FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Partner with possible BPD..I cannot cope!

Mems89
Community Member

I have been with my partner coming up to 10 years now. The relationship has never been easy. Never. But it's only in the past few years where I've realised that it's not me that's the problem, it's him, and that the problem is a possible mental illness.

I've begged him to seek help, but he refuses. I've given ultimatums, but he always talks me out of following through. The thing is, it never gets any better, and I fully believe it never will, UNLESS he seeks help.

His parents have suggested it's Bipolar, but on further research I believe it's more BPD.

My soul has been destroyed. I can not be me around him, because no matter what, nothing I do is 'right' or good enough. I am constantly walking on egg shells and I am only truly happy when he is not around, and I dread being around him.

But when he is happy, I know I love him, and things can be good, for a few days.

The sad thing is is that there are far more bad days than there are good days, and when there are good days, I'm dreading the inevitable bad days.

It can be something as small as me wearing makeup when he feels it's unnecessary, making him think that I'm wearing it for someone else, but on other days it could be because I didn't wear makeup making him think I'm letting myself go. From this example you can see I'm constantly in a no-win situation, and I'm sick of being left guessing as to what is appropriate at any given minute of any given day.

I feel unloved, unappreciated, constantly alone and invisible. He refuses to communicate with me, yet expects me to communicate fully with him (to have it twisted and used against me as he sees fit).

His mental illness is making our relationship abusive, and as much as I want to be there for him and help him get better, I don't think I can unless he does so himself.

BUT I am scared. I am scared to walk away from the relationship, because I don't know how he will react. He will want to seek revenge, he will want to hurt me as much as he feels I've hurt him (because he doesn't SEE that he is the one hurting me first). I don't know what to do or how to handle it.

Most of all, I feel broken and defeated. Yet again, there is a no-win situation, but I know I need to do something, because it's my mental health and sanity that is now being affected, and he couldn't give two hoots.

7 Replies 7

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Mems89,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and to the community here. I am so sorry to read of the situation you are in.

You mentioned you feel too scared to leave. I had a very abusive first marriage. My husband used to bash me up. Each time I tried to leave, he would belt me around again. In the end I knew I could not stay there any longer, so I left. Yes I was scared as to what he would do, all worked out in the end.

Do you have a secure place to go to if you do leave and even if you feel like you are being threatened? Do you have family or friends close by who can help you out?

Have you been to see your Dr. to discuss how you are feeling?

Try phoning Beyond Blue help line on 1300 22 4636 and the people answering the phone will be able to help you find support in your area.

Do you have the opportunity to leave for a few days to see if that might help you make up your mind if you want to stay or leave.

How do his parents feel about their son's mental health? Can they help you to get hm to the Dr and to therapy?

Have you read up on depression and borderline personality disorder?

I have depression and BPD as do my Mother and a niece. I have learned to control it and hope I don't make people's lives too unbearable. My Mum on the other hand doesn't acknowledge she has any problem at all. For her it is everyone else in the world who has the problem.

We all tiptoe around Mum. It can be very hard, tiring, exhausting and so many other things. Mum is Mum. I can not change her. I can not choose another Mum. I guess for you, it may be time to decide how much longer you want to live this way.

It is not easy when we love someone who sometimes makes life unbearable.

Hope you have felt some comfort at least sharing how you are feeling.

Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

Hi Doolhof

I was just wondering what triggered you to seek the help you required about your BPD? Was there a particular incident that helped you recognise you needed help or something you worked out over time? Also, did the fact that there was a diagnosis that fit what you were feeling (someone actually pointing out BPD rather than just the regular Anxiety/Depression diagnosis) actually help or make no real difference to your decision to seek the right treatment for it? I have a daughter who appears to have many hallmarks of BPD and I'm wondering whether me showing her the details of it would help her acknowledge it and seek the right treatment for it or no real difference at all. Obviously I understand everyone is different but figured I'd at least ask some people that have actually lived it.

Cheers

pipsy
Community Member

Hi Mem. You seem to be scared of hubby, at the same time wanting to help him which is fantastic. In order to find out what the issue is, bipolar/BPD, it would be a good thought to consult your Dr. You can do this yourself. While the Dr is bound by patient/Dr confidentiality, the fact that you need clarification would let the Dr know there is a problem. Any sort of mental health, depression/bipolar/BPD, makes the sufferer hard to live with because usually the person with the illness could be a bit scared to face that he/she needs help. You need help too, therefore seeing a Dr to ask for help would be a good starting point. You could ask the Dr if it would be possible for him to visit your hubby at home. This would also give your hubby a chance to talk to the Dr at home where he possibly feels safer. Your hubby may be feeling a bit scared at the thought that he may have to enter a hospital to get treatment. Sometimes, depression can cause the sufferer to react rather negatively. Mrs Dools also has some great ideas about seeking help. Phoning BB's help line. Getting info re: bipolar/BPD are great suggestions.

Lynda

Hi Worried Dad,

I think it is fantastic that you are concerned about your daughter's mental health and you want to help her.

To cut a long story short, I have had depression for ages. A psychiatrist I was seeing could not understand why the antidepressant was making little difference to how I was feeling. He explained BPD to me and gave me a list of things people with BPD can experience.

It was like someone had just told me exactly how I was thinking and feeling. For me it was a revelation. I bought a book on BPD and underlined everything that was relevant to me and then handed it to my sister to ask if she would consider her daughter was suffering from the same thing or something similar.

Showing your daughter a description of behaviours relating to BPD may have her furious at first because she may not want to admit that is how she is, or she may hug you to death and thank you for helping her find an answer to the way she is feeling.

You know your daughter, so I suggest you think about how to approach her with the information and when. Let her know that BPD is a known condition, it is an illness like diabetes is an illness for some.

For my husband and I, a diagnosis of BPD certainly helped us both understand a lot of things and to look at my way of behaving differently.

Now I am aware of why I feel the way I do, I don't over react so much. I am more aware of life and try to be in the moment more often.

One thing I really struggle with at times is feeling totally disconnected from people and events. Understanding why I feel this way helps me to connect with people in a different way.

If you think it might help your daughter to read this, then by all means show her.

I wish you and your daughter all the very best. For me knowing about any medical condition helps make it seem less concerning.

Cheers for now from Doolhof.

Hi Doolhoof

thanks so much for the response. I have very little doubt my daughter will react negatively (outwardly) to me giving her the information on BPD as she is currently very negative/angry to anything that challenges her and her existence of lying around the house watching TV and living on her phone but I can't let that cycle continue as it messes with my state of mind through frustration but also isn't helpful to her long term, she just can't seem to see that currently. If, however, after her initial anger subsides reading it helps her understand what's going on better and start to make the changes necessary to improve her life then the short term negative is well worth it! I guess I just wonder if at 16 she is capable of really absorbing it, giving it due credence and making any changes but I guess we won't know unless we try. It can't really cause any negative reactions that I can think of as far as making things worse for her but if you can think of any I'd be happy to hear of them.

i just want her to resume her psychologist appointments and/or taking her medication again to start on the road to wellness but currently she's refusing to do either.

cheers

Lazykh
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi there,

Some great replies already. Living with someone with BPD is extremely difficult. So is living with BPD. A great book to have a look at is 'Stop Walking on Eggshells' by Mason and Kreger. Lots of easy to digest info, but not so basic that it is of no help. There are lots of tips on how to best manage situations and insight on what it is like to have BPD. If you are going to buy one book on BPD, I would recommend this to be the one.

Also don't forget to call the beyondblue help line for those times when you feel it's getting to be all too much, there is always someone to listen at the end of the line.

Borderlines can be volatile and unpredictable, so for Mems89 I recommend getting some professional help too via a mental health professional, you can get a recommendation and a plan for 10 sessions from a GP. 1800RESPECT would be another great service for you, (that's the number you dial) since you feel uncomfortable about leaving him. They can help you dissect your relationship and tell you what is really BPD and what is really just abuse.

Courage and good luck with this frequently painful situation...

Lazykh

Hi Worried Dad,

Lazykh has made some good suggestions here. If you don't feel like buying a book, see if your local library has any books on BPD or ask them to find one for you and reserve it.

If you can find the book that was mentioned in a book shop or on line, it might be helpful.

Regarding your daughter, I am thinking back to when I was 16! I was such an angry, hateful, nasty person at times. I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere, I didn't listen to my parents, I spent very little time at home, and didn't take in anyone's advice.

I'm sorry to read your daughter is not taking her medication or attending her appointments. That is a tough one.

I see the battle my sister has with my niece who suffers from BPD, depression and anxiety. Their interaction with each other can be brutal at times. I try to support them both.

Does your daughter have a different member of the family she might listen to? My sister has been so thankful that I have been there to pick up the pieces for her daughter so many times.

Instead of watching t.v. all the time, could you take your daughter out to a movie, for a coffee in a café? Try not to talk about her health issues the whole time, think of other things to chat about as well.

Maybe being in a different and neutral environment might be good for you both.

I really hope you find a way of connecting with your daughter and helping her to make changes.

All the best to you both, from Doolhof