Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Well Being' started by Patorick, Feb 20, 2017.
I have no doubt I am suffering from this, I thought I could fight it myself if I could shut out the emotions that make me feel the way I do but I am done hurting the people closest to me as a result of the way I am and that's the ultimate reason I am going to a doctor today to seek help.
I've been reading all of your posts Pat and you're an inspiration to me with everything you've said not only about yourself but also about the personality disorder.
Only one person around me knows about my mental sickness and the reason she knows is because of how badly I treated her and for the most part I had zero idea I was even doing it, that's the hardest thing to explain to someone. That I manipulated and hurt her and it was never ever my intention.
Keep up the good work mate.
What kind of partner is best for someone with borderline personality disorder?
Answered by Sam Kerr 8/2/2020
I have been in a relationship with a partner that has BPD and from that experience continued to learn how to make that relationship work so both parties feel heard, understood, validated and valued. This is what I have learned and continue to learn:
Number 1: A partner who is aware of their partner’s BPD.
If they are not aware, they cannot understand fully and you and your partner will go around in circles. Both of your emotional supply will be depleted and it will only grow you further apart.
Number 2: Open communication and trust.
I find in this type of relationship dynamic, open communication is essential. An open forum built with a solid footing of trust between both parties is important so the person with BPD feels like they are not being judged for having feelings that are natural to them. This can also be said for the partner w/o BPD. They have feelings that are unnatural to the person with BPD as well. These differing emotions and feelings can easily be tossed aside by other party, creating distance and resentment. No emotion is too small to be communicated. This makes the space smaller and creates a strong secure space of trust between partners.
Number 3: Patience.
This is for both parties. I was guilty of taking everything personally that was directed toward me from my partner. I was too inside myself to understand the bigger picture. I would go on defense mode, feeling as though I was being attacked for having good intentions. Instead of being patient and actually hearing what my partner was saying, I would go on hardcore D-FENSE, protecting my pride and ego with every response. This is counterproductive and will only escalate the situation. Listen with love, but also set a boundary. If the argument begins to switch and sound harsh or on the lines of abusive, a boundary must be set. If the boundary is not set, it will only enable the partner with BPD and you won’t helping anyone. In fact, you will be damaging the progress you both are making.
An example of a boundary in this situation would be: Explaining to your partner with BPD that you need X minutes of space away to collect your thoughts and calm down. Ensure you are in the house or just going for a walk around the block. You don’t want to make them feel abandoned, but you also need to set a boundary that the behavior toward you is not ok and hurtful. Explain softly, but firmly that you want the conversation to continue, but only when you have a calm and rational state of mind. The partner with BPD has to accept this moment of space from the partner. The partner should let their partner with BPD know in a caring way, I need X amount of time to recharge, but I promise you we will continue our conversation because it is important for both of us to be on the same page.
This really is a collective effort for both the pwbpd and their partner.
Number 4: Validation.
When you see and feel your partner trying and putting in the work until their eyes grow tired and they have grown weak from being their heads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, acknowledge the work they are doing. Acknowledge their accomplishments, big or small. This is really the same as any other healthy relationship. However, there are always boundaries on the amount of praise and validation. A pwbpd will require more validation. Provide that for them, but in a healthy way. Always ensure you communicate if your needs are not being met and look for ways together to ensure the support stays in balance. Always take care of yourself as well. If you are not healthy, your relationship will reflect that.
Those, in my experience, are the most essential. At the time, I did not know about the BPD. I made a lot of mistakes. Being educated and putting love first before any ignorant negative stigmas is what sets the stage for an amazing type of shared intimacy, trust and companionship that follows.
If you love this person with all of your heart and they love you with all of theirs, it is a choice you both make. You leave, or you do the work together and both stay. Yes, your partner has BPD; So what? If you see value in this person and feel the love and see a life to build together, you both communicate and decide on an action plan. When someone gets triggered, it is an equal effort to work together and communicate through those times. A partner can not enable or try and fix the problem for the person BPD (this was my mistake early on). However, it is their responsibility to stay aware and do what is best for that moment without enabling. Each situation will be different and could look like drawing a boundary, listening and hearing what they are saying, not being dismissive, remaining patient and understanding and non-judgmental. Pretty much what everyone wants and needs in a healthy relationship. In this type of relationship you just have to be more aware and patient.
This has been learned by me, because I want nothing more than to understand what my partner is going through. In learning about BPD, I also learned how much I needed to focus and strengthen my relationship skills and work to eliminate some past traits of codependency I had lingering. I wanted two things: to grow as an individual and educate myself and learn to be a better partner for the one I love the most.
Trust you’re on the right path and things are looking up for you. All the very best mate.
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