How it Starts, the Relationship between the Co-Dependent and the Borderline

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

The relationship begins extremely fast between a co-dependent person and someone exhibiting signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD).The couple spends enormous amounts of time together. During this time, they learn a lot about each other. The beginning starts like a fairy tale, doing things that most likely are not done all the time.

At the start of the relationship, both people are filling the void of the other person. Usually, the co-dependent forgoes their responsibilities to cater to the person who has signs of BPD. We need to keep in mind that co-dependents get their value from doing things for others. Co-dependents do not see their value as separate from doing things for others. They are not able to see their innate value without doing for others. 

The borderline likes the attention they get from the co-dependent. They are attracted to this. Hence, we end up with the “perfect storm.” For the borderline, receiving attention and care is just what they need to put the co-dependent on the pedestal. It is the perfect scenario for them. 

On the other hand, we have co-dependent. Most likely the co-dependent had been through many relationships. These relationships often end with the co-dependent feeling used and taken advantage of. Because of this, when they meet a person with BPD tendencies, they are put on a pedestal immediately and believe this is real love. The co-dependent loves how this feels along with all the attention they get. Furthermore, it is obvious how this is the “perfect storm for both people. One is giving the other what they think they need and vice-versa.

We need to remember that the beginning of the relationship is what is so difficult for the co-dependent to let go of. The beginning seems to be what a perfect relationship should look like based on what the co-dependent imagines it to be.

The person with borderline tendencies begins every relationship the same way. They see their new interest as being perfect. Keep in mind, the borderline is not going to see the co-dependent as perfect forever. As a result, when this happens, issues tend to arise in the relationship.

This relationship is by no means a setup. The co-dependent is not thinking that if they do all these things for their partner they will get so much in return. This is all done subconsciously by the co-dependent. It happens because of their lifetime of programming and training. They have been programmed to do things for others or else they are not good enough. 

People often think that they are played in these types of relationships. That is not the case. At the beginning of the relationship, the person with BPD tendencies is very much enamored with the other person. The co-dependent goes way beyond what is expected to do and makes the other person happy. No one is playing a game in this situation. Therefore, it is innately fundamental for both people in the relationship, to become the “perfect storm.”

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