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Author Topic: Is this a precurser to a breakup and cheating?  (Read 4022 times)
steve195915
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« on: November 23, 2015, 08:40:46 AM »

Another interesting weekend with the BPDgf.  Prior to seeing her Friday I noticed that she was 'liking' or 'commenting' on every one of this one guys particular posts the past week on Facebook.  I wondered if she knew I can see her activity, was she trying to get a response from me to start a fight, was she fishing for another option, or could it mean absolutely nothing.  I decided to say nothing and let it go. 

We had a great Friday evening after work.  Had dinner, a few drinks, and talked great all evening.  She told me stories of her work day and I validated her emotions and the response was great. Driving home I was thinking what a great normal evening!  Next day was great too and my BPDgf stayed the night.  The techniques I've learned from all my research on BPD was working perfectly.  That evening I got a call from a female friend but we were in bed already so I didn't get up to answer it.  My BPDgf knows this female and never considered her a threat so I kept this one friendship though we rarely keep in touch.  I did have to severe my few other female acquantencies due to my gf's jealousy issues.  The next morning my gf gets out of bed, angerly gets her things together and says she's leaving because she doesn't trust me at all.  I stayed calm and asked her what she was feeling.  She said many negative things, mainly about accusing me of being in contact with other females.  I offered her to look through my phone but she just said I could have erased things.  I offered to log into my mobile account so she could see look at all the phone numbers for calls and texts and that would prove I'm not having any other contacts.  She didn't respond to that.  She said things like why would I want to be with someone like her, that doesn't trust, that has anger issues.  She got very angry, yelled, and pounded her fist on the table.  She asked me if it would be better if we were just friends.  I calmly explained that I love her and I'm committed in making our relationship work, I have no interest in seeing anyone else.  I validated her feelings saying I understand that feeling your SO may be cheating would be very hurtful and cause anger, its normal to feel that way.  She did calm down and stayed the whole day and even the night with no further outbursts.  She left very early for work this morning and kissed me and said she loved me.  So we made it through the weekend thanks to my patience in not taking it personal, my validation and excellent responses. 

But I'm left to wonder if her outburst was to cause a breakup so she could more aggressively pursue this guy on fb.

A very similar thing happened in the past where she commented on this guys fb picture of his family, next week she started a fight over nothing, broke up with me and started seeing him. She recently commented on this new guys pic of him and his family and how beautiful the picture was. 

Was it because we were getting along so well that she was feeling trapped so she had to push me away.  She has hundreds of friends on fb and I'm sure with lots of posts, so why the likes or comment on his posts.  She did comment and like a few other posts too, a dozen to him and a dozen for all the others.  I dare not ask her.  Was her accusations about me more about justifying her guilt about fishing around. 

Sure have mixed feelings but if we break up again then thats it for me and I will need to stick to NC.  I don't want to be friends again so she can feel she can see someone else and then after that relationship blows up, she will expect me to be there with open arms.  I feel I need to get myself prepared so I won't feel so devasted if it does happen.  I'm sure others with BPD relationships have endured the same so any suggestions to prepare myself without doing anything detrimental to this relationship in case these feelings I'm having are unfounded?
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 10:16:34 AM »

Hey Steve, It's a roller coaster in a BPD r/s.  Only you know when it's time to get off.  Not yet, it seems.  LuckyJim
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 12:16:13 PM »

I think its admirable that you are making all the considerations you can for her.

Trusting your intuition is one of the greatest assets we have as humans. It is invaluable. Trust yourself.

You can change anyone but you certainly have a choice in how others effect you. Isolating from other healthy relationships is common to people that suffer from this. You don't have to sacrifice.

Dealing with anger outbursts and her feelings is just complicated. It's a mine field and it will blow up in your face. It just will until she recognizes that she needs help and seeks it for herself.

One thing is to search in yourself why you need a relationship like this?

She may reach out or look to other people to fill a need in her that she may not even recognize. It's not your responsibility. Its up to you to decide if you want a relationship like this.

Important:save your feelings. I know it may be easier said than done but you are worth it. I personally feel that men are as emotional as women if not more so sometimes. These relationships are difficult. And maybe she really isn't at a point in her life to address the issues that affect her anger. That's ok. It's not wrong to seek a healthy relationship with another human being and it's ok to let go of the one's that aren't.
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steve195915
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 12:48:18 PM »

I think its admirable that you are making all the considerations you can for her.

Trusting your intuition is one of the greatest assets we have as humans. It is invaluable. Trust yourself.

You can change anyone but you certainly have a choice in how others effect you. Isolating from other healthy relationships is common to people that suffer from this. You don't have to sacrifice.

Dealing with anger outbursts and her feelings is just complicated. It's a mine field and it will blow up in your face. It just will until she recognizes that she needs help and seeks it for herself.

One thing is to search in yourself why you need a relationship like this?

She may reach out or look to other people to fill a need in her that she may not even recognize. It's not your responsibility. Its up to you to decide if you want a relationship like this.

Important:save your feelings. I know it may be easier said than done but you are worth it. I personally feel that men are as emotional as women if not more so sometimes. These relationships are difficult. And maybe she really isn't at a point in her life to address the issues that affect her anger. That's ok. It's not wrong to seek a healthy relationship with another human being and it's ok to let go of the one's that aren't.

I've tried to stay away before but I couldn't do it so I'm resigned to try my best to make it work however, the next breakup will be final for me, (at least I'm thinking that).  My understanding about BPD is that it can't be cured, though some cases it can be managed.  I'm doing my best with staying calm during her outbursts, to show consistency in my love, to use validation and empathy techniques and if that doesn't work I owe it to myself to move on.  I do this because I have this need to help others in distress and I have fallen for this woman.  I do have limits though and being on here and listening to stories will hopefully allow me to do deal with the relationship storms positively and if we part again to give me the strength to move on. 
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 12:55:02 PM »

Steve:

This is a red flag. Please look at it for what it is: BPD sufferers usually accuse you of doing the very thing they are doing themselves.  They also get very defensive and try to pick arguments in order to make you the bad guy and justify their behavior. I believe this is a definite precursor to cheating, that is if she isn't ALREADY cheating. Mine never physically cheated on me when we were together, but she sure as hell had an option lined up and physically went to another dude the very day we broke up for the second and final time. and, though we still have to live together through December, she has, on and off, been sleeping around and being impulsive (flinging it right into my face).  Proceed with caution. I am not saying there is no hope but it looks bleak. things will only get worse from here on. Is she in therapy? Honestly, DBT is the only thing that can help a BPD correct their behavior. If they are not in treatment, it will be a devastating emotional roller coaster here on out for you. take it from me... .nearly 5 years of this horsecrud and it took me about 3 years to see the red flags come together into a total trainwreck.
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 01:45:56 PM »

Steve,

I realize not all pwBPD cheat, but if there's one thing I've learned from reading hundreds of posts on here (and especially my own experiences with my dBPDxgf), is that if you suspect your pwBPD of cheating, you are probably right.

I do this because I have this need to help others in distress and I have fallen for this woman.

Do you think you might be able to find a way to help her while still protecting yourself?
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 11:43:49 PM »

Hmm... .I don't really like the sound of this but I'd also need a little more conclusive "evidence" to back up any suspicions. I'd be interested to see if it plays out any further.

For your own sake. Trust your gut.
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steve195915
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 01:18:39 AM »

I really don't think she's cheating however I do think its very possible she may be trying to line up another option because she is thinking I am lining up another and will eventually abandon her.  I say this because she's constantly saying she doesn't trust me.  I was writing a memo on my IPAD for her and when we were done I closed the IPAD like normal and she says I acted very suspicious when I closed my IPAD and thats why she doesn't trust me.  She seems to have this paranoia that people are out to do her wrong.  The memo I was helping her write was to her boss about her observing suspicious behavior by some other employees.  The suspicious behavior was about 2 items:  1) two people were talking quietly to each other and when she walked buy they had a suspicious look on their faces and 2) she saw a person give another person some papers and she felt the person receiving the papers acted suspiciously.  The papers were copies of some of the company's employee handbook.  I did help her write the memo but I toned it down alot and carefully suggested it may make her sound like she was paranoid or out to get them, so she said she may not send it.  Hopefully she doesn't but what it shows is her paranoia that people are out to do her wrong and it's triggered by her perception that they look suspicious.  Also when I asked her whats her concern about the employee handbook she said she felt they were looking in there to find something they can use against her or the company.  Makes me wonder is this a common behavior for BPD to be paranoid that people are out to do them wrong and and its based on the way they look at her.
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Aussie0zborn
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 05:26:58 AM »

... .says she's leaving because she doesn't trust me at all.  

Push - pull

Excerpt
I stayed calm and asked her what she was feeling.

Good work - well done. You handled the whole thing very well.  

Excerpt
I offered her to look through my phone... .I offered to log into my mobile account so she could see look at all the phone numbers ... .



Big mistake. You have just offered her control. Once you hand over control of you, its game over for you. It only gets worse, you know.

Excerpt
She said things like why would I want to be with someone like her, that doesn't trust, that has anger issues.  She got very angry, yelled, and pounded her fist on the table.  

Major red flag. She is warning you and again, if you accept this, in her mind you solemnly swear to accept it for all time. I speak from experience. I should have taken the hint!

Excerpt
calmly explained that I love her and I'm committed in making our relationship work,

Good work once again. You cant give yourself away totally as you will never get any part of you back.

Excerpt
and said she loved me.

Ofcourse she did.  

Excerpt
So we made it through the weekend thanks to my patience in not taking it personal, my validation and excellent responses.  

Again, well done but you had to do some work here and think about every single word in case it sounded wrong. Why are you doing extra work just to get through the day?

Excerpt
But I'm left to wonder if her outburst was to cause a breakup so she could more aggressively pursue this guy on fb.

Both yes and no. If you didn't handle it so well, you might get "I went with him because you were mean to me". See, it would be YOUR fault if she was unfaithful.

Excerpt
A very similar thing happened in the past where she commented on this guys fb picture of his family, next week she started a fight over nothing, broke up with me and started seeing him. She recently commented on this new guys pic of him and his family and how beautiful the picture was.  

Get ready for the roller coaster within the roller coaster.

Excerpt
Was it because we were getting along so well that she was feeling trapped so she had to push me away.

 

Yes, this is quite common. Fear of abandonment comes with fear of engulfment. You will never know where that line is because it always moves.

Excerpt
... .so why the likes or comment on his posts... .I dare not ask her.  Was her accusations about me more about justifying her guilt about fishing around.

 

You weren't supposed to notice her likes and comments. You will dare not do a lot of things you would normally do pretty soon. Yes, more than likely it was the guilt. See... .already you're making her "feel bad" and this is all your fault. The best way to stop making her "feel bad", is by being the person she wants you to be and not the fine person that you are now.

Excerpt
Sure have mixed feelings but if we break up again then thats it for me



Easier said than done, depending on how deep she has her hooks in you.

Excerpt
I don't want to be friends again so she can feel she can see someone else and then after that relationship blows up, she will expect me to be there with open arms.



Well then you are not the person for her. Seriously, someone that GENUINELY loves her as you say you do, WOULD be there for her. Trust me, you don't want to spend your life PROVING that you love her - its hard work and you lose a big part of yourself.

You handled that brilliantly. Being in these relationships means sacrificing a big part of you Steve and you sound like a great, intelligent and well balanced guy. Why would you change that and make yourself less of a person to prop somebody else up. Imagine if you found a fine intelligent well balanced woman just like you... .
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 10:10:36 AM »

But I'm left to wonder if her outburst was to cause a breakup so she could more aggressively pursue this guy on fb.

A very similar thing happened in the past where she commented on this guys fb picture of his family, next week she started a fight over nothing, broke up with me and started seeing him. She recently commented on this new guys pic of him and his family and how beautiful the picture was. 

Was it because we were getting along so well that she was feeling trapped so she had to push me away. 

She doesn't trust you. You don't trust her. This may be the origin of the problem and likely is where you will need to work to resolve things. The fact that she is flirting on Facebook is probably a function of all of this. I'm not suggesting that you deserve not to be trusted - people with BPD have trust issues in general - but its an issue to deal with.

I commend you for having good "BPD" handling skills.  One point members often miss, however, is that it is important to execute them without appearing weak or to be lacking confidence -  just a pointer. Don't respond to this by doing something clingy - its often our first reaction.

Also, remember, pwBPD are impulsive so you have to read them from 35,000 ft, not get caught up thinking every wave in the ocean is a sea change. Don't let her drag you into a fight.

My only comment on the situation is that she didn't want to see your phone or you phone records. I think it was OK to suggest this.  I think her not taking you up on it either means either:

1. she was emotional, believes you, but didn't want her emotions invalidated,

2. she picking a fight to give herself "options".

If you didn't know about Facebook, how would you treat her in a situation like this? What works?


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hashtag_loyal
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 10:57:35 AM »

I really don't think she's cheating however I do think its very possible she may be trying to line up another option because she is thinking I am lining up another and will eventually abandon her.  I say this because she's constantly saying she doesn't trust me.  I was writing a memo on my IPAD for her and when we were done I closed the IPAD like normal and she says I acted very suspicious when I closed my IPAD and thats why she doesn't trust me.  She seems to have this paranoia that people are out to do her wrong.  The memo I was helping her write was to her boss about her observing suspicious behavior by some other employees.  The suspicious behavior was about 2 items:  1) two people were talking quietly to each other and when she walked buy they had a suspicious look on their faces and 2) she saw a person give another person some papers and she felt the person receiving the papers acted suspiciously.  The papers were copies of some of the company's employee handbook.  I did help her write the memo but I toned it down alot and carefully suggested it may make her sound like she was paranoid or out to get them, so she said she may not send it.  Hopefully she doesn't but what it shows is her paranoia that people are out to do her wrong and it's triggered by her perception that they look suspicious.  Also when I asked her whats her concern about the employee handbook she said she felt they were looking in there to find something they can use against her or the company.  Makes me wonder is this a common behavior for BPD to be paranoid that people are out to do them wrong and and its based on the way they look at her.

I also had to write a memo for my ex to give to her boss. She, too, was unable to have a serious verbal conversation with her boss and co-workers, and she, too, was often paranoid about her co-workers. She's painted most of them black, as well as most of her co-workers from her previous employer.
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steve195915
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 01:59:54 PM »

My only comment on the situation is that she didn't want to see your phone or you phone records. I think it was OK to suggest this.  I think her not taking you up on it either means either:

1. she was emotional, believes you, but didn't want her emotions invalidated,

2. she picking a fight to give herself "options".

If you didn't know about Facebook, how would you treat her in a situation like this? What works?

I agree on your assessment but I don't know if she didn't want to be invalidated or she was trying to give herself options or possibly just pushing me away, trying to start a fight. 

Today when I told her I loved her and want to be with her forever she asked why would I want someone like her, someone that can't trust, that has anger issues and fights alot and all her other issues.  I just said everyone has issues, that I love all of her, and its my response to her and to not take things personally when she's not at her best is how we can make it.  I said I'm committed and as long as she is we'll be fine.  She said nothing so I asked her directly if she's committed to us and she said she wasn't sure yet, then she said maybe.  I said that makes me sad then she chuckled and said she was just joking and yes she is committed to me.  I then brought up how in other relationships if one or the other partner pursues other options, that will eventually destroy the chance for success in their current relationship.  She responded that she isn't pursuing any other options.  I said I'm not either so we will be fine. 

I'll be monitoring this guys facebook page to see if she continues to respond to his posts.  He hasn't posted anything the last few days. 
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 12:38:00 PM »

How are things going steve195915?
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 08:20:35 PM »

... .and just an addition to the above responses by my fellow colleagues... .

It was probably not a good idea to write a memo for her.  She is bright and articulate and an adult... .she can handle her job problems.  If you continue to help her in this manner, you will be transforming your role from a lover/companion to a caretaker/parent.  So, all guidance that you provide, will become a chain that is holding her back (in her mind... .not in reality).  You can offer her emotional support, but not actually do the work for her.  Just like a child... .you can help a child alleviate her/his anxiety about homework... .but not actually do the homework for them. 
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2015, 11:21:50 PM »

... .and just an addition to the above responses by my fellow colleagues... .

It was probably not a good idea to write a memo for her.  She is bright and articulate and an adult... .she can handle her job problems.  If you continue to help her in this manner, you will be transforming your role from a lover/companion to a caretaker/parent.  So, all guidance that you provide, will become a chain that is holding her back (in her mind... .not in reality).  You can offer her emotional support, but not actually do the work for her.  Just like a child... .you can help a child alleviate her/his anxiety about homework... .but not actually do the homework for them. 

Sorry, I can understand you're advice but you didn't understand the whole situation.  She is Hispanic and originally from Colombia so her English is limited so she just asked me for assistance helping to write this one memo since it was going to her boss and this job is fairly new.  She seldom asks for help like this so it's not an issue and has absolutely nothing to do with her BPD. 
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steve195915
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 12:30:09 AM »

How are things going steve195915?

Well we went camping from Thanksgiving until Sunday.  No blow-ups because I kept my cool and didn't respond to her insults and accusations.  I did notice she commented on a post from this one particular guy on Wednesday but he hasn't posted anything since.

We did have a great time camping with my exception in that I didn't appreciate her insults and accusations that occurred here and there throughout the camping trip.  By Sunday I was getting fed up with just taking it so I was ready to respond back which most likely would have caused a major issue.    I was actually glad in a way to be home Sunday evening without her just to have some peace.  She texted me Sunday evening she missed me already and told me if I ever need someone to talk to that she hopes I can count on her instead of asking someone else.  I'm thinking maybe her jealousy and accusations are due to her thinking I'm talking to other female acquaintances about her.  I'm thinking of asking her about this.  During our trip I got one text message from a female friend wishing me and my gf a Happy Thanksgiving and camping trip and also a picture of her and her boyfriend hugging each other at the beach.  I told my gf about the text and she didn't believe me insinuating there was something more going on.  When I offered to show her the text to prove it, she made a remark the text and picture could just be a ploy to fool her.  I didn't respond and it didn't come up again.  I also kept my phone off most of the time because I had no charger and wanted to have power to check for any emergency messages and to take pictures.  When my gf saw my phone off and I explained why she said she didn't believe me and said she wasn't stupid and insinuated it was to hide all the texts and calls I would get from females.  It's absolutely ridiculous because I only have one female friend, the one that wished us Happy Thanksgiving. 

Makes me wonder if these completely unjustified accusations are because she may be doing the very same thing she's accusing me of and this justifies and eases her guilty feelings. If not, it's still aggravating to be accused and also it makes me think that why would my gf stay with me if she really believes I'm having secretive relationships with other females.

So here I am, sometimes thinking that I would like to end this relationship with my BPDgf but at the same time wanting to be with her permanently.  I keep telling myself if I find out she is cheating, or even looking for my replacement, or if she initiates a breakup with me, then I am done. 
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 08:52:21 AM »

Going back up to 35,000 ft... .

Rather than getting pulled into the chipping away "insults and accusations", I try to get a read on what the bigger message is.

Is this fear of abandonment kicking in... .

Is this and idealization to devaluation trend (which can happen if you didn't live up to expectations)... .

What were the insults about?
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2015, 09:50:46 AM »

Going back up to 35,000 ft... .

Rather than getting pulled into the chipping away "insults and accusations", I try to get a read on what the bigger message is.

Is this fear of abandonment kicking in... .

Is this and idealization to devaluation trend (which can happen if you didn't live up to expectations)... .

What were the insults about?

I think the insults and accusations are about both fear of abandonment and idealization and devaluation.  Insults during our camping trip were about how I can't do anything right like cooking, putting up the tent, didn't know how to set up our camping area, didn't know what camping is about etc. 

When we were setting up the tent she made a abrupt remark about me not helping so I asked what is the next step in putting it up and she made another nasty remark on how could I not know how to set up a tent and she doesn't believe I ever went camping like I told her I did.  Funny thing is I followed her directions which were completely incorrect so putting up the tent the first time was a total failure so she had me read the directions and it went up fine.  Of course I kept my mouth shut but I chuckled quietly in my head. 

When we were getting the food ready for dinner she put salt/pepper on cold peppers that we were going to put on the charcoal grill and then put them on the grill.  Of course most of the salt/pepper fell off the peppers.  I'm an excellent cook and would've coated the peppers with olive oil first to facilitate the cooking and also to hold the salt/pepper. After the peppers were on the grill over the hot fire I suggested putting olive oil and she agreed so I asked if she had a brush in her utensils she brought and she made another nasty remark about how camping is about roughing it and that I expect everything to be perfect; then she proceeded to pour oil on the peppers and rubbing the oil on the hot peppers in an aggressive manner and did get a slight burn on her finger when she touched the grill accidentally.  I calmly said next time I will think ahead and put the oil on the peppers first before they're on the grill (unjustly assuming responsibility even though she prepared them). 

There were numerous other minor comments and put downs that I ignored and didn't respond too so they ended there.

There were several remarks related to jealousy.  One time I walked to the camp office to get info and she asked me who I called and that she saw me put my phone to my ear while I was walking which was completely untrue.  I calmly said I did not call anyone and she remarked sarcastically "yeah right" and that was the end of it. 

There was also a brand name on the peppers that is the same name of a female we both know, and she made a sarcastic remark that the name is the same and how she knows that I am attracted to this woman and that I want her.  Of course this is totally untrue and I don't have any contact with this woman.  I ignored her remarks and that was the end of it.

Overall a good time but after a while it gets so frustrating dealing with all her nasty remarks by keeping my mouth shut.  I felt I was getting near my breaking point. 

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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2015, 09:59:45 AM »

Overall a good time but after a while it gets so frustrating dealing with all her nasty remarks by keeping my mouth shut.  I felt I was getting near my breaking point.  

At 35,00 ft, it sounds like she is devaluing you, Steve. The Facebooking, the insults, the jealousy.

If you take this stuff on (JADE), you add "invalidating" to the list. You're not going to talk this one out.

The best approach to this is to change your approach to her (be a new, more attractive guy in her eyes) and be a little less available/easy. Sorta dating 101 when a relationship starts to get stale.

Most people go the opposite direction at time like this - become clingy, or JADE, show frustration, or want to talk - its not going to work.

What do you know that will work?
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2015, 10:18:41 AM »

Overall a good time but after a while it gets so frustrating dealing with all her nasty remarks by keeping my mouth shut.  I felt I was getting near my breaking point.  

At 35,00 ft, it sounds like she is devaluing you, Steve. The Facebooking, the insults, the jealousy.

If you take this stuff on (JADE), you add "invalidating" to the list. You're not going to talk this one out.

The best approach to this is to change your approach to her (be a new, more attractive guy in her eyes) and be a little less available/easy. Sorta dating 101 when a relationship starts to get stale.

Most people go the opposite direction at time like this - become clingy, or JADE, show frustration, or want to talk - its not going to work.

What do you know that will work?

With her I'm not always sure what will work but I plan to do my things and be a little less available and not cater to her every whim.  I will show her love and kindness.  She may take it as I don't care and am moving away from her.  I really feel like telling her I had a great time but that some of her remarks made me feel sad at times but I suspect that will just make things worse. She also said very sweet things last night.  This morning I get a text saying "good morning have a great day".  There was no "I love you" but I responded back appropriately with an "I love You".  I do wonder if she just forgot or was testing me to see my response.  If I didn't say I love her I'm sure I'd get an earful.  Do you think I should say something about it?
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2015, 11:11:36 AM »

Do you think I should say something about it?

No. I'm saying to the opposite.

I really feel like telling her I had a great time but that some of her remarks made me feel sad at times but I suspect that will just make things worse.

This will likely make it worse.

She's perpetually impulsive. She feels some level of devaluation right now (natural).

You're wounded as anyone would be.

If you now feed any of that by being clingy or needy or pouty or hurt or ... .it will feed on itself and grow.

She's impulsive, so she can bounce back.  You're not, so you run the risk of prolonging this by not sidestepping it.

I'm suggesting that you become a cool upbeat (not clingy, not too available) guy. Give her the best of you, but make her pull you in, don't pull her in. Make her pursue you. Don't love bomb her... .but be positive.

It will take a little time to change the dynamic you are in, but this is where you need to go.

Above all, don't get caught up in the drama. Sidestep it.  It will take some practice and strength, but we can help you.
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2015, 11:17:41 AM »

Do you think I should say something about it?

What would you say?
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 11:34:17 AM »

Do you think I should say something about it?

What would you say?

I would say her text this morning was very nice and it would have been awesome if she had also included an "I love you" in it too as I always love hearing that.  She may say she was in a hurry and just forgot and then text me an "I love you" or she may say some remark about me being so insecure and that she told me last night she loved me.  if I dared say anything back it would cause her to have an outburst. 
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 09:11:53 PM »

You would be telling her she did something wrong... .she made a mistake. You expect something from her. She failed.

These are hard things for someone who does not feel secure even in the best of times.

It's better to ask validating questions, in my experience.
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 09:36:58 PM »

You would be telling her she did something wrong... .she made a mistake. You expect something from her. She failed.

These are hard things for someone who does not feel secure even in the best of times.

It's better to ask validating questions, in my experience.

ok, tonight my goodnight text was "Good night sweetheart!"  Again no "I Love You".  We always say I love you in the morning and evening texts so this is a new behavior.  During her lunch she called me and I said I loved her and she responded with I love you too.  So there's nothing negative in her words and we've been getting along great... .in my opinion anyways.  Makes me wonder what she's up to.  Is it a test to see if I still say I love you to prove my love?  Is she setting me up to ask her whats going on so she could have a reason to push me away with the reason being I'm too insecure and demanding? 

So my question to you is how do I ask validating questions regarding this issue? I definitely would like to know what's her thinking without giving her a reason to blow up.

So my question to
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2015, 09:39:44 PM »

You nailed it on the head with your statement- "I'm left to wonder if her outburst was to cause a breakup so she could more aggressively pursue this guy on fb."

My ex would do the very same thing. He would create a fight, blame it on me, all so he could go out and meet or chase some other woman. After we divorced I realized he had been unfaithful to me our entire marriage.
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2015, 07:19:55 AM »

You would be telling her she did something wrong... .she made a mistake. You expect something from her. She failed.

These are hard things for someone who does not feel secure even in the best of times.

It's better to ask validating questions, in my experience.

ok, tonight my goodnight text was "Good night sweetheart!"  Again no "I Love You".  We always say I love you in the morning and evening texts so this is a new behavior.  During her lunch she called me and I said I loved her and she responded with I love you too.  So there's nothing negative in her words and we've been getting along great... .in my opinion anyways.  Makes me wonder what she's up to.  Is it a test to see if I still say I love you to prove my love?  Is she setting me up to ask her whats going on so she could have a reason to push me away with the reason being I'm too insecure and demanding? 

So my question to you is how do I ask validating questions regarding this issue? I definitely would like to know what's her thinking without giving her a reason to blow up.

So my question to

She might be starting to feel engulfed, although I'm new to this illness, I'm getting pretty well versed on the mindset of them (although they're all different, think and act differently,  etc)

You may need to back away and not press the issue for right now. I wish I had done this after a weekend of intimacy with mine,  instead I kept leaning forward which ultimately caused her to withdraw, and now she's gone... .
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2015, 08:20:14 AM »

Steve,

You have to be strong in a relationship with a person with an impulse disorder.

Instable relationships means she feels the ups and downs more than most... .



If you get spooked and over-pursue on the down cycles, you feed into them and make them more than they actually are. Women are going to read this type of thing... .

"my goodnight text was "Good night sweetheart!"  Again no "I Love You".  We always say I love you in the morning and evening texts so this is a new behavior.  :)uring her lunch she called me and I said I loved her and she responded with I love you too. "


... .as weakness, lack of confidence, etc. and it will push her off - drives the down cycle further down and prolong it.

Be cool. Don't over-pursue (don't withdraw either) or seek her to validate the relationship. Ride it this out with confidence.

Skip

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« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2015, 08:33:50 AM »

So my question to you is how do I ask validating questions regarding this issue? I definitely would like to know what's her thinking without giving her a reason to blow up.

I'm not a fan of negotiating important relationship stuff via text. If my current SO doesn't text me asap, or doesn't write good night I love you xoxo each and every night, and I am worried it means something, I wait until I see him. I read his body language, his facial expression, the tone in his voice, his demeanor. If he seems upset, I might say, "Everything ok?" or "Something on your mind?"

Those are validating questions.

Like Skip mentioned, you have to be strong in these relationships. If you start acting needy, she is going to respond with disdain.
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« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2015, 10:04:32 AM »

So my question to you is how do I ask validating questions regarding this issue? I definitely would like to know what's her thinking without giving her a reason to blow up.

I'm not a fan of negotiating important relationship stuff via text. If my current SO doesn't text me asap, or doesn't write good night I love you xoxo each and every night, and I am worried it means something, I wait until I see him. I read his body language, his facial expression, the tone in his voice, his demeanor. If he seems upset, I might say, "Everything ok?" or "Something on your mind?"

Those are validating questions.

Like Skip mentioned, you have to be strong in these relationships. If you start acting needy, she is going to respond with disdain.

This mornings text had no "I love you". 

The advice is to just ignore it and that this may just be her on the down cycle so I don't want to over pursue and show weakness and push her off.   

It is very confusing in that she initiated the texts on Sunday evening and was saying all these sweet things like she felt sad leaving me that evening, how much she misses me already and how she will have to try and sleep without me, that I can count on her and that she's here for me if I need anyone to talk to and that she loves me.  Of course I responded similarly.  Then Monday morning/evening texts and this mornings texts had no "I love you". 

Is this because she was on a high and feeling very close and that triggered her to feel engulfed and the need to pull back a little?  Note the phone calls were fine, when I said I love you she responded in kind. 

This is really frustrating and draining on me.  It feels like a game she's playing.  I know she's very aware of not saying I love you in the texts. 

This is me ranting... .

I was picturing me asking her if she feels she doesn't love me anymore, she would ask why I'm asking that and I would say yesterday's and todays texts didn't include it like they always have in the past.   Then if her response is positive or receptive then great, but if she has a negative response and starts the verbal assauts then I need to end this relationship.  I have feelings too and have given so much, and have put up with so much.  Is it too much to ask to be told "I love you" before we go to sleep?   

I won't say anything to her yet but if it continues much longer I feel I have to say something.  It helps a little thinking this may just be her on a down cycle.  It did cross my mind that maybe she doesn't love me or that she's looking to initiate a fight to have an excuse to pursue someone else.  After reading what I wrote in this paragragh I'm now thinking that maybe the BPD does feel engulfed, goes on a down cycle which due to their words/actions may cause a fight as the nonBPD partner is frustrated, then the fear of abandonment causes the BPD to look elsewhere.  I wonder?  Also I guess it doesn't take a fight, the BPD feeling of possible abandonment may cause them to look elsewhere even when things are not bad.   

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« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2015, 10:16:17 AM »

Skip's analogy of the 35,000 foot view is important to understand in these relationships.

Try to look at her behavior and fluctuations in mood from that elevation. It can be hard to get there when we think the relationship is not secure -- yet, at the same time, you are the one who has to provide most of the security.

It's hard.



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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2015, 10:21:52 AM »

Update:

This morning I didn't get the usual text from her, none at all. Note she gets up early for work and always texts me before she goes to work.  Also Monday and Tuesday evenings she didn't answer my phone calls or texts but did text me later that she was going to sleep.  She said she just didn't see the texts or hear the phone.   That got me thinking negative things but I put those thoughts out of my mind and I texted her a message saying good morning, have a great day and I love you. She did text me back later saying good morning, love you too!  First time in two days saying "I love You" in a text from her.  So far it seems like just ignoring her actions of not saying I love you, not texting me, or not answering my calls seems to diffuse any potential blowups from her.  I know from past situations, if I said something like why no I love you in her texts, she would get angry, accuse me of being insecure and possibly I wouldn't hear from her for days.  So I learned something here.  When she purposely plays these games of not saying I love you or not texting, or not answering my phone calls, if I say nothing about it and just be consistent, it diffuses any potential situation.  I just don't understand what her purpose is and it is very rude.  One thought is that she is testing me to see if I'm consistent in my love for her to alleviate her abandonment fears.  The other thought is that she was pushing me away as we were doing so good that she started to feel engulfed. 

The other thing is that she was liking or commenting on all of this one guys facebook posts for 2 weeks but hasn't at all in the last week.  Did she know I can see her likes and comments and was trying to get a reaction from me or was she actually looking for another option and why did she stop for the last week?  We had a great time camping Thanksgiving through the weekend so was it her feeling more confident in us the reason?  I sure wish I can read her mind. 

Arghhhh!  The life with a BPDgf! 
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2015, 10:47:08 AM »

So I learned something here.  When she purposely plays these games of not saying I love you or not texting, or not answering my phone calls, if I say nothing about it and just be consistent, it diffuses any potential situation. 

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2015, 11:17:23 AM »

So far it seems like just ignoring her actions of not saying I love you, not texting me, or not answering my calls seems to diffuse any potential blowups from her.  I know from past situations, if I said something like why no I love you in her texts, she would get angry, accuse me of being insecure and possibly I wouldn't hear from her for days.  So I learned something here.  When she purposely plays these games of not saying I love you or not texting, or not answering my phone calls, if I say nothing about it and just be consistent, it diffuses any potential situation.  I just don't understand what her purpose is and it is very rude.  One thought is that she is testing me to see if I'm consistent in my love for her to alleviate her abandonment fears.  The other thought is that she was pushing me away as we were doing so good that she started to feel engulfed.

Yes.

Clingy-ness doesn't play well.

I'd take it one step further - if she is ignoring your call or slow to respond, take the hint. She's either feeling smothered, or engulfed, or even pressured to say "I love you."  This is not necessarily a "BPD" thing, but the BPD my be magnifying it.

She's telling the problem - you are coming off as insecure to her.  That a red beacon warning. Head it. She's feeling insecurity from you and its turning her off.

Change your approach. Change the ritual. Look at her reciprocation as good and her non-reciprocation as her not liking it.

I hear you saying she has not initiated any "I love yous" in a while.  So let it go.  "Good morning!" is good enough. But don't let cute pleasontry become a ritual or an obligation. Skip a day - don't send anything. Send and afternoon text, "how is your day going" instead. Then drop the "small talk text" and send only a information text - "I went for a jog this morning and it was really cold". Then skip two days. 

If its not working - change.
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2015, 12:36:28 PM »

Clingy-ness doesn't play well.

I'd take it one step further - if she is ignoring your call or slow to respond, take the hint. She's either feeling smothered, or engulfed, or even pressured to say "I love you."  This is not necessarily a "BPD" thing, but the BPD my be magnifying it.

She's telling the problem - you are coming off as insecure to her.  That a red beacon warning. Head it. She's feeling insecurity from you and its turning her off.

Change your approach. Change the ritual. Look at her reciprocation as good and her non-reciprocation as her not liking it.

I hear you saying she has not initiated any "I love yous" in a while.  So let it go.  "Good morning!" is good enough. But don't let cute pleasontry become a ritual or an obligation. Skip a day - don't send anything. Send and afternoon text, "how is your day going" instead. Then drop the "small talk text" and send only a information text - "I went for a jog this morning and it was really cold". Then skip two days. 

If its not working - change.

She may take me asking why she didn't respond to my texts/calls or not saying I love you as clingy but for me its just wanting to know if somethings wrong.  From now on I will try to just ignore it and attribute it to her illness. 

One thing that absolutely doesn't work is if I didn't text her or say I love her in my texts or if any action is not consistent.  That would trigger her fears of abandonment, she would claim I don't care for her, claim that I'm interested and/or seeing someone else, and if I didn't immediately diffuse the situation, she would suggest we break up or just be friends.  It's very unfair that she can act any way towards me, even rudely, and I have to accept it but if I acted in that way all Hell would break loose but that's the life with a pwBPD.
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2015, 01:02:35 PM »

When you say, unfair, do you mean unequal?

What you describe is someone who wants you to give 60%, while they give 40%... .and then maybe 70% and 30%... .and then maybe 95% and 5%.  I don't doubt for a minute that she is encouraging you down this path with a stick and carrot.  Not a sinister plan, just reactions she has learned that work for her with people. This is the learned behavior and coping that accompanies the disorder. So, yes, I hear you. But remember, you reward it and ask for more every time you comply and it has a cumulative affect.

This is the problem. Your value to her goes down each evolution of this dynamic. It's the "BPD catch 22". Think of the child that wants more and more candy until they get sick. Or the dogs that eats so much food it has to throw it up. Or the alcoholic that drinks to kill his pain and then is so drunk he breaks a hip falling out of the bar.

This is typically a slow, insidious process of becoming enmeshed into a relationship. One thing few folks get early on, is a warning that there is a "BPD catch 22".

Now how do you navigate this world?  How do you hold the line, maintain a balance, without creating drama in the process?  This is something you are going to need to figure out if you want this relationship to last.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2015, 01:54:35 PM »

When you say, unfair, do you mean unequal?

What you describe is someone who wants you to give 60%, while they give 40%... .and then maybe 70% and 30%... .and then maybe 95% and 5%.  I don't doubt for a minute that she is encouraging you down this path with a stick and carrot.  Not a sinister plan, just reactions she has learned that work for her with people. This is the learned behavior and coping that accompanies the disorder. So, yes, I hear you. But remember, you reward it and ask for more every time you comply and it has a cumulative affect.

This is the problem. Your value to her goes down each evolution of this dynamic. It's the "BPD catch 22". Think of the child that wants more and more candy until they get sick. Or the dogs that eats so much food it has to throw it up. Or the alcoholic that drinks to kill his pain and then is so drunk he breaks a hip falling out of the bar.

This is typically a slow, insidious process of becoming enmeshed into a relationship. One thing few folks get early on, is a warning that there is a "BPD catch 22".

Now how do you navigate this world?  How do you hold the line, maintain a balance, without creating drama in the process?  This is something you are going to need to figure out if you want this relationship to last.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

When I was saying unfair, I really meant unacceptable behavior in a normal healthy adult relationship.  Calling your SO names, purposely ignoring texts/phone calls, putting down your SO, purposely withholding saying I love you, are all very childish actions and should have no part in a healthy relationship. A pwBPD however, has a mind of a child, and has to deal with intense feelings of abandonment and engulfment.  Should we allow them more leway in their words and actions?  Obviously the answer is Yes if we want to maintain the relationship with our pwBPD.  Of course we need a balance, to set boundaries we can accept without creating drama.  I think this is an individual thing with each couple.  I'm still figuring it out myself.  This last episode with my BPDgf of withholding I love you's, and  not responding to texts/phone calls, I apparently diffused any negative situation by ignoring it and being consistent with my actions.  I may mention in a few days that its a great feeling to hear I love you from your SO every night before we sleep and we should try our best to always do that. I certainly won't bring up her not doing it.  She'll happily agree but I'm sure it will happen again, maybe on her down cycle or maybe she's upset with me about something, feeling engulfed or worried about being abandoned.  But at least for that brief moment of her complying it brings closure and peace to my mind.  It is so hard for the non pwBPD partner to keep their sanity, don't you think?
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2015, 06:03:40 PM »

I may mention in a few days that its a great feeling to hear I love you from your SO every night before we sleep and we should try our best to always do that.

Knowing what you know now, how do you think this will go with her?
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« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2015, 06:14:25 PM »

I may mention in a few days that its a great feeling to hear I love you from your SO every night before we sleep and we should try our best to always do that.

Knowing what you know now, how do you think this will go with her?

I still am very suspect that that this episode is not over.  I'm guessing since we were doing so good she is feeling engulfed and she's pushing back.  So far I diffused the situation but am I confident... .no.  I know she can just make something up.   Time will tell.
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« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2015, 07:10:34 PM »

I'm guessing since we were doing so good she is feeling engulfed and she's pushing back.  

This sentence might not actually make sense.

Engulfment is a feeling of too much to the point of being unpleasant. For example, I like when my girlfriend holds my arm when we walk together. It's affectionate. But if she insists on holding my arm every minute we are walking, and then holding my hand when we sit down, and kisses me in public at awkward times, and gets upset if I ask her not to lick my arm when the waiter is taking our order - the I feel smothered, engulfed.

All of us have a point of engulfment. My girlfriend can handle a lot more pda than I can before feeling engulfed. Mismatch is common. Some couples get destroyed by this. Some work it out. We worked it out.

pwBPD traits (and a host of other personalty types, moods, etc.) can be a little tricky because their engulfment points can vary at different times, significantly.  So we see them with really high engulfment thresholds and they want it all, then they flip into low engulfment threshold and we are overwhelming them to "death".

Sometimes we queue on their changing threshold as pulling away from us, and we push and become more smothering... .

... .which makes them pull away

... ... ..which we respond to by pushing more.

So, it doesn't make sense to say "I'm guessing since we were doing so good she is feeling engulfed and she's pushing back".  It more likely, "for me to feel safe and secure in the relationship I pushed for the validation I needed and got, but afterward she felt overwhelmed and pulled back".
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« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2015, 08:39:26 PM »

I may mention in a few days that its a great feeling to hear I love you from your SO every night before we sleep and we should try our best to always do that.

Tacking this onto what Skip is saying about engulfment... .

"Hearing you say I love you every night before we sleep makes me feel great."

Is different than:

"Let's try our best to always say I love you every night before we sleep."

The first is about how you feel. The second is anxious -- it can come across as pressure, or neediness.

In BPD relationships, it is true that you will work harder to keep up with her fluctuations. It is also true that we can become needier in response, especially when something happens to make us feel insecure, like when our SO does not say I love you.
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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2015, 06:38:19 AM »

Hi,

I haven't been writing here for a while, but have been reading a lot during this year. These boards are life-savers!

Well, I just wanted to offer my experience when my ex-boyfriend (undiagnosed, as far as I know... .) changed in both his attitude towards me but even more in what level he wanted contact. He changed from having very high levels of needing constant reassurance and contact (phone, mail, text etc when we were not physical at the same place), till "needing to be alone", "to find myself", "to think without you", "to just be myself". This man, who until then had been angry (guilt) if I didn't respond to his text instantly, now told me he needed to be alone, and that we couldn't talk, and that it was upsetting if I texted him. He "needed a break", but was unable to communicate why and how and for how long.

In stead he turned at me with extreme criticism, accusations (false ones), anger. It seemed like he all of a sudden hated my guts. The most confusing experience of my life.

It was at that time I started reading about defense mechanisms in general and ended up reading about BPD in particular, and finding a haven here at this forum. (THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE  )

Now, almost a year later, the missing part of the puzzle came to my knowledge: At the time he turned against me and started "hating" me and said he needed to be alone, he in fact started a new relationship with another woman. Which he had lined up during the last months. He never told me, he kept everything hidden, and he let me believe he was alone and working with his issues.

In retrospect... .it's strange I didn't even consider this to be an option in the enigmatic story about what really happened. I truly trusted him and his (excessive) moral talks about the importance of 100% loyalty and honesty to trust somebody. He never trusted me, and he blamed me for it. Well, I was the naive one and I am indeed guilty of idealizing him too. I did not believe he would ever lie to me or betray me. But he did. What he accused me of, and really blamed me for, he did himself.

I am thankful for that I was able to go through the process of detachment without knowing the fact that I was replaced* - and I am thankful for being told the truth at this point in time - it sets me free in a completely different way.

Well, I realize this post may be at the ... .periphery of what this board should be about, but... .my heart goes out to you, Steve, and the hardships of not knowing exactly what's going on, of trying so hard to "do the right thing" and the bottomless insecurity of it all... .I too read about engulfment fears, abandonment fears and being painted black. I so hard tried to understand what was going on inside him. Now that I know the facts of what did happen in the reality (and not in anyones mind), what happened may be put in a simpler way: He found another girlfriend.

The one way of thinking about it doesn't exclude the other, but I find it sort of... .reassuring... .to reframe my experience in another and more down-to-earth language, from understanding the "theory" of BPD, the psychology and emotions at play, till stating the hard and objective facts of what really did happen. I do think we need both - both understanding and stating the cold facts.

I do wish you the clarity you deserve. Try to stay centered and listen to your gut feeling. (I lost mine, or I... .censored it. When I look at the emails I DIDN'T send him, oh, I should have, in my anger laid the truth, far more than in the kind, understanding, compassionate and patient mails I did send him... .). I am not saying your girlfriend has found another man, I am only sharing what happened to me: I was absolutely clueless he had found another woman (which made me think: Hm, he probably isn't full blown BPD cause he hasn't got a replacement. Haha.   )

* Thankful: Because this is The Learning Process of my life, definitely. It had to be this extreme for me to take a closer look at myself (another post, but it's about codependency, people-pleasing and living my own values (boundaries)).

Therefore I wouldn't be without it, even though it has hurt like he**. 

Take care 

Indiegrl
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