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Author Topic: 8.21 | Contact after the breakup [romantic partners]  (Read 43196 times)
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« on: May 25, 2010, 05:30:03 PM »

Contact after the breakup - what is this about?

Post breakup communications confuses just about everyone.  Why?  

Possibly we see the communication in a simplistic isolated way - not really considering the whole picture.  

Possibly because we are very conflicted by our owns feelings - do we want her/him or not?

Possibly both parties have become conditioned to recycling.

Possibly we are in an emotional cloud - seeing what we want to see rather than what is.


Below is a description the the different types of 'big break-up" communications recently received by members.  

The hardest question is, how can we tell which are which in real time?  How should we treat each differently?

Skippy




Survey data about the communications we receive after the "big break-up"



Normal post relationship contact (6%*) - all the logistics and coordination stuff (returning the pets, the key, picking up things left behind, discussion about mutual friend, etc.).  

True, there might be attitude with this.  True your partner may have left somethings behind - or held some things of yours.  It may be about insecurity about leaving (so they are leaving few bread crumbs leading back) -  or a little anger -  or it's to avoid an emotional showdown (they may just want to wait to until things are cool to resolve these items).  

This is not a unique to BPD behavior.  There is often a lot of ceremony in a breakup of a relationship - especially if their were ongoing frustrations.  It happens in many relationships.

Overstepping Conventional Boundaries/Boundary Busting/Using you (50%*) - Inappropriate post relationship requests are not uncommon in a dissolved relationships with a person suffering from BPD. People with BPD may overstep the conventional boundaries by asking for friendship, favors, validation, even sex after having emotionally disengaged from the relationship themselves.

This is often misconstrued by us as another attempt to recycle. This can be very confusing, and even cruel to the us as the former partner. Understanding that this occurs and being vigilant about maintaining conventional post relationship boundaries is important. It might be emotionally hard to do.  

Remember,people with BPD are known to overstep personal boundaries in relationships and it stands to reason that they would do so post relationship. The motivations for the person with BPD are often selfishness and insensitivity rather than maliciousness.  Nonetheles, our hurt is the same.

If the person truly wants to get back - give it very careful consideration and go slow. If your partner wants to jump back in right where you left off it's a bad sign.

Post relationship fighting (28%*)  - This can been in the form of either blaming, or detailing the resentment, or raging, or showing off the new boyfriend, or a host of other angry/resentful things.

With a very angry/resentful people, it's not unusual for the anger to continue past the separation. Many couples do this.  There is a lot of anger associated with this disorder.  

For the person with BPD this is mostly about resentments that have built up and feelings of being violated or shamed.    The blame goes to you because the pwBPD doesn't want it to be because of their (bad) behavior - they ofte need to be the victim in their new life - it not about us.  

For us it is typically about feelings of betrayal.

Continuation's of of the breakup/makeup cycle (6%*) - While this is a small percentage of the post breakup communications, a recent bpdfamily poll suggests that as many as 75% of the relationships for members on the L3-Leaving have/had 4 or more break-up/make-up cycles.  See data here

Blackmail/Manipulation (<1%*) - This the most pathological of the post relationship behaviors.  Some pwBPD will use suicide or self-harm, threats of harm to others or property, or threats of false criminal accusations to manipulate the situation.

* = Percent of post relationship communications. Percentages reference
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 06:39:33 PM »

Skip,

I think this is pretty thought-provoking;  it's going to take me awhile to absorb it.

One reaction I have is that the biggest slice of the pie is "boundary-busting"... .and that's also where we nons are so fuzzy, especially at the time of the breakup.  If our boundaries aren't clear - and mine certainly weren't, even to me - then we're not going to see lots of behaviors that way.  It took me a long time to get enough perspective to see which behaviors were stomping on normal boundaries.

I think that might be why we sometimes see things in that big slice differently;  we can think it's malicious, or intended to get us back into the relationship, when it's really one person (the BPD sufferer) who's not very good at respecting boundaries, and another person (that would be me) who's not very good at maintaining them.
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 08:25:51 PM »

all i know and can say about this is this:

after any normal breakup i have had, we have both gone NC, at least for a good 6 months, to heal. 

i was ABSOLUTELY shocked when i heard from my uBPDex a day after she broke up with me over the phone, asking if i was okay ... .then the next day calling me to talk.  it baffled me.  i assumed this meant she was having second thoughts about the extremely abrupt breakup.  i was wrong.  i was in for a whole month of pushing and pulling after that.  definitely boundary breaking, and where she really messed me up.
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 08:51:54 PM »

Right now, I'm in the "post relationship fighting" slice of the pie.  

His lack of a stable place to stay with his 13 yr old son, his loss of his truck due to him hitting on the guy who sold it to him's girlfriend, his having to work multiple jobs to just buy food, etc.  It's all my fault because I "kicked him and his son to the curb".  Not so.  I gave him plenty of opportunity to remain here, keep the truck and take care of his kid.  He chose to act irresponsibily and live in the moment in his alcohol haze and to the things that happened that brought consequences... .not just from me, but of course, they are all my fault.  I'm just trying to remember that I am doing the most fairest thing and holding him accountable for his actions. and not compromising my needs.  
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 08:58:16 PM »

all i know and can say about this is this:

after any normal breakup i have had, we have both gone NC, at least for a good 6 months, to heal. 

i was ABSOLUTELY shocked when i heard from my uBPDex a day after she broke up with me over the phone, asking if i was okay ... .then the next day calling me to talk.  it baffled me.  i assumed this meant she was having second thoughts about the extremely abrupt breakup.  i was wrong.  i was in for a whole month of pushing and pulling after that.  definitely boundary breaking, and where she really messed me up.

I just read your intro post and it may be a good example.  One point in all of this is we tend to focus on the "here and now" when the answers are easier to see when looking at the bigger picture.

In your case, the "here and now" is your loving eyes for her, a wonderful touching gift from, tender music, a romantic experience, and warm words.  In the "here and now" it looks like a break-up/make-up.  

The bigger picture was a brief 4 week relationship and back to ex, said she was incapable of a relationship (with you), said couldn't be satisfied by one person (which explained your role).   In the bigger picture it looks like boundary breaking (60% category).  She didn't want you as #1 - she wanted you to be #2 or a bridge relationship.

Is this at all correct?  I just read your intro post.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 09:23:55 PM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times. Some of it was about things she left behind. Then she wanted to see the cat she left behind. With all of this, I set my boundry and placed her items in a box outside for her to pick up. She could see the cat when  I was free to do so. I placed the cat in the carrier on the porch for her to visit while I went for a run. She was angry that I did that and felt it disrespectful to her. This was her way of trying to control me... .to have things her way... .to weave herself back into my life in some fashion. I set boundries. No more. Done. Any post contact from her made me anxious. I did not like the way it felt to have her near me, text me or otherwise contact me in any fashion. Any kind of contact from her was not about her missing me or having any feelings towards me... .it was all about her and her needs. I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 09:27:36 PM »

 

The bigger picture was a brief 4 week relationship and back to ex, said she was incapable of a relationship (with you), said couldn't be satisfied by one person (which explained your role).   In the bigger picture it looks like boundary breaking (60% category).  She didn't want you as #1 - she wanted you to be #2 or a bridge relationship.

Is this at all correct?  I just read your intro post.

i have no clue what she wanted from me.  i guess a bridge relationship.  but she sure acted like we had something special.  if i was a bridge relationship, it was a bridge from her ex that she cheated on with 4 different people, to her current, whom she physically and psychologically abuses, and has moved in with her 2 weeks after they started dating.  with the new one, my ex is a completely and totally different monster.  but we don't speak anymore.  bottomline i need to accept is that it's over, and i'll never understand it.  wish she just would've left it over the night she broke up with me, that's all.
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 10:29:36 PM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times... Any post contact from her made me anxious. I did not like the way it felt to have her near me, text me or otherwise contact me in any fashion. Any kind of contact from her was not about her missing me or having any feelings towards me... .it was all about her and her needs. I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.

jalk im in the same boat. i have done nothing to reach out to her, have ignored several attempts, she has left some messages and ive had other people listen to make sure of threats, etc. the last message she said something to the effect of... "IM f'd now"... .really? you? hmmmm so completely seen the selfishness.

so in response to the topic, id say its boundry busting. theres nothing of hers here, theres no reason for us to communicate anymore. thats what category im putting it in. am i right skip?
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 10:31:58 PM »

I'm not skip but I think you are right.  Under non BPD circumstances people can continue to be in contact.  But in this case it's in you best interest to be NC.
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2010, 10:49:21 PM »

All of my post breakup contact with the ex has been "normal post break-up" (ie the 5% one).
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2010, 11:02:52 PM »

Ouch, this subject hurts. I was the inappropriate one for boundary busting. As I reflect on the behavior however I think it was due to my absolute devastation as to what happened and me trying to make sense of it all... .Plus I had not gone through something like this prior, no experience to draw from...

I was stuck in "magical" thinking, thinking if I explained things well enough the person I knew would return and talk to me. Then I was stuck in "helping" him, I knew I didn't want a intimate relationship with him anymore, didn't ask for one, but hoped for a friendship of some sort. The friendship was under one condition... that we discuss what happened and have closure.

When I went N/C I would hear from him and get sucked back in, other times I didn't get sucked in. He asked me for friendship, immediately, then three times in emails, he even detailed how it would happen-over time.

Here is the kicker, had he not been so emotionally abusive that last day and flippin cruel in his comments, I would have been okay with N/C and friendship down the road. But then, it would have meant our relationship was healthy. We weren't a healthy couple.

I was working through all of this and decided no to the friendship. I was so flipping confused, how could a guy rip me apart and then email such kind things, write a loving letter, and then NOT address the emotional abuse. The best thing I could have done is just not emailed him or called and left a message. Sometimes though when we gain our personal power back we have to let the other party know that... .plus I decided telling him he was a narcissist was in his own good.

Yikes, I am so embarrassed to admit this. Anyway I lifted the block on my email, wrote him a note telling him no the friendship, stated he was an abusive guy, the relationship was a mistake on my part AND emailed information on attachment and narcissism. Such a loving act  .

I have learned a valuable lesson here... no matter how much I hurt, am confused, etc. I will not do this again. PERIOD. I hurt me in the long run through prolonging the emotional pain and I gave up my personal power.

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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 11:18:36 PM »

I suppose my experience has been an equal mix of the boundary busting and blackmail categories.  My H and I have connected once since I left him, and that was via chat on facebook.  However, he has left voicemails for my family and friends wanting to know where I am and that he "urgently" needs to speak with me.  The chat on facebook -- I didn't realize I was online and when he sent me a note, I was in shock.  I didn't even know you could chat on facebook!  I eventually answered his chat but he threw everything in my face and blamed me for all of it.  He raged via chat!  And I copied and pasted it all into a document to then give to my therapist to decipher, because I obviously could not.  I then deactivated my facebook account.  He has tried to contact me numerous times via e-mail, but I have not responded.  He plays the victim role each time... ."I would really like to fall asleep without crying"... ."My birthday was terrible"... ."Work is the only thing that keeps me from vomiting all day"... .  Regardless, in all of these communication attempts, he has made it clear that he wants me back.  He wants me to "come home" and he'll be better.  blah. blah. blah.  The reason I also chose boundary busting is because when I left him, I wrote a brief note for him to find when he returned home and would find me gone.  Said that I never wanted to talk to or see him ever again.  And that more importantly, I didn't want him to ever talk to or see me again.  He rarely respected my wishes when we were together.  Don't know why I thought it would be different just because the geography changed.
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 01:57:19 AM »

The most confusing aspect of this disorder was the boundary breaking.  I did not know anything about BPD when I was left for someone else after he promised a life together with me.  I naturally went nc as I am not one for running after people when they have made a decision to leave or I leave.  I just couldnt get my head around the texts within days asking if I was ok... .it totally baffled me.  Since then (over 18 months ago) the boundaries have been broken and stomped upon countlessly.  When someone blocks you from facebook, emails, texts, home phones and sits under the window when they ring the doorbell until he leaves, it is a huge statement to a normal person that you really dont want them around anymore.  The disorder barges through this every single time.  The filters pwBPD must have in their mind completely  obliterate any normal thinking and processing.  It is this which has confused me, made me ill and has totally engulfed me for so long.  He is now engaged and moving into a house that they have bought together... .he still is trying to engage me?  Moving on to the blackmail, well, there we go, it happened a few days ago, even after all this time ?.  He wants to leave his fiance and the house move and move into rented accomodation so he can eventually be with me again.  He asked me to look after his great dane for him until he moves out and if I didnt look after him he would have him put down.  The craziness of his mind is astonishing.  The break up make up cycle only happened when we were supposedly together, it was on and off for 2 years.  Its only thanks to this site that I did not return when he finally left, where I got my strenght from I dont know!  The fighting aspect came from me when he finally divulged to me a few months after he left the shere horrendousness of his cheating behind my back.  His thoughts were if he told me everything I would forgive him and we could return to the original relationship.  I was insensed and reacted with anger, hurt and frustration.  Finally the normal contact was very rare.  There were moments of clarity which is the hook that keeps us by their side.  Looking back though over the last 18 months his disorder is escalating to levels I have not seen before.  It used to be a 3 month cycle when he would contact, usually when he would argue with his girlfriend, there is now no pattern, its still erratic but comes in more frequently.

Tippy
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 02:57:58 AM »

This was her way of trying to control me... .to have things her way... .to weave herself back into my life in some fashion.

I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.

Jalk, I know this is how it felt in the moment, but does looking at the bigger picture help?

The small picture was a lot of mixed signals and confusion by her actions.  If she was leaving, why didn't she make arrangements for the cat, why was she contacting you, what did she trying to do to you? Was it control? Payback? Maliciousness?

The big picture view is that she leaves to pursue another relationship.  This was "happy time" for her.  It was heartbreak city for you (thats a tough situation to live through).  

She was completely caught up in her happiness.  You were completely caught up in your pain.  

She wanted you to be a supportive buddy.  You agreed (when you kept the cat).  Her anger was not to control you - it was because you agreed to be the kennel and you then you made her deal with your hurt rather than act like a friend who agreed to hold a cat for a few months.  

The complexities and humiliation of the cat visits was not you being mean - it was you being heartbroken and wanting her to at least acknowledge your emotions at the time.

This was a boundary mess.  She had no respect for conventional post relationship boundaries. You were caught off guard and it took a little while for you to erect some boundaries.   It was not control.   It was not anger.  It wasn't about you or your feelings at all.

So why does she text you now when the photo of the two of you made ended up in a college exhibit?  Because you're the buddy and the only one she can share that excitement with. Her current ex wouldn't find that interesting.  It's probably no more than that. Her expectation most likely was for you to text back  "cool, where can I go to see it" .  It was a simple, uncomplicated, moment for her.

Has she demonized you?  The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing.

What do you think?

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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 04:52:15 AM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times. 

I have to say that I am so glad I don't have a phone right now.  Haven't had one for over a month.  If I need to communicate with anyone, I email them or use facebook, and at times, have gone to my work which is a 5 minute drive to use the phone there (I have a key).  It has been glorious because I have a feeling that if I were to have a phone, there would be a lot of angry calls or texts.  Now, if he needs to communicate, he needs to find me or go through a mutual friend.  Since he "doesn't want to see my face", there is very little direct communication.  I think this has been a god send.

As for the other pieces of the pie, I have experienced them only in glimpses... .not sure if they will occur in the future.  We really have only been fully separated for a little over a week.  Because he lives so close and most of our friends are mutual friends, and because this town is so small, I'm guessing I may experience more of the other pieces, at some point.

How to deal with them when they occur?  I think attempting LC to NC is the best way.  Also, to try to keep the emotion out of the communication when it does occur will be the key.  Difficult, but I think that is the best way to handle these people.
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2010, 07:55:18 AM »

Think back to a normal breakup. It is usually tough, and it will hurt one of the participants, usually. Once "the talk" is over, and you have communicated a desire to not see one another anymore, that is usually the closure on the subject. In the case of post relationship contact, there is a firm boundary of not recycling the relationship. That will stand tall in the midst of it all.

The one breaking up will have an absoluteness about it. There is no teetering. There is a core sense of self, and desire. It maintains its thoughts and desires, not wavering in the fear, obligation, or guilt. The one being broken up with may try to recycle the relationship, but will encounter a brick wall of boundaries that quickly stops any and all attempts. Acceptance starts from that point.

Now take a disordered person, and inject them into the process. The big missing element is the strong core sense of self. Their thought processes move laterally depending on the fear and abandonment issues that they experience from day to day. One day, they may never want to see you again, and two days later, they want to have coffee with you. This leads to the massive confusion of the non, and the recycling process begins.

The boundary breaking comes from both sides of the fence. The lack of a core sense of self allows the disordered person to temporarily relieve themselves of any and all boundaries, and instigate contact. The FOG allows the non to take the communications, and read their own feeling into it, in their own utter confusion of the events.

We tend to think of what we would want if we committed certain actions. We judge others behavior, based on our own behaviors. If we call someone, and ask them to coffee, then it means we are interested in them. When someone asks us to coffee, we take the mindset of they must be interested in us. This type of uneducated thinking, leads us to drop our own boundaries. Boundary breaking is boundary breaking, even if it us who does it to ourselves, in our own misperception, or confusion of the events that are unfolding.

This process is a very complicated one, and includes many variables. We are really at the infancy of understanding it. The most useful piece of information, that we must understand in viewing all of this is the lack of core self in the disordered participant. There usually is no continuum of thoughts and feelings present. What we experience from their end isn't concrete, but more fleeting. We try to base our decisions on concrete thoughts and feelings. Thus the large amounts of recycles in these relationships.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2010, 08:15:09 AM »

im a bit late to the party but its been a very interesting thread. I couldnt and didnt go NC. 2 very young children living with bpxw. My contact was often my measure of their coping (encouraged by T). My observation is that the styles of contact were not distinct and defined. In fact more often than not they would blend (bleed ?) into one another in the course of the single contact. A telphone call would encompass rage, then make up/break up, blackmail and even normality. It would flick from one to another without any apparent trigger or cause. An email would start professing undying love and end with a tirade of abuse. And in between the email would cover every other style multiple times.

I dont know that I would agree with the percentages of the pie. Certainly it could have been the pattern during a single contact but overall, I think the styles tended to be pretty even.

What I did conclude is that the communication (or style of contact) was not about me (or the kids) but was really just about the bpxw. Whether she was angry or sad, lovestruck or victimised had nothing to do with anything I had said or done but was only about how she felt at that moment in time.

Strangely enough there is a sense of relief when I had the "aha" moment and realised I played no role in the style of contact. What I then needed to learn was that although I didnt control the style of contact I was enabling the contact by maintaining the lines of communication. It took a while for me to step back from that too.
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 08:26:17 AM »

Well this thread opened a can of worms didn't it. The only contact I got post breakup, ( there actually was no "breakup", she simply left,  and  ignored a letter and 3 dozen long stem roses that I sent right after she left ), was after 5 months of dead silence from her.  I got a  "Happy Birthday!" email from her on my birthday... It made no sense to me, first she tells me "l  love you more than you will ever know" Then the switch got flipped in her brain and she pretty much ripped my heart out and stomped it to death, ( for lack of a better description  ?), then sends me a happy birthday note.  Considering how she ended it with me wondering "what the F*@k just happened here? "... .I think the birthday note would fall under boundary breaking.

  SMP,  my two cents, I don't think Skip meant to say "Maybe she just wasn't that into you", when part of his response to Jalk included. "... .The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing... ." I think, He was stating a variation on the same theme of what you had stated in your post, "... .They just aren't that into ANYONE... ."

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession". And , because they also aren't really adults emotionally, and their thinking is kinda stuck on a child like level, they literally can't grasp why their behavior patterns in relationships are wrong, on so many levels.

   Because the BPD paradigm, through which they view their relationships is so different than us "nons", they can do things or go through situations, that likely arouse strong emotions in us,  while they feel very little emotion about it at all. Cause like you said, "... .Bottom line... .these people don't have a bigger picture... ."  Well... . they do I guess, but they cant see or grasp it.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 08:35:23 AM »

That is a very good point Little Doggy. To paraphrase you a little, it took you a little while, and alot of understanding of the dynamics at play, to be able to sucessfully erect and secure your own boundaries. Its hard to build something when you are completely confused about everything.

Looking back on history, there is a huge lesson that needs to be learned. We must come to an understanding of the dynamics, and thought processes that happen. Without understanding, we hold fear. In this fear, we hold onto victimization. In this victimization, we tend to think of people who are different than us as demons. In a land of various shades of grey, there truly is no black and white. There are no "all good" and "all bad" people.

Many events in history had mass casualties due to fear, victimization, and demonization. One that comes to mind is the Salem Witch hunts. Another is the Crusades.

In order to understand the dynamics at play, we must first put down our victimizations, and rise above it to see the bigger picture. It is only then that we will have the mindset to see that we aren't the targets, although it feels like it. Just like Little Doggy has here, he looked through his victimization, and saw that it was only about her, and her needs. Those things affected him, and his life. It was only through understanding that, that he could start to erect the proper boundaries to allow her to have her feelings and emotions, and not have them affect him. We can never take away anyones feelings and emotions, we can only control how they affect our own.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 08:39:09 AM »

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession".

I think everyone wants to be swept off their feet, or at least that's the fairy tale.  Now that I have had that experience, I think I would run if I felt I was being swept off my feet in the future.Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)

I know it's a little off topic since we're talking about post-break up communication, but because they so quickly go back into the sweeping someone else off their feet mode, perhaps, while we are in post-break up communication mode, it makes things muddy.  You are dealing with someone who is putting so much energy into getting someone new, that their communication with the ex (us) is colored by pursuing this new person.  If there weren't anyone new in the picture, and their energy wasn't going towards that, there might be more post-break up communication issues than not.  Or at least that's what has happened in my case.  That's why in an odd way, I'm thankful he's pursuing someone else.  It at least takes the focus off of me, somewhat.
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 09:02:02 AM »

Quote from Want2know:

     "because they so quickly go back into the sweeping someone else off their feet mode, perhaps, while we are in post-break up communication mode, it makes things muddy.  You are dealing with someone who is putting so much energy into getting someone new, that their communication with the ex (us) is colored by pursuing this new person.  If there weren't anyone new in the picture, and their energy wasn't going towards that, there might be more post-break up communication issues than not."

Idea Reading this was a light bulb moment for me... . You may be absolutely right. I to this day don't know if I was left because she was chasing somebody else, or just decided she had no feelings me all of a sudden, or wanted to focus on some new found cause to "wrap her life around". But, thinking of it through the context of what you wrote, it would sure explain the almost absolute zero contact from her from the day she left.  
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 10:19:54 AM »

  SMP,  my two cents, I don't think Skip meant to say "Maybe she just wasn't that into you", when part of his response to Jalk included. "... .The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing... ." I think, He was stating a variation on the same theme of what you had stated in your post, "... .They just aren't that into ANYONE... ."

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession". And , because they also aren't really adults emotionally, and their thinking is kinda stuck on a child like level, they literally can't grasp why their behavior patterns in relationships are wrong, on so many levels.

   Because the BPD paradigm, through which they view their relationships is so different than us "nons", they can do things or go through situations, that likely arouse strong emotions in us,  while they feel very little emotion about it at all. Cause like you said, "... .Bottom line... .these people don't have a bigger picture... ."  Well... . they do I guess, but they cant see or grasp it.

Well stated.
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 11:04:13 AM »

Well my contact was her texting me after she moved away to where she used to live. Where she had already lined up her next victim that she flirted with on facebook. She gave him a bit of rope and now he's besotted with her. She also has a bloke whom I know she was having an affair with as he was the boss of a shop she worked in as a manageress. I found an email between them ,before I kicked her out, talking of having a meet up soon for sex. Anyway. She was texting me and I nearly went down to see her even though I knew she had these other interests. I decided notg to once I realised she was BPD. This was 3-4 weeks ago.

Last two weeks she contacted me late on a Saturday night. " can we talk without arguing" ? I was sucked in to answer her not to rekindle us but I'm totaly amazed byt the BPD illness now and wanted to see what she had to say. I answered her with "ofcourse" . Her next line was "have you been out?"  ME "yes . Have you? "  Her "Yes its the first time in weeks"

Well I knew this was another lie as she's been back to our home town and has been meeting someone she pulled just after we split. This fella is a bouncer and proberbly dosn't even want to get to know her that well. Just another sex partner.I couldn't help but say the wrong words replying of " Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I've been to see Frankie boyle tonight and even he wasn't that funny"

She just replied "I don't want a fight after having a good night out . I'm away to bed"

She only text me as her new bloke was at work and she had no male company. End of.

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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 11:16:34 AM »

I've now changed my phone number and she had me blocked on facebook. When we first split before I knew she was BPD I had set up a secret facebook so we could keep our videos and photos private. As she was saying she wanted me to visit her still and said she'd visit me. I was like what the heck. Anyway. When she realised I changed my number to stop her getting intouch when she was drunk and alone. She unblocked me from facebook and sent me messages on there. She was asking why I had deleted some of our photos and I take it you are not going to reply to the text I sent last night. I told her that my phone was cut off and didnt ask what was in the text as thats what she was aiming at. I said I didnt think you'd log in to view our pics. She asked to have them. So I put them back up. I get a message other night saying "thanx I have the photos I need" and that was it.She was insinuating photos of her and her family but none of me I think. I sent one back being really nice as they can not handle you being nice to them. I said "agh niceone I'm pleased you got what you wanted"

Now I've blocked her from all my emails and face book. If she wanted to get in contact now she would proberbly open new email and send via that. I'll just delete it before opening and block again.

It's hard to have no contact. I keep falling into thinking I'll just play along with her game and maybe get some mad nights of sex with her. But I know I'm better than that.

Time to really move on. I have my interview for the magic circle toinight so I'm putting my head down and using that to help move on. I'm feeling really good about myself again.

Out of my relaitionship with my BPD she has spurred me on in life and I have found a new confidence.

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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 12:00:42 PM »

I keep falling into thinking I'll just play along with her game and maybe get some mad nights of sex with her. But I know I'm better than that.

Agreed.  That would be very bad boundaries.  

I think people sometimes get caught in this trap... .we can see the bad boundaries on their side but don't realize that sometimes we have them too.

Joannak has made this point many times. Joe Carver, PhD also makes it one of his essays.  There is something far more powerful with them than no contact.  It's "no interest".

For example (not a criticism btw), hoping for a sex connection communicate is "interest". Blocking the email account and closing facebook actually shows interest.  So then the whole mutaul bad boundaries thing is in play.

"No interest" would be leaving the old facebook account open to her or having your computer delete email rather than kicking them back.

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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2010, 12:05:53 PM »

That's one of the hardest disciplines I've had to learn, Skip - just to not respond.  I have all these clever and righteous answers in my head, and I know that if I just say them, that will make her see the light!  She'll realize how wise I am and how important it is for her to begin seeing things the way I do!  And the key is to say exactly the right answer next time she contacts me about something irrelevant or inappropriate!

Of course it doesn't work that way.  When I quit responding - or, since we have kids together, just responded to the kid stuff and ignored the other stuff - things got way less dramatic and pretty soon I got far fewer inappropriate comments from her.  And when I do get something provocative, I get less wound up about it;  knowing that I'm not going to respond frees me from the need to figure out the best way to respond.
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2010, 12:32:40 PM »

I'm just catching up this this thread now... .

In my situation we are mostly at Post relationship fighting and Blackmailing.

With my ex it's a lot about control and having to control me and the kids.  If we don't act as he wants us to then he expresses that we hurt him in some way.  He gets so upset and even cries in front of the kids when the kids don't want to do what he wants.  It just feels like a constant battle where I now just make it clear that he is not in control of me .  The truth is he was completely in control for a long time - I hate to fight so I just about always gave in.  When I finally said no more - things need to change and took my control back the relationship got very explosive!  Now I'm separated for almost 2 years and very close to finalizing the divorce.  My S16 reacted to the controlling behavior by basically completely cutting his dad out of his life.  S13 is struggling with the issue. And along with the control is the blackmailing - accusing me of many things that are not true and running criminal background checks on my friends. I keep hoping for things to cool down with him but hold no hope for that.  It comes in cycles... It will be quiet for a couple of weeks and then I will be hit with many accusations and problems.  I feel like I have to keep who my friends are very private because of how he invades they lives doing criminal background checks on them.

Common communication from him would be an email accusing me of keeping information from him. For example one of our kids is being tested to see if he has a learning problem.  I have emailed ex telling him of each appointment I made.  I have gotten emails back copied to his lawyer saying I haven't informed him of scheduled appointment. Since I do everything by email I have proof I did and just forward the proof onto him and his attorney.  I emailed him with my understanding of the testing process after the first time my son and I met the cognitive psychologist.   I got a respond saying that my thought are irrelevant to him and a complete waste of his time and to stop wasting his time with it.  I now just email short one sentence next appointment is so and so date and that is all.  He then gets upset that I'm not telling him more.  Can't win...  What ever I do gets attacked.  I just ignore the attack and communicate as little as I need too, just very professional emails.  The few times I have try to add anything personal to the conversation I would be told he has no interest on my thoughts and ideas.  

Communication is NC except email  or through lawyers.  I know there are other people he has been bad at in the past.  One for over 30 years and with all of them he has never moved past the anger part.  It scared me watching him talk about something that happened 30 years ago and how angry he still was with the person.  He is completely incapably of look at the other persons point of view in that situation and that scared me - the other person is one of the nicest people I ever met!  The anger was at the level where you would believe the event happened yesterday and not 30 years ago. So I'm not holding much hope that the Post relationship fighting stage will end.

He is hurting ... He takes the hurt out on me in what ever way he can.  With him it is so hard to figure out what he wants.  His actions seem to be opposite of what he wants.  He appears to feel hurt and want more information on his children, when I try offering it he attacks me. I just back off and start communicating just what I need to -  which hurts him because he really does want the information I emailed him that he attacks.  It's so crazy!  He also has huge issues with circular arguments and in the past I use to get caught up in these crazy emails with him that just would go on and on.  There is an insane one between him and the S16 that was the last one with the two of them because after that S16 decided to go NC.  Luckily it's all documented in email. I really think he highly enjoys these circular arguments and when he attacks me in email he really is wanting me to respond back to the attack.  I have found that if I say anything about how disrespectful his email was to me, then I would immediately get a 5 page ranting email back.  I now ignore all attacks, try to directly respond to the topic at hand,  and keep the email as documentation.

How can he and I develop some level of communication that works?  I don't see a way.

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« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2010, 12:43:28 PM »

JGirl,

It seems to me that you have already developed a method of communication that "works".  It just doesn't work the way you wish it did.  (And I think your wish is very reasonable.)

Many of us have found that this very distant, emotion-free and usually e-mail-based way off communicating is what works.  It's sad, because two people who could accomplish much more together - especially when there are kids - good communication should be "1 + 1 = 3".  But that's not how it is for you, or for me, or for many here.  We need to accept that this distance is the healthiest thing, probably for both parties, and for the kids too, under the circumstances.

I've found that over time it's become pretty routine, and everybody's stress is lower, and then I can let down my guard a little, but always watching for signs of a problem, and never expecting to get much from my ex - just a very professional, detached discussion of kid issues.

The key is to get past your focus on your ex - your frustration with him, and your wonder at how he continues to live in such anger when he could get help.  And focus instead on yourself and your kids.  It's a hard shift to make but worth it.

(And hey, just as I was typing this I got an e-mail from my ex:  "Since your income is nearly twice what I make I ask that instead of splitting this summer camp cost down the middle, instead you pay slightly more.  So I would pay $115., and you pay the remainder.  I have already paid the $50."  Sounds sensible, right?  Except that she doesn't know what I make.  The little devil on my left shoulder is saying, "Tell her that she doesn't know what you make, and it's none of her business anyway, and we have a court order that says stuff like this is 50/50 so that's what you're going to pay."  But on the other shoulder is Skip - not an angel for some reason - saying, "The last thing you need is her going to court to demand documents saying how much you make - which, by the way, is way more than twice what she does.  So just agree to what she's asking - it's reasonable - and don't take the bait!"  I think this time I'll listen to Skip... .)
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« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2010, 01:21:31 PM »

Joe Carver, PhD also makes it one of his essays.  There is something far more powerful with them than no contact.  It's "no interest".

One of the best points I've ever read here.
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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2010, 01:31:41 PM »

Matt,

This was the best way I could think of dealing with communication - but I'm not happy with it.  Honestly I want there to be absolutely no contact - but with kids that just can't happen.

Yes, I have bend on some small stuff when I really don't want too.  In your example.  If things were reverse and she made double what you made, do you think she would consider a request like that from you?  Most of the stuff I let slide was because I thought about the lawyer expenses.  I totally understand that he will never accommodate a change in the parenting plan for me under any situation.

I still need to deal with how anxious I sometimes get because of the attacking emails.  It's a lot better that I don't feel like I have to defend and justify myself anymore and I have stopped doing that.  But the emails still depresses me.

Another thing I have been doing is ignoring phone calls.  Both kids have cell phones and the ex can reach them at anytime.  Sometimes the ex wants to talk to S16 and S16 decides he doesn't want to talk to his dad so he ignores his dad's texts and calls.  Ex will start calling the house phone to try to get me or S13 to get S16 on phone.  I just won't have it.  I've accidentally answered his calls a couple of times and he would ask to talk to S16.  I will go to S16 and tell him his dad wants to talk to him.  S16 usually/always refuses to talk to his dad and when I tell ex the S16 doesn't want to come to the phone, Ex starts up accusing me of not really asking s16 and trying to keep  S16 from ex, and so on.  This is a no win situation.  If S13 picks up the phone, he usually lies and says S16 isn't home.  Once S13 gave the phone to S16 without telling him who it was.  S16 was so mad at S13 for days.



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