First things first: I’m not a doctor. This article is simply my personal advice if you’re trying to help someone with BPD seek treatment and improve themselves.
Good on ya! That takes balls. But, you must do things the right way. Understand the BPD relationship stages before you embark on a journey of becoming this ‘hero’ that you want to be.
The one key thing I want you to keep in mind is that it’s not your responsibility to help or fix your partner.
However, if your partner wants help and support, there are things you can do to guide him or her in the right direction.
And that’s all you should really do: be a guide. Don’t be a hero. Understand that if your partner is in denial about their issues, then there is literally nothing you can do.
So the real key to treatment for people that have BPD is for him or her to first admit they have a problem. This rule applies to everybody on earth, not just people with BPD.
Treatment Starts With Acceptance
You cannot ever heal and grow until you first accept yourself and understand that you have a problem that needs to be fixed.
Part of the problem here is the human ego. It’s very hard to look at yourself in the mirror and admit that you have a problem.
Often times I’ll ask my coaching clients this question: What’s the first thing you’re supposed to do when you get sick?
Most people will say, “Well, obviously you go to the doctor and you get treatment.”
But that’s incorrect. The correct answer is you first admit that you’re sick. Until you do this and stay in denial, you’ll never heal. You won’t do anything to get better.
So the first step to any sort of treatment and healing is by first admitting that there is a problem. If you have BPD or you’re with someone that has BPD, they will never seek treatment until they accept that they have a problem.
Like I said, this really applies to everyone. On your own side of things, you probably have Codependency if you’re dating someone with BPD.
By accepting this truth and learning about Codependency, you can heal yourself of these problems. This will help you be a better partner in general able to truly love and support your BPD partner.
What If Your BPD Partner Is In Denial?
Understand that most people hate to admit they have a problem. We love to cloud our mind with the belief that we’re perfectly okay just as we are.
You go on Facebook and all you see these days are posts and articles about people saying that we’re perfect just the way we are. But this is the biggest load of B.S.
There’s no such thing as perfection. So to believe that we’re perfect just the way we are is only reinforcing poor mindsets that we can just keep being our natural selves and life will work out for us.
It’s really one of the biggest lies you hear these days and it’s one of the big reasons why a lot of people have problems. We start to believe that we can just be who we currently are and that we’ll eventually get what we want in life.
That is not how life works.
Life rewards those who focus on constant growth and improvement. It rewards those who plan and achieve goals. But you can’t plan a goal and achieve it if you’re just ‘being you’ and expecting things to work out on their own.
So what I like to teach people is that they need to accept that they aren’t perfect. Accept that you can always improve and work towards the life you truly want for yourself that is separate from your relationship.
I believe that everybody has issues, no matter how perfect the life they might seem to have. The reality is that nobody is perfect, everybody has issues and there’s always room to improve ourselves.
This is part of my core belief. So when I date women with BPD, I say things like this. It shows that I put myself first and that I expect her to be on a path of growth.
One of the reasons why BPD relationships fail is because you don’t encourage growth and improvement. You’re constantly trying to fit into the Borderline’s world.
It’s absolutely crucial that if you’re dating someone with BPD, you need to be independent. They should be working hard to be a part of YOUR world.
Self-Improvement Is Always The Goal
Do you know what therapy is really used for? A good therapist doesn’t try to help the client or fix their problem. A good therapist knows that the responsibility of improvement and healing lies 100% of the shoulders of the client.
A good therapist guides a client deep within themselves to reveal their deep issues. A good therapist helps a client to break free of their denial and accept that they have a problem.
This is because good therapists understand that self-improvement is the key to achieving success in relationships and life in general.
You’ll often hear stories of people with BPD who get up and storm out of therapy meetings. It’s not just Borderlines that do this, but basically anyone who doesn’t want to admit they have a problem.
This is why you can’t ever force someone to seek treatment. If you’re in a BPD relationship and you’re trying to get him or her to visit a therapist, it’s going to do you no good unless they want to see one as well.
I’m not a therapist but I’m spoiled in that all the people with BPD who seek help from me are already out of that denial phase. They know they have problems, just like all humans, and they are making the great step to seek help.
But if your partner is in denial about issues, then what you do is you focus on your own self-improvement. You can read these types of books around your partner, talk about how you’re getting into self-improvement, etc.
Before I even date a woman, I’ll drop a lot of my core values. One of my core values is that I believe in never-ending improvement.
I believe that the key to happiness and fulfillment is to constantly be improving yourself and growing your knowledge.
So I’ll about this with women or tell stories about it or talk about how I coach people. I’m always sending out the message that self-improvement is really important to me.
Blaming Only Makes Things Worse
Knowing the right relationship core values is really the key to success in relationships. If you have the wrong values and mindsets, you’ll say things and do things that will drive away your partner.
A common problem people have these days is that they blame their partner for the problems of the relationship. But this just isn’t true because we’re 100% responsible for ourselves and the problems of our life.
This doesn’t mean that you need to blame yourself. It’s simply the acceptance that who and where you are today is your choice.
Knowing this, pointing the finger and blaming your partner for problems doesn’t do any good for the relationship. It will just make things worse.
So what I’ll talk about even before a date is how I believe that who we are today is our choice and that who we are going to be in the future is entirely dependent on ourselves and our choices.
This means that the past doesn’t have to define who we are. I like sharing these beliefs because it helps people with BPD understand that they can improve themselves and stop living in the past.
Blaming your parents or your past relationships does nothing to help you. It will only make you worse and cause you to live in the past.
Progress and Healing Is An Individual Process
If you want to be supportive of your BPD partner, understand that progress and healing takes time. It’s something that happens on an individual level.
If this person is in denial that they have a problem, like so many people are these days, then there is zero chance of any form of healing.
When you’re with someone that is in denial, it can be very easy to fall into the Codependent mindsets. You become passive and walk on egg shells because you fear that any sort of bad comment or suggestion will create conflict.
You become so fearful of anything you say that all your thoughts and actions are bent on pleasing your partner. Because nobody is perfect, it’s inevitable that you’ll say or do something that causes conflict.
The key is to become the type of individual that is focused on independence. This means that in the relationship, you should be focusing more and more on yourself with the idea that your independent nature will rub off onto the person with BPD.
Whether it’s a family member or a spouse, your goal is to send the message that being independent is healthy. It’s a part of your reality and it’s something you’re working towards.
Independence is what’s healthy in relationships because it shows that you’re not dependent on somebody else. The problem with Codependents is that their happiness, feelings of love and joy are dependent on their partner.
As you work towards being your own independent self, expect your BPD partner to become more and more curious about you. But you don’t want your partner to be dependent on you. This will just create more conflict and you becoming a caretaker.
Instead, you want to send the message over time that being able to take care of your own health and well-being is the key to being happy and fulfilled in life. I personally have no problem saying this and I still tell this to women before I even date them.
As a result, dating women with BPD was much easier because there was way less conflict from the beginning knowing that she couldn’t be dependent on me, nor I on her. This is an indirect way of supporting someone with BPD.
Be Cool and Relaxed
I mention this often in my articles, but you can’t be the type of person that’s always reacting to situations in life.
This goes beyond relationships. If you’re the type of person that’s just moving along in life hoping to survive and get by, you’re going to have a pretty negative outlook on life.
In relationships, you’re going to always be reacting to situations since you’re just trying to survive and make sure things are okay.
Instead of leading your own life and going after what you want, you just play by the rules and do things that you’re told. This makes you passive and in a relationship where there’s high emotions involved, this will never fly.
This is why Codependents do very poorly in relationships with people that have strong emotions, like Borderlines. They end up pushing you around and telling you what to do because you’re so used to doing what you’re told.
Maybe you have the belief that you’re a simple person and you just want a nice, simple life. Then what the heck are you doing dating someone with BPD? These are not simple people. If you want to succeed in these relationships, you can’t be some simple, surviving individual.
This is why it’s important to be your own independent self. You must have your own goals and your own focus that is beyond the relationship.
This helps you remain cool and relaxed during situations where you’d normally react and panic. It’s beyond the scope of this article, but by having this change in attitude that you’re working towards something bigger, it really helps you remain calm and cool.
People with BPD want you to be someone that’s focused and independent. The more unsure of yourself, passive, apologizing all the time, unable to hold your ground, the more you’re going to push your partner away and cause more drama.
If all it takes is for your partner to look upset and shed a tear for you to change your mind, then you need to work on your firmness and boundaries. You can’t fall for these little tantrums. That’s now how you show strength which is what people with BPD want in a partner.
Drop Your Expectations and Assumptions
Another major mistake people commonly make in BPD relationships is that they have their own expectations and assumptions about relationships in general.
They expect their partner to treat them a certain way or do certain things. And when they don’t do them, you react. You start worrying. You become obsessed with helping him or her change.
It’s actually manipulative for you to have these expectations of what should go on in a relationship and what should not. Codependents suffer greatly from this because deep down, they have these unrealistic expectations.
An example expectations is that your partner should be giving you closeness and intimacy. However, if your partner never learned how to be intimate and close to people, which is a common case with BPD, then to expect this is irrational.
You end up causing more drama and conflict in your relationship by expecting this sort of behavior from your partner. Even if they gave it you in the beginning, this doesn’t mean that you deserve it all the time.
A lot of people get confused by the honeymoon period. They get all this closeness and intimacy only to have it taken away after some time.
Because you so desperately want to get close again due to your codependency, you chase and chase hoping to make changes and fix the relationship.
But the bigger issue never crosses your mind. You never think that maybe your partner just isn’t capable of getting close like that. Maybe the fact that you try to get close only further pushes your partner away from you.
If you want to be truly supportive of your BPD relationship, then you can’t be having these expectations and assumptions. If you can’t handle that, then end the relationship.
Black and White Thinking
Black and white thinking is how people that are unsure of themselves think. It isn’t just limited to people with BPD. It happens to normal people as well.
When you’re unsure of your stance on things, you become a flip-flopper. You could say a lot of our politicians are black and white thinkers. They’ll say one thing and do the other.
If you feel like you’ve been painted ‘black’, then trying to change their view of you isn’t going to do you any good. Chances are, you had some sort of reaction that actually pushed your partner away.
The key always comes down to self-education. I get emails and comments everyday from people that are confused about their relationship. They don’t even realize that their behavior is what actually pushed their BPD partner away.
My mission with this website and my courses is simply to educate people. The more you know about behavior, attitude, actions and more, the more you can focus on doing the right things instead of the wrong things that only cause more problems.
This is why it’s important to not focus so much on words that other’s say. People with BPD have their issues. They will react and panic and rage and do things to get reactions out of you.
If you say something and then apologize a minute later, you already lost because you’re now a flip flopper. You can’t hold your ground. You fail tests easily. You’re not able to take responsibility.
It’s little things like that where a lot of people make mistakes and errors that cause their partner to leave. Dating someone with BPD isn’t easy. You’ll be tested a lot. So you need to learn to not react and stick to your guns.
There’s No One Path To Healing BPD
The truth is that BPD is a problem like many others that can be healed. It just requires that you first accept your problems and escape from denial.
Most people live in denial. This is just a fact. We like to believe that we’re okay and if we just keep being ‘true to ourselves’, we’ll get what we deserve.
But if your mindsets all the way back from childhood are poor and outdated, then you’ll just continue living a life with poor, outdated mindsets.
They key to improving your relationships is by first unlearning what we were taught that is simply incorrect.
Much of society and parents teach the wrong things.
The internet is full of terrible advice, especially when it comes to dating.
They all teach these manipulation and games and such that just makes matters worse.
Or, they talk about validation and passive responses that never work in the long-run.
DBT therapy might be useful for the Borderline, but it’s pointless for non’s to focus on it.
This is why you need to be doing things differently than what everyone else is talking about.
Get off those forums.
Get away from the negative, pessimists.