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Author Topic: OK Leaving Board, soul searching time  (Read 4579 times)
PDQuick
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« on: March 29, 2011, 02:31:38 PM »

Many of you here don't know me, as I have been absent for several months. I came to this board over 4 years ago, and I came here much like all of you, tired, scared, mad, and confused. My partner suffered from N/BPD. We had been together for 13 years, off and on. She was diagnosed about 7 years into the relationship. We never married. She had two kids from a previous marriage that I raised as if they were my own.

When I reached this board, I had two things going for me, well 3. First, I had this board, which if utilized right, will bring a wealth of knowledge, understanding, and personal growth. Secondly, I found a wonderful therapist that helped guide me through alot of confusion. Thirdly, my ex was due to be remarried just 3 months after we broke up, to the next door neighbor. My plate was full.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

The most important part of the healing process is seeing your role in the relationship, and the mistakes that you made along the way.

What I would like for you all to do now, is to share the very first red flag that you saw, how you felt about it, and why you allowed it to fly by without really paying it the attention you see that it now deserves. Lets see if we can identify the precursors to the lives we put ourselves through, and why we did this to ourselves.


Ill start.

When I met her, I was 23 years old. I was the lead singer in a very popular country band at the time. I also worked full time in my trade. I was playing and she walked in. I saw her at the door. She was a beautiful woman.

She got a chair, and sat it directly in front of me at the end of the stage, and it made me nervous. I really couldnt do anything but sing the songs, and look at her. Her directness was appreciated by me, because I was quite shy back then, and didn't have the courage to just walk up to women and start talking to them.

At the end of the set, the band had a list that women could sign up for a dance with the members, and we followed that list. Her name wasn't on it. When I came off stage, I went to the list and called out the first name. I took that lady to the dance floor, only to be interrupted by my new infatuation, insisting that I danced with her. I asked her to put her name on the list, and started dancing with the first lady. Upon the end of that song, I went back to the list and called out the next lady's name. My soon-to-be-girlfriend took me by the hand and insisted that I danced with her again. I said I would when her name came up. She then got mad and abruptly took my Stetson from my head, took it to her barstool, and quickly sat on it, ruining it. 

Within a nanosecond, we were in a big arguement. SHE SAT ON MY HAT!

We glared at each other the rest of the night, with me calling her everything but Mother Theresa under my breath. Within 3 hours, we were kissing in the parking lot.

Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  She disrespected me, my work, my routine, and did I mention, she destroyed a very valuable piece of my property by SITTING ON MY HAT?

But, being single, and shy, I felt wanted by these actions, and I must admit, I felt very special that such a beautiful lady would show such a display over just a dance with me. I was ultimately flattered. It was what I had wanted, someone to prove to me that I mattered. Someone who would fight for me. Someone who thought I was special above all other things in their life. I had found the "passion" that I had longed for. Trouble is, I mistook her actions as passion, and would experience much of the same things over the next 13 years.

So tell me about yours.
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 03:00:37 PM »

My first red flag came back in August - we had started dating in March 2010 and everything was going along just swimmingly.  I knew a lot about him, I thought.  I had met his family and we had all gotten along very well. 

He has a cabin at a lake close to where we live and all four of us - him, me, his daughter (then 10) and my daughter (then 7) had spent the weekend down there.  The last day it was raining and he was outside washing down the boat and I was inside cleaning up and watching the girls.

We drove back to my house and he kissed me on the forehead and said he had to get going home.  This was nothing unusual in my mind. 

Typically, he texted me a lot and called me a lot - not in an overbearing way, more of in a staying in touch "talking" kind of way.  I didn't hear from him that night even though I emailed him something he had asked me for earlier in the day.   At the time I didn't think anything much of it.

The next day was a Monday.  He was home (he travels for work) and I was at work.  I didn't hear a word from him all day long.  I remember thinking it was weird and I kept checking my phone.  This was out of character for him.  Nothing that night either.  I did text, and I did call and leave a message.  Still nothing.

The next day - Tuesday, by lunch time I was going crazy.  I left work and drove to his house.  His truck was there so I got out and went and knocked on the door.  He answered and came out - he did not invite me in.  I asked him what was going on.  He proceeded to tell me that he had had a great time with me, but he had decided I wasn't right for him in the long-term and there was nothing more to say.  I was completely blindsided.  Didn't know how to react.  I kept asking what I had done - he eventually said  he thought that I could be manipulative in the future and there was nothing more to say.

I left shattered and confused.  During the conversation I asked if he was ever going to call me back - he said he would have.  I don't know if he would have had I not gone to his house that day.

A day later I wrote an email to him explaining how I felt.  It took him two weeks to respond with a sort of apology email and a request to be heard.  I gave it to him a few days later and we got back together.  He apologized.  I believed him.  I even understood because he had been cheated on by hsi wife and all the people in his life had left him - brother's suicide, mother abandoning him as a child etc.  So it made some sense that he started to feel something and got scared.

That was my first red flag.  What SHOULD have been my frist red flag was a little before that (I think) when he told me that he broke up with his last grilfriend by never calling her again.  I remember saying "WHAT?" and he laughed and said that eventually they stop trying to contact him.

Of course now, after a year and I am in the third time he has done this - cut off all contact with me - I have not emailed, I have not called, I have not texted and I have not confronted him.  I thought after a YEAR with someone and talking about marriage etc. I would be different.  Apparently not.  Its been ten days now.
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 03:01:47 PM »

Oh and I forgot to say, when he did apologize after that first time he said he got MAD because I wasn;t out in the rain helping him wash the boat!   I reminded him that I had asked if he needed help and he had said no, and I was inside cleaning up and looking after the girls!
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 03:06:57 PM »

First Red Flag. I went to bar where he was at with my friend. He saw me there and we had previously talked on the phone and hung out a couple of times. At the bar there was a girl flirting with him, running her hands up and down his chest, I looked at him and he had a big ole smile on his face. He was reveling in the attention. It made me feel like crap and embarrassed me in front of my friend. I felt like was was not good enough for him in that moment.

I kept pursuing him and eventually we got together. He took on a date to a very nice museum the beach and the pier.

I felt special and like I got the man of my dreams
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 03:10:26 PM »

Good Snucker. If you would, tell us why you took him back the first time, what was it in you that ultimately made you dismiss the red flag?

Hi Marcie. It is nice to feel special, isn't it? At that point, what was your life like? What was it that you were looking for? How long had it been since someone made you feel special?
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 03:20:40 PM »

I wish mine was so romantic at first  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). However, I was 19, playing bass in two big local metal bands, attending college, and working part-time jobs. I was and still am somewhat of a reserved and shy person. When I was bored late at night, I'd hop onto a metal forum to discuss new bands or slag other people for their choices  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Needless to say, the one person who got into my line of fire was my ex. Very beautiful girl. So what began as a flame war between her and I converged into conversations that lasted until sunrise. Instant message conversations turned to phone calls and a year later, I visited her (she lives about 300 miles away).

She was more of a loner then. An artistic type of girl. A wonderful and talented photographer. The first visit went well and we continued to go to each other's houses for the next 4 years. However, she became more unstable as time passed. Within the first few months of talking on the phone, before I visited her, she told me about her dark past of abuse. First  |>. Of course being a young inexperienced dater, I didn't see these as red flags. Towards the final years (the last two out of five) she began to spiral--but I was already committed to her. Fights over the phone became a weekly thing. She would hack into my personal e-mails and anything she could get into. She tried to control my relationships with other people as time went on. An Aunt would call to check up on me while I was at her house and my ex would get angry--all the while her mom called her every 5 minutes. And the drama during visits increased each time. At one point a girl from class recognized me and waved to me. My ex let go of my hand and ran away from me in front of everybody--including my family who was there with us. But when I went to her house we'd hang out with her guy friends (the wonderful double standards of BPD). The drama increased substantially over time with one of the last visits resulting in her physically attacking me. She eventually began having panic attacks during our fourth year together. She "tried" to commit suicide twice (was more for control than actual self termination). And finally, she began a relationship with someone else while stringing me along. As I've come to find out, she was a loner because she burned through friends like a torch burns through tissue paper. She always stayed at home so I never got to see how two-faced and fake she really was--until she made a couple new friends.

A friend finally came to me out of reluctance and told me that his GF talked to her while at a show I played...and his GF ended up talking about how crazy she was for the remainder of the night.   Wish they told me sooner.

My rose-tinted glasses were cemented to my face for a long time. So why did I stay? A lot of inexperience with women (thought it was normal for a little craziness  ;p ), lust (she was not exactly my first sexual experience but definitely the best), and what I thought was common interest (my tastes for things are a bit uncommon).

I was and still am heartbroken because she eventually left me for someone that doesn't even resemble me whatsoever. He is a polar opposite. And I can't help but think that the past 5 years were a sham and that I poured a lot of myself into an abyss.

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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 03:31:12 PM »

Somberlain, dig a little deeper. Other than the sexual parts of it, what emotional needs kept you tied into the relationship? Was it that she made you feel special? Were you scared to be out on the single scene again? What were the direct emotions you felt?
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 03:40:51 PM »

hmm I can't think of the first red flag with NPDexbf. He was so very clever and I was so under his spell so quickly (that is a red flag, but not one I saw until AFTER). I can also see loads and loads of them now... but at the time I didn't add them all up, didn't really listen to my gut instinct.

I was 27 had left my previous 8 year relationship, taken my small children and moved in with my mother. Our house was being sold and I was due £15,000. NPDexbf was already featuring in my life increasingly. We were friends as teenagers and got back in touch through facebook. We were just friends to begin. I found him a little needy and sometimes strange. He would visit me unnanounced and sit on my sofa not really speaking. Because I knew him already I tried with our friendship, but he was always trying to make a move on me. When he realised I was not going to have sex with him because I was pre-occupied with my current life drama, he ramped up the attention and mirroring. He projected the image of being a man of good virtue, who knows how to treat a woman right. He was always there to talk to me and listen when I needed someone to turn to. In hindsight I wanted to some of those things. My relationship had already collapsed before he turned up. I had no romantic love left for my partner and was staying for financial and children reasons. I didn't want to hurt him, but I did hurt him very badly. He has never believed that I did not sleep with NPDexbf whilst we were still together.

Whilst I was living with my mother, NPDexbf put the pressure on to begin having sex. Once I had sex with him, I was hooked. Utterly hooked.

One of the first that took me aback (and our first ever row) is that he pretty much chickened out on the day we moved house. He had pushed me to take a rental lease with him after we were together for about 5 months. I was unsure and wary but he persisted. The day we were moving in he didn't do one single thing to help. Layed in bed and then disappeared for hours. I was hurt, shocked and upset. I also moved all the stuff into our house on my own. He came back eventually but I could tell he was disinterested. We argued about it but he wouldn't admit to anything and turned it round to me being insecure.

I suppose the first thing that REALLY shocked me was the month after we moved in. I was sorting through a load of paperwork, photos etc of both of ours that had all been thrown in our dining room. Some of the bank statements were unopened but I didn't open them. I was putting them all into piles when an opened one was face up. As I reached down to pick it up, I noticed the words loopylove.com. I had to look at it once I had seen that word. I saw it was a recent one and he had paid £25 membership fee on a direct debit. I then opened all of the other ones and saw he was joined to 3 or 4 different dating or sex websites. He also had vast amounts of his wages going on pre-paid top up mobile phones.

I telephoned him calmly and asked him to explain what it was. He was calm in response but defensive.

I don't know why I did this, but I created a fake profile on one of the sites and eventually found his profile. It said he had been active within the last 3 days.

By the time he got home I had all this proof... he really was in a corner.

By the end of our huge circular argument, him storming off in a mood and not answering his phone for a few hours, he came home and proposed to me.

I accepted it.

I still have no idea quite why. I am confident, I am friendly, I don't have trouble meeting men. But at that time, that 'declaration of his love' stood out through everything. Over time he managed to concoct a trail of stories that I would unravel... but at that time, I forgave him in an instant.

BPDexbf who I met 6 months after this relationship ended was one big  |> from the start. About 10 people told me he was unhinged when he drank. The first proper  |> was when we had been dating for 2 weeks and I hugged a male friend who was moving away. He completely dysregulated with  jealousy and I dealt with it badly.
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TheSomberlain
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 03:41:54 PM »

Somberlain, dig a little deeper. Other than the sexual parts of it, what emotional needs kept you tied into the relationship? Was it that she made you feel special? Were you scared to be out on the single scene again? What were the direct emotions you felt?

Oh, definitely. Being put up on the pedestal was a tremendous feeling. I finally felt appreciated for who I was like I never had been before. And by someone who I thought was beautiful? Sold. I put up with a lot of the lows just to catch another high. She made it seem like I had someone that would always be by my side. I felt wanted and needed (and loved too I guess). Her extreme jealousy was perceived as such. I was hoping she'd "grow up" and we'd get past whatever "phase" she was going through. Obviously, it wasn't a phase. It IS her. I was attached to her. But my attachment stems from me losing my father at an early age. I thought, "I can't let another thing I love slip through my fingers again." I talked to her almost every waking minute. Cutting something out like that wasn't something I was about to do on my own but she did it for me. Now I just feel empty, depressed, and jaded. I don't feel like I can trust something such as "love" again. And having that feeling is awful.
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 03:49:50 PM »

Great thread PD

ok i think the speed she moved onto me after her last r/s ended. I thought she would say no to me because it was perhaps only a week after she dumped the father of her child, she did say she wanted to take it slow which i thought ok thats fine but i was blitzed with texts and calls, hey i thought it was great she was that into me.

The main one must have come in our first arguement 6 mths into the r/s when i went to her house ready to go out for a meal for my b'day. We never went, there was no card, no nothing. Turns out she never arranged a baby sitter. Cant remember how it came about but i must have mentioned how she could get a baby sitter at a drop of a hat for going out with her friends but i will always remember this ' i dont put all my eggs in one basket'.. Huge red flag!.. I ignored it purely because i thought it was said in the heat of an arguement.. Turns out 5 yrs down the line, 3 lots of cheating she was not lieing for once
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 03:56:51 PM »

Sarah, I find your english style of writing fascinating. No doubt you are from over the pond. I will ask you the same as I did Somberlain, dig deeper, what were the emotional reasons you stayed? What trade off was there for such treatment? What counterbalanced the lows? How were your needs being met?


Somberlain, I will give you some truth for your future. You will learn to love and trust again, but it won't be the all encompassing "blind, passion hot" love that you had found in your previous relationship. I wrote those same words that you did at the end, and I have eaten them now. Im happy to report that you will be dining on those eventually my new friend.

You see, there is definately a trade off in these relationships. We go through what we perceive as really low lows, for something. We all have needs, and desires. We all want something. If we learn to strip back these relationships to the emotional levels, and drop the physical "he did this, and she did that" stuff, we begin to understand just why we tollerated these relationships, and the behavior that they produce. It all starts making sense. Then, as we become more aware of our own needs, we learn how to satisfy them ourselves, to where we aren't dependent on someone, and subject ourselves to outbursts that make us miserable.

Just remember, we all had our own reasons for starting, and staying in these relationships. If you endured utter horror in the face of these, you were reaping maximum benifits to stay as well, or else you wouldn't have stayed. Identifying the reasons that you did stay, and the underlying emotions that perpetuated the situation are key to understanding the dynamic in its entirety.
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 03:58:34 PM »

Joop, there was nothing in the first 6 months, other than the speed of the relationship? Was there nothing, or nothing that you have identified yet?
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 04:07:02 PM »

Excerpt
Sarah, I find your english style of writing fascinating. No doubt you are from over the pond. I will ask you the same as I did Somberlain, dig deeper, what were the emotional reasons you stayed? What trade off was there for such treatment? What counterbalanced the lows? How were your needs being met?

I got to hear a lot of big man talk but never really see the walk. I got promises all over the place that I would believe.

NPDexbf is pretty much the same man as my dad in so many ways. I realise that a lot of what other people would have run away from was what I had been living with for 20 years anyway so it appeared normal.

I actually can't say what he gave to me. It must have been some false sense of security. he liked whipping that away from under me, and I liked to cling to it and try to claw it back. Bad cycles.

He needed me... he wanted me to mother him. His mother is a nice lady, and he is one of 4 children. He has extreme sibling jealousy of his elder brother and disliked his mum.

Excerpt
Just remember, we all had our own reasons for starting, and staying in these relationships. If you endured utter horror in the face of these, you were reaping maximum benifits to stay as well, or else you wouldn't have stayed. Identifying the reasons that you did stay, and the underlying emotions that perpetuated the situation are key to understanding the dynamic in its entirety

.

I remember at the time thinking that I had to stay... because I had made my bed, and I damn well had to lie in it. Remember that I had left a relationship, a house, a mortgage and my old life to start a new one. Well the new one couldn't go wrong. I had to make it work. Could not admit defeat so easily. It would all be ok. We would get there in the end and I would put in all the effort I had.

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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 04:13:21 PM »

@PDQuick my life was a mess. I was on drugs. One day my sister told me I was fat and I decided to show her and I went and started doing speed to get skinny so I could meet a guy. When i was in highschool I did the same thing. My UBPD mother would also tell me that I was fat, so i started doing it in highschool and it also helped me cope with the chaos at home.

When I hooked up with uBPDxbf I felt safe. He would not tolerate me doing drugs so I had to stop. I stopped and felt like with him I could now have a normal life. Focus on work, not need to be out on the bar scene looking for guys. I would work. focus on my passion (photography) cook, clean, hangout with family on the weekends and that felt safe for me.
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 04:14:01 PM »

I actually made it about 2 months if I am honest and say it was Thanksgiving, he missed Thanksgiving  |>  without even telling me what was going on. He just called last minute and told me he was working so his sisters boyfriend could spend time with her. The holidays are a big thing for my family and it hurt. I knew he was being cold and very harsh in his wording and seemed distant but I excused it as him being busy. I loved the way he made me feel most of the time but that was sad.The next big red flag was when I found out he was still married, after we had been living together 6 months.Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)   I felt like a home wrecker even though they were living in different states. Then I still did not kick him to the curb. I loved him and was in to deep. I even paid for his divorce. lmao I was a moron. I hate dating and truly loved him. Love is blind, deaf and dumb in my case!
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 04:22:29 PM »

Joop, there was nothing in the first 6 months, other than the speed of the relationship? Was there nothing, or nothing that you have identified yet?

Im a thinking PD , im a thinking.

Yes there bloody was .. OMG.. control!

You see pd i knew her for 5 years before we got together, she was a work colleague and a friend, obv in those times i never knew what went on in her life behind closed doors but i knew when she was in a bad mood with her prev exs and in those 5 yrs of friends i knew there were three other lovers.

But back to my start.. Yes my friend the control, i could not just turn up and see her, i could not spend a weekend with her, always wanted me to go home on a sat morn if i stayed the friday night, could only come back on an eve, if she came to mine she did not want to meet my friends ' they were all losers' just wanted to stay in. I was never introduced to any of her friends, she never told the father of her child about me being with her son, he caught me coming out of her house.. She threatened him with me and i had to intervene after being told to stay out the way the day he saw me.

When i introduced myself she kicked us both out the house to talk, i sat in his car and told him i was a father also, we exchanged numbers just in case i was out with his son and anything should happen.. ie.. In an emergency. When i went back into the house after he took his son to school the ex unloaded on me accusing me of being his best friend and how we sat there slagging her off..

I was griiled and threatened if i went out for a night out with my friends.

Yes PD .. The control , it was evident in those 6 months.. She ran the r/s how she wanted it.

Thanks for making me think of those things
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 04:28:56 PM »

Sht. I forgot she was drinking and smoking at age 14. Are those red flags?
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 04:31:10 PM »

Mine is very subtle but it was the first time I felt like there were bigger shoes set out for me than I could fill. I met my ex while working across country on a month long assignment, we met the second night I was there and dated that entire month (it progressed fast and was passionate). We kept in contact when I returned home exchanging love letters, poetry, and soon regularly taking trips together with my daughter. She moved across country to be with me one year later, she even had a promising job lined up (doubled her salary!). She was extremely sweet to me, I felt like she understood every aspect of me and I kept no secrets, opened up my life to her, no woman ever took so much interest in every aspect of my life, was so attentive and physically affectionate (not speaking of just sex here).

The amount of affection and praise I received from her was intoxicating but also being someone who went through a divorce in my past (7 years earlier) I was waiting for the first fight, the first misunderstanding, where was it, I didn't want it but I know I'm FAR from perfect, why isn't she talking about her... her needs... why always agreeing with me.

She came off the phone with one of her close friends who was having boyfriends troubles and ran into the kitchen where I was, she threw her arms around me and with a very empty gaze told me her friend just hadn't met her me yet. It sounded so unrealistic to me, I know I'm a pain in the ass sometimes, I know I'm not perfect and I said to her. "I hope I don't have you convinced I'm a saint, I love you and will do my best but I'm just man, and we can be silly sometimes". She just shrugged it off with no discussion.

I didn't know about idealization then or BPD, probably when she told me about her panic attacks while we were still long distance that should have been my first red flag, but she hadn't had one with me, she told me about the valiums but I didn't want to judge (or choose to look deeper). I probably should have looked into BPD when she told me an ex accused her of having it, I didn't, I denounced him and held her (how could he).

So my first flag was knowing that someone may have been valuing me more than I was capable of living up to.
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 04:32:41 PM »

Excerpt
SHE SAT ON MY HAT!

I'm still trying to get over this. Dang!

I'm going to answer this even though I might not be leaving.

I only see red flags looking back. I didn't see any at the time. My story might be a little different because we met in H.S. and got married after we graduated. I can remember looking back that she didn't want me to hang out with my friends. That was always a problem. There were several times I had to leave work because she would call upset about something silly & I had to go home & put the fire out.

She would get mad about something & drop our daughter off at my parents. She would get "sick" at the last minute before countless get togethers & I would stay home with her.

I have seen most of the behaviors written on these boards at one time or another.

She threw my clothes out into the backyard once, dumped a terrarium of dirt on me but I gotta say that she never sat on my hat.
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2011, 04:37:32 PM »

Really great topic!

I met my ex on match.com, and the VERY first red flag was when he messaged me and I looked at his profile and saw his picture. He looked like a player-wannabe and the picture was with another girl, clearly his ex. Really, you don't have any pictures of yourself alone? It tipped me off that he always had to be with somebody, which ended up being true. His profile also said that he was interested in women who had never been married and I'm divorced. Come to find out, he didn't read my profile at all - he just saw the picture and thought I was hot.    I ignored his first message but responded to the second - another red flag Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  Sorry, there are just so many that happened all at once!

I signed up for match on a bet for 30 days, and I have to say that I will NEVER do it again. I went on 15 first dates in that month and my BPD ex seemed like the best pick in comparison - scary!
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2011, 05:00:54 PM »

The greatest word in the language is the word "perception." You will see me use this word, and "perceive" quite a bit. Sarah, I am gonna use your post to demonstrate.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, failed 1000 time to produce a working bulb. It was Edison's own perception that kept him working. He was said to have succeeded in creating 1000 ways to not produce a functioning bulb. When he did create one, he failed at his last attempt to create a non-functioning bulb, and at that time he quit. It was his perception, and his attitude that cemented his place in history. He didn't fail 1000 times, he succeeded. His perception was that with every experiment, he learned something that furthered his understanding, and led him to his actual goal. His perception kept his attitude positive.

Now, with that said Sarah, you can definately perceive that you failed, but then again, wouldn't it be more productive to see things like you were taking steps to understand, and learn, to ultimately boost you to your goal?
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« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2011, 05:07:59 PM »



NPDexbf is pretty much the same man as my dad in so many ways. I realise that a lot of what other people would have run away from was what I had been living with for 20 years anyway so it appeared normal.

Sarah, I understand that because your ex was like your father, that it felt comfortable, and normal to you. With that being said, you also took on a role similar to your mother's role, and that was also comfortable as well. Now, you see that athough your parents relationship may not be right, or wrong, you can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this type of relationship is not right for you. See? You learned something valuable from this, and that is really priceless in the scheme of the future of your happiness.



I remember at the time thinking that I had to stay... because I had made my bed, and I damn well had to lie in it. Remember that I had left a relationship, a house, a mortgage and my old life to start a new one. Well the new one couldn't go wrong. I had to make it work. Could not admit defeat so easily. It would all be ok. We would get there in the end and I would put in all the effort I had.

You laid upon yourself quilt for a "perceived" failure that you didn't want to commit again. Just like Edison, a failure is not a failure if you learn the lesson and apply it toward a goal.
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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2011, 05:09:33 PM »

I feel much more like that now, I really do. Thanks for your words, they do strike home. I have learnt so much.

I think at the time it was what kept me from leaving. Fear of failing? Fear of giving up? Fear of HOW to give up... I think that is closer. Once you commit to something, you see it through until it is no longer viable. But I was always scared to voice my feelings. I didn't feel I would be listened to.

Something I have learnt is that I didn't give up until I was forced to, and the persistence fuelled by fear had led me to stay until I was nearly broken. Why do that to yourself though?

My perception of myself now isn't of someone who has failed, it is someone who has been through experiences and learnt a lot.
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 05:13:37 PM »

@PDQuick my life was a mess. I was on drugs. One day my sister told me I was fat and I decided to show her and I went and started doing speed to get skinny so I could meet a guy. When i was in highschool I did the same thing. My UBPD mother would also tell me that I was fat, so i started doing it in highschool and it also helped me cope with the chaos at home.

When I hooked up with uBPDxbf I felt safe. He would not tolerate me doing drugs so I had to stop. I stopped and felt like with him I could now have a normal life. Focus on work, not need to be out on the bar scene looking for guys. I would work. focus on my passion (photography) cook, clean, hangout with family on the weekends and that felt safe for me.

Marcie, thank you for being so honest. Im sorry you went through that with your sister. Adolescents can be so cruel at times, especially when they are siblings.

He helped you feel like a complete person again, and that is great. Hopefully, you have found your way clear of that scene from your past, and have continued on that course. Sometimes, when we think we need someone to complete us, we tend to hold on to the first thing that comes along. Soon, you will realize the special person that you are inside, and will reward her with the kind of mate that respects her and adores her for what is in her heart, mind, and soul. I admire you for the courage you have here Marcie. Its tough to see these things in your past, and realize that the course we have taken isn't exactly what we have planned. But, the truth is, you have the power to learn from it, and can give yourself all of the things you deserve, and then find someone to compliment you in your life's journey.
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 05:15:02 PM »

I feel much more like that now, I really do. Thanks for your words, they do strike home. I have learnt so much.

I think at the time it was what kept me from leaving. Fear of failing? Fear of giving up? Fear of HOW to give up... I think that is closer. Once you commit to something, you see it through until it is no longer viable. But I was always scared to voice my feelings. I didn't feel I would be listened to.

Something I have learnt is that I didn't give up until I was forced to, and the persistence fuelled by fear had led me to stay until I was nearly broken. Why do that to yourself though?

My perception of myself now isn't of someone who has failed, it is someone who has been through experiences and learnt a lot.

 

See? You learned that as a direct result of a relationship with someone with BPD. Who said these relationships were all bad?
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« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 05:17:32 PM »

I actually made it about 2 months if I am honest and say it was Thanksgiving, he missed Thanksgiving  |>  without even telling me what was going on. He just called last minute and told me he was working so his sisters boyfriend could spend time with her. The holidays are a big thing for my family and it hurt. I knew he was being cold and very harsh in his wording and seemed distant but I excused it as him being busy. I loved the way he made me feel most of the time but that was sad.The next big red flag was when I found out he was still married, after we had been living together 6 months.Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)   I felt like a home wrecker even though they were living in different states. Then I still did not kick him to the curb. I loved him and was in to deep. I even paid for his divorce. lmao I was a moron. I hate dating and truly loved him. Love is blind, deaf and dumb in my case!

Hey Overcoming, we all do things that in hindsight seem a little ridiculous. Can I ask you to expand, and tell us what needs he met, or what desires he quenched for you? There was something there that kept you.

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« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2011, 05:21:10 PM »

Mine is very subtle but it was the first time I felt like there were bigger shoes set out for me than I could fill. I met my ex while working across country on a month long assignment, we met the second night I was there and dated that entire month (it progressed fast and was passionate). We kept in contact when I returned home exchanging love letters, poetry, and soon regularly taking trips together with my daughter. She moved across country to be with me one year later, she even had a promising job lined up (doubled her salary!). She was extremely sweet to me, I felt like she understood every aspect of me and I kept no secrets, opened up my life to her, no woman ever took so much interest in every aspect of my life, was so attentive and physically affectionate (not speaking of just sex here).

The amount of affection and praise I received from her was intoxicating but also being someone who went through a divorce in my past (7 years earlier) I was waiting for the first fight, the first misunderstanding, where was it, I didn't want it but I know I'm FAR from perfect, why isn't she talking about her... her needs... why always agreeing with me.

She came off the phone with one of her close friends who was having boyfriends troubles and ran into the kitchen where I was, she threw her arms around me and with a very empty gaze told me her friend just hadn't met her me yet. It sounded so unrealistic to me, I know I'm a pain in the ass sometimes, I know I'm not perfect and I said to her. "I hope I don't have you convinced I'm a saint, I love you and will do my best but I'm just man, and we can be silly sometimes". She just shrugged it off with no discussion.

I didn't know about idealization then or BPD, probably when she told me about her panic attacks while we were still long distance that should have been my first red flag, but she hadn't had one with me, she told me about the valiums but I didn't want to judge (or choose to look deeper). I probably should have looked into BPD when she told me an ex accused her of having it, I didn't, I denounced him and held her (how could he).

So my first flag was knowing that someone may have been valuing me more than I was capable of living up to.

Sixspeed, very interesting story, and I apologize for not being familiar with the entirety of it. Do you mind explaining what happened a little, and what you eventually did start seeing? You had a great insight into the idolization phase.
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« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 05:30:03 PM »

Sht. I forgot she was drinking and smoking at age 14. Are those red flags?

This tickles me.

Depends, drinking and smoking are usually reserved for the less sophisticated people. (Before you jump on me, I started smoking at 15 and I was a drunk at 18.) I was dealing with some particularly turbulent times in my life, but that is still no excuse for my behavior. We all have our lists of deal breakers, if smoking and drinking are on that list, and she still does it, then duh-huh, yes.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

OK Joop, C-O-N-T-R-O-L. Sounds like a new Aretha Franklin hit, doesn't it?

I really do encourage you, and challenge you Joop to search out the reasons you allowed her to control you. Remember, control isn't taken in relationships, it is given. There is a trade off. I know all about it. In my post mordem of my relationship, I used my relinquishment of control as a passive aggressive piece of control myself. I was hoping to change her behavior by showing her that she could control me. I used it to show that I loved her, and hoped that by her seeing my love, she would reciprocate in kind. Hows that for deep thinking? Try it, there are definite reasons we let go of our control, especially to someone who has pr oven that they are not responsible with it.
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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 05:32:17 PM »

What have i learnt and why did i stay.

The reason i stayed is because i didnt like the single life, didnt want to be on my own. Had a fear of it just being me. Felt i had to give my love to another to feel whole again.

Thanks to my T i now have faced those fears, yeh its still pretty lonesome sometimes, most of the people i know are in r/s and married but slowly and surely i am getting content with it just being me...if someone comes along then so be it but i aint looking for it anymore just for the sake of giving my love to someone, it is about time i give my love to myself, my children and my family.

I never told my family i was with my ex for the last 2 yrs.. Because i was ashamed of myself..
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« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 05:35:18 PM »

Sht. I forgot she was drinking and smoking at age 14. Are those red flags?

This tickles me.

Depends, drinking and smoking are usually reserved for the less sophisticated people. (Before you jump on me, I started smoking at 15 and I was a drunk at 18.) I was dealing with some particularly turbulent times in my life, but that is still no excuse for my behavior. We all have our lists of deal breakers, if smoking and drinking are on that list, and she still does it, then duh-huh, yes.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Me too. I was up to all sorts of bad stuff by the age of 14... I started before then!

I will certainly class my teenage years as dysfunctional.

I had no parental guidance or guidelines. I wasn't supposed to do that sort of stuff, but they didn't really care all that much. I was staying over older guys houses, didn't do ANY schoolwork, hardly went to school, drinking and smoking. I didn't do drugs though but was all around people doing them. I have been arrested a few times for wrong place, wrong people, wrong time sort of stuff, (but not charged with anything) and have never committed a bad crime (shoplifting was my limit).

I didn't want to go down the bad route as an adult and a teacher at school took me under her wing. I got good grades in the end and did some extra study, got a good job age 17 with the same company I am with now. I was in CBT therapy (that I requested) by age 19 for OCD and my worries about being promiscuous. Then aged 21 I got a mortgage and a year later had my first baby.

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« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2011, 05:38:14 PM »

OK Havana, long time no see huh? You listed what you have endured, and what you saw, but didn't tell us what keeps you there. I know you are a stayer, and I respect the heck out of you for that, and I hope everyone here does as well. But what it the tradeoff Havana? What keeps you there?

Pdoll...Good lord girl!

Really great topic!

I met my ex on match.com, and the VERY first red flag was when he messaged me and I looked at his profile and saw his picture. He looked like a player-wannabe and the picture was with another girl, clearly his ex. Really, you don't have any pictures of yourself alone? It tipped me off that he always had to be with somebody, which ended up being true. His profile also said that he was interested in women who had never been married and I'm divorced. Come to find out, he didn't read my profile at all - he just saw the picture and thought I was hot.    I ignored his first message but responded to the second - another red flag  |> Sorry, there are just so many that happened all at once!

I signed up for match on a bet for 30 days, and I have to say that I will NEVER do it again. I went on 15 first dates in that month and my BPD ex seemed like the best pick in comparison - scary!

If you start off with a red flag upon the first sight, what inside of you attracted you further? Was it a need to be loved, or have someone? Seriously, what is it that kept you continuing? C'mon, you were really attracted to him weren't you?  
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« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2011, 05:43:21 PM »

Hey PD

exactly the same re control.. I let it go to get the love back, yes i would argue with her over this but in the end i would back down because it was not worth the heartache of losing her totally.. I was seething inside and she knew it but she also knew i wouldnt walk... She did in the end though because she saw me from my very soul and with a last effort scream at her ' NO MORE' .. I had burnt, no energy, nothing left but she knew the game was up, i wanted her to step up to the plate and she could not do it... It was bye bye Joop..
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« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2011, 05:52:20 PM »

OK Joop, Ill give you my take on my final outcome of my relationship, and lets see if you can draw the same perceptions (there is that word again).

My ex had a terrible childhood. One that children should just not have. When I met her, she had 2 children, neither of which she had custody of. She was living with a convicted drug felon, and she had no license to drive because of a DUI. She was also a HAT RUINER! We got together, got custody of her children, got a new house, and then we were off on a 13 year journey of heartache and pain.

She did what she could with the upbringing that she had. She has a disorder, and that is that. I can't blame her, or hold her responsible for it, but I can hold myself responsible for my own actions. And finally, after it was all said and done with, I have.

I went through some really rough times in my teens, because of things out of my control. When I met her, I was running from myself, and my past. She distracted me, and gave me something to focus on other than myself. I was in no way, or sense of the word healthy minded. We tried to do the best that we could with our limited knowledge of our own selves, and the dynamics of relationships in general. We both made huge mistakes.

It took someone of her magnitude, and her intensity to first of all, stop me from running. It took the longevity of our relationship to run me down to the point of not being able to run anymore, and face the things I needed to face, to square my world, and my life up for me. It took the hurt and pain that I put myself through to finally reach out and admit that I had no idea what I was doing.

In short, she, and our relationship, as it still smoldered in ashes, turned out to be the pivot point in my life. It was my brick wall. Those two things, her, and the relationship, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, my future, and my happiness.

It takes a while to see it, and you have to do the work, learn the lessons, and really get to know and accept yourself to get to that point, but I promise you, if you do, you will arrive at the same conclusion.
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« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2011, 06:14:03 PM »

Ok- I got a therapist early on bc she made me feel like I was the problem, so I remember my first red flag.

I had relocated here bc my father had alzheimer's and was sick, I was also 18 months into healing out of a bad relationship in upstate NY where I moved from, and she listened to me and was so kind to me, and sensitive, and interested...and two things...one time in a bar I heard her express her opinion to someone in a harsh way and I thought "Shoot, I hope she doesn't ever talk to me like that"...and when she had a male roommate and he broke something of hers, she raged at him one night, and I remember kind of victiming out and saying "Stop, you're scaring me, it's ok" ...I moved in a few months later, and boy was I the one she was talking to like that in the last year...
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« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2011, 06:18:32 PM »

Sht. I forgot she was drinking and smoking at age 14. Are those red flags?

This tickles me.

Depends, drinking and smoking are usually reserved for the less sophisticated people. (Before you jump on me, I started smoking at 15 and I was a drunk at 18.) I was dealing with some particularly turbulent times in my life, but that is still no excuse for my behavior. We all have our lists of deal breakers, if smoking and drinking are on that list, and she still does it, then duh-huh, yes.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

She stopped doing those things because I asked her to. I told her I don't like smoking, so she dropped it. And she was doing it because the people around her were doing it. She does come from a severely broken home so her friends are typically broken too. I feel like I was the first stable person in her life--maybe even more stable than she thought, as I have come a long way. The person she replaced me with I suspect is a drug user. She literally does what the people around her do (mirroring), so I suspect she is probably doing drugs now--and perhaps even dropped out of her high ranking college.

I have a buddy who dated a BPD who dropped out of Harvard, so the idea isn't far-fetched. It is, however, heartbreaking to me. A lot of them have the ability to lead such a rewarding life but are bound by the chains of their illness. She ran me through the ringer but I don't want to see her crumble to nothing like a lot of posters on here want their exes succumb to. Just her choice in her new mate is sad in my eyes. I don't know her current status and may never know because I have cut every form of communication off and dare not to ever look at her Facebook or any digital footprint of hers ever again. My heart is lagging behind my head but my head is on a steady pace.
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« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2011, 06:37:55 PM »

PD


you have to let the hat incident go my friend, i feel its holding you back Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Yes my friend, it took this r/s to stop me from running from my fear. Yes i felt like a failure after my marriage ended and as i admitted to my T, i was no way over the breakup of my marriage.

Do you want to know an interesting thing, my ex wife said it took four years to get over our breakup and fully heal, that was just pure grief for our breakup.. I was totally shocked and she said to me when i spoke to her after this r/s ' you were no way ready to dive straight in like you did, you were no way healed from us'

you know what PD she was so right, i wanted to replace my grief with someone else whilst thinking i was over my marriage breakup, i had learned lessons from the breakup but not learned about me.. I had become very co-dependent. I was a care giver, the man of the house, the protector of my family, the rock of my family.. Then it was gone and i felt worthless and of no use, surely somebody needed that of me and hey presto along came the pwBPD with her horrible r/s history.. BOOM the co-dependent and the BPD.. A marriage made in hell..
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« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2011, 06:55:09 PM »

Hey PDQuick Smiling (click to insert in post)

I dont post much on the leaving board lately...but I saw your thread and thought I would post. I have a similar story as yours...

The night we met I was invited to join a mutual friend at a local pool hall. The mutual friend hadnt mention that ex was going to be there. It was "Free Pool Sunday Night"...I was 24 and a college student...doesnt get much better than that does it? I arrived first and reserved the table. The mutual friend showed up with the ex...she was pretty...but just pretty. The ex and I talked a little, but with a pool table all to myself there wasnt much I cared for at that particular point in time.

So there I was, playing pool with myself...and damn Im good against myself Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)...and she starts talking to another guy. The guy was kinda goofy looking and she kept glancing over at me so I knew she was interested...but I was the to play pool. After a while of watching her flirt with another guy that she clearly wasnt interested in I thought to myself "Forget her...she is just another bar tramp...playing jealousy games to try and get my attention." First  |>

A pitcher of Fat Tire into the night and our mutual friend wanted to go 30mi to pick up one of my friends that the mutual frined was having a casual sex r/s with. Mutual friend hasnt had anything to drink but wants the company, so the three of us drive to get my friend. When the three of us packed into the mutual friend's car I looked over at my bumblebee yellow Ford Ranger 4x4 and said "I wanna drive my truck. I miss it already." That little pickup was the first nice thing I owned...spent my first GI Bill check on the down. It was a fun pick up, not much, but to a stuggling college student it was my world. The ex asked me to point it out so I did. She replied "Oh that piece of sht?" and gave a chuckle as she looked down at me. Second  |>

A few min down the road and our mutual friend asked if it would be ok if ex could ride ing back with me...saw this as the perfect op to hit back. I replied "Sure, as long as she comes with a muzzle." Im sorry, but you dont just call a guys truck a POS...you just dont go there. I dont care how much of a POS it actually is...you just dont go there.

An hour later...we get the my friend...and end up back at the pool hall. All the tables are now taken, so as the 2 sex fiends (mutual friends) are playing tonsil hockey and doing the clothed naughty all over the pool hall...I was stuck talking to the ex. I figured Id make the most of it and told her that I was joking about the muzzle comment. She lightened up...and magically her blouse now had a botton malfunction...hmmm imagine that...third  |>

While enjoying my new view, I actually started to like her...well at atleast she didnt need a muzzle now. We didnt have a whole lot in common, but was nice talking to her...especially with her blouse half unbuttoned. I had stopped drinking since it was getting late and almost closing time. The 2 sex fiends were hot and heavy...they wanted to go to a hotel room. My friend talked me into coming along since the ex was going along too. The sales pitch ":)ude, shes just gonna be a third wheel. I need you to keep her with you in your truck while I do my thing." What are friends for right Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). The ex hears that I am coming too and suggests x hotel. Her sales pitch "They have free porn! Come on!"...fourth  |>

So we get to the hotel room...and wouldnt ya know...I am the only one with money. So I pay for the room. Fifth  |>

Well we get to the hotel room and sure enough...ex turns on the free porn. I leave the room and go sit in my truck.

She comes out to join me cause our friends are now doing there thing. I start to enjoy talking to the ex again...start to open up to her about military...the bad break up Id just come off of...she shows me hickies from a week prior...tells me that she had to escape from her last BF and that they are actually bite marks...sixth  |>

So, we end up sleeping in the same bed in the hotel cause its like 4am after our friends finish up...I slept on the VERY VERY edge of the bed. I wasnt remotely interested in her...nice to talk to but NO THANKS! I left the next morning thinking about that Rodney Carrington song "T*****s N Beer"...I was 24 and got my fill of both that night without contracting Gonasyphilaids...mission accomplished!

A week later...I got a phone call from the mutual friend telling me that ex was "intrigued" by me and wanted to meet up at mutual friends house...this sounded different. I didnt think the ex could use that word. I checked it out. That night I saw a much better side...all red flags disappeared and we kissed. The hook that really got me..."You seem like youre not ready for a relationship." It was a challenge to my manhood...almost as if she were taunting me say "You can't handle me." Little did I know...I couldnt.
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2011, 07:03:13 PM »

OK, I didnt want that post to end Brer Rabbit.  Being cool (click to insert in post) That was entertaining.

And so...? What kept you in the thick of red flags?
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snucker25
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« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2011, 07:55:45 PM »

Why did I take him back the first time?  Because I loved him already (although I hadn't told him yet) and because he really, genuinely seemed sorry.  He told me that he hadn't let anyone into his heart in years because of being hurt in the past, and I believed him.  It made sense to me.  Everyone in his family said that he hadn't had a long-term relationship since his divorce, which at that time was ten years previously.  We seemed to have so much in common (I still think we do).

I guess the truth of the matter was that I was not ready to give up on the relationship.  I am not one for just giving up on anything.  I felt that we had something special and that it was worth fighting for.

I also believe that people make mistakes and deserve a second chance.  This was the first mistake he had made in the relationship in my mind, so I wanted to give him another chance.

So I did.

I guess I just wanted to it to work out SO BADLY.  In a way, I still do.
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« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2011, 08:07:08 PM »

If you start off with a red flag upon the first sight, what inside of you attracted you further? Was it a need to be loved, or have someone? Seriously, what is it that kept you continuing? C'mon, you were really attracted to him weren't you?  

I was telling myself not to judge a book by its cover and all that...that the guy of my dreams may not look how I expected on the outside...he was very polite and sweet in the beginning so I gave him a chance despite the Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  . I guess I was naive and desperate.
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2011, 08:19:12 PM »

Okay, 1st red flag.

We were introduced by his father, whom I've know for years. He was visiting from CA. We went on a date while he was here, then continued a long distance relationship for months, visiting each other as often as we could.

In the first couple months if dating, I didn't call him back one night. We talked on the phone every single night for months, and I was busy that night- I thought it was no big deal. The next day he called me, angry as hell. He said he couldn't trust me because he really needed to talk to me that night about something important, and I wasn't there for him. I was devastated. It took a few days and several emails to prove to him it wasn't done intentionally, and when he calmed down, I felt much better, and pretty much blew the situation off.

We got married that year (he moved here). I can think of several more of these same situations- if I went out with friends he'd call wanting to know when I'd be home. One time he injured his leg, and I asked if it was okay if I went out for a few hours to go shopping with my daughter. While at the mall, I miss a couple oh his texts so I called him back asap. He screamed at me for leaving him alone, even though he said it was no problem.

He ended up leaving me. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I stayed- I'd still be with him if he hadn't left. Codependcy? Didn't like being single? We had SO much fun together and so much in common- my 1st husband and I had nothing in common, so this was bliss. He also out me on a pedestal and made me feel so good, so worthy.
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« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2011, 08:31:02 PM »

So, we meet New Years Eve party, she was visiting from out of town, we talked a lot - went out back to the bonfird (I kid you not) some woman looked at us and said you two have a connection and belong together.

2 days later, we are out at a bar - drinking, kiss - she goes home with someone elsered-flag

6 weeks go by, she is now back and living here on sabatical - it was super bowl party - I said "hey" no big deal from before as it was nothing serious and lets say the dance began there.  She would push & pull for the next six weeks and each time I fell deeper into the highs.

I was in-between jobs, she thought I was smart, funny, hot, honest, amazing - hell, through her eyes I rocked!

Why did I stay?  because I kept wanting to come back to this.  Ya'll know I am a big proponent of the 10 beliefs that keep us stuck and frankly, every single one of them is me - she was my happiness, my future, love conquered all, we were married, her childhood was bad, her mom was sick & died, nobody understood her, I COULD BE ENOUGH DAMN IT!
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« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2011, 08:32:37 PM »

how is that for dramatic effect.  Accidently hit post. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Well, I am sad to say that I found I could not save someone from themselves and frankly I was not doing a very good job of saving myself.

So, there is my story and I am so glad to have PDQuick back   
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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2011, 08:43:56 PM »

My first red flag...hmm I ignored so many of them.  My history...I have been NC for 7 months after being left homeless (i lived with him, in his house in another country) and he basically stole all of my belongings..this all occurred because it came out he was having an affair...

Red Flag- we were in Iceland, which was about 3 months into our relationship.  I had told him that was a place I had ALWAYS wanted to visit- he said me too!  At the time I felt - aww a sign it was meant to be...now of course I know differently..  we were having dinner and I ordered chicken, he had a little fit at the table and refused to talk to me.  I sat in silence and at the time was ticked and thinking What the heck?  After dinner he told me a story about how his ex wife (BPD according to him).would only ever order chicken fingers off the kids menu and how humiliating that was for him.  

I didn't buy it and pretty much said nothing- that night at the hotel, he woke me up and we had the best sex ever at 4 am and he apologized, I accepted and all was good.  He had a second fit on that trip, I just walked away..again he apologized and I accepted.

My situation, mid 30's all of my friends were married with kids, I was the professional girl who focused on my career- looking back I think I was desperate for a serious relationship, when my ex appeared it was like - there he is and I was bound and determined to make it work...

At the time, I had never heard of PD's.  Fast forward a few months, the relationship was rocky and he was always blaming me.  I was in FOG and because I hadn't been married - I thought heck maybe there is something wrong with me..so I went to a T, asking for clarity on what my issues were.  At my first session- he pretty much diagnosed my ex with a PD.  

I remember going back to my condo, and just sobbing on the balcony and I was reserved to the fact- I love him, he is ill.  If he had cancer I wouldn't leave him...and my decision was made- I would make it work.

I continued seeing the same T, and worked as hard as I could to learn about his disorder and do all the things you are supposed to do (which I did).  When the affair came out - I was utterly and completely devastated...flat out devastated.  I still see my T (had a session last night) to help me.

Looking back now, I stayed because I truly loved who I thought he was- when we were together we travelled alot and took many photos, I was looking at them a couple of weeks ago and I could see the love in my face for him..

I stayed because it got to the point I was desperate to salvage all the work I had put in, I had decided I would not fail.  I was strong enough, I could help him...and I felt sorry for him.  I had a great childhood and my heart broke that we probably didn't.

In a nutshell, going into the relationship- I think I lived in a world where everything around me was purple and sparkly- I had not really experienced failure or the hard realities of life.  I certainly wasn't spoiled and I worked hard- but 'everything just went my way'.  I was lucky.

Going through the abuse and the rest of it- was a crash course on just how cruel and unfair life can be..I still have a hard time accepting that- who knows maybe I watched too many episodes of Little House on the Prairie growing up..

It still makes me sad that he (my ex) didn't want to get better...

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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2011, 08:53:30 PM »

Sixspeed, very interesting story, and I apologize for not being familiar with the entirety of it. Do you mind explaining what happened a little, and what you eventually did start seeing? You had a great insight into the idolization phase.

All her past bfs and husband had betrayed her. She told me she experienced abuse from her father (who she disowned for a while), step-parents, but never the details.  Her family was chaotic, they used each other for money, plagued with addictions, abuse, and poor life decisions. She raised her siblings while her mom was unable to be responsible. A dog that always was at her side, in the bed with us, and became a deflection between us. Small lies I found out later about minor things. 

with us:

That first job she quit within a couple of months, I told her I supported her decision to quit. She quite more jobs that came, often called out sick. She was always suffering from a physical ailment. I wanted to help her out of debt to help our future, I paid off 10% of it to start and we'd work on the rest together. It's around this time she asked me one drunken night after sex about marriage again, I asked about our previous conversation about taking it slow but she denied we'd ever had it. In sort of a confused fog and some frustration I said I wasn't sure about marriage, then in the morning explained I did love her and would marry her as we formed a partnership living together but didn't like the context she asked me in.  (we'd know eachother 14 months now only 2 living together)

She quit another job, I covered all our bills and all hers. At home she became depressed and despondent, slept all day in bed, withdrawn. I thought a vacation might help, took her to Europe, she seemed back to good self on it. I tried to get her to exercise, eat better, take care of herself, I offered to do these things with her, we did them together a few times, then she accused me of hating her body and stopped. She Saw a therapist once, he gave her an anti-d, she took it but was unregulated. I worked hard to keep her engaged, doing things, getting her out of the house, showing my love. I presented her a plan to pay off all her debt with some of my savings but asked if we could sell her car after to kick back into the pot because we didn't need it in the city. Anything repaid wouldn't go to me but to us in a joint account toward a house back in her home state, and we'd get her a new car then. She withdrew, told me I looked angry (I wasn't), accused me of being her father, and from here on told me I was too intimidating to talk to face to face, we'd have to use email or txt. I was crushed, becoming depressed myself, I'd never felt so unable to show love to someone in my life, I was lower than during my divorce.

The depression and panic attacks became worse for her, another job but she was fired. She diminished herself, said she was a burden, ugly, not up to my standards, I told her she'd do the same for me, she was beautiful, and I believed in her but I couldn't just tread water on the debt, we should work on my plan. The first suicide threat was made. I was on a business trip, I felt so powerless, I wanted to fly back home to her, I had my parents pick her up and spend the weekend with her. When I returned, she had a job prospect shortly after, didn't get it. Another suicide threat, I flew her to me where I was on business. She perked up, I told her I was at her side, together we'd make it through this rough patch. Right after she moved back to her homestate me saying it was the only way she could survive, to be back home with family. I repaired her car for the trip. I suggested we take a break while she healed, she begged not to, I felt obligated to honor that, she'd moved to be with me in the first place, it would be selfish of me to dump her now I thought.

She lived with family a short while but was kicked out moved in with an ex-bf, took money from him, I was concerned, she asked me if I was cheating on her. I was floored. She assured me nothing was going on just that he owed her from his betrayal of her 8 years ago. I stuck with it, when I visited we'd have a great day like old times, flirt, smile, go for dinners, hikes, be affectionate, be sexual but she'd withhold the act of sex, told me she had trouble feeling an emotional connection. I went on for a year trying to repair our interaction, flying her to me, me to her, we had some good experiences but an inability to communicate, make a plan for our future, or uphold any boundaries we negotiated, she took no role in anything, I admitted my flaws looked for reconciliation, sometimes I begged her to forgive me, asked her to meet me halfway, but I was always to blame. I started to lash back out at her and withdraw from her, I was damaged, I said something I regret still about her gaining weight, I wanted to hurt her and that scared me. We ended it, in a mutual agreement by email, but she wanted to be friends, maybe try again in a year or two. We stayed connected on FB, she seemed to turn around in spirits, added ex-bfs who were painted black before, broadcasting going out all the time, lots more men were added, flirting. I went NC because it was painful. I broke that when she told a mutual friend she wanted me back, thought I forgot about her. I offered to work with her on us, share our failures, but I received a condemnation and blame in response with a I'll think about taking you back.

Now I'm back to NC. I'm learning about me, what I can improve in myself, learning about BPD. Hoping to take the lessons to my next relationship and apply them in my parenting.



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« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2011, 09:13:04 PM »

Ok- I got a therapist early on bc she made me feel like I was the problem, so I remember my first red flag.

I had relocated here bc my father had alzheimer's and was sick, I was also 18 months into healing out of a bad relationship in upstate NY where I moved from, and she listened to me and was so kind to me, and sensitive, and interested...and two things...one time in a bar I heard her express her opinion to someone in a harsh way and I thought "Shoot, I hope she doesn't ever talk to me like that"...and when she had a male roommate and he broke something of hers, she raged at him one night, and I remember kind of victiming out and saying "Stop, you're scaring me, it's ok" ...I moved in a few months later, and boy was I the one she was talking to like that in the last year...

What did I do to excuse it? Wipe it clean, wave a magic wand that I could get her to speak to me as she was so concerned about my issues, and she probly had an issue of her belongings bc she was 7th of 8 children, not bc she was abusive or unreasonable or entitled...aggghhhh...others started popping up as well, but good to remind myself...

my therapist said never move in before you have your first fight.
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« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2011, 09:46:19 PM »

Right after she moved back to her homestate me saying it was the only way she could survive, to be back home with family.

Correction here on a typo, she said it was the only way she would survive. I tried offering many other plans; moving apartments (she hated our landlord), visiting her family long term instead of all out moving, reinforcing my desire to help, offered to help her go back to college instead of work, therapy (would put her on my medical insurance). I relented in the end when suicide was raised as her "only" option if she stayed.
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« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2011, 09:57:06 PM »

I had met my uBPDxbf on an online dating site.  He contacted me and we started chatting and clicked right away.  I didn't think I would be interested because he lived states away and I wasn't interested in a LDR. We chatted online daily for hours every night after my kids went to bed.  Within a month he was talking about us both selling our houses and moving to a new state together.  I told him I refuse to uproot my kids by leaving the state and my large family, etc.  That was the deal breaker and it was over.  About 2 weeks later of NC he contacts me, says life isn't worth living without me and the kids and that he'll move to my state... and we were back on.

He fed my need to be 'needed'... to feel important... to include my kids, etc.  I mean WOW... he said life wasn't worth living without me!  He loves me so much he's willing to sell his house and move to my state! He's willing to give up everything to be with me.  I was hooked.

It's easy to look back and see the relationship was moving way too fast, but at the time it felt like I hit the jackpot.  I ignored a ton of red flags because I believed he loved me more than anybody ever had or could and I wanted the dream future we were planning to become a reality.  I was willing to do anything for that dream to come true.

Of course things started getting worse, very quickly, after a few months.   After 7 months, I broke up with him. 
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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2011, 11:40:33 PM »

The very first red flag I saw was his intense use of language.  We knew of each other from earlier times in our lives, had connected online, and right away began communicating over email - everyday, sometimes several times a day.  I emailed just as much as he did.  But then right away he used language that felt intense to me (my Dearest...).  I remember an instant feeling of specialness, followed by that questioning feeling.

After about a month of emails I recognized feeling stimulated, adventurous, excited.  I had not ever had such discussions as ours.  It felt good, and I liked it.

Communication then never moved away from the computer, he wasn't asking for my phone number to hear my voice or talk person to person.  Eventually later he did ask for my number but it was weeks later (maybe a month) before he ever called.

My intellectual reasoning to my self, when my insides questioned, was that I had not dated in 25 years - I didn't know enough about dating "nowadays".

I had a long term marriage end very shatteringly about a year earlier, and I thought I had processed enough to test the waters.  He was someone I knew, I thought to myself it would be safe, he wouldn't hurt me.

I was lonely, I was tired of being alone.  I was lonely in my marriage years before my marriage ended and I knew why.  I wanted a life again, and I've always wanted to share it with someone.

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« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2011, 01:53:18 AM »

"Lets see if we can identify the precursors to the lives we put ourselves through, and why we did this to ourselves."

I got a red flag for ya...this thought process...

Excuse me for not knowing that it was even humanly possible for a person to behave in such erratic abusive ways...maybe I skipped class that day and didn't get the memo...

Also, excuse me for not questioning her every word and action right out of the gate , assuming that all women are sociopathic manipulative abusers...

And seriously, I should have known that she was going to gun the car 10 feet from me during our first fight and that not having full body armor on really is on me...I should have spent every waking moment preparing for something unthinkable emanating from an illness I had never heard of and didn't know the first thing about, and completely on me that the woman i slept with nightly and whose children I was helping raise in a very enjoyable living experience who expressed great love for me in every way would try to kill me, in a church parking lot no less

Its so commonplace the news doesn't even cover it anymore..I googled the whole idea...too many entries to even list...Really on me, i watched my parents do that to each other,both my brothers wives tried to take them out, my entire graduating class from college all met an early demise from exactly the same situation I was lucky to survive..

Yeah,now that you phrase it that way, man, what was I thinking trying to dent  her car with my leg...that is so abusive of me...thank you for showing me the light..I'm going too make an amends to her for messing up the paint job on her car with my blood, and I'm going to turn myself in for vandalism.

Its all about personal responsibility...and its high time i take responsibility for doing this to myself..

Good grief...
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« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2011, 02:28:04 AM »

I actually made it about 2 months if I am honest and say it was Thanksgiving, he missed Thanksgiving  |>  without even telling me what was going on. He just called last minute and told me he was working so his sisters boyfriend could spend time with her. The holidays are a big thing for my family and it hurt. I knew he was being cold and very harsh in his wording and seemed distant but I excused it as him being busy. I loved the way he made me feel most of the time but that was sad.The next big red flag was when I found out he was still married, after we had been living together 6 months.Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)   I felt like a home wrecker even though they were living in different states. Then I still did not kick him to the curb. I loved him and was in to deep. I even paid for his divorce. lmao I was a moron. I hate dating and truly loved him. Love is blind, deaf and dumb in my case!

Hey Overcoming, we all do things that in hindsight seem a little ridiculous. Can I ask you to expand, and tell us what needs he met, or what desires he quenched for you? There was something there that kept you.

He made me laugh. I had been depressed when my husband had a stroke in our bed. He had been sick for years before the last incident but it was so traumatic. I hadnt laughed in a long time. Xbph was funny, smart and made me feel like I didnt die when my husband did. Until xbph I felt like I had. I guess in a way I was angry my husband had passed and not me. He could have handled it better than I did, he was so mentally strong and kind. He appeared to have things under control. When he passed I fell apart. I was so weak I never stood a chance next to xbph. I was ripe to be used and abused. Enter the xbph and bam watch the drama unfold.
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« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2011, 06:32:15 AM »

The first red flag I really remember (although there were previous "hints" that something was off) :

At that time we were still friends only, and she was visiting my mother in the hospital, and supporting me (it was a very difficult time for me and she was such a support at the time...).

We were having a coffee at the coffee-machine and were about to head back to the hospital room where my mother was.

Out of the blue, she deliberately warmingly and lovingly took my hand, ushering  "I'll never let this hand go now...".

I felt such an amount of love and sweetness. It overwhelmed me.

Until a few hours later, we were in her car going back from the hospital.

Then, for no reason, she turned into Mr Hyde : cold, weird, asking questions as if she was suspecting a lack of honesty from me ( I repeat : we weren't even together, hadn't kissed or anything). Maybe trying to identify something bad about me. Like I was a threat in some way. And she was hyper-vigilant.

I remember feeling so ill at ease... Like I had a different person in front of me. An evil person. She gave off so much gloom.

It really freaked me out and I remember all I wanted was to get away. It was the very first time I felt this. Almost "threatened".

My guts would scream " GET AWAYYYYYY FROM HER SHE'S NUTS !" ...

The following day, she was back to sweetness again. Like nothing happened.

I stayed and let things evolve into a relationship...

Why ?

First : because she was so much support for me and what I was going through with my mother being in an hospital.

Second : because her behavior did not make any sense. I could not process the Jekyll / Hyde stuff. So I told myself that maybe I was tired and there had been a misunderstanding on my part.

When other Red Flag occured, I was so hooked...
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« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2011, 06:50:56 AM »

I have thought hard about this question, what was the first red flag, and I cannot come up with the answer. I have been maried over 18 years to uBPDw, known her for over 20, have four children together. When I think back over the entire time, all I can see is a lanscape of emotional and spiritual carnage covered with red flags, like a great battlefield littered with the dead, each marked in his position by a red flag sunk into the ground next to the body. Each corpse...a piece of me that was slain by some expression of her "disease". And each red flag...a reminder that hell can indeed exist upon the good Earth and a man can indeed be eaten alive one bite at a time.

It is very difficult to identify what small parts of me still survive, but recently I have decided with conviction that they shall not go down the way the rest have because without me, the children would be at extreme risk.

For anybody who doesn't know, because they are just getting started in their experience with a pwBPD, it is no joke. It is some profoundly evil scat that you will be very fortunate to survive long-term should you decide to try. Run! if you still can.

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« Reply #53 on: March 30, 2011, 01:49:32 PM »

OK, I didnt want that post to end Brer Rabbit.  Being cool (click to insert in post) That was entertaining.

And so...? What kept you in the thick of red flags?

Well, there were a few things...

First, I was 6 months out of a r/s with my first love. We had lived together...she had been with me thru 2 deployments...and there was a lot I hadnt dealt with. I didnt grieve that loss. So when ex came along...it was a rapidly progressing r/s...so it felt like I was in the heart of the old r/s without any of the hard stuff to deal with. I truly thought I was having my cake and eating it too. Oh wow I was soo wrong.

Second, LUST! Like I had mentioned before, the ex wasnt stunning or the most georgious woman I had ever seen or been with...but the sexual energy...WOW! It was very addictive. Theres a saying that "Love is blind." I dont believe that anymore. I believe "Love is all seeing and Lust is blind." In the first weeks of dating the ex...there was no way that the sweet soft lipped angel that just went down on me on her parents couch while her parents were in the other room could really be that monster...no way! If you have seen that movie "Orginal Sin" with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie...that was the way it felt. "Ohhh the sex!" seems to be a very common thread here. I think it would be a very good topic of exploration for another post...Was it Love or Lust? For me...it was almost purely lust. There wasnt even chemistry or spark for me...I didnt fall head over heals for her...she wasnt my soul mate...my heart didnt go pitter patter...that was a Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  in itself I think.

Thirdly, well with lust comes the consequences. By the first month of dating we got pregnant. I asked her father for permission to marry...we moved in together...and thats when life got really nasty. We were fighting every day...she was out all night partying and I was at home studying...SHE WAS PARTYING WHILE PREGNANT AND I WAS STILL IN CHEM 1 IN COLLEGE! I was now addicted to the conflict. I couldnt get out because I felt I had a moral obligation to stay...so I tried to control her behavior. Yeah, that didnt pan out so well. She was 5 months pregnant and had a miscarriage. The drinking got worse...and drinking and driving...and one night she came home and tried to start a physical fight...drunk obviously. I had enough...no responsibility...it was over! For 24hrs Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).

Well, after the first breakup...she changed her ways. She didnt have even a sip of alcohol for 1yr. The next year was good...and I did grow to love her. We had some good times in that year. We were officially engaged...got prenant...got married...had our first born...then over the next 4 years of marriage she slowly turned back into that creature that I could stand.

What kept me in the marriage was quite different from the first 6 mos of the rs...SHE WAS MY WIFE. Not a lot of posts here really talk about that. I made a commitment...I swore an oath...for better or FOR WORSE. As a result of being divorced now...I am not sure if I believe in those vows. I believe in love and commitment...but those vows...I am just not sure.

There are other things too. My father had NO sense of boudnaries and my stepmom walked all over him. So I am sure that my lack of boundaries was a learned behavior. I suppose I was like the old frog in boiling water too. Like the saying goes...if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water he'll jump right out but if you put him into cold water and slowly boil it he will stay until he dies.

Our sex life sucked. I had gained 60+ lbs of depression weight...my coping drug of choice was energy drinks. She had an eating disorder and got to under 100 lbs. I was not remotely attracted to her...but my need for lust was still there. This is when I became fully addicted to lust. We got crazier and crazier...turned to porn...etc. Before I knew it I liked porn more than her as she was never there. The porn was mutually enjoyed, but of course was mental cheating on my side. I had become everything that turned my stomach upside down about her in the beginning. Much like that movie Original Sin. I had become her...I had lost myself.

In the end...the only thing that got me out were the affairs. Not 1, not 2, but 3...in 6 months. They started when our 2nd daughter was 1 month old. She settled down with the 4th.

I have learned soo much from this r/s...so much about life. I got 2 beautiful daughters out of it amd learned some lessons that I am not going to forget. I cannot say that I am fully grateful for this experience, but I cannot say that I am ungrateful for it. I have fully grieved the loss of my first love and realized my short commings with her. I understand more about my own family dynamics...yeah theyre a bunch of nuts too. I have emerged a better me.
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« Reply #54 on: March 30, 2011, 02:45:46 PM »

Interesting thread!

I met my stbxh in high school.  Looking back I can identify 3 red flags during our dating years. 

1) The rush to intimacy.  My H decided very quickly that he was in love with me and wanted to  marry me.  Although it took us a couple more years before we actually married, the idealization phase was very attractive to me. I loved being accepted and loved for who I was and believing I was the most important person in the world to him.  Felt like he would sacrifice anything to be with me.  I could do no wrong.  The love/attention from my FOO seem to be based on performance so I yearned for this kind of acceptance.

2) Future H called frequently and made me feel guilty if I didn't spend all my time with him.  I resented  that he would call me for a date, assumed my answer would be yes and then ask me to plan it; i.e.  he would call and say "So, what are we doing tonight?"

3) Future H did not respect my boundaries while dating.  I had a curfew and preferred to play by my parent's rules.  Future H would pressure me to stay out with him past my curfew and I would end up getting in trouble for it.  It bothered me that he seemed so self-absorbed to not care how his actions affected me.  I guess at the time I saw it as he loved me so much he didn't want to say good-night.

I didn't see the inconguity of his words vs. his actions.  I didn't have the self-respect or healthy self-esteem to take my own needs/wants seriously nor knew how to voice them. My future H like my FOO did not seem to experience a full range of emotions.  We lived life by stuffing them and avoiding conflict at all cost.

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« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2011, 04:06:16 PM »

Excerpt
OK Havana, long time no see huh? You listed what you have endured, and what you saw, but didn't tell us what keeps you there. I know you are a stayer, and I respect the heck out of you for that, and I hope everyone here does as well. But what it the tradeoff Havana? What keeps you there?

I get asked this a lot. What kept me for the longest time was the kids but that stopped being a factor about 8 years ago. Finances is a factor. She has every debilitating ailment you can make up (fybromyalgia, ibs, rsd, three different osteo things) so I would really get screwed in a divorce. She has rarely worked in the 40 years we have been married. She couldn't make it on her own. At this point she spends most of her time in her bedroom which is fine with me. I guess most people would say my life sucks but it doesn't. I make do. The biggest problem for me right now is I'm afraid I'll end up being in the "Never touch a boobie again club"
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« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2011, 04:37:35 PM »

Thats amazing Havana. It sounds like you are staying to take care of her. Thats takes a lot of will and love, I respect that. You are a good person.I wish I could have done it but I couldn't. Marriage vows are so important to me and I am just calling it quits? I won't ever get married again, think this bp journey has cured my desire for i do's.
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« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2011, 07:26:40 PM »

Marriage vows are so important to me and I am just calling it quits?

Messes with your head doesn't it?  It's what bothered me most when I was going through my divorce with my xh.  BOTH people have to uphold their marriage vows for it to work.  One day I realized I didn't quit on him... he quit on me by breaking his vows many years before I filed for divorce. He never cheated on me, but the love, honor, respect, appreciation, etc. never happened.  I don't remember manipulation, control, abuse etc. being spoken as part of the vows on the alter.  And, he refuses to take his meds, go to therapy etc.  It's not me who was the quitter.
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« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2011, 11:39:28 PM »

pdquick,  do u ever see the kids?
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« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2011, 12:15:52 AM »

Marriage vows are so important to me and I am just calling it quits?

Messes with your head doesn't it?  It's what bothered me most when I was going through my divorce with my xh.  BOTH people have to uphold their marriage vows for it to work.  One day I realized I didn't quit on him... he quit on me by breaking his vows many years before I filed for divorce. He never cheated on me, but the love, honor, respect, appreciation, etc. never happened.  I don't remember manipulation, control, abuse etc. being spoken as part of the vows on the alter.  And, he refuses to take his meds, go to therapy etc.  It's not me who was the quitter.

Yes Crystal it does. You are right though he quit way before I found the strength to walk away. I just hate it was that way even if it was right.
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« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2011, 05:35:17 AM »

pdquick,  do u ever see the kids?

I do. Im very close with the oldest daughter. She lived with me for a while when she was in college. The youngest one was forbidden to speak with me after the breakup, and I had to honor that because she was under the age of 18. They are now 22 and 19, I met them when they were 2 and 5. I love them both.

You all are having some good output here. I wanted to talk about this so that we could see that we all had a responsibility to ourselves in these relationships. When we saw the red flags, we chose not to take them to heart, and we chose to stay.

When I first started therapy, I spent my entire first session depicting all of the horrors I had endured. I played the victim, talking about what she had done to me through the relationship. My therapist just sat and listened.

The next session tried to start the same way, but I was quickly stopped. She told me that my ex didn't do anything to me that I didn't allow, because I stayed through it all. Because I stayed, I sent her the message that it was OK for her to treat me like that. After the first day of meeting her, she didn't do anything to me, I subjected myself to everything, because I knew what she was capable of, and I validated her behavior by hanging around. I enabled that very behavior that I was trying to curb. I, in a sense, helped contribute to her illness by not standing up for myself.

Once you gain that perspective, you definately have a change of thought. I immediately shifted gears, and wondered what my issues where, because my therapist was right. Had this been any other person treating me this way, I would have fought, and then not had a thing to do with them the rest of my life. But she filled a need in me, one that I was willing to sacrifice my soul to have filled. I had to find out and remedy what that need, or needs were.

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« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2011, 06:16:10 AM »

PDQ, your post directly above points out a very good direction to take my thinking now although I am pretty much sure I know why I have stayed in for so long - the kids (all boys, 17, 14, 12, 6). If it ever comes to the point where we are divorced and she has custody, the kids almost certainly will enter either a) a downward socio-economic death spiral that will hit bottom before a year is over or b) she will move them in with her mother and step-father who live 7 hours away and I will hardly ever be able to see them. In either case, they are certain to be emotionally abused, neglected, and materially deprived. As long as I stay, I am sure they will be taken care of properly (by me). I would rather the nightmare be visited upon me and endure it than see it thrust upon the kids without me to support them.

Recently, though, I have been computing the minimum number of years that I need to continue with this. I am figuring four. Only two of the boys will still be at home and both of them will be at ages when it makes more sense for them to live with their father rather than mother. It may take a little longer, but what holds me together is the hope and determination that I (and the boys) will be free of this unending BPD s--t storm and at least in my case I know that whatever years I have left will not be spent locked in a cage with a monster.
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« Reply #62 on: March 31, 2011, 06:24:21 AM »

My first red flag was about 2 months into the relationship. She'd already told me she didnt get on with her family. Then, one night, she phoned me, crying, hysterical, saying her brother had been harassing her, leaving abusive voicemails for her. She wanted to meet me, wanted to stay at mine that night, appeared scared. I wasn't going to turn her away.

I did ask her why her brother was doing this. He's bad, hates me, I'm the only one that tells the truth about what my parents are like and he can't handle it, was what I got. The reality of what really happened I'll probably never know. And I don't even care anymore.

Why did I ignore the red flag? Because i felt, wanted, needed, and I was naive enough to believe what she told me.
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« Reply #63 on: March 31, 2011, 06:39:42 AM »

Fish, that is definately one way to perceive the effect on the children. It's the same one I had through my relationship. The kids weren't mine, but I was mostly responsible for them being there.

Allow me to expand your mind some though to my current take on my past relationship.

What would be more beneficial to a child? To have a mother and father who had a completely dyfunctional relationship, or a mother who had a dysfunctional relationship with whomever, and a father who had a healthy relationship with whomever. You see Fish, you can't teach a child about healthy relationships while you are in a dysfunctional one. Their mother will always have a dysfunctional one because of her illness. You, however, have the opportunity to heal yourself, and have a healthy relationship to show your children, and set an example of what one looks like. Children are led by example.

Just some food for thought.
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« Reply #64 on: March 31, 2011, 08:44:13 AM »

I understand your reasoning about the kids living in a dysfunctional marriage, PDQ, and have thought long & hard about that. I've concluded that every situation is different and the best that one can do is make a prudential decision based on the facts at the time.

In my case, I judge it better that the kids have me as a constant presence in their lives v. the alternatives I listed. Plus, there is more than one relationship going on in the household. The relationships with me and between the kids themselves among them. I count those as extremely important to the kids (and me) and they can learn a lot about healthy relationships from them.

The kids may see a rotten marriage in which their mother is emotionally out-of-control and their father is hammered, but they also may grow to have life-long healthy relationships with their father, brothers, and perhaps eventually in a limited way with their mother IF a bad situation is not made worse. UBPDw/mom with custody would be just that in my predictions.

You know as well as any man on here that the odds of the father getting custody of younger kids in a divorce are vanishingly small if the mother is not a certified lunatic, child abuser, or in prison. I can't risk it right now. When the younger two are older, yes, I almost certainly will play the hand.

Thanks very much for your thoughts.
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« Reply #65 on: March 31, 2011, 09:22:07 AM »

Fish ~ I found out the hard way the heavy emotional toll being in a dysfunctional/abusive marriage was taking on my kids.  I was also afraid of how the kids would handle being with my xh alone with his 50% custody.  For me, providing a place of calmness, peace and happiness was imperative for their sanity even if it was only ½ the time.  The difference in their behavior since my divorce has been dramatic ~ in a positive way.   Regardless if you stay or leave, I urge you to consider therapy for the kids.  They are very ‘in-tune’ to what's going on and are affected more than you might realize.   
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« Reply #66 on: March 31, 2011, 10:29:25 AM »



Like PDQuick, I am a long time member of this board, but have not been around much..but this week marks three years since my divorce was final (and next month I will have been a member for FIVE YEARS!) and I have bene doing a little reflection...

First Red Flags-- We met in HS so I didnt know see them as red flags...

Intense Devotion. Intense need for physical contact.  (These both felt really nice and were flattering at the time and I think it was understandable to just feel like this was "new love" Two real red flags that bothered me even at age 17 but I ignored--and shouldnt have:

1.  he NEEDED to have a GF.  If a girl dropped him, he was in another relationship in days!  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) .

2. All his woes or non-successes were someone else's fault..his teachers didnt understand him, his parents didnt support him... never him. And never just "oh well, these things happen". the blaming was deeply embedded even at age 17!


Hard to believe but all the traits were there. Way back at age 17...For a long time, I was painted white and generally enjoyed the intensity of attention. I had always felt  like the invisible child in our home.. so it felt GREAT to get so much intense, positive attention.

And  the red flags... I ignored them. Why? 

From an early age I was trained by FOO to accept blame...so I was easily guilted by him.

I had a soft heart, so I felt sorry for him...

And I was afraid of conflict...so I didnt challenge his lies very much and I accepted his excuses..

And the good was really good...  or so I thought...

Fast forward. 15 years, three kids. middle age. He was restless and unsatified. I had allowed myself to become isolated, and demoralized. Our home was ruled by his moods.  We had wildly fun times.  And the kids adored their dad-he was cool and exciting . Except when he wasnt. But I protected them (and him) from his moods.  It was exhausting. Eventually we were all walking on eggshells (even our dogs!) and didnt even know it!   He sabatoged my work successes, dissed all my friends so I dropped them, and as the kids started to become independent thinkers he found them threatening so he knocked them off the pedestal and painted them black. And he took up drinking and drugging. And blamed me.  And I took the blame. Why? Because I always had.  This would have gone on forever except I loved my kids and couldnt stand to see how he was treating them.  And how his treatment was wounding them.  It never occurred to me to do get out for myself...Im not blaming my parents, but the way I was raised made me prone to accept that kind of treatment...

I did a lot of work to understand why I accepted his horrible treatment. And coming to terms with my childhood. And coming to actually believe in myself. I am very successful in a complicated job and never believed in myself. And I didnt think I was worthy of friends...

And now, 5years after finding the board, and 3 years after divorce, I feel GREAT.  I have friends. My kids are thriving.  Work continues to go well. I have fallen in love.. and fallen out of love.. and tried to deal with that honestly.  I have come to understand and accept my FOO- and really forgive my mom for instilling so much guilt and self-doubt in me. 

Bottom line-- I think my childhood made me prone to fall for a BPD/NPD. No self-confidence and guilt prone.  And tough.   And I got entangled with him before I was really thinking for myself and taking responsibility for myself.  I think that is a common story for many of us here on the boards. 

So, for those of you still trying to leave... but slowed down by guilt, or fear or lack of confidence.  Get T. Get strong. and Get out! It is never too late.   Life can be so much better! 

Crystal
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« Reply #67 on: March 31, 2011, 07:29:00 PM »

Way to go Crys. I still remember all of those epic discussions we had way back when. Im glad to hear you are doing well.

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« Reply #68 on: March 31, 2011, 08:12:48 PM »

We met in sept after I was only out of a 4 year relationship for 2 months. I was still somewhat entangled with my ex but my new gfbp had no compassion whatsoever. In fact by that Jan on new years eve all he'll broke loose. I had never experienced such drama but she always said that the drama was mine. I started believing all that she told me and it took over 2 years to see that I wad conned. Yes she did seek a doctor to try working on her issues but she used even this against me. I have never experienced such love and hate at the same time. She is moving out this Sunday after just barely moving in and as crazy as it sounds I am heartbroken. I really wanted it to work, I tried to make it work but to be constantly ridiculed and beaten simply becomes too much.
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« Reply #69 on: March 31, 2011, 08:18:10 PM »

Crystal, your story offers such hope.  Thank you.
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« Reply #70 on: March 31, 2011, 08:55:10 PM »

Hey scout,  I am glad it offers hope!  If you ever want back to my old posts you will see that I was as deep in the FOG as anyone. And I was soo afraid to let go.  So, if I can do it, you can too.  And really. Life should be good. And real.and when its not good you should be able to fell your feelings and be yourself. And you should be able to relax in your own skin.  And trust yourself.  I have all that now...it was a hread and scary path, that I could not have done without this board and T... But totally worth it.

And you know--the first few steps really were the hardest.  Have hope for the future and faith in yourself and you will do just fine.

Crystal
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