There is often a profound fear of abandonment that precipitates desperate efforts to avoid being alone. Men with this diagnosis tend to engage in frequent arguments and repeated relationship breakups and rely on maladaptive strategies in order to cope with their distress often involving anger that frighten others, for example, highly emotional or unpredictable responses.
The nature and quality of the emotional bond that develops between a child and caregiver has consequences for children’s emerging character and view of the social world.
Adults with the disorder most frequently display fearful or preoccupied attachment styles where a desire for intimacy is simultaneously presented with a fear of hurt or rejection by the partner. Possible links between infant insecure attachment and the development of BPD have been found.
Up to 90% of individuals with BPD report maltreatment in childhood with childhood sexual abuse reported in 75% of cases. Cooccurring physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect have all been highly associated with BPD
Men who have experienced abuse in their early childhood may find that this was their first experience of feeling disempowered and may focus on any life threatening aspects of the abuse for example, experiencing extreme physical abuse or sexual between 0-6 years of age.
Men are likely to show emotional dysregulation, that is poor controlled or uncontrolled emotional responses, in ways such as antisocial and risky behaviours which are more likely to be treated as criminal behaviours rather than manifestations of BPD.