People with BPD desperately want to have good relationships, but they inadvertently sabotage their efforts to create and maintain positive relationships over and over again.
You may be wondering how they continually end up in rocky relationships. Well, the answer lies in the fact that their desire for relationships is fueled by an intense need to fill the bottomless hole that they feel inside themselves.
People with BPD ache to fill this hole with a sense of who they are, a higher level of self-esteem, and high amounts of outside nurturance, unconditional love, and adoration. But no one can fill such a huge personal chasm. Partners and friends are defeated the moment they enter the relationship. Their attempts to make their friends who have BPD happy inevitably fail. The people with BPD respond to their friends’ efforts with disappointment, derision, or rage.
This intense negative reaction confuses partners of people with BPD because people with BPD typically start out relationships with enthusiasm, warmth, and excitement. New partners may feel entirely enveloped by love and caring at the beginning of their relationships, but, ultimately, things go terribly wrong.
What happens to turn a relationship so full of love and excitement into something full of pain and confusion?
Well, many people with BPD fear abandonment above almost anything else. Yet, at the same time, they don’t believe they’re worthy of getting what they really want. They can hardly imagine that another person truly does love them. So, when their partners inevitably fail to fulfill their every need, they believe the next step is abandonment.
This conclusion fuels BPD rage, and, as a result, they push their partners away. Better to push someone away than to be pushed away, right?
This series of reactions is extremely self-defeating, but it’s born out of fear, not malice.
In future posts, we will talk on how to deal with these situations and what to do if you have a friend or partner that reacts in these ways.