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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: 3) Belief that the relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance  (Read 534 times)
Allmessedup
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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 300



« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2014, 10:15:11 AM »

Mine behaved very similar... I felt like I couldn't win,  I kept telling her that my clock was ticking and I wasn't gonna be able to beat it.  Many times I wrote in my journal... . I lose again because she had dysregulated.

I strive hard to always take accountability for things I do wrong.  But to her it was always wrong.

I cared too much about her illness, I didn't care enough.  I was too needy, I don't trust her enough to ask anything of her.  I am clingy, I never want to spend time with her. 

Many time I got "u don't see me". Whatever it was I never did it well enough, fast enough, etc.

One if the turning points for me was when she attacked me during an argument because it was my fault she was going to be homeless (a lie) because I hadn't paid her debts fast enough and spent the money on so e things for my house instead. 

Cuz of course it was my fault she mismanaged her money

I realized I was codependent at some point late in our relationship and shared this with her stupidly.  I was working on it... working on me while I was still with her.  Which just gave her a convenient scapegoat to make more my fault.  Sigh

I pretzeled myself like crazy trying to keep her happy and even now I have been told that to others the b/u is all because of my insecurities, my controlling tendencies.  So be it.

I have plenty of faults and reacted to her behavior in ways that were damaging... . but at least I can admit my faults and work on them.  Nothing is ever her fault... . so nothing will ever change for her
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ShadowIntheNight
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« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2015, 06:08:17 PM »

I absolutely turned to circumstances to excuse the behavior of the BPD/NPDexbf. 

It was stress at work, it was stress from the psycho stalker ex gf, it was stress of the move, then it was the stress of the job search, stress of finances, the stress of my house being in need of renos, this stress, that stress, blah blah blah. 

Always something to look at and say well, when this stress or that stress is resolved, things will be ok. 

Heh.  You know, I was under two tons of stress too, but I didn't act like that.  It's just not an excuse. 

No more excuses in the future... .when someone acts in a way that is aberrant or abusive, it's on them. 

This and the stuff the another person mentioned about PMS and all those other things. I was always believing it was that she didn't handle stress well. Like you said, I was under stress too, but I didn't act like a jerk to everyone and have to apologize for it once a month the next day. One characteristic of being a functioning human is learning from our mistakes. In 10 years of knowing her, I could tell EVERY month when she was about to start her period to the day. EVERY single month. Why didn't she have her Dr. do something about it? Why did she never find a solution? She either didn't want to or knew it wouldn't matter.

I know this for a fact about her, whoever she is with now is getting the same excuse about her being a b^#€% every month, and it's all in the name of her having PMS. Plus she's 46, he gets to experience menopause with her! I'm sure that will be a cakewalk.
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Gonzalo
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Posts: 203


« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2015, 09:44:29 PM »

I think I fell into this pattern a lot because of the techniques I use to fight depression. One thing I'd do in the past is to make everything into a permanent, personal issue, so I couldn't do anything about it. I learned how to see things as external, temporary, and fixable, which really clears out feelings of hopelessness. But during the initial 'honeymoon phase', I put the relationship inside of my big depression defense grid, and so I'd keep deciding that it was due to the stress of an event we were going to, or her moving in, or job difficulties, or the house-buying process, or the house-selling process. I got her to go to couples therapy, and I figured that even though she said therapy was to fix me, we'd eventually sort it out.

The veil finally lifted when she started adding new things to stress the relationship after things hit a stable point. Supposedly she wanted me to talk about things, but when I tried to schedule a time to talk she freaked out. Then she went through a period where she'd keep asking me why I was acting weird until it freaked me out, and she'd say 'see? that's what I was talking about'. Then she insisted on getting pets even though we had an agreement for when and how that would work. She just kept on trying to push my boundaries and pick fights instead of settling in and making things work. By the time she blew up at me when I tried to set up a really nice birthday for her, I was well past the 'external causes' belief.
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Hopeful83
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2015, 12:40:47 AM »

Who else bought they were the "problem"?  Tell us what you learned and how you healed.

Me!

Because the breakup was so out of the blue for me, I started wondering if I had been the problem all along. He had never, ever told me he was miserable in the relationship (And I always told him to tell me if there was a problem), but when someone walks away from you so easily (and gives you bat sh*t crazy reasons for doing so) you start to question yourself.

Post breakup I started to try and find fault with everything that I had done. For example, my libido had dropped earlier this year because of various reasons - totally normal for this to go up and down throughout a relationship, and I knew that at the time, too. But I started to wonder if that's why he perhaps hadn't been happy with me. I drove myself crazy with this for a while.

And when I lay one issue to rest in my mind, I'd concoct some other magical reason as to why I had made him miserable (even though during the breakup he'd told me that he'd never had doubts about me!). Madness! It made me emotionally sick thinking of all these things, but because our breakup made zero sense to me I was trying to find some logical explanation for it. Turns out, there wasn't one.

I guess it was a friend of mine who helped me with this. She pointed out to me that her ex had many 'faults' that annoyed her, but she still loved him. And that in a healthy relationship, if you're doing something that isn't acceptable to your partner it's his/her responsibility to communicate this to you so that you can discuss it and see what can be done to reach a compromise. But when someone isn't communicating a problem to you, you're not a mind reader - how are you supposed to know that you're doing something that's making someone unhappy?

And that's when I realised that regardless of whether I had been doing some 'deal breaker' behaviour that I wasn't aware of, he had never communicated to me that he was unhappy with me or that he didn't want all the things he kept saying he wanted with me - marriage, kids, etc. So how was I to know? I then realised it was pointless blaming myself for everything because he was very much in the wrong here.

That's not to say that I don't know that I need improvement in certain areas - I do. But I now realise that these weren't the cause of our breakup. His mental health is.

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flourdust
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: In the process of divorce after 12 year marriage
Posts: 1663



« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2015, 08:53:47 AM »

I have only been on bpdfamily for a short time. What is most horrible and wonderful is coming across a thread like this -- I feel like I'm living in my own private hell, and then I read these messages and discover that it's a shared hell. It's a revelation and a shock to read my story in other people's words.

I have done both of the things in the title -- blamed myself for the relationship problems and blamed circumstances.

Early on, when my wife would have a blowup, she would tell me that it was my fault. It might be that I wasn't showing enough affection, that I was spending time alone, not thinking about her needs, not listening to her. The list was endless. She would come up with rules that I was supposed to follow to mend the relationship. (I remember with particular "fondness" her demand that I make "grand romantic gestures" on a regular basis to show my commitment to the relationship. I think those translated to extravagant gifts or fancy dates.)

Early on, I bought all this. I reasoned that I clearly needed to work on my relationship skills, or I would not have been dumped by past girlfriends. And there was probably some truth to that, but it's that little ember of truth that she fanned into a flame that led me to accept all the blame and responsibility for making things better.

Later on, as I grew more cynical and began to notice the gaslighting, I went through the motions just to try to keep the peace. Resentment began to build because I still had to "own" all the responsibility.

Then, we hit a really rough patch. I lost my job. I was underemployed for a year. We had to move out of state, and she had to give up her job for the move. She had emotional affairs, and we started MC. Our daughter began having emotional/behavioral problems.

By this point, I was getting pretty frustrated with the relationship, but I told myself that her behavior was due to the stress. When I thought about ending it, my mantra became "I'm not going to make any decisions based on how we are at our worst." I figured things would turn around, and the marital problems would subside. When we did move to a better place and I got a solid job, I took her out for an expensive dinner to try to prove to her that things were OK now and she could relax and find happiness. That was futile.

When she had her brain injury, I blamed all of the problems with her rages and verbal/emotional abuse on the injury. We saw many, many specialists and she tried plenty of medications. It was only when it got SO bad that she went into DBT and was diagnosed with BPD that I began to get out of the fog... .
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Michelle27
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2015, 09:21:25 AM »

Been there, done that, wore the tshirt for many years.

Every single rage for close to 8 years was about something I needed to change.  At one point, I realized I was feeling like one of those circus performers balancing dozens of plates and teacups spinning on poles.  Every rage left me with one more thing to do (and God forbid I don't keep up the previous requests for change while adding every new one).  I'd ask when I would have the opportunity to ask for changes, and he'd put me off saying, "you will one day".  That day never came until I was 99% out of the door and he knew it.  Then I got words about change but not the follow through with actions. 

I also excused his behavior, even after learning about BPD, to my kids.  Asked them to "stay out of his way" when he was dysregulated... .I'm embarassed about that. 

No more.  I have some compassion, but it's tempered by the damage done to me as a result of this relationship.  I have lots of healing left to do. 
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kc sunshine
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2015, 09:26:52 AM »

Hi all,

Yes, I totally share this one.

The hard thing for me to figure out is that a lot of it is me-- my walking on eggshells-type behavior. I want to figure out how to detach from the pain of the "Belief that the relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance" yet also learn from the relationship and grow.

I guess the difference is that she punishes me for my less than best behavior and uses it to devalue me, and I have to establish some other relationship to it than that (e.g. recognize it, understand it, and have hope that I can transform).
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flourdust
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: In the process of divorce after 12 year marriage
Posts: 1663



« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2015, 10:25:43 AM »

Every single rage for close to 8 years was about something I needed to change.  At one point, I realized I was feeling like one of those circus performers balancing dozens of plates and teacups spinning on poles.  Every rage left me with one more thing to do (and God forbid I don't keep up the previous requests for change while adding every new one). 

No more.  I have some compassion, but it's tempered by the damage done to me as a result of this relationship.  I have lots of healing left to do. 

Ha, yes. I accepted so many "rules" I was supposed to remember to follow. Scripts I was supposed to say. It didn't take long to realize that,  even when I was able to remember a particular rule during one of her blowups, following it didn't magically make things better.
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Should I stay or...
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic Partner
Relationship status: SO
Posts: 157



« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2015, 10:50:06 AM »

I absolutely turned to circumstances to excuse the behavior of the BPD/NPDexbf. 

It was stress at work, it was stress from the psycho stalker ex gf, it was stress of the move, then it was the stress of the job search, stress of finances, the stress of my house being in need of renos, this stress, that stress, blah blah blah. 

Always something to look at and say well, when this stress or that stress is resolved, things will be ok. 

Heh.  You know, I was under two tons of stress too, but I didn't act like that.  It's just not an excuse. 

No more excuses in the future... .when someone acts in a way that is aberrant or abusive, it's on them. 

This and the stuff the another person mentioned about PMS and all those other things. I was always believing it was that she didn't handle stress well. Like you said, I was under stress too, but I didn't act like a jerk to everyone and have to apologize for it once a month the next day. One characteristic of being a functioning human is learning from our mistakes. In 10 years of knowing her, I could tell EVERY month when she was about to start her period to the day. EVERY single month. Why didn't she have her Dr. do something about it? Why did she never find a solution? She either didn't want to or knew it wouldn't matter.

I know this for a fact about her, whoever she is with now is getting the same excuse about her being a b^#€% every month, and it's all in the name of her having PMS. Plus she's 46, he gets to experience menopause with her! I'm sure that will be a cakewalk.

These post ring true for me too, life's stresses would set her off and especially, around her period. l would always be blaming myself for her personality changes; what could I be doing better not to cause this outcome. Her reactions were always so exaggerated to what you and i would consider stressful. I went online for help and bought the book; walking on egg shells at that time.

These events were brought up in our therapy seasons and it was our T who diagnosed her with BPD and he also suggested and herbal supplement for her periods... .I took the supplement, they didn't seem to help her in the least. It was later that she was also diagnosed with pms dysphoric disorder, the worse of the worse for any women... .: (     talk about an emotional roller coaster, the perfect storm!

With that being said; I became Pavlov's dog, reacting to how she saw the world. Placing my needs secondarily to hers. I was doing my best trying to keep those worlds synced but it was a full time job and the realization of losing one's self in the inter-rum was inevitable. The ring tone to my phone could set my heart racing, I never knew what her response would be sent my way or how she would greet me in the mornings. Anything could trigger an issue. Has anyone ever felt that; you were damned if you do and damned if you don't?... .

I had to change my ring tones on my phone since we haven't been together so not to cause these same responses.

And, I still care for her 4 months later... ."I've been trained well," said Pavlov.
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