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Author Topic: Your ex was emotionally immature. Were you? Yes? No?  (Read 16697 times)
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« on: September 19, 2012, 05:29:41 PM »



______________



Members said:

Fact-61% | Legend-39%

_______________hit__________

An individual's overall life functioning is linked closely

to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation.

People select partners who have the same level of emotional

maturity.


This is Fact.  Yet 39% of members said "no" to this long standing family theory - Bowen's "family systems" theory.

An individual's overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation. People select ... .partners who have the same level of emotional maturity. Emotional immaturity manifests in unrealistic needs and expectations. ~ Murray Bowen, M.D

39% of members voted that this was an "urban legend"  - which is interesting  when you think about it - members often say they saw the red flags but ignored them - they knew the relationship was doomed, but stayed --  or put in other words, their emotions overruled their common sense (intellect).

How about your relationship specifically.  Were you emotionally immature?  If yes, can you give an example?




The concept of Differentiation of Self is the ability to separate feelings and thoughts. Undifferentiated people can not separate feelings and thoughts; when dealing with relationships, they are flooded with feelings, and have difficulty thinking logically and basing their decisions on that. This often manifests as unrealistic needs and expectations.  Further, they have difficulty separating  their own feelings from the feelings of others‚Ķ

Differentiation is described in many ways in the following points:

1. Growing in the ability to see where and how I fit into my relationship, the position I hold and the power that is and is not given to that position.

2. Growing in the ability to be fully responsible for my own life while being committed to growing closer to those I love.

3. Intentionally developing, at the same time, autonomy and intimacy. In developing autonomy I set myself towards achieving my dreams and ambitions. In developing intimacy, I allow those close to me to see and know me as I really am.

4. Being willing to say clearly who I am and who I want to be while others are trying to tell me who I am and who I should be.

5. Staying in touch with others while, and even though, there is tension and disagreement.

6. Being able to declare clearly what I need and requesting help from others without imposing my needs upon them.

7. Being able to understand what needs I can and cannot meet in my own life and in the lives of others.

8. Understanding that I am called to be distinct (separate) from others, without being distant from others.

9. Understanding that I am responsible to others but not responsible for others .

10. Growing in the ability to live from the sane, thinking and creative person I am, who can perceive possibilities and chase dreams and ambitions without hurting people in the process.

11. Growing in the ability to detect where controlling emotions and highly reactive behavior have directed my life, then, opting for better and more purposeful growth born of creative thinking.

12. Deciding never to use another person for my own ends and to be honest with myself about this when I see myself falling into such patterns.

13. Seeing my life as a whole, a complete unit, and not as compartmentalized, unrelated segments.

14. Making no heroes; taking no victims.

15. Giving up the search for the arrival of a Knight in Shining Armour who will save me from the beautiful struggles and possibilities presented in everyday living.

To differentiate is to provide a platform for maximum growth and personal development for everyone in your circle of influence. It means being able to calmly reflect on a conflicted interaction afterward, realizing your own role in it, and then choosing a different response for the future. Not to differentiate is to fuse (the failure to become a separate person) with others and to place responsibility on others (or on situations, predicaments, and hurdles) for the way in which our lives develop.

These widely accepted theory were developed by Murray Bowen, M.D. in the late 1940's and early 1950's, when he was a psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic. After his time at Menninger's, he moved to the National Institute of Mental Health, then to Georgetown University Medical Center and finally established the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, D.C.

Bowen's therapy is a process of increasing one's differentiation or ability to balance automatic reactivity and subjectivity with a factual view of oneself and others.





www.bowentheoryacademy.org/6.html

www.difficultrelationships.com/2006/03/25/bowen-differentiation/

www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/bowen.html
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Suzn
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 05:46:40 PM »

I would say yes. I was emotionally immature for the most part. I entered into and stayed in a relationship that was unhealthy. I blamed everything "bad" that happened on my ex during that r/s and after the breakup for a period of time. I also felt as though I was a victim of this r/s, untill I started taking account of my own issues and reactions.
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 07:12:26 PM »

I would say yes. I was emotionally immature for the most part. I entered into and stayed in a relationship that was unhealthy. I blamed everything "bad" that happened on my ex during that r/s and after the breakup for a period of time. I also felt as though I was a victim of this r/s, untill I started taking account of my own issues and reactions.

About same for me and I am just coming out of one so everything is fresh.

I don't blame the ex for everything bad but really most of the really bad stuff came out of her BPD. I blame myself for sticking with it so long and/or not trying to get her help a little more.  I don't really feel like a victim but maybe I am behaving like one.

One of the things my ex told me about her ex husband was that he behaved like a victim throughout the whole deal.  Up to this r/s I could never have seem myself behaving as a victim but in many ways I am.

One of my not so nice characteristics is that I am patient, patient, patient but when I finally run out of patience I go over the top in my reactions to the next 'abuse.'  If them mess with me I hit back with massive retaliation.

So... .yes. yes yes not emotionally mature for me.
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the new kid
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 08:22:38 PM »

Yes, definitely, the simple fact that i wandered into the relationship and gave myself completely so quickly and without question suggests so. Emotionally immature and extremely naive.
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 08:37:53 PM »

I was emotionally embryonic.
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 08:48:08 PM »

It's possible that my emotional immaturity was masked in relatively normal relationships prior to one with my ex uBPDgf .  I have to admit that I was in way over my head and accepted behaviours and tolerated red flags far beyond I should have as my boundaries were askew and I was willing to be doormat.  I think for the most part I lacked the emotional IQ to succeed or survive in crazytown, a place where we both resided due to our hero/victim dynamic.  I was indeed an enabler for her antics, offering to change many aspects of my appearance, home, and to some degree behaviours - I walked on eggshells to preserve a fantasy, which is an immature approach for sure... .

She also took anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications and if I'm be honest with myself, at the time I did feel a sense of superiority to her since I saw myself as wholly and entirely "stable" .

Anyway my defence mechanisms finally took route in a dramatique and explosive email exchange and I lashed out after my buttons were pressed in a petty and immature fashion.  :)espite the delusional complaints about innocuous items that apparently triggered her abandonment issues, and the false and cruel accusations, she didn't deserve the vehemence of my response, and I wasn't strong or mature enough to walk away peaceably.  The difference is that I realize what happened and sought a "T" to help me cope with these issues.  It's taken much pain and introspection and conversations with terrific people, but I can sense tremendous growth mentally and emtionally, and that no I would address issues in an entirely different and more resolved manner than before.  The difference between her and I is that I desperately want to learn and evolve due to my experience dealing with the tumult of BPD, and she will merely continue her destructive patterns as she has refused to seek counseling.

So just because we may have acted emotionally immature, doesn't mean we're trapped there.  The first part is acknowledgment, feeling remorse for your actions, and then the hard work to admit weaknesses and find the tools and emotional/mental structure that will help move you into a healthier framework from which to operate.  One can be too hard themselves for making such mistakes as critical as they were as they likely hurt others such as your ex in the process.  We must realize we if we embrace the lessons presented to us, we are no the same people we were while in or even sometime after the end of the BPD relationship.

Interestingly I think my hero complex can be an asset... .If I visualize my behaviours as a monster within me, then my hero side will try and conquer such demons... .it's a stronger metaphor than merely saying I need to change some bad habits.  Just like notions that tolerance and loylatly are generally perceived as good traits, they may fail you in a BPD relationship, so why not use personality traits that are perceived as unhealthy to garner a positive outcome?

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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 09:23:04 PM »

i don't know if i could classify myself as emotionally immature. I know that i was manipulated using logical reasoning into jumping head first into my relationsship. My exuBPDgf would put little quips in my head like "just listen to your heart and not yout head for once" "trust your feelings"  Needless to say i rationalized it all and assumed if i have never tried it how can i criticize the theory so set out to apply it. 3 years later and i am a single man. Happily broken up as she has moved on and found her 2nd repacement that everybody I know say is a downgrade.

Narcascistic I concede i may be a little but i feel as thought i tried a hypothesis and that hypothesis failed and i learn from my mistake for the next time.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 10:13:17 PM »

i don't know if i could classify myself as emotionally immature. I know that i was manipulated using logical reasoning into jumping head first into my relationsship. My exuBPDgf would put little quips in my head like "just listen to your heart and not yout head for once" "trust your feelings"  Needless to say i rationalized it all and assumed if i have never tried it how can i criticize the theory so set out to apply it. 3 years later and i am a single man. Happily broken up as she has moved on and found her 2nd repacement that everybody I know say is a downgrade.

Narcascistic I concede i may be a little but i feel as thought i tried a hypothesis and that hypothesis failed and i learn from my mistake for the next time.

I had the same thing from my borderline. "listen to your heart, not your brain"... .and I was dumb, I believed her. Or "don't you trust me?"... .well, I learned a lot about myself. Yes, I was emotionally immature and I gave up who I was to p

Please this nut job. Ive learned to never ignore myself or my feelings
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 05:12:18 AM »

Yes, I was immature. I made the choice to allow myself to go way to fast into a full blow relationship because all the right things were being said. I *wanted* them to go fast because dating always seemed inordinately messy to me. I robbed myself of truly getting to know the ex. That said, there is a reason people date for a reasonable length of time; to vet a prospective partner and find out the little things that only come out in time. I found out those dealbreakers only after I was neck deep when I never should've put myself in that position.

It was a growing up experience that I needed to have. Dating is essential. You don't build an intimate relationship before a friendship. I robbed myself of taking that important time to develop (or not) an affinity for someone.

After I realized my mistakes and jumping in like I did, instead of leaving when it got out of control which would've been mature, I stayed. Probably some self esteem issues at work, being that at that time I'd rather have someone who was unraveling and taking me with her rather than just leave and apply the lessons I needed to learn going forward.

I was also immature with anger. I didn't break the cycle. I stayed in the little wars with her and I lost sight of the big picture. Was this healthy for me? Was this healthy for her? No on both counts. It was untenable situation. I was unhappy, her disorder was in a phugoid-like motion. Staying brought no joy to anyone. Exiting was the only option.

I know why I stayed though, I adored her daughter. I was selfless with the child, but it was immature of me to hang on and put up with dxBPDgf to be around the child. It was an unhealthy dynamic that, had I stayed longer, would've yielded more pain.

As an aside, a comment of people being drawn together because of their similar emotional maturity. Yes, dxBPDgf really made me feel like she was on my wavelength. So many similarities, so much that just felt right.  Little did I know of the idealization and mirroring phase that goes along with BPD traits. Only after that phase begun to fade and the real dxBPDgf came out, then I was in horror. Perhaps that's why their mirroring is so effective? They sell that near-perfect emotion mature connection.  It's only later you find out the devil in the details.

Rushing in through my own immaturity left me a sitting duck for a BPD type person to wedge in quickly.







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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 05:28:13 AM »

Yes, I was immature. I made the choice to allow myself to go way to fast into a full blow relationship because all the right things were being said. I *wanted* them to go fast because dating always seemed inordinately messy to me. I robbed myself of truly getting to know the ex. That said, there is a reason people date for a reasonable length of time; to vet a prospective partner and find out the little things that only come out in time. I found out those dealbreakers only after I was neck deep when I never should've put myself in that position.

It was a growing up experience that I needed to have. Dating is essential. You don't build an intimate relationship before a friendship. I robbed myself of taking that important time to develop (or not) an affinity for someone.

After I realized my mistakes and jumping in like I did, instead of leaving when it got out of control which would've been mature, I stayed. Probably some self esteem issues at work, being that at that time I'd rather have someone who was unraveling and taking me with her rather than just leave and apply the lessons I needed to learn going forward.

I was also immature with anger. I didn't break the cycle. I stayed in the little wars with her and I lost sight of the big picture. Was this healthy for me? Was this healthy for her? No on both counts. It was untenable situation. I was unhappy, her disorder was in a phugoid-like motion. Staying brought no joy to anyone. Exiting was the only option.

I know why I stayed though, I adored her daughter. I was selfless with the child, but it was immature of me to hang on and put up with dxBPDgf to be around the child. It was an unhealthy dynamic that, had I stayed longer, would've yielded more pain.

As an aside, a comment of people being drawn together because of their similar emotional maturity. Yes, dxBPDgf really made me feel like she was on my wavelength. So many similarities, so much that just felt right.  Little did I know of the idealization and mirroring phase that goes along with BPD traits. Only after that phase begun to fade and the real dxBPDgf came out, then I was in horror. Perhaps that's why their mirroring is so effective? They sell that near-perfect emotion mature connection.  It's only later you find out the devil in the details.

Rushing in through my own immaturity left me a sitting duck for a BPD type person to wedge in quickly.

It's absolutely uncanny how I could have written your passage, down to bonding with my ex uBPDgf's  daughter!  
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 07:49:40 AM »

Yes I was and still am

I'm 38 and act like an 18 year old most of the time. That was hard to admit to myself.
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 07:55:21 AM »

yes, i put up with alot of unacceptable behavior, why cuz i was afraid to hurt his feelings and end the relationship, yet i still put up with all the hurtful words and pain he caused me. And yes, i still have alot of growing up to do, i guess think of myself and wants and needs and stop worrying about the other person.
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 08:06:08 AM »

I was emotionally immature, but in a different way than he was, and I also saw myself as superior to him emotionally/health-wise. I could see how screwed up his reactions and responses to situations were, and the overly-dramatic responses to many minor things, and I saw myself as far healthier than he. So, I was immature in a different way, in that I'd apologize to him for things that I still believe I bore very little responsibility for, just to keep the peace and make him feel better, and just so I didn't have to end the relationships.

I also ignored the red flags and did whatever was necessary to keep the relationship "intact."

My immaturity manifested itself in far different ways, and I'd have to also say more subtle ways. Most people could see/knew how screwed up he was. I don't think others (especially his family) could see how screwed up I was (although I'm sure they thought what the heck is she doing with my ______ (brother, son, uncle, etc).

M
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 09:30:33 AM »

Oh YES.

I was -entering into this r/s way too fast for anyone's own good. ignoring the  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  deliberately, wanting to be rescued, taking ownership of both our problems... .

I was also narcissistic in that I saw myself as beyond *failure* and big enough to carry both of us.

I entertained fantasies of happily ever after even when Reality proved otherwise. if that's not grandiose... .then what is?   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Once I read about mirroring on F2F and how so suddenly he *knew we were right for each other* when earlier I was NOT his type... .I was sick to my stomach. I chose that?   ?

Yes, at one time, I DID.

GL
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 10:04:56 AM »

It's possible that my emotional immaturity was masked in relatively normal relationships prior to one with my ex uBPDgf .  I have to admit that I was in way over my head and accepted behaviours and tolerated red flags far beyond I should have as my boundaries were askew and I was willing to be doormat.  I think for the most part I lacked the emotional IQ to succeed or survive in crazytown, a place where we both resided due to our hero/victim dynamic.  I was indeed an enabler for her antics, offering to change many aspects of my appearance, home, and to some degree behaviours - I walked on eggshells to preserve a fantasy, which is an immature approach for sure... .

She also took anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications and if I'm be honest with myself, at the time I did feel a sense of superiority to her since I saw myself as wholly and entirely "stable" .

Anyway my defence mechanisms finally took route in a dramatique and explosive email exchange and I lashed out after my buttons were pressed in a petty and immature fashion.  :)espite the delusional complaints about innocuous items that apparently triggered her abandonment issues, and the false and cruel accusations, she didn't deserve the vehemence of my response, and I wasn't strong or mature enough to walk away peaceably.  The difference is that I realize what happened and sought a "T" to help me cope with these issues.  It's taken much pain and introspection and conversations with terrific people, but I can sense tremendous growth mentally and emtionally, and that no I would address issues in an entirely different and more resolved manner than before.  The difference between her and I is that I desperately want to learn and evolve due to my experience dealing with the tumult of BPD, and she will merely continue her destructive patterns as she has refused to seek counseling.

So just because we may have acted emotionally immature, doesn't mean we're trapped there.  The first part is acknowledgment, feeling remorse for your actions, and then the hard work to admit weaknesses and find the tools and emotional/mental structure that will help move you into a healthier framework from which to operate.  One can be too hard themselves for making such mistakes as critical as they were as they likely hurt others such as your ex in the process.  We must realize we if we embrace the lessons presented to us, we are no the same people we were while in or even sometime after the end of the BPD relationship.

Interestingly I think my hero complex can be an asset... .If I visualize my behaviours as a monster within me, then my hero side will try and conquer such demons... .it's a stronger metaphor than merely saying I need to change some bad habits.  Just like notions that tolerance and loylatly are generally perceived as good traits, they may fail you in a BPD relationship, so why not use personality traits that are perceived as unhealthy to garner a positive outcome?

Interesting. This is almost exactly as I behaved except I don't think I felt superior.

I was telling my friend yesterday who warned me repeatedly over the last 6 months to "stay away from her (the ex gf)" that despite all the aggravation and current pain the r/s was probably a blessing because now I know there is some kind of problem in myself that I can work on.

Think about it. If some guy knows their gf is completely crazy, undependable, untrustworthy, with parasitic tendencies, resulting in emotional exhaustion, breakups and recycles despite warning after warning/red flag after red flag - yes that same guy allows it to continue for 18 months, what does that say about the guy?

That guy is me and I have to figure out why I let it happen.  Now I am looking for the "why."

If I had never gone through this experience maybe I would never look for the "why."

In that sense even though I feel like total crap now I am a lucky guy.
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 11:06:39 AM »

"I made the choice to allow myself to go way to fast into a full blow relationship because all the right things were being said... .I robbed myself of truly getting to know the ex." ~zoso80

I can relate a lot to this.  Part of my pattern is going too fast, too soon with significant others.  Yes, I have been emotionally immature.  I've carried internal fears that if she really gets to know me, she will leave, so its 'safer' to establish a sexual connection quickly to form more of a bond (which becomes harder to break), if that makes sense.  This is counter-intuitive to beginning a healthy rs, or that's how I perceive it now.  My ex was very sexual with me from the get go (as I was with her).  I became pre-occupied with that, and we missed getting to know each other on a friendship basis, although we tried later on but it wasn't working.

I can appear confident on the outside, and sometimes I am, but I have also struggled with negative self-esteem.  My approval seeking or codependent tendencies cause me to lose sight of myself and my needs.  The needs of the other become most important.  Feeling like I'm able to 'rescue' the other builds me up (in a temporary, unstable way), and so becomes unhealthy if I do not take time to build up myself.

I grew up in an alcoholic home, which is where I believe I learned much of my behaviors.  I am a recovering alcoholic with many years of sobriety.  I have spent many years looking within myself, so although I obviously still struggle with emotional immaturity, I have and am making progress.  These patterns become ingrained in us, and they cannot be worked out overnight. 

If I'm honest with myself, a lot of my behaviors are very similar to those of pwBPD, but I do not have BPD.  I do have some narcissistic traits and I have alcoholism (which is a complicated illness), although I am sober.  I can use relationships like alcohol, to fill a need, when that need ultimately has to be filled by me and my Higher Power.  I started to feel needy with my uexBPDgf, and she noticed that, and I believe that contributed to some of our problems.  Her pushing me away would trigger my own abandonment fears, and I would begin to feel desperate to keep her and not lose her.  I would feel like I was losing part of myself because I allowed some of my identity to be wrapped up in being her 'white knight' or however you want to look at it.  There's more, but that's enough for now.
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 11:31:05 AM »

I'd hate to say "yes", but "yes".  My own family dynamics are that I'm the scapegoat, and pretty much ignored and/or devalued until needed.  So, yes, I have always wanted a realtionship where I'm loved, valued, and adored for who I am, not just what I can give.  In the end, I've given up so much emotionally, financially, and physically that I'm not sure what I have left.

My husband was charming, seemed caring and responsible, and it seemed as though he cared.  One piece at a time appeared--his kids needed to be "cured", he didn't tell me about the mountain of debt, his mother (until she suffered dementia) was relentless in her criticism of me, etc.  Now that I look back, I shouldn't have been so desparate to take on the mess.  If the mess had been revealed all at once, I'd have run for the hills.
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 11:50:53 AM »

yes. i still have a lot of need to be validated and approved of, from childhood, and even from social relationships stemming back from junior high and high school. i think i look to other people to make me feel good about myself in a lot of ways, and i feel good about myself when i get positive feedback. i mean i guess some of that is just natural and everyone likes positive feedback, but i think i'm a pretty insecure individual. fun stuff  ;p  i think that's a huge reason i thrived on the idealization and was so crushed by the invalidation from the pwBPD in my life.
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 12:47:15 PM »

Excerpt
Yeah, I was.  This might sound weird, but I think I saw myself as superior to my ex because he was so disordered.  I kept thinking he would see how generous and patient I was and appreciate me for it.  Writing this now, the whole idea seems so arrogant I'm ashamed to admit it.  And for his part, what kind of person would want to be with a partner who patronized him like that?  Seriously, what was I thinking ?  Yuck.

I could have written this.  As an example, I spent a lot of time trying to show/teach him how he had such poor boundaries and where he should/could improve in regards to having some decent boundaries for himself,  but in doing so I was exhibiting my own very poor boundaries and was being very controlling and intrusive. If he'd had better boundaries he wouldn't have allowed that for as long as he did. If I'd had better boundaries I wouldn't have been trying to rescue/change another adult, and instead would have been focused on taking care of my OWN boundaries and accepting him for who he IS and not what I wished he would become with my help.  We were both emotinally immature.

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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 02:52:11 PM »

At any given point in time anyone is emotionally immature.  I am sure if you were to ask my ex, assuming she is in her right mind which she rarely is these days, she could tell you times when I was not.  Having said that I went into this relationship in good faith, and she gave every appearance that she was doing the same.  Perhaps she was at one time, there were some red flags but she gave what appeared to be a sincere effort to be working on them for a long time, and as I said at any given point we all have our moments, but at some point in her forties she just imploded.  I do not know if she is BPD, NPD or just a plain down sociopath, but whatever happened to her it caused so much destruction to Me, to our children, our friends, and most of all herself.  In less than two years she went from a middle class well respected, employeed house wife, to an unemployeed, lying, cheating, welfare, queen, drug addict.  I have no reason to believe she will ever come back to reality, and we are in Limted Contact.  But she seems to be trying to reel me back in even though she is with somebody else. 

To answer your question many of us were fooled and conned big time, but that does not make us emotionly immature.   
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 03:06:42 PM »

While I understand this concept, I am probably an exception.

No, I do not think I was personally emotionally immature when I met my uBPDexh. I say this only because I was 14 years old. I think in a lot of ways I was mature for my age, but I was insecure and lacking in love from my dad. Pretty normal, I think, for a 14-year-old girl who's parents were divorced and father absent.

What I feel happened, was that I continued to "grow up" emotionally during the course of our 17 year relationship. I think the dysfunction in the relationship caused this to happen slower than a healthy one would have. I also think for a long time he was very good at mirroring my maturity and doing and saying the "right" things to seem healthy. By the time we hit our 30's, we reached a point where I out grew him emotionally. I became very frustrated that he didn't seem capable of "growing up". I became more and more unhappy with his immature behaviors, and thus our life together. I believe this triggered his abandonment issues and the BPD behaviors resurfaced.
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 03:16:35 PM »

Yes I was and still am

I'm 38 and act like an 18 year old most of the time. That was hard to admit to myself.

There's a difference between acting child-like and childish.  One is endearing at times and can be embraced as a vivacious spirit of youthful exuberance, and the other showcases an undeveloped side that can be vindictive, insensitive, and wholly disrespectful.
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2012, 03:19:11 PM »

I don't think I was emotionally immature. In fact - I felt like I had no other choice to be the emotionally mature one. If I didn't do it, I am sure that the entire family structure would have collapsed within a year - at the verbal onslaught of my uBPDw.
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2012, 03:19:48 PM »

The concept of superiority got me introspecting quite a bit today. I believe I was a modified form of this.

I didn't feel superior, I knew going in dxBPDgf had challenges to deal with. I made a deal with her that both her daughter and her would both face their issues (plus therapy if needed) and come out the better for it. I did care to see them both functioning better.

We got through the child getting on a better path, dxBPDgf balked when it was her turn, which offended me greatly.

I operated from the staNPDoint to bring organization to her chaos. It was immature of me to think that I could assist in "fixing" anyone. It also said much of my mindset that I felt rewarded in the notion that I helped "fix" her. I was willing to be a savior. As if it gave me something to validate part of my disappointments with friends and failed relationships past.

Improvement and enlightenment are hard work and require the person taking ownership in their own situation. This finer point was lost due to my emotional idealism.




I was emotionally immature, but in a different way than he was, and I also saw myself as superior to him emotionally/health-wise. I could see how screwed up his reactions and responses to situations were, and the overly-dramatic responses to many minor things, and I saw myself as far healthier than he. So, I was immature in a different way, in that I'd apologize to him for things that I still believe I bore very little responsibility for, just to keep the peace and make him feel better, and just so I didn't have to end the relationships.

I also ignored the red flags and did whatever was necessary to keep the relationship "intact."

My immaturity manifested itself in far different ways, and I'd have to also say more subtle ways. Most people could see/knew how screwed up he was. I don't think others (especially his family) could see how screwed up I was (although I'm sure they thought what the heck is she doing with my ______ (brother, son, uncle, etc).

M

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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2012, 03:28:07 PM »

I was emotionally immature, but in a different way than he was, and I also saw myself as superior to him emotionally/health-wise. I could see how screwed up his reactions and responses to situations were, and the overly-dramatic responses to many minor things, and I saw myself as far healthier than he. So, I was immature in a different way, in that I'd apologize to him for things that I still believe I bore very little responsibility for, just to keep the peace and make him feel better, and just so I didn't have to end the relationships.

I also ignored the red flags and did whatever was necessary to keep the relationship "intact."

My immaturity manifested itself in far different ways, and I'd have to also say more subtle ways. Most people could see/knew how screwed up he was. I don't think others (especially his family) could see how screwed up I was (although I'm sure they thought what the heck is she doing with my ______ (brother, son, uncle, etc).

M

Again, another uncanny parallel to the relationship I had with my ex uBPDgf.  The only difference is that my immaturity manifested when I took her bait and vehemently defended myself after bizarre accusations in a breakup email she sent.  I simply didn't have the composure or resolve to respond properly without inciting and inflaming the situation further... .
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2012, 03:40:59 PM »

I operated from the staNPDoint to bring organization to her chaos. It was immature of me to think that I could assist in "fixing" anyone. It also said much of my mindset that I felt rewarded in the notion that I helped "fix" her. I was willing to be a savior. As if it gave me something to validate part of my disappointments with friends and failed relationships past.

Ok - This was my life, and I did fall into this trap - but is it really emotional immaturity? From my point of view, it was just trying to stay sane in a house full of chaos. I originally just thought that my uBPDw lacked normal communication skills, coupled with no avenues to vent. So when the verbal diarrhea would start, even if not directly at me, I would try and remind her that getting things accomplished is usually better when you don't place people directly into a defensive mode, etc etc. To me - this type of behavior was "broke" - it was completely and utterly destructive and I had never seen anything like it before... .So yes, I tried to help - and yes, it did screw me in the long run... But I am not sure I would label it as emotionally immature... More like trying to help someone who could clearly not cope with reality.
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2012, 04:17:14 PM »

No. I wasn't emotionally immature. I was pretty dang squared away.

I wasn't attracted to any chaos or neediness or whatever "it" is that points to BPD. Just the opposite!  He appeared to be a rock-- stable and mature, secure, nurturing, hard working, intelligent, cool as a cucumber. He's an amazing man (when not dysregulated).

I didn't "choose" to ignore red flags (them are fightin' words) because there were very few if any.  Now that I know about BPD, I can look back and identify some, but he certainly didn't seem screwed up in the slightest.


Now? Now, emotionally I'm in the fetal position sucking my thumb.
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« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »

Yes I am emotionally immature in that I did not know how to get out of something sooner, and I used buying presents and traveling as a way to try and manage the tension, thinking she was angry all the time because of not having a job.  I also tolerated an angry person for way too long, staying loyal to someone while being bullied and thinking bc I was older I could handle this... .
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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2012, 06:08:48 PM »

I will admit to being immature at times with the exBPDgf.  She would bring up all I did that was wrong and expect either an apology or a reason for my behavior!  It's tough to give a reason for your behavior when it's within reason to non-pd's but unreasonable to someone with a disorder.  It's like saying you're sorry for doing nothing wrong.  One of our last conversations was about money and how even though I'd given her 25k over the last twelve months, I lied to her because I wouldn't to give her 5k more in August!  Absolutely in another frequency as I am!
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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2012, 06:17:28 PM »

Excerpt
Yeah, I was.  This might sound weird, but I think I saw myself as superior to my ex because he was so disordered.  I kept thinking he would see how generous and patient I was and appreciate me for it.  Writing this now, the whole idea seems so arrogant I'm ashamed to admit it.  And for his part, what kind of person would want to be with a partner who patronized him like that?  Seriously, what was I thinking ?  Yuck.

I could have written this.  As an example, I spent a lot of time trying to show/teach him how he had such poor boundaries and where he should/could improve in regards to having some decent boundaries for himself,  but in doing so I was exhibiting my own very poor boundaries and was being very controlling and intrusive. If he'd had better boundaries he wouldn't have allowed that for as long as he did. If I'd had better boundaries I wouldn't have been trying to rescue/change another adult, and instead would have been focused on taking care of my OWN boundaries and accepting him for who he IS and not what I wished he would become with my help.  We were both emotinally immature.

I could have written both of these. Accepting someone for who they are... those words have such a deeper meaning than I ever realized, than I ever knew. Just the words mean nothing, really understanding what that means and doing that has been challenging. I had such a narrow perspective. Wanted to keep things calm, normal... (control things) for me.
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2013, 07:18:42 AM »

Yeah, I was emotionally immature, (as were both my parents.)  When I felt him pulling away, I got needy and clingy, insecure and jealous.  That is definitely emotionally immature.

I was also immature around sex in the sense that when he stopped initiating I pushed for that connection, instead of just pulling back and looking at what was happening.  I took it as a personal rejection, instead of realizing that our libidos were not in sync.

I was also very self aware, communicated my insecurities, apologized for acting out of my fears, and knew that part of it was me.  I was taking responsibility for my issues, but yeah my issues came up.

I regret my part in not making the relationship work, because I really felt that he was the love of my life.  There were also many, many times that I was great - caring, helpful, generous, fun, and mature as well.

The sad thing is that I was working very hard to change acting out of my insecure fears: reading books, writing on another online forum, doing teleclasses on relationship skills, reality checking my expectations with friends etc, and I was beginning to change into a more mature person. 

The good qualities I know I possess are loyalty, honesty, consistency, affection, communication skills, the ability to apologize, and the ability to look at myself.  So I have to give myself credit for those things.

I regret any stress that I contributed to the relationship.  It's hard to not blame myself, especially because he chose to break it off.  But on the other hand my T is completely sure he's undiagnosed BPD, as well as a couple of other health professionals, and everything I read here validates that he is.  So although I don't blame him for everything, I also know his history of relationship instability, and the unstable and abrupt way he ended things with us. 

If I had been more mature, I'm not sure whether the relationship would have lasted longer, or perhaps ended a lot sooner. 
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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2013, 07:51:09 PM »

I was very emotionally immature and to a degree I still am. I have Aspergers so I am very self aware that my emotional level is much lower than the average person but my logic level is much higher than average.

Despite that, I have managed to achieve a lot in my life and been able to set healthy boundaries and have healthy relationships in the past. My guard was truly down for this one though and although I identified red flags at the very beginning, I still continued with the relationship to an unhealthy level. I am very aware that we matched each other on an emotional level and that's part of what kept me in the relationship. I could feel guilt and take responsibility for my own behaviour where hers was projected, because in her mind she is selfless and flawless so all issues must be mine.

It was a difficult situation for my therapist at first trying to figure out who had what, considering he was therapist to both of us individually and also as a couple. I did have reservations about this in the beginning but I'm glad I stuck with him so he saw the whole picture. The key to it all for him, was both of our reactions to the breakup, not to mention the rage attacks he came under as I was starting to get healthy and she was blaming him for turning me against her. The other key difference, I took responsibility for everything, she took responsibility for nothing.

We were both as emotionally mature as each other and it's sad because she will never understand or accept that.

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« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2013, 08:22:36 PM »

I was emotionally immature with low self-esteem.

I think an emotionally mature person would see through the glitz and glamour of the unrealistically perfect "honeymoon phase" and begin to question why something just doesn't "feel right."  I think an emotionally mature person would listen to their instincts and walk away pretty quick. 

Those of us who were immature ignored our instincts because the attention made us feel so fabulous.  When the attention went away we became desperate to get it back again.

Seeking approval from anyone other than ourselves is a sign of emotional immaturity; it's stemming from our own arrested emotional development.  The secret is to stop focusing on why someone else behaved the way they did and begin to focus on why we ever thought it was ok to begin with.

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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2013, 11:25:10 AM »

Seeking approval from anyone other than ourselves is a sign of emotional immaturity; it's stemming from our own arrested emotional development.  The secret is to stop focusing on why someone else behaved the way they did and begin to focus on why we ever thought it was ok to begin with.

This is just one of the million dollar secrets. For me it began with having poor boundaries (didn't know what boundaries were by definition) and having poor communication skills (I thought I communicated just fine. Knew nothing about skills to deal with conflict). Add in my expectations, that things should be a certain way or people should act a certain way and this was just in general. My expectations for my exBPDgf to function as if she didn't have a mental disorder was unrealistic. Knowing nothing about BPD then, I see this only in hindsight.

There is a welcome side effect to self awareness, and that is once you become serious about working on your own emotional maturity you begin to see it in others. You begin to see the presence or lack of. 
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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2013, 04:17:05 PM »

Knowing there's a big problem. Trying to solve the problem by wanting the SO to change.

Seeing that SO doesn't change, so there's still a big problem. Still trying to solve the problem by wanting the SO to change. Seeing that SO doesn't change, so... . For ten years.

Yep, definitily immaturity. As posted above: focusing on ourselves is the way to do it. I can see now. I've probably grown a bit since being tossed out. 
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« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2013, 06:48:11 PM »

I'm a funny mix. I'm super serious about some things, like if my friends had an embarrassing problem, I'd never laugh or make fun. I also take my responsibilities very seriously and am very loyal and honest.  I work hard and have a professional job.

When it comes to relationships though, I'm inexperienced. I guess I'm emotionally immature at those, as I had not much previous experience to compare them to.  I can also get quite exciteable about life in general, like a small child, and people call me Tigger as I'm quite hyperactive.

So I'm not really sure about the answer to this question!
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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2013, 01:06:50 PM »

So I'm not really sure about the answer to this question!

mango at the beginning of this thread are some questions to ask oneself. It's good to ask yourself questions such as these and contemplate the answers, this can offer a different perspective.  
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2013, 06:13:04 PM »

At any given point in time anyone is emotionally immature.  I am sure if you were to ask my ex, assuming she is in her right mind which she rarely is these days, she could tell you times when I was not.  Having said that I went into this relationship in good faith, and she gave every appearance that she was doing the same.  Perhaps she was at one time, there were some red flags but she gave what appeared to be a sincere effort to be working on them for a long time... .

To answer your question many of us were fooled and conned big time, but that does not make us emotionally immature.   

SWLSR, your words resonate with me most. i feel the majority of posts i read from non-BPDs seem to recognize some immaturity, or co-dependence or other psychological issues which can be attributed to why they were with a BPD. i have done lots of self work--self awareness, thinking, etc. and there's just many things i still don't identify with in my ex r/s.

for one, i know i may catch flack for this but i can't really think of any mirroring going on throughout our r/s--the things my ex and i connected on were things that we were both interested in before and after our r/s. sure we perhaps "mirrored" each others behaviors some, but no more/less than an any other healthy r/s i've been in. i'm sure if i go through 4 yrs of time perhaps i could find some instance--but, no i never felt the need or was attracted to being mirrored; i never felt like the r/s was any more "passionate" than others i've had, etc. when things were good, it just felt true and good, just like other r/s i've been in... . but when it got bad... .

and yes, there were times when in arguments i said some really bad things. and, being in this r/s has strengthened my resolve in this manner, i feel i am able to better control these emotions. however, i can see now that i was/am *far* less reactive than the "average guy". my reactions to the emotional poison she was bringing to the table, although not perfect zen-buddha, were far more 'mature' than what i know of r/s she's been in both before and after ours. now of course seeing things with wiser eyes, it makes sense to me when i think about how she told me how other men reacted to her before me--throwing chairs through windows, burning/destroying things precious to her (like burning her books or other things). and, the crazy things that have happened in two of her r/s in the past year since we've broken up--ex's calling her every foul name under the sun (i never did... . out loud :-), stealing her ID's and SS cards, etc. i don't feel like these guys were bad guys per se, i feel they were *normal* guys reacting to her *abnormal* poison. i feel fortunate to have been strong enough and not react this way (because i sure did want to do and say these things), in this way i feel i was mature, not perfect, but more mature than many others.

i know that the only way to learn and move forward is to work on oneself, find out how you can improve yourself. and i agree, but i can't identify sometimes with many others views on taking responsibility for the majority of the issues which i feel like BPD was the root of in the r/s. in contrast, i feel like perhaps my ability to be patient, independent, not overly needy, etc. was something that my ex wasn't used to from men, most of whom try to give her whatever she wants, dazzled by her beauty. these types of guys don't seem to last as long, b/c she gets bored with them then goes into the "hater" phase much faster than in our r/s.

i never felt the need or ever believed i could "fix" her either. i knew only she could fix herself. however i do feel like in a way i was a more stable partner, in the sense i was able to withstand more of her poisons than most before reaching the breaking point; which is why the r/s lasted so long.

i didn't know what BPD was until a year after the breakup. i don't feel like i was emotionally immature per se, although now i do feel wiser, especially after reading up on this condition and understanding our history through a clearer lens. yes, i've grown tons from this ordeal, however i see the whole situation more as an *initiation* to be learned from, rather than a lesson brought on by immaturity. does anyone else feel this way?
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« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2013, 02:45:51 AM »

Fantastic thread!

And yes... . a lot to work on, when you look at that list

I believe I am more emotionally mature when in r/ships but very immature in my selection process up front and the way I try to control or change partners. If choosing better in the first place I wouldn't need to do this!

Really looking forward to applying what I now know in the next r/ship but strangely, very happy on my own right now and to keep working on stuff like this privately

BB12

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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2013, 11:18:38 AM »

yes i was immature. i didn't have the internal strength to assert myself calmly, i became upset at first and then, when she didn't stop, flustered and more at her BPDish accusations, and retorted instead of letting it roll away. i am/was very sensitive to others' statements about me, having been raised by a paranoiac who not only fabricated things but acted on them, so i was given alot of aggro by my stbxw. another aspect of this is reflexively doubting everything i think. correcting that is the primary work of the massive therapy i'm in now.

in bold below:

I was emotionally immature, but in a different way than he was, and I also saw myself as superior to him emotionally/health-wise. I could see how screwed up his reactions and responses to situations were, and the overly-dramatic responses to many minor things, and I saw myself as far healthier than he. So, I was immature in a different way, in that I'd apologize to him for things that I still believe I bore very little responsibility for, just to keep the peace and make him feel better, and just so I didn't have to end the relationships.

I also ignored the red flags and did whatever was necessary to keep the relationship "intact."

Again, another uncanny parallel to the relationship I had with my ex uBPDgf.  The only difference is that my immaturity manifested when I took her bait and vehemently defended myself after bizarre accusations in a breakup email she sent.  I simply didn't have the composure or resolve to respond properly without inciting and inflaming the situation further... .

however, i was perfectly mature in ways. i was forethoughtful for our future, sober, reliable, great around the house. she was BPD: irresponsible and undisciplined, and it was my job to take care of her problems. under no circumstances was she to take herself in hand; expecting her to do so was "not giving emotional support." 
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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2013, 12:59:04 PM »

yes... I was 16 when I met him... my family had just moved so really didn't have a lot of friends... 18months before I was a victim  of rape and sexual abuse from the same guy... grew up with a alcoholic/uBPD father who was abusive in every way possible.

Saw the red flags... NEW it was a mistake to marry him... .went ahead because I had no idea you could break an engagement.

I grew up... he didn't. ... 33 years later... I'm still here (for now) because it's expected.
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« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2013, 02:09:02 PM »

My first response was, "No, it's her! What the... ."

Then I ruminated on it for a few days.

While in reality, I have 10 years' more life experience than my X, my emotional maturity, while more stable, was still based on fantasy idealization. On the surface, my goals are stable and mature (and right), underneath this, the object of my goals (her, or others) made mine the very definition of a loaded relationship almost from the beginning.

On some level, I knew this, and knew it didn't feel right (the gut instinct). Yet still I plowed ahead the fallow field. Little did I know it was a minefield, and I dropped some mines myself. I knew it wasn't right to let her cross boundary after boundary. Yet I still let her. I knew it wasn't right to move in together so quickly... .hers was a desperation to have me there. I fought it, until I gave in. I knew it wasn't right to have a child within a year of that. Yet I did. Then the second.

I knew it wasn't right to "let" her go out at night this past year, to get it out of her system. I knew I would grow more resentful of her. She felt it, which triggered her affair. In my own way, I gave her the silent treatment, and detached under the surface. The ST was my own childhood defense mechanism against living with an angry single mother (never a husband or boyfriend on which to take out her rages and depressions... .so I bore the full brunt).

I have gotten better through all of this. Though I was in my own "hermit mode" for many years, at least as far as intimate relationships went, I now feel that need to "rescue" a waif! And I am not really sure how it would be with an emotionally healthy woman (I never have, and still may never), or if I would sabotage that out of the chute.

I am described as emotionally stable, well adjusted, calm, kind, patient... .yet underneath that is my co-dependent Caretaker personality, attracted to being the Listener, which is where this all starts.

Yes, I have a lot of work to do.
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« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2013, 02:12:27 PM »

Without a doubt, I was and am.  But, again, the gift of having a relationship with a borderline, is getting to know yourself better.

I learned as much about myself in the relationship as I did about her (ex BPDw) and not all of it was good.   I doubt she can say the same, though.
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« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2013, 03:03:50 PM »

Yes, I was and am, though not as much as before. Till now I struggle to understand whether I am very stupid or immature and naive.

I believed and wanted to believe in ideal love, fully giving and receiving, sacrificing. Lately I read that NPDs and BPDs have ideal love fantasies as well. 

I believed that we were meant to be for each other.  I believed that after what I did I needed to take everything from him, endure his drinking and mood swings with push/pull. After three months he told me in anger that he stopped loving me. Instead of giving him time to figure out himself his feelings and working on myself, I started apologizing and asked him to be my friend. It was very immature. I basically tried to manipulate him by being there as a friend and trying to show him my love so he can one day realize that he was not right. I was more like a kid who is told that she is not loved - instead of walking away as a healthy adult I stayed and tried to fix/change/prove. When he after certain time told me that he felt love again I became all over happy, as a kid receiving a Christmas present, though my rational mind was ringing that there is a lot of inconsistency in his feelings, words and actions.

I am still emotionally immature, instead of fully detaching and working on my personal growth, I often slip and ask myself questions:

- does he love me?

- does he miss me?

And get really upset.

The problem is that I was emotionally immature before meeting my BPD. I desperately and obsessively wanted to be loved.
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« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2013, 03:49:09 PM »

Split From: Your ex was emotionally immature.  Were you?  Yes? No?

Emotionally immature... .?

No.

I accepted my exUBPDgf... .

Back into my life... .

In round 2... .

Even knowing about her disorder... .

And what was going to happen.

That requires maturity... .

To accept a person like that.

My sense of judgement... .

However... .

Was impaired.

Still is.

Rectifying that.

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« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2013, 04:05:15 PM »

Without a doubt, I was and am.  But, again, the gift of having a relationship with a borderline, is getting to know yourself better.

I learned as much about myself in the relationship as I did about her (ex BPDw) and not all of it was good.   I doubt she can say the same, though.

You hit the nail on the head there! My X thinks, based on secret things that she wrote, that therapy and this situation is "fixing" me. Since I'm the problem. She is actually close to the truth, but not in the way she thinks. She really has no idea what is going on with her (well, an idea, but she keeps running away when she gets close to figuring it out), nor with me. I don't even want to engage her at this point, though we can't help it sometimes, living in the same house for now. I strongly fear the Recycle... .
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« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2013, 04:06:53 PM »

Emotionally immature... .?

No.

I accepted my exUBPDgf... .

Back into my life... .

In round 2... .

Even knowing about her disorder... .

And what was going to happen.

That requires maturity... .

To accept a person like that.

My sense of judgement... .

However... .

Was impaired.

Still is.

Rectifying that.

Well said Ironmanfalls! :-) 
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« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2013, 04:42:02 PM »

Excerpt
My first response was, "No, it's her! What the... ."

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) my first response when hearing about emotional maturity and that we pick partners with complimentary or equal maturity was "no way - it was him.  He did x, y,z... ."

The strange thing about emotional maturity is part of it is having unrealistic expectations and willingness to deny the reality in order to forge forward thru what would normally send a person packing.

I stayed, rationalized, had twisted up hope, etc.  These things were totally immature.

Some emotional immaturity traits include things like enabling, having little boundaries or relaxing them to appease, minimizing, rationalizing, engaging in circular arguments, poor self esteem... .the list is long.

The silver lining - there is one sometimes its hard to see - is having these exposed to address them.  I know there were things that I look back on and say to myself why the hello did I do that? Knowing that it wasnt something I wanted to repeat ever again. 

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« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2013, 04:49:05 PM »

Without a doubt, I was emotionally immature. I was 18 years old and she was 34. She pounced on that like a cat on a mouse. I'm sure we all make mistakes when we were 18 and boy did I make a huge mistake. Life lesson learned at the expense of a lifetime of emotional baggage.
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2013, 05:17:35 PM »

Excerpt
My first response was, "No, it's her! What the... ."

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) my first response when hearing about emotional maturity and that we pick partners with complimentary or equal maturity was "no way - it was him.  He did x, y,z... ."

The strange thing about emotional maturity is part of it is having unrealistic expectations and willingness to deny the reality in order to forge forward thru what would normally send a person packing.

I stayed, rationalized, had twisted up hope, etc.  These things were totally immature.

Some emotional immaturity traits include things like enabling, having little boundaries or relaxing them to appease, minimizing, rationalizing, engaging in circular arguments, poor self esteem... .the list is long.

The silver lining - there is one sometimes its hard to see - is having these exposed to address them.  I know there were things that I look back on and say to myself why the hello did I do that? Knowing that it wasnt something I wanted to repeat ever again. 

Thanks, GM. That is succinct, and and accurately describes me, I think. Will cut and paste into the document I keep of posts here that resonate with me and will help me later... .
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« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2013, 05:26:42 PM »

It describes most of us here.  Things we did for love or what we thought was love that turned out to be an immature or unrealistic version of love.

Learning about this stuff really can put a whole new spin on the idea of unconditional love and relationships. It exposes some of our own false beliefs or tender spots on what we needed and how far we were willing to go at almost any cost.
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« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2013, 05:43:20 PM »

This is an interesting question.  She's 45 and I'm 52, and I saw a big gap in our maturity levels right from the beginning, considered it endearing even, and even upset her when she asked me to fill out a recommendation form for her, and I listed her maturity as 'below average'.  That went over less than well.

But as we got deeper into the relationship, there were things that bothered me that I didn't bring up, hoping they would smooth out with time; stupid yes, but immature?  Not sure.  And by then she'd started attacking my esteem regularly, which I saw as an attempt at control and let her get away with, again shoulda said something, but I was fully aware of what was going on.  And then at some point I got lost.  The emotions got intense enough that I started thinking and acting irrationally; was that immaturity?  Maybe, or maybe just massive confusion trying to create a functional relationship with a disordered individual.  Dunno.  But it didn't last long, my anger is what saved me and snapped me back to reality, but I did definitely get lost for a while.  Is letting your emotions get the best of you for a while immature?  Hmmm.  I'll definitely cop to inexperienced and naive, but I need to read a few more posts to see how immature I was.  Processing... .
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« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2013, 06:00:52 PM »

This is an interesting question.  She's 45 and I'm 52, and I saw a big gap in our maturity levels right from the beginning, considered it endearing even, and even upset her when she asked me to fill out a recommendation form for her, and I listed her maturity as 'below average'.  That went over less than well.

But as we got deeper into the relationship, there were things that bothered me that I didn't bring up, hoping they would smooth out with time; stupid yes, but immature?  Not sure.  And by then she'd started attacking my esteem regularly, which I saw as an attempt at control and let her get away with, again shoulda said something, but I was fully aware of what was going on.  And then at some point I got lost.  The emotions got intense enough that I started thinking and acting irrationally; was that immaturity?  Maybe, or maybe just massive confusion trying to create a functional relationship with a disordered individual.  Dunno.  But it didn't last long, my anger is what saved me and snapped me back to reality, but I did definitely get lost for a while.  Is letting your emotions get the best of you for a while immature?  Hmmm.  I'll definitely cop to inexperienced and naive, but I need to read a few more posts to see how immature I was.  Processing... .

I had a similar feeling. Straight moment 1 I fell a huge difference in emotional immaturity. She was being raped and abused and physically molested and still with that guy when we started dating ... .

And I was like O_o whats wrong with you, we started talking, 4 months later lived 2 together and 2 years la'er I arrived here. Lol
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« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2013, 06:13:49 PM »

Excerpt
And I was like O_o whats wrong with you, we started talking, 4 months later lived 2 together and 2 years la'er

I also knew of my ex's emotional problems.  These weren't normal relationship conflicts - they were self medicating issues, severe jealousy and abandonment insecurities, wildly fluctuating moods and reactions.  The way I figure it maturity would have been to say to myself these issues are ones that make for an unhealthy relationship.  And this person to be good parnter for me needs to address them or I need to leave them be.  What was immature was thinking that some how my participation in the relationship would negate/solve these problems when in actuality love or my love is not that powerful.

Harm rushing into a relationship and living together after 4 months is pretty quick.  Especially after knowing the "bigger" picture items going on with her. 

Do you think you might have had some unrealistic fantasies about a relationship with her?
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« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2013, 06:23:23 PM »

What was immature was thinking that some how my participation in the relationship would negate/solve these problems when in actuality love or my love is not that powerful.

There you go Mango, I like that.  Yes, I did think my love could solve things, in fact we used to say "love conquers all" to each other.  Well, love conquers a lot, but not that.
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« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2013, 06:38:45 PM »

Excerpt
"love conquers all"

If only right? 

How mature was my thinking here:

Thinking that romantic love could repair deep childhood wounds.  Effectively becoming a parent stand in. (I'm not even going to go into the ramifications of this type of situation and the poor judgment/ego issues this brings up)

Thinking that if I tried harder in the face of all evidence speaking to the opposite it would be better. (again ego issues and self worth issues)

This was fantasitical thinking + bad judgment = emotional immaturity

I believe now if faced with the same situation my judgment would be better knowing how my immature choices turned out before.  I can't blame that mess on someone with BPD only.  They were doing what comes automatically.  No gun to my head just immature enough to go along with it.
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« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2013, 06:55:10 PM »

Excerpt
"love conquers all"

If only right? 

How mature was my thinking here:

Thinking that romantic love could repair deep childhood wounds. 

The thigk is that this is what my X uses to "medicate". She doesn't look at it as repairing, but focusing on a teen romance type relationship, she looks outward (need based) instead of inward. She is well aware of her childhood wounds, but doesn't know how to fix them. She is aware of her thought that "everyone cheats". That is because of her father who always was, and still is, a cheater. We've talked about it. Yet she strangely backs away from the connection!

Excerpt
Effectively becoming a parent stand in. (I'm not even going to go into the ramifications of this type of situation and the poor judgment/ego issues this brings up)

That was/is me. She even told me a few weeks ago that she needs to be with someone to "lead" and "guide" her. A 30 something year old woman, really? She needs the father she never had. Or a guru/lover. Too late. But after she alternates with the teen romance relationship, she will cycle back to someone like me. Older, more mature on the outside. A Caretaker. I am more emotionally mature in the sense of not buying into the "puppy" love version of romance, but still something of the older teenage love idealization, perhaps.

Excerpt
Thinking that if I tried harder in the face of all evidence speaking to the opposite it would be better. (again ego issues and self worth issues)

This was fantastical thinking + bad judgment = emotional immaturity

I believe now if faced with the same situation my judgment would be better knowing how my immature choices turned out before.  I can't blame that mess on someone with BPD only.  They were doing what comes automatically.  No gun to my head just immature enough to go along with it.



So may we. But we are self aware enough to do something about it. They can't without massive professional help and self-awareness.
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« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2013, 07:30:56 PM »

Looking outward for others to fulfill needs that really are fulfilled from within is immature.  I think I goes both ways. 

No doubt if a partner has unrealistic needs that they will have a teenage love forever is immature.

Thinking that caretaking a person to see the light is immature too.  That you can change and teach the person, especially someone who has a mental illness, to think or feel differently is hard enough for a professional. 

You can't love it out of them.

Part of maturity is seeing what you saw here, knowing your needs, and knowing limitations:

Excerpt
That was/is me. She even told me a few weeks ago that she needs to be with someone to "lead" and "guide" her. A 30 something year old woman, really? She needs the father she never had. Or a guru/lover. Too late. But after she alternates with the teen romance relationship, she will cycle back to someone like me. Older, more mature on the outside. A Caretaker. I am more emotionally mature in the sense of not buying into the "puppy" love version of romance, but still something of the older teenage love idealization, perhaps.

Seeing the disparity in needs and not trying to force a square peg into a round hole.


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« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2013, 07:42:31 PM »

Looking outward for others to fulfill needs that really are fulfilled from within is immature.  I think I goes both ways. 

Yes but there's a line there.  We cannot meet our own needs for connection, socialization, bonding and companionship by ourselves, and loving ourselves is not the same as loving someone else.  I think maturity includes noticing which needs we should be meeting on our own and which ones we should be looking outside ourselves to meet.
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« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2013, 07:54:43 PM »

Exactly.

And what is an appropriate person to get those from. How to make better choices - what to let go, what to keep, etc.

I'm not speaking for all people in these relationships but starting a relationship with someone who has the severity of emotional issues someone with BPD can have isnt a real good start.  I say this as someone who did these things.

You want a secure attachment with your partner - don't pick someone with attachment issues.

You want a stable monogamous relationship with real intimacy - don't pick people with intimacy issues.

You want someone who is able to weather the ins and outs of a daily relationship - don't pick someone with abandonment issues.

It's pretty unreasonable to want those things but pick someone who has those problems expecting that you are gonna get stable, bonded, & intimate relationships.

Part of maturity is picking better.  Not getting emotionally lead by simple things like attraction alone.

It's okay to have standards.  Not everyone who makes you feel good for a moment is worth spending a life with.

 



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« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2013, 08:05:14 PM »

Exactly.

And what is an appropriate person to get those from.

Short answer: someone "normal."

Longer answer, to start: someone we can have the type of conversation we're having right here and everywhere on this site with, connect, find commonalities and differences, and develop the ability to resolve conflicts and compromise.  Same things I headed into the relationship with my borderline to create, didn't quite work out that way.
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« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2013, 08:15:13 PM »

I'm not speaking for all people in these relationships but starting a relationship with someone who has the severity of emotional issues someone with BPD can have isnt a real good start.  I say this as someone who did these things.

You want a secure attachment with your partner - don't pick someone with attachment issues.

You want a stable monogamous relationship with real intimacy - don't pick people with intimacy issues.

You want someone who is able to weather the ins and outs of a daily relationship - don't pick someone with abandonment issues.

Yes, and everyone has attachment, intimacy and abandonment "issues" to some extent; relationships are emotionally risky, we've all been burned before, borderline or not, and it's a continuum, not black and white.

The key word you used is "severity".  My borderline called herself "intense", other people did too, and it took a while for me to see what she meant.  Unacceptable is what I ended up calling it.
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« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2013, 08:30:46 PM »

If someone told me they were intense I'd probably be on my guard big time.  Id want and need to know what that actually means and possibly have one foot put the door... .now

Then I don't know.  In my immaturity I didn't listen - really listen to the alarm bells when told some very revealig and questionable stuff.

When someone is blatantly telling you - hey I come with problems - it speaks to something.

Part of maturity is knowing how much to get emotionally invested in the person and the relationship after seeing what's going on.  I dont believe we necessarily just "fall in love".  A lot of it is choice - choice to spend more time with them, choice to engage, choice, choice ... .

Heel was it the attraction/sexual interest?
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« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2013, 08:50:42 PM »

Heel was it the attraction/sexual interest?

Ours was weird (who's wasn't I suppose).  We met on Facebook and 'talked' for a while that way, graduated to the phone, full on validation phase, then accelerated to texts and phone calls all day, where in hindsight I see she was mirroring me, I guess we were mirroring each other, and it was feeling great.  And of course it's hard to be intense by text unless you TYPE IN ALL CAPS.  She lived a plane ride away, so we didn't get together physically until several months into it, and yes, there was plenty of sexual and physical attraction.  But LDR's are hard for anyone, and the realities of it accelerated the dysfunction in my mind, although I've learned that the distance is actually attractive to a borderline, keeps me close but not too close.  In the end we were having two different relationships, both of us filling in the gaps because we weren't together all the time.  It was clear it wasn't working, but forge ahead I did, right into the devaluation stage where things got very ugly.  Had I been more focused on pressing to have those important conversations instead of getting lost in the emotion, felt like impending doom that I ignored, I would have learned sooner that she couldn't have the conversations we needed to; high school fantasy relationship comes to mind, which is where she was emotionally.  Oh well, live and learn, the big questions being why did I get so deep and lose touch with what I knew to be right?  Immaturity, inexperience, naivety, susceptibility.  Upgrade necessary, but I did know what I want from a relationship, and I think it's healthy.
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« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2013, 09:56:12 PM »

Skip,

My compassion and empathy... .

For her... .

Overrode my own... .

Self preservation thought processes.

Even with the direct knowledge... .

Of her disorder... .

And how that was going to play out... .

I accepted her... .

For who she was... .

Against my own best interests.

I put her... .

Before me.

My inability to love myself... .

Overpowered my reasoning.

Yes... .

She could do it again.

She has done it before successfully.

And she exhibited... .

Same behavior in friendship... .

As she got closer to me.

The difference now is... .

I witnessed from start... .

To finish... .

Her idealization... .

To devaluation... .

And discard... .

Of me.

I saw all of it.

I saw her dual personalities... .

With my own eyes.

I predicted all her behavior.

And more importantly... .

Via this forum... .

A spotlight was directed... .

At the fact that... .

I haven't been loving myself... .

All my life.

And I am trying to... .

Correct that.

I allowed awful behavior... .

To be done to me.

A reflection of my... .

Lack of self worth.

I don't want to continue... .

Down that path anymore.

2 rounds... .

With my exUBPDgf... .

Exposed that glaring... .

Flaw within me.



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« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2013, 06:23:30 AM »

turkish/mango/heel, your exchange on the past page was very helpful, it described many of my own experiences. i could comment on any number of things you said, but i'll pick one:

Excerpt
Effectively becoming a parent stand in. (I'm not even going to go into the ramifications of this type of situation and the poor judgment/ego issues this brings up)

That was/is me. She even told me a few weeks ago that she needs to be with someone to "lead" and "guide" her. A 30 something year old woman, really? She needs the father she never had.

imo my wife's father is an abdicator, leaving the raising of his children to his emotionally immature wife while he was off making the career. i never saw him intervene in his childrens' lives. once the marriage began my w displayed even more than before the marriage ( Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)) that she wanted to be taken care of like a baby (a word she used of herself once), to the point of having me clean up her kitchen messes. this is a phi beta kappa graduate with an excellently successful career. i made the mistake (from the marriage point of view) of refusing, but because of my own insecurity in asserting boundaries i did so in increasingly frustrated tones. i didn't know about BPD. she 'solved' our problems by deceit and abandonment, once she found someone willing to open the door (because she wouldn't have done so independently  PD traits). the reason she gave was that she "didn't feel cherished." she's 48. i've met the other party and that person was aggressive towards me twice during that meeting, so maybe my w has found the sheltering father figure that i wasn't, or wasn't enough for her.
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« Reply #66 on: November 05, 2013, 04:03:28 PM »

One thing I've noticed is when someone has emotional maturity its not that they don't ever meet or have people in their lives that are difficult or have something like BPD.  It's that they know how to discern the boundaries, they are able to balance their needs and values with the other person and when to let go if they have to.  I don't think its any less painful its seems like a willingness to deal with the negative feelings, fears and loss.
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« Reply #67 on: November 05, 2013, 05:30:06 PM »

One thing I've noticed is when someone has emotional maturity its not that they don't ever meet or have people in their lives that are difficult or have something like BPD.  It's that they know how to discern the boundaries, they are able to balance their needs and values with the other person and when to let go if they have to.  I don't think its any less painful its seems like a willingness to deal with the negative feelings, fears and loss.

thank you GreenMango! I identify with this the most. Somehow I was able to bail before most of the damage was done. The issues that (used to) hurt me so much occurred after seeing this person's behavior after we broke up, and realizing I never knew who or what she was. I chose to leave when I had enough (which I think is a rare thing to happen to her), yet it was still very hurtful to realize.

I learned a lot about myself and about relationships, definitely matured. However her BPD issues mainly raised my awareness about mental issues in general. The majority of my maturing (living with someone, long term r/s, etc.) have occurred in all my r/s and aren't due to the BPD, imo.
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« Reply #68 on: November 05, 2013, 09:05:59 PM »

I know I'm an outsider to this group. I'm probably the guy that everyone hates in this group. I'm the guy that used very poor judgment and slept with another man's wife. I hate myself for doing this. I was 18 and the wife was my high school teacher. If I could reverse time I would never even come close to this woman. What I don't get is why she pursued me. I wasn't attracted to her and I don't understand how someone could use such poor judgment to put so much at risk. She was smart with a college degree and retired as head of the science department of the high school. Even now she's adjunct professor at major university. Yet, after 26 years she still sends me letters and msg's even though she's still married. I don't get this? How can someone be so smart and be so stupid?
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« Reply #69 on: November 05, 2013, 09:20:08 PM »

im going to say yes, but i was 18 when i met her, so i feel like i was aloud to be, problems really started when i wanted to grow and she couldnt grow with me... (from saving money for a future, holding down a job, to staying solid in one area)
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« Reply #70 on: November 05, 2013, 09:46:41 PM »

I know I'm an outsider to this group. I'm probably the guy that everyone hates in this group. I'm the guy that used very poor judgment and slept with another man's wife. I hate myself for doing this. I was 18 and the wife was my high school teacher. If I could reverse time I would never even come close to this woman. What I don't get is why she pursued me. I wasn't attracted to her and I don't understand how someone could use such poor judgment to put so much at risk. She was smart with a college degree and retired as head of the science department of the high school. Even now she's adjunct professor at major university. Yet, after 26 years she still sends me letters and msg's even though she's still married. I don't get this? How can someone be so smart and be so stupid?

Hey  I'm just saying this straight up.  This was your teacher.  She was how old? 30 something.  She's took advantage of a kid.  Sexually persuing a barely legal student is wrong.  I'm guessing she was your teacher before you hit 18 and has had these feelings for awhile waiting.  She doesn't belong around students and should have her teaching license revoked.  This is predatory and totally unethical - but barely legal.  Im taking the married part off the table too because she should have known better - you were a kid.  She was abusing a child.

For both of you at 18.  New studies are showing adolescence doesn't end until 25-26 these days.  At freshly 18 you are still learning and maturing.

The goal at BPD if you find yourself here is to heal and hopefully leave more mature than you came.

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« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2013, 11:12:37 PM »

I am truly unsure how to answer this question? From the onset, I immediately noticed the idealization and counseled my much younger pwBPD that her identity could not be based upon mine. That she should aspire towards a meaningful life that could be sustained with or without me.

On the other hand, I was aware that I could mold her to perhaps perform the role that at that time I needed. Namely, being a step-mother to my very young boys and help me in many domestic avenues of my life. That she did, and it held for 6 years. A core truth though is that I always was aware that she was unstable and welcomed the challenge. Not to save her, but to see whether I could enjoy being with a uniquely eccentric being without losing my sense of center.

I did not ever truly expect our relationship to result in marriage--if completely honest with myself. And in retrospect, I did not want to marry again. I knew with a degree of certainty that I was finished with bringing children into this world. She was so young. I knew what I wanted out out of her, and loved her quite deeply. She was severely damaged and I was willing to share my life with her for a while. I have no regrets except one. That they have not found a cure for this terrible disorder. A magic pill that would reverse the trauma and illness, so that our love could be eternal. 
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« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2013, 02:50:48 AM »

Excerpt
And I was like O_o whats wrong with you, we started talking, 4 months later lived 2 together and 2 years la'er

I also knew of my ex's emotional problems.  These weren't normal relationship conflicts - they were self medicating issues, severe jealousy and abandonment insecurities, wildly fluctuating moods and reactions.  The way I figure it maturity would have been to say to myself these issues are ones that make for an unhealthy relationship.  And this person to be good parnter for me needs to address them or I need to leave them be.  What was immature was thinking that some how my participation in the relationship would negate/solve these problems when in actuality love or my love is not that powerful.

Harm rushing into a relationship and living together after 4 months is pretty quick.  Especially after knowing the "bigger" picture items going on with her. 

Do you think you might have had some unrealistic fantasies about a relationship with her?

Yes I did have some unrealistic fantasies about saving her. What was this beautiful girl doing with this big Albanian guy who hits her, raped her, etc? I thought that she could be saved because IQ wise she is very clever and finished like me university with highest marks and distinction.

Little did I know that she is the textbook high-functioning borderliner personality kinda girl.

We moved in together so quickly because so she could be away from the big bad wolf (her ex). There was no single day between breaking up with her ex and starting with me.
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« Reply #73 on: November 06, 2013, 04:14:24 AM »

Thank you skip. I needed reminding of my own role in my dysfunctional relationship. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to have an emotionally mature relationship. I feel ready by am yet to meet anyone in the same position. It really does seem to be true that all the good ones are taken
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« Reply #74 on: November 06, 2013, 04:12:03 PM »

YES

is the answer to the question in the title.

I finally woke up today. It was not so much my ex who caused the problem. It was me, igniting the fire. I was terribly immature.



I was unable to set any boundary, what I always knew and fully accepted. I always knew about my irrational lack of self worth and tried to ignore it by not mentioning it or just swallow it away. Nevertheless, I never saw the wrong in this. I thought altruism was good and manipulative traits in me were not so bad because hey, I need them to become the All Star do gooder altruist.

But never did I realize so badly that I should face this.

I am needy! ME!   The do-gooder.The All Star. I am the Pleaser. I am the one unable to face that I neither can nor have to live up to everyones expectations. I am the one who tries to manipulate everyone into the big MeShow, it all serves the purpose of confirming how great I am by pleasing everybody.Thats why I clamp to my colleagues in order to get confirmation about how stupid X is. That is why all my good friends have serious psychiatric problems. Thats why I read this forum and write posts to it. I'll let you in on a big secret. It is because I am desperately seeking for confirmation of what is so obvious that i SHOULD not need this confirmation.

I am addicted to the Zaz is right, good, smart, lovely, witty show. The other reactions are very low, unlike other forums, except for those heroic volunteers, but I get that now. That is because a lot of you readerhalllelujah-leeches are like me. We do not like others seeking for confirmation, we do not like others to give us this confirmation, we like others who praise us because they praise us. That is why we seed compliment upon compliment.

What is a compliment of such a person worth to anyone?

So now I finally do understand myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q/url].


I would not have understood this by myself ever if it was not for this:

[url]https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=193555.0


and this one after that.

www.reignitethefire.net/codependency-serious-problem-relationships/

Thank you so much everybody for this forum. It not only saved my life, it seriously improved me and I really needed some improvement :'(
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« Reply #75 on: November 06, 2013, 05:26:52 PM »

Was I emotionally immature? YES! Did I enter into the relationship knowing this? YES! I felt I needed to work on myself in the area of life partner relationships & I knew if I continued to keep myself from having this type of relationship I would never grow. So I took a chance & got something that I would never had chosen if I had had any idea about what was going on. I was so busy looking for alcoholic behavior that I completely ignored the red flags. I was too stubborn to give up & I thought my Higher Power was teaching me patience. When it finally imploded I knew what was coming & tried to be prepared but I still struggle. The message for me was don't keep falling in love with people who can't love you back! But how can you know this before you become involved?
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« Reply #76 on: November 06, 2013, 06:00:33 PM »

Excerpt
But how can you know this before you become involved?

Part of it is heeding those red flags and putting the breaks on.

Part of it learning about healthy relaionships. What to look for.

Healthy relationships are characterized by respect, sharing and trust. They are based on the belief that both partners are equal, that the power and control in the relationship are equally shared.

Some of the characteristics of a healthy relationship are:

Respect - listening to one another, valuing each other's opinions, and listening in a non-judgmental manner. Respect also involves attempting to understand and affirm the other's emotions.

Trust and support - supporting each other's goals in life, and respecting each other's right to his/her own feelings, opinions, friends, activities and interest. It is valuing one's partner as an individual.

Honesty and accountability -communicating openly and truthfully, admitting mistakes or being wrong, acknowledging past use of violence, and accepting responsibility for one's self.

Shared responsibility - making family/relationship decisions together, mutually agreeing on a distribution of work which is fair to both partners. If parents, the couple shares parental responsibilities and acts as positive, non-violent role models for the children.

Economic partnership - in marriage or cohabitation, making financial decisions together, and making sure both partners benefit from financial arrangements.

Negotiation and fairness - being willing to compromise, accepting change, and seeking mutually satisfying solutions to conflict.

Non-threatening behavior - talking and acting in a way that promotes both partners' feelings of safety in the relationship. Both should feel comfortable and safe in expressing him/herself and in engaging in activities.

The taking personal inventory board (open to senior members at 50 posts) is a great place to dig into those things like emotional maturity and learning new healthier skills.


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« Reply #77 on: November 06, 2013, 08:03:39 PM »

yes.  

especially #2 of this definition:

1. not fully grown or developed

2. deficient in maturity; lacking wisdom, insight, emotional stability, etc.[/i]



but, OTOH, i find optimism and hope in this definition:


   1.

   not fully developed.  synonyms: unripe, not mature, premature, unmellowed; undeveloped,   unformed, unfinished, raw, embryonic[/i]

being unfinished and raw reminds me that i am a work in progress.  this business of maturing is never done!

my worst citatations of immaturity with my xBPDgf is that i entered a r/s too soon; became sexual too soon (and w/out my husband's knowledge or "permission/blessings", which i later got when i came clean to him, but the damage of cheating was already done); ignored my gut instincts as well as all the  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) that i became aware of; didn't end it when a "normal healthy" person probably would have; guilty of fantastical/fantasy/magical thinking; thought i could well not "fix" her, but help her heal ~ got mad everytime reality showed me i couldn't; let her invade my boundaries b/c they were either weak or non-existant; thought my/our love could 'conquer all'; unconsciously enabled her to stay in sick/BPD/victim mode; must've had on blinders as to just how seriously mentally ill she was and was overly optimistic abt her chances for recovery; gave ultimatums but then didn't follow thru when she didn't comply; let my emotions lead me around, rather than logic; was very co-dependent and placed her wants/needs/etc before mine;  i could go on but since i'm new to being so honest with myself   , this is enough for now.

PS SKIP SAID:  "One thing we encourage at bpdfamily is to try to heal and recover from the relationship with greater maturity than we had in the relationship -- for everyone to make it a goal to start today -- to start on that healthier pathway today. It will take work - it will take time - it will be bit painful -  but start today."

UCMEICU2 SEZ:  thank you, skip, for that 'hand up'... .  well put, and it gave me the encouragement i needed to answer the title question of this thread, in public. 
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« Reply #78 on: November 08, 2013, 04:51:32 AM »

Part of it learning about healthy relaionships. What to look for.

Healthy relationships are characterized by respect, sharing and trust. They are based on the belief that both partners are equal, that the power and control in the relationship are equally shared.

Some of the characteristics of a healthy relationship are: ... .


Interesting list. Looking back my r/s didn't start of healthy.

My BPDxw didn't always pay respect. How longer we were together, the less she did. I always tried, but think I didn't do to well affirming her emotions.

Trust and support: she didn't support me, didn't let me have my own feelings, friends, activities and interests.

Honesty and accountability: everything was everybody elses fault. She would turn and lie a lot.

Shared responsibility: never could agree about that. She wanted to split houshold-tasks 50/50, while she was at home all day and I had to work 5/6 days.

Economic: At first not a problem, but she became more and more demanding.

Negotion and fairness: see honesty and accountability.

Non-threatening behavior. Oh no... .
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« Reply #79 on: November 12, 2013, 11:33:23 AM »

Shared responsibility: never could agree about that. She wanted to split houshold-tasks 50/50, while she was at home all day and I had to work 5/6 days.

That's funny, me too. Mine also works full time, though for two years, I agreed for her to work 32 hour weeks so she could make some progress in school (she did until the second kid came). I ended up splitting inside the house tasks equitably, but she did nothing outside other than trimming some roses all of twice in three years. I also paid the mortgage, most of the food, all household repairs (to be fair, the home is in my name), took care of her car... .bought her a <$30 SUV two weeks before she said we were "done" and four weeks before I found out about the affair, wasting half of my savings on the wasted down payment since we had to get rid of it anyway.

She denied that I was taking care of her. I told her that number one priorities, in order were: mortgage/rent, utilities, food. I took care of all or most of those, while having her only contribute a few hundred a month to a joint account (most of the money in it was mine, however, I contributed some too... .paid the mortgage out of my account). Forced us to save. Contributed to S's college account. She does buy most of their clothes (not too expensive at this point), and did pay for the childcare, so I can't really complain too much.

I guess my immaturity, in her view, was that I focused on being too much of a provider, and not enough of a lover. So she went out on me... .there is no excuse for cheating, but I still feel some culpability in not trying to fan the flames of romance more, especially after things became more stressful after out second child. I don't know... .to me that's life. How is it my job to make someone happy? I never expected her to make me happy. All I ever wanted was to be treated like a decent human being, and to not have a partner sabotage the goals I set for our family.

On the latter, it wasn't too bad. We worked ok together (except for blowing it on the new car). On the former, well... .it's just not possible for a BPD to do that, any more than it's possible for a child to not throw tantrums over little stupid things. My mom, however, says she counted my bad tantrums in my whole childhood as exactly one, when I was about 7, and that I did it quietly in my room by myself, raging over having to do a certain homework assignment. I think I was messed up and depressed a lot, but I never, ever treated people like ___. She adopted me when I was 2 and a half. Maybe I was just born with an even personality. Or maybe part of it was a defense mechanism. In retrospect, I did have a little bit of an avoidant attachment style.
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« Reply #80 on: November 12, 2013, 12:28:17 PM »

Very emotionally immature.  It was my first relationship ever, and my expecations and dreams of what could be were far, far from reality.
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« Reply #81 on: November 12, 2013, 01:14:59 PM »

One of the results of my relationship with my ex BPD bf is acknowledging my own insecurity and lack of self worth. I was emotionally neglected as a child and brought up not to bother people with your problems. This is entrenched. I was happily married for 16 years until my husband just left me for another woman much younger than me and without children. It knocked me for six. The trauma was with me for a very long time. I then ended up with my ex BPD bf and he made me feel special again - for a while anyway. Then the BPD behaviours became a norm. I was immature in my responses so much of the time. I , too, had such patience then I would completely lose the plot. I would be so angry and so frustrated and this was a clear sign I had lost control. He would then conveniently tell me I was bonkers or unhinged! His get out every time. I fell for this so much and yes I would say it was emotionally immature. I was desperate for this relationship to work for the wrong reasons. I am not proud of my behaviour, getting angry or being so needy in a sense to be loved and cared for. I am embarrassed by it really. However I can identify why now and am not so hard on myself anymore. It is important to me to slowly and surely build my self worth back by looking after myself. It is also ok to be single. It really is. But then I am lucky I have two amazing kids and fab friends etc. so yes I have been immature in my needs and behaviour but it can change. It just takes being honest with yourself, accepting support and taking things a little slower sometimes.
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« Reply #82 on: November 12, 2013, 02:30:25 PM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature.

I ignored many  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post).

I had unresolved problems from my marriage (we knew we were at an impasse, but hadn't actually separated and were still together but stagnant) when I jumped into the r/s w the pwBPD.

I let myself go way too fast, and broke many of my normal boundaries (but justified it because I had "never felt so strongly about anyone before" - it felt like a "spiritual" connection, but in fact was also a lot about physical "chemistry"

I had always longed for a "soul mate" partnership -- and without REALLY assessing this person and who they were in all areas of their life, I fell in love with his openness, how easy it was to talk deeply with him, and the intimacy I felt with him.

Although in many ways I felt good about myself, there was definitely inner insecurity which longed for the kind of validation I got in the idealization phase.

I allowed disrespectful behaviors because he had a traumatic childhood and I knew there was a lot of unconscious patterns underneath the disrespectful reactivity... .and I thought I could help him see this/change it.

I was the emotional caretaker for him to the detriment of me.

And I can likely find many more... .as I continue with my own healing and self-understanding.

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« Reply #83 on: November 12, 2013, 02:48:47 PM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature.

I ignored many  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post).

I had unresolved problems from my marriage (we knew we were at an impasse, but hadn't actually separated and were still together but stagnant) when I jumped into the r/s w the pwBPD.

I let myself go way too fast, and broke many of my normal boundaries (but justified it because I had "never felt so strongly about anyone before" - it felt like a "spiritual" connection, but in fact was also a lot about physical "chemistry"

I had always longed for a "soul mate" partnership -- and without REALLY assessing this person and who they were in all areas of their life,

I'm not specifically slamming you, but I find that the desire to find one's "soul mate" is a huge red flag, and a sign of emotional immaturity. I almost got into dating a woman 11 years older than me who was at the end of her divorce and separation. When she threw out that she was looking for her "soul mate" I was like, uhhhh. Of course, my immaturity was that I knew she was an emotionally disordered and damaged woman, and that is why I was attracted to her in the first place. And she to me... .dodged that bullet, only to fall into another one for the past 6 years with my stbBPDx! I hope I've learned my lesson... .
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« Reply #84 on: November 12, 2013, 04:19:14 PM »

I'm not specifically slamming you, but I find that the desire to find one's "soul mate" is a huge red flag, and a sign of emotional immaturity.



I don't believe this desire is of itself immature... .I have many friends who have relationships which I would consider to be "soulmate" r/s... .I guess people perceive this term differently... .However, I do see now very clearly that you can't get to that kind of r/s without being really WHOLE and happy with yourself first. I do believe in a healthy partnership, both people stand strong as individuals AND can grow and evolve together. I learned an enormous amount about relationships with my former partner -- and they are all things which have matured me and I am grateful for all of them.

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« Reply #85 on: October 01, 2014, 09:31:25 AM »

If I had enabled a caretaking role towards my BPD SO, I would for shure rendered myself immature, which I did not.
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« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2014, 11:31:35 AM »

Yes, I think I changed in the relationship, coming in as a confident optimistic bright eyed individual, leaving as an immature, fragile, lost, indecisive, and broken individual.  Yes
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« Reply #87 on: October 01, 2014, 11:34:54 AM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature.

I excused red flag behavior. ("He's coming out of a bad marriage"  "He's under a lot of stress"

I knew that it's healthy to take a year or more off from dating, but he chose not to at the end of his 10-year marriage. I entered the relationship because I was afraid of losing him.

I became his caretaker in the sense that I was trying to help him better understand his "issues." I was providing too much emotional support in areas where there should have been a boundary. (His divorce) I encouraged him to seek therapy. (Not my job) He hoped my "healthy would rub off" on him. (Unhealthy) Maybe on some level I thought that if he had a positive influence in his life, it would benefit him. (Narcissistic thinking at my end)

Yes, I was definitely emotionally immature. The relationship was what I needed at that time.  It made me aware of my own issues and what I need to work on.
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« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2014, 11:47:44 AM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature.

I excused red flag behavior. ("He's coming out of a bad marriage"  "He's under a lot of stress"

I knew that it's healthy to take a year or more off from dating, but he chose not to at the end of his 10-year marriage. I entered the relationship because I was afraid of losing him.

I became his caretaker in the sense that I was trying to help him better understand his "issues." I was providing too much emotional support in areas where there should have been a boundary. (His divorce) I encouraged him to seek therapy. (Not my job) He hoped my "healthy would rub off" on him. (Unhealthy) Maybe on some level I thought that if he had a positive influence in his life, it would benefit him. (Narcissistic thinking at my end)

Yes, I was definitely emotionally immature. The relationship was what I needed at that time.  It made me aware of my own issues and what I need to work on.

I could have written this.
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« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2016, 11:37:36 AM »

I am sure that I have some degree of emotional immaturity, but I don't think this was the main cause of my situation with my exBPD.

To clarify, I only dated my ex for about 15 weeks.  By that time, I was very seriously contemplating a breakup with him -- my feelings on his behavior were beginning to change rapidly as new information came out about him.  Two months is barely enough time to get to know someone.  While I enjoyed his childlike wonder about the world, he absolutely could not have an adult conversation about relationship issues, despite many attempts.  Any issue that I brought up was received with a torrent of defensiveness, excuses, finger pointing, blaming, and gaslighting.  I never found this to be a tolerable situation.  I figured out very quickly that this man who had come across as sweetly innocent had claws buried in there somewhere and didn't need my help with anything.

I tried to play the game where I ignore my own needs and just never bring things up that bother me.  Yeah, I made it about two weeks like that.  I just don't have that level of patience or codependence or whatever to make a situation like that work long term.

The majority of the trauma for me in the relationship was not so much the sense of having lost a "soul mate" because I never once felt that about my ex.  It was because of the abrupt breakup with no closure and the ensuing smear campaign that has wrecked a lot of friendships and threatened to wreck other parts of my life.  I wish I had never met this man and I see few redeeming characteristics in this mama's basement man-child.
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« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2016, 03:12:40 PM »

In my case. I was the mature one. I was older than her.  To be honest I knew my uBPDex was very immature but what attracted me to her was her bubbly personality and looks. She is very attractive. After a period of time I got down to her maturity level. I can't really explain it but it is true when they say “Tell me who you are with and I'll tell you who you are".

To a degree I knew what I was getting myself into. What I didn't know was, to what level of immaturity I was in for. Yes, she was very immature but I ignored that. At first I thought that that somehow would go away when or after our relationship grew. I was very wrong and I learned a lot from that.
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« Reply #91 on: July 22, 2016, 03:28:18 PM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature, but I tend to disagree that I was on the same 'immaturity' level as my ex. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this, but I'm being as objective as I can with this self-assessment. For example, I was to a large extent aware of my shortcomings in the relationship, and did my best to improve over time, as specified in this point:

. Deciding never to use another person for my own ends and to be honest with myself about this when I see myself falling into such patterns.

I was (to my advantage) older than him, more mature in the ways of the world, and I feel my degree in psychology really helped me to recognise certain things as wrong, even if I did try to ignore them. And, as I mentioned, I was aware that the only person I could change was myself, so I did my best at the time to rein in the behaviours that I felt were unreasonable. I did look to him to be the main source of my happiness, and I knew it wasn't right.

He, on the other side, did nothing to improve his behaviour, despite all the promises he made to me. In fact, I now wonder if deep down he knew he was wrong, as sometimes he'd try to blame things like his rages on things that I had said. He didn't want to take responsibility for his actions. In the end, I feel he was definitely the more immature one - he certainly showed that during the breakup, whereas I feel I dealt with the whole ordeal with a lot of self-respect and dignity. Although it doesn't really matter now, as someone who tends to self-blame a lot, it does help me to see where my strong points were, too.

The main point is, I'm now one year out and I'm a different person to who I was back then. I've done a lot of self-work and I definitely feel it's paying off, as I'm able to look back on myself with self-compassion. I really did the best I could with the tools that I had available to me at the time, and I realise I did well despite the fact it was my first serious relationship. Maybe we were at the same level of immaturity when we first met, but as the relationship grew, I feel I made a lot of changes. He did try, but in the end it just wasn't enough, and he got dragged back into a toxic family dynamic and regressed, while I was left reeling.

He did me a massive favour, though.
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« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2016, 03:55:57 PM »

I was emotionally immature in that I believed what he was saying, even when his actions didn't back it up. I wanted the fantasy that he was presenting; I needed an injection of feeling and purpose into my life at the time, and he provided that, but of course, not in the way that I expected. I didn't want to look at my stuff, and he was the perfect distraction to lead me away from myself.

Ultimately the drama and feeling that was evoked by the relationship actually led me back to myself and my feelings and values, and for that I am very grateful.
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« Reply #93 on: July 22, 2016, 04:11:30 PM »

I have heard that we select partners that are similar with emotional maturity, I didn't know that it was Bowen's theory but I'm not emotionally immature like my exuBPD wife. I struggle with relationships and I didn't like how clingy my exuBPDw was at the beginning of our r/s. She was going to college to so some upgrading and she was going to return home, the day she left she had left me a box with a journal. Members will be able to relate with this but she was telling me how much she loved me, I read that letter after she left and I can see how exaggerated her words were, everything was perfect, far from the devaluation phase.

At the time I thought that she was potentially my wife and I called her to tell her I was going to come to see her, I got a call two or three weeks later and she said that she was pregnant. I'm adopted and I didn't meet my biological mom until I was 31 by choice but I wanted to be involved with my D, I wanted to be a part of her life and as close to her as possible. On the other hand I also wanted to settle down and have a family but I think that I had married for the wrong reasons, we really didn't know each other and things moved too quickly.
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« Reply #94 on: July 22, 2016, 04:39:15 PM »

I have heard that we select partners that are similar with emotional maturity, I didn't know that it was Bowen's theory but I'm not emotionally immature like my exuBPD wife.

I tend to think that this theory applies in proportion to the length of the relationship.  People who can be comfortable long-term with a very emotionally immature person probably have more self work to do than those who pick up and leave sooner. 

I've stayed in bad situations before -- not with the BPD ex -- and spent a lot of time thinking about why.  Some people are just very afraid of abandonment, which in itself isn't necessarily emotional immaturity.  In my case, I stayed with a partner who had a crippling anxiety disorder.  I had known and dated him as an adolescent and teen, before the disorder fully manifested, and I could remember what he was like when I fell in love with him.  I got stuck for a long time wishing for the return of his non-anxious state.  We eventually went separate ways when he was so anxious that I was a major trigger.  Now, a few years later, he is in treatment and making great progress, so who knows what the future holds.  He is the person I always considered my soul mate.  When he was very impaired by his disorder, I knew the relationship was sick, but I kept hoping and hoping it would turn around.  Frankly I am baffled by people who put up with a relationship with a narcissist or severe BPD partner and constantly wonder what the next day will hold -- abuse or bliss.  I have zero tolerance for that kind of volatility.
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« Reply #95 on: July 22, 2016, 06:24:34 PM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature in a number of ways. First, my ex was engaged when we started together and I basically went into the relationship for "fun". So the foundation of our relationship was immature in that it was dishonest towards her fiancé and it was initially "no-strings-attached" fun together -- not just sex, though that was a big part of it, but also lots of deep-feeling conversations with our guards completely down, lots of laughing together, running and going to the gym together, ... .all the easy, fun aspects of a relationship, with no sense of commitment.

Then, she left her fiancé and started pressuring me to move in with her. I resisted. This created tension in our relationship that would only get worse and worse. But in response to her increasing jealousy and anger and emotional outbursts, I just kept trying to soothe her emotions and maintain the intense emotional and sexual connection we seemed to have. I felt madly in love with her, but I wasn't any better at addressing the growing tension in our relationship. She approached it through emotionally violent outbursts - raging at me, accusing me of all kinds of cheating that I wasn't in any way doing, collapsing in fits of wild sobbing, and eventually lining up my replacements (yes, plural). I dealt with it all by avoidance. I just wanted the anger and the pain to pass so we could enjoy the passion, love, and happiness again.

My avoidance wasn't any more mature than her extreme emotional outbursts. The one thing that has been very hard to digest, though, is that I tried so hard not to hurt her (walking on eggshells) and was so invested in trying to make her happy. Whereas she could unleash such violent torrents of emotion on me, and when she didn't get her way she would tell me she was done and wanted nothing more to do with me. This was usually followed the next day by her begging and pleading with me and raging at me saying, "how can you let one outburst ruin all that we have?" etc -- dynamics that are familiar to many other members here, it seems.

Really, I let myself be swept up in the passion, the emotions, the drama, ... .and I more than played my part, and it was as immature a part as the one my ex played. If I'm being honest, there's no way I can deny that.

As the relationship was collapsing, I once blurted out to my ex, "It's like we were playing with fire the whole time, and there were no adults in the room." I didn't think of it all that much before expressing it like that, but that way of putting it has really stuck with me -- I think my mind hit on a hard truth there, and I've been slowly digesting it ever since ... .
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« Reply #96 on: July 22, 2016, 10:13:46 PM »

I have heard that we select partners that are similar with emotional maturity, I didn't know that it was Bowen's theory but I'm not emotionally immature like my exuBPD wife.

I tend to think that this theory applies in proportion to the length of the relationship.  People who can be comfortable long-term with a very emotionally immature person probably have more self work to do than those who pick up and leave sooner.  

I speak for myself when this, I agree with that. I'd like to add that I was scared of being alone and having to start over. Yes, I had a lot self work to do and this is not something that I wanted to repeat. Once was enough. I was running away from my issues and it felt like it caught with me. I had to face my unresolved issues.

I had decided to take a two or three year break from r/s, I didn't want to jump into anything too soon. It's not a lot of time to sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.
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« Reply #97 on: July 23, 2016, 04:42:04 PM »

Ultimately the drama and feeling that was evoked by the relationship actually led me back to myself and my feelings and values, and for that I am very grateful.

Yes, what you said in your post, all of it, but especially this about the drama. I wanted the drama and the roiled up feelings. It connected to me to something in myself that I felt was otherwise out of my reach. I had forgotten that! Wow, that was a big part of it for me and I had completely forgotten it.

Aside from all the adoration and intensity and physical intimacy and the shared interests and intellectual pursuits - I was kind of drawn to the bad stuff, because it gave me the drama that was missing somehow - the access to my own emotional depths. Weird. I really have to think about this some more.

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« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2016, 04:44:50 PM »

Oh yea, I guess it goes without saying that I think I was emotionally immature.
Yes, I certainly was.

But I am now wondering if I might still be more than I thought... .
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« Reply #99 on: July 23, 2016, 09:00:54 PM »

Don't we all act a  it I immature  when we find new love? Especially when we're having lots of fun. So for me is a NO. Im not emotionally immature.     Smiling (click to insert in post)       Being cool (click to insert in post) Being cool (click to insert in post) Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #100 on: July 24, 2016, 09:31:31 AM »

I feel that it was emotionally immature of me to be easily drawn into a triangulation relationship with my BPD ex. I was so quick to rush into the caretaker-rescuer and exhaust myself that I feel and felt that there's definitely something undesirable there. What is more jarring is that I seem to be a functional adult--with a variety of seemingly healthy relationship types--yet such a vulnerability remained hidden for such a long time.

Like  Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) heartandwhole I am tremendously grateful for being able to see a way to not get stuck in such a terribly unfair, harmful, and destructive relationship for the rest of my life.
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« Reply #101 on: July 24, 2016, 10:08:13 AM »

I think everyone on this site had/has had moments of being emotionally immature but then came to his/her senses. Consequently, the relationship with the BPD partner did not/could not last. It's a tough road for us nons because we see what the BPD partner COULD have been had that person taken responsibility for his/her behavior. But since a BPD individual is too EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE, that just doesn't happen.

So in short: We nons might have been emotionally immature with regard to the relationship, but we did not remain that way... .that's why we are out (or trying to get out).  Thought
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« Reply #102 on: July 24, 2016, 10:31:05 AM »

It's a tough road for us nons because we see what the BPD partner COULD have been had that person taken responsibility for his/her behavior. But since a BPD individual is too EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE, that just doesn't happen.

And a personality disorder is much more than emotional immaturity yes?  The emotional immaturity being a consequence of the disorder.
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« Reply #103 on: July 24, 2016, 12:24:29 PM »

I don't agree that we are necessarily on the same level of emotional immaturity as our exes. But looking back, I definitely see many times when I showed emotional immaturity. Mostly by getting caught up in the artificial intimacy at the beginning, and not accepting sooner that my ex wasn't capable of a healthy relationship.

I definitely fell for the "soulmate" way of thinking, in the BPD relationship and a previous high-conflict relationship, and a lot of the problems can be traced to that. I was also just chronologically immature during these relationships (age 20 with first gf and 22 when I met BPDex) which didn't help.

Do you all think that emotional maturity is synonymous with awareness (conscious or subconscious) and use of the tools here? Do emotionally mature people just naturally validate, set boundaries, etc?

Just curious because I'm not sure I've ever encountered someone who acts that way without having been explicitly taught (on here, therapy, social work school, etc). That is, I don't think I know anyone who would naturally do the right things in a BPD relationship without targeted learning about how to deal with emotional dysregulation, boundary busters, etc. And I think it's natural to want to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially in a new relationship, so you might not realize the need to learn these skills until you're already in over your head.

I do know lots of people who would have seen red flags or been uncomfortable with the inappropriate emotions and ended the relationship after a date or two... .but I don't like to think that the ONLY healthy/mature response to a pwBPD is to end the relationship asap.
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« Reply #104 on: July 24, 2016, 06:06:26 PM »

I don't think I know anyone who would naturally do the right things in a BPD relationship without targeted learning about how to deal with emotional dysregulation, boundary busters, etc.
... .
I don't like to think that the ONLY healthy/mature response to a pwBPD is to end the relationship asap.

Hi thisagain, I absolutely agree with you that I have no idea how I would have known the right way to deal with my ex's behaviour, except to have gone through it all or to have been explicitly taught about emotional dysregulation, setting proper boundaries, etc ... .

At the same time, I would say that I do know a lot of people who would never have found themselves in an intimate relationship with someone like my ex. In fact, I think that a lot of people simply aren't prone to falling "madly in love". And I think this is a really tricky line to walk in relationships ... .on the one hand, I like that I've always been someone who can fall in love, feel the highs of passion, intense desire, enjoy laughing my head off with someone, being silly, etc etc. After all, there is a lot of acting "immature" in those early stages of a passionate relationship ... .and even later in the relationship, too. One of the most precious things about an intimate relationship is that you can let your guard down, be silly, even a little childish at times, and hopefully feel safe doing it.

But, I think, this all comes with a certain risk -- one that has burned so many of us here. I thought that my ex and I were just more madly in love than I had ever been with someone. I didn't recognise (at least not early and clearly enough) that the intense emotions and connection we had were sometimes twisting that happy, immature, wild and carefree space of "falling in love" into something much darker. I think in a healthy relationship, when someone expresses serious pain or anxiety or worry, then you're both able to shift out of that more childlike, immature way of relating and deal with the tension/pain/confusion/anxiety in an adult way. That's how all my past relationships had gone. But, in hindsight, with my most recent ex, she would become even more childlike when she was hurt -- would throw tantrums, collapse in fits of hysterical sobbing, launch wild accusations. I think that, to the extent I showed emotional maturity in the relationship, it's that I would try to be more serious in those moments and calm her down and have an adult conversation. But, unfortunately, I also started hiding things from her to shield myself from her rage -- and that was immature.

It's true that, by the time we had reached that point, I was in over my head and didn't know how to cope. I would have needed someone to teach me about all the things that are discussed here on this website. But I can still recognise that I was emotionally immature in ignoring the early red flags that popped up along the way -- especially what my ex had told me about her past relationships and the ways they had all ended. And, like I said, I for sure know lots of people who would never have let themselves be swept up in a passionate romance with someone like my ex, who was upfront about all her past relationships.

But, like I also said, I agree with you that we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. Falling in love is by its very nature a little reckless and wild and immature. I don't regret any of the times I've fallen in love, not even with my most recent ex. Ultimately, I think that it takes some life experience before we can learn to balance that wild side of love with the ability to recognise when the dynamics really are dangerously off.
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« Reply #105 on: July 24, 2016, 08:11:36 PM »

Yes we both were tremendously immature emotionally.

I didn't realize how immature I was until several months after our final recycle.

During the relationship I made her the center of my universe and blamed her for everything that went wrong even though a substantial portion of it was down to me.

I used to react rather than respond to everything she did.

For her part she would constantly test me and the worse I got the worse she got until it ended really badly.

I feel I have made a good deal of progress since realizing all of this but it takes real time to overcome all of this.

I need to dig more into the workshops avaliable on here.
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« Reply #106 on: July 25, 2016, 01:09:41 AM »

Yes, I was emotionally immature.

I brought my own emotional issues to the relationship. I didn't understand the nature and extent of my emotional immaturity until the very end of the relationship.

At least I can work on them now.
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« Reply #107 on: July 25, 2016, 10:39:34 AM »

I would say no I was not emotionally immature.  I had been single for 10 years and working on myself so I was at my prime so to speak.

I matched up with him because I preceived his emotional responses as sound and mature.  What I didn't realize was although most would be emotional in the situations I observed, he was not.  It was "business" mode to him which he does fine with.  I didn't see much real "emotion" in the first 6 months.  Even is idealization phase wasn't emotional, it felt more like a strategic business plan.  It wasn't until I moved in that I started seeing the emotional immaturity, jealousy, rages, fears.

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« Reply #108 on: July 25, 2016, 02:30:43 PM »

Yes, I wanted the over-the-top love and passion and emotion. I loved being adored, and didn't look too closely at it. (I used to think I was pragmatic, because I believed romantic love led to misery and heartbreak. I think I was just scared of feeling too strongly for anyone.)

So yes, I wanted to believe he truly and deeply loved me and wanted to be with me, although his actions told a different story (would make and cancel plans to actually see me). I needed this amazing fantasy of tenderness and love and deep connection to feel alive and wanted. I ignored the reality of the pain and the betrayals because the good stuff was so good. I saw red flags clearly. They made me uncomfortable and often I would leave him thinking that this would never work. But the next day or the day after, I would fool myself into thinking they were not so bad or understand them away or they would lack emotional resonance (He once told me that he was capable of killing and it didn't seem to matter).

This is all emotional immaturity, yes?

  
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« Reply #109 on: July 25, 2016, 03:01:07 PM »



This is all emotional immaturity, yes?

  

you pose a good question... .What is emotional immaturity?

I'm not sure.  The first paragraph doesn't sound immature or unrealistic for relationship expectations to me.  Ignoring pain that is being caused to you... .I don't know... .not sure that is immaturity or just denial... .that comes with confusion when something doesn't feel right.  Ignoring red flags and accepting characteristics or behaviors you aren't comfortable... .maybe.

When I answered the question, I was thinking more along the lines of how we communicate and respond to our emotions.  ei: we are having a get together and I'm out on the patio talking to my mom and my ex comes out and sits down in a chair across from me.  I scoot over, pat the couch and say "want to come sit with me."  He says, "no I'm ok over here, thanks." Later to find out he was mad because I didn't give him enough eye contact that night so he refused to sit next to me.  He was retaliating rather than communicating?  I totally missed it by the way, flew right over my head.  Wasn't even thinking anything along those lines from a 59 year old man. I thought maybe the seat he was in was more comfortable on his back or something.

Good stuff to think about... .now I can re-ask myself the question,
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« Reply #110 on: July 25, 2016, 03:06:52 PM »

What is emotional immaturity?

just for continuitys sake:

An individual's overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation.

The concept of Differentiation of Self is the ability to separate feelings and thoughts. Undifferentiated people can not separate feelings and thoughts; when dealing with relationships, they are flooded with feelings, and have difficulty thinking logically and basing their decisions on that. This often manifests as unrealistic needs and expectations.  Further, they have difficulty separating  their own feelings from the feelings of others‚Ķ
<br/>:)ifferentiation is described in many ways in the following points:

1. Growing in the ability to see where and how I fit into my relationship, the position I hold and the power that is and is not given to that position.

2. Growing in the ability to be fully responsible for my own life while being committed to growing closer to those I love.

3. Intentionally developing, at the same time, autonomy and intimacy. In developing autonomy I set myself towards achieving my dreams and ambitions. In developing intimacy, I allow those close to me to see and know me as I really am.

4. Being willing to say clearly who I am and who I want to be while others are trying to tell me who I am and who I should be.

5. Staying in touch with others while, and even though, there is tension and disagreement.

6. Being able to declare clearly what I need and requesting help from others without imposing my needs upon them.

7. Being able to understand what needs I can and cannot meet in my own life and in the lives of others.

8. Understanding that I am called to be distinct (separate) from others, without being distant from others.

9. Understanding that I am responsible to others but not responsible for others .

10. Growing in the ability to live from the sane, thinking and creative person I am, who can perceive possibilities and chase dreams and ambitions without hurting people in the process.

11. Growing in the ability to detect where controlling emotions and highly reactive behavior have directed my life, then, opting for better and more purposeful growth born of creative thinking.

12. Deciding never to use another person for my own ends and to be honest with myself about this when I see myself falling into such patterns.

13. Seeing my life as a whole, a complete unit, and not as compartmentalized, unrelated segments.

14. Making no heroes; taking no victims.

15. Giving up the search for the arrival of a Knight in Shining Armour who will save me from the beautiful struggles and possibilities presented in everyday living.

To differentiate is to provide a platform for maximum growth and personal development for everyone in your circle of influence. It means being able to calmly reflect on a conflicted interaction afterward, realizing your own role in it, and then choosing a different response for the future. Not to differentiate is to fuse (the failure to become a separate person) with others and to place responsibility on others (or on situations, predicaments, and hurdles) for the way in which our lives develop.

These widely accepted theory were developed by Murray Bowen, M.D. in the late 1940's and early 1950's, when he was a psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic. After his time at Menninger's, he moved to the National Institute of Mental Health, then to Georgetown University Medical Center and finally established the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, D.C.

Bowen's therapy is a process of increasing one's differentiation or ability to balance automatic reactivity and subjectivity with a factual view of oneself and others.





www.bowentheoryacademy.org/6.html

www.difficultrelationships.com/2006/03/25/bowen-differentiation/

www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/bowen.html
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« Reply #111 on: July 27, 2016, 01:46:21 PM »

sure i was. sure our respective emotional immaturity played out differently (and in many ways not so differently). we also fed into each other and fanned the dysfunctional flames, furthered the insecure attachment. not to mention my own history of unstable relationships, in which i was the common denominator.

its challenging to see our own emotional immaturity, i think, for a few reasons. its not just that we dont want to, though that may be part of it. most of us are inclined toward introspection and the idea that we can do better.

1. we stigmatize it. emotional maturity isnt fixed. we can grow. it simply means there is or was room for improvement. thats true for everyone. like knowledge or muscles, we dont start out with them. we do the best we can with what we have. that doesnt preclude being able to do better.
2. bowens theory prompts us to compare ourselves directly to our partners. its natural to push back. "youre saying i have the same emotional maturity as someone with a personality disorder?". remember the original post and our working definition of emotional maturity, it is not limited to ability to regulate emotions, where most of us would score higher than our ex partners.
3. maybe most of all because, our "ways" have worked for us, with most people, less with our exes. they feel "right".  Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) greeneyedmonster mentioned that a fear of abandonment doesnt indicate emotional immaturity. thats right. how we respond to it, how we build our lives around it, certainly might.
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« Reply #112 on: August 08, 2016, 10:35:31 AM »

 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) thisagain if you're talking about the "love conquers all" belief when you describe your "soulmate" thinking, then I was right there with you.  Smiling (click to insert in post) 

Do you all think that emotional maturity is synonymous with awareness (conscious or subconscious) and use of the tools here? Do emotionally mature people just naturally validate, set boundaries, etc?
I think a bit of both. I recall seeing somewhere that it's a rare family that sits down and talks about beliefs at the dinner table.



 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) Infern0 I think when you describe reacting instead of responding, it might help to recall that many people use quite "natural" reactions to pwBPDs dysregulating. I'd consider try be self-compassionate to yourself in this area.  Smiling (click to insert in post)



 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) Narkiss Perhaps we all yearn for some degree of love and passion and emotion. I don't think that yearning is really emotional immaturity. I think when we see how this wanting fits into the whole, who we're seeking to experience it with, and we're aware of issues that come up with extreme behaviours, I think that's more a type of growth. When we're out of control and have some kind of chronic pursuit of the behaviours, then I think we move closer to a lack of maturity in this area.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #113 on: December 17, 2016, 01:49:35 PM »

No.
We didn't get into what the BPD friend defined as a relationship, though he treated me as if we had re his disorder traits, but really mostly in a passive way. But we were friends before, and I'd like us to be again, though realistically I doubt that's possible unless he addresses his condition and seeks treatment for it.
As I realised he had some problems - though not the extent of them - I tried to encourage him by taking responsibility, validating him, etc. I thought he was shy and feared rejection, and was scared of being hurt in a relationship, and tried to reassure him on these things because I didn't know the underlying cause, or all the other problems that would surface with it. Even if I had done, I'm not sure whether I would have tried to stay close to him anyway. When I did work out what was wrong, I still had a rather false sense of security because an online friend has it and manages it successfully. So I thought as long as I was mature and helped him with self-help exercises he'd be OK. I don't think I realised that even if I took full responsibility for myself, he wouldn't take any for himself. The difference between entering into a friendship/relationship with a recovering alcoholic or one who is permanently drunk, even if they're good at appearing sober.
Unfortunately, I suspect pwBPD see mature behaviour as a sign of weakness, and probably respect you more if you deal them back their sort of behaviour in return.
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« Reply #114 on: December 17, 2016, 04:54:17 PM »

I don't believe I was immature in the last relationship I had with pwBPD. I don't blame her, not angry at her or myself. I feel I have enough compassion to understand the situation that she cannot give me what I need because she is incapable. If I expect her to change to my liking then I'm setting myself up for more pain. I realize that I will always fluctuate to her from a perfect person to an abuser and I accept her perception of it, does not mean I share that with her. Acceptance is key.
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« Reply #115 on: December 17, 2016, 06:56:02 PM »

Yes, I was immature. I made the choice to allow myself to go way to fast into a full blow relationship because all the right things were being said. I *wanted* them to go fast because dating always seemed inordinately messy to me. I robbed myself of truly getting to know the ex. That said, there is a reason people date for a reasonable length of time; to vet a prospective partner and find out the little things that only come out in time. I found out those dealbreakers only after I was neck deep when I never should've put myself in that position.

It was a growing up experience that I needed to have. Dating is essential. You don't build an intimate relationship before a friendship. I robbed myself of taking that important time to develop (or not) an affinity for someone.

After I realized my mistakes and jumping in like I did, instead of leaving when it got out of control which would've been mature, I stayed. Probably some self esteem issues at work, being that at that time I'd rather have someone who was unraveling and taking me with her rather than just leave and apply the lessons I needed to learn going forward.

I was also immature with anger. I didn't break the cycle. I stayed in the little wars with her and I lost sight of the big picture. Was this healthy for me? Was this healthy for her? No on both counts. It was untenable situation. I was unhappy, her disorder was in a phugoid-like motion. Staying brought no joy to anyone. Exiting was the only option.

I know why I stayed though, I adored her daughter. I was selfless with the child, but it was immature of me to hang on and put up with dxBPDgf to be around the child. It was an unhealthy dynamic that, had I stayed longer, would've yielded more pain.

As an aside, a comment of people being drawn together because of their similar emotional maturity. Yes, dxBPDgf really made me feel like she was on my wavelength. So many similarities, so much that just felt right.  Little did I know of the idealization and mirroring phase that goes along with BPD traits. Only after that phase begun to fade and the real dxBPDgf came out, then I was in horror. Perhaps that's why their mirroring is so effective? They sell that near-perfect emotion mature connection.  It's only later you find out the devil in the details.

Rushing in through my own immaturity left me a sitting duck for a BPD type person to wedge in quickly.









Wow. I have to say most of what you said is exactly what I went through. 
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