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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: Should I tell him how I feel?  (Read 1430 times)
Larmoyant
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« on: February 12, 2016, 11:06:05 PM »

I finished with my ex a month ago. I was advised to use NC, but I can’t as I find it too painful and unkind. The first couple of weeks or so it was chaotic with both our emotions all over the place, but it seems to have settled down now.  The last week has been a little better for me in the sense that my mind is beginning to clear, although I still have trouble concentrating. I’ve given up drinking wine every night (self-medicating), have started walking again and feel a little better physically.

However, this morning he sent me a text saying he was out my way on a wine tour and it’s upset me. I feel so desperately sad, wondering why he’s chosen to come my way, wondering who he’s with, angry that he can get on with his life whilst I’m still curled up in my bed scared to go out. I feel wretched. I want to be with him, the funny, loving, nice side of him, but I’m fighting abuse amnesia because that isn’t what it’s like for the most part. This man is CRUEL and has hurt me almost beyond repair.

I’ve texted back asking him why he was telling me he’s on a wine tour, but I’ve had no response. I’m contemplating opening up to him and telling him how I feel. Would this be a good idea? Can anyone help me please  :'(
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Lonely_Astro
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 11:24:40 PM »

If it will help you in your healing, I say go for it.  But, be prepared for the blowback if it happens.

I told my ex how I felt.  She replied she felt the same way I did.  I also found out that she is "head over heels in love" with someone else, now.  She started a r/s with him around the time we were ending or just before, I'm not sure.  She failed to mention that to me at any point we were talking.  So, you see, I was still being used.  We ended our last conversation where she said she wanted to be "a friend" to me.  I declined.  Friends don't do that to their friends and frankly I wouldn't accept a "friends only" r/s with her.

So, do what you feel like is best for you.  Just be careful.  You may end up with more hurt than you planned.  I did.
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 11:27:49 PM »

You can't expect any real empathy

you have to remember that, repeat it over and over until it sinks in, they lack empathy

he just doesn't have the capacity to understand YOUR feelings, so opening up, or expecting any kind of support or empathy from him is going to make you go insane.

I tried to tell mine how i felt multiple times, one time i was telling her how depressed i was and that i was almost suicidal and didn't know what to do, she just sat there looking at me, then tried to change the subject by showing me a picture of her cat.

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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 11:30:15 PM »

hey larmoyant. big   to you, i understand none of this is easy.

i agree with lonely_astro, i dont think any of us can tell you whats right for you. i can really only put myself in your shoes, and im not in your shoes. i have had similar and familiar urges; in some cases ive acted on them in some cases i havent. i have found that when im triggered, or acting on anxiety, i tend to regret my actions. i prefer to react when im thinking more clearly. the urge may pass or it may not. you say for the last week your head has been clearing. you might consider sleeping on it; you dont have to make a decision right now.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 11:41:05 PM »

I contacted my exBPD twice via text over the past 2 months even though I was trying very hard to stay no contact.  When I sent those messages it made ME feel better.  The response however, may never be what you want.

If you need to get your emotions out there for yourself, then do it.  No contact is important, but the two times I contacted him it made me feel better as it got some huge emotions off of my chest.

He read the messages (they show up as read) and he ignored me. 

Not very nice to ignore someone you once said you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and love forever is it?

Not the response I wanted, but it didn't matter, I got it out and his silence spoke volumes.  If you need to get it out, get it out.

However, do not make the mistake of EXPECTING a certain response. 

I also want to say I know how you feel.  I rarely leave the house except to go to work, and I got a second job just to keep me overly busy and distracted.  It HURTS!

Much love
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Lonely_Astro
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2016, 12:26:26 AM »

I contacted my exBPD twice via text over the past 2 months even though I was trying very hard to stay no contact.  When I sent those messages it made ME feel better.  The response however, may never be what you want.

If you need to get your emotions out there for yourself, then do it.  No contact is important, but the two times I contacted him it made me feel better as it got some huge emotions off of my chest.

He read the messages (they show up as read) and he ignored me. 

Not very nice to ignore someone you once said you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and love forever is it?

Not the response I wanted, but it didn't matter, I got it out and his silence spoke volumes.  If you need to get it out, get it out.

However, do not make the mistake of EXPECTING a certain response. 

I also want to say I know how you feel.  I rarely leave the house except to go to work, and I got a second job just to keep me overly busy and distracted.  It HURTS!

Much love

I'd like to also add that we get so focused on NC that we sometimes get lost in thinking its a hardline thing, it seems.  NC is like a diet.  Sometimes you break that diet for a day or two and then you go back.  NC is for us, not them.

You're right in that sometimes letting out your emotions make you feel better.  That's how I ended up talking to my ex. Mine, unlike yours, responded.  It led to more heartache, in the end.  I don't regret saying what I did to her, even if I was doing so under a false flag.  I feel like I got to say what I wanted, I got my feelings out there.  Of course, my feelings didn't really matter... .but that's not really a surprise.

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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2016, 01:50:57 AM »

This is what makes me wonder about my situation. Sometimes I have said what I feel it has been received in a reasonable manner. Sadly she just drops her head in what looks like shame. She knows what she has done but just can't seem to face it. I don't now if I feel more sorry for her than myself.

Be careful in how you say it though. Anything can be used against you a second to a lifetime later. They remember it in a way that suits them which may be well and truly twisted. See we are still walking on eggshells after the relationship - this must say something.

Also, sometimes I have spoken my mind very calmly and lovingly only to have it spat back at me in some twisted way on the spot and that can be more hurtful than getting the feelings out.

Over a long period of time I have decided that if she wants to talk again I will make it conditional on her being open and responsible so that I am allowed the right to speak that she is. She can call me controlling, childish, whatever she likes but prefaces all conversations with something like "there's really noting wrong with me" meaning I am not allowed the right to speak freely like she is.
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2016, 10:37:37 AM »

I’ve texted back asking him why he was telling me he’s on a wine tour, but I’ve had no response. I’m contemplating opening up to him and telling him how I feel. Would this be a bad idea?

Hi Larmoyant,

What do you expect him to say and/or do by you opening up to him about your feelings? It's really not about what he may or may not say, do or may not do; it is about your expectations regarding said confession and how you'll accept and handle any benefits/consequences that may possibly arise. We can't control the actions/interpretations/behaviors/responses/etc. of others.

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2016, 11:39:15 AM »

You can't expect any real empathy

you have to remember that, repeat it over and over until it sinks in, they lack empathy

he just doesn't have the capacity to understand YOUR feelings, so opening up, or expecting any kind of support or empathy from him is going to make you go insane.

I tried to tell mine how i felt multiple times, one time i was telling her how depressed i was and that i was almost suicidal and didn't know what to do, she just sat there looking at me, then tried to change the subject by showing me a picture of her cat.

This really helped me to read, I'm sorry you went through it, but it's just that it's a universal experience with some of these people. After the love bombing was over how I felt never mattered, and if I tried to talk about how I felt in the relationship no matter how I put it I was "attacking him" and "starting a fight" and he would get angry with me. Never any understanding or showing any desire to try to understand.


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Lonely_Astro
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2016, 12:06:08 PM »

You can't expect any real empathy

you have to remember that, repeat it over and over until it sinks in, they lack empathy

he just doesn't have the capacity to understand YOUR feelings, so opening up, or expecting any kind of support or empathy from him is going to make you go insane.

I tried to tell mine how i felt multiple times, one time i was telling her how depressed i was and that i was almost suicidal and didn't know what to do, she just sat there looking at me, then tried to change the subject by showing me a picture of her cat.

This really helped me to read, I'm sorry you went through it, but it's just that it's a universal experience with some of these people. After the love bombing was over how I felt never mattered, and if I tried to talk about how I felt in the relationship no matter how I put it I was "attacking him" and "starting a fight" and he would get angry with me. Never any understanding or showing any desire to try to understand.

It's all part of the cycle: seducer, clinger, hater.  We get hooked in with the seducer.  The clinger begins to change our pattern of thinking, then tbe hater abuses us.  Granted, we participate in the r/s, but by the time we get the hater we've become so enmeshed, so co-dependent that we'll accept practically any type of 'affection' from the hater.  Why?  Because we want the seducer back.  From our standpoint, we know that loving, affectionate, and caring person we fell for is in there.  And they are.  But the hater is them to.  The worst part is all of it was real to them to... .right up until it wasn't.

J did the same thing to me that infern0 experienced.  She would go on and on about how terrible her life was, how I was her only "light", and how she was so tired of being 'sick'.  But, as soon as I began to talk about my feelings, even if she asked, she would pick up her phone and start browsing Instagram or Pintrest or be texting. Even if I told her this upset me, basically ignoring me and it made me uncomfortable, she would huff and toss her phone down and say "what?  What's the problem, now?  You're always thinking I'm doing something wrong and I'm not. You don't and won't ever trust me."  But do you see how invalidating (and abusive) that behavior is?  I was there to serve her.  How dare I ask for anything in return, right?

One time, right or wrong, I tried an experiment.  She started talking about something that was, honestly, not important that was a 'problem' in her life.  As she was talking, I grabbed my phone and responded to a work email (I had never used my phone before while she was talking to me, though she had countless times and I had talked with her about it - see above conversation as the result).  She instantly got ballistically mad.  I was being so inconsiderate and rude to her by not listening.  Even though I had never done it before and she had done it to me countless times and I even repeated, verbatim what she had said to me the entire time back to her along with an acknowledgement to how she was feeling... .it didn't matter.  I was a rude, inconsiderate, heartless guy for doing that to her. 

Do you see the pattern?  Your feelings, wants, desires, hopes, and dreams do not matter.  They should.  We all have a right to have those things and be heard.  But, to them, it doesn't matter unless it's somehow, some way beneficial to their narratives. If it's in line with how they're feeling too, it's ok.  Otherwise, it's not.

As if not to add more confusion to the mix, they don't usually see the r/s the same way as we do.  For instance, I made a lot of sacrifices (willingly) for J this past year.  But, at the end, she told me she had felt that I was using her most of the year.  I was hurt by this because it wasn't true.  It was projection really ( i.e., "I'm using him, that makes me bad, so he must be using me so I don't feel bad.  He's the bad one for using me like he is. He's bad, so I need to leave him. Look how bad he treats me by using me". Oh and she still says she loves ("always and forever" me and misses me ("I miss you, all of you".  Plus, she never once verbalized that 'feeling' to me.  I thought we were working together to have a r/s, she apparently didn't.

There is so much I could write about this.  I started out this great guy who treated her like a human being, didn't ever abuse her, and accepted her for who she was. By the end, I was a user and a loser who talked to her like a child, was controlling and to demanding, who tried to 'therapy her' to much, and just wouldn't accept who she was.  So, complete polar opposites of true reality (welcome to white/black splitting).
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Larmoyant
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2016, 12:42:14 PM »

Thanks so much for the feedback.

I gave it some thought and decided to text him. Him telling me what he was doing made me feel sad, angry and even resentful so I asked him not to tell me, wrote that I found it hurtful and said that I needed time and space to recover. I suppose my expectation was that he would empathise and understand. Maybe this was a wish rather than an expectation because deep down I suspected that he’d take the opportunity to abuse me further and that is exactly what he did.

In over 60 texts I was called a liar, a cheat, selfish, uncaring, mentally unwell, cruel, a thief, disgraceful, ungrateful, he thanked God he wasn’t with me anymore, and said that he did nothing to deserve my treatment of him. It goes on and on. He did, however, say that he does have a temper and gets angry at times, but only because I provoke him.

Up until now I’ve been careful what I say because I've felt sorrow for him because he’s afflicted with a pd that causes him to hurt me, but this time I took the opportunity to list several occasions/places where he’d abused or humiliated me. I didn’t call him any names or insult him just pointed out and reminded him of his meltdowns where he’d leave me stranded, humiliate me, scream insults at me, and push me. I also mentioned the witnesses to his abuse and the photos of my bruises.

This was my reality, my perspective. This is what I endured and it was about time I stood up for myself and stop denying and pretending that his treatment of me was ok. He was furious, told me twice to leave him alone which I did, but he still kept coming back with more insults. 

I also got to say that I had loved the funny, kind, lovely side of him, said that I’d dropped the rope on my own life by focussing on his wants and needs to the detriment of my own, but ultimately that was my responsibility and I need to work on why.

He, as usual, seemed to thoroughly enjoy all of this. It was like a battle and at first I felt defeated, but as the night went on I actually felt ok. I really think it was about time I let it all out. I’ve been walking on eggshells, focusing on him, feeling sorry for him. He may well have BPD/NPD which causes him to be abusive, but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour. If I keep letting him he will just continue to walk all over me.

I’m closer to NC then ever. Just need to work out why I can’t quite get there because he’ll be back I just know it. A friend told me that I would have to be the one to end it and I’m beginning to think she’s right.

Detaching is so difficult. I started the day feeling tearful and wretched, but I'm feeling stronger right this minute. I might well go back again, but I can feel myself gaining more understanding and with it the realisation that I've got a choice here. I can move on. He is only ever going to hurt me.

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apollotech
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2016, 01:08:55 PM »

A friend told me that I would have to be the one to end it and I’m beginning to think she’s right.

Your friend is correct. Many times the actions/behaviors of the pwBPD are the reason for a relationship ending, but it's usually, in the final break, the Non that eventually walks away. I think you're seeing that, as he continues to return, regardless of what he's saying. He will likely continue this pattern as long as you continue to participate in it.
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Infern0
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2016, 03:59:10 PM »

You can't expect any real empathy

you have to remember that, repeat it over and over until it sinks in, they lack empathy

he just doesn't have the capacity to understand YOUR feelings, so opening up, or expecting any kind of support or empathy from him is going to make you go insane.

I tried to tell mine how i felt multiple times, one time i was telling her how depressed i was and that i was almost suicidal and didn't know what to do, she just sat there looking at me, then tried to change the subject by showing me a picture of her cat.

This really helped me to read, I'm sorry you went through it, but it's just that it's a universal experience with some of these people. After the love bombing was over how I felt never mattered, and if I tried to talk about how I felt in the relationship no matter how I put it I was "attacking him" and "starting a fight" and he would get angry with me. Never any understanding or showing any desire to try to understand.

It's all part of the cycle: seducer, clinger, hater.  We get hooked in with the seducer.  The clinger begins to change our pattern of thinking, then tbe hater abuses us.  Granted, we participate in the r/s, but by the time we get the hater we've become so enmeshed, so co-dependent that we'll accept practically any type of 'affection' from the hater.  Why?  Because we want the seducer back.  From our standpoint, we know that loving, affectionate, and caring person we fell for is in there.  And they are.  But the hater is them to.  The worst part is all of it was real to them to... .right up until it wasn't.

J did the same thing to me that infern0 experienced.  She would go on and on about how terrible her life was, how I was her only "light", and how she was so tired of being 'sick'.  But, as soon as I began to talk about my feelings, even if she asked, she would pick up her phone and start browsing Instagram or Pintrest or be texting. Even if I told her this upset me, basically ignoring me and it made me uncomfortable, she would huff and toss her phone down and say "what?  What's the problem, now?  You're always thinking I'm doing something wrong and I'm not. You don't and won't ever trust me."  But do you see how invalidating (and abusive) that behavior is?  I was there to serve her.  How dare I ask for anything in return, right?

One time, right or wrong, I tried an experiment.  She started talking about something that was, honestly, not important that was a 'problem' in her life.  As she was talking, I grabbed my phone and responded to a work email (I had never used my phone before while she was talking to me, though she had countless times and I had talked with her about it - see above conversation as the result).  She instantly got ballistically mad.  I was being so inconsiderate and rude to her by not listening.  Even though I had never done it before and she had done it to me countless times and I even repeated, verbatim what she had said to me the entire time back to her along with an acknowledgement to how she was feeling... .it didn't matter.  I was a rude, inconsiderate, heartless guy for doing that to her. 

Do you see the pattern?  Your feelings, wants, desires, hopes, and dreams do not matter.  They should.  We all have a right to have those things and be heard.  But, to them, it doesn't matter unless it's somehow, some way beneficial to their narratives. If it's in line with how they're feeling too, it's ok.  Otherwise, it's not.

As if not to add more confusion to the mix, they don't usually see the r/s the same way as we do.  For instance, I made a lot of sacrifices (willingly) for J this past year.  But, at the end, she told me she had felt that I was using her most of the year.  I was hurt by this because it wasn't true.  It was projection really ( i.e., "I'm using him, that makes me bad, so he must be using me so I don't feel bad.  He's the bad one for using me like he is. He's bad, so I need to leave him. Look how bad he treats me by using me". Oh and she still says she loves ("always and forever" me and misses me ("I miss you, all of you".  Plus, she never once verbalized that 'feeling' to me.  I thought we were working together to have a r/s, she apparently didn't.

There is so much I could write about this.  I started out this great guy who treated her like a human being, didn't ever abuse her, and accepted her for who she was. By the end, I was a user and a loser who talked to her like a child, was controlling and to demanding, who tried to 'therapy her' to much, and just wouldn't accept who she was.  So, complete polar opposites of true reality (welcome to white/black splitting).

I got told that too.

It was difficult to answer because it was true, i'd exposed so many lies by her i'd lost count.
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Lonely_Astro
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2016, 07:34:21 PM »

I got told that too.

It was difficult to answer because it was true, i'd exposed so many lies by her i'd lost count.

J actually said to me "you never trusted me.  I know I never gave you a reason to, either, but that's no excuse for you not to."

One of the many confusing statements she made to me over the course of a year.  Especially toward the end of us.

I find it ironic she told me the other day that she's honest, open, and doesn't hide anything from L, including letting him have her phone whenever he wants and has given him her passcode (something she'd NEVER do for me).  That, of course, was a dig at me because she knew how much her hiding stuff hurt me.  Basically she was showing me how much more she's in love or committed to making it work with L than she was with me.

At least, that's how I feel anyway (feel free to tell me I'm wrong).
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Suzn
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2016, 08:17:36 PM »

I finished with my ex a month ago.I was advised to use NC, but I can’t as I find it too painful and unkind.

I'm sorry this was painful for you.    I think it's courageous of you to remain in contact. That said, I do hope you are considering what's kind to yourself too. It's perfectly normal to take some time for yourself, to be alone, after a breakup.   

I’ve texted back asking him why he was telling me he’s on a wine tour, but I’ve had no response.

What if your response to "I'm out your way on a wine tour" was

"That sounds fun."

Simple. Truthful. Nothing for him to grab onto to lash out about or turn around on you. Benign statements such as this can be helpful when we are trying to be kind to our exes ... .and ourselves. 
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Larmoyant
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2016, 12:18:20 AM »

Quote from inferno:

"You can't expect any real empathy

you have to remember that, repeat it over and over until it sinks in, they lack empathy

he just doesn't have the capacity to understand YOUR feelings, so opening up, or expecting any kind of support or empathy from him is going to make you go insane."


I should have read this over and over (thanks for trying inferno) because I'm now reeling from yesterdays events and today's as he's trying to carry it on. I've stepped back because I do feel like I'm going insane.

Suzn, I should instigate NC as of this moment, but something's holding me back. I'm actually hurting myself here and I don't know why. It's hard leaving someone you love I suppose. Even if that person causes you so much pain. I wish I'd responded in the way you suggest. I could have saved myself so much anguish.

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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2016, 08:10:30 AM »

I'm actually hurting myself here and I don't know why. It's hard leaving someone you love I suppose.

It is hard leaving someone you love. We have to consider ourselves into this equation too. We need to be someone we love. Can you visualize your inner child? No one can protect her feelings but you.

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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2016, 10:24:39 AM »

Do it for yourself and don't expect too much in return. Trying to figure out the mind of a personality disordered individual is kinda like trying to solve a math equation for the color yellow... .
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Larmoyant
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2016, 09:11:48 PM »



Hi Suzn, I think I’m probably clinging to the last vestiges of hope fuelled by him still contacting me claiming love. If I back down, bury my own wants and needs we could get back together. The child in me is screaming that she’ll have him back at any cost, just to take the pain away. Only it won’t take the pain away. The cycle will repeat causing more and more damage until there’s nothing left of her. I’m not going to let that happen anymore. One of these days I’m going to wake up in the mornings and it won’t hurt like this. I know this. She doesn’t.

Hi Invictus01, I wrote a long, long letter yesterday, but didn’t send it, because there is no point. He won’t get it and based on past experience he’ll refuse to see my perspective and become angry and defensive leading to more circular arguments. Too exhausting. Maybe my quest to figure out his mind is futile. I probably need to start focusing on what I’ve got to do to pick up all the broken pieces.

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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2016, 09:30:50 PM »

Hi Suzn, I think I’m probably clinging to the last vestiges of hope fuelled by him still contacting me claiming love. If I back down, bury my own wants and needs we could get back together. The child in me is screaming that she’ll have him back at any cost, just to take the pain away. Only it won’t take the pain away. The cycle will repeat causing more and more damage until there’s nothing left of her. I’m not going to let that happen anymore. One of these days I’m going to wake up in the mornings and it won’t hurt like this. I know this. She doesn’t.

I can so relate to this. Its like a drug. It causes pain in the long run, but feels so good in the moment. Stay strong!
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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2016, 09:24:29 AM »

I can so relate to this. Its like a drug. It causes pain in the long run, but feels so good in the moment. Stay strong!

It's like heroin mixed with nitroglycerin.  You know it's bad for you, you know it's going to blow up in your face at some time, yet it feels so great while you're doing it that that simple fact doesnt matter to you... .you engage in the r/s anyway. 

A friend of mine once asked me why I put up with her crap and why I engaged in a r/s again with her after 3 years.  I simply said, "she's my kryptonite.  Always has been."  Im an addict when it comes to her.  I disappointed in myself for saying it.  One day at a time, one day at a time.
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