The 10 Essential Limits for Those Having Partners with Borderline Personality Disorder
Does your partner have Borderline Personality Disorder? Remember, you can't control his or her behavior; you can only control your own. The following list of limits is based on your personal values and about what you will do to take care of yourself.
1. Avoid mindreading
Your job is to verbalize your own thoughts, feelings, concerns and preferences. By contrast, assuming you know the other person's thoughts and motivations (e.g., "You think that.."or, "You did this/said this because....") is almost always guaranteed to get you into trouble. Even in general, mindreading is one of the biggest obstacles to effective communication; it is invalidating, provocative, and almost always based on misinterpretations.
2. Build routines of taking a time-out when things begin to get heated
People who are furious simply can't think straight; their brain is so focused on their feelings that logic gets thrown out the window. Same thing happens to your partner as well. For example, just even think about something you said in the moment of anger that you regretted the next day (or week).
Talk about time-outs at a calm before they are needed, letting your partner know how this will work and assuring him or her that you two will come back to finish the discussion when you are both calmer. (Your partner, of course, has the option of initiating a time-out too.) Find a safe place that is sacrosanct to you where no one else can enter when you need to be alone.