Thursday, May 2, 2013

Actually Knowing when a Relationship is Over with BPD

A little bit ago I talked about when a Borderline loved one says they “know” a relationship isn’t going to work… but that’s really more a matter of insecurity and other issues and all sorts of other things. Today I want to talk about how someone with BPD ACTUALLY knows when a relationship is over.

Yanno. We’re not aliens, people. Yeah, maybe it’s a bit more complicated up in our brain spaces here sometimes, but really, how does anyone know when a relationship is really over?

1.      Devaluation and Splitting - Of course sometimes we might fall into a complete Devaluation and Split someone Black, Black, Black. This is probably the most clean cut, albeit one of the more painful and aggressive ways to go about knowing something is over.

a.       For instance this was my experience with Evil-Ex =P

2.      Love vs. Pain - Sometimes the pain bleeds up overtime until it’s just to painful to bear any longer. There might be love, but the pain of loving that person finally overtakes the love. This becomes a battle. Fear of losing the love but also having to live with enduring the pain that love is causing. Each person has their own breaking point.

a.       This was my experience with Friend and The One.

3.      Impulsive Rage- Sorry. Sometimes we fly off the handle. It’s unfortunate and unpredictable. This is why it’s important to develop trust, establish boundaries, and communication at the beginning of the relationship to reduce this sort of thing.

a.       This actually happened quite a bit with The One actually. Mostly because he cheated on me and was a complete douchebag.  

4.     Emptiness and Alone – Together. One of the fabulous things about being in a relationship is that you don’t usually feel quite so alone. Because you’re not! But when you start to feel alone when you’re with your loved one it can be a problem. When we start to wish you were alone when you’re with your loved one, it’s even more of a problem. When you start to make up excuses to avoid seeing your loved one… something is probably coming to an end.

a.       ***NOTE – Not during periods of depression which can also cause this. Communicate to get to the root of the problem!

5.    Boredom – Despite your best efforts you are intolerably bored. Frankly I don’t think this is completely a BPD problem. This is partially just a standard dating issue. However it may be exacerbated because many of us have issues with an Intolerance to Boredom. If our partners bore us it’s a dump worthy offense.  

6.     Just not compatible – You like someone. You’ve been together a long time. You had some initial sparkage. You had some initial chemistry. Now it’s kind of run it’s course. But you’ve gotten comfortable. You don’t want to hurt them. You don’t necessarily want to lose them. But you do want better for yourself. Hell you kind of want better for them. But you’re not really sure what to do at all. Alright, this is just where I am. Where you like someone as a person, but you know you’re ultimately not compatible in a relationship, but being BPD you get crazy anxiety at the thought of separating from the relationship so you put it off, and you put it off. You keep trying and you keep trying, dragging it on and on until they can’t help but notice that something is really wrong and all but flat and dead on the side of the road.

7.      Someone else – This is the one no one wants to mention but everyone worries about. Sometimes it happens that we meet someone else that for whatever reason is who we want to be with. This is another pretty clear cut, but not always so aggressively destructive one. When there’s someone else in the picture, well, you know when you know and it’s over.

8.     Cheating/Abuse/Act of Terror and Awful – I always have to add a catch all category for the truly nasty disasters that can happen in relationships that are not necessarily our fault and are completely valid excuses for ending a relationship.

9.      Simply not wanting to be in the relationship anymore is a perfectly valid reason for no longer being in the relationship anymore.  It’s an unfortunate fact of life that just because we want an explanation doesn’t mean that that is one or that we will get one.

Here’s the thing. When you’ve been with someone for so long and there’s no longer any chemistry, or there are too many problems, or there is a lot of hurt and pain, or anger, but you have that safety, familiarity, or the comfortableness… it’s really hard to let go. Especially for people like us.  Abandoning goes both ways and we don’t necessarily want to leave either even if we’re not happy. Which can sound silly, but being unhappy is better than being alone sometimes.

Quite often our endurance for pain and unhappiness is relative. We have such a sensitized system for pain and suffering that even if we’re hurting, if it isn’t “as bad” as something we’ve felt before, we feel like we can deal with it, because we’ve been through worse, so we put up with it. Tough it out. Because we know we can. It’s really not fair to us or our partners though. Especially as we’re often the cause of our own suffering.

Now! Here’s the tricky part! Stick to your guns! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually managed to break up with someone; Had every valid reason. Written lists. Actual lists. Pros. Cons. Or just general misery. Hate even. Loathing. I’m pretty sure I was actually able to channel the Dark Side and Force Choke Evil-Ex at one point… and I still took him back. The anxiety and panic that comes from being alone can be awe inspiring. The tears, apologies, and emotions that bubble to the surface when one or the other of us has convinced the other to try again… and succeeded. ::sigh:: I think I’ve found the solution to this though. To not getting back together that is. We’ll get to that tomorrow. 

How about you? How can you tell when you’re ready to leave a relationship? 


  1. Just ended a 9 year relationship, probably knew it wouldn't work by year 3 ..... You are spot on with all of it

  2. Ended an difficult relationship almost 3 years ago. She won't go away no matter how often I tell her to. I told her the only way I would have contact with her is if she resolves the theft, identity and otherwise that she perpetrated. She always finds some reason to contact me so I have blocked her from all social sites and my phone. My question is how to I succeed at keeping her out of my life?

  3. I definitely start splititng and become a big time hater. Just ended a relationship... I knew it wasnt going to work from the beginning but held on for three years through his general cluelessness and arrogance. Those less than desirable qualities gave me lots of great opportunities to engage in very experessive raging episodes! I knew it was over when I just didnt want anymore attention from him, I slept in a diiferent bedroom, let out a sigh of relief when his truck was gone when I came home from work, etc. And I was just disgusted with every bit of him, like, ewww, this guy is gross. My relationships have two parts- love you/youre great/protect me/ you can do no wrong and then get the f!$& away from me/ your presence is going to make me barf. So intense and so real... I knew I had to get out because I was livig in anger and misery 100% of the time.

  4. Knowing when to walk away is not all about BPD. I don't have BPD. I had to get married to one man first (divorced in 3 months) and have a baby with a second man (oooppps) to finally get out of the relationships!

  5. When my ex-fiancee broke our engagement -- because I caught her leading a double life, one with me of religious piety & preparation for married life & the other of sex & drugs with a drug dealer & users -- & said she doesn't want to hurt me, see me suffer or be the cause of my suffering, I guess that's pretty much #2.

    Painful but I guess it is right to maintain no contact & move on.

    Thanks for the insights, Haven.

  6. Hi, wondering if anyone can give me some insight on my situation.
    Just recently the person I have been dating told me he doesn't have any romantic feelings for me anymore. I pleaded with him to have a change of heart. We went to dinner about a week later. We enjoyed dinner supposedly as friends but he picked me up, paid for dinner then walked me to my door. I then told him we need to talk he was avoiding it. We talked he kept saying he didnt have a change of heart then would come up with reasons all geared towards me that can be worked out. Then he proceeded to tell me that he wants to have sex with all women including me and that he knows he has backed off sexually with me or being affectionate as he says he will want it all the time and manipulate the entire situation and say that he just wants a physical relationship with me. He admits we have a connection and he cares. He says we got close. I asked about the other women he is sleeping with if he told them he wanted just sex and he said yes. I asked why didn't you tell me from the beggining. He says he was a whimp and that he was afraid then stopped mid sentence. He says he has a problem and needs help and professional help. He says he needs a friend. I pushed him to stay with me and get help but he disappeared. I wrote a letter stating that I love him for him...he has a friend and apologized for pushing him. I said I was here for him and asked to get help.

    We have been dating for 6 months. 2 months ago he met my sisters for the first time at a birthday party and he tried pushing me away by saying he wants to date other people out of no where. When I said no, he wouldn't understand and said he didn't understand why. Then he asked not to push him away. He would say everything was perfect between us and he freaked out. Then came back a few days later and says I think its best not to continue dating. After fighthing for him he then says ok lets try it again.
    Since the first occurance we have been making progress. Went on hikes, museums and such connecting at a different level. Then he opens up about his depression. He has been dropping hints and comments here and there from past relationships, family, work, and self worthlessness.

    Please help. I am so confused. He just told me yesterday he has to think about being friends then i said i know he doesnt mean that. then he sends a text that he needs space right now. I am giving him his space. I feel like this is it? I'm very confused.

    1. He is emotionally unavailable

  7. He sounds like my ex

    1. I am sorry but your explanations sound just like BPD behavior. When you write "Here’s the thing. When you’ve been with someone for so long and there’s no longer any chemistry, or there are too many problems, or there is a lot of hurt and pain, or anger, but you have that safety, familiarity, or the comfortableness… etc etc"

      Sounds like true BPD behavior then how do the NON actually KNOW just to walk away, since just walking away is one of the BPD great fears... abandonment

  8. The chance of living with a BPD sufferer are VERY low because of their inability to be happy from within.

    1. After six years with a most talented, hard-working, enduringly beautiful, "sensitive," sophisticated psychologist, I totally agree. No matter the steady and freely given, endless understanding (hey, I ADORED her) she never really loved me or had true empathy for me, unless it lasted a few minutes or hours at a time , then disintegrated. It broke my heart and nearly broke my whole life. What an irony to bond so deeply with someone who also had such a painful, essentially intractable inability to feel REAL empathy, and REAL that is not based on the most profound fear and insecurity, and bent only on self-defense. Her behavior post break-up has driven these truths home most profoundly, so only a blind, mad fool would fail to accept the reality.

    2. Though, to be exact, BPD is not merely a lack to be happy within. Many, many people lead lives burdened by Cyclothymia, Bipolar depression, depression, dysthymia, obsessiveness, anxiety, and even thought disorders, but have better capacity by far-to love, to be loved, and to have consistent feelings and ideations. BPDs really face a terrible cluster of symptoms, thoughts and beliefs. They can change by the moment, literally, and it's terrifying at times. It takes tremendous courage and adaptation to begin to function well, and to push that into RELATIVE interpersonal stability. If they have high intellect, beauty, charm, sophistication, and other great advantages, or are just possessed of a great spirit to overcome, they can and will do great things. But it is true, in my long and very considered experience, they don't have that inner capacity for's far more compromised than it is for almost anyone else, because even when it occurs, it will be followed up by melancholy, anger, delusions of betrayal, self-loathing, confusion and hopelessness. They really have to develop ARMOR to get by and succeed. I think they are perpetrators, and not to be forgotten, but viewed MOST warily. But they suffer for it, and what they di, IMO, is an attempt to adapt and be better, even if it so often results in pure hell for those who love them, and who they TRY to pretend to love. They are the ultimate emotional and cognitive paradox, because they can be really great and really BAD, in the span of a day or a moment.

  9. My ex bpd bf left after I no longer accepted his behavior. It became evident that he would no longer be able to have his tantrums and selfish antics with me. So in his eyes I became the devils spawn. I no longer wanted to pretend that his treatment with me was OK. One day he's literally telling me he loves me. And I kindly ask that he act like it. A fee days later he smears all kinds of negative remarks against me that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. He breaks up with me but yet wants me around when he feels it's convenient. He goes and dates others, which is fine...but makes every opportunity to voluntarily throw it in my face. Then the next week he's all nice to me and reminiscent about our relationship. Then the next week he's accusing me of trying to manipulate him and tell him what to do. Where he gets this I have no clue as I don't offer any words of advice. Then the next week he's nice again. And keep in mind every so often he's accusing me of wanting him back. I ask how his weekend went and he assumes I want him. Then he tells me how he regrets dating other people now. Then he talks about how he feels emotionally attached to me and it's my fault.
    This week he's hating me. Who knows when ill be on his nice list. I know he has insecurities and fears. He talks about his inner shame all the time but yet I am the scapegoat and reason for it in his eyes.

    I have decided that I cannot stay on this ride of ups and Downs. He constantly tells me he cares about me but his actions don't match up...even as friends. He only treats ME this way. It's as tho I was the closest person but am being punished for it by him.

    It's all confusing and I hope he gets help.

    1. I only wish I could ASSURE you that your experience (even though with the statistically less common male lover) is COMPLETELY in keeping with BPD traits, and the outright full-blown DSM diagnosis. Believe me, I know. God, do I know. The continuity of non's experiences (non-BPD lovers of PBDs), is just as clear as the experience with catatonic schizophrenics.
      Some forums get into *pedantic* and asinine debates about the validity of the diagnosis, due to overlap of symptoms, and the usually MIND-BLOWING complexity of the BPD sufferers. (Oh, and of course the experience of the nons, and the ...therapists!)
      Look, put straight and clear, your man, or ex, is the BPD my ex was. He is the BPD thousands of non's was, or is. One can trade one specific behavior (like say, flagrant sexual cheating vs. "dating" others rather secretly, under the guise of just seeking essentially platonic company due to being lonely), but the DEEP lack of loyalty is there. The SERIOUS lack of lasting empathy, trust, affection, altruistic LOVE is screamingly lacking. Would-be, should-be, wishes, and all kinds of very convoluted circumstances are introduced to keep the poor ( I mean that) BPD's life appearing to make SOME sense...because it's a frightening mess to them. They see the lack of character they so often display, and the cognitive dissonance with their aspirations to simply LOVE and be LOVED is crushing. I won't be their defenders, though. They WRECK lives. That their character flaws and really malicious, destructive behavior, whatever the root causes, are still real, and that's how the nons, the wrecked hearts have to see it, or they just get run over, as the BPD *cuts them out*, and finds new victims. As they cut you out, they spiral through bizarre fluctuations of casually talking about their new loves, weeping over missing your wonderfulness, grattitude, acting as if you don't even exist, paranoid ideas you're trying to ruin their new happy life... And they NEVER keep a single promise. They'd turn their back on you if you were DYING. Unfortunately, I know. It is QUITE usual, despite what a high functioning BPD woman might suggest, that they in fact cultivate MULTIPLE prospective partners, near and far, over VERY long periods...people in reserve...on many levels of desirability, utility and availability. If the BPD is really beautiful and sophisticated, they don't rebound, they PRE-BOUND, because at least a few attractive, smart, good men are just dying for the chance to have her. I'm sure it's so with BPD men. Make no mistake; you're BPD is that split. There may at times be good and desirable. But the core is a whirlwind of lost despair, striving for a center. I hope they find their center, all of them. The best I've seen is painful, slow, stabilization, not the emergence of LOVE. Oh, then abandonment, to the utmost, and coldest. of luck with your life and your heart. And again, sympathy for BPDs.

  10. He may have BPD traits, though you've not described enough to really make that judgement; One thing for sure, and you can't change it, even if you ADORE him...he wants something other than what you want, and that will only hurt you. Letting go of someone who has exceptional qualities is hard for many, even if the same partner can be REALLY hurtful, lack any consistent empathy, etc. That's the torture of loving an exceptional BPD. But it just is what it is. A paradox that will continue to hurt you, because deep personal change is rare, and personality disorders don't change. They mellow at best.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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