Eve Woman

Seven tips on how to deal with an emotionally unstable partner

Esther Muchene

It’s important to establish that your partner is emotionally unstable and not emotionally abusive (Shutterstock)

Having an emotionally unstable partner can be daunting as you have to deal with the reality that at the slightest provocation they might flip, at any moment and anywhere. What this means is that you always have to be in the right mind space to be able to deal with them from time to time.

Before we continue, it’s important to establish that your partner is emotionally unstable and not emotionally abusive. There is a difference.

Some of the traits of an emotionally unstable partner to take note of are angry outbursts, overly dramatic, gas lighting, mood swings, inappropriate anger, lack of empathy, inability to accept their mistakes, entitlement amongst others.

Although some of these are similar to emotionally abusive partners, for individuals who are emotionally unstable they hardly know when they are acting out. Most of them don’t even realize they have these character traits and actually deny them.

They have drastic mood changes which can make you think that they have bipolar disorder. It’s very important to know how to deal with such an individual because they might end up hurting you emotionally even without their knowledge.

Learning how to deal with them not only helps you reduce your stress but also helps you know how to handle and help them. Here are some tips to help you deal with an emotionally unstable partner.

  1. Hold back and observe

For you to learn how to deal with an emotionally unstable partner, you first need to step back and just observe their mood as engaging them only risks worsening the situation. While talking back might be pressing you don’t want risk fanning the situation and risk ending up with, say, a physical confrontation.


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  1. Talk about it with someone you trust

Talking with someone will help you get insight of the situation. When we fight with our partners, we always tend to think we are right. Discussing an incidence with a third party will help give a better picture of the situation. This is also a good way to know if you are the one who is always triggering them.

Stay calm as this will help prevent issues from escalating (Shutterstock)

  1. Don’t engage with their drama

Well there are those of us live for the drama but with an emotionally unstable partner, you shouldn’t be engaging them in dramatic situations as you might end up worsening the situation. Most people who are emotionally unstable tend to be more aggressive and you never want this to end badly.

  1. Learn how to walk away

In case the issue escalates and they start getting physical don’t fight them back. Walk away and look for safety until they calm down. Emotionally unstable people are not able to control or hold back their anger and they might hurt you badly before they realize what they are doing.

  1. Demand respect

As much as you give them the leeway to misbehave, you need to know where to draw the line. State clear boundaries and have consequences for them when they go overboard. They need to learn how to be accountable for their mistakes and you are not a just there for them to step on whenever they have an outburst.

  1. Stay calm

You need to learn how to stay calm as this will help prevent issues from escalating and avoid unnecessary drama and fights. It might be frustrating when someone is shouting at you and they don’t want to listen to you but you need to learn how to let them finish their outburst then deal with it once they are calm.

  1. Suggest therapy

Since they are not able to control their emotions, it’s important to help them seek professional help. Don’t play therapist with them but instead help them find a support group or a good therapist. You can enroll them for a few sessions just to show them your support.

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