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Author Topic: Probably-Borderline Ex, Need Support  (Read 6080 times)
MapleBob
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« on: November 17, 2015, 10:11:14 AM »

Hi bpdfamily, this is my first post here, although I have been reading these forums for weeks and trying to take the advice to heart. I'm going to try to try to keep this short and relevant and see if anyone has thoughts about what I should do next... .

I haven't seen my ex girlfriend in 9 months, though we have remained in mixed contact. She has NOT been diagnosed borderline, though I am fairly (reluctantly) confident that she IS borderline. The lack of diagnosis doesn't really matter, though: she displays multiple traits of a borderline (or at least she does with me), so my experience with her is very much in line with other stories I've read here.

We met on a dating site almost two years ago, had a *magical* first date, had SO MUCH in common, fell in love quickly, and proceeded to have a long-distance (well, middle-distance) relationship for 14 months, seeing each other on average every third weekend. We were in constant contact through text message, Skype, and email - pretty much 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plans were being hatched for me to move to be with her permanently, but she lives in Canada and I'm in the States, so that was a complicated and expensive prospect that was going to take some time. In the beginning we were also casually dating other people in our respective towns, but eventually the decision was reached to be monogamous (after she blew up about it, dumped me, and then calmly told me that she had wanted to be exclusive all along despite giving no indication of that - which would have been fine with me!).

After a few months of monogamy and numerous breakup threats (all initiated by her, with the reasoning being that I didn't love her THE MOST, or enough), we (well, *she*) officially called it quits after a rocky Valentine's Day weekend earlier this year. In my analysis, she had wanted a more codependent relationship where I would be as obsessed with her as she was with me, rather than a healthy relationship of two independent adults. Any issues she had with my love style were kept a secret by her, I was supposed to be able to read her mind, and I was supposed to be completely obsessed with her. She just wasn't able to feel healthy love and healthy attachment AS love, at least not after the honeymoon period wore off. It was only many months after the breakup that I found out that her mother was a terrible alcoholic and had been for years, that she had had a very troubled childhood because of that, her father had cheated openly multiple times, and that my ex was deeply affected by all of this, for obvious reasons. She definitely went through a time of crazy promiscuity shortly before I met her, and had cheated on her ex-husband and still hasn't told him (I found out about this on our first date, by the way). She is high-functioning in her daily life (though she describes having "30 different moods a day", but certainly not with me! To hear her speak of it: we had a few good months, the distance and longing became too hard to deal with, and she started to blame me for it, while honestly believing that I just wasn't interested in her. I *know* that that was not the case; I am *not* a negligent partner by any stretch of the imagination (and my intensity and approach towards her varied not even slightly throughout our time together). It seems, quite simply, to be the classic "idealize/devalue/act out" borderline cycle. But to this day she insists that "well, my perspective is my perspective and I experienced what I experienced and it's all real to me". 

Since then it has been a rollercoaster, and her borderline traits have truly started to show. Mixed messages, push/pull, splitting - the works! It's almost too much to write it all down. I've tried to be a good friend to her, I've made attempts at reconciliation, I've done no contact, but I just can't seem to let this girl go. She'll say that a part of her "wants to be allowed to love me again", but that another part of her "refuses to let go" of feeling "SO pathetic for loving (me) like that the first time", so she just wants to be friends, but insists that we only talk once a month. Those "talks", by the way, are generally fights, where she cries, splits me black, splits me white, splits herself black/white, blames me and plays the victim, blames herself and says that she feels broken and like a failure, says that she wants to hug me and misses me, thinks about me ALL the time, but refuses to see me... .all the while insisting that this is all just "for now" (whaaaaaat?). She says that I'm wasting my time on her, that I should tell her to f*** off and be done with it, and that she needs time and space to process (which I'm already giving her, and she has shown ZERO progress from this time and space - and it's been nine months!). Her: "When I'm in communication with you it's like a Russian roulette happy/angry/sad/anxious/pulling my hair out. I can't count on how it will feel from one minute to the next." I'm pretty consistently calm and patient with her (which is difficult), but she picks a fight with me EVERY TIME WE TALK. And sometimes she's sweet, and sometimes we laugh, and she talks about sending Christmas cards and eventually seeing each other in person once things calm down, and that she just doesn't know what to do about us.

So, long story short, I'm in limbo and hoping that her therapy work is going to give her some insight into herself that will lead her back towards me (but from what I gather from talking to her about her therapy work she's mostly doing work about her ex-husband - and not, y'know, the troubled, problematic, obsessive, messy relationship that she has with me!). So I need advice as to how to make a decision to stay (and how to DO that), or to let her go (and how to do THAT). I don't feel like I'm articulating this very well, so I'm happy to answer questions. I'm well aware that mis-diagnosing your ex as borderline is pretty hip right now, and that's not what I'm trying to do here. I wish she WASN'T.
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MapleBob
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 12:36:30 PM »

It just feels like I'm stuck in limbo with her. She keeps insisting that this is just "for now", and that she needs to clear her head through time and space, and that *then* some kind of decision can be made, or some kind of work can be done to get through this. But after nine months I see no progress; it's like we're having the same discussions over and over again, which result in me getting pushed away. It's just HARD, and I get so many mixed messages from her (when we're in contact at all). It's SO different than it used to be, and SHE is so different than she used to be. I love her; I just don't know what to do.
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MapleBob
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 10:50:00 AM »

Anybody? 
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 04:31:29 PM »

hey MapleBob and Welcome

im glad that you found us and it sounds like youre feeling less alone in your experience as a result. it helps to talk. it sounds like things have been pretty complicated and hectic for a long time and as you said you feel stuck in limbo. obviously i cant tell you what to do or decide for you but we can explore the situation and help you decide what you want to do. it sounds like you are acting mostly on her terms; the state of the relationship (state of it, contact and the nature of it, etc), her outcome in therapy, etc.

what are your terms, maplebob? what do you want to do? what are some good boundaries you might set around communicating? i think exploring these things will help you in your decision.
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MapleBob
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 04:47:13 PM »

Thank you, once removed!

That is absolutely the case: everything on her terms. It feels like my hands are tied in this Catch-22 situation where either I settle for WAY less than I need from a relationship with her (be it in terms of a romantic OR platonic relationship), or ... .I settle for nothing. I know that I'm not utterly powerless here; I can walk away, I can get support and wait, I can have my feelings about this ... .I have options. I just don't like 'em! 

It feels like she dangles the carrot of "yeah, it's this way *right now*" and "part of me wants to be allowed to love you" and "I think about you ALL the time", but when I reach for that carrot I get the stick instead (the splitting, the near-abuse, the avoidance, the projection, etc.). I've read all about "No Contact", but I haven't heard of many situations where 30 days of No Contact gets repeated over and over and over again, like a broken record, with no progress. It's frustrating and infuriating and kind of insulting.

The bottom line is that I keep hearing "I need time and space, and I want to feel independent from you, and have things be casual to the point where neither of us is hurting about this, and I don't know what happens after that", so that's what I'm trying to do. And I'm staying out of contact with her for the moment, until the month is over. Not sure what to do then.
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 05:36:21 PM »

is it worth settling for less than you need from a relationship with her? it may be. if yes, why?

no, youre not utterly powerless though i understand it feels like a no win situation. it sounds to me like your intent is to wait until the month is over, assuming she will contact you. you might consider the mean time as a cooling off period, to take time and reassess things, distract yourself, and hopefully enjoy your holidays with loved ones.

it sounds to me like the communication needs boundaries. if things spin out of control, calmly exit the conversation; offer to discuss it later (avoid saying something like "ill talk to you when you calm down" and mean it when you say you are exiting the conversation. at which point she may escalate; it will pass. it sounds like she is emotionally dysregulated when shes speaking to you. if there is going to be any kind of communication, that needs mitigating.

have you had a chance to check out the lessons (links) directly to the right? they begin with Stop the Bleeding and offer ways to immediately diffuse conflict. does that sound like it might help things in the short/near term?
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2015, 05:56:16 PM »

Hi MapleBob,

I'm committed to staying in my relationship with my partner.   after a pretty horrible 2013, we have gotten together and grown stronger together.   

three things contributed to our success at making this work.

1)  I learned everything I could about BPD so I understood how she processed life and what her world view looked like.   I noticed this.

But to this day she insists that "well, my perspective is my perspective and I experienced what I experienced and it's all real to me". 

Yeah.   My partner and I experience the same event much differently.   I need to radically accept that from time to time.   

2)  I needed,... .I desperately needed to learn how to communicate differently.  My way wasn't right.  Her way wasn't wrong.   We often talked passed each other or had circular arguments that were absolutely mind blowing in their illogic.   Over on the staying board, in the Lessons, Lesson three is all about communications.  SET, Validation, DEARMAN and LEAP probably saved our r/s.  At first it felt unnatural to me to talk that way, now I don't even think about it.

3)  My partner was just as committed to making this work as I was.  We both agreed the discomfort was worth the potential pay off.

It took a lot of effort on both our parts.   my first step was coming here and learning about validation.

would it help to list your options out here?

'ducks
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MapleBob
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2015, 06:58:26 PM »

A few replies here:

@once removed:

She has promised to contact me once the month is over, and I believe that she will. We've done this a couple of times already and I have no reason to doubt that we'll be speaking in December. She is *absolutely* emotionally dysregulated when speaking to me, and that is a big problem for BOTH of us. I feel like the blame/accountability generally falls on me for that, in an "oh, talking to you makes me feel crazy, so I shouldn't talk to you as much, because I have to not feel crazy to do my life." It's something that she only takes personal responsibility for in a self-blaming/victim kind of way: "I'm just broken ... .not everyone is calm and rational like you ... .I feel like a failure... ." etc. I have thought a lot about refusing to engage past the point where she's escalating emotionally, but I'm hesitant. It's likely me being codependent, but it feels like giving up. I'll re-read the lessons and report back!

@babyducks (Thanks!)

I'm definitely in the process of #1 and #2, but I can't control #3 (not that control is my end game or anything). I question her level of commitment, mainly due to the issues I just mentioned ("YOU make me crazy!". She's also talked about feeling "pathetic" for loving me as much as she did, and not feeling like I was on the same wavelength about that (when I totally totally was!). She gets it NOW, but she says that it's too late (and then acts like it's not). Mixed messages.

I feel like my communication is generally pretty good with her (and I think that frustrates her, like she *should* have been able to push me away completely by now, or I *should* be losing my cool). She mentions feeling pressured to be more attentive or more caring or more present, and that it feels totally unnatural. But then she often indicates that she's thought about getting in touch with me and stopped herself (so, withholding?). I *will* look into the lessons about communication and try some stuff out, if I get the chance.

As far as my options go, they feel pretty limited:

1. I don't contact her, and if she contacts me, I ignore her/block Facebook/etc. No contact forever, I move on.

2. I don't contact her, and if she contacts me, I engage. (That seems comfortable for HER in the present time, but I have grief and longing and resentment about it.)

3. I contact her lightly and occasionally despite her insisting on time/space, and she's free to do what she wants about that. (I think this will push her away over time, honestly - I've tried this option and it's not working, for whatever reason.)

I guess to clarify: I would like to have a romantic relationship with her again, or at least seriously explore the possibility of working towards that. In these whole nine months she has perpetually refused to have that conversation - won't even talk about it. Hints at it once in a while, but won't go there. In the absence of that romantic possibility, I'd like to get to where we could be in casual, easy contact and have things be peaceful and familial. I care about her, she cares about me, that has NEVER been the issue, but it would be hard (possible, but hard) to let go of the romantic/sexual part for me. She seems to want to let it go, but can't. I think she's waiting for something to change, and I don't know what it is. It's like she's waiting to not feel borderline anymore! 
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babyducks
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2015, 07:56:35 PM »

She is *absolutely* emotionally dysregulated when speaking to me, and that is a big problem for BOTH of us. I feel like the blame/accountability generally falls on me for that, in an "oh, talking to you makes me feel crazy, so I shouldn't talk to you as much, because I have to not feel crazy to do my life."

Opportunity for validation.   If talking to you pushes her to emotional dsyregulation than of course she is going to feel uncomfortable.   Don't accept blame but validate what you can.    If it's a problem for both of you, agree with her.   "Yes there is a lot of intensity in the air right now, I feel it too.   Let's take a break from this topic for a while."


question her level of commitment, mainly due to the issues I just mentioned ("YOU make me crazy!". She's also talked about feeling "pathetic" for loving me as much as she did, and not feeling like I was on the same wavelength about that (when I totally totally was!). She gets it NOW, but she says that it's too late (and then acts like it's not). Mixed messages

pwBPD crave a relationship and fear them.  they think if you REALLY knew what they were like you wouldn't care for them.   They also fear being engulfed by the relationship.


I guess to clarify: I would like to have a romantic relationship with her again, or at least seriously explore the possibility of working towards that. In these whole nine months she has perpetually refused to have that conversation - won't even talk about it. Hints at it once in a while, but won't go there. In the absence of that romantic possibility, I'd like to get to where we could be in casual, easy contact and have things be peaceful and familial. I care about her, she cares about me, that has NEVER been the issue, but it would be hard (possible, but hard) to let go of the romantic/sexual part for me. She seems to want to let it go, but can't. I think she's waiting for something to change, and I don't know what it is. It's like she's waiting to not feel borderline anymore! 

I would still recommend visiting the staying board and reading the lessons there.   It's important to understand what a relationship with a pwBPD is like in terms of consistent respect, trust, support, honesty and accountability, and in terms of negotiation and fairness, or expectations of non-threatening behavior.  It is important to accept the relationship behavior for what it is - not hope the person will permanently return to the idealization phase, not accept the external excuses for the bad behavior, and not hope that changing your behavior to heal someone else.

I had the opportunity to leave my relationship and made the decision not to do it.   I would make the same decision today.  I am happy with my relationship.   No relationship is perfect, I've made some sacrifices to stay.  But I did it with my eyes wide open.   I knew what I was signing up for.

ducks

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MapleBob
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2015, 08:09:57 PM »

I would still recommend visiting the staying board and reading the lessons there.   It's important to understand what a relationship with a pwBPD is like in terms of consistent respect, trust, support, honesty and accountability, and in terms of negotiation and fairness, or expectations of non-threatening behavior.  It is important to accept the relationship behavior for what it is - not hope the person will permanently return to the idealization phase, not accept the external excuses for the bad behavior, and not hope that changing your behavior to heal someone else.

I had the opportunity to leave my relationship and made the decision not to do it.   I would make the same decision today.  I am happy with my relationship.   No relationship is perfect, I've made some sacrifices to stay.  But I did it with my eyes wide open.   I knew what I was signing up for.

I definitely feel committed (and she says that she is too, but with severe limitations). I feel like I could learn to accept the behaviors and develop skills around them *in the context of a relationship*. But we don't really have a relationship right now, honestly - what we have right now is a dysfunctional attachment that gives me pretty rare opportunity to even *try* anything. And there is no clear goal, because our stated intentions are different. I say I'd be willing to try dating her again (and if not, we can be friends, I'll learn to live with that) - she'll only talk about being friends, but then hints at the possibility of more, and honestly isn't even really engaging in much of a friendship at the moment.

I know *so* little about her life right now (she could be dating someone for all I know), because when we talk it gets escalated pretty quickly, no matter what I'm doing. (She's "incapable of not starting a fight", she says.) I'm actually really good at turning it around and calming her, but it always comes back to "well, I'm crying again and I hate this and give me a month or tell me it's not good enough for you, doesn't change anything, yadda yadda".
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MapleBob
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 08:34:36 PM »

She says she wants to "move forwards, not backwards", which I'm taking to mean that she doesn't want to pursue anything romantic with me again. Then again, "I feel nostalgic, and part of wants to be allowed to love you... ." 
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2015, 10:44:47 PM »

im not suggesting she wont contact you in december, but my concern is that if, hypothetically she didnt, that it could leave you feeling stuck in an even wider limbo and unsure about acting. its something to consider in this arrangement. or, this dynamic of her contacting you once a month and losing it could go on for quite a while as is. neither strike me as in your best interest.

babyducks really beat me to it on using validation in the kinds of moments that she quoted and i want to echo it as strongly as i can, and she has the experience to back it up. i didnt have the opportunity to use the tools with my ex, but theyve improved all of my personal relationships. they can go a long way toward stopping the bleeding and diffusing conflict. its not a guarantee, and it does feel very awkward at first, but i think its crucial in smoother communication, and it becomes more natural with practice.

why does exiting a conversation feel like giving up?
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MapleBob
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2015, 12:38:43 AM »

or, this dynamic of her contacting you once a month and losing it could go on for quite a while as is. neither strike me as in your best interest.

Oh agreed, I certainly don't want the current dynamic to continue. I *can't* have it go on for much longer. I'm not sure how long. It's utterly unsatisfactory, which is why it becomes so difficult for me to be just sitting with it, and feeling relatively powerless in my agreement to it, "for now".

I will definitely give some thought to validation. I've seen positive results at times from being validating of her and her experience, however foreign it may seem from my perspective. That validation is almost what keeps ME going even, because it's often hard for me to justify staying through all of this - especially the fear and the near-PTSD I experience at times when thinking about just how *hard* things have been.

In regards to "exiting a conversation feels like giving up": I think that it feels invalidating to me, but maybe there is a certain amount of "your actions/reactions are not okay with me" that I need to reiterate. It's also, like, things are so dramatic and difficult and confusing as it is, and we talk so rarely as it is, that exiting a conversation feels like saying "enough is enough, I'm done", especially with the current fragility. Again, that's probably codependent thinking.
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MapleBob
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2015, 12:47:51 AM »

Tonight it feels like I should give up and not speak to her again. I feel foolish placing any faith in this, after nine months (well, over a year really, since the breakup cycle started) and this much dirty water under the bridge. Sigh.
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2015, 01:01:25 AM »

maplebob, you mention that exiting a conversation feels like saying "enough is enough, im done", and it occurs to me that it could easily be perceived that way and trigger the sense of abandonment. it really depends on your goals. tonight you feel you should give up and you feel foolish. you may feel differently tomorrow. you have time to reflect on whats best for you. should you decide you want to improve things, your emphasis should certainly be on validation as opposed to a hard and fast exiting of a conversation. should you decide to end things, you have many options not limited to but including not speaking to her again. you have time. i encourage you to make the most of it.
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2015, 08:51:29 AM »

should you decide to end things, you have many options not limited to but including not speaking to her again. you have time. i encourage you to make the most of it.

Well, technically things *are* ended between us. Well, sort of. We're not a couple. And talking strictly once a month, to me, doesn't move things forward in ANY direction, which I keep trying to get through to her. That part makes me frustrated and she acts like I'm crazy for believing that. That's not a crazy belief, right? That you have to DO a relationship. She says that she needs time and space to "get over it" and "not care as much". I have a hard time validating her wanting to get to the point where she cares less about me. (Not to mention the fact that withholding and *telling* someone that you're intentionally being withholding is pretty much abusive.)

When all we have is talking once a month (again, "for now", the only option I see for "ending" things is to not do that anymore.

I'm also worried that she's seeing someone else and just isn't telling me, either because she doesn't want hurt to me or lose me as a friend, or because she's stringing me along for some reason. *That's* hard.
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2015, 10:52:38 AM »

I think that I can use SET with her, if given the opportunity. I can see that I've been, at times, invalidating. At other times - maybe most times! - I've been essentially using SET and just didn't know it. It works, but I've felt like a pushover sometimes with her when I'm consciously being validating of her feelings/perceptions that I know just aren't based in objective "reality".

She has this big thing about "not being able to feel the love" that I have for her. Does anyone have advice about that? That was the reason for us breaking up - she felt that the relationship was imbalanced - but I think she's come around and realized that I'm still here, so I *must* actually love her pretty hard. Now she's staying away from romantic entanglement with me because "Well, why didn't I feel it?" She doesn't want to go back to that (to feeling "pathetic", and I don't want that either, but I'm not being given any opportunity to *change* anything, or demonstrate anything. It's just a couple of hours a month on the phone, and maybe one or two sessions of texting when I've decided to break no contact.
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2015, 06:01:36 PM »

Any further advice/support would be much appreciated. I'm kind of white-knuckling here in order to respect her contact boundaries. Torture! (At least it is today.)
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 05:18:35 AM »

Well, technically things *are* ended between us. Well, sort of. We're not a couple. And talking strictly once a month, to me, doesn't move things forward in ANY direction, which I keep trying to get through to her. That part makes me frustrated and she acts like I'm crazy for believing that. That's not a crazy belief, right? That you have to DO a relationship. She says that she needs time and space to "get over it" and "not care as much".

Hi MapleBob,

being stuck in limbo is not a good place, and it's not a place that anyone can sustain for long.   "being ended, sort of" is untenable.  exactly what you already think.  you need some clarity about the state of the relationship and she is unable to provide anything more than she already has.  she has reached the end of her emotional limits.  it's not being done deliberately to hurt you. pwBPD are emotionally undeveloped and reach their limits before you and I.  unfortunately that means it's up to you to provide the clarity you need.

nothing you can say or do will change anything she feels or thinks.   that's her job.    changing your behavior won't heal her.   she won't quickly recover from the traits of BPD or develop the relationship skills you hope for rapidly.  it took my partner 9 years in therapy to reach the point where she was released from care.   you can accept that the person you care deeply about is at the limit of her emotional bandwidth and accept the relationship is what it is, without trying to change it.   that's a tall order and you are going to wrestle with many difficult feelings during that process.

you can decided that working within the limits of the relationship is not something you can do, and you can disengage with compassion and grace.   my perspective is no contact is necessary in situations of abuse or domestic violence.   in other situations I don't happen to consider it a magic panacea.  if you detach, however you choose to do it, that will be a tall order too and you are going to wrestle with many difficult feelings during that process.

if there are two people equally in a relationship both people should have their wishes on the table and respected.   if you want more contact and her less, your wishes are diametrically opposed.  the person with the 'more' healthy coping skills will have to lead the way.   

it's good that you respect her contact boundaries.   when the knuckles start to get white it's time to do something else with all that energy... .exercise, read a book, go out with friends.  rechannel that energy into something positive.

'ducks
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2015, 09:02:14 AM »

if there are two people equally in a relationship both people should have their wishes on the table and respected.   if you want more contact and her less, your wishes are diametrically opposed.  the person with the 'more' healthy coping skills will have to lead the way.

For starters, I don't think she really KNOWS what she wants; I'm certainly being given opposing signals. She defaults to (essentially) "I'm having a hard time thinking about talking to you regularly and getting worked up about it on a regular basis, because that is what happens, so leave it alone and give me a month or tell me to f**k off. I'll understand if you do." Like it's a dare!

But then she says that she thinks about our relationship ALL the time ("obsessed" is the word she uses, until I ask her about that and she says "well, I'm not obsessed with our relationship", says the once a month thing is "just for now", says that she doesn't know what happens in the future between us (won't make a definitive choice), says that she wants to be close, and have regular contact eventually, says that she "wants to be allowed to love me".

Regardless, she's forcing space. Loudly - and, honestly, pretty rudely. I'm having a hard time with a few other things in my life right now too, and she is utterly unsupportive and wouldn't put this aside to be present for me. I would have for her!

Anyway, if I'm the one with the "more healthy coping skills", how do I go about leading the way? I feel like I'm pretty validating (at least eventually   ), but like you said, it always boils down to "I want to talk more, you want to talk less (for now, at least)", or "I want to work towards being together, you want to work towards being friends". It's hard to lead the way when all you have to work with is her crying and raging on the phone and then eventually settling down long enough to give me a fraction of hope before we hang up - once a month.

I really can't validate her desire to put our relationship on hold.
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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2015, 09:22:40 AM »

Think about how things could play out if you didn't try to match her level of comfort and ability to express herself but made it more about you and your wants, thoughts, needs.   

Not a  tit  for tat exchange but an offering up of ideas.  I use the Yale Communication Model which is built on this format.

When event or occurrence happens

I feel this emotion

So I would like to

For me it looks like this When our plans get confused I feel anxious so I would like to decide what we are going to do Friday night now.   Is that okay with you?    Keep your suggestions small and positive.   Don't overwhelm her with far reaching solutions or emotionally fraught topics.   

Baby steps.   If having the same conversation over and over isn't getting you any where, stop having it.  My 2 cents.
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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2015, 09:36:09 AM »

Think about how things could play out if you didn't try to match her level of comfort and ability to express herself but made it more about you and your wants, thoughts, needs.    

Not a  tit  for tat exchange but an offering up of ideas.  I use the Yale Communication Model which is built on this format.

If having the same conversation over and over isn't getting you any where, stop having it.  My 2 cents.

Ah yes, I did a lot of that in my therapy work years ago. Validation, "I statements", calm behavior change requests... .but none of that seems to work on her.

Here's a literal quote from her: "I am allowed to ask for space! And yet it's always wrong and insensitive and disappointing! And somehow surprises you! When I ask for it every time ... .I feel like a failure, do you get that? You are great and you try harder and are nicer and more patient and more dedicated. I am constantly disappointing. It's not fun being that person either! The one dad is always wishing was different ... .and of course THIS is why I can't talk to you often. Because I am incapable of not starting a fight. Just give me a month or tell me to go away. I'm sorry."

Like whoa. Provocative. We even went to the extent of writing each other letters and reading them to each other a couple months back. One angry letter (to get the grief out and be heard), then two weeks later one nice, loving letter (for affirmation, and balance). She literally got nicer after the angry letter and then angrier after the nice letter. Completely the opposite of what one would expect.

I'm definitely going to try validation, and some behavior change requests when I talk to her in December, but I don't feel hopeful about it.
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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2015, 10:00:23 AM »

If I had to make an assumption as to her wants/needs: I think she still has feelings for me (although she insists on describing them as "nostalgia", blech), but she doesn't want to have those feelings anymore. She wants time and space to let me go (let the relationship go), and to feel more casual and "friend"-like about me, but it isn't working. So she doesn't know what to do, and has extreme and conflicting feelings. She certainly won't see me, which is kind of a deal-breaker for me, because I am *positive* that an in-person meeting would make things, well, more difficult at first, but better in the long run.
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2015, 12:34:24 PM »

It feels like it might come down to an ultimatum, and I *HATE* that, because she will definitely walk away.
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« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2015, 01:07:43 PM »

If I had to make an assumption as to her wants/needs: I think she still has feelings for me (although she insists on describing them as "nostalgia", blech), but she doesn't want to have those feelings anymore. She wants time and space to let me go (let the relationship go), and to feel more casual and "friend"-like about me, but it isn't working. So she doesn't know what to do, and has extreme and conflicting feelings. She certainly won't see me, which is kind of a deal-breaker for me, because I am *positive* that an in-person meeting would make things, well, more difficult at first, but better in the long run.

pwBPD struggle with object permanence. this is often thought of as "out of sight out of mind" but it doesnt usually work exactly that way.

generally, the closer we grow to our partners, the more intense a trigger we become. you will notice she compares you to her father, "the one who is always wishing" she was different. this isnt your fault (i dont think most people consciously become a stand in for a parent) but it may be reality.

so the more distance she has from you, the better she is able to regulate her emotions, and thus feel a longing for you. when she gets closer to you (talks to you) she is triggered intensely and must either lash out or back away. this looks and feels like push-pull to you, and it is.

within that quote from her, there is plenty to validate, none of it easily. i think in general you want to avoid getting to that point; probably avoid discussion of feelings. leave that to her, if she does, and then validate. and like babyducks said, don't overwhelm her with far reaching solutions or emotionally fraught topics. baby steps, but based on your wants and needs.

remember, you still have plenty of time to think this through, as well as get some space for yourself and decide affirmatively your wants and needs.
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« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2015, 01:16:07 PM »

You cannot solve the problem with the same minds that created it.

What has changed in you and/or her that make you think a getting back together will result in a happier and long lasting relationship?

Or you will end up the same place you were the last break up ?
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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2015, 01:24:09 PM »

generally, the closer we grow to our partners, the more intense a trigger we become. you will notice she compares you to her father, "the one who is always wishing" she was different. this isnt your fault (i dont think most people consciously become a stand in for a parent) but it may be reality.

There has been a running theme of her comparing me to her father. It's usually little things, but I've always thought that was interesting. I've said that, if anything, it's a sign of compatibility between us, and an explanation of the intense chemistry we seem to have. You know, that "you fall in love with people who represent the best and worst of your parents' qualities, so that you can have a corrective experience" thing. I desperately want that corrective experience for both of us!

within that quote from her, there is plenty to validate, none of it easily. i think in general you want to avoid getting to that point; probably avoid discussion of feelings. leave that to her, if she does, and then validate. and like babyducks said, don't overwhelm her with far reaching solutions or emotionally fraught topics. baby steps, but based on your wants and needs.

remember, you still have plenty of time to think this through, as well as get some space for yourself and decide affirmatively your wants and needs.

I feel clear about my wants and needs (well, to enough of an extent to get started). When I express them (even in the teensy tiniest of ways), I'm suddenly laying on intense pressure and expectations and she feels like she can't rise to the occasion, so she feels like garbage, and then *I'm* making her feel like garbage, and she has to go because she's spiraling, "talk to you in a month"... .It's frustrating.
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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2015, 01:38:25 PM »

You cannot solve the problem with the same minds that created it.

What has changed in you and/or her that make you think a getting back together will result in a happier and long lasting relationship?

Or you will end up the same place you were the last break up ?

Well, that prospect DOES frighten me. Not much has changed, honestly, except that when we finally broke up in a more "permanent" way 9+ months ago, it was with the stated reasoning that I "didn't love her enough/well enough," and that she was tired of waiting for me to move there (though there were significant obstacles in her life that SHE had placed there that made a move more difficult for me than it had to be - and some of those *have* started to change). I think I've managed to get through to her that that wasn't the case, mainly by sticking with this (I certainly DID love her, and still DO), so now the conversation is "Why did she feel that way? What can we do differently to allow her to feel more secure, confident, and loved? How can we forgive each other after all of this?"

I have her quote "I feel nostalgic and there is a part of me wants to be allowed to love you (because I am good at that), and there is a part of me that is *refusing* to let go of the anger I feel because I used to feel SO PATHETIC for loving you like that the last time ... .But in reality I just want to know you and be a tiny bit casual about it. And we can talk when we have a minute and not talk for a while and that's just okay, and nobody is hurting about it. And I think that takes time, and space. I just believe that to be true."

Now, that points to "let's take some time and just be friends later when the fallout settles," EXCEPT for the "part of me wants to be allowed to love you." That's a pretty strong mixed message, right? "I *want* this, but really I *want* the opposite of this." Or is that me just focusing on the part that gives me hope?
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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2015, 01:46:47 PM »

There has been a running theme of her comparing me to her father. It's usually little things, but I've always thought that was interesting. I've said that, if anything, it's a sign of compatibility between us, and an explanation of the intense chemistry we seem to have. You know, that "you fall in love with people who represent the best and worst of your parents' qualities, so that you can have a corrective experience" thing. I desperately want that corrective experience for both of us!

i think the situation is unfortunately more complicated than that. you see, i was often compared to my exes father, though we are nothing alike. in fact her father withheld affection and was pretty cruel to her. besides, im my own man, id prefer my partner not project their father onto me.

BPD has its origins in very early childhood, around the ages of 2-3, where its theorized the person failed to complete the separation/individuation stage, where one begins to internalize that they are their own person, separate from their earliest attachment (mother/father). thus they remain, emotionally, very very young, and feel a life time of great shame. its a failure to attach. so every intimate relationship will play out with this underlying dynamic, with that same failure to attach, which increases shame. this is not a conscious thing but will replay with the same outcome without long, hard work in therapy.

in other words, we were/are virtually all stand ins for our BPD loved ones parent(s). for many members, our exes were stand ins for our parents too. this is fraught with peril and generally does not lead to a corrective experience.

"When I express them (even in the teensy tiniest of ways), I'm suddenly laying on intense pressure and expectations and she feels like she can't rise to the occasion, so she feels like garbage, and then *I'm* making her feel like garbage, and she has to go because she's spiraling, "talk to you in a month"... .It's frustrating."

this is where the yale communication model that babyducks mentioned may help. make small and positive suggestions based on your wants and needs, but avoid framing them as wants or needs. this will require great restraint. it looks less like "i want to/need to/would like to see you" (interpreted as a demand) and more like "what are you doing on x day? would you like to get together?". thats just an example.
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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2015, 02:06:34 PM »

in other words, we were/are virtually all stand ins for our BPD loved ones parent(s). for many members, our exes were stand ins for our parents too. this is fraught with peril and generally does not lead to a corrective experience.

Oh she's a total stand-in for my mother as well. My mother was an abuse survivor who did her core therapy work when I was an adolescent, so I spent years watching her go through a rough time, being alternately raging/unavailable and loving/clinging (exactly like my exBP). I hear you - it generally isn't our partners who give us corrective experiences. We have to give them to ourselves.

"When I express them (even in the teensy tiniest of ways), I'm suddenly laying on intense pressure and expectations and she feels like she can't rise to the occasion, so she feels like garbage, and then *I'm* making her feel like garbage, and she has to go because she's spiraling, "talk to you in a month"... .It's frustrating."

this is where the yale communication model that babyducks mentioned may help. make small and positive suggestions based on your wants and needs, but avoid framing them as wants or needs. this will require great restraint. it looks less like "i want to/need to/would like to see you" (interpreted as a demand) and more like "what are you doing on x day? would you like to get together?". thats just an example.

I think I'd have to start significantly smaller than requesting an in-person visit, but I see what you're saying. Invite instead of asking to be invited. I've made a lot of mistakes around that, honestly, because she's been so so so avoidant and withholding and trying to run, knowing that I won't leave. I'm waiting for her to come around (because she says that she will if I "leave her alone" for long enough), I'm trying to be patient and validating, but that's leaves me here, waiting. Waiting for SO LONG for zero progress - progress that I feel *could* be made if she could be present and committed in the relationship. I guess I'm having a hard time seeing time and space as presence or work. And no contact is really hard.
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2015, 02:42:43 PM »

Can anyone help me come up with a Yale Communication-styled message that I can send her asking her to give some thought to developing a goal that we can reach together, and methods of reaching that goal? I think that part of the intensity of this situation for me lies in feeling like we're not moving *towards*, but *away from* any kind of functional connection, be it romantic or friendly or otherwise. It's the powerless/limbo/estranged feeling that gets to me.

I want to give her some time to think about it, maybe talk to her therapist about it if she decides to.
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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2015, 02:53:01 PM »

ill wait for others' input, but i dont necessarily recommend that approach, or contacting her at all, at the moment. it sounds like you are (understandably) feeling quite anxious. i literally cant recall a time that ive acted on my anxiety and had good results. she could feel cornered. if you want to push for resolution, that is your choice and its not a bad one, but it may not end well.

lets start small: if you contacted her right now, what do you want to say?
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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2015, 03:35:20 PM »

ill wait for others' input, but i dont necessarily recommend that approach, or contacting her at all, at the moment. it sounds like you are (understandably) feeling quite anxious. i literally cant recall a time that ive acted on my anxiety and had good results. she could feel cornered. if you want to push for resolution, that is your choice and its not a bad one, but it may not end well.

lets start small: if you contacted her right now, what do you want to say?

Oh believe me, I feel VERY cautious about contacting her right now. But I also feel cautious about talking to her in a couple of weeks, asking her about having a goal, and then waiting out another limbo month for any kind of answer or non-answer.

What I *want* to say and what I *would* say are, of course, two different matters. 

What I *would* say would be something along the lines of:

"Hi, hope you've been well (etc.) ... .I've been thinking a lot about the current state of our relationship, and things are feeling pretty stuck. I don't think that either of us are entirely happy about the way things are right now, or about the difficulties we've been having in communicating with each other and feeling a safe sense of calm about each other. I intend to continue giving you space for now, but I wanted to ask you to give some thought to setting a goal(s) that we can work towards together that might allow us to get to a better place in our relationship. I think that this has been a problem for us - anxiety about the future, and not being on the same page about where we're going, or why. I'm thinking something along the lines of having a day of the week where we text and check in, or having some kind of ongoing thing that we talk about or do together (writing letters or making playlists or something, like we discussed last summer), or maybe working towards a visit. I think we've spent a lot of time going over past issues - and I'm sure we'll continue to reference those as time goes on - but I agree with you that it's time to start looking forward. You may not wind up being ready for that, but I'm at a loss as to what else to do. I'm reaching out to you now so that you can have some time to think about that specifically, or get support about it, or do whatever you need to do about it. I would ideally like to talk about this the next time we're on the phone together, and I'd also like to catch up and hear about your life and how things are going with you. If you have other ideas or other thoughts I'd be happy to hear them. Have a good couple of weeks and a good Thanksgiving and I'll talk to you soon."

But that maybe feels dramatic, I don't know. It's probably not the right move. I'm tempted to say something like "If you feel like you just can't have a relationship with me where things are open and moving forward then I need you to tell me that."

I fully anticipate that if I send that, I'll wind up hearing that that's too much pressure, she's not ready, she doesn't want to talk about anything serious, etc. But then we'll get on the phone and she'll get serious and then spiral and that will be that for another month. I do recognize that I need to lead the way on this, but I don't know how.
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« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2015, 04:31:09 PM »

I fully anticipate that if I send that, I'll wind up hearing that that's too much pressure, she's not ready, she doesn't want to talk about anything serious, etc.

yes, id bet on it.

I'm tempted to say something like "If you feel like you just can't have a relationship with me where things are open and moving forward then I need you to tell me that."

this is why your goals need clarity. it almost sounds like you are tempted to push for resolution whatever the outcome, but you are expecting her to do that; thats very unlikely to happen. it also keeps everything on her terms. if the above is the statement you want to make, try something like "If we can't have a relationship where things are open and moving forward then I need to move on." and mean it, and do it.

if that is not what you want to do, then i recommend keeping things incredibly light. just reaching out. "hey, how are you, ive been well, ive been working on blah blah blah". no mention of feelings or relationships. this could be a step to more frequent, smoother communication - it could not.
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« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2015, 04:59:37 PM »

this is why your goals need clarity. it almost sounds like you are tempted to push for resolution whatever the outcome, but you are expecting her to do that; thats very unlikely to happen. it also keeps everything on her terms. if the above is the statement you want to make, try something like "If we can't have a relationship where things are open and moving forward then I need to move on." and mean it, and do it.

I think that's a very good point, and good advice, and thank you.

That's something that I feel like I should say on the phone, and something that I can wait and think about until then. You may be right about keeping things light from my end, and probably my best move is to just continue no contact on my end. I'd probably benefit from starving her of reasons to become upset at me. She's supposed to be in touch within the next two weeks to set up a time to talk to me in early December - I'm tempted to ask her then if anything is going to change or be different this time if we talk, and maybe just not talk to her without some reassurances or intention-setting about things not going as badly as they did last time.

Does anyone else find it relatable for her to expect time and space to such a degree (and in such a way) under these conditions? I try to validate that, but it's a struggle for me. To reiterate something I said earlier: dysfunctional or not, you have to show up and DO a relationship to HAVE a relationship. Right? Is that unreasonable of *me*? She acts like she's really stretching it, or doing me a favor, by talking to me a mere once a month, though she apparently thinks about me (and us, and this) all the time.
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« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2015, 06:46:40 PM »

The mixed messages really mess with my head. I feel foolish (again) for not taking the hint. She has said straight up that "I'm wasting my time" and that "this is 100% friend zone for me" and that she "really doesn't care if I like it or not." But then there's the "part of me wants to be allowed to love you" and "I care about you" and "this is just for *right now*" and the  's at the end of her texts.

    :'(

There's just no escaping it: it's "settle for less, or settle for none."
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« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »

Does anyone else find it relatable for her to expect time and space to such a degree (and in such a way) under these conditions? I try to validate that, but it's a struggle for me. To reiterate something I said earlier: dysfunctional or not, you have to show up and DO a relationship to HAVE a relationship. Right? Is that unreasonable of *me*? She acts like she's really stretching it, or doing me a favor, by talking to me a mere once a month, though she apparently thinks about me (and us, and this) all the time.

her conditions would not work for me personally. i understand though, where she is coming from, when i consider that it pains her on a psychological level to be in contact with you (not your fault). it is what it is; its acceptable to you or it isnt. there are things you can try, or not.

you say the relationship basically concluded nine months ago, and has since carried on at this level, correct me if im wrong. there is no indication that she is going to show up and do a relationship to have a relationship. that doesnt mean it has to be that way, but it is that way at this moment and without change, will continue.

it works for her. you are there in the event she wants contact. why should she change anything?

shes fickle, and she can be. telling you that you are wasting your time is pretty honest, though. i had a girl once tell me she was bad news and that i should basically run. we did continue the relationship briefly, we both wanted to, but she was telling me the truth.

i think though, that youre right. you have time to sort this out before you speak again. your mind may go back and forth rapidly right now. use the time, embrace the space, and sort out what you really want to do or not do.
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« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2015, 08:21:16 PM »

Oh no, actually, contact has been all over the place. First we did maybe six weeks of no contact, then lighter contact, then full contact for most of the summer, then she bailed to the once-a-month plan after we wrote those letters to each other. So it's been rollercoaster-y all along in terms of her presence/absence. She even sent me flowers in August! (I was *really* fed up with her sabotaging behaviors and was talking about making an exit.) I still have the card:

"I love you and I am sorry for how hard it is to love me sometimes. I want to figure out how to know you and keep you. I am still here fiercely!" This was also around the time that she wouldn't agree to see me, but swore that if I needed it she would give me a kidney! 

I think that when she gets in touch to arrange our talk I probably need to say something to the effect of: "I'm not happy with the ways things are. If this isn't going to be a productive conversation about moving forward in a way that is satisfactory for both of us, then I need to not talk to you until you feel like you can have that conversation with me."
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2015, 08:42:28 PM »

"I'm not happy with the ways things are. If this isn't going to be a productive conversation about moving forward in a way that is satisfactory for both of us, then I need to not talk to you until you feel like you can have that conversation with me."

are you planning on responding this way no matter of the nature of her contact? if so, thats fine; again it depends upon your goals. its forcing the issue. if you want to improve things, i reiterate keeping things light, no talk about the relationship or feelings. clarity is important to you, i understand.

if you want to force the issue, that approach still leaves things on her terms, and will be received as a demand. "im not going to talk to you until you say what i want to hear" is what she will hear.
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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2015, 09:14:21 PM »

are you planning on responding this way no matter of the nature of her contact? if so, thats fine; again it depends upon your goals. its forcing the issue. if you want to improve things, i reiterate keeping things light, no talk about the relationship or feelings. clarity is important to you, i understand.

if you want to force the issue, that approach still leaves things on her terms, and will be received as a demand. "im not going to talk to you until you say what i want to hear" is what she will hear.

Sigh. You're right. Keeping it light and breezy requires a lot of zen right now. And I'm not sure where that's going to get me. It's "stop the bleeding" stuff, right?
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« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2015, 11:35:30 PM »

We almost certainly WILL be having some kind of "what happens now?" discussion, and I'm not sure how to lead that. She expected me to have some insight about that last time, and I think I only spoke very generally about it, because she was fairly amped-up at that point. I'd like to be more prepared this time - more clear on achievable goals and methods of reaching them.
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« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2015, 07:26:22 AM »

Being in limbo is the worst place to be. OVer the past 9 months she has dragged you through this foggy relationship, kind of break up but yet still in contact - which is very confusing and UNHEALTHY. 

To me, being friend (after intimacy phase) is another NICE word for "WE ARE DONE".

Like I wrote before, what have changed that make you think this relationship (if you get back together) will lead to a happier and long lasting relationship and perhaps ultimately marriage ?

So far, I have read about your strategy of trying to get her to commit again but I have not heard about what she needs to change and what you need to change. The change I am talking about is not about SET, what to say to appease each other but really the fundamental change of one's thinking and behavior. The change that would sustain a relationship not just 1 but 5, 10 to 30 years.

Do you know what it takes from both of you to make a r.s last for the rest of your life ?

The reason I bring this issue up is because this NC or LC time is a good time for you to go inward to learn from what had transpired and come up with a plan so as to NOT repeat the same mistake again.
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« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2015, 09:35:49 AM »

Like I wrote before, what have changed that make you think this relationship (if you get back together) will lead to a happier and long lasting relationship and perhaps ultimately marriage ?

Do you know what it takes from both of you to make a r.s last for the rest of your life ?

Okay, well, first of all, you make a valid point here about "what has changed, really?", and I'll address that. But I do want to say that if we all waited until we had the perfect relationship skill set and the perfect conditions under which to have a relationship, or to do a relationship, or to want to be in a relationship with someone, then NO ONE would ever be "qualified" to have a relationship! That's not me being contrary or argumentative, it's me stating the very first thing that would need to change here: she would need to get clear about her willingness to re-engage with me, and at what level. Because, as you've said, things are pretty foggy and I'm sure that you see the mixed signals that I've been given.

She is not friends with ANY of her exes, except for her only-recently-divorced-after-five-years-separated husband (and that was mainly for the sake of her daughter), and I'm not friends with any of mine. This is a new thing for both of us, attempting to be friends afterwards, and I'm not sure why we bother, honestly. It's pretty rough, and it feels unnatural, and it's probably just neither of us being willing to let go (that's what I guess the "nostalgia" part is for her). The word "family" gets bandied about quite a bit by both of us, and I think that's telling. I'm here in the "Undecided" forum because I'm ALSO trying to make a decision about MY willingness to engage with her, and at what level. So for starters, we need to pick a damn relationship TYPE already, and start WORKING on it again. It probably needs to be getting back together -OR- no contact, frankly. And it's looking more like the latter, and I hate that, and it sucks, and I'm going to be sure that I've given it a fair shake before I go that route.

I *do* see changes in her. She finally got *actually* divorced, she's back in therapy and seems pretty serious about it. She's working on getting her life to a place where she's emotionally regulated, has enough self-esteem to ask for what she needs, and she's working on getting to where the bedrock parts of her life are capable of sustaining themselves so that she can move forward. Our conversations have mostly shifted from her blaming me for our woes into her being angry about the situation and exploring/taking at least some responsibility for her part. I'm very proud of her for that, I wish that she had done it sooner, and I do have some resentment around the fact that she couldn't see the necessity in doing that when she was still with me - but at the end of the day, it's immensely positive. And I *do* understand and validate her need to take some time with those things, I really do. But on the other hand, you don't have to exit your relationships in order to do your therapy work. That's destructive and counter-productive. When I read between the lines, that's what she's really saying: "I'd like to feel like I could be with you again because I miss what we had, but I'm still angry and my energy is going elsewhere right now. So maybe later I can give some of my energy to you again, but I'm not making any promises and it's an awful thing to ask of you to wait, and I'd be an awful person to ask that of you, so I won't lead you on, but you can go ahead and lead yourself on if you want to, that would be awesome." 

On my end, I think I have a more clear vision about what mistakes we made, and I think that I have the ability to not make the same mistakes again. Our relationship EXACTLY followed the classic "relationship with a borderline" template: intense beginning with high valuation on her part, she tried to be what she thought I wanted her to be instead of just being herself and asking for what she needed, put me through a lot of childish testing/mindreading games to see if I could figure it all out FOR her, got super clingy, then starting splitting me black when I couldn't intuit or understand what was happening, breakup/make up cycle, then everything that happened over the last nine months. Despite being a very capable, intelligent, and beautiful adult woman, she's been a child in her relationships, and thinks that someone will magically and romantically meet her impossible standards and overcome the impossible obstacles that she's set against getting what she needs. She's learning, and I'm learning that the girl I thought I was dating doesn't really exist, but that I still love and care about the woman who DOES exist. I just want a shot at making things work with the real her - because the real her, despite the borderline tendencies, is pretty amazing actually. And I'm willing to learn and experiment and make mistakes and be accountable and grow into that. And I'm reading TONS about borderline and relationships (I love Al Turtle's website), and I think I have some new skills already to bring to the table.

I think that's a pretty good place to be working from, IF WE'RE WORKING ON IT. We *do* have a relationship right now, it's just a garbage one, and I want to start taking out the trash.
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« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2015, 02:24:07 PM »

I'm still not sure what my strategy for getting her to re-commit even is, honestly. I guess I'm going with the "give her as much time and space as she needs" pre-/validate her as much as possible, and keep it light and breezy without forcing the issue. Let the relationship breathe, and grow if it's going to. Let her miss me, let her wonder about me, let her continue doing her work, hoping she'll come around... .Does that sound about right?
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« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2015, 08:05:27 AM »

Hi MapleBob,

Here is how I read her message.

Here's a literal quote from her: "I am allowed to ask for space!

My needs are important.  I am afraid they won't be acknowledged.   I am afraid that I will be overwhelmed and overpowered.  I don't have mature coping skills.   I am afraid of the intensity of what I am feeling.

And yet it's always wrong and insensitive and disappointing!

pwBPD understand at some level that they process life differently than most of us do.  they have had a life time of hearing why can't you just calm down?   why can't you act more like other people?  they suffer from a disorder that has tremendous amount of shame inherent to it and when they act ~differently~ and pick up the subtle or not so subtle messages that it's disappointing the shame becomes self perpetuating.

 

And somehow surprises you! When I ask for it every time ... .I feel like a failure, do you get that?

to me this is the most telling sentence in her message.   Wow.   She is being very brave here and laying it right on the table for you.   Looking at this through BPD glasses this is pretty big statement.

You are great and you try harder and are nicer and more patient and more dedicated. I am constantly disappointing. It's not fun being that person either! The one dad is always wishing was different ... .and of course THIS is why I can't talk to you often. Because I am incapable of not starting a fight. Just give me a month or tell me to go away. I'm sorry."

I'm on the same page with onceremoved here,   the comparison with her Dad is not something you particularly wish to see in a BPD relationship.   from my perspective this is a  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2015, 08:20:45 AM »

Does anyone else find it relatable for her to expect time and space to such a degree (and in such a way) under these conditions? I try to validate that, but it's a struggle for me. To reiterate something I said earlier: dysfunctional or not, you have to show up and DO a relationship to HAVE a relationship. Right? Is that unreasonable of *me*? She acts like she's really stretching it, or doing me a favor, by talking to me a mere once a month, though she apparently thinks about me (and us, and this) all the time.

my experience has been that conversations about the "state of our relationship" never ever go well with my partner.  they are wildly triggering, put her on the defensive and generate circular arguments.

my partner and I developed ways of stopping conversations that became too fraught or emotionally loaded.  we would come right out and say, I can't discuss this any more right now lets talk about something light and easy.

and build the relationship by doing, by talking about the book I am reading, current events, the movie she saw.  dialing down the level of emotional reactivity.
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« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2015, 08:52:59 AM »

And somehow surprises you! When I ask for it every time ... .I feel like a failure, do you get that?

to me this is the most telling sentence in her message.   Wow.   She is being very brave here and laying it right on the table for you.   Looking at this through BPD glasses this is pretty big statement.

She *does* sometimes get vulnerable, usually after acting out on me. There's a lot of "I feel like a failure", "I felt SO PATHETIC for loving you like that the first time", etc. I wish that I could have gotten more clarity from her about exactly HOW she feels like a failure. SHE left, not me. A big part of our breakup/makeup period was me trying to break down her negativity and distorted perspectives, because she had some really really out of whack assumptions that she was basing her decisions on that were as far from truth as they could have possibly been.

I remember her telling me about a very telling dream she had about me recently: We were in a public pool, but it was like a maze within a pool. We got separated for a minute and when she found me I was laughing and hanging out with a bunch of "hot girls" and she got upset and jealous and when she tried to talk to me about it no words came out so she started vomiting and apparently I laughed at her. 

You are great and you try harder and are nicer and more patient and more dedicated. I am constantly disappointing. It's not fun being that person either! The one dad is always wishing was different ... .and of course THIS is why I can't talk to you often. Because I am incapable of not starting a fight. Just give me a month or tell me to go away. I'm sorry."

I'm on the same page with onceremoved here,   the comparison with her Dad is not something you particularly wish to see in a BPD relationship.   from my perspective this is a  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)

Why is that?

my experience has been that conversations about the "state of our relationship" never ever go well with my partner.  they are wildly triggering, put her on the defensive and generate circular arguments.

I feel pretty hopeless after hearing that, honestly, because conversations about our "state of the relationship" are exactly what *I* need to be having with her right now. Again, should I be just keeping it light with her right now, hoping that we get a break in the clouds soon so that we can have some real talk?
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« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2015, 08:53:38 AM »

So for starters, we need to pick a damn relationship TYPE already, and start WORKING on it again. It probably needs to be getting back together -OR- no contact, frankly. And it's looking more like the latter, and I hate that, and it sucks, and I'm going to be sure that I've given it a fair shake before I go that route.

I'm still not sure what my strategy for getting her to re-commit even is, honestly.

let me toss this idea out for you to think about.   you can't get someone to re-commit.   you can't coerce someone into picking a relationship type and working on it.

you can only change your behavior.   and hope that eventually she chooses, voluntarily to follow you down a more healthy road.   

my experience is there is a huge difference in doing something because it expresses my own deeply and sincerely held emotions and doing something because I am hoping for a particular result.   

you can validate that yeah, it sucks to always feel like a failure so why don't we put this aside for now and concentrate on positives.   accept what you have right now.  keep coming here and working on things by yourself.   you don't necessarily have to share with her that you are changing your approach to the relationship.

you can ask for a definitive plan for working on things, or you can even try to suggest one.   chances are that would be difficult for her to hear and embrace right now.

you can make the decision to end your efforts in the relationship.   Onceconfused is correct that being stuck in limbo is not a good place to be.   its hurtful to both of you.   

I understand that having some type of verbal commitment from her is very important to you.  I understand why that would be the case.   I can sense how earnestly you would like to get to that point.   she is not there with you yet.   those of us who have stayed and made it work love and accept our partners for what they are today, not for what we hope they will be when they are better.

'ducks
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« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2015, 09:06:10 AM »

let me toss this idea out for you to think about.   you can't get someone to re-commit.   you can't coerce someone into picking a relationship type and working on it.

you can only change your behavior.   and hope that eventually she chooses, voluntarily to follow you down a more healthy road.   

my experience is there is a huge difference in doing something because it expresses my own deeply and sincerely held emotions and doing something because I am hoping for a particular result.

Sure, of course. I think that a part of me understands that, and I know that that is where my feeling of powerlessness comes from, and I can accept it. Believe me, I don't want to be over-thinking my relationship with her anymore either. I'd like to have a better understand of where she's coming from, and I'd like to be here for her to choose to re-commit to down the road. She is very vague about the future, really, and very firm about the present. I guess I need to start listening to that.

I understand that having some type of verbal commitment from her is very important to you.  I understand why that would be the case.   I can sense how earnestly you would like to get to that point.   she is not there with you yet.   those of us who have stayed and made it work love and accept our partners for what they are today, not for what we hope they will be when they are better.

I accept her, I just have a pretty hard time accepting her *behavior* of the last nine months. I have a hard time with her not being *present* for me to accept! She's chosen not to be my partner, "for now", and maybe forever. That's pretty hard to wrap your head around, and to let go of control over.

I have an especially hard time with constantly hearing "I don't know what happens with us in the future, but... ." because I don't know if it means "I'd like to be seeing you again when the dust settles" or if it means "I'd like it if we could be friends some day" or if it means "I think we'll probably go our separate ways entirely." Her lability is pretty difficult to feel secure with, especially with only hearing from her once a month, and getting the silent treatment the rest of the time. (Well, not the silent treatment exactly, she replies to my messages if I send them.)

The closest I've come to hearing what she'd like is: "I would like a glimmer of hope that the friend option is even possible, but right now it seems f**king idiotic to me." I asked her why and she said: "Because I'm f**king crying again. And I'm sick of that. I seem to be incapable of feeling that love, so I must be broken. Anyway, I don't need it now. Just give me a month, or tell me to go away. I'm sorry." This was RIGHT after telling me that a part of her "wants to be allowed to love me again"!

God, it's starting to sound like I just need to let this one go.  :'(
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« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2015, 09:14:08 AM »

She *does* sometimes get vulnerable, usually after acting out on me. There's a lot of "I feel like a failure", "I felt SO PATHETIC for loving you like that the first time", etc. I wish that I could have gotten more clarity from her about exactly HOW she feels like a failure. SHE left, not me. A big part of our breakup/makeup period was me trying to break down her negativity and distorted perspectives, because she had some really really out of whack assumptions that she was basing her decisions on that were as far from truth as they could have possibly been.

I am going to focus on this for a minute.  from what you wrote you are viewing this from the perspective of a non.  which is normal and pretty dang natural.   I am going to ask you to put on your BPD glasses for a minute and try to see this from her eyes.  

pwBPD have harmfully intense emotions.  extremely intense emotions.   they automatically assume they will be rejected or criticized and will drive people away to avoid having that happen.   this is not the same fear of failure that you and I experience.   we don't have this disorder of thinking.  like once removed mentioned up stream this is more the thinking of a 3 year old who is afraid of being rejected and not worthy of love.   it's primal.  it's without logical or cognitive controls.   you can't break down her negativity or distorted perspectives.  number one it's not your job to do that.  number two it's invalidating when you try.   number three, this is her reality.   feelings equal facts to her.  

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« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2015, 09:29:08 AM »

God, it's starting to sound like I just need to let this one go.  :'(

if it hurts you too much to watch a person suffer with mental illness than yes you need to let go.   if you can develop skills and coping tools here you can protect yourself emotionally but it is important to understand the relationship you are signing up for it you decide to stay. 
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« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2015, 09:30:17 AM »

She *does* sometimes get vulnerable, usually after acting out on me. There's a lot of "I feel like a failure", "I felt SO PATHETIC for loving you like that the first time", etc. I wish that I could have gotten more clarity from her about exactly HOW she feels like a failure. SHE left, not me. A big part of our breakup/makeup period was me trying to break down her negativity and distorted perspectives, because she had some really really out of whack assumptions that she was basing her decisions on that were as far from truth as they could have possibly been.

I am going to focus on this for a minute.  from what you wrote you are viewing this from the perspective of a non.  which is normal and pretty dang natural.   I am going to ask you to put on your BPD glasses for a minute and try to see this from her eyes.  

pwBPD have harmfully intense emotions.  extremely intense emotions.   they automatically assume they will be rejected or criticized and will drive people away to avoid having that happen.   this is not the same fear of failure that you and I experience.   we don't have this disorder of thinking.  like once removed mentioned up stream this is more the thinking of a 3 year old who is afraid of being rejected and not worthy of love.   it's primal.  it's without logical or cognitive controls.   you can't break down her negativity or distorted perspectives.  number one it's not your job to do that.  number two it's invalidating when you try.   number three, this is her reality.   feelings equal facts to her.  

I can only begin to grasp her perspective, but regardless: it leaves me in this awful catch-22 place of having to choose between refuting her acting-out/acting-in behavior and having it spiral out of control, or having to ignore it and move on to lighter topics while she uses those distorted feelings to make decisions about our relationship!
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« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2015, 09:32:55 AM »

God, it's starting to sound like I just need to let this one go.  :'(

if it hurts you too much to watch a person suffer with mental illness than yes you need to let go.   if you can develop skills and coping tools here you can protect yourself emotionally but it is important to understand the relationship you are signing up for it you decide to stay. 

It isn't so much that it hurts me to watch her suffer with her uBPD, or that I'm unwilling to learn the skills, or that I don't have some sense of what I'm getting myself into here. It's that she needs to make the decision to be here with me, or not, and she has only halfway made the decision.
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« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2015, 10:06:55 AM »

It feels likely that (despite the mixed signals and BPD signs) she's just a girl who loved me, then dumped me, and I'm not taking the hint. On the other hand, it feels equally likely that this could work out in the end. Tough. Is that a BPD thing too?
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2015, 12:33:32 PM »

I mean, either way, step one is to get her to stop running and engage enough to make some decisions, set some goals, have a plan... .She needs time/space, I get that, I get why, but this is a lot to ask of me, to leave AND stay.
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2015, 03:28:48 PM »

Maple,

I get that you want things to be different.  Can you agree that the only person you can change,  set goals for and establish a plan for right now is you?

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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2015, 04:08:48 PM »

Maple,

I get that you want things to be different.  Can you agree that the only person you can change,  set goals for and establish a plan for right now is you?

Okay, sure, yes. I recognize that I'm spiraling here myself, and grasping at straws of control, in true codependent fashion.

I'm not 100% clear of my responsibility in breakup or what I could have differently IN the relationship - what I hear from her about that seems to shift based on her mood and level of understanding/compassion in the moment. My goal is to stop the bleeding and be in a position where I am offering safety and incentive for her to move *towards* me, and not continue staying away from me. I have a vague idea of how that works, but I don't have much of an opportunity to demonstrate that (once a month), so I'm in perfectionism about it probably.
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2015, 06:20:24 PM »

So, the perfectionism: I feel like I need to be really well-prepared for this next conversation, and even the "scheduling the conversation" text conversation that I know is incoming.
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« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2015, 05:00:00 AM »

what I hear from her about that seems to shift based on her mood and level of understanding/compassion in the moment.

Yes.   that's  true.  her understanding/compassion will shift in rapid fire successions. that's BPD in a nutshell.   you don't need to respond to every mood change.   understanding it is good, chasing her emotion of the moment not so much.   when I was first here a member by the name of winston72 told me “twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to shape yourself to match her ability to understand/comprehend ends up with you terribly twisted in your own thinking and overly identified with her thinking.”

My goal is to stop the bleeding and be in a position where I am offering safety and incentive for her to move *towards* me, and not continue staying away from me. I have a vague idea of how that works, but I don't have much of an opportunity to demonstrate that (once a month), so I'm in perfectionism about it probably.

nice goal.   how would you define safety for her?   in another thread Skip (the site director) was talking about the carrot and stick approach.   I'm guessing you would want a lot of carrot (good relaxed comfortable times) and very little stick right now (sense of disapproval or disappointment).   from what you describe she is associating you with stress, pressure, and feelings of failure.   and that is not because of anything you did.   it's just the way feelings got tangled up.   I would suggest looking for small, micro moments of success.   trying to fix the relationship in it's entirety is overwhelming, its like asking her to run a marathon.   concentrate on lowering the level of stress, and having an easy comfortable conversation that does not end in dsyregulation.   

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« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2015, 10:30:59 AM »

what I hear from her about that seems to shift based on her mood and level of understanding/compassion in the moment.

Yes.   that's  true.  her understanding/compassion will shift in rapid fire successions. that's BPD in a nutshell.   you don't need to respond to every mood change.   understanding it is good, chasing her emotion of the moment not so much.   when I was first here a member by the name of winston72 told me “twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to shape yourself to match her ability to understand/comprehend ends up with you terribly twisted in your own thinking and overly identified with her thinking.”

That's funny - I've tried to describe the same thing to her as "Tetris-ing", like I have to twist and rotate and line up all of the pieces in juuuuust such a way, only to have the "rows" of logic disappear anyway!

My goal is to stop the bleeding and be in a position where I am offering safety and incentive for her to move *towards* me, and not continue staying away from me. I have a vague idea of how that works, but I don't have much of an opportunity to demonstrate that (once a month), so I'm in perfectionism about it probably.

nice goal.   how would you define safety for her?   in another thread Skip (the site director) was talking about the carrot and stick approach.   I'm guessing you would want a lot of carrot (good relaxed comfortable times) and very little stick right now (sense of disapproval or disappointment).   from what you describe she is associating you with stress, pressure, and feelings of failure.   and that is not because of anything you did.   it's just the way feelings got tangled up.   I would suggest looking for small, micro moments of success.   trying to fix the relationship in it's entirety is overwhelming, its like asking her to run a marathon.   concentrate on lowering the level of stress, and having an easy comfortable conversation that does not end in dsyregulation.

Apparently at this point time/space equals safety for her, so I've been giving her that, even though it's obviously very difficult for me. Exact quotes from her: "I want to feel independent from you, and then maybe it will feel good. That's all I can see right now. When I'm fighting with you or feeling pressure or back and forthing with you I do not feel good and independent from you! ... .I want to not give a s**t and cry when I think about the stuff I think about with you!"

She also says "I want to move forwards, not backwards", which I take to mean that she doesn't want to return to the relationship we had (which makes sense), but I don't know if that means ANY relationship, or any ROMANTIC relationship, or what. I feel pretty hopeless about my prospects with her, honestly. If I had asked her for a month of space while we were together she would have LOST HER MIND - she's not the type to be done until she's done, and I'm worried that she's done and I blew it months ago. So I guess having nothing to lose means I can't lose anything just trying to keep things chill enough that she can make small decisions about me from a place that isn't horribly dysregulated.

In theory, I'll be hearing from her soon to set up a time to talk. We'll see what happens then. We set a tentative "first weekend in December" plan.
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« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2015, 10:57:12 AM »

I ultimately want to feel independent from her too, if that's the way things have to go.
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« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2015, 11:23:15 AM »

Hope you get answers.  My experience with my BPDgf and from what I read on here, it's common that they usually don't give direct answers that the relationship is over.  They seem to like to keep their options open if they think they can get away with that.  Even when they say it's over, it's so common for them to leave some door open to come back after the next failed relationship.  

I've had that "where do we go from here" discussion.  I just tell her I love her and want a mutual commitment, that she's the only one for me... .  I don't get that from her though.  At most she says she loves me, "but ... . ".  The "but's" may that she doesn't trust me, that she that she doesn't want to feel controlled, or I'm this or that way, or why would I want someone like her, and other reasons.  The reasons aren't justified as I never gave her a reason not to trust me and I'm definitely not controlling.  Whats confusing is how do I take what she is saying.  When I say it sounds to me she wants to end it and I'll have to accept that and move on she'll say she never said its over.  The conversation never has a clear conclusion, we may still  be together but I feel unsatisfied as there's no real commitment on her part to make it work.  I just get negative comments and "we will see how it goes".  Hopefully you'll get a clearer resolution.  

During your time apart, do you know if she's seeing anyone else?  If so how would you feel about that?  Hope things work out the best for you!
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« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2015, 11:41:26 AM »

Hope you get answers.  My experience with my BPDgf and from what I read on here, it's common that they usually don't give direct answers that the relationship is over.  They seem to like to keep their options open if they think they can get away with that.  Even when they say it's over, it's so common for them to leave some door open to come back after the next failed relationship.

That's one of the few mysteries in my experience with her. From what she's told me about her past relationships, she's mainly a "when I say it's over, it's over, *completely*" type of person. She has said "I've never fought with someone for this long before" and things like "you've put up with more s**t from me from anyone ever has, and you still love me (maybe even more than before), and that is amazing." But I don't know. Even right before the initial, awful just-post-breakup no contact period, she made it definitively clear that she would reach out to me again some day. So she's definitely keeping her options open with me, at least! Which kind of sucks, honestly - while I want to be with her again, I'd prefer a definitive cataclysmic fall-out with her to this shifting limbo state.

During your time apart, do you know if she's seeing anyone else?  If so how would you feel about that?

Well. I'm fairly confident that she has at some point (or maybe currently is) seeing someone. If so she's keeping very very quiet about it. We're still friends on social media (well, we're friends on social media AGAIN), and there is a guy that I worry about, but I couldn't say for sure. I also have hints that she's NOT seeing someone. She said she was glad that finalizing her divorce wasn't done "for a man" (this was a few weeks ago), and she's said that she's not looking to have a relationship with me or anyone else right now, until she sorts out her mental health/life situation. It doesn't really matter all that much to me if she IS - I mean, it would hurt to be replaced, but I sense that part of her struggle with me is feeling like I *can't* be easily replaced, but that our relationship also can't be easily fixed (especially long-distance). I kind of assumed from the beginning (for my own peace of mind) that she is/was going to be seeing people. I'm casually re-entering the dating scene myself, because after almost ten months now I'm losing confidence in the prospect of getting my ex to re-engage.
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« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2015, 12:31:22 PM »

Well. I'm fairly confident that she has at some point (or maybe currently is) seeing someone. If so she's keeping very very quiet about it. We're still friends on social media (well, we're friends on social media AGAIN), and there is a guy that I worry about, but I couldn't say for sure. I also have hints that she's NOT seeing someone. She said she was glad that finalizing her divorce wasn't done "for a man" (this was a few weeks ago), and she's said that she's not looking to have a relationship with me or anyone else right now, until she sorts out her mental health/life situation. It doesn't really matter all that much to me if she IS - I mean, it would hurt to be replaced, but I sense that part of her struggle with me is feeling like I *can't* be easily replaced, but that our relationship also can't be easily fixed (especially long-distance). I kind of assumed from the beginning (for my own peace of mind) that she is/was going to be seeing people. I'm casually re-entering the dating scene myself, because after almost ten months now I'm losing confidence in the prospect of getting my ex to re-engage.

I have the same thoughts that my BPDgf has a hard time letting me go because I put up with so much garbage from her and that I am a very caring person and can't be easily replaced.  Sounds like your trying to find peace and acceptance of the situation and re-entering the dating scene is a great way to start.  I tried dating and made a few friends but all I could do was think of her and then once her 'new' relationship ended with fireworks, I get the text how she missed me and we had something special and what a great guy I am and we should get together.  Well we did and are back together precariously at times.   Of course she had me remove my any female friends or acquaintances from my life because she perceived they may be a threat.  Now after we seemingly are doing great, I feel I'm getting pushed away again, just waiting for her to make some bogus excuse to have a breakup.  Also I noticed she's been liking and commenting on this particular guys fb posts quite a bit so probably thats her fishing for another option.  I dare not bring that up to her.  I defused her breaking up the other day with me as I stayed calm, used validation, empathy, and said all the right things that calmed her down, and she stayed.  This is very frustrating in that why can't they just make a commitment and stick to it.  I keep telling myself, next breakup with her is the last time and I will go NC. 

Good luck on your situation Bob, you're not alone!
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« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2015, 01:09:29 PM »

Of course she had me remove my any female friends or acquaintances from my life because she perceived they may be a threat.

Oh I've been there! (Sort of.) She took me commenting or liking or complimenting or having friendships with other females as VERY threatening when we were still together. And I had no idea until it came out during the breakup. I was legitimately just friends with these people, and some of them were even HER friends as well! I'll never live down going to a fancy-dress party with her and telling her that one of her friends looked gorgeous. It was just a casual comment that came up in conversation when she mentioned that it was nice to see her friends dressed up, and after SHE had complimented specific individuals herself! Every time I complimented or mentioned something that I liked or disliked about someone else (even in very general terms), she took it very personally. We were literally in contact something like 16hours/day, 7days/week and somehow I wasn't paying her enough attention. Sheesh.

I defused her breaking up the other day with me as I stayed calm, used validation, empathy, and said all the right things that calmed her down, and she stayed.  This is very frustrating in that why can't they just make a commitment and stick to it.

That sounds like my experience too. I'm very good at calming her down, but calming her down doesn't really get us anywhere if she can't be calm during a serious discussion of any kind.
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« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2015, 03:24:48 PM »

Really I'm just at the point where I want to stop making things *worse*. So I come here and rant about this stuff and get advice, instead of bottling it up and spewing when I talk to her again.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #66 on: November 24, 2015, 01:41:32 AM »

I understand that Bob as I come on here to to rant and rave.  I think its because I can't have a real discussion with her and say what I'm thinking or it might set her off. 
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« Reply #67 on: November 24, 2015, 08:55:48 AM »

I understand that Bob as I come on here to to rant and rave.  I think its because I can't have a real discussion with her and say what I'm thinking or it might set her off. 

Yeah, likewise. The advice helps too.

Anybody have any idea what she means when she says she's "nostalgic", but "doesn't have romantic/sexual feelings for me"? Nostalgia is a pretty romantic feeling! And I don't entirely believe her anyway.
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« Reply #68 on: November 24, 2015, 11:15:41 AM »

I feel so mad at her today! Grrrrrrr. Nothing happened, I'm just feeling like a fool again for obsessing so much over her, and for thinking about her so much, and for trying so hard for so long.
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« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2015, 01:27:03 PM »

I understand that Bob as I come on here to to rant and rave.  I think its because I can't have a real discussion with her and say what I'm thinking or it might set her off. 

Yeah, likewise. The advice helps too.

Anybody have any idea what she means when she says she's "nostalgic", but "doesn't have romantic/sexual feelings for me"? Nostalgia is a pretty romantic feeling! And I don't entirely believe her anyway.

I have no idea what she means by nostalgic.  Fortunately the sex is amazing with my BPDgf.  That's one of the main things that allows me to put up with all her garbage.  If not for the sex it definitely would not be worth it.  I also think she uses that as a form of control and also it makes it difficult for her to walk away.  She commonly has 5-10 orgasms everytime with me and has told me it was never quite like that with anyone else in her life.  Guess I'm lucky as I know she cut sex off with her ex for the last several years of their marriage.   

I feel so stupid at times for obsessing over mine when I know she will verbally abuse me, lie, probably break up and see someone else, will be a financial drain and all the other things I have to deal with because of her BPD.  Knowing what I inevitably know what will happen yet I still am unrealistically hopeful and I still stay... .talk about foolish.  But I'm hooked, at least the sex is great!
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« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2015, 01:38:34 PM »

I have no idea what she means by nostalgic.  Fortunately the sex is amazing with my BPDgf.

Yeah, mine too. Like, "everything I ever wanted from a sexual relationship" level good. We even often referred to our dates (being long distance) as "sex vacations".
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« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2015, 03:57:00 PM »

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