Abusive Borderline Behavior
Statistically, it’s estimated that 30 to 60 percent of
domestic violence abusers are suffering from Borderline
Personality Disorder. So why doesn’t the domestic violence
industry (administrators, organizations, shelters, counselors,
legislators) tell DV victims about that?
I believe that if DV victims were informed and educated about
the feelings driving the behavior of DV abusers, the victims
could many times actually prevent the abuse from happening
new information, of course, wouldn’t heal or restore the abuser
to health – but it would at least buy some time for the victims
to protect themselves and perhaps
safely plan their exit.
So what are these feelings that
drive people to such desperate acts of aggression?
The absolute core feeling – and desperate fear – of a Borderline
is that of being abandoned. Remember,
these are our abused and neglected children . . . now grown up.
Overwhelmed with fear that they're
about to be abandoned, they act jealous . . .
controlling . . . hypersensitive. Of course, they blame their partner for their feelings and problems
– because if the partners didn’t do what they do (get home late
from work, spend time with a friend who’s grieving, stay up late
studying to advance their career) – the abusers
what they feel.
Can you see the small grain of logic here on the part
of the abuser?
I believe the rest of the DV abuser’s behavior – verbal abuse,
rigid gender expectations and roles, dramatic personality
swings, threats of violence, using force during an argument,
etc., -- can be traced back to the desperation of a man (or
woman) acting out the fear and rage of being abandoned again.
And by gosh, he/she’s going to prevent it this time. Now they’re
an adult and “nobody’s going to do that to me again!”
Add to this mix the child who was
continually berated, put down and ridiculed - and you have an
adult with so little self-esteem that they can't bear to look at
their own behavior as something that might need some correction.
Again, they blame us - it's all our
Below are the “Indicators of a Battering Personality,” courtesy
of the Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County in
Below also are the behaviors of a person suffering from
Borderline Personality Disorder, as described in the mental
health profession’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV.
You decide for yourself whether the behaviors aren’t much the
You might also check out the
section on this web site for over 80 behaviors that may
indicate the presence of a personality disorder.
INDICATORS OF A BATTERING
Domestic Violence Solutions
Santa Barbara County, CA
► Controlling behavior
► Unrealistic expectations
► Quick involvement in the relationship
► Attempts to isolate you
► Tendency to blame others for problems or feelings
► Cruelty to animals or children
► Verbal abuse
► Rigid gender expectations and roles
► Dramatic personality swings
► Threats of violence
► Throwing, striking, or breaking objects
► Using force during an argument
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER --
DSM - IV
► Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
► A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal
relationships characterized by alternating between extremes
of idealization and devaluation
► Identity disturbance; markedly and persistently unstable
self-image or sense of self
► Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially
self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse,
reckless driving, binge eating)
► Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or
► Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood
(e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety
usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few
► Chronic feelings of emptiness
► Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling
anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger,
recurrent physical fights)
► Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe
Does your partner act
like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Click here to study 80 Red Flag behaviors that
the possible presence of Borderline Personality
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Love and Reality Checks
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