Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => Romantic Relationship | Detaching and Learning after a Failed Relationship => Topic started by: Turkish on January 26, 2016, 01:03:31 AM

Title: Compassion For The OM
Post by: Turkish on January 26, 2016, 01:03:31 AM
She moved out two years ago to be with a younger guy she met while out clubbing while I stayed home with then D1 and S3. It was partially my fault because I didn't beg her to stay home, but allowed it, thus making her feel not wanted. There is a sliver of truth to this in BPD r/s world, but she owned her choices. She married and moved in with him just before this past summer. It looked to me to be something like a teen love affair. He's 8 years younger than she, 18 than me.

Early in October, she expressed regret about leaving me, "if I knew then what I know now." As my T pointed out, it was a narcussistic comment: all about her.

This weekend, it was our son's birthday, at the Mouse House, not Disney, but the annoying one that only kids like. I observed the kids' step-dad to be helpful and present. I've accepted it, though I'm not keen on being BFFs with him or anything like that. Whatever pain their affair caused my kids, I see that he does love them, and he's trying to do the right thing.

As we were gathering up things to go, I touched base with my Ex, because I had parked 4 blocks away at her parents' house. People had teken most of the stuff, and I was walking back with my mom and a couple of her siblings. SD was buried in his phone, as he often is... .must be a generational thing. My Ex tried to get his attention to help with whatever plans she had in mind. That's her deal, expecting a mind-read. There really wasn't much left to do. She said something harsh, got his attention, and when he easnt quite glancing his way, got an angry look on her face and made an extremely rude gesture around her head, implying he was brain-dead and worthless. I stared at her. She caught me staring, and I rolled my eyes and shook my head. She looked away. I meant it as disapproval of her treatment of him, which I found unacceptable, especially in front of our kids. She may have taken it as me agreeing with her, not sure.

We walked back. My Ex showed up 15 mins later with just the kids. A little while later, SD comes walking up the block. I asked him if there wasn't room in the car. He said no, but that he just felt like walking. I bet. I would have likely done the same (though with my kids, I wouldn't have left them alone). I couldn't help but think, "this is how you kill a r/s: death by a thousand tiny, but significant, devaluations."

So despite everything, I feel compassion (literally, "to suffer with". I wonder if she tells him the same thing she sometimes used to tell me when I was holding her in bed, "I'm such a 'b-word' to you, but I'm you're 'b-word'." Maybe.

He has a more advanced degree than I do, but I've been working in high tech since he was in diapers, and probably make over twice what he does. My Ex recently indicated that they were moving into a 1 bedroom (the four of them half the time when she has the kids), since they are losing their subsidized housing) at least as she said, "he starts making more money." It took me a decade of working in tech to start making decent money for where we live, and I moved out of state for 3 years in my late 20s to gain the experience which enabled that. She doesn't see. I was older, and somewhat established when we met.

The Rescuer in me wants to reach out to him. Earlier in that day, I ran into them at the supermarket. He told me, she had to eat; you know his she gets. I thought he was talking about D3 until I realized he was talking about her mom. I remember the lack of food dysregulation well.

Despite my Rescuer tendencies, getting involved in this would be unhealthy triangulation, even suggesting or coaching on validation. I've realized that it's in my best interest and also that of the kids for them to stay together. However, these are adults (legally), and they need to work out their own lives.

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: peace74 on January 26, 2016, 05:52:15 AM
I totally get what you're saying.  My first uBPDh married a girl 11 yrs. his junior.  Over time she and I became closer and I dealt with her regarding visitation, etc. because she was so much more reliable to get a hold of and so much more pleasant to deal with.  I am truly thankful she is in his life because she adds stability where there would be none.  She has called me throughout their 11 yrs. together totally distraught over his behavior.  I knew she knew I dealt with it and it's hard for other's to understand.  I've been there when he wanted to back out of the wedding, when he threatened suicide, was being abusive, etc.  I feel compassion for anyone that has to live like that.

My current uBPDh of eight yrs. just started dating.  We've be separated 2 yrs. but been dating and he even moved back in for a few months.  But I guess now it's finally over as I have been replaced.  Anyway, she is 10 yrs. his junior and 18 yrs. mine.  I know he's just using her.  It is so sad to me cause this girl is so young and has her whole life ahead of her and he will definitely cause drama and pain if she stays with him.  Our 7yr. old son seems to like her and she seems to be the caring, compassionate type - just like me.  It's not easy to see him with someone else.  Actually it hurts so bad I can't stand it but I don't hate her.  I truly feel bad for anyone that tries to have a relationship with him.  I know what I went through for 8 yrs. and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: peace74 on January 26, 2016, 05:58:26 AM
I also agree it's probably not the greatest idea to be in the middle of that relationship.  The times I did comfort my ex's wife, it hurt.  It just brought up the sadness and things that were better left buried.  She has obviously made a choice to stay and make their marriage work regardless of his behavior.  I didn't have a choice, he left me.  I just thank God I am not in that marriage anymore.  I don't think I was healthy enough to ever leave.

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: C.Stein on January 26, 2016, 12:46:48 PM
I remember the lack of food dysregulation well.

My ex was the same.  Complete flip-flop of behavior when she was hungry.

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: valet on January 26, 2016, 01:56:43 PM
Hey Turkish, did you consider the idea that maybe you need to be more compassionate towards yourself in this situation?

From my perspective, it's not out of the question that your apparent resentment ("this is how you kill a r/s: death by a thousand tiny, but significant, devaluations." could be motivated by the failure of the relationship with your ex. The 'I told you so' voice, in other words.

I know that their relationship affects you in some ways because of your kids, but you're right. They do need to work out their own lives.

Why do you think that it's in you and your children's best interest if they stay together?

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: joeramabeme on January 26, 2016, 03:39:59 PM
Hi Turkish

Thanks for that detailed posting, very clearly written and full of challenging feelings.

I wanted to echo what Valet said, be good to yourself. 

A couple of things that jumped out at me.  First your comment; "It was partially my fault because I didn't beg her to stay home, but allowed it, thus making her feel not wanted. "  NO!  It is never our fault that our spouses choose to go out of the house because we do not beg them to stay home.  Nor does this have anything at all to do with making them feel not wanted!  I know you know this. Her healthy response is to be grateful to have a husband that is not needy so she can enjoy time with her friends.   

I asked myself while reading your post, where is this coming from?  I sense that there is still a feeling that you could have done something different and got a different outcome?  You know that is not true - and yes you are far my senior on this board and perhaps in many other areas but I will still call you out on this one all day long.

There is a sliver of truth to this in BPD r/s world, but she owned her choices.   Very insidious BPD is.  There may be more than a sliver of truth in her words and understanding, but the outcomes she chose are almost certainly not based on truth.

Have you thought about limiting your exposure to family events with the SD?  Do the kids need you there?  Have you honestly questioned your motivations for subjecting yourself to this?  At what cost?  What do you need to do to move forward another step? 

Lastly, comparing yourself to SD is so unfair to YOU.  It must be confusing as to why she picked the SD over you but my quick guess is that you are in a healthier place than he and that is far safer for her.

Apologies in advance if this post feels curt or a little rough around the edges.  I suppose it is because I have needed to be asked these same questions about what I was thinking, feeling and doing to get me out of my own mental malaise.

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: Dutched on January 26, 2016, 04:40:10 PM
Hi Turkish

I see in your numerous posts a very gentle man, sympathetic, showing a lot of empathy and with high standards. A dad and son for whom family is the most important. 

Having said that, and please do not take it as an offence(!), please keep watching your back (as I commented when your divorce came final), as I get a feeling that it is sometimes hard for you.

You are there for your kids, certainly unconditionally when they stay with their dad! When out of reach, I see (understandably for me as a dad too), you worry because of the ‘dynamics’ they face when staying with mom.   

As you already see, their mom already slides back into her ‘old habits’, which is exposed to your kids too.

The next step might be predictable… reaching out for help… to have ‘some one to talk to’… YOU.

Observing that, concentrate on your kids only for their wellbeing. Their wellbeing by guarding your boundaries too (as I remember, once their mom wanted a ‘happy family gathering’ -which you in a very diplomatic way declined- ).

I would suggest, and how hard it might be for the kids, not to join those ‘family gatherings’ anymore.

Celebrate a birthday or family festivities separate with your kids only and not with mom present.

Initially the kids might be question it, but your reason to do so will be very valid (special q-time / new tradition, etc.).     

You won’t have to face any dynamics anymore and… not to face a stranger with your kids.

The most you gain is YOUR freedom by not having those eyes in your back, that will give you so much inner rest.

BTW you wrote:

Early in October, she expressed regret about leaving me, "if I knew then what I know now"

Exw expressed something similar after a 2 yrs. by saying: ‘You know! All of this was certainly not my intention!’ 

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: ladylee on January 26, 2016, 05:21:42 PM
Hi Turkish, I agree with a lot of what you say and I feel compassion for you in how you point out that these r/s with BPD who seem to be the loves of our lives slip away so sadly. These are people who live a in dark world, they are essentially actors that need people like us to shine light into their darkness, so they can thrive. I see that light as our spirit energy. It fills their void. That light is the validation they need. But how much of that can we give them on a regular basis without depriving ourselves of life, of thriving?  Our energy, that we need to rejuvenate ourselves every day, is vital.  Each and every one of us is responsible for our own restoration of energy, who is going to restore us, if we are giving this light away? If we are not in reciprocal r/s, than we are in parasitic ones, and we will become sick.  Our souls will become sick. I don't know if you understand what I'm saying, but it's like we become resentful or depressed because we're not getting it back. You cannot and should not do for someone what they must do for themselves on a long-term basis, without harming both parties. Over empathetic people do this a lot, it's why we get hard picked by these BPD s

Title: Re: Compassion For The OM
Post by: Turkish on January 27, 2016, 02:41:08 AM
It was partially my fault because I didn't beg her to stay home, but allowed it, thus making her feel not wanted.

I was being a little facetious, kind of quoting her, but maybe y all are right. I may be still beating myself up, subtly.

After it was over, she referenced be night. We had just gitten the kids to bed. I had sat down to watch a half an hour of tv before I turned in. She was getting ready to go out. She came out in a tight, but fairly conservative dress for clubbing. I told her that she looked great. Mnthsclater, she told me that on that night she had wished I had told her to stay home. This, from a woman who didn't want to be controlled, but often she signaled otherwise. She used to tell me, "I like that you don't try to control me."

Do I signal that I still may struggle with this? I hardly post here anymore, but maybe it lingers.

She staying with her husband? It's stability. Better for all of us. I'm resisting my Rescuer tendencies to rech out to him to "coach." Unhealthy triangulation, that would be. She's kind of stable for now, and it's in our best interests that it remains so. Emotionally for all of us; financially also for me. I have 14 more years she could come after me for more CS.

I set lousy boundaries over the last two years. It would be weird to detach from the kids' parties. They wouldn't understand. That side of the family is Hispanic. Fiestas are a huge deal, significant to their culture. I'm at peace with seeing the OM 2- 3 times per year at functions. My ,a in trigger was how she treated him.

When we moved into our house, she told me later that one of her brothers commented, "I can't believe how [Ex] talks to Turkish." One, if only they knew. Two, the utter lack of empathy talking about me to me as if I weren't "in the room.". She also did this as we were detaching, rrcounting conversations where she was complaining about me to her friends, as if she weren't talking about me. But that's in the past... .She is who she is, and I am who I am.