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Author Topic: Prepping for breaking up: living an outside life  (Read 482 times)
WitzEndWife
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« on: October 15, 2018, 04:17:42 PM »

After talking to my therapist today, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. He's not willing to get help and he's not doing anything but cause major drama all of the time. So, she wants me to start heading toward detaching myself, even though it is difficult with him in the home still. She wants me to start rediscovering old friendships, to do as much as possible outside of the home as I can, to enjoy and have a life outside of him. Once I do that, she says, I'm going to start emotionally detaching from him, and have a cushion of support to fall back on once I decide to separate from him.

So far, I think I have a head start on this. I'm going to my Toastmasters class tomorrow night, I'll be speaking at an informal event Thursday night, I'll be going out of town this weekend to spend time with a friend, and I'm volunteering at a special event next week, plus going to a friend's Halloween house party. I'm trying to spend more time with friends outside of work without draining too much of my energy (I am an introvert, after all).

Despite all of the pain and drama he's caused, detaching is going to be painful. But then again, I have a long history of prioritizing other people's pain over my own pain. Like, I'd rather keep my partner's head above water even though I'm drowning. It sounds so pathetic when I type it out. I don't know why I'm like this. It's not that I have low self esteem, it's more about solving problems and helping people. And by the time I realize that I'm drowning, I'm already in the process of saving the other person, so I feel like I can't just let go.

But I have to detach, I have to move forward, through the pain, and prepare for the worst. I only have one life and the only way to get mine back is to do the hard things.
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 04:22:52 PM »


Very insightful.

Did you guys talk through best ways to let him know that you need space when you are in the home.  I forget exactly the situation..but I think generally he's always trying to take your time when you are around

FF
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WitzEndWife
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 04:55:44 PM »

Did you guys talk through best ways to let him know that you need space when you are in the home.  I forget exactly the situation..but I think generally he's always trying to take your time when you are around

FF

Not so much. She wants me to set boundaries in the home, and to be considerate, but to basically start living my life as if I was single (not dating or anything weird like that, but just doing what I want, on my terms). I imagine there will be some blowback, but maybe that's what needs to happen now.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 05:01:06 PM »

You are prepared that there might be blowback to you being yourself and living your life on your own terms, just remember to hold fast to your values—no intermittent reinforcement no matter how much he whines, begs, manipulates, tries to be nice, etc.

I remember my first husband being astounded that he could no longer manipulate me when I finally was done.

Be firm and don’t waver. It’s kinder that way than if they think you’re willing to give them yet another chance.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 12:56:36 AM »

WEW, you seem like a kind and generous person.  People like us nons get trapped into codependency with our BPD partners. 

My T is also encouraging me to work on myself as my uBPD H is not going to change any time soon.  I will leave him to his own chaos.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 09:12:41 AM »

Good morning WEW,

Detaching …. a few things to think about, have you and your T discussed what your H is going to do when he senses you are detaching? … maybe even heading towards separation – divorce …

This can be a big threat to the pw/bpd, … and they will dig in their heels, and fight it …

Do you think he may have some codependency issues, as Cat writes above, in regards to “blowback” …

* “no intermittent reinforcement no matter how much he whines, begs, manipulates, tries to be nice, etc.”

It’s been my experience, that when “I” the “Non” got ideas of his (my) own, … this causes (caused) quite crazy things to happen; ie’ behaviors with udx bpd wife … and as well I experienced this in my first marriage to my udx (first) ex-wife …

Please be careful,

Kind regards, Red5
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 01:19:27 PM »

I think I'm going to see how things go with doing my own things more frequently. I'm going to be living my life, and doing things for myself. It's not a matter of being invalidating, but it's a matter of detaching with love. If I can't be myself, then no relationship can survive anyway - this one or any.

It's time to create more distance. If he acts out, it will only push me further away, and he knows that.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 01:31:19 PM »

When you start doing your own thing, without asking for consent or permission, you might be surprised that your relationship might even get better.

It may not, but at least you will know one way or another.

What I’ve found in my current marriage, once we got over some hurdles about him feeling like I should enjoy the same entertainments as he, and I don’t—we found some freedom in being able to honestly express what we did and didn’t want to do together, rather than just going along with someone else’s program.

And now we have the opportunity to do things on our own without generating conflict.
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 12:05:09 PM »

Interestingly, he asked me last night if tonight I would help him revamp his resume. He said he wanted to apply for jobs. This is positive, but until he actually gets help, I have to continue on my detachment path. He hasn't hit rock bottom yet. But maybe this will motivate him to get therapy. Who knows?
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 12:12:04 PM »


You obviously know the current path..the current relationship...heck let's say it..the current marriage isn't going to work.

Perhaps he'll be up for a different type of marriage.  Show him that and let him decide.


Another way of saying it, live you life and leave the door open for him to follow you on a healthier path.

FF
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2018, 03:16:28 PM »

I had a good weekend with my friend and feel very refreshed. I think getting away from him as much as possible is a path to better mental health for myself. I feel a sense of strength returning inside of me, a sense of calm. Of course, he's a lot more clingy lately, sensing I'm drifting away and bettering myself. I think explaining to him that I have to do things for me in order to not be crabby will help with this though. He doesn't like it when I'm upset and crabby.

Hopefully I can keep up getting myself away on the regular. It definitely does help with my depression as well.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 05:30:45 PM »

WEW,
I hope you’ve continued to take time for yourself. What’s happening lately?

Cat
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 10:44:12 AM »

Hi all,

I've been out for a bit - work has been busy, and I've been trying to keep myself pretty busy. I'm struggling a bit with detaching emotionally and mentally.

For example, my family proposed that I come visit them soon, and I noticed my mind went immediately to worrying about his reaction to me going somewhere on vacation without him. I've gotten better somewhat at doing what it is that I want to do most days, but there are still things I'm sure I'm not doing out of fear of his reaction. Like, I don't close the blinds in the front room most of the time because he freaks out about that. Or, like I wouldn't buy something for the house without him "approving" it. Or make exactly what I want for dinner because I'm worried about whether he will be in a "vegan" mood or whether he'll eat dairy.

But I'm growing weary overall. On the one hand, I want to be free of the burdens put on me, especially financially, by him. I don't want to constantly be questioning whether he's being influenced by bad people online. While being all alone would be hard, I am too stressed to keep doing this much longer. I'll be 39 next year. I don't want to be 40 and still unhappy.

I think the main barrier for me is how to finally actually take action. What do I say? Do I suggest we take time apart and send him to live with his mom over the winter? Do I suggest divorce off the bat? Also, I own the house, so getting him out will be a challenge. I wish I knew how other people actually did the breaking up with their BPD so that I could have some guidance.
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 10:50:13 AM »


So...how does he get his money?  From you or his Mom?

Perhaps the way to get him to go is not to "do" anything, but to "stop doing" things that you not longer want to do or should do.

This will present a choice to him...he can start doing those things...or not....

It's good that you are in touch with your feelings and reactions.  Keep that up!!


FF
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 11:14:52 AM »

Hi WitzEndWife. Good for you for taking steps to protect yourself and doing things for yourself.

It's something I need to work on because I've realized that so many of my actions and decisions these days are based around him and trying to keep him satisfied and happy. Easy for me. I'm a people pleaser and pretty easy-going about stuff. I can be OK with whatever while he's more picky. But keeping it up over time becomes exhausting.

We're going on a trip for Christmas. Then the plan is to turn around the next day and drive up to spend the New Year with his family. A part of me really doesn't want to go. I'd rather have time at home to myself. Even go to work (I'm already missing a week and missing three more days is a lot). But I worry how he'll respond to that.

I'm interested to hear how this goes for you. And how it's gone for others in stepping away and doing things for themselves. Knowing H, it will bring up calls of "You only think of yourself" "You don't really want to be married" and so on.
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2018, 01:29:30 PM »

.... For example, my family proposed that I come visit them soon, and I noticed my mind went immediately to worrying about his reaction to me going somewhere on vacation without him.

Oh' boy, & me2!

...my ubpdw moved out last Saturday, and Sunday, her last night in the old house was Friday night ... but muscle memory (cptsd?) dies hard ... every single night I "catch" myself adjusting my movements, speech, and physical actions ... so I wont "set her off" ... and she ain't even there !

For example, I went to run the dish washer last night ... and I caught myself ... "she'll get mad if I turn this critter on, might "cut into her hot water tub time" ... so I didn't turn it on ... it was like a whole half hour later till I came to my sense's, and realized she wasn't there ... so I ran the friggen dishwasher, and when I turned it on, I let loose a boyish little grin, like I'd gotten away with something  !

She (ubpdw) used to have me "bare foot on the hot railroad tracks" all the time, ... its going to take years for me to "ditch" all the bpd'ism's she has left lying all around the house ... isn't that crazy !

.... yeah?

Kind Regards, Red5
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2018, 02:33:58 PM »

WE, I am glad you are going forward with your own life,  As I stated in an earlier post, I am pretty much where you are.

My T also said for me to start "rediscovering" myself and caring less about what my H thinks or has to say to me.  This is not always easy as H with dysregulate and break things, rage and terrify the pets.  

H has been out of town on business, and it's a great relief, but I now dread H will return and resume micromanaging me and order me around again.  I, too, fear what he will say about this and that about house keeping.  I am ill with a disability, in addition to the C-PTSD and depression of living with a H with uBPD for so long.

H's only joy in life is his adult children.  In their company, he is a different person; his voice gentle and placating, all the while opening his wallet for their amusement or to bail then out of yet another bad life decision.  They are all almost 30, and most likely in the BPD and NPD spectrum, with their issues of substance abuse (both alcohol and drugs), homelessness, cruelty to coworkers, and promiscuity.

It's amazing to step back and see the craziness for what it is--and that I have played my part in it for so long--over 20 years by my own fears and enabling.  

I feel much better, though, in being less in denial about my H than ever before.  I hope you are in that place, too.

The notion of "being single" is a good one in that it allows us not to be influenced by our H's bad behaviour and dysregulations.  

@Red5, "bare foot on the hot railroad tracks" is a new way of saying "walking on eggshells."  What a mental picture.   I also know well "catching myself" thinking about what my H would say about things around the house.  My H flies into a rage for the smallest things from a dinner not ready when he gets home from work to seeing political news on the television he disagrees with.

Be well, WHW, and go forward in your "single girl" approach.  It's hard, but I am sure you (we) will eventually find fulfillment in freedom from our R/S with out Hs.    
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2018, 09:56:19 PM »

You all have no idea how much your stories mean to me right now. It is such a comfort to come here and know that there are other people out there dealing with the same exact thing! This isn't easy. If it was, I guess we all wouldn't need a support forum, would we? This has been the toughest relationship I've dealt with to date.

I think the biggest issue with BPD is that you can't 100 percent hate them. When I was in an abusive relationship in my 20s, I felt justified and righteous in hating that guy. He was just plain mean, and all it took was valuing myself just a little bit more to get out of there.

But this relationship is different. While I can hate him while he's being rude or mean, I also see him as kind of vulnerable, someone who can be extremely kind and caring and helpful, when he wants to be. And, at this point, I admit that I'm a little afraid of being alone, like physically alone, in my house. There's a certain comfort knowing that someone is there. I guess perhaps I could get a roommate or something at some point, but it's a lot to think about.

Financially, it's more the things I buy for the house that I know I wouldn't probably buy if he wasn't around. The extra food, the types of food, the extra of everything. He's on my insurance, so that takes hundreds out of my paycheck every year. But if I don't pay for his insurance, then I get fined on our taxes. Plus, if he does get hurt or sick, or actually does finally decide to see a therapist, it's there. I pay car insurance and phone because I hope he'll use them to get a job. I pay all of our bills, but those would be pretty much the same, whether or not he was there. I don't usually buy anything else for him.

I guess that's still enabling him. But I also feel like, if I'm going to let him live here with me, then I'm already enabling him by paying all the bills for my home.

What bugs me lately is that he has been begging me every single night to get dinner out. I've had to put my foot down again and again. Lately he's been using that against me. "All you ever say is, 'No, no, no!' You used to be fun." I'm now the stick in the mud in his life, who always says "No" and spoils his fun.

He's back into winter depression mode again. He's been "down" multiple days this week, doing basically nothing. I don't know how a person can live like that. I would have to at least do something or I'd lose it.

Anyway, I have a much-needed therapy session tomorrow afternoon. It's been about three weeks since I've talked to my therapist and it's clear to me that I need a regular outlet or I have trouble managing my stress. I'll update on things once that happens.

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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 01:02:44 AM »

WEW, I know how it's hard to "hate" our BPD partners.  They are mean and abusive, but I see behind my uBPDs insecurities and pain.  My H can also be caring and kind, especially to the pets.  He will sit on the sofa with the cats and they will purr in his lap.  That's is, however, one side of him.  

When H dysregulates, I get called every name in the book:  "C***," "B****," and all the others. Then there are the divorce threats, calling me a "hag," and how no one will ever love me.  These things used to devastate me to tears and despair (and even depression), but now I know it's just the raving of a sick man.

H was raised in a chaotic house with a uNPD F and enabler mother.  His other brother was favored over him, and F make no secret of it.  As a result, H was bonded with his mother.  His F spent the family income of hunting and fishing gear, and golf green fees.  His M never received any gift of value in the decades of marriage to her H.  I always feel sorry for her.  F took his W on camping trips, and his "gift" to her was to "allow" her to clean and cook the fish and game he caught.  What a guy!

In adulthood, H joined the military and then went back to his hometown and became immediately involved with an old school flame who is likely NPD.  They were married in a matter of months.  Eight years into the marriage, and with several children, H's W cheats on him while he was overseas with a married man, and then divorces her H (now my H) to marry her lover; two families were broken up.  X W took the children across the country when she married her lover.  H mourned seeing his children grow up:  no piano recitals, softball games, first dates, etc.  H ended up hating his X W--for good reason.  She'd taunt him when he wanted to see the children, H even begging to pay for photos, paying to buy the children cell phones.  After her second H left her for another woman (karma!), she landed a third husband, a younger naive man who married her, again after a swift love affair.

Love bombing, as you know, is a feature in both BPD and NPD relationships.  In fact, BPDs and NPDs make an unhealthy symbiosis.  

The children saw how valued they were and used it against their father, asking for all sorts of expensive gifts, mocking him for his interest in their lives.  When on visitation, they blackmailed their father into buying gifts or special consideration under the threat of never again seeing him in his home.  Nice kids, don't you think?  Now they are all almost 30 and in some spectrum of BPD or NPD.   H is always sending them money to bail them out of their latest poor life choices.

I have to pull away from all this madness (being fired from jobs, suicide attempts, homelessness, drugs) and not get emotionally invested, including my H.  "Single woman" is a good way to put it.

As much as I love my H, he is a very sick man.  Communication skills have helped me deal with him but he will still dysregulate and break things in a rage.  I do see the shame he has when he "comes to" after the rage.  Sad, very sad.

I hope you are feeling better and better in finding yourself.  I am recovering the "self" I lost so many years ago when my H tried to crush my happiness out of me.  BPDs don't like to see their partners happy.  It reminds them of the unhappiness and hollowness they have inside and they are jealous of it.

Just as when a woman left her BPD H in the "Eggshells" book, the poor man was weeping, "I was never happy!"

 
 
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 07:32:29 AM »


What bugs me lately is that he has been begging me every single night to get dinner out. I've had to put my foot down again and again. Lately he's been using that against me. "All you ever say is, 'No, no, no!' You used to be fun." I'm now the stick in the mud in his life, who always says "No" and spoils his fun.
 


There is a parental vibe here...do you see it?

Put him in time out..remove financial support.  How has the funding car insurance and phone done?  What kind of work is he doing at the moment?

How much income has he brought in over the past year?


FF
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 07:50:45 AM »

While I can hate him while he's being rude or mean, I also see him as kind of vulnerable, someone who can be extremely kind and caring and helpful, when he wants to be.

What bugs me lately is that he has been begging me every single night to get dinner out. I've had to put my foot down again and again. Lately he's been using that against me. "All you ever say is, 'No, no, no!' You used to be fun." I'm now the stick in the mud in his life, who always says "No" and spoils his fun.


Same here. I can't fully hate him. Much of the time, he's funny, caring, attentive, affectionate, playful. He's a very generous man in many ways. And like y'all, I can see the pain in him and that makes it harder for me to really feel full-on anger.

I also get the accusations of being a stick-in-the-mud. Our financial situation is different. He makes about 5x what I do. But he'll still accuse me of spoiling any fun. "We can't do that because I know eating out a lot makes you all nervous." It doesn't. I love eating out. He must be projecting something onto me. Or he'll say "I know we can't be out late on a school night or you'll freak out." Again, not true. I love a good deviation from routine. That's always very frustrating.

Anyway, it's difficult to know where to stand or how to feel. A part of me wants to walk away, detach, and get on with my life. A part of me can't bear to do that, knowing how much pain it would cause him and knowing that he's sick. Horrible situation to be in.

Curious to hear how things go with your therapist.
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2018, 09:11:01 AM »

The decision to change our life when we are in pain shows a great deal of courage. Be kind and patient with yourself as you find your path to a new life outside your relationship. You will get there and feel happier though there will be times when the pain seems unbearable and by facing the pain, you will slowly start to feel better; one day you will have a fulfilling joyful life that would not have been possible without your courage and resilience to move forward.
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2018, 12:29:55 PM »

If we didn't see the good in our pwBPD loved ones, most of us would have been out the door a long time ago.

Everyone has issues and baggage. What becomes problematic in the longterm for us nons is not doing the spreadsheet and being willing to settle for crumbs.

If you truly want to pressure-test your relationship, put it on paper.

What are the plusses you are bringing to the relationship? What plusses does your partner bring?

What are the negatives you bring? Your partner's negatives?

Can you assign a weight to each of these factors, numerically on a 1 to 10 scale, perhaps using minus numbers for the negatives?

It's kind of a silly exercise, but it can really give you an honest look into the dynamics of your relationship and if the numbers are far out of balance, you can ask yourself why you deserve less than you should.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2018, 05:03:03 PM »

Hi all, I talked to the T today. She thinks that if he gets a job, things will change, but like FF said, he's too comfortable. It's silly to worry about this over the holiday time (especially because this is my absolute most stressful time at work), but T wants me to come up with some strategies to get him doing things that are productive so that he doesn't sit in the house all day doing nothing, fueling his antisocial behavior. That's my next move Jan 1st.

I'm working on myself to make sure I keep my boundaries and stay in my "power" - not becoming reactive or offended when he lashes out. One technique my T told me to do when he's being rude or combative is to just leave the room or leave the house instead of responding to it. That helps me. It's kind of funny, I do feel like it's almost like training my Coonhound. In order to stop her from demand barking or begging for food, I turn away and ignore her. I'm doing the same thing for my uBPDh, and it seems to be the same level of effectiveness, which is good.

Cat - I think I will do what you suggested in my journal tonight. I think it's good to just take inventory, especially now.

Anyway, I'm coming off of a loooong week and I actually finished work before 6PM, so I'm going to go home and have a glass of wine! Have a good weekend, folks! Thank you for sharing your stories and advice.
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