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Author Topic: A very touchy subject for most  (Read 2413 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 10:39:52 AM »

Chihiro-
You mentioned dissociated states...   and that makes me wonder about them as well. When I was with my exBPDgf, dating her, my exwife said she could always tell when I was talking to her or anything, because I acted different, and it was like a different person, I think there was something going on.. because when I learned about egoic behavior and how it stresses you and gets you to being wrapped up in your head, not interacting with the real world and real emotions...   it fit with all the BPD interactions I have had. My BPD r/s was dream based not reality based, the dream was that this idealized pretty woman would complete me and we would be partners and live happily ever after. The reality was that she was highly disordered, was super attentive to my needs to lure me in, then proceeded to be a total angry btch to me and I went along with it till I couldn't take it any more. Sex to her seemed to be a tactic, to me it was accepted as love...   and subsequent events make it clear it was not genuine love to her, and possibly not to me.

Both my exwife and exBPDgf said that I was an all consuming, attentive lover and that the sex was very good...   but they also both said that they always had the impression that I was waiting and looking for a better deal all the time. And personally I think they were sort of right, in that if I labeled it, I was thinking if I just get this hot person, then they will make me feel genuinely happy instead of sexual satisfied but like something is missing.

When you talk about porn, it makes me think objectifying people...   turning them in to objects of lust instead of seeing them as genuine people. And makes me wonder if this all fits together as part of the disorders we are dealing with, possibly on both our sides and the pwPDs.
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 11:37:59 AM »

Compartmentalization does explain how they can love so much, yet apparantly do things that are destructive to us...   then later act like your upset is an out of the blue attack on them.

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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 01:26:46 PM »

I think it's important to ask yourself WHEN and WHY you start to feel guilty about your SOBPD's sexual detours/probems.  Is it because someone else in your life told you you shouldn't "put up with it," or even the voice of "intelligent society" (and I just mean the educated mass, and am not in all condoning this mind set--in fact, just the opposite)?

I believe that we all have the right to forgive as often as we are capable of forgiving, and what our gut instinct tell us of our partners is probably the truth.  It's all a matter of how much we can handle, individually, and whether or not the payoffs of the relationship feel worth the pain.  
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 02:48:21 PM »

I'd suggest most people on this board would regard sex as an expression of love and the intimate connection between two souls. From that would follow that we assume it means the same for a BPD.

But instead it seems, to me, that BPDs pursue whatever might give them instant relief from their hurt. No matter how momentarily. Sex can be a tool for that relief.

Books, articles about BPD mention how they tend to intitiate (wild) sex early on in the relationship as a way to bind us (as opposed to most of us who might tend to first initiate grow a bond and regard sex as a symbol of a succesful bond).

In other phases sex might be used as a tool of power, so we might agree with them. Or a tool to prevent us from leaving by re-binding us.
Or bringing it up in an argument to hurt/ humiliate us, make us feel guilty so we will re-assure them again that we will do whatever else they think might ease their hurt.
Or of course a tool to self-soothe.

Maybe sex means nothing but a instant fix to BPD, I start to get the impression that BPD's will say or do anything what at that moment might ease their suffering no matter what comes next. Any thoughts?
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 05:25:30 PM »

Books, articles about BPD mention how they tend to intitiate (wild) sex early on in the relationship as a way to bind us (as opposed to most of us who might tend to first initiate grow a bond and regard sex as a symbol of a succesful bond).

In other phases sex might be used as a tool of power, so we might agree with them. Or a tool to prevent us from leaving by re-binding us.
Or bringing it up in an argument to hurt/ humiliate us, make us feel guilty so we will re-assure them again that we will do whatever else they think might ease their hurt.
Or of course a tool to self-soothe.

Maybe sex means nothing but a instant fix to BPD, I start to get the impression that BPD's will say or do anything what at that moment might ease their suffering no matter what comes next. Any thoughts?


Sex is often a means of self soothing, it can be what you do to feel better about what you needed but didn't get. I was thinking back trying to figure it out for myself and concluded that I put sex where love/intimacy should be. Then tried to figure out WHY?  I remember discovering myself.. at about 7 when I lived in the basement of our house and everyone else lived upstairs.. (finished room, just isolated).. and remember feeling better from it. I think some lack of secure attachment really kicked off my own issues.. but they pale next to BPD at least, however I have not been able to maintain a relationship with my exBPDgf, despite trying very hard and finally giving up.

A pwBPD will use sex a number of ways...   to deepen the bond with you, to build up your esteem during the idealization phase, to hurt you later (like sleeping with someone else.. or putting down your love making, or in my case showing up late at night when we were broken up, manipulating me in to bed then making sure my exwife had every gory detail).

I am pretty sure my exBPDgf didn't use it as an expression of love and intimate connection between two souls...   any interpretation along those lines was mine, done through being naive. Mostly I would say it used as a tool of manipulation. For me it was devastating as I equate love=sex and it is not true, and resulted in deep hurting, over and over.
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 04:14:28 AM »

Thank you all for your replies.   I see alot of truth in your words.   That is what this thread/topic is about for me.  Facing or finding the truth.  Trying to stop my mind from sugar coating it and giving it excuses.   To see it as it is and to stop this constant back and forth in my mind.

Several of you raised interesting questions that got me thinking.   

Our partners have an illness.  It follows predictable paterns in at least some instances for all of us.
But they we can't forget that, being human, they are subject to the same physiology as the rest of humanity.

There is an old saying that "everyone loves to be in love."   It is a wonderful place full of gratification, love, and part of that is having someone who adores you and sees no wrong in you.   You are wonderful, they are wonderful, and the world is new and wonderful.   It is exciting, unknown and full of discovery.    This is no news flash - we all know the first "honeymoon" period of any love relationship will mirror these feelings.   Chemicals are running rampant in our body and many scholars have described this period as a temporary insantiy of love.   A time where our body clicks into gear and makes us feel wonderful.

Now for most of us, we know this wears off.   That this period will fade and will be replaced by a different type of love.  This love is based on respect, mutal regard, love, intimacy and growth as a couple.    Those who get this complex formula right, tell us that it is so much better than the 'first' love.

All of that in mind, I think of my partner and how our relationship developed. 

My thoughts are that the first stages of a love relationship meet every need the BPD has.  They have everything that their illness requires.   Excitement, newness, someone who openly adores them and who does not need or want anything except to be with them.    Their pain is gone and replaced with a partner who they idolise.   They are the most important thing in the world to their partner and the world is a beautiful place.

Then time passes and life happens.   Bills, kids, work, car breaks down, dog gets sick and bit by bit conflict arises.   Their partner's attention is distracted.  Their wonderful partner is stressed and doesn't have time for them right now etc etc.    In an emotionally mature relationship, two equal partners talk things through, they offer mutal respect and time, they learn to balance and grow emotionally and intimately together.

This is where it all falls apart.    The BPD is not able to make that leap and the partner most likely has no clue that their partner is not able to keep up with the stages of the relationship.  More conflict arises and now the BPD starts to withdraw.

For mine, this withdrawal seemed to be with sex.    Compartmentalisation definately exsists in the reality of his mind.   His reality is that he loves me but that what he does is his 'thing' and has nothing to do with me/us at all.   He has said in the distant past that he doesn't know what I get so upset about, that he is OK with everything he does, and wouldn't care if the whole world knew cause he was not ashamed of it.   That said, he does not let the whole world know (but he says that is to protect me and not him).   He also says, the issues I have are mine and I am the one who needs to deal with my issues.

-now alittle aside here - I am very open to everything he does - I have no problems at all with the acts in and of itself.   I am well aware that these issues come up in relationships that have no BPD influence.   The acts themselves cause me no distress per say.   It is the impact on OUR relationship that causes the distress.  I will also add that my partner has never been physically unfaithful to me and I don't believe he ever will.   I believe he loves me very much and really just doesn't see what the problem is as all is just fine in his reality -

so back to the track and on to objectification.   My partner has told me that sex is just that for him, sex.  It has no love or intimacy component to it.   He has told me that he knows that it is not that way for me and that for me sex is an expression of love.    He just doesn't comprehend it.   He has told me that he has learned to act like he is in love during sex cause that's what women seem to want.

And that is the sticking point for him I think.   You see, I am difficult because I am real.  I have needs, wants and desires.  I have expectations, moods, feelings and emotions.   I don't need to tell folks on this board that everyone of those words is a red flag area.

So he objectifies a fantasy world.   In this world the women he engages with are formulated in his mind.   They do, feel, think, say, pose, everything he wants, needs, desires exactly where and when he wants them too and he never has to think about what they want, need, desire or are thinking.

Slowly over the years, they became a stronger pull on him than me.   He can spend hours in their company.    He will manipulate huge periods of time, money, days to be with them.   He will lie, misdirect, and flat out give up everything he has to be with them in his mind.

They are new.  Exciting.  Beautiful.  Sexy.   Unknown.   Most of all, they stop his pain.

I bet that in 2012 we didn't have sex 10 times.   From his mouth...   "sometimes I want sex two or three times a day but it doesn't mean I don't still want sex with you."

Problem is he does nothing with me.   He hasn't even held my hand in the last three months.  And for those of you thinking what have you done - yes, I have tried everything I can think of.   If you asked him though, he would tell you I have done nothing and that is his absolute truth of what he sees as reality.    I have never asked him to quit, I have (in prior years) incorporated his needs into our sex life even though they were never my thing.   It really did no good and it became obvious that sex with me was increasingly difficult and almost became impossible for him physically.  Perhaps because he knows that sex and love are connected for me?

Six months ago he told me quite calmly that these things were an integral part of who he was.  He said he didn't know how I put up with it and didn't know how anyone else could.  He would understand if I couldn't deal with it and move out.   That if it caused me distress it would be better that he go.    So folks - there I had it handed to me on a plate.   You always like to think that you are the most important thing in the World to your partner and that they would want you...   is that not what they chose when they fell in love with you?   Anyways, since then he hasn't touched me at all and will not talk about any aspect of it.   Occassionally he will rage that I am the cause of this relationship being the way it is.

So now we come to the stay or go part.   Why doesn't he leave like he says?   Well I am back to paragraph one here.   He is human despite the BPD.

Apart from this issue, things are pretty calm around here.   Especially now that I don't even try to resolve any issues.   He likes the house.  His things are here.   He is safe, secured and cared for.   I am not mean, vindictive or a pain to live with.  Most of the time we sit around and chat or we do things together - comfortable friends for most of the time.   Bills are paid, house is cleaned, clothes are washed.    I work, he doesn't.   He has his days to himself and company at night.   He has his hobbies which he indulges in freely.   All his needs are met here.   I am fully "trained" now and the arguments are gone.   He has his fantasy world to escape to which eases his personal pain and addresses his demons.   He has a firm construct that places the blame firmly on my shoulders and absolves him of all guilt for any aspect of the deficiencies in the relationship.   He also does tons of 'things' for me.  Not what *I* need or want (simple things like a kiss) but what he has decided *I* need (new kitchen).   He will spend hours doing/making this 'thing' for me...   he does it out of love and presents it to me with love.  I only have to mention wanting some 'thing' and he will work and work at it till he gets it for me.   Again, this solidifies in his mind his image of being a good and caring partner.   I love the things he does for me, but I would so much more love a kiss.   That is a concept he doesn't comprehend.   

So why do folks without a BPD relationship stay in loveless marriages...   I think you would find many of the things listed in the last paragraph on their list too.   It is alot of hassle to go out and start again.  You have to find someone first, THEY have to be mutually attracted to you to be able to fall head over heels in love with you.   Then you have to go through all the drama one more time...   and I think at an unconcious level he knows the cycle would happen over and over and over.   He has been through it three times before (always their fault the relationship ended).   

And now the final point.  Fear.   He fears the unknown of the future.   He has told me that he doesn't want to be old and die alone.   I think this is a huge fear for him.    I am the ultimate security from this fear.   

So where does this leave me?   This is the point.   I love him and he loves me (within the constructs of his personality). 

I am still young (ish - LOL), attractive, funny, talkative, intelligent and caring.   I spent 10 years happily alone after my first divorce.  I got into a relationship to share a life, love, experiences.  To give and to have support from a special person.     I thought I had that - now I realise I can never have that dream...   but is what I can have enough?

What about my pain.   The pain I now carefully keep hidden.    Can I live with it week after week.   

To have a nice day with someone then sit chatting, eating a nice meal.   You have let your guard down and you have started to relax.   All of a sudden, he stands up and says there is something he must get done.   Off he goes to his 'place' closes the door.    Now you sit alone for at least two or three hours till he emerges like nothing happened.   More often than not you just eventually get up and go to bed alone and wake up in the morning to find that he is still not there.   Nothing can be said or World War III will immediately evolve - of course I'll get nowhere - it is my fault.  If I had wanted to spend time with him I should have told him - I shouldn't be so sensitive.   Mostly, if I say anything he just rages at me and then leaves for hours cause he can't deal with me.    God forbid I have anything less than a smile on my face for the whole weekend...   regardless of how many hours he is otherwise engaged - then it is "I spoil every weekend".    So, I slap a smile on my face and act like it doesn't hurt...   we take up where the break happened.  Good friends hanging out and chatting vs conflicts. 



 
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tryingtogetit

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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 05:18:29 AM »

Dear Angel

You clearly have studied BPD well and have made a good analysis of what is going on. You deserve applause and respect for all your effort and willingness.
You also deserve so much respect for showing understanding for him and what he does, which must have brought you so many mixed emotions over time.

What stricks me though is that you seem to put so much more weight and tolerance to his needs than your own.

You wonder where that leaves you. I wonder that to. It's very sacrificial of you that you allow for his perceived 'needs' (obsession). But I wonder were you get your needs for intimacy and an emotional bond met?

Also really wonder of you truly are ok with it. Sure, may seem less hurtful to be ok with it, easier, not rocking the boat. But I wonder if you're not denying who you are.

It seems to me you're acting as just a guest, a pawn in his world. Like you're still deep in Oz (are you familiar with the Oz metaphor?)

Truth is that you deserve to be who you really are. And you deserve your needs met. Never mind about his for a while.
Maybe a good exercise is to think back about the person you were before him.
Independent, able to stand on your own.
You're still that person although you might have forgotten how it feels to be that person.

Not saying you should leave or stay. But I would recommend to build yourself back up, focus on yourself instead of him and see where that brings you.
This board is a great great place to learn and regain yourself.
Strength!
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tryingtogetit

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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 05:52:56 AM »

Actually, thinking about it further I want to add something to this and I apologize if it is a little blunt.

Reading he 'does his thing' a number of times a day (!) I think you also have to consider he's a sex-addict. This might put it in another perspective. He could well be an addict just as much as an alcoholic or a heroine junky.

Of course we can find reasons to explain why a person is an addict. But it does not improve anything if we do. We're more likely just to become enablers and that doesnt help anyone.
Consider what you would do if you were living with a junky or alcoholic.

You might conclude he is or he isn't addicted, but I say it will be good to mull it over and get info about sex-addiction to get an objective perspective.
Keep believing in yourself!
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almost789
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 06:12:33 AM »

Hi Angel,

I understand what a difficult situation you are in. You stated he spends hours and hours a day with these sexy women, doesn't have a job, spends lots of money, lies cheats and neglects you sexually and has nearly become physically unable to have normal sex with you. This is most definitly a sex addiciton.When it interferes with his ability to have a normal life, such as work, intimacy and sex with your spouse, it's an addiction. Just like any addiction, this will completely take over his life! He will get to where he does NOTHING at all, not even the things he used to enjoy doing. You didn't state who these women are, but I am assuming he's in the cyber sex world  Porn sites, webcam sex, chat rooms, pictures...   ect. Something you should know is yes this is an addiction, just like a drug addiction only worse because this is a BIOLOGICAL addiction and runs off of his very own brain chemistry, so while he says this is part of him, he is correct in a way. While he is addicted this has become part of his brain chemistry and he needs it, or he will go into withdrawl. The dopamine surge they get from porn is way stronger than what they get from REAL sex with regular women especially a wife since the "newness" of the whole thing has worn off. They don't even have to work to get it is just given to them, whatever they want. Its easy and just like you said, it doesn't have any needs. Just like a spoiled child who is given everything they want without any expectations. The sadest part is when they are willing to accept this as "part of themselves", sacrificing everything, their family, their children, their finances and even themselves for their addiction.

Now to you, you seem to have accepted this for now, but you don't seem happy with it. Some women just aren't sexual and this sort of thing doesn't bother them and they are actually glad he has something to keep him busy that way so that he doesn't bother them for it. Some go through their entire life married, but separate when it comes to "sex" life. Of course you have to decide what you can and can't live with. Right now it seems he is enjoying having his cake and eating it to. You are there for him to be the supportive wife, cleaning the house cooking, working and paying the bills AND keeping a smile on you face while being neglected as he expends all his sexual energy  in this cyber sex world and has nothing left for you. I can tell you that in this comfort he will never even try to change. They have to hit rock bottom, lose soemthing very significant to realise this is a problem. Right now he sees it as "ok" because he's got everything. If you leave and give  him a taste of what life is like without you there supporting him with his addiction he may see things differently. Change is never comfortable or easy, but how easy is it to live like this?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-doc/200910/what-drives-sex-addict
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angel1
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 06:40:14 AM »

get it,

so true.   And there lies the catch 22.  

I would say over the last six months, that my not arguing or standing up for myself has not been acceptance.   Certainly not the total acceptance described as a goal on these boards.

It has more been quiet contemplation.   A period of coming to understand.   A time of letting go of things that can never be.

Finding this board was an eye opener.   I did not want to accept the finality of the "diagnosis" but over and over I read EXACT senarios to what I have experienced recounted here.

It seems that if right in the problem, experience has shown those on this board to be right in the potential solutions.   We can learn to modify and exsist but we can't fix.   Each has their own decision to reach on whether the modification is enough for them.

Over the last six months as I have also begun to push away the memories of the love/times we had in the begining.   There is no point in holding onto them.   In the past I have brought up to him how things 'used' to be, and that only causes agitation in him.  He has told me he has no memory of those times or how they felt.   It stands to reason then that I am wasting energy holding onto a memory of a past that only belongs to me and holds no weight in the current senario.   Instead I have bounced back to who I was before we met.

I was difficult at first but is getting easier.   I think of things I liked to do when I was alone, what used to make me happy and I am forcing them back into my life.   I say forcing cause currently I still get no joy out of doing them, but I put myself through the motions,  Rebuilding, restructuring me.

Luckily I have a strong career base and strong ties into that community.   That aspect of my life has never intermingled with my personal life so I still have a strong sense of me when I walk out the door and go to work.   I am good at what I do, so I get get positive feedback there (which helps when you are all bad at home).  

So, back to your question.  Is it enough?

No, it is not.   I don't have to have things all my way, but there must be some compromise and some attempts by him to realise that I am alive.

It would really take very little on his part to bring it to a point where I could stay and be happy (at least I think it is very little).   That said, I don't think he will modify anything.

I also worry about the progression of this compulsion of his...   and it has progressed in time and intensity though he would deny that to the grave.   Every time I give alittle more and accept the aspect of this compulsion I think, OK, that is it..we have reached all you will have to learn to cope with.   It never is.  There is always more to come.

Then there is the anger that exsists within him.   About a year or so ago, we were having a pretty good time (I thought).    I went to use the phone, and it was open to camera.   The photos on there were shocking.  Heart stoppingly shocking.   Even in my wildest imaginings I did not even suspect it to that stage (and just let me say that like most I have seen xtube and am aware of most of the quirks of society).   When I confronted him about it, he said he did it cause he was mad at me and wanted to do something he knew would hurt me.   The whole weekend while we were (I thought) having fun together, he would pull out the phone and look at these pictures while I was unknowingly standing there chatting with him thinking he was just checking his messages.   He said it made him feel better to look at the images and know they would hurt me cause he was angry with me.   Now where do you think this conversation ended up - yup you guessed it.  By the end of the conversation I was bad cause I used his phone, it was my fault I had seen the pictures and therefore my fault that I had been exposed to that.  He was absolved from blame at this point in his mind and there was no further need to discuss it.

One other thing that is kinda weird.   And this is weird in the sense of my reaction to it.   I am not vain and don't seek or expect complements HOWEVER I have come to realise that I am totally a 'blank' picture to him.   You expect your partner to occassionally think you look good and are attractive.    This used to bother me alot.    It doesn't matter if I am in sick in a terry cloth robe with a red nose and coughing or dressed up in the little black dress and four inch heels going out.   He really REALLY doesn't see me.   I have absolutely no ability to be seen as beautiful or attractive in his eyes.

He does however clearly realise that I am attractive to other men...   but that is another story...  
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