Trust issues and jealousy are common among people with Borderline personality disorder (BPD), and they often stem from their fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, and difficulty regulating their emotions. This can lead to impulsive or self-destructive actions, such as accusing their partner of cheating without evidence or engaging in behaviors that push their partner away.
In this article, we'll discuss how trust issues and jealousy can impact relationships involving someone with BPD.
The Impact of Jealousy and Insecurity in BPD Relationships
People with BPD struggle with low self-esteem and fear of abandonment in their relationships and may develop trust issues or become excessively jealous. This can have a significant impact on their relationships because it can lead them to constantly doubt their partner's commitment and loyalty. Their excessive jealousy can manifest in various ways, such as constantly seeking reassurance, checking their partner's phone, monitoring their partner's activities, or accusing their partner of cheating without evidence as a way of coping with their feelings of insecurity.
Jealousy is a strong emotion based on anger and fear that can break any strong relationship. Although it is a common occurrence for individuals with BPD to experience jealousy in their relationships, the intensity and type of jealousy can differ. There exists positive jealousy, which arises from sincere love and concern, and negative jealousy, which originates from insecurity. I think that most people find a small amount of jealousy from their partners a positive thing because it may make them feel loved and desired. But if jealousy evolves into dominance and suspicion, it can cause conflict within the relationship, leading to resentment, fights, and the loss of happiness and peace for the couple involved.
Jealousy is a lack of respect for oneself. Someone will be insecure about losing their partner when they feel someone else can treat them better. Relationships where one partner struggles with jealousy issues often end up failing because the individual tends to project their insecurities onto their partner, perceiving them as flaws in their partner's behavior. It's sad because they ultimately let insecure thoughts ruin something amazing.
''Jealousy is not a measure of how much you love someone. Rather, it's a sign of your own insecurities and fears.''
Someone with BPD may become jealous of their partner's relationships with others, even if they are purely platonic, particularly those who they perceive as more attractive, successful, or interesting than themselves. They may believe that their partner will eventually leave them for someone who is considered to be "better." This belief can be especially strong when the person with BPD has made mistakes in the relationship before, such as having emotional outbursts, impulsive lying, being overly jealous or controlling, or failing to communicate effectively. They may feel remorseful or ashamed of their behavior afterward. This can lead to a downward spiral of negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy, which further consumes their self-esteem and makes them more susceptible to feelings of jealousy in the future.
They get more and more afraid that their partner will find someone better after each incident. And when they believe that their behavior has made their partner likely to leave them, it intensifies their fear of abandonment and leads to more problematic behavior. Despite the best efforts of the partner, the distorted reality of an individual with BPD can lead to the gradual breakdown of the relationship. When the individual with BPD emotionally bursts out and accuses their significant other of cheating without any evidence, it creates a toxic and tense dynamic in the relationship. The partner may begin to feel like they are walking on eggshells, always on edge and afraid of being accused again without any valid reason, which the person with BPD may perceive as suspicious behavior.
The partner should not blame themselves for the behaviors of the person with BPD and should not feel responsible for managing their emotional responses. Both partners need to take responsibility for their own actions and work together to build a strong and healthy relationship based on trust, respect, and understanding.
The combination of trust issues and jealousy can be particularly destructive for relationships involving someone with BPD. When trust issues and jealousy go unchecked, they can lead to a range of negative behaviors and outcomes, such as:
Emotional outbursts: People with BPD may struggle to regulate their emotions, leading to intense and often unpredictable outbursts of anger, sadness, or fear. These outbursts can be triggered by perceived threats to their relationship or feelings of jealousy.
Controlling behavior: In an effort to manage their anxiety and insecurity, people with BPD may engage in controlling behavior, such as monitoring their partner's activities, demanding constant attention, or isolating their partner from others.
Breakups and reconciliations: People with BPD may experience intense and rapid shifts in their feelings towards their partner, leading to frequent breakups and reconciliations. These cycles can be emotionally exhausting for both partners and can ultimately lead to the breakdown of the relationship.
This all creates a challenging situation for the partner of someone with BPD. They may feel trapped in a cycle of difficult behavior, jealousy, and low self-esteem that seems impossible to break. However, it is important to remember that with the right strategies and support, it is possible to manage these emotions and build a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
''Trust is the bridge that connects us to the people we love. Without it, we are alone."
Managing trust issues and jealousy in BPD relationships