Abusive Relationships: Are you in a Relationship with an emotionally abusive person with Borderline Personality?
Disorder Does your partner seem like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Recovering From Emotionally abusive relationship often involves a person with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) causes a person to become very controlling in an attempt to avoid being rejected, which is their greatest fear.
Emotional Abuse- Does your Relationships have these characteristics:
- In the beginning the person thinks you are perfect and professes love for you that they have “never felt before for anyone” They alternate between this state and rage at you. When they are in the rage state you rationalize their behavior by telling yourself how loving and adoring they can be and your longing for that keeps you in the relationship. They will give you just enough of that to keep you around. That adoring behavior is very powerful and addictive because they have an uncanny ability to read you and therefore can make you feel “seen” maybe for the first time in your life. As good as this feels, it is a sign that you are with a person with BPD.
- The other person demands that you to put aside your needs to tend to their needs and no matter how much you give, it’s never enough. Then they criticize you for not doing enough to fulfill their needs using verbal assaults belittling, screaming, threatening, humiliating you. They use fear to control you threatening to end the relationship. You start to feel helpless and trapped.
- Being constantly put down and accused of doing things you never did, yet when you try to leave the relationship they will try to keep you there by declaring love or threatening you.
- You can never plan or count on social engagements because the person will change the plan or refuse to go at the last minute.
- The other person reacts differently at different times to the same behavior that you exhibit.
The one thing that a BPD (border personality disorder) person needs the most is for their partner to set clear and definite limits. When a partner enforces these boundaries, it helps the partner to become more confident and the BPD person to feel safer, by knowing how far they can go. The limits actually help people feel safe because it teaches them how to behave so that they aren’t rejected. An abusive relationship cannot continue when the partner maintains clear and strong limits as to what is acceptable behavior.
In order to know if you are in an abusive relationship, one must first be aware of these warning signs.
Stages of an Abusive Relationship:
- The honeymoon stage- you experience limerence which lasts 3 months to a few years. In this stage you are obsessed with and completely infatuated by your partner. You have never felt so loved and cherished in your life.
- After the honeymoon period is over and the relationship is solidified starts the obsessively controlling stage– the BPD will cut you off from family, friends and hobbies (anything you enjoy on your own). This is because the BPD’s biggest fear is being left. She/he will see all your friends and interests as competition for your attention and love.
- The attempts at controlling escalate. The BPD will become more desperate to control you and will make threats, both to commit suicide or to harm you or your family members, if you threaten to leave.
Abusive Relationship Recovery
Emotional abuse is like brainwashing- it systematically wears away the victim’s sense of self worth, and trust in their perceptions. If this feels like your relationship, please get the help of a therapist who is experienced in dealing with an abusive relationship before every trace of self esteem in you is destroyed.
There is Hope for moving forward
Many people rind themselves involved with a BPD because they are very charming and make you feel very desired and loved …at first. It is natural and healthy to want to be loved. They have an acute ability to tune in on the very things a person is most vulnerable about. They use this in the beginning to get close to you and then later to threaten and control you.
Common questions people ask me are:
Am I crazy or sick to be with a BPD?
The answer is NO. You are probably just a nice and trusting person (maybe co dependent). BPD’s are drawn to trusting and compassionate people because they know that they can be more easily manipulated.
Emotional abuse is in many ways more damaging than violence because the victim often feels guilty. If you were being hit you would know that you are not the abuser. With emotional abuse you sense of worthiness is undermined because we naturally expect people that we love to treat us with compassion and respect for our feelings . When we don’t get this we naturally assume it is our fault ( because we are defective and therefore unworthy of respect and compassion).
If you fall prey to these types of relationships lets this be a sign that you need to heal your childhood wounds once and for all so that you can have the love you deserve. When you have a strong inner self you can more easily see and resist manipulation and flattery. You are also able to be objective about other people. You must start to notice when people lie or have no empathy for other human beings. These are the major signs of a BPD.
As part of your recovery you will discover why you attracted this type of person in the first place. You will then be able to start to heal yourself fo that you can have the healthy relationships that you deserve.
You probably are not very aware of your own emotional needs and how to get them met. You probably don’t know how to set boundaries. These are things that you can learn when you decide you are ready for a healthy relationship that includes mutuality, mutual affection and emotional support.
Therapy is available for BPD.
While I work with couples in an emotionally abusive relationship, I have team members who specialize in treating BPD. I encourage anyone who wants to have a successful relationship to get this help.