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Author Topic: Do you feel to blame for what happened?  (Read 450 times)
joeramabeme
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: In process of divorcing
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« on: December 09, 2015, 06:16:17 PM »

I can point to countless reasons as to why the marriage was not working but in the end, none of them seem to get to the heart of the unsettled feelings I have about losing her and not wanting to divorce.  Sometimes, posting on this board feels like I am a lab technician who is forensically trying to dissect pieces of conversation to extract contextual-meaning about her and her behaviors.

However, I am beginning to wonder if I don't secretly (or otherwise) hold myself responsible for her feelings and the divorce outcome and that she was/is correct for leaving me and this is also the reason I cannot let go - I am guilty or to blame.

I have repetitively heard that a relationship is 50-50 and not all one person is to blame.  I can't emotionally settle in there because she left me.  So I am left with a "what is wrong with Joe" type feeling - and a bunch of intellectual mumbo jumbo about BPD to try and rationalize why I don't feel well.

Maybe I really am to blame and she has every justification for walking out the door and being totally unhappy with the marriage.  I cannot get an internal sense of OK'ness with it all - it just doesn't add up, so this must be the missing piece.

During our entire marriage her disparaging observations about many of my behaviors were hurtful but fundamentally correct and so she relentlessly pushed hard on me to change.  I made tremendous efforts to oblige and in many ways my life has been enormously enriched by her pushing on me - but hers was not.  How is that?  At times I swear to God she had an unconscious agenda to heal me from a very difficult childhood past and a secret belief that no one could save her from the same but at least she could save someone else - part of the love I saw in her.

I keep asking myself; did I not do the right things to love her and so she left or is it that she did she not accept my trying to love her and so was not equally enriched.  I have never heard her say that she got anything good from our 10 year marriage or that she was happy or joyful.  UGH!  What a pit in my stomach!  I don't want to lie to myself, if I am sh!t head I would rather deal with that truth than be a self deceiving lab-rat.

I don't feel good on the inside.  I must be the bad guy if she is leaving me and can't reconcile this with any explanation other than I am to blame for not giving enough or being loving and caring enough.
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lovenature
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 08:44:55 PM »

If she really does have BPD (we can't diagnose but can go by what we experienced), there is nothing you could have done to help her and save your relationship; without years of therapy there is no way a BPD relationship can be healthy.

Keep reading and learning; you will see how similar things have been for everyone, and the eventual outcome for both partners.
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AwakenedOne
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 09:58:17 PM »

Re: ":)o you feel to blame for what happened?"

No.

I was married also. We couldn't ever have a rational conversation together about anything deeper than choosing a movie or deciding whether to order a cheese or pepperoni pizza. It was like talking to a angry baby.

You stated that you made tremendous efforts. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that you tried. Hang in there my friend. Sorry your hurting.


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SandWitch
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 10:10:44 PM »

I feel to blame in that I accepted behaviors and muted myself to keep the peace.  Sold my soul to keep him in my life.  But had I stood up for myself, I have no doubt that the relationship would have ended sooner.  Since he was not willing to see a counselor I do not feel to blame.  He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. <<  QUOTE. 

Do I wish we could have made it work?  YES. Do I want the good parts back and the illusionary parts to be real.  HELL YA.   The only person who was required to change to make it work was me . . . that would have meant becoming an extension of him.  I was honest about who I was when we met - he was not. 
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Michelle27
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 11:59:49 AM »

I feel to blame in that I accepted behaviors and muted myself to keep the peace.  Sold my soul to keep him in my life.  But had I stood up for myself, I have no doubt that the relationship would have ended sooner.  Since he was not willing to see a counselor I do not feel to blame.  He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. <<  QUOTE. 

Do I wish we could have made it work?  YES. Do I want the good parts back and the illusionary parts to be real.  HELL YA.   The only person who was required to change to make it work was me . . . that would have meant becoming an extension of him.  I was honest about who I was when we met - he was not. 

I could not agree with this more than I do.
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juniorswailing
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 12:27:57 PM »

''  I was honest about who I was when we met - he was not.  ''


I like that.
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steelwork
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 01:18:02 PM »

I think this question is a version of the one I tried to wrestle with here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=287175.0

The thing I blame myself for, whether it's sensible or not, is my failure to commit to him--and how that triggered all his abandonment fears.

It's so complicated. I wanted to write about some of this in the "takes two to tango" conversation, but that one seemed to take a different direction. Speaking of which, I don't/never did think in terms of victims. It was a shock to hear him suggest I was playing victim. That's what he heard when I expressed my honest feelings about losing him. I wasn't supposed to feel anything, I guess. And that's when I realized he thought HE was a victim.

But I digress.

I do blame myself a bit, but also, I'm predisposed to self-blame. I always take too much responsibility for other people's happiness--not just with him--and he was the kind of person who NEEDED someone to take responsibility, though I didn't see that at the time. I think he hid it, because he was ashamed of it, and shame turned to anger, which he also hid, because he was afraid I'd reject him for the anger.

Digressing again. Sorry.

The truth for everyone is different. I guess it always falls somewhere between "there was nothing you could have done to make it work" and "you screwed everything up." In these relationships it tends to skew toward the "nothing you could have done" end. I don't know where on that continuum I am.
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Svarl1
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 03:16:16 PM »

You were thinking that perhaps  "I must be the bad guy if she is leaving me".

You'll have recognised that as a 'black & white' thought.  We've all had those from time to time,  even if some deeper and more objective thinking would reveal that the truth is unlikely to be that straightforward.

It's probably rare in a relationship that one person is THE bad guy.

But I accept it can seem hard sometimes to think about moral questions without seeking, on some level, a black/white outcome.

Like... .

I want to think of myself as a good person, so much that I'm  even perhaps willing to consider myself as all good. If I can accept this to be the case, then if I fought with someone,  that must mean the problem is all their fault. 'They're all bad'.

But if they can possibly be all bad then so might I possibly be.

And if I think of myself as a good person then that means I'm prepared to look at my own faults. ... .  Then I consider some of the lousy things I've done, and it's easy, in the black/white mode of thinking to wonder if I'm THE bad one.

In all probability you both did some helpful and some hurtful things in the relationship.  Speaking about my own, I can certainly say this is true now.

Even using terms such as right/wrong, helpful/hurtful  is often oversimplifying when it comes to much of peoples' behaviour.  Things can be well meant but badly received.  What is good and normal for one person might be considered unhealthy by another.

Sometimes we can weigh the rights and wrongs endlessly in our minds, and in the end be left with the possibility that two partners are just insufficiently compatible.

Is there any indication in the events as to whether you were ALL of the problem... .

When you were forming the relationship did you each make clear what behaviours you could and couldn't accept?

If so, did these 'red lines' match well with the other person's character?

Before your wife left, did she firmly but compassionately explain exactly what you were doing that she couldn't live with - and then give you at least one fair chance to change?

If the answer to any of the above is no - and who really checks off all those boxes - then there was surely some vagueness of responsibility, and it's impossible to assign 'blame' to one person alone.

Going back to yearnings for right and wrong, I can see now that in the early part of my relationship I did really want that simplicity,  as if it would make life easier (SO mistaken!).

Personally I feel that I've had to undergo a process of giving up the good/bad thinking.

The hard part is knowing that I'll never be a 'good' person.  I'm just a human and will always have to live with some personal flaws.

But the upside is that I no longer find my failings to be so devastating as I used to. So I'm unlikely to accept the role of scapegoat again, which is something that almost killed me.

So I suggest that you explore, with curiosity,  your feelings about goodness and badness.

Do you normally find yourself judging people as one or the other?

In your FOO were people sometimes considered to be all good or bad?

In your childhood did any of your family or community get divorced?  If so, then what was said about the couple? What were your own feelings about it at the time?

If you were to tell yourself that your life has had both positive and negative consequences,  how does that make you feel?

Anyway I hope you can get peace with your situation and move forward with confidence.

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