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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: Need suggestions with ultimatum / boundaries  (Read 750 times)
Lost in Love

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« on: December 11, 2013, 03:37:06 PM »

We have hit an all time low and without getting into too much detail, I'm only willing to stay with my BPD fiance (after what happened during his last rage) if he agrees to get help. I will also get help but I can't work on the relationship if he's not working on himself. I know this is his decision and that I can only help him, I'm not responsible for him. But how do I put forth what really is an ultimatum without triggering him because for me, it's my boundary. Hope that makes sense smiley

Thank you, in advance, for any help or suggestions.
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maxsterling
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 04:27:48 PM »

I am no expert on boundaries, and have big issues setting them myself.  But, I assuming the boundary you want to set is, "I will only stay in this relationship if you seek help".  Is this correct?

As I understand, boundaries need consequences if they are broken, otherwise there is no point. 

So maybe saying, "I love you. This relationship is important to me.  I want to work on this relationship so that what happened never happens again.  But that means we must work on ourselves, and I can't stay in this relationship unless you are willing to do the work on yourself, too."  And if that triggers him into a rage, I think that is a pretty good indication he would violate your boundary anyway, so then maybe is your cue to act on the consequence, and end things. 

I think many of us should be asking ourselves things like:
Can I live like this if my partner never changes? 
Do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Am I willing to stick to consequences if boundaries are broken?
Am I happier or as happy within the relationship than out of the relationship?

Those are the questions I am asking myself right now. 
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Are you on the right board?
This board is for analyzing and making the decision to either continue working on your relationship or to leave it. If you have already please advance to "L3 Leaving" or the "L4 Staying" board.
All members living with a pwBPD should learn to use the Stop the Bleeding tools - boundaries, timeouts and other basic tools - to better manage the day to day interactions with your partner. If you have questions on any of the tools, feel free to go over to Staying: Improving a Relationship with a Borderline Partner and ask for help. :-)
Lost in Love

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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 04:51:46 PM »

Thank you MaxSterling. I like how you worded that. He is very receptive to "because" (because I love you and because I want to work on this relationship... ) It will be hard but it is the only option. Well, the only healthy option. Part of it is timing but I'm going to just feel it out and talk when he's able to listen (I can usually tell when he's open to talking) hopefully he will take me up on my offer to help get him help and take it seriously. Because I am serious about it. It hurts to think of him not going and having to end it but it will only get worse if he isn't getting help. I can't live like this if he never changes. I am very strong but over years and years, that would be unbearable and probably really wear me down. Not what I want to sign up for! Thanks again smiley
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karma_gal
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 08:05:19 PM »

Thank you MaxSterling. I like how you worded that. He is very receptive to "because" (because I love you and because I want to work on this relationship... ) It will be hard but it is the only option. Well, the only healthy option. Part of it is timing but I'm going to just feel it out and talk when he's able to listen (I can usually tell when he's open to talking) hopefully he will take me up on my offer to help get him help and take it seriously. Because I am serious about it. It hurts to think of him not going and having to end it but it will only get worse if he isn't getting help. I can't live like this if he never changes. I am very strong but over years and years, that would be unbearable and probably really wear me down. Not what I want to sign up for! Thanks again smiley

I don't have anything to add, really, except I wanted to tell you that I think it's so awesome that you not only saw the red flags BEFORE marriage, but that you also realize something needs done to address them and are willing to walk away if he decides not to seek help.  So many of us were not that lucky, or in my case smart, and you are already so far ahead of the game by simply knowing what you are up against, what your boundaries are, and strong enough to enforce the consequences.  I hope for your sake that your fiance gets the help he needs to allow you to move forward... but will be the first to tell you that if he decides NOT to get help, getting out sooner rather than later will save you years of heartache and stress.  I will watch for your update to see how this works out for you, and will keep you in my thoughts in the meantime that your talk goes well!   
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Turkish
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 10:18:12 AM »

We have hit an all time low and without getting into too much detail, I'm only willing to stay with my BPD fiance (after what happened during his last rage) if he agrees to get help. I will also get help but I can't work on the relationship if he's not working on himself. I know this is his decision and that I can only help him, I'm not responsible for him. But how do I put forth what really is an ultimatum without triggering him because for me, it's my boundary. Hope that makes sense smiley

Thank you, in advance, for any help or suggestions.

Hi LiL,

This isn't my usual board, but I thought I'd drop by to see how you are doing. You are doing a hard thing focusing on the here and now, but I'd encourage you to think about the future children you say you want to have, as stressors such as kids add a whole other dynamic into the mix. They did with mine, especially our second child. For me, I feel that I have had to be the "adult" like never before. Take care...

Turkish
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Value yourself for who you are, and not for what you are to others.

Lost in Love

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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 07:31:10 PM »

Thank you everyone for you support and caring. It really means a lot to me. Update is that is when I went back, he was still showing signs of aggression so I grabbed the last of my valuables, including the pets and ran for my life. I went back to VA and am staying with his parents for a few days while we figure this out. His parents are super supportive and know I had no choice to do what I needed to do. They also know he needs help and knows that it must come from them, not me. I finally told him I'm here and I want him to come here for the holidays and we can go from there. He has admitted that he can't control himself and said he's afraid to leave the apartment because he's afraid he won't get back. He also said he's sorry I don't feel safe with him. To me, that's a start. I know he has broken down a few times with his mom and dad but I think he needed that. He needs to feel rock bottom and that he needs help before he can agree to get help. It wouldn't help if we just forced him into therapy. But as he seems to be asking for help, that's a glimpse of hope. I also know thats how this disease works and without therapy, it will get just continue to get worse. So, although I'm glad we are moving in a direction toward therapy, if he gets here and refuses, that will be it for me. I will NOT move forward without therapy and/or medication. He will have to understand this has traumatized me and that he will have to be open to therapy for the rest of our lives if need be. I'm not really getting my hopes up though because like I said, I don't know what's going to happen. I am just taking it one moment at a time and trying to keep myself safe and healthy in the meantime. Its been great being here. I didn't realize just how much help I needed until I had it (from his parents).

Thank you again for your support.

As for kids... we'll have to deal with that in therapy before we decide to move forward. We are not anywhere near having kids right now but I do think with therapy and/or meds, he could thrive. I know he would be an amazing dad but I know that could be a big tripper and the BPD would have to be under control with meds/therapy. Again, one bridge at a time to cross.
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Surnia
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 02:18:58 AM »

Hi Lost in Love

Great you found the courage and the moment to grab you things and leave for a safe place!  Doing the right thing

Yes, you cannot force someone to therapy. He needs to come to the conclusion himself.

Keep going your path staying safe and reaching out for support.  smiley
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“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.”  BrenĂ© Brown
Lost in Love

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 10:40:51 AM »

Thank you. I will look through the message boards and I know we may just have to do a little research but does anyone have advise on getting the right type of help he needs? Is this an inpatient thing at first? A mood stabilizer and then therapy? A bit of both? I know that only a Dr can diagnose him but just wanting a little info on what to expect. Thanks.
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Surnia
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 11:52:23 AM »

Hi Lost in Love

I can understand that you want to know what to expect about therapy and there is probably some hope connected for a positive outcome.

There is the saying that each big trip is starting with one step, and I think the first big step would be that your fiance would have a appointment with a psychiatrist or a therapist.
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“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.”  BrenĂ© Brown
Turkish
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 07:50:29 PM »

Thank you. I will look through the message boards and I know we may just have to do a little research but does anyone have advise on getting the right type of help he needs? Is this an inpatient thing at first? A mood stabilizer and then therapy? A bit of both? I know that only a Dr can diagnose him but just wanting a little info on what to expect. Thanks.

Hi, here is a short article that might provide you some perspective... not sure if anyone posted this for you yet, or if you found it:

Helping a loved one with BPD seek treatment
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Value yourself for who you are, and not for what you are to others.

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