It is interesting that you ask this type of questions. I just taught a group Thursday on personality disorders and working through conflict with others with Cluster B traits, so I hope that I can help you.
One thing is often true is that someone with Cluster B traits, may not recognize that they possess these, in fact, they may actually project these on their partners. They will see the patterns actually existing in you. I also think that the more you attempt to increase her insight, the more she will see you as this way and the more she will feel like she has been victimized. One thing that is often very true of personality disorders such as these, is that they are incredibly insecure and have low esteem.
Specifically, I like the way that this reference defines 3 of the CLuster B personality disorders: (resource: http://counsellingresource.com/therapy/self-help/understanding/)
A pervasive pattern of intense yet unstable relationships, mood, and self-perception. Impulse control is severely impaired. Common characteristics include panic fears of abandonment, unstable social relationships, unstable self-image, impulsive/self-damaging acts such as promiscuity/substance abuse/alcohol use, recurrent suicide thoughts/attempts, self-injury and self-mutilation, chronic feelings of emptiness, inappropriate yet intense anger, and fleeting paranoia.
A pervasive pattern of excessive emotional display and attention-seeking. Individuals with this personality are excessively dramatic and are often viewed by the public as the “Queen of drama” type of individual. They are often sexually seductive and highly manipulative in relationships.
A pervasive preoccupation with admiration, entitlement, and egotism. Individuals with this personality exaggerate their accomplishments/talents, have a sense of entitlement, lack empathy or concern for others, are preoccupied with envy and jealousy, and have an arrogant attitude. Their sense of entitlement and inflated self-esteem are unrelated to real talent or accomplishments. They feel entitled to special attention, privileges, and consideration in social settings. This sense of entitlement also produces a feeling that they are entitled to punish those who do not provide their required respect, admiration, or attention."
So, your desire to break the pattern is admirable, but the important thing to remember is that you cannot take responsibility for the actions in the past that led to her unhealthy attachment issues in relationships.
In a relationship with a Personality Disorder, several basic truths are present. These include:
- The victim in a relationship with a Personality Disorder did not create the Personality Disorder. Many Personality Disorders blame the victim for their assaults, lies, bad behavior, deceptions, intimidations, etc. In truth, the Personality Disorder has those behaviors if the victim is present or absent. Victims don’t cause themselves to be assaulted — they are involved with an abusive and assaulting individual.
- Changing the behavior of the victim does not change the behavior of the Personality Disorder. Many victims become superstitious and feel that they can control the behavior of the Personality Disorder in their life by changing their behavior. This is often a temporary fix, meaning only that you are now meeting the demands of the Personality Disorder. When the Personality Disorder feels justified, they return to their behavior with no concern for changes in the behavior of the victim. Loving sharks doesn’t protect us if we find ourselves dripping blood in a shark tank.
- A Personality Disorder is a permanent, long-standing pattern. Time doesn’t change these personalities. If your mother or father had a personality disorder in your childhood, returning home after twenty years will find their old behavior alive and well.
- Marrying, having a baby with, moving in with, etc. actually makes their dysfunctional behavior worse. The presence of stress exaggerates and amplifies our normal personality characteristics. Mentally healthy yet shy individuals become even shyer under stress. The stress of additional responsibilities actually increases the bad behavior of a Personality Disorder.
- When involved in any manner with a Personality Disorder — as their partner, parent, child, sibling, friend, etc. — we must not only recognize their behaviors but also develop a strategy to protect ourselves. Many of our strategies must focus on protecting our emotional stability, our finances, and our other relationships. As a parent, if our adult son or daughter has a Personality Disorder, we must protect ourselves from their behaviors that might jeopardize our lifestyle and life."
Take a look at this blog and I think you will like the communication tips mentioned....