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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: I somehow, without meaning to, have set "talking" as a line in the sand [Part 1]  (Read 7142 times)
patientandclear
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« on: August 12, 2015, 09:48:48 AM »

Hello all.  It's been a few months since I posted here.  Very long story short: I have a 4+ year ill-defined r/ship with the BPD man in my life.  We were lovers, he ended it for reasons he now says don't make any sense, and since, we've had various episodes of an intensely romantic "friendship" in which he seeks great emotional access to me and then occasionally behaves in ways that, to me, are not consistent with the bond he has cultivated with me (he suddenly moves to another city or starts dating other women, albeit without telling me that and subsequently denying it when I raised it as an issue.  I am certain about it though).

We did a round of that without explicit discussion.  When I became clear he was involved with someone else, I told him I needed to pull back from our intense emotional connection.  He got very angry and sort of excommunicated me and said to have a nice life (this was 20 months ago).  A few months later, when the new r/ship had faltered, he got back in touch, sending a lovely gift he'd made, planning to come see me.  I said I didn't plan to see him unless things had changed.  He didn't respond for 8 months.  When he did, he was in a fairly desperate state -- I believe because additional r/ships in his new city had come unraveled and he was feeling quite isolated.  He pledged to do whatever I needed in order to have me back in his life, said I was the most important relationship in his life, etc.  He also said that as long as he thought I did NOT want a romantic r/s, he did.  But when he thinks I do, he doesn't.

In these talks 6 months ago, I was very clear that the "friends" label doesn't work for me any more.  I'm very flexible about terms, labels, arrangements.  I like intense connection and space just like he does, and I don't think we actually have any incompatibility on that front.  But.  I need the r/ship to be acknowledged and need him not to feel like it's compatible with seeing other women.  I've been very clear with him since March on that point.  Short of that, I can be in light contact, but not do the intense intimacy he seeks with me.

In the one most honest talk we had, he explained that he'd enjoy trying again with me as lovers, but, he knows he "cannot be trusted."  He says he knows no one can deal with his reactions (I think I can, by now -- I've learned a lot -- but have never really had a chance to explain that to him) and it will all blow up and hurt a lot, and he still imagines there is some perfect woman out there who will not react negatively, so ... .it's better that we be friends.

Fast forward to now.  We are not on the same page and I have reiterated that numerous times.  I told him I'd have to maintain a fairly low ceiling on the degree of connection we can have in order to be in touch, unless he'll let us out of the "friends" box.  He immediately set about trying to get through those boundaries and eventually I did allow a lot more access (because it felt artificial and crappy to refuse to answer questions like "how does it feel when you X?" and because I wasn't sure if perhaps he was reconsidering his position, too).  Eventually we arrived at a place that's indistinguishable from where we were two years ago, which ended up so painfully.  We are de facto emotional partners, without a physical r/s, with no acknowledgement, and no commitment not to see others.  I know from past experience that this isn't sustainable for me.

So I asked to talk with him, last week.  In person.  In the past when I've tried to manage these feelings of discomfort on my own, by setting harder limits and backing up, he's been super upset and later wanted to know why I wouldn't just talk with him.  So, I tried.  I was quite surprised that he refused.  Just reiterated several times that he only wants to be friends (which was not the question on the table -- I know that's his position -- I can just as easily say I am not willing to be just friends -- it doesn't settle the question of how we should proceed from here, since he's known my views for just as long and continues to proceed toward a thing I too have said I don't want and can't maintain).  He said his ability to talk about this any more is exhausted.  (It's worth noting that he expressly offered to have this talk with me three weeks before, "when and if you need it," so this refusal really took me by surprise.)

I backed way off and just said "OK, I hear you, I must have misunderstood your willingness to discuss this.  Let me know if you find you can talk."

Silence since then.  From both of us.

I don't engage in ultimatums with him, or at least, I've tried not to.  I find this is now sort of set up as an ultimatum -- I somehow, without meaning to, have set "talking" as a line in the sand, which is not a battle I would have chosen to fight.

But ... .?  I laid it out very clearly to him leading up to his refusal to talk, that I'd have to set harder boundaries on my own if we couldn't figure out another approach that would work for us both.  Now I feel like I have no choice but to set those harder boundaries on my own, which would be: light, polite contact only, acknowledgement of major milestones (congratulations on your recent success in X!  Happy Birthday!), not the partner-like intimacy we've had.  I think it would be very confusing if I all of a sudden make contact on these new terms.  He'll think I didn't mean the boundaries I've articulated (I need to talk, and, I can't be in intimate contact if you're still maintaining this friends limit) and will immediately try to expand the scope of the contact.  I feel it's my obligation to me and to him not to be unclear about this.  He already claims he was confused about what I wanted and will accept, which is BS in that I'd articulated my own terms consistently and repeatedly -- this was more an instance of him believing what he wanted to believe, that he could have what he wanted and I just gave up.

He's said in the past that he respects that I set boundaries, so I'd think that being murky on them now is the last thing I want to do in the interests of any future dynamics between us being at all good.

I'm wondering if folks have any thoughts about the difference btwn ultimatums (ultimata Smiling (click to insert in post)) and boundaries in this context, and whether there are any further steps I should take now to straighten this out.  I'm able to wait quietly.  I have often done so in the past, and 15 months of that is about all that ever caused him to be open to redefining what he's willing to do with me.

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 10:19:11 AM »

 

He may have interpreted it as a hard line... .that is his to deal with... .I certainly didn't read it that way... .

I would have like it better if you had said "perhaps"... .I misunderstood you... .to leave it a bit more ambiguous... .

FF
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 11:02:36 AM »

 For arguments sake, let's assume he wants the intimacy minus what we would consider normal, "real" intimacy... .and no strings attached. He doesn't want a real relationship as you do, and can't sustain one even if he tried.

What then are you wanting? To have a friendship where he doesn't try to push it Into deeper waters?  I don't think that's going to happen... .he will always push into deeper waters as that's what he desires and wants, if you don't want that it's your boundary to keep.  that's what he's there for, that's the whole point of contact for him. that's the reason he needs you.

I think you both fundamentally want different things. what in your mind is the resolution if that is true?
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 11:56:50 AM »

Thanks very much FF.

MaybeSo: I guess what I am hoping is that he will accept that it's an either or choice. If he wants intimate connection with me, that won't work if it's not a in a monogamous committed context. When we talked in March, he seemed to be offering that. But then explained that he doesn't really think it will work because it will blow up because I won't accept him after his weird reactions.

I've had months to think about that, and while I felt really rejected at the time (and I got mad at him, which caused him to shut down the conversation, understandably), I can now respond differently to those feelings on his part. I think I can assure him that I won't reject him just because he freaks out from time to time when intimacy gets scary and threatening. I can deal with that. But doesn't know that. I'd like to explore that with him so maybe it would be possible to reconcile what we both want.
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 12:28:37 PM »

I'd like to explore that with him so maybe it would be possible to reconcile what we both want.

Spend time with yourself first... .sort out where your boundaries really are... .then talk.

If he doesn't want to talk and sort it out... .well... .I think you have your answer...

Sorting out yourself first will help you stay more centered and calm during the discussion...

FF
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 12:34:21 PM »

Hi p+c,

I followed your last thread.

For what it's worth, he can't give you want you want and he is letting you know this.

I think I'm sort of repeating MayBeSo's response, but given that he cannot give you want you want, this to me has become about you upholding this boundary of either NC or extremely limited contact. However I believe any form of contact will ultimately lead you back to the same emotional impasse until of course you are ready to let go and move on.
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 03:51:18 PM »

It's not at all clear to me that we cannot find common ground. Maybe not. But we've barely even grazed that topic. The whole question is so charged for us both (for me, rejection; for him, shame, engulfment, his prediction of failure and loss) that we've had a tough time navigating an exploration of what is possible.

I do believe that over time, we could perhaps find a way forward. He himself named the ingredients in March: intimacy, monogamy, commitment. But he feels like we're doomed based on assumptions about how I will react. Is there no way to address those assumptions? In March he said he'd do anything he needed to to make it work. I am the one who balked because his assurances were so fast and did not ring true.

We are unusually well-matched in the kind of relationship dynamic that works for us. (Admittedly, the r/ship dynamic that works for us does differ from his ideal image of a romantic r/ship. This is my own assessment of our matching up in our tolerance for intensity and space.). Let's just assume it is possible we could reach terms that would work for us both--but we can't talk about it because he feels I demanded that as a condition of ongoing access to me and he resents that, or really can't stand the prospect of that conversation. Is there any approach that would make more sense than the one I've found myself taking?

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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 04:15:28 PM »

he is assuming you will not like or tolerate who he is when you get what it is you are asking for.

b/c he gets weird when he finds himself tied to someone. Maybe he is moody, does push-pull stuff,  becomes critical, bails easily, moves or takes off with little warning. Etc.

there is no reason to think he will be better at intimacy then he has been in the past. he hasn't managed to stay in a healthy committed r/s with anyone, correct?

But you are at a place where you know all that and want to go there with him anyway?  correct? are you saying you take him as he is? knowing there won't be stability or any security? 
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 05:03:30 PM »

Basically, yes.  And I've been demonstrating that for a long time in this intimate friends dynamic. But he does not know that I would apply that approach to bring his romantic partner.

My only condition is that he not see other women and that he not continue to refer to us as "friends," or that he acknowledge the nature of our r/ship as a primary commitment. Otherwise, we sail along being super intimate, then there's a glitch, then he suddenly re-asserts that we're just friends and I shouldn't have any other expectations. I need clarity about the nature of what we are doing. Beyond that, yes, I can deal with how he acts. I'm very familiar with it at this point.
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 05:31:02 PM »

 

If he verbally agrees to your conditions now...

What changes has he made that would make you believe that when the pressure is on... he will hold to his agreement?

FF
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 06:50:05 PM »

My only condition is that he not see other women and that he not continue to refer to us as "friends," or that he acknowledge the nature of our r/ship as a primary commitment.

My understanding is that he offered this to you at the beginning, but was unable to sustain it for very long (a few months, maybe a year?)

And after that, you and he got into various disagreements regarding this, and he pretty much said he couldn't or wouldn't do that for you.

And finally he sounds almost desperate enough to tell you that he can... .maybe even convincing himself that it might be possible.

This has clearly been VERY difficult or impossible for him in the past. Do you believe he has changed significantly somehow?

Excerpt
Beyond that, yes, I can deal with how he acts. I'm very familiar with it at this point.

I believe you do have a lot better boundaries and other tools for BPD behaviors... .except for this one!
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 12:06:34 AM »

  It's nice to see you again, patientandclear. Your posts have helped me so much.

I'm sorry you're dealing with a confusing situation right now. I can't say what he might have thought, but I didn't read your statement to him as an ultimatum.

I agree with FF - I think spending time with yourself is the best course of action right now. Give it some time, until you're more comfortable with clearly defined boundaries.

we've had various episodes of an intensely romantic "friendship" in which he seeks great emotional access to me and then occasionally behaves in ways that, to me, are not consistent with the bond he has cultivated with me (he suddenly moves to another city or starts dating other women, albeit without telling me that and subsequently denying it when I raised it as an issue.  I am certain about it though).

And there's the rub, isn't it - the bond itself leads to behavior that is inconsistent with intimacy. Unless he overcomes his fear of intimacy, is there really much chance that he will seek out anything other than what he always has?

I need the r/ship to be acknowledged and need him not to feel like it's compatible with seeing other women.  I've been very clear with him since March on that point.  Short of that, I can be in light contact, but not do the intense intimacy he seeks with me.

These are very clear needs, expectations, and boundaries.

The question is - how do you feel about enforcing them? Are you ok with going to light or no contact?

In the one most honest talk we had, he explained that he'd enjoy trying again with me as lovers, but, he knows he "cannot be trusted."  He says he knows no one can deal with his reactions (I think I can, by now -- I've learned a lot -- but have never really had a chance to explain that to him) and it will all blow up and hurt a lot, and he still imagines there is some perfect woman out there who will not react negatively, so ... .it's better that we be friends.

One thing I have learned - if someone says that they can't be trusted, then it's a good idea to believe them.

I don't doubt at all that you could deal well with his reactions and most of his behaviors. But even if you could explain it to him - that doesn't mean he would really believe it. By which I mean, he would still always have that doubt and fear, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It's as illogical as his belief that there's a "perfect woman" who will allow him to live out his fantasy life and take away all his pain.

We are not on the same page and I have reiterated that numerous times.  I told him I'd have to maintain a fairly low ceiling on the degree of connection we can have in order to be in touch, unless he'll let us out of the "friends" box.  He immediately set about trying to get through those boundaries and eventually I did allow a lot more access

He hears you say these things - but he knows that if he pushes hard enough, he can get through your boundaries and get emotional access to you. Where is his incentive to change the status quo?

Eventually we arrived at a place that's indistinguishable from where we were two years ago, which ended up so painfully.  We are de facto emotional partners, without a physical r/s, with no acknowledgement, and no commitment not to see others.  I know from past experience that this isn't sustainable for me.

Living on the precipice of intimacy is not sustainable. You deserve more than that - you realize that.

I'm able to wait quietly.  I have often done so in the past, and 15 months of that is about all that ever caused him to be open to redefining what he's willing to do with me.

Look at what you're saying here. He eventually becomes open... .to having a conversation about redefining... .what he might be willing... .to give you in a relationship. That's like five wishy-washy steps from having a relationship.

Do you think he's changed in some way that would allow him to break out of this typical cycle? If not, are you open to redefining what a "relationship" with him might look like?

What then are you wanting? To have a friendship where he doesn't try to push it Into deeper waters?  I don't think that's going to happen... .he will always push into deeper waters as that's what he desires and wants, if you don't want that it's your boundary to keep.  that's what he's there for, that's the whole point of contact for him. that's the reason he needs you.

I think you both fundamentally want different things. what in your mind is the resolution if that is true?

For what it's worth, he can't give you want you want and he is letting you know this.

 Take care of yourself. If you don't feel the relationship would be sustainable, then there's your answer. If you think that you'd be ok with redefining what you need and expect, then there's another answer. But I wouldn't expect him to change - now it's up to you to either accept as-is or to keep your emotional distance.
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2015, 09:13:15 AM »

You guys are awesome.

What gives me pause about the whole situation is this.  He has some reason historically to think that "no one can deal with my reactions."  Initially, I couldn't.  I had no idea what was going on, felt toyed with and betrayed, acted like he was screwed up, etc.  That was four years ago.  It hurt him greatly that when he tried to re-engage me, I was somewhat hesitant and skeptical, wanted him to figure out what had happened before we tried again, how it wouldn't recur, etc.

Now, I'd have a pretty different reaction.  I've learned a lot about him and that his behaviors are not per se rejection, cavalier, whatever I first thought they might be.  I don't have much difficulty waiting them out.  But he has a traumatic experience embedded wherever those live that things will hurt with me when he is himself -- I will leave, he will lose me, I won't accept him as he is.

Is there no way to change that?  I understanding that "talking" per se is probably not sufficient to undo those fears and expectations, which he doesn't even experience as "fears" but as inchoate feelings of needing to keep his distance from me.  But we haven't even ever talked about it.

The reason I framed this thread as I did is that I feel like I stumbled into a weird unintended cul de sac where I drew a line in the sand at "talking" when we all know that talking isn't likely to work.  Somehow I am now a "talking" persecutor.  That really isn't how I conduct relationships, at least not this one (which is how it's come about that we're four years into this and have never really talked about what I could manage and what he needs).  It did seem courteous to offer to talk before I just launched into enforcement of limited contact.  But talking itself isn't really the value I want to make a big stand about.  Yet, here I am.  I hear the guidance above that I have more hope for this whole effort than many of you think I should have.  I'm considering that bigger question too.  But setting it aside -- I've clearly made him feel invaded or encroached upon just with this need to discuss the situation.  Is there anything to be done about that other than waiting quietly until and unless he decides he can manage to talk to me about this?
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2015, 09:58:45 AM »

 

Sometimes... .I think we look to much at one tree... .

Let's back up a bit... .

The key about boundaries is consistency.

If you made a booboo and inadvertently set a boundary... .or are perceived as doing that.

Just change it... .but stick with the change.

What you don't want to do is talk this week... .not the week after... .text only the week after.

Pick something... .and stick with it...

FF
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2015, 10:49:43 AM »

I hear you FF. If we were in communication at all, I would just re-tool the boundaries (more limited contact if he won't let me out of the "friends" box) as you're recommending. And stick with them. But ... .Because I asked to talk, he said no, I said "ok let me know if you find you're able to talk" ... .No chance to set and maintain any boundaries except this accidental one, an in is about talking about our relationship. Which is the "boundary" I'm questioning--it wasn't the one I'd have chosen to set. My core values are not "you have to talk with me about the relationship."

Our history is that he will now disappear for months. I will have no chance to implement and stick with day to days boundaries as you're suggesting. And this is sort of an accident, again. I did not mean to pick this issue (willingness to talk about the relationship).
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2015, 11:23:32 AM »

 

As long as you are talking and acting in accordance with your core values... .don' worry about it.

We know that he will appear to change his core values... .from time to time... .don't be shocked by this.  It appears you are ready.

His boundaries will appear to change... .he may claim that yours change... .as long as you are satisfied that you are staying on a true course... .let him claim... what he claims.

FF
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2015, 11:33:19 AM »

Hi p+c,

When I read what you write I have a sense of getting lost in the words, engulfed by them,  almost overwhelmed by the implicit emotional need to find a solution to a conundrum I suspect cannot be solved.


The essence of what you write is that you need something from someone that they are unable to give you. Maybe what becomes important for you now is that you listen to his silence in the same way you would were he speaking. His silence to me conveys just as important a message as the 'talk' you wanted.

Can you fully accept his silence without having to work out a solution to it?

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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2015, 12:00:45 PM »

FF, thank you (again). ":)on't worry about it" is remarkably helpful advice.

Sweetheart, I think what's missing from that analysis is that I have walked away from this r/ship on multiple occasions when I determined we wanted different things and he couldn't or wouldn't do what I need. I didn't have conversations with him. I assessed his actions and choices, let him know my boundaries, he chose how to proceed and I let that be.

What's hard for me now is that it is not just that I want something he won't do. He also wants something that I won't do and has made major efforts, some of which seemed sincere and tough for him, to work out a way for us to stay together in some sense. And has begged me not to end things and has asked me to tell him what I need so we don't have to lose this entirely.

It isn't as black and white as I want X and he does not. It feels like we need a process to find terms that can work for us both. But we keep taking stances that block that--sometimes he does, but a couple times now, it's been me. And I was feeling like now, maybe, it's me.

I do take from what FF is saying that maybe that's not the case. Which helps.
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2015, 12:23:28 PM »

It isn't as black and white as I want X and he does not. It feels like we need a process to find terms that can work for us both. But we keep taking stances that block that--sometimes he does, but a couple times now, it's been me. And I was feeling like now, maybe, it's me.

For me the above captures the essence of an emotional impasse, it is the 'blocks' that obviously create the communication deadlock, but for me it is through these deadlocks, these blocks that you both create for each other that your unconscious processes are in action.  Intrinsically it feels to me that you both know that the relationship cannot work, but because of the nature of BPD attachment and pathology in a relationship, he will never be able to let go, he will always come back. Ultimately it will be up to you to let him go.
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2015, 01:05:04 PM »

Hey patientandclear, I've read a few of your threads and loosely followed what's been going on.

It sounds like you know his patterns of behavior, but that you are stuck in between believing that either a.) he can change, or b.) he can't. The waters get pretty murky in a situation like this. The decision about the level of intimacy that he wants is not yours to make, but your emotional investment in the situation seems to point toward the idea that maybe you'd like the opposite.

I've found that in my friendship with my BPDex, when I am feeling solid in my resolution that no, she won't change if she doesn't enter therapy, I stay grounded and am more easily able to focus on the friendship for what it is. In brief, when I know what I want based on what I see, hear, and experience, there just aren't so many questions. The behaviors speak for themselves.

Here's an interesting question for you. How would you feel if he disappeared and you never heard from him again? Would life be easier, or harder?
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 02:21:15 PM »

P&C, here's what I think I'm hearing from you... .is this right?

1. Long standing issue that you don't want emotional intimacy without romantic commitment/fidelity from him, and he err... .either can't do that or has serious issues around that, but does want the emotional intimacy... .at minimum in an on-again-off-again push-pull way. (I'm basing this on prior behavior)

2. He also has many long standing BPD behavioral issues (besides #1) that nobody in his life before you could cope with, and you didn't do well before, and you now believe you have the tools to cope with.

3. You told him you needed to talk about the r/s, and he ran away rather than discuss it with you, and his typical pattern is NC for months now, and you don't want that.

You are trying to figure out if you can convince him you are safe on issue #2, talk about issue #1, and not be stuck waiting months due to issue #3... .
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2015, 03:55:02 PM »

Yes, GK, excellent (and humerous) summary.
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 05:36:07 PM »

Yes, GK, excellent (and humerous) summary.

Thanks. I really wasn't trying to poke fun at anything, just trying to be brief and cut through the crap to the problem you were looking for assistance on.

Here are a few first thoughts on solutions.

 Perfect world scenario: you call/message/email/etc. to him and say that you had no intention of scaring him off by asking for a relationship discussion, both you and he stand down, and things get better. Perhaps even leading to some clarification on your relationship eventually... .

You might try this anyway, just giving him an opportunity to be reasonable, despite it not being very likely.

 However ... .this sort of push-pull thing... .also fits into problem #2 (It is normal BPD behavior!) Are you sure you are up for it? Is cutting you off for months OK if he doesn't get involved with another woman while he does it?
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 01:45:46 AM »

He would likely be very reasonable if I reached out.  I'm sure by about now, he's wondering how we got to this point and how it can be undone, but feels stuck and doesn't know how to get back.

But.  I think it would be very confusing for him to hear from me, saying I didn't mean to condition continued contact on him talking about the r/ship ... .BUT absent such a talk, I have no choice but to limit that contact to a fairly superficial level.  I mean -- why bother, right?

Yes, I am up for it.  If this is "just" push pull, I can handle it.  It's the gnawing sense that it is me "making" him talk, that he's reacting to, that makes me cringe.
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« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 01:03:17 PM »

You sound afraid of the consequences of reaching out to him and trying to re-open communications... .

... .that it would somehow have significant meaning as far as your boundary enforcement / relationship struggles.

... .If you want a healthy relationship, you need to have this sort of communications. My suggestion is face the music, and see how he reacts. This waiting, wondering, and fretting sure doesn't sound happy for you.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2015, 02:13:44 PM »

In the past, me waiting him out under similar circumstances has resulted in him eventually making gestures of reconciliation with a more open mind and heart.

Also, his non-response to my request to meet and talk (despite that I don't like that it feels like I drew that line) also feels quite manipulative. Responding in a ST situation by asking for ST to end does not usually go well, right?

What I can imagine saying without blowing my own boundaries is that I didn't mean we could have zero contact without having this discussion. Just that in the absence of some other understanding, I'd need to step back to a less intimate level of engagement. But we had a bunch of pending more intimate topics going, and I would not plan on returning to those ... .Instead I'd be offering a less meaningful r/ship. Doesn't that seem like sort of a crappy overture?

If we were married, living together or even in the same place, I could just be in normal touch and let this develop and hope we could reach a meeting of the minds later. But here, the very nature of the interaction requires a conscious choice and requires me to be stingy and turn him away from more meaningful contact. Given that, isn't reaching out kind of misleading?

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« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2015, 07:47:11 PM »

Given that, isn't reaching out kind of misleading?

Ahh... .I think you are wondering about the assumptions he will make.

If there are specific fears you have about that... .figure out what they are... .and clarify that during the talk.

If you have a "meaning" to reaching out... .well... .announce it at some point. 

He can still make assumptions if he wants... .that's up to him.

FF
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2015, 09:58:32 PM »

Doesn't that seem like sort of a crappy overture?

Also, his non-response to my request to meet and talk (despite that I don't like that it feels like I drew that line) also feels quite manipulative. Responding in a ST situation by asking for ST to end does not usually go well, right?

I don't think that clarifying your position is necessarily asking for ST to end. It's important to you to clarify what you meant, because you feel like you drew a line that you didn't mean to draw.

You're only asking for something if you ask for it. Smiling (click to insert in post)

He can still make assumptions if he wants... .that's up to him.

Idea

Calmly and neutrally clarifying your position and fears - after some time with yourself - can help alleviate your worries over his possible assumptions and feelings of 'game playing.' You will know that you have expressed yourself to the best of your ability, and are doing so from a centered place - your intentions are not manipulative.

It's frustrating to navigate these waters.   Go easy on yourself and give yourself a little time.
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2015, 02:25:36 AM »

Dunno what communication channels you normally use with him. If I recall correctly, he's still in a different city, so face to face isn't going to happen.

If you can just call him on the phone (or skype/facetime/video chat if you do that) and open with "Hello" or "What's up?" That would be my most reasonable choice in your shoes.

I 'spose you could do the same in a text or messenger format. That would be my second choice.

I'd hate to respond to this situation by email... .
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2015, 05:52:03 AM »

Hi p+c,

When I read what you write I have a sense of getting lost in the words, engulfed by them,  almost overwhelmed by the implicit emotional need to find a solution to a conundrum I suspect cannot be solved.

The essence of what you write is that you need something from someone that they are unable to give you. Maybe what becomes important for you now is that you listen to his silence in the same way you would were he speaking. His silence to me conveys just as important a message as the 'talk' you wanted.

Can you fully accept his silence without having to work out a solution to it?

P&C, when I was searching for answers, my guy explained it to me that he has "dark moods" and it felt like we had climbed up this enormous tree and found ourselves way out on a limb that might crack at any minute.  And what he "needed" was for me to protect myself from his callousness and extreme selfishness.  The fragile limb could only withstand the weight of one of us and he "needed" to feel that I was safe, he didn't want me to crash and fall, or to save him from it happening. 

Basically, back away and seek shelter, whatever that looks like to me.  Get off the branch.  He'll find his own way... .

I took it to heart and have never mentioned it again, "Are you out on that limb again?  Why won't you talk to me before going out there?"  I just don't follow him out there.  There are plenty of strong branches and things to do in that big tree, lots of room for both of us to enjoy the vistas.

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