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Author Topic: He won't let me go  (Read 7101 times)
razemarie
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Relationship status: Ended relationship 1 year ago. Practice limited contact (LC) due to son, together 8 years
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« on: May 27, 2014, 03:30:04 PM »

I am new to this site and need some advice.  I am 34 years old and ended an eight year relationship with an undiagnosed BPD about two and a half months ago.  At one point we were engaged to be married and we have a three year old son together.  He also has two kids from a previous marriage that I am very close with.  Over the years we have broken up and gotten back together several times and although things would get better for a little while, it never lasted.  In fact, things just kept getting worse no matter what I tried.  The constant chaos has literally drained the life from me.  I always thought something was wrong with me.  Looking back, I think that was because he blamed me for every injustice in his life.  He would put me on a pedestal one day and then turn around and want nothing to do with me the next and refuse any communication with me.  I never knew which person I would get.  My heart hurt all the time because I just wanted him to love me unconditionally like I loved him.  But it was never something I could count on.  I am sure all of you can relate.  None of his behavior made sense until I happened to find a website about borderline personality disorder several months ago.  It was like a light bulb came on.  The more I read about the disorder, the more convinced I became that he had it.  He fit all of the criteria and it was the first time his behavior made any sense to me.  Finding the site helped me to realize that it wasn't just a matter of him not understanding me or understanding the damage his behavior was causing.  It was much more serious than that.  When I first him, he was so very charming, the life of the party and showered me with compliments, gifts and attention.  It took about six months for me to realize that there was a problem.  But by then I was in denial.  I kept remembering the way he was in the beginning and began excusing things that I should not have.  All of my boundaries became blurred with him.  Although he tried to hide it I eventually came to realize that he had a drinking problem.  He abused alcohol for the first seven years of our relationship and it was a nightmare.  After my son was born, I realized how toxic the relationship was and moved the two of us out.  Even though I physically left the home, I was still enmeshed with him and had daily contact.  I tried to break away but he basically began to stalk me.  Every time I would try to end it, he would threaten suicide or promise me all the things he knew I wanted to get me back.  And it worked.  I felt a sense of loyalty to him and didn't want to let him or our family down.  I felt guilty, so I stayed.  A year ago he finally got sober and I had hoped things would finally calm down and we could move forward and try to repair the relationship.  But instead his insecurities grew worse and the cycles between loving me and hating me grew shorter by the day.  We would do well for a while, make plans to try and move in together and then he would push me away and want nothing to do with me again.  Now I know, I can't change him.  I will never be able to explain myself in a way to him where he "gets it" or empathizes with me.  He doesn't know how.  I've realized that I can't control the situation and that was in my best interest to sever the relationship.  I have been implementing the LC rule for over two months.  All contact between the two of us is strictly focused on our child.  However, he can't seem to let me go.  He does not accept that the relationship is over.  He says he loves me more than anyone ever could and can't live without me.  He begs daily for a chance to prove himself and make changes.  All communication is limited to texting, and they have ranged from suicide threats, to him thinking he has cancer, to offering to go to weekly therapy and make all of my dreams come true.  He uses the kids to try and guilt me and tells me constantly how I am letting everyone down.  No matter what he has said, I have not replied. With one exception... . the last time I got a suicide threat.  I let him know if I get another I will immediately call the police and thankfully they have stopped for the time being.  My question is what else can I do?  With what I know now, I could never return to the relationship.  That being said, how long can I expect this behavior last?  I am not giving him anything to feed off of and just want him to stop.  It's so draining and hard to move on with my life when this happening every day.  I just want peace in my life!  I don't hate him like so many people seem to do in similar situations.  To be honest I still care and want the best for him.  He has some wonderful qualities (obviously or I would have left years ago), but the dark side of his personality, neediness and constant chaos is more than I can deal with.  I just want both of us to move on and to finally feel at peace.  Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
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woodsposse
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 03:47:13 PM »

 Welcome

Wow.  That is a lot.  First of all, just know you are in the right place as most of us have been through exactly the same types of things.  I know I totally understand what you are saying and where you are at this exact moment.

One of the things which is happening is called an "Extinction Burst" (I'd do a link, but haven't quite figured out how to just yet).  I know my ex-wife did the same thing after I finally said enough was enough.  I thought after I said "okay then... . go ahead and leave" that things would just be done, I could relax, llick my wounds and start over.

Nope.

It came fast and furious.  I even got the cancer scare!  I put up with it for a while, and got a little sucked back in for a minute. It was horrible.  All while I was trying to "build my new life" I couldn't because she was always there.  I had even gotten myself into a new r/s (I know, not the best idea after coming out of a BPD filled drama relationship) and it was going pretty well, but ultimately I was so emotionally all over the place, I'm sure that is one of the reasons we eneded up splitting up.  I just couldn't get over her soon enough.  And by the time I did - I think it was just too late.

Anyway, it finally really slowed down once I decided to go low contact, then no contact... . at all.  Just let it burn itself out.  In my wifes case, it wasn't until she had her grips firmly into someone else to fully take my place did she stop.  Im not saying she doens't think about me from time to time and may even want to reach out for me, but she is set up with a new man and they just had twins so there is no room in her head for me (thank god).

Although, while she was pregnant she did say she wanted to run away with me to another state and just start over.  I knew it was just bullshoot... . but to  have it even formulate in her head and come out of her mouth... . amazing.

So... . yeah, I totally understand you thinking that you may have had problems... . but you most likely didn't.  You were doing what we all do instinctively when dealing with those pwPDs.  We act rationoally and get frustrated when our SO dont.
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Mutt
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 03:47:21 PM »

I'm sorry about the pain that you experienced in your r/s with an uBPD. You had a lot of history together, 8 years is a long time. You feel like you are walking on eggshells and you're not sure what to anticipate. Am I going to be made feel bad about something that I didn't do? Is he going to try to start a fight about a resolved issue from long ago? It's frustrating and very difficult . I'm sorry.

I share a similar experience, I too wanted the person from the beginning of the r/s to return. We tend to not look after our own needs and are caretaker to someone else's needs, enmeshement.

Excerpt
But instead his insecurities grew worse and the cycles between loving me and hating me grew shorter by the day.

This is difficult. The devalution phases come quicker and maybe even longer for you.  

Excerpt
My question is what else can I do?

There are ways to deal with this. The SI is not something that you should be dealing with. Contact emergency services the next time he threatens suicide. They are professionals and trained with dealing with these situations. Don't take this on yourself.

Change your communications from texting to email. That way everything can be documented. Do you have to speak to him every day about your child's needs? I can respond to ex once a week, not everything is urgent. If there is an emergency, she can call. Let the emails pile up, take a day out of the week for a half an hour or so. Make some tea and respond to what needs a response to. This way, you are not getting interrupted everyday from his FOG.  :)o you know how to communicate to hostile communique's using Bill Eddy's BIFF?


- Mutt  
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clover528
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 03:49:40 PM »

Raze,  

First and foremost, I am so sorry you are going through this.     If you read any of my threads you will see I could have written your post. I don't know what the legal situation is concerning your son, but I would only have contact concerning visitation or support if that is the case. I would love to tell you he will ease up and let you go but I am not of that mindset. My uBPD/npd exbf is still harassing me along with his new wife. As of today, I am still unsure according to his family if they are indeed married or if it was a stunt of some sort. Become boring is the only thing that has helped. Also, give no indication that of any emotion. I would be strictly factual. dont even ask how he is. If it is possible to end all contact do so. Use a mediator for the children. I would check the legal board also for information. My ex isnt involved with D. He hasnt mentioned her save during as select few arguments. He focuses on me. As of today I heard from his family that he still vowed his undying love for me this weekend. His bride with him but in a different room. My heart breaks for him as I can tell yours does for your ex. Make a good decision for yourself and child and stick with it. Be consistent. Dont waffle with him on any decisions. He may rage against the boundary but eventually will learn that you are firm and possibly respect it. My ex experienced many extinction bursts as a result of the boundaries I set with him. Keep posting as this is a journey and the support here is priceless. Know you have friends here. We do understand. I wish you all the best and will be looking for you on here to see how you are. Take care of you.
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razemarie
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 03:56:56 PM »

Thank you all for your kind words and support.  None of my friends or family really get what is going on, so it helps having a place to vent and get advice.  It helps me feel less alone.
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razemarie
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 03:58:37 PM »

I have not heard of "Extinction Bursts."  I will do some research.  Thanks.
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 03:59:10 PM »

Thank you all for your kind words and support.  None of my friends or family really get what is going on, so it helps having a place to vent and get advice.  It helps me feel less alone.

It's a disorder triggered by intimacy, the behaviors are exhibited behind closed doors with those closest to the disordered person. Outsiders don't see, don't understand.

Excerpt
Here is a 2 min video on youtube on how extinction burst works

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqHfEJt1ZV4

Common Trap: Remember, you don't want to inadvertently give them intermittent reinforcement to dysregulated behavior. This is easy to do, and once established extremely difficult to unlearn.

Intermittent reinforcement: slot machines use this. They pay out on irregular schedules. You never know when you will win, but you know that if you keep pulling the handle that sooner or later a pay out will occur. It may happen on the third pull or the twentieth pull, but you will win if you keep trying. The fact that you KNOW that you will eventually win, keeps you hooked into trying.

What does this mean? If you tell your partner that you won't answer the phone while at work, and they call you 20 times, and you answer on the 21st attempt, you have just inadvertantly given them intermittent reinforcement. Now they know that if they bug you enough, that you will always eventually respond. This actually escalates the behavior you are trying to stop. They believe they can win if they just keep pulling the lever, even if they go broke trying, they will keep at it. The more irregular and unpredictable your response to them, the more they will keep trying. It is the combination of hoping they will get their way and not knowing when it will happen that keeps them trying.

How to discourage dysregulated behavior.?

Consistency in not responding is the only way to discourage undesired behavior... .

Your partner has to learn that  when you say no, that you mean no.  Any hint of weakness is a reward, encouraging him/her to continue trying.

BPD BEHAVIORS: Extinction Bursts
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razemarie
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 04:05:33 PM »

Thank you, that is very helpful and makes sense.  I have read the slot machine theory and am sticking to absolutely no contact unless it has to do with child support or pick-up/drop-off times for our child.  We do not have court ordered child support or custody.  I have my son 95% of the time.  My ex has him every other Friday and Saturday night.  He has tried using the child support money to bargain with me.  I did not fall for it.  If he doesn't pay or plays games then I will take legal action.  The same thing goes to his time with our child.  Our child is NOT a bargaining chip and I made that very clear before going LC.  In the past I can see how I have fed his addiction by giving in and calling him back, or taking his calls.  Even if it was just to reiterate the fact that I wanted to end things.  My words are like candy to him.  All of my communication has been to the point, lacking any emotion.  I think I am on the right track.  It's just hard not to see any progress.
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 04:54:27 PM »

child support or pick-up/drop-off times for our child.  We do not have court ordered child support or custody

It takes time to get there razemarie. My ex still sends email bombs. If something needs a response, I respond with BIFF. A boundary can be, to not respond. Don't engage, it's difficult, stick to BIFF and it will become second nature.

Can you minimize communication by having a maintenance program for child supoprt? I'm in Canada, so the terminology will be different.

I would suggest talking to the members on the Legal Board. They will offer you practical advice with dealing with a BPD in court. I would recommend reading Bill Eddy's Splitting: How To Divorce an NPD / BPD.

You're on the right track, I think you just need fine tuning. Stick to it, it's difficult, but it gets better  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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Cmjo
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 05:54:27 PM »

I can relate to what you have been through, I was in a similar relatinship for 12 years. We have two kids. I know how drained you must feel from the constant chaos. I was told by people I seemed permanently "squashed" while I was with him. Leaving him took 10 years off me. I was filled with terror as it slowly dawned on me that there was something very wrong with this man. That was about 5 years into the relationship, but it took another 7 to leave, I didnt plan it, the abuse got worse and I suddenly had to go.

How did you make the decision to go? What was the trigger. You have been smart in enforcing the boundaries. That is something I find hard to do. I havw written countless emails but he just comes back with abuse, or doesnt reply.

You are like me that you are caring and want the best for him. A lot of my friends cant understand how I still humour him, why i still get upset by what he does. Of course we have to have contact for the kids, but I suppose that then drags out the situation. But like you it is hard to let go. It will take time, and patience. You have a chance to be happy and live in peace, very sadly he may never have that chance.

Is your ex in therapy? Does he know he is sick?

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razemarie
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 06:22:19 PM »

My ex and I were in counseling the last few months of the relationship.  It was something I had pushed for for years without making any progress.  When my ex realized I was changing and detaching, he lined up five sessions for us.  I initially refused but finally agreed to the five sessions.  For me it was one last shot at either finding a way of working it out or making the decision that it was over.  He was convinced it was just a communication issue between the two of us, nothing beyond that.  He did well for a few weeks.  Then he went completely backwards and started to use the things I had shared in our counseling sessions as ways to manipulate and control me.  The final straw for me was when he flipped out when I mentioned that I planned to stop by a friend's birthday party the following weekend.  He accused me of cheating, being disloyal, choosing my friends over him.  Then he started bringing up old, resolved (or so I had thought) issues.  I just had enough.  I knew that even if I worked it out I would never really be happy.  That it would happen again.  So I ended it.  I didn't make the decision to go no contact all in one day.  I started by ignoring him because I was angry.  Then I started learning about the disorder and read how to leave someone with BPD.  I have just been taking things one day at a time since then.
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Boss302
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 06:57:47 PM »

No matter what he has said, I have not replied. With one exception... . the last time I got a suicide threat.  I let him know if I get another I will immediately call the police and thankfully they have stopped for the time being.  My question is what else can I do? 

Ahhhh... . that action tells me you're on the right track.  Idea

Let me explain. I'll start with some dime store psychology and then relate how it worked in my case with my BPDx.

BPDs have MASSIVE issues with truly connecting with someone, and they're DESPERATELY afraid of being abandoned, so many resort to drama, with the goal of keeping you in their orbit. Look at what he's telling you... . I love you so much... . my kids miss you... . I have cancer... . I'm going to kill myself. He knows you're a caring person, so this is all designed to engage you. And I'd be surprised if there wasn't "raging" in there too, because ANY engagement, even a nasty one, is better than being abandoned to folks who suffer from this lovely disorder.

Therefore, the key to ending contact is to END THE DRAMA. But those of us who were with these folks to begin with are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to this, and I'll tell you two reasons why: 1) we tend to be caretaker types, so we're susceptible to our sympathies being played on and 2) deep down, a lot of us are ADDICTED TO THE DRAMA! Let's face it - life with these folks is never boring, and once you've left a BPD, you might find - as I did - that there's peace, but there's also a little corner of you that WANTS to be engaged. This is the dirty little secret of those of us who dealt with BPDs for so long. If nothing else, these folks know how to manipulate, and they know EXACTLY how to manipulate their former partners, and they know caretaker types like us are going to have one hell of a hard time turning our backs on obvious suffering. Your ex knows this, and that's why he's pushing your caretaker button. I know all too well, because my ex pushed my buttons for a LONG time. And part of me was ADDICTED to the drama, just like a heroin addict shoots drugs that can kill him. My first step was kicking the habit and deciding I was letting go of that addiction. I strongly suspect you may have to do the same.

Two things will stop that type of manipulation:

1) The day he paints you black (at that point, he'll switch to negative engagement - anger, recriminations, accusations, etc)

2) The day you STOP BUYING INTO THE DRAMA. The day this happens is like the day the crack addict's pusher refuses to sell him more drugs - he'll be off to the next pusher.

And I don't think you know it, but by threatening to call the cops the next time he threatened suicide, you just used the second action. You didn't rush to help him, you didn't ask him what was wrong - you just validated his issue and turned the problem over to the proper authorities, and moved on. No emotional involvement. You care enough to make sure that he won't hurt himself, because you're a nice person, but HIS ISSUES ARE NO LONGER YOUR PROBLEM, and the cops won't buy an ounce of drama from him. They'll just put him in cuffs, and take him to the hospital for a psych hold. It's no longer your problem.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Some other responses you can use to the obvious pushing of caretaker buttons:

"I think I have cancer."

Sorry to hear that. You need to see a doctor.

"My kids miss you and you're letting them down."

I'm sorry to hear that but our breakup means I can't be with them anymore.

"Let's go to therapy."

I think therapy would do you a lot of good, but I won't be going with you.

"I want to make your dreams come true."

I'm the only one who can do that. You can't.

"I love you and I miss you."

I'm sorry you feel that way but we can't be together anymore.

Go for the most obvious, least dramatic response possible. Make the response short and sweet, and above all, make sure they're sensible. If the statement is ridiculous, ignore it. Sensibility turns off BPD sufferers. They don't want solutions. They want drama.

Once I was able to say "no" to my addiction to my BPDx's drama, I was able to keep her at arms' length using this kind of communication technique. And now she trolls me a LOT less.

Hope this helps... .


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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2014, 07:11:37 PM »

Razemarie... . here's an example of a typical email interaction with my BPDx now that I've broken her drama addiction cycle. I'm "M," and she's "J."

Some background: she wants to send our D17 to a very expensive private school on her dime, but has been evicted three times in the last two and a half years for not paying rent, has no driver's license and no car, and the schools mentioned here are all at least 15 miles away from where we live, and cost tens of thousands of dollars to attend. The "summer schedule" is already in our court orders. She wants to take the kids on an east coast trip during my parenting time, when she doesn't have the money to make the trip, and has no license, so would not even be able to get around once they're there. It's all pure garbage.

She's trying to throw a wrench into the custody orders, and has been trying the same garbage year after year since they were done two years ago. In years past I'd argue, and she'd follow up with some nastygram about how I'm a bad dad, breaking court orders, yadda yadda yadda. Now I just use the same techniques I was talking about with you, and I shut it down. Have not heard a peep from her since this was sent last night.

Enjoy.

*****************************************************************

J**** Mon, May 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

To: F**********

Please contact me to discuss summer schedule... . for (D13).

(D17) has an open house at cc June 7. The girls wanted to go to dc afterwards.

(D13) has a therapy appointment on May 31 at 11am.

If we spoke with calendars open we could probably solve all of this quickly.

I would also like to discuss the day school and rmsel opportunities.

Please advise.

______________________________________________________________

F*********** Mon, May 26, 2014 at 9:42 PM

To: J*************

(D13's) summer schedule is already set forth in the custody orders. You have the first week because you specifically asked for that weekend. The next weekend is mine. No need to discuss anything - it's already decided. If you'd like to redo the schedule, feel free to file a motion with the court.

I have no idea what "cc" and "dc" are. If that's referring to Champlain and Washington DC, then I need to see a paid-in-full plane ticket for (D17), and as far as (D13) is concerned, you need to start planning your family trips around the times when you actually have the kids. That's not your weekend. You do this every summer.

***** Day School is a non-option because of cost, and neither you nor I can be responsible for transportation back and to there or RMSEL, so neither 'opportunity' is worth further discussion. I'm not depending on carpools or you to get this done. Unless I know I can get the kids back and forth and keep my job, I'm not committing to anything outside (D13's) neighborhood school, which has bus service.

Let me know if there's anything else to discuss.

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razemarie
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 08:23:39 PM »

Hopefully in the future I will get to a point where I can model the responses you have shared.  But for now I have learned that any response unless it directly involves our son gives him fuel for more contact.  No matter how short my response or unemotional I keep it.  Maybe this isn't the nicest way to do things.  For me this is extremely out of my comfort zone because I am a very caring person.  I do feel a lot of guilt over doing this but I'm trying to keep reminding myself I am doing the right thing in the long run.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2014, 09:36:47 PM »

Hopefully in the future I will get to a point where I can model the responses you have shared.  But for now I have learned that any response unless it directly involves our son gives him fuel for more contact.  No matter how short my response or unemotional I keep it.  Maybe this isn't the nicest way to do things.  For me this is extremely out of my comfort zone because I am a very caring person.  I do feel a lot of guilt over doing this but I'm trying to keep reminding myself I am doing the right thing in the long run.

I get it, but you need to stop worrying about his needs and take care of yourself. You need to put up boundaries, a pwBPD do not respond well to boundaries, much like a small child. They will test our boundaries, it's up to us to maintain them. He needs to regulate and soothe his emotions on his own.

BOUNDARIES: Upholding our values and independence

Brief Informative Friendly Firm. BIFF is about de-escalating a hostile message in a friendly way and maintaining our boundaries. Don't engage.

B.I.F.F. Technique for Email Communications

Excerpt
Example of BIFF Response

Joe’s hostile e-mail: “Jane, I can’t believe you are so stupid as to think I’m going to let you take the children to your boss’s birthday party during my parenting time. Have you no memory of the last six conflicts we’ve had about my parenting time? Or are you having an affair with him? I always knew you would do anything to get ahead! In fact, I remember coming to your office party and witnessing you making a total fool of yourself, including flirting with everyone from the CEO down to the mail-room clerk! Are you high on something? Haven’t you gotten your finances together enough to support yourself yet, without flinging yourself at every Tom, Dick, and Harry?”…

Jane’s response: “Thank you for responding to my request to take the children to my office party. Just to clarify, the party will be from 3:00 to 5:00 on Friday at the office, and there will be approximately thirty people there, including several other parents and their school-age children. There will be no alcohol because it is a family-oriented firm, and there will be family-oriented activities. I think it will be a good experience for the kids to see me at my workplace. Since you do not agree, then, of course, I will respect that and withdraw my request, because I recognize that it is your parenting time.”

Comment: Jane kept it brief and did not engage in defending herself. Since this was just between the two of them, she didn’t need to respond. If he sent this e-mail to friends, coworkers, or family members (which high-conflict people often do), she would need to respond to the larger group with more information, such as the following.

Jane’s group response: “Dear friends and family, as you know, Joe and I had a difficult divorce. He has sent you a private e-mail showing correspondence between us about a parenting schedule matter. I hope you will see this as a private matter and understand that you do not need to respond or get involved in any way. Almost everything he has said is in anger and not at all accurate. If you have any questions for me personally, please feel free to contact me and I will clarify anything I can. I appreciate your friendship and support.”

And that’s it: BIFF!

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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2014, 06:31:16 AM »

You are right, I need to take back control.  I will work on using this technique going forward.  Thank you to everyone who has posted on here.  Knowledge is power and the support is invaluable!
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2014, 07:09:07 AM »

Please also remember that it is very unlikely he will *EVER* change. If he does it wont be in a matter of days or weeks but in years. Even then his base way of dealing with the world will be steeped in BPD behavior, but he may have better skills at negotiating his dysregulation.

document and save everything, people with BPD can be very charming to courts and those in positions of power. proving he is lying with his own words in email etc will force his hand and allow the courts to see his dysregulation first hand (if it comes to that).

read everything you can including the splitting book and the book by white, winning with evidence.

The splitting book is particularly valuable in that it gave me specific tools with how to deal with my ex's behavior and guess what they worked. it really opened my eyes to seeing how while I thought her behavior was unpredictable... it wasn't, in fact it was highly predictable just not sane.

Get some therapy for your self! a lot of damage has been done to you, it will take time to get better.

Get a good lawyer sooner rather than later and or save money for a rainy day or for hiring a lawyer.

Good luck to you and don't panic, it will get better over time.

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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2014, 09:27:26 AM »

I have gotten three texts so far this morning and for the first time... . an email.  I think I will use this as an opportunity to transition our contact over to email.  The email is long and basically revolves around how much pain he is in and how he can't believe I am doing this to him.  He is begging for another chance and saying he will do anything.  The problem is that I know he won't change.  Not until he sees that he has a problem and resolves to get help for it.  But I know I can't say that to him.  Any suggestions on how to answer these kinds of messages?  I sent the response, "I am sorry you feel this way but we can't be together."  That was when he sent the three texts.  He just keeps saying how much he loves me and can't lose me.  That he will never give up.
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2014, 09:50:47 AM »

I have gotten three texts so far this morning and for the first time... . an email.  I think I will use this as an opportunity to transition our contact over to email.  The email is long and basically revolves around how much pain he is in and how he can't believe I am doing this to him.  He is begging for another chance and saying he will do anything.  The problem is that I know he won't change.  Not until he sees that he has a problem and resolves to get help for it.  But I know I can't say that to him.  Any suggestions on how to answer these kinds of messages?  I sent the response, "I am sorry you feel this way but we can't be together."  That was when he sent the three texts.  He just keeps saying how much he loves me and can't lose me.  That he will never give up.

You've already told him what you needed to tell him, so you don't need to revisit it. How about this:

"I've already said what needs to be said about our relationship, so there's no need to rehash it. Going forward, please restrict your communications with me to issues regarding our child."

He will keep at this, but if you keep it BIFF, this will get better with time. And you have to remind yourself that you have the RIGHT to not communicate with him on issues unrelated to your child's welfare if you don't want to.

But I think it's important that you have it on record that you will discuss matters related to the welfare of the child you have with him. If this ever ends up in court, that could come in handy. Save those emails.

Hang in there... . it'll be OK.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2014, 09:54:40 AM »

Also, you might want to consider not responding instantly to his communications, assuming you want to reply at all (obviously, something regarding your child's welfare is a different story). Respond later tonight, or tomorrow, if at all. Don't let him get his instant drama fix.
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2014, 12:14:35 PM »

I will wait until this evening to respond and keep it brief and to the point.  I also purchased "Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder" for my Kindle and will start reading that tonight.
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« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2014, 12:49:16 PM »

I will wait until this evening to respond and keep it brief and to the point.  I also purchased "Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder" for my Kindle and will start reading that tonight.

Best money you'll ever spend.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2014, 08:23:34 PM »

I waited until tonight to respond.  I took your advice and just said, "I've already said what needs to be said about our relationship, so there's no need to rehash it. Going forward, please restrict your communications with me to issues regarding our child."  In response, he has sent me a string if texts.  Here is what he sent.  Please let me know if there is an appropriate response to this or if I should go back to no contact unless it involves our child.  It seems like any time I respond to him outside of those parameters this is the kind of response I get.

From him:  "Wow, is this fair to me?  You meet me, hang and get to know me, waste 8 years and then this?  You know me. I have three kids that I adore more than anything.  And for u... . I would give anything.  You are my soulmate.  Why don't I get chance to hang out with you and just love you?  I can't lose you and my boy.  I can't.  I won't.  Wish I could sing, or play guitar.  I have a song for you.  I am so screwed up over this. I try so hard to act like my life is good around other people.  I'm in such a bad place.  I'm hurting.  Worst summer of my life.  I can't do this.  What sucks is all it would take is seeing each other again to fix this.  I can't go through this again.  Last two months have horrible.  I know what it would take.  I love you and always will."

I understand this is probably an extinction burst and probably normal.  But I need help in deciding if I should even respond.  Up until I would not have responded at all to this.  But am trying to follow everyone's advice.
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« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2014, 08:33:04 PM »

Still getting more.

"I'm flying blind.  I have nothing but time to sit and think of this.  There is a good side and a bad side of this.  You're on the good side.  Unfortunately I'm on the bad end.  Sucks having kids and loving someone.  If you would talk to me that would mean a lot.  I'm on the brink."

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« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2014, 08:49:35 PM »

It's not an extinction burst. It's FOG. Skim quickly through the message, respond to the important thing here, your kid. Do not respond to the emotional blackmail. Let the emails pile up, you have your child 95% of the time?

Advise him you are only going to communicate by e-mail. You will respond to your child's needs. Text messaging will be blocked (if your phone supports it) and only call for emergencies with your child.

If he has suicidal idealizations, call your local emergency services, let the professionals that are trained handle it.

It's important to get out of the FOG, for your health. Distance with minimal contact. There's no need to read his emotional insecurities. He needs help, you can't help him. He has to do that on his own. Hang in there.
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2014, 08:59:38 PM »

He has always had the option to see our son as often as he'd like.  In fact I have encouraged it.  But he has never ventured out of the every other Friday and Saturday night routine.  The sad part for my son is that he only lives about fifteen minutes from us.  But maybe that has been a good thing in disguise.  My son has never seen us fight in front of him.  But I am sure he has sensed the tension.  I moved out when he was only three months old.  So I am thankful for that.  The only life my son knows is the two of us living in separate houses and seeing his dad every other weekend.  He seems pretty well adjusted to it.  I more or less raise my son on my own.
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2014, 09:02:50 PM »

Thank you.  I will keep my response brief and let him know I will only communicate through email going forward.  I am still learning all the terms for this disorder but am familiar with FOG.  I will read up on it again tonight.  On a positive note, my reaction to his texts is so different than it was a few months ago.  My anxiety level is down and I feel in control of the situation.  So I'm making baby steps.  Thanks for the support!  It makes a world of difference.
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2014, 09:03:07 PM »

He has always had the option to see our son as often as he'd like.  In fact I have encouraged it.  But he has never ventured out of the every other Friday and Saturday night routine.  The sad part for my son is that he only lives about fifteen minutes from us.  But maybe that has been a good thing in disguise.  My son has never seen us fight in front of him.  But I am sure he has sensed the tension.  I moved out when he was only three months old.  So I am thankful for that.  The only life my son knows is the two of us living in separate houses and seeing his dad every other weekend.  He seems pretty well adjusted to it.  I more or less raise my son on my own.

You are a compassionate, loving and good mother  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) You are doing the right thing. It's ex's choice if he's only 15 minutes away. It's his choice if he's putting minimal time with your son. That will work against him in court, judges will look at what time he currently spends on his son... Stay strong. You have a community here that cares.    Detaching is hard. Detaching leads to freedom.
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2014, 09:43:34 PM »

Thank you.  I will keep my response brief and let him know I will only communicate through email going forward.  I am still learning all the terms for this disorder but am familiar with FOG.  I will read up on it again tonight.  On a positive note, my reaction to his texts is so different than it was a few months ago.  My anxiety level is down and I feel in control of the situation.  So I'm making baby steps.  Thanks for the support!  It makes a world of difference.

FOG:  Fear, Obligation, Guilt.

It took me a minute to understand this - but there is a lot to be said about pwBPD using fear or obligation or guilt to try and manipulate you, keep you around, so forth and so on.

My first GF threatened suicide when our r/s 'crumbled' and I was getting out of it.  After that... . I just couldn't bring myself to  leave. What if me leaving would mean she killed herself.  I stayed, but I hated it.  I eventually broke up with her, but she still found a way to cause major damage in my life.

My first wife used a lot of obligation (we had kids together).  We would split up, I hated it, but eventually when who ever she was doing wasn't doing it enough she would reach out to pull me back in (because we have kids)... . and I would go.  when I finally left for good - I eventually fought and got custody of my kids and just froze her out of my life...

My second wife used all three... . kept me around for almost 20 years until it ruptured so badly there was no going back. And even after the last time we split her actions got even worse like it was my fault she was acting so inappropriately.

I use to fire back rapidly heated emails with her - we would argue... . same as when we were married living together and I just couldn't figure out why.  I eventually allowed it to slow down as I drifted further and further away until I went LC... . and then finally NC.

I had initially tried to keep our conversations to basic stuff.  But there was still too much raw emotions for that to happen.  So I went total NC and it's been pretty sweet since then.

Sad part is, I did break NC with her recently (something about our adult daughter) - and a part of me wanted to actually talk to her.  I mean, it's a 20 year habit that is very difficult to break (still).  But, I eventually pulled it together and went back to NC.  There really isn't anything her and I need to talk about anyway.  I don't need any input from her to settle my emotions.  And even if I did, she could never or would never be able to do or say anything that is going to "make up" for it... . so I have to let that go and find another way to soothe what was hurt.

Anyway... . my opinion is to not respond to the emoitional ploys.  If you have already made up your mind you are out - then be out.
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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2014, 11:26:59 AM »

I waited until tonight to respond.  I took your advice and just said, "I've already said what needs to be said about our relationship, so there's no need to rehash it. Going forward, please restrict your communications with me to issues regarding our child."  In response, he has sent me a string if texts.  Here is what he sent.  Please let me know if there is an appropriate response to this or if I should go back to no contact unless it involves our child.  It seems like any time I respond to him outside of those parameters this is the kind of response I get.

From him:  "Wow, is this fair to me?  You meet me, hang and get to know me, waste 8 years and then this?  You know me. I have three kids that I adore more than anything.  And for u... . I would give anything.  You are my soulmate.  Why don't I get chance to hang out with you and just love you?  I can't lose you and my boy.  I can't.  I won't.  Wish I could sing, or play guitar.  I have a song for you.  I am so screwed up over this. I try so hard to act like my life is good around other people.  I'm in such a bad place.  I'm hurting.  Worst summer of my life.  I can't do this.  What sucks is all it would take is seeing each other again to fix this.  I can't go through this again.  Last two months have horrible.  I know what it would take.  I love you and always will."

I understand this is probably an extinction burst and probably normal.  But I need help in deciding if I should even respond.  Up until I would not have responded at all to this.  But am trying to follow everyone's advice.

This is just emotional vomit and FOG. Disregard.
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2014, 11:33:34 AM »

Still getting more.

"I'm flying blind.  I have nothing but time to sit and think of this.  There is a good side and a bad side of this.  You're on the good side.  Unfortunately I'm on the bad end.  Sucks having kids and loving someone.  If you would talk to me that would mean a lot.  I'm on the brink."

This is something you need to respond to, I think - it's involving your child. I'd tell him you have no problem with him having visitation (assuming you don't, of course - if there is an issue with that, then that's another story) and would be willing to hash out a schedule, but don't engage with him on the other stuff. You've made your position clear and that's that. He'll use the visitation negotiations as an opportunity to re-engage with you emotionally, but again... . keep it BIFF. Work the problem. If he wants to go round and round with you after you propose something, respond with something like "I've gone on record supporting your basic visitation rights and have proposed a visitation schedule. If you're on board with it, please let me know. If I don't hear back, then I'll assume what I have proposed is acceptable, and will go forward with putting it in writing and making it official."

It's important to be on record as supporting his parental rights, though. BPDs have a very bad habit of throwing that in your face, and making a legal issue of it, so make sure you're being reasonable and that the conversations are all "on record."

By the way, HIGH FIVE on feeling better and more in control about the communications. Keep it up - this CAN be done! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2014, 11:48:18 AM »

He has always had the option to see our son as often as he'd like.  In fact I have strongly encouraged it.  But he has never ventured out of the every other Friday and Saturday night routine that we implemented when our son was about a 1.5 years old (he is now 3.5).  At the time my ex was still drinking (he is a recovering alcoholic) but would refrain during the time he had our son.  To be honest I didn't trust him to properly take care of him more than that.  The first year of my child's life his dad was not in the picture by his own choice.  But since he got sober (one year ago) I have strongly urged him to take a more active role in our son's life.  He has chosen not to despite all of the messages he sends me stating how much he misses our son and is missing out on being in his life everyday.  The sad part is that he only lives about fifteen minutes from us.  But maybe that has been a good thing in disguise.  My son has never seen us fight in front of him.  But I am sure he has sensed the tension.  I moved out when he was only three months old.  So I am thankful for that.  The only life my son knows is the two of us living in separate houses and seeing his dad every other weekend.  He seems pretty well adjusted to it.  I more or less raise my son on my own.

As for the texts I got yesterday, I decided not to respond.  After I read it last night and posted about it, I decided to put it away and enjoy the rest of my night. It's funny when I look back at old emails/texts, I would always instantly respond, try to explain or defend myself and then get angry which just escalated things and caused him to get even worse.  At the time I thought I was dealing with someone who processed things the way I do.  Now I see that I just enforced the behavior and escalated it with my responses.  I'm learning!
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2014, 12:44:32 PM »

He has always had the option to see our son as often as he'd like.  In fact I have strongly encouraged it.  But he has never ventured out of the every other Friday and Saturday night routine that we implemented when our son was about a 1.5 years old (he is now 3.5).  At the time my ex was still drinking (he is a recovering alcoholic) but would refrain during the time he had our son.  To be honest I didn't trust him to properly take care of him more than that.  The first year of my child's life his dad was not in the picture by his own choice.  But since he got sober (one year ago) I have strongly urged him to take a more active role in our son's life.  He has chosen not to despite all of the messages he sends me stating how much he misses our son and is missing out on being in his life everyday.  The sad part is that he only lives about fifteen minutes from us.  But maybe that has been a good thing in disguise.  My son has never seen us fight in front of him.  But I am sure he has sensed the tension.  I moved out when he was only three months old.  So I am thankful for that.  The only life my son knows is the two of us living in separate houses and seeing his dad every other weekend.  He seems pretty well adjusted to it.  I more or less raise my son on my own.

As for the texts I got yesterday, I decided not to respond.  After I read it last night and posted about it, I decided to put it away and enjoy the rest of my night. It's funny when I look back at old emails/texts, I would always instantly respond, try to explain or defend myself and then get angry which just escalated things and caused him to get even worse.  At the time I thought I was dealing with someone who processed things the way I do.  Now I see that I just enforced the behavior and escalated it with my responses.  I'm learning!

Yes, you are!

Some observations... . first, I'd make sure that everything's on email (unless you can indefinitely save and print out your texts), and second, I would like you to consider having some kind of formal visitation arrangement in place that's enforceable in a court of law. That way, there's no conflict about who sees the kid when (i.e., "that's what's in our custody agreement and court orders, so you need to honor that", and frankly, if your ex wants you back, he might "launch" the kid back at you during times when you don't have him to sabotage your dating life (assuming you eventually want to wade back into that pool).

It's best for your arrangements with your ex to be as structured as possible.
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2014, 12:49:00 PM »

Yes, he has played that game with me before.  Telling me about an hour before he is supposed to pick up our son that he suddenly can't watch him because he is too emotionally distraught over what I am doing.  He has also used the child support money (again, no legal contract) as a way to try and control me.  The last time this happened I made it very clear that the next step is legal action.  So far he has been good since then.  But I am prepared to take the next step if it happens again.  And somehow I know it will happen again.  There will be no more warnings.  If he uses our son or child support money as a way to try and manipulate me, then I will take legal action.  I just know that when it gets to that point he will start the smear campaign.  Not looking forward to that at all.
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« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2014, 12:50:59 PM »

Also... . I have started to respond to him only through email.  I am hoping he will eventually switch to that when he realizes that is the only way I respond.  In the mean time I am forwarding his texts to my email account and saving them in a folder in case I ever need them.
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2014, 12:56:50 PM »

One concern I have if I take legal action is that he has a shady work agreement with his employer.  He is in the construction field and works roughly 50-60 per week. However he is only paid for 40 and the rest of the hours are "banked" for the winter months when he laid off.  During that time he files unemployment and gets the rest of the money "under the table."  I prepared his taxes last year and he explained why his 1099 showed such a small annual salary compared to what he told me he makes.  I am guessing the courts will only use the amount he filed on his taxes.  If that is the case I will end up with less financial support than I get now.
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2014, 01:40:01 PM »

One concern I have if I take legal action is that he has a shady work agreement with his employer.  He is in the construction field and works roughly 50-60 per week. However he is only paid for 40 and the rest of the hours are "banked" for the winter months when he laid off.  During that time he files unemployment and gets the rest of the money "under the table."  I prepared his taxes last year and he explained why his 1099 showed such a small annual salary compared to what he told me he makes.  I am guessing the courts will only use the amount he filed on his taxes.  If that is the case I will end up with less financial support than I get now.

I had to jump in at this point and offer some very sound advice.

First, in my humble opinion, you shouldn't wait until a next time to get the legal process going.  Chances are very very high that there will be a next time - and when that happens your emotions will want to override your intellect.

Second, the court will decide what amount of support your child is required to have regardless of how he works.  Period.  So unless you get the legal paperwork knocked out, you are still at his whim and emotional manipulation.  It is harder for him to manipulate the court. 

So I wouldn't be too concerned about what is under the table - and I would certainly not repeat in public that you know he is cheating the government in unemployment and taxes.  That can come back to bite you.

I would go total hands off... . go to court, get your child support papers in order and go on with your life.

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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2014, 02:06:06 PM »

No, I would never discuss any of this publicly.  Just a concern that I am facing.  When I try to calculate what amount of support I would get through the state it tells me $0.00 based on what he claimed in taxes and with what he currently pays his ex-wife in child support for the other two children.  I make just enough to survive and support my son and I.  We live check to check.  That is including the money I get from my ex now.  So while the thought of handling things through the courts sounds like the right thing to do and something I ultimately want to do to gain control over my life, I am not sure I could support myself without any help from him.  Feels like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2014, 02:21:45 PM »

No, I would never discuss any of this publicly.  Just a concern that I am facing.  When I try to calculate what amount of support I would get through the state it tells me $0.00 based on what he claimed in taxes and with what he currently pays his ex-wife in child support for the other two children.  I make just enough to survive and support my son and I.  We live check to check.  That is including the money I get from my ex now.  So while the thought of handling things through the courts sounds like the right thing to do and something I ultimately want to do to gain control over my life, I am not sure I could support myself without any help from him.  Feels like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I totally understand that.  Of course, you know fully the dynmics of your situation and I have every confidence you will do what you think is best!  I'm sure I can speak for all of us here - we support you!
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2014, 05:14:19 PM »

No, I would never discuss any of this publicly.  Just a concern that I am facing.  When I try to calculate what amount of support I would get through the state it tells me $0.00 based on what he claimed in taxes and with what he currently pays his ex-wife in child support for the other two children.  I make just enough to survive and support my son and I.  We live check to check.  That is including the money I get from my ex now.  So while the thought of handling things through the courts sounds like the right thing to do and something I ultimately want to do to gain control over my life, I am not sure I could support myself without any help from him.  Feels like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This brings up a good question: do you really need his money to get by? If not, you may want to think about foregoing it. My SO ended up doing that with her ex.

Child support and alimony almost inevitably lead to conflict, and conflict with a BPD sufferer, as you're learning, is harmful to your mental health. It also ties you to him, in a way. Maybe you're better off without it.
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razemarie
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« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2014, 03:37:57 PM »

I am trying to put together a budget that will support my son and I without his money in case it comes to that.  But it would be very tough. 
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« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2014, 04:06:07 PM »

 

The BEST thing I ever did was go to court and get custody of my girls. We had initially had an agreement between the two of us to share custody - but I knew that wouldn't last very long, so I took her to court... . yes, sheet flew hard and fast at me... . but in the end, the courts granted me custody and she had to pay child support.

She paid it willingly until the last child was 18... . because I kept my finger on the speed dial to the lawyer and court!  That pretty much shut her non-sense down.
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razemarie
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« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2014, 04:18:15 PM »

I'm sure it will eventually come to that.  He has always told me that he will quit his job and work for cash if I try to get child support money. He does pay me a weekly amount right now that we agreed upon.  I'm sure that is just another one of his threats.  But it has scared me away from filing the paperwork in the past. 
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« Reply #43 on: May 30, 2014, 04:32:09 PM »

I'm sure it will eventually come to that.  He has always told me that he will quit his job and work for cash if I try to get child support money. He does pay me a weekly amount right now that we agreed upon.  I'm sure that is just another one of his threats.  But it has scared me away from filing the paperwork in the past. 

In Colorado, that's called "willful underemployment." And then the judge imputes income based on the payor's potential earnings.

If you intend to get child support, you should definitely look up the laws in your state.
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razemarie
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« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2014, 07:58:00 PM »

Thanks.  I will read up on the laws for my state.  What a mess everything is.
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« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2014, 08:26:21 PM »

I would suggest going for formal child support and custody also.  The message that you are done with this relationship will eventually sink in and your ex may then withhold the money that he is voluntarily giving you now. 

You may or may not get as much as you do now through the court but it will be yours legally and you will have recourse if payments aren't made in the future. 

One other thing that you should weigh is that your BPDex may suddenly want more custody.  More Custody = Less Child Support and might also mean more contact with you.  You've indicated that you are ok with him having more visitation.  I know you want your son to spend more time with dad but remember dad is a pwBPD and you know how difficult that is to negotiate imagine how hard this could become for your son... . Just food for thought.

You sound like your holding your own... . keep up the good work and contact to a minimum 
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« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2014, 08:30:57 PM »

You've indicated that you are ok with him having more visitation.  I know you want your son to spend more time with dad but remember dad is a pwBPD and you know how difficult that is to negotiate imagine how hard this could become for your son... . Just food for thought.

It's the child's right to have unconditional love for either parent, regardless of the conflict between both parents. It's not the parents right.

Minimize conflict with parallel parenting if needed, if things improve, come down to co-parenting.
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« Reply #47 on: May 30, 2014, 09:46:43 PM »

You've indicated that you are ok with him having more visitation.  I know you want your son to spend more time with dad but remember dad is a pwBPD and you know how difficult that is to negotiate imagine how hard this could become for your son... . Just food for thought.

It's the child's right to have unconditional love for either parent, regardless of the conflict between both parents. It's not the parents right.

Minimize conflict with parallel parenting if needed, if things improve, come down to co-parenting.

Mutt your are absolutely right about a child's right to unconditionally love their parents and razemarie knows her situation best and I know will make good decisions for her son. I did not mean to imply that she not allow him to see his father.

I am coming from a perspective of a stepmom watching 2 kids trying to figure out how to negotiate their uBPD mom and her many issues. It is hard to watch sometimes and even harder to help them so I'll be honest and say sometimes I just wish the interaction was not as frequent. I have never told either of them to stop loving their mom I know they do and always will in spite of her problems.
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« Reply #48 on: May 30, 2014, 10:17:10 PM »

You are right that it is extremely difficult with a BPD, when it comes to parenting. I have a SD, I have a strong r/s with her SM, and understand the trials of a secondary non.   It may be even more difficult because of the animosity, jealousy and hatred a BPD has for an attachment's SO. I'm going to say, from my exchanges with my friend / her SM, it's tougher. My heart goes out to you.

I understand you don't advocate alienation, it's her ex, she understands him best. If he's barely seeing the child now, judges will look at the current parenting time and base it on that. That's his choice, no one elses.
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razemarie
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« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2014, 03:58:50 PM »

It's been a while since I have posted an update.  I wish I could say that the FOG is thinning but he still refuses to let go.  It's like he has become obsessed with getting me to respond to him and give him another chance.  He does not follow my boundaries: not texting unless it is an emergency that has to do with our son, Keeping his messages limited to issues regarding our son, sticking to just emails, etc.  He calls and texts all the time.  On top of that I get several emails per day.  I do not read them each day.  I forward everything to my email and pick one day a week to read them and respond.  Today happens to be the day and reading this stuff is really messing with my head.  In his mind he thinks that it was one thing he did that caused our relationship to end.  He is in complete denial about all of the emotional abuse that he put me through and all of the damage his previous drinking habit caused.  I have stuck to my boundaries and never caved.  I am down to responding to all messages only one day per week and only responding the issues that need a response.  Everything else I ignore.  I had felt like I was making a lot of personal progress and breaking free of this cycle, but all of this seems to just suck me back into his chaotic mind.  In his way, I know that he loves me.  But he destroys me in the process.  I see why I always ended up going back in the past.  Because it was so much easier than dealing with this madness everyday.  I feel like I'm stuck in a cage and can't get out.  The email I got today was so long and detailed.  He is trying to reassure me about every issue we have ever had.  I know that it's all lies and his perception on things that I am reading.  I know this and I know all of the horrible things he has done and said.  I am not going to go back to him.  I just want it to stop.  Thanks for letting me vent.
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« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2014, 04:13:39 PM »

It sounds like he's headed for an extinction burst razemarie. I know that this is difficult, easier said than done. It's difficult to detach and it's a process. You're doing good so far from where I'm looking at. The emotional stuff coming from him when you read it, tugs at the heartstrings doesn't it? I suggest skimming that stuff in an email and look for things for the kid. He'll likely say anything, dissociate to get you back.

He's testing your boundaries, I recall my wife saying " I do what I want" which to me means disrespect for my boundaries, like a small child flailing against us not understanding boundaries. Soon to be ex hubs will get the message.

Think of an extinction burst as things getting worst then it dies down, it's that peak that he's reaching. Do you recall how difficult it is to hear S3 when you took his soother away (I'm speculating that he did) and all of the crying and how difficult and grating that is on the nerves? The baby is accustomed to that soother and want it back. But it stops, your son calmed down, he went through an extinction burst. I recall how hard it was on me with my first born. Keep doing what your doing, it'll get better. It's hard I know  but you're making positive progress.
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razemarie
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« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2014, 11:05:46 PM »

Thanks Mutt.  As usual I appreciate your feedback.  I think you are right and I just need to tough this out.  It definitely tugs on my heartstrings though.  There is no getting around that fact.  As much as I would like this process to go faster, it doesn't seem to work that way.
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« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2014, 11:37:45 PM »

You're welcome razemarie. This is really tough while your detaching and his behaviors get more erratic. Here's more information  on "extinction bursts" to understand. Stay the course, this will taper off.

Here is a 2 min video on youtube on how extinction burst works

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqHfEJt1ZV4

Common Trap: Remember, you don't want to inadvertently give them intermittent reinforcement to dysregulated behavior. This is easy to do, and once established extremely difficult to unlearn.

Intermittent reinforcement: slot machines use this. They pay out on irregular schedules. You never know when you will win, but you know that if you keep pulling the handle that sooner or later a pay out will occur. It may happen on the third pull or the twentieth pull, but you will win if you keep trying. The fact that you KNOW that you will eventually win, keeps you hooked into trying.

What does this mean? If you tell your partner that you won't answer the phone while at work, and they call you 20 times, and you answer on the 21st attempt, you have just inadvertantly given them intermittent reinforcement. Now they know that if they bug you enough, that you will always eventually respond. This actually escalates the behavior you are trying to stop. They believe they can win if they just keep pulling the lever, even if they go broke trying, they will keep at it. The more irregular and unpredictable your response to them, the more they will keep trying. It is the combination of hoping they will get their way and not knowing when it will happen that keeps them trying.

How to discourage dysregulated behavior.?

Consistency in not responding is the only way to discourage undesired behavior... .

Your partner has to learn that  when you say no, that you mean no.  Any hint of weakness is a reward, encouraging him/her to continue trying.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=85479.0
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« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2014, 07:39:01 PM »

Staff only

This topic is now locked and updated here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=229399.0

Waverider
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