Best-Of Advice

On a borderline fiancé

My fiancé was just diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. He has trouble controlling his drinking and sexual impulses, and has made attempts at cheating on me. I know I should be understanding of his disorder because he’s great in every other way. I just can’t help feeling like I want to get out of the relationship while I still can. Thoughts on being with someone that struggles with this?

Borderline Personality Disorder is a description of your fiancé’s behavior, not an excuse for it. He doesn’t get a free pass to act like an asshole just because his therapist gave a name to his particular flavor of chaos.

Now that he’s got a diagnosis, the worst thing you can do is suddenly start framing his bad behavior as “his struggle.” That’s complete bullshit. We’ve all got struggles, and BDP is no cause for violin music. Your fiancé is still 100% accountable for his own actions, and not wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone who has trouble controlling his drinking and sexual impulses is a perfectly legitimate reason to want out of a relationship.

If you want to build a life with this guy, that’s your choice. I’m not suggesting that you break up with him just because he’s been diagnosed with a mental disorder, but at the same time you shouldn’t put up with shitty behavior that negatively affects you.

It’s one thing to be understanding of your fiancé’s nature, but you are under no obligation to stick around if you think his impulse control issues are gonna lead to alcohol abuse and infidelity.

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