True Stories 7

About True Stories. This is my story, my experience of life with a woman who has borderline personality disorder. The Borderline will deny most or all of this, but that too is typical borderline behavior. I tell my story because it is true and because there are many who will read this who also live with a borderline. I want you to know you are not alone and you are not crazy.

The questions come from the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Randi Kreger.

Q. Are you afraid to ask for things in the relationship because you will be told that you’re selfish and demanding? Does this person imply, explicitly declare, or show by example that your needs are not as important as his are?

A. Yes, this was an ongoing problem of great concern.

I remember telling her, towards the very end, “I’m get nothing out of this relationship.” She shot back, “I clean for you, I cook for you, I watch the kids for you, I have sex with you…” and I replied, “I could pay someone to do all those things.” It was true she did those things. But she did nothing I couldn’t pay for. A love relationship requires the one thing that cannot be bought: love.  She gave me nothing I couldn’t buy and that was the root of my discontent. I knew – by her words, her reactions and her complete lack of empathy – that I simply did not matter. She liked what I did for her, but she would have liked ANYONE doing those things for her. I wasn’t special to her as a person, only as a function.

Those words I spoke really upset her. I suppose it was partly my fault because it had been years since I had made any effort to express my own emotional needs. I was emotionally starving to death in the relationship with her, but I’d learned there was no point in telling her about it because – in her view – the whole point of the relationship was her happiness. My emotional state was irrelevant.

She exercised carte blanche to whine about anything and everything that hurt her all-important feelings, but she also expected that I bear every offense and never complain. And the lunacy of it all is that I believed that as well. I truly believed my feelings always took second place to hers. I deluded myself into believing I could bear an unlimited amount of “taking” from her and keep coming back to “give” more. My belief in the sanctity of marriage kept me from making a break for it, even though it was the marriage that was destroying me.

So I appeal to you, those who love and live with a Borderline: recognize that your feelings matter every bit as much as hers do. For a marriage to work, there must be compromise on both parts, give and take from both parties. If you are the only one who compromises and the one who is constantly being taken from, wake up! You have no obligation to be her door mat. The borderline will not honor your feelings – you know that already – so you must care for yourself in whatever way you can find. She will not care for your feelings. In fact, she can not care for her feelings. She is broken in a way almost no one can repair, and she will break those closest to her as well.