How To Co-Parent With Borderline Personality Disorder
Mental health

How To Co-Parent With Borderline Personality Disorder

Co-parenting with an individual diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be challenging. BPDs can lead to tumultuous relationships, affecting both the co-parenting dynamic and the parent-child relationship.

However, it is not impossible to successfully co-parent with borderline personality disorder. 

To navigate this situation and co-parent successfully, you have to implement strategic approaches such as establishing a suitable visitation schedule and adjusting the parenting plan. In implementing the strategies, your emphasis should be on the safety of the child. 

You will learn actionable tips or strategies to co-parent with a borderline personality disorder person and what to do if the co-parenting does not turn out well. 

Brief Meaning Borderline Personality Disorder

To be able to understand how to co-parent with a borderline personality disorder person, you have to understand borderline personality disorder and its characteristics. 

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental health condition characterized 

  • Intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety, varying in duration.
  • Fluctuations in mood, behavior, self-perception, and functionality.
  • Impulsive behavior and unstable relationships.

Additionally, Individuals with BPD often experience difficulty regulating their emotions, intense and unstable emotions, and struggle with maintaining stable relationships.

How To Co-Parent With Borderline Personality Disorder

How To Co-Parent With Borderline Personality Disorder

Here are the strategies to follow to effectively co-parent with an ex-spouse or partner who has borderline personality disorder. 

  • Practice Empathy, Active Listening, and Validation

Despite their outbursts, individuals with BPD seek validation. Instead of retaliating to their anger with more anger, try to understand their underlying concerns. Understanding their concerns does not mean agreeing with everything they say or do.

It means validating their feelings without necessarily agreeing with them. This can go a long way in de-escalating the situation and fostering constructive dialogue.

  • Manage Your Emotional Responses

BPD individuals often escalate interactions, even over trivial matters. So, you must be emotionally intelligent and evaluate your responses before saying them.

Recognize what about the other partner with BPD triggers you and employ coping mechanisms to maintain composure.

Anger responses only intensify the conflict, providing them with the drama they seek. Never yell or scream at them back. 

  • Avoid Taking Things Personally

One of the effective ways to co-parent with borderline personality disorder is to avoid taking things personally. BPD individuals often deflect blame onto others, including their former partners.

It would help if you recognized that their accusations stem from their unresolved issues rather than reflecting your character or the reality of the situation.

Also, it would help if you understood that they have tendencies to react aggressively or express suspicion. So, it would be best not to take it personally when they do stuff like that. Consider it as part of their symptoms. 

  • Beware of Manipulation Tactics

BPD individuals excel at manipulating others to garner support. Refrain from engaging in behaviors that validate their false narratives. You should agree to their false reality and, in doing so, do it with wisdom and calmly. Focus on presenting factual information when addressing their fabrications.

  • Communicate Truthfully With Your Children. 

While discretion is critical, avoid gaslighting your children by denying apparent realities. Explain to the child what the other partner is suffering with. Tailor your explanations to their age and maturity level.

It is advised that you emphasize safety and honesty while minimizing emotional bias. Let the children understand the situation and ensure they learn helpful coping mechanisms to help them. 

  • Maintain Consistent Boundaries

BPD individuals often struggle with recognizing boundaries. They do not acknowledge that there is a separation between themselves and others.

So, one of the ways to effectively co-parent with Borderline personality disorder is to establish and reinforce boundaries while emphasizing empathy and understanding during interactions.

  • Prioritize Self-Care

Coping with a BPD co-parent can be emotionally draining. It can be a fulltime work. So, you must monitor your stress levels and engage in self-care activities regularly to safeguard your well-being.

If you feel tired, stressed, irritable, or anxious, learn to take time off and do something that will relieve you or make you feel better. Additionally, you can visit a doctor for suggestions and personal checkups. 

What To Do When Co-Parenting with Borderline Personality Disorder Is Not Working? 

If you do not have a stable co-operating situation in case of separation or divorce or if the co-operating isn’t working out and it’s becoming too challenging, there are things you should do:

  • Work with a lawyer experienced in handling custody cases involving BPD parents during the divorce process. 
  • Beware of potential parental alienation attempts, as the BPD parent may seek to undermine your relationship with the child. 
  • Document any evidence of erratic or manipulative behaviors for legal purposes. 
  • Whenever possible, aim to arrange meetings with your co-parent in public settings. Opting for a neutral, general environment enables potential conflicts to be observed and witnessed, reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring or spreading misinformation.
  • Provide a support system, such as therapy, to help the child process any unsafe behaviors they may encounter. 

Why Co-Parenting with a Borderline Personality Disorder Sufferer is Complex

Dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) while co-parenting introduces intricate challenges. BPD profoundly affects every facet of an individual’s life, including their role as a parent. Unlike flipping a switch, managing this condition isn’t as simple as putting on a parental hat.

Parenting is inherently a rollercoaster of emotions, even for the most involved caregivers. Every moment brings a spectrum of feelings, especially during hectic mornings when getting the kids off to school becomes a test of patience.

For individuals grappling with BPD, navigating emotions and behaviors poses a constant struggle. Consequently, co-parenting with someone diagnosed with BPD can be challenging. 


Co-parenting with an individual diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) presents unique challenges, as BPD profoundly impacts relationships and parenting dynamics. Despite the complexities involved, successful co-parenting with someone with BPD is feasible.

Implementing strategic approaches such as establishing visitation schedules and adjusting parenting plans prioritizes the safety and well-being of the child.

Co-parents can navigate this complex terrain by practicing empathy, managing emotional responses, avoiding personalization, and setting consistent boundaries. 

However, when co-parenting becomes untenable, seeking legal guidance, documenting behaviors, and providing a supportive environment for the child is crucial.

Understanding the intricacies of co-parenting with BPD is essential for fostering a stable and nurturing environment for the child’s growth and development.


Hy I'm iffy!! A chronic worshiper with a DIY spirit! After a near death experience I started my journey to living a more purposeful life.


  • Ramil Hinolan

    Co-parenting with someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be extremely challenging. It’s crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of the child while managing the complexities that arise from this condition.

  • Stephanie

    This article presents a practical and well-thought out approach to co-parenting with BPD. I appreciate the tips on communicating / dealing with issues.

  • Michelle

    Dealing with people who have BPD can already be super challenging, let alone co-parenting with them! These are great tips for those who are going through something like this.

  • LisaLisa

    Love, love, love this post! Many people are hesitant to discuss this disorder, but the more we talk about it, the more people will understand personality disorders. We must be patient and understanding.

  • Brittney Naylor

    Parenthood is hard enough as it is. I can’t imagine having to co-parent with someone with personality disorder. Your post was very insightful and really put things into perspective.

  • barbie ritzman

    Co-parenting can be challenging, and adding BPD into the mix undoubtedly complicates things further. Your article provides valuable insights and practical tips for navigating these complexities while ensuring the well-being of the children involved.

  • Marysa

    It is good to have some tips to be able to navigate through hard times like this. I am not familiar with this type of disorder, and your guide is very useful.

  • Clarice

    This is an interesting read. Though I hope I don’t have to deal with this, these tips are truly helpful. I agree with you that communicating truthfully even with the kids will help. It’s important that we don’t sugarcoat things so, that I can understand the situation better.

  • Archana Singh

    Firstly, raising a kid itself is so difficult, and on top of that, co-parenting with an individual diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can definitely be very challenging. But with patience and compassion, one can achieve it. Loved all your pointers. Thanks for sharing.

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