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Author Topic: Can someone explain splitting, triangulation, etc.  (Read 183 times)
KarmasReal
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« on: August 02, 2020, 07:12:03 PM »

Hi all,

I had a recent interaction with my exgf who is undiagnosed bpd.  I have been in a cycle of bpd idealization/devaluation type of relationship for 6 years.  During that time we always seemed to follow a cycle looking back on it.  We were usually together in a "committed" relationship 6-9 months on average although usually could maintain a seemingly healthy relationship for 1-3 months at the beginning of when we got back together.  When we broke up and I was devalued we were usually apart 2-5 months on average and she would charm me back.  So it was almost like clockwork.

This last time I had decided not to put a label on us being together because I knew it would only make things worse, but we were basically together and she asked for us to be exclusive sexually.  She came to me 6 or 7 weeks ago and admitted she slept with her ex again as she has done on and off during break ups with me, he is engaged by the way, and him and my ex share a child so they are always in each others life.  At that point I finally came to the realization there was nothing I could ever do to make things not toxic for us, she would always have an avenue to hurt me, so I told her I was done and to leave.

A month or so later I ran into at a bar down town and said hi politely, she gave me a mean look and said F YOU to me, so I just said okay have a nice night and walked off.  Later she called me asked me to come hang out which I did, but probably should not have.  She spend the entirety of the rest of the night coming on to me with reckless abandon, she said she wanted me so bad she wanted to do this do that, all night long basically.  And in between those times she yelled at me telling me I am a jerk, I gave her hpv, I ruined things by cheating, etc.  Also she seemed to be trying to hurt me by flirting with guys at the bar when I came back and ignoring me, and then telling me she had a new boyfriend but then saying she didn't and saying it was funny because I had no idea if she was telling the truth.  I really don't understand why she wanted to hurt me after hurting me and making me end the relationship before.

But anyway after reading this my question is if I have been split black and devalued and the bad guy which from the way she talked to me I have been.  And she has some sort of interaction with this new guy who would be the good guy and rescuer.  Why would she have sex with me and by that I mean beg to have sex with basically attacking me full force to sleep with her?  I thought that does not happen when they split and triangulate a new rescuer?  Can anyone answer this? The way she talked about this other person it did not sound at all like she had him on a idealization pedestal, she insulted him on more than one occasion, so this whole thing has me confused and has set me  back on my recovery from this toxic relationship. 

If anyone has any answers or advice, I greatly appreciate it.
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 07:30:28 PM »

Excerpt
I thought that does not happen when they split and triangulate a new rescuer?

The answer to this might make you feel good (but it's just my opinion, and not infallible). But I think you find the answer here:

Excerpt
The way she talked about this other person it did not sound at all like she had him on a idealization pedestal, she insulted him on more than one occasion

He isn't as good, in her eyes, as you. Also, not reacting to her telling you to PLEASE READ off probably caused her to contact you later on. "Why doesn't he care anymore" "Why won't he sleep with me". I'd say you've triggered her abandonment fears and she needs to "win" you in order to feel special / validated again.

I can't remember your story, but this is scary:

Excerpt
...telling me she had a new boyfriend but then saying she didn't and saying it was funny because I had no idea if she was telling the truth.

That is malicious and perhaps more towards NPD than BPD only.
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schwing
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 02:23:51 AM »

But anyway after reading this my question is if I have been split black and devalued and the bad guy which from the way she talked to me I have been.  And she has some sort of interaction with this new guy who would be the good guy and rescuer.  Why would she have sex with me and by that I mean beg to have sex with basically attacking me full force to sleep with her? 

My understanding is that people with BPD (pwBPD) exhibit splitting behavior, that is they see things in black and white.  But then they are also impulsive.  When their impulse is to believe that you have wrong them (real or imagined), then they split you black.  And so they will perceive you as the "bad guy" until... they do not.  Or at least until they split someone else (like the new guy) black.  And at that point, you are not so bad, or at least you are not as "black" as the new guy.

And I suppose it is that point that her impulse is to abandon the new guy before he can "abandon" her, and the best way to do that is to hook up with anyone not the new guy (e.g. you).

I thought that does not happen when they split and triangulate a new rescuer?  Can anyone answer this?

In the drama triangle, someone is the victim (usually them), someone is the persecutor (usually their most current favorite person), and someone is the rescuer.  None of these roles are fixed or permanent. They can be very very interchangeable. Subject to change at an impulse.

The way she talked about this other person it did not sound at all like she had him on a idealization pedestal, she insulted him on more than one occasion, so this whole thing has me confused and has set me  back on my recovery from this toxic relationship. 

The other person was idealized until he was no longer idealized.  Just like you were once idealized.  Then you got painted black.  Now she's trying to figure out if you can be idealized again.  And if so, eventually you will be painted black (again).  Rinse and repeat as needed.

Best wishes,

Schwing
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PearlsBefore

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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 11:48:10 AM »

Completely layman opinion here, but the ending to that story sounds like she's not actually splitting at this point; she's pretending to be infatuated with the new guy because she believes that will drive you crazy and make you get re-involved with her - failing which she's hoping a reminder of how crazy in the head = crazy in bed will work.

Sounds like you're still the guy she wants her hooks in (and obviously I and most people here would advise you not to return to that) - and the new guy is just a means to an end.
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KarmasReal
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 10:37:20 PM »

Hi all, thank you for your responses so far! 

Grumpydonut,

I agree she was very malicious during our interaction, she was rude and flippant to me when I was trying to make sure she got home safe, instead of drinking and driving.  As for her seeing me as better, I am not so sure, yes overall physically I would have to say I am much more appealing as a taller, more muscular, tattooed, and bearded type than this guy.  She told me he had a doctorate in inorganic chemistry and he was smart and ran a business so she had some good things to say about this guy too. But she also had some not so nice things to say about me and where I bested him, while she was begging to sleep with me.  However, we have not spoken since that night and my roommate who told me about her instagram adds or new guys was deleted from her friends list, so it doesn't seem as though she thinks any better of me despite that night.

Turkish,

I see what you are saying about idealization, but it seems like she has only known this guy a short time, maybe hung out together a couple of times or so.  So I find it hard to believe she would be devaluing him already, especially when she split me pretty black because I told her to leave when we broke up, so I '"abandoned" her, even though she was having sex with her ex.  Plus like I said we have not spoken since, and this guy is still following her instagram so it seems like I am still devalued and he is not.  Unless you see something different from all this.  Also, yes I am sure I will be split black again, even though I think I still am now, it has happened to me multiple times!

PearlsBefore,

Thank you so much for your input.  I would not put that thought process past her, she often times seemed to try to bait me into things by saying things that would set off my jealousy/mate guarding instincts.  But if she would have just talked to me and apologized she would have gotten further than doing this.  Plus she is a few months away from her 35th birthday.  It would seem she is trying to find someone new who doesn't know all her issues before her looks go down the drain completely, which I have seen a radical change from when I met her at 28.  I mean she was on 2 dating apps that I know of, she seems to have deleted them so maybe she is going to try with this guy.  I guess that means she kept our interaction from him?

I could almost see both scenarios as true.  I remember her saying she didn't like thinking about dating someone new, getting to know them, all that stuff, but yet she showed me she was texting him and being malicious saying they were together and then saying they weren't.  She was idealizing/devaluing both of us, having sex with me, then not talking to me further and continuing with him I guess?  So I honestly don't know if she was trying to get me jealous or she was just being impulsive that night with me and later decided I was still devalued.  Going back and forth can make a man crazy, I can tell you that!




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KarmasReal
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 03:37:24 AM »

My mistake I meant to Schwing, not Turkish, I was confusing posts! But thank you for your reply it was really appreciated and in-depth.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 05:05:04 AM »

I thought that does not happen when they split and triangulate a new rescuer?

the terminology can be confusing, for sure. definitions vary all over the internet, and can serve to complicate rather than to facilitate understanding.

two things i would suggest: these (splitting, triangulation) are real psychology terms. they are clearly defined. having a clear definition will go a long way.

here is a clinical explanation of splitting as a defense mechanism: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=62033.0

here is one on triangulation: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=121673.msg1200251#msg1200251

triangulation, in particular, is one of the most commonly misunderstood terms. it is something that we all do, it can be either good or bad, and it is not the same thing as a "love triangle".

the second thing i would suggest is that you may be reading this terminology in a way that over generalizes, and that can confuse as to what is going on, specifically, between the two of you. when you read things like "they all do this" or "when they do ____ it means _____", it can set you up for confusion when ____ does or doesnt happen.

KR, i dont think that splitting or triangulation have much to do with what youre experiencing with your ex.

from 30000 feet, it looks more like a relationship that is (has been) too good to leave, too bad to stay, but over time, through numerous breakup/makeup cycles, has seen diminishing commitment, trust, respect, and overall value. and, essentially, the two of you are push/pulling, and by and large, fighting for control over that dynamic.

thats a continuation of the conflict of the last six years that has devolved to the point of using what makes the other tick in order to achieve the desired result, which is, in a lot of cases, a particular kind of attention.

thats how blurred the lines have become. she shifts between "lets screw" and "this other guy". you shift between nonchalant "okay, see you later", and responding to her advances, and trying to compete with whatever other guys there may be.

there arent clear loyalties or objectives here. its working, for both of you, but in a way that makes communicating a competition.
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