Men with Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Possessive but detached: As much as Michael’s jealousy might be seen as possessiveness on his part, his role as a husband and parent was pretty much detached. He did not share much of his emotional life with Diane; and he showed relatively little interest in his children’s day to day lives.
  • Rejecting relationships: Over time Michael had turned sour on virtually every friendship he had.  From Michael’s perspective, people were always falling short, always letting him down. He’d describe them as stupid, incompetent, or untrustworthy.
  • Holding grudges: “Michael can hold a grudge like you wouldn’t believe!” Diane said. He could talk about how his boss, a co-worker, or Diane had let him down even years after the fact. And even then Diane often failed to see the “offense” that
  • Using sex to relieve insecurity: Sex, for Michael, was not only an erotic experience, but something that temporarily quelled his free-floating anxiety and insecurity. As a result he often pressured Diane for sex at exactly the rimes when she was least interested in it—for example, when the stress in their relationship was high, of after he’d driven her away with his aggressive defensiveness.
  • Substance abuse: This is common in women with BPD as well, though women appear to be more vulnerable to abusing psychotropic medications, while men like Michael are inclined to drink or smoke pot. Michael drank as a means of anesthetizing the free-floating anxiety that had hung over him for his entire life.

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