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Any Successful relationships with partner with BPD? - Carers UK Forum

Any Successful relationships with partner with BPD?

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi,
My wife and I have been together for 13 years and in the last 5 her mental health deteriorated and she was diagnosed with BPD 3 years ago. She is like a different person and I’m not sure if I can continue this relationship with this new version of her. All I see are negatives, that people with BPD can not sustain successful relationships, does anyone have a different story to tell?
I love her with all my heart, she is engaging with DBT and trialling different meds but, if anything, it seems to be worse. Her drinking is escalating and although she hasn’t attempted suicide for a few months I feel like I’m just waiting for the next time. We have no intimacy (TMI -sorry!) and I feel like her carer, not her partner.
Hi

I am in a relationship with somebody with BPD. I want to marry this person and although my relationship is emotionally exhausting, I believe that everybody deserves to be able to have a life partner.

It is quite sad when folk say BPD sufferers can not maintain relationships because they deserve to be able to. Just like anybody else.

I believe it’s a case of basic compatibility. You have to be compatible together. It has to work when your partner is themself. When they are suffering .. you have to be willing to suffer also.

You can also take into consideration effort on their part. Is your partner making EFFORT towards gaining control of their symptoms. Effort when suffering from BPD can seem minute in comparison to the efforts put in by the partner.. but they aren’t. Any effort at all can be very huge to the sufferer.

I have come to feel like effort is all I can expect. It is enough.

I love my partner and work hard toward a fulfilling relationship for us both.. as anybody should do :)

Does this viewpoint help at all? Xx
Hi,
I am new to the forum also and can relate a lot to what you are going through. My husband has Mixed Personality Disorder and it is really hard to cope at times. I just keep plodding on, but it is very hard, I know. It is physically and mentally exhausting caring for someone with this condition. The only thing I can suggest is try to get help for yourself if you are feeling overcome in the form of a support group or even speak to your GP about it. I have recently finished speaking to a counsellor and have support from a couple of mental health organisations who support carers so it is worthwhile finding out what is in your area.

Glad to hear your wife is receiving DBT as that is a big step to her recovery. My husband denies there is anything wrong with him and refuses to get any support which doesn't help at all.

Just try to make sometime for yourself too to see family and friends and engage in hobbies and interests. I would be a lot worse if I didn't have my groups to go to. You are doing great in being such a good support to your wife. Sorry I can't be of more help as struggling just now myself, but am happy to chat anytime as I do know how you feel. All the best. :)
Probably the hardest part of being a partner to someone with BPD is knowing that to be the perfect partner to them you really need to be an empathic but needless robot.

We are not needless. We are not robots.
Any human being would struggle in such a relationship and it’s all about your own support system since you need to have your own emotional support needs met by others outside of the relationship.

That one is my personal struggle. I can’t do it. I don’t have other people like that in my life and even if I did I would still want THAT person to be my partner. Which is sadly impossible :(
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. It’s so good to speak to people living this experience. Because of my job I cannot commit to attending Carers groups on a regular basis so I feel out on a limb.
I feel I can cope most of the time until something else happens with my family or my (very stressful) job. Then I just feel like it tips me over the edge, and I don’t have the emotional resilience to cope with her next crisis!
I know there is no ‘cure’ but i just want to know there is a future for us 😢
Hi,
I know from personal experience that it's really tough. I have been married to my wife for more than 5 years now. Her diagnosis was pchizo affective disorder for a long time but last year when she was inpatient, consultant said that she has personality disorder. Almost 2 years now it's been really tough as periods of stability are very brief or you can say every other day is different but I know I love her so i am always trying to help her which at times feel in vain but I know it's not her fault it's the illness. Plus we have her mothers support as big help. I don't work full time but when I am at work I drop our son to her mothers house.
I would say that you should talk to someone on a regular basis whether it be a relative, friend, colleague etc even if you can't go to the carer groups as I cannot manage to do it my self but it's very important that you do not let it build up.
Just encourage your wife to go for therapy sessions and takes meds to see which medicine helps because illness isn't gonna go away but there will be periods of stability which will make it easier for you to cope with all the stress.
Also I am not sure if your wife has a care coordinator or CPN but ask her mental health team to arrange for one. Her CPN will stay in contact on weekly basis to ask how her life is getting along and have a chit chat about random things as well which might help a little.