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Umm..."a BPD"? "manage her"? ;)

The best you can probably do is to try to discuss with her, at a time when you're both calm, the specific behaviors that you are finding difficult and try to come up with a plan of action together. Use your "I feel" statements and give specific examples, i.e. "I feel hurt when you tell me that I don't love you because I care about you a lot and want our relationship to work."

My partner and I communicate a LOT, and compromise a lot too. And I try to learn to verbalize my feelings of clinginess etc rather than acting them out.

Is your partner in individual therapy herself? If not, she probably seriously needs to be. Most of the things to do are on her part and not yours. The best you can probably do is let her know how you feel.

You could also try reading some books on BPD to get an idea of what might be going on. I recommend "Lost in the Mirror"

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It really sucks, but if someone doesn't recognize that their behavior is a problem and doesn't want to change, there often isn't a hell of a lot that you can do, in my experience. I've had friends like that - crazy as fuck, but wouldn't get help.

Does she seem to be aware that she has a problem, or is she totally resistant?

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I don't know, I seriously could have qualified for a BPD DX after my SO cheated on me, I probably exhibited all most all of those symptoms, so yeah, I don't really know where I was going with that, but I personally just eventually grew up, finally forgave the guy and we moved on.

Did she have that diagnosis BEFORE you cheated on her? Just curious. Some people are probably going to get mad at me for saying something like this, but I was totally fucking batshit after SO cheated on me and once I read the description and criterea for BPD (long after I'd begun to feel a lot better and more rational) I kinda thought "Wow, that REALLY sounds like me a year ago" and brought up the comcept to t-doc, she told me I don't seem borderline now, but she didn't know me back then.

Anyway, at probably the lowest point in my lilfe, I could have qualified for that DX.

Couples counseling is a fantastic idea.

The way you describe her is kinda like how I acted after I was cheated on.

I'm not implying that she ISN'T borderline or that all borderline people act crazy, because I knwo from some very kind, cool BPD people on this board that it isn't the case.

I think you are doing the right thing with the couples counseling though, that ought to help your relationship, but she really should get therapy for herself, it's helped me. And yeah, researching her diagnosis is a fantastic idea, just try not to get into all the shit with the stigma, because that shit is awful and not true. So be careful which reading material you select.

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I'm having a hard time answering your question because you asked how to "manage her" and while you also have mental health issues, this is not a care giver site, it's a first-person patient site.

Also... do you want to be "managed" by anyone?

Perhaps your first step should be to approach the relationship from a different perspective. Relationships are partnerships, not cases of manager and managed.

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The thing is, it's almost impossible to stop someone from feeling something they feel. Unless she wants to change and try something different, there's probably no way you CAN calm her down.

I'm a Borderline in a relationship (almost a year now) and the only way my relationship is healthy is because both my girlfriend and I are committed to staying in CONSTANT communication about our symptoms and because we have both become very good at verbalizing our feelings.

This might be a good thing to work on in couples therapy.

You can't change feelings, the only thing you can change is behaviors, and even that is more in her court than yours.

You cannot stop her from feeling like you don't love her. You can MAYBE help her learn to reality check those feelings and express them in more healthy ways (using I feel statements, not yelling), but you can't stop her from feeling them in the first place.

Read the BPD books, and if you can, try to get her to read them too. She needs to do the work and really want to change or nothing you can do is even going to be a drop in the bucket. All you can really do when she is already in that state is walk away and refuse to engage, which may or may not be the best thing for your relationship.

Have you addressed this in therapy? Because those behaviors are CORE BPD, and there's really nothing but intensive work on her part that's going to mitigate them. Have you spoken to her about the specific behaviors that are distressing you? Because coming to a compromise together and thinking of alternatives together often works well for me and my girlfriend. The important thing is to be calm and specific.

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I am not looking on how to control her. I am looking for ideas from people who have/are diagnose with Borderline Personality Disorder, or have dated/married someone who has/had/Dx'd it, of what they did to help.

understanding her, learning to live with her and "her illness", and just how to manage it all (again, don't know a better word for it) would be very useful to my sanity and stress levels. And having an ability to calm her down when she's being self-destructive, and telling me I don't love her etc etc would be great.

Well, I can't give you any direct advice, but I will say that you are doing a lot just by accepting the fact that she has this and trying to understand the behaviours and whatnot that happens with this.

My husband and I have been together (not married, just together) for ten years and he still isn't accepting me for me. He claims I was different before and that I am "too difficult to deal with" most of the time and not fun to be around because i am too depressed. When I am having a hard time and think he doesn't love me, he doesn't do anything to help me out there- he will say he is sick of me constantly asking him if he does and just walk away.

Please don't do that. Maybe we are frustrating and irritating with needing to be told over and over, and shown constantly that you do care, but if you love her simply for her sake, just do it and accept that doing so will be extremely helpful to her.

I know for me personally, the way my husband treats me has a huge effect on my mood and behaviour. He hates this because he says I rely on him to be happy and can't do anything on my own. It's not true- it's just I need to be shown and told more than the average girl would. When that happens I feel safer (though this likely has a lot to do with the fact that it is just him and I with our son in this city with no family around). I often convince myself he will leave me because I can't do what he needs me to. Other times I hate him for this and think I should just leave because he wants me to be someone I am not. Either way, the way that you treat her is going to have a major effect on your relationship and clearly, just by trying to understand, you are taking a huge step in the right direction. Our thoughts go back and forth like this and if she is telling you that she doesn't believe you love her, ask her WHY she thinks that, then try to work on that part. I know if my huband even tried to understand me instead of making me feel like I was making it up I would feel better. Knowing that he tried to understand what I needed and help would be huge too.

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I have had BPD and am all flavours of mentally interesting at the moment.

Tbh, I needed two years of celibacy while doing therapy, before I could start anything like a meaningful relationship with anyone, and the first few relationships I had afterwards weren't fantastic. I know there are probably a great deal that you love about each other, but it's also known that people with a load of issues and dysfunction attract each other, and if she needs to heal and you need to heal, you might not be able to sustain a relationship while you both do that. I think most people do the necessary work on themselves first, and maybe find a healthy relationship later. It's different if one person in a relationship is not mentally ill, it has more strength. But two MI people together who haven't been through therapy? It's a train wreck.

But if you're as ill as you say and so is she, I would question what good could come of you guys constantly reacting to each other and hurting each other this way. Being ill is not a good state to be giving to someone else the love and care you probably need to direct to yourself.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello. I agree with Keirelle that it's a good that you are taking steps to understand her. In my experience, when all I thought I needed was someone to constantly reassure their love for me, I ended up never being satisfied with that. Maybe it temporarily would bring me back from feeling completely uneasy, agitated, worthless etc.. but looking back, a person could tell me every second of every day that they love me and it would never be enough. I think this comes from not seeing the value in myself and my lack of sense of self... I needed someone else to constantly validate for me because I couldn't (still can't) do it for myself.

So, yes I suppose it's a good idea to tell her you love her, that you want to be there for her, will not leave for the little reasons she comes up with. But within a reasonable amount because (again from my experience.. probably does not apply to all) nothing you say will ever be enough to ease her worries until she learns her own self worth (which is really f*ckin hard to do especially with little self esteem and being so used to adapting to others preferences, habits, likes, dislikes, opinions...). I think relying on ones self to find self worth and sense of self could take a really looooong time.

For me, the only possible way I have started to find myself is to not be in a relationship right now. I'd try to make the best attempts to be my own person when involved with someone, but it was just too hard to break away from depending on a boyfriend. I would tell myself that I like something (like politics, artificial intelligence, science...whatever) but it always ended up that I was just mimicking his preferences for a particular subject. I just can't find myself when with someone. I get so caught up in a boyfriends world that I exclude my own. I have to learn to depend on myself for my own likes/dislikes, opinions and overall sense of self. If I can get a handle on who I really am then I think I won't have to rely on a boyfriends constant validation because I will validate myself. This is what I struggle with the most. Anyone else feel this way?

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big rule -- don't hook up with someone that has more problems than one's self . wish i had taken that to heart when i married a totally mental psychologist decades ago .

Yeah but out of the two people involved in the relationship, one is always going to have more problems than the other, right? So unless each person has the exact same set of problems (which is unlikely) how would anyone avoid what you're saying?

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