afford that. Other therapies rely on professionals that are trained, talented, and willing to provide therapy. Those individuals are few.

    It is a long and winding road and it gets narrower every year. Options become fewer and more limiting. I’ve often thought about becoming an advocate and promoting understanding and treatment.

    But the greatest impediment to treatment is religion. Not just one religion but all religion, all spirituality, and all supernatural beliefs. Many still consider mental illness to be a spiritual illness and the some treatment offered is spiritual counseling. And many consider mental illness to be a moral failing or personal defect, that is, the patients brought this on themselves.

    So that’s where I stand, alone.
    It’s not a friendly place and it’s not comforting.
    But it does avoid the frustration of attempting to live in a world of people that refuse to understand me and a world full of therapists that refuse to treat me.

  66. As a parent with a bipolar child with possible BPD comorrbidity I’m struggling to keep our family in tact. Our lives are very much reflected in the many blogs posted. Siblings without empathy toward the BPD. Lines drawn, refusals to be together for holidays or events. Dialogue of blame and shame. Horrible words of hate and mistrust. I’ve tried to suggest individual research on how they can help themselves deal with their sibling. They want me to Fix them. set them straight. Etcetera etcetera. When I don’t I’m called an enabler. All this back and forth on this blog of I’m right, your wrong and run their ruining my life is my my family. Isn’t that sad. 15 years of their 28 with therapists and family councelling has been extremely expensive and not much help. They’re all adults now and continue to regress.

  67. Here’s a thought…BPD is a mental ILLNESS(a chemical imbalance in the brain).There are people in this forum and in the world that say ” grow up” or, “go f’yourself ” or “let them REAP THEIR CONSEQUENCES “…etc. Would you say these things to someone with cancer or diabetes? Why is a mental illness DIFFERENT? Do u think people ASK for BPD ? People have all kinds of compassion for ANY OTHER disease EXCEPT MENTAL ILLNESS (and now we’re talking about BORDERLINE) . AND yes, I know what I’m talking about.Mental Health Worker 30years.

  68. I don’t deserve my husband. He was one of my closest friends growing up, always a good listener. He watched me suffer as a teen into my adult life. I feel like he got the worst out of this relationship. I often wonder what his life would’ve been like if I hadn’t been in it. I find myself feeling guilty that I am likely the reason he is unhappy, real or imagined. I can’t keep a job or even keep up with my appointments. I’m a curse to him and his well being,but he keeps on trucking because he cares so much. It’s crazy how sexual and physical abuse as a kid can muck up your entire life. If you live with someone with BPD, just remember that they love you and appreciate you, no matter how awful they can be.

  69. Wow! I always wondered what drove my ex wife to do the things she did. This was an eye opener to me. She has all the issues with BPD. She’s been to therapy for two years but I’ve never heard her mention BPD to me. I’m assuming her therapists talk to her about it. They never used that term with me when I spoke with them. She alienated people right and left. She told me loved me and then would turn around and berate me. She alienated my kids and her friends. Always would say derogatory terms things about them and never could understand why they would get mad at her. It was always someone else’s fault. I could not stand it anymore. After 8 years of marriage, I filed for divorce. Everything I’ve read on this blog doesn’t give me any confidence that it would get better with people that have this illness. Frankly,I’m happier now and sleep better than I have in 8 years. But, I’m scared to ever get involved in another relationship. Deep scars. Good luck to anyone that stays with someone that has BPD. If you have, I would like to know how it has worked out. Does it get better? Thanks. Papa J

  70. Some of these comments are confusing BPD with Narcissistic personally, been around both of them…

  71. This article is complete bullshit. “there’s stigma surrounding BPD” …Well I WONDER WHY with stuff like this getting published. When you have an illness and are basically told you will never improve/it is unlikely, it hurts. It’s hopeless. I don’t feel human. Compounding that fact, a lot of us with BPD think we are worthless or even hate ourselves anyway. Want proof? 75% of us self-injure. No, that’s not always the exact cause of injuring, but when you feel like you are burning alive, sometimes that’s what it takes to fix it. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve said sorry. My current bf says I apologize too much, and the truth is that I no longer trust myself to know when I’m doing something wrong or not, so I just apologize for everything.

    And the parents who say they can’t stand their child with BPD? I’m sorry, you are the true monster. You try growing up BPD. some of us don’t even make it. You know what? your kids would probably be better off without you. Here’s a thought–try treating them as an equal, a friend, a human.

  72. Emotional rollercoaster isn’t the word. It’s a living hell. I have started reading up on this and it describes my wife to a t. Drugs,promicuous sex, unable to manage money, credit card debt, impulsivity, anger, one minute hates you but won’t let you leave, no cutting but she digs holes in her tongue. Now she has temporary custody of kids. She has manipulated many people including myself. I am working on getting kids in my care. Honestly don’t know what to do for her but get my kids and self away from her. Can people like this actually be dangerous. She has threatened poison and burning house down many times. Any suggestions?

  73. I’ve been diagnosed with BPD, and it has become the focus for my spouse to blame me for everything and then, when I try to explain, to say “that’s typical of BPD.” My spouse also has BPD but has lied to psychiatrists to keep from getting that diagnosis. Spouse has ALL the signs, and I only have some. BUT it is all my fault. Spouse comes to these sorts of sites and reads all this and then uses it against me. In my case, at least,these support sites are making my life worse.

  74. I had a 12 year long friendship with a young woman who plainly had BPD , but I was of course not aware of that at the time (1974-1986) We shared an apartment for a year (1976) and during that time I experienced her rages and violence (throwing things, punching me) plus provocations both of a sexual and non-sexual nature. It was living hell and I did not help by taking everything personally. A few months after I moved out, she wanted to see me, and was as sweet and kind as when I first met her. So we remained friends. From this point on, there were no more rages, violence or provocations, though I did see her horribly depressed, drunk, and in panic mode from time to time. We could talk like normal people, without me walking on eggshells. She trusted me, respected me and said she loved and admired me. It was though I went through some kind of test and passed. Is this gaining of trust, even in an abusive relationship, something that happens with BDP sufferers? Was it because I was there for her regardless of her hostile actions, and at no time thrust her out of my life?

  75. I’m pretty sure my best friend of 15 years has BPD. She is extremely negative, and finds fault with the most insignificant comments I make. It’s almost as if she sees things I say or do to be a direct insult of her or her life (even if the comments have nothing to do with her! For example, it could be a comment about current events and she would read into it to make it about herself) She hates all of her friends’ partners, and hated my husband within the first 5 minutes of meeting him. (9 years later she insists she liked him) It seems that she wants everyone around her to be unhappy, or at least, as unhappy as she. Most of her life has been characterized by dysfunctional relationships with co-workers, teachers, bosses, friends, relatives, etc. In the last 10 years around 6 people have broken off friendships with her and she has not had a boyfriend in over 10 years. She insistently states that she ‘hates all people’ and tends to isolate herself by living alone and not seeking out any sort of social life. It’s almost like she willfully sabotages her relationships but can’t see that she’s doing it. In her head, most people are against her, including her closest friends and parents and actions people take to improve their own lives (like getting a new job) directly offend her. (this sounds crazy but it’s difficult to explain. It’s almost like she not only can’t be happy for others, but actually sees people’s success as a direct affront to her). She has a longstanding grievance against her mother for things her mother did to her when she was a child (like giving her time outs). I’ve tried to explain some of this to her when she’s been confused as to why she can’t find a boyfriend or why a friend has ‘broken up’ with her but she just won’t accept it. She has even said she thinks she’s ‘too nice.’ Don’t get me wrong, there are times when she can be very nice. She’s extremely intelligent and witty and in the past, has done some very nice things for me, but being friends with her is like walking on eggshells. You have to accept that she will mostly treat you like crap and not want the best for you. She’s been in and out of therapy, used to cut, sexually promiscuous etc. No therapist has really been able to help and she often has even a contentious relationship with therapists. Does anyone have experience with this?

  76. I was diagnosed with BPD when I was 14, I am currently 19 and have a 2month old daughter with a childhood friend. We have been together for a year now and idk what’s wrong with me but I feel really lost and down. Things aren’t the same between us. I still love him but I get frequent mood swings and I lash out alot. I’m not sure what to do anymore. On top of my anger issues and feeling sad all the time, I’m bisexual and have had thoughts of being with women. What do I do? I’m not the same anymore. I’m not hardly ever and I get really bad mood swings. I’m so confused I wanna cry :'(

  77. Borderline Personality Disorder is the most difficult to understand and diagnose mental illnesses. As a consequence there is little awareness of its existence in the general public. If there were greater awareness, more resources would be brought to the table to help these people. I believe the biggest problem is its name. “Borderline” means nothing in helping us understand the condition. I have proposed that we change the name to Faultfinding Personality Disorder based on the most important diagnostic criterion – chronic finding of fault with themselves and others due to their black-and-white thinking which leads to disturbed interpersonal relationships. To back this up I wrote the book “Faultfinders: The impact of borderline personality disorder.” I explained the condition using examples of numerous famous people to make the symptoms memorable. I would be interested to hear what others think about a possible name change.



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