For many who love someone with borderline personality disorder, facing the challenges of that love can seem insurmountable — a feeling I’ve felt several dozen times in just two years with my partner.
For all parties, the feelings of powerlessness, guilt, regret, frustration and utter disbelief can weigh heavy and erode all the connections tying you together. Believe it or not, though, if you’re willing and capable of doing the work, this love doesn’t have to be your downfall. You don’t have to let it turn you into bitter, spiteful, petty people.
Here are a few tips to avoid being crushed under the weight of your partner’s borderline personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder, like almost all chronic diseases, usually requires the support of qualified professionals to be workable. Whether your partner starts with a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or MD, they need someone outside the relationship with real training to get some real healing started.
You also should look into getting some counseling for yourself. You are loving a person who often can feel more like a ticking time bomb of extreme emotions than a human deserving of love. Therapy for you will help prevent coldness, distance and resentment. It’ll also equip you with skills to help them heal.
Laugh at the ridiculousness
Let’s be real: The vast majority of what happens when BPD is not under control is straight up ridiculous, but it’s reality. You could spend your time being mad and distant because of the multitude of strange shit they’ve done, but, like, why would you do that?
If you do your best to smile at the madness, you’re usually heading in the right direction. You’re in this relationship because you care about each other; show it with kindness.
Take an active role
BPD often comes with great accessories like a pink Corvette, Malibu Dream House, anxiety, depression, self-harm, disassociations/black outs, psych illnesses that show up physically (psychosomatic), etc. I live with a couple of those and getting better was tough. It’s common for people with BPD to have all of them and more. So, It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to get better without a strong hand to guide and encourage their growth.
Professionals can only do so much. They’ll need someone at home providing consistency, stability, a watchful/caring eye, reassurance and love. They’ll also need you to watch their behavior and check in with them when things are going kind of wonky. Once you see the pattern, let them know and key in everyone else who needs to know.
Relish the good times
Sometimes, a pair of good days is spilt between months of absolute insanity. So, bathe yourself in the vibe of those good days. Cherish them and hold on to that feeling for as long as you can. Use these times to strengthen your bond with your partner by doing sexy shit, like talking openly and honestly about your feelings.
Don’t get lazy
If your partner has BPD, they are probably going to have to manage it for the rest of their lives. While you’re together, it’s important that you stay on your shit. Don’t get comfortable and start letting bad behaviors return, especially in the beginning.
It gets a hell of a lot easier to love and guide them with practice, but you’ve got to stay vigilant for both of you. Make sure they take their meds, make their appointments and feel loved.
Know when enough is enough
BPD is often worse than M. Night Shyamalan’s “Avatar.” So, when you feel like it’s time to walk out of the theater and ask for your money back, do it. It’s up to you to let your partner know and end things positively.