Ella sounds like a high school friend of DD1. Same age, and diagnosed with BPD as a young adult. It fascinated her so much she is now pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. Same clarity and level of introspection. Great kid too. Her essays on BPD "from the inside" are remarkable.
This self awareness at a young age is what allows one to persevere. I suspect that is the difference between success and failure - my partner had the traits but full BPD did not manifest itself till she was in her 40's. Not difficult to digest given the rampant spread of mental health issues in her immediate family.
At a younger age your partner may also be willing to support / tolerate more. I did my best but having three decades on y'all makes it a bit less conducive to addressing it from my side as well. Especially if she firmly believes she's the healthy one...
you are probably correct in this. the first two years with my wife were horrendous. but, i was young, dumb, and full of ... ahem, youthful determination.
and, to be honest, i would have one HELL of a time dealing with my niece if i hadn't already learned a basic set of skills dealing with my wife. my niece has been abandoned multiple times, abused by nearly everyone, raped, used, ignored, etc. she displays every single trait of BPD. but, she is turning around. she knows she has a home with us and we will not toss her aside. she knows that we will not let her walk all over us, we wont put up with her crap, and that we will do whatever we can to help her succeed. she is "growing up" fast.
but honestly john, the way i see it, you don't have a lot of reason to do what i do. you don't seem to have any desire for your wife. as in, you really don't need her. and you certainly don't seem to find the idea of "playing the game" appealing. so, logically, i cannot see why you should ever even attempt it. what would you get out of it? what would be in it for you?
to me, the whole process of living with my wife is fascinating and fulfilling. call it the sociopath in me, but the idea of being able to manipulate my wife's very thoughts and actions, to the point where i am able to manipulate her into being able to live a happy life with or without me... well, its a hell of an ego boost.
every time i go off to war i get to see how much i was able to change her way of thinking. i have deployed in support of three different wars, all combat arms... the first war i was in, she fell apart and ended up hospitalized twice while i was gone. the second one, she made it through and managed to hold everything together and was even productive while running our business, but the stress was tough on her. third one? lol, despite some hiccups at the beginning, she is kicking ass!
i love her, i really do. i also love having the power to influence her in such a positive and lasting way. the game is like a dance to me. and i love the music! the journey really is the joy.