People with Borderline Personality Disorder, especially untreated, often get into trauma bonded relationships with non-borderlines more often than not who have Codependency.
The beginning of the relationship is amazing! The person with BPD idealizes you, mirrors you, and from their own codependency as well is trying very hard to people please you. People with BPD (untreated) lack a stable sense of identity. When they put you on the pedestal unconsciously known to them they are looking for a rescuer, a savior, an enabling fixer.
These relationships start out in the here-and-now as one person very attracted to the other. The reality of the unconscious set-up that is unfolding is not known by either the person with BPD or the loved one often with Codependency.
People with BPD have as a major defense mechanism, splitting. So, they idealize, and then at some point, they will devalue you. People with BPD do not know how to relate to you in any adult, consistent, congruent way. The person you fall in love with who you likely don’t know has BPD is not who that person really is. This comes to be very confusing before being more understood after they end your honeymoon phase by splitting you to “all bad”.
So, in the beginning of dating or actually going more deeply into the relationship. The loved one believes they have found the love of their life. There can be a honeymoon phase to the relationship. Not all people with BPD are the same. Some with BPD may have a longer honeymoon cycle than many others.
Sooner or later, maybe even after you’ve gotten married and had children, life is so wonderful, or has it started to become confusing and rocking but over-all you think that’s just part of being in relationship?
Then will come the inevitable split from idealizing you to devaluing you. These splits usually are the beginning of the end of the honeymoon phase and are going to change your experience in the relationship in very traumatizing and painful ways.
For some with (untreated) BPD they might over-share really quickly when you met them. You didn’t think that any red flag or odd. Sharing about multiple Ex partners in all “bad” negative victim ways. You feel bad for them and knowing that you are a good person and you really love this person, you aren’t concerned because you believe you and your love will help your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.
In time people painfully find out that no matter how much you give and give and give the person you are dating or in a relationship with keeps withdrawing or getting very angry. Hurling accusations, insults at you. Accusing you of doing thing that you know you never did. Accusing you of saying things that you know you never said.
The longer the relationship goes on the less sure you become about what the person that you may or may not know yet, or suspect yet, has BPD, hurls at you. You start to doubt yourself. You think that you are the “bad guy” hurting your loved one.
These relationships really start to end as soon as they begin. No one knows that consciously at all. Not the person with BPD and not the loved one or partner. Desperation grows. Pain grows. Sex in the relationship often diminishes or disappears. This person wants ALL you time and attention. If you come home from work even five minutes late they believe that means you don’t love or care about them anymore.
Many with BPD, your girlfriend, your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, will just ghost — suddenly say they need space, if they say anything at all. You are both bewildered and confused. Often arguments and walking on eggshells, by this point, have become “normal” for you. You just can’t make heads or tails out of what they are talking about or why they are so upset or angry because so often NOTHING is happening and they are all depressed, angry, yelling, or not wanting to talk. They talk about I need a month or so and then we can talk again. Many just disappear, no matter how short or long the relationship.
Ghosted. Confused. They won’t answer your texts or calls. They just go totally silent. Are they cheating on you? Monkey branching? What’s going on? So many loved ones and partners are in such devastating pain when ghosted. Many don’t at all know if the relationship is over or not.
Others breakup with a partner with BPD. Only to regret that and reach back out — reverse hoover. Or get hoovered by the then Ex with BPD. Longing for this person you want to get back with them because you may well feel convinced that “if only” you would have said this, rather than that, or reacted this way, instead of how you did — you start to blame yourself and you are taking all the responsibility (Codependently) while your Ex or on/off partner takes no accountability and no responsibility.
Surviving a BPD Relationship Breakup is complex and truly unlike any other type of relationship breakup. There is a high “let’s try again” rate of re-cycling the relationship, often many times over.
Surviving a BPD Relationship often begins as everything has ruptured and is or has unraveled once or many times and you just can’t make any sense out of it. You are left, or you were told by the Borderline that this was all your fault.
The more you have loved and given to someone with BPD who cannot take in your love and your kindness — can’t trust it, the more you can’t believe what is happening.
Surviving a BPD Relationship Breakup has so many moving pieces to it. The not wanting it to be over. For many not being sure at all that it is over. You are so hurt. Nothing makes sense. You want that person back. The person that you want back is the person who you thought they were but clearly not the person they really are — the person with BPD that lacks a self. That loathes him/herself and that has no emotional reference for “self” or “other”.
If you relate to this and you aren’t in therapy, please do get into therapy. This is not a healthy situation. Rumination, cognitive dissonance, confusion, losing yourself, the devastating pain, and so much more leave you feeling like you just have to get that person back.
Surviving BPD Relationship Breakups includes learning more about BPD but you need to learn even more about Codependency and your Family of Origin and why and how you trauma bonded and accepted borderline abuse as love.
I have been working with people during and after these breakups for 31 years. If you would like to know more please visit my Youtube Channel at https://youtube.com/ajmahari or go to bpdbreakups.com to follow my podcasts. https://ajmahari.ca/sessions to purchase and book sessions.
Surviving a BPD Relationship Breakup is so painful and confusing that it is not wise or recommended that anyone try to get through this on their own. Often your family and friends will not understand your pain. They will not understand, as you might now yet understand, how and why you keep loving someone who couldn’t love you, has betrayed you in many ways, abused you and all in the name of “love”. It’s not love. There was no mutuality or reciprocity in the relationship. These relationships are toxic trauma bonds between a person with BPD and person with Codependency.
With help in therapy and taking steps to go no contact and to learn in therapy how to focus on yourself and stop re-abandoning yourself during or after a BPD Relationship Breakup you will benefit so much from reaching out to someone like myself, an expert on Cluster B personality disorders and Codependency and the trauma bonds that these relationship are which really makes the breakup one of people’s most painful experiences in life.
Copyright A.J. Mahari, August 16, 2021