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Poll
Question: How long did you spend in each stage of grieving?  Think carefully - especially between Denial and Bargaining.  If you repeated a stage, just add the time of each cycle together.
Denial: 0-3 months
Denial: 4-9 months
Denial: 10-18 months
Denial: 19 months or more
Anger: 0-3 months
Anger: 4-9 months
Anger: 10-18 months
Anger: 19 months or more
Bargaining: 0-3 months
Bargaining: 4-9 months
Bargaining: 10-18 months
Bargaining: 19 months or more
Depression: 0-3 months
Depression: 4-9 months
Depression: 10-18 months
Depression:19 months or more
Acceptance: 0-3 months
Acceptance: 4-9 months
Acceptance: 10-18 months
Acceptance:19 months or more

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Author Topic: SELF ASSESSMENT | The Five Stages of Grieving a Relationship Loss  (Read 42024 times)
bb12
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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2012, 10:02:00 PM »

BARGAINING / ACCEPTANCE

I can find myself very at peace with the fact that it is over, but have trouble accepting we can't be friends.

But then I remember, that friendships requires empathy, giving, reciprocity, availability, consistency. A pwBPD can do none of those things.

Any friendship I accept would be a diminished version of one I would accept, so it is impossible.

I think I have been bargaining for that, and now going through a second depression as I come to realise that even that is impossible and that this person will never be part of my life again.

BB12
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« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2012, 03:02:40 AM »

BARGAINING


   I am going round and round in my head.I am thinking of different ways to make her love me and accept me the way i am.Not what she tells everyone i am.

  So i go round and round making these crazy plans in my head.I wanna send roses,send gifts and all kinds of crazy ideas...

  Instead i just stay NC and die on the inside... .
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GreenMango
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« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2012, 03:13:36 AM »

BPD Magnet 1,

I found Bargaining to be the worst for me, like a beast.  It took me awhile to wrap my head around it later, but here's my thoughts on this stage.

I felt like this is the stage where much of the "recycling" in my relationship happened and it was also when NC was the hardest.  Bargaining seems like a opportunity to control or influence a very hurtful situation into not being as hurtful.  It was when I would entertain some of my most irrational and minimizing thoughts putting myself at a detriment.

Be kind to yourself,

GM
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« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2012, 03:22:49 AM »

BPD Magnet 1,

I found Bargaining to be the worst for me, like a beast.  It took me awhile to wrap my head around it later, but here's my thoughts on this stage.

I felt like this is the stage where much of the "recycling" in my relationship happened and it was also when NC was the hardest.  Bargaining seems like a opportunity to control or influence a very hurtful situation into not being as hurtful.  It was when I would entertain some of my most irrational and minimizing thoughts putting myself at a detriment.

Be kind to yourself,

GM

You are correct.This stage here is ROUGH.I got all kinds of fantacies going on in my head.And the NC is getting tougher and tougher.I got all kinds of romantic fantasies playing out in my head too.Almost like these ''honeymoon'' fantacies''.This stage is a tough one.My ''T'' told me to leave it alone yesterday and stay NC... .errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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doubleAries
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« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2012, 11:04:57 PM »

Endless loop of BARGAINING/DEPRESSION

Where are you in the process?

For 17 years I am trapped in the bargaining process, and when it reaches utter hopelessness/depression, then I start over. I think sometimes I feel I am doing all of them at the same time--except "acceptance".   

What have you struggled with?  How might you have approached it differently?

Now there's the $64,000 question. I don't know what to do instead. I keep believing "I haven't tried everything--it must be my fault ultimately. It takes 2 to tango and if it isn't working, it has to be equally my fault".

How has your perspective changed as you have gone through the stages?

Haven't completed them (acceptance). The alleged r/s still exists. I am ripped to shreds and utterly defeated. Embarrassed at my inability to get out of it and off this horrendous treadmill. i cannot for the life of me figure out why I am still doing this--yet continue doing it.

What have you struggled with?Still struggling. Mostly with "why do i think i deserve this? it doesn't SEEM like I think i deserve it, but I must, because i'm still here".
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doubleAries
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2012, 10:11:03 PM »

Greatly relieved to say I have finally reached the "acceptance" stage. Tiniest bit of slipping back into depression stage, but very rarely!

I moved out last Saturday into a rental and gave my husband 6 months to find another job (we co-own a business and I have to buy him out) and another place to live. I can hardly believe how good I feel about fixing my new place up--even if it's only temporary. I must look like an idiot in the store---giddy with excitement over buying dish sponges, trash bags, can openers and the like. But it's been so long since I took care of my own self that I'm like a little kid on Christmas eve. I am acutely aware that each item I am buying symbolizes independence and caring for self. I am also acutely aware that my stbxh will also now have the opportunity to become self responsible without me smothering him with all my codependent "help", and that even though he is very scared, he will thrive as well.

This is SOO preferable to endless bargaining!
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GreenMango
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« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 06:11:05 PM »

Good hear planning for this new move is exciting.  It does sound a lot like acceptance.  Being able to see joy again.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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doubleAries
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« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2012, 10:46:30 PM »

Thanks, GreenMango!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I think the BIG acceptance moment for me (which is still happening) was in a session with my T a few days ago---I was explaining that one of the things that has been hurtful to me over the past 17 or 18 years with my husband was that he'd call his old college friends and be cheerful, open, talkative and excited. But had very little to say to me and was extremely defensive. My T asked "how often does he call these old college friends?" and the AHA moment came--less than once a year. T pointed out husband (he is also husbands T) is capable of imitating--perhaps even actually feeling--social skills, but very infrequently. And an intimate relationship requires genuine, sincere emotional interaction--every day. Husband is bipolar 1 (mixed) with psychotic features, ASPD, and NPD (driven by the bipolar). While his amazing treatment has helped him overcome severe adversity (most people with major mental illness can't even work), he is still a person battling major mental illness. It's not that he WON'T interact on an intimate level--it's that he CAN'T. And doesn't even know he can't or what it is that he "can't".

This realization basically melted the big bag of resent,ent I have been lugging around for so long. In fact, I even feel a bit sheepish putting this pressure on him for so long. Once again, I discover that I am the architect of my own misery.

Which is encouraging--THAT'S something I can change/do something about! 
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« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2012, 10:51:13 PM »

I've read here an another post a member said something to the effect that the disorder is the closure.  So simple yet so powerful.  Somethings we can't change and accepting it instead of fighting it was a relief for me too.

Keep moving forward.  It's sounds like a brighter, happier place in store for you.
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« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2012, 11:34:39 PM »

Disorder is the closure. Good stuff  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I've read here an another post a member said something to the effect that the disorder is the closure.  So simple yet so powerful.  Somethings we can't change and accepting it instead of fighting it was a relief for me too.

Keep moving forward.  It's sounds like a brighter, happier place in store for you.

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« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2012, 07:41:01 AM »

Bargaining

I needed to be 100% convinced that he actually had a mental disorder. I researched for weeks. I kept notes and compared his behavior to those mentioned in articles. I compared the criteria for diagnosis with his behaviors. I started getting a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realized he indeed was suffering with BPD. I actually sat and wrote him a long letter. In that letter I spelled out what I would do for him. Basically I told him that I would change for him. I would never disagree with him, I would be here all the time with him. Basically I told him that I'd go along with him on anything, and not 'make waves'.  Even that wasn't enough.  He wasn't happy with me saying that I would change myself for him, for us. I was afraid to ask him to change, I was afraid he'd deny he needed to change. All I wanted was peace and his happiness.

Anger/Resentment

I still don't know how he did it but he made everything my fault. I am not a fighter, I am one that runs from confrontations.  He was the opposite, he liked that challenge. I only wanted peace. He made it impossible. After a year or more of 'sucking it up' and trying not to let his sarcasm and verbal cruelty get to me, I couldn't do it anymore and began to fight back. That's when the relationship began to deteriorate.  He would push me to limits beyond my own control until I blew up in rage. Yes, rage, I mean red-faced, crying, swearing full blown rage. OMG I have never in my life felt that before. It wasn't me. It was killing me. I began to hate myself for such a reaction. And there he'd be, cool as anything telling me I had anger management issues.

I bounced betweten bargaining and anger/resentment for almost a year. Very similar to the above post.

I am now somewhere in between depression and acceptance. Barganing is no good because you are giving up being true to yourself with barganing. I could never make it work. I always ended up angry no matter how hard I tried to not be. So acceptance is where I am now with some depression. Acceptance that I have to be true to myself first.
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« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2012, 02:59:31 PM »

I have been bargaining for the last 4 months - I tried to maintain a relationship by suggesting an open arrangement where we could see others. I wanted to believe that without the "pressure" we could have a friendship. I now realise that the stipulations i put around that proposal were designed to allow me to have the illusion that I was still "significant" to him. How can I require that from him when I don't value myself enough to leave behind a person who caused me so much damage & pain? I have spent the last fortnight on holidays at a beach house & have used the time to reflect (with lots of help from posts on here). Last night I took the first step of moving away by telling him I can't see him when I get back. Now I feel sad & empty (depression/ first step to acceptance?) & really hope I can stay strong over the next few months.
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2013, 11:46:16 PM »

ACCEPTANCE

Where are you in the process?

I am finally in the acceptance stage after 4 years or a 5 year relationship with this BPD sufferer.  I have been trying to remove myself from this relationship for such a long time and I am depleted and tired of this life.  Moving, no contact, bargaining, etc., and he keeps pursuing me or family members.

What have you struggled with?  How might you have approached it differently?

I have accepted that the relationship is over, but the stuggle for me is separating completely.  My exf won't let me move on.  The phone calls, texts, pleading and begging just doesn't stop.  I have suffered from depression from all of this and I am finally out of that stage, but worried the constant stress could lead me back to it.  He flips from begging and wanting me, to the threats and mean texts.  I have tried no, or min. contact and if I don't reply or try to explain why I can't, he gets mean and belligerent and the next day is sorry.  I have ties with this person that don't allow me to completely get out just get.  I'm working on it, but it's hard.  I don't think I could have approached it differently.  I don't believe in regrets and I did what I did because I had to and because of feelings for this person.  I believe things happen for a reason and there are learning lessons in everything.  I could say that I wish I did this earlier, but obviously I wasn't ready to do so.

How has your perspective changed as you have gone through the stages?

My perspective has mainly changed when finally getting to the acceptance stage.  Prior to that, I went through the same feelings and repeated the other stages, but now I know that I not only need to do this for me, but for him to finally get the help and treatment he needs.

What have you struggled with?

I have struggled with the fact that I can't help him, and staying in his life even as a friend is not an option.  I have tried and it just doesn't work.
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« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2013, 04:29:32 PM »

excuse me for my poor english, i just want to add something that helped me a lot during the grieving stages, when i finally had decided NC i was ready for the acceptance stage. I do feel soo good lately ( thanks everyone!) but my "tip" is ( it helped me a lot, i have so many pictures of him and his awful mother i used to see his face through pink glasses during the denial phase ( 10 years), but since the relationship was over i could see the real expression in his face, and now i use the same pictures i first loved to look at to see through who his real ill and sad and angry look towards me ( behind the camera) is. he never has a soft or loving expression in his face he is an ill person . how blind i must have been all these ten years!
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« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2013, 06:00:16 PM »

I feel as though I'm cycling through each stage on a daily basis!     But today I fall smack dab in Bargaining, if Bargaining is where you'd gladly turn yourself into a doormat if only they'd come back. 
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« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2013, 06:08:40 PM »

But today I fall smack dab in Bargaining, if Bargaining is where you'd gladly turn yourself into a doormat if only they'd come back. 

I believe each stage may also have it's own stages. I won't be a doormat again, but I do leave the bargain door open by rationalizing the notion that * IF * she were to get the proper therapy (and prove it), I'd be willing to consider wandering into something with her again. Or maybe not. I dunno. I'm still working that part out. 
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« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2013, 08:21:42 PM »

Fortunately for me, I don't make a good doormat.

I think I'm afraid (?) of the idea of moving on to acceptance... .  That's the fly in the ointment. When you don't want to move on, to get over, to accept. (Oh, wait... is that part of Denial?)
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GreenMango
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« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2013, 08:28:53 PM »

But today I fall smack dab in Bargaining, if Bargaining is where you'd gladly turn yourself into a doormat if only they'd come back. 

I believe each stage may also have it's own stages. I won't be a doormat again, but I do leave the bargain door open by rationalizing the notion that * IF * she were to get the proper therapy (and prove it), I'd be willing to consider wandering into something with her again. Or maybe not. I dunno. I'm still working that part out. 

Bargaining was the worst for me.  I swear it gets easier.
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« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2013, 12:16:20 PM »

ACCEPTANCE

After 3+ months, I am glad to be here. In essence, it actually has been nearly 10 months. She kicked me and my children out of the house in May 2012. And we started to see each other again in July. Then the final blow was in November.

When I really put it in perspective, the last 24 months, we have only lived together as husband and wife a total of 9 months.

Looking at it like that has helped me tremendously.

Being on this board has helped as well.
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« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2013, 04:56:28 PM »

Thanks for bumping this, Green Mango.

I have finally reached ACCEPTANCE. It has been tough to get here, and I bounced around from anger, to bargaining, to depression, and back for months. I did not begin to feel better until I did what was most painful for me, pull the plug on the life support system between us, shut the door we left open as an avenue to torment each other. I deleted him from FB. He was shocked, upset, and confused, because I didn't make an announcement, I just did it. It has been three weeks ago, and I am finally feeling better, finally moving forward.

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« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2013, 08:35:20 PM »

I am slowly working through the depression stage and into acceptance.

I totally agree with blessed0329... .  

Until I pulled the plug on the lifeline that kept us going... .  and I finally realized that I had to save myself... .  I was constantly being subjected to all the crazy making and insanity that she delivered on a daily basis.

When enough was enough I was able to say ... STOP... .  and acceptance became my savior... .  

I can finally start to GRIEVE... .  after 4 years and numerous recycles and much pain!

The realization ... .  that I AM SO MUCH MORE... .  is so freeing!

I get much strength here on these boards at times when the reality sets in... .  and it makes me feel that I have many who share the same sentiments... .  and that in itself makes me not feel so alone.

PEACE TO ALL 
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morningagain
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« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2013, 09:43:59 AM »

Depression

Since the initial separation, it has been nine months mostly of anger and bargaining.  For years prior to the initial separation it was cycling and jumping harshly around denial, anger, bargaining, and depression.  Over the last 2+ months, it has been hoping against hope, struggling to believe, and mixed in with some brief bouts of anger and depression.  Now it is total depression.  I have given up.  Too much pain, too much repeating of the past - even though I saw her behaviors coming and stayed much calmer, kinder, and loving.  Ultimately, there were too many boundaries crossed, no consequence and no amount of patience has compelled her to step back over the boundaries and respect my values, and I cannot live without my values anymore.  And as she refuses to seek treatment, despite acknowledging her diagnosed BPD, I am left hollowed out, empty, and without any objective hope.  I guess it is more peaceful without being steeped in anger and bitterness, but this does not feel good at all.  I am relieved not to be lashing out.

This is just crushing loneliness that I have been trying for years to do something about, and that path has just led to deeper loneliness.  I am simply grieving.  Again.  The hope that was renewed I must let go of again.  I love her so very much.  Yes, I learned so much about her disorder, and my issues.  I love her deeply - all of her.  Even with the mirroring and the idealization, she is still in there.  The she that I love.  No one can help me through this or ease it for me.  She is the only person that would possibly be able to, and she cannot.  She does not want to let go, and she does not know me or 'see' me.  I cannot help her, and I cannot help her to help me.  I have too much pain and not enough strength to pave the way for her own healing.  She has too much pain, and coping by pouring it out on me disables me and the relationship.  So I must let her go, I must put this all to rest.  I do not have the strength to do so, and I am emptied out and do not have the strength to continue.  Somehow, I just have to let go, to accept. This is the death of my love, my happiness, my joy, my hope, my dreams.  This is impossible to accept or to understand.  But I have no choice.  I cannot go on hoping, trying.  I am just too weak, too broken, too exhausted, too much pain.  Unless and until I do this, I cannot move forward, though I have no hope of moving forward.  I have prayed for so long for a miracle.  I cannot even pray anymore.  Maybe this is what must be done for me to grow in faith, I do not know.  Maybe because it is my decision, I will finally mature.  I just do not understand.  Not sure I am any less forced into this decision than when we first separated.  This isn't really a 'choice'.  This is accepting what is.  It is letting go, burying and grieving the loss of love, the death of love.
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aloha1983

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« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2013, 11:10:52 PM »

I'm between depression and acceptance.
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Ironmanrises
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« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2013, 10:05:55 PM »

Between anger and acceptance.

It bounces back and forth.
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« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2013, 05:06:45 AM »

ACCEPTANCE

I have only just come into this stage.

What have you struggled with?  How might you have approached it differently?

I struggled with the questions. What happened? Why did I lose myself completely when I've not done so before in a relationship. What pulled me in so quickly? What was the turning point in our relationship? == Finding this site and going to a therapist earlier!

How has your perspective changed as you have gone through the stages?

Yes I thought it was all my fault, then it was all her fault and now I accept it took the two of us to play a part. And at one point I never thought I'd get to this stage. It took a while to get out of depression.

Where are you in the process? 

I've found a project to do in the garden that is helping me move on. It's exciting to plan, it's physically hard to do and allows my mind to drift away. It's my project alone. I'm also deliberately creating space between me and my exSO  - I'm not as available as I once was. Not going NC but I'm making a life of my own.
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« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2014, 12:58:35 PM »

Depression -> Acceptance

Can someone who has healed explain what it feels like to go through acceptance? Being a phase, I assume it is something you have to "go through" too. I feel that I have accepted things as they are, and I am settling in my new life, but I still hurt.

As for the other phases I was in denial for 2 months, thinking she would come back (even though I knew she had a replacement). Bargaining for for 7 month (also simultaneously with the denial), when ever I had contact. Depression simultaneously with the bargaining (starting after denial) for 6 months (one month after final NC). And now I feel the depression lessen and moving into acceptance.

Anger? One or two weeks combined and spread out during the depression, and mostly directed at my replacement. Since she broke up with me, I have only treated her nicely and respectfully. Maybe it was a mistake, never to vent on her for all that she did to me?
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GreenMango
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« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2014, 01:21:43 AM »

Acceptance for me didn't mean that all of sudden things were wonderful.  It's a strange place of being okay with how things are... . The good and the bad. 
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« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2019, 10:28:56 AM »

It seems, that I am still struggling between all 5 of these. However, it is due to how it affected me & my 12 y/o daughter. Also, his latest attempts -I don't even know why, or what he expects will happen. I bargained right out of the gate, it has been 4 months.

I have never dealt with someone that has BPD and he told me about it, and his triggers. He also has "Misophonia" and that drives him nuts.  I was so busy, I could not or did not research it at the time. Now I wish I had. Long story short, we were together 19 months, and he has had the worst year, this past year. Not us, but things that happened to him, a tree during a storm went through the roof, then 1 onth later he hit a deer with his truck. The roof was not repaired until 5 months later. The truck, repaired immediately. Then he had to decide to go get his parents(his abusers) and move them to his town. I went with him, and I am a nurse. I knew immediately that they could not live independently. He also was in the process of divorcing he is 64~ I am 51. I have had to plan my life around his bi-weekly visits for most of the relationship, because he did not want his daughter to think it was because of me.

Well we all finally met, bonded, then came the Nmother, and abusive father moving in. This man has said he always gets his revenge, numerous times. He waited 20 years on someone and finally had retribution. He is a biker, very feared in that community. I have never seen that side. I finally got tired of fighting him, having to send mail because he stonewalled me and my daughter from day 1. Causing her to cut herself. we were in therapy the next day. DCF was called in, she has since been released, I stayed because I have anger issues.

In the meantime I seen him, and had all his things with, me he wanted me to take them to his home, I live 2 hours south. I had driven there and seen him at a Drs office with his mother in the parking lot. I told him no becuase I did not want to be on his property alone, and possibly be blamed for something. I then told him, just keep all of our stuff, and I am done. KEEP IT~ you need it. I can replace it. HE drove off, backed up and  looked at me rolled the window down, and said SUE ME FOR IT?

I just shook my head, and then 5 days later, he came to my county in Florida, from Georgia and filed a Perjured Stalking injunction. He knew it, I proved it in the courtroom, the sitting judge was a fill in. He said do you plan on going back to Georgia ~ I said absolutely not, I have not lost anything there. He gave the order, and said to me. The states atty will be contacting you. I had stacks of documentation, and discredited him entirely. So now I am going to have to go back, and see what is going to happen now. It will  be dismissed, however why did he knowingly file the perjured document to begin with? HE DID IT knowing it would be proven perjury! He was diagnosed in Federal prison with this and have never been treated, does he want help?

Now DCF will be present to see if they can file Domestic Violence, and Perjury.  I cannot believe that this is still the center of my life. When will it stop? He also, threw in at the DRs office he was divorced, and his kids don't know we are seperated? WTH he kept a Xmas card out for everyone to see, it was his only one!

He has destroyed relationships with what I considered a niece, getting her to try and change bills in my name. That would have allowed me to get my things. I just chose not to, because bikers shun when the law is called. He said I called them anyway, and I sent out all the reports to people that should know that it was not him... .When will this stop? What does he expect to happen? Everyhing now that spills out of his mouth are lies, I am shocked and repulsed now by all of this, but still hope that he will get help, and we can get back together. SICK I KNOW, but I see the good in him, and he so desperately wants to be loved and was. He was very good to me, we never fought. I was overwhelmed when I went back to work one night and got a motel room for the night because the house was a disaster, and I felt unappreciated, and overwhelmed having to clean up behind he & his family before I could do what I needed to do. Ileft, and that was the beginning of hell!

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