Original content by Ashley Berges
Does it feel as though no matter how often you tell your partner you care and love them; they are never satisfied for long? They ask us, “why are you with me, or why are you with someone like me.” Often, these questions come from someone who has BPD tendencies and we do not know how to respond. We hope that our responses will end this line of questioning, but most likely they do not.
What do we do, how do we respond to this type of questioning?
Telling our partner with signs and symptoms of BPD that we love them and are there for them does not always seem to work. Most often, the questioning continues and our partners get angrier and more fearful
First, we must understand why they are asking these questions.
These questions come from a person with signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder. They come from their insecurities and internal fears. It is not based on what you are doing or saying. Therefore, it has to do with what they are thinking, their thoughts.
Are you being asked, “what are you doing with me?” No matter how you reply, it will have little to no impact on the person with signs and symptoms of BPD. They just do not understand why you are in a relationship with them.
Nothing you can say or do will change their feelings of insecurity. As much as you reinforce and build them up, the next day all their fears and insecurities are right back to where they were. We can only gain our security and value from within. We cannot gain it from someone telling us how great we are.
When they ask these questions and we respond with, “I love you and care about you,” most often the person dealing with the symptoms of BPD does not even hear us. The thoughts in their minds are so loud and usually and negative. They are unable to hear what is being said to them. Consequently, you may be talking, but they are not processing.
Take a step back from trying to build them up. Try approaching the situation from a different angle. Start asking them questions. Ask them, why they ask why are you with them. Have them elaborate on what they are feeling. Ask where the fear that you do not love them is coming from. You need to ask these questions calmly and positively.
It is important to remember not all people are self-aware of the thoughts that are going on in their minds. They take the negative thoughts in their head and place these thoughts on the relationship, making it their reality. As a result, they believe you have said what they are thinking, even though you have said nothing at all.
Ultimately, what happens is that you say how much you care and love them but they do not believe or accept that reality. Hence, the reason the questions are asked repeatedly. This line of questioning can be exhausting. We continue to try and build them up to no avail. Another thing to consider is that when people do not feel good about themselves, they believe everyone else feels that way about them. Until they can build up their self-esteem, they believe everyone else feels the same way about them, very negative, and that they have little self-worth.
The inner dialogue of someone with signs and symptoms of BPD is very loud and filled with self-loathing. We are not able to talk over their inner dialogue. The one thing we can do is ask them to examine their inner dialogue. Most likely they will deny that it exists, but presenting it to them in a positive way may help. Let them know that you care and love them and feel that they are having an internal fight that you cannot change.
If you can get your significant other to begin to analyze these thoughts and express them, you may be able to start having an honest dialogue with them. Therefore, helping them to realize it’s not about you seeing their value. It is about them realizing that they do not see their value and understand why you would be with them in a relationship.
We must also consider that often we are dealing with someone with BPD tendencies along with someone who is co-dependent. This combination sets us up for the perfect storm. The person with BPD is always looking for confirmation and the person with codependency is always looking to help and boost up their partner.
We must remember that the co-dependent person cannot do everything and be everything for the person with BPD tendencies. The person with signs and symptoms of BPD must be able to see their value, no one can do that for them, even someone with co-dependent tendencies. They at least need to be able to see their internal dialogue and realize it is creating a wedge in the relationship for things to begin to change.
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