It can be a real struggle to be in any type of relationship with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This type of disorder makes it hard for that person to handle their emotions and behavior which can cause them to behave in impulsive, irrational ways. It is important that if you want to continue your relationship with someone who has BPD, be patient with that person and find better ways of communication to better help that person get into treatment.
People with BPD have trouble have close relationships with others. It can involve them having wild mood swings, angry outbursts, fears of abandonment, and make impulsive decisions. They can either really like you one moment to really hating you the next. It is important to keep in mind that the actions your loved one takes are not about you. They are suffering deep inside and do not know how to handle them. You can either leave the relationship if you feel it is too hard for you to handle or you can try to show that person how to better regulate their emotions. You know if your loved one has BPD if you feel you have to tiptoe around their feelings because you are afraid of how they will react. It can also mean that they have extreme emotional shifts, feel you are either all good or all bad, feel like everything is your fault, and feel a constant manipulation by fear, guilt, and outrageous behavior.
There are many who will try to ignore these behaviors of their loved ones in hoping that it is just a phase or a part of themselves that they cannot change. Ignoring the problem or being in denial will not make the problem go away or persuade that person to get help. If you choose to stay with that person, you need to change the workings of your relationship. First, you can do your own research about BPD so that you can better understand the behaviors of your loved one and why they say or do what they do. This will better assure you that your loved one has a mental disorder that cannot be fixed on its own.
You need to take care of yourself instead of being scared of what will happen if you are away from that person. If you put in all of your energy in taking care of your loved one, you will end up resenting that person and feeling burnt out. Do not isolate yourself in front of your peers but spend plenty of time with them. These people can help destress you and may be able to help you when struggling with that someone with BPD. You should also join a support for people who know those with BPD so that you can share your experiences and seek advice on what to do when times get tough. If you cannot find a group near you, find an online community where you can get advice from a number of sources. Taking care of yourself also involves eating right, getting good quality of sleep, and exercising.
If you and the person with BPD get into a quarrel, set aside some time when both of you are calm to continue talking to each other. If you try to be defensive and attack that person back, it may only fuel more anger. It may be hard to get past what that person says to you if they are being offensive and hurtful towards you but try your hardest to listen to that person. Do not interrupt and listen attentively. Try to hear the emotion behind those words instead of solely the context. If that person still refuses to behave, just walk away and come back when that person has cooled down. You can try distracting that person to calm them down like playing soothing music, paint, pet your dog or cat, etc. When the two of you talk, try not to talk so much about that person’s disorder as that should not be all there is to the relationship. Try to discuss lighter subjects to make you both laugh and smile.
It is also important for the both of you to set some boundaries of what is considered appropriate and inappropriate behavior. It can be certain words they use towards you, any actions they take, methods they use to get you to stay, etc. This will help bring trust and respect to your relationship. It is best to establish those boundaries when both of you have calmed down. Think of ways to help those person self-soothe like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. If you are both still having problems, you should go to either couple’s therapy or family therapy. If that person is in denial that they have BPD, focus on fixing your relationship during these family sessions to learn how to better communicate with each other and bring love back into the relationship.
There are many therapies that someone with BPD can use like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which will teach you how to focus on present emotions. That person will learn how to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and help improve relationships. Transference-focused therapy helps understand your emotions and everyday struggles. Find a way to make this relationship work for the both of you as best as you can and have patience and understanding with each other.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888 570 7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.