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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: I don’t love him anymore  (Read 213 times)
steelwork
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« on: July 20, 2018, 01:06:13 AM »

People, it’s taken me three and a half years to get here. Or maybe I’ve been here for a while without acknowledging it. It’s not that I feel healed, exactly; I just no longer think of what we had together as a lost happiness.
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 08:06:06 AM »

Steelwork that's a big realisation.  How do you feel about this?  I felt a tinge of sadness when I realised that the love was gone.  It made me think about the ways in which he pushes people to let go of their love for him and probably has had this repeat many times over in his life.  I didn't dwell on it, it was momentary, but I felt compassion for him in that respect. 

Excerpt
I just no longer think of what we had together as a lost happiness.

What would you describe it as now?

Love and light x
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steelwork
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 09:30:41 PM »

Hey HQ.

I felt a tinge of sadness when I realised that the love was gone.  It made me think about the ways in which he pushes people to let go of their love for him and probably has had this repeat many times over in his life.  I didn't dwell on it, it was momentary, but I felt compassion for him in that respect.  

There's been so much sadness over the years. I don't feel any fresh sadness now--nor do I feel any new sense of compassion. So much of our bond was premised on me feeling compassion for him. I don't not feel it now... .I still think he's been through an awful lot, and that our relationship was extremely painful for him, and that many of the unhinged things he did and said were a result of his trying to avoid more pain.

It's just that now, when I think of the experiences we had together, I see how temporary it all was. A dream, an interlude. And when I think of him, I see more of the whole him, and the whole him isn't really someone who I would normally choose to be with. He shaped himself around me temporarily--as people do when they're in love, I suppose, but no: much more than that.

He had lived a life that was different from mine. His past didn't match the present we were supposedly sharing--the values, priorities, sensibilities that supposedly made us so right for each other. There was never a good explanation for it--just a kind of suggestion that he had been living a "false life" and conforming to things he didn't believe in as a survival mechanism, but now he had found someone (me) with whom he could be his real self.

And then when he met someone else, he told me, "I feel like I'm a different person now."

So I suppose there was no "true self" and "false self"--there was just an interlude during which he was a person I loved. And it wasn't forever.

Does that make any sense?
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 03:43:12 AM »

It does make total sense.  I think a lot of my personal struggle was with letting go of the dream we built together.  That feeling of hope was so strong but as you say it was a temporary interlude and wasn't forever.  The disconnect between how intense and real the dream feels and the actual reality you describe is deeply painful when things suddenly end.

It sounds like you've reached a place of acceptance.  How are you feeling about the future now?

Love and light x
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2018, 05:35:18 AM »

Steelwork, I totally get what you are saying. I had a similar experience, and can especially relate to the changing personalities.

Glad you have reached this point of clarity about your experience. I think it takes time to work through all the emotions and beliefs before we can see things as they were. At least that’s been my experience.

What do you think helped the most to get you to see so clearly?

heartandwhole
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
steelwork
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 11:02:04 AM »

 How are you feeling about the future now?

That's a really good question.

In some ways, it's thinking about the future that pushed me to this point [to also somewhat answer Heart and Whole's question]. I'm in my 50s. My brother (also in his 50s) died less than a year ago, and by the age I am now my father was already gone. Maybe I'm seeing how finite life is, and how I don't want to spend what's left of mine in longing for a person who can't or won't be there for me.

If you mean future in terms of romance, that's a complicated issue. I'm in a relationship now, but it's more like a brother/sister thing at this point. My r/s with the ex was an affair, and that affair was in some ways an expression of my desire for this r/s to be more passionate. It felt, while it was happening, like a way of addressing the question of the future, but didn't work out that way.

Lately I've been more actively "steering" my therapist toward the issues of my current partnership. She tends to revert to talking about my (very chaotic) childhood, and after all these years in therapy, I've come to see that as a bottomless pit of inquiry. I don't feel raw about it anymore. I feel a new urgency (time passing... .) to get some clarity on what I want, what's possible, and what's good for me.

Sometimes I can imagine a future without a partner in it. That no longer seems awful.

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steelwork
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2018, 11:25:15 AM »

What do you think helped the most to get you to see so clearly?

1. Time. A period of separation from ex, followed not by a reunion but rather by a careful, gradual inventory. I would describe it like this: I have an imaginary box of memories, and a few emails that didn't get deleted, and some old photographs and videos that I have looked at from time to time. There are also a few pictures I've found of him before we were together, and then since the b/u (via cyberstalking Smiling (click to insert in post). There's also a short story he wrote and published which was clearly inspired by our relationship. And all these things together make up a full portrait of him in my mind, and it's not what it was four years ago.

2. This site has helped: the stories of others, trying to address the suffering of people here, and of course the various articles about BPD and relationships with pwBPD traits--especially the "ten beliefs that keep us stuck," which I have revisited again and again.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=136462.msg1331264#msg1331264

I came here thinking I was different--that my r/s and ex and our situation were not the norm. I still think each story is individual, but from a distance and over the course of time certain patterns are clear.

What I went through was just a very human thing. Everyone here is participating in the project of attaining full consciousness, to one degree or another. People love each other and cause each other pain. What is the big picture there?

3. Therapy has helped me. The big lesson of therapy for me, if I had to choose one, is that there is a gap between my heart and my mind. Heart and mind have to talk to each other. They learned not to communicate when I was a wee gal, because the mind had to take over for the heart so it wouldn't know it was broken. But those times are long in the past, and there is the present to enjoy still, and I want to.

4. Age. Maturity. You like to think you've grown up by age 46, 48, 50... .but there's always more to do.

I hope this helps.
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Harley Quinn
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I am exactly where I need to be, right now.


« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2018, 11:28:22 AM »

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's passing    That must have been really hard for you, and I can understand your thoughts about life with your father also passing so young.  We have a similar history in my family on the female side and it does cross my mind a lot.

Excerpt
I feel a new urgency (time passing... .) to get some clarity on what I want, what's possible, and what's good for me.

That's wonderful to hear steelwork.  This fills me with hope for you to gain that clarity and let it guide you.  We could all stand to check in with ourselves periodically on these things and to give them priority in our decision making.

Excerpt
Sometimes I can imagine a future without a partner in it. That no longer seems awful.


I think when we know what's important to us and live true to our values, then others either fit into that or they don't.  It simplifies things.  18 months after leaving my dBPDex, I'm happily single and I've no plans to look for a new partner until I am ready.  Would I be sad to not ever have that special someone in my world to share my life with?  Sure.  Would it stop me from living a great life?  Not at all.

You seem to know what you want from your therapy and are taking the lead on that.  Good on you for setting the direction and getting what you need from it.  It's your time, so make it work for you.  I'm so happy to hear of the progress you're making    

Love and light x  
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