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Author Topic: Remorseful BPD?  (Read 6921 times)
Curvy girl

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« on: January 26, 2013, 05:17:10 AM »

It's been one week since I left my dBPD ex boyfriend if nearly 6 years.

I had been detaching for several weeks and I finally had the courage to do it after one failed attempt. We didn't fight, I just told him how I felt and then I left.

He was shocked to say the least. Even though we had countless conversations about the state of the relationship for months prior to this. I begged him to get into therapy, I even wanted to try couples counselling. I tried and tried and tried.

He has taken the break up very hard. He has broken all my contact rules. He has called texted endlessly, sent me flowers and begged for me to come back.

He has attended 2 therapy sessions and has apologised profusely for how he treated me in the relationship. He has done a lot of reading and is saying all the right things. All this in 7 days.

I mean at face value he is acting like anyone else who experiences a relationship break down. He is bargaining, wanting me back and hurting inside.

I just never expected It would be this way. I expected raging, painting black.

The only thing that's lingering in my mind now is if I am letting go if the one chance I have at having everything I ever wanted in the relationship. I wonder if hes trully made a commitment to change. It is really messing with my head.

I have read and reread the beliefs that keep you stuck. Especially the belief " they have seen the light."

Through my weeks of detaching I decided I needed to leave for me. The part of me that has allowed me to stay strong this long, doesn't believe one word of it and doesn't want to believe it at all. My new found confidence and sense of self worth tells me I cannot and should not go back to this man no matter what.

Then there's the teeny tiny part of myself that hears the words he's saying and would have killed to hear him say those things  during all those years.

I feel like a dog that was repeatedly kicked by its owner who all of a sudden wants to pet me. My every instinct tells me to run, not even let him near me no matter what he's wanting me to do. But still sitting there wanting to know how it feels to be petted.
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Validation78
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 06:05:08 AM »

Hi Curvy!

I understand the desire to believe him. he sounds so sincere, and I do believe that somewhere, deep in his heart, he believes that he is now willing to do what it takes to get better. Only you know, how much time you are willing to give it. You've already put in 6 years, and that's a huge investment, so hard to walk away from. If this is the turning point, maybe the relationship has a chance. Sure, maybe that's right, however, only you know what's right for you. The answer is different for everyone.

I'll share with you what our CT said to me a few weeks ago about my BPDh. Even if this is the turning point, and he made a sincere effort to get better, it would be years before he would really be better. The sad truth is, you will probably spend the rest of your life, walking on eggshells, and living with some improvement if you're lucky, however unlikely will you have the healthy relationship you want. Now remember, this is what MY CT said to me. It will not apply to everyone, however, if your BF is BPD, it's likely to have some validity for you as well. We all stay in these relationships for different reasons, and if we are able to come to a level of acceptance, whatever we decide, it's alright!

Best Wishes,

Val78
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 07:34:39 AM »

BPDers can be remorseful and can also 'see the light'. They can change and it's not like you have to abandon them forever. You might take it really bad that all of a sudden he now wants to change, why? Maybe because you were expecting the raging and painting black as you expected, and that might have made it easier for you to detach. He might have seen the light, who says he didn't? Is it going to be bumpy, yes of course, is there a chance that everything between you and him can come back together to a healthy relationship, of course! It is not like BPD is not curable and sometimes, deep emotional intense pain is needed to shed light on the situation what you have been doing in order to really change, and this might take 3 years, sometimes 6 years possibly in your (and his) case.

Isn't it the truth that you realize you need psychological help often after something broke? Rather than that it was still 'half/half' hanging together? I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case here.
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Curvy girl

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 08:24:51 AM »

Thank you for the replies.

It is true that the belief that he would never change did help me detach. The idea that someday maybe things would be better was one of the main reasons I stayed. Once that hope disappeared all I was left with was a dysfunctional relationship.

It is true that people with BPD can change and go to therapy and live happy lives. It is also true that sometimes  people BPD or not will say anything to prevent the breakup of a meaningful relationship. It this stage it's hard to tell which way this is going to go.

I think I may need to accept that no matter what happens what I want is to be happier and healthier. That I no longer feel the same way I did when I was with him. That even if he did changed I may be too scarred to return to that place

I am afraid that the more I hear his words, the more encouraging emails, romantic gestures, phone calls to apologise it will start chipping away at my defence mechanism. It will make me vulnerable again and I will experience the same hurt I have tried to avoid by leaving.

I just needed to share with the family how I was feeling before I drove myself crazy over what this all meant or didn't mean.

Harm krakow I'm not really sure what you meant by this statement?

Excerpt
. Isn't it the truth that you realize you need psychological help often after something broke? Rather than that it was still 'half/half' hanging together? I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case here.

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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 08:31:33 AM »

Thank you for the replies.

It is true that the belief that he would never change did help me detach. The idea that someday maybe things would be better was one of the main reasons I stayed. Once that hope disappeared all I was left with was a dysfunctional relationship.

It is true that people with BPD can change and go to therapy and live happy lives. It is also true that sometimes  people BPD or not will say anything to prevent the breakup of a meaningful relationship. It this stage it's hard to tell which way this is going to go.

I think I may need to accept that no matter what happens what I want is to be happier and healthier. That I no longer feel the same way I did when I was with him. That even if he did changed I may be too scarred to return to that place

I am afraid that the more I hear his words, the more encouraging emails, romantic gestures, phone calls to apologise it will start chipping away at my defence mechanism. It will make me vulnerable again and I will experience the same hurt I have tried to avoid by leaving.

That doesn't have to be the case curvy girl! As long as you keep your boundaries more in 1 straight line within the r/s and not allow him to walk over this after his 'sudden' change. You can still have contact, but don't let him break all your boundaries!

Excerpt
Harm krakow I'm not really sure what you meant by this statement?

Excerpt
. Isn't it the truth that you realize you need psychological help often after something broke? Rather than that it was still 'half/half' hanging together? I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case here.


What I meant is that people often tell a significant other that they need help and the significant other just 'waives it away'. It isn't until a breaking point is reached (something major happening, someone dies, no more work, evicted, r/s ended) that the light bulb above their heads starts glowing and realize that they do need help. Sometimes, deep emotional pain, really deep emotional, was all that was needed in order to pull our heads out of the sand and then to give it an honest second chance.

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Changed4safety
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 09:38:50 AM »

Everyone is different.  The facts are that change IS possible and that it WILL take years. 

I was where you are about a year ago.  My father had just died, my exBPDbf had gotten on new medication for his bipolar II (which is apparently "code" for BPD that allows insurance to come into play... .  he believes he is bipolar).  We had agreed that he triggered me too much (even physically harmed me) and he needed to move out ASAP.  He had an epiphany and wanted this to work, to marry me, I was his "happily ever after." 

And he tried.  He continued with therapy (not DBT, sadly).  He stopped the cheating I fully believe and opened up his email accounts to me.  Let me see phone messages.  The violence went way down.  But sadly I realized that too much fundamentally was never going to change (this was over a period of a year).  I left him and moved 1,000 miles away, he was forced to find a job and start taking responsibility for himself.  He kept getting better.  But there were still too many things that I couldn't live with.

It is sad, because I think if he had made these changes earlier in the relationship, I would not be so battle scarred, and it might have been enough.  I know this is right, but I still love him, and I miss him.  The temptation is there to try "one more time" (his first "last chance" was January 2009   )  but I know in my heart that if we could have fixed it, we would have done so.  This isn't just a regular relationship with problems... .  it's an illness, and love cannot fix it. 

But it took me going back and back and back before I figured this out.  We each have our own paths.  *hugs* to you on yours.
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 09:47:05 AM »

Everyone is different.  The facts are that change IS possible and that it WILL take years. 

I was where you are about a year ago.  My father had just died, my exBPDbf had gotten on new medication for his bipolar II (which is apparently "code" for BPD that allows insurance to come into play... .  he believes he is bipolar).  We had agreed that he triggered me too much (even physically harmed me) and he needed to move out ASAP.  He had an epiphany and wanted this to work, to marry me, I was his "happily ever after." 

And he tried.  He continued with therapy (not DBT, sadly).  He stopped the cheating I fully believe and opened up his email accounts to me.  Let me see phone messages.  The violence went way down.  But sadly I realized that too much fundamentally was never going to change (this was over a period of a year).  I left him and moved 1,000 miles away, he was forced to find a job and start taking responsibility for himself.  He kept getting better.  But there were still too many things that I couldn't live with.

It is sad, because I think if he had made these changes earlier in the relationship, I would not be so battle scarred, and it might have been enough.  I know this is right, but I still love him, and I miss him.  The temptation is there to try "one more time" (his first "last chance" was January 2009   )  but I know in my heart that if we could have fixed it, we would have done so.  This isn't just a regular relationship with problems... .  it's an illness, and love cannot fix it. 

But it took me going back and back and back before I figured this out.  We each have our own paths.  *hugs* to you on yours.

There are a few sentences in your story that gives the idea that it didn't need that much different or you could have still been together ...

Because also the sentence, if I knew we could have fixed it, we would have done so is quite a tricky thing to say. Especially with mental illnesses because that works a tad different.  Isn't it the core thought that as non-BPD'er we should not expect that 'love and thus heart' will have the answer to the problems facing a BPD relationship? And whether or not it will work?
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Changed4safety
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 09:59:57 AM »

Harmkrakow... .  I had four and a half years of cheating, violence to me and my person (3 incidents of choking), continual lies, and I ended up spending over 100k and am now barely eking out an existence.  The last straws were one personal think I won't relate here and his utter refusal to allow me even a 10-minute time-out break to collect myself when we argued.  I had to stay and face my fears of violence at his hand because "it triggered his abandonment issues" for me to leave.  I think that was when I knew it had to end.

I am too broken down now to handle the stresses of such a relationship.  I am terribly codependent.  Screaming terrifies me.  I have no idea how to establish boundaries.  It will be challenging enough for me with a regular person.  He was able to get me feeling guilty for the medium I chose to respond to him when he was upset and we were doing low contact, and I sat there while he    all over me on AIM about how awful his life was.  He compared my response to him ignoring me when my father died--in other words, one rough night worrying about something that didn't happen = me losing my father forever.   He's now started dating because he needs a "distraction" from thinking about me.  

I'm 50 years old and self employed.  He's 30.  I've got to dig myself out from debt and start all over again with some kind of savings.  

Maybe one day we'll meet again when he's better and it will work.  But I can't be part of the process for him to get there.  I stayed in a sexless marriage for 15 years before I met him.  I stayed with him for four and a half.  I think it's pretty clear I have difficulties with overstaying in a negative relationship.  

Edit:  Three therapists and every single person who knows anything about this situation have been telling me to leave from early days on.  I spent thousands on therapy for him, me and us, read dozens of books, practiced everything cited here.  I did all I could. 
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 10:08:48 AM »

Harmkrakow... .  I had four and a half years of cheating, violence to me and my person (3 incidents of choking), continual lies, and I ended up spending over 100k and am now barely eking out an existence.  The last straws were one personal think I won't relate here and his utter refusal to allow me even a 10-minute time-out break to collect myself when we argued.  I had to stay and face my fears of violence at his hand because "it triggered his abandonment issues" for me to leave.  I think that was when I knew it had to end.

I am too broken down now to handle the stresses of such a relationship.  I am terribly codependent.  Screaming terrifies me.  I have no idea how to establish boundaries.  It will be challenging enough for me with a regular person.  He was able to get me feeling guilty for the medium I chose to respond to him when he was upset and we were doing low contact, and I sat there while he    all over me on AIM about how awful his life was.  He compared my response to him ignoring me when my father died--in other words, one rough night worrying about something that didn't happen = me losing my father forever.   He's now started dating because he needs a "distraction" from thinking about me.  

I'm 50 years old and self employed.  He's 30.  I've got to dig myself out from debt and start all over again with some kind of savings.  

Maybe one day we'll meet again when he's better and it will work.  But I can't be part of the process for him to get there.  I stayed in a sexless marriage for 15 years before I met him.  I stayed with him for four and a half.  I think it's pretty clear I have difficulties with overstaying in a negative relationship.  

Edit:  Three therapists and every single person who knows anything about this situation have been telling me to leave from early days on.  I spent thousands on therapy for him, me and us, read dozens of books, practiced everything cited here.  I did all I could. 

Don't get me wrong, I have a feeling what your facing as i'm currently still in a BPD relationship where I basically lost all sense of boundaries for myself and my significant other wBPD is basically walking left right and center over me. Accusing me of everything which is going wrong and telling me i'm the biggest liar on the planet and then switch to bitter sweetness and hatred yet again all in the time span of 60 minutes.

And yeah, the edit you posted, is something 'we havent tried' yet and to me will be a dealbreaker whether or not to continue in this relationship since everyone tells me to quit out of this toxic r/s while I still can after being completely financially and mentally drained.
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