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Author Topic: Delusional beliefs at the start of my relationship and how they've changed  (Read 223 times)
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Semi-long distance relationship living apart.
Posts: 383

« on: May 13, 2015, 12:38:51 PM »

I think that being a codependant, a co-narcissist, growing up with an NPD mother had its effect on my beliefs about relationships.

I modeled a lot of my social cues from my mother's relationships with her 'friends'.

I had trouble socialising as a child. I didn't know how to interact with people, empathise with them. I was very socially stunted in between the ages of 8-11, the worst time in terms of social development in kids. I spent a lot of those school years as a loner or someone who hung out with the other awkward kids. I was bullied a lot. My reflex was to close myself off. Go off to a corner and cry or just spend time with the adult monitors during recess since they were a lot more interesting to talk to. I didn't develop my first really healthy relationship with anyone until I was 21 years old. All my other friendships, starting from middle school were full of betrayal, lies, lack of boundaries, and jealousy. Exactly the sorts of friendships my mother had throughout her life.

I had two dysfunctional romantic relationships before my pwBPD (7m and 5m) and one that was not dysfunctional(1y), but extremely void of passion and romance.

I was like the person who read books about relationships but had no clue what it actually meant.

I started my friendship with my pwBPD a year before we started dating. He was attractive, funny and entertaining and was extremely validating towards any problem I expressed. We would have online skype chats until 3am. He told me about his exes. One who broke his heart on his birthday, who I reminded him of, and one who cheated on him repeatedly until he ended up becoming vengeful. He made me feel special and expressed that I shouldn't fall in love with him. (Because he was already developing feelings for me) I loved the attention. I liked that someone might actually like me for me and that I could be honest with him unlike with my bf at the time. I believed him when he talked about his exes being the sole problem.

Our connection was special. We developed feelings for each other very quickly, so it must be real

This was the 2nd or 3rd time this happened to me. One was with someone who strung me along until he found someone he actually wanted to date. The other was an extremely volatile and toxic individual who had an alcohol problem. Possible BPD/NPD. Dropped me like a sack of potatoes from one day to the next. I was kind of desperate for attention. I now see this as a possible sign of disordered thinking/ideation/fantasy.

He says hurtful things because he cares about me

This one is huge. It's the fruit of my conditioning as a child. Being confronted/criticised meant that someone wanted me to become a better person. The blunt overly critical fashion as a sign of love, rather than projection of their own self-loathing and inability to handle their emotions. I was extremely defensive at first, but then would tell myself that they cared about me. It's a natural response to criticism of any sort, so it must be healthy, right? Since, I've learned to take responsibility for my choices and mistakes, rather than JADE, but also to discern when it is actually valid constructive criticism and when it's just emotional/verbal abuse.

The longer I'm with him, the more evidence that we are meant to be, and the more my unending love will heal him

I'd never had a relationship bypass 13 months (breakup way overdue in that one) and he'd never been longer with someone than 9 months, so I somehow convinced myself that if we make it to the 9 month mark, then that means I was better than his exes and that we are passionately in love, that I could magically heal him of his BPD. I'm at a loss, honestly. I don't know if that's codependency or the belief that if you can push through the bad, you'll get to the magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I just don't know. I think I believed in fairy tales.

Relationships are work. The longer you're with someone along with the more work and dedication you put into the relationship with visible results, the more committed you become. EXCEPT if you or your partner don't actually put in the work, the relationship has been disintegrating slowly and you're just waiting until you're bored, courageous enough to quit, or find something better. (We both exited our previous relationships in this latter fashion)  

As long as we are having sex, the relationship is fine

This is partially true and partially a delusion. The quality and intimacy during sex is a nice barometer to the status relationship. If it's used primarily as a way to relieve tension from fights, it's not helping the relationship that much and is just postponing the arguments. My pwBPD desires sex more often when he feels connected to me. I enjoy it more when I feel comfortable with him. Otherwise it feels like a chore and neither of us feel very happy after. When we stopped having sex for a few weeks, I panicked and rightfully so.

If I wait out/listen to my partner raging, then eventually he will calm down and everything will go back to normal

This sort of thing often worked with my parents and my ex-roommate. Definitely not with my pwBPD. It was ridiculously unhealthy for me and not very helpful for my pwBPD either. I don't have to be a f-ing martyr in order to help my SO. This is not a sign of love.  SET and validation first, and if that's not working or I'm too tired or emotional, boundaries and limits. I can walk away.

As long as I am helpful/useful/needed by my partner he won't leave me

I didn't realise that I held onto this belief until maybe 2-3 months ago, when my pwBPD had decided he wasn't going to have me help him with anything since it led to me screwing up and him dysregulating. I was at a complete loss. I started crying and didn't understand why. I took a moment to observe my bodily sensations. And then it hit me. He didn't want me to fold his laundry or clean his dishes or anything. He didn't need me... .so what was my purpose as his partner. He asked why I was sobbing. I explained my irrational belief to him. He told me that was ridiculous. He doesn't keep me around because he 'needs' me. He loves me. He likes my company. Just because I am not useful doesn't mean I have no purpose.

That's from my childhood. I only gained love and respect from my mother when I was useful. Otherwise I was alienated and given the silent treatment.

If my partner is mad at me, we have to talk it out right away or there is no resolution

Sure, it's important to not to really go to bed mad, but postponing an argument is completely fine. Enacting boundaries when you or your partner are very emotional is very healthy. It takes about 20 minutes for the critical brain to take over again,(at least in me) and it's a chance to give each other space and see things more rationally.

I used to pretty much smother him with my need for resolution instead of giving him the space to calm himself. I experienced his side of the situation yesterday when my mother said something really terrible to me over the phone and I hung up on her because I needed to process it, yet she kept repeatedly calling me and would not let up. I felt overwhelmingly frustrated and wanted to throw the phone. Then I thought, "huh, that's probably how my SO usually feels if I keep calling him back when he's mad". It's taken me some time to feel secure enough in myself to deal with my anxiety when he hangs up and keep up the boundary of not calling back.

If I fight hard enough, love hard enough, take care of my BPD, they will see that I am worth being with in the long term

This is a complicated one emotionally, but pretty simple in theory. Fighting for a relationship is a natural defense, but it's very unhealthy when it's at the sacrifice of my own well-being. Again, I don't have to be the martyr. My love and care won't cure him of BPD. It's not what either of us need in the relationship and it's not what will make it thrive. I'd rephrase that statemrnt to a new one:

When I act with compassion and love towards myself, by setting healthy boundaries with my partner and other people, work to validate rather than invalidate my partner's feelings,  and often seek validation for myself through others, my relationship becomes healthier and much more satisfying for both of us.

My BPD will one day change and be my dream partner

Self-explanatory. Very in line with the [relationship * x amount of time = happiness] equation. My partner will most likely absolutely always have dysregulation but that doesn't mean that we can't have a fulfilling relationship. I'd rather look at it as a [5xgood interactions : 1xbad interaction] ratio. We will have plenty of happy moments together where we feel connected and happy with each other, but extreme dysregulation and fights will happen and sometimes they will feel absolutely terrible, but we will get through it. I just have to remember that we're on the same team and that the only time I win is if we both win. Sometimes he will be incredibly invalidating and critical and I will do my best to not take it personally and seek support somewhere else, and sometimes he will call my phone at 5:30am to leave me a loving message on my voicemail about how much he loves me, supports me, and believes in me. (today morning)

It's all his fault, he's the source of all the issues. If only he would change, things would be perfect. He manipulated me

For the longest time, I felt like the victim of an abusive individual. There was nothing I could do. If only he'd understand how much he hurt me. He broke his promise to never hurt me. Did he not see how much I love him? He is so ungrateful of the sacrifices I make.

This is an actually complicated one. In a lot of ways, he's the one who pushed me out of the victim mentality, though for the longest time I was in a very strong denial. I really had trouble understanding how I could have any responsibility in the dynamic (or my life). Sure, I wanted to change. But that was by him changing.

If he was nicer to me, I could be better too. If he gave me a break, I could have the opportunity to change.

This is the part where I don't really see how things could have gone differently. I had a paradigm shift at one point, and realized that I had some qualities  of destructive narcissism myself. It was a hard pill to swallow and came with a lot of guilt on my part, and so much difficulty in forgiving myself for months on end. I had focused so much on how much he hurt me, that I never took a moment to see how much I was hurting him, how I was recreating his own trauma and it also explained a lot of the failures in my previous friendships. That moment of true empathy changed so much for me. Over time, I've come to accept that I never did it intentionally, it was just another fruit of my conditioning.

I think I'm genuinely healing, slowly. I'm no longer seeing myself as a victim, but rather survivor. I didn't know I could ever get here, even a year ago when I first learned about BPD.
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