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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Is this a precurser to a breakup and cheating?  (Read 3625 times)
livednlearned
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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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steve195915
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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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livednlearned
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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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Skip
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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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steve195915
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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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Skip
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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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steve195915
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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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livednlearned
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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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steve195915
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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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livednlearned
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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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