Tips for Living with a BPD Partner

Living with a partner who has borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be very difficult. No matter how much you love your partner, it’s hard to endure their manipulative and sometimes abusive behavior, their erratic mood swings, and the constant “walking on egg shells” routine. Of course, no marriage or long-term partnership is easy, but living with a partner who has a mental illness makes it just that more difficult. If you’re living with a BPD partner, here are three tips to help you beat the odds and maintain a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

Living with a BPD Partner Tip #1: Educate Yourself

Learn as much as you can about borderline personality disorder, including how to distinguish BPD traits from personality traits and recognizing triggers so you can help your partner avoid them or better prepare. Most importantly, learn ways to cope with a BPD partner. The more you know about your partner’s disorder, the better equipped you’ll be to help your partner and keep things in perspective.

Living with a BPD Partner Tip #2: Take Care of Yourself

Living with a BPD partner is very difficult. People with BPD can be verbally abusive and manipulative, leaving you constantly walking on eggshells to avoid conflict. Don’t let your partner’s illness consume you. The only way to cope with the stress of living with a BPD partner is to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. First, seek support through therapy or a support group. Second, don’t lose focus on your own life or give up friendships or activities that bring you joy. Finally, keep your stress under control by living a healthy lifestyle and getting plenty of sleep.

Living with a BPD Partner Tip #3: Set Boundaries

No matter how empathetic and supportive you are, your loved can still become emotionally or verbally abusive. There’s only so much one person can do, so be realistic about what you’re willing and able to endure without feeling overwhelmed, guilty or resentful. If you can’t tolerate your BPD partner’s behavior, even after taking the steps above, then it may be time to get out of the relationship.

BPD Disorder Treatment in California

If your partner suffers from borderline personality disorder, there are BPD treatment centers in California that can help your partner get his or her disorder under control and teach them the skills needed to live a normal life.

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4 Responses to “Tips for Living with a BPD Partner”

  1. Steve

    I have been married to a bpd for 38 yrs now & it’s been a wild ride( maybe I’m a thrill seeker,or maybe just co-dependent by nature) we have been through some YEARS of happiness but it has always come back around full circle to hit bottom again.i’ve lived with the abuse,total irrationality,slander,CRAZINESS, & now(at 60 yrs old)she wants a divorce(another casualty of Internet “romance”)the above site looks,at a glance,to have a well-balanced understanding of this illness, & I would suggest that if you’re living w/ a bpd,desperately try to get help for them,at the same time,guarding your emotions.if u can’t help them, you HAVE to get out-protect yourself,because like most bpd’s,they refuse to take responsibility for themselves,& they will eventually trample on you with NO remorse,or appreciation for your loyalty and support

  2. Eric

    I have been married for 20 years and only recently discovered BPD. My wife has never been happy despite having a good life. Many complaints about things that dont matter and so many unexplained bouts of rage. For me it just never made sense until I started reading about BPD. It is like someone followed me for 20 yrs and documented my life. We are currently divorcing and everything is my fault. In my job I travel frequently and as a result I have abandoned her. She had been seeing a therapist professionally but recently I have discovered they are seeing each other personally as well. He “gets” her. I still love her and care about her but I cant ride this crazy coaster any longer. I have 2 children – an 18 yr old son and 16 yr old daughter. I would like to get them some help in understanding this disease – are there any suggestions? I am especially concerned about my daughter. Thanks!

  3. fishy

    BPD is not a disease, it is defined as a mental illness. Best advice to give is take care of yourself Eric. No doubt you know there is no reasoning with BPD behaviour when the chips are down, all said you may have to move on with your own life.

  4. marc

    I sympathise with anyone living with a partner with BPD, it is exhausting on every level.
    My wife is intelligent, beautiful, and very capable, and does show at times she loves me. It all comes undone with her not being able to moderate her emotions and destructive irrational behaviours and most importantly not getting a diagnosis that she is suffering from a mental health condition.
    No matter what efforts you make in trying to change the relationship dynamics it is not sustainable and leads to feelings of hopelessness, failure, guilt.
    The stability of your own mind and health could be at risk and hence the line between sanity and misery is blurred making it difficult to know what to do.
    You must find the strength to act when your relationship and way of life is unravelling at a noticeable rate.
    My personal experience is too get help because you cant do it yourself.
    One of the hardest things to do is to admit to yourself that that your partner is not well, has a mental illness and without your help their life and yours, the children if any, will not get better.
    This is what I did,
    Educated myself on BPD, read, read, read.
    The mission is to get a professional diagnosis, until then everything is hypothetical.
    Establish a course of action using professional services, people need to know, keeping it a secret is doing know one any favours especially yourself.
    I covertly talked to my wife’s doctor and explained my situation, the symptom’s and behaviours will obviously be different with each person, but when self harm, suicidal threats and violence is mentioned a GP should be taking notice.

    Arrange professional counselling experienced with mental health issues, this is most important as it is a specialized field and will save you a lot of time in getting closer to a diagnosis.

    Getting your partner to counselling so an assessment can be made, and recommendations be suggested.

    Referral to a behavioural psychologist where treatment and healing can be initiated.
    Denial and blame will be issues to contend with but a good psychologist will navigate you both through the emotional minefield.

    Register with your local mental health services, they can supply support and counselling particularly if your situation becomes dangerous to yourself or to your partner. The Mental Health Services are the better option rather than involving the police to attend to a domestic disturbance.
    It is important to protect yourself and establish a history.

    At the end of the day this is a personal journey that will define you as a person, no action will result in a life of misery for you and your partner and ultimately a tragedy could be waiting to unfold.
    There is great relief knowing you have tried to do the best for your partner, you can hold your head up and live with the outcome.

    Good luck and be kind to yourself, I see you.