Marriage and Borderline Personality Disorder

Many different types of intimacy are affected by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but perhaps no more than marrying someone with BPD. More specifically, a marriage in which one or both parties have BPD can be very turbulent, full of conflicts, and dysfunctional.

Learn more about how BPD affects your marriage, and that you and your partner (unexpectedly) may not be doomed to divorce as you thought.

Marriage Statistics of Marginal Personality

Studies on the marital status of BPD patients found that about 60% of them are married (these studies were conducted on people with an average age of about 40).This shows that BPD patients are less likely to marry than the general population—in the United States, approximately 85% of people marry before the age of 40.

Unexpectedly, the divorce rate of BPD patients is not higher than that of the general population. The average age is around 40, and the divorce rate for BPD patients is about 35%, which is equivalent to the divorce rate for ordinary citizens in the United States. However, people with BPD are much less likely to remarry after divorce.

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In fact, only about 10% of BPD patients remarry around the age of 40, which is almost half of the national remarriage rate.

Interestingly, studies have shown that patients with borderline personality disorder with significantly reduced symptoms (defined as BPD recovery) are more likely to marry and be parents, and less likely to get divorced or divorced than unrecovered BPD patients. Lost custody of the child.

Marriage quality is important

One way to judge the success of marrying a BPD patient is through the divorce rate. Using this as a measure of “success”, marriages composed of partners with BPD do not seem to be more or less successful than ordinary marriages. However, this does not consider the quality of the marriage or the satisfaction of the partner.

Unfortunately, hard research data on the quality of a person’s marriage with BPD is limited. In the completed study, one study found a positive correlation between the severity of BPD symptoms and marital pain, the implementation of marital violence, and marriage breakdown.

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This means that the more severe a person’s BPD symptoms (for example, fear of abandonment or strong and frequent emotional changes), the more likely their marriage will become chaotic and unstable.Another study found that BPD symptoms are related to poor problem-solving and communication skills in marriage.

There are more scientific data on romantic relationships and BPD that provide some potential insights. Studies have shown that BPD symptoms are related to greater chronic stress, more frequent conflicts, and decreased partner satisfaction in romantic relationships.

In addition, some experts believe that quality depends largely on the personality of the non-BPD partner. Interestingly, studies have shown that people with BPD symptoms tend to marry partners who also have BPD symptoms—a phenomenon known as categorical mating.

This phenomenon is worrying. If not one but both parties have strong emotional changes, impulsive behaviors, and unhealthy self-awareness—all the symptoms of BPD, then it seems more difficult to manage a relationship effectively and happily.

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The message here is that even if the divorce rate is not as high as people would expect in marriages with BPD, building relationships with people with BPD can still be particularly stressful and challenging.

This is why it is a good idea to seek marriage or family therapy to keep the marriage, relationship, and family functioning intact in addition to the treatment of the BPD partner.