Hi there Tranquility22
I'm glad to see you have found your way to posting here
I am pleased I exist, too
Few of us actually have a diagnosis of BPD for our loved ones. Even when a therapist does diagnose this disorder, many will not share this diagnosis with the patient. Instead, we look at the diagnostic criteria for the condition, and through reading-up on this and similar conditions, we are able to know ourselves, if our partner fits the category.
BPD falls under the category of Cluster B Personality Disorders. Within that category are:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder
There are many symptoms which are common to several of these conditions, and it is not uncommon to find that someone with one of these conditions, actually has one or more within the category.
You might like to have a look at The Symptoms and Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder [NEW]
You might like to also post over on the Undecided Board: Staying or Leaving
, until you make a decision as to how you want to proceed.
I would strongly recommend getting your own therapist, to help you deal with the pressures of the relationship. Many people here have found it of extreme benefit. Usually, as a result of having a partner with BPD, we are ourselves suffering with a whole host of issues, including guilt, confusion, anger and hurt (as just a few). Near the end of my relationship I (as others have experienced) was virtually suicidal! I can totally relate to the loving him 'so much it hurt' statement. I wanted to protect him and love him, but it would be at the expense of my own happiness. It is very easy to lose ourselves in these relationships.
I totally understand your need to have your needs met. When in my relationship, I longed to have an equal partner, someone who could be supportive, stable, empathetic and a whole range of other qualities that I knew my partner would never be able to display. I felt as though I had become the parent in the relationship, and was living with a stroppy, teenage son! That, for me, was not a fulfilling relationship. Towards the end of my relationship, I was looking around and noticing very prominently, the sort of relationship other people may be able to give me. I was never unfaithful, but part of my decision to leave, was based on my wants for a 'normal', adult relationship with someone I was attracted to as an equal. I found it very hard to have an intimate relationship with my ex. because I never knew if I was with Jekyll or Hyde, nor which mood would follow, once I had allowed myself to feel close to him again. I built a wall to protect myself.
I don't have statistics as to the survival of the relationship, as that is a very personal decision. If you read books on BPD, it is noted that BPD sufferers will struggle to hold down any relationship, if that helps? It very much depends on the non-BPD partner.
Generally, the only way a person with BPD can get better, is to enter long term (often life-long) therapy, with a specialised therapist. They have to do that because they want to do it, and not because someone else wants them too. If they want to get better, then it is possible. A therapist may combine therapy with medications. The issue is more complicated if the person has other disorders, along with BPD. For example, cure from narcissism is much less likely.
My exBPD/NPDbf was aware of his conditions, but his attitude towards this knowledge, altered depending on the mood he was in at any particular time! When he was in the mood of a sorrowful BPD sufferer, he was open to suggestions of therapy, but then when the narcissistic side of him came forward, he considered me to be the problem, and there was nothing wrong with him that required treatment. This was exhausting, as I'd have just thought I'd have reached the milestone of him acknowledging the need of help, and then in so little time as the next day, he was in denial again! BPD emotions alone, can bring this change of heart.
With regards to gauging my needs vs his...in the end, I had nothing left to give. I had given for so long, with nothing in return, that I gave him the ultimatum of either him going into long-term therapy, or losing me. He chose to lose me, as that was easier than looking at himself.
Have a look at the workshop What it means to be in the â€śFOGâ€ť