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Author Topic: 2.10 | Handling Inappropriate Phone Calls  (Read 10321 times)
an0ught
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« on: January 16, 2011, 08:29:08 AM »

People suffering from BPD are often afraid of abandonment. This can cause them to instinctively call their partner by phone (or text messages) excessively at any time. Failure to answer can trigger rage or self-destructive thoughts so the non will constantly feel obliged to pick up the receiver. With the advent of cell phones, there is a permanent invisible connection between the partners, causing both to lose their identity and struggle to act as individuals (enmeshed relationship state), increasing the problems of the pwBPD to regulate emotions.

The no-win situation can be summarized:



    • The excessive phone calls typically cause significant distress for the non.


    • Not picking up the phone may cause rage or random accusations or be a trigger for self-harm in a pwBPD.


    • Over time the omnipresent calls destroy the stability of the relationship and erode emotional stability of pwBPD.


    [/list]

    Together these points create feelings of FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guit) in the non while at the same time preventing change.

    Getting out of this corner requires:



      • Limits for phone call.


      • Willingness to go through an extinction burst.


      • Communication skills primarily aimed at avoiding making matters worse.


      [/list]

      Limits for phone call:

      You need to plan for setting limits and it is worth reviewing the BOUNDARIES: Upholding our values and independence workshop first. What price are you willing to pay etc. are important questions to sort out first.

      Phone limit specific preparation questions:

      • What would be an acceptable calling pattern for you?


      • What would a colleague/friend with a healthy partner typically tolerate or have to deal with?


      • What are the facts? Can you write a log of calls for a while


                - When?

                - How did you behave (taking up right away, calling/messaging back etc.)?

      Willingness to go through an extinction burst:

      You are dealing with one of the deepest fears of the pwBPD. Change your behavior related to calls and you will trigger the full spectrum of abandonment behavior. This could be rage, accusations of infidelity, random odd new behavior or being abandoned yourself. If the pwBPD is someone who acts in, he or she may have impulses to self-harm. On top calling behavior of everyone is quite instinctive so changing it takes time for your partner and that means your partner will encounter the limit for an extended period of time.

      Communication skills primarily aimed at avoiding making matters worse:

      It is a challenge for us to maintain respect in the face of outrageous behavior and accusations. Often with abandonment fear come accusations of infidelity. It is very easy to fall into the trap of defending too much here (as neither true nor fair) and thus invalidating our partners valid concern being left - in turn making matters worse. It is important to plan for how to avoid invalidating fear of abandonment and how to validate it where possible.

      Topics for discussion: Choice, responsibility and limits of responsibility. Planning for phone limits, getting through the related extinction burst and how things changed (hopefully for the better) after establishing limits.
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      isilme
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      « Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 01:52:27 PM »

      So uBPDBF is working through lunch to have time to finish some homework he needs to turn in for class this afternoon.  I called, offered to bring him something back from home from my own lunch break, he declined and seemed to be in a decent mood, and said he'd pick up something at the downstairs snack counter in his building.  I go home, reheat some leftovers and decide I've got 30 minutes to take a quick nap, set an alarm and wake, head to work and then stop in our computer lab to check on a machine I have been updating.  By about 1:15 I am back at my own desk when he calls my office line, furious I hadn't answered my phone during lunch, demanding to know where I'd been and why I was ignoring his calls.  I hadn't been.  I just hadn't been close to my phone, which was buried in my purse in another room and I never heard it ring once.  I pull it out and see that yes, he's called 24 times in less than an hour.  (24 times? If I don't answer at 5, why would you call 19 more times?).

      Bleh.  He always freaks if I don't answer my phone right away, always thinking I'm up to something nefarious instead of just in the bathroom and can't answer. 

      Anyway, I told him I was sorry I missed the call, I'd taken a nap and never heard it, and asked what he'd needed.  He kept asking where I was.  "At home."  "Why did you ignore my calls?" I said I never ignore your calls, I simply did not hear my phone, the ringer is not usually turned up very loud (I hate loud ringers), and that it was far away from me and I'd gone to sleep.  He then told me (as usual) that he's going to take my phone away if he can't reach me on it... .Now, in the past, many years back, his mother DID pay for the phones we both used, AND the plan - and he used to threaten this when I couldn't hear the phone, even turned all the way up in loud environments, like stores.  But in the past several years, I have been making payments on our portion of the family plan, and have bought all my own phones. 

      Argh.  I didn't do anything wrong - I did not ignore his calls.  I just didn't hear it, and I had already checked with him to see if he wanted/needed anything and he'd said No.   It was a simple accident.  Yes, I know he doesn't believe in simple accidents.

      I don't want to have this conversation again tonight.  He always seems to think I am seeing other people, or doing things behind his back.  Yes, I painted the porch behind his back, because he got upset when I mentioned it needed to be done... .He thought I was telling him to do it.  I am not cheating, I have never cheated, and yet he is always accusing me of wanting to or of doing it.  He was out late last week, and I'd been waiting for him with his favorite perfume hoping for a nice end to the evening... .but when he got home he acted all strange about the perfume, saying, "It smells likes a brothel in here.  What have you been doing?"  He kept going on about it, making such a big deal about something I wear at least once a week that it killed my mood and I just went to bed. 

      Today was going well.  I don't need this right now. 
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      havana
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      « Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 01:59:21 PM »

      Calling 24 times in less than an hour  is really off the wall.


      Excerpt
      I told him I was sorry I missed the call, I'd taken a nap and never heard it, and asked what he'd needed.  He kept asking where I was.  "At home."  "Why did you ignore my calls?" I said I never ignore your calls, I simply did not hear my phone, the ringer is not usually turned up very loud (I hate loud ringers), and that it was far away from me and I'd gone to sleep.

      Keep these kind of ridiculous discussion brief.
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      briefcase
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      « Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 02:03:08 PM »

      Missed Phone Call = Evidence of Cheating.  

      Unfortunately, its something of a classic equation here.

      I don't get this one so much anymore, mainly because my wife has come to the conclusion that I'm just not very good at answering my phone--which I'm not.  I keep it on vibrate and don't always hear or feel it.  

      The real problem, of course, is not that you missed his calls, but his out-of-control jealous thoughts.  Maybe try to address how that issue is affecting your relationship.    
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      isilme
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      « Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 04:15:10 PM »

      Ok - he stopped by my office on the way back from class to his (both work in separate depts at a college).  He just told me about turning in his paper he'd been stressing over, picking up something he'd left with another teacher, and how some people at his work had messed up a display he'd put together by installing it backwards.  No mention of lunch, so I left it.

      My first instinct as an apologizer is to always apologize - I mean, I grew up with everything being my fault, so it's my first instinct when there is a set of hurt feelings.  With Nons, this is usually okay, they respond in kind and we can move on.  I know with a pwBPD, it just feeds the fire, so I was at least good about not mentioning it, either, to apologize.  I already did on the phone after lunch, that should be enough. 

      Again, when he overreacts to something NOT me, I can deal much better when is very much something ME.

      Why is it so easy to assume something horrible, illogical happened other than, "Maybe the phone isn't near her?  maybe it ran out of power?  Maybe the call isn't going through?"  I mean, none of my work clothes have pockets - hello - woman, here!  I wear skirts and the phone is in my desk, in my purse, or on the dining table, in my purse.  If it is not within 10 feet of me, I sometimes can't hear it.  He doesn't hear his phone go off all the time at home, when it's not i his pocket.

      What is it about this condition that makes it so hard to take the thought, "I can't always hear my own phone, or get to it before it stops ringing." to apply that to other people?  Is it empathy?  Self centernedess?  A lack of awareness and willingness to believe the world is always out to get them and so is everyone they know, even though the people they know have never really done anything worth being seen that way? 
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      « Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 10:38:24 AM »

      What is it about this condition that makes it so hard to take the thought, "I can't always hear my own phone, or get to it before it stops ringing." to apply that to other people?  Is it empathy?  Self centernedess?  A lack of awareness and willingness to believe the world is always out to get them and so is everyone they know, even though the people they know have never really done anything worth being seen that way? 

      Well, If he is mentally ill, then he is going to have impairments in rational thought. That's kind of the definition of mental illness Smiling (click to insert in post)


      If you don't want to have that conversation with him, then don't have it.

      Him: You didn't answer your phone - where were you?

      You: I didn't hear it ring. I was at home.

      Him: Garrr argle fargle blah ... .

      You: I'm going to {weed the petunias}/{the store}/{find a cure for cancer}, I'll be back in awhile
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      « Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 02:07:52 PM »

      ricktone,

      Yeah, I feel bad about it, but I was on a support site for people dealing with infidelity, and compared to the lengths others went to, key-loggers, PIs, the works, my snooping seemed tame.  It let me know what he couldn't in his own - whether he was telling the truth after lying or downsizing things.  I feel better that I've been able to verify that he ahs been honest, and after checking every single day for a few months, I am glad to say the need is almost not there anymore - just about once every 6 months, or if he starts talking more about conversations with "a friend" not realizing that when he drops the gender of the person, it's always a female.  Anyway, on that front things are better.

      illuminati,

      I'm actually glad to say he has taken up an invitation from a friend who owns the local comic shop for some game nights, so he might be getting back into having some guy friends, after losing a lot to new jobs/careers and college graduations.  We still ahve friends, but they are all married and many have large families, so their time isn't as free as it used to be.

      I really don't ahve a good idea how to mention his fears about me cheating and bring them into the open.  The few times I've tried to get him to talk about it, it's usually as his excuse to not bother with marriage (you'll just leave me anyway, so why bother).  Maybe as I learn more and get better communicating without triggering or invalidating him I'll figure something out. 
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      « Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 10:58:53 AM »

      Ahh yes the perils of modern communication and BPD SO.  I didn't know how good I had it back when I worked 'in the field' and had no immediate means of being contacted.  Now that I have a cellphone, and work in an office my SO has easy access to calling me.  If I'm busy or out of the office I get the 3rd degree with every imaginable accusation thrown in there.

      My favorite part is where she says "since I'm so unimportant to you that you ignore my calls I'll just never call you at work again !"    This is always followed by "And I dont want you calling me when you're at work because I dont have time for you!"  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

      I know they are hurting inside, and I really want to help with that, but everything and anything PROACTIVE that I do just BLOWS UP IN MY FACE.  The only real course of action over the years has been to distance and NOT engage at all.

      Its the same advice we give each other all the time.  Why is it soo hard to do?   ?

      MrW
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      moonunit
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      « Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 12:39:13 PM »

      That is exactly what i hear, strange isn't it - i get the old, oh your calling me back, wow, i guess you don't have anyone else who is more important than me in your life to call right now, sorry i'm busy - or when i do call her, she says, it's not important i don't want to tell you know, you didn't feel my call was important enought to answer before, i'm not telling you now   
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      « Reply #9 on: November 11, 2011, 06:01:03 AM »

      I have experienced this too. He's threatened to take my phone away when I haven't answered, but he has really stopped this behavior since I started the strong boundary actions suggested on this site. We both stopped our respective bad behavior. Now I told my family to email or text during work hours, because I check more often. As far as frequent calls, not acceptable. I wouldn't answer either.

      I actually didn't think hd suspected me of cheating, just a control issue, but it could be. I'm really just sick of it, but he knows and is trying.

      I wonder if you validate and give him another option, he'd go for it.

      Good luck!
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      Auspicious
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      « Reply #10 on: November 11, 2011, 01:53:32 PM »

      We need to let go of the impulse to either argue or apologize (when no apology is warranted, that is).

      You: "Huh, i must have been asleep and didn't hear it. What did you call about?"

      pwBPD: "Nevermind, you didn't feel my call was important enought to answer before, i'm not telling you now !"

      You: "Oh, OK. See you when I get home. {click}"
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      « Reply #11 on: November 11, 2011, 02:22:04 PM »

      I agree with not letting him control the emotions about a relatively small issue. I mean validating like "Sorry I didn't hear the phone or I couldn't reply because I was at a meeting. I thought it was important because you called several times, so I excused myself as soon as I could, but you just wanted to check in. It's a nice day, why don't we go do x" So you show him you get that it's important to him, you have a reason for not being available at any moment, and you'll spend time with him later... .

      That seemed to work on our last go-round. Switching to text/email helps a lot. If he's really just calling to keep checking up on you, that's a different issue, I think. It sounds like it's too much. I think boundaries are needed to protect your privacy and peace of mind.

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      Auspicious
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      « Reply #12 on: November 12, 2011, 06:22:51 AM »

      It's possible to validate feelings of frustration.

      "Yeah, it can be frustrating when you can't reach somebody."

      Because it is frustrating. Now, maybe you wouldn't have been frustrated in this situation, but surely you have had situations in your life when you were frustrated at not being able to reach somebody.

      What you would be validating is his emotion, not his assessment of the facts.



      The other general thing that comes to mind is to not rub it in or hit someone over the head with how wrong they are, and how right we are. Nobody likes to be wrong, and people with BPD really hate it, because with black and white thinking, being wrong about some simple thing feels like being all wrong and all bad.

      Yes, it is very frustrating when someone hounds us about something that seems stupid or silly to us. But "proving" to them how wrong they are to do that is rarely productive. Being brief and removing ourselves from the conflict is better.

      HELPFUL

      Oh, I couldn't answer, I was at work. What's on TV tonight?


      UNHELPFUL

      You knew I was at work ... .we've talked about this before.  ? You called ten times, did you really think that I was magically going to be able to answer just because you called so many times?  What's wrong with  you?

      (and a lot of things we say, even when we think we are being low key about it, sound like the above to a person with BPD)


      (by the way, I'm not suggesting that you go back and talk about this past situation again ... .just trying to suggest a new perspective for the future)
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      an0ught
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      « Reply #13 on: November 14, 2011, 02:12:08 AM »

      A phone can be used as a means to control like a leash. And it is not good if a pwBPD learns the habit of pulling the leash and we stop in our tracks and come running. It is a sign of no respect. It increases enmeshment. It breeds anger because we are never good enough in playing dog.

      Taking a step back - how would you like to be treated? When are you ok to take the phone and when not? How would a boundary around taking the phone look like?
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      moonunit
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      « Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 02:26:39 PM »

      i have a couple of questions

      Auspicious - how do you respond when you use your response and it is followed with a comment, " oh, were changing the topic again, you don't want to discuss why you were rude to me " - that is what i get, how do you respond to that ?

      An0ught - i am on the phone leash, its actually more like a choke collar than an actual leash - when she can't get a hold of me she calls and calls again, then leaves a nasty message and/or keeps on calling - when i finally speak with her she demands to know what i was doing or where i was and why i didn't answer her calls, by the time i speak to her she is fully dysregulated and out for blood. She flips out on anyone who doesn't answer her call, friends / family, it doesn't matter, she has been allowed to get away with this for her whole life.

      So what suggestions do you offer for this scenario ? I am frustrated with myself for allowing it to get to this stage, i totally enable the behaviour - i put up with it so to avoid a blowup - pathetic isn't it     
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      « Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 12:44:48 PM »

      An0ught - i am on the phone leash, its actually more like a choke collar than an actual leash - when she can't get a hold of me she calls and calls again, then leaves a nasty message and/or keeps on calling - when i finally speak with her she demands to know what i was doing or where i was and why i didn't answer her calls, by the time i speak to her she is fully dysregulated and out for blood. She flips out on anyone who doesn't answer her call, friends / family, it doesn't matter, she has been allowed to get away with this for her whole life.

      So what suggestions do you offer for this scenario ? I am frustrated with myself for allowing it to get to this stage, i totally enable the behaviour - i put up with it so to avoid a blowup - pathetic isn't it     

      The answer is almost here:

      Taking a step back - how would you like to be treated? When are you ok to take the phone and when not? How would a boundary around taking the phone look like?

      It all starts with defining what we accept. This could be calls 24/7 or this could be calls while not at work or this could be calls during a break at work or this could be calls once a day etc...

      Phone policy from an execution point is relatively easy. You just don't pick up  Smiling (click to insert in post). The problem with phone is that it will trigger abandonment so one can be sure that there will be escalating behavior. As abandonment is a serious problem the results will be ultimately unpredictable and can include break-up. But then all changes will result in unpredictable consequences and not making a change will result in the predictable consequence that sooner or later we will be forced to walk out ourselves because we just can't cope anymore.

      So this boundary comes with a cost

        - there will be an extinction burst, possibly also games to circumvent it

        - go through a period of upset

        - it may risk the relationship

        - we may not take the call by our partner in case our partner has died after being run over by a truck

          (If the last sentence makes no sense, don't worry: Your partner will make up other nonsensical bogeymen).

      We can

        - accept the cost, deal with our fear when the calls come and we don't pick it up

        - take measure to mitigate some aspects

           - prepare partner for change in our behavior

              - SET explaining upcoming change

              - possibly ask for correct behavior by our partner (unlikely to happen as phoning is quite instinctive) with DEARMAN

             - prepare ourselves to validate abandonment (in all forms: I could be dead, there is another one,... .)

             - prepare ourselves to accept also private time on the other side

      Phone boundaries are very easy (at least with caller id) and very hard at the same time. We all have a need for private time and in an enmeshed relationship this is gone. A phone boundary brings back some of the privacy and that is a fundamental change in the relationship for the better - but change will be resisted in the beginning. 
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      « Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 02:54:29 PM »

      Auspicious - how do you respond when you use your response and it is followed with a comment, " oh, were changing the topic again, you don't want to discuss why you were rude to me " - that is what i get, how do you respond to that ?

      Some combination of broken record and ending the conversation.

      "Clearly we don't see the situation the same way. That's OK. I don't want to discuss it anymore. I'll be back in awhile."
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      « Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 08:31:16 AM »

      Thank you for your responses, yes it is easy to ignore the calls, its the backlash that will inevitably follow that is the unpleasant side -

      I guess i am looking for that majic wand to smooth things over in this department, wishful thinking, i know. Should i sit down with her in a calm moment and discuss this issue. Whenever she can't get a hold of me her imagination runs wild and she envisions all these bad things i am doing and goes right on the attack when she does get a hold of me and this puts me right back on my heels.

      I am tired of it and it is causing friction in our relationship because it is really starting to get to me, i have no time to myself.

      I know from her point of view, that her whole life she had her mother to talk to and since she has passed away she now turns to me whenever she needs to talk to someone. Since her mom passed away her calls to me have really ramped up, she even admits it but can't stop herself. There is alot going on with her ( emotionally and mentally ) and it makes for a very trying time.

      I know she doesn't like change and is always very suspicious of anything new, so i know when i discuss this with her it will cause her fears to come to the surface and most likely result in her becoming fully dysregulated.

      The times i go without talking to her for 1 hr is so nice, having time to myself is great, i guess i need to talk to her about this topic, if not for me than for the betterment of our relationship.         
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      « Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 10:48:25 AM »

      Well i guess i will be dealing with this sooner than later. She called me at work today ( for the 5th time ) and got me in the middle of a project, i guess i was a little short and then she flipped out on me for being rude. I didn't explain fully what i was doing and if i had she would have understood   - she then accused me of having some woman in my office that is why my tone was so rude, not to mention that calling me repeatedly at work is rude and inconsiderate, she only cares about her needs and making sure that her needs get met. Its this kind of interaction that is causing tension in our relationship. She thinks i have to be at her beckon call all the time and when i am not then she says this kind of garbage. Same ole stuff, oh, so you must have had someone in your office more important than me to speak to me that way, give me a break 

      At least this time i can see the storm approaching and best protect myself against its fury, because it will be nasty ! 
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      « Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 10:50:26 AM »

      Thank you for your responses, yes it is easy to ignore the calls, its the backlash that will inevitably follow that is the unpleasant side -

      You can't stop her from getting mad. It's impossible.

      You can spend a lot of time and energy trying to, though.
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      « Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 10:51:23 AM »

      She called me at work today ( for the 5th time ) and got me in the middle of a project, i guess i was a little short and then she flipped out on me for being rude.

      So after, say, the second time, why did you answer?
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      « Reply #21 on: November 16, 2011, 01:38:29 PM »

      It wasn't 5 times in a row, just over a period of 2hrs - 

      Each time it was because something had gone wrong with either plans she made or some other project she had going on at home and she had to talk to someone - same story all the time

      She now is saying that i am rude for being short with her, blah blah blah.

      I know i acting out of fear of her response, i guess i just have to suck it up and put up with her craziness to gain some sanity for myself.

      Thanks again for your advice 
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      « Reply #22 on: November 16, 2011, 01:56:44 PM »

      It wasn't 5 times in a row, just over a period of 2hrs -  

      OK ... .so that works for you?


      i guess i just have to suck it up and put up with her craziness to gain some sanity for myself.

      No, you don't. That's the point.

      Sucking it up and putting up with her craziness is what you are doing now. Taking her five calls within two hours when you didn't want to is "sucking it up and putting up with her craziness". And it doesn't sound like you really enjoy it

      Deciding when and how you want to take calls, on the other hand, would be taking care of yourself.
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      « Reply #23 on: November 17, 2011, 12:42:21 PM »

      Thanks again for the advice.

      Well as anticipated, things got heated yesterday/last night. The topic of the calls came out and i explained to her how i felt about the frequency of the calls and how when she calls sometimes i am in the middle of a project, etc.  She made a few valid criticisms of how i deal with it, respond to her calls and i will try to change my ways a bit, they did make sense. I know she got my message loud and clear as she kept going back to it, over and over again. She kept on turning it back on me saying i was playing the poor victim and or i was too high and mighty to take her calls - i tried to keep my message to her short and to the point and tried to present it in a way she didn't feel attacked.

      Today, no calls, at home or work or on my cell ! The old black and white theory, she either calls all the time or will not call at all and then when we speak, she will make a big deal about not calling and " disturbing your highness ", as she likes to refer to me,  i really don't care, not getting a tone of calls is great, i am getting lots of work done and i am having one of the more productive days at work in weeks.

      Not exactly the way i wanted things to be discussed/brought out in the open, but it is what it is, if it helps, then i guess it was worth it, time will tell.

      Thanks again for the advice !     
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      an0ught
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      « Reply #24 on: November 17, 2011, 01:01:00 PM »

      So have you resolved not to pick it up when she calls in certain cases?
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      Auspicious
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      « Reply #25 on: November 17, 2011, 01:16:20 PM »

      So have you resolved not to pick it up when she calls in certain cases?

      Right; that's the essential question.

      If it's all or nothing, what are you going to do when it goes back to "all"?
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      « Reply #26 on: November 17, 2011, 02:07:14 PM »

      i did till she threatened to come to my employer and have a total meltdown and make my life more a of a living hell than it already is

      So, do i let her come to my work and have her 5 min of fame, because the fall out would not be pretty

      Scenario 1 - i lose my job and any money that helps her is gone and she is SOL, gets kicked out of her house and loses custody of her kids

      Scenario 2 - she gets arrested and loses custody of her kids and then comes after me and my family for blood

      Scenario 3 - i keep my job, lose all creditability with my co-workers and possibly throw away 22yrs with my employer

      Scenario 4 - she is full of it and doesn't show up 

      real great options huh !

      I want to tell her to go pound salt when she makes all these threats, and you know what, she is crazy enough to carry them out
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      « Reply #27 on: November 18, 2011, 11:20:08 AM »

      Scenario 2 - she gets arrested and loses custody of her kids and then comes after me and my family for blood

      If you really believe that you are romantically involved with someone who would "come after you and your family for blood", then you need to talk with a domestic violence counselor, and get a safety plan in place.
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      « Reply #28 on: November 18, 2011, 01:05:06 PM »

      Thanks for the comments, sorry you deal with similar highjinx's, i don't have security at work, she knows pretty much everyone here as she used to work here, she constantly tells me that she is getting emails from people ( more than 1 ) that comment about my embarrassing actions - honestly, she has me so much in a fret that i barely talk to anyone at work and i think that they think i am a grumpy old bastard because i don't associate with anyone because of what she " so calls " reads from these emails. I have asked her who is emailing her and she refuses to tell me. If it is true, these people are nothing but trouble makers, i come to work, barracade myself in my office and barely stick my head out. Before i met her, i actually joked and socialized with people i worked with, it was nice, now, i work and look over my shoulder at the same time, wondering when the next shoe will drop.  for that matter i used to be a pretty happy guy, now as i am in a r/s with her that side of me is 6 feet under. Everyone i know comments regarding that, they all say, man you don't seem like yourself anymore, what happened ?

      I appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts, thanks again     

      Constantly telling may well happen - constantly getting reports on you - are you truly believing this? She is splitting and by withdrawing you are playing into her hands. This is bullying and very abusive. Reach out. If you are afraid of sharing too much - reach out at least and validate others. You need these connections and validation has a big plus side besides the most important plus side that it connects - it gives little away that can be used against you  Smiling (click to insert in post)

      Imagine her coming after you out of nowhere and making a scene. Who would look silly?

      Excerpt
      Everyone i know comments regarding that, they all say, man you don't seem like yourself anymore, what happened ?

      How do you handle these?
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