Dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder can be an immensely satisfying experience in the early days of the relationship.
You may not have experienced this level of excitement, passion, and flow of conversation before. However, things will take an ugly turn when the symptoms of borderline personality disorder become evident. As reality strikes hard, you will be forced to accept that this is much more demanding than you ever expected.
As you notice the relationship slipping into the toxic abyss, you cannot be faulted for wanting out. Again, you will soon realize that breaking up with someone with borderline personality disorder is as hard or even worse than living and coping with them. Often the breakup is triggered by BPD splitting.
The main reason for the difficult breakup is the fact that you are still in love with the person. You may be having a hard time coping with their mood swings, angry outbursts, and unpredictability of their behavior. But when they are normal, BPD partners are still the same sweet people you first met. This is called trauma bonding.
However, if the fallouts of borderline personality disorder symptoms are stressing you out and affecting your mental health, a breakup is the best choice for you.
But breakups are hard; even normal ones. Breaking up with someone you still love is even harder. You will be questioning your judgment to break up with your BPD partner multiple times. Despite the chaos, instability, and toxicity of the relationship, you may not be fully convinced about the step and oscillating in your decision.
This article is an attempt at helping people like you figure out how to overcome the trauma from dating someone with BPD and move forward in life. Here you will find constructive suggestions on managing the breakup after dating someone with borderline personality disorder.
How to overcome trauma from dating someone with BPD?
Managing any breakup, not just the one involving a BPD person, is not only about getting through the ordeal of the actual breakup, but it also involves beginning the process of healing and regaining the ability to trust.
Trying to escape from a relationship as toxic and destructive as the one with a BPD partner is not easy on many counts. You may find it hard to detach yourself totally from the person because of trauma bonding. After all, you shared some wonderful and unforgettable times.
You need to realize that all breakups are hard. With a little readjustment in your attitude and thought process, you can make it easier for yourself to move on in life. Here are a few suggestions you can try.
1) You’ve given it your all and there is nothing more you can think of trying
Regret and rethinking are the two monsters you have to deal with after a breakup. You keep playing the situation in your head to figure out how you could have handled it better. If only you had tried harder, you could have avoided the breakup.
To move forward from the breakup and recover your mental health, you need to accept that you have done everything you could. You need to accept that you were dating someone with borderline personality disorder and that nothing you could do would have made any difference to the situation.
2) Don’t hope for a reconciliation
Or think that you can go back to square one and start all over again. No matter how much you want to experience the thrill and passion of the early days, you need to accept that you aren’t going to get them back. Things are not going to go back to normal.
You cannot expect any change in the status quo unless your BPD partner agrees to treatment. Your relationship is on the verge of breaking up because your partner is not consenting. So, don’t continue to hold out hope for reviving and building a healthy relationship. It’s time you turn your focus on yourself.
3) Choose to have no contact
If your BPD partner was impossible to deal with in the relationship, it would be worse after the breakup. They may be angry and depressed and may develop hostile feelings toward you. Your partner may approach you after the breakup to vent their frustration and anger.
You don’t need to consider it your responsibility to help them recover from the breakup. You don’t need to put up with their mood swings, angry outbursts, and BPD splitting behavior after breaking up. In fact, there is very little you can do about it. So, let them handle their emotional issues, while you take care of yourself.
4) Focus on recovery and rebuilding your life
More than a regular breakup, overcoming trauma from dating someone with BPD is harder. It’s easy to feel addicted to the charm, affection, and undivided attention you were getting from your BPD partner in the initial stages.
After the breakup, you may sense a feeling of void, making it hard to move on. You need to figure out how to fill this void. If left empty, it would haunt you forever. Find new friends or develop new interests. Figure out what you really want to do in life and pursue the goal with all you have. Build yourself the kind of life that will make you forget about your time with the BPD partner.
Steps to rebuilding your life after dating a BPD person
Your relationship indeed failed. To move on after a BPD relationship and regain your mental health, you need to accept that it was not your fault. Neither should you blame yourself for the mood swings, angry outbursts, and BPD splitting behavior of your BPD partner or how your relationship ended.
If you are struggling with the breakup, following these steps may help you.
Step 1: Understand more about borderline personality disorder
Learning more about the disorder may help you come to terms with the situation and realize that it was not your fault. The internet is a good source for informative articles on BPD. Or, you can also try reading books about the disorder. Joining online or offline support groups for partners of people suffering from borderline personality disorder may help in realizing that your experience is not unique and you aren’t alone.
Step 2: Spit it out
Keeping all your feelings and thoughts bottled up inside may be overwhelming for you. You need to accept that you haven’t been in a healthy relationship and endured trauma as a result of it. Therapy can help you immensely. A therapist will be able to help you process your feelings and thoughts and teach you how to handle them.
The most effective therapies while overcoming trauma from dating someone with BPD are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Step 3: Forgive your partner
This is one of the most important steps in moving forward after a breakup. If you hold on to the grudges, anger, and resentment, you are harming your efforts at recovery from the breakup. Try to accept that the mood swings, angry outbursts, and BPD splitting behavior of your BPD partner didn’t come from malice or evil intentions. BPD partners are not normal and suffer from severe mental health conditions.
And, don’t equate forgiveness with reunion or reconciliation.
Step 4: Forgive yourself
You may find this harder than forgiving your partner. You may blame yourself for sticking in the relationship for so long despite knowing well about the mental health disorder of your BPD partner. Past is past and learn to live in the moment and look forward to the future.
Step 5: Cut ties with your partner
When you’re breaking up after dating a BPD person, it is vital to stay away from them. Keeping in touch with your BPD partner may prevent you from healing and moving forward. No contact rule can help you break free from trauma bonding, clear your head, and set you on a path to recovery.
Final thoughts on trauma from dating someone with BPD
You may find it hard to prioritize yourself in these difficult times. But that is exactly what you should do to overcome trauma from dating someone with BPD. There is no antidote better than self-care and self-love to recover after a bad relationship. Practicing mindfulness, rediscovering your interests, and following a healthy lifestyle can set you on the right path to recovery.
Dating a BPD person is bound to leave a mark on you. Staying away from negativity and surrounding yourself with positivity will help you heal and move forward in life.