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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: Was my lover on the BPD spectrum?  (Read 341 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Posts: 15

« on: November 05, 2013, 09:53:07 AM »

I cannot say for sure whether my ex was had a BPD but I do know that the way I was treated and felt as a result of the relationship and its recent demise is very similar to what other people have experienced and I’m sharing my story to help come to terms with the effects of his apparent ‘splitting.’

It’s been more than two months since we broke up. The relationship itself was only seven months but it has left me heartbroken and shattered. Where once I was bright and full of conversation I now lack energy and enthusiasm for anything.

We met on a gay dating app and spent hours chatting about everything under the sun. Less than a month later he came to visit and the chemistry was great. . I fancied the pants off him and really thought I’d met “the one.” We clicked over pretty much everything and continued chatting every day on the phone for hours. I loved his intelligence, his passion for culture and his desire to get out and be active and live life and all its wonderful experiences to the full. He was everything I wanted to be. He loved my enthusiasm, praised my skill at DJing and writing and told me how handsome I was.

We swore to love, protect and adore one another and never let go. "I am a delight," he would say. "Yes, yes, yes. Mine, mine, mine!" we would say to each other in childish tones and meow to one another like cats, as lovers do. It was intoxicating.

I had a few reservations: “Why does he pull me close and insist on holding my hand?” I’d never had the experience of public displays of affection before, certainly not with another man, so I suppressed my nervousness and got on with it and enjoyed the moment. I even discussed it with him and told him because I liked him so much I would overcome my feelings. In the end I felt owned, adored and valid.

Over the next few months we spent every weekend together, either him catching the train to visit me or me driving to visit him. Even when I went to Belgium and he on a skiing trip to France we were in contact every single day. He came to meet me when I got off the train. I picked him up from the airport. I introduced him to my family, the first person I’d ever brought to meet them, and I remember him gazing lovingly into my eyes as we sat in the café with my sisters and their children.

He introduced me to his mum and her partner. Lovely woman but didn’t like to hug. She was a teacher; so that’s where his interest in learning came from! She was a vegetarian so he ended up eating tofu with her while I had chicken, just to keep her company. Was I wrong to think that weird?

My Valentine’s Day present was a trip to a chocolate making session because I love chocolate so much. The card was a scorecard on ‘Loveliness.’ I was thrilled to have passed the test and hear his proclamation of love. But wasn’t it a bit odd that he was testing me. Throughout the relationship I got points for loveliness, but not if I asked for them. I was tested on my knowledge of musical instruments and always got it right. My proclivity to burn myself while cooking was met with “I do worry about youg sometimes!”

He asked me once if I would have pulled him if we met in a club. “Of course I would,” I lied, not because I didn’t find him attractive but because I wouldn’t pull anyone in a club. He didn’t like having his photograph taken. He was very particular about the way he styled his hair. At first I loved that because he took care of his appearance but why did he have to scold me for touching his hair?

Why was he so rude about his housemate? Why did he refuse to say hello when the housemate came back home after a weekend away? Just because the housemate had lots of friends, or ‘acquaintances,’ did it really make him a bad person?

He helped me move house and prided himself on his cleaning abilities and success in getting a full deposit back every time he’d moved out. When I helped him move house, I felt like a spare part. I tried harder to please him. “What can I do to help?”

Soon after moving into his new flat – the first time he’d lived by himself – he got cold. The affection stopped. No more holding hands, wistful stares, long kisses or hand on my knee while we drove together. “It hurts to hold it there.”

One evening over dinner he came out with: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I find it difficult to make friends and get bored of people quickly.” My response was less than supportive and highlighted my own underlying fears that I would lose him: “I hope you’re not talking about me!”

“We don’t cuddle at night anymore,” I said once.

“You’re too hot. I like cuddling in the winter,” he replied.

He talked about going to the gym, taking up motorcycle lessons again, planning our holiday to Canada. I got fat. I stopped going to the gym. I stopped looking for work. I hadn’t seen my friends in ages but I was in love and none of that mattered. We were making plans to move abroad. But where to? We couldn’t decide. Canada was too difficult, Israel too violent, apparently. It was almost as bad as decided what to eat at the weekend or what to do. Where once we had lots of ideas and enthusiasm, suddenly there was nothing. I thought this was us moving into the ‘commitment’ phase.

At Brighton Pride, I got the cold shoulder. Apparently I left him in the parade and no-one spoke to him. “But I told you I would be working and couldn’t be with you,” I said (I’m sure I explained this to him). To try and appease him, I added: “I really value you being here today, supporting me.”

The next day we visited my family. Another tiring early morning start… “Why don’t you sleep in the car?”

“I have my contact lenses in,” he replied “Can we close the window? I’m getting ear ache.”

That afternoon I went to sit in my gran’s old lounge. He trundled in after me and I seem to remember he said something along the lines:  “You keep leaving me.” My mum remarked afterwards she got the impression he didn’t like sharing me with my family.

During that week he sent me a link to a job opportunity in London and suggested I went for it. Was he particularly encouraging about it? I don’t remember. I remember I wasn’t really interested in the job and thought afterwards; perhaps I should have tried harder at getting a new job.

That Wednesday and Thursday evenings he disappeared on me, telling me on both evenings he’d been out for a work do. He didn’t respond to my texts or calls until later in the evening when he texted to say “Good night. Sweet dreams, handsome. xx”

That weekend, our last together, I stayed at his and we met up with some of my friends. He moaned about getting the bus. He moaned that we didn’t do what we had intended to (because in the end we had a BBQ at my mate’s house and got drunk, which I thought was fun). Was I so insensitive to have discounted his needs? On the Sunday evening we kissed properly for the first time in ages. Afterwards he stared into my eyes but this time as if to assess me. Then he said I should get going because he didn’t want me to blame him for being late home.

I never saw him again. The next day, the day before my birthday, I got a phone call. “Great,” I thought, “I wonder whether he’ll finally reveal what he’s got for me!

A hell of a lot of upset as it turns out, but perhaps it was the best present I needed.

“We need to talk about us,” he said. “I think the spark has gone and we’re drifting into friendship. It shouldn’t go after just six months. I’ve been here before and I don’t want one of us to end up resenting or hating the other.” In my panic, I put forward every rational argument I could think of to stay together.

In the end we agreed not to speak for a week and not to visit each other that weekend. A week later, I texted him and asked for a phone chat. I called him and told him I still loved him and believed we could build on what we had and make a go of it. “I don’t think I can give you what you want,” he replied. I’d already decided anything less than a ‘yes’ was a ‘no’ and so agreed we should leave it there.

In tears he told me he still loved me, that he’d joined a new spinning class and that finally his broadband had arrived. We said goodbye and never spoke again.

To this day I don’t know what he meant when he said he felt he couldn’t give me what I wanted. I regret not asking him there and then instead of saying “But you’ve already given me so much.” Was it my desire for a long-term relationship that I thought we both shared? In many ways it doesn’t matter and I may have my answer. We decided to end it and I’ve not heard from him since.

Last week I found he’d set up a new profile with a picture of himself dressed head to toe in fetish leather gear with the name ‘Wanderlust.’ It made me feel sick. Had he been doing this while we were together? I’m pretty certain he’d at least thought about it. It was the gloves that shocked me the most and the ‘sexy’ pout for the camera. This was not the man I had fallen in love with. But there was the precision, the perfect ‘leather man’ who, in the weeks since splitting up, had gone to great lengths to create a whole new image for himself that I had never seen before. I have nothing against this choice. I may even have considered it myself if he’d suggested it. But we never once discussed our sexual desires.

Perhaps all of this is really more a case of romantic love just not developing into intimate commitment and that I’m over dramatising all of this. He was never overtly nasty or violent towards me and only ever raised his voice once (he was trying on a t-shirt and I pulled it down for him which he didn’t want me to do).

What makes me think he has definite BPD traits (and that I had underlying issues which exacerbated the problem in the relationship) is the overwhelming feeling of how wonderful he was at the beginning and how it all seemingly changed despite my attempts to keep the affection alive. His concerns about his image, difficulty engaging with people and remonstrations that I ‘left him’ on occasions certainly point towards BPD. But his actions suggest he could have moments of real tenderness and thoughtfulness, and that by addressing the issue of the relationship (which I had deluded myself was perfect by papering over my own gut feelings) he at least was aware of this potential in him and was trying to do the right thing.

What is important for me throughout all of this is the recognition that I cannot change him, that the relationship was not meant to last, that I had a great time while the idolisation period lasted and that I’ve been able to learn something valuable from my experience that I will take into my future relationship(s).

Right now I want truly to let go of the pain and the hurt caused by the grief of the loss of something that was so wonderful and magical, release the memories that seem to flood my subconscious and then surface at the slightest trigger, and dissolve the guilt caused by doubt of constantly wondering whether there was anything more I could have done.

When all is washed away, it will make no difference and I’ll hopefully look back on this time and be able to laugh with fondness at my part in it. At the moment I wish him health and happiness, but in time I will feel nothing but indifference towards him as he is no doubt indifferent towards me.

Until then, I will continue to do the mental gymnastics required to stay in the moment, feel my emotions, accept them and move on and not dwell on what was or what might have been.

“The only failure is the failure to try and the only measure of success is how we deal with disappointment, as we must.”
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1333

« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:54:11 AM »

Hey there Vibration, sorry to hear your story. While nobody here can diagnose your exbf online it certainly sounds like your ex has BPD traits. I understand how painful it is to be so in love and then seemingly to slowly lose that.

You are very insightful and sound like you have a kind heart. It's natural to want the pain to just go away and the memories to stop haunting you. These are all things I feel the same about. One thing I'm learning is that it is a process, and I believe that I will be a more and better me once I work through it, and I hope the same for you and everybody else here.

I know it's not easy for many people here until they reach a certain point of detachment, but I think that my BPD relationship taught me some important things about myself. I think now there are areas where I am experiencing growth that were walled off or stunted before.

Vibration, thank you for sharing. Was this the first time that you wrote down the story of your relationship? If so, how did you feel after writing it? Have you ever been one to keep a journal?

Hang in there. We can only live day by day, and can never speed that up as much as we might wish it. 

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Separated
Posts: 271

« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 12:08:52 PM »

As Learning Curve said, it's impossible for us to diagnose.

But hugs to you - it's so hard to accept we have to find and create our own closure, while they are out there and onto the next person.  :'(
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