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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: What really causes the devalue and discard?  (Read 6680 times)
KarmasReal
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« on: June 06, 2016, 06:32:23 PM »

Hey guys,

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

I don't know any of these answers. I know many times the way my exBPD behaved may not have been congruent with how she was actually feeling as that seems quite common. She may have been pushing me away because she cared for me and knew she would hurt me or doing it because she had no legitimate feelings.

In my particular case I did do the actual breaking up, but she did things that night that utterly pushed me to do it, I had no other choice. Well I guess I did, I could either break up with her and show her, her actions had consequences with me, or I could have let it go, become spineless and lost all respect she had for me and my own self respect. I chose to keep my respect.

I would never say she is in essence a bad person, she is weak, she is selfish, she is ignorant of her actions and how they affect me. But I know all this stems from a disorder, one she didn't ask for nor one she wants either I'm sure. But for myself, I am really curious what begins the devalue and discard phases of a BPD. All of your thoughts, experiences, and any other ideas are most welcome! Thanks!

KarmasReal
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sweet tooth
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 07:27:55 PM »

Hey guys,

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

I don't know any of these answers. I know many times the way my exBPD behaved may not have been congruent with how she was actually feeling as that seems quite common. She may have been pushing me away because she cared for me and knew she would hurt me or doing it because she had no legitimate feelings.

In my particular case I did do the actual breaking up, but she did things that night that utterly pushed me to do it, I had no other choice. Well I guess I did, I could either break up with her and show her, her actions had consequences with me, or I could have let it go, become spineless and lost all respect she had for me and my own self respect. I chose to keep my respect.

I would never say she is in essence a bad person, she is weak, she is selfish, she is ignorant of her actions and how they affect me. But I know all this stems from a disorder, one she didn't ask for nor one she wants either I'm sure. But for myself, I am really curious what begins the devalue and discard phases of a BPD. All of your thoughts, experiences, and any other ideas are most welcome! Thanks!

KarmasReal

I discussed being painted black and discarded with my T today. He suggested that:

1. I reminded her of some kind of trauma and became  a trigger that she must avoid

2. I'm a good person and she's not. I'm also a mirror. When she looks at me she sees everything she wants to be but can't be and it disgusts/frustrates her.
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 07:41:24 PM »

KarmasReal - Good question and I cannot give you a definitive answer to this but can share my experience with it.

My marriage of 10 years had been on ever thinner ice and I had sensed that she had shifted.  Yet, our plans continued as if nothing was different.  We had planned to buy a house, for all 10 years of our marriage, and would go to endless open houses and run financial staements etc.  At last we found the home that met all of our criteria and she refused to make an offer on it with me and so the opportunity passed by. 

I don't often give myself credit for the good things I did in our marriage, but in this instance I was an Ace.  She told me she was scared that I would be angry at her and yell at her like her father.  I held her and assured her I would not.  A month passed and we decided on a different strategy and like the wind she got up from the couch and started on the computer as if we would continue the same 10 year dance.  I was then upset and when she insisted on figuring everything out, I yelled at her.  This was, in her words; 'the straw that broke the camels back".  She locked herself in her room and 3 months later came out and said she wanted a divorce and there was no way she could see making it work.

When I asked our marital T what happened, the T's response was, that I triggered her when I yelled and she was reminded of her abusive father and saw me in the same light.  The marriage ended about 1 year after that night and she only showed me her "open side" again 2 times; once to tell me it was over and the other when my Mother died.

I am sure there are others who can give you a more informed explanation, but maybe this helps provide some understanding.

JRB
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Herodias
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 07:52:58 PM »

I can't help but feel that after years of rages and craziness, I became more and more critical... .maybe this caused him to think I would leave... .maybe he wanted me to leave and I never left! He seemed to like the puppy love stage of a relationship. I feel like he thought I didn't love him because I didn't like his behavior. I think he was doing everything in his power to push me away and I never left until he did exactly what I told him I would finally leave over. Getting someone else pregnant. I begged him to get a vasectomy and he kept lying to me that he would. He then got the gf pregnant and that was it. Maybe he didn't really want to be with me... .I have no idea. He didn't act that way most of the time when he was with me. I am sure he will continue to do this. I think this gf is pretending with him as he is pretending with her. They are in a fools paradise and it will eventually stale. Probably sooner than later with a baby to get all the attention and money. Not sure he will ever be happy... .he said this himself. He doesn't like himself.
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sweet tooth
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 07:55:38 PM »

JRB basically confirmed what my T suggested. In his instance, his wife equated him with her abusive father. So now he recreates trauma within her and she doesn't know how to deal with it. That's extraordinarily sad. I'm sorry that you went through that, JRB.
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Herodias
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 08:00:18 PM »

Interesting you say this, because I am allot like my exes Mother... .allot! Yet, he is like my parents rolled into one... .It's like we were both trying to fix relationships. Maybe that was the attraction.
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sweet tooth
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2016, 08:06:08 PM »

Interesting you say this, because I am allot like my exes Mother... .allot! Yet, he is like my parents rolled into one... .It's like we were both trying to fix relationships. Maybe that was the attraction.

My T says we are attracted to what is familiar with us. My ex is like my mother on steroids. My mother is kind of nutty. My ex is the Queen of the Nut Kingdom.
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KarmasReal
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2016, 08:50:38 PM »

All those triggers make sense to me, I can understand how yelling by a SO could be equated to trauma from a father figure for a BPD. However I never really yelled to much, towards the end, our fights during the honeymoon phase had more yelling. By the time we were reaching the end, I had mostly just given up on fighting, it never changed anything, at that point whenever she flipped out or was mean, I just left and said I wouldn't be around that. Her behavior became so terrible I couldn't deal with it. Then finally when set said she would rather spend my bday with other people than me, and that she wasn't a good person, it was over. I barely even yelled then I just stated that our relationship had been so messed up and sarcastically thanked her for ruining us. Her drinking, and strange push/pulls would have exhausted anyone. I don't know, I really just done know where it all went bad.
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2016, 09:01:41 PM »

All those triggers make sense to me, I can understand how yelling by a SO could be equated to trauma from a father figure for a BPD. However I never really yelled to much, towards the end, our fights during the honeymoon phase had more yelling. By the time we were reaching the end, I had mostly just given up on fighting, it never changed anything, at that point whenever she flipped out or was mean, I just left and said I wouldn't be around that. Her behavior became so terrible I couldn't deal with it. Then finally when set said she would rather spend my bday with other people than me, and that she wasn't a good person, it was over. I barely even yelled then I just stated that our relationship had been so messed up and sarcastically thanked her for ruining us. Her drinking, and strange push/pulls would have exhausted anyone. I don't know, I really just done know where it all went bad.

There was only one time during my relationship I actually yelled at her. However, she took it to heart even after I apologized. That was in October last year. Apparently, I "yelled" at her again in April, which she claimed was her breaking point. I was just like... .wow nitpicky much? Let's just list 4-5 incidents, including the October one, over the period of 18 months and say that I'm an angry person with bad temper.

Obviously, logic doesn't work on her because she insisted that she doesn't want a relationship like her parents' when in reality we were far from it. If she wants a person that can't show human emotions, she should probably date a vegetable.
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sweet tooth
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 09:06:26 PM »

Don't forget, they can't handle real emotional intimacy. For whatever reason it makes them shut down. That's also a trigger.
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 09:07:56 PM »

This is starting to feel like we are blaming ourselves for triggering them again! Stop it! Yes, I yelled at my ex for staying up all night watching live porn, yes, I yelled at my ex for staying out all night not answering his phone until 5 am telling me he is at a 5 star hotel, we cannot afford and wants me to come down there and I said no (he probably had someone else there first), Yes, I yelled at him for bringing people into our home at all hours of the night... .yes... .I am the crazy angry one for being mad over such type events... .Oh well- don't do it anymore!  Impossible... .stop blaming yourselves... .I am sure you were angry with just cause... .Not just over the toothpaste or a dish put in the wrong place like they do!
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Wantingtochange
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 09:12:44 PM »

I spent a great amount of time both in and out of therapy asking this very question. I can remember the exact conversation, the question I asked, and the change in her face when it spiraled. I've hashed it out in therapy and my T nailed it, I got to close with my ex. The intimacy triggered her. From that moment on it went downhill until my discard and her running to the next man.

It's still very hard for me to wrap my head around it. All the I love you's, the last two wonderful days we spent together, then a simple conversation about where this is heading caused her to run... .
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Leonis
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2016, 09:13:13 PM »

I am sure you were angry with just cause... .Not just over the toothpaste or a dish put in the wrong place like they do!


Truer words have never been spoken.
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GreenEyedMonster
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 05:21:34 AM »

Hey guys,

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

In my opinion, it has to do with a sense of agency or control.  This relates to what sweet tooth says about triggering memories of past abuse.  The whole purpose of abusive behavior is to take away someone's control over a situation.  For example, giving someone the silent treatment forces them to capitulate to your demands and gives you a sense of control over them.  For a pwBPD, they need so much from you, but you can choose not to give it to them.  The fact that you are an independent person and can evaluate their merits and decide whether to meet their needs terrifies them.

I think that the devaluation phase begins when they realize that you can hold back.  At the beginning of a relationship when you are in love, you tend not to hold back.  You want to spend every moment together and are practically obsessed with each other.  But the minute that life comes along and you put something else first, or are too busy, or are distracted by another interest, they realize that you can choose, at any given moment, whether to meet your needs.  This leads to a feeling of resentment, and from there, devaluation.

If they feel out of control in repeated situations, the whole endeavor ceases to feel worthwhile, hence the discard.
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C.Stein
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 05:43:15 AM »

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

There is no one size fits all reason here.  The reasons are as varied as the ways the disorder manifests itself from one individual to the next.  

What do you think the reasons for the discard/devalue was with your ex?
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KarmasReal
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2016, 06:46:43 AM »

C.stein

That's a great question I'm really not sure. The last month we were together is just a mystery to me in itself. In mid March we had a fantastic trip for her youngest sons birthday she was awesome I was awesome. Around that time we were talking about moving in together too. Although she didn't know how we would handle that with the kids. All in all things going well.

That's about the last moment I remember things going well. After that we were still seeing each other a lot and sex just all the time but her drinking was going way up, day drinking, drunk driving, etc. She was also pushing my buttons more, mostly when drunk which was often, and acting erratic. I left a few times when she was being difficult or just a drunken mess because I was trying to set boundaries and show I wouldn't put up with that and she needed to value and appreciate me like she had been before.

A couple weeks later I got the flu and she told me to stay and she would take care of me, she did a horrible job and didn't act very lovingly while I felt horrible. However I recovered but then she started saying I was coming over announced a lot, I thought that was weird because I had been for months, I had taken that we were at that point in our relationship. That really freaked me out and so because I thought things were going bad I started seeing another girl behind her back, and no I don't think she knew, my phone was always with me and I only saw this girl 3 times while we were together.

So my birthday comes around mid April about a month since our last good times with the trip and moving in etc.

That day was pretty good we relaxed, had a few cocktails had sex, she worried when I was gone on a long errand etc. So I'm thinking it's okay. Then she gets a text from her ex husbands sister saying she was in a city an hour away and to come see her, my exBPD basically said lets go, even though it was my birthday. I said its my birthday and we've been drinking what if I don't want to go... .

Then she basically nonchalantly tells me she would go without me, I should spend my birthday with my friends not her, because that's what she would rather do. She said she wasn't a good person, that she loved me and our friendship and our sex life, but due to her divorce and that pain that she would never love anyone like that again. No marriage no kids, even though I want both. After that I basically had to break up with her I was in shock from it. She took her keys back from me maybe gave me a hug like a robot and left me, I haven't seen her since.

So no, I don't see a normal BPD trigger or yelling or perceived abandonment or anything, that's why I'm so confused.
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 06:55:50 AM »

So no, I don't see a normal BPD trigger or yelling or perceived abandonment or anything, that's why I'm so confused.

There is no "normal" trigger KR.  That said, one thing I have seen reported by people here is a change induced trigger.  What I mean by this is when faced with a major life change (having a child, moving in together, buying a house together, marriage, etc ... .) this is a trigger, probably an engulfment trigger.
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 07:52:38 AM »

I think of my ex as a life-force thief. During the first 10 years of our 15 year marriage, she stole $100 worth of life force here  $1000 there and she got away with it. As with any thief that gets away with it,  the numbers just get bigger.  $50 000 $125 000. Pretty soon she wants to steal $1m, and she got caught.  She got caught because I figured her out. The BPD and the NPD. If she wasnt so greedy I'd probably still be there.

I remember the day I told her "the game is up". I know the game. She looked at me with he most frightened 'deer in the headlights' look you have ever seen. That day she lost control of her source of life force.

I put in boundaries to protect me.

From that day, the devaluing started and eventually the discard.  It didnt take her long to find another source of supply. A married friend of mine with 3 kids and a pregnant wife thought he would be the next Mr Moselle.  Divorced his pregnant wife and moved in.

Won't he be surprised one day when he realises he has no wallet, no life force, no life. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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KarmasReal
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2016, 08:14:06 AM »

You know Moselle I've thought about something similar a lot. I've often wondered if my discard wasn't necessarily related to a trigger at all. Like yours my exBPD behavior and ups and downs became worse and worse the longer we were together. And though technically she didn't discard me she, did something horrible and said she would make it up to me, I said we were breaking up. But I was forced to do so by her behavior. But back to my thought, I wondered if she split me after that because she finally knew that I knew who she really was, there was no going back I've seen every awful low down behavior, I think she knew I would never see her the same I think she knew she couldn't manipulate me anymore, and that's why I got split. She couldn't hide forever, and it's even harder to hide yourself if you drunk always like she was. I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts or experience with this?
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 10:18:55 AM »

Hey guys,

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

In my opinion, it has to do with a sense of agency or control.  This relates to what sweet tooth says about triggering memories of past abuse.  The whole purpose of abusive behavior is to take away someone's control over a situation.  For example, giving someone the silent treatment forces them to capitulate to your demands and gives you a sense of control over them.  For a pwBPD, they need so much from you, but you can choose not to give it to them.  The fact that you are an independent person and can evaluate their merits and decide whether to meet their needs terrifies them.

I think that the devaluation phase begins when they realize that you can hold back.  At the beginning of a relationship when you are in love, you tend not to hold back.  You want to spend every moment together and are practically obsessed with each other.  But the minute that life comes along and you put something else first, or are too busy, or are distracted by another interest, they realize that you can choose, at any given moment, whether to meet your needs.  This leads to a feeling of resentment, and from there, devaluation.

If they feel out of control in repeated situations, the whole endeavor ceases to feel worthwhile, hence the discard.

This makes so much sense in my case. Just don't know if it's true.
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2016, 10:31:12 AM »

Hey guys,

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the discard aspect of a BPD. Specifically what triggers a BPD to discard their SO. Is it usually the same for all BPD's? Or can it be one of many things?

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

In my opinion, it has to do with a sense of agency or control.  This relates to what sweet tooth says about triggering memories of past abuse.  The whole purpose of abusive behavior is to take away someone's control over a situation.  For example, giving someone the silent treatment forces them to capitulate to your demands and gives you a sense of control over them.  For a pwBPD, they need so much from you, but you can choose not to give it to them.  The fact that you are an independent person and can evaluate their merits and decide whether to meet their needs terrifies them.

I think that the devaluation phase begins when they realize that you can hold back.  At the beginning of a relationship when you are in love, you tend not to hold back.  You want to spend every moment together and are practically obsessed with each other.  But the minute that life comes along and you put something else first, or are too busy, or are distracted by another interest, they realize that you can choose, at any given moment, whether to meet your needs.  This leads to a feeling of resentment, and from there, devaluation.

If they feel out of control in repeated situations, the whole endeavor ceases to feel worthwhile, hence the discard.

This was definitely the dynamic in my case. It's natural to be disappointed in the fact that life gets in the way of the intense early relationship stuff, and maybe even you will drift apart if it gets too in-the-way. What's not healthy is when the party who feels neglected paints the other black as a result.
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2016, 11:12:40 AM »

Mine told me from the beginning that she goes into a relationship with complete trust, but as the r/s progresses, she begins to trust less. She was also consistent in her claim that she only likes a r/s when it's new. Both were red flags that I ignored.

What I've come to believe (I'll never know if I'm correct or not) is that, for her, as the r/s progresses and real feelings start to develop, she becomes scared of abandonment and stops trusting her SO. As a result, she starts the devaluation process. As I started to feel devalued, I started to pull away. This had the net result of her fearing the eventual abandonment even more. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hate that I became the very thing that she always knew that I'd be. It really isn't me.

Her fears were further triggered when I discovered that I couldn't live with her and moved out. This combined with my enforcing boundaries let her know that she was no longer in control of me or the situation. That's where the beginning of the end started. No matter how hard I tried, how much I gave, or how deeply I tried to show love for her, she devalued me even more.

I became extremely frustrated and angry about all of it. I just wanted to love her, but became a monster in my own mind as result of my futile attempts. As I said earlier, I became the very thing that she feared. I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to completely forgive myself for that.
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2016, 11:24:30 AM »

I became extremely frustrated and angry about all of it. I just wanted to love her, but became a monster in my own mind as result of my futile attempts. As I said earlier, I became the very thing that she feared. I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to completely forgive myself for that.

Why? You did everything you could. She forced you into that position. You're taking blame for something that isn't your fault, which is a cognitive distortion.
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2016, 11:31:36 AM »

Why? You did everything you could. She forced you into that position. You're taking blame for something that isn't your fault, which is a cognitive distortion.

Well, in my mind, she didn't "force" me to do anything. I'm in control of myself and my own actions. I made the choices to act/react as I did. I cannot blame her for that.

I also don't agree that I did everything that I could. I could have chosen to get help with my own issues. (Albeit, once I realized what was going on within my own mind, I did start working on them... .too little, too late though). I could have chosen to keep my anger and frustration in check and not lashed out at her in defense of myself when she attacked. I could have chosen to be more patient and supportive once I truly began to understand what she was experiencing. There are lots of other choices that I could chosen to make and a lot of other things that I could have tried.
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2016, 11:31:42 AM »

Mine told me from the beginning that she goes into a relationship with complete trust, but as the r/s progresses, she begins to trust less. She was also consistent in her claim that she only likes a r/s when it's new. Both were red flags that I ignored.

What I've come to believe (I'll never know if I'm correct or not) is that, for her, as the r/s progresses and real feelings start to develop, she becomes scared of abandonment and stops trusting her SO. As a result, she starts the devaluation process. As I started to feel devalued, I started to pull away. This had the net result of her fearing the eventual abandonment even more. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hate that I became the very thing that she always knew that I'd be. It really isn't me.

Her fears were further triggered when I discovered that I couldn't live with her and moved out. This combined with my enforcing boundaries let her know that she was no longer in control of me or the situation. That's where the beginning of the end started. No matter how hard I tried, how much I gave, or how deeply I tried to show love for her, she devalued me even more.

I became extremely frustrated and angry about all of it. I just wanted to love her, but became a monster in my own mind as result of my futile attempts. As I said earlier, I became the very thing that she feared. I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to completely forgive myself for that.

Meili - I believe you described EXACTLY what happened to me and most of us here. Truth is, we are logical people and want to find resolve, and be happy and understand;grow and put it behind us. They cannot deal with logic.

Mine would provoke me with crazy claims like I was cheating on her, looking at other women as well as hitting on other women in her presence? Really... silly claims all I which I would vehemently deny. So, yes after awhile their claims become so preposterous that we get frustrated and perhaps show more emotional because the arguments never go away and get compounded... until we burst and need to express our disappointments with them... and unless you would have known about her disorder and could have handled her with kid gloves, you had no chance brother. They claim its all your fault, your the guilty one. When in reality - they are just 'crazy-making' and seeing things that just are not true. After a while you need your dignity.

IN my case too, I did try and calm down and keep my emotions in check. Then, apparently I was now "lecturing her". I simply could not talk to her.

Please try and not blame yourself.
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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2016, 02:07:12 PM »

I agree with the above post. You're being really hard on yourself. It's good to take responsibility for your own actions, but a rational person wouldn't have done the whole "crazy making" thing.
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2016, 02:17:54 PM »

I agree with the above post. You're being really hard on yourself. It's good to take responsibility for your own actions, but a rational person wouldn't have done the whole "crazy making" thing.

I wholly agree that a rational person wouldn't have done the whole "crazy making" thing to begin with and without that, I never would have found myself making the choices that I made. But I still did what I did. And, honestly, I am being no harder on myself than I am on her. We both share the blame in the r/s. I can't be upset with her more than I am upset with myself. That just wouldn't be fair.

What's funny, in a weird way, is that if she hadn't suffered from a PD, I never would have been interested in her. We had nothing in common outside of the perfect storm of my being co-dependent and her being PD.

Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. Sorry!
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2016, 04:29:38 PM »

Is it engulfment? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it being codependent? Is it having boundaries and not being codependent? Is it they never really loved you or they loved you too much and they were scared? Was it because at a point they know they have you and feel like they can do anything to you?

I asked my psychologist this very question, and she said that even he probably doesn't know the reasons why he devalued me. She said it's likely that quite simply his emotions would shift from happy to not-so-happy, and he would blame my behaviour for the shift; if he felt bad, low, upset, disappointed, whatever, it must be because I'd done something to make him feel that way. And then he'd just pick a reason to hang that mood on - that "reason" would be whatever felt most right or likely at the time.

What she was saying was to not bother looking for what I might have done to cause the devaluation, because it was fairly irrelevant. On a particular day he might feel his self-esteem was low, and perhaps he'd think about the fact that a few days before I'd smiled at the guy serving me coffee in a too-friendly way, so put his sudden dip in self-esteem down to that. Then he'd be calling me out for shaming him and making him feel undervalued. However if I hadn't smiled at the guy serving me coffee, it would make no difference because he'd still have found a way to hang his low self-esteem mood on something I'd done. Maybe he'd decide I didn't look at him with quite enough devotion that week, or something like that. This is why I was accused of some bonkers, left-field stuff.  "I think, therefore she is".
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« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2016, 06:33:42 PM »

I agree with the above post. You're being really hard on yourself. It's good to take responsibility for your own actions, but a rational person wouldn't have done the whole "crazy making" thing.

I can't be upset with her more than I am upset with myself. That just wouldn't be fair.

If she caused most of the problems, then she deserves most of the blame. Of course it's fair.
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« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2016, 11:22:08 PM »

I agree with the above post. You're being really hard on yourself. It's good to take responsibility for your own actions, but a rational person wouldn't have done the whole "crazy making" thing.

I can't be upset with her more than I am upset with myself. That just wouldn't be fair.

'Most' is highly subjective though. Was my engagement in all of it not just as great as hers?

If she caused most of the problems, then she deserves most of the blame. Of course it's fair.

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« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2016, 05:57:20 PM »

My 2 bits... .

Why do they devalue and discard?

I think it goes to the heart of their disorder.  My understanding of this disorder is that it is like the consequence of an early childhood trauma resulting in like a PTSD situation except for someone with limited emotional development.  As full of personality as people with BPD (pwBPD) can appear, I don't believe they have a fixed personality/identity.  Sure it can last a long time, but it can change as they move from person to person (from one loved one to another); you wouldn't know it unless you were spying on them (or unless they get careless).

As I understand it, they don't have a fixed identity because they've spent much (if not all) of their lives running away from the key event of their own identity: their primary abandonment/betrayal trauma.  As a child, it was too much to handle.  So like someone with multiple personalities, they created a different personality to "pilot" so that the true personality, the child personae who suffered the trauma takes a back seat.  The "child" is almost "discarded" even.  And probably "devalued" as well. 

So in a sense, when it comes to "all" personalities (including their own) it's always been a strategy of "devalue" and "discard." They take on one set of characteristics (personae) in order to form an attachment with one person.  When that relationship develops, it triggers their buried issues, devalues and discards.  Then they find another person, put on another set of characteristics. etc... etc...

Why?  I think ultimately they want to get past their problem.  They *want* to find someone who they can feel intimate with, *at home* with, familiar like family with... someone who *doesn't* trigger their issues.  But you cannot get past a problem by running away from it.  This is the lesson they have not yet learned, or refuse to learn.

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« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2016, 07:03:23 PM »

As some parents on the board with children diagnosed with BPD will tell you, there was no abandonment for the child. There was merely the failure to separate from the primary caretaker in order to individuate. So in this way, enmeshment was encouraging infantilization and arrested development. Some very, very good Mothers are guilty of this. Helicopter Mothers make Bpd children as much as neglectful or abusive Mothers.

BPD is the failure to separate / individuate from primary caretakers. Consequently, they seek out replications of caretakers found in people who need perfect mirroring.

Many BPD partners are also suffering from immaturity. They also have developmental deficits in their thinking, and they project these onto the unknowing Borderline in order to cast off their own shame and utilize the defects of the Borderline as their combination mirroring agent and marketeer for their false self.

When the false self fails from imperfect mirroring; a huge narcissistic injury ensues. If this causes a jump into a new relationship to soothe the ego and calm the reactive need -then rightfully, the Borderline withdraws. (One of the signs of immaturity and impulsivity is multiple partners overlapping.)

There is no devaluation and discard from the Borderline. There is only a detachment and protection from the failure to become the perfect mirroring agent to a person who NEEDS perfect mirroring.

When a person needs perfect mirroring and must have it from multiple sources; moving on to recycle old flames or search on-line for new ones, or have one-night stands- this is a sign of insecurity. Never to be alone, unable to delay gratification. Always needy. Multiple relationships overlapping during the BPD relationship eliminate trust, safety, and security for a Borderline. This isn't a discard and devaluation- this is an extreme valuation that once temporarily soothed the developmental deficit and need for value. Sometimes, for both parties. One person is doing the necessary stepping back to detach and protect, and yes it involves hurt and mistrust.

Considering yourself to be above average in attractiveness, a "catch" and a somatic is something that pivots on reactions from mirrors. Using a person to act as a mirror objectifies that person until they become exhausted with feelings of bondage and slavery.

The subsequent retreat from this is not a devaluation, but rather a self fulfilling prophecy, that comes from selling themselves out to be used and the failure of individuation. Never to have the safety and security of being loved for who they are because they haven't found themselves in development. It is a repetition compulsion.

Borderlines often pick partners who do this because it proves their self-defeating actions. It is an unconscious response and one that takes many years of therapy to overcome.  Idea

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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2016, 10:48:52 PM »

As some parents on the board with children diagnosed with BPD will tell you, there was no abandonment for the child. There was merely the failure to separate from the primary caretaker in order to individuate. So in this way, enmeshment was encouraging infantilization and arrested development. Some very, very good Mothers are guilty of this. Helicopter Mothers make Bpd children as much as neglectful or abusive Mothers.

BPD is the failure to separate / individuate from primary caretakers. Consequently, they seek out replications of caretakers found in people who need perfect mirroring.

Many BPD partners are also suffering from immaturity. They also have developmental deficits in their thinking, and they project these onto the unknowing Borderline in order to cast off their own shame and utilize the defects of the Borderline as their combination mirroring agent and marketeer for their false self.

When the false self fails from imperfect mirroring; a huge narcissistic injury ensues. If this causes a jump into a new relationship to soothe the ego and calm the reactive need -then rightfully, the Borderline withdraws. (One of the signs of immaturity and impulsivity is multiple partners overlapping.)

There is no devaluation and discard from the Borderline. There is only a detachment and protection from the failure to become the perfect mirroring agent to a person who NEEDS perfect mirroring.

When a person needs perfect mirroring and must have it from multiple sources; moving on to recycle old flames or search on-line for new ones, or have one-night stands- this is a sign of insecurity. Never to be alone, unable to delay gratification. Always needy. Multiple relationships overlapping during the BPD relationship eliminate trust, safety, and security for a Borderline. This isn't a discard and devaluation- this is an extreme valuation that once temporarily soothed the developmental deficit and need for value. Sometimes, for both parties. One person is doing the necessary stepping back to detach and protect, and yes it involves hurt and mistrust.

Considering yourself to be above average in attractiveness, a "catch" and a somatic is something that pivots on reactions from mirrors. Using a person to act as a mirror objectifies that person until they become exhausted with feelings of bondage and slavery.

The subsequent retreat from this is not a devaluation, but rather a self fulfilling prophecy, that comes from selling themselves out to be used and the failure of individuation. Never to have the safety and security of being loved for who they are because they haven't found themselves in development. It is a repetition compulsion.

Borderlines often pick partners who do this because it proves their self-defeating actions. It is an unconscious response and one that takes many years of therapy to overcome.  Idea

Fascinating post.  I got lost in there a couple times trying to differentiate the pwBPD and the partner.

One of the trends I notice on this board is a tendency for all parties involved to be loved by their partner as if they were little kids, in an unconditional sort of way.  The way people love a baby or toddler simply for existing.

A lot of people agonize over what love really is, and whether or not that is really love.  I would say that it is, and probably its purest form, but it is also a completely unrealistic expectation for adult relationships.  Adult relationships are always "earned" to some degree, with the other party having agency to accept or reject us.  For example, in an employment situation, our employers might be able to give us the benefit of the doubt if we've had a good reputation, but they can't employ us unconditionally.  We can get fired if we mess up.  Likewise, a romantic partner can reject us if we don't meet their expectations.  That is a terrifying thought for someone with abandonment fears, and a romantic relationship can take on an almost abusive cast if the individual focuses on that too much.

People, even children, know the difference between being loved for "just being" and love they have to earn.  One of my exes grew up in a very unfortunate situation where he never felt loved by his caregivers for simply existing.  He is still looking for that kind of love as an adult and in some ways has a hard time figuring out that it even exists.  He feels that every relationship is essentially destined for failure the moment he disappoints someone, not realizing that small conflicts and disappointments are part of most long-term situations and that most good partners will be able to look at the bigger picture.
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« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2016, 02:07:42 AM »

As some parents on the board with children diagnosed with BPD will tell you, there was no abandonment for the child.

Maybe there needs only a perceived (or even imagined) abandonment or betrayal?  Individuals with more sensitive dispositions would be more susceptible?

There was merely the failure to separate from the primary caretaker in order to individuate. So in this way, enmeshment was encouraging infantilization and arrested development. Some very, very good Mothers are guilty of this. Helicopter Mothers make Bpd children as much as neglectful or abusive Mothers.

So in some cases borderlines remain infantilized because... .why?  What factor arrests their development even as they age? Shouldn't the motivation to mature, to individuate, be innate?  I suppose there is always a biological component which is why some have suspected a genetic factor. 

I've always tended to believe that the borderlines who present no traumatic history are simply suppressing the memory or purposefully hiding this history.  Then again I've only met a very small number of borderlines or people who I've suspected to be borderline; and I've only gained the confidence of a very small subset of those - but of those, I have reason to believe they sustained an abandonment/betrayal trauma.  I wonder if sufficient denigrating interaction might be the equivalent of an abandonment/betrayal trauma? 

BPD is the failure to separate / individuate from primary caretakers. Consequently, they seek out replications of caretakers found in people who need perfect mirroring.

Many BPD partners are also suffering from immaturity. They also have developmental deficits in their thinking, and they project these onto the unknowing Borderline in order to cast off their own shame and utilize the defects of the Borderline as their combination mirroring agent and marketeer for their false self.

When the false self fails from imperfect mirroring; a huge narcissistic injury ensues. If this causes a jump into a new relationship to soothe the ego and calm the reactive need -then rightfully, the Borderline withdraws. (One of the signs of immaturity and impulsivity is multiple partners overlapping.)

There is no devaluation and discard from the Borderline. There is only a detachment and protection from the failure to become the perfect mirroring agent to a person who NEEDS perfect mirroring.

If there is only detachment, then why the accusations as is often reported?  Why the distortion campaigns?  Isn't the devaluing behavior an effort to self protect?

... .Using a person to act as a mirror objectifies that person until they become exhausted with feelings of bondage and slavery.

The subsequent retreat from this is not a devaluation, but rather a self fulfilling prophecy, that comes from selling themselves out to be used and the failure of individuation. Never to have the safety and security of being loved for who they are because they haven't found themselves in development. It is a repetition compulsion.

Borderlines often pick partners who do this because it proves their self-defeating actions. It is an unconscious response and one that takes many years of therapy to overcome.  Idea

So they put on a false self in order to find love but cannot feel loved because they are not loved for who they are... because they do not yet know who they are... .and I guess the rub is that they do not believe they can find out who they are without the safety and security of being loved?
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« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2016, 06:31:53 AM »

Echoing some of the other posters I think the devaluation and discard process is complex and varied. I don't believe there's a neat - one fits all - answer to this.

Is devaluation / discard unique to couples where there's a personality disorder involved?

I certainly know some people that are not disordered but who still devalued their partners when their relationship ended. It's pretty common behaviour. How many of us idealise our partners until a relationship ends or goes wrong?

I also think that PDs are not just caused by environmental factors or faulty parenting. I think genetic vulnerability plays a big part in their behaviour. There are many children who grow up dysfunctional families who do not develop personality disorders. To me it seems much more likely that PDs result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

I agree with Schwing that some highly sensitive people present huge challenges for committed and loving parents who often struggle to find the support and information they need to meet that challenge.

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« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2016, 03:59:14 PM »

All those triggers make sense to me, I can understand how yelling by a SO could be equated to trauma from a father figure for a BPD. However I never really yelled to much, towards the end, our fights during the honeymoon phase had more yelling. By the time we were reaching the end, I had mostly just given up on fighting, it never changed anything, at that point whenever she flipped out or was mean, I just left and said I wouldn't be around that. Her behavior became so terrible I couldn't deal with it. Then finally when set said she would rather spend my bday with other people than me, and that she wasn't a good person, it was over. I barely even yelled then I just stated that our relationship had been so messed up and sarcastically thanked her for ruining us. Her drinking, and strange push/pulls would have exhausted anyone. I don't know, I really just done know where it all went bad.

There was only one time during my relationship I actually yelled at her. However, she took it to heart even after I apologized. That was in October last year. Apparently, I "yelled" at her again in April, which she claimed was her breaking point. I was just like... .wow nitpicky much? Let's just list 4-5 incidents, including the October one, over the period of 18 months and say that I'm an angry person with bad temper.

Obviously, logic doesn't work on her because she insisted that she doesn't want a relationship like her parents' when in reality we were far from it. If she wants a person that can't show human emotions, she should probably date a vegetable.

I feel like we dated the same person, Leonis. My ex completely reacted to my anger, and totally made me feel like I was some terrible person for the very few times I slipped up. She also told me that she didn't want to be like her parents. That was one of the last "reasons" she gave me in the discard, when we too were nothing like them. It was very much like she wanted me to show no human emotion, basically because she had none beyond being "hurt" with me every 5 seconds, and trying to cast me in some horrible light every time I made a mistake.
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« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2016, 09:21:09 AM »

There are probably a lot of things that cause it, and they'll more than likely change their mind 50 times about what caused it because they aren't self-aware and have no clue about the consequences of their actions. 

One thing sweet tooth mentioned on the first page is something that I can relate to.  My BPD friend went to college to be a teacher, did her student teaching, got a long-term sub position, tried to commit suicide a few days before the school year ended, decided she's not fit to be a teacher (very true), and is now working at a convenience store and is living in a total dump of an apartment.  I just finished my 8th year of teaching, got my master's degree, and bought a house at the end of last summer.  In her eyes, I'm better than her, and I think that's what causes her to devalue and discard.  Her current friends are all co-workers, and none of them went to college.  I got my diploma in the mail the other day and sent a picture of it to three people, including her, on Snapchat.  She's the only one who didn't reply.  I posted a picture on FB of me holding it, and it got more likes than anything I've ever posted on FB, but she didn't like it or comment on it.  And even more than that, it got more likes than anything she's ever posted, and she has nearly three times the number of friends that I have.  So, in her mind, I'm worth caring about, and she isn't.  We all know that social media isn't a real indicator of anything (half of the people who liked it are former students who are probably just excited to be able to like a teacher's post), but she gets jealous of EVERYONE I talk to, including my own parents.

Her mom recently brought me up in conversation and started saying bad things about me, just to see what my BPD friend would say.  Her reply was, "She is kind, smart, loving, and really fun to be around."  And that's the exact opposite of how she sees herself. 

But I know a lot of it also has to do with fear of engulfment and fear of abandonment. 

She also hates that I always want to "talk about everything."  Heaven forbid I'd want to talk about something deeper than video games and TV shows. 

She tells me a lot that I need to "calm down," even though I'm completely calm and rational at the time.  But I think that explains all of her stories about abuse.  Everything is made out to be much more than it really is.  Her perception is way off. 

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« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2016, 10:45:06 AM »

I feel like we dated the same person, Leonis. My ex completely reacted to my anger, and totally made me feel like I was some terrible person for the very few times I slipped up. She also told me that she didn't want to be like her parents. That was one of the last "reasons" she gave me in the discard, when we too were nothing like them. It was very much like she wanted me to show no human emotion, basically because she had none beyond being "hurt" with me every 5 seconds, and trying to cast me in some horrible light every time I made a mistake.

The thing is, the more I interacted with her post-breakup, the more apparent it was that a lot of the things she's accused me of seemed ironic. It was almost as if she was projecting her flaws on me.

She recently told me that perhaps anger was the wrong term and "negativity" was more appropriate. Why? Because she noted that I always start off our face-to-face conversations with something "negative", i.e. something I read in the news, I got frustrated at work, and so on. However, she was willing to ignore all the fun stuff and quality times we spent together as a couple in between.

The irony here is that she is the one being negative by accentuating it. SILENTLY. I admit, that's a personal flaw I should improve upon since I don't realize I'm doing it, but to never tell me about it and just hold it in until she couldn't take it any more is complete and utter bull crap.
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