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Think About It... Defending our boundaries is more than a response in times of conflict - it's a lifestyle. Learn how to get in touch with your values, define and communicate boundaries of those values, and defend against boundary busters. ~ Skip
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Author Topic: Self Control, Emotional Withdraw or Acceptance  (Read 1231 times)
Sir5r
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 06:11:53 PM »

I just wanted to add things are going well with my wife for now.
It seems that I'm the one looking to mess it up and I have to own that.
If I want to truly make this work I have to learn to accept things the way they are now and they aren't really that bad. smiley

Sir5r
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To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 05:32:03 AM »

It seems that I'm the one looking to mess it up and I have to own that.
If I want to truly make this work I have to learn to accept things the way they are now and they aren't really that bad. smiley

 Thought   Thought   Thought 

 Doing the right thing
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Steph
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 07:48:12 AM »

Ok..

So this same issue is on the table. You need her to tell you and she wont. Talk about a huge push/pull dynamic here.. You know how loaded it is, and so does she.

  One myth you have going on is that if she tells you it means she trusts you. NO it does NOT mean she trusts you. It means that for whatever reason, she opted to tell you..but I can pretty much guarantee that it isnt because she trusts you.

So, I think its VERY important that you check your math on that one..

Disclosure does NOT mean she trusts you.

So, having said that, how important is it for you to know what she has to say? If it isnt about trust...which I think we can pretty much agree on that it isnt about trust as to why she holds onto it..then what is it from your end?

She knows she has a power card because you tell her about it. It gets things going for both of you.

The wise thing to do is to stop bringing it up, and when you find it obsessing in your mind ( could be related to your ADD, in fact) is find a way to regulate it again. Distraction, etc..

Take the power away from this stuff...stop assuming that if she tells you that it means she trusts you. Stop assuming that because you told her everything means she has to tell you everything. Yea, I know that doesnt seem fair, but that is reality. Its also super codependant thinking.

Steph
Steph,

Your experience gives you great acumen for sure. You said pretty much What the therapist said today. She will tell you in time, you make too much of this.

Yes, I'm giving it too much power and obsessing on it. Knowing it will make a difference to me though. A lot less than I believe it will though.

Thanks again.

Sir5r

 Many times, an anxiety disorder can be at the root of this stuff. Ideas or thoughts that are distressing..lots of times about stuff out of our control, like illness, death, the state of the world, etc, get locked inside and swim around and around and increase our anxiety. Likely, you are fixated on this stuff about your wifes history  because it is a symptom of your own inner turmoil or anxiety.

Sure, I get that you would like to know...that makes sense. I suspect you are right that even if she came clean with you that you would feel like everything is ok now and all is well. Your curiousity would be relieved, but I suspect other negative emotions would return in its place ( anger, depression, resentment) and your sense of peace would be very short lived.

 I think that there is alot going on with you that needs to keep stirring this pot, as well. I recognize some of myself in you from several years ago. There is a reason we stay in turmoil and many times, its because we feel better than we would if we were left alone with our own mental health symptoms. When my H got well, I was feeling some depression and anxiety that popped up in the calmness and I also found myself thinking about poking the hornets nest( trying to get him going again) as a way to relieve my own pain. Fortunately, I had some dbt skills and was able to observe this in myself and staying in therapy helped alot. So...ya know? Maybe there is some of this going on.

  Glad you are in therapy around this stuff...it makes a huge difference!

Steph
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Sir5r
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2012, 09:21:05 AM »

 Many times, an anxiety disorder can be at the root of this stuff. Ideas or thoughts that are distressing..lots of times about stuff out of our control, like illness, death, the state of the world, etc, get locked inside and swim around and around and increase our anxiety. Likely, you are fixated on this stuff about your wifes history  because it is a symptom of your own inner turmoil or anxiety.
Some of this may be my attempt to "figure her out" and I know that will lead me down the rabbit hole if I'm not careful.
Sure, I get that you would like to know...that makes sense. I suspect you are right that even if she came clean with you that you would feel like everything is ok now and all is well. Your curiousity would be relieved, but I suspect other negative emotions would return in its place ( anger, depression, resentment) and your sense of peace would be very short lived.
I don't think those emotions would return, I just want to be done with it.  Clear the air and let the dust of the past blow away. I've already been there and I don't ever want to go back.

 I think that there is alot going on with you that needs to keep stirring this pot, as well. I recognize some of myself in you from several years ago. There is a reason we stay in turmoil and many times, its because we feel better than we would if we were left alone with our own mental health symptoms. When my H got well, I was feeling some depression and anxiety that popped up in the calmness and I also found myself thinking about poking the hornets nest( trying to get him going again) as a way to relieve my own pain.

I have to say I agree with you on this.  I think my wife has changed a lot. She is in control 95% of the time now.  Where as at her worst she was in control maybe 50% of the time. There still is Provocation from her because she can be verbally harsh.  But the whole family is handling her differently now.  I have learned a lot here and from therapy and that's helped a lot.   

Maybe I have to get used to the peace. She is more physical with me as well, coming over to hug me and more sometimes.   That's a very positive change.


Fortunately, I had some dbt skills and was able to observe this in myself and staying in therapy helped alot. So...ya know? Maybe there is some of this going on.

  Glad you are in therapy around this stuff...it makes a huge difference!

I've used DBT and CBT Techniques to "Chill myself" a lot.  I think I get caught up in the details  and "can't see the forest for the trees" in the relationship.  I ask myself questions to calm down and change my emotional state. 

"Does it really matter what she did 20+ years ago if she shows me she loves me now?" 
"Yes, she must have gotten very hurt by that so long ago, why make her hurt more? Show her YOU care about her NOW."


That's how I do it.  I put it all in perspective, I stop my mind from racing and end the rumination.


Sir5r

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To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
-    Buddha
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 09:29:30 AM »

 Sounds like your wife isnt the only one making significant progress!

 Doing the right thing


 Yea, I had to get used to calm, serene and peaceful...and in its place, I was dealing with my own depression and anxiety. Keep pushing thru..we arent the only ones finding our own discomfort when the pain slows down from the other side!


Steph
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 07:44:14 AM »

It's funny that I go on the board to see what's going on with you, and I end up seeing this.

It's clear to me that your wife knows that she can bring up whatever she wants about her sexual past and have you swooning.  In a way, she's being a jerk because she has figured out that she can emotionally manipulate you by triggering some fears inside of you.  If anything, you usually see the non triggering the pwBPD, not the other way around.  I think you need to recognize her disclosures for what they are at this point: emotional abuse.  Why try to hit you when words don't show bruises in court?  Plus, it's something she has control over and use at will.

Now you're doing a good job owning your part with the CBT and DBT techniques.  You need to improve your skills with that.  Also, when she brings up stuff that triggers you, get the heck out of Dodge.  Why hang around to get abused?  I'm not saying pack your bags for a few weeks.  Just walk away, and live your life.
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He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5:45b
Sir5r
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 11:33:28 AM »

iluminati said:
It's funny that I go on the board to see what's going on with you, and I end up seeing this.

It's clear to me that your wife knows that she can bring up whatever she wants about her sexual past and have you swooning.  In a way, she's being a jerk because she has figured out that she can emotionally manipulate you by triggering some fears inside of you.  If anything, you usually see the non triggering the pwBPD, not the other way around.  I think you need to recognize her disclosures for what they are at this point: emotional abuse.  Why try to hit you when words don't show bruises in court?  Plus, it's something she has control over and use at will.
This must be the case.  Last night we were out to dinner again.  She had a few drinks and began talking again about this.  It wasn't a direct discussion of her sexual past.
The meat of what she told me was this.  She said she was never "friends" with any of her boyfriends except me. She said none of her male friends were ever "Boyfriend worthy."
I asked her "Are you saying toy were more intimate with your friends than your boyfriends?"
She said "yes, except for one other that she was friends with that they fell into a relationship" That one was a total BPD affair, it was her friends boyfriend that she pursued when she was out of town for two weeks one summer, then slept with him on and off over the years.

What I learned from this is that she separates intimacy from sexuality, I think she suppressed a lot of this thinking during our marriage and now it's her mode of thought.  When we got home after dinner i expected her to want to be intimate after having this discussion.  Thinking that she was trying to feel closer to me. This turned into a disaster.  She said she was going to call Her girlfriend (she has one) and the police on me if I pushed it.  I said "If you do that I'm going to have you committed for a 72 hour observation."  I left drove to one of my peaceful places I have and sat, I fell asleep and woke up 4 hours later.  Stress has always had that effect on me.

I came home and slept on the couch in my clothes. I sure wasn't going to risk waking her. This morning she woke up and was acting like nothing happened. I said, "I don't think this is going to work. We really should get a divorce, you can't provide the things I need for a relationship. She got into her car and left and has been gone since. 


Now you're doing a good job owning your part with the CBT and DBT techniques.  You need to improve your skills with that.  Also, when she brings up stuff that triggers you, get the heck out of Dodge.  Why hang around to get abused?  I'm not saying pack your bags for a few weeks.  Just walk away, and live your life.
I do just that, I leave her.  I go to a movie, go for coffee anything to get away. I told her at the therapist two days ago that she is looking for a fairy tale perfect relationship before she gets intimate again. Sure she comes and hugs me sometimes, I even had her give me a peck on the lips 3 times in the last month but is that how I want to live?

I feel she is incapable of returning to a normal level of intimacy with me. If we do split up she will do what all BPD's do she will act like one thing get a man and then be what she really is.

I can handle myself now, I know when to get out. I validate her feelings and treat her like the emotional child she is, but I can't survive in a relationship that's based on "platonic friendship" alone.  Not arguing, having small talk and going out to dinner isn't a marriage.  I told her at the last session "I can't take not being able to talk to you about the important things because of how you react.  I'm not walking on eggshells around you anymore."

So here I find myself in my safe room awaiting her return.  I think I'm going to leave today and spend the day out somewhere if she is confrontational or provocative at all. Do you know how many times the phrase "I really need a girlfriend." has entered my mind in the last 3 months?
My needs aren't being satisfied here. The only reason I think I haven't gone outside the marriage is because of my father having done that to my mom.

Sir5r
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To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
-    Buddha
Sir5r
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2012, 12:26:42 PM »

So, she comes home from shopping with a card that she says took two hours to pick out.  "We can overcome any hurdle, lets be friends"...

I guess she isn't happy about how last night turned out.  We will see how the day goes.


Sir5r
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To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
-    Buddha
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 12:59:15 PM »

First, let me give you credit for doing the right thing.  Once she threatened to call the cops for you trying to get intimate, you did the right thing in getting out of there.  If you hung around, that might have put you in a nasty situation.  Obviously, she knows how wrong she was by her attempts to make it up.  Mission accomplished.

That said, the whole sex without intimacy thing is just Borderline Personality Disorder (tm).  When sex with intimacy is a dangerous thing, you try not to have the two together.  What I would suggest to you is that once you have worked on those trigger behaviors with her bringing up her past, you need to figure out why this triggers you so.  You need to figure out what are you afraid is going to happen if she has sex without intimacy.

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Sir5r
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 04:47:06 PM »

Getting out is what I do now. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that much at all lately.
I was thrilled when she came back in an apologetic mood.

Sex without intimacy is ok with me if we're intimate in other ways. If the only way we can be together is by her splitting that I'm fine with that except I dont think she wants that with me even though it seems to be all she is capable of.

What seems to trigger her is not telling me things about her past. It's when I ask for anymore detail then she gives when she does. She seems to use that as a way to make me look like I'm obsessed with it.  Why bring it up then? Especially when she will deny what she has said.

She says she doesn't remember a lot of her past then blurts these things out only to deny them later.

I'm just going to log them and not respond anymore. I've spoken to the T about this and he is going to work on it with her slowly. In the meantime I'm just going to let her roll with it.

Sir5r
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To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
-    Buddha
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