People can surprise us, if we give 'em a chance. Assuming to KNOW what another will say or do in response to us, is what most often kills intimacy between two people... plus, it's usually our PROJECTION onto them, of how we'd react under similar circumstances or stressors.
If you really think you KNOW your spouse or life partner so well that you can anticipate precisely how they'll respond or react to a given stimuli, you have not allowed for their development. It's like you’ve chiseled their inner-life in stone, and presumed there's no wiggle-room for them to BE any different from what and how you’ve decided they are. Parents often do this with their grown children, too!
Can a mutual re-discovery process with your partner EVER happen under these conditions?? Absolutely not. Can the relationship dynamic grow, deepen and expand? Never… but there are caveats.
The greatest, most disconcerting challenge we face in our relationship with a BPD partner, is we presume to "know" how they’ll react, before they even think of doing it. It's kinda like growing up with a parent who believes they can anticipate our every move. Sometimes they can, and maybe sometimes they can’t~ because we are not their clone. We came into this lifetime with our own wisdom, truths and personality facets, separate from theirs.
We've become conditioned to expect a very narrowly defined set of responses and reactions from an emotionally underdeveloped partner, because on some level we've gone thru identical experiences with them over and over again, and how can we hope for something different?
This is NOT the salient issue we face in our relationship with an impaired partner, friends. What IS the issue, is what kinds of underlying concerns have caused us to feel okay about raising an extra child in our household, while expecting them to perform adult tasks and respond to us rationally, logically and empathically?
You are always in the driver's seat with your kids. They have to obey your rules, or face punishment of some kind. Ideally, you raise them with healthy boundaries and a sense of right and wrong. Does it make sense to stay with someone who'll never developmentally outgrow their NEED for these guidelines??
I guess it depends a lot on how broad your threshold for frustration, loneliness and chaos is, and how deep your need for 'control' over others happens to be. Might you be willing to surrender this control aspect in you, that keeps you choosing partners who cannot meet your intrinsic adult needs for intimacy and connection, and whom you get to feel dominion over?
If so, what might it feel like for you, to be with a partner who is your equal in skill, intelligence, capability and versatility? CAN you feel emotionally safe and secure within a bond to someone who merely desires and WANTS you, but doesn’t NEED you?? Let your imagination try this on for a moment, and see what feelings come up from deep inside you. Are you experiencing the tiniest bit of worry or anxiety?
What we have in this lifetime, is what we’ve orchestrated. There are intricate reasons that exist for every choice we make in life~ and most of ‘em are driven by the Subconscious Mind. Having Entitlement Issues literally means, we do not feel worthy or deserving of receiving what we want and need.
A client approached me recently with a request. It never occurred to him, I’d be open to amending our initial working paradigm. Not only is this black and white thinking (that allows for no grey area or amendments to the status quo), it presumes he has no template (so far) for anyone understanding or relating to his needs, and being responsive to them. Sadly, this describes most people, during the course of my personal and professional life experiences.
Problems this mindset catalyzes are numerous~ but let’s keep it simple for now: One never feels truly safe in his world. He doesn’t anticipate nor hope for intimate relationships working out well. He’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop (this is generalized Anxiety Disorder at work). He makes impulsive choices without giving thought to future contingencies that may arise. He may be prone to hyper-vigilance or hyper-preparedness, and crosses bridges before he gets to them, to try and assuage an element of surprise or shock that may be ahead, if he fails to envision every little catastrophe that ‘may’ occur. Often, there’s no viable spiritual center in the core of this being, in the sense of being able to fundamentally trust and feel protected from harm.
A lotta people say they “believe in God” ~ but very few have an ongoing, intimate connection with their (supposed) deity. God to them, is like a houseplant they occasionally water. It’s a one-way street relationship.
Most church-goers satisfy themselves with the notion they have a “higher connection,” but it takes place only once a week within a cathedral or temple. Even the notion of praying during times of great duress, offers no real comfort because our Entitlement Issues get in the way of our capacity to RECEIVE concern, care and nourishing attention to our needs.
Circling back to a BPD versus normal, healthy relationship dynamic, we NEVER have to “set boundaries” for someone who’s an emotionally whole, healthy adult! They are hyper-aware and respectful of their own boundaries, so they would never even consider violating yours! This capacity is commonly referred to as, Empathy.