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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, My boyfriend had ongoing stress related to unemployment/mortage

Customer Question

My boyfriend had ongoing stress related to unemployment/mortage and tennants.
I think he may be on an antidepressant and has I think seen a counsellor before.
He also has had a dispute with neighbours over boundary fence and recently had
taken this matter to court. My concern is his mood swings mainly with me and I have
been supportive over the last nearly 3 years. It is starting to impact on me as I cant
seem to ever really talk to him, he cuts me off in conversation and I cannot speak and he
can get frustrated easily and mood changes quickly. I have had my concerns about this
behaviour and I stumbled across borderline personality disorder on the net. I was surprised as i could see some traits and behaviour patterns in my boyfriend. I just dont think I can do it anymore I am worn out. He copes with beer and facebook alot now for stress relief and has two pets he is active. He is very intelligent and has insight but is very controlling and dismissive.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question,


It sounds like your boyfriend could have a personality disorder. Without a full evaluation by a therapist it is hard to tell. Many people have symptoms of personality disorders but do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis. If you boyfriend has five out of the nine symptoms of Borderline, however, than he may have the disorder.


There is help for people with personality disorders. Therapy can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms. The key is whether or not the person has enough insight to see that they have a problem and it is affecting other people. If not, then therapy will not help.


Talk to your boyfriend about how his behavior is affecting your relationship. Let him know you want him to consider getting help. Offer to go with him if you think that would encourage him to go. If he still refuses, then you may have to consider a separation. Sometimes separating helps the other person see how serious the effects of their behavior are on the relationship.


Here are some resources to help you:


Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can--and Should--be Saved-Lundy Bancroft


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks we have separated once this year already and then got back together. i really dont like being negative and think i have put up with quite a bit. It just seems to be worse at the moment exacerbated by recent stress. He can be rude to me but usually not infront of others. Mostly he is frustrated and irritated but a few time his mood has changed quickly and he is angry over something that i feel is minor. He has locked himself in his room when this has happened wanting space. He puts blame on me for things for know reason. I guess I just have trouble understanding his response to stress

seems to get taken out on me. He got really frustrated the other day cause i wasnt typing something in the computer fast enough and he said he was going to go home if this keeps up! My main concerns are that I dont understand the behaviour and I dont know how to REACT to the behaviour often I keep quiet as if i say something he gets irritated. How should I communicate when someone doesnt let me and doesnt listen.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

If he is not listening to you and won't let you talk, it makes it very difficult to share ideas and feelings. A relationship needs to be two ways, and he is cutting you off and dominating the relationship making it one sided.


From your description, it sounds like his behavior could be bordering on abusive. Anyone who blames, has frequent mood changes and dominates a relationship can be considered emotionally abusive. If that is the case, there is no way you are going to be able to please him. His problems come from something that has nothing to do with you. He need to resolve them himself in order to get better.


You may need to reconsider your relationship. If he will not get help and refuses to listen to your side of things and be fair, he is not going to change. I know it's not easy to hear that. But in my experience, people who are willing to act this way in a relationship usually escalate unless they get help. And you don't want to be caught in a relationship with someone who gets worse.


Considering talking to a counselor yourself before you decide what to do. It will help provide you with support and a way to work out your feelings before making the decision.


Another resource that may be helpful:


He does not have to be hitting you for you to be in a domestic abuse situation. See if your relationship fits any of the criteria. There are additional supports and resources at the end of the article to help you further.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thanks Kate

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You're very welcome. Take care.