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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: He/She Cheated, Stole, Abused Me; I Want Him/Her Back  (Read 1179 times)
Jeffree
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« on: February 15, 2018, 08:38:13 AM »

I am hoping to open a dialogue here about this idea where we were treated so badly but would still take back our exBPD even after the awful ways they have treated us and/or have left us for someone else after all we tried to do to keep the relationship together.

I, too, am guilty of having accepted abuse in my most recent marriage to a BPDish woman. That was bad enough. However, my conundrum toward the end was how to get her out of my house/life, as opposed to how to reconcile. I couldn't wait for her to be gone and all the abuse to leave with her, and she finally did leave once I discovered on our cell phone records that she was talking up some guy. Two weeks later she moved out.

I'll give the shirt off my back for someone who needs it, but I am not willing to accept abuse for the privilege doing so. I don't do it to be thanked. I don't need high praise. I just hope the other person to be made more whole by my efforts period. But like I said, abuse me while I am trying to actually help and all bets are off.

For instance, one night my SIL was visiting us. She asked STBx a question about her education, which she has all kinds of insecurities about because she was non-verbal for the first 5 years of her life, a remedial student at best, and kicked out of high school in 10th grade and never went back. I knew this question was going to trigger her. She took it hard, and stormed outside to have a big cry. I followed after her to support her and told her how proud I was of her for all she had accomplished in life despite how her education had gone.

She said to me that I don't really believe that, and if I did then I wouldn't have said so and so and this and that, then eventually said some really lousy things to me. That was it for me. We had already had several years of strife and conflict. But despite it all, I mustered everything I had to try and help her through this difficult moment, and then she turned her inner turmoil on me and broke what little was left of my spirit.

I responded by requesting separate bedrooms, and she went apesh1t.

After that insane tirade, I was done. All the affection and any pleasantries had already been gone for months, but that was the final straw. There was nothing she was ever going to be able to say or do to make up all the pain she had inflicted on me.

Yet this was nowhere near as bad as others have had it here, and still there are those who would take their ex back in a heartbeat, or are even still trying to make it work.

How? Why? We matter. There's no reason to have them reject us and abuse us when all we are doing is trying to be a loving partner.

J



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BeagleGirl
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 09:39:15 AM »

I'll start by saying that I don't want him back.  I might be convinced to take him back if I saw profound change over a sustained period of time, but I think that it would be the hardest thing I would ever do.  And I don't think it's likely.

As for why I not only stayed with him for nearly 27 years, but when he would threaten to leave I would do everything in my power to convince him to stay; here's a list.  I think some of them are still core to what I will take into any future relationships, but I will definitely be much more picky about who I choose and how quickly I commit.

-My belief in ":)o unto others as you would have them do unto you".  I am not perfect.  I will sometimes hurt the people I love.  When that happens, I want to be forgiven and have a chance to love them better.  If that is what I want for myself, how can I withhold it from someone else.  I have done a lot of studying on the concepts of repentance and forgiveness over the past year.  I think that I'm better able to recognize true repentance and understand that I don't need to keep giving chances to someone who is not really repentant.

-I want my children to have an "intact" family.  This is the main reason I think I would do my best to take him back if I saw the profound, long term change.  More than an "intact" family, I want my boys to see an example of a healthy relationship.  That was one of the drivers that gave me the courage to leave.  I kept thinking "If my boys grow to be the kind of man/husband their father is, I will be incredibly sad and ashamed.
  I have to show them that this is not okay; that a woman shouldn't tolerate this kind of treatment."


-I saw the best in him and believed he could change.  I'm now realizing that he was showing me the truth about himself over and over and I was refusing to believe it.  I still see the best in him, but I also know the worst.  More importantly, I understand that I can't change him.

-I was raised in a tradition that says that the institution of marriage is greater than/more important than the individuals within the marriage.  While there are times when we all can and should sacrifice for the greater good, I am now on my way to believing that what I stayed in was a perversion of what marriage should be and that I was right to fight for a true marriage... .even if that meant leaving my husband.

-I didn't believe I was worthy of anything different.  This is the one I am actively trying to overcome.  There was only one man who wanted me from age 14-38; my husband.  Having another man (my affair partner) want me did start to break that belief down, but it also resulted in a lot of new shame that reinforced the idea of "who would want me now that I'm an adulterous whore".  I think the desire for better for my boys was what gave me the courage to leave, but the building belief that I deserve better is what has kept me from taking him back.

Thank you for posting this question.  Thinking through this has been helpful and is leaving me with lots to ponder on.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 10:49:53 AM »

Hey BeagleGirl, Thank you for your moving post.  Your list could easily apply to me, as I suspect it could to many of us Nons.  I would like to add one reason of my own: Loyalty.  I'm a loyal guy and have a lot of inner strength, which may have worked against me because I have the capacity to put with a lot.  I stayed when others would probably have run away fast.  What I came to see, though, is that my loyalty to a persecutor was misplaced.  There's nothing admirable about allowing oneself to be treated like a doormat.  I still view loyalty as a good quality in other situations, but for me it was self-destructive in the context of a BPD r/s.

LuckyJim
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 11:02:00 AM »

I was raised in a tradition that says that the institution of marriage is greater than/more important than the individuals within the marriage.

who would want me now that I'm an adulterous whore

Hunh? What tradition would the above statements stem from?

Whoa! I thought people were only referred to as adulterous whores in like the Middle Ages or certain cults.

J
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Skip
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 11:30:50 AM »

-I didn't believe I was worthy of anything different.  This is the one I am actively trying to overcome.  There was only one man who wanted me from age 14-38; my husband.  Having another man (my affair partner) want me did start to break that belief down, but it also resulted in a lot of new shame that reinforced the idea of "who would want me now that I'm an adulterous whore".  I think the desire for better for my boys was what gave me the courage to leave, but the building belief that I deserve better is what has kept me from taking him back.

I can certainly understand the shame here.

Affairs often end in shame for the people who learned to late how destructive they are to others. Embrace that shame... .it says a lot about who you are. Embrace it it the context of "you were"... .in the past tense. It is not "who you are" (present tense). Who you are will to never make this type of decision (or lack of decision) on something that is about your core values. You learned a hard life lesson.

I applaud you on this. The strength to admit that you were wrong and not blame it someone else, and the strength to stand by your values and not change them to make you feel better.

That is strength. Integrity.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 11:34:51 AM »

I'm a loyal guy and have a lot of inner strength, which may have worked against me because I have the capacity to put with a lot.  I stayed when others would probably have run away fast.  What I came to see, though, is that my loyalty to a persecutor was misplaced.  There's nothing admirable about allowing oneself to be treated like a doormat.  I still view loyalty as a good quality in other situations, but for me it was self-destructive in the context of a BPD r/s.

LuckyJim

LJ,
Thanks for adding that one to the list.  

There are a number of reasons I was given the nickname "Beagle" by people who know me well and loyalty and ability to keep going on "the hunt" despite exhaustion and bloody paws are among them.  Like most strengths, they can be my greatest weakness when taken to the extreme.  

It's been interesting to think about what aspects of myself that kept me in a toxic/abusive relationship are beautiful aspects of who I am that just need to be tempered with wisdom.  As my therapist reminded me yesterday when I said that I'm trying to figure out who [BeagleGirl] is without [dBPDstbxh], "You have always been [BeagleGirl], with or without [dBPDstbxh]".  
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 11:37:06 AM »

I will preface my statement below by stating I do NOT want my ex back... .what I struggle with is the validation she is BPD and that I am not going crazy. I want to see her current engagement fail. I know that is childish in and of itself but three years of my life, the end of my 40's were pure hell. I know her failures in romance will only be a temporary fix and not solve anything for me.
Still I crave it and I'm being honest with myself here.

If you read my early posts it is very evident we were very toxic together. In my situation this was a "same sex" relationship, my first and it was very easy for her to isolate me as I wasn't and still am not "out of the closet" to my immediate family.
This relationship made me even less trusting of women than men and that's a whole other story.

Anyways, she was able to hit on all my insecurities and that took a severe toll on me. It brought to the surface that whole not feeling "good enough".

When she left for the final time I felt especially betrayed because she ended up leaving for someone we both knew. This person had 'friended" me and actually told me the day they announced they were in love---a week after hooking up   that my relationship had been over for awhile and I needed to "get over it".

I have to admit that infuriated me. This person barely knew me and she is telling me I need to let my ex go and why can't we all be friends?

I can see, now removed she is a gullible target and going to get eaten alive by our ex. She is a successful businesswoman and my ex likes $$$. They are to be married and I would not be surprised if my ex sued her for all she worked for... .
she does and has done that.

The obsession for me is in having been wronged but I know I contributed to it. I could have left and I didn't. I allowed her to treat me like shyt.

It doesn't make things easier or better but I am more aware more than I was years ago.

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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 11:57:48 AM »

Affairs often end in shame for the people who learned to late how destructive they are to others. Embrace that shame... .it says a lot about who you are. Embrace it it the context of "you were"... .in the past tense. It is not "who you are" (present tense). Who you are will to never make this type of decision (or lack of decision) on something that is about your core values. You learned a hard life lesson.

I applaud you on this. The strength to admit that you were wrong and not blame it someone else, and the strength to stand by your values and not change them to make you feel better.

Skip,
    Thank you.  It took me a little over 3 years to come to the conclusions you summarize so well above.  There came a day when someone asked me if I would ever do it again and I had no doubt in my mind or heart that I wouldn't.  Not because of the consequences, but because it would go against who I am.  That was the day that I shed the condemnation part of the shame.  I still hold onto the wisdom and compassion that I have gained.  I also credit that experience with helping me to have a truer understanding of repentance and forgiveness.  Those positives do not in any way cancel out the pain and suffering my choices caused.  The world doesn't work that way.  Instead, the painful consequences coexist with the beautiful refinement.  They are both a part of who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming. 

    Here's to embracing the shame. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 12:40:45 PM »

Hunh? What tradition would the above statements stem from?

Whoa! I thought people were only referred to as adulterous whores in like the Middle Ages or certain cults.

J

I think many traditions could end up sending those messages.  My personal feeling is that we very frequently end up making something infinite and infinitely beautiful into something small and ugly when we try to shove it in a box we think we can control. 

I still see beauty in the idea that marriage represents something greater than the two people who are in it.  In my Judeo-Christian tradition, marriage is supposed to represent the unfailing love and fidelity that God has for His chosen bride - the church.  When both parties see it as such (on the whole, we all have days when we are just going through the motions or behaving selfishly) it IS beautiful. 

Where it becomes small and ugly is when the word "marriage" becomes more important than the meaning of marriage.  I liken it to the the Platonic idea that there is an ideal "chair" that we all envision when trying to apply the term to an object that could serve the purpose of a chair.  As we disengage the ideal from the object and then start to look as the object as the definition of what a chair is, we can start to get things that wear the name "chair" but are not suitable for sitting on.  So I'm not giving up on the ideal of marriage.  Instead, I'm trying to recognize how I've moved away from that ideal in my attempt to fit it into a box that I could control.  I'm trying to relearn what marriage should be so, if given the opportunity, I can form something that continues to strive for that ideal.

Well that was quite a ramble.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

As for being called an adulterous whore - the only one who ever verbally applied that term to me was me, but I know I got that term from somewhere.  It is not a term that I wear anymore, but I have to say it served a purpose.  My prayer when I ended the affair was that I would fully understand the ugliness of my sin and the pain it caused.  I don't know if that is ever fully possible, but I know that there were days when I longed for my affair partner that I needed to hold onto the knowledge of what I did to his wife in order to keep from doing something stupid and more destructive.  I needed to know that she could apply that term to me justly.

So I guess it's not just a term for the middle ages or cults.  It held some truth for me and served its purpose. 

BeagleGirl
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Jeffree
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 01:06:02 PM »

It's been interesting to think about what aspects of myself that kept me in a toxic/abusive relationship are beautiful aspects of who I am that just need to be tempered with wisdom.

Tempered, or put into better use with someone who can appreciate these aspects and not abuse them?

It's easy to feel as though we have to tear ourselves down after every aspect of ourselves gets ripped apart by a BPD, but the possibility also exists that we actually are pretty darn good and just have to be more selective in choosing with whom we share ourselves.

I remember at one point I had started a blog in the industry in which I had published the leading magazine in for 11 years.

My STBx's response was, "What makes you think you're an expert?"

I had been unemployed for a while at this point, my confidence was about as low as it had ever been, and here's my loudmouthed STBx calling into doubt my belief in this new endeavor of mine. I have to say that one hurt.

It's like is anything sacred with these people? Is there any depth to which they won't plumb to tear us down or to hurt us?

At that point we were in separate bedrooms, so it took a little bit for me to recover my balance and keep up the blog. But I remember wanting to stop it, because what she said was the reason I hadn't started the blog sooner. That nagging insecurity and critical negativity that I constantly received from my STBx began to creep into my soul.

So, I didn't come back for more or wanted to repair anything with her. I just wanted her to leave my house or pay me to rent it out and I would leave.

But I couldn't imagine wanting to reconcile jacksh1t with that big of an a$$hole when it was she receiving all the benefits from me while I got insults and humiliation from her.

J
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 01:20:14 PM »

Excerpt
There are a number of reasons I was given the nickname "Beagle" by people who know me well and loyalty and ability to keep going on "the hunt" despite exhaustion and bloody paws are among them.  Like most strengths, they can be my greatest weakness when taken to the extreme.  

Hello again, BG, Great to learn more about your moniker.  I still think loyalty is an admirable quality in the right context, but my marriage wasn't the right context for it.

Maybe I'll add another reason to the list: My belief that I could "crack" the BPD Code.  I'm sort of an overachiever and am good at analyzing problems and coming up with solutions, with the result that I viewed BPD as another challenge to be overcome.  I mistakenly thought that I could come up with a way to quell the turmoil at home, which seemed feasible at the outset of this "saving my marriage" project.  To make a long story short, I learned the hard way that BPD is an extremely complex disorder.  I drove myself into the ground and finally had to throw in the towel.

LuckyJim



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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 01:26:01 PM »

But I couldn't imagine wanting to reconcile jacksh1t with that big of an a$$hole when it was she receiving all the benefits from me while I got insults and humiliation from her.

STANDING OVATION
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 07:54:00 AM »

Apart from a miracle, I don't want mine back. He nearly destroyed me with his bullying and gaslighting. The only path forward is not being together.

I'm probably going to finish weekly therapy this month and go to just once a month in March. I've made a lot of progress.

 
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 07:57:15 AM »


Maybe I'll add another reason to the list: My belief that I could "crack" the BPD Code.  I'm sort of an overachiever and am good at analyzing problems and coming up with solutions, with the result that I viewed BPD as another challenge to be overcome.  I mistakenly thought that I could come up with a way to quell the turmoil at home, which seemed feasible at the outset of this "saving my marriage" project.  To make a long story short, I learned the hard way that BPD is an extremely complex disorder.  I drove myself into the ground and finally had to throw in the towel.


Same here. I thought that I could somehow make it work. Nope. Especially because mine isolated himself and doesn't see himself as accountable to anyone. I saw three different therapists over the years and each one said that it was going to all fall apart. It did.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 08:19:12 AM »

Yet this was nowhere near as bad as others have had it here, and still there are those who would take their ex back in a heartbeat, or are even still trying to make it work.

How? Why? We matter. There's no reason to have them reject us and abuse us when all we are doing is trying to be a loving partner.

I completely agree with you, Jeffree. After staying with my exBPDw for 10 years the fact that I couldn't leave earlier is the one question that haunts me the most. After analysing the situation I have come up with the following reasons:

1. I was insecure before we meet. My low self-esteem made me a perfect target for someone with a personality disorder.

2. When she was emotionally regulated she could be a very nice and funny person.

3. I was told that relationships require hard work and I was willing to do the work.

4. She (seemingly) shared my plans for the future. When I told her that I wanted to have children fairly young she agreed. Only now I realize that she would have said yes to anything just to make me stay. Our whole relationship was based on promises for the future ("Once we live in the same city we won't fight that much.", "Once we share an apartment I will be more stable and less of a workaholic.", "Once we are married I will trust you.". We passed those milestones but the things she had promised me didn't come with them.

5. The biggest one: I was used to it. Sad but true. I was with her from 17 to 27. She was my first relationship and I had no comparison whatsoever.

6. She manipulated me into thinking that I was the problem. And that I would never find anyone as compatible and committed.

So whenever I questioned the relationship I would jump to one or more of those points: "It's me. I am too complicated. That's just how relationships are. I need to put in more hard work. I will die childless and lonely without her... .etc."

I think many people are caught in a FOG so thick they only see the bigger picture after the separation.
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 09:14:37 AM »

4. She (seemingly) shared my plans for the future. When I told her that I wanted to have children fairly young she agreed. Only now I realize that she would have said yes to anything just to make me stay. Our whole relationship was based on promises for the future ("Once we live in the same city we won't fight that much.", "Once we share an apartment I will be more stable and less of a workaholic.", "Once we are married I will trust you.". We passed those milestones but the things she had promised me didn't come with them.

Promises were a BIGGIE for me. It always seemed that there was a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow she put out there, so I'd follow the rules, meet her requirements (i.e., don't go golfing so we can have a great day together), then prepare to receive my bounty, only she'd always find something to interfere with my receiving of it.

It was as though she knew the right thing to say/do in the context of a committed relationship, so she'd throw it out there as a reasonable endeavor, but she never delivered on these promises. I'm not even sure the depth to which she believed her own bull.

The promise could be something as simple as staying in bed and loving on each other then going to one of the local Farmer's Markets first thing in the morning, but there was almost always an argument from the day before that would linger and impact the start of the weekend, or she'd sleep in, or need to "wake up" first, or whatever.

Then the minute she felt that my interest was waning, she'd throw in some sh1tty comment like, "I know you'd rather be golfing, so why don't you just go?" Then there was no convincing her that there was anything I'd rather be doing than enjoying the day with her... .only there was no enjoyment for me in waiting around for her to focus on the day as well, so then I'd start on the household chores, ("Oh, can you get me some Starbucks? I'll get ready soon.", and then she'd slowly wake up, get ready, and have to rush to the Farmer's Market if we even had the time to go before her constant salon appts.

Weekend after weekend this would go on, until finally I just figured screw it, she almost never wakes up before 10 a.m., so I will go golfing first thing and be back before she even wakes up. But that wasn't good enough for her. She preferred for me to just forsake my hobby to wait around for her. I'd give it the occasional effort, usually when the weather was inclement, and it was always the same result... .promises for a great day together that never happened because of something she blamed me for or her having to do work or not feeling good or whatever.
 
It was only after she left that I had finally realized that I should block her from being able to contact me because she NEVER reached out to me with something for my betterment. It was always to whine about me or something I needed to do for her.

She moved out. She's a big girl and can fend for herself without my help. I did my best and don't have to do anymore.

J
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 10:39:46 AM »

Excerpt
3. I was told that relationships require hard work and I was willing to do the work.

Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post) Wolfsocks: Yup, that was a big one for me.  I operated under the premise that all marriages go through rough patches, which is part of the commitment.  Our rough patches, however, didn't go away or improve.  People quote a lot of cliches about working through tough issues in a marriage, but in my view those sayings have little applicability in the context of marriage to a pwBPD.

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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 11:16:20 AM »

Excerpt
      Promises were a BIGGIE for me. It always seemed that there was a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow she put out there, so I'd follow the rules, meet her requirements (i.e., don't go golfing so we can have a great day together), then prepare to receive my bounty, only she'd always find something to interfere with my receiving of it.         

OH yes the broken promises.
I think she she only ever kept one promise to me.
Like you I feel for the promises, I won't list them, they just didn't happen there was always an excuse. I'm tired was her favourite.
Whenever I arranged for us to go out with friends she would always end up saying to me about an hour before to text them and say she wasn't feeling well. It got to the point where everyone was concerned about her health and I stopped making arrangements. I couldn't get her off the couch, but of course every few weeks she would have a go at me and call me a boring bas**** because I never wanted to go out and I only wanted to lie on the couch and watch TV.
There is so much more to her broken promises than I can put on here because it would be too obvious who I am, but I fully understand where you are coming from.
i must have had more promises of sex than times we actually had it, there's another one.
Some of her other regular ones were that after this has happened and after that she would be less stressed and everything would be back to normal... .didn't happen.
She even took to pre-warning me she would be not nice for a few weeks, as in I would have to bear with her for the next two weeks because someone had left work and she had to do two jobs at once, " but I promise after that everything will be OK".
Two weeks later she had a new crisis that was about to happen and I would have to "bear with her"
It never ended, and every promise was broken.
It's the ones I cannot write about that were the deal breakers though.
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 02:45:59 PM »

I don't want my BPD-ex back but I do still feel emotionally bonded to him.  That's why I'm here, I think.  Trying to understand the nature of the bond, what it means, and how it's impacted my life.

I want to feel free.  And something related to this bond is holding me back. 
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2018, 04:20:53 PM »

There's no reason to have them reject us... .

i say this with the benefit of hindsight, but thats precisely why i wanted my ex back for the period that i did. the rejection really hurt me, and i wanted to reverse it.

Excerpt
Internalizing – you Internalize the rejection and cause Injury to your self esteem. This is the most critical stage of the cycle when your wound becomes susceptible to Infection and can create permanent scarring. You are Isolated, riddled with Insecurity, self- Indictment and self-doubt. You are preoccupied with ‘If only regrets’ – - If only you had been more attentive, more sensitive, less demanding, etc. You beat yourself up with regrets over the relationship and Idealize your abandoner at the expense of your own self Image.

these are powerful motivators for many.
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     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
MeandThee29
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2018, 08:04:07 PM »

I operated under the premise that all marriages go through rough patches, which is part of the commitment.  Our rough patches, however, didn't go away or improve.  People quote a lot of cliches about working through tough issues in a marriage, but in my view those sayings have little applicability in the context of marriage to a pwBPD.

LuckyJim

Yes, I kept telling myself that we were going to make it. After his suicide attempt following separation and when he was in therapy, it did get better for a time. The theory was the suicide attempt was driven by a medication issue, so if he went off the medication, all would be well.

Nope. Everything came back and worse. Maybe medication was a factor, but I now know that BPD/NPD was primary. Blaming it on medication covered his tracks for awhile, but his core didn't change. The promises he made to our family and our church community were broken, and then he left again.

It really isn't something you can understand unless you've been there. This isn't just mixed-up priorities or different viewpoints. BPD is a way of looking at life that destroys relationships.
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2018, 09:01:42 PM »

Normal to a large degree to want someone back or love some one who even if they treated you bad.  Exceptions yeah, looks like you got a good insight as to your own question.  Best wishes.
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