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Author Topic: Your partner adopting your interests/mirroring you in this way?  (Read 11642 times)
Discovery
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« on: November 12, 2013, 04:33:21 PM »

I'm curious to know others' experiences about this aspect of pwBPD which I've read about... .that because pwBPD may lack a solid sense of self, they "adapt" to each new partner by becoming like the partner... .which contributes to the mirroring and the feeling that you've found the perfect match.

After I read this, I looked at my r/s and my partner's history. And I noticed that... .

... .he adopted the religion and social practices of his first partner -- but then dropped them when he left the r/s

... .his lifestyle before me was quite different in a lot of ways than after me

... .he enthusiastically became interested in many things I was passionate about... .spiritual practices, personal growth concepts, travel, healthful eating... .

and I experienced that as really wonderful - I was with this loving and fun man and could really connect with him and share about so many things... .we would exchange a lot - links to articles, music, jointly participate in activities, etc. and that contributed a lot to my feeling of how special our connection was.

I noticed that he usually was really enthusiastic about things when he heard about them, and would at first get really into it, but then over time, it would wane... .there are a number of things I saw him take up passionately and then drop months later.

At the end of the r/s he said, as a criticism, that I was very strong-minded and knew what I wanted as if to imply he had to do what I wanted. I got the feeling he felt resentful that so many things we shared were initiated by me. Maybe an unconscious realization that he didn't know who *he* was in the r/s?

Anyone else experience anything like this?
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guitargrl
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 06:14:38 PM »

I can so relate to your post, my ex would mirror everything including the way I talked.  When ever the devaluation started he would often express anger and "having to do everything I wanted" or "put all the energy in" it was just absurd because I felt honored at first and enjoyed his mirroring but by the end it was obvious that it was just another part of his behavior that was very unhealthy… I always tried to encourage him to seek outside fulfillment but he still always blamed me for stuff I didn't want him to do to begin with…if that makes sense. It was quite a roller coaster.
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 06:56:14 PM »

BPD = Mirroring in the initial first phase
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Hazelrah
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 07:27:49 PM »

Discovery,

Like HarmKrakow intimated, this is very common in the initial stages of a relationship with a borderline--it is one of the things that 'hooks' us.  There is nothing wrong with being delighted that a new beau seems so enthusiastic about our interests and seems so in tune to us in so many ways.  Who wouldn't want some level of that out of a romantic partner? 

I definitely saw this with my BPD wife--besides showing strong interests in my taste for the arts, etc., the 'mirroring' behaviors were so strong that she even became best friends with my mother, and grew extremely close with my step-father and sister-in-law in pretty short order, too.  This all served to inflate my ego beyond anything I'd ever experienced... .which turned out to be a dangerous thing. After my mom died, my wife had what was basically a nervous break-down.  A few months after getting herself straight again, she began to devalue the rest of us--it was probably her way of protecting her still uncontrollable emotions. 

Looking back, I wonder if the values I thought we shared so naturally weren't really shared at all.  Actually, I probably know the answer to this.  For one, our thoughts on marriage turned out to be very different than what I'd originally been led to believe.

As she hopped from one short-lived obsession to the next (real estate, having a baby, not having a baby, writing her book, yoga, veganism, and too many others to count), I supported her whole-heartedly in every way.  However, over time, her interests in MY interests waned considerably, and I never really understood why... .until developing a better understanding of BPD, that is.
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Oliolioxenfree
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 09:41:47 PM »

I'm curious to know others' experiences about this aspect of pwBPD which I've read about... .that because pwBPD may lack a solid sense of self, they "adapt" to each new partner by becoming like the partner... .which contributes to the mirroring and the feeling that you've found the perfect match.

After I read this, I looked at my r/s and my partner's history. And I noticed that... .

... .he adopted the religion and social practices of his first partner -- but then dropped them when he left the r/s

... .his lifestyle before me was quite different in a lot of ways than after me

... .he enthusiastically became interested in many things I was passionate about... .spiritual practices, personal growth concepts, travel, healthful eating... .

and I experienced that as really wonderful - I was with this loving and fun man and could really connect with him and share about so many things... .we would exchange a lot - links to articles, music, jointly participate in activities, etc. and that contributed a lot to my feeling of how special our connection was.

I noticed that he usually was really enthusiastic about things when he heard about them, and would at first get really into it, but then over time, it would wane... .there are a number of things I saw him take up passionately and then drop months later.

At the end of the r/s he said, as a criticism, that I was very strong-minded and knew what I wanted as if to imply he had to do what I wanted. I got the feeling he felt resentful that so many things we shared were initiated by me. Maybe an unconscious realization that he didn't know who *he* was in the r/s?

Anyone else experience anything like this?

mirroring and parroting are a really common feature.  They do this because they do not have a solid identity of their own.  Additionally, I think on some level they realize that the mimicking and parroting make their partner feel loved and special because they feel like they've found their soul mate.  Ive read many similar stories on this board.  In one sense, its disturbing, but on the other, its a great relief as it is a KEY feature of BPD so knowing you share this common feature may aid you in finding clarity.

My BPDex was in fact very similar to yours. 

Our shared interest was music, so He mirrored all of my musical likes on Facebook.  He liked bands I liked when he'd never heard them.  as soon as I would say Oh i saw this band, within 5 minutes he'd like them on Facebook , bars I liked that he'd never been to (we live in different states!)  He'd "follow" people who I told him about that I was friends with that he'd never met.  He did this to 6 of my good friends and my ex boyfriend before him on numerous social media sites...

He also created playlists that I had created earlier and reposted them with a different name... His name same playlist.  He mimicked my mannerisms, my unique colloquialisms and pretty much everything else I did.   I went on vacation with my female friend and he called to tell me he was planning on booking the SAME EXACT vacation just by himself though 1.  to teach me a lesson for going on vacation without him and 2. because he thought it was a nice area.  (It was a secluded surf village in another country not many people have ever heard of)

Everything I did, he liked.  or he did.  At first I was flattered, then it began to slowly drive me insane.  It took about 6-8 months for this behavior to emerge.  it took me 2 years to get out of the relationship and it took me 2 years and 7 months to finally realize he had BPD.

Keep reading these boards.  You'll see the same story of mirroring over and over and over again.



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EdR
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 05:34:51 AM »

Reading all these posts makes me wonder why medical students and the public still have to do with some basic checklist of traits which could be as generic as hell.

Thank you for posting this. I always thought this was common for pwBPD as well. Around me, she always wanted to tell me she didn't do drugs, she didn't drink and she was like a female saint etc. etc... Basically, she wanted to show me that she shared 'my' (twisted and blown out of proportion) values.

I really couldn't care less if she would drink a beer. She did. All the time. But around me... nope.

When she obviously started to like another guy, she suddenly had a huge interest in his country of origin. Went on vacation there. And that was just the tip of the iceberg (more info could give me away Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) ).

So yeah... definitely common
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