A Relationship Destined for Failure

August 24, 2010

Untreated, Borderline Personality Disorder can wreak havoc on a relationship. Partners of BPs often beat themselves up after a relationship has ended abruptly. But in most cases, there was probably nothing they could have done to prevent the inevitable self-destruction. The old metaphor of “a candle that burns twice as bright, burns twice as fast” applies here. These are some reasons why a borderline relationship is destined for failure:

Kiss of Death BPs work so hard to get a commitment out of their partner. A BP relationship moves fast. They live to hear the words “I Love You”. But once they hear it, it’s all downhill.  Once a lover drops their defenses and gives into a BP’s wishes, the relationship kill-switch is flipped. BPs want what they can’t have. Once they get it, they feel suffocated.  Subconsciously, they sabotage it and push their partners away.

Living in the Future Another kiss of death is when a BP says they can see a future with their partner. They are basically fooling themselves and their partner into believing they can sustain a long-term relationship. It is an act of desperation to pull a partner further into the relationship. Ironically, they are most likely to say things like this when they know the relationship is in serious trouble. The more insecure they feel, the more they try to lasso-in their partner. But it also places undue pressure on a relationship. Pressure BPs are not equipped to handle.

The Bottomless Void BPs use relationships to give themselves a sense of worth. Unfortunately, it’s a void that can’t be filled, which is why the relationship is destined to end in disappointment.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places To BPs- abuse, dysfunction, and emotional unavailability are aphrodisiacs. From childhood, they have been programmed to associate intimacy with being treated badly. These are the dead-end relationships they keep running back to. Conversely, when they finally meet someone who is attentive and cares for them, they run away. Their warped sense of reality makes them believe someone, who actually wants to be with them, must be flawed.

Hot Pot Because BPs feel their emotions so intensely, they often feel obligated to keep a lid on their anger and sadness. But emotions can only be ignored for so long before it bubbles over. And then you can forget about putting the lid back on.

Serial Honeymooner BPs are new love junkies. They have become addicted to the biochemical high that comes with falling in love. The problem is that feeling only lasts for so long, and BPs are not very good at dealing with reality after the honeymoon is over. So it’s on to the next victim.

Poor Communication Skills For whatever reason, BPs lack the ability to communicate with their partners. They are either passive-aggressive or over-the-top hostile. Either tactic only ensures their message will not be heard and they will not be taken seriously. This can only lead to resentment and bitter feelings.

Power Play For BPs, love is a power struggle. BPs must battle for control or they feel out of control. And nothing makes them feel more out of control than dependency. When they are confronted with the fear of abandonment/rejection, their partner suddenly becomes an adversary.

Green-Eyed Monster Once a BP falls for someone, they are overcome with the fear of losing them. They become suspicious of other people encroaching upon their territory. They become suspicious that their partner is cheating on them. However this might just be a case of projection as BPs tend to have a weak sense of boundaries. It would not be out of character for a BP to cheat in retaliation for some perceived infidelity.

Cold Feet BPs will create a laundry list of reasons for leaving a relationship, but the only true reason is the fear of abandonment. BPs are tuned in to pick up subtle cues that their mate may be slipping away. Eventually the feeling of insecurity becomes too much to bear and BPs push the eject button for safety.

Emotional Baggage Everybody has baggage from previous relationships, but BPs have king-size baggage. Most BPs are carrying the ill-effects of abuse and years of bad relationships. Which means years of unresolved and repressed emotions stored up inside of them, waiting to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting partner. If a past partner made them feel bad about their eating habits, they may develop an eating disorder. They may even falsely accuse you for making them feel self-conscious about their body. You then become the dumping ground for all their past troubles. Intimacy is a trigger for all the negative emotions they have accumulated. For a partner, walking around emotional triggers is like walking through a minefield.

Too Much Drama for Your Mama BPs love drama. Their relationships are either hot or cold. They are either madly in love or on the war path. They are either filled with euphoria or overcome by hysteria. They struggle to operate at an even keel. If there is no drama, they will find a way to create it.

Splitting Black In the beginning, a BP relationship is a dream come true. But it’s only a matter of time when the BP turns this dream love into a nightmare. In the beginning, a lover can do no wrong. In the end, everything they do rubs a BP the wrong way.  When a BP splits a loved one, sweet nothings turn into vicious threats and outlandish accusations.

Touchy Touchy BPs experience emotions more intensely than others, but they also react to them in extreme ways. A casual conversation about current events can easily turn into a heated debate, ending with the BP hurling personal attacks. Needless to say, BPs do not take well to criticisms and the vindictive nature of BPs makes them lash out in wildly inappropriate ways. Ways they might not even be aware of.

Self-Centered When someone has to attend to their emotional needs as much as BPs do, they can not help but be self-centered. They are always looking out for their own interests. Sometimes at the expense of your feelings.

Inferiority-Complex The sum of all these ailments takes its toll on a person’s self-esteem. BPs often feel insecure and unworthy of another person’s love. To compensate, they belittle their partners to level the playing ground. After a while, it feels less like love and more like war.

Protecting the Heart The more serious a relationship gets, the more a BP needs to protect their heart. They distance themselves with hostility, emotional outbursts, and unending drama. In return, this forces their partner to protect their heart. The downward cycle eventually leads BPs to completely shut off their heart. When a BP’s heart turns cold, they are capable of great cruelty.

Trust Issues Trust is a huge issue for BPs. They can’t even trust therapists, let alone themselves. So how are they going to trust their partners? BPs are constantly suspicious of other people’s motives and misinterpreting the words/actions of their lovers. This, alone, is a recipe for disaster.

The problem is every time they achieve intimacy, BPs find a way to push it away. Consequently, they are unable to develop the emotional depth in a relationship needed to sustain it. Until BPs seek out help, they will most likely continue their self-destructive patterns. They will continue hurting one person after another. A relationship with an untreated BP rarely ends well.

One Response to “A Relationship Destined for Failure”

  1. savorydish said

    Survivors of trauma are adrenaline junkies. Abuse has created an unhealthy need for adrenaline. Healthy relationships then become boring and predictable, so they create chaos and conflict. And then they wonder why lovers turn to enemies.

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