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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Need input on moving on after ex blew up 9 year relationship  (Read 339 times)
erick1991

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Broken Up
Posts: 12


« on: May 16, 2020, 07:59:25 AM »

Hello, I've been reading lots of posts on this forum and have found it very helpful, so thank you to all. Sorry this is long, but its a long relationship and I really want to focus on moving forward so I want to provide a lot of detail to get the best input I can!

My ex gf(28) blew up our 9 year relationship approx 10 weeks ago.
We had been together since 19 years old. Overall, throughout that 9 years, I KNEW without a doubt I had found the one. The relationship started very intensely, we were inseparable from the beginning(now I get it!) She had struggled with some mental health issues as a teen, including bulimia and some substance abuse, so I always chalked up her low self esteem and fairly extreme anxiety to that, vs something like BPD.

 Now, looking back, there were several red flags including how intensely she had attached herself to me from the beginning - she kind of recognized and told me all along that she pushed loved ones away and built resentments towards them for what most would describe as caring behavior. She is from a great family with two loving parents and had a lot of resentment at her mom, looking back it was childish like behavior - Her mom would give typical, loving advice and she'd push her away and treat her poorly.

During the relationship, I would have described her behavior as occasionally bratty and childish. She was also incapable of taking my input on major life decisions and changes, I'd almost chalk it up to a me vs her attitude (she'd say doing things for MYSELF) if she wanted to do something that I wasn't sure I wanted my future wife and mother of my children to do or be. Very black and white thinking.

Fast forward to Feb 2020. Life had gotten the most stressful it had been for me as an adult. I had been going through a major legal dispute with another shareholder in a business that was dragging on for about 7 months at that point. Throughout our relationship, anytime I was severely stressed (not frequently) it would make her feel the same. Anytime I got stressed, she'd kind of shut down and get overwhelmed. I'm a very resilient, mentally sound person so I just kind of chalked it up to my purpose in life is to be this rock for this girl who isn't as mentally strong as me because I just loved her. I thought I was okay with that, as I have a really sound, large familial support system.

One night in Feb, she was texting me stuff that just didn't add up about what she was doing with a girlfriend timing wise. I've never been controlling, intrusive or anything because I truly trusted this girl more than anyone. I had this gut feeling & I went through her phone and found completely inappropriate texts with a guy she'd just met. He'd invited her over, at night, the previous week and she replied with something like maybe this weekend. I've never been so blindsided by something in my life.

I confronted her immediately, not telling her about the texts I saw at first, and asking if she'd ever cheated on me. She said yes, 5 years ago. Turned on the waterworks, begging me to stay and not leave her that she would do anything. I told her I needed a couple days, I left and spent two days deciding what to do. I had this gut feeling there was more to it, and spent two days interrogating her via text because she was incapable of acknowledging the inappropriateness of these texts I'd just found and I thought she was lying. She did a pretty good job of explaining it all away, so I told her okay, we can try to do this.

She made it about 10 days before turning into a different person. It was like a light switch flipped. The compassionate, caring girl I thought I'd marry was gone. She continued texting this other guy she'd just met, and when I realized that and told her again it was completely unacceptable, she just shut down, trying to flip it back on me. I have no other words to describe the gaslighting - at one point she told me that me objecting to it "made her want to do it more."

She was completely incapable of communicating with any logic or reasoning related to our relationship, telling me things like I don't know if I can do this. Her behavior became completely, for lack of better words, insane and unhinged. She removed herself from our home, telling me she was going to stay with a girlfriend and she "needed a break." She started trying to get me to break up with her, telling me horribly depressing things about herself like how bad of a person she is and she's not in a place to be in a relationship. I couldn't comprehend what was going on. It was literally a different person than the 9 years worth of data I had.

 I thought it was depression, so her parents and I got her to psychiatry appointments and on medication. This "staying with the girlfriend" went on for almost 6 weeks!! I respected her space, however she'd come home throughout the time and we'd have these completely crazy interactions. She assured me throughout the time she wasn't seeing anyone else, and just "going through a rough time." She was totally incapable of communicating anything with me, accusing me of being crazy, pushing me and her family away, snapping at every little thing acting like we had all done something wrong by trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

I had my time limit of how long I'd give her, and about a week before that was up she came home to tell me she was leaving me to "go work on herself." Nothing further except "I don't know if I'm in love with you", and one of her quotes to me trying to understand how she got from us making offers on houses in December, talking about marriage to "leaving to go work on herself" was "it doesn't matter."

I pretty much just gave up at that point, I couldn't comprehend it. Within days of leaving, she'd text me for logistical things and blow up on me for my rather reasonable reactions to this situation, telling me she'd tried to be nice to me throughout all this and I'd been the exact opposite, accusing me of trying to scare her(no basis in reality), accusing me of things she'd actually done (getting petty about what material things each of us was taking - I'd actually told her to take anything she wanted in response to her telling me she was taking the bed) Just complete gaslighting. It scares me thinking back to what she did. I can't even quantify her behavior in words. It was like she truly walked away from this as if I'd done something wrong, when in reality I'd stuck around for 6 weeks waiting for her to snap out of whatever this was, getting treated horribly yet no mention of if I'd actually done anything wrong during the relationship.

She left about a month ago, continues to try and communicate with me and get me to react (I'm not!) over petty stuff like asking me for money for $21 bills she's receiving, telling me this is her apartment she can come in whenever she wants (I've requested to not see her as its too difficult for me) She's texting me, the day after posting pics with the guy I had caught her texting and she assured me she wasn't interested in, about coming to get stuff out of the apartment (I don't think she has anything left here) and then not showing up. It's like she's seeking conflict and trying to hurt me or get reactions out of me. I've blocked her on everything at this point, phone included.

At first I thought she became severely depressed and thats what happened. However, I began seeing a great therapist 2x a week and she suggested I do some research on BPD because she thought what I was telling her about my ex behavior, during relationship and breakup, met most of the qualifications.

I spent a few days researching and it was like I was reading the story of our relationship. I don't think she has severe BPD, as she really held it together pretty well for 9 years, but all the behavior fits. Of course, she's already ended up with the guy she was texting, posting pictures on social media (I've removed her from everywhere, just got sent a picture she posted the other day of her with the guy) That hurt, but confirmed the BPD to me.

I feel bad for this girl. She is the sweetest, kindest most loving person I'd ever known. She blew up her entire life and I think blames it on me.

How do you guys recommend I proceed? I think I'm mostly past the initial "I want her back" phase. I want the girl I thought she was back. I don't think thats who she is. I still miss her a lot though, I miss who I thought she was. We have so many memories, so many good times, it does hurt when I think of that. I can almost accept that her behavior at the end wasn't in her control of her fault, but theres this small part of me that still hopes she'll snap out of it and the old her will be back, but based off my research on BPD I'd be in for a lifetime of this. I can't subject my future children to that. I'm a very family oriented guy, was raised in a traditional family values type household by two of the most selfless people in the world and that's what I want for the future. How do I accept that she can't be that to me, despite the 9 years of thinking she could? Its a strange reality.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 08:16:31 AM by erick1991 » Logged
l8kgrl
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Broken up
Posts: 68


« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 02:47:12 AM »

Erick, I'm so sad to read about what you've been going through.

I'm relatively new here myself, and I'm sure some of the veterans will weigh in with more wisdom, but I just wanted to say I'm really sorry. I can't imagine what a shock it must be to discover that she wasn't being honest with you and then to have her suddenly change her behavior so drastically after 9 years together. That's a huge blow. It sounds like some serious projection on her part with all the accusations she was throwing at you. It can be very confusing and disorienting and make you start questioning your own reality. You sound though like you are secure in your own interpretation of things which is good - it's important to trust yourself.

I'm glad you have a good therapist and it sounds like lots of support from your family as well. And it's totally understandable that you would miss her and the good times you shared.

I think you verbalized one of the really challenging things: "It's a strange reality." Holding two almost opposite truths in your mind simultaneously - all the good and all the bad - is really hard. Getting your brain to assimilate those two things takes time (something I'm still working on!) and if you're like me, you will probably flip back and forth between the two for awhile.

What are you struggling with most at this point?
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erick1991

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Broken Up
Posts: 12


« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 08:54:18 AM »

Erick, I'm so sad to read about what you've been going through.

I'm relatively new here myself, and I'm sure some of the veterans will weigh in with more wisdom, but I just wanted to say I'm really sorry. I can't imagine what a shock it must be to discover that she wasn't being honest with you and then to have her suddenly change her behavior so drastically after 9 years together. That's a huge blow. It sounds like some serious projection on her part with all the accusations she was throwing at you. It can be very confusing and disorienting and make you start questioning your own reality. You sound though like you are secure in your own interpretation of things which is good - it's important to trust yourself.

I'm glad you have a good therapist and it sounds like lots of support from your family as well. And it's totally understandable that you would miss her and the good times you shared.

I think you verbalized one of the really challenging things: "It's a strange reality." Holding two almost opposite truths in your mind simultaneously - all the good and all the bad - is really hard. Getting your brain to assimilate those two things takes time (something I'm still working on!) and if you're like me, you will probably flip back and forth between the two for awhile.

What are you struggling with most at this point?

Hey thanks for taking time to reply. I’m struggling with many thoughts,  but It’s helped a lot finding all this stuff out on BPD. You’re right, I’m really I’m bouncing back and forth mentally, I see a picture of us and remember what our relationship was like, I truly thought she was madly loved me and it really upsets me because I miss her and want her back in that moment. But then I remember what she did, I remember the BPD glove apparently fits, and it’s truly like I’m remember two different people.

I start wondering was the whole relationship a lie? Was she manipulating me the entire time to fulfill her selfish needs? Was she cheating on me the entire time, was this a tip of the iceberg thing and once she realized she was found out she did this? That’s a lot different than a mentally stable person deciding one day this wasn’t going to work, giving me closure and leaving. That’d hurt obviously, but this is just a different level. Like I said, it’s like she’s intentionally trying to hurt me and start conflict at this point.

I’m struggling with the fact I’m probably codependent on some level, and based off my research here codependent men are attracted to BPD and a couple of my past, much shorter relationships fit the glove too.  I’m, for whatever reason, drawn to these women who just go all in VERY easily. We’d been together since 2011, I haven’t dated women since before tinder, Instagram and online dating existed. I was so committed to her that I never really engaged in any kind of flirting courting with women since, always made it VERY clear VERY quickly if I encountered a woman in a situation it could go that direction, that I was effectively married.

This has obviously made me question my self esteem, so I’m struggling with can I do this again today in modern society?! No clue how!

The other thing I struggle with is clearly I don’t know what a healthy relationship is, and I’m scared the start of a healthy relationship won’t be as fulfilling as the intensity of this. If she wasn’t the one, what’s the one feel like?

I guess one final thought is I still care about her. Despite what she’s done, it was so out of the blue and out of character, that doesn’t just eliminate my care for someone I’d spent literally 40% of my life with. I worry about her. I feel so sad for her, and there’s nothing I can do, she’s clearly just started this cycle all over again with this new guy. I’ve blocked her on everything, and a small part of me feels kinda bad because what if she really needs me? She absolutely hates herself. She’s self harmed once or twice and made a couple comments to me about not wanting to live... but I had to block her for me. I can’t see this stuff, get reeled into these conflicts it just takes me backwards.

Those are just a few of my regular thoughts now!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 09:03:19 AM by erick1991 » Logged
l8kgrl
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Broken up
Posts: 68


« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 02:30:40 PM »

I start wondering was the whole relationship a lie? Was she manipulating me the entire time to fulfill her selfish needs? Was she cheating on me the entire time, was this a tip of the iceberg thing and once she realized she was found out she did this? That’s a lot different than a mentally stable person deciding one day this wasn’t going to work, giving me closure and leaving. That’d hurt obviously, but this is just a different level. Like I said, it’s like she’s intentionally trying to hurt me and start conflict at this point.

I have wondered the same things myself as it seems many, many here have. It's a bitter pill to swallow to feel that maybe you've been deceived on many levels for so long. Some people seem to be of the mindset that people with BPD are intentionally using others, are selfish, and know exactly what they're doing. This may very well be true in some (many? most?) cases. I don't know. I guess I personally still come down on the side of, most people are coping the best they can within their own situation, perhaps in a very stunted or even abusive way due to their own trauma or biology or whatever. Sometimes, like in the case of BPD, their level of coping may be pretty darn sh*&%tty and they end up hurting a lot of people along the way. So this isn't at all an excuse, but more a different interpretation of whether their hurtful behavior is intentional versus conditioned. I would guess that some people with BPD would say that they do/did love us, but what that meant to them may be very different than what it means to us, because they're just not functioning from a healthy place or ability to really empathize with or fully see another person. 

Is there a perspective on this that you feel is more helpful for you or brings you more peace? I forget if it was here or somewhere else that I read, when there's a breakup, you get to make up your own story about what it meant, and it doesn't really matter if the story is true or not - it only matters if it makes sense to you and if it helps you move forward in a way that is positive for you.


I’m struggling with the fact I’m probably codependent on some level, and based off my research here codependent men are attracted to BPD and a couple of my past, much shorter relationships fit the glove too.  I’m, for whatever reason, drawn to these women who just go all in VERY easily.

This has obviously made me question my self esteem, so I’m struggling with can I do this again today in modern society?! No clue how!

The other thing I struggle with is clearly I don’t know what a healthy relationship is, and I’m scared the start of a healthy relationship won’t be as fulfilling as the intensity of this. If she wasn’t the one, what’s the one feel like?


One thing at a time!! You're just out of this incredibly traumatic experience. If you read my recent posts you'd see that I'm struggling with some similar questions, so I'm talking to myself as much as to you Smiling (click to insert in post)

One thing I read that was helpful for me: a strong attachment or bond is not the same as a strong emotional connection. Intensity does not equal intimacy. I don't know if this rings true for you, but I know my relationship was very intense and I convinced myself that my strong feelings for him meant I was really close to him. I was/am still kind of afraid I can't feel that with someone else. But from what I am reading and learning, and holding onto hope for, having a truly emotionally intimate connection with someone can be satisfying on a whole different level, and more importantly, in a mutual and sustainable way. I did have one r/s that in retrospect was not perfect, but was closer to that, and it felt lovely!!!

It's good to start recognizing if you have codependent tendencies or other things you want to work on. For me, I have found that I can also start turning this into an internal narrative of "something is wrong with me" for acting this way in a r/s, choosing the wrong partners, etc. That's where we start shooting ourselves in the foot. We have all learned certain patterns of relating that served us in some way at one point. As humans our brains are very adaptable and very wired for social bonding but that wiring can get crossed in a thousand different ways so don't start feeling like you're defective somehow. You're human. 

Being inclined to want to help the person you love and take care of her is actually a beautiful thing. It's just a matter of learning where your boundaries are, where that becomes unhealthy for you or for the r/s. I believe we can all work on learning and practicing new behaviors and approaches that will move us in a healthier direction.

And speaking as someone who entered the online dating world in my 40s, I can assure you that you can do that, too, if you decide to! But maybe put that worry aside for now! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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erick1991

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Broken Up
Posts: 12


« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 05:36:25 PM »

I start wondering was the whole relationship a lie? Was she manipulating me the entire time to fulfill her selfish needs? Was she cheating on me the entire time, was this a tip of the iceberg thing and once she realized she was found out she did this? That’s a lot different than a mentally stable person deciding one day this wasn’t going to work, giving me closure and leaving. That’d hurt obviously, but this is just a different level. Like I said, it’s like she’s intentionally trying to hurt me and start conflict at this point.

I have wondered the same things myself as it seems many, many here have. It's a bitter pill to swallow to feel that maybe you've been deceived on many levels for so long. Some people seem to be of the mindset that people with BPD are intentionally using others, are selfish, and know exactly what they're doing. This may very well be true in some (many? most?) cases. I don't know. I guess I personally still come down on the side of, most people are coping the best they can within their own situation, perhaps in a very stunted or even abusive way due to their own trauma or biology or whatever. Sometimes, like in the case of BPD, their level of coping may be pretty darn sh*&%tty and they end up hurting a lot of people along the way. So this isn't at all an excuse, but more a different interpretation of whether their hurtful behavior is intentional versus conditioned. I would guess that some people with BPD would say that they do/did love us, but what that meant to them may be very different than what it means to us, because they're just not functioning from a healthy place or ability to really empathize with or fully see another person.  

Is there a perspective on this that you feel is more helpful for you or brings you more peace? I forget if it was here or somewhere else that I read, when there's a breakup, you get to make up your own story about what it meant, and it doesn't really matter if the story is true or not - it only matters if it makes sense to you and if it helps you move forward in a way that is positive for you.


I’m struggling with the fact I’m probably codependent on some level, and based off my research here codependent men are attracted to BPD and a couple of my past, much shorter relationships fit the glove too.  I’m, for whatever reason, drawn to these women who just go all in VERY easily.

This has obviously made me question my self esteem, so I’m struggling with can I do this again today in modern society?! No clue how!

The other thing I struggle with is clearly I don’t know what a healthy relationship is, and I’m scared the start of a healthy relationship won’t be as fulfilling as the intensity of this. If she wasn’t the one, what’s the one feel like?


One thing at a time!! You're just out of this incredibly traumatic experience. If you read my recent posts you'd see that I'm struggling with some similar questions, so I'm talking to myself as much as to you Smiling (click to insert in post)

One thing I read that was helpful for me: a strong attachment or bond is not the same as a strong emotional connection. Intensity does not equal intimacy. I don't know if this rings true for you, but I know my relationship was very intense and I convinced myself that my strong feelings for him meant I was really close to him. I was/am still kind of afraid I can't feel that with someone else. But from what I am reading and learning, and holding onto hope for, having a truly emotionally intimate connection with someone can be satisfying on a whole different level, and more importantly, in a mutual and sustainable way. I did have one r/s that in retrospect was not perfect, but was closer to that, and it felt lovely!!!

It's good to start recognizing if you have codependent tendencies or other things you want to work on. For me, I have found that I can also start turning this into an internal narrative of "something is wrong with me" for acting this way in a r/s, choosing the wrong partners, etc. That's where we start shooting ourselves in the foot. We have all learned certain patterns of relating that served us in some way at one point. As humans our brains are very adaptable and very wired for social bonding but that wiring can get crossed in a thousand different ways so don't start feeling like you're defective somehow. You're human.  

Being inclined to want to help the person you love and take care of her is actually a beautiful thing. It's just a matter of learning where your boundaries are, where that becomes unhealthy for you or for the r/s. I believe we can all work on learning and practicing new behaviors and approaches that will move us in a healthier direction.

And speaking as someone who entered the online dating world in my 40s, I can assure you that you can do that, too, if you decide to! But maybe put that worry aside for now! Smiling (click to insert in post)

I have wondered the same things myself as it seems many, many here have. It's a bitter pill to swallow to feel that maybe you've been deceived on many levels for so long. Some people seem to be of the mindset that people with BPD are intentionally using others, are selfish, and know exactly what they're doing. This may very well be true in some (many? most?) cases. I don't know. I guess I personally still come down on the side of, most people are coping the best they can within their own situation, perhaps in a very stunted or even abusive way due to their own trauma or biology or whatever.

Thats what I'm wondering and scared of potentially realizing, I think. We lived a really nice lifestyle. We vacationed all over the world multiple x a year, lived in really high end places, were looking at buying very nice homes in what's arguably the most expensive real estate market in the country.. All paid for proportional to income by me, as I made a lot more money than her. I never minded, or felt overtly taken advantage of, or that she was remotely capable of that (never asked for material things etc) and I enjoyed sharing my success because thats how I was raised. You take care of your significant other.. Stuff she couldn't have done on her own. She was always the one who wanted to go on vacations, buy the home, etc. I kind of feel like when stuff hit the fan, I had started facing legal hurdles in a business that provided most of my income, she was just gone.

That brings up painful feelings, because I'm a pretty giving person who loves helping people out and sometimes I've gotten taken advantage of by people who acted like friends.. Theorizing here, but thats one place my minds gone especially after finding out she'd cheated on me really prior to all the financial success, is that why she stuck around so long then?
She did have some trauma as a child involving the care of a very close disabled family member.

Is there a perspective on this that you feel is more helpful for you or brings you more peace? I forget if it was here or somewhere else that I read, when there's a breakup, you get to make up your own story about what it meant, and it doesn't really matter if the story is true or not - it only matters if it makes sense to you and if it helps you move forward in a way that is positive for you.

Yes, absolutely. When I was in HS, I had a very serious IV heroin/coke problem, albeit brief. I was sent to rehab multiple x. I met her with like 4 months sober. I had no idea who I was or what my purpose in life was without drugs. She allowed me, for the first time, to selflessly care about someone else enough that I realized doing drugs and risking my life everyday for a temporary high was selfish and that I had a too much opportunity and a greater purpose than risking killing myself via a drug OD. When she left, I had to fight with every ounce of my being to not say F it all and go back to that. I didn't, and I realized maybe her purpose in my life was to teach me that I can get through anything, no matter how hard, without doing hard drugs, as much as that hurts to accept that's all she was, I know my family, true friends and future wife / children will be forever grateful for that.

I am doing exponentially better since finding and researching BPD in the last 10 days. I had spent the previous 10 weeks trying to figure out what the hell I'd done wrong looking for the why. I believe BPD now to be the why.

One thing at a time!! You're just out of this incredibly traumatic experience. If you read my recent posts you'd see that I'm struggling with some similar questions, so I'm talking to myself as much as to you Smiling (click to insert in post)

That's something I need to work on! I am always go go go, and it serves me well in business, but in this case I need to really slow it down obviously. I actually read your recent post, and I really related with a lot of it. Particularly the part about waking up, coming out into the living room and saying hey like he was so excited to see you. She did the exact same thing, sometimes she'd even text me when she woke up and I was in the living room "hi!!!!." God I miss that, and I am still very much so grieving all of that. It's all blurring together, the acceptance, BPD, the missing who I thought she was for years, and then what she did. Despite the acceptance setting in, that she had a personality disorder and likely wasn't capable of being that stable figure for the rest of my life, I still bounce back and forth. Like when I remember the good, its right back to missing her. She was sooo sweet to me....I used to try to tell her she was so sweet and cute everyday because I knew how low her self esteem was and all I wanted was for her to feel good about herself. Then its, what could I have done differently!?

I'm not even close to over this. I'm not remotely ready to offer something to anyone else emotionally right now and I realistically recognize that, its just my impulsivity and feelings of not wanting to be alone that are bringing those thoughts up.

It honestly feels like someone died, because that girls just gone. Nonexistent and turned into someone bitter, resentful and angry at me after she cheated on me, got caught and called out on continued inappropriate behavior. It still kind of just blows my mind thats the reality I'm in.

Your perspective is very insightful and introspective, and I hope as I go through this I can gain that as well.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 05:44:24 PM by erick1991 » Logged
PeteWitsend
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 07:07:54 PM »

...

Fast forward to Feb 2020. Life had gotten the most stressful it had been for me as an adult. I had been going through a major legal dispute with another shareholder in a business that was dragging on for about 7 months at that point. Throughout our relationship, anytime I was severely stressed (not frequently) it would make her feel the same. Anytime I got stressed, she'd kind of shut down and get overwhelmed. ...
...
Hi Erick.  Welcome, and sorry to read you went through this.  I have a couple thoughts.

First, around the issue of her inability to "be there" for you when you were going through stressful times, it's likely that's due to her "victim status."  BPDers tend to think of themselves as the victim all the time, and this renders them unable to support those around them.  She may have even internalized your problems as her own, and gotten anxious for them as though she was going through them; or alternatively, she resented you for being pre-occupied with your own issues, because then you couldn't give her the constant and total attention she needs. 

How do you guys recommend I proceed? I think I'm mostly past the initial "I want her back" phase. I want the girl I thought she was back. I don't think thats who she is. I still miss her a lot though, I miss who I thought she was.
When I was dating my BPDxw, I made a lot of excuses for her, chalking up the high-conflict behavior to the stressful situation she was in (I later saw that was entirely of her own making).  I honestly thought by showing her I was committed, and eventually marrying her, I would help her feel secure. 

it never did though.  Almost as soon as we were married, her anxiety over her career, financial, and immigration issues became anxiety over whether I was going to leave her.  Oh, and of course, she made it clear I was now expected to solve all her aforementioned issues for her, because I married her...

There's a saying I heard later in life, after I was divorced: When someone shows you who they are, believe them. 

Instead of making excuses for her behavior, I should've been deciding what my personal boundaries were and enforcing them.  I should have been deciding whether I would be truly happy with someone like her. 

Everyone has bad days, sure, and everyone makes mistakes, but unlike pwBPD, non-disordered people can admit to them, and apologize for them.  By that I mean sincerely apologize, and make amends.  Non-disordered people also don't dysregulate, and try to lie their way out of a dishonest situation (e.g. cheating on their partner) when they're caught. 

We have so many memories, so many good times, it does hurt when I think of that.

Why?  Good memories are better than bad memories.  You had good times, then broke up when you realized her true nature.  Or if you want to make it sound nicer, you just "grew apart."

Move on. find someone who deserves to be with a solid guy like you, and go have new & good memories with them. 

I can almost accept that her behavior at the end wasn't in her control of her fault, but theres this small part of me that still hopes she'll snap out of it and the old her will be back, but based off my research on BPD I'd be in for a lifetime of this. I can't subject my future children to that. I'm a very family oriented guy, was raised in a traditional family values type household by two of the most selfless people in the world and that's what I want for the future. How do I accept that she can't be that to me, despite the 9 years of thinking she could? Its a strange reality.


You're wise to realize you would be in for a lifetime of this.  BPD is not something that goes away or gets better.  I don't think I've read a single "success story" here; people either endure the struggle as best they can, or they leave. 

And believe me, it gets A LOT worse when you bring kids into it. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2020, 10:33:14 PM »

Hi Erick.  Welcome, and sorry to read you went through this.  I have a couple thoughts.

First, around the issue of her inability to "be there" for you when you were going through stressful times, it's likely that's due to her "victim status."  BPDers tend to think of themselves as the victim all the time, and this renders them unable to support those around them.  She may have even internalized your problems as her own, and gotten anxious for them as though she was going through them; or alternatively, she resented you for being pre-occupied with your own issues, because then you couldn't give her the constant and total attention she needs.  
When I was dating my BPDxw, I made a lot of excuses for her, chalking up the high-conflict behavior to the stressful situation she was in (I later saw that was entirely of her own making).  I honestly thought by showing her I was committed, and eventually marrying her, I would help her feel secure.  

it never did though.  Almost as soon as we were married, her anxiety over her career, financial, and immigration issues became anxiety over whether I was going to leave her.  Oh, and of course, she made it clear I was now expected to solve all her aforementioned issues for her, because I married her...

There's a saying I heard later in life, after I was divorced: When someone shows you who they are, believe them.  

Instead of making excuses for her behavior, I should've been deciding what my personal boundaries were and enforcing them.  I should have been deciding whether I would be truly happy with someone like her.  

Everyone has bad days, sure, and everyone makes mistakes, but unlike pwBPD, non-disordered people can admit to them, and apologize for them.  By that I mean sincerely apologize, and make amends.  Non-disordered people also don't dysregulate, and try to lie their way out of a dishonest situation (e.g. cheating on their partner) when they're caught.  

Why?  Good memories are better than bad memories.  You had good times, then broke up when you realized her true nature.  Or if you want to make it sound nicer, you just "grew apart."

Move on. find someone who deserves to be with a solid guy like you, and go have new & good memories with them.  

You're wise to realize you would be in for a lifetime of this.  BPD is not something that goes away or gets better.  I don't think I've read a single "success story" here; people either endure the struggle as best they can, or they leave.  

And believe me, it gets A LOT worse when you bring kids into it.  

First, around the issue of her inability to "be there" for you when you were going through stressful times, it's likely that's due to her "victim status."  BPDers tend to think of themselves as the victim all the time, and this renders them unable to support those around them.  She may have even internalized your problems as her own, and gotten anxious for them as though she was going through them; or alternatively, she resented you for being pre-occupied with your own issues, because then you couldn't give her the constant and total attention she needs.

I appreciate your input, you’ve hit a lot of things that apply I think.

I think for her, it was a combo of the final two? She would tell me “you never tell me things..” I was never really a high anxiety person, and now I’m questioning this but I definitely have very vivid memories of telling her my few major anxieties as they came up? When I did tell her my stresses, she got very overwhelmed like she was going through it herself, she’d even tell me it made her really anxious and overwhelmed.  Ironically, looking back, clearly she was the one not telling me things (cheating, if she was doubting the relationship etc)

 I went through a minor health scare a few years back, brought it up to her because I was genuinely stressed and she wasn’t able to cope with it she just got overwhelmed.

 The interesting thing was, I always thought I was just the luckiest guy on earth because her response to anything I wanted to do was always “I don’t care you can do whatever you want.” I traveled a lot for work, did my own thing with friends and she always claimed she was totally on board. (We still spent probably an above average amount of time together - she didn’t have too many super close friends - she acknowledged she pushed people away) Once again, it appears she was the one not telling me things, because on the way out she claimed “all you care about is money.” I asked her is that what this is about? Her response was a snappy maybe.

Well, I started a very successful business at 21, she was always supportive of the long hours, frequent travel and how being a business owner meant my work day didn’t end when I left the office. I always made the effort to communicate with her when I was gone, make sure she was okay with everything. I feel like I always got her input, I’m going to start this, etc. as a result, we enjoyed an incredible lifestyle for a couple in our early 20’s.

Looking back, it appears maybe she actually resented me over that (but liked the lifestyle?) She actually went through a period before I had made good $$ where she told me a few times over I forget how long “I want to be rich.” Enough that i remember it. Well, rich is relative, but I thought okay she’s totally on board w the work that comes with that.

Everyone has bad days, sure, and everyone makes mistakes, but unlike pwBPD, non-disordered people can admit to them, and apologize for them.  By that I mean sincerely apologize, and make amends.  Non-disordered people also don't dysregulate, and try to lie their way out of a dishonest situation (e.g. cheating on their partner) when they're caught.  

Yeah, and the cheating revelation was interesting. I truly think a tip of the iceberg thing, and she couldn’t at all cope with what that meant to me and did to my trust in her. When I found that out, I felt like my arm was amputated. Just shattered what I thought it was. I was willing to work through it, but it was almost like she just expected it to go away and we’d be back to normal? From day one, she was telling me what I wanted to hear, except when it came to acknowledging the inappropriateness of the text messages I’d found. She immediately got defensive, telling me it was nothing, not a sexual proposition and just a friend, I’m not sexually attracted to him etc  & then got shut down about it when trying to get her to empathize how that made me feel.  I tried to walk her through it, using examples of times women had made inappropriate propositions to me, and the convos about these texts were what really what kicked off the behavior shift. An inability to acknowledge her inappropriate behavior, getting pissed saying “it’s such bullPLEASE READ guys and girls can’t be friends” etc. inability to acknowledge it was unacceptable and apologize.

I did tell her, if the cheating happened again it would be over and there wouldn’t be any conversation. I wonder what role that played? I think a justified thing to say to a cheating partner who confessed (when confronted about something amiss now) and asked for forgiveness?

Why?  Good memories are better than bad memories.  You had good times, then broke up when you realized her true nature.  Or if you want to make it sound nicer, you just "grew apart."

Move on. find someone who deserves to be with a solid guy like you, and go have new & good memories with them.


Well that’s exactly why. It, for the most part, was really good - I thought. Now I can recognize the having to walk on eggshells stuff occasionally, her becoming overwhelmed over normally innocuous things, she was very routine oriented and if something took her out of her routine, she would kinda display bratty behavior - I chalked it up to she had anxiety currently and an eating disorder as a teen and low self esteem. But, like you said, that’s making excuses for her behavior. I did start thinking, separately from any of this stuff (prior) , as I was going through this business adversity stuff “I wish my girlfriend was confident in herself.”


I know logically that’s correct, I will find someone much better for me and able to be what I need. Confident, sure of themselves and ideally without a personality disorder! I just haven’t met her yet (obviously Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)) so the way my mind works is “will I ever?!” “Am I not good enough?!” I know those thoughts are distorted, and I have to remind myself I am, there’s lots of women who value the same things I do out there.

Kids - That’s what I ultimately realize. I think how you’re socialized and raised as a kid absolutely makes you who you are. I could never risk my future children being parented by someone that unstable - someone who’d blow up an 9 year relationship out of the blue, in slow motion, actively recognizing they push people away. I’d imagine that creates a complex mother / child relationship very confusing to a child. But then that thought in the back of my mind... “I have 9 years of pretty good data she’s a loving person, maybe this BPD was just triggered by the corona throwing her routine off, combined with my business stuff and the trauma of me finding out she cheated and she’ll be back.”

I know it’s unlikely she fixes this. Especially considering she’s already with the guy she was texting. She’s likely in for a long cycle of doing this again to him. Logically, I don’t think I could take her back after how she just blew our lives up out of nowhere and left me for some random guy she just met.

I guess that’s what I’m struggling w most now. It’s this back and forthism mentally, like I can type that out - she cheated on me, put me through 6 weeks of absolute hell likely seeing this guy the whole time before working up the courage to leave me for him, and realize no way in hell I could take her back if she came back. But then when I get into the missing who she was, a small part of me starts thinking she could fix herself and we could get back to what we had and even better. Constant alternating thoughts. I’m improving though, it’s flip flopped for sure in the last week from more time spent wanting her back to more time recognizing I couldn’t.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 10:48:17 PM by erick1991 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2020, 11:26:12 AM »

....
I think for her, it was a combo of the final two? She would tell me “you never tell me things..” I was never really a high anxiety person, and now I’m questioning this but I definitely have very vivid memories of telling her my few major anxieties as they came up? When I did tell her my stresses, she got very overwhelmed like she was going through it herself, she’d even tell me it made her really anxious and overwhelmed.  Ironically, looking back, clearly she was the one not telling me things (cheating, if she was doubting the relationship etc)
...

A common coping mechanism for guilt is projection; everyone does it sometimes, but BPDers do this persistently.

By accusing other people of doing what they themselves are doing, they're able to transfer the blame to another person, and replace their own feelings of guilt with righteous anger, especially if the other person (rightfully...) protests or denies it.  

I say everyone does this, but BPDers do it to an extreme, even starting to believe their own lies.  
... Once again, it appears she was the one not telling me things, because on the way out she claimed “all you care about is money.” I asked her is that what this is about? Her response was a snappy maybe.

...
Again... projection.  

Her response "maybe"...???  I'd bet $5 it didn't occur to her to use this as the basis for the separation until you offered it, but that won't stop her from telling people this is the reason you broke up.  It's perfect for her; all the blame rests with you, ya workaholic...
I did tell her, if the cheating happened again it would be over and there wouldn’t be any conversation. I wonder what role that played? I think a justified thing to say to a cheating partner who confessed (when confronted about something amiss now) and asked for forgiveness?
...

Well, pwBPD deal with ultimatums poorly.  Since they pretty much live to violate others' boundaries, many have said here that issuing ultimatums is pretty much like waving a red cape in front of a bull.  Expect them to charge.  

*But this is not to say that you're responsible for her behavior* ... she cheated on you before you issued an ultimatum, and she would've cheated on you again whether you did or not.  You just need to remember that boundaries are for you; YOU drew this line for yourself, and it was up to you to enforce the consequences.  Often times, the only way to enforce the boundary is simply to leave them, which is paradoxically what they claim to be afraid of in the first place, but the result they force their partners into.  

Nearly a year before I eventually filed for divorce, my XW and I came close to divorcing.  She laid down what I felt like were some pretty unfair rules for my family to visit, and when I argued about them, she decided to bluff me into submission by saying if I didn't like it, I should divorce her.  I called her bluff.  We both saw attorneys, and then when she realized it was really happening, she begged me to call it off and stay, called all my family and begged them to tell me to stay, etc.  I decided to give her one more chance, and she did apologize and volunteer that she knew she was wrong and would get help for herself.

Well, that lasted about a week before she had "re-written" the episode in her head, and decided she couldn't remember how the fight started, but I escalated it by being "too emotional."  needless to say, she never "got help" and later even denied she admitted fault and offered to.  Now, by this point in our marriage, I was used to her lying her way through arguments, so none of this surprised me at the time, but I felt I owed it to her and my kids to make one last good faith effort to work it out.  

The next year, when I DID move out and file for divorce, at some point, (she would go back and forth between attacking me and trying to appear calm and accommodating) she again begged me to stay, and promised me the Moon if I'd reconsider, but mindful of how that went the last time, I didn't listen to her.  I didn't even respond.  I didn't feel she even deserved a response. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 01:47:50 AM »

Excerpt
How do I accept that she can't be that to me, despite the 9 years of thinking she could?

not easily.

nine years. thats a long time. its triple my own relationship. and starting at such a young age of 19, the two of you were sweethearts.

and to have it all end as it did...

a lot of breakups are an identity crisis of sorts...nine years is a huge chunk of your life.

Excerpt
I start wondering was the whole relationship a lie? Was she manipulating me the entire time to fulfill her selfish needs? Was she cheating on me the entire time, was this a tip of the iceberg thing and once she realized she was found out she did this? That’s a lot different than a mentally stable person deciding one day this wasn’t going to work, giving me closure and leaving. That’d hurt obviously, but this is just a different level. Like I said, it’s like she’s intentionally trying to hurt me and start conflict at this point.

I’m struggling with the fact I’m probably codependent on some level, and based off my research here codependent men are attracted to BPD and a couple of my past, much shorter relationships fit the glove too.  I’m, for whatever reason, drawn to these women who just go all in VERY easily. We’d been together since 2011, I haven’t dated women since before tinder, Instagram and online dating existed. I was so committed to her that I never really engaged in any kind of flirting courting with women since, always made it VERY clear VERY quickly if I encountered a woman in a situation it could go that direction, that I was effectively married.

This has obviously made me question my self esteem, so I’m struggling with can I do this again today in modern society?! No clue how!

i think l8kgrl gave you some strong advice in this regard.

not everything is going to fit together at once. the first, most important thing to do, is grieve. but ultimately, you want to learn the lessons from this relationship (the good and the bad), and the path that led you here. that same path led you to a support group. i came here, literally, about the time your relationship started, in total despair. today, my relationship is resolved, ive had others, and all of the relationships (of all kinds) in my life are more rewarding. i learned a lot about myself, about others, and im a stronger, more mature version of the person i was nine years ago...far more confident in love and relationships. you can be too. i hope youll stick around.

how are you holding up?
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 09:34:49 AM »

A common coping mechanism for guilt is projection; everyone does it sometimes, but BPDers do this persistently.

By accusing other people of doing what they themselves are doing, they're able to transfer the blame to another person, and replace their own feelings of guilt with righteous anger, especially if the other person (rightfully...) protests or denies it.  

I say everyone does this, but BPDers do it to an extreme, even starting to believe their own lies.  Again... projection.  

Her response "maybe"...???  I'd bet $5 it didn't occur to her to use this as the basis for the separation until you offered it, but that won't stop her from telling people this is the reason you broke up.  It's perfect for her; all the blame rests with you, ya workaholic...
Well, pwBPD deal with ultimatums poorly.  Since they pretty much live to violate others' boundaries, many have said here that issuing ultimatums is pretty much like waving a red cape in front of a bull.  Expect them to charge.  

*But this is not to say that you're responsible for her behavior* ... she cheated on you before you issued an ultimatum, and she would've cheated on you again whether you did or not.  You just need to remember that boundaries are for you; YOU drew this line for yourself, and it was up to you to enforce the consequences.  Often times, the only way to enforce the boundary is simply to leave them, which is paradoxically what they claim to be afraid of in the first place, but the result they force their partners into.  

Nearly a year before I eventually filed for divorce, my XW and I came close to divorcing.  She laid down what I felt like were some pretty unfair rules for my family to visit, and when I argued about them, she decided to bluff me into submission by saying if I didn't like it, I should divorce her.  I called her bluff.  We both saw attorneys, and then when she realized it was really happening, she begged me to call it off and stay, called all my family and begged them to tell me to stay, etc.  I decided to give her one more chance, and she did apologize and volunteer that she knew she was wrong and would get help for herself.

Well, that lasted about a week before she had "re-written" the episode in her head, and decided she couldn't remember how the fight started, but I escalated it by being "too emotional."  needless to say, she never "got help" and later even denied she admitted fault and offered to.  Now, by this point in our marriage, I was used to her lying her way through arguments, so none of this surprised me at the time, but I felt I owed it to her and my kids to make one last good faith effort to work it out.  

The next year, when I DID move out and file for divorce, at some point, (she would go back and forth between attacking me and trying to appear calm and accommodating) she again begged me to stay, and promised me the Moon if I'd reconsider, but mindful of how that went the last time, I didn't listen to her.  I didn't even respond.  I didn't feel she even deserved a response. 

Well, that lasted about a week before she had "re-written" the episode in her head, and decided she couldn't remember how the fight started, but I escalated it by being "too emotional."  needless to say, she never "got help" and later even denied she admitted fault and offered to.  Now, by this point in our marriage, I was used to her lying her way through arguments, so none of this surprised me at the time, but I felt I owed it to her and my kids to make one last good faith effort to work it out.  

The next year, when I DID move out and file for divorce, at some point, (she would go back and forth between attacking me and trying to appear calm and accommodating) she again begged me to stay, and promised me the Moon if I'd reconsider, but mindful of how that went the last time, I didn't listen to her.  I didn't even respond.  I didn't feel she even deserved a response. 


I can really relate with that, she's done similar rewritings of events a couple x in the last week. I made the mistake of unblocking her # (since then, I've found myself moving backwards)

She was trying to communicate logistical things with me related to the end of our apartment lease. I left email communication open, as we have one or two unresolved pieces of business. When she realized I'd blocked her phone number, she sent an email about it. I spent a day thinking through my response (about why I blocked her #), and when I didn't reply within 24 hours, she came over and left a note in my house telling me I was being really rude. She then texted my mother, the first communication attempt my ex has made to her through this (My mom loved her. Was very giving and kind to her - she treated her like her own daughter) to tell me to contact her.

I sent her a text message about how yes, I had blocked her and it was to protect myself from her behavior and make it easier for me not to remain stuck. Her response was "what do you mean my behavior? I've tried to be nothing but nice to you and show you respect through all of this...."

That really got to me. Do they just paint their own picture of what transpired and truly believe it? I don't know why, it probably shouldn't impact me, but for the first time throughout this I found myself repeating in my head, very angrily, "I F'ing hate you." I didn't engage it, and told her I didn't know how to reply to that and needed some time, but would.
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 09:53:37 AM »

not easily.

nine years. thats a long time. its triple my own relationship. and starting at such a young age of 19, the two of you were sweethearts.

and to have it all end as it did...

a lot of breakups are an identity crisis of sorts...nine years is a huge chunk of your life.

i think l8kgrl gave you some strong advice in this regard.

not everything is going to fit together at once. the first, most important thing to do, is grieve. but ultimately, you want to learn the lessons from this relationship (the good and the bad), and the path that led you here. that same path led you to a support group. i came here, literally, about the time your relationship started, in total despair. today, my relationship is resolved, ive had others, and all of the relationships (of all kinds) in my life are more rewarding. i learned a lot about myself, about others, and im a stronger, more mature version of the person i was nine years ago...far more confident in love and relationships. you can be too. i hope youll stick around.

how are you holding up?

It's such a long time. Its literally 1/3 of my life, but when you take out the small child portions and start counting at the point I really remember day to day of and started  being my own person, (13+ maybe?) its like 65% of my memorable life if that makes sense.

That makes me feel hopeful. I'm very logical and analytical and I know there will come a point in not too long that I won't constantly feel the shock of the grief, like someone close to me died, and it will get better.

I'm doing okay. It's strange how up and down it is.  I had her # blocked and that week, I really felt like I was living mostly in acceptance that it's done, she did what she did, it sucks and I just have to move on. As soon as I unblocked her to start communicating about the final logistical piece to resolve, I felt myself beginning to move backwards.

Trying to analyze my part, back into the bargaining stage. I find myself viewing her as two people, and I find I'm bargaining with myself as to how I can get the sweet, loving girl back and I resent the one who did this so me. I'm thinking, wow this was such different behavior (full blown) than what I'd seen for most of 9 years (there were instances I now recognize, but I really don't think she's extreme BPD - she was never really nasty to me until the end), maybe she could hold it together.

I sent her a text, at the advice of my therapist, to try and get closure. She left telling me she "needed to go work on herself and learn how to do things for herself and she wasn't in a place to be in a relationship." When I asked her to explain, how we went from talking about marriage and making offers on houses to that, she said "it doesn't matter." Not much closure or reasoning.

Of course, as noted in my post, within 2.5 weeks she's posting pictures with hearts with the guy I caught her texting that she was never able to take accountability that was inappropriate  (and now pretty evidently lied to me about the whole time) that led to this blowing up.

The problem is, I'm expecting something that I don't know if she can provide. I want the truth. I want her to confess that pretty much everything she told me post revelations was likely a lie. None of it added up. I don't know why I want that.

Yesterday, I found myself writing out an answer to her question about the behavior, and the tonality was somewhat like I just want to know what happened, I just want to know if we can try to make this work. Then, when I found myself back to all these unanswered questions/red flags about the true extent of the cheating and her story, I feel the need to know the truth before knowing if I really want to try and reconcile it? I'm tempted to send her a very simple question, asking if she did cheat on me the night before I found these texts (her story was these texts were harmless - she cheated 3 years ago) Felt like a partial confession.  

I’d also love some input on seeing other women. Granted that’s difficult with the world shut down, but I’ve been talking to a girl a little bit that I had a “thing with” throughout hs. It’s flirtatious, it feels forced and unnatural, but I’ve got plans to fly back to my hometown (big party city with tons to do) in two weeks and I’m gonna take her out. I find myself in and out of excitement about that too, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), like I’m comparing her to my ex mentally but I’ll go into it trying to be present for sure. I messed around with tinder a little and that just pissed me off, I’m not a superficial person and all these girls on there are obsessed with social media and had a very holier than thou vibe, not my kinda thing. I’d much prefer meeting a nice girl in person.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 10:10:39 AM by erick1991 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 11:05:31 AM »

...
That really got to me. Do they just paint their own picture of what transpired and truly believe it?

Yes.  In my experience, that's exactly what happens.  They draw up a mental "sketch" of what they want to happen, or what you did, or what you will do, and then try to make the world match that sketch.  If they have to tell a few lies to get the ball rolling, that's not a problem for them. 

To this end, BPDxw would lie to my face about the most ridiculous things.  And when she knew she couldn't get away with openly lying, would resort to manipulating or exaggerating things said or done to an absurd degree, or trying to play logic games.  We "never" did anything together... 5 minutes ago didn't count.  I "always" tried to avoid spending time with her.  Arguing to the contrary is pointless... what I just did 5 minutes ago "didn't count"...

I read elsewhere how important and foundational trust is to ALL human relationships; we expect all those around us to agree to certain norms and behaviors in order to form functional bonds with other people.  This is so basic and primal - think two cavemen agreeing on hunting together - that it underpins pretty much all social interactions we have. 

When another party openly lies, it upsets everything between them.  I mean, when they can lie about easily verified facts, what can't they do?  Looking at it that way, it was so shocking and upsetting to me that BPDxw could think she could just lie to my face without consequences, and get upset with me for taking this seriously.

I remember her once telling me that her mom told her to "always lie to your spouse; even if he finds you in bed with another man, deny it."  I don't know what her mom hoped to accomplish with this; I remember being shocked and saying to her "But what kind of relationship did she expect to have with your dad then?"  She just kinda shrugged it off. 

Her own parents had a nasty relationship: mutual infidelity, cheating on eachother in every way possible: financially, sexually, etc. and were very antagonistic to eachother, including physical abuse.  I imagined her mom made the comment to her about lying to your spouse out of spite for her own husband.  Despite all this, BPDxw maintained they had a loving relationship, and were always there for eachother.  She seemed to really look at marriage as a competition between two people, vying for supremacy, rather than a partnership. 

I think this manifested itself in our arguments.  I did initially - naively - take her criticisms and complaints at face value; if she said she didn't feel I was committed to her enough, or loved her enough, well, I would try to show it.  But when I started to see that nothing was ever enough, it occurred to me she could and would lie about anything for the most immediate "advantage" in an argument.  She always loved more, gave more, was more patient, was always suffering, while I was supposedly spending every minute looking to cheat her, hide money from her, sleep with other women, leave the family, etc. 

Everything was a game to her, a game she had to win & I had to lose.  And if she felt she wasn't winning, she'd just dump the board and pick a new game.  To my farsighted way of thinking, this made my decision to leave a little easier: there was simply no way I could trust my life to this person.  Long term planning, retirement, taking care of our parents in their old age, planning for our kids' schooling, etc. were all impossible with someone who could lie to my face. 

I don't know why, it probably shouldn't impact me, but for the first time throughout this I found myself repeating in my head, very angrily, "I F'ing hate you." I didn't engage it, and told her I didn't know how to reply to that and needed some time, but would.

I went through this a lot.  Same exact words "I f'ing hate you" when she would start to spin up a hurricane over something absurd, or lie to me. 

After I moved out and filed for divorce, a lot of people were concerned about how I was holding up.  Honestly, I had resented her behavior and treatment of me for so long, I was mentally divorced for years.  I was happy to be away from her. 

I had to remind myself that she was still the mother of my kids, and they would always love her and have that bond, so I wish her the best - solely for their sake - but if we didn't have kids, I'd never speak to her again, and be quite alright with that.

I still have some anger and resentment toward her, when I hear from mutual acquaintances that she's still going around and bad mouthing me to other people.  but I've heard from some of these same people that those who knew both of us figured out what really happened.  And ultimately, what she says and does and what other people think are things I can't control, so I don't worry about them.

I like posting here to help me deal with the anger and resentment; helping other people avoid making the mistakes I made, or coping with their own anger, or confusion over the way a BPDer treats them makes me feel like I'm getting back at all persons with BPD. 
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 12:37:19 PM »

Yes.  In my experience, that's exactly what happens.  They draw up a mental "sketch" of what they want to happen, or what you did, or what you will do, and then try to make the world match that sketch.  If they have to tell a few lies to get the ball rolling, that's not a problem for them. 

To this end, BPDxw would lie to my face about the most ridiculous things.  And when she knew she couldn't get away with openly lying, would resort to manipulating or exaggerating things said or done to an absurd degree, or trying to play logic games.  We "never" did anything together... 5 minutes ago didn't count.  I "always" tried to avoid spending time with her.  Arguing to the contrary is pointless... what I just did 5 minutes ago "didn't count"...

I read elsewhere how important and foundational trust is to ALL human relationships; we expect all those around us to agree to certain norms and behaviors in order to form functional bonds with other people.  This is so basic and primal - think two cavemen agreeing on hunting together - that it underpins pretty much all social interactions we have. 

When another party openly lies, it upsets everything between them.  I mean, when they can lie about easily verified facts, what can't they do?  Looking at it that way, it was so shocking and upsetting to me that BPDxw could think she could just lie to my face without consequences, and get upset with me for taking this seriously.

I remember her once telling me that her mom told her to "always lie to your spouse; even if he finds you in bed with another man, deny it."  I don't know what her mom hoped to accomplish with this; I remember being shocked and saying to her "But what kind of relationship did she expect to have with your dad then?"  She just kinda shrugged it off. 

Her own parents had a nasty relationship: mutual infidelity, cheating on eachother in every way possible: financially, sexually, etc. and were very antagonistic to eachother, including physical abuse.  I imagined her mom made the comment to her about lying to your spouse out of spite for her own husband.  Despite all this, BPDxw maintained they had a loving relationship, and were always there for eachother.  She seemed to really look at marriage as a competition between two people, vying for supremacy, rather than a partnership. 

I think this manifested itself in our arguments.  I did initially - naively - take her criticisms and complaints at face value; if she said she didn't feel I was committed to her enough, or loved her enough, well, I would try to show it.  But when I started to see that nothing was ever enough, it occurred to me she could and would lie about anything for the most immediate "advantage" in an argument.  She always loved more, gave more, was more patient, was always suffering, while I was supposedly spending every minute looking to cheat her, hide money from her, sleep with other women, leave the family, etc. 

Everything was a game to her, a game she had to win & I had to lose.  And if she felt she wasn't winning, she'd just dump the board and pick a new game.  To my farsighted way of thinking, this made my decision to leave a little easier: there was simply no way I could trust my life to this person.  Long term planning, retirement, taking care of our parents in their old age, planning for our kids' schooling, etc. were all impossible with someone who could lie to my face. 

I went through this a lot.  Same exact words "I f'ing hate you" when she would start to spin up a hurricane over something absurd, or lie to me. 

After I moved out and filed for divorce, a lot of people were concerned about how I was holding up.  Honestly, I had resented her behavior and treatment of me for so long, I was mentally divorced for years.  I was happy to be away from her. 

I had to remind myself that she was still the mother of my kids, and they would always love her and have that bond, so I wish her the best - solely for their sake - but if we didn't have kids, I'd never speak to her again, and be quite alright with that.

I still have some anger and resentment toward her, when I hear from mutual acquaintances that she's still going around and bad mouthing me to other people.  but I've heard from some of these same people that those who knew both of us figured out what really happened.  And ultimately, what she says and does and what other people think are things I can't control, so I don't worry about them.

I like posting here to help me deal with the anger and resentment; helping other people avoid making the mistakes I made, or coping with their own anger, or confusion over the way a BPDer treats them makes me feel like I'm getting back at all persons with BPD. 

Yes.  In my experience, that's exactly what happens.  They draw up a mental "sketch" of what they want to happen, or what you did, or what you will do, and then try to make the world match that sketch.  If they have to tell a few lies to get the ball rolling, that's not a problem for them. 

To this end, BPDxw would lie to my face about the most ridiculous things.  And when she knew she couldn't get away with openly lying, would resort to manipulating or exaggerating things said or done to an absurd degree, or trying to play logic games.  We "never" did anything together... 5 minutes ago didn't count.  I "always" tried to avoid spending time with her.  Arguing to the contrary is pointless... what I just did 5 minutes ago "didn't count"...



The lying, when I started picking up on it, was so blatant and twisted. She was denying to me that receiving texts from a guy inviting her over at night was a sexual overture. She was denying she was interested / sexually attracted to this guy (interesting - considering they've seemingly ended up together rather quickly!) She lied, telling me she never wanted to talk to him again, yet started talking to him again two days into allegedly trying to fix our relationship after admitting she cheated years ago. When I realized she was texting him again (or never stopped), she started trying to flip it back on me. It was literally like a defiant 8 year old being told not to do something, getting angry at me. The most memorable line was "you telling me not to do this makes me want to do it more."

I'm left wondering what came first - the cart or the horse. Did she cheat on me the night before I found these and effectively start another relationship while telling me she wanted to fix this and then spent weeks working up the courage to leave me for him? Or, was it so traumatic for her dealing with the consequences of her actions as it related to my trust in the relationship after confessing to cheating years ago that her reaction was, literally, defy me, blow it up and start this new relationship with a guy she'd met a week prior? I'm not sure how much it ultimately matters, but I do feel it does, because I'm still in this weird flip flopping mindframe of "maybe we could fix it" and "if she just blatantly lied to my face the entire time, started a relationship with someone else and spent weeks not able to tell me" I don't think I could forgive that.

I know I most likely, logically couldn't maintain a longterm, healthy relationship with her. But, we were together for literally my entire adult life and for the most part, it was really good (maybe just because I don't have another baseline comparison of a longterm healthy adult relationship, but she really did a good job of making me feel so loved and mostly being a kind, caring partner) so my mind goes to MAYBE with serious professional help we could make this work... If she did the "work on herself" she claimed she needed to do. She did tell me things that were in and out of lucidity, one night she told me to "run" because she was "crazy." She would say throughout the breakup, I am treating you so horribly, I need to figure my PLEASE READ out.

In your experience, how bad of an idea is it for me to try and get some clarification on individual events or instances? We're a couple months removed from being in an actual relationship, and I've gotten no closure, concerns or explanation from her. My therapist gave me the advice to send a text, in response to her asking me what behavior am I talking about, asking her if she could explain her side of what transpired and how we got here. Ex said it would take some time but she claimed to be willing to.

My biggest unanswered question at this point is if she cheated on me the night before all this blew up when I found these texts. I think knowing the answer to that will provide a lot more clarification and direction for me. Lots of smoke there, logically probably fire, but she spent the next weeks on end while slowly pushing me out/self destructing our relationship, completely adamantly denying that's what occurred. If she just flat out lied to me over and over, while putting me through the hell she did with me desperately trying to help her and figure out what was going on because she was so unhinged, I'm not sure I could forgive that. It'd be too blatant a violation of my trust and probably make it easier to move on and accept she's just a serial cheater with a mental health disorder incapable of honesty, despite what she convinced me of over 9 years.

If I asked her, straight up, did you cheat on me the night before this all blew up, I am sitting here wondering if she'd be capable of giving an honest answer...
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 07:19:26 AM »

I know there will come a point in not too long that I won't constantly feel the shock of the grief, like someone close to me died, and it will get better.

trust in this. it will sustain you at the times that it feels like it wont get better, or at the times where it feels like its gotten worse.

Trying to analyze my part, back into the bargaining stage. I find myself viewing her as two people, and I find I'm bargaining with myself as to how I can get the sweet, loving girl back and I resent the one who did this so me. I'm thinking, wow this was such different behavior (full blown) than what I'd seen for most of 9 years (there were instances I now recognize, but I really don't think she's extreme BPD - she was never really nasty to me until the end), maybe she could hold it together.

be patient in analyzing your part; thats a latter stage of detaching. i didnt clearly see it myself for a good four or five years, long after i was past the pain. even now, i can still learn applicable lessons.

i think all of us can relate to that struggle with seeing your ex as two different people. they arent, of course, and that was one of the hardest things to get my mind around. it feels that way. it sure feels that way. my ex and i were friends, close friends, for three years before we were even together. when we ended, she treated me as if i were her worst enemy. this grief is being in a place that you probably never could have imagined, if you were told exactly how it would happen.

The problem is, I'm expecting something that I don't know if she can provide. I want the truth. I want her to confess that pretty much everything she told me post revelations was likely a lie. None of it added up. I don't know why I want that.

one of the hardest lessons i ever had to learn is that an ex romantic partner is in no place to help you heal. often times, a person who has hurt you in general, is in no place to help you heal. and yet, it can feel as if they are the only person who can.

but when a relationship ends, both parties are in very different places. they arent experiencing the same events in the same way. they arent on the same page. theyre breaking up, grieving, at different paces, and places.

and when that happens, we dont always give an enormous amount of thought to the things that we do.

Excerpt
Do they just paint their own picture of what transpired and truly believe it?

they have a different perspective and experience, one as real as ours. one that conflicts with ours.

put yourself in her shoes for a moment (try). if you were in a new relationship, that would be your focus. you would have partially, or largely grieved the relationship. you would be in no place to rehash what happened, especially when the implication is, by and large, that you did wrong.

if you want some advice, i put everything that ever went through my mind during and after my breakup on paper. writing letters, asking these questions, these things can all be a part of grieving, of trying to make sense of things, and that can serve a purpose. to this day, i am proud that my ex never saw a bit of it from me directly. there is something profound about holding your piece. youve gone down the closure road, and i suspect shes contributed as much as shes able.

Excerpt
I’d also love some input on seeing other women.

if you want more advice, dont use a new, or old relationship to heal.
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 04:54:49 PM »

erik, I am sorry to read about your experiences. In my opinion and in the advice I have received over the years from dealing with a very good professional therapist well versed in bpd, you will probably never get ‘real’ insights from the answers you are seeking from your ex.

My experiences with my bpdxw are very similar to yours and PeteW. The ending period was horrible, it was just like you say “dealing with a different person.” The ‘other side’ of her disappeared overnight. From then on I was ‘the bad guy’, couldn’t do anything right and was treated horribly. The sad part for me is that, like you, I had no real idea what I was dealing with. Again like in your experience I was extremely fortunate to meet a T that is an expert on personality disorders. He was the one that after explaining my situation stated “she sounds borderline.” I had no idea what that meant at the time.

The cheating and gaslighting was present as well. Same traits. And if I dared asked anything remotely connected, I was purposely made to feel like I was an insecure and jealous individual. She behaved in exactly the same way while still living together during the final chapter, she was “staying at her girlfriends house or at her mum’s.” When I dared to ask once “are you developing an emotional affair with someone?” She shot me down fast “see? you are still the same, so insecure.” Eventually I gave up trying to fix the marriage, went along with her and parted ways. It was hard, I was so connected to her. Regarding the affair, well much later I was vindicated, when I was packing my bits I found some letters, I had been right all along.

After the split her abandonment fears came out strongly, so she started to chase me for months. I went NC. Eventually I was persuaded back to meet. She was back, just like the beginning, I was again the ‘best guy in the world’, yet it didn’t last that long. I couldn’t see a way forward, so despite her trying to reach out for months after that, offering to restart, I didn’t take the bait any longer. At the time my T said “unless she goes into serious therapy dealing with bpd, your chances of a successful restart are 10%.” It’s been a while now, I feel like I am back, in peace, enjoying my life, the things I love to do, my friends. My T has helped all along. Take your time, think deeply about your life, make yourself happy, and think deeply about all the areas that make a relationship truly special. Keep going to your T, it sounds as if she has vast experience in this area.

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erick1991

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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 10:51:22 PM »

erik, I am sorry to read about your experiences. In my opinion and in the advice I have received over the years from dealing with a very good professional therapist well versed in bpd, you will probably never get ‘real’ insights from the answers you are seeking from your ex.

My experiences with my bpdxw are very similar to yours and PeteW. The ending period was horrible, it was just like you say “dealing with a different person.” The ‘other side’ of her disappeared overnight. From then on I was ‘the bad guy’, couldn’t do anything right and was treated horribly. The sad part for me is that, like you, I had no real idea what I was dealing with. Again like in your experience I was extremely fortunate to meet a T that is an expert on personality disorders. He was the one that after explaining my situation stated “she sounds borderline.” I had no idea what that meant at the time.

The cheating and gaslighting was present as well. Same traits. And if I dared asked anything remotely connected, I was purposely made to feel like I was an insecure and jealous individual. She behaved in exactly the same way while still living together during the final chapter, she was “staying at her girlfriends house or at her mum’s.” When I dared to ask once “are you developing an emotional affair with someone?” She shot me down fast “see? you are still the same, so insecure.” Eventually I gave up trying to fix the marriage, went along with her and parted ways. It was hard, I was so connected to her. Regarding the affair, well much later I was vindicated, when I was packing my bits I found some letters, I had been right all along.

After the split her abandonment fears came out strongly, so she started to chase me for months. I went NC. Eventually I was persuaded back to meet. She was back, just like the beginning, I was again the ‘best guy in the world’, yet it didn’t last that long. I couldn’t see a way forward, so despite her trying to reach out for months after that, offering to restart, I didn’t take the bait any longer. At the time my T said “unless she goes into serious therapy dealing with bpd, your chances of a successful restart are 10%.” It’s been a while now, I feel like I am back, in peace, enjoying my life, the things I love to do, my friends. My T has helped all along. Take your time, think deeply about your life, make yourself happy, and think deeply about all the areas that make a relationship truly special. Keep going to your T, it sounds as if she has vast experience in this area.



The cheating and gaslighting was present as well. Same traits. And if I dared asked anything remotely connected, I was purposely made to feel like I was an insecure and jealous individual. She behaved in exactly the same way while still living together during the final chapter, she was “staying at her girlfriends house or at her mum’s.”

It helps me to move forward (vs continuing these fantasies of sending her some text message that will kickstart getting the old her back) hearing all these stories that are so similar to what my ex did, over and over. I've found myself really moving backwards in the last week, since having a little contact again, and I'm really slipping in and out of bargaining (with myself - not her) and accepting that she has a disorder that makes a longterm, healthy relationship impossible. Weird how quickly one little thing can set off those thoughts of "lets fix this!!"

The sequence of events - finding inappropriate texts from THAT WEEK, asking if she'd ever cheated, her admitting to cheating years ago (tip of the iceberg in my opinion) and then having a complete inability to acknowledge that the texts from that week were sexual in nature / inappropriate just confirms it again. As soon as I started to address those texts with her the day after the revelations, the gaslighting and splitting started. She got so defensive, so angry, so out of touch with reality. She never accused me of being insecure, but she got really angry and deflective, she'd get upset at me not trusting her (well yeah, I'd just found out the girl I spent 9 years with & almost bought a house for last year had cheated on me !) saying the craziest things, flipping it back on me (you telling me not to do this makes me want to do it more - what?!) everything but being able to understand my position that I wasn't comfortable with my girlfriend texting guys who invited her over to watch a movie at night, let alone after finding out she had cheated.

It’s been a while now, I feel like I am back, in peace, enjoying my life, the things I love to do, my friends. My T has helped all along. Take your time, think deeply about your life, make yourself happy, and think deeply about all the areas that make a relationship truly special. Keep going to your T, it sounds as if she has vast experience in this area.

Thats exactly it what I'm struggling with, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). I'm seeing the therapist 2x a week, its very helpful, but I just bounce back and forth so much. When I get on this website, its a super helpful reminder and I find myself living in acceptance - that was how it ended, it wasn't my fault and there's nothing that can be done to fix it. Other times, I am reminiscing on the fact that I spent the first 9 years of my adult life thinking she was the foundation for everything that made me happy - no matter where I was in the world (lots of intl travel for work) how stressful it got, the things that went wrong in life, I always came home to this adoring girl that was my other half. It's such a strange feeling being just with myself. I still find myself in shock sometimes even typing this stuff, and my stomach drops remembering what happened.

Life's so weird, I find myself thinking "if only she didn't have BPD...." well, in reality, if she didn't have BPD we probably don't end up together in the first place. What an insidious disorder...
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erick1991

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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 11:09:12 PM »

trust in this. it will sustain you at the times that it feels like it wont get better, or at the times where it feels like its gotten worse.

be patient in analyzing your part; thats a latter stage of detaching. i didnt clearly see it myself for a good four or five years, long after i was past the pain. even now, i can still learn applicable lessons.

i think all of us can relate to that struggle with seeing your ex as two different people. they arent, of course, and that was one of the hardest things to get my mind around. it feels that way. it sure feels that way. my ex and i were friends, close friends, for three years before we were even together. when we ended, she treated me as if i were her worst enemy. this grief is being in a place that you probably never could have imagined, if you were told exactly how it would happen.

one of the hardest lessons i ever had to learn is that an ex romantic partner is in no place to help you heal. often times, a person who has hurt you in general, is in no place to help you heal. and yet, it can feel as if they are the only person who can.

but when a relationship ends, both parties are in very different places. they arent experiencing the same events in the same way. they arent on the same page. theyre breaking up, grieving, at different paces, and places.

and when that happens, we dont always give an enormous amount of thought to the things that we do.

they have a different perspective and experience, one as real as ours. one that conflicts with ours.

put yourself in her shoes for a moment (try). if you were in a new relationship, that would be your focus. you would have partially, or largely grieved the relationship. you would be in no place to rehash what happened, especially when the implication is, by and large, that you did wrong.

if you want some advice, i put everything that ever went through my mind during and after my breakup on paper. writing letters, asking these questions, these things can all be a part of grieving, of trying to make sense of things, and that can serve a purpose. to this day, i am proud that my ex never saw a bit of it from me directly. there is something profound about holding your piece. youve gone down the closure road, and i suspect shes contributed as much as shes able.

if you want more advice, dont use a new, or old relationship to heal.

if you want some advice, i put everything that ever went through my mind during and after my breakup on paper. writing letters, asking these questions, these things can all be a part of grieving, of trying to make sense of things, and that can serve a purpose. to this day, i am proud that my ex never saw a bit of it from me directly. there is something profound about holding your piece. youve gone down the closure road, and i suspect shes contributed as much as shes able.

if you want more advice, dont use a new, or old relationship to heal.


I have been doing that, actually the whole time since she blew it up. I've got probably 25,000 words worth of 4-5 "letters." Have been very hesitant to send her anything (really due to, deep down, I know its futile and I probably wouldn't believe her response anyways - and if she were honest, what does it matter?), and I can see how I'd likely take pride in her NOT reading any of them. It's kinda like a self respect thing I guess (for me), like you made your bed, you're lying in it now. I tried, exceptionally hard for the weeks on end that she kept me in the dark, and I just got pushed further and further away. I just reread the first one, and good god I was angry and upset. I am in a much better place than that now.

I appreciate that insight, about her not being the one to be able to help me move forward and her not being two people, despite my mind telling me that. I keep seeing / hearing the same quote "when someone shows you who they are, believe them." Your post actually talked me out of my most recent plan to try and get answers, so it was much needed.
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2020, 05:07:45 AM »

erik again lots of things that took place in your life that I now understand as fairly common in these situations. My interactions towards the end were also full of “you can’t tell me what to do” type responses. My T explained to me during one of my sessions that the helpful, accomodating, caretaker style type of individual opens up this kind of scenario. One ends up in a situation almost like the ‘father figure’, the full time supporter, financially, emotionally, and you end up almost in a type of parental role, I feel like that kind of became my spot at the end. Then as my T put it, she became like the troublesome teenager, who was rebelling against the parent, as weird as that sounds.

In your current situation I would say your T would be the best person to help you not only understand what you went through, but also the way forward. And finding yourself, what you really want to achieve and what makes you happy in life would be the quest.

In my relationship I also felt very much as you do. This was my perfect partner, loving, intelligent, talented, the one, the person that understood everything, the one that liked all the things I liked, same goals. We had some nice times, lots of travelling, strong connections. But now I feel that I was mistaken. That person was not really like that. It is a shock to the system, to the vision one had of the relationship.

My T says that in some ways she tried hard, but could not sustain it. I must tell you that when I first met her she did say once “people like me sabotage good things.” I never understood what she meant, until the demise. I was a good, supportive provider, but that there was really too much trauma in her life to deal with and that eventually would destroy our thing. That’s how I managed to understand what I lived through and the fact that I could not fix it. And if I would have tried the recycles, we would have reached the same place again and again. That’s not a life.
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