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Poll
Question: Did you believe your absence would make their heart grow fonder?
Very much so - 8 (28.6%)
For the most part - 3 (10.7%)
Not sure - 3 (10.7%)
Possibly, but not likely - 7 (25%)
No, not at all - 7 (25%)
Total Voters: 26

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Author Topic: POLL Belief 8: Did you believe your absence would make their heart grow fonder?  (Read 5068 times)
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« on: October 16, 2017, 03:38:11 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 absence makes the heart grow fonder
"We often think that by holding back or depriving our “BPD” partner of “our love” – that they will “see the light”. We base this on all the times our partner expressed how special we were and how incredible the relationship was. Absence may make the heart grow fonder when a relationship is healthy – but this is often not the case when the relationship is breaking down. People with BPD traits often have "object permanence" issues – “out of sight is out of mind”. They may feel, after two weeks of separation, the same way you would feel after six. Distancing can also trigger all kinds of abandonment and trust issues for the “BPD” partner (as described in #4). Absence generally makes the heart grow colder."

This belief really resonated with me. I spent my relationship withdrawing in various ways (avoiding time together, not responding to her messages) hoping that it would improve things, and that she would see the light. I threatened a breakup probably over one hundred times. I warned her that I felt distant and was walking away while pleading for her to change. As the belief describes, sometimes this appeared to trigger the desired response, so I stuck with it or doubled down even when it didn't, and I couldn't see the damage that it was doing to our relationship.

Learning about object permanence was a real eye opener, too. On one hand, it hurt to read that after the relationship ended, when I was in so much pain, she was apparently on a very different page. On the other, it was helpful to have some explanation as to why that was the case.


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: October 16, 2017, 07:45:28 PM »

Reading about Object permanence/ Object Constancy is I learned it, helped fill in some of the blanks, leading to some understanding. Understanding doesn't negate the sad feelings about it all but it does bring me up a level in my grieving of this relationship.

Oddly, or coincidently, I posted earlier today in reply to my first post, describing my experiences in response to the comment that BPD/NPD is a broad spectrum of behaviors.

Two hours later, after I posted... .She sent an email tonight after two weeks of no contact (five weeks since we split with all the drama of a lousy teenage rom/com) with a link to a John Mayer video with the lyrics. We went to a JM concert in August. She posed the question, did he play this at the concert?
What I can't tell is this; are the lyrics for me, in her mind describing me or is she admitting to feelings that she has.
Not sure I'm allowed to post the link so, it's called "In the Blood". Look for a lyrics video. You'll see my point - like is she actually thinking I'm this - projecting on to me? Like I'm going to discover something in the song. I'm sad to think that it's likely she's trying to show me something about myself when in fact what I see is the lyrics of the song (notwithstanding it is sung by a man) is that it speaks to exactly what she might be feeling. Her mom is text book NPD. Dad was the controlling side.

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 08:20:17 PM »

" People with BPD traits often have "object permanence" issues – “out of sight is out of mind”. They may feel, after two weeks of separation, the same way you would feel after six. Distancing can also trigger all kinds of abandonment and trust issues for the “BPD” partner (as described in #4). Absence generally makes the heart grow colder."

Wow I went through this. I was together for several years with my ex and to keep this in context I didn't know about BPD at the time. After a couple of years we started separating each year for a couple of weeks to several weeks. The aggression and conflict would get worse and usually started in the fall and usually by Christmas and New Years I was told to leave the house.

We repeated this pattern for several years. My sister would take me in and my ex would call usually after a couple of weeks she'd want me to return home. I refused and said that I need more time, she would say that it's hard watching all of the kids by herself. I was mad because she wouldn't validate why she threw me out, it was if she had forgotten. I was milking it for as long as I could because I wanted to recharge by batteries because I felt exhausted, confused, angry with her behaviors.

On the topic of being confused I couldn't figure out why we went through the same separations every year, I think that her fear of engulfment was triggered and I didn't give her space, she couldn't communicate what she needed and I'm not a doctor, getting a call after a couple of weeks after I was thrown makes sense in the context that it was object permanence.

I had a laisser faire attitude, avoidance and I don't know what I was thinking but I thought that things would fix themselves, I don't think that way today. For examply I'm a new r/s and I'm using a whole different skillet that I learned after the break-up with a pwBPD you can't avoid something expecting things to magically fix themselves, you have to face now if the other person doesn't want to try to repair the r/s, there's nothing else that you can do.
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"Let go or be dragged" -Zen proverb
MeandThee29
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 07:56:29 AM »

Mine always had separation issues that come from his childhood. If I went on a 3-day business trip, there would be a fight before and after. There were horrible fights after each of my parents died because I was gone for 2-3 weeks resulting in weeks of silence. He even had problems if he was home, and I met a friend for coffee or a meal.

Our first separation led to a suicide attempt after five days.

For this one, my therapist feels that all of the love/hate I'm receiving is because he's still living in hotels and isn't settled. He's chosen an area that is not at all good for rentals this time of year and has such high expectations.

But at some point, she thinks "out-of-sight-out-of-mind" will take over, but not yet.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 10:54:50 AM »

I probs didn't believe it, I just wanted to.
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 06:01:17 PM »

I voted not at all, because I knew by the way that he was so desperate to keep me around that things would go very badly if we parted ways for any longer than a few hours.  We were joined at the hip and even if I went out for an hour or two there were abusive texts, demands that I be back when I promised, show proof that I was where I said, and so on.  I'd seen how he could dysregulate so easily and was under no illusions that absence would drive him past the brink.  

When we neared the end of the r/s and he was seeking new accommodation, despite the fact we spoke of trying to maintain 'some type of relationship', he also pointed out on countless occasions how he would 'get used to' being on his own.  To having his own place, his own space, being apart from me - and that he would not look at things the same way.  That there would be no going back for him.  By this point I'd already accepted that there was no going back for me so his telling me that didn't serve the purpose I think he intended.  However I did believe that once he made a change in separating himself from me, that the gap would widen beyond reach.  Luckily that was what I wanted then, as painful as it was.  

Love and light x  
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 11:00:02 AM »

I voted not at all as well for a lot of the same reasons HQ. We were joined at the hip and did almost everything together. Towards the end, it became too much. He would text and call me constantly. He would e-mail the entire time I was at work. If he wasn't calling or texting me, then it was as though I didn't exist and he would be online finding other women. There were a lot times when I wanted space but didn't take it because I knew that my absence would not make his heart grow fonder.
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 12:10:09 PM »

I said possibly, but not likely. She dumped me over email and was uncomfortable meeting up. I saw that as a pretty bad sign. She also was coming from a standpoint of having clarity and wisdom, and how traits of mine were total deal breakers for her. We never had any recycles. It was clear she had moved on.
I did wonder if she missed me at all and I reached out once, so I must have had some false hope, but it was short lived.
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