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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Poll
Question: I believed that the relationship problems were caused by some circumstance or by me.
Very much so - 12 (20.3%)
For the most part - 10 (16.9%)
Not sure - 13 (22%)
Possibly, but not likely - 17 (28.8%)
No, not at all - 7 (11.9%)
Total Voters: 58

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Author Topic: POLL Belief 3: Relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance  (Read 7054 times)
Harley Quinn
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« on: September 12, 2017, 05:16:15 PM »

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 the relationship problems are caused by some circumstance or by you
"You concede that there are problems, and you have pledged to do your part to resolve them. Because there have been periods of extreme openness, honesty, humanity and thoughtfulness during the relationship, and even during the break-ups, your “BPD” partner’s concerns are very credible in your eyes. But your “BPD” partner also has the rather unique ability to distort facts, details, and play on your insecurities to a point where fabrications are believable to you. It’s a complex defense mechanism, a type of denial, and a common characteristic of the disorder. As a result, both of you come to believe that you are the sole problem; that you are inadequate; that you need to change; even that you deserve to be punished or left behind. This is largely why you have accepted punishing behaviors; why you try to make amends and try to please; why you feel responsible. But the problems aren’t all your fault and you can't solve this by changing. The problems are not all of your partner’s fault either. This is about a complex and incredibly “loaded” relationship bond between the two of you."

This was true for me. I was under no illusion about my exBPDbf's dx. However, I believed that it was only a case of getting the right treatment in the short term that would help us. I excused his awful treatment of me because of his suffering at the hands of others. I was sold the idea that it was all external things that were the roots of the issues between us and I bought this wholeheartedly.

Then the worst happened. He discovered something that I'd done in the past which he interpreted as a betrayal. And so the guilt began and the fight to repair things, prove myself, show I could be trusted. I felt responsible for the drastic decline in his behaviour from that point and I took more than I ever should have due to the guilt from believing it was all on me.  

How about you?


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 12, 2017, 07:01:01 PM »

I put down "not sure" because I felt the problems in my marriage were from both of us, not just one or the other. I wholeheartedly agreed, accepted, apologized, took responsibility for my part in the breakdown of our marriage. I was not good at communicating my needs and put myself last. He, on the other hand, felt it was completely MY fault. I disagreed and refused to accept 100% of the responsibility. I never blamed him 100% either. I've never tried to "keep score" on who did the worst or the most damage either, unlike him.

I have PTSD from a lifetime of abusive relationships. We were married for close to 20 years. Before I finally "woke" up, I felt immense pressure to make the marriage work for the sake of the kids. I felt I had to do everything and anything he wanted. I accepted responsibility for things that were not mine, like managing his emotions. Realizing I was co-dependent really helped me to change that. Once I did, I felt a huge weight lift from me. He will still try to convince me it's all my fault. I ignore it and have learned to not engage. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 05:42:05 AM »

I take a lot of responsibility for my relationship failing. I have anger issues that flair up, when I feel I'm being mistreated or underappreciated plus my tolerance for drama is zero.

The first stage I go through is trying calmly to talk it out. That never worked because she would escalate. This triggered my anger and my overwhelming need to break up then and there, hence the 15+ recycles instigated 98% by me. Every fight took a piece of my emotions away from her until I one day became completely numb. I didn't care about her crying anymore, where I once felt a need to come to her rescue and console her. My love was gone and I ended it the worst way possible. I told her my feelings were gone and she had been warned many times this would happen. My breakup was abusive and cold. I hate the way it ended but If it didn't happen the way it did. We would have gone through more recycles.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 07:13:08 AM »

Jax, I couldn't have said my situation better if I tried... .  That pretty much summed our r/s up.
Near enough word for word... .

What a horrible game... .
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 09:03:50 AM »

I'm in the camp of those who take almost zero blame for the demise of their relationship. I gave it and her everything I had, including many of the things you learn in the workshops here that I'd sort of developed as coping mechanisms myself upon reflection during the relationship. In the end there were a bunch of reasons for her breaking up with me. She believed she couldn't be with anyone. She believed we were super different all of the sudden. Most of all, though, what really seemed to put spikes in the wheels was that she suddenly, 'after a lot of self-reflection' developed lifegoals that she 'had already had since she was 16 but never told me of, including wanting to live secludedly from society, off-grid, self-sufficient and while following her own interpretation of paganism.

Now, as much as I believed what she wanted wasn't possible, feasible or realistic at all, I eventually just let go and stopped trying to talk sense (what I believed to be sense) into her. I should mention that she also suffers from schizophrenia (BPD and sz both diagnosed) and that she started overspiritualizing both, saying she was no longer mentally ill. A few weeks later she contacted me saying she believed to be 'slightly ill' again, for some reason, but 'I should make no mistake, she didn't change her stance on anything else!' Except for of course, taking a few 180 degree radical life decisions that she felt were merely an 'evolution of ideas'.

Throughout all this I've been quite understanding and accepting of everything. Kept my distance, didn't push too much for anything and tried to avoid conflict (which on two occasions failed). I believe the demise of my relationship to have been spawned by delusional ideas as a result of her mental illness that she has since clung on to in an attempt to find an identity, combined with a fixation on spirituality which she views as something divine and holy in her life due to 'personal experiences'. I don't think I could've done anything to save the relationship. 
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 09:05:18 AM »

This is a real tough one for me. I feel for the people who have posted so far... .
It seems to relate with a pwBPD, the non has to accept that there will be an imbalance in respect and emotional allowance. Sometimes there also feels like an imbalance in responsibility. My ex was thinking distortedly at times, but she also had great powers of observation and insight. A lot of what she said about my issues really hit home and was true... .she just didn't allow much space for me to try to work on those things.
I live by a personal philosophy that doesn't see much use or opportunity for growth in blaming others. I could use some work on blaming myself a little less or just having better self-esteem. Her criticism of me is not helpful, but I can still be honest about areas I'd like to improve upon and work on them.
Sometimes I do blame the elusive BPD itself, or i blame the communication difficulties and misunderstandings that arise between people when what I think we really want is to connect. But things are what they are. I know I am powerless over her behaviors. In general, blame is useless. We can only move forward and realize the loving connections we seek and deserve--good thread!
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 09:07:10 AM »

i voted "very much so".

interesting caveat: its not a position i ever held during the relationship.

my ex was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. early in our relationship she blamed her outbursts and rages on that. i tended to believe any behavior of hers that i didnt like was caused by it.

and in fairness, in a rage, she would distort my behaviors and intentions, and after the rage, she would take them back, tell me she didnt believe those things. so my attitude was why should i? mind you, i did not believe i was perfect or that she was ALWAYS wrong. i brought dysfunction and unhappiness to the relationship that we were both aware of and spoke of, and that i made effort to change, and i tried to be a better partner, in some areas. she did too.

so no, we did not both come to believe i was the sole problem, that i was inadequate, or needed to be punished. she was increasingly seeing it that way toward the end, though.

however, once we broke up, the self blame and what ifs were killing me. i was out of my mind to the point that i was ruminating on what the weather was like that day and if it had anything to do with it. it all seemed so unexplainable, so out of nowhere, that i knew the circumstances HAD to be caused by me, but i couldnt see the forest through the trees. it was a complete 180 for me. the feelings of rejection i felt were so tremendous and overbearing.

im thankful and proud today that i got through it.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 06:01:51 PM »

Good topic of discussion. Im just sharing my experience maybe it will help a member or someone down the road reading this.

I voted very much so. When we starting having real problems and we needed help because things were not improving, i suggested MC. She suggested it too once I think and we went to MC several times. I had my own separate counselling and she balked at it saying I'm the one had problems.

I went into this r/s with my own baggage, things that I was not dealing with which I've been addressing in the last couple of years after divorce. I didn't know about basic psych, i didn't know about low self esteem and i had low esteem going into our r/s. I'm just saying this about myself and I'm not say that it pertains to anyone else, we attracted each other because we both had our own emotional baggage and dysfunctional behaviours, we have similarities, different value systems and we weren't really compatible overall.

I married for the wrong reasons. I have abandonment fears, I was abandoned as a child, my adoptive mother died of cancer and my father is undiagnosed with a mental illness and wasn't a good parent. I'll say this he wasn't physically abusive or a drug addict / alcoholic . I'll grant him that.

I've been here for just over four years and the tools that I learned have been very helpful, he has black and white thinking and his ego gets in the way. I just saw him this summer he had his opinions on current events and turned to me and said Mutt how come you're not saying anything? Don't you have an opinion? I wasn't JADE'ing, I knew that whatever opinion that I had was blackened.

Anyways, after she had left with her boyfriend and I knew that was the final split. I was decimated, I had high anxiety, depressed, distressed like many fellow members when they arrive on this board. I just thought that I wasn't good enough for her, there's something about the other guy that was better than me. I was really angry at MC when I heard about BPD and why hadn't they detected it, maybe we wouldn't of broken up. I was projecting my anger at MC, and I was beating myself up too.

It was more complicated than that, there were so many things that were not right and some right, I'm thankful that I had three kids together and they kept the pilot light lit so to speak, they were my motivation, I fought for them and they were the reason why I changed. My ex was another reason why I changed, to value myself and to not put with abuse.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 06:28:31 PM »

I voted "for the most part," and in doing so am crediting "circumstance" over myself.

Before my ex walked away, I literally offered her everything she told me she had wanted, and she still left. For a long time, I blamed myself, I felt like I wasn't enough.

But after talking things through with my therapist, she has told me again and again that there are certain actions of my ex that weren't about me, and they weren't even really about what my ex wanted. What my ex wanted, as do most people with BPD from what I understand, is for love to save them from all of the pain caused by BPD. But this isn't possible.

So I blame the circumstance, and that circumstance I blame isn't even the BPD itself. It's the place of instability my ex was in in relation to the BPD. She wasn't diagnosed until part way through the relationship, when a lot of her abandonment issues and things were triggered, things neither of us knew were being triggered at the time.

I truly believe that with a lot of work and the right support, someone with BPD is capable of a healthy relationship. It isn't my ex's fault that she has BPD. She is in so much pain because of it, and she is trying her best.

I know I'm hurt, too. But I don't blame me or her. I blame the timing, the instability, the way we didn't even know about the BPD.
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 03:38:06 PM »

Excerpt
fabrications are believable to you. It’s a complex defense mechanism, a type of denial, and a common characteristic of the disorder. As a result, both of you come to believe that you are the sole problem; that you are inadequate; that you need to change; even that you deserve to be punished or left behind.

Sure, my BPDxW convinced me that I was largely the cause of our r/s problems.  I was easily manipulated and quite susceptible to her exaggerations and fabrications.  For the first nine years of our marriage, I had never heard of BPD.  I had low self-esteem and, on some level, thought I deserved to be treated poorly, perhaps because my mother treated my father in similar fashion.

Excerpt
but the problems aren’t all your fault and you can't solve this by changing. The problems are not all of your partner’s fault either. This is about a complex and incredibly “loaded” relationship bond between the two of you."

I had no idea back then that my W was off-loading her issues onto me.  I had poor boundaries and allowed her to shift responsibility to my plate.  I let her fill up my emotional backpack with rocks, until it become too much for me to carry.

It was only after I hit bottom that I began slowly to find my way again.

LuckyJim


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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 08:21:54 AM »

Good topic of discussion. Im just sharing my experience maybe it will help a member or someone down the road reading this.

I went into this r/s with my own baggage, things that I was not dealing with which I've been addressing in the last couple of years after divorce. I didn't know about basic psych, i didn't know about low self esteem and i had low esteem going into our r/s. I'm just saying this about myself and I'm not say that it pertains to anyone else, we attracted each other because we both had our own emotional baggage and dysfunctional behaviours, we have similarities, different value systems and we weren't really compatible overall.

I married for the wrong reasons. I have abandonment fears, I was abandoned as a child, my adoptive mother died of cancer and my father is undiagnosed with a mental illness and wasn't a good parent. I'll say this he wasn't physically abusive or a drug addict / alcoholic . I'll grant him that.

I've been here for just over four years and the tools that I learned have been very helpful, he has black and white thinking and his ego gets in the way. I just saw him this summer he had his opinions on current events and turned to me and said Mutt how come you're not saying anything? Don't you have an opinion? I wasn't JADE'ing, I knew that whatever opinion that I had was blackened.

Anyways, after she had left with her boyfriend and I knew that was the final split. I was decimated, I had high anxiety, depressed, distressed like many fellow members when they arrive on this board. I just thought that I wasn't good enough for her, there's something about the other guy that was better than me. I was really angry at MC when I heard about BPD and why hadn't they detected it, maybe we wouldn't of broken up. I was projecting my anger at MC, and I was beating myself up too.

It was more complicated than that, there were so many things that were not right and some right, I'm thankful that I had three kids together and they kept the pilot light lit so to speak, they were my motivation, I fought for them and they were the reason why I changed. My ex was another reason why I changed, to value myself and to not put with abuse.

Thanks for your post Mutt.  I'm so sorry to hear about your adoptive mother.  Your words described for me how I now look at things following the break up.  I began to identify the reasons why I had gotten into the r/s and saw that they were not healthy reasons at all.  I too had low self esteem and had had dysfunctional relationships throughout my life.  It is only after the dust has settled that we can really begin to look at the full picture and let go of blame at all, in whichever direction it was placed.  We all have our own degree of baggage, whether it is obvious or not.  Thank you for sharing.

Love and light x
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2017, 11:33:43 AM »

Excerpt
I began to identify the reasons why I had gotten into the r/s and saw that they were not healthy reasons at all.  I too had low self esteem and had had dysfunctional relationships throughout my life.  It is only after the dust has settled that we can really begin to look at the full picture and let go of blame

I concur, Harley Q.  Part of my healing involved looking at the reasons why I married a pwBPD in the first place, whereas someone else would probably have run for the hills.  Instead, I stayed and took the abuse.  No more.  Now I would say that my r/s with a pwBPD provided a crucible for my own growth, forcing me to make changes for the better.  I've let go of the blame, too.

LuckyJim
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2017, 11:55:44 AM »

I let her fill up my emotional backpack with rocks, until it become too much for me to carry.


Lucky Jim, weirdly (and I do find this a very frustrating thing about MC as in hindsight it feels like I was waving more red flags than a Grand Prix at Monaco to the counselor who didn't to my knowledge pick up on any of them) used exactly the same analogy in MC sessions to describe the feelings of my burdens... .emotional and practical. Our relationship had periods where it felt like a partnership, but on the whole it felt like there was a funnel in my backpack and things just flowed from uBPDw to me... .and yes... .I picked things up and put them in there as well. 

I voted 'not sure'. With the knowledge I think I know now, I know that I was fuel to the fire, but on the other hand it was impossible for me to not fuel the fire and the inferno was inevitable. Now how do I make a fire blanket for both of us before I get run over on her dash to the lake?
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 07:57:25 PM »

 This one is more complex, she spent 8 years telling me what I did wrong and what I failed to do right, too the point I believed it all. now some things were legit, I was distant and preoccupied when I wasn't medicated for my anxiety until 2015, when I returned to my medication and calmed down (In hindsight it was too late for me, I had lost trust and a part of me never trusted she wouldn't find a new reason, i feel this is why i began drinking... .to give a tangible reason to be left, instead of vague "youre an a$$hole" excuses.

She truly does distort facts and rewrite the truth to fit her inner monologue, instead of seeing her contribution to the breakdown of things, she sees herself as either not at fault, or not responsible for fixing her issues, I should only work on mine. I did try to make amends, telling her that even tho she believed i didnt love her or whatever, providing examples of ways I cared and tried to show her love... .the response "I dont give a f%$k what you felt."

So i would split this one down the middle, do I have issues, sure... .but when speaking to women I know and people who know me, I am not a bad dude, I am not mean, I dont yell, I dont criticize or say hurtful things, but she expected me to be happy as can be devoted and obsessed from morning until night.

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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 05:42:40 AM »

At first I thought is was primarily me but after the second splitting incident, I started putting the puzzle together. I soon realized, there was no winning and regardless of what I did an excuse would have been created. Any excuse would have been dreamt up to have a reason for ending the relationship.
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 06:50:06 PM »

Thank you Harley Quinn, there was another article on the site that talked about codependency  and how the death of a parent can be a cause when you’re young. 
I started wondering what led me down this path and I started seeing traits in my dad that were similar to my exuBPDw but different, he has narcissistic traits. The both of them have wounded egos and cast blame on others and don’t own up to their own stuff, they both have their own unresolved childhood trauma.

I like how you said after the dust settles, I was grieving my life loss and processing old hold wounds, but at the end, it was a huge relief to let go of shame from all of the blame that was directed towards me from two mentally ill people that don’t have healthy r/s skills. That was a part of the gift of the borderline.
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 10:14:15 PM »

Very much so. At the time I believed that her original over the top love for me would come back. I believed the stories about all her exes and that all she needed was love.

Boy was I wrong. My boundaries were weaker at the time and I went out of my way to be patient and to kiss and make up. The upsets always did seem strange to me and out of proportion.

Now I know it was just who she is or what she does. If I had stronger boundariea then #1 I wouldng have gone out with her or #2 I would have pushed for counseling early. Doubt she would have been able to handle it. Relationships with her unless she has changed dramatically are sadly doomed to fail.

I'm over it now. It just still seems so bizarre when I think about it. The high, especially, seemed nice, but that was an illusion and a projection too. It saddens me but I dont take responsibility for it any more and I know I need to stay as far away as possible.
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2017, 11:20:50 PM »

Possibly but not likely was my answer, but it doesn't fit. I definitely hold partial responsibility for how I have handled the situation. I know that through her lens any fault that I have is an immediate validation to her that she was right not to trust me, and that through an extramarital indiscretion over a year ago I completely gave her the justification to look back at all of her suspicions and accusations as the truth and to that I hold my responsibility.

I do not feel any ownership over any of her misplaced anger, depression, drug use, suicidal thoughts, or any other negative behavior that she justifies because I "bring out the worse in her" and she feels that she brings out the worse in me.

Blame shifting is giant and I just don't feel responsibility for her happiness anymore.
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2017, 08:04:26 PM »

I answered not sure because all of this has been a process of self discovery for me. I have been in therapy for a while and the goal isn't to blame as much as it is to discover why I stayed in such an unhealthy relationship for so long.

In the early days, I thought it was caused by me and some circumstance. In the beginning, I thought I was being too demanding and wanted too much. He was repeating a lot of the same things that I heard as a kid so it was rather easy to believe. In that regard, was it his fault for saying it or was it my fault for believing it? Either way, there was a mismatch between what both of us wanted/needed. Rather than seeing the mismatch for what it was, we both stayed in the relationship and it became unhealthy and toxic.

I thought that I had unrealistic expectations of marriage. And, I believed the ex when he would tell me that I was taking things too personally and that I pretty much needed to let things go. Back then, I thought our relationship problems were because I had a problem with his use of porn and rejection of me. I wasn't supposed to be upset that he would pleasure himself instead of being with me. I wasn't supposed to be upset about a lot of things that happened. I wasn't supposed to be upset. I was supposed to be grateful that it wasn't worse. I thought that our relationship problems were my fault because I had a problem with some of his behaviors. In hindsight, I should have been upset with those things. I don't think any healthy person would have been okay with some of what happened.

Now, I do blame a lot on him because he has refused to get help or do anything different. For years, he would tell me that I wasn't giving him enough time and that I wasn't being supportive enough. For years, I allowed him to blow smoke up my butt and convince me that I just needed to be a little bit more patient. When he was in the process of making amends in his 12 step program for sex addiction, he used that as an opportunity to reach out to other women under the guise of making amends to them. When I tried to call him on it, he accused me of interfering with his healing and his program. When I write that out, I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous it all sounds. He was a jerk for doing that and I was gullible for letting him. In that regard, my therapist and I are going through it all so I can change MY behaviors moving forward. I saw that things weren't healthy. I tried to change things on my side. He didn't. Instead of leaving when I saw that things were not reciprocal, I stayed around and got more and more frustrated, which led to some bad behavior on my part.
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 04:13:41 PM »

I answered very much so because at the time, she really had me believing I was a bad man.  After all, "she only wanted to be with me" -- is that so bad? 

Why did I make friendly small talk TWICE to two different bar maids in front of her?  CLEARLY I was some kind of deviant.

 Why did I take that one day biz trip without her?  Obviously I needed my me time -- how selfish and weird! 

Why did I leave her at the bar to surprise her with a better hotel room?  What loser leaves his gf at the bar alone -- even for 5 minutes.

Why did I work an hour late when I knew she had nowhere to go?  I was so uncaring. 

Why did I watch our new neighbor when she was unloading her car?  She's half my age, clearly I'm a perv. And on and on and on.

Somehow she tapped into some guilt I guess we all have deep down inside, but twisted and manipulated it and gas lighted me into believing everything was my fault -- I was ruining the relationship. She kept turning up the temperature until I was nearly cooked alive.

How could you go jogging and leave me here she said once. So so selfish.

All as I built her home and moved her stuff and fed her horses and fixed her car and fed her and flew her around. . As the FOG lifts I see it really WAS ALL ME -- but not why she thinks. I had no boundaries. I let myself be boiled alive
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2018, 05:47:42 PM »

Harley, Because of the way the question was asked, I had to vote 'not sure'. My pwBPD was very critical of me unless I agreed with him which often times to me his thoughts seemed irrational so how could I possibly agree with his point of view? He seemed to thrive on conflict. One really frigid night we rendezvoused at a local big box warehouse store and he went off on me for not having a hat on (& then yet another ST... .) but I'm sure I was just a target/scapegoat for some other occurrence in his life earlier in the day. Stuff like that... .where I was just a scapegoat for his unhappiness... .I don't think I was the instigator for his bad behavior but at times I was emotionally reactive to it. I was always really happy to see him/be with him only after awhile I didn't quite know what to expect from him... .WOE!(walking on eggshells)
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2018, 02:26:29 PM »

Possibly but not likely.
I know I'm not perfect, and I completely understand my actions set off the triggers. But my actions for the most part wouldnt have upset anyone else ive ever been with to the degree of how the borderline interprets them.
I understand now, that I could've done more, but my needs were never addressed and barely acknowledged ... .even though I expressed them everyday. It left me knowing I needed to get back to loving myself before I could even think of trying to help someone with this terrible affliction.
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2018, 07:14:50 PM »

Harley, Because of the way the question was asked, I had to vote 'not sure'. My pwBPD was very critical of me unless I agreed with him which often times to me his thoughts seemed irrational so how could I possibly agree with his point of view? He seemed to thrive on conflict.

Hi Chynna,

That must have been terribly difficult being the subject of criticism, in effect because you had your own mind.  It is good that you made this connection, as I hope it has saved you from potentially blaming yourself for what happened within the r/s.  Silent treatment for not wearing a hat is pretty extreme, so your rational mind is recognising the nonsense and you've not been as dragged into the FOG for your actions as you might have been as a result.  That's a positive.

Love and light x
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2018, 11:39:02 PM »

Excerpt

This is largely why you have accepted punishing behaviors; why you try to make amends and try to please; why you feel responsible. But the problems aren’t all your fault and you can't solve this by changing. The problems are not all of your partner’s fault either. This is about a complex and incredibly “loaded” relationship bond between the two of you."

Today I see the projections / disassociations from a mile away because of how this site keeps us grounded by educating yourself with accredited medical information it’s about the facts not continuously unhealthily validating ones anger.

Back then I was so enmeshed that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees I believed her because I had low self esteem. I didn’t value myself like I do today I didn’t understand about self worth. The anxiety and depression that slowly grinds you down when you’re in a r/s with a pwBPD makes you feel... .hopeless there was no end in sight with the misery ending.

I like how the last line says: But the problems aren’t all your fault and you can't solve this by changing. The problems are not all of your partner’s fault either. This is about a complex and incredibly “loaded” relationship bond between the two of you.

I couldnt see any of that while living in it it took a divorce that at the time I didn’t want but was a blessing in disguise. Being separated with minimal contact and detachment slowly the fog lifts and if you dig you unearth truths about r/s and why it was unhealthy. I agree with that paragraph you can’t change it you need distance away from the r/s and your pwBPD.
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2018, 09:54:40 AM »

I voted "very much so," at least during the demise of the relationship and time building up to it. I don't feel this way anymore, but I did at first.

Last summer, I discovered that she had a crush on someone and was likely more emotionally connected to this person than she wanted to admit. This all happened while I was very busy with school and extremely stressed out. I was developing some more severe OCD habits and was barely present, though I tried hard to connect with her when I wasn't busy. She kept telling me that she was supportive and was there for me, but behind my back was writing in her journal about how much she despised me and how she was thinking of this other person, though trying really hard not to do so. I excused the thinking about another person - I couldn't blame her, really, for finding connection when I wasn't available and she didn't act on it. We can all have crushes, right? But, I had a sense that it wasn't just a crush and that things went deeper than that - and I could see the ways she was adjusting her routines to be around this person and wasn't exercising what looked to me like self control to not be around him.

When I called her on it, she cited all the ways that I wasn't present and that my mental health was too challenging to be around. She was right that I needed more support than I was getting, but out of my classmates I was actually in the least bad shape when it comes to mental health. My closest friend in the program voluntarily hospitalized himself for a week around the same time and we were both dealing with an advisor that was fairly abusive. I needed help, not abandoned for someone else. She never brought this stuff up to me when it was happening and never approached me to suggest I get help. She just wrote about it in her journal and complained to friends. When I found out that it got bad enough that she'd turn to someone else (my interpretation), I got help. I started a low dose SSRI to bring my baseline level of stress down and immediately turned things around dramatically.

I don't think she expected that - and even lashed out at me a few times for "fixing things" like I'm the hero in the story and told me that I was gaslighting her because I was all of a sudden better and therefore nothing she experienced was valid. We did some marriage counseling (only a few sessions), and were all of a sudden better. My behavior had changed dramatically, I got a great job and we were making great money, and we were going out more to celebrate all that we had accomplished together.

Then, when the break up happened out of nowhere a few months later, I only spent a short period of time blaming myself, because her accusations against me just didn't fit the facts. My confidence was going up and my problems were less intrusive into the relationship. These should have been good things right?

I only had a few moments where I blamed myself and stopped blaming our circumstances. I think that hastened the demise of our marriage, because I stopped participating in her push/pull dynamics and she just spiraled further without me. I think I can take an appropriate amount of responsibility for stuff that happened in our marriage, but I've learned that it's not ok for someone to harbor resentment and not talk to you about what bothers them. When our marriage counselor suggested this to her, she seemed to have a "lightbulb" moment - but never really implemented it. Someone who is willing to make things better but also put their foot down when the facts don't line up is a difficult target for someone who is emotionally sensitive. Had I seen her in this light sooner, I think we could have avoided some of our conflict (I would have JADEd less) - but we might not have lasted as long as we did, too.
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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2018, 03:47:03 AM »

Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with BPD


Then the worst happened. He discovered something that I'd done in the past which he interpreted as a betrayal. And so the guilt began and the fight to repair things, prove myself, show I could be trusted. I felt responsible for the drastic decline in his behaviour from that point and I took more than I ever should have due to the guilt from believing it was all on me.  

How about you?

It never ceases to amaze me how I can read stuff like this and it literally feels like a carbon copy of what I went through.

In my case the "betrayal" was something she had found out something that I did in a previous r/s which had nothing at all connected to her, and quite frankly, was none of her business. She made the mistake of doing this in her past relationships to, it was a quest to find out as much as she could about the partner, but digging for 'secrets' or hopefully to find 'lies'.

The reason I was so happy in the r/s was that I never did any of this and with good reason, I wanted to judge her based solely on her own interactions with me, not her history. Of which I never probed but just listened to things she decided to share herself. To use the mud-farming analogy, it was a r/s where there what started as a clear road, ended up with her farming mud and putting it over, then charging me to clean it away each time as we both got stuck.

she never directly confronted me with what she had found out, because in doing so, would reveal the extent of her intrusive digging into my past relationships. but I knew that she had and somehow (and this is the interesting part for me) felt somehow obliged to compensate her for this.

So yes I ended up blaming myself, for something that I shouldnt have. What I really should have done is felt entirely uncomfortable with her hyperanalysing every detail of my personality, history of r/s and making her own judgements - which thereafter evolved into extensive stalking behaviour, which even carried on after I went no contact.

ive never had a r/s that required so much work on my behalf. to constantly reassure and prove myself to someone of being genuine. The relationship problems for me was to put myself into a position of having to go on the defensive constantly and justify myself over all the perceived 'wrongs' that she mud farmed out of nowhere. If all of these things were as serious as she made out, the simple solution would be for her to tell me and leave. She never did either. Instead she stored all of these faults up for a rainy day that she could pull them out and use them to her advantage or as leverage in the r/s. It didnt really work as I never felt insecure about myself, but she did try her hardest to make me feel that way.

the basis for my ex behaving in this way was to forever shift the focus of attention away from herself. putting me on the constant defensive meant overlooking her faults, her history. The few times I got a glimmer of her past, i realise that she had good reason to hide plenty, but I never actively seeked it out.

I chose in the poll that I was partly to blame, but for the reason that I lacked the assertiveness to call her out on her behaviour, and in doing so, encouraged it to get worse. Yet to call her out wouldnt have worked either, the times I did were just giving her the opportunity to lie and at the same time forcing her into the shame of having to do so, which would then manifest itself in more passive aggressive dysfunction to take out on me. All I can say is that I behaved the same kind and loving ways in previous r/s and had great results and appropiate reciprocation, without being made to feel that I was doing so out of 'guilt' or some 'hidden agenda'. My ex could never believe that anyone did something out of being genuine, in the end, that spoke volumes about her, whilst she did have huge trust issues and paranoia, she did plenty of things herself to betray others. Its a bit like the saying "a thief always believes others are stealing from him".  

I voted "very much so", because I chose to stick around when the sensible and mature thing to do was to have left the r/s when I realised the behaviour towards me was outrageous but I instead chose to carry on and 'patch things up'.
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2018, 04:08:26 AM »

This is very astute Cromwell, and I must say that your mud farming analogy made me laugh as it is so accurate in my case.  My partner turned into a super sleuth driven by his paranoia that I was up to extra curricular antics which in reality, as you say, spoke volumes about him, whether in the present or throughout his relationship past.  I don't care to know if it was the case during our time together and it would change nothing about what I experienced.  Like you, I dealt with what was in front of me and gave him the benefit of the doubt that he has a past like everyone else but that doesn't determine his future.

Further out I also had the realisation that a great deal of what drove my experience was reacting to his projection and trying to prove myself innocent of that or at least earn his trust so that he would see I am not those things he feared I was.  I didn't stop to question why I wouldn't also be given the benefit of the doubt and taken on my words and more importantly actions, as I was too busy shifting the mud.  It certainly says something about my self esteem that I would fail to expect the same respect and consideration as I award others. 

Even further out I realised, like you, that in one very specific way I actually was responsible for the dysfunction.  I chose to remain within it.  It hadn't occurred to me that the cause of all of his chaos and drama was the fact that I had become a trigger to him.  Had I recognised this sooner, I could have saved myself so much trauma and massive life impact.

Thanks for your reply. 

Love and light x
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