Relationship problems of people with borderline personality disorder involve bitterness and fear of abandonment, originating from an unstable self-image, impulsivity and self-destructive behaviors.
Borderline personality disorder is commonly associated with relationship problems that are both intense and rocky. People with borderline personality disorder, at the start of the relationship, often look up to their friends and lovers, as if putting them in a pedestal and over-showering them with praise and adoration. However, as the relationship progresses, they begin to see flaws and criticize their friends and lovers. They then become domineering and even demanding of their attention. At some point, they feel betrayed because the initial high impression turned out to be a failed expectation. However, people with borderline personality disorder fear abandonment. Even when they find out that friends and lovers can’t measure up to their expectations, they may hold on to the relationship until the other persons complain or give up of their overly demanding and intense actions. They can be easily irritated and angry, but also easily switch to passive and submissive mood when faced with the prospect of being left alone.
Relationship problems in borderline personality disorder can be traced from the person’s unstable sense of self. In one end, a person with borderline personality disorder may feel superior or grandiose; and yet on the other end, he/she may feel inferior, lacking, or incomplete. As a result, friends or lovers revert to and fro a high or low social standing in line with the person’s mood swings. Whenever the person with borderline personality disorder feels down, friends and lovers rise up; and whenever the same person feels high, friends and lovers are looked down upon.
People with borderline personality disorder also tend to be impulsive and engage in self-destructive behaviors. They may drink alcohol excessively, engage in substance abuse, or gamble pathologically (at the risk of getting broke). This often occurs when they feel down or low. At first, friends and lovers may get worried; but as the pattern emerges and becomes resistant to any form of persuasion, including unnecessary bursts of uncontrolled and intense anger, friends and lovers may become impatient, upset, and hostile. Oftentimes, friends and lovers of people with borderline personality disorder “give up” and leave.
If you are in a relationship with a similar person, and you truly love that person, you would benefit from knowing more about him/her and his/her personality problem. Help from a clinical psychologist is also useful and sometimes imperative if the person is having bouts of suicidal attempts.