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I think my boyfriend has Borderline Personality Disorder. He

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I think my boyfriend has Borderline Personality Disorder. He has intense fears of abandonment, is extremely lovable but completely fails to see that he is, fails to see his family loves him, manipulates in reaction to people leaving him, and has told me that if he didn't have me he'd probably just kill himself.

I love him immensely, and before we started being together we were best friends for about 3 years... it wasn't as apparent to me as his friend, but as his gf we talk every single day.

Does anyone have any personal experience with BPD? People you know, worked with, or personal stories?
Now the people I have known with BPD, have a much more depressive state. Has he tried hurting himself
i have experience. and my experience was awful. seriously one of the worst things ive ever willingly been a part of. it completely turned me off to relationships, and i have problems trusting anyone that is not my immediate family to this day. pretty much everything you can dig up on google about these people is true. and no matter how hard you try, the only person that can help or fix them is themselves (which most do not). its easy to love crazy, but you can not have a stable, healthy relationship with a bpd person. i advise you to gtfo of there now, before you end up like me.
Not that I know of. But he is very impulsive and has anger issues.

Rarely does he lose control, but when he does (ie. his last gf dumping him) he'll punch things and fracture his hand. He regrets losing control, and has even quit drinking to avoid it.

Oh boy.
Oh man.
What happened? How long was your relationship?
My bf has (mild/moderate) BPD. He is never intentionally manipulative, and doesn't do crazy shit for attention/love that some BPD people do.

The trick with borderlines is to draw very specific boundaries for them. They are begging someone to show them where they end and the other person begins. If you are firm with him and tell him when drawing boundaries, it will make your relationship way better. Basically what happens is that they will do outrageous/drastic things to get that feeling of love. When he denies being lovable, says he hates himself or would kill himself if you left, you give him more love. You tell him you love him, probably hug him, and reassure him. It makes him feel better. So he keeps doing it. He's never learned to make himself feel good in that way, so he's relying on you to do it. This is an unconscious behavior and he's not aware of the pattern.

What YOU need to do is draw firm boundaries. He'll resist at first. The first step is that you need to have a conversation with him. Tell him that this pattern his happening. Explain that it stresses you out. Explain that it's not okay to do this to people. Tell him that you need him to start learning to soothe himself by 1) making an effort to relax 2) tell himself he loves himself 3) not turning to others for validation this way. He needs to learn to be happy on his own. Secondly, stop giving the validation that reinforces the behavior. When he's being like this, just let him know what he's doing and say "darling, I adore you, you know that. that's why I need to let you work thru these feelings on your own right now" NOTE: It's one thing for him to rationally talk about feelings or something, but if he's abusing himself emotionally or physically to get your attention/love/care, you have to just leave the conversation after saying what I wrote in quotations above.

My bf used to spend 2 hours a day telling me how he would kill himself without me and talking about how much he hates himself. I did this, and I cannot tell you how wonderful the change has been for both of us. He's started to self-soothe and has gotten happier. Third, you need to insist he go to therapy if he isn't already. Fourth, be firm. Do not variate from the boundaries you set. Tell him about everything you're doing that I just typed about, it will help the process immensely to give him the opportunity to have greater insight on what he's doing. It could make him WANT to change for himself, which is exactly what you want.

Other tips:
If he's upset/crying about something, it's not the time to talk about anything at all. Talking about an issue, his feels or anything will only upset him more. Either hold his hand silently or leave him be. If you're having a disagreement/discussion and he starts getting irrational or emotional, let it go. Talk about it later. Set a specific time/date to talk about it, and do it later.

BPD'd people have a terrible reputation (for a reason). They're not all completely trash, however. People can change their behaviors. If your bf is receptive to the idea that he's doing these behaviors and understands why you're going to be doing x, y, z in response to these behaviors, then there's a very good chance that after a couple weeks he will be much easier to be in a relationship with. While talking to him, be sure to stress the point that what he is doing is unfair to you and is stressing you out.

>He regrets losing control, and has even quit drinking to avoid it.
that is a very good indication that this relationship is viable. if he's able to change his behaviors thru his own volition out of a desire for self improvement, you have a great chance here.

Omg thankyou. This is useful advice and I'm saving it.

How did you learn to react this way?

He does try to be a better person. He has been working on himself mentally for a while, and he even suceeded in losing over 100 Ibs. As a friend I saw most of his facade, but as a lover I find myself face to face with his fears of being left quite often.

I really do love him though. I want to help him be the best he can.
the relationship lasted about 2.5 years. in the beginning, she made me think she was the ideal mate. and i will give her credit for that, she is a hell of an actress. but after about a year, her real personality started to show. there was some heavy shit that happened around that time, so i decided to stick with her/help her through instead of bailing (which is my usual m.o.). but it never got any better. she became physically and emotionally abusive (manipulation, constantly telling me how awful i was- and she knew exactly what to say to hurt me, even though im pretty thick-skinned, etc), and it just kept getting worse as time went on. she would always accuse me of cheating (never did) or wanting to leave her. she would constantly be on a poor-me trip, and trying to say anything contrary to shit she would talk about herself resulted in rage. she faked a suicide attempt at one point (made me think she swallowed a ton of pills. i called the cops, they took her to the hospital, hospital said there were no signs of any drugs in her system). she threatened to file rape/assault charges against me, along with various other threats relating to police involvement. and all of this while living in my house, and not working or having any income. and then she would bitch about how poor i was, as if she could not comprehend that the reason i had so little money was that i was supporting two people on one not-so-great income. she would just freak out on me all the time, and eventually she started doing it to her friends and family too. and on top of it all, she would not leave when i told her it was over. i had to move out of my own fucking house. im not too mad about having to move, as my new place is much nicer (and more peaceful and quieter), but thats still pretty fucked. im omitting quite a bit, but you get the idea. this is what i get for trying to be a decent guy for once.
Wow, ok that does sound like a very bad experience.

Sadly, I know someone who had a very similiar experience. She has troubles a year later coming to terms that she invested so much energy to her past lover, and then got burned multiple times.
yeah, it sucked. one key thing i left out- mine absolutely refused to get help. if yours does the same, i seriously advise you to terminate the relationship. if he is open to treatment, and he puts forth an honest effort, you two may be able to make it work. but you must pay close attention. you do not want to end up on the ride i ended up on. when i got off, i was not the same person i was before i got on, and not in a good way.
I have BPD and I can tell you it is a daily struggle. I've found that I react to certain triggers and we've been working to pinoint those and minimize them. If you aren't a strong person, I really wouldn't suggest trying this because it could literally destroy you. Some of the things I have said... I can literally never take back. Everything is black and white for those few moments and I think I am being attacked and so I attack very fiercely. It's like we are animals and randomly go off. There's not much you can do except remind them that you love them and don't want to hurt them. Some things my boyfriend has said like "I'm not your enemy" "We're on the same team" "I want to help you" "I don't want to hurt you" "I know you don't want to hurt me" have helped. Remember, it is a severe conditioning of ABUSE. People with BPD usually come from people with BPD. It's a perpetuating cycle of abuse. Encourage your boyfriend to seek therapy. If he doesn't want to, encourage him to read up on it and talk about it with you. If you can identify the patterns, you can better control them. But, I say again, if you are not a strong person and if you are unsure AT ALL about your love for this person then you are actually doing them a disservice by staying with them. Yes, it may make him more depressed if you leave him, but BPD people can smell insecurity and hesitation from a mile away. Most of us have an very heightened ability to sense a person's emotions and motives. We've had to learn due to abuse conditioning. He needs to learn to trust you and know that you don't want to cause him harm. He also needs to respect you. If he crosses physical boundaries with you once, then he will do it again. Don't put yourself in that situation, ever.
This is good. I'm a BPD sufferer and will use this.
Thank you for the caution. I will be talking to him in just after the new year about this then. His receptiveness to what I say will decide what I choose to do.

Thank you for the insight. I understand it isn't easy living with BPD in yourself, above all. I know 100% that I want this guy to win. I love him through and through, but this is definitely a big obstacle I can see on the horizon.
good, save it in a word doc, it has been immensely helpful to me

i just had to shove my feelings aside (when i wanted to comfort him) and keep repeatedly reacting in a way that didnt reinforce the behavior. i just knew it wasnt good for either of us, and that's what i had to do so i did it.

> suceeded in losing over 100 Ibs
holy shit, that's really impressive. food addiction soooo hard to overcome. good for him.

i think he will understand if you have that talk with him from the sound of it

woahhhh god bless you anon
at least you have perspective now i guess

>if yours does the same, i seriously advise you to terminate the relationship. if he is open to treatment, and he puts forth an honest effort, you two may be able to make it work. but you must pay close attention. you do not want to end up on the ride i ended up on. when i got off, i was not the same person i was before i got on, and not in a good way.
He's right, heed the warning.

(: i have a similar thing- except im scared people wont care rather than abandon me. it's helped me a lot. best of luck to you anon
I had a very scary time with my BPD ex. I wanted to be a hero. It went well until I realized that I would never have the life I wanted with him. I would be his hero for the rest of his life. I couldn't do that. I was enabling him by coddling him too much. He needed to learn to self soothe but I wasn't strong or educates enough to help him on that path.
I consider myself a very patient person. I mean, we were together three years. I stayed calm for the first two and a half. I did my best to analyze his behavior and share it with him and try to improve.

One day he grabbed my throat and held me against a tree. I just stared him in the eye and told him, "This isn't you. I'm not scared of you. I trust you. Don't do this." Eventually he let me go and broke down crying.
Honestly, I should have been scared of him. He was a foot taller and twice my weight. I would not have been able to get his hand off my throat through force.
I trusted him a lot. I believed he could fight it. He never hit me (except for some miscommunications during sex) and we made a lot of progress.

He graduated his anger to a realization that his anger was a coping mechanism for feeling scared and out of control. It developed into debilitating anxiety which I cannot relate to. I enabled it. It was bad. I just wanted him to stop hurting so I encouraged him to avoid the things that scared him. Bad idea.
I tried to get him back into living life in baby steps, but I couldn't convince him to do anything. Not even brushing his teeth.

I literally dragged him to therapy, using his money fears about no-show fees to get him there. He was receptive and connected immediately to the therapist. I continued to keep him going for several months until he could see the therapist without me in the room. And then when he seemed to have learned enough skills to not kill himself, I moved out.

I desperately worry about him all the time. I know that what we had had gotten unhealthy. I can't go back. I just wish I could have known how to deal with it better. I love psychology and have taken classes and read books. I thought I was more prepared than the average person. But I needed to know more.
you need to see a therapist. no sane person would have put up with that shit, you need to figure out why you did that so you dont do it again
I've learned a lot about myself. I'm doing a lot better. It was interesting watching myselfs in the following months. He had so many things that would set him off, so I was still walking on eggshells when I reconnected with friends and family. Learning how to relax took some time but I did.
I practiced putting my own needs first. How to tell someone "no". I practiced being deliberate about who is in my life- nobody is entitled to my time and effort. I choose people I like to be close to me. I don't keep people around just because I don't want to offend them.

BPD is a very scary disorder and if you jump into it with a hero complex like me, you're gonna have a bad time. BPD sufferers need to learn empathy skills and if you aren't firm about what's appropriate, they will manipulate you. It's not malevolent, it's just how they've learned to survive against their deepest fears.
It was a constant battle of deciding who I was talking to. Him or the fear. I've had complete conversations that I had to mentally throw out because he just said lies. He was spewing "progess" philosophical ideas he thought I wanted to hear, or deeply cruel things thinking it would prevent me from leaving him or from getting close enough to hurt him.
I had to watch for if today he was seeing me in white, his perfect angel who would save him and could do no wrong, or if I was in black and I was just an annoying nagger who was plotting to leave him and just wanted to hurt him.

I have issues, certainly. I tell my story to be real about the dangers. Like minded people attract like minded people. I have depression and ADD so I could relate with some of his issues. I just didn't realize how deep the rabbit hole went until I was too invested to see how poorly it effected me.
I suffer from BPD myself. The best thing you can do is just pay a lot of attention to him. The smallest things are the most important. It may sound really stupid, but I sometimes feel abandoned even if my girlfriend forgets to wish me a good night.
i wrote these
and i think that your suggestion is literally the worst thing OP could possibly do for both herself and her bf
you don't reinforce unhealthy, manipulative behaviors and expect to become happier.
i hope you read my post and also read about BPD more. you are preventing your own happiness by continuing to use your gf as a crutch. the sooner you learn that, the better chance you have to succeed in life.
>but I sometimes feel abandoned even if my girlfriend forgets to wish me a good night.
That is a lot of responsibility to put on your girlfriend for your happiness. You are not being fair to her. I hope you're seeing a therapist who had experience in BPD.
Don't put your heart out there if you start dating and find out that they have mental issues. You likely can't cure them without forcing and or paying them for therapy.
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