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Love Relationships With Borderline Personality Disorder

trueloveseeker

trueloveseeker

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In his video on youtube, Dr Todd Grande, mentions a research study about Borderlines who were in relationships and the following two statements lit my intellectual curiosity on fire like a sea of gasoline. Youtube video title is called, "How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Affect Romantic Relationships"

The two points of interest that left an impression on me are:

1. In those relationship couples that were in the experimental group where one of the partners had BPD, 51% of the women were satisfied in the relationship and 60% of the men felt satisfied. Although this was not as high of a percentage as what was found in the control group, it still indicated that a majority reported feeling satisfied.

2. "Only about 20-30% of individuals with borderline personality disorder are dating, married, or cohabiting. Additionally, conducting research on couples is more difficult than conducting research on individuals."

My thoughts:

It is tragically sad that such a small percentage of those with BPD actually have relationship partners that they cohabitate with. I feel like it takes a special kind of person to enjoy this kind of relationship; however, it is in fact the case that there are some people that enjoy being in love with a Borderline.

When thinking about my past, I often reflect on the most enjoyable relationships I ever had, that felt incredibly intense in a very loving way, and in both instances it had been a relationship with a Borderline. I am not the only person that feels this way, for example, here is a quote from the magazine Psychology today: "The Drama of Loving a Borderline- September 5, 2019"

"In addition, the borderline’s passion and intense emotions are enlivening to non-BPDs, who find being alone depressing or “healthy” people boring. These partners vicariously come alive through the melodrama provided by the borderline."

My feelings are that Borderlines are perhaps the most difficult and challenging kind of people to have a relationship with on earth; however, with that being said, try to think about how boring and unrewarding it would be for a professional mountain climber who has climbed Mt. Everest several times to only ever walk straight and level trail paths as an outdoor event.

Personally, and it is just my opinion, when I had not been single and when I had once had the love, empathy, and intense affection of a Borderline, I found that I had to constantly learn about how to develop the best relationship skill sets I could find in order to maintain a rewarding emotional connection. For example, I would have never had discovered the research work of PHD John Gottman and all the work and skill sets that the Gottman Institute talks about had it not been for the intense desire to keep my Borderline partner in my life.

Although I lost the relationship both times, I was constantly working so hard to try my absolute best to keep the person as a forever partner, and sometimes a person just knows what its like to want a "one life stand" in an enduring and over time kind of way. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all, and the personal growth that comes from putting in the effort to keep love with a Borderline will always be something I feel appreciative of and feel personally thankful to have experienced.

With this being said, and I plan to talk about this soon, there is one Canadian therapist on youtube, A.J. Mahari, who specializes in BPD and she also is a person recovered from having the disorder herself, and her viewpoint is that "Borderlines can not, have not, and will not ever love you." I really have been putting some thought into her perspective although in the future I would like to express politely and assertively why I disagree with her theory. So that will be a future topic for me to write about.
 
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I disagree with AJ Mahari saying we cannot love. I love my partner with all my heart. I also loved my ex. It is upsetting to hear things like that. In terms of relationships I think we often chose partners that trigger us as we are used to that personality and it feels familiar. It is hard to break that and find a different kind of personality that will give us stability. With good therapy we can learn how to manage our intense emotions and this will help us to have a healthy relationship. I have been with my partner for 10 years now and this shows it is possible.

You are such a lovely person. To have worked hard to make your partner happy and not just dismiss them as having bpd is lovely to read. I think for anybody to date us they do need to educate themselves on bpd as it will help them to understand us.
 
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Coolname

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I disagree with AJ Mahari saying we cannot love. I love my partner with all my heart. I also loved my ex. It is upsetting to hear things like that. In terms of relationships I think we often chose partners that trigger us as we are used to that personality and it feels familiar. It is hard to break that and find a different kind of personality that will give us stability. With good therapy we can learn how to manage our intense emotions and this will help us to have a healthy relationship. I have been with my partner for 10 years now and this shows it is possible.

You are such a lovely person. To have worked hard to make your partner happy and not just dismiss them as having bpd is lovely to read. I think for anybody to date us they do need to educate themselves on bpd as it will help them to understand us.
I don't have BPD, but your comment reminded me of something I read by a long-practicing psychotherapist. He said that most people diagnosed with BPD, especially women, are wrongly diagnosed (I have also read about some level of BPD misdiagnosis in academic sources). He differentiated between what he called 'the true borderline', and those misdiagnosed by saying the 'true borderline' lacks empathy and, unfortunately, all those others classed as BPD get tarred with the same brush.

What is your opinion?
 
D

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I don't have BPD, but your comment reminded me of something I read by a long-practicing psychotherapist. He said that most people diagnosed with BPD, especially women, are wrongly diagnosed (I have also read about some level of BPD misdiagnosis in academic sources). He differentiated between what he called 'the true borderline', and those misdiagnosed by saying the 'true borderline' lacks empathy and, unfortunately, all those others classed as BPD get tarred with the same brush.

What is your opinion?
To me I have such deep empathy. I can feel others pain. I do not believe lacking empathy is a trait of bpd. I am sure I have quiet bpd as I meet every single criteria. Maybe some people are incorrectly diagnosed. If I think carefully, I have had 2 friends with bpd who only seemed to have empathy for themselves.
 
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Coolname

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To me I have such deep empathy. I can feel others pain. I do not believe lacking empathy is a trait of bpd. I am sure I have quiet bpd as I meet every single criteria. Maybe some people are incorrectly diagnosed. If I think carefully, I have had 2 friends with bpd who only seemed to have empathy for themselves.
Thank you for replying :). I see your empathy and consequent understanding displayed on here all the time. I don't have a great belief in most MH diagnoses. My wish is that therapists (and everyone else) would see the person, not the diagnosis.
 
D

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Thank you for replying :). I see your empathy and consequent understanding displayed on here all the time. I don't have a great belief in most MH diagnoses. My wish is that therapists (and everyone else) would see the person, not the diagnosis.
Thank you so much. That is such a lovely thing to hear. I can understand you believing in the person and not the diagnosis.
 
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Nukelavee

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He differentiated between what he called 'the true borderline', and those misdiagnosed by saying the 'true borderline' lacks empathy and, unfortunately, all those others classed as BPD get tarred with the same brush.
I disagree. In fact, I think he's just continuing the stereotype that "BPD means toxic". Quite a few medical and mental health professionals reject working with BPD, they have an automatic "People with BPD cannot be trusted or worked with". I've actually read a psych text on PErsonality disorders that constantly reinforced the the "BPD means crazy, manipulative hyper sexual -avoid these patients".
"In addition, the borderline’s passion and intense emotions are enlivening to non-BPDs, who find being alone depressing or “healthy” people boring. These partners vicariously come alive through the melodrama provided by the borderline."
My issue with this, having BPD, my moods aren't supposed to be your entertainment. It's no different than preferring women with "daddy" issues. Like, you realize you are saying, on some level, traumatized people are hot.
try to think about how boring and unrewarding it would be for a professional mountain climber who has climbed Mt. Everest several times to only ever walk straight and level trail paths as an outdoor event.
As somebody with BPD, who has dated others with BPD - give me that nice easy level path.

Basically - what you consider exciting and intense, is the pain of the other person manifesting.
 
trueloveseeker

trueloveseeker

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I disagree. In fact, I think he's just continuing the stereotype that "BPD means toxic". Quite a few medical and mental health professionals reject working with BPD, they have an automatic "People with BPD cannot be trusted or worked with". I've actually read a psych text on PErsonality disorders that constantly reinforced the the "BPD means crazy, manipulative hyper sexual -avoid these patients".

My issue with this, having BPD, my moods aren't supposed to be your entertainment. It's no different than preferring women with "daddy" issues. Like, you realize you are saying, on some level, traumatized people are hot.

As somebody with BPD, who has dated others with BPD - give me that nice easy level path.

Basically - what you consider exciting and intense, is the pain of the other person manifesting.

Well is not surprising for me to see a person with BDP to be suspicious of my motives or to see reality in a distorted way, but what I am actually saying is that the breakthroughs in progress are more rewarding.
 
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Nukelavee

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Well is not surprising for me to see a person with BDP to be suspicious of my motives or to see reality in a distorted way, but what I am actually saying is that the breakthroughs in progress are more rewarding.
Are you actually gaslighting me?

Yes, yes, you are.

For somebody claiming to have learned to deal with and be a good partner to those with BPD... you show no awareness of how to do it.

You cite something that literally says some people love the exciting BPD drama. How else can that be taken?
 
trueloveseeker

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Are you actually gaslighting me?

Yes, yes, you are.

For somebody claiming to have learned to deal with and be a good partner to those with BPD... you show no awareness of how to do it.

You cite something that literally says some people love the exciting BPD drama. How else can that be taken?

If you read my full post I explain exactly the reasons I find the relationship rewarding which are all reasons focused on skill sets gained in communication techniques such as the relationship skillsets I had learned from the Gottman Institute and the feeling of satisfaction gained in efforts towards therapeutic progress. And instead you turn that into, "tramatized people are hawt" lol That is a distortion.
 
trueloveseeker

trueloveseeker

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If you read my full post I explain exactly the reasons I find the relationship rewarding which are all reasons focused on skill sets gained in communication techniques such as the relationship skillsets I had learned from the Gottman Institute and the feeling of satisfaction gained in efforts towards therapeutic progress. And instead you turn that into, "tramatized people are hawt" lol That is a distortion.

In regard to the quote from the magazine, Psychology Today, It could be said that dramaturgy is actually enlivening if the person its directed towards knows that it has nothing to do with them personally but is instead a psychological defense mechanism of projection and that the dramaturgy itself represents a measurement towards progress or not. Yet you seem to interpret this instead as being "entertainment." I can understand your suspicious nature, however, if there is no enjoyment to be found in cohabitating with people with BPD then why even bother loving them? I try to defend the reasons for optimism.
 
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Nukelavee

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In regard to the quote from the magazine, Psychology Today, It could be said that dramaturgy is actually enlivening if the person its directed towards knows that it has nothing to do with them personally but is instead a psychological defense mechanism of projection and that the dramaturgy itself represents a measurement towards progress or not.
Well, except it doesn't actually say that, anywhere in that article. What it does say about people attracted to BPD is this:

" Their partners are often codependent individuals who also yearn for love and fear abandonment. They already have low self-esteem and poor boundaries, so they placate, accommodate, and apologize when attacked in order to maintain the emotional connection in the relationship. "

"Narcissists and people who act self-sufficient and in control of their feelings provide a perfect match. "

"They’re easily seduced by the borderline’s extreme openness, charm, and vulnerability. In addition, the borderline’s passion and intense emotions are enlivening to non-BPDs, who find being alone depressing or “healthy” people boring. These partners vicariously come alive through the melodrama provided by the borderline. "

So, yeah, according to this, it's the literal disorder you are attracted to.

Here's the thing - I am a very high fuctioning controlled person with BPD. The people who love me do so in spite of any traits or behaviours I have, and because I work so hard at not manifesting my negative traits.

You don't seem aware of the difference between seeking out somebody with BPD, specifically, and discovering they have BPD after a relationship is begun.

Further, if it's our mercurial moods and intensity you are attracted to... what happens if your partner reaches my level of control? What happens when the intense affection and energy, as well as anger and fear, are put away and no longer appear? When their self-esteem and confidence return, and they no longer want or need somebody co-dependant?

Because, I have to admit, your question in your other topic about what being "under control" is like, sounded like your interest is directly connected to them having unregulated episodes.

Because, in my experience, people attracted to me because they caught a period of intense emotion, tend to not take it well when my "normal" control and detachment return.

Which doesn't count the number of people who only want somebody they can "help", because it validates them. Which seems implicit in the pride you take in learning skills from interacting with them.

Also - if you've learned so many good skills for dealing with us, what ends up going wrong?
 
Passionflower

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I didn't think that A.J Mahari had BPD?
 
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WhySoSerious

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I don't have BPD, but your comment reminded me of something I read by a long-practicing psychotherapist. He said that most people diagnosed with BPD, especially women, are wrongly diagnosed (I have also read about some level of BPD misdiagnosis in academic sources). He differentiated between what he called 'the true borderline', and those misdiagnosed by saying the 'true borderline' lacks empathy and, unfortunately, all those others classed as BPD get tarred with the same brush.

What is your opinion?
If I could respond as I have an interest in all things BPD...

I believe that massive numbers of BPD are over diagnosed. Having worked alongside psychiatrists for years, they routinely slap this diagnosis on anyone they deem "difficult". It tends to be when people self-harm, it is almost a "go to" diagnosis as its a particular behavioural signature of BPD.

In terms of empathy, I do believe that in many ways many BPD people delude themselves by saying that they are "overly empathetic" or "empaths". A lot of this is because they attribute their own emotions as coming from other people. Much of this can be seen as avoidance of dealing with the emotional state of others. This comes about due to the issues with "sense of self" that are a core component of BPD, where people look externally for a sense that what they feel is "right" in the moment. If I escalate my emotions in the face of other people's emotions, they are less likely to seek out help for theirs.

I am sure I will upset a vast proportion of BPD people with that statement but there is evidence that BPD people's tolerance for the distress of other people to be very limited. The experience of often so self-focused that it turns into "my feelings" not "your feelings".

This is why there tends to be quite an overlap in BPD and NPD as a diagnosis. The ability for BPD to attend to their own emotional state can be limited and therefore attending to the emotional state of others can be just as fraught.
 
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Coolname

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If I could respond as I have an interest in all things BPD...

I believe that massive numbers of BPD are over diagnosed. Having worked alongside psychiatrists for years, they routinely slap this diagnosis on anyone they deem "difficult". It tends to be when people self-harm, it is almost a "go to" diagnosis as its a particular behavioural signature of BPD.

In terms of empathy, I do believe that in many ways many BPD people delude themselves by saying that they are "overly empathetic" or "empaths". A lot of this is because they attribute their own emotions as coming from other people. Much of this can be seen as avoidance of dealing with the emotional state of others. This comes about due to the issues with "sense of self" that are a core component of BPD, where people look externally for a sense that what they feel is "right" in the moment. If I escalate my emotions in the face of other people's emotions, they are less likely to seek out help for theirs.

I am sure I will upset a vast proportion of BPD people with that statement but there is evidence that BPD people's tolerance for the distress of other people to be very limited. The experience of often so self-focused that it turns into "my feelings" not "your feelings".

This is why there tends to be quite an overlap in BPD and NPD as a diagnosis. The ability for BPD to attend to their own emotional state can be limited and therefore attending to the emotional state of others can be just as fraught.
Very interesting. Thanks for responding.
 
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