Monday, March 22, 2010

The BPD Hook: What Keeps You in the BPD Relationship?

You know that the relationship is dysfunctional. You know that it's just bad for you. You know that it's a problem. You know that you're missing out on so many things in life.

Yet you stay with the person afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder.


The Borderline had (or has) you hooked into the relationship. Something that they did, you got something out of the relationship that kept you in, and kept you around and not leaving.

Welcome to the BPD Hook.

What Is The BPD Hook?

Simply defined, the BPD Hook is the reason that the borderline kept you in, or 'hooked' you, into the relationshp. It could be a multitude of things, but some of them may be:

  • They appealed to your insecurity about being alone, and told you that without them, you would always be alone
  • They appealed to your sense of financial insecurity, and that you would never be financially secure without them
  • They provided you with the most amazing sex that you've ever had, and you thought that you could never have such sex before, or after, the relationship with the borderline
  • They appealed to your need for a 'soul mate,' being that person that you always thought you wanted to be with
  • They made you feel like you were completed with that person
You can see where I'm going here. The BPD hook could be many different things, but something kept you hooked.

How To Get Out Of The BPD Hook

Borderlines are like mermaids. They call you in, say things that keep you mesmerized while they take your dignity, self worth and self esteem. When they're gone, you feel lost, abandoned and an overall wreck.

If you're starting to understand what's happened to you (or what's happening), one of the most important aspects of recovering from a borderline relationship is to get out of the borderline's hook, or get away from their spell.

The only way to get out of the spell of a borderline is to determine how they have you hooked. To do this, think about what life would be (or is) like without the person you suspect to be borderline. What do you miss most?

You've just found the BPD hook that they're keeping you in with.

For me, the BPD hook that I was suffering from was multi-fold. I had just gone through a divorce, so I was quite insecure about my finances and my overall sense of security. In addition, my ex wife was quite a frigid person.

I was a gold mine for a borderline, and ripe for her pickings. She found me and exploited me right away, making me feel financially secure and fulfilling my emotional needs as well as other needs.

However, this was clearly at a price. She would alter between loving me dearly and ripping me apart, so it was quite the roller coaster ride. After nearly two years, I had to get off the ride. I left the relationship feeling like I was going to be alone, like no one would ever meet my sexual needs like she did, and I was going to be bankrupt.

Very quickly, I realized that things were not as bad as I thought, and all of my insecurities were put to rest. Life wasn't easy at first, but within a couple of months, things were moving in the right direction. Healing takes a while, and taking the hooks out takes some time.

Insecurities Are Just That -- Insecurities

What I learned was that all the things that I was so afraid of before I started the relationship with the BPD were not insurmountable. I was able to get over each and every one of those hurdles, and they weren't real. I was able to get by financially after the divorce, and I clearly wasn't going to be alone. Even my insecurities about finding someone that was not as sexual as a borderline were quickly put to rest.

BPD Hooks are tough for the Non, but once you realize how the BPD is hooking you into the relationship, you can quickly make yourself feel better, and eventually heal yourself in the relationship.

There is a wonderful life awaiting those that are now out of a borderline relationship. If you want it, you need to take the steps to get out, but it can be yours.


  1. I can totally relate to this article, its amazing when you think that your experience is unique and when you try and explain to friends / family what you went through with a borderline they think you are jealous and or mad.
    The five borderline 'hooks' in this article is exactly how I got hooked by this dangerous creature, they say knowledge is power and that is so true, its been almost a yr since I got out but never again will I make such an error thanks to information sharing like this, many thanks.

  2. I'm going to put myself out on a limb here and say that men recover from broken relationships far quicker than women. Any relationship,not just with the BPD. I am eighteen months out of the relationship now and still cannot allow anyone in. My ex-BPD is in a relationship and has been for approximately eleven months. Like i said in previous blog The nature of the BEAST. Parasitic. They will survive off others. Sap them of everything they have. Drain every emotion from them until they are empty and numb.Big mistake not to leave alittle something in the tank for recovery. I gave my all to him and the relationship. It was never enough.

    1. to be perfect is not enough ,thats that and to even think you are truly loved is a big mistake .......we all pass thru it is a shame that a person with so much to offer is self centered big time and your emotion and your person mean nothing to them emotionnally .they are empty

  3. From Another David...

    Been commenting regularly here for a few months. I just heard my ex has already burned through her second boyfriend since being with me. This one took only 2 months. She is now homeless. I contacted her through Yahoo messenger and she was completely despondent. It makes no sense to me... well, it does if I frame her as a parasite like Hazel suggests.

    I don't understand how anyone can live like that. I mean, I understand how her upbringing may have warped her mind, but when we were together she was going to school and making progress in a career. Now she has nothing, and she seems to not be bothered by that one bit.

    In response to Hazel, I'm not exactly sure that men, on average, bounce back faster than women, but what I can say is that studying BPD helped me realize that although my gf had a problem, drained me, etc, it was also my codependence on her that intensified my loss. looking back, there were many times I told myself "this is crazy" when dealing with strange mood swings, but I stayed and it wore me down. I can't blame her for me staying, I could have left at any time.

  4. Your timing for this topic is incredible as lately I've been searching hard to figure out what hooked me to my ex BPD partner. I've come to realize that there are two parts to the hook that my ex had in me. The first was, and is, a very strong visual attraction to the look in her eyes. Her look turned me into putty 98% of everytime that I glanced her way. Took me a while to figure this out, but, as a child I was very close to an aunt who happens to have had the same eyes as my ex. I'm guessing my visual/physical attraction to my ex has something to do with a bond that I formed with my aunt as an infant.

    The second part of the hook is what sinks it deep. It is those memories when we were extremely close and intimate. I'm not talking about only during sex, but all those moments when we both put down our gaurds and were completely open, vulnerable, trusting and loving with each other. I've had moments like that before, but with this woman those moments were extra, extra special. I believe maybe what made those moments so special is that they took me back to deep seated memories in my subconscious, to a time in my infancy, when I felt completely loved and secure in the world.

    For me the hook was wanting to get back and keep those feelings of security and love alive. I mistakenly thought that those feelings were brought about by her, rather than coming from myself. In reality I was responsible for creating those feelings, she just helped me pull them out to share them.

    It has taken me ten months on my own to reach this point. If I hadn't been so confused by the ex BPD partner, then I may have already moved on. I think recovery time is a personal thing and you are ready when you are ready. I'm ready now, but I don't feel that I have to go out and make anything happen right away. My relationship with the ex taught me that I can experience security and love whether in or out of a intimate relationship.

  5. I find myself scared that he will be able to change. And I will miss out on that best-version of himself that I always wanted. That now, with this new girlfriend, after he learned lessons from our relationship, he will know not to destroy it and lose another great girl again. I'm positive this is crazy-thinking, but I can't stop believing that it's possible when he is so smart - actually a Psychologist himself, which makes everything a million times more confusing and messed up. Has anyone else felt this way? I'm still so hooked.

  6. to just effing lovely...

    I felt the same way you do. I felt as if my ex had learned some sort of lesson while being with me and was now taking what she'd learned and applying it to her next bf. I quickly learned, though, that this is not the case. friends of friends kept me updated with info, and I learned that she was acting just as strange. It was a double edged sword though. It helped me realize that the insanity wasn't all my fault, but also nailed home the fact that this beautiful, promising young woman was irreparably damaged.

  7. @ Just Effing Lovely

    I had the same feeling. The feeling of Jealously. Like her new relationship would be much better than with me. Like she must have learned what went wrong. And that a other lover would understand her better. That from now on thing would be different in her life and that my perfect love was just bad timing.
    But now, I realize, after some time, that they never grow. Because there blind of their own dysfunctions. They will not accept their pain. They will always feel alone and no one can fill their empty hearths. The will not change, and if so, it will take time alone. And not just another partner.
    I promise you that his new lover will encounter the same problem that you have encountered. And remember the dysfunction of the relationship and what it can do to a person. I will destroy you eventually en you would end up empty handed. Just feel bad for his new lover. They will need support in the end. Pray for them.
    You will have this feeling for missing out and thinking they can change for some time. But in the end you will realize was all a waste of energy.

  8. I'm still trying to work out what my ex's 'hook' was - but I'm beginning to think it was probably the soulmate one. I was managing pretty successfully to keep him at arms length - texts and emails only - even though he was begging me to talk to him on the phone. Then he sent me an email saying he'd moved on and found someone else and I've never experienced a feeling of panic like it - it was so strong it overwhelmed me - I sobbed so hard I thought I'd crack a rib - then he sent me another email saying he'd made up the new girlfriend to try to force me to speak to him and even though I was unbelievably hurt that he'd put me through such anguish within two days I was agreeing to him phoning me!!! He's now done the dumping me again thing even though we're no longer together and says he wants nothing more to do with me - BUT my next door neighbour has offered to let him have his spare room (since the split he's been living 15 miles away). And the panic came back - because all I could see in my mind's eye was him walking into my neihbour's house with a new girlfriend and just felt that I'd have to live with my curtains drawn and never leave the house. I realised this had to stop so I made an appointment to see my GP today. He's organising counseling for me and has ordered me to break off all contact - email, text, telephone - with my ex. The doctor also said that if he does try to move in next door I'm to contact the police and seek an injunction to keep him away from me and that he'd back me up on that. Feeling wobbly but a bit more positive - but I know I'll read the next email my ex will send me (which will probably be a grovelling apology). What I don't know is how I will react.

  9. Just Effing Lovely - yes - absolutely feel the same way - I feel I've suffered for 16 years through the most unimaginable torment and I 'deserve' my happy ending. The thought that someone else will just step in now I've done all the work and snap it up fills me with such horror I feel like I need to throw up! Yet logically I know that the chances of him changing (for any sustained period of time that is) are almost zero because he is way too scared to get help and right now I can't see him ever giving up the booze. So while my head is saying (sadly) it's probably all downhill for him from here - my heart is being eaten away with the fear that someone else will live my happy ending. I know it's ridiculous but no matter how hard I try I can't rid myself of the dread. I'm hoping counselling will help - does anyone have any experience as to whether it might?

  10. I sometimes have those very fears as well. Before we broke up we were going to counseling and my ex used to say that she needed to know what she did wrong so that she wouldn't make the same mistake with the next person. There we were trying to fix a dissolving relationship and she was talking about the next one. Before me, and including me, she never had been in a relationship for more than two to three years.

    I thought we were made for each other and I don't like to imagine her with someone else. When I do I try to bring myself back to reality. Except for the feelings I have for her, life with her really wasn't that great and I was continually being dragged down by all of her antics. I didn't seem to be growing as a person. A partner or soulmate that is right for you is one that helps you grow spiritually, and you help them as well.

    My spiritual growth has happened only after our experience together was over. The pain, the fears, the worries, the longings for the past are all part of the growing process. I think talking to someone could help, I tried talking to a counselor for a while, but really I had to work it all out for myself. Some things that helped me most was reading and studying about BPD, and Narcissism. That helped me make some sense out of what happened.

    And what heped me even more was reading books by Osho. I highly recommend his book on relationship titled " Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of All Relationships." He even discusses what occurs when you talk to pyschologists and such.

  11. This site has come to me at just the right time in my life. It's shocking to me how much relief I feel just reading about how I'm not the only one who feels this way. My relationship with him was bad, and I isolated myself from friends and lied to my family because I knew that the worry that they would feel for me would just be too much. I put everything I had into that guy, and now I'm left feeling so lonely and emotionally exhausted, not to mention the part about him moving on and not being depressed about it at all. Just wanted to say that I feel much less lonely these past few days since I found this little community - just knowing that someone (many people) understand what it is to be on the other side of this is a relief to me. Thank you. Also, I wanted to say to the person that asked about therapy - yes, weekly sessions have helped me so much. I've only been to 3, but the last time I was at the therapist, I asked her "What do I do when I'm unable to control my thoughts - when I'm so out of control worrying and dwelling on this person and all the pain and confusion, that it paralyzes me? How do I stop this from happening so much?" She said, "You need information. You need to be fully informed about the disorder, what it was that was happening, what it was in you that accepted it. With information brings clarity. With clarity brings growth. And with that, you will have grown past it." And that's all I want - to move on and be better and healthier. She recommended that I read "Understanding the Borderline Mother" (even though my mother's not borderline, it picks apart the disorder and I learned a lot), "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" and "Stop Walking on Eggshells". I've read all of them within 2 weeks (except the parts that talk about how to help your borderline partner, since I just can't handle the thought that there is something that can be done to help him that I hadn't already done.) I'm already re-reading them. I want to learn and be so aware of what it was in me that allowed this to happen, and why I tolerated these behaviors, so that I never accept this kind of horrific relationship for myself again. I started blogging, too, after being so inspired by the growth that I witnessed on this site. It's freeing to put it out there into the world - instead of just crazy ramblings that I keep to myself in a notebook, that just make me feel more isolated. It's all helping me feel a little better, and that is the most positive thing I have had to say about my state of mind in a LONG time. So it's something.

  12. I'm only 20 days out and feel like I'm losing the last little bit of my mind I had left.
    My diagnosed bpd is a violent rager - abusive. I KNEW I finally had to leave - he was killing me slowly, figuratively and almost literally.
    I love him, I miss him (the 'good' him) but I know, somewhere deep down inside me, that I have to stick to NO CONTACT. It's so strange - I keep hoping he shows up or sends me an email. Why? I don't get it! He did call a couple of days ago (I was sleeping) and left a message asking me to call him, then followed it up with texts saying how sorry he was and hoped I could forgive him, etc. I did not respond. I know I can't because I'm not near strong enough yet to resist him.
    He has not made any more attempts to contact me - thankfully, sadly. He was diagnosed about 6 months ago and dove head first into therapy of all kinds and is on meds. This is part of my problem with leaving him - he's doing the work, seemingly taking responsibility for his disorder, BUT the abuse was not ending. My fear as well, is that he will get better and have that wonderful life we were supposed to have together...with someone else. Intellectually I know I can't concern myself with such things, but my heart tells a very different story. If I hear that he's with someone new, I know I will be shattered. I've done my research on bpd from the beginning...felt like I did all I could, the best I could, to support him and make sure he knew I was on his side. Not enough. If there's one thing I've learned is that it's never enough. No matter how much we nons give of ourselves, it will never be enough.

  13. I am just coming down from a 6 month wonderful experience with a woman I suspect of having the BPD condition and it is a shock to me like it has been to many of you
    who have written on this blog.

    I too was loved for six months like I had never been loved before and she took all the intimacy and emotional ties away very,very, quickly. This took place right after her birthday. The intense daily contact abruptly ceased.

    I am writing here because I really do not have anyone nearby who wants to hear my story. My best male friend says,"get over it." Get into the recovery mode find another!
    That is not really my style,when I fall for someone I really fall, I move past a point of no return and it takes me awhile to recover.

    The worse thing is I do not think she knows she has the B.P.D condition? Yet she fits the diagnosis criteria pattern to a T.
    One of the B.P.D experts on the internet wrote a narrative that I could write at this time and it would fit with every behavior point he made about falling in love with a woman with BPD. It reads exactly like my story step by step.
    I appreciate all of the blogs from you who have experienced the same. Thank you for sharing. I am really interested in reading what anyone has done to recover.

    She has entered Therapy upon my recommendation and I hope it helps her.
    That experience was so powerful in a beautiful way that I now feel out of touch with myself stuck in great sense of loss and and grief. She does not appear to be having any feelings of loss whatsoever. Her verbal and physical expressions of love for me was extremely intense for several months.
    Now it is just like someone clicked a switch and turned out the lights. God,that feels awful!!

    I have never previously experienced any total attention from a female that compares to this experience in any form whatsoever......

    My question is should I tell her what I suspect her diagnosis is? Would that be helpful or harmful?

    I am the one now initiating contact and she says we will always be friends. Whatever that means?

  14. The BPD Hook articles are right on. This is the strangest experience in this life that has ever happened to me. I am 72 years old and have been recently riding on this roller coaster of emotions for 6 months. I thought I had finally found a real soul mate or life long companion. Was I ever mistaken again. Perhaps this is a major lesson for me?

    I now realize the woman I was married to previously for 15 years more than likely had BPD. Now I really have to look at why I am so strongly attracted to these personality types? Both women were major control freaks and had almost identical backgrounds and kept their homes exactly the same way. Even the kitchen and bedrooms were the same. They had worked similar professional jobs for the same length of time. It is almost eerie every thing had its place including me. It was like I was kept on a shelf with all the other stuff until I was needed for entertainment and that experience was absolutely beyond compare.

    I hope that modern science comes up with a better treatment modality to actually treat this condition because I do not actually believe for one minute that the person with BPD is maliciously manipulating their loved ones and the environment. Both women are actually very miserable and unhappy most of the time.

    This BPD is actually another mental curse that impacts far to many lives. Just one more example of the huge costs paid by all of us when sexual abusers are allowed to repeat offenses over and over!

    We need something like AA or groups to support each other in the aftermath of these experiences.

  15. I was told by another person that my pain,longing,loneliness,is caused by me being codependent. That I pick needy women to get entangled with because then I can avoid dealing with my own issues. That I need to learn to live alone first before getting involved with another Woman.
    Perhaps that is right but at 72 there isn't much time left and I really enjoy the intimacy and fun of a good relationship.

    I am wondering if the BPD personality is codependent as well. I know our personal attraction was extremely powerful upon the first meeting almost mysterious. During the infatuation stage I wonder if a codependent relationship always seems to be a very powerful love experience to others as well?
    Eckhart Tolle in his book The New Earth said two people often get attracted to each other because of their pain bodies and think they are in love. Later this so called "love" deteriorates into all the problems they experienced in other relationships.

    I have to admit that something did not appear to be exactly in good order in this relationship from the beginning.
    There was a lot of very positive stroking but always followed with a undertone of subtle put-downs and controlled expectations even a threat or two. eg. "I would never stay with someone who did such and such." I have never been attracted to someone like you in the past." The men I have been attracted to were always Blah,blah,and blah."

    So the codependent books and Therapist say to heal you have to make a clean break and get on with your own healing. That you are the only one you can do anything about! The BPD party will mainly now jerk you around and eventually express her contempt and hate for you. You will just feel worse if you attempt to stay connected.

    I am wondering is there anyone out there who survived all this emotion as a couple survived and healed together and developed a healthy relationship? If you have please share your experiences here.

  16. A heartening post coming from someone of such vast experience. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Phillip I finally got out of the denial stage and got into therapy myself. The Therapist recommended a boundaries group and I learned that lack of boundaries is what made my relationship with the BPD partner so destructive among other things. I notice that she is back on ready to go with anyone in less than 24 hrs. She sent me a card or something which I never opened for my recent Birthday. I never told her that I felt she fit this mental health diagnosis. I just severed all contact for my own well being because I certainly got caught in her web. I have learned the lesson well.
    This was truly the strangest and most painful relationship situation I have encountered in life. It did border on the Demonic in strangeness. I am now much more cautious and observant. It will be a long time before I get involved with a woman with a little dog and a ex- husband in the background who gets care of the dog on a regular basis. She called our time together dating. I told her it was more like having an affair because she never really ever divorced her husband. She told me over and over on the first meeting how abusive he was while going on trips and sleeping in the same bed with him. I was both stupid and vulnerable because of my own codependent character disorder. I'm now sitting boundaries all over the place and have taken my life back. Thank you for making this blog available because it was extremely helpful and a reality check. Best wishes to all including the sincere BPD's who want to heal. I will never know if the lady I was with learned the reality of her situation or her label. I just celebrated my Birthday and release from the final mental bondage of this individual and will probably never open that last letter or card from hell. Thanks again.

  18. Hi

    Wow, I can totally understand where you are all coming from.

    My relationship with a BDP partner has just ended again, this time we have been separated for five weeks, the same as the previous break up. The ten or so times before that, were about 21 days.

    Her family are religious and she has a "little miss perfect" persona about her but she is far from it. The sad thing is that her Mother told me she has depression and she goes from shrink to shrink claiming she has a small anxiety issue. She also won't hear it if I try to suggest she has BPD or could benefit from websites such as this.

    Sexually she has torn my life apart, always chatting to another guy and having him appear for a social visit a day or so after she breaks up with me. She also uses Facebook, having never added me as a friend despite telling me she loves me and talking about Marriage, moving in together and a future. It has all been about power for her. I was trapped with the whole "best sex ever" line for ages. She
    also told me her ex was useless in bed but somehow it didn't add up. She also told me that her ex didn't know she was chatting to other guys. But of course she whined to me for hours about how
    unfaithful and horrible he was for leaving her.

    She once broke up with me, sighting all my issues as a reason and then slept in the same bed overnight with this guy. She assured me they were just friends and that nothing was "going on" but then she told me a week later that they kissed. About ten months later, casually one afternoon when I was massaging her, she let slip that the other guy gave a "great" massage which was weird. This was after she became pregnant with our child.

    The latest break up seems permanent as she took a restraining order out against me encouraged by her parents because I lost my cool one morning and told her she couldn't leave and break up with me until we discussed her problems more openly. I did not touch her however after several non threatening text messages requesting a mature closing discussion about our relationship and my son (seven months old), the police were at my door serving me.

    I am very hurt of course but I have become accustomed to her abusive break ups so I am coping reasonably well. I just struggle to believe that she would use the law as tool to break up with me.

    She claims that she is my "sex slave" which is strange since we are both very attracted to each other but I care so much more for her than that. If anything, she is the one who controls that area. Many times we have had fights because she can wind me up and then tell me she is not in the mood in the throws of passion. None of my other non BPD girlfriends and I ever had issues in this area.

    It is sad when a person has come from a family of belittlers and gossips. They are so
    reactive to what others are doing because their identity is not properly formed.

    I sat with her in hospital for the entire day she swallowed too many pills and tried to end it all. She forgot both my birthday's because we were either broken up or some other crisis took precedent.

    Now I cannot see my seven month old son, can't contact her and have to sit alone and speak to a therapist about this empty feeling inside me.

    My friends are saying, she will be back but I don't believe them. She manages to convince me every time she breaks it off that she is gone for good and I buy into it. I know that this is her drama, however I do care about her and if she is better of without
    me than I am happy to move on. I just want her to get help. Although I can't stop thinking about whether she has had sex with this other guy.

    I hope somebody can relate to this and that this is a help to anybody going through the hell that is breaking up with someone you love who has BPD.

  19. I can relate!!

    I met my ex-BPD about 3 years ago after I had just broken up with a guy I was dating for 5 years. I did NOT want anything serious at this time. But we fell hard and fast, and he convinced me to give him a chance. It was long distance at first and it was really really intense. Flying back and forth to see each other, talking very long hours on the phone. Telling me I was his everything, his soul mate, etc. Things I had never heard from someone before, and I felt it too.

    This went on for a very intense 6 months and then like a light switch he completely shut down. It was as if I was talking to a different person. I was crushed and he ultimately ended things after a week of acting strange and telling me nothing was wrong.

    About 3 months later we started talking again. And once we got comfortable to speak about 'us' again he had told me he was just so scared because of the long distance thing and he cowardly ran away. It was everything I had wanted to hear for those three months of silence.

    We slowly began talking everyday again and he managed to slowly rope me back in. Long story short he ended up convincing me to pick up and move out to where he was. Things were wonderful for a few months and once again crashed. I was convincing myself I was done with him that time.

    Except I was wrong. He was leaving to go on a deployment shortly and suddenly had yet another extreme mood swing and loved me again. Only this time I actually thought it was real. I hadn't really suspected BPD until after this last time, he had me convinced he was some what normal. I waited for him for 6 months while on deployment. Writing to him every single day and him writing me. And of course the intensity level and the sincerity level were off the charts. So many promises and I even became very close with his family during this time.

    When he returned home things could not have been better until the light switch went off yet again. I could see it coming. And he again shut me out, completely shut down, totaly emotionally unavailabe. I felt like I was losing my very best friend. It's like I can see him and talk to him, but it isn't him. It's someone else.

    This time I know he has BPD. I finally put all the pieces together. He has extreme impulsive behavior, goes on spending sprees, changes his mind from one thing to the next. Cannot maintain a relationship. Very infuenced by others and their opinion. I really could go on and on.

    I am currently trying to deal with everything he has put me through in these past 3 years and move past it. I still find myself wanting him back, but the "good" person I knew. It does feel like the love of your life, and you just think, "No one could ever say those kinds of things to someone and not really mean them." It almost makes you think you're the crazy one in the situation.

    Stay strong and stay AWAY from your Ex's when they try to rope you back in with their intense charm and sincerity. I am going to try really hard not to take him back when he comes back again. And god knows he'll be back.

  20. It is an absolute relief to see that others are going through the same thing. I had never heard the term before "BPD-hook" but it is very appropriate. I had been with my BPD partner for 10 years and we have 2 children. He moved out over 2years ago after seriously assaulting me but I kept going to the therapy with him and trying to support him in any way I could and he lead me to believe that we were working to keep the family together. Then a friend told me a week ago that he has moved in with another woman with 2 kids the sames ages as ours. I am devastated, hurt and I feel completely used and abused, but I will move on. In a way it has eventually brought me closure. No matter how much help we give or how much we read up on it, we have to put ourselves first and MOVE ON. Look forward and do not get caught up in looking back.

  21. I think I suffer from BPD and i recently had a roller coaster relationship with an ex- that lasted 5 years. I did love my partner but I had so many fears I kept running away. I couldn't commit. I lost friends, changed jobs rapidly, moved from place to place, cut off my relationship with my Dad (who I previously had alot to do with) and other family members. I was in a state of confusion and panic, I could not pin point the problem. I have always had very low self-esteem and suicidial thoughts are confusing. I am really sad now for losing him, I have tried to look really hard at myself to get better. I feel very sorry that I treated him so inconsistently, I pushed him away when i really did love him - just from fear that I was not good enough and he would eventually leave me anyway. I critizied him all the time and nothing was good enough - but I can see now that this was a reflection of my own feelings of self-worth. I am in pain for myself and the state of my life and my relationships, and I am sad that I hurt lots of people and forced the person I love away. I really want to get therarpy. At the moment I don't want to get into new relationships (with friends or anyone) because I am so scared.

  22. I'm so glad that I stumbled upon this site. (I was researching bpd symptoms, after probably one of the most intense, albeit short-lived, relationships I've had.) I'm feeling hooked by the amazing "connection" and sexual interactions I had with my ex. I'm really missing that. However, I keep reminding myself that she was just mirroring me, and became exactly what I needed at the time.

    After the brief honeymoon period, it was clear that I was incredible to her one moment, then just minutes later, anything I did was apparently wrong and a violation of trust (talking or going out with friends, not calling at exactly the "right" time.)

    I just broke it off with her last Saturday, after exhaustion from constantly needing to not only reassure her, but provide proof of my fidelity. My head is still spinning from her last irrational accusations.(Apparently, she expected me to consult with her before switching phone carriers. Meanwhile, I switched to her phone carrier so that we would be able to talk more, without overages or limits. I was still "punished" for not checking with her first (sarcastic comments, irrational accusations and then stonewalling, refusing to see me when just an hour before this, she said she couldn't wait to see me.) I was tired of trying so hard to prove my love and commitment to her. Anything I did was not good enough for her.

    This has been the most confusing and exhausting relationship I've had. Thank you to everyone for posting. It helps to know that I'm not alone.

  23. Its only been like a month for me I was with mine for 5 years lived toggither for 4 years. Was always up and down. I had been out of a bad relationship for 2 year and was just looking for somthing fun and a guy I knew hook us up. It was just sex at 1st but I feel for her and like a fool got rope in by her. She was in a bad place only 18 at the time me 21 she was sleeping with everyone and asked me to help which I did one of the guys was in his 40s. I helped her make calls and cut the guy and party people out of her life. All was great for a few months after then out of the blue she broke up with me saying we are to different. A month goes by and she calls me crying wanting to come and god help me I love her and took her back only to find out that month she was sleeping around againg but the whole love thing and wanting to help her I lived with it. So months go by and then I found out she cheated on me once again I forgave her and she ended up moving in with me and for years things where up and down but mostly ok she got a job and was keeping out of trouble. Well the last year we where toggother she was always mad at me yelling at me I was always on egg shells and it got to a point where I ignored it holding she would go back to the girl I loved but things got worse and I told her I needed a brake and she agreed. Not even 24 hours it went from a break to a full break up. She actted happy and said stuff like after I pay you for rent ill be gone for good. Then for weeks we would txt here and there then we met up and the 1st thing out of her mouth was I was a monster to her and im the reason she has issues and she will never be with me again. I was shocked all I did was try to help this that im still very much in love with. So after that I took her out of my phone and wont be trying to make contact with her anymore it huts a great and im scared she might try to come back even after saying that to me. Im very unsure

  24. I was hooked by the lies. I really thought God had sent me this woman. I felt appreciated and valued. She said I was a good man and she cherished me. She looked me in the eyes and held my hand for hours. We would hug for ten long minutes and not move everytime she came over. I would see her smiling face resting on my shoulder in the mirror. It was peaceful, relaxing, relieving and what I always though a relationship should be. I think I triggered her by venting to her about a family conflict that really pissed me off. I felt like someone who backed over their kid in the driveway. I didnt find out about her secret life or figure out her problem until she was gone. Other people came to me who knew what she was doing. It was so humiliating. I was so proud of this relationship. I felt like the biggest fool.

  25. What kept me in the relationship: 1) she appeared to be an upgrade and everything I had hoped for: a Harvard degree, conservative clothes, intact family, well-spoken...2) The sex was incredible - we did things I had always wanted to do and 3)we wanted the same things out of life.
    Eventually, my sense of reality got twisted around. For example, I hate liars. So, why did I take her back after she lied to me about having her ex bf in her bedroom???? I'm still trying to figure that out. Logically speaking, if someone lies to you, then it's an unhealthy relationship with no trust. However, I magically saw differently in her. Looking back, I think because of my chaotic background, this was no big deal compared to the physical abuse I've endured as a child.
    She told me so many lies and inconsistencies that I was trying to keep up with being understanding and compassionate. For whatever reason, I believed her crap about how she made poor decisions in the name of "love or being vulnerable or simply the need to have someone stand up" for her. Isn't that cute and noble? And am I not cute and honorable? I know I am and how could this person not see that? So, I stayed longer than necessary in order to prove to myself that I am a valid, cute and honorable person. However, no matter what you do, a BPD person will never see you for what you're worth. She was such a bitter and resentful person that whatever she takes from others, she will somehow justify that what she did was "the best she could do" and that she was "really looking for love."
    She made me feel really special by saying "I've never had an orgasm before I met you" and "Now I know what it feels like to fall in love." So, we got engaged and she professed her undying love and she wanted to have kids...a month later, she broke it off saying she knew all along that she made a mistake but "somehow had hoped for the best." She also said "I never had anxiety attacks before I met you" and "I hate you so much because I had to call the crisis hotline the other night." I held her in my arms as she cried...only to find out later from her sister that she told everyone that I was "borderline violent" and how I "insisted she stop seeing her friends." I'm still in shock - this was the woman who professed her undying love to me. And not only that, she "had to changer her locks" because of me. WHAT??? I never laid a hand on her, let alone tell a lie. However, I'm forever known to her friends and family as a "borderline violent and controlling person who made her live in such fear that she had to change her locks." We haven't had contact in almost 2 months yet I still suffer because I have no closure. One minute we're engaged, the next minute she changed her locks because she's afraid of me. WHY? WHAT? These are the questions that haunt me...In my dreams, I envision her back in my arms sleeping soundly. I prefer to think of her that way instead of the cold person that she has acted. I'm so conflicted, confused, angry, hurt, betrayed...
    This is the most intense and confusing relationship I have ever had. I tell myself that "I can't be that bad of a person because all of my exes and I are still friends, so why can't the person I was ENGAGED be friends???" My exes tell me what a messed up person she was/is but I can't seem to reconcile how seemingly "normal" she appeared. This website has really helped me to feel that I'm not the only one suffering from this confusing craze. As I read the stories here, it creeps me out to see the same EXACT things happening to others!!!!!!!!
    I thought I was a relatively sane individual who was going places professionally/emotionally...Now, I question my sanity for choosing to stay as long as I did, let alone be engaged. Even her therapist said she "has borderline traits."
    Thank you for listening....

  26. Effing Lovely. No he won't change. Not unless he goes into his own long term therapy. The fact that he is a psychologist is scary to me.

    I have followed several of my exes over the years - few have changed much. I talked to my therapist about accidentally running across a youtube someone took with my ex not even two months after we split. he had a new hot younger girlfriend who seemed to adore him. i worried that things would be so much better with her now that he knows what he *doesnt* want, someone with MY qualities.

    she said - you know better than that.

    i don't wish him bad. i want him to be happy - but he will do this over and over again - just like your ex will too. and leave a bunch of confused heartbroken people in their wake.

    my ex's mother said he's been like this since high school. these patterns are deeply ingrained. do you think you were really that powerful that you changed him that much? nope, didn't think so. neither was I.

  27. Dear 72 year old man,

    My mother and step father have been married for 33 years. My mother is recovering from her insanity in the last couple of years in her 60s - after 30 years of therapy.

    She found a very good psychologist who diagnosed her as BPD recently. (she was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features in the early 90s, and bipolar 2 a couple years later). She had a stroke and breast cancer over a decade ago and then dealt with anxiety and suicidal feelings. This psychologist has helped her a great deal. A few years back, she cut me out of her life because my teenage daughter got pregnant. It was then that I found out about BPD and it described her perfectly. When she told me she had BPD five years later, I said I already knew.

    She is the most normal I have ever seen her now. She has taken responsibility for the damaged she caused, said she was crazy and ignorant. This has helped me a lot with my life because I have felt damaged by the push pull that my mother did to me - and have found my share of BPDs and substance abusers to take care of. Mom still says thoughtless things, but works to live a simple, drama-free life. She is much more stable. Her husband has stuck by her for many years - and has had to deal with his own depression from her condition.

    So it is possible - but the person has to want to heal and from what I hear - it takes 5 to 7 years of indepth GOOD therapy to heal. So many BPDs think their feelings are caused everyone and everything else - that is their first hurdle - is getting over the shame in order to accept responsibility for their own emotions and actions.

    I recently had a relationship with a BPD man - he kept reminding me of my mother, though this was when she was out of communication with me. When he dumped me, I called my mother in tears and demanded she be my mother! She actually responded in a positive manner for the first time ever.

    I went over the crazy things he did with my mom - and it was very helpful that she could identify them as BPD behaviors. I guess it takes one to know one.

    I know I am attracted to and thus being susceptible to being hurt by mentally and emotionally unstable people because of my relationship with my mother. I am happy my current day relationship is ok with her - but know I still need to do more healing to my little girl who felt consistently discarded by her.

  28. The single most helpful thing I ever read was that BPD are attracted to people who have problems getting angry and who have a hard time with boundaries.

    That described me to a T.

  29. To the dude who has the ex from Harvard.

    Im a female and my story is so similar to yours as well - I have been reading these pages so I can heal emotionally from my relationship of 2 years. He started flipping out, getting violent, and then six months ago cut me out of his life after making up a lot of delusional things about me. Youd think Id be relieved - but I was devastated.

    I went through something like this a little over 20 years ago and that person had long been forgotten from my mind because I overcame the hold he had on me. He got to so many people and tried to ruin my life by lying that I was doing drugs and having affairs and neglecting our daughter so he could get custody of our then 3 year old daughter. He lost in the end though because I became very strong and smart in the process. So you'd think I'd never let it happen again. ugh.

    I remembered how my reputation was almost ruined before - and contacted my recent ex's parents, therapist and men's group leader. Not to be mean - but to tell them exactly what their son/client had done to me and that he had a Borderline personality and desperately needed help.

    I don't know if anyone listened - I hope so, but even if they don't listen to me, they will listen to the next girl who is devastated by this behavior.

    Fortunately, there aren't too many people like this out there - just take your time and heal yourself. And be careful. These people are very very charming and convincing - you must be careful. If you see red flags next time, don't be a nice guy, just cut it off.

    People like this are almost incurable - they have to hit rock bottom like alcoholics before they seek help and then its a 5-10 year process of in depth committed recovery. They are terrible parents. I had a mother like this - and my daughter had a father who treated her very poorly. Very difficult people to have in your life. The nice girls may not be as compelling - but they won't make you feel crazy.

  30. For years I have thought that my ex husband had bipolar disorder....or BPD (the behaviors overlap). After having read some of these posts I'm now leaning towards BPD. It's so strange because I feel like I could have personally written half of the posts on this page about my ex. It's a shame if he truly is a BPD because it means that I've had 4 BPD's in my life (I'm almost 40 so I have some life experience with lots of different people). As I mentioned on another post - I have had 2 friends & 1 relative who, I believe, all had it. Wow. If that's the case then I really need to figure out what my "hook" is.

    For my ex I would say that it was definitely security....and the strange part of that is that just before I divorced him I got into a friendship with a girl who reminded me a lot of him. I'm now wondering if she provided what was missing in my life when he left. He was secure. She was secure etc. She basically stepped in & "helped" me get over my divorce. I thought she was a "true" friend until she started to show her "dark side". I remember visiting her while on vacation and the mood swings were out of this world. One minute she would be happy. The next she was complaining. The entire vacation was a sham. Throughout the trip I questioned why I was spending so much time w/her when I would have had more fun alone. Let's just be honest - no company is better than bad company.

    While visiting her she would nitpick things that I would say. At one point, I almost asked her to pull the car over so I could get out. When I would ask her if things were okay she would say "Yes.", but then a few minutes later she'd launch into another gripe fest. It was horrible. I was more than happy when I hopped into my car, said goodbye, and drove away. I feel very sorry for anyone who befriends her. She will suck the life out of them just as she did me. I was emotionally drained when that trip was over (the trip was from Monday to Friday, but we had been communicating all day on Sunday too. Total days "with" her ended up being 6).

    To this day, with the exception of my ex husband, I've never seen anyone cycle as quickly as her. She would literally be all rainbows & butterflies then a switch would flip. Suddenly she was upset. There was no way to predict what I would get next. I couldn't wait to be away from her, but each & every day she would invite me back to hang out with her I would go. It's clear to me now that it was a huge mistake on my part. If I could go back in time I'd decline those offers....and use that time to recharge my batteries by doing things that were healthy, enjoyable, and vacation-like not having the life sucked out of me.

    At any rate, I'm now in the process of setting some boundaries, putting distance in our "friendship", and possibly even cutting her out completely. I've come to realize that she's not worth my time. I have quite a few friends whose company I enjoy. They don't see the negative in everything. They're positive, uplifting, and full of life. They don't require me to serve as their emotional crutch as she did. Overall, I'm moving on into a new direction.....and that's a good feeling. :)

  31. I have read so many of these stories - and I just have to cry. Some of you describe the relationship with my BPD to a T: intense, wonderful connection, common interests, the way he would dump me for some imagined wrong doing (or if his BPD mother was coming for a visit - they had an odd relationship), the jealousy (if I talked to another man I was certainly flirting), how it was always about his problems - what I was going through was inconsequential, and he would apologize and talk so sweet again... reel me back in, and then just when he knew I was there again, push me harshly away.

    That was 3.5 years of my life following the end of a 15 year stable marriage. I didn't know things like BPD existed. Now, a year and a half later, I'm still working on getting over it - almost there I think. He kept trying to pull me back though - "what would it take to get back together?" And I would tell him - "get some therapy, figure out how to be good to me, and I will think about dating you again." He could talk so sanely about his "issues," I honestly thought he was working on it, but he could never follow through for long.

    Stick to the No Contact - every time I let him back in, even a little, it was like reopening the hope, the wound, and all of the love... and then experiencing the breakup, pain, disappointment and frustration and starting recovery all over again.

    But I really like what one person said above: we nons are too giving, lack boundaries, and make excuses for people who manipulate and treat us badly. This is our journey - to figure that lesson out and be stronger. Ultimately, I respect myself for getting out. He could not truly be the person I need and want - even though I loved him. He does not have the ability to step up to be what he pretends to/wants to be. For that, I feel badly for him. But it is better for me to have felt all of that pain and to know that I deserve to be treated better. Even if I AM alone for a while, I will eventually find peace and will have rebuilt my own strength and self- compassion. We can come out of this experience stronger people.

  32. I posted a year ago about a relationship which ended and I am in a better place now.

    Wanted to wish everyone well and hope that those who posted a while back and those who are new to this site remember that it is the journey into your self that will help you to get free of your BPD ex.

    While I occasionally wonder how she is going, for the most part she is diminishing to me and I don't care because the "game" to her is not based on love but power and control. It's like she speaks a different "trustless" language.

    If she has done some therapy and is healing, that is great but the person I knew had so many support systems in place and was quite comfortable making scapegoats out of others, especially those who really cared for her. It's my child to her I think about often.

    It is very hard to help and love a person as a friend and have them misinterpret this repeatedly. I can only hope for her sake
    that one day she sees the comfort in trusting another. Maybe that way she will learn to work together with others to discuss emotional needs in a rational way.

    NC has worked for over a year now and I really hope I never hear from her again. The restraining order was ridiculous because we broke up so many times and I just went away in total pain without
    any reactions. She used to phone me up for something trivial and the conversation would start again and toward the end she made out that I would suck her back in because as I was more emotionally tortured, I needed to understand the reasoning behind her strange actions.

    This resulted in her second restraining order in a row to break up from an association/relationship. Never ever had that issue before and all my ex's were non's so things were raw but amicable. Even the police officer I spoke to told me it's best to stay away from victims because they want you to be the bad guy.

    You have to wonder what the future holds for this girl. Children to two different guys, waif personality constantly blaming and shaming others. It ain't pretty.

  33. Within the context of Attachment Theory, the 'hook' with Borderlines generally happens during the 'mirroring' stage. During this stage, the Borderline projects onto the Non an idealized image of him or herself. This 'idealized' image acts as a sort of 'cure' or mask for the fears and insecurities that reside in the Non's 'core.' In a very real sense, the Borderline is 'latching on' to whatever wounded child/soul/person is inside of us. When one understands how attachments really form, one can realize how absolutely cruel this is.

    It is often during this mirroring stage where sex is also employed as a 'hook.' Apart from the mother-child bonding experience, sex is the strongest way that humans form attachments. Sex releases chemicals within us that literally make us more susceptible to forming an attachment. AGAIN . . . imagine how cruel this really is.

  34. I can't believe how similar these stories are to my own, and the feelings. It's such a relief to read this forum. I almost cried reading it, to know that I'm not the only one!

    The feelings of dread about them moving on with someone else, and making it work, are so true! The amount of effort my relationship took, the arguments, the pain, humiliation, the rollercoaster, there was NO WAY i could accept someone else steaming in and taking her, and then living happily ever after.

    The stories of infidelity, the constant flirtatious contact with other men, sneaking around behind my back. Then there were the constant lies, not just about other men, but about EVERYTHING! You name it, money, what this person or that person had said. One night I was alone with her, we'd had a few drinks, she decided to fake some breathing difficulties and had me running around after her! To this day I have no clue why! Attention? What? Her sister has told me that she had done this before, with her. Is that BPD or is that something else on top?

    One guy mentioned being arrested - yep that happened to me too. Arrested for assault, and you know the best part - it was HER who hit ME!!!!!! 2 days later I was dragged out of bed at 2am by the cops and arrested for assaulting HER! She'd hit me five times! I was released without charge. Then I walked out on her. So you know what she did next? She had an affair with the guy who lived across the street. Just to rub my nose in it some more. She was extremely spiteful and callous.

    This is all from someone who had professed her undying eternal love for me just a few days before! Told me she'd never loved anyone like this before, best sex ever, wanted to spend her life with me, blah blah blah. Just before she had me arrested, we were making plans to move away to a nice new area and spend the rest of our lives together. And I fell for it hook line and sinker, every time.

    It's been about 10 weeks since we've separated this time, and I have managed not to contact her. But god knows, it's been hard. I've been so tempted sometimes. But this time I think i'm through with her. I just can't stand the thought of her being with someone else, and them being all happy, whilst my confidence has been shattered to pieces, and I had to endure those 4 years of constant abuse, lies, shouting, cruelty.

    So yea, I was hooked big time. As one of my friends said to me "she got her claws into you good and proper!". What was the hook? Sex definitely. We did have some laughs, sometimes. We had some similar interests. I loved her kids, that was a big one, and she knew that. She often used them as a lure after our numerous separations. And I'm talking over 20 separations over 4 years, no joke. And I really think my own feelings of loneliness took me back to her a few times. I didn't feel I would be able to move on or have such an intense relationship with anyone else ever again. I did think we were made for each other, especially in the bedroom department. And when we were close we were incredibly close, almost like we were one person. We had similar pains and fears of abandonment.

    Another guy above mentioned that his partner had smeared him. Oh yea. I have several ex-friends who now block me, blank me, think i'm a crazy, controlling, nasty piece of work, because of what she's told them and how she's manipulated them. I know exactly how she does it too. She drip feeds them rubbish about how I've mistreated her or how awful I am to live with. But of course she tells them one thing and me another, telling both parties to "keep it between you and I". Noone knows the true picture except her. Eventually, I'm made to look like some awful wretched person. She plays the victim very well. Even the cops fell for it.

    Anyway, this is turning into my own private venting and counselling session. Sorry about that. I just wonder if anyone else had to endure any of these awful experiences. This forum really has been a big help. Thank you.


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