These are just some quickie highlights culled from my articles, to help you navigate this difficult terrain you're on, without having to read through the more detailed pieces that are specifically intended to help save your life after loving a Borderline. While my materials can seem harsh, I do not hate Borderlines (I used to have several in my practice at any given time), but I don't tolerate oppression or abuse of any type, and neither should you! Think of this page as your 'Cliff Notes' on BPD.
The following material was written for individuals trying to recover from a relationship that's had toxic consequences for them, and is not intended as a support resource for Borderlines or anyone with BPD traits. If you suspect that you have these traits, please leave this website and redirect your attention to alternative web content, which might feel more congruent with your personal views and needs.
First of all, try to hold onto the fact that when you're feeling like you're going insane, you're not the crazy one, and this tormenting confusion you're experiencing is only temporary.
In the beginning, this was an 'Elation-ship' which felt glorious! When it started to become a Relationship (ie both parties getting their needs met) is when you began having problems--because while Borderlines can experience feelings of sympathy, they have no capacity for empathy. In short, they cannot relate to another's pain, inner experiences or needs.
Naturally, there are special qualities and characteristics this person has--and if they didn't, you wouldn't have stuck around as long as you did. You found yourself putting up with the painful, difficult times--and yearning hungrily for the pleasurable ones you glimpsed at the start. The problem is, you had to keep wading through so much horseshit to get to the good stuff or pony, it hardly seemed worth it.
It isn't the crazy, abusive parts of a Borderline that are the most injurious to you~ it's when they seem lucid and stable, even sweet~ and you wanna trust 'em again.
If a Borderline lets you see their vulnerable side (which they loathe) and you don't respond perfectly to it, they'll vilify you~ but the truth is, they've rejected this aspect in themselves, so rather than respond with hurt, they react with projection and rage (how dare You confirm that these parts of me are "unacceptable").
If you keep falling for BPD Waifs, there's a damned good chance you were raised by one!
With a BPD individual, you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop~ especially after the good, loving, really close/intimate times. You can't relax into those nourishing episodes, because your Borderline will inevitably pick a fight with you soon after. Because of these come-here/go-away periods and the fact you've developed an addiction to adrenaline (high-octane body fuel, which makes you feel alive) in childhood, you keep going back for more. So, whether he/she puts you in pain or pleasure, intense feelings are triggered, and without 'em you feel dead inside. This is the crux of your seemingly inescapable obsession with a Borderline.
If getting blitzed by a Borderline can happen to an emotionally over-cautious guy like Hugh Hefner, it can surely happen to you!
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Borderlines never marry for better or worse. They only marry for better.
You might feel excruciating shame and regret, as your Borderline throws herself into a rebound relationship, and leaves you behind. Your obsessive response to this, is acutely tied to self-worth issues you've been battling and compensating for, since childhood. Whether these boyhood difficulties are consciously held or not, they've actually enabled this woman to control and manipulate your self-image throughout this entire relationship. While this tormenting pain you're feeling is (in part) due to the scabs being ripped off some early esteem wounds, you must try to remember; the exact same patterns that you wrestled with during your relationship with this person, will be repeated with all other suitors. In other words, this broken doll you discarded, will not "miraculously" become normal/well with some other guy who pulls her out of the dumpster! Her disturbing, disruptive behaviors are associated with deeply entrenched survival mechanisms. Without very skilled intervention, she just can't help herself.
A Borderline will often hint at their feelings (like not feeling in the mood for sex, needing to leave the relationship, etc.), but the moment you confront their meaning directly, they'll accuse you of wanting out of it! They'll either rage at you or become the weepy, injured, "abandoned" party. You cannot reason with a Borderline, and make him/her see that it is they who initiated this upset~ but you must firmly state/confront their attempt to manipulate your feelings, and then take some time away--no matter how guilty he/she tries to make you feel.
The most dangerous element you share with a Borderline, is poor self-worth. If you truly liked and respected yourself, you wouldn't tolerate nor be involved with a damaged, self-sabotaging individual who's toxic and hurtful to you.
You'll be attracted to aspects in the Borderline, that are missing in yourself. If you're a fixer/rescuer, you'll be drawn to the fragile/vulnerable facets of The Waif. If you're meek/passive and afraid to assert yourself, you'll be drawn to The Witch. If you lack empowerment, and have discomfort/shyness around others because you feel unworthy, you'll admire The Queen. If your nature is outgoing/gregarious, but your family of origin didn't share this characteristic, or saw their world as a dangerous/scary place, you could find yourself inhibited (and limited) by The Hermit.
We are reflexively attracted to people who match our own level of emotional development. Birds of a feather flock together, and like attracts like. Learn, Heal and Grow~ and raise your bar.
All Borderlines try to control you. The Witch controls with intimidation and abuse. The Queen controls by making you feel inferior and defective. The Waif controls by shaming and guilting you. The Hermit controls by making you feel responsible for her survival, and inhibiting your freedom.
If you think your waif-type Borderline won't survive without you and your help or care, that's your narcissism talking! He/she managed just fine before you two met, and they'll continue to be fine long after you're gone.
Real loving is scary for most folks! Attachment means needing someone emotionally, and feeling devastated when they leave or die. Borderlines have acute attachment and abandonment fears from childhood, that amp-up the volume on this very human concern. What you must understand is, if you're persistently getting/staying involved with people who are reluctant to attach, You struggle with precisely the same issues.
It's amazing how many female Borderlines have names like Candy, Amber, Bambi, Misty, Kristie, etc. Kinda makes ya wonder if they might have had a shot at growing up and becoming adults, if they'd been given different monikers. (Well of course not--but it's an intriguing theory.)
Does your female Borderline have Golden Vagina Syndrome? Are you starving for affection and sex--but she always seems to have an excuse (or mood) that gets in the way? Does she keep dangling promises about sex she doesn't keep? Have you passively stood by, waiting hungrily for her to throw you a bone--no matter how little meat is on it? Have you tried to be sweet and gentle regarding your needs for contact--presuming it's what she's needing to let you in? You've let yourself be castrated, controlled and manipulated by a sadistic female. The question is, how long do you wanna keep being that guy--and how comfortable are you, living without your testicles?
If you're into pain and humiliation, it's a lot cheaper to hire a Dominatrix!
You may be wanting unequivocal proof that your guy or gal is indeed a Borderline, because not every single trait listed for BPD describes him/her. Humans are not all made with the same cookie-cutter, and neither are Borderlines! If he/she's not a cutter or doesn't threaten or attempt suicide, you'll want to believe this diagnosis doesn't fit--but that's just wishful thinking on your part. Are you struggling with shame and guilt in this relationship? Is it ever possible to achieve conflict resolution with your lover, or do they deflect it by shutting down or stripping naked and seducing you when it's time to talk about something important? Keep reading and learning, m'dear.
Borderlines fear that if they let you feel really good about yourself, you'll leave 'em for somebody better! Yes, it's totally idiotic--but no matter how beautiful or bright they are, they're still extremely insecure and terrified of attachment.
If you've found the courage to break away from someone with BPD, and you're being bombarded with text messages and phone calls that feel cajoling/seducing or crazy-making, shaming and guilting--but they're alternately pleading with you to return, make sure you read this psycho-woman phone message log (thanks to Dr. Tara @ Shrink4Men.com), to help you maintain NO CONTACT.
Your Borderline may be a religious zealot who regularly goes to church, quotes bible passages, talks about their piety, etc. They might take really good care of neighbors in need and seem like pillars of the community, but all this seems incongruent, when they treat You without kindness, respect or empathy! Well my dears, the core principle of every religion is: "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." That's what empathy actually means--but it's absent in someone with BPD. In short, they can talk the talk--they just can't walk it.
Along these same lines, your Borderline may think that he/she is a highly spiritual person; "a child of God, who's worthy of love." The problem is, no matter how many of these confirmations they give themselves on a daily basis, they're so damaged and filled with self-loathing and rage, they'll undermine and sabotage themselves at every turn! Borderlines can't accept love--whether it's from you, or God. Besides, the only Affirmations that can ever work, are the ones we actually believe.
You will never control whether your Borderline loves you or hates you (hour to hour, day to day), but you MUST set firm limits and boundaries for him/her, and command their respect! (It's the only way you'll survive this relationship!) The Borderline is like a person with no epidermis (they lack a container). You must treat them like a three year old in an adults body, and (like a good parent) provide the containment they need. Given that your nature is likely passive, you'll need help learning this technique.
A Borderline stacks the deck by seducing your family and friends into thinking he/she is the sweetest, smartest, most charming guy or gal you could possibly hope to capture. The problem is, all those people never see what happens behind closed doors! When you finally start coming out of the ether and consider leaving, part of your reluctance is; "what will they think of me, for walking away from this (amazing) person?" They're not sleeping/living with all this drama, chaos and tension~ You are! Your needs are what matter here.
Regardless of what you may have read or heard elsewhere, Borderlines do not "get better" with age, unless they've entered into (and stuck with) core trauma focused recovery work. The longer these core issues go untreated/unresolved, the more entrenched they are, and the deeper and more habituated the one's defenses and acting-out behaviors become. Age can't heal the borderline disordered personality~ but hard inner work that fosters emotional growth, can.
No matter how beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, sexy or caring this gal you're dating is, if she suddenly tells you she's pregnant and won't consider abortion, you'd better get yourself a crash helmet, 'cause you're headed straight for a tornado! No emotionally healthy, sane female will force a man to marry her, or pay child support for the next eighteen years of his life! You may wanna be a dad someday--but it's gotta be Your choice as to when and with whom that happens. Anything else, is entrapment! If you and your lover have developed a stable and loving, ongoing/committed relationship that's built on solid trust and mutual respect, you might have a shot at being good partners (and parents). But then you wouldn't be needing this web site, would you?
Make no mistake--these are highly toxic relationships! You may think you can just stick around for the goodies (like great sex, for instance), but a Borderline's noxious allure will soon have you neglecting your feelings and needs, your job or business, your health and finances, your friends and family (even your kids) and before you know it, you're in too deep to extract yourself or repair the lifestyle you took for granted, before you met him or her. In short, no matter how smart you are, you'll be just another statistic.
No matter how bright or successful you've become, you will never win with a Borderline, nor have him/her view you as they did initially when this romance (the Honeymoon phase) began. Once their distancing tactics and criticisms begin, you'll naturally try to get back into their good graces, so you can feel loved (and worthy) again, but it's impossible. The shame that's invoked in you at this stage triggers your compulsion to 'get it right' with your Borderline, but you can't (which prompts even more shame). Seek professional help to grow your self-worth!
Borderlines typically operate with an agenda. Very early in your romance (like your second or third date), BPD females may talk of marriage, kids, travel plans, new homes, etc. It's like they're always fast-forwarding into the future, and weaving fantasies about how wonderful your life will be, once this or that happens. You'll want to believe that giving into these things will make their incessant nagging and fixating stop--but it won't! Each time you give them what they want, they find something new to pressure or harangue you about, and you keep feeling inadequate for not making them "happy." Nobody can please a Borderline--he/she is an empty, bottomless vessel of neediness and unresolved rage from childhood.
No one is better at raining on your parade than a Borderline! When you go to great lengths to show 'em a good time or plan a special event (like a birthday party, New Years Eve, Valentines Day, etc.) they'll find a way to beat you up for it, either during or after this lovely occasion. They can't simply appreciate your kindness and generosity--their glass is always half-empty. Especially good/close feelings prompt attachment anxiety, and they have to push you away with complaints about something/anything (like an 'engagement ring' you haven't given them yet, or how "rude" you were to a friend of theirs three months ago). The upshot? You've bent over backwards to show him/her how much you care--and they take a shit on that gift, and rub your nose in it! Don't ever expect this to change.
I'm frequently asked if Borderlines can love. Sure--but real love is a sustainable emotion, and an (untreated) Borderline is only capable of feeling any/all emotions on a very transient/short-term basis. This is the crux of those love-you/hate-you episodes, brief bouts of guilt (which is really core shame), histrionic outbursts, etc. Like a three year old, their moods shift on a dime, and so do their emotions. If this were not true, they couldn't behave as if "everything's fine," soon after a meltdown or blow-out with you!
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is too often confused with Bipolar Disorder. They're very different, although a person may be dual-diagnosed with both. Acting-out behaviors (like extreme/unfounded jealousy) are common with BPD--but not Bipolar Disorder. Click the link, read the article and learn to differentiate them!!!
If you're thinking you can maintain a friendship with a Borderline after your romance falls apart, think again! First of all, real friendship is built on mutual trust, respect and consideration. Second, the Borderline will keep you around just to meet his/her needs (so what else is new?) and yours will continue to go unmet. Third, when she/he is getting involved with their next victim, you'll be used for leverage in that relationship--a virtual tool to keep the present lover on-edge and insecure (remember that??). Fourth, he/she will extol their new lover's virtues, to where you're thinking; what am I, chopped liver?? Fifth, whenever your ex-Borderline thinks it serves him/her, they'll use their new love's "feelings," or their own (supposed) moral high-ground as an excuse to break away from your lovely friendship--and you'll be dropped on your head all over again. Don't play the fool--it'll only come back to haunt and hurt you!
You'll often feel the need to defend yourself when you're in love with a Borderline. He/she will accuse you of the most ridiculous betrayals, and malign your character. Their intense jealousy is directly proportionate to their insecurity, and lack of self-worth has them conjuring up all sorts of fantasies which have nothing to do with your actual behaviors! No matter how hard you try, you'll never talk him/her out of their feelings or misconceptions, or get them to listen to reason. This exact same issue will keep repeating, 'cause it isn't about you (beyond having gotten involved with a damaged soul) and You are not equipped to fix him or her!
Your new love interest might tell you very soon after meeting, that they're a Borderline, or they have Borderline Personality Disorder. You may never have heard of this before, and might think it's no big deal. Think again! People usually tell you what you need to know about 'em, right up front. Maybe it's not in the words they say--but if you're paying close attention to their behaviors, there are warning signs you definitely shouldn't ignore! Even if you know a bit about BPD, you could be inclined to think; "gee, isn't it lovely this person is being so open and honest with me, and surely he/she is trustworthy" but they're actually cautioning you about what lies ahead. If you stick around, they presume you've made a well-informed choice, they're off the hook for any emotional responsibility, and You're at fault for thinking this could work out! Don't just walk away. RUN.
No matter how amazing the sex is, or how gorgeous this woman or man is, they'll leave you hurting--and life won't feel worth living for awhile.
The Borderline Waif is notorious for making you feel guilty and ashamed. He/she will clobber you with pitiful diatribes about how much they "love" you, and if you could just return their love, you'd have a blissfully happy relationship. Two things are terribly wrong here: For openers, no matter how loving you are to a Borderline, they can't accept or retain it--it's like pouring thousands of gallons of water into a well that has a huge fracture at the bottom. Nobody can fill a bottomless pit, so quit trying! Secondly, if they're not getting what they want from you, why are they bothering to stick around?? They're needing to punish someone for their emptiness and self-loathing, and you're an easier target than their parents! Healthy people don't stay in relationships that are painful or toxic. One of you must find the courage to break away, and end this destructive cycle.
Your Borderline might frequently object to being "analyzed" by you, and he/she is entitled to get angry about this! You've learned to separate from your more vulnerable or difficult feelings since early childhood, and you've gotten very busy (in your head) trying to figure out the confusing or confounding treatment you've received at the hands of others. In short, you've learned to control your own emotional pain by thinking your way through life as opposed to feeling your way along. Rather than being able to express how the Borderline's behaviors make you feel, you micro-analyze virtually everything you're exposed to, due to early conditioning that has you needing to be in a 'one-up' position in your relationships, and feel in-control. It's this reflex in you, that's igniting your partner's fiery reaction, and it won't just happen with Borderlines!
A Borderline might begin therapy--but it's generally in the midst of a crisis. As soon as their major upheaval has settled or passed, they often terminate treatment before the growth part of the work can be done. If you're treating a Borderline, the most you can expect to accomplish is 'damage control' (unless they're highly motivated to mend) because any healing and growth that brings about substantial/lasting change, is way too frightening.
A family man married to a Borderline might think that staying for "the kid's sake" is the most reasonable and best option--but it's not! The assumption is, they can provide more 'stability' for their children if they remain in-house, rather than separating from the madness. This works fine in theory, but not in practice, because Borderlines are typically crazy-making. So now, we've basically got an entire family living in an asylum, and those children have no alternate frame of reference for normal adult interactions. As kids learn from example, they've learned what 'marriage' is from You! They typically grow up to create these same dysfunctional dynamics in their own marriages--or become commitment phobic, and never marry at all.
One of the most painful aspects of having loved a Borderline, is that after the affair's over, they appear to move on with their life as if you never mattered to them, and your nose is rubbed in it! Facebook or MySpace postings about their new partners or activities make it seem as if you've been obliterated from their memory and wiped off the face of the earth. If you're unlucky enough to see them out in public, they're acting flirty and jubilant (as if this break-up hasn't impacted them at all), while you're still licking your wounds, wondering how the hell you're gonna get through each day without him or her. This issue is twofold; first, the Borderline has been dissociating from difficult feelings since they were very young (they're masterful at it)--and two, regardless of who left whom, they need to find immediate sources of ego gratification to soothe their emptiness and self-loathing--which you're not allowed to see, any more than when you were with them! This is their defense mechanism; it's not about You, so try not to personalize it.
Intimacy is about sharing genuine feelings and thoughts, and not about relating one's entire romantic history--or highlighting his/her failed relationships and how "awful" all those people were to them! You may feel flattered a person is sharing these private details with you immediately after meeting him/her, but don't be. This has nothing to do with intimacy, and you shouldn't regard it as such. It typically means they have nothing meaningful or interesting to share about themselves--and they're showing you how poorly they've handled loving! You should take this as a warning sign that you're likely with a Borderline. You may want to be a sympathetic, concerned listener, but he/she is just setting the tone for this relationship--and no matter how wonderfully you treat them, you could one day be added to that list! You're signing-on to be this person's dumping ground--and this is your 'audition' with an emotional vampire. They'll be using you, instead of seeking a therapist who can help them resolve their unfinished business.
Many of us grew up having to make sense of confusing, painful experiences at home, and the feelings we had in relation to them. Hence, we spent a lot of time in our heads trying to figure others out, and this became second nature/automatic to us. When you're struggling to survive being dumped by a Borderline, obsessional thinking about him/her is the natural reflex you adopted as a kid to survive early-onset confusion and chaos, and escape painful emotions about it. When you begin learning how to respect/honor your feelings and detach them from the object of your obsession, you'll start growing beyond this current pain, and healing.
In the beginning of this relationship (the honeymoon phase) your Borderline mirrored everything you've always wanted/needed to believe about yourself. As your dance continued however, he/she echoed how you truly felt about yourself deep down beneath all your accomplishments, your successes and the great guy or gal you've worked hard to become. That's the hold they've had on you, and how they could turn your world upside-down and inside-out. You've tried valiantly to get back to that self-image you had with them initially, which is a futile exercise.
Borderlines are never responsive--they're reactive.
New studies are suggesting there's a link between ADHD (seldom seen or diagnosed in females) and Borderline Personality Disorder. Attention deficit issues are attended by mood cycles, which can heighten acting-out behaviors. This newfound awareness may help us more easily discern what type of pharmaceutical intervention can lead to favorable outcomes. This is not to imply that BPD issues are solely neuro-chemical rather than emotional, but we may begin to treat/manage the symptoms of this disorder differently and more effectively.
If you weren't a passive personality, it's extremely unlikely you'd have stuck with a borderline disordered individual for any length of time, nor allowed him/her to keep beating you up with harassing phone calls, incessant criticisms, abusive text messages, etc. Your passive/avoidant nature actually contributed to the chaos in your BPD relationship--and this aspect in you will undermine future romances, no matter how healthy/sound your new partners are. Passive individuals might be bad or good people--but they're always frightened, disempowered ones.
Borderline personalities are typically consummate actors. They're adept at ad-libbing, especially when you catch them in a lie, or they've done something that undermines your trust. They'll twist the facts and make you doubt your perceptions--no matter how much concrete evidence is stacked against them! This is the crazy-making part.
You may want unequivocal proof that your partner is in fact, a Borderline despite all the material you've read here and elsewhere, that perfectly describes a lot of your relationship experiences. Ask yourself if anything would change in terms of your longing for this person, if you had absolute confirmation that this was true--and while you're at it, check-in with how you've been feeling in that relationship! Do you often feel guilty, ashamed, sad, anxious or angry? Are you frowning much more than you're smiling? Let that be your barometer, as to whether you should stick around.
Contrary to popular belief, you are not attracted to someone who's like your opposite sex parent (boys to their mothers, girls to their fathers). You're attracted to someone who's like the parent (of either gender) with whom you had the most difficulties or issues!
Most Borderlines are exceptionally bright, which can make them seem rational, sane and healthy (at times). These intermittent episodes help to convince you it's your fault or shortcoming that's destroyed this relationship, and keep you striving to make it work! They seize upon things you did (or didn't do) to clobber you with, whenever there's opportunity to problem-solve, and you'll be guilted and shamed each time, for not doing something 'right-enough' for them. In truth, you can never please a Borderline, no matter how hard you try--but you'll be inclined to hold Yourself accountable, for disappointing her or him. This makes no sense whatsoever, until you start resolving the painful issues from childhood, that made you susceptible to this type of person.
Borderline Personality Disorder is not a "mental illness or disease." It's an acute emotional disturbance that stems from childhood neglect and abuse.
As a People Pleaser, you've grown up making allowances and excuses for everyone else's fuck-ups, but you've never given Yourself the same consideration or margin for error. How much sense does that make??
Water seeks its own level. Both you and your Borderline have had to cope with childhood wounds to your sense of Self, and these unhealed injuries attracted you to each other and made you feel like you'd found your 'soul mate.' We're drawn to people who match our level of emotional development. Your very best option is to begin to heal and grow, so you can make wiser, more gratifying choices.
When you're with a Borderline, you're hypervigilant about discerning his/her moods before you can determine yours (you would have learned this in childhood). This is unhealthy enmeshment, which means you're always taking their emotional temperature to decide whether you should be happy or sad. Get help to learn how to discern and honor your feelings, and start taking your emotional temperature, instead.
A healthy, whole person is as comfortable receiving in a relationship as giving. Emotionally developed, sound adults seek reciprocal partnerships, not codependent ones with folks they can try to control, fix, teach or rescue. Healthy people want to be on a balanced playing field with their significant others. They want to build something solid with someone, rather than taking on a high-maintenance 'project' who generates chaos, drama and pain.
Yes, Borderlines are damaged, but you're not gonna change that--and it doesn't give them the right to treat you badly, and drain the life-force out of you like a succubus!
The very worst thing about having loved a Borderline, is that when the relationship's over, you haven't just lost them--you've lost yourself. It's impossible to hold onto You, when you're involved with a borderline disordered individual. They make you question your every move and motive, second-guess all your feelings and thoughts as to how they'll be construed by the Borderline, and fear being punished for crimes you haven't committed. In the midst of it all, your character's constantly impugned. Nobody can live like this, and retain any sense of Self. If you left home to get away from someone's control and abuse--why would you be wanting more of it??
Whether the end of your relationship is abrupt, or it's dying a slow painful death, there's a behavior Borderlines engage in--which I've coined, the Redundant Interaction Phenomenon (or RIP). RIP is when they keep stating the exact same wounding things to you over and over, as if you need more nails driven into that coffin! You might hear, "I'm not attracted to you--I don't love you anymore--I wish it could've worked between us," etc. Every time your Borderline says this stuff, it feels like they're pounding a stake through your heart, or lopping off your balls--but why the hell do they need to keep reiterating it, to where you wanna leap across that lunch table, and throttle 'em?! God only knows why they do it--but if you'd heard them the first time, why keep taking their calls, or showing up for more pain??
When the relationship's ended, the 'no-contact' rule is there to help you break your dependency on this person, and all the chaos and drama that came with the deal. When you're withdrawing from heroin, you're not sticking a needle in your arm, right? This is an addiction like any other. When you want to get sober, you've gotta stay away from booze, bars and broads.
Every time you read, listen to or respond to your BPD ex's messages, you're giving away your power, and perpetuating your anguish!
You'll be inclined to assume your Borderline is thinking about and missing you as much as you do her/him, which is incorrect! This is not to say that you won't show up on their radar (now and then) when they're struggling with their own emptiness and self-loathing--but it's not about You, or what you might have meant to them. The 'myths' section of this article speaks to your questions and concerns.
No matter how relentlessly you mirrored your Borderline to mitigate his/her negative self-image, it fell on deaf ears and you couldn't alter their mindset. In truth, all the compliments, encouragements, bolstering and flattery in the world can't change their core beliefs about how unworthy of love they are. Their impulse is to try to prove you wrong for your views (prompting more acting-out behaviors). Alongside this, how could they possibly respect you for loving them, when they feel so despicable and unlovable? (Yet another reason to reject you!) No amount of cheerleading can make a dent in a Borderline's self-loathing. The phenomenon of 'splitting' occurs when their own feelings of shame and lack are projected onto You.
When your Borderline was upset, angry, sad or stressed, you might have mistakenly tried to talk them out of their feelings. Maybe you wanted to reason with him/her, and help them see their situation logically or practically (to no avail). Any effort to fix, train, teach or rescue a Borderline from their immediate struggle is fruitless. First, this is your need to feel needed and in control of any/all situations, and I doubt you'd relish someone responding to you in this manner. Second, there's futility in behaving this way with a distressed Borderline, because they're emotionally three years old. A toddler has no capacity for reasoning or mood regulation, and neither does your BPD lover! Most the time, they've just needed to vent--and your only effective strategy is empathic mirroring; "I can see that you're (upset, anxious, sad), and I'm sorry you're struggling with these feelings. If you want my input, just ask--and I'll do what I can to help."
If you're fairly certain your BPD ex is rebounding with someone who's better looking, wealthier, brighter, thinner, more loving, etc., in most instances, this is a totally erroneous assumption! It's unlikely you'll accept this at present, but the Borderline is more prone to choosing an easier mark the next time around--even if it's someone who feels stuck in an unfulfilling marriage. In truth, many non's are utterly shocked when they finally discover who he/she has deserted them for (and they mostly feel insulted, rather than jealous). This relentless preoccupation with who the new lover is, taps into childhood wounds that deflated your self-esteem.
You'll only remember the good times, and you'll have to work really hard to recall the bad ones. That's human nature. Let the rational (left) side of your brain do your thinking for you, while you're letting your heart hurt. Longing is normal, and you're missing the closeness--but balance that with a written inventory of all the times he/she made you feel inadequate, rejected, unworthy, ashamed, etc., and read that list aloud, at least once a day!
What makes us happy? Watch this video--it holds a secret to your enduring, self-inflicted struggle with the Borderline; http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
Do you remember all the kind, loving, thoughtful gestures you made, and how dismissive or under-appreciative your lover was about them? Remember how you could never do enough, or be enough to please him/her or make them happy? I suspect you grew up with a parent who made you feel this way--and none of that was about You! In truth, nobody can fill a well that has a huge fracture at the bottom--but loving a Borderline feels exactly like that, and it's foolish to keep trying.
Rule of thumb: Never get involved with someone who has more problems than you!
If you're making yourself wrong or 'bad' for any mean, angry thoughts you're entertaining, let yourself up off the mat. If someone you barely knew, treated you like your Borderline did, you'd punch their lights out! Feel the rage, get yourself a baseball bat, golf club or belt, and whack the hell out of your mattress with it, as hard and long as you can. You'll be pretty surprised by how you feel afterward.
I know you wanna beat the shit outta the guy who "stole" your BPD lover~ but here's the deal: You won't let yourself get angry at Her, so you feel compelled to take your rage out on Him. This guy isn't the prick you think he is. He was seduced by your girlfriend or wife exactly the way you were! She told him lies about you, and made you sound like a callous monster. She did this to engage the dude's sympathy, and activate his Hero Complex. Nothing she's shared with him about you is true, but she's convinced the new guy you've been her "insensitive abuser, withholder of sex or love or respect," etc. Let yourself get good and angry at your ex. Scream, curse, swear, write unsent angry letters to her, beat the shit outta your mattress with a baseball bat, and vent this rage! Fantasizing about taking it out on the guy is a total waste of your energy and time. Assign blame where it belongs (with Her), and in the privacy of your home, discharge it. Often.
After you've been dropped on your head, you'll feel totally confused about how and why this happened. You'll obsess endlessly about this, trying to make sense of it--'cause that's what we humans do, to bring some degree of order to our life. You won't understand why he/she shut you out or cheated on you, right after declaring their undying love! You can't relate to these behaviors, and that's why they're confounding to you--but all this is just standard operating procedure for the Borderline! In other words, all their acting-out or acting-in behaviors simply come with the (BPD) territory.
"I'll kill myself if you leave (or don't return)" is your Borderline's way of controlling you, your feelings and your behaviors. Emotional blackmail works wonderfully with folks who are People Pleasers, rescuers or fixers, and have dragged around codependency issues their whole lives. The BPD Waif is notorious for using this tactic, and you can't let yourself be taken-in by it! If you believe you're solely what's standing between someone committing suicide or not, you've got narcissistic traits. Give the Borderline an 800 # for the suicide prevention hotline, recommend they call 911 and/or see a mental health professional--and take your exit.
You cannot change or fix someone else. You can only change yourself.
Your Borderline mother or father may have beat the living daylights out of you--but soon after, asked you to give them a hug or kiss. They might have said things like, "who do you love?" or "Tell me how much you love me" when you were still trying to recover from their latest assault! This makes a child grow up with skewed, conflicting notions about love--and of course, your Borderline partner simply reconstitutes all that childhood trauma and confusion.
The Borderline holds the darker feelings and facets that you've amputated out of your own personality structure, since early childhood. He or she will act-out the emotions (anger, envy, jealousy, etc.) you've always believed are bad or wrong. When you finally decide to become a whole personality instead of half-a-one, you won't keep choosing these intense, troubling, dysfunctional relationships to achieve balance for yourself any longer.
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