Comments on
Narcissistic And Borderline Attraction

People with Borderline Personality and Narcissistic Personality Disorders can find one another attractive and may actually forge more stable relationships with one another, at times, than they can with people without personality disorders.

13 thoughts on “Narcissistic And Borderline Attraction

  • March 26, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you for this article! I’m able to work with my diagnosis (BPD) for the first time, largely through the contributors to the Psychcentral website. While often mumbling “Refrain!” to myself as I work to obtain social skills I’ve never understood, I have noticed my affinity to others displaying what could be narcissistic traits. As always, understanding the medical/science basis calms my Asperger’s and helps me make real changes. I am grateful.

  • July 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Advising your graduate students or colleagues for not take more than couple patients with “BPD”, or “NPD” is wrong and discriminatory. I am amazed with the level of ignorance within the field of psychology and psychiatry. They create labels (sometimes imaginary labels with negative connotations, which by the way the symptoms described here for BPD can be explained by Bipolar, anxiety, or ADHD) then for their lack of competency they discriminate against their own label. Then the funny thing is if someone is competent or compasionate enough to provide service to those in need they contribute the competency to “thickness of NPD” really it is absurd how we even recognize these individuals as therapist, counselors, or even physicians!

    • July 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      there’s a valid reason. the mental health of the practitioner…

  • July 11, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Have BPD. In a tumultuous relationship with someone I believe has NPD. At it’s best it’s amazing. Sometimes getting along is effortless. I think if a couple with these are together and just try and manage some of their weeknesses in the relationship cased by their disorders, I’d actually recommend it.

    I very much appreciate this article, but I also want to echo resheh’s view on BPD and discrimination.

  • September 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    The “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” element of such pairings” is those of us who are the children of marriages of mixed NPD/BPD couples and have been the targets and and drains of their instability for decades. Being raised in a household where neither parent has anything resembling normal empathy but appears normal (and even wonderful) to the outside world, while they fight and drink all the time when only their children are there to be damaged by it — and actually blamed for it?

    We don’t get the liberty of turning out to be high-performing psychotherapists. We just end up in their offices.

  • October 15, 2014 at 5:22 am

    TDB’s comment seems to reflect the self-centeredness that is common to both personality disorders.

  • April 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    There seems to be confusion between BPD and NPD. Those with BPD do feel bad after loosing control with rage and sometimes cannot even recall what all they said and did, or why they got so mad in the first place. They have empathy and genuinely care and love. Whereas those with NPD have no empathy. It’s not in them. They cannot feel love. They deliberately set out to use and abuse. There might be a few behaviors of the two disorders demonstrated that are the same, but the reasons behind them are totally different. There is no “mask” BPD’s wear because a mask implies hiding and deceiving. That is the narcissist. I would really like there to be more distinction between the two pointed out. BPD’s are not on this earth looking for victims, or supply (people that supply their need to control and abuse), or hiding behind a mask as a predator as are the Narcissists. BPD’s turn into the other raging part of their personality due to being triggered and feeling out of control and fearing being unloved and/or abandoned. It seems like most info out there on BPD demonizes and puts them in the same boat with the narcissist. And I believe sometimes what some commenters describe as their ex or present partner having BPD might be in actuality be narcissism. The narcissist treads along happily doing his manipulations and abuse purposely to others without any conscious. It’s all about him or her and supply. They lie, cheat, and gaslight and believe they have every right to. The narcissist never apologizes but puts blame for everything on his victim. The BPD doesn’t look for victims or supply. They don’t set out to find supply to lie and cheat and abuse. They sincerely want true love and they do feel love. They struggle with the triggers that release the fear and demons in their head and end up destroying the very relationships they feared would leave them like you talked about. They are forever apologizing and sincerely sorry and regret their behavior. I have BPD and have had relationships with narcissists. Now those 2 types should never be together!

    • December 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Behind your entire comment 100%…In precisely the same situation. I am BPD living, surviving the unfortunate Narcissist pairing. We seem to ‘feed’ off of each other…and NOT in a good or productive way. Thank you for your comment, as now I feel a tad less ‘alone’.

    • August 17, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      so, I’m not sure anyone lacks all empathy. Whole post seems pretty loaded with an accusation that the narcissist is a male and the BPD a woman. That the male lacks empathy is a misnomer, just confusion on identifying and expressing them. Thats sociopathy thats the lack of all empathy.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

    “Personality disorder is not like tuberculosis, for which there is a simple medical test.”
    I worked in tuberculosis (TB) control for several years. The diagnosis of TB infection and TB disease were extremely complex. I’m not sure which test was being discussed here, but they were all subject to different types of errors, and multiple factors (clinical presentation, risk factors, etc.) had to always be considered. I suspect my fascination with this subject may be partially due to that similarity, rather than the difference.

  • March 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    My understanding is that BPD’s and NPD’s could have problems with extreme emotions. BPD’s express them inappropriately and NPD’s suppress them so often that they are perceived as self absorbed introverts. Their pent up feelings result in paranoia and neuroses. Their perceived selfcentredness is a defence mechanism.

  • April 22, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I grew up with a bpd mother. She was born and raised in Japan. Her No. 1 son (the first born male), is of course the NPD. How could he not have been. It did not help that they were sexually abused as children. that my mother grew up in an unemotional home. The npd grew up molesting ever female he could get his hands on, including his own daughters. It is not always the women who are the BPD. Male BPD are usually weaker, mommy’s boys, did not play sports or were not asked to prom. A BPD will seek out and usually marry a NPD woman. The two pd’s feed off each other and when they do, they make for a dangerous couple. BPD’s often function the best in set regiments, where they do not have to provide for themselves, where day-to-day tasks are routine. The No.1 NPD in this case was always expected to be the best at everything. The mere title of “Number One Son” left no room for mediocracy, and the BPD needs her safety,security and takes what little pride they can muster by assigning that to the first born male. The npd had to go to college, obtain straight A’s with a perfect GPA. he had to graduate at the top of his class, he had to have many friends who wanted him to be head of the group. The npd had to go to law school, for where else can he gain the admiration of everyone. He had to be rich, he had to be powerful, he had to have the biggest most expensive home, the perfect wife and the home schooled children. But there was a few problems. The No. 1 son, was emotionally crippled, he never trusted anyone and before anyone could say a bad thing about him, he would have already destroyed them. he will actually pick his victims and then set them up to destroy them. They are often very calculating and personable and wants and needs everyone’s trust and respect. You don’t upset a npd by not agreeing with them, not praising then, not giving them everything they want when they want it because that makes you their target, and that never ends well. They will control you or they will destroy you It is that cut and dry, however to individual degrees only. They lack a soul, they have no emotions and the only feelings they experience is dominance. They mimick societal norms while bucking everyone of them. The lie, they cheat, they steal, they destroy and they don’t care. They do not understand love outside of their own self love. You are only in a NPD ‘S life because he has to control you. Once you are no longer needed they will kick you to the curb and beat you daily for leaving them. They are the Ted bundy’s. They will use the BPD to do their bidding as not to incriminate themselves. The BPD has no true self. They have a real fear of abandonment and will likely respond inappropriately and push away those that provide them the safety and security they need. They lack a persona, a sense of self and they feel emptiness and void as an individual. They are mostly woman who have been abused or neglected or who grew up with a parent that was BPD. They are extremely emotional and a npd uses them to portray pseudo-emotions to call their own, since they do not recognize true emotions. This is were the BPD/NPD become so closely alike.

  • August 3, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I believe I am BPD, and my wife is NPD.
    I am, just as stated, a fragmented person. I am 54 years old, but still do not have a career. Even though I have a B.S. in computer science, I have never had a career in ANY field. I still don’t know what I want to be ‘when I grow up’, but I desperately want a career, so I can feel like I am worth something. I work, but jobs don’t last long. (I only quit one of them. The rest just didn’t work out for various reasons. I also have never been fired.)
    I desperately need physical affection (hugging, not just sex) and verbal reassurance, but my wife is not capable of giving either. I have to remind her to hug me, and to me that isn’t very reassuring. One of her favorite phrases is: “If you are not serving someone the way they want to be served, you are not serving them, but yourself”, yet, she RARELY serves me in ways that I want to be served. If she gives a compliment (which is rare), it is very short and without further discussion. If, however, she is not pleased, she will draw out the verbal punishment for as long as it takes to convince her that you are sincerely sorry for your iniquity.
    My wife had a horrible childhood, but she is a very successful adult. We met in out 30s. I had MANY previous relationships with many excellent women, but I ended them abruptly, and my heart broke after every one. Through the years, I have often thought of them and felt very bad for them. They probably had no clue what they did wrong, but it was almost all my fault in every case (reality, not in my head). I was (am) unable to deal with relationships. I even look them up online and apologize to them, even 20 or 30 YEARS later.
    Signs that something was wrong with my wife showed up before we were married. She had a meltdown one night at the location of our soon to be wedding, although I don’t remember why. I just remember her ‘losing it’, and thinking, “what the hell!?”
    Later, closer to our wedding date, she said we needed to pick out songs for our wedding. We were going country, so I picked a bunch of popular country love songs (it was supposed to be a display of affection for one another, right?). I told my wife several of the titles I had picked, to which she simply replied, “You’re going to embarrass yourself”. I was expecting her to tell me what songs she had picked out, but that was the beginning of the way things would be for the next 20 years (up to now).
    The first night of our honeymoon, I got couldn’t find our hotel because the streets in the city were all screwed up and didn’t follow normal patterns. She asked me to just pull in to a gas station and ask someone directions. I tried to be a reassuring leader (like she ‘asked’ for) and told her I could find it, and that we weren’t that far away. She responded with a tirade about how irresponsible and unloving it was that I could not just pull into a gas station to ask someone for directions. If I LOVED her, I would do it! I did ask for directions, and the sting has never left me, although she seems to think nothing of it.
    Almost everything I have done since we got married was to try to please her and gain her acceptance, but it has never worked. She has stated that she did not marry for friendship. She also says it is not my job to try to please her. (?!?!) I believe she says that because she does not want to try to please me, and saying this relieves her of the pressure to make the attempt.
    Now, we have 2 children ages 13 and 15, and we are getting divorced. We rage at each other for hours, but she never has time to talk. I always say, “You never have time to talk, but you always have time to argue.”
    In 20 years, I could probably count the number of times she has apologized to me on the fingers of one hand.
    She picked a profession where she is in control. She is a teacher, and a good one. The thing is, she controls the classroom. The children cannot talk back, or tell her what to do.
    The weird thing is, she lets our daughter tell her what to do! Very weird! My daughter can disobey her, and face very little retribution.
    Early in our marriage, my wife wanted me to pray with her regularly, and she wanted me to join a men’s group at church because ‘iron sharpens iron’. I joined a group. I discussed with the men how my wife wanted me to pray with her. Other men said their wives wanted the same thing, so some of us made a pact to pray with our wives.
    A few days later, I prayed with her. She didn’t say, “Thank you”, she critiqued my prayer, and told me how to adjust it to suit her desire. It was like a kick in the gut!
    Then, I made the mistake of telling her that other men in the group and I made a pact to pray with our wives. She became very indignant, and said something to the effect of: “Oh, so you prayed with me because you made a promise to the other men in the group, not for me!” Of course, she was the one who asked me to JOIN the group because ‘iron sharpens iron’, which is exactly what was happening. No apology from her, even to this day…
    My job is to be the fall guy. She gets the credit for almost all of the good things that happen in our house, and I get the blame when things go bad.
    She makes unfavorable comparisons of me to other men she knows.
    It breaks my heart that our home is dividing. I wanted to wait until the kids are grown up. I told her I was going to divorce her when they became adults, but she can’t wait, and is filing for divorce now.
    She wins again, I cannot afford to live on my own. She is going to help, but housing is only affordable in the retirement section of town, and kids cannot stay with you there. She will have full custody of the kids as a result, and has ‘insisted’ that I stay close and continue to be a part of their lives. Thank God for that, but I know that she really wants me near because she needs my help with taking care of the kids, and someone to blame when things go wrong…


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