borderline personality, borderline personality disorder, relationship, personality disorder, emotional abuse

Why people find it almost impossible to leave a partner with Borderline Personality.

People often come into therapy heartbroken because of the breakup they have had with a BP (Borderline Personality).  The flattery, attention and obsessiveness with which the BP treats their partner at first is exhilarating to the ego.  People get addicted to the feeling of exhilaration and power they feel at being so important to another person.

Then, when the BP strikes out at the partner often devaluing them with rage , attacking and threatening them with the same force that they had previously idealized them, the partner becomes confused.  The partner often will deny these violent outbursts to themselves telling themselves that soon the loving exhilaration will return if they can just hang in there long enough.  Just when the BP sees that the partner has had enough she/he will switch back to the obsessiveness and flattery.

This is called intermittent reinforcement…reinforcement that comes when you least expect it.  It causes the addictive feeling of playing a slot machine.  If you just put in one more coin, you could win the jackpot.  When behavior is intermittently reinforced it is hard to extinguish the behavior.

So, what keeps people stuck in these relationships?


  • Living with this emotional abuse and unpredictability throws a person off balance and undermines a person’s confidence.  This leads to low self esteem and sometimes even feeling worthless..
  • Fear of retaliation  or violence from the BP, and fear that the BP will commit suicide as they often threaten to do.
  • The need to rescue and keep the peace or lack of assertiveness.  Some partners of BP’s have even tolerated extra marital affairs and sexually transmitted diseases  in their spouses because they were afraid that if they expressed any  needs  themselves they would be accused of being controlling or needy.

To leave this drama a person needs to ask him/her self , “What would I be doing with my life if I weren’t trying to manage and cope with the BP?”. Addressing this question can be the beginning of a journey leading to self empowerment.

emotionally abusive relationship,borderline personality disorder,emotionally abusive relationship,emotional abuse

Emotionally Abusive Relationship…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.


Emotionally Abusive Relationships often are with a person who has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  The main characteristic of this kind of personality disorder is  that the person  becomes very controlling in an attempt to avoid being rejected.  Rejection is the greatest fear of someone with BPD.

Emotional Abuse 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


1)  The honeymoon stage- you experience limerence which lasts 3 months to a few years.  In this stage you are obsessed and infatuated by your partner.

2)  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.

3) 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 for the partner


Treatment for partner recovery is best initiated by trauma work.  I use EMDR  which is very effective to get the victim connected to their resources again.

The partner of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder is  traumatized from living with the behavior and manipulation techniques used to attempt to control them and keep them form leaving.

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 or life coach who is experienced in dealing with an abusive relationship.

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.

In the Meantime the best thing to do:


In order to protect yourself from abuse you  must set and maintain clear boundaries.  Tell your BPD partner that you will not tolerate a particular behavior and that the next time they try it you will leave the house . The leaves the BPD with 2 choices,  either loose you or get help.  If you are afraid of inciting violence when you do this, then you need to have a heart to heart talk with yourself asking yourself why you are there.

Another effective approach is DBT…


There is  now a therapy modality that is very effective in helping a person heal from BPD.  It is called DBT and I work with several therapists who get excellent results in healing a person with BPD if the person is willing to make a commitment and do the work in therapy that is involved.

If a person is willing to make a sincere commitment to therapy and stick with it for at least a year, there is a very good chance that healing can happen.  I have a colleague who specializes in DBT and has had much success working with BPD.  Let me know if I can help in this way.

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 people because they know that they can be more easily manipulated.
Although you are not the sick one you do need to learn to nurture your inner child self so that you are not so vulnerable to flattery.  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 because  you don’t need them to be a certain way.  You will 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. You will then be able to start to heal yourself fo that you can have the  healthy relationships that you deserve.

fastereft,EFT, EFT Tapping, Neurolinguistic Programming,Emotional freedom Techniques,NLP

2 Ways EFT tapping can help you remove relationship obstacles

If you think back over all the relationships you have had what stops you from creating a good relationship, one that you really want?

I think that the biggest obstacle to having a good relationship is the fears and hurts that got imprinted on us in childhood. Those hurts simply don’t go away on their own.

Because we are so vulnerable in childhood the pain of hurtful experiences becomes a template for how we choose adult partners. What this looks like is that if you had a parent who was critical of you and couldn’t acknowledge your value you will likely pick partners who are critical and you will be continually trying in vain to please them and get their approval.

The worst part of this is that until you heal that part of you that was hurt by this you will probably keep picking people who cant appreciate or love you.

Another example of this is the person who grew up in a family where a parent leaned on the child and expected him/her to take care of him/her.  When this child grows up he/she will keep being attracted to people who “need” them or takers.  People who are extreme takers can never be satisfied with what you give them.  We call them “never enough-ers”

If you can understand the dynamic that damaged you in childhood, and you heal the hurt that was inflicted on you, you won’t be continually hooking up with people who are unable to give you love.

2 ways eft removes this negative pattern:


  1. EFT tapping therapy can remove this hurt.  Tapping moves painful emotions through the body.  When the painful emotion from a childhood event where you were hurt, scared or humiliated is eliminated the belief that you are defective is no longer there.
  2. When we are hurt in childhood a part gets frozen. the part that holds that pain.  Because this part is frozen in the past it keeps itself from getting love and healing. EFT tapping can  be used to enhance inner child work in a way that we can give the part what is so desperately needed.  This changes a persons self concept t and enhances self esteem.  Without the hurt and the belief of being defective a person can attract people who can love.
Life Coach, EFT, EMDR

Therapist Or Life Coach: Which Do I Need?

A therapist deals with the treatment of mental and emotional disorders to help a person understand his psychological conflicts and emotional problems leading to personality growth and changes in behavior and attitudes.

Coaching deals with adjusting to life transitions, career changes, enhancing leadership and communication skills, and accountability for taking action.

Psychotherapy is performed by licensed mental health therapist.

Since Psychotherapy deals with a mental or emotional disorder it must be performed by a licensed Mental Health Provider, licensed by the state in which he/she practices. There are various licenses to do psychotherapy such as Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Psychotherapy consists of consulting with one of these Mental Health providers on an ongoing basis to remove whatever obstacles or problems a person is having. It often deals with habitual patterns of behavior such as withdrawal or submissiveness due to low self esteem, or aggression.

Coaching, also deals with improving a person’s life but it does not focus on deficits or diagnoses or mental/emotional illness, since a coach is not a mental health professional Instead it focuses on identifying the person’s strengths and helping to enhance them.

A Life Coach Focuses on Skills.

Generally coaching can help someone move ahead with goals by focusing on certain skills that the client is wanting to attain or improve. By using assessment tools to measure where the client is now, the coach and client develop a plan to reach the goal through small steps that the client will master.

I am a coach as well as a therapist and I often use assessment questionnaires that the client sends to people he interacts with at work and socially, to get objective feedback as to what skills need improvement. This assessment also indicates which leadership skills need developing.

Action steps are an important part of coaching


Once clear goals are established,each session sets forth action steps the client commits to perform. A session will consist of checking in the action steps from the past session to see if they were accomplished , or if they need to be refined, and the next logical step is set to be done the following week. A person is coached through these steps until he has accomplished his goals.

The coach acts as a mentor and will often send the client out to do research to gain information. For example if the client is trying to find his right career, the coach will have him interview 6 people who are involved in that career. He may also take “strengths assessments” as well as values clarification, and personality type indicators.

If the client can succeed in accomplishing the coaching goals then the process ends, or he may keep the coach for ongoing support.

Therapy may be needed.


There are situations when the coaching client is not able to succeed with coaching. Some examples would be that he is too depressed or anxious to carry out the action steps, or that he has an underlying fear of succeeding which is unconscious. A very common obstacle to success is the unconscious fear of achieving more than a parent. If these psychological issues are present the client will need to deal with and resolve them in therapy, or psychotherapy, as it is commonly called.

A good coach will be able to tell whether the client needs therapy and therefore to refer him out to a therapist.

Both therapy and coaching can be extremely helpful and can be used at different times in a person’s life.