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Poll
Question: I've misled myself by thinking that my partner was feeling the same things I was feeling...
Very much so
For the most part
Not sure
Possibly, but not likely
No, not at all

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Author Topic: POLL Belief 2: BPD partner feels the same way that you feel after the breakup  (Read 8468 times)
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« on: September 06, 2017, 08:29:35 AM »

Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with BPD

This article has helped many start the healing process and accept our partners dysfunction more than any other article on the site. I often read on the Crises board, how do we move past this?. Well, let's all take a look at the false thinking that holds us back and share our own thoughts and experiences in this regard.
 
                Belief that your BPD partner feels the same way that you feel
"If you believe that your BPD partner was experiencing the relationship in the same way that you were or that they are feeling the same way you do right now, don’t count on it. This will only serve to confuse you and make it harder to understand what is really happening. When any relationship breaks down, it’s often because the partners are on a different “page” – but much more so when your partner suffers with borderline personality disorder traits. Unknown to you, there were likely significant periods of shame, fear, disappointment, resentment, and anger rising from below the surface during the entire relationship. What you have seen lately is not new - rather it’s a culmination of feelings that have been brewing in the relationship."

I think that we can all relate with this on this board, I felt like an emotional wreck after the split, her birthday was just around the corner and this was the first one in several years that I missed. I found out that she was going with the person that she had cheated on me with, I'm at home knee deep in pain, while she refuses to acknowledge that she inflicted this pain, she's out enjoying her birthday with her new beau without missing a beat. I'm asking myself if the r/s meant something... .anything to her.

Anyone else?
 

More information:
 
Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder (full article)
1) Belief that this person holds the key to your happiness
2) Belief that your BPD partner feels the same way that you feel
3) Belief that the relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance
4) Belief that love can prevail
5) Belief that things will return to "the way they used to be"
6) Clinging to the words that were said
7) Belief that if you say it louder you will be heard
8) Belief that absence makes the heart grow fonder
9) Belief that you need to stay to help them.
10) Belief that they have seen the light
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 02:41:29 PM »

i voted "very much so".

when my ex broke up with me i was astonished, for starters because it seemed so reasonable and thought out. also because she had been so dependent, obsessive, and clingy for the duration of our relationship. how in the world was she able to do this?

truth is wed been separated for a bit, i had largely pulled away from the relationship, and she had begun grieving and moving on.

but then i was also mistaken in my impression that she never looked back, never thought of me.

i just tended to be wrong about whatever was or wasnt going on in her mind at any given time. i found something comforting, some kind of pressure lifted when i realized that wasnt the case and stopped projecting.
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 09:43:19 AM »

I know we can't be feeling the same way about our relationship right now. My BPD husband wants to reconcile our marrige and I want off this ride. We met in highschool art class when I was 16. I really enjoyed art and had some talent with a creativity that made my works more interesting. He had a style of drawing characters like Japanese animation which was unusual and unique for our small southern us town in the 90's.I admired his talents as well. I had always resisted dating since my parents thought that high school was too young to be committed and my dad had always said that young guys only care about sex. I had always been very hard to get and didn't mind not having a boyfriend or being sexually active. But he was persistent and our friendship became something more than friends without my meaning for it to. We dated even though I wasn't all that impressed with him, he kind of made up for it with his adoration for me.  I got the sense he was very proud of me and saw me being with him as proof to everyone that he must be more special than they had thought. I'm not sure how poor my self esteem was then but I must have really needed to be admired even though I also resented being used. I was his doll and he showed me off to everyone he knew. People would say we were high school sweethearts. But I never liked the way it sounded. Something about it wasn't sweet. We argued a lot. At first I thought it was a little fun and exciting to raise my voice and go back and forth.  I had been raised on a loving home,  my parents never really argued even if they didn't agree. At some point though it started to feel too dramatic and less fun.  I tried repeatedly to break up with him and he would always cry and beg and plead. When I started to get more resolute he changed his tactics.  One day as I was trying to walk away he said "if you break up with me I'll tell your mom you smoke pot" I think that's when I gave up.  I found out I was pregnant the summer before my senior year with the first and only boy who had ever been successful at dating me. I was absolutely devistated. Having a child was the absolute last thing I wanted then and I had thought we had been careful, although I had been somewhat naive,  I later found out I had also been mislead.  He knew how afraid I was of getting pregnant and I was dumb enough to trust him to protect my intrests. When my parents found out they said I could either marry him or take a break from him because they didn't want to have to see him then. He couldn't support us and I didn't really want to see him try so he was given no other choice but to stay away. I had a terribly lonely senior year of high school.  My two best friends dropped out. I was felt judged and looked down on. I gave up on my dream of art school and started trying to imagine my life as a single mother. I told my friends not to ever let me get back together with my sons father.  I told them repeatedly if I ever tried to talk me out of it. I couldn't tell you what was so bad about being with him. Other than feeling like i was trapped in the relationship.  I had a sense and fear that i might not be able to get out of it next time. I finished high school and started community college living with my parents. I worked and put my son in daycare and helped out with some bills. My mom was determined not to raise her grandchild and avoided helping me with my son unless I asked. I didn't ask,  he was my responsibility. But being a mother of an infant and young child is tiring and I also worked and did full course loads at college and always had homework.  My life felt like it was filled with obligations and my friends were still young and free. My son's father had not been any help and had only seen his child a few brief outings.  He had always wanted to talk to me and show me how he had lost weight and new clothes and a job and money. I just wanted him to see his son.  I wanted to find a nice guy,  that would make a good step father and husband. But I worried that no man could ever love him as much as his own father.  I was suprised that no suitable guy had shown up and relentlessly pursued me like my BPD boyfriend. I started feeling like I may never find someone who wanted to deal with a young girl with a kid. My days were filled with adult responsibilities but I didn't feel like an adult living at my parents house, single. I was tired and wanted a little break sometimes. Sometimes I wanted to feel like a young person again. I agreed to go out for my 19th birthday with my ex and his cousin to a night club. It was fun,  I felt like a 19 year old for a night. I don't really know how it evolved except for quite quickly. I told my parents we wanted to live together and be a family and had plans to marry in 2 or 3 months. They were shocked but accepted it. I lost one friend who tried to tell me not to do it. It was bad from the beginning. He had panic attacks and was a ridiculous hypochondriac. He got irate over the tiniest things and blamed me. He would constantly kick me out of the house and then say I couldn't leave with my son. Or I couldn't take his car. Or that he would take custody of our  son of I tried to divorce him. I felt like I couldn't leave. He only got worse. He regularly would angrily rant about childhood abuses and mistreatments. I became his relief for all of life's frustrations. His voodoo doll that he would stick pins in when he was hurting.  When he was feeling insecure and self loathing he would pick at the stitches and pull the stuffing out. Leave me on the floor and walk away. He would feel better and come back later to discover to his horrification that his favorite doll had been destroyed. He would put the stuffing back in and stich it with new thread and set it carefully on the shelf for next time. That's how my 15 years feel to me right now. Like I have mattered no more to him than something to ease his pain.  And he feels like he has lost the most precious thing he had.
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 06:45:30 PM »

I answered 'very much so', because initially after she disengaged, I kept trying to reconcile being hung up on her 'love/perfect/belong together' language, convinced that under her disassociation she loved me as i loved her, and that it was only a matter of time until she 'woke up'.

That is clearly and painfully not the case, especially as time goes on. From what I've gathered, she's recycling the ex she would talk s*** about use to put me on the pedestal.
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 06:32:38 AM »

I truly believe my uBPD wife was hurting. Whenever we had a minor disagreement on something, she kept attacking me until it was a full blown, ugly argument. In impulsive behavior she rushed right out and filed for divorce. When her cooler head prevailed, she eventually dropped the divorce petition. She has done this to me 6 times, dropping the previous 5. If she didn't hurt and felt bad, why did she drop the divorce petitions?
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 08:09:23 AM »

I initially thought so, but it is clear now that I’m nothing to her. She’s unable to show even the tiniest amount of respect. It kind of feels like she views me as sub-human at times. I’m beginning to depersonalize this little by little as I find my own closure. I have sent her apologies that I felt were due to her without blaming her for anything or asking for anything in return. Total silence, but I expected that. I think that my initial belief on how she was feeling was just denial, really. It hurts, but things are moving forward.
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 06:50:50 PM »

I initially thought so, but it is clear now that I’m nothing to her. She’s unable to show even the tiniest amount of respect. It kind of feels like she views me as sub-human at times. I’m beginning to depersonalize this little by little as I find my own closure. I have sent her apologies that I felt were due to her without blaming her for anything or asking for anything in return. Total silence, but I expected that. I think that my initial belief on how she was feeling was just denial, really. It hurts, but things are moving forward.

I could have written this myself. Exactly the same deal with me. 
After the relationship was over it became clear within a matter of a fortnight that she was not feeling anything like how I felt. So I voted in the "not likely" camp.
During the relationship, before the split is a different story, I assumed that since we were both having so much fun that she was falling for me the same I was falling for her.  We were so intense, messaging all day, talking on the phone for an hour or 2 in the evenings, so much laughter. Maybe part of her did feel the way I did, but as everyone says "object constancy" is lacking in pwBPD, so none of the good times count for anything if you do anything that displeases them.  I think if you  feel you have a lot in common in terms of interests, and outlook on life it's even easier to presume they are experiencing emotions and feelings the same way you are. 
Lesson learned.
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 08:23:01 PM »

I voted "Very much so."

There are so many lies I had to tell myself in order to proceed being married to my BPDXw that when she finally left and divorced me (after three previous attempts), I found myself on a journey of slowly and methodically unraveling all the self-deception. It's still a work in progress.

At first, I thought she was just being rash (as per usual) and that she would return to baseline... .that she, in fact, loved me like she said she did, and would return. When she drew up divorce papers six days later and emailed them to me, I knew that she was gone forever. As painful as it was for me, I mistakenly thought it was painful for her, too.

Nope.

She's been off galvanting, buying a brand-new vehicle, eating her mother's free food, staying at her parents' home (free shelter), and planning work assignments in California for this Summer. I doubt I cross her mind even once a week.

We were together ten years: *Poof!*


-Speck
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2018, 08:32:18 PM »

I didn't vote because not for one second did i think my ex was experiencing anything similar to me,

like the taylor swift reference Mutt,
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 12:20:56 PM »

I voted "no not at all" for reasons outlined in my most recent post. In the beginning of the breakup I was baffled at how quickly she could just decide she was done. Now, I see a pattern in her life and with her exes, to which I am now one. I always remained calm with her throughout the breakup and tried to be pretty validating. In exchange, she gave me what seemed like her honesty. At one point she said to me "I would cry and should feel what you're feeling, but I don't feel that and I'm not going to pretend for you. I would have pretended in the past and the least I can give you is the truth. I'm pretty messed up." It was really telling - she could recognize that she wasn't feeling in a way that was appropriate for the end of a marriage. I would guess that moment of clarity is long forgotten now, and that she's back to seeing me as a "person in her life" (she told me this once) or maybe now a person that was in her life. Thats a pretty far cry from who I was to her when we got married- heck, even a far cry from who I was to her the day her affair started.

I'll never know if her moments of clarity were real and genuine or were manipulative ploys to get me to feel bad for her. Doesn't really matter, honestly.
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 12:35:51 PM »

I didn't  vote.  I  really don't care how she feels, she's terrible.
I said good bye to her and don't want to look back.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 08:27:50 AM »

When painted black after quite a lot of very benign and dillusional/irrational accusations, how could I, in my wildest dreams, even even consider that his heart was capable of the same Love I was feeling?
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2018, 10:09:04 AM »

When I left my ex I was devastated and believed completely that I would never feel so much love for anyone again.  His last voice message to me after I went NC was utterly heartbreaking and I absolutely believed that he was as torn up as I was.  This caused me to beat myself up a whole lot longer than I would have done had I known at the time that he had been detaching for a while.  It turned out that he more than likely had someone else waiting in the wings as only a couple of weeks later he was posting pictures of them together. 

Only when I learned all I did about BPD here and how relationships evolve did I begin to fully understand what I had experienced and how different it was from his perspective.  I now see it that he was devastated at the abandonment and not the loss of our future together.  It's more realistic for me to accept that by that point he no longer saw a future for us and was already making preparations for what he would do next to secure a new attachment. 

Love and light x
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 10:34:11 AM »

When painted black after quite a lot of very benign and dillusional/irrational accusations, how could I, in my wildest dreams, even even consider that his heart was capable of the same Love I was feeling?

 

I'll echo that-  in moments where the FOG is lifting for me, I feel this way, too. I'm not sure how you can experience the kind of love where you want the best for someone and want them to grow and what not, and also think they are the most horrible inept human being and blame them for all your problems.

I've got an ex that things just didn't work out with - wrong timing, different dreams, you know, normal relationship ending stuff. We disconnected for a bit, but then when the immediate hurt was gone we managed to reconnect over little things (the occasional facebook like here and there for things like a baby being born into the family). Then, her ex committed suicide in a very public and destructive way, and we reconnected a bit more because I was the person she dated right after her, and was there for some of the harassment and odd behavior. Even with something that emotionally charged, we managed to be able to have a normal amount of nostalgia and gratitude for our shared times together but without any interest in recycling. She was in a relationship and her partner knew we were talking. We both had moved on. I was a part of her life, she was a part of mine, and neither one of us felt the need to completely erase that history, nor to relive it.

It's funny, because the two women I've been with that have been suspected to have BPD (my STBXwife and another long term gf) both used to hate on this woman nonstop and call her the ugly fat one. They would kind of jokingly make fun of me for dating someone they thought was unattractive and nowhere near the level of physical beauty that they were. I would defend her appropriately, but made a mental note about their behavior. Why be insecure about someone you thought was unattractive and you know that I'm a sucker for a fit body and a pretty face? Oh, I get it now - we had a healthy relationship and that terrified the crap out of you! She was a woman I could pray with and we spent probably 3 months before our eventual break up exploring whether or not we should be in a relationship together, talking openly and honestly about our desires and needs. That had to be terrifying!

Long story short, that healthy relationship reminds me of how a breakup should go, even though there was some not great stuff wrapped up in it as well, but breakups are rarely simple things. There was hurt and longing and still a realization that things needed to end. We even did some of that processing together. Now, with my wife, you would have thought we went on a few Tinder dates or something with how she's treating the breakup. I stopped showing her my distress a long time ago, because it was clear she wasn't feeling it too, but instead feeling distressed that I felt distressed.


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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2018, 10:53:15 AM »

I truly believe my uBPD wife was hurting. Whenever we had a minor disagreement on something, she kept attacking me until it was a full blown, ugly argument. In impulsive behavior she rushed right out and filed for divorce. When her cooler head prevailed, she eventually dropped the divorce petition. She has done this to me 6 times, dropping the previous 5. If she didn't hurt and felt bad, why did she drop the divorce petitions?

There's no doubt that she felt bad, however was it for the same reasons that you felt bad?  Push/pull behaviour stems from the fears of abandonment and idealisation, which create that cycle of 'I hate you, don't leave me'.  The outward behaviour is a coping mechanism.  

Although filing and withdrawing divorce petitions may not be viewed as exactly the same as recycling a r/s, the reasons are likely coming from a similar place internally for a sufferer.  

Why do our "BPD" partners recycle?
 
It is hard for us to understand why our partner is expressing an interest after they left in a torrent of bad behavior (e.g., cheating, raging and telling us that we are a horrible people).  "If they don't love me, why this?"  The answer is much of the same reasons as we have... .plus a few others that are related to the disorder.
 
Inability to deal with acute loneliness

Severe insecurity / needing validation (from someone that highly values them)

Shame / wanting to prove they are a good person (to us or themselves)

Immaturity/Manipulation/Control - the break-up was just a way to get their way.
 

This is taken from a site workshop on relationship recycling, which you can access HERE to read more.

Love and light x  
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2018, 09:48:25 AM »

I voted "Not Sure". I just posted here for the first time yesterday my own story but what I have been struggling the most with are both a) how can she stay away? and b) if she is away is she feeling the same.

My story may or may not be BPD which is part of where my struggle and un-surety with this question comes from; we did not have a devaluation period and not even sure if we had a real discard one; I finally came around to her relentless push for a committed/monogamous relationship (her words/desire since almost the first date we went on at HER request), walked through a crucible to prove I wanted just that, sat through a first night/day together as the couple she wanted with her going full future-bomb on me (as if we just got engaged) and then the very next day she said I was a great guy but she was not interested in an exclusive relationship with me. I didn't handle it well given the relentless nature of pushing me TO ask her and when I kept saying 'but you ASKED me to ask you!' she kept asking why I would repeat that. She wanted to pretend I was some nice guy who 'miusnderstood'.

So yeah I sit here astonished; I bought into the whole us / future thing for one DAY after finally putting my arms down and being closed to it; she scripted and narrated the entire thing and not just that day but for endless months prior. So since I've only dealt with emotionally together women in the past, yeah part of me says if *I* am such a mess about this then she as the person who drove us her must be even worse off. I tell myself that if she was such a mess about it she'd be texting, calling, showing up. And then I tell myself 'well YOU are a mess about it and not texting, emailing, calling, showing up so she might be saying the same thing.' After her whole 'walk over hot coals to prove it to me' she might be taking my NC as proof I never really wanted her. And round and round it goes. So if had been dealing with a non pwBPD but damaged woman I'd be 99% sure she is feeling the same way but 10x worse. After reading about BPD then I'd say the best I can guess is 'I'm not Sure'.

Aside: I did, after a month of complete silence that amazed me given my 'normal relationship' past, write a nice email to her, totally w/o blame or anger, and simply told her I was amazed at how much I missed her, that I wished her the live and love she deserves, and said I'd always remember her for opening my closed heart again to love.  I did get a reply but it was so weird to me I never replied: "thank you for your nice note. hope you've been well' followed by her initial. I found it interesting she acknowledged the email at all, without rancor, but the fact there was zero acknowlegement or reciprocation of what I actually said told me that either a) she is not ready to process this yet but wanted to let you know it meant something to her or b) you meant nothing to her or c) worst, that she returned to her abusive controlling ex bf who didn't let her talk to men ANYWHERE and monitored her phone and email (she ran into him the day before she bolted) and she replied in the only generic way she could that he would not figure out was a ex-lover but perhaps the dog-walker.

This is what I mean by "Not Sure" and it sucks :|
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 11:23:20 AM »

I wasn't in a romantic relationship, but I do feel this goes both ways.

Did/does she feel exactly the same way as I do about the entire situation? No... .that would indeed be a fallacy.

Did/does she feel bad about the entire situation? Well... .yeah that's for sure.

From what I've seen she just isn't able to cope with the feelings of shame or guilt which you would normally have after an incident you caused.
How do I know? Well, in all cases she first seems very quiet and torn. Then she sort of apologizes. But after a few days at the most, she suddenly seems able to shift all blame towards me. Towards hee family and friends she is absolved and I have become the total bad guy.

She definitely feels the pain as well though. I learned multiple times from her family that she was hurt or even extremely sad/upset/dysregulating.

But amongst her 'friends' her perfect image is preserved: she doesn't seem to care as I am the total bad guy here... .

So she does feel a certain way, but she channels those feelings and turns them into something else completely to be able to cope with them.
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