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Question: Did you believe they had seen the light?
Very much so - 8 (34.8%)
For the most part - 5 (21.7%)
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Possibly, but not likely - 4 (17.4%)
No, not at all - 5 (21.7%)
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Author Topic: POLL Belief 10 : Did you hold onto hope they’d seen the light?  (Read 1774 times)
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« on: October 30, 2017, 03:20:54 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 they have seen the light
Your partner may suddenly be on their best behavior or appearing very needy and trying to entice you back into the relationship. You, hoping that they are finally seeing things your way or really needing you, may venture back in – or you may struggle mightily to stay away. What is this all about? Well, at the end of any relationship there can be a series of breakups and make-ups – disengaging is often a process, not an event. However when this process becomes protracted, it becomes toxic. At the end of a “BPD” relationship, this can happen. The emotional needs that fueled the relationship bond initially, are now fueling a convoluted disengagement as one or both partners struggle against their deep enmeshment with the other and their internal conflicts about the break up. Either partner may go to extremes to reunite - even use the threat of suicide to get attention and evoke sympathies. Make no mistake about what is happening. Don’t be lulled into believing that the relationship is surviving or going through a phase. At this point, there are no rules. There are no clear loyalties. Each successive breakup increases the dysfunction of relationship and the dysfunction of the partners individually - and opens the door for very hurtful things to happen.

This applied to me 100%, both during the relationship and after I put him out of my home.  

After behaving in really alarming ways (raging and self-harming with frequent major crises), my ex and I would enter the calm period, when he seemed cognisant of his behaviour, how destructive it was, and the impact it had on me.  He would say all the right things. How sorry he was, how he felt terrible for doing what he was doing to me, that I should save myself and get away from him (only made me want to save him more because of his clarity of mind) and that he was afraid to lose me - the person who meant more to him than anyone in the world.  I felt like he really got it and wanted to change the cycle of behaviour.  He would work harder at his coping strategies, and write down ways he could handle his dysregulation and suicidal thoughts.  Every time we had a major incident I believed that this was the turning point.  Surely, this time he would stop the pattern and find the way forwards?  Even after he became violent and I eventually left him, I still wondered if this was the event to change things.  Regrettably, it wasn't. Perhaps he did actually see the light, just couldn't quite reach it. That was what I told myself until I stopped the cycle once and for all.  

Does this belief resonate with 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: October 30, 2017, 04:28:38 PM »

At the end of the r/s we become a trigger for our expwBPD. There was a long period about a year and half where she was ignoring me after the break-up because it was another broken r/s, I was a reminder of this. Something significant happened at the year and a half mark - her boyfriend the man that she cheated with in our marriage moved in with her.
 
I still had anger at this point and she came up to me after ignoring me for about 18 months and she wanted to be friends - for the sake of the kids. Up to this point, I had done a lot, my motivation after the break-up was to make sure that the collateral impact to our kids was going to be minimal and I didn't want to engage in divorce poison.
 
 My S6 painted a picture for his mom at my house the other day and he asked me what my opinion was with the picture. He was excited to present it to his mom, I feel sadness sometimes because the kids are not aware of how ill their mother is. Regardless, I choose to not stand in their way with their r/s with their mother, I chose a supportive role with the kids and not one that alienates them from their mother. She is their mother BPD doesn't come into the picture.
 
 She's not aware of all of the work I've done in the background to make sure that our kids are Ok to the best of my abilities but I got angry at her and mentioned the affair and it was enough for her to know that I'm not interested in this point in time to be friends.
 
 My point to all of this is that it can be confusing at times when she's relatively stable. She's more stable with me at the moment because we're not in a r/s, I don't fight or JADE, and I don't direct anger at her all things that would trigger the disorder. I get these long periods where she's relatively normal these days and then when something triggers her in her life she tries to cast blame on me a reminder that just under the surface she has very serious dysfunctions with her neural pathways that need to be addressed in therapy - BPD.

I let go of all hope that she will get help for herself, I'm not responsible for her anymore and I have accepted that this is who she is, she's not all bad she has dysfunctional behaviors that seriously impairs interpersonal r/s's but like anyone else people love her unconditionally in her life.
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 10:54:47 AM »

Yes I did. Actually I'm in the middle of it. Yesterday I made the decision to protect myself from this kind of behaviour. We went through the cycle three times and everytime I believed he would truly change and believe his sweet and caring words saying how sorry he was.
But now not anymore. Now the break up has happened, he cannot let go of me.

Does he really see the light or it is only because he wants to knows I want him to go in therapy.
Well. He's on his own now. And its damn hard to stay strong for me.
But I will.
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 11:37:33 AM »

Guilty of this. I've been recycled around 7 times (AFTER the final discard of the relationship - in the relationship itself we mustve broken up 10 times as well). Each time she 'acts' (or probably believes it herself) that she has changed, that she sees the faults she made during the relationship. She literally says stuff like "I know I was the rotten apple" and "I've worked so much on myself and am so much more stable now". I've felt for it (albeit hestitant) every time.

It only takes a few weeks to see that there isn't any truth to it. They won't see the light, it is just another strategy to get you engaged and to start the recycle. In a few weeks things fall apart again and the same issues arise. It's no use, well at least not in my situation.
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 03:37:41 PM »

  Hope was all I had  ,  especially after the first time I went through a complete discard cycle. I sure did not have any facts backing up his ability in fulfilling his promises. I think sometimes I confused hope for denial. I don't feel as "stupid" now, like I did during the final discard! I have turned a corner regarding this experience. I have read so many books, and still going to a lot of therapy. It is so HARD to accept he has a serious mental disorder. I think when this reality sunk into my core, I no longer had hope he would change.  BPD's can get better with a lot of help from PROFESSIONALS. If  recovery sticks they won't be promising us to change, we will see the change.
      I have come to believe he did not single me out so he could cause me pain. His disorder picked me out to meet his needs. When emotions other then lust needed to be dealt with, he panics, he knows by now he can't handle it. Activate discard cycle and blame me. This is all his relationships are about, a continuous loop. I am sad because this is all I dealt with, and all he will ever deal with.  
      
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 06:44:31 PM »

So we've been broken up for nearly 7 months now, she contacted me at the start of this month and like many of you even though it kills me i responded. we have talked every day since she first messaged. we went close to 2 months with no contact at all, but i let her back in.

I know she left me for someone else, i don't know if the start of messaging me; means shes not with them anymore or if she just needs to know she can still have me if she wanted to. its like having people want her validates her in a way.

In my mind i know she is bad for me, i even know that this is probably just part of her process. She used to talk to her ex while with me so this is probably just that. I cant even bring myself to ask her if she is with the new person. I want to know but I don't, my gut tells me she is and that they are moving in together. even though she hasn't stated that she actually went out of her way to say its just a person from her old work.

My head knows i need to cut her out of my life, its effecting me emotionally again all i do is look at my phone waiting for a reply, when i don't get one or don't get the one i want my heart breaks all over again.

Is this just more mind games? i know without knowing her you cant really answer but is this common, do we just want to believe so badly that it was different with us that we ignore the signs in a desperate need to keep them in our life even when it hurts.

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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 07:22:35 PM »

We recycled several times a year for awhile, but after his suicide attempt, I had hope. He wrote a letter of apology to our church. He was in therapy and on medication.

Nope. It didn't stick, and everything came back in a big way.

Now we're separated and only communicate on business matters. My therapist predicts that this is it. He'll get settled in his new location, and the only way to deal with the guilt over what he's done is to make a new life for himself without us.

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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 09:55:17 PM »

This wasn't a hope it was a fantasy. I fantasized about how things would go and the wonderful life we could have together once he would finally start to do the work to get better. That fantasy kept me going for years, kept me fearing that he would finally see the light but with someone else. I actually still do think (not fear anymore) that he will continue to improve with time. I fantasized that he would go to therapy and I almost suspect now that he might have done this as he has proven to have some interesting insights on codependency and my own bad habit of absorbing other people's pain. I think it's not only about "hoping" they will change - but "fearing" they will change when they are with someone else and live out our fantasy without us. I still hope he will change, but I don't think I fantasize about it, nor do I fear that he will do it with someone else. If he does, then good for him I guess. The one thing that I still hope/fantasize for is if he ever does change that he reaches out to me... .  and that's why I keep being open to him reaching out, but so far it's just been the same old bull___.
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 11:31:35 PM »

  BPD's can get better with a lot of help from PROFESSIONALS.
      
      

I'm not so sure about this. Some of them maybe can get better, but my experience with ex pwBPD was different.
He was in treatment for 3 years, twice hospitalised (last time for 6 months), went to the therapist frequently, was taking a ton of meds... .everyone around him were max supportive- his family, his doctor, his friends, his ex, me... .He had the strongest safety net imaginable.  
But even with all of that, the first incident occured  after only two months into the relationship. This was his personal maximum.
I'm starting to believe that the therapist is just another source of supply for him. He said he changed 5 therapists, so I guess that the last had stick around because he was the youngest, least experienced and easiest to manipulate.  They have each other on messanger, text frequently as friends, there are no strict boundaries... .
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 02:19:50 PM »

Hi Mutt,

Thanks for the reply. 

Excerpt
I'm not responsible for her anymore and I have accepted that this is who she is

This really stood out to me as it was an extremely powerful realisation for me after the relationship ended and I still attempted to help him.  Although it was difficult for me to stop my instinctive behaviours of trying to safeguard him, ensure he had what he needed to survive and support in place, ultimately I allowed myself to recognise that he was a grown man who was in fact perfectly capable of arranging these things for himself.  At that point I stepped back and freed myself from the ongoing heartbreak of interacting with him in the knowledge that he had no real intention of working on change.  His actions had shown me all I needed to know.  So I let go.  And gave responsibility for him back to himself, where it belonged.

Thanks for sharing.

Love and light x
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 02:26:22 PM »

Hi Maya60,

Thanks for posting on the thread.  It sounds like you're going through a really tough time right now and we can all relate to that.  Do stay in touch and let us know how we can support you best.

Excerpt
Does he really see the light or it is only because he wants to knows I want him to go in therapy.
Well. He's on his own now. And its damn hard to stay strong for me.
But I will.

In answer to your rhetorical question I'd say that the answer to this will be seen in his actions.  I was promised by my ex that he would attend a DV perpetrator programme which is an intensive course of therapy, both individual and group, that lasts a very long time.  The aim is to ensure that the individual comes out without the same programmed thought processes and violent responses to women.  After we split up I later received a letter from the service informing me that he had decided not to attend.  So see if his actions match his words.

We know how hard it is and if this is the right thing for you then we will help you through.  You seem very determined and that's a credit to you.  It's a bumpy road so reach out and we will walk with you.  Take a look at the lessons to the right of the board and post when you are ready to share more.

Love and light x 
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 02:36:26 PM »

Hi Jody,

Excerpt
Is this just more mind games? i know without knowing her you cant really answer but is this common, do we just want to believe so badly that it was different with us that we ignore the signs in a desperate need to keep them in our life even when it hurts.

It sounds as though your ex may be experiencing her fear of abandonment and want to safeguard herself by feeling more secure - having you in the picture.  Someone she knows loved/s her.  Either that or she is fearing engulfment and pulling away from her current partner.  In answer to your question, yes this happens a lot.  

I can personally relate to the last part of your question about ignoring signs to keep them in our life even when it hurts.  As can the vast majority of the members posting on this board, I'm sure.  The turning point in the cycle has to come from within yourself.  Her behaviour is pretty predictable as it is a pattern of behaviour related to her coping with the fears in a maladaptive way.  As the 'emotionally healthier' one the only way the pattern will stop repeating with yourself is when you put a stop to it.  And for that to happen you must value yourself more than the painful existence of uncertainty and anxiety that comes from protracting a breakup with a pwBPD.  I feel for you.  Most all of us have been there.  Keep sharing and others will be able to offer the benefit of their experience and how they moved on from that stage.

Love and light x  
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 06:39:40 AM »

This belief was so "sticky" in my relationship, because pwBPD was very self-aware. He was in therapy, had therapist qualifications himself, and wasn't afraid to look at himself and apologize and change his behavior when it was hurtful.

That made it really difficult to let go, because there were times when he  seemed to have great insights about himself and our relationship, and he seemed so motivated to change. Because of his studies and personal experiences, he was also very knowledgeable and insightful about trauma, human behavior, psychology, etc.

It turned out that things were not quite as they seemed, however. Hope finally died for me after we made plans to start a life together (we lived far apart) and then there was an emotional dysregulation that crashed and burned everything to the ground. He was at least able to tell me, later, when things were more balanced, that he wasn't ready for the changes (that he initiated).

Today, I'm grateful for that moment when hope died. It set me free (and him, too) to let go and move in another direction. It helped me see how my own behavior contributed to my suffering, so it helped me learn more about myself and how I could change going forward.

Did anyone else experience great self-awareness in your partner? Did it make it harder to let go?

heartandwhole
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 12:00:07 PM »

There was a time after a break up it seemed that she had gotten better and learned what was not acceptable and took a little responsibility. It didn't take long for her to revert back to her old behaviors especially when she was under stress or depressed.
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 06:45:08 PM »

Excerpt
Did anyone else experience great self-awareness in your partner? Did it make it harder to let go?

heartandwhole this is a really good question and my answer is yes. 

My exBPDbf was already in therapy when I met him as he'd instigated that himself 12 months prior.  It was those moments of clarity between the periods of dysregulation that had became more and more frequent which kept me hooked.  He knew that what he did and said was wrong whilst he was doing/saying it yet couldn't help himself.  He even wrote out 4 pages of reasons why he loved me which he encouraged me to read when he would say the things he did to hurt me, as this reflected his true feelings for me and told me it was this that I should pay attention to - not any of the nasty words he would say. 

He was able to talk about his behaviour with me after it had happened, was aware of the impact it had, expressed his wish to change these things about himself and would tell me in advance the various new strategies to cope that he would try out next.  We went to his therapy appointments together as he wanted me involved and for everything to be transparent.  It was his motivation and awareness that made it so hard to give up on him.  Which is what I felt I was doing when I left him and I know he felt that too.  That was really hard and I knew that it would cause us both immense pain when I ultimately had to make that choice. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 09:23:46 AM »

My ex and I have been apart for over two years after she left me and moved out with the kids. As most stories, she accused, blamed, shamed and guilted me deep into the FOG. Nine months ago, she started a recycle. The first one and a year and a half after she left. I thought that she had finally seen where she was wrong about me. How else could a woman want to get back together with a man that did all of the things that she accused me of? I went in blind at first but thankfully I have a T and good friends that brought me back to earth and asked me questions like, "Has she communicated how she felt that she has wronged you and sincerely apologized?", ":)oes she let you share what you feel in a way that makes you feel safe?" or "Has she demonstrated that she can handle any difficult situations in a healthy and positive way?". The answers were all no and she still blamed me for at least 98% of the problems. Those answers and the fact that she never left her boyfriend all showed me that she hasn't changed.

What finally helped me see that she hadn't seen the light was when I shared my boundaries. I wrote three initial boundaries that I shared with my T and two close friends first to support my feelings that they were healthy boundaries. Her response was that I was pressuring, threatening and judging her. Nope, no light. She attempted two more recycles since and still no light seen so I told her that I don't see it ever working out between us.

I do hope that she sees the light one day. I don't want her to suffer but know that I'm not responsible for her. It would also make co-parenting a lot easier... .
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― Alexandre Dumas
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2017, 06:10:43 PM »

Excerpt
I went in blind at first but thankfully I have a T and good friends that brought me back to earth and asked me questions like, "Has she communicated how she felt that she has wronged you and sincerely apologized?", ":)oes she let you share what you feel in a way that makes you feel safe?" or "Has she demonstrated that she can handle any difficult situations in a healthy and positive way?". The answers were all no and she still blamed me for at least 98% of the problems. Those answers and the fact that she never left her boyfriend all showed me that she hasn't changed.

40days, you have some great friends!  It's wonderful to hear that you have that support network in place and that they can objectively help you to work through things for yourself. 

Excerpt
I do hope that she sees the light one day. I don't want her to suffer but know that I'm not responsible for her.

I wish my ex well in his future also and do hope that some day he is able to recover so that he may experience a better life for himself.  I no longer want this for selfish reasons.  As you say, knowing I am not responsible for him is an important realisation I had to make in order to set myself free of the dysfunction.  I'm glad that you also see this as it's a healthy standpoint. 

Love and light x 
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