This post contains some of the best BPD relationship quotes.
What Is BPD?
BPD stands for Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a mental disorder characterized by significant and enduring instability in mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior.
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition) describes BPD as a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.
Individuals with BPD may experience intense and rapid mood swings, have trouble regulating their emotions, have difficulty maintaining stable and healthy relationships, and engage in impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.
To be diagnosed with BPD according to DSM-5, an individual must exhibit at least five of the following symptoms:
1. Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment
2. Unstable and intense relationships
3. Identity disturbance or unstable self-image
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially harmful (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
5. Recurring suicidal behavior, self-mutilation, or threats or attempts of such behaviors
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety)
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
BPD Relationship Quotes
1. “Even after the relationship ended, my feelings of distrust and low self-esteem remained. So I began seeing a therapist.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
2. “Rather than dwell on the diagnosis per se, help the person see that in any relationship, both people bear responsibility for the way things are. (You may feel that the BP is responsible for all the problems, but set this aside for now.)” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
3. “If the person with BPD cannot seem to take a cooperative approach to working on the relationship, you may wish to simply focus on setting limits.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
4. “Your message should be that when there are problems in relationships, both people need to work on them together.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
5. “In real life, relationships are multifaceted. Hundreds of factors unrelated to BPD affect them.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
6. “The BP is responsible for 50 percent of the relationship, and the non-BP is responsible for the other half. At the same time, each person is responsible for 100 percent of their own 50 percent.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
7. “The intense need of people with BPD can put a strain on any relationship—even when the non-BP is a parent and the BP is a child.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
8. “For people with BPD, the potential loss of a relationship can be like facing the loss of an arm or leg—or even death. At the same time, their sense of self-esteem is so low that they really don’t understand why anyone would want to be with them.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
9. “Partially because of their habit of splitting, people with BPD—especially those who were abused as children—find it extremely difficult to trust others. This lack of trust causes a great deal of turbulence in relationships; for example, while they are seeing you as a villain, they may accuse you of not loving them or of having an affair.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
10. “When most people feel bad, they can take steps to feel better. They can also control, to some extent, how much their moods affect their relationships with others. People with BPD have a hard time doing this. Their mood may swing from intense anger to depression, depression to irritability, and irritability to anxiety within a few hours. Non-BPs often find this unpredictability exhausting.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
11. “Almost universally, non-BPs say they feel manipulated by the BPs in their lives. If the non-BP doesn’t do what the BP wants them to do, the BP may threaten to break off the relationship, call the police, or even kill him- or herself.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
12. “For one thing, they’ve damaged their relationship with you—someone they’re terrified will leave them. When things calm down, the person with BPD may feel ashamed of the way he or she behaved toward you. This adds to the downward spiral of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem. BPs may apologize and beg for your forgiveness, then deny that they ever admitted that their behavior was out of line.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
13. “By trying to take charge of the borderline’s life, you may be giving them the message that they can’t take care of themselves. You’re also avoiding the opportunity to change the relationship by focusing on yourself” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
14. “Setting personal limits is essential for all relationships—especially those in which one or both people have BP.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
15. “Feelings don’t have IQs. They just are. Sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, hostility, annoyance, frustration—all are normal, and to be expected by people faced with borderline behavior. This is true no matter what your relationship is to the person with BPD. This doesn’t mean that you should respond to the BP with anger. But it does mean that you need a safe place to vent your emotions and feel accepted, not judged.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
16. “Non-BPs may believe they are trapped in the relationship because they either feel overly responsible for the safety of the BP or they feel overly guilty for perhaps “causing” the BP to feel and behave the way they do. The BP’s threat of suicide or threat to harm others can paralyze the non-BP and make him or her feel as if leaving the relationship is too risky.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
17. “While you can’t change the disorder itself or make your family member seek therapy, you do have the power to fundamentally change the relationship.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
18. “Many non-BPs—especially those who have chosen their relationship with the borderline—go through life trying to fix things for other people and rescue them. This gives them the illusion that they can change someone else. But it is just a fantasy that shifts responsibility away from the only person who has the power to change the borderline’s life—the BP.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
19. “Many people with BPD are able to be supportive of their children and other people in their life. But some are not. If the relationship with the BP in your life is damaging your self-worth, take immediate steps to repair it. Don’t depend on the person with BPD to affirm or validate your worth, because she may not be able to. It’s not that she doesn’t care about you—it’s just that at this time, her own issues and needs may be getting in the way.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
20. “Many people stay in relationships with borderlines because the person with BPD is incredibly interesting, engaging, bright, charming, funny, witty, and alluring.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
21. “Non-BPs aren’t masochists; they’re optimists—which may or may not turn out to be warranted. It is hard to give up on that optimism and let go of a relationship that’s so good otherwise.” – Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS
How BPD Affects A Relationship?
BPD can have a significant impact on the dynamics of a relationship. People with BPD often struggle to maintain stable and healthy relationships due to the nature of their symptoms and difficulties in regulating their emotions.
Here are some ways that BPD can affect a romantic relationship:
1. Intense and unstable emotions: People with BPD may experience intense and unpredictable mood swings, which can be challenging for their partner to understand and manage.
2. Fear of abandonment: Individuals with BPD may have an intense fear of being rejected or abandoned by their partner, leading them to engage in behaviors that can push their partner away, such as clinginess or jealousy.
3. Impulsivity: People with BPD may engage in impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse, reckless spending, or sexual promiscuity, which can create tension and conflict in a relationship.
4. Splitting: Splitting is a cognitive distortion where individuals with BPD tend to see people and situations as either all good or all bad. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts within a relationship.
5. Interpersonal difficulties: People with BPD may have difficulties in maintaining healthy boundaries, communicating effectively, and resolving conflicts in a relationship.
It’s important to remember that BPD can be treated with therapy, medication, or both.
Couples therapy can also be helpful in addressing the unique challenges that BPD can present in a relationship.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book Stop Walking On Eggshells, © 2010 by Randi Kreger, Paul Mason MS. All rights reserved.
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