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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Wedding anniversary tomorrow-struggling with this  (Read 1155 times)
Hazelrah
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« on: September 30, 2013, 02:18:06 PM »

Tomorrow (October 1st) is the anniversary of my wedding to my BPDw, who I have not seen for three months... .contact (via text or e-mail) was very low for quite a while, and we have now been completely NC for about three weeks.  Since she left she made one desperate plea for me to take her back, followed by a resolute stance ever since that she wants a divorce.  Last I heard she'd moved in with a recycled boyfriend, and that's about the extent of my knowledge at the present time.

I've been getting progressively stronger since hitting bottom over the summer, but the memories from my wedding are flooding back in full force and tomorrow is going to be awful for me.  I'm tempted to reach out and gauge her feelings to see if she experiences any nostalgia regarding the importance of the day, though I know this may simply be inviting a world of hurt for myself.  I realize I need to temper the wonderful memories of our wedding and marriage with the remembrances of emotional suffering she's put me through at times since then (especially this summer), but it's a hard thing to reconcile as I remember having no doubts on that day that this was seemingly the perfect woman to spend the rest of my life with. 

How misguided I actually was... .
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NiceGuy83
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 02:36:46 PM »

Hazelrah, I understand this.  I'm having a rough time of it just at the moment too. 

But I don't think BPD exes can understand it, or if they do, they can't sympathise with it.  In my experience, once a BPD relationship is over, the BPD ex will only ever use opportunities of contact to hurt you.  So, for that reason, I would say do NOT contact her. 

I've had those little tempting feelings myself recently.  An inclination to just send her a quick message saying 'I still think about you' or 'I still think you're beautiful'.  But, critically analysing why I would do this, the answer, for me, is clear.  I want to hear something similarly kind back... .I want some validation.  I know I won't get that.  Last time I tried, I was simply told that the break-up was all my fault, and I had driven her into the arms of the new guy. 

Knowing that it's really my own insecurity causing me to want to reach out to her stops me from doing it.  I hope that helps you look at why YOU want to reach out, and whether it's a good idea for YOU. 
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Hazelrah
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 04:52:52 PM »

NG83,

Deep down I know you're right... .I'm merely hoping for some sort of validation, which is an unlikely prospect at this time.  I've gotten the same story over the summer--that everything was my fault, etc.  There's just something about tomorrow that is really pulling me backwards after all the progress I've been making. I guess I should expect feeling like this, but it is terribly frustrating and sad all at once.

As a musician, I'd started writing a really sweet song to surprise her with some time ago--the plan (when we were still together) was to have it ready for her tomorrow... .but it'll probably just have to sit on my computer without an audience for the time being.   
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Velocon

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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 05:25:17 PM »

Hazelrah,

I am in the middle of divorcing my BPD wife.  In addition to her rages & verbal (& sometimes physical) abuse, she became an alcoholic & went to rock bottom the past few years.  Suicide threats, multiple DWIs, court ordered involuntary placement - a total nightmare.

I too have occasional pangs about the relationship and the good times in the distant past.  Truth be told, every big holiday was a walking on eggshells in a minefield ordeal, as the littlest thing or nothing really would set her off.  Anniversaries, Mothers Day were all 'no win' scenarios - teh best I could hope for was not to be raged at, a rarity.  I remember the constant stress and worry and abuse, remind myself to judge the past relationship based on the reality that was and not my hoped for idealized marriage that never really was, and the pangs go away quickly.  Literally, my blood pressure has dropped 30 points since she was forced to move out.  I may be lonelier now but I am at peace, & I appreciate its value now.  As part of family counseling for her court ordered alcoholism, I had to write a letter about her behaviors.  It was a long, comprehensive letter (of course she later criticized me for being so thorough)!  I re-read it periodically to give me strength to get through this time to a better place.  I am relatively young, feel good about myself and am hopeful for my future.  The 3 later teens kids are all with me & that helps a lot as well.

Oh, and as a BPD she can't help herself from painting me black.  Smiling (click to insert in post)  Now her story is her therapist says she never loved me, I was a bad match for her, & that (read "I" was the cause of her rages, abuse & alcoholism.  After all I have been through and all I did for years to save the marriage and family, & knowing the truth about how I treated her, her reconstructed history and lies make it easier for me not to care anymore. 

Oh, and the fact that she started dating some addict right out of rehab, & in the divorce wanted to take the football tickets my dad waited 30 years on a waiting list for, also made it easy.

Good luck.
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ForeverDad
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Relationship status: separated 2005 then divorced
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 05:42:02 PM »

Accept what IS.  You cannot make a dysfunctional relationship healthy, not by yourself.  Is she likely to recover and behave somewhat normal in the future?  Perhaps, but the odds are vanishingly small if she's not in meaningful therapy and applying it diligently in her perceptions, thinking and life.

Can you help her recover?  Likely her unbalanced emotions and perceptions won't let her interact healthily with you.  As we often write, you can't fix her, you can only fix yourself.  (However, if she begins meaningful therapy you can always support that.)  Typically a professional is recommended since the expert is both trained and emotionally neutral to you and spouse.  So if she's not willing to start meaningful therapy - and stick with it and make real progress - any reunion would be problematic and iffy at best and disastrous at worst.

Interestingly, Grieving a relationship loss describes various stages and the last is... .Acceptance.  That's why I wrote above, accept what IS.  Easy to say, hard to accomplish.  Read up on the 5 stages.

As bad as things are, it could be more complicated.  This is your first year anniversary?  And you've already suffered in the relationship?  Imagine how you might be after 5 years, 10 years or 20 years?  Imagine if you had children and had to deal with her as she is for the next 15-20 years?  If you conclude she's not likely to truly recover, then perhaps it is better for you to learn and accept that sooner rather than later... .
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Clearmind
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:01:38 PM »

   Hazel - how are you going?

Do something nice for yourself.
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Hazelrah
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 11:45:32 AM »

Velocon,

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you experienced.  My wife was/is a BPD waif, so I didn't experience much in the way of rages, etc.  I mostly cared for someone who began to come across as a helpless 36 year-old child the longer I was with her.  This definitely presented some unique challenges, and I've come to see some of my own personal issues that led to me relishing the 'knight in shining armour' role.

I'm glad to hear you are doing well.

ForeverDad,

This isn't my first anniversary, but your point is taken.  Part of the difficulty in accepting the situation is she actually has been in DBT therapy for 4-5 months at this point.  Hardly enough time to show significant signs of recovery, but long enough to display a dedication to getting better, at least of late.  Like I said, I have been doing okay, and have begun to detach... .I don't think it is unusual to take a step back given the fact it's our anniversary.  I'm sure I'll let it go in a few days again.

Clearmind,

I am getting by so far.  Thank you.  I won't have much time for myself today, but perhaps that is a good thing... .less time spent ruminating, I suppose.

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ForeverDad
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Relationship status: separated 2005 then divorced
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 03:04:06 PM »

Another thought... .  It has been commented in years past, I recall a longtime member, JoannaK, would put this observation out there... .

Some think that if only their spouse would get help (and us as well of course) and make real progress toward recovery then the relationship would be fixed.  However, if the spouse would change that much, even though improved, consider that one or the other may not want to stay married.  At least one and probably both would be changed.  There are no guarantees that eventual recovery would restore the relationship.

I say this since you've been separated for a while and she has a boyfriend, two significant steps.  Ponder that (1) recovery and (2) returning to you are two very iffy and separate things.  Getting one does not mean you get both.  Just saying.

Oh, and another thought so you're aware how things can get turned around quickly and we are portrayed as the problem person... .this may not apply in your case, but when I first filed for divorce my ex's lawyer tried to insinuate I was a controlling spouse.  How?  He tried to get me to say I wanted/ordered her back.  So be careful how you say things, you don't want it to be twisted into harassment claims.
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clairedair
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 05:15:48 PM »

Hazelrah,

Like I said, I have been doing okay, and have begun to detach... .I don't think it is unusual to take a step back given the fact it's our anniversary.  I'm sure I'll let it go in a few days again.

I find this to be the case.  I'll think I am getting on OK then have contact or it's a birthday/anniversary and find that whilst I am OK at the time, I start ruminating afterwards or start dreaming about him for a few nights etc but it does pass.  Over time, the intensity of the difficult feelings has lessened as has the time I usually spend going over and over stuff before I get back on track. 

I also try not to beat myself up so much these days when I have these setbacks - I used to get really frustrated that he was still getting to me.

Hope you have been able to go easy on yourself.  How did the day go in the end?

take care,

Claire
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Hazelrah
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 06:57:50 PM »

Clairedair,

I'm glad you are starting to do better.  It's heartening to hear people are doing well after their personal situations.

Thank you for asking about today... .to be frank, it has been pretty awful.  Trying to avoid ruminating about my wedding day, etc., has been a losing battle today.  I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, as it has been a while since I've felt things this strongly.  Hopefully tomorrow will be another step forward.
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DragoN
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 09:26:08 PM »

Hazelrah, I feel your pain on this. The Wedding Day. Fortunately, or unfortunately the wedding day for myself turned to hell so the memories are not quite so poignant. Remember the reality of the marriage and the sorrow that brought you to the point of divorce and hopefully it will lessen the agony a little. I would not contact her as the validation you seek she is incapable of.
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thisyoungdad
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 01:30:20 AM »

I completely understand! October 17th would have been our 2nd anniversary and last year on that date, despite her literally jumping off the deep end 2 months before we had been making progress or so I thought in therapy. She had this beautiful card for me, and all these wonderful things happened around that time. Things I believed. Things she probably believed. Promises about how she wanted our 2nd year to be together etc. We had been together 4 years and then married 9 months. All the things my semi broken heart wanted to hear and believe. I have spent a year trying to let those things go as just words, but the idea they were not true or said to appease me or what not has been excruciating. I am dreading that date this year because I fear the heartbreak I will feel. Especially as it comes days after signing final papers. We had a beautiful elopement, absolutely gorgeous and it was a wonderful day and wonderful memories so that is not helpful either.
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Hazelrah
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 09:02:17 AM »

I completely understand! October 17th would have been our 2nd anniversary and last year on that date, despite her literally jumping off the deep end 2 months before we had been making progress or so I thought in therapy. She had this beautiful card for me, and all these wonderful things happened around that time. Things I believed. Things she probably believed. Promises about how she wanted our 2nd year to be together etc. We had been together 4 years and then married 9 months. All the things my semi broken heart wanted to hear and believe. I have spent a year trying to let those things go as just words, but the idea they were not true or said to appease me or what not has been excruciating. I am dreading that date this year because I fear the heartbreak I will feel. Especially as it comes days after signing final papers. We had a beautiful elopement, absolutely gorgeous and it was a wonderful day and wonderful memories so that is not helpful either.

Thisyoungdad,

Ironically, October 17th also holds memories for me as that was the anniversary of our first date.  Each year, we would reconvene at the same restaurant on that date and have a romantic dinner, so that is going to be a hurdle for me, as well.  Like you, we struggled a bit early in our second year (she'd yet to be diagnosed as BPD, so some of her behaviors were frustrating for both of us), but also seemingly turned the corner and things could not have been better... .or so it seemed.  Here's hoping that we both continue our healing and can plow through that date with minimal pain, too.
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