Firstly; how do you know he is "Borderline"? Has he been professionally "diagnosed", or is this a label you have chosen for him because your relationship turned sour and involved conflict and in your need to understand it in simple terms you have found "Borderline" suits your purpose. Sorry to seem harsh, but people seem to throw these labels about too much here, I feel.
I do understand your pain. I am sure most of us have been through the need to understand why a relationship went south on more than one occasion. I know I have, and I did just what you appear to be doing; tried to find a label for it.
It's more important to understand the mechanisms involved, rather than finding a label that fits. The mechanisms of dysfunctional behaviour cross the boundaries imposed on the labels, to some extent invalidating the labels in my opinion.
So to answer your question:-
If we take the pattern of behaviour in relationships that a borderline is most famous for, as depicted in such works as "I Hate You, don't leave me", "Sometimes I Act Crazy; Living With Borderline Personality Disorder", "Stop Walking on Eggshells", "The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook", etc. (incidently, the latter is co written by a fellow called James Paul Shirley, whom i have the pleasure of calling a friend, and we have had one or two discussions on this and many other similar topics). the pattern follows, thus;
The "Idealisation phase"; The "BPD" actively seeks and pursues the relationship. They're intense, almost manic in their work to achieve the relationship. They're seductive and want you approval, your worship, your devotion
The Intermediate Phase; conflicts begin, devaluations, criticisms. They switch between being clingy to being confrontational and “nit picking”. This can go on for weeks, months, or even years.
The Hater Phase; The full “Fight or Flight phase”, they appear to want to destroy you yet, in their eyes they will be the victim and you are the one doing the hurting and they will do everything to try to make this “fantasy” appear real.
So in essence, what you have is someone that desperately wants to love and be loved, but yet seems compelled to destroy all relationships? Why? Well let’s try and join the dots ...http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/sympto ... -disorder/
As with all personality disorders, the person must be at least 18 years old before they can be diagnosed with it.
So does Borderline Personality Disorder just appear when we turn 18? No it doesn’t. So what is it before 18? Well we seem to want to call it “RAD” (Reactive Attachment Disorder). In fact if you read enough about “RAD” it is suggested that if “RAD” is not treated at an early age, it can go on and develop in to; Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Bipolar, and so on .. So what is “RAD”? and what causes “RAD”?
“RAD” (according to WIKI) is supposedly a relatively uncommon disorder (yeah right”!!).
•Intense control battles, very bossy and argumentative; defiance and anger
•Resists affection on parental terms
•Lack of eye contact, especially with parents - will look into your eyes when lying (also a symptom of Autistic Spectrum Disorders?)
•Manipulative - superficially charming and engaging (Narcissistic Qualities?)
•Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers (seeking love and acceptance; BPD?)
•Poor peer relationships
•Lies about the obvious
•Lack of conscience - shows no remorse (ASPD again?)
•Destructive to property, self and/or others (and again, ASPD?)
•Lack of impulse control
•Speech and language problems (ASD again?)
•Incessant chatter and/or questions
•Inappropriately demanding and/or clingy (BPD again?)
•Food issues - hordes, gorges, refuses to eat, eats strange things, hides food (Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating & addictions?)
•Fascinated with fire, blood, gore, weapons, evil (ASPD?)
•Very concerned about tiny hurts but brushes off big hurts
This comes from here; http://www.attachmentdisorder.net/Sympt ... search.htm
The bit in brackets are my comments.
The generally accepted cause of “RAD” as suggested by Bowlby, Shore, et al; is a significant disruption or stressful experience in the emotional attachment of baby and caregiver(s). Whether it is from abuse, abandonment, neglect, experiencing parental conflicts, or any other instability or stressful experience during early development.
So back to the “Borderline” relationship pattern; you have someone that wants to be loved, to be “attached”, but somewhere deep in their unconscious emotional memory that very attachment that is desired so much has established itself in the autonomous defence system and is experienced as a threat to survival, a danger. And when real feelings threaten to invade the person’s being, the autonomous nervous system initiates a defence against something that, due to previous experience, it perceives as a mortal danger. The pattern is revealed in it’s true form; the “Borderline wants to love and be loved, but that love is automatically interpreted as a danger that needs to be attacked and escaped from, by the primitive structures of the brain.
Hopefully, I have gone some way to explain, why these “labels”, these “boxes”, The very taxonomy of diagnosis that the Kraepelinian heritage presented to the DSM series, are not so divisibly separated as so many people interpret them to be (These people should read the first few pages of DSM IV TR very carefully), but are entwined and interconnected, like the branches of a tree are to its trunk and the trunk to its roots. The roots lie in both genetic and developmental influences. Influences that are not dichotomously opposed, but rather entwined and accumulative, very much like the roots of my allegorical tree.http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm