How Did I Miss the Warning Signs of a BPD Woman?

So many men over the years, have come to my office questioning their love life choices, often suspecting they may be currently in or have just escaped a relationship with a woman suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder or displaying the traits that indicate this behavioral disorder may be soon be her fate.

They carry a heavy load of guilt, shame and regret about it.

My perspective on this, is based upon 20+ years coaching men about the value of female emotional processing, educating them on all the odd ways her emotional life can show up in even healthy female behavior and mostly helping them find their place of powerful loving influence in women’s emotional lives.

I have witnessed and documented what works and also know why the very same approach may not work at all with some women specifically.

Guys, I know you are hurting, but please hear me on this truth, massive healing about your current and past love life choices, can and will happen when you get clear on what you have in your power to do differently moving forward.

Empowerment work is like white magic, I tell ya.

No, You Could Not Have Seen it Coming

The first thing I make an effort to do with a new client,  is to dispel and defuse any of his currently defeated-man limiting beliefs.

The main nice guy that attracts a BPD myth I hear over and over is that he could have seen it coming somehow.

I say, with the knowledge and self awareness he had at the time, he couldn’t have seen this coming.

No, there was no way you could have see this coming if this was truly a case of BPD you were/are dealing with and you simply didn’t, and still don’t, have the knowledge you needed to spot it.

Thinking you should have somehow been able to read the signs and somehow know this woman was going to turn against you, rejecting a deep partnership in favor of an adversarial stand off, at some point in the relationship is not helpful nor the truth.

Being able to “see it coming” is a common misconception about getting involved with a BPD woman, especially considering the confusion the modern guy struggles with about his role with women in all areas of his life already.

Men that are already feeling defeated long before committing to an exclusive long term realtionship, is fairly common thing, making this trend of emotional abuse of men by women in long term relationships understandable, given what the norm of the common culture today provides men as a definition of normal.

The Common Culture is a Hot Bed for Behavioral Health Issues 

Research data on modern marriage has documented a predictable decline in satisfaction trending in marriages where people are attempting to use the modern and now normalized passive-man-in-placation-to-the-wife model, as their relationship guide.

Yes, most mental and behavioral health conditions really do have warning signs that can alert you to trouble down the road, but first one must be able to feel them as abnormal. You have to have the knowledge base to know how to recognize the red flags and a skills set to navigate around and through them. Most do not have either of these refined in their lifestyle. 

The culture teaches us to be cut off from our felt-sense intuitive nature, in favor of deferment to norm programming, in order to gain a sense of belonging, so how in the world could any norm complainant man see a BPD woman coming? To his perception at the time, all was normal.

He held the view point at the time that being in a relationship was a way to be seen by others as normal and to finally be loved deeply.

The culture doesn’t teach us how to gain a sense of belonging while also staying true to our core self.

It doesn’t teach us how to attract healthy loving care and how to sustain that over time. It teaches just the opposite actually.

It teaches us that being in any relationship and staying in it a long time, is more important than being in a healthy, emotionally thriving realtionship.

Is it Really BPD or Just a Convenient Way to Explain a Break Up?

I know its easy to go along with the latest pop psychology label and think all the popular articles being passed around social media are about your situation, because it offers some sense of clarity about why the relationship got off track.

We want to know the why because it offers us relief from our suffering, but is it really offering core level relief and is it really necessary to label our past partners as BPD, narcissistic, psychopathic or otherwise just to rationalizing leaving or to have someone to blame? 

The common culture, that shames people as failures for their break-ups, sure can to encourage a person to slap a psychological label on the reason for their break-up and then completely by-pass the real work and self examination required to interrupt the pattern of behaviors that lead to attracting a mis-match and the eventual decline and break up.

This is a set up for the same pattern to repeat, until the real core solutions are acknowledged and resolved. 

Labeling the partner as crazy, is often a subconscious means to by-pass necessary examination of our own contributing role in things,  thus cutting ourselves off from our power right now to change things for a better future love life. 

When Real BPD Patterns are Leading the Relationship

If you are truly dealing with a deeply entrenched BPD woman, you will find that, in the same way you were unable to recognize it in the first place, you will find you are often lulled into a false sense of peace and can be pulled back into her mess. 

Your wishful thinking mixed with the very unusual ability of a BPD woman to mask her true self and plots to get her way can make it easy to get caught in the cycle of BPD over and over again before breaking free. 

The only warning sign that you might sense in the beginning is the feeling that the relationship is “absolutely right”, or that it might be “too good to be true” or later once she has shown up with traits of BPD, the calm before the next storm may seem as if she finally “saw the light” and is suddenly on board with the life you want, without any emotional inner work having been done.

Although she does not mean to be, the woman who later engages in attraction and respect destroying behaviors, due to chronic indulgence in BPD traits, she is an absolute master at deception at first and also blindly driven when she has her sights set on getting her next emotional fix.

Her pursuit of a false sense control is always about feeling temporarily worthy, powerful and valuable through getting her way.

The false sense of winning, is the drug of chocie for women suffering in a BPD haze of inner suffering.

Perceiving she has gained the upper hand through causing adversarial power struggles, are her way of getting an imaginary box checked off her false-sense-of-her-worth-list each day.

Its fleeting and unfulfilling so the pattern continues, becoming more and more disconnected from reality and more and more normalized each time it is reinforced. 

What Will It Take to Have a Healthy Relationship with a BPD Woman?

If her patterns of behavior have been in place and fostered since childhood, it will require a great deal of focused effort on her part to learn how to take personal ownership of her life, to expand her emotional growth capacity and sustained focused investment in very specific education on how healthy relating is co-created in every type of relationship. 

At the same time, you will have to learn about yourself, discover your core purpose in life, take ownership of where you can show up differently with her and study the reality of how healthy attraction based relationships are encouraged to grow and and how attraction is destroyed even when the best of intentions are in place. 

Without a massive deep dive into her inner life wellness work, there is no way she will ever change and you can count on steady mental health and relationship decline and also a rapid escalation into her illusion based life perspective, if there is ever a major life crisis or your conscious chocie to establishing new healthy boundaries in your relationship with her. 

Unlike most people BPD women posses a rare level of stamina to keep up the illusion of being a great romantic partner for an extraordinarily long stretch of time.

And because she is so completely invested in her own performance, there may not be observable cracks in her daily mask that let you see the woman she really is under the surface.

She is fully bought into her own story and false front. It is whats real for her. Her self made bubble is her reality. You can’t pop that bubble to set her free to experience reality, only she can. But you do have influence and the option to learn how to use it wisely. 

Why Does She Seem to Get Worse the More I Commit to Her?

The intimacy a BPD woman desperately craves, is a double-edged sword that tortures her deeply. 

As long as she is pursuing and fixated upin on getting her way, she feels safe enough to forget about the risks of being vulnerable in a real relationship and will be able to just feed on the euphoria of being in love. 

Being IN love is an emotional state of elation and not the same as mature love, which is about learning how to BE or embody love in daily actions.

When trapped in an addictive cycle one can never get stable enough to go deep into real satisfying love that creates break though moments toward our personal growth insights and offers a new self-sustaining cycle that is healthy. 

Once a BPD woman finds herself locked into a relationship, her fear of getting hurt will overpower her enjoyment.

By the time she recognizes her great vulnerability, her level of vulnerability will be so high from her obsessive drive to get you to fall in love with her, that she will have to employ destructive tactics to ratchet down the intimacy connection to where she feels safe again. 

She accomplishes this by demeaning and devaluing you, blaming you for her desperate need for emotional safety.

This is where a man that knows how to provide loving guidance to a healthy woman’s emotional life, will be able to fulfill her need for emotional safety and promote deeper bonds of loving trust, while with the BPD woman, it will only cause her to panic, increase her anxiety and result in your efforts to sooth and offer stability being rejected. 

How Do Men Recover and Move On from an Abusive Relationship with a BPD woman?

While it may be comforting to understand that the behavior you were subjected to was influenced by genetics, cultural programming, early childhood neglect or abuse and a clinical case of neurological difficulty regulating her emotional levels, that information alone can’t help you heal and create a whole new way of relating to your love life.

Yes, accepting that although your ex or current partner clearly was not capable of treating you as you deserved to be treated, she was not evil, nor is she just a common abuser who lured you in with a conscious goal of mistreating you is part of the healing and forgiveness process that is vital, but it isn’t enough to turn a realtionship around, navigate co-parenting with greater ease or to avoid the same mis-steps and mis-match in your future. 

You will need very specific support from other men, just like you, that have been right where you are, and you will need to adopt a whole new educational foundation for creating healthy relationships that will heal your past as you move forward. 

There is no more profound and interesting way to develop yourself as a man, handle your old boyhood wounds and process past heart breaks, as the choice to step into new empowered interactions with women can offer you.

You can keep doing it your way,
or you can take your core values and add new lessons and insights to your current tool box through every step you take forward in life. 

Join the free online support community for guys just like you and request a free 15 phone consult with the author of this article, love life coach Michelle Terrell here >>> New Client Request & Bonus Study Guide


Michelle Terrell has been a health and wellness coach since 1995. In those years she collected data and the real life testimonials of thousands of good men who were feeling lost and confused in their love lives. Her workshop students dubbed her The Pistol Whip Hippie because her teaching/coaching style is irreverent, in your face and radically honest (the Pistol Whip part) with the follow up being supportive, nurturing awakened energy (the Hippie part) that inspires men to strive to be their very best.

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