I received permission from a poster on a BPD support forum to include this here.
It describes what a spouse or SO of a BP learns on the job.
You meet the wonderful “other” who seems so perfect, puts you on a pedestal, fills what you think you were looking for.
Once you are hooked they gradually let you see the other dark self. Dr. Jekyl gradually lets Mr. Hyde out of the closet.
The realization sinks in that you are with someone difficult, scary, and unhealthy.
But it is tough to run because you are by now stuck due to kids/money.
You realize you have lessons to learn and since you are stuck you better learn them.
(from my experience this step comes after much disbelief, anger, and depression. -SS)
You learn to heal and transform yourself because it is the only person you can control.
You learn that you need to go deeper into:self love, self-worth, self-reliance, forgiveness, patience, gratitude, strength, faith, courage, to name a few.
You come out stronger, clearer, wiser.
(These last 3 steps can be excruciating! But it’s worth it! – SS)
Your partner sees you getting stronger and less controllable.
Partner tries harder to use old negative coping skills that used to work on you but no longer work because you are getting stronger.
Partner starts to respect you more and makes shifts.
Partner either takes responsibility or the relationship breaks apart.
You leave or they leave and classroom ends. Looking back you appreciate the perfection of the classroom.
Or if you stay it is with a change in power dynamics in a healthier, milder direction but you must get control of money/kids so partner cannot jerk your chain.
It is a different classroom.