The borderline paradox

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By F. Guzzardi

There is a trend, today’s relationships are often destructive and have one common feature, breaking them can be very difficult. In fact, even when the love has long since ended, one of the two partners can decide to continue the relationship because he is afraid of the reactions of the other, which can even reach threats or suicide attempts. Or the classic vendettas, retaliation. To avoid all this, it is advisable to break the relationship gradually and cautiously, making the relationship cool, diluting the meetings and if possible it should be made sure that it is the most problematic partner, to break away but without making him feel rejected.

In the relationship with a borderline, you have the feeling of being with two different people, a devil and an Angel who alternate suddenly and in an unpredictable way, from their point of view the other has gone mad and has become another person, a sour, angry, intolerant person, always ready to reproach something while before he was a sweet and in love person.

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The borderline pathology involves a difficulty in regulating emotions and in particular negative emotions. It is like being without skin, therefore everything is experienced in an amplified way and with an unbearable intensity. For example, a small inattention on the part of the partner is perceived as a devastating abandonment, capable of generating strong feelings of despair.

The borderline can be summarized in this expression: “I hate you precisely because you love me”, this is one of the strangest experiences found in relationships, which reciprocates love and attention, which it receives with hatred and contempt and it is a very common experience among problematic couples today, to reciprocate affection by becoming cruel.

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Sometimes we fall in love with abusive and inaffective people but we must never forget that at the base of certain behaviors that seem motivated only by gratuitous malice, there is a deep feeling, the whole world of the border is characterized by chronic feelings of emptiness and of worthlessness and depression. On a subconscious level, the bord considers itself unworthy of love, unworthy of having any good things in life and that is why it becomes self-destructive and hurts those who love it, therefore it destroys all that good things can happen.

Observing the interaction between a border and his partner, we are baffled by the mood swings and his sudden changes of opinion; one day he says one thing and the next day he says the opposite. Or it promises something and does the exact opposite, so we don’t know what to believe. The ego of the borderline is fragile and poorly integrated, therefore the subject is unaware of his many inconsistencies and contradictions in his behavior that do not depend on hypocrisy, as it might seem to an external observer but depend on the splitting of the ego and therefore on the inability to reflect on oneself.

If confronted with his contradictions, the borderline reacts by trivializing or worse still, going into a rage and taking the offensive. This happens, because criticism is perceived as devastating attacks. The borderline people live in a condition that resembles adolescence in some respects, which is a tumultuous phase, characterized by restlessness, identity crises and existential crises. Basically they are individuals who don’t know what they want to do with their life and don’t know who they want to be. There is a lot of psychological instability which translates into a vital path characterized by continuous ups and downs and frequent changes in work and friendships.

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People with this problem start 1000 projects with great enthusiasm and then abandon the first difficulty; however, before making a diagnosis, we must not forget that a behavior cannot be evaluated regardless of the context in which it occurs, and we must take into account that the same symptom can present itself in very different personality structures, therefore a symptom does not the diagnosis, it is also good to remember that the diagnosis is not so much a list of symptoms as an overview of the personality, which explains how that particular person works in life, or what are his fears, his weaknesses, his resources, he explains to us what his defense mechanisms are and therefore his lifestyle, including maladaptive behaviors that manifest themselves in a pervasive and therefore in an inflexible permanent way, involving the cognitive sphere, the affective sphere and the relational sphere. Furthermore, we are in the presence of a personality disorder, this does not manifest itself only in the couple but the personality disorder is pervasive and this means that it manifests itself in most situations, not only with the partner but also with colleagues, neighbors, with family or friends even if the worst part will emerge from the intimate relationship.

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Now, the end of a problematic relationship can leave deep wounds that can take a very long time to heal and you can feel devastated by the end of the relationship, failing to accept how what once seemed to be great love can ending so badly for no definite reason and the partner who until the day before loved each other madly becomes inexplicably resentful and begins to detach emotionally by claiming that they are no longer in love.

In a relationship with a person suffering from borderline personality syndrome, these dynamics are common, yet giving up this painful relationship can be very, very difficult. Rationally, the partner of the borderline clearly realizes that leaving would be the best solution but his emotional attachment remains very strong, also because there is no valid understanding of the pathology and therefore it is not possible to correctly read emotions and behaviors.

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