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SherlockTheDog

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« on: November 09, 2018, 05:51:46 AM »

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I’m glad a place like this exists as I’m struggling with breaking up with my GF of 2 years. We were recently Engadgement ring shopping when I suddenly and unexpectedly realized marrying her would be like committing to a life of emotional abuse.

I made a clear decision that I haven’t wavered on, and we’ve both started looking for apartments. Everything about the relationship is textbook from what I’ve read - Every author is perfectly describing me and my girlfriend with BPD - which is actually a bit trippy. She came at a perfect time when I had just began recovering from a year of depression.

Right now, my GF is in the “Seeing the light” phase. She’s suddenly taking blame for all the issues, explaining how she will change them, how she never loved anyone as much as me and she feels like she’s grieving. A close friend of mine thinks I’m making a mistake because of how perfect she seems for me. My entire family love her and say they’ll miss her a lot, But they don’t see the emotional drain, ups and downs, and having her feelings being more important than mine.

I feel sad, and a little lonely- And want to believe that everything will be better. But I’ve gotten to the point where I think I’m no longer in love. However, last night when she was apologizinf and crying, the good side of her came out and reminded me of why I love her so much. But the constant up and downs (the day before she sounded like she was done with me too) are just so draining and I’m tired.

I want to believe that she’s seen the light - But I don’t think her dependency (something she said she’ll never do again) is going to work for me.

Any thoughts for how to help me think through this? I had made up my mind, but last night I felt guilty for how she was feeling and how much she wants to get back together
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 05:57:32 AM by SherlockTheDog » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 07:21:19 AM »

Dealing with this aspect of the relationship - the person being at their best- is very difficult. There are reasons you fell in love with her,  but also reasons you have decided not to sign on for a lifetime of this or to have a family with her. This is a decision you make considering all of her behavior, not just times when she is suddenly at her best.

You stated in your posts that you no longer feel you are in love with her, that her sudden turn around isn't enough for you to change your mind, and that what you are feeling is guilt. Sometimes a person's behavior can elicit feelings of Fear Obligation and Guilt (FOG). It may not be intentional- but they want something from us. Paying attention to your feelings and what you decide when you are feeling FOG will help you stay true to the decision you feel is best for you.

The behaving at their best/then dysreguation is a cycle. It is part of the push/pull to BPD behavior " I hate you don't leave me". It isn't about you, but it is a part of the disorder. A pw BPD can behave at their best when they are highly motivated. They may push their intimate partner to the limit, and this then will make them fearful of abandonment and they can be highly motivated to get the person back. Once back though, the motivation isn't there as the fear is gone, and they then may disregulate. In the moment, your GF is likely sorry and promises to change- however the kind of change you would like to see isn't instant. What she is doing isn't sustainable. The kind of change you would want to see would take a lot of therapy and insight and self work. It isn't quick but would take a long time and she would have to be very motivated to do it, if she was capable of that. She may believe what she says in the moment,  but is likely to not be able to sustain it without intense work at it over a long time and even then, the effectiveness of therapy isn't guaranteed. BPD is a difficult condition to treat because of their difficulty of looking inward at themselves. I don't know the statistics of success, but I don't think they are high.

Your family and friends are advising from what they see, but they don't see what you see.  They don't have a clue what it is like to be her intimate partner. Since BPD tends to affect the most intimate relationships the most, it is likely that they don't see what you see. Their relationship with her might be fine but that doesn't mean yours is. You need to trust our own experience, judgement and boundaries with your relationship.

It is really hard to see a person hurt by your decision, but in the long run, if you know your decision will hurt you, then continuing the relationship to soothe her pain isn't doing either of you any good. Actions have consequences and if her behavior has led to your decision to end the relationship- then it has.

Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior. She is who she is and what you have seen from her in the past is most likely to continue in the future no matter how earnest her sudden change appears.

Lastly- you have every right to make the choice that is best for you. This is your life. You have every right to decide who you wish to marry and raise children with. Engagements can be broken and are much easier to break than a marriage. The whole point of engagement is to have a time where each person considers if marriage is the next right step or not. You are not obligated to marry her and if you don't want to, then you would be violating your own boundary by doing so.

When we marry a person, we marry them as they are. Marriage doesn't change a person. If you see red flags before marriage, they will be there after marriage. Sometimes people marry thinking the other person will change, but this is a common mistake. What you see now is what you are likely to see in the long run.







« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 07:33:39 AM by Notwendy » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 08:52:27 AM »

It is really hard to see a person hurt by your decision, but in the long run, if you know your decision will hurt you, then continuing the relationship to soothe her pain isn't doing either of you any good. Actions have consequences and if her behavior has led to your decision to end the relationship- then it has.

I re-read this and want to clarify: It is really hard to see a person hurt by your decision, but in the long run, if you decide to stay to not hurt her, but know that decision will hurt you, then continuing the relationship to soothe her pain isn't doing either of you any good. Actions have consequences and if her behavior has led to your decision to end the relationship- then it has.

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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 09:47:31 AM »

It is really hard to see a person hurt by your decision, but in the long run, if you know your decision will hurt you, then continuing the relationship to soothe her pain isn't doing either of you any good. Actions have consequences and if her behavior has led to your decision to end the relationship- then it has.

I re-read this and want to clarify: It is really hard to see a person hurt by your decision, but in the long run, if you decide to stay to not hurt her, but know that decision will hurt you, then continuing the relationship to soothe her pain isn't doing either of you any good. Actions have consequences and if her behavior has led to your decision to end the relationship- then it has.



Thank you for the very thoughtful and quick reply. It is me feeling guilty and then putting her feelings over mine to get back together.

When I thought about marriage, I imagined being sad when congratulated on the engagement, and being really sad the day of - to put her feelings ahead of mine.

But I’m finally putting myself first for once. And the FOG is definitely the reason I’m reconsidering...

I think I’m just no longer able to handle that everything is always terrible no matter how much better things have gotten. It’s too draining, and I need someone to lift me up, not to pull me away from my interests and things I want to do.
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 11:49:32 AM »

You can choose who you wish to marry. Dating and engagement exist for a reason- to learn if the two of you are compatible for life. Just because we date someone or consider engagement does not obligate us to sign on for a lifetime of something that isn't right for us.

I isn't easy for you right now to follow through on your decision that spending the rest of your life with this person isn't right for you, however, it is much easier to follow through with your decision now than to spend a lifetime with a person you are not compatible with.
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Toad17

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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 01:11:34 PM »


When I thought about marriage, I imagined being sad when congratulated on the engagement, and being really sad the day of - to put her feelings ahead of mine.

I'm going through something similar. I'm breaking 9 year relationship (6 years of marriage). FOG is a hard and challenging phase. If I look back, I had similar feeling like yours when I was getting married. Something deep inside was not right and I knew I was getting into an emotionally challenging relationship. I went through it because I was caught up on the good side, when she shows her best behavior. I also wanted to play the role of a savior. NotWendy is spot on - these behaviors don't change unless there is some serious intervention and self motivation. But the disorder prevents the person from taking help.
One lesson I have learnt is, always trust your emotions and feelings (both good and bad). They are real and they are trying to tell you something. If the relationship makes you sad over a long period of time, then it is true and it'll remain the same after marriage, unless she goes through an extensive healing process. It's hard to not play the role of "Knight with shining armor" and save her. But trust me, it's not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to be supportive and to follow your feelings. Find the person who makes you happy. You have to honestly ask yourself if this person makes you truly happy.
I'm so glad that you are thinking through all of this and taking help at the critical decision making phase.
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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 03:59:25 PM »

I'm going through something similar. I'm breaking 9 year relationship (6 years of marriage). FOG is a hard and challenging phase. If I look back, I had similar feeling like yours when I was getting married. Something deep inside was not right and I knew I was getting into an emotionally challenging relationship. I went through it because I was caught up on the good side, when she shows her best behavior. I also wanted to play the role of a savior. NotWendy is spot on - these behaviors don't change unless there is some serious intervention and self motivation. But the disorder prevents the person from taking help.
One lesson I have learnt is, always trust your emotions and feelings (both good and bad). They are real and they are trying to tell you something. If the relationship makes you sad over a long period of time, then it is true and it'll remain the same after marriage, unless she goes through an extensive healing process. It's hard to not play the role of "Knight with shining armor" and save her. But trust me, it's not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to be supportive and to follow your feelings. Find the person who makes you happy. You have to honestly ask yourself if this person makes you truly happy.
I'm so glad that you are thinking through all of this and taking help at the critical decision making phase.


Sorry to hear about what you’re going through, though it does help with my approach seeing how things could go in the opposite way as hoped.

After the ring shopping and the sudden change of heart I had, which looking back there were some hints, my decision was pretty obvious. I suppose her crying in my arms and hugging her reminded me of the good times, which is why all of a sudden I feel like I’m having a change of heart. But I think it’s a lot to take in.

Did I suddenly fall inlove wirh her again? Idk I don’t think so but what if I’m wrong?. But I do know the drain, the needing, and the lack of interest in anything other than me, and not letting me have interests in anything other than her is not healthy. It’s toxic and I know for a fact she really isn’t willing to go to therapy or get help.
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 04:43:44 AM »

Did you suddenly fall in love again?

I don't think this is an all or none decision when it comes to emotions but you will need to look at the big picture. She is both- the good aspects and the difficult ones. The decision isn't about how you feel in the moment, but a decision made for a lifetime.

There are aspects of a BPD relationship that are appealing to some people- the highs and lows, the idealization, but being painted "white" also can involve being painted "black" as well. In the situation you described, she was upset and you were comforting her- this put you in rescuer position. Some people are attracted to this dynamic.

You are here learning about the nature and dynamics of a relationship with someone with BPD. I hope this helps you with the decision you feel is right for you.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 04:47:53 PM »

hi SherlockTheDog,

it sounds like youve given a lot of thought to whether you want to do this for life, and thats important. we will support you in whichever direction your path takes.

im wondering, what are the primary sources of conflict in your relationship, and how long they have been present. had i had the tools, i think i could have guided my relationship in far healthier territory and stability. i dont know if they would have saved my relationship, in that its been years and i just dont think my partner and i were meant to be, but youre understandably conflicted here. lets see what, if anything, is possible to improve, and if not, get on the road to a smoother landing.
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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 05:28:44 PM »

hi SherlockTheDog,

it sounds like youve given a lot of thought to whether you want to do this for life, and thats important. we will support you in whichever direction your path takes.

im wondering, what are the primary sources of conflict in your relationship, and how long they have been present. had i had the tools, i think i could have guided my relationship in far healthier territory and stability. i dont know if they would have saved my relationship, in that its been years and i just dont think my partner and i were meant to be, but youre understandably conflicted here. lets see what, if anything, is possible to improve, and if not, get on the road to a smoother landing.

Hi, thank you for the support!

The biggest thing has been consistently the negativity and comparison to me because of my success in business. She’s been comparing herself to me a few months into the relationship. My success and hard work is constantly put down bc, apparently, her life is just harder, and none of my problems can compare when XYZ aren’t working for her. All my issues are dismissed because hers are worse and so I’m unable to complain about things bothering me.

I think I’m feeling that the great side of her will be missed, but I can’t get away from the negativity unless I leave. I’m very positive, my friends are very positive, and I feel like I’m being dragged down. Additionally, anything I want to do, especially related to working is put down, and that there are more important things in life I.e her. When I think about it, all of my interests are put down as “there are more important things in life”. Not to say she hasn’t come along on a few of my adventures, and that’s when the positive side of her comes out.

So my life has been heavily skewed to my interests outside her put down, and everything with her life being miserable, all the time.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 05:34:31 PM by SherlockTheDog » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 05:45:49 PM »

is she depressed, do you know?

The biggest thing has been consistently the negativity and comparison to me because of my success in business. She’s been comparing herself to me a few months into the relationship. My success and hard work is constantly put down bc, apparently, her life is just harder, and none of my problems can compare when XYZ aren’t working for her.

that is a pretty big drain. can you give us a little bit of a play by play of how these conversations with her usually go?
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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 06:41:24 PM »

is she depressed, do you know?

that is a pretty big drain. can you give us a little bit of a play by play of how these conversations with her usually go?

Yes she has had depression on and off.

A recent conversation I told her how I felt like my big project didn’t move me forward, and that I had $x and only now have $X and she said “what a great American tragedy”

Or when we got in a big fight all of a sudden she started screaming at me about how easy my life is bc I’m a man. The fight was about me not feeling comfortable about the engagement and defending myself which only made her angrier it seems.

After we made up about that fight, a few days later she jokingly was saying “Why can’t I control you?” which I took as a joke but prob meant a little more. I think she said that when she realized I may leave her.

Then the other day when I stopped being so accommodating to her. After I told her it was over, she kept accusing me of “being a different person” like who was I all of a sudden. No longer accommodating and thinking of my own interests.

And now her message is “I found my boundaries with you, and I pushed you too hard. so now I’ll be better and everything will be ok”
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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 08:58:44 PM »

Is her taking blame and saying she’ll fix everything not typical BPD behavior ? Is it unheard of?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 09:06:41 PM by SherlockTheDog » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2018, 07:02:58 AM »

I think the "quick turn around" everything will be OK behavior is typical of BPD. In that time, what is said can vary. I think in the moment, she means it, but again- real change takes time and work for anyone, and so can this "sudden best behavior" be sustained over time? That's the question and with BPD these things tend to cycle from what I have observed unless someone is getting professional help and has a desire to change for the long term.

For you- the question is what do you want to do. Yes, one can work at these kinds of relationships by learning tools for dealing with BPD and also it takes some self work- but it doesn't make the BPD issues go away. The person with BPD ( without therapy and possibly with )is often the same person in the long run. Since BPD exists on a spectrum - the kind of relationship difficulties can vary. Some can be severe, some not so. We can look at our part in conflicts and the relationships but we can not change another person.

Many of us who have entered these dysfunctional relationship patterns tend to have poor boundaries, but what are boundaries? They are our own internal values that say " this is good for me" or "this is not good for me".  The way I interpret your post is that, after dating for some time, you are considering whether or not this relationship is good for you for a lifetime.  Like many relationships, you are dealing with someone as an entire person, with good aspects and also your concerns about her. Over a lifetime- you will experience all aspects of this person.

There are no perfect people. Everyone has their strengths and not strong aspects of themselves. No two people will be perfectly compatible. Marriage takes a decision- what are deal breakers to me and what can I live with?  Deal breakers can be very individual- some people want to marry someone of the same religion, for others that may not matter- but you want to have a marriage that is going to be workable for the rest of your lives together- and you need to think in long terms- not a moment of "everything is OK". Regardless of what anyone else says about your GF- they are not the ones who will live their lives in an intimate relationship with her. This is your choice.

Personally, I think an important aspect of a long term relationship is if two people can communicate about difficult topics and work them out is one thing to look at.  Is one person constantly giving in to keep the peace? Can you be yourself in the relationship or are you walking on eggshells? Are the two of you able to come to an agreement on things like money, children, religion, division of work and household tasks? If you do have children, is this the person you want to be their mother?

Our own boundaries can help us decide if a relationship is right for us. If someone feels uncomfortable in a relationship, it is possibly because they sense an incompatibility. This is different from a temporary argument- those happen in any relationship. What the boundary feels like is - "this doesn't seem good for me". In this case, listen to your own self- what is it saying? Maybe spend some time with yourself thinking about this- and be honest with yourself.





« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 07:09:12 AM by Notwendy » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2018, 10:06:18 AM »

Is her taking blame and saying she’ll fix everything not typical BPD behavior ? Is it unheard of?

its typical behavior for someone who doesnt want to be broken up with. i dont have BPD, and its the same case that i made when my ex was breaking up with me. there are thousands of songs written pleading with a lover, "ill change".

its probably a sincere expression. the question is the willingness/ability to follow through in the long term, how far the relationship has broken down, and how willing and able both parties are to try to restore it. this is a good benchmark...what stage would you say your relationship is in: https://bpdfamily.com/content/your-relationship-breaking-down

she said “what a great American tragedy”

how did you respond?
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SherlockTheDog

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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2018, 11:44:48 AM »

Personally, I think an important aspect of a long term relationship is if two people can communicate about difficult topics and work them out is one thing to look at.  Is one person constantly giving in to keep the peace? Can you be yourself in the relationship or are you walking on eggshells? Are the two of you able to come to an agreement on things like money, children, religion, division of work and household tasks? If you do have children, is this the person you want to be their mother?

Our own boundaries can help us decide if a relationship is right for us. If someone feels uncomfortable in a relationship, it is possibly because they sense an incompatibility. This is different from a temporary argument- those happen in any relationship. What the boundary feels like is - "this doesn't seem good for me". In this case, listen to your own self- what is it saying? Maybe spend some time with yourself thinking about this- and be honest with yourself.


I think one of the most frustrating aspects, is that everything I say, is mis interpreted and mis represented, and her inability to listen to what I mean when I say something is some sort of mental barrier for her. Recently I told her I'd like more encouragement about my ideas and she said "So you want me to lie to you? I'm not going to start lying now." and i said "No, I don't want you to lie, I just don't want u to shoot me down so fast and so hard." She replied "Ok so you want me to lie when I think your idea is bad?" She only hears what she wants to hear.

I do walk on eggshells when I'm upset, or she's upset, because if I say the wrong thing, she goes nuclear. And I worry about kids, because they're going to inevitably do things and I'm concerned she'll go nuclear on them, then be loving the next minute, and that'll affect them really negatively.

I've spent 2 days away this weekend, and I feel like I can no longer overlook what I have. I feel like im now facing reality of what life would be like for the rest of my life, and it sounds miserable.

its typical behavior for someone who doesnt want to be broken up with. i dont have BPD, and its the same case that i made when my ex was breaking up with me. there are thousands of songs written pleading with a lover, "ill change".

its probably a sincere expression. the question is the willingness/ability to follow through in the long term, how far the relationship has broken down, and how willing and able both parties are to try to restore it. this is a good benchmark...what stage would you say your relationship is in: https://bpdfamily.com/content/your-relationship-breaking-down

how did you respond?

Ha good point! I would say that the stage is stage 4. When I came home and she wasn't there, I sighed of relief and immediately thought "thank god"

Ive been away for 2 days, and feel very relaxed. My biggest concern is getting someone to take over the lease at the apartment to be honest. So I think my priorities are shifting to getting out...

I responded to the american tragedy comment by saying "I feel like it's not going anywhere" and she's like "I dont know..." then quickly changed the subject

I think I have been trying to change my gut instinct, and think about the good, but it isn't working...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 11:51:20 AM by SherlockTheDog » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2018, 12:12:38 PM »

Also regarding Stage 4, I told her the other day that I felt like I put up a wall that I can't take down. And she's like "It'll just take time" but it feels permanent to me right now.
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2018, 02:12:05 PM »

I think I have been trying to change my gut instinct


I think it is important to not change your gut instinct. It is often the guide to what is good for us and what isn't. Ignoring our own truth is what leads people into decisions that are not right for them.

Spending this time alone, listening to your own self, is a good way to get clear on what you want to do.

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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2018, 08:10:40 AM »

I think I have been trying to change my gut instinct


I think it is important to not change your gut instinct. It is often the guide to what is good for us and what isn't. Ignoring our own truth is what leads people into decisions that are not right for them.

Spending this time alone, listening to your own self, is a good way to get clear on what you want to do.



After being able to clear my head this weekend, and what she said to me last night, made me realize I definitely made the right decision.

Thank you everyone for your help. Really appreciate how responsive everyone is.
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2018, 08:22:14 AM »

If you want support for the process of ending a relationship- now that you have decided- there is a detaching board to help you with any questions you might have.

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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2018, 11:09:12 AM »

"I want to believe that she’s seen the light - But I don’t think her dependency (something she said she’ll never do again) is going to work for me."

Dependency --
What does this mean, can you give an example? Mine would call to talk on a weeknight (I wake up at 430), then after a bit I would hang up and she would call back a minute later! Just to hear me and be near me. Like 1.5 hours of conversation on any given weeknight. It made me tired the next day sometimes. Anyway, that's my example (I've got not, if course).
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« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2018, 02:08:19 PM »

I responded to the american tragedy comment by saying "I feel like it's not going anywhere" and she's like "I dont know..." then quickly changed the subject

you know her best. why do you think she does this?
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2018, 08:49:14 PM »

"I want to believe that she’s seen the light - But I don’t think her dependency (something she said she’ll never do again) is going to work for me."

Dependency --
What does this mean, can you give an example? Mine would call to talk on a weeknight (I wake up at 430), then after a bit I would hang up and she would call back a minute later! Just to hear me and be near me. Like 1.5 hours of conversation on any given weeknight. It made me tired the next day sometimes. Anyway, that's my example (I've got not, if course).

You sound like you're describing her! It's exactly like that. Like always needing to be near me. I can't even brush my teeth in the morning without her sitting and watching me. I've heard a million times "I don't know how I would survive without you"

you know her best. why do you think she does this?

She does it because she believes her problems are always bigger or more important than my problems. My feelings are always brushed off bc her problems are worse.

Tonight, she really exploded on me, and said some of the worst things anyone has ever said to me... And I feel really hurt right now.
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 08:50:54 PM »

what happened? we are here, and listening.
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2018, 08:16:41 AM »

what happened? we are here, and listening.


She angrily and with tears said “I hate you and never want to see you again, I hope you get hit by a car, you’re trying to destroy my life and you were the biggest mistake ever, you lied to me for two years (obviously not true) was just using her as decoration, I’m actually terrible in bed, that she actually hasn’t been happy in a while, that I’m really ugly and only dated me bc I was nice so now she can go date hot guys, that people who I think love me actually hate me and told her so, and that my siblings told her that the true me is really an asshole behind my back (also not true), and that now I’m going back to three wheeling with my friend and his wife. That she never did anything to me, and has been the same since I met her. The intensity and anger and with tears the way it was really painful.

However, all this felt very childish but it’s hard to be attacked and not hurt by it. She then said she’ll never tell anyone she has BPD.

I understand that I hurt her, and I apologized for that, but I can’t imagine this is a healthy reaction in a typical break up. But idk.
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