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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: She's doing poorly — Is No Contact ever good for the BPD partner?  (Read 5093 times)
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« on: April 22, 2013, 06:17:22 PM »

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. It feels good to be sharing this stuff with people who can actually understand, because it's all a little too much for my friends. I ended a relationship with my BPD girlfriend about a month ago, and have been still dealing with the fallout since. Ours was the classic BPD love story — we met, everything seemed too good to be true and happened so quickly. I'd never met anyone like her before and we loved each other very much. In time, little cracks started appearing in the story, but they were overlookable. Finally, it got to be too much, there way too much bad stuff and not enough good, and exploded. In hindsight, it was a perfect relationship for my slightly codepedent (or counterdependent) tendencies — I love to be the hero, to be the helper, and she wants someone strong like that. I've been reading Flight from Intimacy and learning more about my counter dependent tendencies.

More specific background: Ever since January she was getting worse and worse and wound up checking herself into a psych ward. After she got out, she seemed more self aware, but more volatile, she would explode over the littlest things. In one of those fights, I would distance myself, and she broke up with me, said that I wasn't giving her all that she needed. After breakup, and far more fighting "I don't understand why you're abandoing me" we tried no contact, but it lasted for about a week. My rule of no-contact has been no SMS, only email, which has gone pretty well for me.

The other day, she called around midnight and I picked up. She was doing very poorly. She was drunk and said she was on her way to "doing something stupid" She's been suicidal in the past, though I don't think it was that bad. It sounds like she's making some dangerous choices again (Probably hooking up with some other guy — she explicitly told that if we broke up, this is what she would do, she "needs to feel the intimacy".

Right now, I'm just trying to deal with this awful emptiness inside. I'm in a weird place professionally, between gigs, so I have too much free time. I've been travelling and away from my house, so I feel very ungrounded. I've been compulsively going out every night with friends, just to keep my days full. Still I know she's not doing well right now. Going no contact basically feels like just ignoring the problem, leaving her to burn.

It feels like No Contact is just giving up on someone and being selfish. I know that the breakup articles talk about how you have to let go of the idea that you can save her, but ultimately this idea of just letting her drown in her own pain feels cruel. She's explictly told me that she's in horrible pain, that it hurts, and a big part of the hurt is that I abandoned her and now we can't even talk.  

The BPD diagnosis is also only about a month old. She self diagnoses as BPD then, but has since taken some official test which said she wasn't fully in that camp, and now seems to deny it. How can I convince her to seek further treatment? If she doesn't seek treatment, can I/should I tell her family that it seems like her symptoms are BPD, and that there's some hope? I feel like that it's better they know and can read the books than than this "mysterious mood disorder" that they think she has.

Tl;dr: Broke up with BPD girl who I still care for, she's doing poorly and I'm afraid that with no contact things will just get worse. How can I protect myself from going crazy, move on, while helping her get treatment so she won't get worse? Can anyone share a story of how No Contact is actually better for the BPD as well?


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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 06:34:30 PM »

man, am i so ever intimately acquainted with that feeling of emptiness you refer to. I am 2 weeks no contact with BPDexgf(said she doesnt want to talk to me ever again when I gave her ultimatum on guy she was talking to on phone)... . I am depressed and can barely get anything done... . but I know I will probably only make it worse by contacting her even though Im worried... . from what I have read if you contact her she retains control over you and ultimately you're simply deferring the inevitable.
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 06:35:31 PM »


You can only help yourself and you are only responsible for yourself. Obligation to fix is maybe something you can work on Artful. This will become more apparent, as to the reasons why the more you read and post.

We really don't know what is going on. She needs to feel these emotions - you cannot avoid them for her.

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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 01:17:07 AM »

Hi ArtfulDodger,

In my case, I do think NC was beneficial to both of us. After we broke up, we had a period of "Low Contact", sort of like what you are doing. Though I was telling myself I wanted out of the relationship, I still wanted the validation of his attention, and the comfort of his presence in my life. I wasn't clear on that at the time -- instead I told myself that it would hurt him too much for me to just abandon him and go NC, so I should stay present and "be there" for him.

I didn't mean to but I was sending very mixed messages and this was confusing and messy and hurtful for both of us. It was a recapitulation of some the dysfunction of our r/s. Go away! - no please come back!  NC made things clear: It was over, I missed him, but I was grieving and needed separation.

Perhaps you are not yet clear if you really want out of your relationship?

As to what is really going on with our exes, we can never really know and it is fruitless to dwell on that too long, as Clearmind points out. But saying you want out while keeping one foot in can be confusing to anyone, especially someone who does not understand boundaries too well.
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 01:45:59 AM »

That's a rough situation.  It sounds like since she's fresh out of a psych ward she's super fragile.  Considering that she could be acutely suicidal.  Or it could be the abandonment trigger and her reaching out to the person who used to fix this.

You are vulnerable too-guilt and the possibilities.  And being a fixer.  Not judging.

No contact is supposed to be a time where you can get underneath you emotionally and not fallback on the fixer-y stuff. 

If you think you can discern between support and fixing then it may be possible for you to encourage her to reach out for the right support-her talking to a doctor, therapy, etc - and you can't step in to solve it. But if you can't you run the risk of making it worse for both of you and really look into what Clearmind suggested.

Here's some resources:



What are your thoughts?


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