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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: One relationship for another?  (Read 492 times)
thisyoungdad
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« on: August 19, 2014, 09:19:27 PM »

So I have not posted on here in a long time, as things with the primary person in my life who has BPD (my ex wife and co parent) are actually going well since I have been learning and practicing so many of the tools I have learned here. So that is a huge thing which I am grateful for.

However, about 2 months ago now I started to date a friend I had known for about 9 months prior. It was a long distance relationship and I felt okay about that because I felt like I knew her enough. Things were going well, I went and visited her once during that time we were together. There were a few things that struck me as odd that were said or done but nothing very huge and so I just thought they were odd at the time and did not think too much of it.

About 2 weeks ago now she started acting very different. Some things were reminding me of my failed marriage, and I was starting to become unhappy. She was becoming more judgmental, unforgiving of small stuff and sometimes outright mean. Her grandpa had died (so she said) and so I thought at first maybe she was grieving. Then in the past 7-10 days when we were talking if she got upset or perceived me to do something she would almost hang up on me and shut down and tell me how wrong I was or that I somehow hurt her. Three times she "broke up" with me, not changing anything on FB and only to call me within a couple hours and tell me she didn't want to break up with me but she felt hurt. Total manipulation. She started to call me in the middle of the night, multiple times in a row if I didn't answer (because it was the middle of the night so I didn't answer) and leave me rude messages how she "needed" me or if I didn't respond by the morning there were going to be consequences. So I tried to set a couple boundaries, again, one of which was not to call in the middle of the night to hash stuff out or create drama as I felt it was.

I sent her an email with these boundaries, which I had a couple friends read over first to make sure that I was using "I" statements and not accusing her or being argumentative. Half an hour after posting something to facebook about how much she loved me she called me and left me a voicemail. It said in part "Since you didn't answer, and you apparently are not going to" which first it was 1130 at night so any number of things could be why I didn't answer, followed by "You leave me no choice" which I found to be rude because she did have a choice, and then she said "I got your email and read about a quarter of the way through it and then I stopped because it was so ridiculous. You are not the person I thought you were, and the person you are does not make me happy so I have no choice but to end our relationship" and she said some other things. She said she hoped with some space and time we could be friends again and she was sorry it didn't work out she had really wanted it to and she loved me.

So later that night I sent her a message saying that I would like something of mine back and that some money I had loaned her I expected she would repay me. She replied with a horribly rude and hurtful message about how I told her to keep the money (I have the text message exchange where she says she was going to go to the bank to transfer it) and about how f-ed up I am for wanting something back and I never loved her and the best part... .was "Have a nice life. The way you are acting, I don't even want to be your friend. You need to work on yourself and figure out how to accurately portray the kind of person you actually are"

So I got that message when I woke up. I sat with it all day and later that evening, yesterday (Monday) I sent her a text with a picture of the text message exchange and told her I needed and expected her to repay me. That I had no interest in discussing anything with her and that was the end of it. I got the most horrendous, hateful text message back from her saying this:

"I will start being the woman you thought I was when you start being the man/father you portray yourself to be, but in reality could only ever dream of being. You are done making foolish, immature, selfish demands of me. You need to focus on making a better life for your daughter and paying more attention to the psychotic "mother" that you allow to damage her more and more with every new day. I am blocking you in every aspect possible. Any further communication from you will be considered harassment and dealt with accordingly"

So clearly this woman has some big issues, which to me scream BPD. Maybe they are, maybe they are not. But this whole "I love you and you are the most amazing man ever" to "I f-ing hate you and you are a horrible man and father" stuff reminds me of it. In fact my ex never even treated me this bad and my ex did some messed up stuff.

I guess my question is that unlike with my ex where there were warning signs from the get go, I really don't feel like there were with this woman. I thought I had known how to spot this kind of thing. In fact when she broke up with me I was already seriously contemplating it myself because I wasn't interested in reliving what i went through with my ex, which this woman knew all about.

Have others found themselves out of one relationship with a pwBPD only to find they are with someone new that has it as well? How do I avoid this? And how in the heck did I miss this?

I am not as heartbroken as originally, although even with her initial voicemail I thought it was so immature and frankly disrespectful that I was hurt but not heartbroken. And now with this craziness it makes it easier to move on, however we were very intimate in part because we had been friends so there is a certain aspect where I am struggling not to beat myself up or feel like I should have known better.

Thoughts anyone? I would really love to hear what people have to think. Thanks.
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Mutt
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Relationship status: Divorced Oct 2015
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 08:13:12 PM »

Looking back on my ex there was one obvious red flag I overlooked when I triggered fear of abandonment early on. She raged and called repeatedly for having stood her up. It was 3 weeks since I met her and a I changed my mind at the last minute. She made it bigger than what it was, I figured it was still new. It was a few months after that the cracks were starting to show.

Go easy on yourself. You identified negative behaviors and the push / pull dynamic. You set boundaries and knew that it's not something you were interested in. You don't want to re-enact the same patterns again and you were ready to end it. She said no before you. Pat yourself on the back. You may be able identify differently next time because the toxic behaviors will be more apparent.
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"Let go or be dragged" -Zen proverb
Lolster
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 07:54:14 AM »

My experience with long distance/friends is that they tend to hold it together UNTIL you engage in something more than friends on a face to face basis.  They then consider it open season on you, especially once they separate from you for a short while (abandonment kicks in).
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elessar
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 10:09:20 AM »

I agree with Lolster, and a couple of days back I wrote how they seem "fine" from a slight distance as friends/long distance/not-so-serious relationship. Then suddenly when they feel emotionally close, their BPD trigger can erupt.

And youngdad, what you said she told you is nearly same what she told me. So these are the similar traits. Yes, it is confusing when you go from being the greatest to being an useless person and a father in a matter of hours.

And as Mutt said, you never know what will trigger their fear of abandonment. I used to work in NYC and I had a choice to stay in NYC for PhD or move away to another state. She came back into my life and wanted to move away from her parents. So we decided to move away together. Yet 3 weeks before that, she broke up with me. And a week before I was supposed to move, she said I should marry her "day after tomorrow" and should take her with me because her dad found out about us that night and he wants her to leave me, or marry me and leave home. I asked "are they threatening you, are they kicking you out, or are they angry". She replied they won't ever threaten her and they are not that type of people (lies). So I said give your parents a few days to calm down from their shock (their daughter being in love with an 'infidel', and we will decide in 10 days once I have moved and settled down with furniture and everything. The next day onwards (for about a year) she raged at me for having abandoned her, and ran off to another state like a cowardly dog with my tails between my legs. And many other choice words. Many months down the road she said her parents were threatening to kick her out, they had held the door open for her asking her to leave home, and I didn't stand by her. I was like... ."but you were supporting your parents that night! Now you are changing the story!" And do I not have the right to say "you broke up with me two weeks back. now you want to get married in two days. can we slow down and think what are you doing?"

But yup youngdad, it is all projection of her feelings onto you. She is not wrong, so she has to make you wrong. And calling your character into question is something they do and I find that the most hurtful.
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