Girlfriend with bpd

How to Make It Work

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have rocky relationships, both romantic and platonic. Romantic relationships present a unique set of challenges for people with BPD and for their partners.

Symptoms of BPD can cause constant changes in emotions.

For example, a person with BPD may be affectionate and doting, but within a few hours, their emotional state may switch. They may feel smothered or overwhelmed. This can lead them to push away the partner they had just been drawing closer.

With treatment and continual support from family and partners, people with BPD can have successful relationships. Read on to find out how it’s possible and what you can do if you or your partner has BPD.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition that affects the way a person processes everyday emotions and reactions.

People with BPD are often impulsive and emotionally unstable. They may have intense episodes of anger, anxiety, and depression. These episodes can last several hours and be followed by a more stable period.

These episodes could also last several days and negatively affect the person’s work, relationships, or physical health. Some people with BPD are prone to self-injury, accidents, and fights. Suicide is also more common among people with BPD.

Another way to understand how a person with BPD experiences life is to realize they have a more difficult time returning to an emotional baseline.

When something exciting or positive happens, they may experience greater joy for longer. But the opposite is also true: If something bad happens, they may have trouble bouncing back.

For friends, family members, and potential partners of someone with BPD, these emotional peaks and valleys may seem chaotic, which can lead to intense, conflict-filled relationships.

A romantic relationship with someone with BPD can be, in a word, stormy. It’s not uncommon to experience a great deal of turmoil and dysfunction.

However, people with BPD can be exceptionally caring, compassionate, and affectionate. In fact, some people find this level of devotion from a partner pleasant. A person with BPD may also be very physical and eager to spend a lot of time with their partner.

At the same time, people with BPD are sensitive to abandonment or rejection. Many are hyperfocused on perceived signs that a romantic partner isn’t happy or may leave them.

When a person with BPD senses a shift in their partner’s feelings, whether real or imagined, they may immediately withdraw. They can become angry and hurt over something a person without BPD would not react to. They can even become obsessive.

These emotional switchbacks can be difficult to handle. Sometimes they can lead to uncomfortable public scenes. The impulsive behavior of a person with BPD may put that person or their partner at risk, too.

However, the stability of a partner may have a positive effect on the emotional sensitivities people with BPD experience. It may require a great deal of work from both partners, but long-term relationships and marriages are possible for people with BPD.

The most common BPD behaviors and symptoms could be detrimental to any relationship. If you have been diagnosed with the condition, you likely know this already. People with BPD are more likely to have many romantic relationships, which are often short-lived.

This could be because you purposefully broke off the relationship for fear your partner might do it first. It could also be because your partner wasn’t comfortable facing so much difficulty.

It’s important to know that you can have a healthy relationship despite your personality disorder. Treatment, along with a strong support network, can help you find stability in your emotional state and in your relationships.

Treatment won’t cure BPD, but these options can help you learn to cope with the symptoms and react in ways that aren’t as harmful to you or your partner.

treatment for bpd

The most common treatments for BPD include:

  • Therapy. Dialectical behavioral therapy is commonly used with people who have BPD. A therapist will help you learn to respond to emotional situations with reason and proper judgment. This will reduce the dichotomous thinking (the belief that everything is black and white) that so many people with BPD have.
  • Medication. There is no medication that can treat BPD, but antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, and antipsychotics may help treat some of the symptoms.
  • Hospitalization. If you begin showing signs of self-harm or suicidal ideation, a doctor may hospitalize you for observation and intensive therapy.

If you or your partner has BPD, you can find ways to cope with the cycles of emotions that the condition causes. This can help you build a stronger, more resilient connection.

ways to improve bpd relationships
  • Learn about BPD. Part of caring for a partner with BPD is understanding what they’re experiencing. Understanding the level of emotional disorder they experience can help you respond in a way that protects both of you from additional chaos.
  • Seek professional help. Therapy can help people with BPD learn to better process emotions and events that upset them. Partners of people with BPD can also benefit from therapy. A professional can help a partner understand how to react, understand, and be supportive.
  • Offer emotional support. Someone with BPD may feel very isolated because of their past. Offer your partner understanding and patience. It is possible for them to learn and have better behaviors.

People with BPD are good and compassionate, and they can have healthy relationships. It takes work, and lifelong challenges will remain.

Therapists and doctors can work with you or your partner to develop a treatment plan. These healthcare providers can help you address the BPD symptoms that are most damaging to you and to your relationship.

What You Need to Know When Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder – Bridges to Recovery

April 19, 2016, Elisabet KvarnstromBridges to Recovery

Paddy is in love. Nine months into their relationship, he and his girlfriend have moved past the early days of butterflies and uncertainty and have begun developing a true bond, the kind that begins to take hold when you become familiar with each other, learn each other’s rhythms, and begin to truly see each other. “There have been times where I have been so infatuated and so blissfully happy that I felt like running away with her,” he says. “We spoke of the perfect wedding, of names for our children – we dared to dream.”

As tends to happen, however, their dreams were interrupted by reality and, in Paddy’s case, that reality includes his girlfriend’s Borderline Personality Disorder. “To say that this relationship has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. There are times [when our relationship] has plummeted to the depths whereby we were both ready to give up. ” Between the periods of elation and bliss come what Paddy calls “bad phases.” “Sometimes among the arguments, the fits of anger and rage, the distrust, the paranoia, the mood swings, it seems like my girlfriend is a completely different person.” In the worst of times, he likens dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to having a relationship with someone who has dementia. “Sometimes they look into their parent’s eyes and they see a spark. A flicker of joy and recognition. The person they knew and love is still there, somewhere deep down inside. Those moments are what the person longs for.”

Still, to Paddy, it is worth it. “I try to see the light,” he says, and he believes that one day his girlfriend will overcome her BPD. “It’s hard being in a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD. But it is nowhere near as hard as being the one with BPD. My girlfriend is not a burden, her BPD is.”

Paddy’s story isn’t a fairytale romance. For most, it may hold little that feels inspirational. But if you’re dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, it is probably at once familiar and remarkable; the deep stigma attached to BPD—and specifically having relationships with someone who has BPD—makes stories of intact relationships all too rare. Hearing someone else share your struggles and negotiate the realities of the illness can be both comforting and illuminating. But successfully dating someone with BPD requires more than knowing it is possible or receiving validation that it can be hard—it requires understanding exactly how the illness affects someone’s perception of themselves and their interactions with partners.

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Passion and Fear in BPD Relationships

Borderline Personality Disorder is a chronic and complex mental health disorder marked by instability, and interpersonal relationships are often the stage on which this instability plays out. Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist who treats patients with BPD, explains:

People with borderline feel empty, and they are always trying to fight off what they perceive as rejection and abandonment, so they see abandonment and rejection where it doesn’t necessarily exist. They’re so afraid of being alone, abandoned, or left, or people breaking up with them, that they sense it where it doesn’t exist and they need tons of reassurance.

Often, this emptiness and intense fear of abandonment are the result of early childhood trauma and the absence of secure, healthy attachments in the vital formative years. Paradoxically, the overwhelming fear manifests in behaviors that deeply disrupt the relationship and pushes partners away rather than pulls them closer, resulting in a stormy and tumultuous dynamic that typically emerges in the early days of dating.

When they are in relationships they get very intensely involved way too quickly. [People] tend to really like [people with BPD] at first, because they are very intense, and very passionate. But then what comes along with it, a couple of weeks later, is: “Why didn’t you call me back immediately?” “Are you out with somebody else?” So [people with BPD] get attached very quickly, give [the relationship] their all, but then get disappointed very quickly. They start out thinking, “I love this guy, he’s the greatest,” but if he does a minor thing that disappoints them, they get deeply disturbed. Everything is done with passion, but it goes from being very happy and passionate to very disappointed and rageful.

For Karla, a 29-year old woman recently diagnosed with BPD, Dr. Greenberg’s description is right on point. “When I feel as though someone is secretly attacking me, I will get on the defense, become overly emotional, moody, and dramatic, and perhaps will call them out on it. In reality, [they] may have just not been aware whatsoever,” she says. Prior to her diagnosis, her boyfriend, Thomas, used to blame himself for her hot and cold behavior. “Many of her mood swings (which of course I can now link and identify with her BPD) before the diagnosis were difficult for me to understand,” he says. “I assumed it was something to do with me being difficult for her to be with.” When Karla was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, however, things began making sense, and as Thomas began learning more about the disorder, he began to reconceptualize his own role in their relationship; many of their conflicts weren’t about him, but about Karla’s struggle to deal with an intense internal struggle that affected not only her understanding of herself, but her ability to interact with other people.

Distorted Borderline Perceptions and Damaging Patterns

When you’re dating someone with BPD, it is vital to recognize that their assumptions about your relationship are often very different than your own, and this can profoundly color the way they relate to you. Although each person has their own unique experience, these are some common thought patterns people with BPD tend to have:

I must be loved by all the important people in my life at all times or else I am worthless.

Nobody cares about me as much as I care about them, so I always lose everyone I care about—despite the desperate things I try to do to stop them from leaving me.

If someone treats me badly, then I become bad.

When I am alone, I become nobody and nothing.

I can’t stand the frustration that I feel when I need something from someone and I can’t get it. I’ve got to do something to make it go away.

These thoughts may be completely at odds with your own perception of your partner, but it is imperative to understand that for them, they are very real, and can drive them toward extreme and seemingly irrational behavior. Navigating through this emotional minefield can be difficult and painful for both of you, but knowing that their thoughts and behaviors are the product of intensely powerful perceptional distortions deeply rooted in their mental health disorder, rather than a reflection of your own shortcomings, can bring some comfort. For Thomas, educating himself about BPD helped him move from self-blame to empathy and compassion:

There are a lot of nuances, complexities, and lines to be read through with BPD, but mostly I see Borderline Personality Disorder as an illness about pain, fear, and struggling to cope with all of that. It’s almost like a wounded animal, as I see it. But the common conception is just [that they are] crazy, which is an extraordinarily damaging misconception to those who suffer from it. They aren’t crazy, they’re hurting.

For relationships to have a chance of succeeding, this is a critical piece: people with BPD aren’t acting with malice or being difficult, but acting on their own internal logic with limited emotional resources.

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The Possibility of Healing from BPD

Unfortunately, the misconceptions surrounding borderline personality disorder often lead people to assume relationships with those who suffer from the condition are doomed to fail. In part, this is spurred by the myth that BPD is untreatable, a false but prevalent belief that can too often remove hope. In reality, with the right treatment, many people with BPD can learn to manage their symptoms, and a substantial number achieve remission to the point where they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the illness. By integrating specialized BPD therapies like Dialectical Behavior Therapy with other evidence-based clinical and holistic therapies within the context of a comprehensive treatment plan, it is possible to disrupt the emotional and behavioral instability of BPD and establish inner tranquility.

Along with individual and group therapies, couples therapy is often an integral part of healing from BPD, as individuals and as a team. With the guidance of an experienced therapist who understands the unique challenges presented by BPD, you can create strategies for supporting your partner and yourself while nurturing and fortifying your relationship. As Dr. Greenberg says: “I’ve seen a lot of [people with BPD] get so much better, I love working with borderlines. Because their emotion is all there, and acting that way is all they know, and then when you show them an easier way to be, and to act, they see how much easier life can be. Absolutely. There’s hope.”

Treatment at Bridges to Recovery

At Bridges to Recovery, we specialize in diagnosing and treating psychiatric and emotional issues such as borderline personality disorder. We provide compassionate and effective care in a serene residential setting so clients can focus on their treatment and recovery without the worries of external pressures and stressors.

Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles programs. We can help you or your loved one start on the path to healing.

My friend has postpartum depression. How can I help?

#mental health

Unfortunately, not all of them cope on their own, with the help of a supportive environment or even specialists. Recently in Moscow, a woman went out the window with two small children in her arms. This is a sad occasion for an important conversation about DRP. We have prepared a memo that will help you navigate if postpartum depression has covered your girlfriend or relative.

Listen carefully to her and take what she says. If your friend is sincerely telling you about her experiences, don't bombard her with disparaging comments like: "It's just hormones" or "How can you be sad when you have such a beautiful baby?"

Help her seek professional help . Postpartum depression is a disease that in many cases requires medication or work with a psychologist. Even if your friend shares sad thoughts with you, you cannot know exactly how deep her feelings really are, so try to convince her to contact professionals who can assess the seriousness of the situation and take appropriate action. nine0003

Do not judge her or devalue her condition . If after the birth of a child you felt like the happiest person in the world, this does not mean at all that everyone around you must experience the same feelings. Advice like "look at things from a different angle" or "be grateful" can only make her feel worse. Do not convince her that a long sleep, a vacation at a resort, or going to church will save her.

Interesting on the topic

“Depression is a dangerous disease that can lead to death”: a long interview with psychologist Vera Yakupova about PRD

Praise her . Depression is often accompanied by a severe drop in self-esteem, so remember to remind your friend that despite her suffering, she is a wonderful mother. Tell her that she is strong and brave for talking about her experiences. And remind her that the best thing she can do for her child is take care of herself.

Give her some time for herself . Household help will not be superfluous either: clean her apartment, bring dinner or sit with the child while she goes to the therapist: very often women do not seek help just because they do not know with whom they can leave their children. Imagine what would help you if you were the mother of a baby, and offer her exactly that. nine0003

Call her somewhere . One of the common side effects of postpartum depression is the desire to hide from everyone. Invite a friend over for coffee, dinner, or just go for a walk - without the baby. Many women who have recovered from PPD recall how much such outings with loved ones who were ready to lend a shoulder of support helped them.

Introduce her to a woman who was in the same condition as . If you've had postpartum depression, be sure to share it with a friend. If you know someone who has gone through this, introduce them, at least by email or messenger. The opportunity to talk about her feelings with someone who has experienced similar feelings can greatly alleviate her condition. nine0003

Don't go missing . No one knows how long the recovery process will take - even if your friend is under intensive treatment, depression can last for several months. Be patient and be there all the time.

#mental health

Betrayal of a girlfriend: how to survive and move on

nine0046 Alas, it's usually those we love the most who hurt us the most. Surviving the betrayal of a friend can be more difficult than the intrigues of enemies, but you will definitely cope with this - we will show you how to do it.

There are many books on how to deal with infidelity in marriage. But what to do when your girlfriend betrayed you? nine0003

What should be done in this extremely unpleasant situation and how to survive such a blow?

Below are a few tips that should help.

1 Clarify the situation

Here and below, stills from the film "Bride Wars"

When we face the betrayal of our best friend, it can "blind" us and make us feel a storm of negative emotions: anger, despair, feelings of abandonment and distrust of others.

However, in this difficult period, it is important to realize that in some cases what is perceived as a betrayal is not such, and after clarifying the situation, it turns out to be a simple misunderstanding. nine0003

Let's take an example. Imagine that a friend suddenly stopped responding to your messages, forgot to congratulate you on the holiday, or did not fulfill her promise. This is very unpleasant, but it is important to understand why she did it? Was the reason that you are no longer important to her, or perhaps she had serious problems?

Before pronouncing a “death sentence” on your friendship, try to find out the interpretation of what happened from your girlfriend - it is quite possible that you now need not to be angry with her, but to provide support. nine0003

2 Name your feelings

To begin to recover from betrayal, you must be specific about the feelings it caused. Try to understand what exactly you are experiencing right now.


You have been hurt, and one of the most natural feelings in such situations is anger. “How dare she?! How could she?! She will pay for this!"


When you are betrayed, you may experience sadness because of a sense of loss (trust, happy memories, or your fellowship in the future). nine0003


Yes, you were probably shocked to learn that a close friend betrayed you. Most likely, you did not even suspect that she was capable of such a thing.


You may worry about the consequences of this betrayal. So, sometimes it can mean serious shocks, and it scares you.

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend?

  • Yes. nine0098
  • No.
  • I myself have been a traitor.
  • Disgust

    You can't bear to even think about your friend and her act, because it makes your stomach cramp.


    You may doubt yourself and whether you are worthy of love and care from others. After all, the person who betrayed you obviously doesn't think so. nine0003


    You may blame yourself and feel ashamed of what happened and how others may now treat you.


    Perhaps you are still unable to understand what happened and how to be now.

    Determining how you feel at any given time is a very important step to start moving forward. You may experience many or all of these feelings after a betrayal - most likely several at a time and rock back and forth as you process them. nine0003

    For example, surprise and confusion may be the first feelings you experience, and then they will be replaced by anger and disgust or sadness and fear. Then you can return to surprise tinged with shame.

    Be prepared for the fact that there will not be a clear or even transition from one feeling to another, but rather you will find yourself drawn into a turbulent whirlpool of emotions.

    3 Accept and process your feelings

    Once you are confronted with the painful truth about cheating by a friend and your own feelings about it, you should start processing emotions - good, bad and ugly. nine0003

    So, in a moment of rage, you may wonder how to avenge a friend for betrayal, but you should not do this, and, after calming down a little, you will begin to be ashamed of such an impulse.

    After being stabbed in the back by a loved one, you are likely to have to manage many different emotions. Be prepared for the fact that feelings about what happened will not be static.

    Resentment can turn into anger or vice versa. Each phase will require different emotional and possibly even physical responses on your part. The main thing is to be honest with yourself. And, whenever possible, explain your feelings to people who are important to you, although not necessarily to the one who hurt you. nine0003

    4 Consider whether it is worth discussing what happened to the traitor

    Sometimes the person who hurt us helps us deal with the surging feelings. In this case, it may be helpful to talk about what happened. However, sometimes a friend does not want to discuss what happened, or you yourself are not ready to meet with her - and this is normal.

    The same is true when you committed betrayal. If your sincere apology is not accepted, you may feel insulted and disappointed, and the friend who offended you may feel the same way. nine0003

    Do not miss

    • Don't miss

      Betrayal as a personal choice: the stories of people who survived it

    In any case, you can still express your feelings, but perhaps not to the one you are currently angry with. It's also completely normal if you want to act like everything is fine and you think your friend should do the same. Although, of course, this solution works best when it works for both of you. nine0003

    5 Decide if you can forgive your girlfriend or not

    How to survive the betrayal of a friend? Try to forgive her. Think about how serious the blow was for you, and whether the pain it caused outweighs all the light and good that was in your relationship.

    Remember that all of us can make mistakes, and sometimes a misdeed on the part of one and the generosity of another can strengthen a friendship, not destroy it.

    Alas, we are not always able to step over betrayal and sometimes we no longer want to maintain relations with someone who has offended us greatly. In this situation, we also advise you to try to forgive the now ex-girlfriend in order to let go of the negative emotions associated with her misconduct. nine0003

    You can't change what you've done, but you can stop "cooking" in feelings and start moving on.

    6 Admit that there is no one right way to deal with betrayal

    It is extremely important to realize and acknowledge, at least for yourself, what you feel. Once you do this, it will be easier for you to find ways to deal with your feelings. If you don't yet have a clear idea of ​​how to react, try acting out a possible conversation about what happened to the traitor. nine0003

    Have an internal dialogue for as long as possible, and then consider how you feel about this scenario. Now imagine the reverse situation. What happens if you don't tell her anything? What do you feel in this situation? How else can you react to what happened?

    After you imagine several different scenarios, you will probably have a decision about what is best for you to do - or not to do - in a given situation.

    7 Ask a friend if she regrets what happened

    How betrayal will affect your friendship will largely depend on how your friend feels about what happened. If she does not understand why you feel betrayed, and does not consider it necessary to apologize for what she did, this may indicate that friendship has no future.

    On the other hand, if she has shown sincere remorse and is doing her best to make amends with you, this may be a sign that you can remain friends if you are ready for it. nine0003

    8 Don't rush to make a decision

    When we get angry, we often make decisions that we later regret. You don't want to lose a good friend as a result of a hasty judgment in the heat of the moment, do you? Give yourself time to calm down and think about the situation before deciding what to do next.

    It might be worth avoiding talking to this friend until you've regained your composure so you don't say anything you don't really mean. After all, if you know someone well, then you probably know how to hit that person where it hurts the most. It's not worth doing that. nine0003

    By the way, you can learn how to learn not to take it out on loved ones when you are very upset, from a separate material.

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