Saving your Life after Loving a Borderline.
By Shari Schreiber,
hurting. You've never felt this excruciating pain before, and you
need it to stop. Perhaps she's left you for another--or
just abruptly left, and this terrible lack of closure has you confounded.
You're constantly replaying each moment of this relationship in
your mind, to comprehend why she's suddenly gone--and you
keep blaming yourself. It's hard to make sense of these
awful feelings, because there could have been times you
thought of leaving--but
you've patiently hung on, hoping it would get better. Your emotional
roller-coaster ride has finally ended, but all you can think
about is having her back.
you're involved with a borderline disordered female,
you feel ebullient when things are “good” between you, and miserable
when they're not. You might think of
her like a drug you can’t live without, because you've felt alive
and buoyant when she was attentive, available and loving, and tortured
and empty when she was indifferent, detached or cruel.
During frequent breakups or periods of distancing, you may have
desperately longed for her return, and resorted to elaborate means
to re-engage her.
the wake of this involvement, you're probably obsessing about what
she's feeling or doing, who she's screwing--and wondering if she's
thinking at all about you. Your emotionally treacherous
dance with a borderline girlfriend or wife may be over--but if your
feelings of regret, shame and emptiness are so unbearable, that
you want her back at any cost, this was
written for You.
man I've known for years once said, "I don't care if somebody
manipulates me, as long as I'm having a good time." His
statement was really funny to me back then--but it perfectly encapsulates
a man's initial experience with a Borderline. Decades
later, this guy craves but avoids romantic involvement,
because all the women he's ever attached to, have been Borderlines!
good deed goes unpunished," was his favorite lament--and I
guess this was the story of his life, given these unwavering romantic
selections. Sadly, his
only frame of reference consistently yielded painful outcomes associated
with loving. Current wisdom has informed him, this prize
is no longer worth the price he'd pay
for another go at it. Alas, even aging has its rewards.
aspects or common denominators are present in males who attach to
Borderlines. Generally, these are People
Pleaser types, who have rescuing or fixing compulsions, self-esteem
difficulties from childhood, intimacy issues, engulfment concerns,
poor self-image, dysthymia (chronic/long-standing mild to moderate
depression), etc. Foundational problems of this kind leave men vulnerable
to being seduced and manipulated by these women. You may be extremely
accomplished and successful--but the Borderline will methodically
learn what's underneath those props, and use your most
intimate secrets and self-doubts against you. These involvements
derail your trust in women, but also in yourself--which is unfortunately,
the worst part of this deal.
man's ego takes a jab when a woman leaves--but
a Borderline leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed,
castrated, unlovable, emasculated, worthless, etc. You start believing
that if she returns, you'll be able to get rid of these horrible
sensations, and feel okay again. Once in awhile, your rational mind
recalls the torment of that affair, and you're not certain you want
that part of it again--but anything
must be better than what you're feeling right now!
GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN.
conflict between what you need and want, confuses and intensifies
your struggle, because you're hopelessly trapped in yearning for
a woman you've sensed isn't healthy for you! Your ambivalence
is completely normal--but it adds to your feelings of shame about
being out of control and a little 'crazy.' There's a ridiculously
simple explanation for all of this; you've been trying to have a
functional relationship with a dysfunctional female.
you're not perfect--but
you've overlooked an awful lot, just to keep this woman caring
enough to stick around. There have been times that taking care of
her feelings and needs was a full time job--but you've
gladly taken it on, and tirelessly kept trying to get a few crumbs
of loving attention along the way. If you disappointed or let her
down in any manner, the character assaults and twisted perceptions
of you as an inconsiderate or "selfish" man, made you
feel just terrible about yourself. These comments usually
came on the heels of the good times, so you began to believe
them, which made you try even harder to please her!
always a childhood template that sets up our attraction
to someone personality disordered. Perhaps your Borderline has traits
similar to mother or father, and you're familiar with the
relationship dynamics you've struggled with in this attachment (which
keeps it exciting, despite all the pain).
keep wanting to blame yourself for this relationship faltering,
but this is directly tied to experiences in childhood,
which left you with self-esteem wounds. A young child can't make
sense of why he isn't getting enough love, affection or support
from a parent, and he doesn't even know how to ask for it! He'll
try to find reasons for this lack of attention in his head--but
the only rationale he can come up with is, it must be his
fault; "I must not be good enough, smart enough, cute enough,
lovable," etc. You've carried these self-worth injuries into
your adult relationships, and now they're alive again. This damage
must be repaired, or you'll continue being attracted to Borderlines.
dangerous, diabolical hook with Borderlines, is they initially
come across as genuine, and completely without pretense, guile or
disguise. This helps you drop your guard, and makes it easy to trust
that their statements to you are real--and they're authentic,
integrous individuals. The ease you have felt with them
is so natural and wholesome, it seems you've waited for this your
whole life! These early behaviors are central to their Seduction
Plan; as soon as they sense that you're captivated, you're captured--and
these episodes of delicious intimacy become fewer and farther between.
will never know where you stand with a Borderline, because
they're not capable of discerning this for themselves--well, not
beyond a few moments or hours at a time, anyway. One minute you're
the center of their universe, but before you know it--you're dirt
under their feet. You'll continually wrestle with this discrepancy,
'cause you're trying to make sense of it! Don't bother. It's nonsensical,
until you start to accept that this is typical
bit further down in this piece, I expose the myths
surrounding Borderlines. That sub-section (THE GOOD, THE BAD
& THE UGLY) is intended to help you start thinking logically
about this mess, untangle the hold this female's had on you--and
begin to recover! These myths are anecdotal, to center you and assist
you in surmounting this awful struggle.
LOVES ME, SHE LOVES ME NOT . . .
borderline disordered female may lure you with explicit sexual imagery,
or how much she loves or misses you when you're apart--but never
deliver once you're together. Long-distance relationships
that are initially cultivated and maintained over the Internet are
very common in this regard, and leave men at a loss, as to why those
enticing promises aren't fulfilled. If she has Waif
features, she may explain that she thinks you should 'wait'
until you marry, which can have you believing you've found a virtuous
girl, and respecting her wishes--but what's happened to that sexy
vamp who seduced you in the first place?? You might be willing to
accommodate this bait and switch routine, but give serious
weight to this disparity between her words and actions--and let
it be a warning flag of what's to follow! The Waif
may also use physical ailments as excuses to leave you hanging out
to dry--and there you sit, with your dick in your hand.
can leave solid, long-term attachments or marriages very suddenly.
You'll be feeling shocked and bewildered by this--particularly when
she cites frustrations or problems you were never made aware of,
to justify her abrupt departure. You might vacillate between
numbness and tormenting confusion, but what's even worse, is she'll
have you thinking you're responsible for this outcome!
When you've done virtually everything
to keep her satisfied and happy throughout this relationship (which
has included putting your personal needs and desires aside to accommodate
hers), you're left only with a sense of sheer exhaustion,
painful craving and deep betrayal.
cannot help agonizing over how she could leave--given all
the times she told you this was the "best sex" she'd ever
had, how much she needed you, and that she could never even
imagine living without you! You've believed you
were the center of her universe, and it was finally safe to let
your guard down, and trust that she was here to stay. Losing a Borderline
is like being in a hit-and-run accident. You're in trauma, and she
speeds away without a moment's consideration for the carnage she's
left behind. That's brutality!
departures during mid-life are particularly significant,
because while she could have been exhibiting borderline symptoms
for decades, these may become far more pronounced during marked
hormonal changes, such as pre- or peri-menopause. This concern is
also heightened with regard to menstrual cycles, PMS, pregnancy,
ovarian removal and/or hysterectomies, etc., which can easily catalyze
more acting-out behaviors and psychosis.
relationships are extremely common among Borderlines, and leave
men feeling used and discarded--but the same disturbing patterns
that you wrestled with during this relationship,
are replicated with other suitors. It's literally just
a matter of time before they'll meet with a similar fate, and be
suffering as you are. In short, your Borderline will not miraculously
become normal/well with some other guy! Her disruptive behaviors
stem from deeply entrenched survival reflexes. Without highly skilled
therapeutic intervention, she just can't help herself.
respect to her rebounding, you'll be on high-alert as to how long
she's staying with the next guy. This is torturous to you, because
if she manages to remain a bit longer than you think she
should (based on the literature you might have read) you'll be driving
yourself crazy with self-doubts and shame. A Borderline always
leaves you feeling shameful, because she makes you believe you're
the one at fault for this thing not working. A long-held rotten
leftover from your boyhood might be; "If I feel bad in
a relationship, it must be my fault,"
but it's time to throw it out!!! Every male who's gone through what
you're going through right now, lugs around old/deep self-worth
issues from childhood, and this erroneous belief is simply
a part of that old, faulty programming.
Borderline is inherently narcissistic
due to his/her lack of emotional development--but you've
also observed other problems, such as; desperate attempts
to gain attention, intense/irrational abandonment fears, lack of
empathy, extreme jealousy, lying, poor impulse control, extramarital
abuse, hypersexuality, 'crazy-making' interactions, low self-esteem,
rebound relationships, passive-aggression, cognitive
distortion, self-harming behaviors, eating disorders, suicidal
ideation, stalking, etc. In truth, a panoply
of pathologies may be associated with borderline disorder, and
Histrionic Personality Disorder is just
one of these.
might have perceived a bit of 'craziness' early on, when she'd become
disproportionately volatile about minor issues that were troublesome
to her. When she shared stories about (vilified) former boyfriends
or lovers, you felt honored to be privy to these intimate revelations,
while assuring yourself it would be different with you;
why not--you're one of the 'good guys!'
During these storytellings, you were made to feel exceptional, heroic
and uniquely unlike all the others. The way she hung on
your every word, gazed into your eyes, touched you and wanted
you, was beyond anything you'd experienced before, and you felt
privileged to have found her. Basically, you were on top of the
world--and could never have imagined falling off.
ARE YOU--AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY GIRLFRIEND?
you've dabbled in drugs, loving a Borderline is like chasing after
your first hit of Cocaine, and trying to recapture that initial
'rush' the rest of the night. In the early stages of this
relationship (the Honeymoon), you felt hopelessly captivated, and
intrigued with her intensity. A novel sense of contentment, wholeness
or 'finally arriving,' became part of your everyday experience.
The sensations she engendered in you, had only existed in vague
fantasies--no matter how many close encounters
there had been with other females. This might be the first time
you'd gotten really intimate with someone, and felt like you were
worthy of such a prize--especially
if you struggled with self-esteem issues, earlier in life. Did you
learn to love pain as a boy, in order to adapt to and survive it?
Abuse by a Borderline is quite literally, a heart attack.
difficulties could have drawn you to this type of woman, and kept
you ensnared beyond all instinct and reason. They could have allowed
you to tolerate/accept her abusive or distancing behaviors, way
beyond what you've known was reasonable or right for you. She's
irresistibly seductive, and may be the most exquisitely beautiful
creature you have ever been with--so any notion of walking away
when the going got tough, seemed inconceivable. If you're relatively
inexperienced in the realm of ongoing, intimate relations, you might
naturally assume "all women are like that," but
direct contrast to the instability you've observed in this woman,
there are times you've glimpsed what appears to be her wisdom, her
spirituality and her incredible knack for stating things that make
her sound like an absolute authority on health/well-being.
Borderlines are often plagiarists or copycats.
They may have read a plethora of self-help books along their way,
that have helped them assemble their broken shards of ceramic into
a mosaic of sorts, that resembles a whole/definable image.
They have the remarkable capacity to mimic or parrot information
they've read or heard--which helps you regard them as healthy and
sane. This characteristic is particularly
common among Borderlines in the "helping" professions--which
amps up the volume on your ambivalence and confusion about these
women. The primary issue with their Guru Complex, is they can talk
the talk--but there's no way they can walk
it! That would require integrity,
which is a by-product of moral development.
have an uncanny ability to paint themselves into corners legally,
financially, professionally or interpersonally--and then attempt
to make You responsible for the consequences of
those choices! It's impossible to make them see that their impulsivity
brought about this peril, and it's payback for their short-sighted
behavior. Allow them to enter adulthood. Resist
the urge to bail them out.
KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVE YA BABY, BUT IT'S EXHAUSTING!
Borderline might have been so insecure and needy, you felt reasonably
certain she would never leave you--but at times, secretly
hoped she would. Her physical ailments inspired your sympathy and
determination to protect her, but you've often marveled at how someone
so young could be so sickly! For the most part, your relationship
moved along pretty smoothly, until you tried to express
any real concerns or needs. The Borderline
Waif can't handle that--after all, it's clearly been your
job to take care of her. The minute you
had a need, she either made you wrong for it, punished you or left.
a serious adult conversation with a Borderline, is like trying to
get a three year old to comprehend, and rationally respond
to the issues at hand. Just when you've worked up the courage to
approach a sensitive topic, she deftly diverts the dialogue
by starting a fight, or accusing you of not loving her, caring about
her feelings, wanting her, etc. At this point, tremendous time and
energy is spent consoling/reassuring her, and reinforcing how much
you really care! The inevitable upshot? Your original concern is
and any hope for resolution is abandoned. You may adore a child,
but you can't have an interdependent adult relationship with one.
Borderline's duality generally exacerbates this deflection
issue. She may bully you--but the very
moment you fight back, she can shape-shift into her (victimized)
"poor me" role, and make you out to be
the monster! You will wrestle with this time and time again--because
she's typically the instigator, but you can never make her see it,
or own it. Change cannot occur, because a borderline
disordered person doesn't experience remorse--and when
there's no genuine remorse, there can be no emotional growth or
of how proficient or successful she is in her professional
sphere, issues of an emotional nature make you feel like you're
dealing with a little girl, who's living inside a woman's body--and
this continually perplexes you! Just know that your perceptions
are extremely accurate, and developmental arrest is the
culprit behind this odd incongruency.
are ignorant about men, and human nature in general. They
fear that if they let you feel good about yourself,
you'll leave them for somebody better! Such is the extent of their
insecurity and abandonment terror.
love and affection to a Borderline is like trying to fill a well
that has a huge fracture at the bottom; she simply cannot hold it.
In truth, you've had to constantly assure her of your devotion all
along--but no matter how much you have, she just can't seem to integrate
it. A three year old sees his/her world in a black or white sort
of way. They think that you either love them or hate them, based
on your facial expressions, tone of voice and behaviors. As they
haven't yet developed the capacity for mood regulation, they'll
react to the slightest frustration or disappointment, by hating
you! As soon as their immediate upset passes, they revert to loving
you again. Their feelings and perceptions of you can shift on a
dime; within the vernacular of borderline pathology,
this love you/hate you phenomenon is referred to as 'splitting.'
have been torturing men, probably since time began. If you're a
fan of 'Oldies' music, you might remember this song from the late
sixties; Build Me Up Buttercup, by The
Foundations. It was upbeat and fun, but the lyrics say
it all. It may cheer you up a bit, so take a second, and listen
(just hit the 'back'
button on your internet browser afterward, to return here).
WE STILL BE FRIENDS??
likely hear this question posed in slightly different ways by your
soon-to-be-X-Borderline. Take a moment here, and
ask yourself what friendship means to you, and if you've
ever been treated with such disrespect, lack of concern and dishonesty
in any relationship you've come to regard as one you could trust.
Friends aren't just acquaintances--these are folks we've learned
(over time) we can rely on, to have our back, as we have
theirs. "A friend in need, is a friend
indeed" is a truism--unless
you've been broad-sided by a Borderline! The BPD Waif
tries to keep you around to meet every little need she has, no matter
how inconvenient it might be for you drop everything in your
world, to respond to her frantic outreach--be it the middle of the
night, or otherwise. The unfortunate truth here is, this has never
been a reciprocal relationship--and it ain't
about to become one now. If your fixing/rescuing
compulsions are so deeply entrenched, that you're bound and
determined to dangle on the sidelines as her emergency life-support
unit, you're signing up for even more destructive, debilitating
times up ahead, and you're a chump. You
have been duly warned. Proceed at your own
you're the one wanting to maintain this connection--in
spite of all the pain this gal has caused you, you're only trying
to escape the toxic shame you're experiencing in the aftermath
of that relationship, and understandably trying to bandage your
ego. If you think this female can't be seriously wounding to you
when sex isn't part of your dynamic anymore, you're
GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY--KNOW THY OPPONENT.
now going to debunk some myths
about Borderlines: First,
they won't all behave identically. You might assume that
certain patterns you've heard or read about can be anticipated with
every Borderline--but it just isn't true. For one; after an
upset or break-up, her return is not chiseled in stone!
It's likely she'll come around when she wants or needs something
from you, but this is only when it suits her--which could
take weeks, months or years.
Borderlines can make tangible progress with solid therapeutic
help, but you may have a better shot at flying to the moon strapped
to a banana, than keeping them in treatment long enough, to accomplish
any real growth or healing. Don't forget--they're terrified of attaching,
and relying on anyone for their care. They'll act-out
by devaluing the therapist, acting belligerent or picking fights,
being non-compliant and/or seductive, missing appointments, rescheduling
at the last minute, or lying in effort to control
the therapeutic relationship. Week to week, the therapist hears
them diminish you or glorify you, and this splitting reflex
(of course) happens continuously.
no matter how much you try to please her or love her better,
you're in for a rocky ride. Borderlines can be attracted to narcissistic
or abusive men, because of poor self-image and attachment fears:
What could be safer, than trying to get someone to love
you, who's incapable of loving? The more you demonstrate that she's
lovable, the more disdain she feels toward you. It's kind of like
that old saying; "I wouldn't want to join a club that would
have me as a member," holds true here. You can't be someone
you're not, just to keep this woman interested in you--but your
need to be who she needs you to be, is
rooted in boyhood!!!
when you're imagining that she's feeling exactly like you
are, stop it! There are times you'll show up on her radar, and times
you won't--no matter how much history you've shared. An
individual who lives with psychosis does not have the same
feelings or emotional responses as you. To presume that they do,
is unrealistic thinking, narcissistic and potentially very dangerous.
if you're thinking you need her to suffer like you have--and
that being seen with someone new will make her want you
again, watch your back! This is an extremely hazardous game you're
about to play, regardless of whether or not she's left
you for a rebound relationship. Dating a new woman? Keep a low profile,
and put your car in the garage! Is this fair? No, but it's safer.
if you're reflexively making yourself "wrong"
for conjuring up all sorts of terrible fates befalling her, ease-up
on yourself! Your anger is appropriate under these circumstances,
and it's an activating emotion--which gives you temporary
respite from this dreadful depression. Rage is a normal aspect of
your healing process, but try to hold these feelings without
self-judgment, rather than acting on them (unless
you wanna do some push-ups). In other words, express this energy
in ways that won't harm you, or anyone else.
if she calls or "checks in" to see how you're doing in
the aftermath of this relationship, it's never
about you! Your needs didn't matter while she was with
you, and they don't matter now. You may feel grateful she seems
to care enough to keep the connection alive--but her sole purpose
is keeping you around to meet her needs
(no matter what she says to the contrary). A three year
old hasn't developed any capacity for empathy
(that comes much later on), so don't presume that she's calling
for your sake.
no matter who left whom, emotional cut-off is second nature
to this woman. It's natural for you to wonder if she ever really
loved you, or meant the things she said while you were together--particularly
if she's diminishing you or your importance to her, now.
Was she "faking it?" No, but you must understand,
this is part of that splitting reflex described above,
and just one of the survival tools she's carried since infancy.
You cannot fix this.
the minute you make contact with her, you're giving away
your power! No matter what you think you need to say
to this female, these dialogues will leave you feeling worse,
not better. You may compulsively replay these conversations in your
head afterwards, and think you did a really good job--but it won't
be long before you're doubting it, and torturing yourself. Do not
intercept her calls; if you decide to return them, do it
when you're feeling more centered, and it's easy/convenient for
you. Don't reply to any emails or text messages,
and do not respond to her "emergencies!" It won't
win her back, or make her think more highly of you. Besides, the
crisis will blow over very shortly; by the time you get
back to her, she's onto something else. It's best if you
don't hear her voicemails, or read what she sends. Doing
so, only prolongs your pain. Delete, delete, delete!!!
Borderlines don't change, because they don't have to! Her
great looks and captivating charms continually allow her to seduce
men, which feeds her narcissism. Your ego's taken a serious beating,
so you probably can't believe this right now--but you deserve better.
if you're fairly certain she's rebounding with someone
who's better looking, wealthier, brighter, taller, more loving,
etc., in most instances, this is a totally erroneous assumption!
It's unlikely you'll accept this at present, but she's more prone
to choosing an easier mark the next time around--even if
it's a fellow who feels stuck in an unfulfilling marriage. In
truth, most men are utterly shocked when they finally
discover who she's deserted them for. This
relentless preoccupation with who the
other guy is, taps into childhood deficits that undermined your
self-worth. If you grew up with a dad who was narcissistic, tyrannical,
weak/sickly--or wasn't around much, there's a strong likelihood
that his needs superceded yours--at least, where your mom
was concerned. In short, you've had to compete for a woman's
attention and love your entire life. It is this aspect
that allows you to take her back, after each sexual betrayal with
another man--regardless of how castrating it feels.
stop assuming that this female is the keeper of
your pleasure and pain! You are the sole proprietor of these sensations;
in short, they belong entirely to you--not
to her. You might be inclined to credit her for bringing these intense
feelings into your life, but they've been inside you all along,
since you were born--she's simply awakened
them. In a sense, you've been sleepwalking since childhood, when
you had to discard certain emotions your parents treated
as unacceptable, or "bad."
and perhaps most important: There will
be moments where she'll seem rational and lucid--both while you're
with her, and after the break-up. These episodes have insidiously
kept you in this destructive relationship, by fueling your
capacity to overlook, trivialize or normalize abnormal
behaviors. These phases are very transient/fleeting--but
they've indulged your fantasy that this
lover is really whole, or sane. Watch out for this one!!!
Borderlines lacked a healthy symbiotic
bond in infancy with their birth mothers, which is the core
of this difficulty. You may have sensed that she's wanted/needed
you to be a mind reader or Mommy, when these primal needs
onto you--but no male on God's green earth is equipped
to take on these roles, or heal the archaic issues that
drive her demands.
Borderlines do not "get better"
with age! Rereference my mid-life paragraph above. While
some of their acting-out behaviors can mitigate over time,
these generally transmute into other issues--unless there's been
solid therapeutic intervention along the way; the Witch or Queen
Borderline could adopt Hermit or Waif traits, for instance. We're
not as aware of these folks, because they're no longer
out 'trolling' in Our World. Have you ever noticed
disheveled old people who are living on the street, begging, acting
crazy and muttering to themselves? You're observing Borderline pathology
in the aged, and/or more severe mental disorders, such as Schizophrenia.
don't fall into the trap of thinking you can construct a relationship
with a "high-functioning" Borderline. They may be adept
in their professional life, and far too many are psychotherapists--but
their romantic partnerships suffer the same come-here/go-away
interpersonal dynamics, as all the rest! Sure, they're exceptionally
bright and capable--but emotionally undercooked
and damaged. As hard as it is to believe, these may be the most
diabolical and wounding relationships. Why? They're brilliant
at making you think that you're the one who's
defective and nuts!
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is NOT
a "mental illness," and if someone is highly motivated
to heal and do the challenging work needed to grow emotionally,
it can be resolved. The 'sympathy' you feel for your Borderline
is directly associated with vulnerable/fragile emotions and aspects
in You, that you had to disown and eliminate since early in childhood.
In short, it's projection.
FATALES, AND OTHER THINGS THAT GO 'BUMP' IN THE NIGHT
of men have asked me why Borderlines are "so darned seductive."
Are you by chance, a fisherman? Have you ever experienced a time
when you were successful at fishing, without
baiting the hook?? A Borderline's 'bait' is impossible to resist.
She's usually beautiful, alluring, charismatic, sexy, etc.
lie, or fabricate and embellish the truth. That's what they do,
to defend against their insecurities, and make you see them as more
worthy of your love/desire. Your instincts might have alerted
you to this facet, and you may have brushed them aside, or decided
they were insignificant--but could you ever really trust
woman could make self-aggrandizing statements concerning her appeal
or allure to other males. She may tell you about men who've flirted
with her during an event or outing when you weren't nearby--or she'll
often reference a boss, friend or co-worker who's "got a thing"
for her. This is a manipulation that's designed to cover
several bases--but it's mainly about control.
it's a distancing technique that keeps you on edge--meaning,
uneasy and off-kilter (the better to control you
with, my dear). It's great sport for her to seduce you back--especially
after she's angered you (make up sex is hotter). Her comments
are nothing short of emasculating--and a conscious, sound female
doesn't do that to someone she loves! Rubbing your nose
in this stuff (whether true or not) is the equivalent of
lopping off your balls. You'll resist feeling small and
insignificant--but she generally hits her mark. Second, this behavior
triggers your competitive reflex, because boyhood self-esteem issues
get activated (along with abandonment concerns), and you're compelled
to do something about that! This can take the form of buying
her costly gifts, fawning over her, taking her on elaborate trips/vacations,
etc. Her diabolical maneuvers are designed to make you feel insecure/unworthy,
view her as more valuable than she sees herself, and manipulate
your desire and emotions. That's just the beginning--but bottom
line, we need to build your self-worth, so you're not susceptible
to this crap in the first place.
Borderlines are exceptionally bright, they're usually capable of
convincing you that it's your fault or shortcoming,
which has ruptured this relationship. Did you ever buy into this--even
when overwhelming evidence was stacked against her argument, and
you were unequivocally certain she was wrong? Her brilliant (but
twisted) logic and verbal dexterity could distort facts and details,
to where her perceptions often made sense--even
if she completely contradicted herself, from one hour to
the next! You might have doubted yourself at these times, and questioned
if you were going insane. These feelings
were directly related to spending time with someone whose
psychic/emotional balance is profoundly unstable, to say the least.
LOVE IS JUST A FOUR LETTER WORD
ago, I worked with a client who steadily eroded her lover's self-worth.
He was a good guy, but she'd beat him up emotionally and psychically
every single day--and told him she wanted him out. When he finally
complied and left, she frantically tried to get him to come back.
When I pointed out that she'd pushed him out the door--which is
what she'd always said she wanted, she stormed out of my
office, yelling "this isn't my fault"
and never returned.
was clearly an error in judgment on my part--but in my defense,
I knew absolutely nothing about borderline pathology back
then. Still, I often regret the lack of education and preparedness
that may have helped at the time.
she's kicked you out or you've managed to leave, her attempts to
lure you back again, could become pitifully desperate/hysterical--she
might even threaten to KILL herself, if
you don't return! This is the ultimate
emotional blackmail, which could be used to influence your behavior--but
resist feeling flattered. These frantic measures are very primitive
reflexes that are being triggered by overwhelming needs,
which have nothing to do with you! If your chaos
has reached this point, urge her to see a mental health professional.
of course, you'll feel sorry for her! She'll tug relentlessly at
your heart-strings when she's sobbing and telling you how empty,
alone, desperate and sad she is, and you'll feel compelled
to offer solace and comfort, but don't.
Given your childhood programming, it's far easier for you to feel
compassion for another, than for Yourself--and we definitely need
this energy focused on you growing stronger and healthier.
She will survive. She always has.
she provides a lovely distraction from your own pain and
emptiness, the moment her current crisis blows over, she'll revert
again to that rageful, crazy-making gal you've known all along--and
you're back out in the cold.
I AM, TO SAVE THE DAY! UH, HANG ON--WHO AM I AGAIN???
Borderline's mixed messages keep you confused and off-center. It's
not that they do this stuff deliberately, but their distorted perceptions
and labile moods make you feel like a horse, who's
constantly having his reins jerked right and left, to where
he's overwhelmed and paralyzed--or furious enough to buck that rider
off his back! You're damned when you react, because the
Borderline seizes this as an excuse to sanction
her punishing or abandoning behaviors--and you're damned when you
don't, because you're forced to flee your disquieting ambivalence
about remaining or leaving, with alcohol/drug abuse, working longer
etc., just to cope!
can turn good men into monsters.
They'll steadily erode your self-worth with subtle/snide comments
and other passive maneuvers, even if their words
can't be identified as wounding or cruel. Their delivery and tone
will make you feel infantalized--as
if she's the critical parent, and you're the little kid, who's done
something terribly wrong. She's masterful at shaming you--and the
saddest part is, you keep buying into it! Some men are
actually moved to violence in these relationships--even
if aggression is completely foreign to their natures.
feel compelled to stick around, no matter how abusive or diminishing
she is to you. This is directly tied to an issue called 'learned
helplessness' you acquired as a boy--and it's left you
A lover who's elusive, cruel,
or just emotionally and/or physically unavailable can trigger painful
sensations that replicate what you may have experienced
as a child, seeking a loving/responsive parent. This emotionally
inadequate, yet dramatically felt kind of episode functions as a
powerful catalyst, that inspires a tenacious (and vaguely familiar)
pursuit to seduce this object of desire
into reciprocating your attention and ardor. Since the intense feelings
that are invoked by such a relationship are compelling/addictive,
somebody who awakens
them, is addictive as well. In the rare event an attachment
is successfully formed, rejection by your lover can set
in motion an internal re-enactment of childhood abandonment struggles,
and drudge up excruciating feelings of inadequacy and shame, which
are almost impossible to tolerate! Punishment of the Self (compulsive,
addictive reflexes or destructive acting-out behavior) usually accompanies
or follows this kind of setback.
that therapeutic professionals are immune to Borderlines? Think
again. Dialogues with personality disordered individuals leave us
all feeling like we need a shower to wash off the toxic sludge
their devaluations and guilt trips leave behind. The quicker you
end all contact, the better.
issues may have kept you in this game far longer than you should've
stayed, but skirmishes with the Borderline are always
a no-win proposition. No matter how brilliant/bright you
are, you'll never get the upper hand with this female. Frustrating
challenges might taunt you to keep trying, but this reflex is usually
tied to early life events that helped you feel more valued or
in-charge, and fueled a false sense of self-worth.
Boyhood experiences such as mediating when your parent's
argued--or comforting Mom when she was upset/depressed,
could have cemented your rescuing fantasies. Altering your mother's
mood or your folk's interactions could have helped you gain a sense
of mastery/control in your family environment, which has naturally
influenced all adult dynamics--but a harmonious/loving relationship
with a Borderline is rarely possible, which can be very costly to
your mental and physical health.
continuous stress of emotional/psychological warfare affects the
human condition more than physical abuse, and some men
develop serious ailments during their time in these relationships.
Prostate problems, heart conditions, blood disorders, herpes breakouts,
migraine headaches and glaucoma are a few of the souvenirs men have
retained from these relationships--regardless of how physically
powerful they were, before they met the Borderline! One of my ex's
was married to a borderline disordered female for twelve years.
He's now suffering with a form of Parkinson's Disease--and just
trying to survive.
the time she's done with you, you could feel like a shadow of your
former self--an empty shell of a man. The Borderline is an emotional
vampire; she steadily wears you down with constant
brainwashing and drains your vitality. Her skewed perceptions
make you feel as if you're viewing yourself in a Fun House mirror,
and you begin thinking that this distorted reflection of
you is accurate! You've been in survival mode--now you can begin
GUYS FINISH LAST.
Every male who
has attached to a Borderline has great difficulty accepting that
he's adored someone who has psychotic characteristics--no matter
how pronounced her disturbing behaviors have been! They
all compulsively want "unequivocal proof" that this woman
is crazy, or even dangerously unstable. Resistance is understandable,
as acceptance involves confronting intricate layers of conflict
within one's own psyche; the most prominent layer of this emotional
lasagna is shame. Entrenched denial of the borderline's
pathology allows a man to side-step asking himself, "if
I'm hopelessly enamored with an individual who isn't healthy or
sane, what's wrong with me?" This shame
response is the leftover from childhood that inspires his
need to normalize bizarre behaviors while in this
relationship, rather than recognizing them as aberrant,
and getting the hell out! The roots of this attraction are deep
and started so early in life, that it's almost impossible to avoid
the Borderline's noxious allure. Certain men's boyhoods were punctuated
with distressing or painful experiences that left behind a relational
blueprint, which has strongly influenced self-worth and partner
selection. This archaic blueprint continues to undermine all relationship
endeavors, not just romantic ones--and curtails productive, healthy
personal and professional alliances.
excerpt is borrowed from my male
borderline piece. It may provide more insight as to why this
gal has gotten under your skin, for we typically choose romantic
partners who echo traits of the parent with whom we had
the most issues, in childhood:
A man who was raised by a volatile, violent father and passive/victim
mother, will likely settle on partners who have his father's
traits, while adopting the mother's passivity as his own.
Since she's elicited his sympathy and concern, she's the parent
with whom he can identify (and is the lesser of two evils, in
fact). Childhood beatings do not in themselves, spawn Borderline
pathology. The roots of this disorder involve betrayal
by an adult caregiver, who fails to protect
a child from harm, or another's cruelty. Perhaps performer
Michael Jackson was a tragic victim of this upbringing.
when you've deeply fallen for a Borderline, you could come away
from this experience having lost your trust in women--but also,
in yourself. In my view, this is the most tragic consequence
of these relationships. Everything you've grown up believing that
you should want in a
female, has come into question during the time it has taken you
to survive and recover from, this emotionally wrenching
affair. Along similar lines of a post-traumatic stress disorder,
you are no longer able to feel confident, that your perceptions
and instincts will serve and protect you. In short, you're left
with considerable scars--and while your head might tell
you that not all women are going to wreak such havoc, your
heart is never again quite sure. Later on in life, you
might be willing to take another risk, but hurtful memories start
to replay each time you contemplate loving again--and
you could talk yourself out of it, before you've even begun. Part
of this pain that's remaining is primitive, meaning it
touches on very old/deep layers within you from childhood; why else
would you have such difficulty getting close to someone again?
is nothing wrong with determining you're not up to the task of loving
again--but be fair to the people you're dating, and be honest
about it at the start! Otherwise, you're doing to someone
else, what was done to you.
greatest difficulty you may have after this relationship blows apart,
is that when you're unresponsive to her or you've distanced
yourself, you feel guilty. When she neglects or
rejects you, you feel tremendous shame.
Both of these sensations are deeply troubling--which causes substantial
conflict within. In truth, these feelings have been living inside
of you since boyhood, which is why they feel so loaded
or emotionally charged. Unfortunately, they also trap you in a state
of limbo, because it feels bad to stay connected, yet bad to cut
it off. With a little help, this issue can be resolved.
is an ever-expanding sense of trust in another, along with
admiration and respect for their character, attributes and qualities.
The feelings you've had for this woman aren't actually "Love,"
they're infatuation, addiction and obsession. Using this word in
reference to her, keeps you trapped in painful yearning--so try
and drop it from your vocabulary. You were understandably inebriated
with how her attention helped you feel about Yourself, but real
love is neither painful nor obsessional. Pain could have become
associated and confused
with loving throughout your childhood--but it's the antithesis
of consistently stable, nourishing relationships.
If you have an
iPhone, iPad or iPod this app will let you hear
here, to determine if you're in an abusive relationship!
sorry if you've noticed any redundancies between this article, and
a PDF file generated by BPDFamily.com. Blog site operator, 'Skip'
of BPDFamily.com asked my permission in 2008 to amend/adapt this
piece (AT ANY COST) for his site, and I refused him. All
articles and other materials on my wellness site are totally original
works, protected under copyright law. Skip ignored my non-consent
for the use of this piece, and stole/reprinted words and phrases
from it--which serve as ongoing reminders of his lack of honor and
character. His subsequent efforts to malign me and devalue my written
materials (since the 2008 incident) seem driven solely by vengeance.
In every instance of discord between us, he has struck
the first blow, and any claims he's made about me or my practice
are completely unfounded/untrue.
certain you read this useful BPD relationship guide.
MY BPD LOVER BE RIGHT ABOUT ME??
women; learn about the
is a companion piece to my more extensive pages on dangerous
borderline disordered women. It's meant to help you realize you're
not alone in your struggle, and there's solid help available.
Any length of time spent with a Borderline can be tormenting and
toxic. Regardless of where you are in this world, you may
call my L.A. or N.Y.
phone for help anytime day or night. Leave a number
if I miss you, and I'll get back to you very shortly.
emails under 150 words are read, due
to time constraints. Please be clear/concise, and expect a straight
answer within four to six weeks.