Dr Frankie Bashan
Dr Frankie Bashan

Someone who loves you does not yell at you.

Dear Dr Frankie:

“I have been in one crazy relationship after another, and can’t seem to make one work. My current girlfriend turns everything I say into a negative situation. Something as simple as me feeling crabby and going shopping ends up with her screaming at me. While I’ll apologize for feeling crabby, I don’t think I should apologize for things I didn’t do. This type of situation happens about once a week and I’m so run down and confused as to how and why. Can you give me some advice?

Dear Feeling Crazy:

Based on the very brief description of “a day in the life” of your relationship, I recommend three things to look at that may give you hope:

·   Your girlfriend may have Borderline Personality Disorder

·   You may be in a CoDependent Relationship

·   You need to start taking care of yourself before your girlfriend.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behaviour, and relationships. Those diagnosed with BPD suffer from extreme reactions, including panic, rage and depression to abandonment (real or perceived). Many have a pattern of intense and stormy relationships that include extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation). Those with BPD have a distorted and unstable self-image with chronic feelings of emptiness.

One of the tell-tale signs is “turning everything into a negative situation,” and the fact that it happens constantly, leaving you tired and confused. This is one of the most common comments from partners of those with BPD. Many talks about the “roller coaster ride ” of being with someone with BPD in that you have a sense you are always “walking on eggshells,” and life is a constant swing between super high, highs and very low, lows.

Generally, BPD’s are codependent and find another codependent to merge with and to help them. This brings me to my second point: You may be in a Co-Dependent Relationship. There’s a perfectly good reason for this: You provide stability for your girlfriend.

Those with BPD seek someone to provide balance to their changeable emotions. A self-sufficient person who controls her feelings can provide a perfect match. Based on how you described your day, it sounds like you are fairly stable and enjoys helping out and supporting your girlfriend. What concerns me is that you’ve been allowing her to clearly take advantage and control of you. A typically codependent person has low self-esteem and poor boundaries, and often placates and apologizes when her girlfriend attacks. This maintains the emotional connection in the relationship, yet gives the BPD more and more control, further sealing your low self-esteem, and maintaining the codependency.

You need to take care of yourself first. Someone who loves you does not yell at you. No one deserves to constantly feel like they have to be careful of what they say around their partner, for fear of verbal or emotional abuse.

You might want to think about being single for a period of time. I know that sounds really scary, especially to someone who might be suffering from codependency, but it’s the only way you’re going to truly heal and learn how to love yourself first. The fact that you opened your question to me stating a history of “crazy relationships,” tells me that you’re definitely in a pattern and you need to decipher what you want and what YOUR boundaries are before you can be with someone else.

You are the only one responsible to take care of yourself. I encourage you to start some healthy habits, find a therapist in your area and make recovery a priority. You need to put yourself and your self-esteem first, instead of focusing on your girlfriend. Seek out a support group for families members of those w/BPD, or better yet, find an Al Anon group in your area. These groups are free, anonymous and much of what is shared in those meetings can very easily apply to your situation.

I’ve also included a set of resources at the bottom of this article that may help start you on your search. Thank you for reaching out.


Good luck and take care.



Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder

The Roller Coaster Ride of Loving Someone with BPD

It’s Nothing Personal: A Woman With BPD Explains Her Actions in Romantic Relationships

National Institute of Mental Health

Psych Central

Loving Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder