Average Length Of BPD Relationship | Relationship Cycle Explained
This article has explained the relationship cycle of Borderline Personality Disorder and has given insight into what it means to be in a relationship with someone with BPD.
As you can see, it’s not easy. Still, there are many reasons people choose to stay in relationships with Borderlines and keep giving them chances to change their behavior and improve their relationships.
The idea of leaving can feel out of reach at times, and even when the decision to leave is made, it can be hard to follow through on it.
Cycle Of The BPD Relationship
Before my diagnosis, I did not understand what Borderline Personality Disorder was. I had heard it mentioned in passing, but to be honest, I didn’t know anyone who was dealing with BPD (besides my mother).
So when I finally learned that my best friend and love interest is a sufferer of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), it felt like a light bulb went off over my head. Of course! That explains everything!
Borderline Personality Disorder affects women more than men; however, it can also affect men.
Anyone who has ever been involved with someone with BPD knows how much time is lost, and confusion can occur. Both parties in a relationship wildly misunderstand the disorder itself.
The following describes each phase of an average BPD relationship:
- Idealization: This stage occurs right after meeting someone new and immediately falling for them. In idealization, you see your partner as perfect or nearly perfect.
They are beautiful or handsome and have a great personality, career goals, and ambition; basically, anything you could want in a person is now embodied in your partner.
There may even be intense feelings of passion and infatuation during idealization.
- Devaluation: As soon as you feel comfortable with your partner or think things are going well between you two, BAM! You get hit with the rug being pulled out from under feeling.
Your partner starts acting differently towards you. Suddenly they don’t seem so perfect anymore. Their faults start showing through the cracks in their armor, making them less attractive to you.
- Discard: During discard, your partner is done with you and wants nothing more to do with you because they no longer find any value in your presence or existence in their life.
It’s almost as if they just forgot about all those times they told you how special you were and how much they loved spending time with you.
- Recovery/Hoovering: Sometimes, there isn’t a discarded stage. Instead, you go directly into recovery, where your ex-partner tries to regain your affection.
This usually happens when they realize they still need something from you, such as money or help around the house.
- Loneliness/Reality: Once you’ve gotten past all of these stages and either moved on or decided to work on trying to salvage your relationship with your ex-partner, reality sets in that maybe it’s better for everyone if you part ways and move on with your lives separately.
The Inevitable Breakup
Breakups are difficult enough. They can feel like a total nightmare if you also have a borderline personality disorder (BPD). But don’t be discouraged.
Here is what to expect, what you can do to make things easier on yourself, and how to move on with your life after a breakup. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
First, know there is no right way to deal with a division. There isn’t an official protocol for how you should act or react when dealing with BPD-related heartbreak.
However, there are some commonalities that many people who suffer from BPD experience during breakups. These experiences are so every day that they have been given names.
Splitting: Also known as black-and-white thinking, splitting involves seeing someone in an all-or-nothing manner.
For example, you might see them as either perfect or horrible. You might view their actions as good or bad; there is no middle ground.
Emotional reasoning: Emotional reasoning occurs when you believe something is true because you feel it emotionally, not because there is actual evidence to support your feelings.
Picking Up The Pieces
Leaving a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) partner is an excruciating experience for many people.
It’s widespread to look back at happy times and wonder what happened, especially when your partner may have been abusive or manipulative during your time together.
One of my clients told me that she didn’t know whether to feel relieved her relationship was over or distressed because she thought she missed out on a lot.
Although BPD relationships are complex and sometimes abusive, they can be incredibly rewarding, too; BPD partners can be charming, funny, generous, and lovable.
Many people don’t want to cut all ties with their ex. They hope it might work out in the future because there were good times in the past, and they never want to give up hope.
Coming Together And Starting Again
There’s not a set time limit on relationships; it’s normal for couples to go through many different phases in their life together. What matters is how you and your partner feel about each other during those times.
To create a strong foundation for your new business, communicate your expectations, goals, and concerns to one another throughout all stages of your relationship.
When starting a business together, some people choose to combine resources and finances or at least agree on how things will work in the future.
Do be aware that these types of questions can cause friction among couples. At the same time, you want your partnership with a partner in crime (or business) to thrive over time; too much pressure early on can hurt it later.
The average length of BPD relationships seems to be a wide range. Most people indicate that 2-5 years is standard for people with BPD. Still, some have reported these relationships lasting for decades.
At one end are those who found themselves in abusive situations, or at the other end are those who discovered they had misdiagnosed their partner. It’s important to note that there’s no normal when it comes to relationships, and there is certainly not a normal regarding how long they last.