Q: I’m married to a person who has BPD (borderline personality disorder) and I need some coping skill ideas. Help! I am trying to understand it and all I get is frustrated especially when he is manic. Is there any hope? I constantly get blamed for everything and I just don’t know what to do. Should I go see a counselor or are there support groups out there? I would appreciate any help.

A: Loving someone with BPD can be awild ride. One day you are his everything. The next, you can’t do anything right. The changes in mood, opinion, and treatment are rarely due to anything you really did or said. It’s like the old nursery rhyme: “When it’s good, it’s very good and when it’s bad, it’s horrid.”

The first thing you need to do is get an education. Go on line and take a look at sites that provide support for people who care about people with BPD. Your primary care physician might be able to give you information about support groups in your area. If your partner is in treatment, ask him if you can attend a session or two. He and his therapist may be able to help the two of you work together to help him – and you – cope when he’s struggling. Finally, you might find it helpful to have a counselor of your own. Marriage to someone with BPD is very, very challenging. You love your husband but the strain of living with him can be overwhelming. Feelings of sympathy war with feelings of frustration, anger and guilt. A counselor can help you sort through your feelings and decide what you want to do.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie