Nothing is Jodi’s Fault – Not Even Borderline Personality Disorder

May 2, 2013

faultfrontJuan Martinez is in the middle of closing argments in the Jodi Arias murder trial. His theme — according to the Defendant, absolutley nothing is her fault!

We know she lied. She admits she lied. Soon it will be up to the jury to determine whether they believe her or not.

I’m not going to debate the case and whether she deserves the death penalty or not.

I am going to say that Jodi’s behavior patterns in her relationship with Travis Alexander illustrates very clearly the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I am not a clinician, nor is this a rendered diagnosis, nor is a diagnosis what interests me.

What does interest me and should interest everyone is the behaviors that were displayed in her relationship with Travis and how we all need to understand this in our own relationships. BPD is known as a “relationship disorder”. While some see it as complex, it’s really quite simple when viewed in the context of connect/disconnect. Some people with these relationships disorders have a strong need to connect, to be in a relationship. It becomes the most important thing to them, and with some it reaches a level of obsession.

They mold themselves into the other person’s life to become indispensible and shape themselves into the exact vulernable spots of the other person. This is not intention. It is the operating system of this relationship disorder.

When disconnect or even the perception or threat of disconnect occurs, a frantic anxiety and fear of abandonment may occur, leading to behaviors that may go to extremes to avoid the disruption of that connection.

Did this happen with Jodi and Travis? It appears so, although we can’t be 100% certain.

Why is this important for us to know?

Because approximately 2-6% of the U.S. population may have Borderline Personality Disorder, according to a study done by the National Institutes of Health. Because people with this disorder do not know they have it – it’s as natural to them as drinking water to everyone. Because I receive phone calls and emails every day from people who are confused and hopeless about their relationship with someone whose behaviors mimic Jodi’s, and whose lives are hellish. Because we need to be able to identify these behaviors before we make permanent commitments in dating relationships. Because we need to help people whose relationship behaviors seem extreme and outside the norm, seek treatment.

The thing about Jodi. She claims that nothing is her fault. We know that’s clearly inaccurate, but here’s the thing……if she does have BPD, I put forward that it truly is not her fault as it truly is a mental illnes she did not request. However, she does deserves the consequences that may be handed to her by the jury. The whole event is sad and we have to learn from it to prevent this happening again. Learn more about personality disorders at

Read more about BPD and high-conflict personalities in It’s All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

About Megan Hunter

meganMegan Hunter is founder and CEO of Life Unhooked, a speaking, training and consulting company that provides a fresh perspective and approach to help companies and individuals identify and overcome the damaging behaviors of high conflict personalities. She was co-founder of High Conflict Institute, founder and CEO of, and CEO of High Conflict Institute Press. Her life goal is helping people ‘unhook’ from bad behaviors and bad relationships. She is a past member of the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners, appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano and re-appointed by Governor Jan Brewer.

About Unhooked Books

Unhooked Books is more than an online bookstore. I opened Unhooked Books after seeing a need for one place for people to find the best and most current information available on personality disorders and borderline personality disorder in particular, living healthy, eating healthy, and managing your life. After 15 years in divorce and child support law in a county prosecutor’s office and the Arizona Supreme Court, I co-founded High Conflict Institute which helps people in high-conflict disputes of any kind. This bookstore stemmed from the needs of the people who contacted us out of desperation. Our books are written by people who are experts in their fields. I’ve personally met and worked with most of them, and those who I haven’t met, come highly recommended by those whom I have met. Enjoy perusing our bookstore and contact us with questions or comments.

One Response to “Nothing is Jodi’s Fault – Not Even Borderline Personality Disorder”

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