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Think About It... An individual’s overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation. People select ... partners who have the same level of emotional maturity.
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Author Topic: Is it possible for BPD people to love? REALLY?  (Read 2832 times)
Blossom
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 04:04:46 AM »

In my opinion, people with BPD can and do love.  But, their own internal fears and anxieties too often get in the way and lead to behavior that seems anything but loving.

Try to think of things or situations that may cause you to feel anxiety or fear--snakes, spiders, heights, public speaking, flying, tight spaces, clowns, whatever. Think about how your body and mind react when you confront one of these things or situations.  Are you at your best?  In that moment, are you living up to your highest potential as a spouse, parent, sibling or child?  Probably not, because at that moment your hard-wiring for self-preservation is engaged.

I really think that for people with BPD, certain people and types of relationships cause similar fears and anxieties in them, with more or less inensity depending on what is happening at that moment.  Regardless of the cause of these feelings of fear and anxiety (fear of abandonment, brain chemistry, and poor parenting have all had their advocates), the feelings are very real.

I'm not excusing any abusive behaviors at all.  They can, and should, work to improve their lives, just like we are.  But, for people with BPD, I think they can and do love.

That's an important point, i think. My personal view is that pwBPD are capable of love, though that doesn't mean all are. Part of that though, is learning to love and learning what love is. When (in many cases) pwBPD have been subjected to years of abuse, especially when abuse is in those early years, it is in the foundations of learning what love is (IE should be nurturing parent etc - not abuse), that's going to take time to change.
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Eagleflyboy172
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2010, 10:30:26 AM »

From the descriptions I have read on this post, it seems that for those who believe the BPD in their life does not really love them or has their own flavor of love, that what you are describing is a sociopath.  It is widely believed that sociopaths cannot love.  However, another school of thought says that yes they can - but only when they want to.  Sociopaths have learned to survive by mimicking what they see other people do.  Some are very good at it while others are very obviously not, even if they think they are showing happiness, sadness, etc.  Sociopathy is not treatable - period.  It is not even considered a mental health issue.  Treatment only makes them worse or they figure out how not to get caught in the same uncomfortable situation again.
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Are you on the right board?
This board is for analyzing and making the decision to either continue working on your relationship or to leave it. If you have already please advance to "L3 Leaving" or the "L4 Staying" board.
All members living with a pwBPD should learn to use the Stop the Bleeding tools - boundaries, timeouts and other basic tools - to better manage the day to day interactions with your partner. If you have questions on any of the tools, feel free to go over to Staying: Improving a Relationship with a Borderline Partner and ask for help. :-)
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 11:03:27 AM »

It IS VERY EASY to regard a BPSO as sociopathic when in the midst of dealing with the trauma of thier disturbing and hurtful behaviors. I don't use the word "trauma" lightly.

But even so, my very long experience is that BP does have a conscience, and feels massive guilt for the behaviors of her various personae. Thus distinguishing the BP from the sociopath. But similar to S.P., BP DOES need to "mimic" others, in attempts to behave ordinarily. To wit, the recent marriage of my youngest (S21) illustrated all over again that BPXW has no idea what a mother should do when her children wed. So she "Locked-Up" Afraid of behaving rationally, or exposing herself to folks who are knowledgable about the BP malady, she simply goes and hides. She was totally uninvolved, didn't come to wedding, had absolutely no contact with (future) in-laws, etc. All she did was hurt son with typical neglect. She simply ain't in the same world as most other folks, and she does her best to fake her way along, and it must be very difficult for her.
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dados76
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2010, 11:11:56 AM »

BPD.. and aspd.. are real different.. BPD is treatable.. not easy.. but things can get better.. idk about aspd..antisocial personality/sociopath..
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 11:57:37 AM »

Yeah, and BPXW was variously clinically diagnosed ASPD, Dependent PD, etc., but I'm sure, in retrospect, that was just compassionate counselors trying not to stigmatize her, or trying to make sure that our health insurance would cover counseling costs. Until very recently, the "Standard of Care" was that the therapist NEVER reveal the true BPD diagnosis. Her longer-term  (a couple of months, max) counselors (in later years) did the valid BPD diagnosis openly, since most health insurance plans will now cover the cost of DBT and all of the related medications.

It is fortunate that you are in a R/S with a PD sufferer who is maintaining well enough to acknowledge and openly work on the difficulties. I wish that had been true with my BPXW, but it wasn't (and isn't).
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dados76
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2010, 12:05:21 PM »

im lucky lots of ways.. but one of my boundaries is i cant be w/somebody that is mentally ill.. who isnt working on those issues.. so if he wasnt working on improving.. we wouldnt be together.. but.. he is.. come a long way.. long way to go sometimes.. but so long as hes working on moving forward.. i got no problem staying w/him
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TruthWillBeRevealed
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2010, 09:55:16 AM »

It is not possible for people with BPD to love in the way that you love them. It's hard enough to achieve reciprocity of emotions with two people who are not mentally ill. Before you scoff at me for being arrogant enough to give this question a solid answer, hear me out:

Let's assume that love is not some sort of non-material external force floating around somewhere , but rather a feeling that you develop from sensing, conceptualizing, perceiving and valuing another person. That is your love. It is internalized. It is within you. Now imagine this same sensing, perceiving, valuing functional definition of love for your partner with BPD. Does it immediately seem different? It has to be different, because the values and conceptions/perceptions (and to a lesser extent sensations) are different -- probably radically different.

If you've spent any amount of time trying to reason the behaviors of someone with BPD, you'll realize that some of them simply cannot be understood by reason and make no sense within your system of values. How then is the idea of something more complex, like love, going to be compatible with your own?

The good news is, while love seems like it's uncontrollable, you do have some choice in what you value and appreciate. 
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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2010, 12:25:31 PM »

i think.. its easy to confuse how people w/BPD might show love to somebody.. w/what is going on inside.. dont think anybody can know what goes on in somebody elses head.. like.. a language barrier to how people express stuff.. i lived in chicago for a long time.. where if it rains it just rains.. moved to NW.. and hear people say.. oh its not raining just drizzle.. and im like.. What the heck is the difference? rain is rain? but folks out here have a lot more experience w/different kinds of rain.. and have different ways of expressing it.. and then somebody could say.. 'dude.. does this guy even know what rain is?' even if i do.. im sure not as good at relating that to somebody whos got 80 words to describe rain.. wink

i think.. when we first started dating.. it was hard for R to explain how he felt.. hes learning how to explain.. watching/talking w/other people and in therapy.. hes not learning how to feel love tho.. hes trying to learn how to express what hes already feeling..
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Lydia
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« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2010, 06:39:30 AM »

My therapist told me that my ex was not capable of loving me.  She didn't say he loved me in his own way.  She said, when I questioned her, that he was not capable.  People who don't love themselves cannot love another.  My ex was capable of acts of kindness and this confused me.  How, I wondered, could someone be considerate enough to open the door for me, make sure I remembered my umbrella, think to buy me my favorite mints, always remember special occasions, but not love me.  There were times when I felt so connected to him, but those times were usually after sex.  I'm not sure why he could express intimacy then and wouldn't be able to hold onto it when we weren't together, but that does seem to be how it was.  The rest of the time his attentions seemed to be clingy and demanding and manipulative.  It was like he forgot that I was important to him when I wasn't around. 
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an0ught
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« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2010, 06:53:25 AM »

I'm thinking that often the emotional make up of pwBPD is compared with that of a child. And saying children can not love I would find disturbing. I also find it scary being at the mercy of an angry child.

Children can have different maturity and they also can grow.
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« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2010, 08:40:19 AM »

It is an old axiom that one cannot love others if they don't love themselves. And in the case of a BOD sufferer, they not only don't "love themselves", they loathe themselves. And since that self-loathing is the only thing they know, I think, they assume that other folks experience the same, that other folks are manipulative, deceptive... etc., as they are. So how can they love, as others might understand or feel love?

In the end it's a trust issue. They hope for someone to trust (and take care of them), but they've been abandoned time and again, because of thier outrageous behaviors... but they don't see that.

A viscious cycle.
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Empowered
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« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2010, 08:46:11 AM »

Randi - Can you please elaborate on the differences between NPD and BPD where you see definable differences? I have tried to research this information but am still not clear on the differences.  I know that for many these two are somewhat intertwined but what makes NPD different?  Thanks!
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2010, 08:56:27 AM »

Interesting question, on every level (I think of that old story that a Chinese curse is "may you live in interesting times").

Years ago, before I ever heard of BPD, in the early dating years before marriage, I once told uBPw, in the midst of an argument about my biological daughter from an earlier marriage, that W did not know how to love.  She got very angry at this, and I, not knowing better, decided I had been too rash in making that judgment and withdrew it. 

Now, 16 years later, I realize how right I was.  And she suspects it, too, bringing it up whenever we have a serious argument, "Maybe you were right, maybe I don't know how to love."  But she uses it as a weapon and excuse, not as a tool for insight, or even as a legitimate observation.  Her bottom line is, "I am what I am and I won't change.  If you don't like it, you can leave."  (Even though that would be not easily done, with two kids and all the other commitments).

The irony is, she's never really hidden herself, though it got confusing when she's not stressed.  I'm the one who kept rationalizing and explaining and accepting. . . . .
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« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2010, 09:04:45 AM »

I do believe that bps can love, but it's the expression of that love that gets derailed in all the jumbled wiring in their psyche.

My uBPDbf can get absolutely swept away by his emotions sometimes, it's so hard to see a grown man well up with tears when talking about his teenaged daughter (for example) and how her not making time to come see him really breaks his heart.  He would do "anything" for his "baby" if she needed him.   

There's other times when (in splitting) he talks of her as if she were some lover who jilted him ("well if I'm not important to her...").

I know that he loves her - he's mentioned a couple times that it's her existence that has kept him from wanting to kill himself.

He just has a funny way of showing it - if that makes any sense.

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"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Khalil Gibran
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« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2010, 09:08:27 AM »

i know my ex loved me.. but i also came to relise.. she had a switch..
and something in her would turn it off.. and something would turn it on..
and the switch was triigered.. by.. something in the borderline disorder..

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