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Author Topic: Was this a pwBPD?  (Read 2471 times)
1stTimer
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« on: June 09, 2018, 06:34:55 PM »

I'm man in his late 40s, always had healthy relationships with women very much with my moral/ethical/values (loyalty, honest, integrity, monogamy, fidelity, communication, respect, etc.) even when those relationships didn't work out. I ended up by circumstance and then choice being alone for several years due to a series of events that overlapped; losing a deep loving relationship and failed business (not unrelated), mother getting sicj with degenerative disease and had to move in and help care for her and put rebuiling career on hold (she eventually passed), father needing help and desparately rebuilding my career/business so I could have financial and emotional security for both myself and to realistically pursue any new relationship. So I slowly closed my self off from any romantic pursuits, relationships or interests and put that part of myself in 'a box' so I could live without all the things large and small (even something as small as a touch on the back of my hand from a person who cared about me). This clearly led me to being vulnerable to the type of person or relationship I would not have otherwise.

I am still unclear if I dealt with a pwBPD or not, or just a basically messed up woman, or my own issues contributed to an ultimate mess I'm assuming now was BPD. It is certainly missing some components (no real devaluation as far as I can tell, Discard in the classic sense, not getting ensnared in the initial love bomb, etc.)

Below is my story, any insights from the community appreciated. I am torn on whether to reiniaate contact and certainly do not want to if I am dealing with a pwBPD or worse pwNPD:

I met what I now believe was a woman with BPD almost two years ago, who exhibited classic love bomb behavior, I was resistant to it for several good reasons 1) I was very closed off to any romantic relationships due to having just experienced several years long traumatic family issues which themselves had been culminated by losing ‘the love of my life’ (thus pretty shut down on all fronts) 2) I was not particularly interested in the woman in question 3) not being without my charms I was not susceptible to someone simply because they said nice things about me and the ‘us’ stuff was frankly worrisome.

As some background that does not fit with classic pwBPD; she has a high-paying job with responsibilities, is fastidious, clean, meticulous, not overtly sexual (definitely covertly) or flashy.

In any event,  maintained contact and slowly became closer and on-and-off physical, which is in fact how I connect and, yes, BPD-fueled or not her ability to see and appreciate qualities in me and to exhibit similar ones fueled that connection as well.

However I was still in no position to have a relationship as I was single-mindedly rebuilding the life I had lost during this decade long family debacle and had litte emotional or financial or spiritual energy to spare but we entered into.,... something. She was relentless about it being a relationship and us being in one, at every turn and text asking and expecting for more of and from me. At first it annoyed me as it seemed very uncaring about my needs and did not give me the space to open up at my own pace, eventually it grew on me as I started to believe she saw something about me and us I was simply too guarded to see so I started to give more of myself (which I told her in no uncertain terms as very hard for me to do).

As an aside this was not one-sided even though I set limits (which were largely ignored) on what I could offer time or attention or money wise; I invested a good deal of time helping her obtain a significant promotion in her company which allowed her to change her living situation dramatically, was super supportive and non-judgmental with some of the background and issues she confided in me with, and was (almost to the point of neglecting my needs entirely) quite giving sexually. In other words I was not using her or not giving to her, I just was not giving the whole 'future bomb' relationship she desired as I could not and kept making it clear I could not until I could stop working 80 hours a week building my business and get a foundation where I could support both myself in an apartment and care for my father in his and have the peace of mind to give to someone else fully.

Nothing stopped her from relentlessly pushing for more for instance

- she knew that my goal was to move to California and rebuild my life there as I'd had several fantastically unhappy ones here and I wanted a fresh start someplace I'd been happy. She kept telling me I had to reconsider this and consider her as she did not want to move and she'd prefer that we end up owning a place here together.

- she yelled at me once because though I offered to take her to the emergency room one night at midnight when she had the flu I did not check up the next morning and she said "I doubt you care, if you did you would have come take care of me until I feel better"

- she gave me keys to her new place and said I should work out of there, come and go as I please and treat it as my/our place (I did not get to that point but did take the keys)

- after a particularly amazing and long day of making love (again mostly me giving, she could not stop talking about it) she walked me into her bedroom and showed me two drawers she had emptied out for me and said "I want you to start staying over and leave things in these drawers so you can start becoming part of my life"

- she recounted how she talked to her mother, sister, and grandmother about me and their various 'opinions' on what i should be doing better (more "courting' mainly)

- endless texts that implied we were or should be together

At first i found it annoying she would ignore my stated needs to completely, then I started to think perhaps she saw something I did not in my closed-off place and I should start to reconsider giving this my all.

One day she said to me on my way out (after telling me regarding something else "we have our whole lives to figure that out" "Bye boyfriend". I said 'you know I'm uncomfortable going there yet" and she said "Mark my words, you will ask me to be your girlfriend by the end of this month".

I'm realizing now she meant because she had a PLAN. I just considered her words and realized hmm I am in fact her boyfriend we are in a real relationship despite my resistance to same and we should take that step.

However before I could she (I am guessing here) implemented her campaign; I was about to say all this and she let it "slip" that she had 'fooled around' with a guy in the same apartment she gave me keys to and the same bedroom she gave me drawers too. Then she mentioned she was going out on a date the next night with another guy from her past. The part the blew me away was when she said 'but I know I'd cheat on him, I'd never cheat on you because the sex is so good and I like you so much'. I've never known a woman who would say that let alone thing it (and I've never known a woman who would sleep with a guy sandwhiched between having great sex with a guy she's pushing to be with 'for life' and giving that guy keys to her house and drawers to her bedroom either). Now I am spinning. I say 'well would you marry this guy knowing you'd cheat on him'. And she says 'probably'. Needless to say i didn't bring up us being official.

She texted me a few days later asking me if i was ok and she was drunk and said things she didn't mean. I told her she gave me 'great pause' and she told me I was one of the most important people in her life, that she had not been intimate with anyone like she had been with me ("dabbled" she called it :| ) and that she told me she thinks because she wants me to be jealous and realize we should be in a REAL relationship.

She asked me to cook and stay over so we could take our relationship to the next level and fall asleep in my arms. After cooking for her and pleasing her for hours, I saw her roll over and ask me to hold her and I... .ran. I just saw that if I had not found these things out I'd be wrapping her in my arms not knowing any of these things about her, that likely the next night there would be another guy doing the same for all I knew.

I return her keys to he doorman and wrote sort of a scathing letter about how I felt. I said things like "who take sex toys a man has bought at her request, puts them in a drawer near the drawers she emptied for that man in her bedroom and says "I won't use these with anyone else" and MEANS IT?"

She wrote me back quite contrite but basically said 'if a man doesn't tell me he wants a committed monogamous relationship I assume I am not in one" can we please talk and see if "God will guide our words and hearts". I agreed but it still didn't sit right with me, not from the way I conduct my relationships. I get i held back but that did not mean I was seeing/texting/sleeping and I find it disingenous to say 'but you said you didn't want a relationship' to justify sleeping with other men and ignore that same request for months pushing the boundaries of that relationship. In other words don't ask me to come nurse you to health when you have the flu, hold you in my arms until you  fall asleep, give me drawers in your bedroom and then pretend we are not in a relationship. It isn't about the 'right' to do something in my mind it is about the desire.

We met, and she kept telling me because of her past she needed to be asked explicitly. So when I made it clear I was ‘there’ however even though she cried and said 'yes yes!'  I had to basically fall on my sword; I had to meet the next day to confirm I had in fact asked what I asked, and then I was put through the ringer (almost literally) in having our status not be ‘offiical’ until I “officially” asked over our First Real Date Dinner. The only reason we were having said date is that after she happily and tearfully accepted my heartfelt desire to be my girlfriend, I said ‘let’s start over and have our first real date on Friday as boy friend/ girlfriend and we can toast to being together over a glass of wine”. This somehow become some talisman for her. It was almost sophomoric in both the request and then the Official Dinner as her behavior was literally like a 15 year old girl who was being asked to the prom and had never been picked up by a date (“you didn’t have to get out of the car and pick me up in the lobby:”) or been on one at an upscale restaurant (e.g when the hostess said follow-me she said “wait who goes first behind her you or me?”)

I thought the whole process was, frankly, ridiculous as I’ve had committed relationships before and we always just ‘knew’ and if we ever did have ‘the conversation’ it was not treated like the finale Episode of Bachelor. However, caring about her, and getting she had some dark things in her past that made her need a grand gesture and assurance and reassurance I did just that. It was a highly stressfull and emotional week and ‘finale’ given that, among other things, I was agreeing to give and share fully all of the parts of myself I felt I was not ready to but agreed to because the person I cared about needed them I felt more than I needed to keep protecting them.

We spend out first ‘official’ night together and she spent th next day ‘future bombing me’. In other words instead of treating it as if we had, as normal functioning adults, agreed to agree that what we had was a real relationship and we wanted to see what we had in a committed relationship, she started treating it like we just got engaged. She discussed getting a new king size bed so I could stay over comfortably every night, she lamented that the place was not big enough for two and we’d need to consider where to move when I was ready to move in full time, she asked if Saturday could be our official date night no matter what else we did so we could explore the city, how soo many people were going to want to meet me in her family since she had not had a “real boyfriend” in 10 years (red flag! red flag!), discussed finances, she ‘confirmed’ I wanted my role to be “provider and protector” (again: we just agreed we were in a relationship we did not get engaged), she spent hours trying to figure out our pet names, etc etc.

I had decided at this point to just put my hands down and stop resisting her since it was all I’d done since I met her and just … believe. So now I’m bought into this whole vision I resisted; saturday night dates exploring city with my girlfriend, making love in our king size bedk, sundays lounging in each other’ arms calling each other pet names, having a supportive partner to talk to about my growing business and plans who supported me because it was now “us” etc.

I bought into this for all of 18 hours when she text me to meet and w/o preamble said ‘hey look you are a super guy but I’m not interested in a committed relationship with you”. While i had expected that this 35yo girl who for some reason had not had a ‘real boyfriend’ in a decade might get cold feet, I did not expect her to do so by making me seem as if I was some “great guy” who just ‘misunderstood’. I’ve had the “great guy” speech in my life, once from the love of my life and it sucks when you ARE the great guy the girl is rejecting I certainly didn;t need this situation flipped on it’s ear into that conversation, When I asked her if she realized how f-ed up what she just did was she said she did nothing we just ‘see things differently’. I was beyond furious, feeling like I’d just been the victim of a months (perhaps as many as 18) long campaign just to get back at me for saying early on “Sorry I don’t want a committed relationship with you”, This may not have seemed the case but it certainly felt it and it certainly felt as if a person who supposedly cared and knew so much about me deliberatately dragged out all the parts of me I was loathe to share again just so she could smash them. Intentionally.

Since you cannot argue with someone who has told themselves a truth at odds with reality, I told her (well yelled at her) “thank you for opening my heart to dating again I am going to go date!” and stormed out. Could I have been more understanding? Sure, But I already had been and put up with an entire debacle to accommodate her fears and issues, I’d spent the last day buying into her entire vision of “us” (I didn’t suggest or push any of those “scary” things, those were all her), So I stormed out and… never heard from her again, Which is what let me to research and BPD because I have never not heard from a girl or ex in my life. Not a text, not an email, not a letter, to this date almost two months later.

This girl who supposedly had been considering me her future for months didn’t contact me to apologize/explain (even a “I’m sorry, I care for you so much I just got terrified please don’t hate me”). I went from “everyone in my family is going to want to meet you!” and her planning on a king size bed so I could sleep with her in my arms  and planning a year of saturdays to not even existing.

Not knowing about BPD or NPD then I broke down a few weeks later and wrote a letter, partially in UTTER amazement she did not reach out but mostly with the intent of leting all the s*** go and just acknowledge the good things I felt for her. I wished her a great live and love, and told her I’d always remember her for opening my heart to love again and i’d cherish the gift always. A good bye letter if you will. Got some half-assed ‘thank you for the nice note’ reply (as if I was the dog-walker not the guy she had planned a future around for months) and figured I'd done what I could to move on yet here I sit a month later still, amazingly, missing her and still amazed at how after that relentless campaign to win me for her future she can just disappear me.
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 07:43:52 PM »

I should point out where my confusion lies on the ':)iscard' phase since I seem to have missed the Devaluation Stage mostly or altogether and thus as a 'newbie' not sure if any of this qualifies as anything but a messed up relationship;

- She did attempt at least to sit down and amicably break off the very relationship she had just "pushed" me into the day before, she did not just 'disappear'. She appeared to be prepared to discuss it and 'justify' her (completely bs) take on it, the whole 'we see things differently' (even if we see her giving me keys and drawers and such differently the entire 'you have to ask officially so it is real' and the entire day of future bombing the day before can only be see one way). So she didn't disappear, in fact I stormed out and disappeared. Did I expect her to reach out and explain/apologize/come to her senses? Yeah. But, even with great provocation and excuse, I did basically storm out and say I'm going to go find other women thanks and I did yell at her "I knew this was what you were about when I met you and that is why I wouldn't date you then".

So point being I'm guessing she expected an amicable decision or maybe even for me to comfort her (again) at being scared/terrrified (remembering she has not been able to be in a committed relationship for over 10 YEARS and it is going to be news that reverbarates throughout her entire extended family that she is). In honesty (and I'd say understandably if you read the entire OP) I did not have it in me to understand or comfort given the hot coals and glass I'd been forced to walk over just to do what she asked.

I'm guessing she expected an apology when I was the one expecting it. And I waited three weeks before I sent the IMHO very nice aforementioned email. To which she also did not disappear or discard she replied. Naturally I was hoping for not only reciprocation but some acknowledement of the things I said so was utterly confused by her reply "Thank you for the nice note. Hope you've been well" so I did not ever reply to that either (weeks ago).

I knew she was terrified when she made me meet the day after I'd asked the prior week and she went to ehr therapist who I guess told her to come see me and confirm I meant it if she was so scared I did not. I knew she was terrified when she made such a big deal about me officially asking on an official date, and I knew she was giving it way more import than I was (again for me it was "just" a 'lets agree to call what we have what it is; a real relationship and see what we have when we are both open about that" and for her it was clearly 'foreverland'. I knew she was terrified when we sat down to the dinner she made sure happened and tried to make me back off and finally told me she was just terrified and I assured her, again, we were just agreeing to date. So part of me knew that after running with the flag the next day and planning our entire lives together, she'd get terrified and run. I just didn't know she'd do it the way she did and in hindsight perhaps I could have been more caring, supportive, strong, etc. but, again if you read the whole thread you'll see how I cuold hardly have been in that space.

So I'm still stuck wondering if i actually dealt with a pwBPD and correctly walked away and am being strong with NC, or I was less than gentle with a hurt and damaged woman who needed understanding not vitriol and i should in fact reach out and her 'thank you for your nice note' was all she could manage and it was an invitation to do so. Confused clearly
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 10:56:39 PM »

Man to man,  1stTimer,

I can see how you may have been "less than gentle" with her.  However,  BPD or not,  she seems very immature for a 35 year old from what you describe.  This is one of my favorite discussions here:

BPD BEHAVIORS: Emotional Immaturity
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 02:49:03 AM »

wow. thats a pretty gripping story 1stTimer. you gave us a stark picture.

i can relate a lot from things moving at an unsettling and uncomfortable pace, to kinda having one fit in one foot out, investing, even hesitantly, and then "what the hell just happened? how did i get here?".

i want to join Turkish in welcoming you to bpdfamily. im sure im not alone in identifying with your story. if it helps with the confusion, a lot of our exes are undiagnosed, and its a disorder that exists on a broad spectrum. i think that youve come to the right place, and that looking at traits and behaviors common to the disorder can really help clear some aspects up, and give you some perspective as you grieve and heal. we can help with that.

it sounds like you had an extremely difficult go of things for a long time, 1stTimer. i think a lot of us can identify with these relationships coming into our life in a vulnerable time. theyre relationships that are pretty intense and preoccupying in nature, and its hard to know where to even begin when that goes up in flames and we are left without answers. it does get better.

So I'm still stuck wondering if i actually dealt with a pwBPD and correctly walked away and am being strong with NC, or I was less than gentle with a hurt and damaged woman who needed understanding not vitriol and i should in fact reach out and her 'thank you for your nice note' was all she could manage and it was an invitation to do so. Confused clearly

what would you want to say?
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 05:47:44 AM »

Hi Turkish, thanks for the reply and the link.  Funny thing is she exhibits none of those 'Emotional Immaturity' Traits. She is 'high functioning' with a responsible job, good credit, immaculate.  I do know she is in expensive therapy and (I somehow ignored this early on) for one reason because she drinks to blackout.  She has said multiple times 'there are things about me you should know' and 'I'm very shy, when we meet next I'll explain why'.  Her Dad abandoned the family when she was eight and just recently returned and yep, has the same name as me so she refused to call me by my first name.

She definitely has romantic emotional maturity, witness turning an agreement to call out relationship what it was into a prom-date and inexplicably not knowing how to be picked up and act during a date and at a upscale restaurant.  Her romantic guideposts are, literally and in this order, Sex in the City, Fifty Shades of Grey, The 5 Languages of Love and Jews for Jesus. She names her ex-bfs like the SITC girls, wanted me to buy her a remote bluetooth vibrator like 50SOG, and handed me The 5 Languages of Love when we first agreed to date. I told her I don't need a book to teach me how to low, that part of the joy of loving was learning how someone needs to be loved, AND if I ever don't provide enough of any of the '5 languages' to her to just say 'baby I wish you were more affectionate' or some such. You know; adult love.

Again so much of this does not gibe with BPD, other than the Love Bomb (which again I resisted) so I'm trying to make sure I don't go NC on a girl who doesn't deserve it. In fact I'm not even sure now who ':)iscarded'; I'm sitting her blown away she has not reached out but you know what; other than my one letter almost a month later I went dark too. My only surprise is how freaking much I miss her as I had kept her and us at arms lenght so well for so long.

Man to man,  1stTimer,

I can see how you may have been "less than gentle" with her.  However,  BPD or not,  she seems very immature for a 35 year old from what you describe.  This is one of my favorite discussions here:

BPD BEHAVIORS: Emotional Immaturity

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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 06:22:31 AM »

it sounds like you had an extremely difficult go of things for a long time, 1stTimer. i think a lot of us can identify with these relationships coming into our life in a vulnerable time. theyre relationships that are pretty intense and preoccupying in nature, and its hard to know where to even begin when that goes up in flames and we are left without answers. it does get better.

Thank you for the kind and supportive words. The funny thing is the relationship was not "intense and preoccupying" for me at least, but I think I didn't realize the import of the connection in my life at the time. It was really only the last month where I kind of opened up and realized I'd ended up (been manuevered into?) a relationship I wanted to explore. At no point prior however was there any intense love/connection/attraction. I just realized she had become important to me. I'm gathering from her entire my response to my finally 'asking' that she was quite surprised and had assumed I did not feel that way ("I trying to process you asking me to be my one and only" or "I like this new you and the attention and the words"


what would you want to say?

Man. That is the issue. And why I keep rolling this around in my mind going in two months later. If this was some BPD scenario, then no I don't want to reach out to someone who has discarded me in the slightest. However for that to be true, she'd have to be a monstrous version of it. As pointed out in my story, we did not go through the 'intense phase' (I resisted), we did not settle into a relationship (ditto) and she did not start to belittle me or devalue me (she did start getting cold the last week but I attributed that to fear based on the intensity of our back and forth and some harsh things I said) and she didn't even really then discard me. She not only explicitly agreed to 'being my one and only', she made me go through a crucible for a week for me to prove my commitment to her. As she said in one of her replies "This is all new to me, how you are treating me. And I need to have it asked and answered officially for it to be real to me"

So that leaves two possibilities;

1) ALL she cared about was getting me fully vested and not just in 'the relationship' but to the entire future-bomb she painted that last night (our first 'official' night) together and planned on tearing it and me down the very next day. That s a horrendous thought and even for pwBPD would be outlandish.

2) She terrified herself once she got it. All I did was agree to be in a relationship and see what we had, she clearly saw it and had seen it as basically 'it'; meet-the-parents, move in together, figure out the finances, buy furniture, etc. If she truly had not been in a committed relationship from 24-35 (apparently she was "married" at 22 in some 'fake' marriage I never got much info on) as an actively dating girl, clearly there is something there. She endlessly alluded to the 'things you need to know about me' so whether that was abuse, having been committed, having been diagnosed, etc there were major relationship/men issues (not the least of which was daddy leaving at 8 and her being attracted to older and apparently abuse men, me being the former not the latter). So now this guy she has been pursuing for months surprises her, comes around, walks through the crucible she set up 'proving' his 'love', and steps into her lair with his hands finally down and accept her. Which means clearly to her not just "I have a boyfriend!" but "I have a fiance!" and suddenly the reality of what she has said she wants and has avoided for over a decade is staring her in the face.  And this was all a whirwind turnaround marked by intense emails, texts and conversations. So can I see her running? Man I texted myself the night BEFORE with "Her: I'm sorry I can't go through with this" and I SHOWED it to her when she started on her 'you're a great guy' to show her I knew she'd cut and run.

If it was #2 then my reaction was hardly supportive or understanding. Perhaps if I had sat down and listened I might have hear her say the same thing she did over dinner 'don't talk, just listen. I am scared, I am terrified'. But the 'you're a great guy I'm just not interested' triggered stuff from my final conversation with the love of my life 10+ years back and I couldn't believe i was hearing it from the person who had PUSHED me into being with her a scant day ago.

So what would I want to say if #2? I'd want to follow-up on my original email. I know I didn't get the reciprocation/reply I'd wanted or expected but I did get a reply ("thank you for your nice note. I hope you've been well". At the time I interpreted it as "your email meant a lot to me, I'm not ready to reply in detail but hope you are ok". An opening? Who knows. That was back on Mother's Day (I sent it because I know from her she talks to her mother, sister and grandmother about me and that she'd be with them that day and assumed, based on dealing with 'normal' people that they'd be asking if I'd been in contact etc).

I already drafted a really nice letter, the gist of which is basically you meant a lot to me, I'm sorry if I lashed out instead of hearing you. It's more of 'if you think I hate you or am hurt or don't care then understand the only truth I hold about you know is how much you meant to my life' (paraphrased of course) and something along the lines of (since I've learned more about how BPC and abuse can affect women since) 'with distance I've realized how many demons and darkness you deal with and I hoped at least if you knew how I felt it would bring some light into your life.'

Clearly that is not going to go over well with BPD or NPD. For all I know whether she has that or not she is 100% moved on and will only scoff at the email or even lash out. I'm really writing (if I do) to the scared woman inside her who I may have inadvertently hurt by lashing out from my own pain. If she does not exist well... .then none of this matters anyway.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 12:34:05 PM »

Again so much of this does not gibe with BPD

its a breath of fresh air, to say the least, when we learn there is a name and an explanation(s) for a lot of what we went through.

dont let this stuff trip you up. a lot of what you are reading are generalized catch alls about a disorder that exists on a broad spectrum; they can be very helpful in leading us this far, every aspect isnt going to apply to everyone. for as much as we have in common, our stories and our ex partners are really unique when you zoom in.

most of us are/were dealing with someone who has traits of the disorder but would not be diagnosed. while it may sound like a semantics point, i stress it for two reasons: 1. it can obscure and confuse things if we chock everything up to BPD, and 2. a "splash" of BPD can make for a lot of heartbreak, confusion, and dysfunction. theres plenty of this in your story.

so I'm trying to make sure I don't go NC on a girl who doesn't deserve it

in other words, i wouldnt pin any decisions on whether or not she has BPD. the facts speak for themselves. its sorting those out thats the hard part  

lets look at them.

scenario one seems unlikely. that would be a LOT of work. whats the payoff?

the person you describe certainly was pretty impulsive within the confines of a romantic relationship with you. she had your whole lives set out. people with BPD traits are dreamers, and can simultaneously be highly invested, and very fickle. something spooked her. probably, some of the things youre speculating about played a role. is there more?

so you triggered on her when she pulled this. i dont think anyone would blame you for being deeply frustrated with her stunt. its good to see it, and own it (seriously, in the long run of detaching from these wounds it will really help), but whats done is done and its a question of what you want to do going forward.

you said your piece in the previous email. her response was very brief, if cold, though not terribly unusual. why it wasnt otherwise, is really anyones guess.

if you want to contact her (and/or if you want to give the relationship another go), my advice would be to take a very different, light, and upbeat approach. more of a "hey how ya doin" than discussing anything that has transpired or heavy subject matter. she might bite, she might not. you can work out a draft of it on the Bettering board and get feedback.

if you dont really want any of those things, writing unsent letters is a great, therapeutic exercise. you can pour your heart out, you can post them here, and get feedback and support on those as well.

what do you think?
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2018, 01:25:50 PM »

2. a "splash" of BPD can make for a lot of heartbreak, confusion, and dysfunction. theres plenty of this in your story.

Well that is for sure. Though I'm not discounting where I was in my life as being confusing and heart-breaking to her. She was clearly shocked and surprised at the direction things took. I'm guessing her foot was 1/2 out the door already when I 'came around'.
 
scenario one seems unlikely. that would be a LOT of work. whats the payoff?

Classic BPD/NPD? I don't know really. Revenge for my rejecting her on a platter early on and making her work so hard to get me? Honestly I don't think this happened, I think she was as spun around as I was the week I finally asked and the 'limbo' week between that and the Official Date Ask. She was clearly out of control by The Date. So no I don't think #1 but God DAMN if it did not feel like it at the moment. Even prepared for her to cut and run her approach made it feel like that. But no, #1 seems unlikely.

the person you describe certainly was pretty impulsive within the confines of a romantic relationship with you. she had your whole lives set out.

And unable to simply take the next logical step which I kept repeating: we are "just" agreeing to call what we have what it is (we speak each day, I have your keys, drawers in your bedroom, I;m the guy you call when you are sick, etc) let's see what we have when I stop resisting that. But I wasn't jumping into buying furntire, figuring out where we'd move, planning our future valentines (oh yeah there was that), meeting the entire family and discussing being her provider and protector.

people with BPD traits are dreamers, and can simultaneously be highly invested, and very fickle. something spooked her. probably, some of the things youre speculating about played a role. is there more?

As mentioned in some other part of my tome :| I believe her abusive dom ex showed up the day of our Official Dinner. She mentioned as much, said she was crushed, turned out she had feelings for him, and she was going to cancel our dinner until she got a very nice email from telling her when I'd pick her up. So one real possibility is that they reconnected, and being a guy who wouldn't let her converse with ANY men in public (effen insecure loser) you'd have to guess he would tell her ditch this guy and never talk to him again. It really so far is my best explanation, otherwise there would be no reason to cut and run 18 hours later. A few days, a few dinners, some great sex, let's see how I feel like this for a week. But this was cut-and-run scorched-earth-don't-look-back. If she knew where she was at the dinner she could have backed out, heck if our next day together she knew it she could have just done the sex/cuddle/bye in the morning thing, not had me stick out a day with her laying out the future. So gets me back to something BIG happened before kissing her goodbye at 5pm and being told you are a nice guy but the next noon.


you said your piece in the previous email. her response was very brief, if cold, though not terribly unusual. why it wasnt otherwise, is really anyones guess.

still going with the reconciling with the abusive ex and hiding the import of the reply from him but yeah just a guess. no idea why even reply however if the reply means nothing and shed' moved on. again I'm used to dealing with 'normal' women. I mean my last real girlfriend said 'what makes you think I ever want to talk to you again!' and we didnt' speak for weeks and had a nice (albeit brief) reconciliaiton. Normal emotional responses.


if you want to contact her (and/or if you want to give the relationship another go), my advice would be to take a very different, light, and upbeat approach. more of a "hey how ya doin" than discussing anything that has transpired or heavy subject matter. she might bite, she might not. you can work out a draft of it on the Bettering board and get feedback.

if you dont really want any of those things, writing unsent letters is a great, therapeutic exercise. you can pour your heart out, you can post them here, and get feedback and support on those as well.

what do you think?

I think the feedback is a good idea. My letter is in fact not light at all :| but a) I am a romantic expressive idiot and b) part of me does feel like I lashed out when she needed more, my own valid emotional response notwithstanding. "F You!" might been understandable but "thanks for opening my heart to dating I'm going to go date" to a woman who was terrified, scared of abandonment and running from her first committed relationship was... .harsh.

I guess I'll try feedback on my current email and see, I'm guessing the group reply will be DONT DO IT!. Just not sure where 'light' gets me.  Part of me REALLY wants to just ride it out and see what she does as I still sit her amazed she has not reached out.

In the end I sort of feel (this may be normal for people who get stuck in a BPD) I messed up; I didn't see what I had in front of me or what she meant to me until too late.  Clearly she didn't feel it from me and was not used to the type of romantic attention/declarations I made and while that bothers me from a 'I might have lost someone important' perspective it bothers me from a "I hurt someone I cared about deeply by not sharing myself fully".  But maybe this explosion was simply waiting for me to do so and would have happened months earlier if I had. My current email pretty much touches on this.
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 02:07:13 PM »

Classic BPD/NPD? I don't know really. Revenge for my rejecting her on a platter early on and making her work so hard to get me? Honestly I don't think this happened

thats my point really. its far from a crazy theory and makes some sense, but may not be realistic.

But I wasn't jumping into buying furntire, figuring out where we'd move, planning our future valentines (oh yeah there was that), meeting the entire family and discussing being her provider and protector.

its possible she sensed this. really hard to say how likely or if it made any difference.

So one real possibility is that they reconnected

this is a pretty common element of a lot of our stories. it is, unfortunately, increasingly common in the dating world.

question is, was she clearly backing out of her relationship with you, or was she opening up a discussion. thats not clear to me.

no idea why even reply however if the reply means nothing and shed' moved on.

polite and formal thing to do. it would feel pretty cold, though.

I think the feedback is a good idea. My letter is in fact not light at all :| but a) I am a romantic expressive idiot and b) part of me does feel like I lashed out when she needed more, my own valid emotional response notwithstanding. "F You!" might been understandable but "thanks for opening my heart to dating I'm going to go date" to a woman who was terrified, scared of abandonment and running from her first committed relationship was... .harsh.

this is important to "get out". you have regrets, and you have things you want to get off your chest. they should be acknowledged and processed. in terms of how to reach out, should you decide to, i would separate the approaches.

I guess I'll try feedback on my current email and see, I'm guessing the group reply will be DONT DO IT!. Just not sure where 'light' gets me.

post it on the Bettering/Reversing board. members on Detaching are actively in the stages of grief, so most of the advice you receive on this board will pertain to that, and yes, as you might guess, heartbroken folks learning about this disorder can be jaded  Being cool (click to insert in post)

'light' may not get you anywhere. of the cards you have to play, and with some experience, i think it yields a higher probability of a response. it also doesnt put your heart on the line to be rejected and dismissed... .a sort of "hey how ya doin" does no harm, and if you get no response, at least youll know.

Part of me REALLY wants to just ride it out and see what she does as I still sit her amazed she has not reached out.

you dont have to do anything today or tomorrow or the next day.

the first of the tools we use here is Wisemind. the general gist is that we make our best decisions from that place (https://bpdfamily.com/content/triggering-and-mindfulness-and-wise-mind)

In the end I sort of feel (this may be normal for people who get stuck in a BPD) I messed up; I didn't see what I had in front of me or what she meant to me until too late.  Clearly she didn't feel it from me and was not used to the type of romantic attention/declarations I made and while that bothers me from a 'I might have lost someone important' perspective it bothers me from a "I hurt someone I cared about deeply by not sharing myself fully".  But maybe this explosion was simply waiting for me to do so and would have happened months earlier if I had. My current email pretty much touches on this.

this will take some time and effort to sort out. right now theres shock, what ifs, and lack of answers, and its hard to process. eventually, youll sort out "what was what" and "whos was whos".

also, have you considered seeing a therapist? highly recommended around here.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2018, 02:40:27 PM »

its possible she sensed this. really hard to say how likely or if it made any difference.

I think highly likely. It was a recurring theme even that day "You never make the first move to hug or kiss me" or when we were discussing a night we'd cooked together for the first time and she kept coming from her seat to sit in my lap and kiss me when we were eating "I didn't think you even liked that". I think a LOT of her did't trust my 'sudden' move to her. She asked 'is this all because I went out on a date?' (not). Her week of 'not until you OFFICIALLY ask was chock full of 'this is all new to me how you are acting' and 'I'm surprised to find out you even talk to your friends about me'.  Even her coming uptown the next day after therapy to confirm with me what I had asked AND that I'd ask again and making me crawl over coals to Ask Officially. Mostly... .disbelief.

Part of that was due to me no doubt part to her need to not belief she was... .worth it? I had gone to a lot of trouble helping her get a raise early on and for some reason she was even discounting that. One of her replies was "well men like fixing problems like that". I asked really? So of all the men you know on the planet, did your father? Your Uncle? Your brother in law? Your boss/ex-lover who could have just snapped his fingers? Your ex-bf drinking buddy? Because there is only one man and in fact person in this world who cared enough to take the time to do that for you. You shouldn't discount what that means to you or ABOUT you.



question is, was she clearly backing out of her relationship with you, or was she opening up a discussion. thats not clear to me.

If you mean when she opened up with 'you're a great guy' well then yeah that kills me. Because I think it was similar to how she opened the Official Ask Dinner, finally telling me as I was (again) getting worked up 'don't talk. listen. I'm scared'. It is one reason I want to reach out not lightly but addressing that. I'm honestly less concerned with whether we 'get back together' . I am TRULY not sure I want that. For one thing there is... .her. For another my lack of emotional/physical attraction could not just have been where I was 'at' at the time, and a real long term relationship has to be based on more than just someone connecting to and supporting you. There would always be that core imbalance. I most definitely came to appreciate her in my life, I appreciated the support she gave me as a woman where many women would not have at that point in my life, and I appreciated her. I bought in that last day to the future she painted but mostly because I had not had that in my life in many years. So I am trying to take some time to REALLY figure out where I stand on her and what i actually feel. Otherwise whatever happens it won't be fair to anyone. Man it sucks NOT having BPD :|

My aside aside, what I am most concerned with with the letter/communication is not whether it will 'drive her back into my arms'. I don't believe there are words for that that is 1000% inside her and naturally whether my arms are open or not. But since she may have simply be saying again I am SO scared by what we just did and may have needed to talk or to be allowed to walk and return or just to be held I did none of those things. And, as gender-stupid as it sounds, that is my role as a/her man: to be a place where she is safe. And I was not. If I communicate with her in a not-so-light way and she never contacts me again but it provides some solace or relief or acceptance in her heart and she remembers me and us like that than I am fine with that too. I really believe in 'if it is meant to be' and if she scoffs because she is BPD/NPD so be it, if it helps mend her heart even better, and if it plants a seed and one day when she is better and I am then so be that too. I'm not pining as much as both confused at why I was hurt and hurt that I hurt someone.




as you might guess, heartbroken folks learning about this disorder can be jaded  Being cool (click to insert in post)
Likely more jaded than I as the stories here seem horrific and far worse than mine. I didn't suffer the abuse and devaluing, the false police reports and child-custody issues and endless recyling people did here and didn't lose my heart. I got off pretty scott free as things go, I am grateful for that and sorry for the agony so many people here went through.


'light' may not get you anywhere. of the cards you have to play, and with some experience, i think it yields a higher probability of a response. it also doesnt put your heart on the line to be rejected and dismissed... .a sort of "hey how ya doin" does no harm, and if you get no response, at least youll know.

I am 90% certain if I even texted a 'Hi' I'd get a reply. But again I'm not looking for highest probability of short-term reply as much as to the degree possible setting things right in her heart if at all possible. Because it turns out to my great surprise I really really really cared about her, really don't want her hurting because of me and really don't want to be a source of any damage. If she uses that to find real love than as I said in my letter I wish that on her fully.


also, have you considered seeing a therapist? highly recommended around here.

I have nothing against therapy per se but given what i went through in the last 15 years; losing the true love of my life in a horrendous and shocking break up and in such a way she'll never remember me the way I am again, losing my career and business, watching my father slowly lose his faculties physical and mental over 10 years and die a shell of himself, dealing with all the attendant family and financial issues that caused  including 7 years of not speaking to my closest sister, and dealing with an infinity # of setbacks while trying to build a new business (almost there!) while being 'reduced' to walking dogs each day which is not only lonely but humblng when you've had a 'real' career and living without the emotional or physical love or touch from a woman, I'm not about to go find a therapist over this since it was really believe it or not just the last 4 weeks or the relationship that messed me up so much and the last 2 months where I've tried to make sense of why and how it affected me so much. I guess the answer is read the paragraph above. As always thank you so much for your time and concern Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 03:59:17 PM »

I'm not about to go find a therapist over this

that was my attitude 

1stTimer, nevermind "this"; youve been through a great deal. seeing a therapist really need not be limited to support for this breakup.

also, as a bit of personal advice, id encourage you not to minimize the hurt youve been through over this. i tried. when i accepted i had been badly hurt, acknowledged it, and gave myself permission to fully grieve, things got a lot easier.

its your choice - not trying to push you past your comfort zone. but its the opposite of weak to seek support.
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 04:45:36 PM »

Thanks once removed, it is good advice. Clearly I'd not have been vulnerable to even being open to this relationship w/o the last 15 years and clearly the hurt is really tied into all the other loss; the 'love of my life', my father, years of my life, my business, my "life". I guess I'm minimzing the hurt because I can't believe I'd be in such pain over a girl I largely discounted but I realize it was my only touchstone to ... .the real world. I know most people miss the 'amazing sex' with BPDs (in fact the only person who found it that was her) I miss something so simple it makes me tear up just typing it; seeing her name pop-up on my phone with a new text. Because it was "her"? Not really. Because it wasn't a text from Pintrest or Chase Bank or my Task Management System or a Coder in India but an actual live person who cared about me. How f-ed up is that?

that was my attitude 

1stTimer, nevermind "this"; youve been through a great deal. seeing a therapist really need not be limited to support for this breakup.

also, as a bit of personal advice, id encourage you not to minimize the hurt youve been through over this. i tried. when i accepted i had been badly hurt, acknowledged it, and gave myself permission to fully grieve, things got a lot easier.

its your choice - not trying to push you past your comfort zone. but its the opposite of weak to seek support.
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 01:24:14 PM »

Wow just had a memory on this I'd forgotten; the day we were in bed after The Official Date (our first night and day as Boyfriend and Girlfriend and her whole Future Bomb day) she said something to me in bed that night (she was a little drunk): "So now you're the one who... .never mind". I kept asking her to tell me, next day she still would not. All she would say, mysteriously is 'God puts people in our path for certain reasons'. Not sure about you but to me sounds like she had made her decision about me with that realization. Which would mean the next day was not an oh-my-god-I'm-running but a calculated "I'll ride out the day, let him tell me how great I am and then meet him tomorrow and end it".
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 05:57:30 PM »

"So now you're the one who... .never mind".

what was said beforehand? any idea what she was going to follow up with?
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 10:57:53 PM »

what was said beforehand? any idea what she was going to follow up with?

No. We were in bed after The Big Date (sorry to keep doing that she just made it that) kissing. She looked at me and said that. I have no idea "Now you are the one who likes ME and I don't like you?" was the closest I could imagine. When she said 'God puts people in your life for a reason' I thought perhaps she had 'realized' that in fact I was the one meant to drive me into her abusive ex's hands vs vice-versa. I have no idea man. She was weird as all hell during the date and the night and day despite the future bombing. I attributed it to fear but something happened between the day before when she made damn sure the Official Ask Dinner happened and then. I'm gathering it was this dude showing up. I mean how can I guy who tells you your not so nice hands are beautiful because they belong to you and tells you of course you can see your make friends I'm not possesive compete with a guy who destroys your self-confidence, beats your a** raw and makes you go through your day not speaking to other men.

I don't know. Again I asked her and when she said the God puts think I said (instead of just TELL me) "so nothing bad?" and she said 'no nothing bad'. But of course she ended it the next day so it was.
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 11:11:32 PM »

I'm gathering it was this dude showing up.

its certainly possible. an unresolved previous relationship often wins out, at the expense of everyone involved usually.

its also possible that she came to resent your hesitance to commit to her, didnt trust it when it happened.

pure speculation really, but things to consider. have you heard about the fear of engulfment?
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 11:33:12 PM »

its certainly possible. an unresolved previous relationship often wins out, at the expense of everyone involved usually.

its also possible that she came to resent your hesitance to commit to her, didnt trust it when it happened.

pure speculation really, but things to consider. have you heard about the fear of engulfment?

Yes I have, and am sure she has it. The girl has not had a 'committed' relationship in 10 years (34). It is such an issue that as I've said when I confirmed I'd asked her to be 'my one and only' she told me 'there are a LOT of people that are going to want to meet you' in other words it was going to be HUGE NEWS among family and friends she had a 'boyfrend' (which again she translated into 'we've promised our lives to one another'.

I'm sure she was scared, she said so over dinner. I'm sure ex looks super attractive at that point, he's no threat to 'engulfment' he can make her feel like unwanted crap again. I get she was scared.  I get she was scared that I'd leave I get she was scared I would stay. I get she made me walk over glass for the 'official' ask to see just how committed I was and dude I went the 9 yards on it. So between fear of engulfment, fear of abandonment, abusive ex showing up I'm sure she was spinning into the ground.

Again why 'I KNEW you were like this when I met you this is why I wouldn't date you thanks for opening my heart to dating I'm going to go date' then storming out and not contacting her for a month might have been super f-d thing to do. Except: I have my own issues. This is precisely why I think, unlike a lot of the reach out scenarios on this board this letter is a good idea not a bad one.
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2018, 11:20:49 PM »

Yes I have, and am sure she has it.

we all do. for someone with BPD traits, of course, those fears can be higher on the richter scale. they can seriously influence an entire way of life, let alone significant and emotional events.

the flipside, of course, is the fear of abandonment.

sometimes we dont necessarily see them manifesting, theyre boiling under the surface.

she really built all of this up. there was a lot to lose. as you said, she told you she was scared.

do you think she was expecting a ring?
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2018, 11:34:04 PM »

Do you mean do I think she was expecting me to show up with a wedding ring that night? Or do you mean 'do you think she was expecting this to turn into a wedding?' I don't think the former but she certainly acted like I had proposed. She acted like we were destined to be together since the start. I'm not even sure it was BPD based it was almost like some teenager stuck in a woman's body. I mentioned the night I took her our for The Date, this girl who always talked about being courted acted like a 15 year old who had never been out before, almost literally like we were going to the prom. Didn't seem to have ever been picked up by a date ("you didn't have to get out of the car and pick me up", was blown away by my opening the car door, asked nervously when the hostess came to escort us to the table "who goes first me or you?" Big City NYC Girl, dated (according to her a billionaire), didn't know how to act on a date in an upscale restaurant. The entire 'ask' and date and even the follow-up (where will we live will you provide and protect here is my family album) were like things a 15 year old (well of yesteryear) would imagine grown-ups do, total make-believe. Believed Sex in the City was an actual guide to life and love (had it on all day when we were there). So yes I think she expected a ring but the way The Princess does in a novel. The "a lot of people are going to want to meet you" when I "confirmed" I would officially ask her to be my girlfriend :| was sort of a dead give away.

Sigh man I dodged an insane bullet and I am more and more terrified of what you know is going to be her Return.

we all do. for someone with BPD traits, of course, those fears can be higher on the richter scale. they can seriously influence an entire way of life, let alone significant and emotional events.

the flipside, of course, is the fear of abandonment.

sometimes we dont necessarily see them manifesting, theyre boiling under the surface.

she really built all of this up. there was a lot to lose. as you said, she told you she was scared.

do you think she was expecting a ring?
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 01:03:40 AM »

Do you mean do I think she was expecting me to show up with a wedding ring that night?

i did mean that, literally.

yes, people with BPD traits are impulsive, they are dreamers, and they over emote like children sometimes do. with that can come unrealistic expectations.

im wondering if she was expecting a ring, didnt get it, and whether that played any role in how events transpired afterwards.

thoughts?
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 04:04:59 AM »

Hmm. No actually I don't think that. Either something transpired the day before The Date (she was weird by that day) or The Date itself freaked her out. Something else was clearly going on between my asking and The Official Ask. I don't think it was anything I did not do, I think she was 'out' by the time we went to dinner. Or in sheer terror. But I don't think she was expecting a ring no

i did mean that, literally.

yes, people with BPD traits are impulsive, they are dreamers, and they over emote like children sometimes do. with that can come unrealistic expectations.

im wondering if she was expecting a ring, didnt get it, and whether that played any role in how events transpired afterwards.

thoughts?
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 09:23:17 AM »

I had my eyes open to the possibility of having a real connection again in my life after a decade-plus... .

And maybe that is all this was meant to be... .an experience to help you get your sea-legs back and hone who you are in a relationship. Dating at 40+ is very different than 20 or 30 something. Back then, Internet dating wasn't yet mainstream. Internet dating has changed everything. This could be a great learning experience and a stepping stone to something great.

I'm trying to make sure I don't go NC on a girl who doesn't deserve it. In fact I'm not even sure now who ':)iscarded'; I'm sitting her blown away she has not reached out but you know what; other than my one letter almost a month later I went dark too. My only surprise is how freaking much I miss her as I had kept her and us at arms lenght so well for so long.

So this is not a NC case, you sent her a pleasant goodbye and she thanked you... .no tension there.

1T, from everything you wrote here, this does not sound like the love of your life. This is the lost of comfortable and familiar. It sounds like she tried, but sees that, too. This is hard because it is a launch back into the dating pool, and "all that stuff" necessary to find a partner - most of which is time and the struggle to remain open (not jaded by the experience).

I dated someone once who was over-the-top for me and I wasn't all that mesmerized by her. I grew to like her and we shared together and stared to connect and bond and she bailed out to my surprise. Why? I think she wanted what all women want - to be cherished and adored and loved and respected. I wasn't that guy for her. The breakup hurt, but putting emotions aside,  it wasn't the right thing for her or for me. She found a better partner and so did I. And I learned something about life and love that I didn't know. Smiling (click to insert in post)

So three questions:

Does that last note you sent and the "thank you" that you received stand as closure?

Is there a next communication, like a Happy Thanksgiving text... .or a Happy Birthday... .a signal that there are no hard feelings and you are amicable exs.

What did you learn in all of this that will help you going forward. Like in mamy cases, its sounds like there is a lot to unpack. We often react to relationship breakups with negativity, but we can just as easily look at it as a life lesson, a season, and embrace the good and arm ourselves with the learning. Many things in our life are only chapters.
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2018, 09:51:53 AM »

Does that last note you sent and the "thank you" that you received stand as closure?

No. The 'Thank You' was hardly closure. It was a total non-acknowledgement of anything. It didn't explain what happened or her horrendous manipulation. I deserved more. Which is why, among other reasons, I will not send any apology letter, least of all the one I wrote that you helped me refine. It is what I deserved. at the very least I deserved some acknowlegement of what i said and some reciprocation. the nice note thank you could have been for the maid. It was meant to be diminishing.

Is there a next communication, like a Happy Thanksgiving text... .or a Happy Birthday... .a signal that there are no hard feelings and you are amicable exs.

No. I am not an amicable ex. again; she was horrendous and monstorous to me at the end, any confusion or fear she had aside, and as supportive as she could be she was totally oblivious and uncaring about where I was and what I needed when she needed what she needed prior to that. She of all people knew how hard it was for me to share any of the things she asked for and she made goddamn sure to ask for and extract ALL of them and then dash them to the floor. that was not an accident. she had plenty of options and ways to walk away or more accurately to let me walk away as I did multiple times. she did not want to do so until she had extracted every part of me she needed to have like a vampire and then walked away with them without explanation. You keep trying to cast this as some innocent relationship where she wanted more, I invalidated her, she realized it and she walked away and we said some nice things to close it up. THIS was not THAT. I do not wish her a Happy Birthday, Thanksgiving, Holiday or life. I don't need to actively wish for the opposite as I think she'll take are of being not happy all on her own. She walked me once to a place in the park (after she'd asked to talk to drag me BACK into being with her when I'd left) where she had sobbed to her mother that she'd never find anyone to love her. I'm guessing she will find places like that a lot.  Because I'll tell you something; as much as she was not 'the love of my life' I was prepared to love her with everything I did have; adoration, kindness, respect, passion, support. And I'm really damn good at it. And more: I'm a damn good friend as she damn well knew and she lost all of this.

What did you learn in all of this that will help you going forward.

To never close myself off from dating again from some self-imposed list of things I need to have to be 'eligible'. There are women who will date me even in NYC even without my foundation back together, and likely ones who will support me along the way. In any event putting myself in solitude only made and makes me vulnerable for toxic scenarios. AND I'm going to guess that especially pwBPD and see the vulnerability of a man in my shoes a mile away and the bombing and mirroring becomes that much more effective

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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 02:10:00 PM »

Yesterday, we talked on the "Bettering Board" where said you wanted to reach out to her and connect. I coached you on how to best do that - speak with empathy and to her feelings (not your own), don't invalidate her (which is easy to do), and stand strong on your words (avoid all the defensive phrases like below).



It was good advise. You said so.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

We also talked about about some significant value differences between you and your girlfriend (everyones values are valid, but they can be incompatible) and we talked about how conflicted you are (you want her back, but only if she comes to you with an apology for breaking up with you).

You keep trying to cast this as some innocent relationship where she wanted more, I invalidated her, she realized it and she walked away and we said some nice things to close it up. THIS was not THAT.

We talked about very specific things yesterday, 1T, not a casting of the overall relationship. She wanted the two of you to read the 5 Love Languages. You told her it was a bad idea. I said her request was pretty common for women over 40, generally helpful in relationships,  and that rejecting her out of hand was invalidating to her. It was an example. OK?

Today is a new day.

Can you step back from the emotion and tell your story in 50 words or less and then tell her story (as she sees it) in 50 words or less?  That might be a good place to go right now.
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2018, 02:56:11 PM »

we talked about how conflicted you are (you want her back, but only if she comes to you with an apology for breaking up with you).

I don't think I ever said I wanted her back at least certainly not so definitively. I've been clear that even with an apology or expalnation or just going back in time it doesn't change that I was not particularly attracted to her physically or spiritually or intellectually so there was always that at the core. And I never wanted an apology for breaking up for me. I mean we were a couple for 36 hours. I wanted an apology specifically for this, since you said apologies need to have _________ filled in. For pulling me in and asking me to commit every part of myself to her, when she knew how hard that was, had multiple opportunities to let me go when I walked away, and multiuple opportunities to walk away when I told her she could and should if she was not ready, for insisting on The Dinner even when I cancelled it once, for insisting on The Night and then insisting on a Future Bomb that made me buy into opening every other part of myself she needed to have, and then not only rejecting everything she'd asked for but having the courage or decency to own it but to make me feel like an idiot and to never do me the decency or courtesy of explaining or owning it and disappearing into the night like a coward and a theif. THAT is the apology I wanted and no, I wouldn't have 'gotten back' with her because of it.

She wanted the two of you to read the 5 Love Languages. You told her it was a bad idea. I said her request was pretty common for women over 40, generally helpful in relationships,  and that rejecting her out of hand was invalidating to her. It was an example. OK?

But I did not tell her it was a 'bad idea' I did not reject it out of hand. I said this "I know how to love someone, and I part of loving someone is learning how they want to be loved. How about I love you like that and if you ever feel I'm not giving you enough of one language you tell me and I'll listen'. Or some such. Because no I don't want to fit into some woman's cookie-cutter silhouette of a man ("Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?" and get handed 5 L of L and sit and watch Sex in the City to learn which character they identify with so I can learn which boyfriend to be. It's like me handing her The Joy of Cooking and the Kama Sutra and saying learn these, I have post it notes on the meals and positions I like.

I think what I said was both romantic and mature. I think handing a man 5 L of L so he can learn to love is stupid and insulting, sorry. I think it is immature. I think it speaks to a woman who does not know how to love or be loved. and those are and were all true about her. And if she'd just let things take their course, I could have loved her better than the dumb author of 5L ever could. I know this from... .experience. I know my ex used to feel so loved she would spontaneously when we were in the middle of talking or walking or at a movie grab my arm in almost deathgrip, turn to me and say my name like an incantation because she was simply bursting with happiness. I know how to love.
[/quote]

Can you step back from the emotion and tell your story in 50 words or less and then tell her story (as she sees it) in 50 words or less?  That might be a good place to go right now.

Me
I met a girl. I was not interested. She was. She persisted. I was not ready and still not particularly interested. She persisted. I got attached to our connection not her interest. She pushed hard for a commitment. I gave it to her. All of it. The next day she left forever.

Her
I met a boy. He was like no one else I ever met. I tried to make him like me. Eventually he did. He surprised me and asked me to be ‘his one and only’ as I’d always dreamed. I made him swim oceans and climb mountains to prove it. He swimmed and he climbed... .

The various possible endings to that:
…While he did I met a boy. He was like no one I ever met.
…Why would anyone swim and climb for me? There must be something wrong with him. I left him high and I left him dry.
…Boy that was fun. What an idiot. Next…
…And I said ‘bye’ so he can see how it feels to meet someone like you never met who doesn’t like you. There I feel so much better. But I don’t
... .Here he comes with his garlands. And I am... .terrified? I need to run

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« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2018, 05:18:23 PM »

OK, this is the bad act... .

... .pulling me in and asking me to commit every part of myself to her, when she knew how hard that was ... //... and then not only rejecting everything she'd asked for and not having  ... //... the decency or courtesy of explaining.


You said you think she was wanting an engagement ring on "the Special Date" and you were pretty sure she made the decision to walk away "either the day before or after "the Special Date".

This story plays out all the time in dating. As Beyonce says "Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it".

Don't you think, more or less, that is what this is was all about?  

Me
I met a girl. I was not interested. She was. She persisted. I was not ready and still not particularly interested. She persisted. I got attached to our connection not her interest. She pushed hard for a commitment. I gave it to her. All of it. The next day she left forever.

Her (possible)
I met a boy. I tried to make him like me. He was not interested. I persisted. We broke up over this a few times. I waited a long time and he finally proclaimed me to be ‘his one and only’ . It was too little, too late. I don't know. The magic was just gone.

Could this be it?  What did she say at the end? What should she have said to make this more reasonable?


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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2018, 05:35:29 PM »

OK, this is the bad act... .
 
You said you think she was wanting an engagement ring on "the Special Date" and you were pretty sure she made the decision to walk away "either the day before or after "the Special Date".

This story plays out all the time in dating. As Beyonce says "Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it".

Don't you think, more or less, that is what this is was all about?  

Man I am not sure where you are getting these ideas. First of all let's start here: Beyonce is not more a guide for how men should act or love should be then 5Lol or SiTC. You don't need to put a ring on it cause you like it first of all. In other words the entire concept of milk for free is offensive to all involved. That out of the way;

I never said she wanted a ring that night. Someone else posited that. There was ZERO chance there was a ring in the works that night. AGAIN; we had just gotten to the point where we decided that what we had had progressed into a relationship, and were going to commit to being in one, stated, and see what we had without ambiguity. We had not been dating for years, we hadn't met family, we hadn't lived together, heck I hadn't even stayed over at her house or vice-versa EVER. We'd hardly even had intercourse by then, maybe ONCE. We hadn't met friend, shared finances, gone on vacations. NOTHING about this was about her wanting a ring and me not giving it. All that happened is this girl turned our first night together after my coming around to being in a real relationship with her into a future bomb as if we'd gotten engaged. She scared the hell out of herself. Even The Dinner when she said, which almost made me leave after all the work she did getting me there since she 'had to be asked officially so it will be real' yada yada yada, 'let's take off the table if we do this that I EVER said I wanted a relationship with you' which is ALL she ever did, said or implied and if giving a guy keys and emtpying your bedromm drawers is not I don't know what is, she said she was scared and I reassured her all we were doing was agreeing to agree to be in a relationship and see what we had. There was ZERO change this was a proposal or she expected one, it wold have made ZERO sense in any sense of the word. So though I can't say 'in a word': No

Could this be it? What should the apology be? What did she say at the end? What should she have said?

What should the apology be? Holy God Michael I am so sorry. I know I am the one who pushed for this relationship, I know I put you through the ringer to ask me and to ask me officially and to commit to me, I know I pushed for months and last week and I know you SAID if I wasn';t ready don't make you ask because it means so much but... .I can't go through with it. I am TERRIFIED. I haven't been in a real relationship in ten years and maybe in fact if I htink of it forever. I don't know how. I don't want to hurt you. I am crazy about you and want everything I said and meant everything I said but can we just back up to where we were without you hating me?

Pretty easy huh? Here is what is NOT cool after all that (the months of pressure, the week of 'it must be official', the official date, the future bomb:

Hey you are great guy, but you misunderstood; I don't want a monogamous relationship with you.

And when I said "YOU asked me to ASKE you!" say "Why do you keep saying that? I didn;t do anything we just see things differently".

THAT is utterly cowardly and utterly devoid of feeling for me and not only rips away from me everything I just committed to (and now puts me in position where I now my new found girlfrielnd, since she is since I committed to that, is dating other men) AND make me feel like some fool who just got his wires crossed. So now I have to feel like a fool and know my GF is with other men, that the apartment that was to be my safe haven with her Saturday nights is now her love-nest and it is all... .gone. And then SHE is gone w/o a word.

The apology needed to be massive and anyone who really cared about me would have sent ME the letter I sent HER. I'm only glad that in it I made sure it was a goodbye an reiterated my thanks for opening my heart which by implication says "for other women".

She ran scared and she got what she got; me gone and open to other women.
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2018, 07:29:31 PM »

Hi Skip, I don't mean to rehash the whole thing but seems in some ways you are not clear on what happened and I feel like I'm getting snippy sometimes which is the very last thing I want to do with you after all the time you've taken with me and the superb lessons on communications you shared, it is just a frustrating experience and very hard to really put into words how that day felt. I had the Love of My Life go haywire out of the blue one day on me the week before I was going to propose, and the last day with BPD person was almost more debilitating. So it was not just a 'hey no ring no play' move. You can review below or not but I want you to see the utter spiral of hell that was foist on me over perhaps 3 weeks after many months of similar campaigning. You can read or not but will give a better perspective on where I am and was:

- Months of ignoring where I was to push for more more more relentelessly

- A conversation in late March about how I needed to reconsider moving to Cali which was one of my main goals after a decade plus of horrific family interactions mainly due to my father's illness and then death. I wanted a clean and fresh start and life. Her point is she didn't want to move and we needed to discuss my NOT moving and buying a place with her and it was only fair to have that conversation now. For perspective: I had never had INTERCOURSE with this girl, we'd 'fooled around' perhaps 3x, each of those was me basically pleasuring her with foreplay. We hadn't been on dates except meeting up for a glass of wine, met family, etc. We weren't even dating. It was, IMHO, strange and insensitive to boot and NOT a way to get me to feel comfortable ABOUT moving into formally dating or a relationship.

- According to her at that point she stopped pursuing me but that is an utter lie as this is what follow, which I believe was a plan on her part to force the issue and the rest of this whirlpool is over three weeks:

- She told me she wanted me to consider new apartment not 'hers' but 'ours'.

- We finally had 'real' sex at her place. We discussed first how she had not had sex for over a year, me much longer. She also brought out a sex toy that had been brought up in our first 'date' almost 18 months earlier (after which I declined to date her) which she said she had not used by herself or with anyone and felt comfortable sharing with me. We had pretty intense sex, and according to her was the best she'd had since she was 20 and she "felt like I'm on 3 valiums' and walked down the street afterwards skipping and repeating it. Given it was the first in a long time for either of us, the intimacy of sharing the 'toy' and the 'quality' and intensity of it it was hard for it to not be a bonding experience.

- She got the flu a few days later (not from the sex!). She was so bad by midnight I called and offered to take her to the emergency room, not something just anyone does. She was very happy I offered, declined but the next night told me she didn't believe I really cared because I had not checked in in the morning too. I was not happy about that, we talked, she said 'well I just thought that you'd want to come take care of me' i.e. 'you are my boyfriend'.

- I went back to her house a few days later, we didn't have time to 'play' since her mother was on the way but she said a few key things; 1) when I was inside her "I am falling in love with you" 2) when we had to stop because her mom was on the way 'don't worry we have our whole lives to play' 3) Then she walked me into her bedroom and showed me she'd emptied the top two drawers in her bureau and said 'these are yours I want you to start leaving your things behind and I want you to start staying over'. 4) she called my 'boyfriend' several times and when I looked at her since she knew I had not wanted to be there said 'oh you are going to ask me by the end of the month you just don't know it yet' (<< <<  WARNING).

- I considered what she had said and realized man regardless of my resistance I AM in a relationship and she if for all intents and purposes my girlfriend. I have her keys and I am offering to take her to the emergrency room at midnight and sharing great sex and intimacy.

- I asked her to meet me at our local bar to ask let her know my epiphany and that yes, I was on the same page. Yet I don't think she thought it was going to be this easy, her 'you just don't know it' and the meet was horrid; she told me she'd 'messed around' with someone in the same apartment, same bedroom, same toy (the latter really blew me aray) but that he was 'not good at it you are magic'. I decided to plunge forward anyway, she told me she had a date with another guy the next night ("well you said you don't want a relationship". Decided to plunge forward anyway, now would be a good time right? Then she says what pretty much started my entire spiral; "the problem is I know I'd cheat on him, I'd never cheat on you because I like you so much and the sex is great". Did you have sex with him? No but I just know I'd cheat on him. Would you marry him if it got that far? Yes he is the kind of man I'd marry. Would you cheat on him then? Well yes, he just doesn't do it for me.

You talked about values and now this girl has done a 180 degree rotation from the values I thought we shared. I don't even know if she MEANS it but I naturally did NOT ask her to be my gf. In other words, I think her Plan B backfired and she didn't even know it.

- She texted me a few days later "I think I said some things I didn't mean are you mad at me" and I said 'no but I think you have given me great pause about 'us'. She told me that she didn't mean most of it that she was trying to get me jealous so i realized we should be together, that she had not been intimate with anyone like me since we 'started' except for some 'dabbling' (which seems to include toys and fellatio. She asked me to please come over for dinner Saturday and start falling asleep and waking up in my arms so we can take this to the next level. I agreed. On Friday she mentioned maybe cancelling our 'tentative' plans to see her Grandmother. Except now I don't trust her. I am quite trusting with gfs but now she has planted seeds with "Plan B" and I'm thinking: well who knows if she just has a date with Guy 2? So I text her again 'look I am done'.

She asks again to meet and talk. We walk in the park, she somehow gets me back to 'look I didn't know where you were or what I meant to you can we just have the dinner and move forward I really want a relationship with you'. She shows me a spot in the park where she was sobbing to her mother about never meeting a man, and where she prays. I stupidly (in retrospect) show here where I was going to propose to a woman 15 years ago and how, she is mesmerized and asks me how I will ask the next woman. Dumb me I know

- I cook at her house. It is very nice, she gets on my lap several times to kiss me, we spend hours in the dark making out and saying sweet nothings with, as usual, my pleasuring her. Then she wants to go to sleep sated. She asks me to get into bed and hold her. But I'm really freaked out now. I'm htinking if she hadn't told me these things, I'd be getting in bed with all my chips in the game man. Amazing night, sensual, romantic, affectionate, girl in my arms but she may not be the girl I thought, she may be TOTALLY different and for all I know guy #2 will be over tomorrow night. I don't date women like this, I leave.

- She texts me 'did you leave because of things I am working on?' by which I gather she means infidelity? I tell her it is something else (she never seems to want to pleasure me) since I can't even go there, it is not a convo I've ever had. This devolves as she does not seem to care so I return her key to her doorman.

- She sends me a terse 'thanks if you ever want to reconnect let me know' and I send an email SLAMMING her.  I just don't get any of it, I don't get how you can have such an initmate moment and give your keys and your drawers and ask to sleep in someone's arms and ask someone to nurse you when you have the flu and then ask anoter man over. I tell her this is not me and I'm done.

- She emails me to please meet her, that because of her past if a man doesnt explicity ask for a ommitted relationship she doesnt feel she is in one. I think while 'the conversation' might sometimes make sense, it isnt' always about talk it is about what you want in your heart. I ask her 'is this a coffee shop wrap-up talk or a let's work this out talk' she says 'I have no expectations except that god will guide our words and hearts where we should be'.

- I meet her and she is surprised I am apologetic over the tone of my emails and explains again about her need 'to be asked'. I repeat my position tht I've never 'asked' and you just know. She repeats she needs to be askes. So I tell her look clearly we are in a relationship, I like you, I want to be in one with you. She says "Really?" I say yes. She takes me hand and asks again I say "XXX will you be my girlfriend?" She says yes yes ask me again. I say 'xxx will you be my one and only?" She kisses me and says yes and I in a gesture I think is gallant say 'Why don't we start over on Friday and have a real date, our first official date as BF/GF and start from there? I'll even ask you agin if you want" (since she is so happy being asked)

- So far I've been through some major hoops just to be in a relationship that with anyone else in my past would have been... .a relationship. But the next day she texts me to meet her lunchtime 'to discuss some things before Friday'. I assume she's changed her mind. But no; she needs me to CONFIRM I asked and that I WILL ask. I do so and she jumps in my arms and tells me how SO many people are going to want to meet me, how I need to start going to family events, how she has not been in a real committed relationship for over ten years etc.

- She texts me the next day from the same wine bar which she could have invited her new bf to since he is 10 blocks away but did not. No biggie. We have a nice convo until I use the term 'girlfriend' and she says "I am not your gf yet you still need to ask". Again, any other woman, fine, this woman who seems to see fidelity/monogamy as some sort of discussion vs something that is in your heart or not seems to be saying to me "I am free until friday". I aske her "so are you not committed to me yet just because of some words which I by the way DID ask and you DID say yes to 1/2 dozen times?" We go round and round by text most of it her telling me that it needs to be 'officially asked' and 'I just need to hear you ask over dinner' and 'this is all new to me so it would mean a lot if you asked'. I'm just not liking it, same reason i didn't like the night I was at her house. I. Do. Not. Trust. Her. So i tell her "I DON'T understand no. Fidelity, committment, monogamy live in your heart. They live in mine. Words are words. I said the word and will say the words but if they do not live in your heart or you are not ready do NOT ask me to say them because they mean everything to me' No reply.

So the next day I cancel the reservation. She texts, I tell hre I am part of this 'us' too and need trust and reassurance too this is not jsut about her. We meet, she texts me while we are together so that it is 'offical' as she says "I am totally committed to you I just can't wait for you to ask me again'. I tell her I'll make a new reservation and she FLIPS that I cancelled at all 'that is just you running!'. I tell her no it was me walking away, I don't run. And we worked it out.

- We have the dinner which I've described in detail before; she is weird, she backs away, she tells me just to listen she wants it she is just scared so let her be scared. Yes she wants it. I tell her we are just agreeing to be together, there is no great thing to fear here we aren't getting married.

- We have then night and day I described with the weird behavior and the immense future bombing. Same girl who was scared to death the night before about being officially asked as she demande to be (which I've done now 12 times) is turning this into Married with Children (as per my other posts)

- I walk her to her gym after spending the night holding her in my arms as she has wanted forever, making love to her, complimetning her, vieweing her entire family album and pretty much put my arms down finally and accepted and discussed all the things like which beds we should buy, where we would move when we get a palce together, finances, yes i want ot be provider and protector, which night will be our official, yes I'll get flower valentines day from now on, etc etc. etc. All of which is TREMENDOULSY hard for me since I'm not just speaking word but giving every part of myself, committing to be committed to a future, and also seeing a future spread in front of me I have not had for years and years and years which I've put in a box and have now opened all that up.

- And then Skip, twelve hours later, she meets me to tell me I'm a great guy but no she doesn't want a monogamous relationship with me. AND that she did nothing wrong, we just 'see things differently' (keys to place and drawers in bedroom MAYBE see things differently, the rest? Are you ******* kidding me. And then the girl never emails, calls, text or snail mails me like I never existed.

Is this really Beyonce? Is there really an apology in the world that could address this?

OK, this is the bad act... .
 

You said you think she was wanting an engagement ring on "the Special Date" and you were pretty sure she made the decision to walk away "either the day before or after "the Special Date".

This story plays out all the time in dating. As Beyonce says "Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it".

Don't you think, more or less, that is what this is was all about?  

Her (possible)
I met a boy. I tried to make him like me. He was not interested. I persisted. We broke up over this a few times. I waited a long time and he finally proclaimed me to be ‘his one and only’ . It was too little, too late. I don't know. The magic was just gone.

Could this be it?  What did she say at the end? What should she have said to make this more reasonable?



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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2018, 07:52:51 PM »

Anyway I'm just getitng wound up here on something I've already moved past other than dealing with this alternative reality stuff. I'm clear on the fact I was very good to her, tried to understand her, tried to come to her with what she needed to feel safe and comfortable and wanted and loved and clear that her behavior was damaged, damaging and unforgiveable. If you have another take on it so be it.

Her (possible)
I met a boy. I tried to make him like me. He was not interested. I persisted. We broke up over this a few times. I waited a long time and he finally proclaimed me to be ‘his one and only’ . It was too little, too late. I don't know. The magic was just gone.

Could this be it?  What did she say at the end? What should she have said to make this more reasonable?

Dude no feel free to read my re-summary. we didn't 'break up a few times' we were not together. she had ample opportunity as you will see to say too little too late; when I walked away after her 'I'd cheat on him but not on you', when I walked away after I gave her they key, when I ASKED her 3x in a row after she told me she NEEDED to be asked, the next day when she slept on it vs CONFIRMING I did and would, any time during the entire week that she made me come forward to her for an official date, the day before when I canclled the official date and said if you don't want this then dont ask me to ask you, that night, in the morning instead of having me stay and/or just keeping her mouth shut and enjoying the time vs the future bomb. COULD the magic have been gone? Then it is still uber f-ed since it means what she wanted were ALL the pieces she had wanted before they were gone before she moved on WITH them. As tokens, as trophies, as revenge. I rejected her at first with the same WORDS man: "Sorry I am not ready for a relationship". That is how she ENDED it. So she was my gf for 36 hours. All to get to checkmate. She didn't jsut "realize" in the morning the magic was gone if that is what it was.

Re-read my summary and tell me if your 'possible' scenario is possible. Was the 'magic gone' when she gave me keys to her aparmtment 3 weeks prior? Was it gone when she emptied her bedroom drawers for me in the same time frame? When she told me she was falling in love with me 3 week before? When she told me we have a lifetime to figure it out? When she took me to the park to tell me how I'm one of the most important people in my lfe and she was trying to make me jealous because I'm so important to her and she wants a relationship with me? When we had sex the same month and she said she it felt like she was on valium and hadn't been f-ed like that since she was 20? Was the 'magic gone' when she told me she thought i should have come and taken care of her when she had the flu?

I told you what she said after all this; she said I was a great guy but she didn't want a committed relationship. After coralling me into it, specifically telling me she needed to be asked, saying yes 3x, confirming I asked and would ask, making me OFFICIALLY ask and future bombing for for 18 hours before 18 hours later acting as if I misunderstood.

Not sure why you seem intent on letting her off the hook. Her. Behavior. Was. Horrid. It was devoid of any recognition of another persons feelings for needs or future. It was cowardly. It was theft.
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2018, 09:58:26 PM »

Her. Behavior. Was. Horrid.

it was. with the exception of today, though, youve gone back and forth on some of this. theres real hurt and regret here. most of us (around 80%) arrive at bpdfamily in a state of depression. it exacerbates everything about it really.

what aspect of this do you think it would be most helpful to focus on and talk about right now? think of these things, if you will, as back pain. i know there are many; lets pick a knot and work to unwind it.
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