Tips on Having a Relationship With Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

2. Set Limits

People with BPD display extreme behavior patterns. They yell, threaten suicide (and are sometimes serious), accuse, blame, and are highly defensive. This might increase if you do not emotionally respond to them; that is, if you do not hop on their emotional rollercoaster and get upset as well.

One way to help control their extreme behavior is to learn your own boundaries. This might be easy because the person with BPD may push the limits of your boundaries. Once you learn your boundaries, you can set limits:

State what your partner is doing to push your limits, and note a consequence if they don’t stop the behavior. For instance, if your partner threatens suicide, you could say, “Okay, I’m calling the police.” Hopefully, this will be enough to have them settle down, and if your significant other does not settle down, at least you will have the help you need to handle the situation.

Suicide attempts are a common feature of the disorder. Even if you hear it a lot, all threats of suicide need to be taken seriously.

3. Protect Yourself

Another unfortunate aspect of BPD is that people with BPD act in a manner that lacks empathy for those around them. In their minds, their needs and wants surpass the needs and wants of others. They often abuse, control, and manipulate their loved ones, playing on guilt and a sense of obligation to control the people around them.

To protect yourself from this behavior, think about what your loved one often asks for, guilts you into, or abuses you until you provide it. Then be clear about what you will and will not do to protect yourself.

You have the right to protect your body, belongings, and financial situation. For example, if your loved one controls or manipulates you into handing over your entire paycheck so he can use it to buy a new car, you can say, “I am no longer going to give you money. You need to earn money so you can buy the things you want.”

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