Living with a mental illness like borderline personality disorder can be challenging especially when it comes to having relationships. People with this disorder live with a lot of pain and insecurity which can make it hard for them to connect with others in a healthy. Their relationships can become problematic and difficult especially when it comes to intimacy and romantic partners.
The ups and downs of any mental illness can make it complicated to manage a relationship especially with something as complex as borderline. People with this disorder can have an intense fear of abandonment and unstable emotions that can make their interactions with others volatile at times. Their partner may struggle to understand what they are going through and feel that they can’t handle the situation.
Even though it can be challenging, it is possible for people with borderline personality disorder to lead healthy lives and have stable relationships with their partners. Using resources such as therapy, medication and couples counseling can help them manage their relationships and prevent symptoms from interfering with their personal lives. With treatment, relationships can improve even while managing borderline personality disorder.
How Borderline Affects Relationships
Many people with borderline personality disorder have problems with relationships because their symptoms can lead to a lot of psychological and emotional issues. They often have issues with self-image and confidence, making them feel insecure around others. They tend to have an unstable sense of self and trouble with their identity which can make them feel unsure about how their partner feels about them.
Borderline personality disorder can also cause a pronounced fear of abandonment and the sufferer will often believe that they have already or will be abandoned by their partner. They may go through different extremes between idealization and devaluation meaning that they shift from admiration of their partner to intense anger and dislike for them. They can become codependent and rely on their partner to provide them with a sense of self-worth.
The emotional life of a person with borderline personality disorder can make it hard for them to feel stable in their interactions with their partner. They may have inappropriate or intense anger and many feels of emptiness and stress. Being in a relationship with someone who has borderline personality disorder can feel overwhelming if you don’t understand their symptoms.
Living with Borderline and Your Partner
In order to have a healthy relationship if you have borderline personality disorder, it is important for both partners to be committed to managing symptoms. Not only does the individual struggling with the illness need to focus on their health but their partner also needs to be involved. Although many people may not be interested or willing to cope with someone’s borderline symptoms, a loving and committed partner will do all that they can to help improve their relationship.
Both individuals in the relationship need to be well-educated about borderline personality disorder and the kinds of symptoms it can cause. This can help prevent emotions from running high and confusion from causing strain in the relationship. If both partners understand that certain behaviors are due to their mental illness it can help them avoid many misunderstandings.
The first step in improving relationships for someone with borderline is to seek professional treatment. Talking to a regular therapist can provide insight into your mental illness and give you an opportunity to discuss relationships problems with someone who can provide useful advice. A psychotherapist will understand how your illness affects your partner and can help with strategies and tactics to improve communication and connection.
When a partner has borderline personality disorder, it is often beneficial to utilize couples therapy as a way to reduce conflict and resolve ongoing issues. Couples therapy can be a chance for the partner to understand more about the illness and talk with a therapist about how to cope with their loved one’s symptoms. Meeting regularly for treatment and talk therapy helps smooth out issues and before they escalate.
Accepting and Managing Symptoms
In order for a relationship to work, both partners need to accept that borderline personality is a real illness that they may have to manage long term. Their borderline symptoms may never be fully “cured” but they can be minimized and managed appropriately in a way that can prevent damage to the relationship. Accepting and loving a partner even though they have this illness is the first step in creating a good foundation for a romantic connection.
Taking steps towards healthier relationships means having a plan for self-care and putting effort into building trust and communication. Each partner needs to do what they can to make the relationship work and be able to cope with setbacks caused by any symptoms. It can take time and hard work but it is always possible to create a stable relationship while managing borderline personality disorder.