Managing a Relationship When You Have BPD and Your Partner Is Your 'Favorite Person'
A large part of borderline personality disorder (BPD) for many of us is what we refer to as a “Favorite Person” or FP. For us, an FP goes miles beyond what most people would refer to as a best friend. This is a person we attach ourselves to completely, and often it is beyond our control. However, there is very little information on this specific aspect of BPD. I suppose that’s because it’s not technically considered an official “symptom.”
Although a Favorite Person can be anyone, for me it is my significant other. I rely on him completely, and if I’m being honest, I would be happy to spend every second of every day with him. But for him, this is taxing. He needs alone time, like most people. I don’t. He needs time with his friends. I don’t. He needs to go out once in a while. I don’t. You see the problem? I’m so grateful that he is so understanding of BPD because if not, I think I would have pushed him away by now.
Because I want (need) to spend all of my time with him, when we are apart, I panic. If he is gone five minutes later than he says he will be, my anxiety skyrockets. If I can’t reach him, I have a panic attack. If he calls to tell me his plans changed and he will be gone for a few more hours, I’m crying on the floor. I am completely aware of what a gross overreaction that is and how unfair it is of me to put that on him. But at the time, I can’t stop myself. It’s hard on both of us because there are times when he (justifiably) feels like I’m smothering him, and at that same moment he feels smothered, I feel that we spend barely any time together at all.
Another aspect of having a FP for me is that he bears the brunt of my anxiety, my anger, my meltdowns and panic attacks. He’s seen me at my worst. It’s a lot of work for him. I pick fights with him when I’m depressed for no reason. All of my feelings for and about him are magnified 1000 times. When I’m mad at him, I am raging. I forget that he loves me or that I love him. I feel only intense, all-consuming anger. I convince myself he doesn’t want to be with me anymore, and I fall into a depression.
The beautiful part of BPD, however, is that the good feelings are also magnified. The love I feel for this man is overwhelming. More than I will ever be able to express to him. I see his good qualities and bad qualities and love them all. I want to take care of him when he’s hurt or sad. I want to do anything I can to make him happy because he makes me so happy. It’s true, there are times when I fail miserably at that. But the love is there.
I try to be completely open and honest with him about my thoughts and feelings. I try to help him understand, even though I barely understand myself. I figure as long as he still loves me at the end of the day, I’m doing OK.
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