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Think About It... Some members think of "triangulation" as a dysfunctional behavior perpetrated on them by a person with BPD. And why not - this is how we often see triangles when we are in them and the '"odd man out"! However, seeing it this way is exactly the opposite of what we want to do to end the drama.. ~ Skippy
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Author Topic: A very touchy subject for most  (Read 2697 times)
angel1

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« on: January 01, 2013, 06:33:24 AM »

After reading abit of literature linked by this board, I have found that over and over again some type of sexually based "glitch" is linked to this disorder.   Dispite this recurrent theme, I find very little about it on these boards.   There are some old threads if you search, but nothing very recent.

I think many of us are dealing with those issues though.   Affairs, infidelity, gender confusion, crossdressing, porn, posting adds or pictures to various webs sites in relation to the current sexual interest, to much or to little interest in sex etc etc.   This just touches on some of the areas I have read about.   Now obviously those issues stand alone without BPD BUT it does seem to be an aspect of the condition.

In reading these boards, I see such a similarity in the things we all experience with our BPD partner.   Therefore, it seems to stand to reason that at least some of us are experiencing the things I mention above.

I have sat and thought about this for awhile.   Then sat and thought some more before writing this post.

Why is my personal resistance to discussing this topic present in me, and thereby maybe in others?

I have some thoughts I'd like to share.

I have spent years not acknowledging my problems to myself, let alone others.    I have learned that this is codependent behavior - we protect and fix.

Very recently I began to share alittle with my adult children, but that only happened because HE took it out of the house and tried a smear campaign against me with "your mother is crazy" path.   Of course it didn't work.  All he got was raised eyebrows and some "...   oh reallys'" from them.

Now when it comes to the other topic listed above...   I have never shared with anyone and can't imagine ever doing so.   Why?

The above topics talk to a fundamental part of a "love" relationship.   More than any other these kick us to the core.   How can I love someone who has these issues?   Regardless of what they are or are not doing in the relationship, the fact that I normalise the behaviors listed above means I am stupid.   I am not usually prone to going around and telling friends and family how stupid I am   

I think back to before this relationship and imagine sitting across a table drinking coffee with my best friend and imagining her telling me things about her relationship based on those topics above.   Never mind what I would have said...   what would have been in my mind is "ARE YOU CRAZY...   RUN...   HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO WOULD DO THOSE THINGS IS CAPABLE OF LOVING YOU"    Though I would absolutely not have said it outloud, what I would think is that she was weak, stupid and incapable if she chose to stay.

Now flash forward.   I don't want people thinking that about me.   Yes, I will admit to still being codependent in that I still don't want people thinking bad of him.   I will still cover for him.    But now I am starting to question whether I am covering for him or covering for me?

Could I stand to know that people who looked me in the face every day knew what I accepted for my life?

All the interpersonal relationships we have in life are built and grow on knowledges and beliefs that others see or have in us.    The way most see me (I think) is strong, no nonsense, fun, happy and secure.

For my adult children who now know some and suspect more, I see it in their eyes.   ,
"Why mum?" is what their eyes say.   What would they say or think of me if they knew the whole truth?   

What could I say or think of myself if I accepted the whole truth?

Where do I place these issues and problems.   A love relationship is different from all other relationships in that it has sexual expression.   When that is removed what is really left?

Where do you place them?   
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waverider
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 07:02:57 AM »

The difficulty is that in a normal relationship these "issues" are usually symptoms of dissatisfaction with the relationship and a breakdown/failure.

In a pwBPD they can think the world of you yet still do these things. Why? Because they can compartmentalize . This other "stuff" is their stuff and often has nothing to do with you, they feel no guilt. It can be their private impulse, and to them harmless, just in the same way other people collect say teapots. They do cover up and fear being found out due to potential consequences. But in their hearts they feel no harm in it.

Even though these things would normally cross you boundaries you often put up with it because you believe there is no deep down malice or pending relationship failure, it is just an embarrassing thing to have to deal with.

If your partner did not have BPD and was a normal well adjusted person would you find these issues a bigger threat to the RS?
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Seahorse1
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 07:12:55 AM »

What are you wanting to discuss about sexual issues?
My BPDbf has a severe cuckold fetish...   Where he fantasizes about me being with other men. He swears he would not actually want to indulge in real life but when he is drunk which is pretty often it is the only way he can become aroused.

Also he has been seen by a friend of mine at a bar asking women if the want to see his you know what...   Then takes them into the parking lot and pulls it out...  
He denies this up and down...  
However he pulled it out in the parking lot on our first date...   I was certainly shocked but put it down to him being drunk..:.

I could go on but just wanted to open the dialogue ...  

I believe the sexual stuff is a release ...   from the pain...  

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waverider
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 07:19:31 AM »

What are you wanting to discuss about sexual issues?
My BPDbf has a severe cuckold fetish...   Where he fantasizes about me being with other men. He swears he would not actually want to indulge in real life but when he is drunk which is pretty often it is the only way he can become aroused.

Also he has been seen by a friend of mine at a bar asking women if the want to see his you know what...   Then takes them into the parking lot and pulls it out...  
He denies this up and down...  
However he pulled it out in the parking lot on our first date...   I was certainly shocked but put it down to him being drunk..:.

I could go on but just wanted to open the dialogue ...  

I believe the sexual stuff is a release ...   from the pain...  



This is more common than you would think even in the non world, though few guys would openly admit it to friends and acquaintances.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 07:21:01 AM »

Not sure what you were getting at, but I know in my case.. sex was self soothing at times and seemed to be accepted as a substitute for love/intimacy. I didn't feel like someone really loved me unless they would have sex, and given that I am a bit on the reserved side, that left me with a fairly short list of ladies I felt really cared for me, and the fact is some of them didn't care, they just were horny. So my criterion for "really caring" was off.

On the pwBPD side.. have no idea what the deal was with mine.. she never claimed any kind of abuse, though she was very anti-abuse. Her only story that seemed causal was about being in a grade school as the only catholic in a small town and being beaten by a few kids regularly and her folks doing nothing but telling her to toughen up. Sex was amazing with her, until I noticed she was only in it to get me off, and didn't seem to enjoy it herself for herself. Eventually I felt like she was thinking "I got him if I can just get him off.. then he will be under my control".. and I quit wanting to do anything due to that feeling.
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almost789
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 08:20:30 AM »

Thank you for your post and courage to speak out about this. You are correct in that these sex problems are common in BPD. I too was suprised how little people on here are willing share their issues with this, i suppose some feel shame for tolerating it as you describe. Sex addiction is just another form of escapism for a BPD person, some choose drugs, alcohol, violence...   or sex...   ect...  
If done alot of reading on this subject. Its fairly common for sex addiction to accompany BPD. Sex addiction is not about sex. Sex addiction is an intimacy disorder stemming from attachment disorder, the core issue in BPD. Because BPD have difficulty with regulating and expressing emotions they use these addictions to de stress,  and regulate emotions and escape the painful reality. I believe mine had a pornography addiction. He denied it mostly, once caught with proof he explained that it didnt mean anything. He denied it mostly and literally decompartmentalized it and at times did not even believe he was doing it himself. He  Dissassoiation himself from it. Once addicted, it worse than any drug because this is a addiction in which they have access to their own pharmacy by just logging in to the computer. The reason  so many sex addicts relapse is because theyre not treating the underlying intimacy disorder, when they seek treatment.
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Cardinals in Flight
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 09:36:30 AM »

The sexual issues, in what was an otherwise really good r/s with a BPD are what have seriously left me feeling very limited or lacking, ie self-loathing, lacking etc.

As I navigate this very 'quasi' r/s with my pwBPD, it's a subject I'd like to talk about, but of course it never happens.  Things can be very good, until I seek physical attention.  In looking back, the very beginning of the r/s, sex was very frequent, and then I experienced the first bout of rage, directly related to something I did involving a sexual experience, sex became less and less frequent.

In hindsight, there was never any talk of sex, like "what do you like"? anything close to that, "it" just happened.

Not sure what I'm trying to say, my pwBPD went quiet over the holiday and I'm feeling off-balance and less articulate, but I wanted to convey that it seems a common thread for there to be issues directly relating to sex with all of our relationships.

It's probably pointless to try and figure out what I contributed to the sexual aspect (or the feeling that I did not contribute enough?) of the broken relationship, but I did take on quite a bit of the responsibility, and of course, tried to go into fix-it mode.  rolleyes

I can't believe I'm starting a new year like this.
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 09:58:11 AM »

My exBPDgf recently claimed I had an attachment problem, as I still cared about her, and despite a big gap, it is 30 yrs now. Given that BPD is an attachment disorder, and my issues with equating sex and love...   she is probably right about me. She claimed a lot of things, some were BS, some were projections, and some were probably right. One that bugs me is saying I was N, and my dad is NPD, I am not normally N, but within a r/s with her I probably was showing some N tendencies...   the idealization phase is all about us.. and it was like crack to an addict, after that I have little doubt I wanted more. I am ADHD and have been medicated since I was 7...   and even medicated have a hard time tolerating boring stuff. Slow sundays at her relatives, pointless low key parties, just wanting to talk and talk...   all get me fidgeting and wanting to do something. I don't think that is same as NPD or even strongly N, its just a desire for excitement/entertainment, and part of her draw to me was the drama, I could be in a dreary English movie at times.. drab, boring...   and she was this technicolor highly excitable person that acted like I was important...   and not only wanted to have sex, but was wildly demonstrative about it. That was a good part of the draw I think.

Now what is bugging me (in addition to missing her).. is that I feel like it was my defects taking advantage of her defects in some kind of trauma bonded nightmare...   and that saying she is BPD is copping out for having made bad life decisions, like leaving my home, my business, my family and friends, because I couldn't cope with seeing her with another guy in front of my house. I can see that no normal person would do that kind of thing, out of respect for someone they loved ...   so I can see she didn't respect me, or perhaps even love me...   given all the mean stuff, but still, it is screwing with my mind a bit. Until fairly recently if I asked I would have characterized her and our r/s .. as "the love of my life" and meant it. Would have not told most people just how damaging to my life the r/s was.. between throwing away life as I knew it years ago.. then starting over alone...   climbing back to some level of success again, then she comes back and I divorce my wife (which destroys your family).. lose more than 1/2 of what I had built up over 30 yrs working, lost a second great job.. and still I don't have the girl this was done for. Now I am trying to break away from her, I dumped her, and she is taking up with another guy and I can't blame her...   yet I can't see a better alternative either.

I miss sex with her, and whatever we had that passed for intimacy...   and though I have gone out with other ladies, I have not pursued a sexual relationship with them yet...   on purpose, based on advise from my T.

Normally feel like I am pretty with it, my resume is amazing, accomplishment list is long, I made a bucket list years ago and did everything on it and then some...   and the thing that keeps coming back to me is that no matter what it is I accomplish, I don't get much or any enjoyment from it...   just feel driven to do something to fill the time and keep my mind occupied. Sex is like that at times.. when I have someone to enjoy the time with, but all this introspection and input is making me think that most of my good attributes/accomplishments are the result of my own maladaptive behavior. I have been hurt a lot, and used to be real nervous/shy and felt like I needed to be more manly.. so lifted weights, did martial arts, and got to be a strong, expert martial artist...   but it did nothing for the feelings I had inside, though I felt a bit more confident in general. I graduated from high school, college, and grad school, with honors for all of them, and never attended a graduation ceremony, as I just didn't feel like I had done anything deserving of reward. In my mind always felt like "if X happens, everything will be different", like if only I had a masters degree, my fantasy job would appear, and I would be happy. The goals happened and nothing changed, graduated college and there was nothing new/different in my life...   just that I stopped going to school, lost most the friends I had in school and entered the job market to be ridiculed as knowing little and having little value.

So, I guess in my case sex is a substitute for love/intimacy and is probably some kind of self soothing, and whether I am playing with myself, or someone is playing with me, it still is an avoidance behavior .. avoiding some kind of really living my life and being related with real people in a normal way. The often egoic goals I have set did nothing for me, particularly if they stroked my ego...   other than make me more of a horses ass. Most of the real fun/enjoyment I have had were when I was with people I liked or loved, but wasn't sexually involved with, doing things I hadn't planned as part of an ego driven goal, in some activity that just ended up being fun. I have roller skated, rode motocross, done snow skiing, rode bicycles on bike paths and put up hay in the summer.. and all of those were at times magical...   as they were real enjoyment. I wonder how many of you guys are in the same boat as me...   I am hoping none...   but fear we may share more than a toxic relationship with someone with BPD.
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Chihiro
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 10:22:27 AM »

Hi angel1,

I have been on these boards for about 2 years now, since my BPDh's sexual acting out came to light (he had a long term affair - over a year long at least, probably closer to 2) and we got into marriage counseling (MC) and he revealed his history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA).  I was ready to leave him from the pain and betrayal, and couldn't understand his reaction to my pain.  I think the only reason he revealed his CSA was extreme fear of abandonment, and the need to give me some explanation for his betrayal.  Then, during a solo session I had with the therapist, I was told that my husband of 14 years was a borderline.  I had worked with borderlines before in a professional capacity (but not as a mental health professional) and was thunderstruck by the sudden clarity of the diagnosis.

I immediately began to research the disorder, and the effects of CSA.  Thank god I did, and that the therapist told me what the problem was, because the revelations about my husband's acting out were not over.  After we'd been in counseling for about 2 months, I found evidence of his membership on dating websites, web cam sex chats, craigslist casual encounters, etc., when he accidentally left his secret email account open on our computer, which had been acting up.  If not for the computer glitch, I probably wouldn't have ever found out about this stuff.  

I confronted him and he began serious individual therapy for the CSA, with a therapist who not only used to teach the DBT course, but was also a former borderline.  This was good, but emotionally I was numb about it for a long time.  He was getting increasingly suicidal as issues that he'd ignored for years began to surface in therapy, and the double hit of trauma this dealt to me - finding out your husband has been wildly unfaithful, then the inability to talk about it without fear of triggering another terrifying suicidal episode just made me kind of shut down for a long time.  I think I would have left if I hadn't been so hurt.  

I'm still dealing with the pain of reconciling what I thought my marriage was about and what it was really about.  My H has been going to therapy consistently ever since the revelations, and has made a lot of improvements.  I have confided in my mother and sister, and a couple close friends about the BPD, but have only told one friend about the affair, and none of them about the extent of the sexual acting out.  They would never understand, and they would feel differently about him, as I do now, too.  And yes, I feel shame in staying with a man who has behaved in such completely unacceptable ways in our marriage.

I agree with what waverider and MorningCoffee have said about dissocation and BPD.  Our therapists have tried to explain it to me many times, but it is so weird and hard to get to a place emotionally where I can accept he did these things without a thought to how it would affect me and the kids, and it does not take away the anger and pain I still feel when I remember the things he did.  Plus, I only know the things he did that I discovered myself - he has never volunteered any information about his past actions.  So I also deal with knowing what I know, and the knowledge of what I don't know, and probably never will, because of the extreme shame talking about it triggers in him.  It is the one conversation most likely to bring on a suicidal episode and this is traumatic for me and him, so I try to avoid it.  

So yes, I hear what you are saying.  I've written about this stuff from time to time on the boards, but on the Staying board, it seems most of the BPDs aren't the cheating/sexual acting out kind and most of the Stayers can't relate to my experience.

Sorry for the novel.  Just wanted to know that you aren't alone in dealing with the sexual issues.  I could go on and on, but I need to get ready to go hit the New Year's Day sales with my sister.  

Take care,
Chihiro    
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 10:28:41 AM »

Indeed a very touch subject.  I've thought of it often enough, but couldn't put enough pieces of the puzzle together to make a cohesive statement about it.  

Yes...   my BPD man downloads hundreds of photos and I've not made a huge deal out of it.  Men look.  He looks.  He said that when he looks at the pictures, he's not thinking about having sex with them, but rather sees a curve in their body that intrigues him.  I don't know if that's true or not...   I could care less as long as his "hobby" doesn't interfere with our relationship~~and thus far, it does not appear it has.  

We have had wonderful, tender, sensual, pleasurable sex.  He has made several comments regarding sex that I thought a bit odd but I thought much of it was insecurity.  He once said that he wished he were "better" at it.  I've no complaints.  In one of his emails he said "...   but at least it's refreshing not to hear some woman think that she's so great in bed that all someone would want her for is sex" (referring to me) which was totally unrelated to the topic at hand, but hey...   I suppose it was on his mind.

Anyway...   It's all part of the illness and I accept that...   it just doesn't seem to be on the top of the list of priorities for me.  I've got bigger fish to fry.
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