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Author Topic: Walking away from argument problems  (Read 331 times)
Conflictedlover

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« on: June 13, 2018, 08:04:19 AM »

Hello. When an argument I’m having with my girlfriend gets really bad and stuff starts flying through the air and holes in the wall appear. I know I need to separate myself from the situation because nothing I say or do at that point is going to calm her rage. However, if I remove myself from the equation she ends up harming herself. Usually through cutting. How am I supposed to escape an unsafe environment when I know that after awhile of being alone she will self harm? I can’t do that in good conscious but I also don’t want to leave myself in an unsafe environment. Any suggestions?
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formflier
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 09:10:12 PM »


Once you realize you are not responsible for her decisions... .it will be easier.

She has "hooked" you into being responsible for something you shouldn't be.

FF
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 03:52:25 AM »

I once had a conversation with a very wise, kind and gentle friend. I didn't know his past very well but he revealed that he once had a serious relationship with a girl with suicidal tendencies. He said to me that he had to accept that one day he may come home to find that she'd been successful. He had to accept that he couldn't protect her from herself... .that's a serious thing to accept.

As FF says, you are not responsible for protecting her from herself.

My guess is that this doesn't help you very much since it's all well and good FF and I saying you shouldn't feel responsible... .but you do... .

Does she cut after all arguments, or only the significant ones?

I suppose what I am getting at is, if you are already taking emotional responsibility for the outcome (which we'd argue you shouldn't), make sure that you are not responsible for the cause. You can refuse to argue, or you can certainly refuse to allow arguments to get anywhere near the Red Zone... .literally... .I WILL NOT ARGUE WITH YOU. How many arguments are actually productive? I'm not saying you have to take on any guilt or shame that she may try and lump on you, let it slide down your suit of armor and plop on the floor... .where it can stay, just don't argue, refuse to play.

If you become outcome orientated, what's worse for you, winning the argument, or living with the guilt that she's cut herself and you feel responsible (rightly or wrongly)?
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Conflictedlover

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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 08:06:11 AM »

I once had a conversation with a very wise, kind and gentle friend. I didn't know his past very well but he revealed that he once had a serious relationship with a girl with suicidal tendencies. He said to me that he had to accept that one day he may come home to find that she'd been successful. He had to accept that he couldn't protect her from herself... .that's a serious thing to accept.

As FF says, you are not responsible for protecting her from herself.

My guess is that this doesn't help you very much since it's all well and good FF and I saying you shouldn't feel responsible... .but you do... .

Does she cut after all arguments, or only the significant ones?

I suppose what I am getting at is, if you are already taking emotional responsibility for the outcome (which we'd argue you shouldn't), make sure that you are not responsible for the cause. You can refuse to argue, or you can certainly refuse to allow arguments to get anywhere near the Red Zone... .literally... .I WILL NOT ARGUE WITH YOU. How many arguments are actually productive? I'm not saying you have to take on any guilt or shame that she may try and lump on you, let it slide down your suit of armor and plop on the floor... .where it can stay, just don't argue, refuse to play.

If you become outcome orientated, what's worse for you, winning the argument, or living with the guilt that she's cut herself and you feel responsible (rightly or wrongly)?


I do say I will not argue. That usually makes it a lot worse and that’s when things start to fly. Me not reacting to her argument makes her rage go crazy. And yes it is almost all arguments significant or not. Sometimes I catch it before it happens but others I’m still getting my space and I come back to it in progress or already occurred. And it is hard not to take responsibility or feel like I need to protect her from herself. Because she can’t do it. And to accept that one day I could come home to her dead is terrifying. I have never thought of accepting that before.
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formflier
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 08:28:29 AM »


What you "say" doesn't matter.

What you "do" matters more.

What if your relationship changed to one in which... .you are around her when she is not argumentative and you leave her presence when she argues.

Reward good behavior with a relationship... .and reward bad behavior with lack of a relationship.  Her choice.

Let her connect the dots... .or choose to live in her world.

Thoughts?

FF
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Conflictedlover

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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 08:57:58 AM »

What you "say" doesn't matter.

What you "do" matters more.

What if your relationship changed to one in which... .you are around her when she is not argumentative and you leave her presence when she argues.

Reward good behavior with a relationship... .and reward bad behavior with lack of a relationship.  Her choice.

Let her connect the dots... .or choose to live in her world.

Thoughts?

FF

I think that makes sense. I feel like it’s going to be easier said than done but I will definitely try it.
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formflier
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 10:04:22 AM »


Actually... .if you focus on easier done than said... .and say less and do more... it will likely work out ok.

Much much much less talking... .more action.

Smiling (click to insert in post)  It is an interesting play on words.

FF
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Conflictedlover

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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 10:13:20 AM »

Actually... .if you focus on easier done than said... .and say less and do more... it will likely work out ok.

Much much much less talking... .more action.

Smiling (click to insert in post)  It is an interesting play on words.

FF

Definitely interesting I will give it a try. Thanks.
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SamwizeGamgee
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 10:26:08 AM »

My free advice is worth every penny:
As has been said, you are NOT responsible for another adult's action, thoughts, or choices (or consequences thereof).  Ever.  

I'm wondering about the arguments.  Although it seems like arguments are a trigger for her cutting (which can take two lines of justification 1- she's hurting herself to manipulate you and your feelings; 2- she's cutting to distract her own inner demons), I wonder if all the arguments were gone, would the cutting continue, one way or another?
That's just an open question to ponder.

Another thought is that are you perhaps stuck in a cycle of JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain). When I stopped JADE behaviors for me, I found that it gave me almost supernatural control over making arguments never happen - scary.  That worked, and a mode of "Grey Rock" that I just don't give emotional responses short of mild support, and polite validation.  
I might suggest that if you tried to reduce your triggering of her, or arguing (not wanting to blame you, but, I know that innocent parties often hold the cure).  A way to do that would be to work up some more strategies for validation and support of her.  It's much harder for a woman to rage against a phrase like "I really want to understand how you feel better, dear."
FWIW.
Best of luck!
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 11:55:14 AM »

Afternoon Conflictedlover,

Hope things are better for you today,

Yes, you are in a tough spot... .the others here have offered very good advice.

Its a tough thing to watch your loved one become literally unglued right before your eyes, .to watch them abandon all common sense, and become physically, and emotionally destructive.

Cutting has always perplexed me, as to why?... .why do people do this?... .I think I understand why, its a form of release, and when its done in front of a significant other, its for attention, its to garner a shock factor reaction.

Its a tough one to handle, .I mean how far do you go to "help", to maybe "redirect"... .without making things absolutely worse.

A slippery slope, and a very difficult maneuver to attempt to be sure.

Last evening, my own u/BPD wife was giving me the what for... .I tried my best not to JADE, to even ignore, .to only give one or two word responses to her quickly escalating decent into dysregulation... .add wine to the mix... .ugh!

It went on for about six hours before she finally went off to bed... .and I sat at the kitchen counter with the lights off thinking... .what the heck was that,

Long night... .

Does not happen as much as it once did, .but I have to say, that last nights "display" was "just like old times"... .ugh 2.0!

Its very hard to just "walk away" when this is happening, as we (me) are afraid she might actually hurt herself in the "midst".

But its a new day, school, work, and chores to be done... .life seems to go on when the sun comes back up.

My best advice, .try to help as best you can, no JADE, just SET... .and stay close, but not too close.

Tough stuff I know, .take good care,

Red5
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