Are You or Your Partner Borderline?

The description of a person as borderline gets thrown around quite often these days. Most likely to describe another person in derogatory terms. But what does the term borderline really mean? A person with borderline personality shows marked traits of emotional dysregulation and impulsivity. Sufferers swing from seemingly content, peaceful states to anger, feelings of betrayal and back to happiness often in a very short time. The feelings seemed to be triggered by events that are not real or not in proportionate to the reaction.

For example, you and your partner schedule a lunch date. You are about 5 minutes late and when you arrive your partner is accusing you of not loving them, of plotting to leave them or of having an affair and that must be why you are late. For your partner, these are very real accusations and for you, they feel outlandish and unfair. Your partner has not learned to emotionally regulate and they may often have a sense of emptiness. Your experience may be that you often feel unjustly accused or that no matter what happens between the two of you, your partner never feels safe and loved enough. This is often an exhausting relationship.

The fear of abandonment often drives the borderline partner to constantly seek approval. They may also call several times during the day, even at inappropriate times to seek reassurance that you love them.

There is treatment for borderlines. It can be managed and as the loving partner you can be part of the treatment. Seek out a therapist that specializes in borderline personalities, preferably someone who uses DBT ( Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Encourage your partner to seek help and let them know that you support and love them. Therapy for Borderline personality disorder can be very effective, but the first step is to start treatment.

Jeannette York, LMFT





Couples and Passive Aggressive Behavior

Passive aggressive behavior can be one of the most frustrating behaviors that happens between partners. In the extreme, it can end some relationships.

Some examples are when one partner promises to do something and then complains when their spouse or partner ask them to follow thru. It can be as small as cleaning out the kitty litter to as important as paying the mortgage. The passive aggressive person will often find a way to make the partner pay an emotional price for asking that they follow thru.

Passive aggressive people are typically hypersensitive and often feel they are being unfairly criticized.

Couples need to know that they can depend on one another. When one partner is passive aggressive, it weakens the trust in the relationship. The other partner is often not sure if they can depend on their spouse or partner.

Some early family environments that can cause passive aggressive behavior are highly critical parents. When a parent is difficult to please or unjustly criticizes a child, the child will often develop passive aggressive coping mechanisms. A person who has experienced many painful disappointments in life will sometimes develop coping behavior that restricts expectations, hopes and desires.

Couples Counseling can help a couple talk about the passive aggressive behavior in a safe environment. Therapy will assist the couple in examining the impact of the behavior on their relationship.

Jeannette York, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Los Angeles California


Emotional Affairs

Recently, ┬áJennifer Rasmussen of the online magazine, “My Chic Life” asked me to be interviewed for an article that she was calling “Secret Crushes”. A secret crush can also be termed an emotional affair. This is a relationship that comes dangerously close to cheating but has not quite crossed the line. Often the partner that is having the emotional affair justifies it by telling themselves that since they have not had sex with their crush, then it is not actually cheating.

There are several ways to know if an emotional affair is harmless or if it is damaging your partnership or marriage. Some of the questions to ask yourself are,” Am I sharing intimate, private details of my marriage or relationship with this crush?” “Are there things that I am sharing with them, that I would not share with my partner?” “Do I think about the other person when I am with my partner?” “Am I omitting or hiding from my partner, the times that I have lunch, coffee or other encounters with this other person “Do I fantasize about having sex with this person?” If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it is time to re-evaluate the relationship.

Often people turn to emotional affairs to avoid working on the issues in their relationships. Its easier to share with someone with whom there is only a false intimacy.

Below is a link to the article which I consulted on. It goes into more depth about the red flags of which to be aware.

Tend to the garden of your relationship, people are the real treasure in life.

Jeannette York, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Los Angeles, California