Ending a marriage with a borderline personality disorder.
“Two years ago, I married a woman I thought was perfect for me. We were very much in love, and I felt so close and connected to her that I knew right away that I wanted to marry her. But soon after our wedding, things went sour
She started having wild mood swings, and she started getting violent: she threw stuff at me and assaulted me on the smallest things. I think she has a borderline personality disorder; she fits all the symptoms. I’ve heard that BPD is a lifelong illness. Should I divorce her?
Should you divorce your spouse?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this one. Whether or not you choose to divorce your spouse is a big personal decision, and no one can tell you what is right for you. However, here are some things to consider.
First, you haven’t mentioned whether your spouse has been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. There could be a variety of conditions causing the symptoms you describe, and she must get a thorough evaluation to determine precisely what is happening.
The second thing to keep in mind is that a significant proportion of people with borderline personality disorder respond to treatment. Therefore, before thinking about divorce, it may make sense to see if your wife is willing and able to participate in treatments for BPD that may reduce her symptoms.
Don’t Always Assume the Worst
Even if your wife is diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder and your marriage is clearly in trouble, you should not assume that the situation will remain so tricky.
It is worth noting that even without treatment, the prognosis for a person with BPD can be quite useful. Many people who are diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder do not meet the criteria for the disorder for just a few years.
So, if your wife has the condition, this is not necessarily a life sentence. Therapy can help improve her health, or it can improve on its own.
Finally, people who have a borderline personality disorder often have much more intense symptoms when their relationships are in crisis. Working to build a more stable relationship may help your spouse experience higher emotional stability.
Of course, you should think about whether you are willing to do this. Only you can make this decision, but you might consider doing so with the help of a therapist of your own, if possible.
Divorce from a BPD (borderline personality disorder)
How do you prove to a judge that the person in front of you, who seems so sane and lucid, will become aggressive to an unsuspected extent when he leaves the courthouse?
People with BPD are people whose main characteristics are emotional instability, instability in self-image, in interpersonal relationships and with a remarkable and marked impulsivity, in addition to many other symptoms and with significant individual differences (chronic feelings of emptiness, frequent mood swings and in short periods of time, disproportionate anger, impulsive behaviors: alcohol, drugs, binge eating, shopping, reckless driving, promiscuity, etc.), self-harm, self attempts, tumultuous interpersonal relationships, etc.
They are people who suffer a lot internally and who react extremely (they are dichotomous: all or nothing, black or white, always or never.), use behaviors to alleviate inner fear through means that harm themselves and others.
They suffer tremendously: couples, wives, siblings, and parents, and these may suffer from significant psychological disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.).
In cases where the affected person is not willing to undergo a program of psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological intervention by the mental health services and when the life of others is at risk, the measures to be taken will always be for the protection of the latter.
There should be mandatory measures to try to subject these patients to psychotherapeutic treatment since many of them are aware of the need, but fear that they will not be able to improve.
TIP 1: If you decide to get a divorce, do it firmly and quickly. Never show weakness because it will do anything to get you back even with suicide attempts. Could you stay away from her manipulation?
TIP 2: If you are beautiful, be careful. A TLP is always pleasant when they are preparing to attack. Be cautious if they are nice because you will find yourself in a position of weakness, and they will beat you. Stay focused on your divorce and don’t fall for their tricks or emotional blackmail that they will no doubt use.
TIP 3: Be prepared to protect your children from brainwashing. When your child returns to you, you will have to listen to your children tell you all the horrible things your former TLP says about you. You should act as naturally as possible and never talk down to your children about your ex-partner, but explain to them what happens if you have a crisis when your child is visiting with the ex-partner.
TIP 4: Hire a lawyer who can pay and who will defend you vigorously, because TLPs are pathological liars, manipulators, and will most likely provoke you and then falsely report you, using the courts to bring you down. They are usually impulsive and are caught immediately. They get caught in their lies. Try to always communicate by email instead of phone calls, and bureaus for communications regarding the children so that it is still in writing in case you need to use it in your defense one day.
TIP 5: Set rules and regulations. Rules and structure are like “Kryptonite” for a TLP. Stick to the rules and never break them, or you’ll have the perfect excuse to report them. Show your child that the TLP is unreliable by its own actions. Be a rock for your child, and remember that they are obligated to have the TLP in their life forever.
- Bornovalova, M., Gratz, K. L., Delany-Brumsey, A., Paulson, A., & Lejeuz, C. W. (2006, June). Temperamental and environmental risk factors for borderline personality disorder among inner-city substance users in residential treatment. Journal of Personality Disorders, 20(3), 218-231
- Coolidge, F. L., Thede, L. L., & Jang, K. L. (2001, February). Heritability of personality disorders in childhood: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Personality Disorders, 15(1), 33-40
- Borderline personality disorder. (2017).
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- Borderline personality disorder: Why relationships are a struggle and how to get help. (2018).
- Fossati A, et al. Improving family functioning to (hopefully) improve treatment efficacy of borderline personality disorder: An opportunity not to dismiss. (2018). DOI: