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BlueSpring
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« on: August 08, 2020, 07:35:26 PM »

I was just wondering about something, and it's purely academic.  I'm not considering doing this, but if you gave in to every demand a person with BPD throws out there, would that make the relationship work?  I know that doing that would be a really bad idea, but, as I said, the question is purely academic.
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 08:27:17 PM »

Best thing I've ever read (although this is something that simply validated my experience rather than "academic").

Picture a bucket full of holes. You want to fill it. However, instead of pouring water, you pour your love, attention, identity into the bucket. Only to find that it's never enough to fill it.

The BPD sufferer is the bucket. Every time you do something, the response is "I need more". It's never enough, because external things cannot resolve internal issues. My ex is always turning to badaids - drugs, alcohol, sex, constant attention, holidays, etc - to fix her issues. But these don't soothe, and they never will.
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2020, 11:11:16 PM »

I gave in to most of her demands, I felt like I was a slave for 8 or the 10 years we were together. It doesn't work out because their decision making is so absolutely poor that even if they get everything they want, things will be a living hell for both of you. Also, eventually you will become a walking corpse like I was, and will be useless to them. Then they'll discard.
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Marianne-11
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2020, 12:11:29 AM »

In hindsight, when there were times I would give in to his bpd behavior/demands, I soon became boring to him and he seemed to despise me. Maybe he saw that as a sign of weakness, which is something he also could not tolerate in me.
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 10:42:34 PM »

It doesn't work because the demands will keep coming, and every time you give into one unreasonable demand it will be another part of you that goes away. Eventually your body will rebel and end the relationship.
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brighter future
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2020, 09:44:44 AM »

Best thing I've ever read (although this is something that simply validated my experience rather than "academic").

Picture a bucket full of holes. You want to fill it. However, instead of pouring water, you pour your love, attention, identity into the bucket. Only to find that it's never enough to fill it.

The BPD sufferer is the bucket. Every time you do something, the response is "I need more". It's never enough, because external things cannot resolve internal issues. My ex is always turning to badaids - drugs, alcohol, sex, constant attention, holidays, etc - to fix her issues. But these don't soothe, and they never will.

I like that analogy. Thank you for sharing it. It's very true. I'm going to store that in my memory banks for future reference.

I gave my U/D BPD ex-G/F all of the love and support that I could, sadly it was never enough. When I couldn't give her what she ultimately wanted (engagement and marriage) until she faced her issues, she cast me aside for someone else. I've learned in therapy over the last few months that even if I would have followed through and married her, that wouldn't have been enough to fill her either. As sad as it is, our breakup was a blessing in disguise. Now she's hitting up her rebound guy for marriage after just over three months of dating according to a family member of hers. According them, Mr. Rebound said marriage scared him and he had no plans for that in the immediate future. My guess is she'll keep applying the pressure to him like she did to me while maintaining her other relationship prospects. It's a never ending cycle. As I recall someone saying on the forum recently, "BPDs love to get married, but they don't like being married." Another true statement.

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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 11:44:24 AM »

Excerpt
I gave my U/D BPD ex-G/F all of the love and support that I could, sadly it was never enough.

Well said, brighter future.  I used to say that my BPDxW's motto was "Never enough"!  I agree w/ grumpydonut: it's a black hole that can never be filled. 

You nailed it, BuildingFromScratch:

Excerpt
their decision making is so absolutely poor that even if they get everything they want, things will be a living hell for both of you. Also, eventually you will become a walking corpse like I was, and will be useless to them.

Like you, BFS, I allowed myself to become completely depleted: emotionally, physically and financially, until I was a shell of my former self or, as you put it, a walking corpse.  I lost myself for a while there, which was not fun.

Agree, Football2000, when you give in to their unreasonable demands, you lose another inch of your self-respect, until you discover that you've lost a mile of your former self.

Concur, Marianne-11: by giving in to BPD behavior and demands, I became a doormat and object of scorn.  I forgot who I was and lost all sense of self.

Great question, BlueSpring!

LuckyJim
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BlueSpring
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 04:22:23 PM »

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for sharing some great thoughts and not so great experiences.  From my experience, I thought the same thing.  The bucket full of holes is a good illustration.

Brighter Future, I had the same thing happen with my BPD G/F.  She kept pressuring me to marry her or move in with her, but I didn't want to until she got her issues under control.  I asked her more than once to go to therapy.  I offered to go with her, but she won't take any responsibility.  I fear she's a lost cause.  And she did the same thing, she dumped me for someone else.  Right now, she's with "Mr. Rebound."  But she keeps in touch with me.  Sometimes she calls and says she can't live without me, and sometimes she calls just to verbally abuse me.  I get the feeling that when she needs to vent her unstable rage, she calls me to use me as an outlet.  I get the feeling she doesn't want to fight with him because she doesn't want him to leave.  So she's trying to use me as her whipping boy.  But I keep hanging up on her.  I don't like the fact that I got abused for three years, and this jerk gets to do whatever he damn well pleases.  Or so it seems.  I don't know what's actually going on with them, but it seems that she's holding onto him.  She described him as "passive," so I wonder if he's on his way to becoming a "walking corpse." 

I know that when I used to go over to her house, I would become physically tired, and I would feel ashamed of myself wondering how I got myself into such a mess.

Things are much better without her.  I just can't figure out why I still miss her.  I keep asking myself, "Do you want a never ending fight where she attacks your friends, your faith, and you family?  Do you want to be with her and have her split into a rage for no reason at all?  The answer is no.  This is how I'm coping with this break up. 

I start therapy this week, and I'm hoping to work out the lingering issues.  But it's good to know that I'm not alone, and there was nothing I could have done to make her happy or mentally healthy.  That's up to her.   
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Beth2468

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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2020, 04:33:55 AM »

In hindsight, when there were times I would give in to his bpd behavior/demands, I soon became boring to him and he seemed to despise me. Maybe he saw that as a sign of weakness, which is something he also could not tolerate in me.

Thank you for posting this, another light bulb moment for me as I read it.

My ex said he was really attracted to my strength and confidence when we met. 
He seemed to despise me if I had an insecure moment, which made me feel worse.   
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brighter future
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2020, 07:30:01 AM »

Thank you for posting this, another light bulb moment for me as I read it.

My ex said he was really attracted to my strength and confidence when we met.  
He seemed to despise me if I had an insecure moment, which made me feel worse.  


I can really identify with what you are saying here, Beth. My ex-g/f told me throughout our relationship that one of the reasons that she loved me so much was because of my stability. She said that I "helped even out all of her craziness" and made her "feel stable and safe."

We talked on and off for two weeks after our initial breakup. During one of those conversations she literally went off on me over the telephone and told me "I can't stand your anxiety and your indecisiveness. You do nothing but drag me down and make me feel alone. I don't need that in my life being alone with two kids." We had dated for about two years, and she wanted engagement/marriage and applied frequent pressure to get that from me. That combined with her mental and emotional issues was a great source of stress for me at times. I couldn't commit to marriage until she addressed her emotional issues.  There was no way that I was going to set our relationship up for failure without addressing what was wrong first and foremost.

I don't believe she knows or cares how her baggage affects others. It's amazing how these people can put you up on a pedestal one minute and completely tear you down the next. Several of us are curious to see how long it takes her to knock her rebound guy off the pedestal.

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brighter future
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2020, 09:34:43 AM »

@BlueSpring,

It sounds like your relationship with your ex-g/f had a lot of similarities with the relationship that I had with my ex-g/f. I'm sorry that you went through all of that with her. I can totally relate to you still missing her, as I miss the good times and the companionship that I had with my ex-g/f. When that starts to drag me down, I sit here and reason with myself and remember that we couldn't have had a healthy relationship with her severe emotional issues. Now that I've stepped out of the relationship, I can clearly see that the red flags and that the bad really outweighed the good.

Her new relationship with the rebound guy (He is on his second round (recycle) with her. She started seeing him after filed for divorce and left her ex-husband then dumped him after about 6 weeks to start dating me.) is not going to be any different.   The difference with my ex-g/f was that she would acknowledge her issues to me and ask for professional help only to say she was fine and deny them a short time later. On at least three occasions as far back as six months before our breakup, she even asked for counselor recommendations from friends on social media but never followed through with that either.  At the time of our breakup and shortly before, she would deny her issues when confronted about them and say "There's nothing wrong with me. This is how I am. I'm fine, and counselors don't work for me."  I tried to get her to go to couples counseling at the time of the breakup. She agreed at first, then wouldn't even discuss it with me again in days following the initial discussion. She is still in total denial at this time, which is now 4 months after our breakup. My mother actually saw her last evening in passing and said my ex looked horrible and has put on a tremendous amount of weight. A family member of my ex's who is also a friend of mine told me the same thing a couple of weeks ago. This individual sees and speaks to my ex regularly.  She must really be in a bad place, but she is the only one that can save herself.

I went into NC mode with my ex-g/f nearly 3 months ago and one month after the breakup when I deleted her from my social media. She would frequently like and at times would comment on my posts. Maybe that was her way of pinging me, especially since she said that she wanted to remain friends with me. Prior to her hooking up with the rebound guy (two weeks after our breakup) she would text me most of the time in the middle of the night while I was sleeping and say that she missed me, couldn't sleep, and asked if she could call me. She would say that hearing my voice and knowing that I was there helped her get to sleep.  Once the rebound showed up, the calling and texting stopped, but the social media pings continued until I removed her. Basically the only time I have to deal with her now is when she is visiting her parents who happen to live next door to me. She was over there 3 times last week. During the times shortly after the breakup, her being next door at her parents would cause me over the top anxiety. Being in counseling has taught me how to process this, and now it really doesn't bother me any longer. I'm not allowing her to have that power over me again.

My biggest issue now is the loneliness. I am a single parent to an 8 year old in his early 40's. Getting out and meeting people is a bit harder the older that you are in my opinion, especially when you have a child. However, I keep telling myself that the loneliness that I feel now is much better than the alternative of being with my ex and being a "walking corpse". I can honestly tell you that my blood pressure is down, and my body no longer hurts or feels exhausted from all of the stress since the breakup. I've also started hiking at least 2 miles each evening after dinner to clear my mind. The exercise helps me physically and emotionally, which in turn helps me sleep better at night.   I may still be suffering a bit from abandonment depression, but that is diminishing a little bit each day.

Best wishes to you, BlueSpring! I hope you find peace and comfort in the coming weeks.

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Beth2468

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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2020, 04:56:38 AM »

@Brighter Future

I can relate to so much of what you have said, thank you for your post.  It is inspiring, you are in the place I want to be, and I'm getting there, slowly. It has only been four weeks for me.

"I don't believe she knows or cares how her baggage affects others. It's amazing how these people can put you up on a pedestal one minute and completely tear you down the next".
The number of times I said "please try and see this from my point of view" - I now realise this was impossible for him, which I couldn't comprehend before as I am very much an empath.

My ex also agreed to get help a couple of times, but didn't see it through. There was a lot that he didn't see through, come to think of it.  I gave up suggesting he get help, I realised it had to come from him.  Towards the end of our relationship during one of his episodes he said "I've got a personality disorder" and I replied, "yes, you have."  A couple of times he said "you're just like the others (his exes), telling me I need help" - well those others were right, but he just can't see it.

Like you, I tell myself that it could never have worked. I know the longer it went on the more damaged I would have been.  Also I do feel calmer since he left, I miss the good times, but I don't miss the way he made me feel when he was having an episode.   And it is nice to go upstairs for more than five minutes without him shouting up "are you alright?"

It must be hard being a parent and dealing with the break up, you are doing so well though. I am sorry that you are lonely, exercise is, as you say, very good for you and sleeping well helps with so much. I hope you find other ways to reach out and connect with people. 
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brighter future
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2020, 11:14:29 AM »

@Beth2468

Thank you for your reply, and I'm glad I was able to say some things that you could identify with. Four weeks out of the relationship isn't very long for you, so continue to take care of yourself. I was a total mess four weeks after my relationship ended.

I did not break down and get professional help until I had been out of the relationship for about 4-5 weeks. Things finally came to a head one day, and I had a meltdown around the second week of May. I ended up taking a couple of days off of work to regroup and get scheduled with a counselor. My employer was aware of what was going on in my life, as I had a conversation with my boss in his office about  week before I mentally crashed. When I called in that day to say that I wouldn't be coming in, he said to take all of the time that I needed to get myself together and that he admired my courage for standing up and saying that I was having issues and needed help. He stated that most folks just hold that stuff in and don't seek help until something terrible happens.

I had kept the breakup with my ex-g/f from my daughter because my daughter loved her so much, and I couldn't find the words to tell her about the breakup. Anyway, my daughter came to me just days before I had that breakdown, and she said "Daddy, what's wrong with you? Your face looks so sad."  After all of that, I knew I had to go and get some help for myself so I could be the best for my child. About a month after I started counseling, I found this forum which has also been a huge help for me. If it wasn't for my counselor and this forum, I'm not sure where I'd be right now.

Right now, I feel like I'm still trying to figure out who I am again. Maybe someone else will come along some day when the time is right.  A song came out shortly before the breakup called "Everywhere But On" by an artist named Matt Stell. I liked the song the instant I heard it.  All of the lyrics in the song hit close to home for me especially this part:

"My mail's still going to mama's house
'Cause I'm still long gone trying to figure out
Who I am without you
And why I still think about you
Just bidin' my time makin' ends meet
Loadin' trucks, pourin' coffee, pourin' concrete
Plannin' my next move for gettin' over you, yeah..."

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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 03:17:47 AM »

the question is purely academic.

theres a lot involved in what makes a relationship work.

a lot of it is skill. a lot of it is pure timing and luck. most of it is priorities, compatibilities, values. its really about whether a couple has "the right stuff".

there is no shortage of couples involving a person with BPD that make it work. some here have been married 20, 30, 40 years or more.

some of what makes it work isnt necessarily ideal. for example, my ex and i lasted just shy of three years, and we were hanging on for at least a year past the point where the relationship had the writing on the wall.

still, in plenty of cases, it might not be a relationship i would choose, but it works. it doesnt involve giving into every demand. it involves what i described above.

i appreciate that your question was purely academic. it sounds though, like you experienced a lot of demands. pressure to move in. pressure to get married. i had the same perspective as you did. i wanted it, but deep down, i couldnt imagine how it would work. for example, i did not want us fighting the way we did, in front of our child(ren). we had religious conflicts too, and thats critical to me when it comes to raising a family. so i wanted it, but i resisted it.

when two people remain in a relationship where they have conflicting priorities and values, its called a dead end relationship. eventually, it will implode.

one will give up.

and the person that was hanging onto it, hoping that things would get better, will suffer, have doubts, have regrets. i did.

Excerpt
Right now, she's with "Mr. Rebound."  But she keeps in touch with me.  Sometimes she calls and says she can't live without me, and sometimes she calls just to verbally abuse me.  I get the feeling that when she needs to vent her unstable rage, she calls me to use me as an outlet.  I get the feeling she doesn't want to fight with him because she doesn't want him to leave.  So she's trying to use me as her whipping boy.  But I keep hanging up on her.  I don't like the fact that I got abused for three years, and this jerk gets to do whatever he damn well pleases.  Or so it seems.  I don't know what's actually going on with them, but it seems that she's holding onto him. 

Things are much better without her. 

if things were better without her, you would not be involved.

Excerpt
I just can't figure out why I still miss her.  I keep asking myself, "Do you want a never ending fight where she attacks your friends, your faith, and you family?  Do you want to be with her and have her split into a rage for no reason at all?  The answer is no.  This is how I'm coping with this break up.  

you still miss her because youre grieving this as if she is two people, and as if you were in two different relationships - the best girlfriend ever vs the worst girlfriend ever, the best relationship ever, vs the worst relationship ever.

she was both. the relationship was both. and if you put all of your focus on the worst parts, you are denying yourself the ability to grieve the parts of both her, and the relationship, that you loved, and unfortunately, are faced with letting go of. that has an insidious way of keeping you from really letting go.

isnt the question really "what if i had moved in with her? what if i had married her? could it have worked?".

the answer is really "this was a dead end relationship. we didnt work. we didnt have the right stuff. we had some great stuff, that really hurts to lose, but future partners can offer it, along with a better, stronger, more consistent, healthier connection, if i can become the best version of myself and attract it."
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 03:27:34 AM by once removed » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2020, 04:18:15 PM »

I was just wondering about something, and it's purely academic.  I'm not considering doing this, but if you gave in to every demand a person with BPD throws out there, would that make the relationship work?  I know that doing that would be a really bad idea, but, as I said, the question is purely academic.

What if you give in to every demand and it leads to being profiled as suspicious, ie, normal people dont give in to every demand, therefore something must be wrong.

I could also add that there were times I did not give in to her demands and the relationship continued on.
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2020, 07:29:38 PM »

I'll simply echo what others have said. Take it from me, you can't fill up a bottomless hole. And that is what a person with BPD is; a bottomless vessel seeking someone else to fill them up, validate, them, define their identity, love them, meet all of their needs, etc. But it will never be enough; they will simply move the goal posts. Their self identity is absent, they can't love themselves, their boundaries are as permeable as a pair of fishnet stockings. And in the process you will feed into their devaluing because you will inevitably become resentful, angry, etc and that will give them fuel to their attempt to tear you down. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I lasted 24 years because my stbx is very high functioning, and I brought my own issues to the marriage which she was able to exploit in order to play the victim/martyr card.

A relationship with a BPD can probably work IF both parties are cognizant of the issues, acknowledge them, own them, and work diligently to mitigate the problems, with both doing the hard work to take care of their respective baggage. If my wife had done that, I think it would have worked. I can't work on my issues while trying to own all of the fault in the marriage.
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BlueSpring
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2020, 02:54:43 PM »

My take on it is that a BPD relationship can work if the non BPD partner has no self-esteem and is willing to give up his/her entire life and personhood to their partner's pathology.  I think it's the pathology that rules a relationship like that when the other partner is passive beyond reason.  It's also my take that this is a destructive and dehumanizing situation, and it's harmful whether the non BPD partner realizes it or not.

As far as my ex is concerned, her new relationship ended just as I thought it would.  She called and gave me the details of violent fights that got physical, screaming accusations, substance abuse, and the neighbors calling the police.

I'll go on caring about her because she's pathetic, and I'm compassionate, but I really don't want to immerse myself in that soul shattering dysfunction again now that I've been enjoying my freedom. 

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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2020, 07:27:58 AM »

@Brighterfuture
Hi, Yeah.  It's been a rough road with her.  But enough time has passed that I'm getting over the whole thing now.

Her "Rebound Guy" turned out to be less than the prince she thought he was.  They had violent fights, and they were fighting all the time.  It was every bit as bad as I thought it would be.  Their fights were so bad that the neighbors called the police, and they're both lucky that the police just monitored the situation without making any arrests. 

But this was what I needed.  I needed to get this distance between me and her so that I could see things better.  Our relationship was never just me and her.  It was me and her and any number or guys she was communicating with online.  And all of these guys were making leering sexual comments to her and trying to meet up with her.  It's obvious that she was leading them on even as I was sitting there next to her. 

I'm out of that bad situation now and no longer sacrificing my happiness and my future on the altar of her pathology.
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2020, 11:13:45 AM »

@Blue Spring,

I am glad to hear that you're in a better place. It sure is amazing how much clearer you can see things and all of the red flags after you've left the relationship. I'm in that stage right now as well. I still think about her a lot and miss the good times, but I'm glad that I'm out of the whole mess. 

My goodness, it sounds like your ex'es new relationship turned out to be a disaster. Hopefully they stay away from each other to avoid further conflict. I have a feeling that the relationship I had with my ex was not just me and her either. The same four guys that were swarming around her before and at the start of our relationship were around at the conclusion as well, including her current rebound guy. I'm sure they were always there in some degree while our relationship was going on. I actually saw her out my front window last week while she was visiting her folks next door she doesn't look well and is putting on large amounts of weight. Extended family members  of hers that I'm friends with tell me she "looks and acts flighty and worn out." If she was truly happy and healthy, her appearance and mood would be the opposite. It doesn't matter who she's with (including me), she will never truly be happy and find peace until she decides to help herself. 

Once again, I'm glad to hear that you are doing better. Keep up the good work and I will do the same for my self as well!
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