Thursday, April 1, 2010

Trusting After a BPD Relationship

It can be one of the toughest things to do after being in a relationship with a borderline. You're in this committed relationship with someone who you think is the love of your life, then BAM! Right between the eyes, you're hit, and you are now on your own.

It's quite lonely, and it hurts like it has never hurt before. This pain can linger for days, weeks, months, maybe years. I just got an email from someone who has been hurting for over 10 years; he said to me, about an incident that occurred in 1999, "I feel like it happened yesterday."

The pain of a break up with someone that has borderline personality disorder can be enormous. If we don't choose to heal, the pain can be quite powerful and can continue to be there for some time after the breakup has occurred.

Eventually, we get ourselves together and begin healing. In time, we will go back out into the world, see our friends, and begin living again. It sucks, but we do it. We have to do it for survival.

In time, we'll even start dating again. We'll go to some dating websites, or find someone elsewhere, then will meet people and start having romantic relations with others.

How do we trust again? We do, but how?

How To Trust After The BPD Relationship

You can trust after the relationship but it does take time and is a step-by-step process. Follow these steps and you should be okay.

The firs step in establishing trust is by recognizing your baggage. This is probably the hardest aspect of trusting another person. I had the most difficulty with this aspect of the relationship. With Jennie, my baggage and her attitude triggered my ultra-sensitive fight-or-flight mechanism. After being in the relationship for nine months, I was ready to go. We never fought, but I felt that she was too much about herself, and I thought that I was being emotionally strangled in the relationship.

After being with a borderline, I couldn't be in another relationship where my focus was on my partner and I didn't spend any time on myself. I was ready to go.

One of the reasons why I had committed to Jennie was that she told me that she was willing to fight for the relationship. When you're with a borderline who is constantly kicking you out the door, someone who is willing to go toe-to-toe and fight for a relationship is quite appealing.

When I told her that I was ready to go, she begged me to see a counselor with her. In counseling, we quickly realized that she had baggage from her past, and I brought in quite a bit of baggage that was impacting how I looked at the relationship.

After a couple of weeks of counseling, we worked out the issues and live a pretty low stress life.

The next most important aspect of trusting new partners is finding a trusting, trustworthy partner. Jennie is quite trustworthy and she trusts me completely. After being with a borderline who did not trust me or herself at all, having trust and respect is paramount as it is the basic building block of any relationship.

Next, you have to give yourself time to heal so you can fully trust. Jennie and I met each other when I was out of the relationship for less than six months. I remember going to get a soda and feeling like I was going to be accused of doing something bad when I was first with Jennie. She laughed at my anxiety when we were first dating.

We started dating when I was healing, and I needed more time. Jennie gave me the time that I needed. Which brings me to my next point -- you need to be with a partner that allows you to heal. If your partner is giving you lines like, "I feel like there are three of us in this relationship," or "you're bringing your partner into this relationship," move on. They're going to control you more than you probably want, and you'll have to stuff your healing, which will end up coming out in quite unhealthy ways.

Finally, the only way that you can trust new partners is to trust yourself. After all, if you trust yourself, you won't have fear of what another person does. If they do something and violate your trust, that's their fault. Let them go, and you'll find someone else. If you think like this, trusting others is easy as it doesn't really negatively impact you in the long-term. If it does, you need to look at your codependency issues a little more.

You can trust others after a BPD relationship. It will take time, but trust is possible, along with respect. After all, you've seen how bad it can be; with a normal person, life should be just fine.

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