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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 do not want my failed relationships to define who I am  (Read 438 times)
Tsultan
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« on: January 21, 2019, 03:42:17 PM »

I have been processing my 2nd - 24 year failed marriage, my 3 1/2 year relationship with uBPDbf, and my first marriage where technically, I am a widow.  (we were separated for 3 years before he took his own life).

I am fighting this underlying tone from my 24 year marriage where he left me for another woman and exclaims to the world how happy he is now.  A part of me feels like in him doing so puts the blame on me.  It is like his thinking is "see world, look how happy I am now that I have this new gf"  I know 100% that is not true and that happiness is an inside job.   He was miserable at the beginning of our marriage.  That was something he brought with him.  As soon as we were married it was like a switch was flipped and the mask came off.  I am writing about this because when I do talk about my feelings especially to a group of people who understand, the feelings lose their power to control.  He was the type to dish out a lot of overt criticism and I wasn't catching the insults until I started coming out of the fog years later and doubled down on my recovery path.  I learned later this is emotional abuse. Never even knew it existed.  Those criticism's were damaging to me.

With my 3 1/2 yr r/s w/ exBPDbf I don't have criticism to process.  Just the fact that I was attracted to yet another unhealthy person for reasons I painfully learned.   Most of which I learned reading articles on this website.

I'm learning to treat myself as I would a good friend.  I am catching myself when I give myself negative self-talk.  I am grateful for the awareness.  Trying to be gentle with myself.  Trying not to judge myself as good or bad.  Looking at it as I did not have the proper tools in my tool belt for my circumstances at the time.  I do have some shame that I am working through from my childhood.  Sexual abuse from a cousin, emotional abuse from my mother, and just an overall feeling of shame and sometimes repulsion from my mother's behavior. (She may have been borderline?) I am not proud of her.  I have to work on forgiving her more.  I thought I worked through that but I can feel there are more layers to peel off.

I commented on a post about what I would be looking for in my next relationship but I was thinking too that I would like to list a few things that I might be able to offer someone in a relationship. 

I have learned to listen and validate.  I recognize the importance of listening to another human being even if I don't agree with them.  Today, I do not have to alway be right.  I would rather be loving than right.  I feel my priorities are in line to the way I would rather have them.  God, recovery, family and friends, and stuff last.

I can financially contribute to a relationship.  I have skills and I can earn a good living.  I am a pretty talented cook.  I am resourceful.  I have good detective skills when trouble shooting mechanical failures to the house.  I love to laugh.  I have a good heart meaning I can empathize.  I have a good work ethic.  I would be right along side someone as a partner when working on projects around the house.  I'll stop there... .

I think I needed to put those qualities down in ink so I can remember who I am.  And if someone does not appreciate me for what I have to offer then well, that's the way it goes.

I don't know if anyone else can relate to this or not - I would appreciate feedback from this wealth of knowledge here at bpdfamily. 

I am trying to find a counselor who has experience with BPD in my area.  I found one but lost her no. and now I cannot find her info.  Plus, I have to build my HSA account back up again.  I don't have the best health insurance where I currently work.

Thanks for listening.

Tsultan
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 05:20:41 PM »

for what its worth, remember that everyones relationships fail except the last one. do they define us? it sounds cliche: they are a part of us, but i think what defines us is how we process and proceed. ideally, we do a little better each time. we mature.
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JNChell
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 05:41:36 AM »

Hey, Bluegill.  First, go easy on yourself. The emotional pressure can become really intense as we try to process and unpack. I’m glad that you brought your thoughts here.

I am writing about this because when I do talk about my feelings especially to a group of people who understand, the feelings lose their power to control.

This is a wise place to be writing from. I wish that I was more capable of coming from this place.

once removed has a solid point in the fact that all of our relationships fail until the last one doesn’t. It sounds simple, but we know it’s felt very complicated so far. Your past relationships don’t define you, BG. You wouldn’t have posted this if they did.

Those criticism's were damaging to me.

Yes. They were. Emotional abuse can be a subtle ascent. It becomes maddening and can have lasting effects that need to be sorted out after we’ve been removed from the situation. Not everyone has the will and strength to do this. Your ex moved on so quickly because he doesn’t have the strength to do this. He isn’t able to look inward, so he had to find another that he can project onto. You know how that feels. He will continue this pattern unless he commits to long term treatment that will help him adjust his thinking and behaviors. You know him best. Do you think that this is possible?

I thought I worked through that but I can feel there are more layers to peel off.

Nothing wrong with this. Again, your self awareness is admirable. You’re doing a good job. Be proud of yourself.

I would rather be loving than right.

This value/virtue is attractive. It’s wise and honest. It has a sense of safety attached to it. Often times, “being right” is an opinion. The same can be said for being wrong. We need to feel safe while having both feelings. I’m glad that you stated this.

I definitely relate to what you’re saying. I don’t really have any advice because I’m seeking many of the same answers that you are. It’s nice knowing that there are people that can relate with one another here. You’re on a good path, BG. I understand how painful and thorny it can be, but you’re doing well. You define who you are.



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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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Tsultan
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 09:49:51 PM »

Thank you once removed,
for what its worth, remember that everyones relationships fail except the last one.
I didn't consider looking at it that way.  I like what you said about it's how we process and proceed. I needed to hear that perspective. 

JNChell, Your words brought tears to my eyes.  I needed to hear them. 

The emotional pressure can become really intense as we try to process and unpack. I’m glad that you brought your thoughts here.

True so true.  Thanks for listening and supporting me.

This is a wise place to be writing from. I wish that I was more capable of coming from this place.

Took me a long time to realize I needed to talk about stuff to heal.  I watched a talk on shame and vulnerability and three things to keep shame alive is secrecy, silence and judgement.  I am trying to remember to NOT judge myself.  I am getting better at it.

You know him best. Do you think that this is possible?

Unless some miracle happens it's not likely.  The family he came from had a code: Make sure everything looks good on the outside, don't talk about it and don't show your emotions.  It's tough to break through that denial.  I was thinking after I posted this that he may have purposely posted happy pictures on face book just to make himself look good.  Yes, it hurt every time one of his friends would comment on the post and say "oh you look so happy"  "I'm glad you are happy now, you deserve it". It was like rubbing salt in a wound to me.  Being honest here.  He's not happy.  It's all a show.  You can't flip a happy switch on and suddenly become happy.  I was committed to making that r/s work. He was not.  Interesting how I am still processing stuff from my marriage.  I think it's because I have children with him and that brings an added dimension.

I think it comes down to blame.  He is sending a subtle message that it's my fault through those posts.  And yes you are right on JNChell.  He does not have the ability to reflect on his own behavior.  He does not have the ability to process and grow.  We grew apart years ago.  I chose recovery he chose to stay stuck.  Part of the staying stuck is not taking responsibility for his part in the downfall of our r/s.  So, I should expect him to blame me for why it did not work out.  I can choose not to accept blame however.  Just because he says so does not make it so. 


you’re doing well. You define who you are.

Thank you JNChell.  Your words were comforting to me. I needed to hear them.

btw, that is one nice sized blue gill isn't it?  That would be a keeper for sure.  Fry that up in a pan with mayo and breadcrumbs yum! 

I have to do some fishing this summer! 

Hugs,
BG
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JNChell
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 07:15:18 PM »

Hi again, BG. Your bluegill avatar is most certainly a wall hanger, but I’m like you, too tasty to hang on the wall. That thing is going in the pan. Add some good, homemade coleslaw to the mix. That’s all she wrote! I’m looking forward to fishing again as well. It’s a real love of mine. Unfortunately, I’ve neglected that along with many more of my interests during and after the breakdown between S4’s mom and myself. I think that this summer will be a good time to introduce S4 to “wetting a line”. He and I have already been talking about making fish tacos.

Healing is hard to do without being able to verbalize what we went through, and more importantly, actually being heard and understood. We’re glad that you’re comfortable here and that you are digging your heals in here with the rest of us.  Were you by chance referencing Brene Brown? She’s great!



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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
-a new friend
Tsultan
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Relationship status: Single for 8 mos.
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 09:11:06 PM »

Yes!  JNChell  That is a reference to Brene' Brown.  I started to research shame and vulnerability myself and she came up.  I am going to read her books.  I hear they are awesome. 

I am very grateful that there is a warm and supportive group here.  Many incredible, intelligent, insightful members. 

I had a job interview today and I think it went very well.  I had a good feeling afterwards but I have had good feelings before and did not get the job so I am trying hard not to get my hopes up. This job would provide financial security for me.  It really means a lot.  I am asking the God of my understanding to help me out either way if I get the job or not. 

Went to a meeting and welcomed a bunch of newcomers.  Both situations placed me out of my comfort zone because I don't do well being the center of attention when all eyes are looking at me.  There were about 40 members attending.  yikes!

Exhausting day.

JNChell - I hope you get to fish this summer with S4.  It will be so much fun for the both of you.

Tsultan aka BG
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 07:32:16 AM »

I had a job interview today and I think it went very well.  [... .]
Good luck and God bless. I understand that good feelings thing too. I think you've got a good way to go about it; that's accepting that you want the job, accepting you did a good job going for the interview, and accepting the job will help you a lot financially--and you left it up to God in the end.
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Tsultan
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 08:00:08 PM »

Hey Everyone,

I was thinking this morning that I have let go of some of the blame and possibly shame? for my past "failed" relationships. Specifically, the one with my exH (24 yr marriage). This post helped me heal a little more and I thank you all for your support. 

Here is what happend:

I will occasionally receive a fb post from Al-Anon with an inspirational message. The other day one came across and it read: "Just because the alcoholic in my life couldn't love me doesn't mean I am not loveable".  Those words really spoke to me and I could feel it in my bones that I felt free from his blame.

As some of you know about my previous post I shared that after learning and reading here and other books that I think it's possible that my exH could be on the spectrum of BPD.  Although, I am not qualified to diagnose, from all that I have learned through Al-Anon and learning about the disease of Alcoholism he appears to be a highly functional Alcoholic.

I came to this board to heal from a 3 1/2 yr relationship with and exBPDbf and much to my surprise I am working through stuff from my marriage.  It's all good.

I just wanted to share I am feeling grateful for some healing taking place.

 

hugs,
Tsultan
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JNChell
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Relationship status: Dissolved
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 08:11:17 PM »

Bluegill, you most certainly are.

Letting go of unnecessary shame is praramoumt.  :cursing:The blame. Blame causes shame if we allow it.
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