I need to state before I begin, I use “she” because I am female and the majority of those diagnosed with BPD are female. There are many men out there with BPD as well and the disorder is not gender limited.
So your mate/daughter/friend was diagnosed with BPD. And you’ve decided to stay with them, to help them get through this. Now what?
My dear reader. I commend you. When my husband began this, he did it without my knowing. He spent days pouring over advice online. And the advice he found was, “Dump her.” “Get out now.”
My husband was pissed. Dumping someone with BPD only reinforces the BPD and plunges her deeper into the condition. You proved her right. No one will ever love her enough to stay.
I will tell you what a person with BPD needs from you (Bear in mind this is my opinion and may vary from person to person). And then I will tell you what you can expect. I will conclude this article with advice on what you should do.
What we need
Imagine this is a war, because it is. There are two sides to this. You vs. your nemesis. Your nemesis is her past—her abusers. It could be her parents, her rapists, her boyfriends, her brothers. An ex-husband. All of the above. It could be paired with a genetic illness that she inherited from a relative. Either way, your mate is infected by the abuse that haunts her.
Let’s liken these abusers to epic bad guys who took your wife and injected her with a disease—a poison. This poison turns her against you much like how Magneto used Storm as a weapon against the X-Men. Your mate isn’t in the right frame of mind. She is corrupt and probably has no idea that she is. Now, she has to battle your nemesis—her past—for you.
“I can not save you. I can not fix you.” – Come Back To Me by David Cook.
And I know how badly you wish you could save her. If my Isaac could, he would reach inside of me and rip this things out of me.
This is where her therapy comes in. But your job is to stay with her, to wait this out with her. And she is programmed to throw everything she has at you.
Word are cheap. Show me.
What to expect
- She may cheat on you.
- She may beat you.
- She may verbally attack you.
- She will do everything in her power to throw you away.
- She may relapse and return to old behavior.
- She may lie.
- She may self-destruct and attempt to kill herself. It isn’t a cry for help. Take this seriously. She NO self-preservation.
- She will test you.
- But she loves you.
- She hates what she is doing to you.
Expect her to do all of this. Be prepared for it. Have a plan if she does.
The question you need to ask yourself is this: How much are you willing to endure? How much do you love her? How far are you willing to go for your relationship with her?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. Only you can answer this question for you. And don’t you dare feel bad if you can’t. I am telling you, as someone who is diagnosed with BPD, it’s frickin’ hard! Not everyone can do it.
What to do
Remove all weapons and medications from the house immediately! The only reason why I am still alive is because my empathy kicked in and I often think about my poor children or husband if they find me. I often empathize with the officers and medical team who would have to clean up.
People diagnosed with BPD have an unnatural level of empathy toward others. This has been my saving grace.
Personally, I want to tell you: do NOT stay with her unless… UNLESS she is in therapy. UNLESS she is willing to get help and change. Otherwise, she will only continue to abuse you. DO NOT let her abuse you. No one has any right to abuse you. Ever. But do not give her ultimatums.
Ultimatums may come off as controlling and may launch her into an attack. Chances are, her BPD is about feeling a lack of control. A therapist may disagree with me and advise you to give ultimatums. I will remind you, I am not a trained therapist and can only tell you my perspective and experience on this.
Do not threaten her.
DO stand up for yourself. She is not allowed to abuse you. When she does cross that line, assert yourself and make it very clear, “You hurt me. You are not allowed to treat me like that.” DO NOT attack back.
She must understand, you do not WANT to leave her, but at some point you have to preserve yourself. And that is what you are really up against. Your mate’s BPD vs. your self preservation.
A mental illness is a poison that infects the mind. BPD CAN be cured. They call it an “illness” for a reason.
If you want to stay, if you want her, if you love her enough, you must… MUST… prove her wrong. She wants you to. NO MATTER WHAT SHE DOES OR SAYS, she wants you to do what no one else before you did. She wants you to stay.
She will test you. She will fight you and put you through hell. Keep in mind, however much the others tolerated before they dumped her, you must surpass them. You must hold out much longer than they did. There is no other way to prove to her that you aren’t going anywhere.
Here’s one of the problems with BPD.
If boyfriend “A” abandoned her at point “verbally abuse them,” then she will up the ante and boyfriend “B” will be subjected to verbal abuse AND physical abuse. Boyfriend “C” may be subjected to verbal abuse, physical abuse, and affairs. The question I have for you is, what was she doing to the previous boyfriend? Don’t ask her this. She’ll become defensive and attack you.
Once you’ve passed the test, you will become her rock and then… THEN she will trust you. And she will hold onto you with such desperation, such strength. You will be her hero. One day, I will tell you about the strongest man I know: My husband, my hero. My Isaac. His therapist told him, “Do not tolerate the abuse. You must not sacrifice your own welfare for hers. If things do not improve, if things continue to escalate, get out.” I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea. You are not allowed to sacrifice your own health for her.
Is this advice good for you? I have no idea. This advice may only be good for my husband.
If your wife/mate/spouse has been diagnosed with BPD, and you are wanting to endure it, remove all weapons and medications from the house immediately and see a therapist. You’re going to need it. Chances are she’s already abused you, and you should speak to someone about that.
DO NOT let her know you have removed the weapons/medications. She may get defensive because “You don’t trust her.” She isn’t going to be logical *gentle smile.*
I leave you with a song by Serj Tankian. This is called “Deserving?” After being diagnosed with BPD, this song took on a whole new meaning. Listen to the lyrics. It captures BPD perfectly.
Broken takes the reader inside the mind of someone with BPD. It walks you through my past, what it took to develop BPD, the thought process that honed it, the degree at how unstable I was, how mentally far gone I was, and what made my BPD, PTSD, and bipolar what it is today. It shows you what it took to wake me up and realize I needed a doctor. It shows you the feelings and thoughts behind the affairs.
Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards. Goodreads Reviews "Broken is graphic, shocking, raw, disturbing, intense, appalling, shameful, and so very, very sad." "This story has the complexity of The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, but written with the flow of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson." "Your ...More info →