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Partner of someone with BPD - Need Advice - Carers UK Forum

Partner of someone with BPD - Need Advice

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and I'm currently in a new relationship with someone who has BPD,

We started dating back in November 2021, and over the course of several months he told me about his BPD and I have heard about this but until recently haven't done much research, At first he was reluctant to share this with me as he feared rejection, which is only natural. He shared some stories about his past and I have been completely supportive.

He does often switch with no warning, ie he would ignore me for days then he would return to his normal self, I feel perhaps I struggle with the ignoring part and I constantly reassure him that I have no intention of rejecting him, that my feelings for him are real and genuine.

It's his 26th Birthday today and we did arrange for me to go and spend some time together, but on Monday he said he was going to families and that he wants me to go on Thursday instead. But since we last spoke yesterday morning he has been ignoring my attempts to make contact. Perhaps he doesnt like birthdays, as he told he doesnt like Christmas and he prefers to be alone. I would like some tips and advice how I can approach and communicate with him on these occasions. As much as it hurts when this happens, I have no intention leaving him as I want to be supportive and someone who he can rely on for unconditional support. I do plan when we next speak is to discuss boundaries for us both, so that he can trust me and doesnt fear abandonment, I have spent days researching this condition, as myself I suffer from mental health, also I work in mental health but in the breavement field.

I just wish I knew what to say to him so that he doesnt fear the worst, and to be an supportive bit patient partner who only wants the best for him, but as the research suggests, I also need to take care of myself, suggesting to have a discussion about setting boundaries for both of us as I have in the past said something which for me was a compliment but he saw it differently.
Hi Brandon,

He is lucky to have you for support.

However, be aware that wanting to be
supportive and someone who he can rely on for unconditional support
is probably not good for either of you. You need to be careful that you don't enable his mental illness nor allow him to treat you badly because of it. Being a partner means just that and he should be being a good partner to you too. Granted when his mental illness is worse, he will be more limited in his capacity to do this but a relationship is a two way one and it is very easy for those caring to start to feel trapped.

The Mind website has lots of useful information https://www.mind.org.uk

Melly1
Hi & Welcome Brandon

I glad you have come to the forum as others can give another perspective.

This may be difficult to read ...

Don't become a person who provides a relationship on a convenience level. When I read your post being excluded from contact around special events/day. Have you met other friends and family members of your partner.

I agree unconditional support cannot be maintained. Although admirable can be very stressful and with the best will in the world a challenge.
Do you want a true partner?
That means completely being yourself, sharing everything, hiding nothing?

I don't think, from the sound of it, this is what he wants.
Be careful not to just end up being a part time carer that he treats however he wants, and he sets all the terms of the relationship. All about HIM, what he wants, when he wants it, seeing who he wants etc. etc.