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Author Topic: >Splitting, Silent Treatment, Discard - how do you deal with it?  (Read 337 times)
DanniGirl75

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« on: September 30, 2019, 08:58:19 AM »


Good morning all,

I posted earlier in a different forum, but thought my questions might be more appropriate here.  I am at a bit of a loss today, which I know many of you have experienced in your own relationships.  I've been reading through your messages for some time now and have learned alot!  So, thank you.  What brought me here in the first place was my new boyfriend.  We've been dating for 3 months and a little over a month ago, he told me he has BPD.  He has been diagnosed and goes to regular therapy sessions with a counselor so he's in treatment.

We live an hour and a half away from each other, I guess that qualifies as a long-distance relationship, so we see each other once a week.  We do talk daily through texts; phone calls are about once-twice a week.  He is a sweet man.  Smart, funny, caring and passionate.  He makes me laugh alot.  Up until now, he was still in his idealization phase with me and we've only had one very serious fight which was my fault and I do take responsibility for it.  Other than that, he doesn't rage at me.  He has never lashed out at me with verbal abuse, blame, hostility, etc.  His mood swings are more on the depressive side and when he feels stressed or upset, he'll be emotionally distant for a couple of days but still responsive to me when I reach out to him.

We were supposed to meet up yesterday (Sunday) and spend the day together.  We chatted briefly on Saturday night and he confirmed that he was coming to see me yesterday.  Saturday night was the last time I heard from him.  He never showed up to my house yesterday.  Nor did he respond to my 2 texts and two phone calls.  Naturally, I thought this was odd and began to worry like crazy but I couldn't get ahold of him.  It's now Monday morning and still nothing.

I do realize that I have no idea what has happened and it could be any number of things.  He is a bit disorganized and has lost or broken his phone at least 3 times since I've known him.

However, this is flagging with me because he has been very upset lately.  He lost a close friend, had to go to court to dispute a parking ticket (and lost) and has been stressed at his job.  This all happened last week.  I can understand how this can make anyone feels scattered and 'off' but, on top of all that, I'm under the impression he may be upset with me as well.  Since we live far apart, our quality time together is limited, which is a bummer.  He's always lamenting about it, saying he wished we were closer.  He's even dropped hints recently about moving near me.  Texting and phone calls are really all we have to keep the connection going until we see each other.  I've noticed that if I don't text him regularly, especially on the weekends, he sometimes gets irritated.  Not in an angry way but, as he's told me before, he feels like I'm not thinking about him or missing him.  Which I am and I do.  I text him often enough but I keep remembering that I have to 'step up' a bit on the weekends and be more available.  Otherwise, his mind wanders and he assumes I'm out with someone else.  The funny thing is, this is not a consistent pattern with him.  There are times throughout a weekend where we won't talk much on a Friday night or Saturday because of our busy routines or plans and he's perfectly fine.  So it's hard to gage when he's more susceptible to feeling hurt from one week to the next.  However, this happened this past Friday and Saturday where he felt upset both nights because he hadn't heard from me within a block of hours.  In all honesty, I was home both evenings and was reorganizing closets, etc.. and just lost track of time.  It was not on purpose that I didn't reach out to him, I was thinking of him alot, but I was just in my zone.  When he texted me, I responded right away.  I even sent him a picture of what I was doing.  Even though he texted back, his responses were curt.  When we said goodnight to each other I ended with "I love you" and he didn't answer back with the sentiment, which he usually does.  We are at that stage now where we do love each other and say it often to one another.

When he went MIA yesterday, I was so concerned at first.  I thought something terrible happened to either him or a relative.  I sat around all day waiting - waiting for him to either show up, return my calls, or return my texts.  Looking back, even when something dramatic has happened in his life, he's always told me about it.  In fact, he's reached out almost immediately.  There have also been times when he had to break our plans at the last minute, but he always let me know.  He never left me hanging like this before.  Not for a whole day and never before on a day where we had plans.  I've never been blown off or gotten the silent treatment before, if that's what this is but I can't be sure.  I have no idea what's going on.

I haven't yet experienced a split with him.  I've read so much about them and, to be honest, has been a fear of mine since I found out about my BF's diagnosis.  Could this be it?  I've been up all night thinking things through (like you do) and reading articles about splitting.  Now, I feel I may have (unknowingly) betrayed expectations he had.  That he doesn't feel safe with me anymore or that he can't trust me because, in his mind, I disappeared on him.  Even though I didn't.  I know that he has trust issues, he's told me about them.  I know he had a very trying week and this on top of it probably compounded things for him.  It's such a small thing, me not texting/calling him, but I know to him it probably feels HUGE.  I'm beginning to feel as if I failed him, that I wasn't paying attention to what he needed from me and I fear he is pulling away and setting me up for a discard.  Again, I can't be 100% sure but this is a new behavior for me.  He hasn't done anything like this before so I'm preparing for everything.

Is this how a split happens?  Is there any way back?  How have you dealt with splitting?  Does splitting/silent treatment automatically lead to discard?

~D
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ColdKnight
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 12:22:36 PM »

Hi Danigirl and welcome.

From what I have read 3-4 months is about the average time where even normal people begin to show their true self in a new relationship. That has been my experience as well. After that time the little quirks and faults begin to emerge.

So with a BPD those things would naturally be more intense.

Both time my ex left were about the three month mark. We were together for about 4 months and she ended it and a year later we got together again four about four months and I could feel her getting ready to discard me so I ended it, in a pretty harsh way that I find myself regretting fairly regularly.

My advice is this. When they push you away don’t chase or smother them. From all my reading and experience engulfment is worse than abandonment.

You might be ok sending one more message that says “I’m here for you when you are ready to come back. Otherwise I will wait to here from you”

You have to be able and strong enough to wait until they come up for air. You also have to accept that they may never.

What was the last message you sent to him?
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DanniGirl75

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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 12:55:27 PM »

Hi Cold Knight,

Thank you for the welcome and for your reply.  I have seen your postings on other threads and have taken great insight from reading them, even before you responded to me.  So I'm glad to have you here with me as I ramble on and work through this.

I exhaled heavily as I read your reply.  Not going to lie, this hurts.  It hurts because it felt as if it came out of nowhere.  The more I think about it, the more I guess I can decipher the subtleties and see why this might be his course of action, if that's what this is.  I don't know.  Still haven't heard from him.

We were texting back and forth around midnight on Saturday.  He seemed OK enough.  I was expecting him to arrive at my house sometime on Sunday afternoon.  When I didn't hear from him by noon-ish, I texted him to ask what he was doing and if he knew his ETA.  Never got a response.  I called his cell around 4:00ish.  It rang 5 times then went to voicemail.  I didn't leave a message. 

To answer your question, (sorry for the drawn-out rant), the last communication I sent to him was last night at 8:30pm.  All I said was "I hope everything is OK".  At that point, I thought maybe he had some horrible emergency.  So that was the last message from me.  All the while, I paced my apartment, looked at my phone constantly and pretty much sat around in a sad state yesterday, just waiting. 

I refrained from reaching out today.  I figured, he knows how to reach me if he needs/wants to, but it's been hard.  With every passing hour, I feel more anxiety and grief.  I can't help but embrace the negative and think this is directed at me, and not because of a family issue or a problem with his phone, etc.  This just feels different.  We've never gone this long without communicating.  I don't think I've given enough consideration to just how sensitive this man is.  He was JUST telling me on Thursday night that he feels I don't include him in my life, like I don't tell him about the little things, my day-to-day stuff.  He asked me to start sharing more and then here I go, like a jerk, forgetting to text him on Friday evening and Saturday, knowing that he gets irritated by my absence for too long.  He is not shy about telling me when he's upset, whether it's because of me or someone else who's upset him.  The fact that he was so calm on Saturday night made me think that he was OK and not as upset as I originally thought he was or might be.  He wasn't his usual talkative self, but it was late and I figured he was tired.  Or, maybe he was calm because, come Saturday night, he decided he was going to discard me as a method of self-defense.  To get rid of me so he won't have to deal with the emotional turmoil anymore.  This is what I've been reduced to thinking.  He's only pushed me away once when we had a serious argument but he was quite vocal about his feelings throughout the whole ordeal and we talked at great length about why he was upset.  It went on for 2 days and in the end, we worked it out.  That was a couple's argument over something I did that he didn't like.  I wouldn't even chalk it up a BPD episode.  He was in his right to react the way he did, so I take responsibility for that one.  Before that and even since then, we get along well.  He's never done this radio silence thing before.  It's seriously messing with me.  Should I continue to leave him be?  No more messages?

If you don't mind me asking, when your ex left, did you feel it coming?  Or was it sudden?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and help me.  I really appreciate it.

Danni
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Red5
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Red5


« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 01:15:01 PM »

From what I have read 3-4 months is about the average time …. where even "normal people" begin to show their true self in a new relationship.

So with a BPD those things would naturally be more intense.

You have to be able and strong enough to wait until they come up for air.

You also have to accept that they may never.

I concur, its about a 4 month cycle … looking back now, from what I can remember of the last eleven years, eight of these years married … the pattern is certainly there …. "4 months" …. there were small incidents … unexplainable, seemingly no reason why … silent treatments, & devaluing ... also within the 4 month time frames, at about eleven day increments …. and the 4 month waypoint being a major full blown dysregulation … extinction burst, "I'm done" type stuff … the pattern held true even after we married, and right on time, we separated almost exactly four months after we said our vows, a separation lasting about six months ….

I had my "bpd epiphany" at about the nine year mark, … and five years into the marriage …  I was clueless "as to why" before then, … it was very depressing, I "thought" there was something wrong with me, so much "gas-lighting" … projection, … control, punish, blame & shame … ugh : (

We've been separated this time now for ten months, as of today … long story,

ColdKnight is right on glide scope here … engulfment is worse than abandonment … which is hard not to do to a loved one, pw/bpd et all', … certainly not a normal reaction for a person, not to want to "chase".

Its called "push - pull" ….

Kind Regards, Red5
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 01:23:40 PM by Red5 » Logged
DanniGirl75

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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 01:34:05 PM »

Hi Red5,

Thank you so much for sharing and for your input.  Wow, so sorry to hear about all you've gone through.  I hope you're doing well, or as best as you can.  I feel for you.

You're right, it's a natural reaction .. to want to "chase".  To find out the "why's" and "how's" and, in my case, to want to console/apologize/or whatever I can do to fix this.  I'm not looking to fix him, as I know I can't, but I want to understand him.  I want to know, specifically, where it all went wrong so quickly so I can avoid making the same mistakes.

It's been a rough couple of days.

Danni
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Red5
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Red5


« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 02:13:37 PM »

Excerpt
You're right, it's a natural reaction .. to want to "chase".

Its the push-pull scenario with pw/bpd … you chase "pull", and they will push you away (engulfment), so the best thing to do is to put it in "neutral" … don't chase, don't pull … leave them be, … don't disappear, but don't get too close … or they will run like a scared rabbit …

If at some point your partner comes back around (pull) … return his pull with a little pull of your own, but be careful not to engulf him … but be advised, he may bolt once again, … its a "catch-22" most times with pw/bpd … hard to judge, and hard to deal with it, I know ; (

Excerpt
To find out the "why's" and "how's" and, in my case, to want to console/apologize/or whatever I can do to fix this.  

I've done this for years now … trying to "figure her out" … the "why" … what causes this, how does it manifest, what happens when she goes "Hyde" on me … splits me, what should I do …

Its said here many times, and as well talked about in the lessons and tools here … "don't validate the invalid" … "don't rescue", "don't enable" … when we profusely apologize to the pw/bpd, because they are mad at us for being mad at them, for being mad at us … you see the "crazy" here ….

Excerpt
I'm not looking to fix him, as I know I can't, but I want to understand him.  

No, you cant "fix" him, … but you can work on you … what ever changes he makes, he will do for himself, no one else can do this for him, and certainly not you, this was sooooo hard for me to grasp …. knowledge about these behaviors, personality disorders is the sword of knowledge …. and it is better that we understand this, and to not take it so personnel … which was another "grasper' for me … very difficult.

Excerpt
I want to know, specifically, where it all went wrong so quickly so I can avoid making the same mistakes.

...he told me he has BPD.  He has been diagnosed and goes to regular therapy sessions with a counselor so he's in treatment.

These relationships are very difficult to navigate, you basically have to surrender your expectations of what you wanted the relationship to be … these souls aren't likely to "change" overnight, if ever ... or if your even lucky enough to have a diagnoses as you describe above, or have them involved in "talk therapy", which many never even get to this point … most pw/bpd (suspected/traits of), will never admit it, or seek help … so the partner who stays, better be strong emotionally, mentally, and practice what is called "radical acceptance" … there is so much to learn, … there are "tools" here that we can use to mitigate, and help us to navigate through, but its not easy, …

Excerpt
It's been a rough couple of days.

There are many folks here whom are on the same path as you are now …. and they can help you to understand, and to perhaps better understand your partner … so keep posting : )

Its good that you know of borderline, and that he is actually seeing a therapist ("T") … that's a rail up from what many of us have endured, and gone through, and are going through right now …. at least you know.

My advise is to take a look at the groups about tools, and lesson, and take a look around there, and see what you may be able to implement, learn … in order to better your relationship, and your ability to communicate with your partner.

Community Built Knowledge Base, third bar down ...Links~>
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?board=45.0
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?board=36.0

Red5


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ColdKnight
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 02:24:52 PM »

Hi Danni,

You don’t have to apologize for long posts. Tell your story as often and as detailed as you feel comfortable and as many times as you need. It helps you and the details help us help you. Read as many posts as you can and comment if you feel you have some insight or just in support.

To answer your question. Yes both times it happened “suddenly” but I could “feel” something. The first time I knew nothing of BPD and the second I had done a lot of research. Both times my instinct told me to pull back but my emotions wanted me to try and pull her closer.
In my experience our instincts can be more true than the heart is.

The last night I saw her she came over. She was acting a little distant and not as loving as she usually is. She made a few comments that made me feel she was starting to devalue me.
I should have pulled back after that day but I didn’t.

A day or two later I invited her out to do something that she had mentioned wanting to do earlier. She said she didn’t think she wanted to go because “she didn’t feel wanted”. I have a couple of ideas as to what made her feel that way but it really doesn’t matter what it was, the point of fact is that is SHE felt that way and to her that was all that mattered.

We ended up not talking for two weeks and I texted her and that is when she told me she met someone else. I pulled the pin right there and tossed a verbal grenade on the whole relationship and we haven’t spoken in seven weeks.

It could be anything you mentioned that set him off. For a normal person not hearing from their BF/GF for a day might give us concern and wonder a bit. We may even wonder if they are seeing someone else. As these thoughts go through our head, we process them and dismiss them unless we have something else that leads us to believe something is wrong.

For someone with BPD these thoughts, more specifically feelings, are magnified by 1000. So if they hit on “oh maybe he/she is seeing someone else” they begin to spin out of control and fixate on that. To them emotion is the only thing feeding their mind. Logic and reason are pushed aside and pure emotion is running the show. It will be like this until they can calm down and begin to think rationally again.

This may take a day, a week, month. Who knows. If you continue to interject yourself while they are in dysregulation it just prolongs they cycle and that is where they begin to really hate and split you black it seems. Several members have had the police called on them and restraining orders filed against them as a result of this.

The other side of not trying to pull them back is setting boundaries. The silent treatment is abuse and I believe it is important not to allow them to use this on you. If you continue to reach out it fortifies that behavior and they will continue to use it whenever they feel they were wronged.

I wished early on I would have called her out on the silent treatment. It may have ended the relationship sooner but at least it would have prevented a lot of anxiety on my part.

Hope this helps

Looking back from the beginning did you see any red flags early on before he told you he had BPD?

 
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DanniGirl75

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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2019, 08:52:20 AM »

Good morning, ColdKnight and Red5,

Thank you, both, so much for sharing and for taking the time to extend yourselves with thoughtful and elaborate insight.  I can't tell you how much it helps me to know that I'm not alone and there are others who have gone through this.

It sounds to me as if your experiences were much rougher, as your relationships were much more involved.  I'm sorry.

ColdKnight - to answer your question, I didn't know what BPD was before I met him.  In the beginning, I though I just lucked out and found myself a sweet, sensitive guy who was in touch with his feelings.  Kind of makes me laugh to say that now.  He got attached quickly.  After date #2, he told me he was in love.  That I was perfect, I was everything he ever wanted, his unicorn, I was his "one".  I know now that it's the idealization phase.  I didn't know that then, but it made me raise my eyebrows a little just the same.  Still, I liked his openness and vulnerability.  It's what attracted me to him even more.  I only suspected something was up when he would tell me on occasion that he was "different" and "special".  After the 2nd month or so was when I picked up on the mood swings and knew there was something "there", but didn't know specifically what it was until he finally told me.

I Googled BPD like crazy.  I found mental health sites and I found this site.  I will admit, after reading through people's experiences (and not just through check lists of symptoms), I cried a little.  I was scared and concerned.  Not just for myself, but for my new BF.  I couldn't imagine that this is what he and so many others endure on a daily basis.  It was heart breaking to me.

I have a question for you now ... What the heck do you do when your pwBPD finally does reach out and lays this whole cockamamie story on you as to why he went MIA?  My BF finally contacted me this morning, via text, but his excuse was crazy!  It was a whole story.  When can you tell the difference between a BPD episode and when someone is just being a lying jerk?  Probably a rhetorical question, but geeezzzz ..

Danni

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No-One
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2019, 01:00:57 PM »

Hi DanniGirl75:
It's wise to take note of red flags, as indicators of traits that will escalate over time.  I know you think you love him.  Do you see him as a candidate for a long-term relationship? Possible marriage & family?  
Quote from: DanniGirl75
When can you tell the difference between a BPD episode and when someone is just being a lying jerk?
Lying is a common BPD trait.  Many actually believe their lies.  There are variations from person to person, but It isn't likely that forms of lying only happen during a major episode.

The quote below is from an article at Randi Kreger's website: "Why Do Narcissists and Borderlines Lie So Much?"
What Clinicians Say About Lying and BPD

In the essay "Lies and Their Deception" in the same book, Lying, Cheating, and Carrying On, Clarence Watson, JD, MD pulls no punches when he says, (p. 98):

    Given that a BPD hallmark is interpersonal relationships that alternate between idealization and devaluation, the person with BPD may distort facts aimed at the person with whom they desire a personal relationship.

    Whether through attempts to draw persons into [intense and rocky interpersonal] relationships or viscously attack another during episodes of the extreme rage associated with perceived abandonment-the borderline personality may use lies and deceitfulness to accomplish these objectives.

Impulsivity and poor impulse control, he writes, means they may not consider the impact of their words before they speak. "In the moment, their desired objective, whatever that may be, takes such precedence over speaking the truth or behaving honestly that the potential consequences of their conduct are reduced to shadowy details."

NOTE:  The complete article from Randi Kreger's website can be found at the address below.  There are, also, some comments people made about lying that you might find helpful.
www.bpdcentral.com/blog/?Why-Do-Narcissists-and-Borderlines-Lie-So-Much-24
Quote from: DanniGirl75
I've noticed that if I don't text him regularly, especially on the weekends, he sometimes gets irritated. . .This  past Friday and Saturday where he felt upset both nights because he hadn't heard from me within a block of hours.
Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) You have only known each other for approx. 3 months.  This behavior could be seen as a red flag.  It shows signs that he is likely to be jealous and controlling.  It's likely to escalate.

It might seem endearing, perhaps flattering, that at times when you haven't been discarded; that he wants to be in touch frequently and know what you are doing at all times.   It's common for people with BPD to be both controlling and jealous.  

Quote from: DanniGirl75
I'm beginning to feel as if I failed him, that I wasn't paying attention to what he needed from me and I fear he is pulling away and setting me up for a discard.
It's not healthy to try and mold yourself into what you think he wants/needs: i.e. "If I only hadn't done X",  I should have done Y", "I have to give up Z for him" etc.  Before you know it, you've given up who you really are, your personal interests, hobbies and commonly friends & family.  The person with BPD can consumes your whole life in a dysfunctional way.

The on/off cycles can serve as intermittent reinforcement.  These cycles can serve to get someone addicted to a person with BPD.

Just offering some food for thought.  He is who he is, so you have to expect that his behaviors will likely continue throughout his life.  You indicate that he is in therapy.  Therapy can make things better, but it doesn't "fix" them.  

If you are serious about staying in the relationship long term, it would be worth your while to seek some individual counseling with a therapist. Better to have some short-term therapy to help you make some decisions now, versus very long-term therapy to deal with a mountain of problems later.

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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 03:02:57 PM »

Hi again Danni,

I agree 100% with everything No-One said.

Lying is a big part of who my ex is  She would lie about the most insignificant things to important things. She wouldn’t even consider that I could prove her wrong. In fact when I did it would just infuriate her more. I believe she truly felt she was telling the truth.

She showed jealousy early on and when I tried to talk to her about it she wouldn’t talk about it and said “let’s just pretend it didn’t happen” She told me that she did not like feeling jealous and that it was “not a good look” on her. At first I liked that because it made me feel wanted.

What No-One said about the on off cycles serving as intermittent reinforcement and potentially causing addiction is spot on. That is exactly what she did to me. Hot/Cold. She would stop responding right in the middle of a conversation and maybe answer the next day, maybe not. Sometimes days would go by and I would have to initiate contact. I don’t know if they do this by evil design or if it is just what they do to survive.
(Anyone have any thoughts on this?)

 She got me addicted to waiting for that text or call or just some little morsel from her. I was and still am addicted to that. NOTE: I am a very strong person and I never thought this would happen to me.

I have never had a problem walking away when crazy starts. Something about this girl sucked me in. I could see the warning signs and red flags and knew what was happening but something about her made me want to let go and lose myself in her.

I am not telling you to run but I am telling you to be very careful.
It has the potential to become like heroin.

To echo No-One regarding trying to anticipate their needs and
mold yourself to what he wants. You can do everything right and still be wrong. It has very little to do with what you do or have done but rather on how they perceive it. You cannot control their reaction you can only control your reaction to their reaction.

How do you respond to his MIA? What are you instincts? You obviously feel he is lying to you. I assume he made up some story about not being able to call?

Something to consider: these people NEED attention. If they are
not getting it from you there is a 99% chance they are getting it from someone else. They usually have others they can go to to fill that need.

There is a very good chance that he was seeing another girl while he was giving you the silent treatment. I don’t want to be harsh but that is a true possibility that you have to be willing to accept if you continue with him. It took a lot for me to accept that it was what she was doing while she was ST me.

Be careful and proceed with caution.
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DanniGirl75

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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2019, 10:32:35 AM »

Hi ColdKnight,

Excerpt
"She got me addicted to waiting for that text or call or just some little morsel from her. I was and still am addicted to that. NOTE: I am a very strong person and I never thought this would happen to me.

I have never had a problem walking away when crazy starts. Something about this girl sucked me in. I could see the warning signs and red flags and knew what was happening but something about her made me want to let go and lose myself in her."

This.  Yes.  Exactly how I feel.  It is the weirdest thing.  I spend most of my work-day staring at my phone, waiting.  It's pathetic.  Little red flags have been waving in my face since day 1.  By nature, I am a tolerant person and am more than willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when I barely know them.  However, the logical, practical part of me has had an eyebrow raised since around day 3, but there is something so intoxicating about him.  Like you, I also consider myself to be a strong person.  I can easily see when I'm being fooled/played.  In this situation, I didn't see it or feel it.  I thought he was quirky, but not necessarily deceitful.  I found him needy and caring, but not necessarily over-sharing and calculating.  Not until very recently when he pulled this silent treatment nonsense for 2 days, seemingly out of nowhere, and claimed that he left his phone in his friends truck.  Umm, for 2 days?  I don't think so.  He is always "losing his phone".  There have been a few days within these past 3+ months where he's "lost his phone" for 5 or 6 hours, or "forgot to pay his bill so it was shut off".  This was just the first time it happened on a day we had plans to see each other.

Excerpt
Something to consider: these people NEED attention. If they are
not getting it from you there is a 99% chance they are getting it from someone else. They usually have others they can go to to fill that need.

There is a very good chance that he was seeing another girl while he was giving you the silent treatment. I don’t want to be harsh but that is a true possibility that you have to be willing to accept if you continue with him. It took a lot for me to accept that it was what she was doing while she was ST me.

Wow, seriously?  Ouch.  I'm sorry that happened to you.  I won't lie.  It has crossed my mind.  We live an hour+ away from each other.  I haven't yet met anyone in his social circle and when I offer to meet him around his way so he's not the one doing all the traveling, he tells me he likes my neighborhood and doesn't mind coming up.  At first, I didn't think twice about it.  Now it feels like I'm being kept at arms-length.  Who knows what he's doing.  I am 80% sure now that he lied to me about where he lives.  I just don't understand (only because it's such a foreign concept to me) how a person can love so passionately simultaneously.  I can't imagine (though I suppose I can now) that he is putting so much energy into another and saying the same kinds of heartfelt, lovey-dovey things to another.  That would drain the hell out of me.  I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.  Nevermind trying to juggle multiple romantic partners.  This SUCKS.

Hi No-One.  Thank you for jumping in here.  I so appreciate it and thanks for the article.

Excerpt
It's not healthy to try and mold yourself into what you think he wants/needs: i.e. "If I only hadn't done X",  I should have done Y", "I have to give up Z for him" etc.  Before you know it, you've given up who you really are, your personal interests, hobbies and commonly friends & family.  The person with BPD can consumes your whole life in a dysfunctional way.

The on/off cycles can serve as intermittent reinforcement.  These cycles can serve to get someone addicted to a person with BPD.

Just offering some food for thought.  He is who he is, so you have to expect that his behaviors will likely continue throughout his life.  You indicate that he is in therapy.  Therapy can make things better, but it doesn't "fix" them. 

If you are serious about staying in the relationship long term, it would be worth your while to seek some individual counseling with a therapist. Better to have some short-term therapy to help you make some decisions now, versus very long-term therapy to deal with a mountain of problems later.


Yes, you're right on all points.  I'm really not sure what I'm going to do.  As I mentioned above, the push/pull has gotten me turned around in a way I never expected.  I fully understand that the affect it's having on me is merely a physiological reaction in the brain and I can recognize that and step away.  It's funny.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I might not be in love with his man, just in love with the idea of him.  The idea of someone wanting me and loving me.  I left a 17 year relationship last year so having a brand new person show such interest so fast... well ... it was nice.

I will probably start looking into a therapist to help me sort some stuff out.

You all have been great with your advice and compassion for someone who is going through this.  Thanks so much.

Danni
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 12:36:00 PM »

Hi Danni,

I hope you get through this unscathed. I have been dealing with my situation for over a year and I still miss her. Its getting better
but it’s a slow process.

For some reason these people have the ability to make you feel like they are the soul mate you are looking for. I don’t know what it is. I felt what I thought was a deep connection right from our first conversation.

She would do the same as yours does. Keep me at arms length.
Nothing with her friends or family. In fact no mention of any friends at all.

His excuses for his phone are just that, excuses. He is trying to condition you to accept him disappearing act. I would advise you set clear boundaries that this is unacceptable. I wish I would have regarding her silent treatment. I was too afraid that she would leave if I did. I wished I had been strong enough to set the boundary and walk away when she violated it.

Sunday will be 8 weeks of no contact and I still miss her. Sometimes it seems I miss her more each day.

Keep reading and posting here. It really does help.
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2019, 11:51:25 PM »

Excerpt
Not until very recently when he pulled this silent treatment nonsense for 2 days, seemingly out of nowhere, and claimed that he left his phone in his friends truck.  Umm, for 2 days?

is this the reason he gave you for not being in contact for the past few days?

for what its worth, ive lost my phone for more than two days on multiple occasions. its important to put these things in context.

Excerpt
I fully understand that the affect it's having on me is merely a physiological reaction in the brain and I can recognize that and step away.  It's funny.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I might not be in love with his man, just in love with the idea of him.  The idea of someone wanting me and loving me.  I left a 17 year relationship last year so having a brand new person show such interest so fast... well ... it was nice.

its important to understand that these things are on us. they arent something someone does to us. for example, idealization has been a strong draw for a lot of us initially in these relationships, but as a member here once said, the whole world is not a slave to idealization. if you met a guy at a bus stop who came at you with magic words, gave you his number, and then didnt respond, you wouldnt suddenly find yourself in this dynamic.

context: this is a three month long distance relationship (long distance relationships have a lot of unique complexity).

is this an exclusive relationship? are you both on the same page in terms of where it is going? theres been a fair amount of conflict gone unresolved; is it a dead end or is it resolvable?
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2019, 01:57:41 AM »

“For what its worth, ive lost my phone for more than two days on multiple occasions. its important to put these things in context.”

Sorry OR, I know you are a board administrator, but I have to disagree with you. Losing your phone for more than two two days on multiple occasions in this day and age is an anomaly not a regularity.

99.9 of the people under between 12 and 70 could not function without a phone for more than 24 hours now days. It is not normal to lose your phone and not contact someone you care about. If you lose your phone the person you care about most is the one you will desperately try to contact. That is a fact.



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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2019, 02:39:54 AM »

Excerpt
Losing your phone for more than two two days on multiple occasions in this day and age is an anomaly not a regularity.

maybe.

is it unheard of?

my dad frequently lost his car keys, his wallet, and his phone. he was a really forgetful guy. these are important things. we all need them to function.

Excerpt
99.9 of the people under between 12 and 70 could not function without a phone for more than 24 hours now days

ive been without my phone for over a week now (broken, not lost). ive functioned just fine.

Excerpt
It is not normal to lose your phone and not contact someone you care about. If you lose your phone the person you care about most is the one you will desperately try to contact.

context is everything; its bigger than a debate between you and i about how frequently someone might lose their phone.

this is a three month (over 90% of relationships end around 3 months), long distance relationship.

is the OP the most important person in her loved ones life? maybe, maybe not. should she be? maybe, maybe not.

obviously, this frequent and recurring breakdown in communication is troubling the OP. thats significant. it could spell trouble later. it could also spell the level of the loved ones commitment at this stage, which realistically, should not be expected to be huge.

what does it mean?

it could mean anything.

it could mean hes a really forgetful guy.

it could mean hes seeing someone else.

it could mean hes either not very committed or not very thoughtful.

it could mean hes under a lot of stress over losing his best friend, getting a ticket, and his job, and his focus is on those things.

it could be all of the above or none of the above.

he got back to her. isnt the more important question what his reasoning was, how the OP is coping, and whether or not this is something that is ultimately resolvable?

Excerpt
I have a question for you now ... What the heck do you do when your pwBPD finally does reach out and lays this whole cockamamie story on you as to why he went MIA?

what is the story he gave you?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 02:49:32 AM by once removed » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 02:56:59 PM »

Hi ColdKnight, Hi Once Removed,

Sorry that I've now been MIA .. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  Busy with work and life stuff and haven't checked back here for a few days.

I so appreciate the feedback from both of you. 

ColdKnight - I consider myself to be pretty organized (maybe ... sort of) and even I have lost my phone.  I lost it on the train back in June.  I was hoping it would be brought to the lost and found before I had to give in and buy a new one.  I waited for 2 days and when the phone didn't surface, I paid a visit to my local Verizon store.  However, that was ONCE and almost 4 months ago.  Before that, I can't recall if I ever misplaced my phone to that extent so, yes, I agree with what you said.  People are attached at the hip (literally) to their phones.  I can understand putting it down somewhere and forgetting where you left it for 20 mins or so, but to lose it consistently and for days at a time?  Well, I don't know about that.  Yes, it seems odd to me, too.  It feels extreme.

Once Removed - You're right, it could be all of those things that you mentioned or none of those things.  This is the 4th time in the months that I've known him where his phone either broke or he's lost it.  I do find him to be a bit scattered to begin with - he constantly forgets things and has told me he's disorganized - so it's possible that's what really happened.  Still, I can't shake this unsettled feeling.

I don't really want to go into the details of the story he gave me because I have no idea if he reads the message boards here. (He's mentioned in passing that he refers to online resources to help him understand more about BPD).  He tells me that I'm important and special to him, but I don't always feel that he's being honest.  I understand we are at a disadvantage with the distance.  I don't mind taking things slow and allowing a relationship to build in it's own time, but I get confused.  I feel confused when he showers me with affection and attention, talks at length about moving closer to me, will send me random texts throughout the day when he misses me, but then pulls back with almost no warning.  If we argue alot or if I thought I said or did something that triggered this behavior, I would understand.  However, it seems to happen when things are going swimmingly.

The last time we spoke was yesterday around 3pm.  It's now almost 4:00pm the next afternoon.  I sent him one text early this morning and have yet to receive a response.  This is not our norm since he's very responsive when I text him.  In fact, we would've exchanged at least a dozen texts by now, if we don't speak on the phone at some point.  I'm beginning to feel like this is a pattern.  Instead of thinking "Maybe he's just busy with work" like I would usually think, I am now gearing myself up to not hear from him at all today.  Or tomorrow.  Who knows?  It puts a knot in my stomach because, although I want to understand him and believe him, I don't want to be taken for a fool either.

I don't know if this is a BPD thing or just a 'him' thing.  It's difficult for me to tell since I don't spend enough face time with him to really know what he's like.  It's just frustrating.  I have a hard time with the disappearing acts.  ColdKnight said it well in a previous response - he's getting me used to his absences.  Or something like that, sorry.  I couldn't find the quote.  The reason for it, I don't know yet.

Anyway .. thank you for letting me vent here.  It helps.

Danni
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 07:08:47 PM »

DanniGirl, read through the thread and agree with all the comments. One thing I'll add (being a 20-year veteran of marriage to a BPD) is beware of what I think of as "testing." Simple, little tests at first and then they escalate. It is a form of manipulation and control to see if and how you will respond. I think it can even be done subconsciously by BPDs but the effect is the same.

I wholly agree with the comments in the thread about setting boundaries early in a kind and loving way. Listen to your heart and pay attention to your own feelings; if you are feeling bad internally about any part of it then consider it a red flag.
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 08:32:38 AM »

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks so much.  What would be an example of a boundary though?  I mean, I know what it is but, how do I set a boundary without it coming off like an ultimatum?  That's the part where I get stuck.

~D
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2019, 03:01:03 PM »

Hi Danni,

Has he reached out yet?

I agree, setting boundaries can be very hard. What exactly do you want to say to him?
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2019, 09:10:08 PM »

a boundary in this case would look something like:

"this guy is disorganized and our level of commitment is sometimes mismatched. where do i go from here?".

its appropriate to communicate that youd like him to step it up. that this doesnt necessarily work for you. see if he rises to the occasion. it would also be appropriate to model that, rather than place the expectation on him. sometimes the simple answer to receiving more commitment from a partner is to make ourselves more attractive in a mental and emotional sense, and see if the other person rises to the occasion.

Excerpt
The last time we spoke was yesterday around 3pm.  It's now almost 4:00pm the next afternoon.  I sent him one text early this morning and have yet to receive a response.  This is not our norm since he's very responsive when I text him.  In fact, we would've exchanged at least a dozen texts by now, if we don't speak on the phone at some point.  I'm beginning to feel like this is a pattern.  Instead of thinking "Maybe he's just busy with work" like I would usually think, I am now gearing myself up to not hear from him at all today.  Or tomorrow.  Who knows?  It puts a knot in my stomach because, although I want to understand him and believe him, I don't want to be taken for a fool either.

at threeish months, this could be either a very normal thing, or a sign that things are stalling.

its not abnormal to be glued to your phone/communicating a lot in the early stages of a relationship. that usually dies down. what it means when it does is hard to read.
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2019, 12:39:52 PM »

Healthy boundaries can take the form of expectations, preferences, or even ways of engaging or communicating. I agree the approach can be really difficult especially with BPD traits. Often a BPD will view it as an attack so you have to approach really delicately and with a lot of space...even if you intend to pick an easy starting place and then move closer.

For example, I learned to manage the silent treatment by my BPD wife by setting a time limit. I asked her if we could find a healthy amount of time for some "space" to regroup and then agree to talk. I would certainly get some blowback at first - "take all the time you want!" or "time isn't going to fix you!" - but eventually it settled and became more effective.

Give some thought as to what you need to be healthy and then start to frame in a way to set structure...again can be communicated as a preference or approach that would help your relationship. Calling it a boundary will trigger a reaction...
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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2019, 12:57:53 PM »

Good afternoon and Happy Monday all.

Thanks for your responses and suggestions.  Much appreciated.

ColdKnight – yes, he did reach out.  He called that same afternoon when I had posted about it.  He left his phone at home and didn’t realize it until he got to work. 

To circle back to all of your comments about healthy boundaries, thank you.  Anonymous_nonBP and OnceRemoved, yes I’d like to think of it also as a preference or expectation, and how to figure out communication strategies.

I’ve had a couple of issues with him that I’ve been wanting to address and just didn’t know how to bring it up to him.  What I’m having a tough time with is believing that he’s being honest about his level of commitment when his actions often contradict what he says.  This guy was ready for a serious relationship with me after the 1st month of knowing each other.  Honestly, he captivated my heart relatively quickly and well before the 3-month mark, we agreed to date exclusively.  We say “I love you” a lot and he often refers to himself as my boyfriend.  When we’re together, we have a great time.  We laugh a lot, we share a lot.  Recently, he’s been talking about changing careers and moving closer to my neck of the woods.  He’s been looking into a particular field that travels well.  However, if we’re at that level already then I expect his actions to match his words.  Otherwise, they’re just that … words.  Not huge actions, but as they say, it is the little things (and maybe they’re not so little).  The fact that he “forgets” his phone so much, doesn’t always answer when I call, or doesn’t return my calls after I’ve left a voicemail, bothers me.  Truth be told, I don’t call him all that much.  It’s not like I’m blowing up his phone 2-3 times a day.  It’s more like once a week.  The calls might be more frequent during the week if I feel he’s in distress or having a bad day (he battles depression) but even then, he doesn’t pick up.  I’m not saying he should be like a gunslinger with his phone on his hip, at the ready to snatch it up to second it rings, but there’s a feeling of disregard there when he NEVER answers or even acknowledges that I’ve called.

He’s also pretty good at establishing patterns in his own subtle ways.  I can always tell when I may not see him on any given weekend.  I’ve noticed that the day or two before the weekend starts, he pulls back a little.  He becomes less communicative.  If I ask if he plans to come up to see me, he’s vague.  He’ll say “yes”, but won’t give me a timeframe.  We’ll make plans anyway and, like clockwork, on the day I’m supposed to see him, some excuse will appear and we won’t see each other.  I don’t mind that he can’t always drive an hour and a half to visit me.  I understand it’s a lot and his job leaves him devoid of energy on most days.  What I DO mind is that he’s never forthcoming with his intentions.  I don’t like having to guess and the fact that he waits until the very last minute (especially when I have a feeling days before that it’s already coming) makes me uneasy.  It makes me uneasy because it shows a lack of respect for me and my time.  If I knew we weren’t going to hang out, I could go ahead and make other plans.  Rather than waiting around with hope, only to receive a call at 3:00pm that day.  It doesn’t exactly display consideration from a man who claims he loves me and views me as a girlfriend.  In fact, it makes me feel the opposite.

When I originally posted, I wanted to figure out how to approach him as gently as possible to let him know that this really isn’t cool.  He was in one of his MIA modes then and I was worried that he was getting ready to break up with me.  However, I’ve been reconsidering all of this these last few days because the suspicious part of my mind is beginning to take over.
 
I’ve been allowing his behavior to slide because I’ve been telling myself that he has a BPD and he mentioned that, because of it, he can be a “hot mess” (his words).  I’ve come to this message board looking for resources so I can be a supportive partner.  When I take a step back and think about the facts, he acts like a person who’s trying to be stealthy.  I’m suspecting that maybe I’m not the only woman in his life and, ColdKnight, I think you said that early on.  Sometimes a duck is just a duck.  I could be some side chick for all I know.  I’ve never been to his home although he’s been to mine a bunch of times now; I’ve never been invited.  He’s told me that he lives with roommates and that his place isn’t all that nice.  If that’s true, I get it but doesn’t mean I still can’t meet up with him around his way.  My concern now isn’t that he’s met someone else, rather, that he’s had someone else all along and I’m the new thing.

It’s hard to know what about any or all of this is BPD-related episodes (depression, isolation, push/pull, etc) and what about this is just him sneaking around.  Last night’s phone conversation consisted of him talking about our future together.  I did a lot of listening and not much talking.  I’m not sure how I feel at this point and any conversation about his behavior or my doubts is one I’d prefer to have in person.
 
I don’t know if I’m overreacting and feeling overly-sensitive because I’m not used to the nuances that BPD traits can exhibit.

From what I’ve heard and read on other sites, (not saying this is my belief at all) there is a propensity for deceitfulness, although there isn’t an awareness to it because they are not acting that way on purpose, it seems to be emotional turmoil that leads to impulsive actions.  So I've read.

If you’re still with me then thank you for reading this far.  Sorry it was a lengthy post.  More like a ramble, I guess.  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)
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