Yes, it’s true. I’m in a long term relationship, four years long in fact. Despite the propaganda that those with borderline personality disorder can’t have a healthy and stable relationship, that if someone you’re dating reveals they have BPD then you need to run for the door, it is possible.
It’s possible, yes, but I did not say it was easy. It takes a great amount of work and a never-ending supply of patience from your partner. The first year of my relationship was a time when I exhibited the most damaging of my borderline traits. I was using drugs and alcohol, I was engaging in risky sexual behaviors and I was hurting the man I loved. It took a lot for this man to stay with me, though I won’t tell you he’s always been such a prince. We’ve been through hell and that’s no exaggeration. But here we are four years later, in a happy, health, non damaging relationship. How did I do it?
First off, I don’t hide who I am. My boyfriend knows I have borderline personality disorder and he knows that I have intense emotional instability. Heck, he’s always known this. I’m not very transparent on that front. While my self destructive behaviors have almost all but subsided, I still suffer though. I experience splitting often, which means one day I am absolutely in love with him and the next day I am filled with seething rage towards him. The little worms of self loathing fill my head.. “He doesn’t even love you” “He’s cheating on you, I know it, you’re worthless”. How do I combat this?
I start off with mindfulness. I take a deep breath and think about each accusation logically. Do I have any proof he’s cheating on me? No. Has he done anything to deserve all this anger and distaste? Not at all. By this time my impulsive, emotional brain has taken a backseat to my logical brain, it’s sometimes also called wise mind. Now am I saying this always works? Hell no. Sometimes I still feel an unfounded need to gouge out his eyes and eat them. I apologize for the brutal imagery, I’m a bit of a gore enthusiast. Anyway, at this point you know what I do? I talk to him about. OH MY GOD, sounds insane right? to actually communicate how you’re feeling? Trust me, it works. If you’re sitting here thinking that if you tried this your partner would just belittle you, call you crazy, invalidate your feelings or leave you…then I hate to break it to you, but you’re with the wrong person.
“Hey I really love you, but right now I completely hate your guts for no reason. Really sorry about it, I’m working on controlling it…oh and do you want Chinese for dinner?”
Sounds crazy huh? Well it works for us. Borderlines have trouble with relationships, we can’t control the emotional upheavals we feel with little to no warning and sometimes it’ll send your partner running. That’s why you need to be open, be honest, explain how you’re feeling. If you don’t open up you’ll let it fester inside you and your emotional and impulsive side will come out and your partner will have no idea why.
Be honest about who you are and love deeply. It’s all we can do.