Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How To Have a Normal Life After A Borderline Relationship

You can have a normal life after you have a relationship with somebody afflicted with borderline personality disorder. Heck, if you have a partner who is afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder, can truly keep your sense of self-worth and self esteem intact while establishing healthy boundaries, you can even survive in a relationship with someone who has BPD.

This post covers how to have a normal life after you've been in a borderline relationship, from recovery to back to normalcy and thriving in your new found free life.

Grieve The Relationship
First, you have to grieve the relationship. Allow yourself time to fully grieve. You can get books like How to Survive The Loss of a Love. The book's a little cheesy, but it worked for me.

Actually allot time each day to grieve the loss. Losing someone who is borderline is tough, mainly because they are such intense relationships. Most of us that were in a relationship with a Borderline thought that this was it, and this person was marriage material. We suddenly had to say goodbye to our partner -- heck, I nearly bought a house with my ex BPD.

This has a huge cost in terms of how you feel. It takes time -- longer than normal to heal. Give yourself the time, no matter what, or it will come out strange ways.

Begin To Prove To Yourself That You're Not Those Things That The Borderline Said You Were
I know, this one is a little nutty, but it works. Even if you know that you're not crazy, you're not borderline, you're not a liar, you're not a scammer, you're not gay, your kids aren't mental patients, you don't want to hurt the BPD, the BPD's family, the BPD's pets, the BPD's pets, and so on (I rattled that off in one thought, so you can see that those scars are still there), they still have a lasting effect.

When I told the borderline that she was BPD, her response was, "no I'm not, you are." She then launched into an all-out attack on me, trying to prove that I was borderline. or suffered from Antisocial Personality Disorder (often seen as the male counterpart to BPD). It got so bad that one day, we were in a psychologist's office going through the DSM, me having to prove that I don't have Antisocial Personality Disorder. I've covered this before, but my point is that it has a lasting impact.

After the relationship terminated, one of my first relationships was with a psychologist. This PhD dealt regularly with criminals that had Antisocial Personality Disorder. I know that I didn't have this disorder, but I just had to prove it a little more...

Begin To Get Your Sense of Self Back
So, you're now mourning the relationship. It's time to get into the driver's seat and make life good again. Appreciate your new found freedom and time. After all, you no longer have to worry about a borderline, or anyone for that matter.

One book that I found particularly useful was a book called Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends. It contained plenty of great information, was a quick read, but helped me put everything into perspective and begin to grow once again. It was definitely one of those good ones to read when going through this change.
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond)

Learn How Not To Make The Same Mistakes
So, you're starting to get your sense of self back. You may want to go to a counselor to examine what drew you to the borderline and how to ensure it doesn't happen again. For me, it was a deep childhood issue with my sense of self -- I felt comfortable proving my worth, which the BPD constantly challenged.

One book that I found particularly useful was a book called No More Mister Nice Guy. It helped me break some of the chains that had kept me in the relationship -- the chains of great sex, and others. No More Mr. Nice Guy!

Break The Chains of Codependency
Some need to go to Alanon. I didn't need it, but I did realize what codependent behaviors I had and broke them, for the most part. I read books like Codependent No More which allowed me to start forming healthy, functional relationships with others.

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

Learn To Start Getting The Love -- and Giving The Love -- That You Deserve
So, you're now on the right path. You're feeling better and better. While doing this, be sure to keep working through your regular issues -- mourning when appropriate, taking time for yourself, re-discovering who you really are.

When you're ready -- start getting the love that you deserve. I read a book which helped do this, called Getting the Love You Want. This book was a great book and helped explain it all and make large changes in me. After reading this book, I:
- Went back to church, finding a spiritual foundation (which is so critical)
- Met my current partner.

In future posts, I'll cover how I got the spiritual foundation, what it did for me and how to get it yourself. I'll also cover each of these elements in more detail.

You can have a normal life after a Borderline Relationship, for what it's worth. Follow the approach outlined here and you'll be on your way.


  1. I have been amazed to learn I was just with a woman with BPD. EVERYTHING I have read has been 100% her and everything written is 100% how I feel. Over the pat 7 months she has ended contact 4 times. The 4th time being last week. The first time it was for 3 weeks. The second time it was for 2 months and the 3rd time it was also 2 months. Again this time it has been 1 week. When she ends contact it is always a different reason and it is ALWAYS how I am wrong. She then blocks my calls her changes her phone number. The reason I always pick up the phone is because I feel she has changed or I feel bad that If I ignore her. I thank God I found this artical and have learned about this! I just ordered the book above "No more Mr. Nice Guy" And as much as I am still greiving over my 4th loss of her. I have made it a pact within myself I will not accept her contact again. I live in Maine and she lives in California. I thank GOD I did not move there as we had talked about!

  2. At your suggestion, I read Codependent No More and I really identified with this excerpt:

    "The distortion is bizarre. I will stay because...'He doesn't beat me.' 'She doesn't run around.' 'He hasn't lost his job.' Imagine getting credit for the behaviors we ordinary mortals do as a matter of course. Even if the worst is true. Even if he does beat you. Even if she does run around. Even if he is no longer working. Even with all this, you will then say, 'But I love him/her!' When I respond, 'Tell me what is so lovable?' there is no response. The answer doesn't come, but the power of being emotionally stuck is far greater than the power of reason" (Beattie 100).

    Since being left by my BPD boyfriend, I have finally moved back to my apartment where we both lived, so I have regained that bit of independence (rather than staying at my parents' house). But socially, I feel more pathetic than ever. I have absolutely no friends (well except my best friend who lives over 1000 miles away) and it makes me feel so old and lonely. Thank God for my dog, at least. Any advice on how to really have a "normal" life when you have no support system, besides parents? I'm 28 yrs. old and I feel like a freak. I wonder if it would be better to try to reconcile with the BPD rather than live the rest of my life alone.

  3. It is better to be on your own and you are blessed to have parents and a dog plus you are young. I am 54 years old and got dumped very suddenly by someone who I now believe had bpd/npd. I just read facing love addiction by Beattie and it explains alot about why we may have been drawn into the dysfunctional relationship with a borderline. It is so bizarre that they cannot be alone and yet cannot commit or sustain a relationship long term. They leave so many broken hearts and broken lives in their wake. Everyone deserves to give and RECIEVE love.

  4. i was involved with a borderline for four months. at first it was euphoric. i never felt like that before. the red flags were there as time went by but i just chose to ignore them. she was selfish,sexually active and at first was worried about me leaving the relationship. as time went by a saw a change in her. the person i thought i knew was not for real.she made grand plans about our future and texted me day and night.right to the end she told me how lucky she was to have a friend and lover. the next day she dumped me thru a text and haven't heard from her since.


Please tell me your story and how it relates to Borderline Personality Disorder. I appreciate any and all comments that you leave on this blog, and as long as they do not contain inappropriate language or are not on-topic, will publish them. Please note that I cannot respond to blogs as this is an anonymous blog. However, I will publish all appropropriate comments.