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Author Topic: Exiting a 5 year relationship with a diagnosed BPD  (Read 2038 times)
Schlaff

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Relationship status: Breaking up
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« on: August 17, 2020, 01:06:07 AM »

First post here. I’ve browsed a lot of threads here and elsewhere, as well as some of the articles. It’s kind of scary how dead on some of the stuff is, but I also note differences, and just wanted to discuss/vent.

Out relationship started out as just hanging out, having fun. Mostly alcohol and sex, but that progressed into hanging out more. I’m also the type to have a single sexual partner regardless of the seriousness of the relationship, so that kinda sped things up.

Things were good for a short while. Honestly I don’t think this phase is unique to BPD, the first bit of any relationship I’ve been in has been great. Anyways, things followed what seems to be a common trend. She started lashing out at me for minuscule things. I brushed them off for various reasons/rationales. It got worse and worse.

The first break up happened when she was trashing our house (for a reason I can’t seem to recall even!), and I and our roommate (my cousin and best friend) were trying to intervene, calm her down. This culminated in her striking him in the face.

At this point, I’d decided we are gonna take a “break”. I think they are stupid and don’t work, but I don’t wanna outright leave her yet, right? I want to stay and make sure she gets help. I get her to consent to therapy. I go with her. I offer all the support I can, she shows improvement. (Diagnosis BPD, among other things)

From here there’s good times and bad, which slowly but surely devolves into her stopping therapy and the exercises that helped, and bad times being every other day. Big fights over the same nonsense. Anger that’s far past remotely merited, etc.

The latest fight, I simply... broke. All the things I’ve read, but thought “no, this is different” or “I can still help her”, finally hit me that... it’s not different. I can’t help her. Like literally cannot, even if I wanted to, which I’m not sure about either.

I love her. Once I say those words to someone it’s always gonna be there in some form. Could go without saying that that is what’s making this hard now. It’s just like so many stories I’ve read. Tonight I told her we are done, it’s over. I must’ve said it 100 times (I’m used to saying things 100 times).  She went from frantically begging me not to do it, to simply denying it. “No, I’m sorry, but we aren’t breaking up. We aren’t meant to be apart” etc.

To complicate it more? We live together, and work together. Most of our friends are shared, largely because she has few friends outside of things like work. Her toxicity makes it tough. Her one best friend I suspect is also BPD. They feed off each other and often go months without talking.

Anyways, now. I’m stuck between seeing that full NC is the right call. But her pleas that she won’t make it without me (not the first suicidal threat), her insistence that I’m part of her getting better, all that? I can rationally see how they are likely all false, empty... But I care about her. I legit forgive her. I just can’t be with her anymore. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to still help her. I’m just unsure how.

Thanks
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Schlaff

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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2020, 04:30:39 PM »

Day two after announcing breakup.

She’s in full blown denial. Acting like a trip with us two and two friends is still on, even though I specifically said it’s not. Going on and on about how it’s different this time. Part of me even believes her, and all of me hopes she figures some of it out. Thoughts are even creeping in that yeah, maybe it can be good at last? But I feel like I need to stay resolved.

What worries me is, what steps am I going to have to take? Do I have to walk away completely? Be nasty to her? I’m already direct, but I’m civil. I don’t want to hurt her, she’s got enough pain. But I don’t know what I need to do to get her to finally listen to me, that it’s over. Hell, not listening to me until it was too late has been a theme for years now.

I don’t even know why I’m posting here. Haven’t gotten a reply and not sure I even expect one, or if I will hear something that I don’t expect. Just ranting I suppose.

Going to schedule a session with our therapist tomorrow I think, the one we saw together a few years ago. See if he’s got some better direction for me, or better words/actions to use here.

One of the positives through all this is that I learned a lot about myself, people, relationships. For one, I’m super conflict averse. It stems from patience and understanding, but I’ve also learned I avoid conflict even when it’s maybe needed? Perfect mark for a BPD haha. Oddly, I don’t view it as a strength or weakness, just a trait.

I’ve also learned, and maybe knew this academically but *really* learned it, you can explain things to people but you can understand things to people. I could list examples but there’s plenty out there, and of course my whole point of mentioning it is, you gotta live it to learn it, to some degree. Kind of interesting.

I’m also generally an optimist. This is all super, impossibly hard. But I know I’ll be fine. I’m legitimately more worried about her. Just want to do the right thing.

The hell is the right thing?
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 07:29:24 AM »

Excerpt
Part of me even believes her, and all of me hopes she figures some of it out. Thoughts are even creeping in that yeah, maybe it can be good at last?

I can certainly understand this thought process. When my ex wBPD cheated on me, she begged me to let her stay with me. She said it meant nothing and that she would never do anything like that again. She said it made her feel sick and she only wanted me.

Then there were the promises to work on herself and get well. If she gets better, we can be together, she says.

Next minute she's dating the guy she cheated on me with 9 months earlier.

They are master liars, Schlaff. With BPD, it doesn't seem to be premeditated, but they only care about what will ease their pain and suit their needs. At the moment, you suit her needs - or maybe she simply doesn't want to feel abandonment - and she knows the correct words to say.

One thing I will can almost be certain of...now that you've broken up with her, it'll never be the same for her. You have triggered her ultimate fear and she will never trust you again. If you take her back, you will be devalued and eventually discarded. The relationship is over regardless of what path you take from here.
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Beth2468

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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 10:39:09 AM »

Day two after announcing breakup.

But I feel like I need to stay resolved.

What worries me is, what steps am I going to have to take? Do I have to walk away completely? Be nasty to her? I’m already direct, but I’m civil. I don’t want to hurt her, she’s got enough pain. But I don’t know what I need to do to get her to finally listen to me, that it’s over. Hell, not listening to me until it was too late has been a theme for years now.

Going to schedule a session with our therapist tomorrow I think, the one we saw together a few years ago. See if he’s got some better direction for me, or better words/actions to use here.

I’m also generally an optimist. This is all super, impossibly hard. But I know I’ll be fine. I’m legitimately more worried about her. Just want to do the right thing.

The hell is the right thing?

Hi Schlaff
I hope that you managed to schedule a therapy session, and that it will be helpful.
I am not the best placed to give advice but I will give you my opinion.  Only you can decide what the right thing to do is - and you said you wanted to stay resolved (to breaking up) so it sounds like you have already decided.  You want to do the right thing because you are a caring, good person. You have to put yourself first and she is unlikely to change - you can not be responsible for her or her actions, and neither should you be.
Living and working together must make it even more difficult. Are you able to maintain any distance at work? Can your living arrangements be altered? If you are sure it's over, limiting contact as much as possible will help.
Best wishes.
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brighter future
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 10:48:41 AM »

 Schlaff,

I am sorry to hear that you're having such a difficult time, and I'm sure you've gathered by reading various posts on this forum that this type of behavior from your ex is very typical. Many on here will tell you that if by some slim chance these people can change their lives and behavior, they have to want it for themselves, and they have to initiate their treatment. None of us can help them, even though we truly want to because we love them. I had to learn the hard way with my BPD ex-wife and in my most recent relationship with my uBPD ex-g/f.

My uBPD ex-girlfriend and I have known each other for 20 years but dated for just shy of two years. We were close to getting engaged/married, but I could not pull the trigger because of her troubled emotional state and her refusal to get help. She received professional help briefly for 3-4 months in 2019 but discontinued treatment and never returned. Several times in the months following that, she stated that she needed to return to therapy but never followed through and said she was fine and continued to pressure me for an engagement/marriage. Two weeks before she abruptly ended our relationship, she told me that her emotional issues were almost unbearable and told me once again that she needed to return to therapy.

Long story short, she showed up at my home one afternoon to visit. As she was leaving, she gave me an ultimatum and said we either got engaged/married or she was out of the relationship. I told her I couldn't proceed until she worked on her issues and stated that marriage would further complicate them, not make them better. I stressed to her that I would stand by her while she shorted her issues out, but she stated that she didn't need help.  We talked on and off for about two weeks trying to possibly work things out. Sixteen days after our breakup, she was out on a date with the guy she rebounded with and had sex with after she left and filed for divorce from her ex-husband. She discarded this same guy to date me, and I did not find out about him until about a month after we'd been dating. When she told me about him, she stated basically that he only wanted one thing and that their relationship was unhealthy. I also learned from her that she was talking to three other guys from her past that she stated "all tried to talk me into things that made me feel uncomfortable. This is not who I am or want to be" she stated to me.  I learned from a mutual friend that she resumed talking to these 3 guys after she and I split all while hooking up with her rebound guy. Our mutual friend said that she bragged about talking all 4 of those guys and said anytime they find out she's single, they "all come out of the woodwork".  I also learned from someone else that this behavior was going on when she was married to her ex-husband. Supposedly she kept in contact with these men to some degree while she was married, but ended up having to cut off contact with them because it was causing marital issues with her husband (and for good reason). She added all of these men back to her social media as soon as she and her husband separated. No big surprise there, and that should have been a red flag that I should have paid attention to.

It still hurts me some today 4 months after I've gotten out of this relationship, but after everything I've described to you above, I'm thankful now that it has ended. There's plenty more that happened in the relationship, but I'll spare you all of the details. The healthiest thing you can do is go NC with your ex and get yourself some counseling (I've been in counseling for 3 months). I went NC with my ex-g/f 3 months ago, or about a month after our relationship ended. She stated that she wanted to keep in touch and remain friends, but I didn't want to set myself up for a recycle and more hurt. So, I cut off all contact and removed her from my social media. The only time I have to look at her now is when she visits her parents who live next door to me. She lives on the opposite end of town from me, about 15-20 minutes away.

Best wishes to you and take care of yourself.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2020, 03:07:17 PM »

@grumpydonut

Thanks for the reply. I read it and just nod my head the whole time.

I guess “lying” is easy, if the person believes what they are saying. I really think she thinks it’s true.

Also that last bit about breaking up being a death blow, I should’ve known that years ago when we took a “break”. At that point I knew something major had to be done, but I was clinging on. I also knew rationally that “breaks” never work, ever. Doubly so with BPD, it seems.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2020, 03:12:02 PM »

@beth

Thanks for the advice, and it’s as true as it gets. I have to decide what’s right. I just still don’t know. Sucks.

Today she broke down and accepted the break up, made plans to move.

An hour later she’s begging to find some way to not uproot, and it kills me. She will have to give up everything. I simply can’t be with her, but I don’t want to destroy her either!

No contact? Feel like she wouldn’t handle that at all. I considered lying to her, saying there will be contact, but really have an end goal of NC. I hate lying though and can’t bring myself to do that.

She also brought up staying in touch, down the line, who knows? I gave her the truth, I’m not against it, but I can’t promise anything. It might be that we can’t have a healthy interaction outside of being together.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2020, 03:15:05 PM »

@brighter future

Thanks.

Again, reading your post and just nodding my head. Same kind of story and cycle. I don’t think I ever got cheated on, but I’m not sure anymore. This is what finally broke me actually:  trust is everything to me. I trusted her the whole way. She didn’t trust me, for no reason, and it finally snapped me in half.

How in the world did you go through this twice?
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brighter future
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2020, 03:50:36 PM »

@Schlaff,

I have learned in my three months of counseling that I am the rescuer type, which seems to attract people with BPD. Something within me feels like I need to rescue people in order to feel worthy or feel good about myself. I’m trying to work past that.

My ex-wife hid all of her laundry list of mental health issues that went all the way back to adolescence. My ex-girlfriend, in contrast, essentially told me of all her issues upfront and seemed to really want change in her life. Sadly wanting it and actually doing it are two different things. She’s reverted back to what she was doing prior to us getting involved. But maybe she never really gave up that behavior to begin with. I should’ve listen when she warned me but I didn’t. Never again. Right now I’m working on changing myself which is the only thing that I can be responsible for. I can’t be responsible emotionally for someone else or enabling someone else.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2020, 04:21:31 PM »

@Schlaff,

I have learned in my three months of counseling that I am the rescuer type, which seems to attract people with BPD. Something within me feels like I need to rescue people in order to feel worthy or feel good about myself. I’m trying to work past that.

My ex-wife hid all of her laundry list of mental health issues that went all the way back to adolescence. My ex-girlfriend, in contrast, essentially told me of all her issues upfront and seemed to really want change in her life. Sadly wanting it and actually doing it are two different things. She’s reverted back to what she was doing prior to us getting involved. But maybe she never really gave up that behavior to begin with. I should’ve listen when she warned me but I didn’t. Never again. Right now I’m working on changing myself which is the only thing that I can be responsible for. I can’t be responsible emotionally for someone else or enabling someone else.

I suspect I might be the same. I want so bad to help her. It: incredibly frustrating to me that it seems so hopeless for BPD people. It’s such a horrible fate.

I think I won’t be interested in any relationship for quite a while, and I’d like to think I could avoid going through this again. But I’d have liked to think I could have done the last few years differently too, so who knows.
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brighter future
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 07:42:05 AM »

@Schlaff,

I understand where you're coming from. I truly loved my ex-g/f, and it still hurts me some that things didn't work out between us. I'm slowly excepting the fact that there's nothing in my power that I could have done to achieve a different outcome in our relationship.  On the days that she was in a good mindset and functioning well, it was almost magical between us. I recall telling her on the very last day that we actually talked that I gave her everything I had and that I was sorry it wasn't enough for her. More than likely, her rebound guy will figure out sooner or later that what he's got to give will never be enough either. He's gone back for seconds, but one helping of that was more than enough for me.

As I said before, my BPD ex-wife was in total denial and blamed everyone (me, her parents, friends, other family members, co-workers, former therapists, etc.) for her problems. She loved therapy and talking to therapists for the attention but did little to nothing to change her life or her behavior. All of her disorders originated from adolescence and childhood abuse. During our divorce she tried to say that her disorders originated during our marriage and that I was the cause of them.  Lucky for me we had a forensic evaluation by a licensed clinical psychologist. In his report at the conclusion of the evaluation, the psychologist noted (after reviewing medical records, etc.) that all of her disorders originated during adolescence due to abuse and were never treated. What a fraud she is and thank goodness we had that evaluation to dispute her nonsensical claims. She and I have a child together, so I still have some contact together. I look forward to the day that I can completely remove all of her toxicity from my life. 

I'm going on 4.5 months since my uBPD ex-g/f and I split up. Like you, I'm not in an hurry to start up a new relationship with someone new due to all of this baggage on my end. I certainly could have done things differently in both of my past relationships as far as boundaries go, etc. I just can't ever go through this again.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 07:57:19 AM by brighter future » Logged
Schlaff

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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2020, 12:29:17 PM »

Day three

I’ve never been a believer in the Stages of Grief thing as a hard rule. She is bouncing around each stage quite a bit. Denial is frustrating, just makes the pain last longer, for both of us. Anger is easy, I just calmly tell her that now that we’re broken up, comin at me with anger has one result:  I walk away completely. Depression/bargaining is the hardest. I don’t care who’s fault it is, she’s hurting bad and that hurts me.

Anyways, she’s moving on from her job that she hates anyways. Gonna go finish her degree and get the job she’s wanted for a while. And this includes moving out.

I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking, and I’ve determined that I want to stay friends, keep in contact, for now anyways.

I’m actually hopeful. Not necessarily for our relationship, but for her. When she’s not on the stages of grief modes, and we are talking calmly, she’s saying the right things, she has made good decisions and plans. Signed up for classes, set up weekly counseling. In retrospect the first ‘break’ was a mistake, it should have been what we’re doing now. It wasn’t a big enough action. We still lived together, so she just had to be in a house with someone she felt abandoned her, which is of course living hell for a BPD. Maybe clean break and the support I can still give her, weekly counseling, steps toward a truly better life? Maybe she will make it.
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l8kgrl
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 12:48:48 PM »

Hi Schlaff, I'm sorry for what you (and she) are going through.

Are you familiar with codependency? Many of us on this site identify with it. I recommend the book The New Codependency if you are at all interested. This feeling compelled to help others, even when they don't want to help themselves, is a key symptom. Not to diagnose you or anyone else. (And it's not actually a psychological diagnosis but more of a way of understanding certain thought/behavior patterns)

Reading about codependency and working on these thoughts and beliefs in myself has been helpful. It's a long process. Like others have suggested, this is an opportunity to look at yourself - what drew you to and kept you in this type of relationship. I still think about my ex-bf a lot but am slowly trying to shift my thinking to "what was the void or need in me that made this type of r/s so hard to let go of."

Also -- not to be negative, but just want you to be aware that even though right now you feel resolved in your own decision, the pain of separation can get worse over time, at least for some. I know it did for me. I was the one who broke things off and initially I didn't feel much. A couple months later I was miserable - it really was like a withdrawal. It can be helpful to write down all the bad stuff so that you can refer to that later, in case you start questioning your decision...
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brighter future
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 01:21:04 PM »

Hi Schlaff, I'm sorry for what you (and she) are going through.

Are you familiar with codependency? Many of us on this site identify with it. I recommend the book The New Codependency if you are at all interested. This feeling compelled to help others, even when they don't want to help themselves, is a key symptom. Not to diagnose you or anyone else. (And it's not actually a psychological diagnosis but more of a way of understanding certain thought/behavior patterns)

Ditto, l8kgrl! Great point.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2020, 10:33:54 PM »

Hi Schlaff, I'm sorry for what you (and she) are going through.

Are you familiar with codependency? Many of us on this site identify with it. I recommend the book The New Codependency if you are at all interested. This feeling compelled to help others, even when they don't want to help themselves, is a key symptom. Not to diagnose you or anyone else. (And it's not actually a psychological diagnosis but more of a way of understanding certain thought/behavior patterns)

Reading about codependency and working on these thoughts and beliefs in myself has been helpful. It's a long process. Like others have suggested, this is an opportunity to look at yourself - what drew you to and kept you in this type of relationship. I still think about my ex-bf a lot but am slowly trying to shift my thinking to "what was the void or need in me that made this type of r/s so hard to let go of."

Also -- not to be negative, but just want you to be aware that even though right now you feel resolved in your own decision, the pain of separation can get worse over time, at least for some. I know it did for me. I was the one who broke things off and initially I didn't feel much. A couple months later I was miserable - it really was like a withdrawal. It can be helpful to write down all the bad stuff so that you can refer to that later, in case you start questioning your decision...

Yes, codependence was brought up by our therapist. I’m not sure I fall under that category or not. I think I’ve somewhat ‘seen the light’ when it comes to helping her if she doesn’t want to change. I saw it as a problem, I was just too hesitant and scared to make a decisive move about it. I recall one fight where I outright said to her it was outside help or I’m gone. Things calmed down and I didn’t stand my ground. I’ve just met my limit with that.

Journaling. Yes. I recommend it to anyone for any goal, really. I’ve had great result with it for fitness goals, time management, etc. I did a bit or journaling for our relationship for a while and it seemed helpful. What I need to figure out is a strict set of rules for going forward. What’s okay, what’s over the line, what happens if lines are crossed. I feel confident I can do this.
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Beth2468

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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2020, 08:55:44 AM »

I’m actually hopeful. Not necessarily for our relationship, but for her. When she’s not on the stages of grief modes, and we are talking calmly, she’s saying the right things, she has made good decisions and plans. Signed up for classes, set up weekly counseling. In retrospect the first ‘break’ was a mistake, it should have been what we’re doing now. It wasn’t a big enough action. We still lived together, so she just had to be in a house with someone she felt abandoned her, which is of course living hell for a BPD. Maybe clean break and the support I can still give her, weekly counseling, steps toward a truly better life? Maybe she will make it.

From what I have read, it is possible for those with BPD to get help and change, but it doesn't happen often.

In the course of our breakup, my ex was saying lovely, insightful, kind things. It has occurred to me in the last day or so that he was still mirroring me - right up until the end. I said I didn't want to turn bitter, I would always care about him and some other things, which I put in an email soon after he left.  Before, during and after he collected his things a few weeks later, he was essentially quoting back my words.

I would like to suggest maybe cautious optimism on your part - wait until she is doing all the right things and not just saying them - her actions are the truth.
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2020, 09:32:32 AM »

Excerpt
I would like to suggest maybe cautious optimism on your part - wait until she is doing all the right things and not just saying them - her actions are the truth.

Exactly what I was going to say Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Schlaff

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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2020, 08:35:43 PM »

Agree. Part of why I’m posting here I guess, accountability.

If I get sucked back into the nonsense again it’s my fault, not hers. I firmly believe that at this point.

The first real hurdle will be when she inevitably breaks down after she moves, texts/calls me saying she can’t do it, etc. I can guarantee I won’t be saying “come back to me and it’ll be fine”, but I have to figure out what a healthy response is.

Flip side of course, I’d she does really well for a couple months, and wants to reconnect more deeply.

So like I said, think I need to really hammer out strict guidelines for myself
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« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2020, 07:22:41 AM »

Schlaff - i am where you are. I realise I deserve better, want my DbpdH to change and realise he can live a different happier life.
We have children, and I feel robbed of the time that should have been happy for them and me.
So want to separate, (can't bring myself to communicate this to him) but want him to be ok.

I believe me being in front of him all the time possibly will make it harder for him to concentrate on getting better.

You cannot control anyone else's actions but your own. I often try and imagine that my son/mother/sister/best friend are being treated the way I am, and try to imagine the advice I would give them. It somehow takes the intense emotion out of the thought process for me.

I have also tried to put myself in the position of my BpdH and I know I would want help and support, but I wouldn't want to be hurting others the way he is hurting me, The difference is, he believes what's happening in his head, so doesn't even know how to feel when he hurts us.

The journey to the end, whatever that may be for all of us, seems like a long one. Yet if he had slapped me, or cheated on me, even if his reason was mental health related, I'd be gone in an instant. This is really hard.
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« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2020, 08:41:29 PM »

@Diddle

Thanks for the reply.

I’m very glad I found this forum. It’s somehow reassuring to have a name to the disorder. Even more so to hear these stories from other people of the same cycles. And yet even more to hear advice or even just input from other people that have been in similar spots.

I agree this is hard. But like I keep telling her: it’ll get easier. It has to.
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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2020, 08:51:51 PM »

Update on my situation, she’s left for a few days, started working for her mom weekdays, and started classes. I’ve already got the predicted meltdown of “I can’t do this” and it was just as hard as I thought it would be.

I don’t think I’d classify myself as significantly codependent, but I will say I needed to be more assertive in terms of what I need for things to work, and admit fault for that. Letting things slide was indeed part of the problem. So I’m working out how to enact that idea.

The current dilemma is, I continue to say she has to want to change for herself, not to get me back, or it won’t work. She’s having an impossible time separating the two. After trying to explain it a million ways (which I’m used to/sick of), I came up with a maybe cliched phrase, but I think it’s perfect. “If you can’t be happy without me, you can’t be happy with me”

Unfortunately if I’m 100% honest, I cant say anything but “I don’t know” when she continues to ask if there’s any chance of us working it out. We *are* broken up. I don’t know that I’ll have interest in anyone for a good while. I don’t know if I’ll ever have interest in her, even if she improves. There’s been so much damage. But I still care about her and likely always will. I did tell her I briefly considered lying to her, saying there’s no chance, period, ever, because her hearing that might be better for her to move forward. But I can’t pull the trigger, I hate deceit.

Anyways. I still think she’s on the right path. I hope she sticks it out. I hope I figure out what I need to still, which is that line we all seem to struggle with between still caring, but wanting to detach, at least significantly if not totally.
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2020, 08:47:56 AM »

Schlaff

The current dilemma is, I continue to say she has to want to change for herself, not to get me back, or it won’t work. She’s having an impossible time separating the two. After trying to explain it a million ways (which I’m used to/sick of), I came up with a maybe cliched phrase, but I think it’s perfect. “If you can’t be happy without me, you can’t be happy with me”

Unfortunately if I’m 100% honest, I cant say anything but “I don’t know” when she continues to ask if there’s any chance of us working it out. We *are* broken up. I don’t know that I’ll have interest in anyone for a good while. I don’t know if I’ll ever have interest in her, even if she improves. There’s been so much damage. But I still care about her and likely always will. I did tell her I briefly considered lying to her, saying there’s no chance, period, ever, because her hearing that might be better for her to move forward. But I can’t pull the trigger, I hate deceit.


If you want to be honest and "I don't know" is the honest answer, then stick with that. That should be enough for her, if she were able to see things from your point of view.
When I used to hope my ex would ask if we could get back together if he got help my imaginary response was "I don't know, I hope so, but when you have worked through some of your stuff you might realise that I wasn't right for you. This is about you and finding out what you need"
I do still hope he gets help, but I know there was too much damage for us to work, and I don't ever want to go through this again. I think I had a lucky(ish) escape, after almost a year together, the longer it went on the worse it would have been for me.  I still miss him but I don't want him back.
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2020, 09:04:38 PM »

Yeah pretty much.

It’s interesting, once you type it all out, some of the hard things seem obvious. Still hard in practice though sometimes.
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2020, 11:33:00 PM »

Been a couple weeks now, I suppose an update is a good idea. I haven’t been journaling like I planned, but this kind of works, right?

Anyways, she’s been moved out half time, still coming back to work some shifts at our shared job. We are quite civil most of the time. She still has little episodes where she’s mad about something trivial, that she has *no* grounds to be mad about, seeing that we are broken up. I have to stop conversations and point out that I’m done with some of those things, for good. It’s a little depressing for me, because I wonder if I can give patience to someone again, at the level that I did prior to this. I still am super patient/tolerant/understating/etc, but it’s been severely damaged. I dunno.

We’ve gotten out of our shared lease, at a cost, and I’ve scrambled for a place to live. She wants to have a place to stay on the weekends and I’ve accommodated. We sleep separately and all that but I still worry if I’m not detaching enough. But, per my previous posts, I still do care deeply about her, and she’s really got no other options.

I’m mostly fine otherwise Haha

She is.. . Still struggling.  She’s taken a full load of classes and work, very very little free time. Which is a double edged sword, she’s occupied, but it’s also adding to her stress. This has always been a problem for her too, always always needs to be doing something, not great at just relaxing.

But, perhaps the most significant item of this post, she’s gotten in with two different therapists, and the results have been odd and unhelpful so far. The first one immediately discounted the BPD diagnosis. “No, that’s ridiculous, you don’t have that” - within a few minutes of talking to her. I dunno how it works but that rubbed me the wrong way. And this therapist rubbed her the wrong way too, so she tried a new one. They did some actual questionnaires and analysis, and came up with “not BPD but you have traits of BPD”. That seemed a lot more palatable to me, and perhaps more common than anything. Anyhow it’s been a few weeks now and she really hasn’t gotten any actual damn therapy, just... groundwork. I guess it’s progress but it’s frustrating. I keep telling her “it’s okay. Life is gonna get better. It has to” but the rate this is going is very very understandably frustrating.
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2020, 11:58:17 PM »

Excerpt
But, perhaps the most significant item of this post, she’s gotten in with two different therapists, and the results have been odd and unhelpful so far. The first one immediately discounted the BPD diagnosis. “No, that’s ridiculous, you don’t have that” - within a few minutes of talking to her. I dunno how it works but that rubbed me the wrong way. And this therapist rubbed her the wrong way too, so she tried a new one. They did some actual questionnaires and analysis, and came up with “not BPD but you have traits of BPD”. That seemed a lot more palatable to me, and perhaps more common than anything.

Over the many years that this board has existed, we've observed that most romantic partners who drove us here are sub-clinical (with traits, but not clinically BPD).

My ex has been clinically diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety, yet she just has traits of BPD, or she hasn't been honest with her therapist who may be incompetent.

That's ok, most of its came here due to figuring out BPD.

we have members here and on Bettering, Conflicted, and most so on the Parent Board whose loved ones are indeed diagnosed with BPD.  In the end, there might not be much of a difference to us whether there is a diagnosis or not.  We find peer support here, and the communication tools and articles in the lessons and the suggested reading at the tops of the boards help.

A few years after I landed here, having arm-chair diagnosed the mother of our children as BPD, I took in my own mother to live with me and the kids. When she admitted that she thought she had BPD, it was very validating, for a second... and then I realized anti-climactic. Despite years of therapy and meds, her life was still a mess, 3 decades after I moved out on my 18th birthday. 

It's good to care and desire that someone gets helped, yet there is only so much we can do. Others are free, as independent entities, to make their own choices.
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2020, 05:39:17 PM »

@Turkish

Yeah I think I understand. I mean, it’s a complex thing, does seem more likely it’s a grayer area, and a person has traits and whatnot, rather than necessarily a single definable disorder. It still rubbed time the wrong way how this therapist just offhand dismissed it after a couple minutes.

It was a huge weight off my shoulders for some reason, having a name for this, and that included finding this board. But, yeah, hopefully she can still find a way forward, to get better and happier. Hey, maybe it’s even less of a hurdle, if she can address ‘traits’ rather than a full blown ‘disorder’
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2020, 09:45:36 PM »

One of my mother's therapists (she went through many) gave a roundabout Dx by giving her a book on BPD, suggesting that her father might have had it. My mom was smart enough to realize rust the T was in a way suggesting that my mom had it.

Many therapists don't know much about it, and even some who do are hesitant to make a formal Dx. PwBPD carry a lot of internal shame ("I'm a bad person").
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2020, 10:33:06 AM »

Schlaff

I think the way you have handled this and continue to, shows great strength. I suspect I may have done mine all wrong. I told mu husband that if he didn't get help I wasn't staying in our marriage.

So at the moment he is getting help, and is constantly checking that I want to stay still, because he's doing what I asked. So it feels like I've made it harder for myself to leave, if I still feel unhappy, because he's playing his part.

Great to see your update, and that you're staying firm, yet supportive. Long may it continue.
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2020, 10:18:40 PM »

@Diddle

Thanks for the encouragement. I’d like to think I’m doing some things right but it ain’t easy, and I’m not so sure. I vary between “am I abandoning her?” And “am I not detaching enough?”, every day. And, I should have done what I’m doing now, sooner. But that’s all the past, thankfully I’m pretty good at not dwelling too much.

Honestly though, one of the biggest helps for me is to type it out. Here, journaling, whatever. Some of it really clears up significantly. What you can/can’t do, what you will/wont do, etc. Then I feel like I can stop being wishy-washy up in my head. I dunno.
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2020, 02:54:48 AM »

codependency is more than the common stereotype of say, the clingy male.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships

these are things that can be subtle, to greater or lesser degrees, depending on the relationship.

while it is not an officially (DSM) recognized condition, it ranges on a spectrum, much like bpd.

you sound like you are a bit conflicted, but primarily leaning toward breaking up, and taking steps in that direction. my comments are with that in mind. if you want to maintain a relationship of any kind, it will help to review the lessons, and perhaps post, on the Bettering board.

Excerpt
Unfortunately if I’m 100% honest, I cant say anything but “I don’t know” when she continues to ask if there’s any chance of us working it out.

it is honest, and i wouldnt encourage you to be anything but.

but i would suggest that if you are conflicted, she will be too, and she will test your conviction as most people in her position would. she will read into every mixed signal. she will adapt to them, as well. its an easy path from that position to "maybe, kinda sorta, but not really, but maybe" working on it, or "i want to leave, i just dont know how to do it". where you are in this may be somewhere in the middle of those two things.

the "easier said than done" version, is to work to get clear on your path, and to send consistent signals either way, to yourself, and to her.

if youre done, it is a far greater kindness to consistently send that signal (and learn here how to do so). it will suck for her, and that wont be easy on you, and youll likely want to do so in way that helps you Detach with Grace (lets her down easy). but sending mixed signals will keep her stuck, and it will keep you stuck.

if theres even a 5% chance of getting back together, if youre just not sure, and/or if your objective is working toward a friendly relationship, i would post on the Bettering board (you dont have to be in a romantic relationship or committed to one), you can explore your options there while trying to improve the day to day interactions.
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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2020, 05:55:37 AM »

@once removed

Thanks for the post.

I do feel like I shouldn’t be placed on the codependent spectrum really, it doesn’t feel right to me. I’ve done some reading on it and it doesn’t seem to really quite fit, although from some of my posts I can see why that connection is made, and certainly o won’t dismiss it and maybe I need to learn more.

But, I should make it clear, I’m not leaning, I broke up with her, 3 weeks ago now I think? This is not a Break. This is not a “we broke up but we will get back together as soon as you know I mean business”. This is a full on break up. A year from now? If we’ve both worked out some stuff, and we reconnect? I dunno, maybe? But right joe and near future, nah. This was plain and simple, untenable. Had to end, no two ways about it.

I will definitely check out those other sub forums once the dust settles on finding a new place though.
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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2020, 05:37:48 AM »

Big set back tonight.

I signed my new lease yesterday morning. It’s under my name, but as she doesn’t have anywhere to go when she’s in town on weekends here, I’ve agreed to pretty much give her a room, and we essentially still live together half time. It’s still stressing her out that we are shortly actually leaving the house we’ve lived together in as a couple.

We worked a shift together today also. She had a few drinks afterwards, and her attitude slowly but surely spiraled into a full melt down. Knocking things over, screaming that she wants to die. After begging her to stop for a short bit, I left. Came back after a few minutes of driving around. Her attitude at this point shifted even worse, as I understand the terminology here, I’d been split black at this point. Went back outside, not knowing what to do. She came out to smoke and plopped a bottle of whiskey down. I immediately grabbed it and drove off and threw the damn thing in the ditch. She’s got zero good reason to drink more right now.

So now I’m back. She’s got a bedroom door locked and won’t respond. I hope she just went to bed. I can’t help but think she’s making good on her suicidal threats though. Yet I also don’t want to force the door open (I’ve shattered one door for the *exact* same goddamn reason), and I don’t want to just re-engage either. F***ing impossible.

So, like my previous posts. I’m unsure if I need to stay firm with my course here, or if a fuller detachment is what we both need, or if more support needs to be shown. And what that would even look like.

I’m ready to do the hard things. I just don’t know which hard thing is the right thing to do.
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2020, 09:23:45 PM »

 Was she already drinking when you first saw her? Dealing with this is hard enough but a lot tougher if someone is under the influence.  

It would be a good idea for you to call a local suicide hotline. They can provide local resources and it would also be good for toy to get support. The call is anonymous.

These guidelines may help.

Excerpt

If you are helping someone with suicidal thoughts:

1.   Take it seriously.

Myth: “The people who talk about it don't do it.” Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

Myth: “Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy.” Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of “craziness” does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

“Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.

2.   Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help.

Myth: “If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him.” The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another “I feel suicidal.” If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.

3.   Be willing to give and get help sooner rather than later.

Suicide prevention is not a last minute activity. All textbooks on depression say it should be reached as soon as possible. Unfortunately, suicidal people are afraid that trying to get help may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, foolish, sinful, or manipulative; rejection; punishment; suspension from school or job; written records of their condition; or involuntary commitment. You need to do everything you can to reduce pain, rather than increase or prolong it. Constructively involving yourself on the side of life as early as possible will reduce the risk of suicide.

4.   Listen.

Give the person every opportunity to unburden his troubles and ventilate his feelings. You don't need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Give him relief from being alone with his pain; let him know you are glad he turned to you. Patience, sympathy, acceptance. Avoid arguments and advice giving.

5.   ASK: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”

Myth: “Talking about it may give someone the idea.” People already have the idea; suicide is constantly in the news media. If you ask a despairing person this question you are doing a good thing for them: you are showing him that you care about him, that you take him seriously, and that you are willing to let him share his pain with you. You are giving him further opportunity to discharge pent up and painful feelings. If the person is having thoughts of suicide, find out how far along his ideation has progressed.

6.   If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him alone.

If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave them alone - drive the person to the nearest emergency department or other service facility. They may be hesitant - that is normal. The local suicide hotlines can advise you of the best facility.

If the situation is life threatening, or the person refuses to go for care, or you are unable to transport them, call 911.

Please do not use emergency medical services to teach anyone a lesson.
.
If the means to commit suicide are present, try to get rid of them.

7.   Urge professional help.

If someone is acting suicidal or talking of suicide, it is vitally important to get them into professional care at the first signs. Like many disorders, early detection and treatment yields better outcomes. Persistence and patience may be needed to seek, engage and continue with as many options as possible. In any referral situation, let the person know you care and want to maintain contact.

8.   From crisis to recovery.

Most people have suicidal thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives; yet less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that will pass with time or with the assistance of a recovery program. There are hundreds of modest steps we can take to improve our response to the suicidal and to make it easier for them to seek help. Taking these modest steps can save many lives and reduce a great deal of human suffering.

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« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2020, 02:45:05 AM »

I read all these things on suicide and I take them very very seriously, but...

At what point am I not helping, supporting anymore. At what point am I just her crutch? An enabler? A doormat? Even if I’m literally following the above to the letter?

Perhaps even a better question:  at what point should I admit (to myself, to her) that I’m incapable of helping her? Man, did I try. Of course I made mistakes, etc, but I seriously gave it everything I had to help.

Honestly don’t know how to help anymore.
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« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2020, 11:04:31 PM »

Christmas Day, 2012, my ex got into a row with her mother and stormed out of her patents' home. I remained with our toddler son, not wanting our Christmas ruined. We had driven separately for some reason. I received a text,  "bring our baby home!" So we left.

I found her collapsed into a ball on the floor in our bathroom. I found a note written on our computer that was full of suicide ideation. It was the closest I'd ever come to calling EMS. She was pregnant with our daughter and I thought, "it might help her, yet she'd never forgive me that shame." I talked her through it and encouraged her to "come out" about her diagnosed depression to her family and she did.

What followed were good times and bad times, culminating  less than two years later with she leaving me for a study college football jock 20 years my junior and 10 hers.

Did I help and maybe "save" her back then? Maybe. Yet with years to think about it, people are independent entities, free to make their own choices, no matter what we think of those choices.

Three years ago, I helped her again through a domestic violence incident with her husband.  Didn't save, rescue (or shame her even though she was the perp), yet encouraged her to reach out for help so she would be empowered to take responsibility for herself. That made all the difference.

It's not about what we can do for others, we can't save anybody. It's about supporting others so they can rescue themselves.
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2020, 03:05:50 AM »

Perhaps even a better question:  at what point should I admit (to myself, to her) that I’m incapable of helping her?

if you are an ex romantic partner, and you are committed to being one, then by and large, you arent capable of helping her, at least not in the way youre used to.

to the extent that you are, its a very, very different role than if you were her partner. and frankly, its a very fine line. you dont want help or support to be perceived as "hope for the relationship".

it would likely be a good idea to get in touch with a suicide hotline, get professional guidance.
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2020, 10:57:12 AM »

@Turkish

Thanks for the story. I understand the concepts you put forth well enough, it’s just hard to apply them in real time, if that makes any sense. Frustrating.

@once removed

I hear you. I’ve told her as much a hundred times too, that I can’t be her entire support group anymore. (Can any one person *ever* fill that role?) Also we both know she needs professional help, and she’s taken some steps. But with moving, her working full time for her mother in return for tuition paid, for full time school, working weekends as her only real income, there hasn’t been time, or money for therapy. So progress on that front is just plain stalled.

I also fear that you are correct with that ‘perceived hope’ for the relationship. I don’t think it’s a great idea that we still essentially live together. She just literally had no where else to go. I fear no matter what I say, and even though there is no physical, romantic involvement, she’s still getting strung along.

I told her a couple days ago I was going to cancel our joint cell phone service to save some money and she completely broke down. The only way that should be so big an issue is if she doesn’t think the break up is real yet. But, that’s how *I* think, and not necessarily how anyone else would think, a concept I try to get her to understand.
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« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2020, 04:19:53 AM »

Feeling like another update. First I wanna thank anyone who’s read or replied. It does help.

Last couple weeks were rough. Moving was super stressful. It was only last second I found a place, and had to really scramble to clean/pack/move to make it happen. Even luckily grabbed a last second storage unit for our extra stuff. Called several places, finally found one a brand new one that had booked half up *that day*. Bleh. Won’t go further into that, just.. added stress.

That added stress of course, magnified our relationship problems. I pride myself on being understanding for that and it mostly was okay. But here and there we had some standoffs.

What worries me right his second is:  how far has the pendulum swung? I am naturally one to roll with the punches. Be kind, patient, understanding with people. But after everything, I’m very very short with her on some things. Obviously in a broad sense, some of that is warranted, but I worry my overall demeanor has been kinda sabotaged. Don’t want a super long post so I won’t go specific in this one, but there’s been some arguments where, an hour later, I apologize for my reactions. It’s followed by a “but this is where our interactions have put me” kinda statement though.

I dunno. Normal? Too harsh sometimes? Worrying I’m harsh when I *should* be? Unsure there.

This is something I could bring up in therapy. Which I said I was going to but just haven’t made the time. I have excuses for that which don’t really merit listing, I think. Either I’m gonna or I’m not.

Could rant some more but I’ll leave it at that haha.
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« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2020, 11:07:49 AM »

Schlaff,

just read the whole thread. Sorry for your pain I am in a marriage of a little over 15yrs. With 4 kids. I am trying to better it right now, but am really just in a toleration mode and my two older girls who have been the split black and target of her rage over the these years now see her for what she is and are talking to me about it pretty outright at this point. I have forced her into therapy but she has quit after a BPD dx. SO You are right you cant help her she will have to help herself.

I too am writing on these boards as a way to vent when angry and it does help and there are some really good folks on here who have been through it.  Know your not alone and others have been there. No one can tell us nons how to act or react to what is going on , or when to stay or leave. My family and friends and even clergy have told me I should be looking to leave for my sake and the kids but until recently I have not been ready to hear that because I too love my PwBPD... I am starting to see that alot of this is due to FOG(Fear, Obligation , and Guilt). So I understand you wanting to help her but ( and not telling you what to do) it sounds like your allowing her to live there on the weekends as an obligation and out of guilt. You may already know this but since you are not married and not tied together legally or with children, I would imagine it will be impossible for you to move on until you detach or at least make her get out on her own place so that she is not constantly bringing you back into her internal drama.

I do pray for peace for you in this situation and I hope that you are granted wisdom in how you deal with your situation moving forward. I know that I pray for these things for myself daily as I navigate this crazy life with my BPD wife.
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« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2020, 05:53:43 AM »

@serenity

We had the marriage talk, we had the kids talk. Man, I can only guess how much more I would have tolerated had we taken those steps. Probly the same amount of years you did? I would imagine that makes it even more difficult... sorry to hear it.
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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2020, 06:13:51 AM »

Ranting some more.

She’s gotten into therapy again and sounds hopeful with the new T. However there’s another damn roadblock out of anyone’s control. She’s tested positive for the covid. I’ve tested negative, but I’m to stay quarantined til I get another negative a bit later. So we are both stuck in the apartment. She can’t do one thing her T told her to do, which is get the the gym. I’m trying to distance, which she is taking as an affront, calling me ‘cold’.

I calmly but firmly told her I’m done defending what I say.  if I explain I’m not being cold, I just need to not get sick and get back to work. If she wants to run with it and make it into a big ordeal and feel attacked, I’m going to eventually simply let her think that. I can’t explain that it’s not the case for the second thousandth time. Unsure how fair that is, really. But I said it and I feel justified in it.

Just frustrated. From what I read, people with BPD or BPD traits, either have no clue they are doing wrong, or know but just don’t know why, or how to fix it. She’s the latter. She knows she needs help, she knows her actions are unacceptable. It’s just a never ending cycle of obstacles for her to get some dang help! Some of that’s her own fault, but the end of the day, I’m still gonna feel bad about a person that needs help and can’t get it.

I mean, being quarantined is bad enough for me even. I’ve already been struggling with just working, laying in bed, working, laying in bed. I had just built some momentum getting into the gym consistently myself, back to square one. Tack it on to everything else she’s going through... yuck.

End result here is the same problem I’ve struggled with the whole way. That is, finding the balance. I want to be available for support. I care. I want to give her what I can. But I’m absolutely done with some of it, and I need to stay firm I’m not tolerating certain things. So hard to ride that line sometimes.
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« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2020, 03:17:19 PM »

So, after her third session with the new therapist, we got to a different diagnosis. Like I think I said earlier, the thought now is that there are/may be traits of BPD, not full on BPD. I understand this, I think. Not an uncommon scenario.

The new diagnosis, though, is OCD. So, I will be doing some more digging into that. On the surface so far, it looks like the two can kinda present the same way, or have a lot of overlap? And of course, while we try to neatly label everything, its just never so simple.

Just frustrating, that I/we finally landed on BPD as the Name of the Monster, it was reassuring to have a name. Now we have a different answer. Just hoping that whatever name the affliction is, some actual progress can be made. If anyone following can point me to resources on OCD that would be appreciated, although I think I can probably figure it out.

Anyways, since last post. Things are kinda the same. I am definitely depressed, by my own expert diagnostic opinion haha. I dont feel significantly sad, really. Im just tired and uninterested in everything. Not pursuing hobbies, looking forward to just going to sleep, etc. Morbid/suicidal thoughts (with zero intention to do anything dumb). Low appetite. Problem is, while I know intellectually that it could be helpful to go talk to someone, I just dont care to. Id rather just keep my head down and push through this.

I dunno.
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« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2020, 05:31:43 AM »

bpd traits can be a monster.

in intimate relationships, they can be even more so than someone with diagnosable bpd. when you get right down to it, it can seem like semantics. my personal takeaway was not so much dismissing bpd, as much as it couldnt explain everything about her, or between us.

there are lots of things going on Schlaff, that i would encourage you to reflect on.

as much as you think you are done with this relationship, you are very involved. thats not a judgment. i know how complicated this is. grappling with it can either help you detach, or try to improve the situation.

the vast majority of us (70-80 percent) arrive here clinically depressed. i did. i waited longer than id have preferred to, regarding my symptoms. suicidal thoughts, even in absence of a plan or intention, are a sign of severe depression. and the thing about depression is that its insidious...it makes everything, everything, harder.

how can we help?
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2020, 02:49:06 PM »

bpd traits can be a monster.


as much as you think you are done with this relationship, you are very involved. thats not a judgment. i know how complicated this is. grappling with it can either help you detach, or try to improve the situation.


Correct, I am very much involved. I still care about her, and frankly never understood how people can just up and completely drop people from their lives overnight, after spending every day with them for X amount of time. I'm done being her SO, but we still live together half time, still work together once or twice a week, still share friends, etc. And I still want to be there for her while she gets help. Still just struggling with what that support needs to look like.

As for my own depression, its possible Im being an idiot, procrastinating, etc. But I do think that I can just work through it. The idea behind putting it in writing on this board is, if I look back a couple weeks from now and its not better, then I can get off my butt and set up an appointment. Of all my wide range of symptoms of depression, one I dont have, really, is a long term hopelessness. I do worry that I will never find a long term, happy, fullfilling relationship, but... that seriously doesnt bother me terribly much haha.

And more on her new diagnosis, the more I dig in and research, the more I think this:  I still feel like BPD is a better description of her issues, however, this is a licensed therapist who went to school for this, does it for a living. I have to think she knows better than me. And, there seems to be some significant overlap here, not only in how each can present, but in what the treatment is. So perhaps it doesnt matter what we want to call it. Bottom line here is, I need to remind myself that her getting significant, consistent help is the key, not the Name of the Monster.
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« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2021, 10:48:59 PM »

I hope this is my last few posts about my own issues.

Since the previous one: I have been trying to just get by. Be friends with her, be part of her support group. I thought eventually we would maybe settle in to that role: friends. I knew it was a long shot.

She, however, was completely unable to come off the idea that this is just a break. We are working on us. We will get back together. Even though I told her weekly at a minimum, that that’s not the case.

I dunno why, but today she finally got it. Stormed off to who knows where. I’m positive she expected me to chase her in some fashion:  either physically out the door, or at least ask where she went. I didn’t.

So, while I type this, she’s taking out boxes, taking drapes off the windows, stomping around. If I talk to her at all in instantly erupts. She says things like “I hate you”, which isn’t the first time. I can’t help but wonder how I ever thought that was tenable? I would never say that to a person I cared about. Ever. How did I get so hung up? Why did I put myself through this? Why did I put *her* through it? It’s done no one any damn good.

Ugh. I don’t even know what else to type. Just felt better venting in here before. Certainly can’t vent to her.
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« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2021, 11:17:39 PM »

so, she’s taking all the silverware, plates, bowls. Shower curtain. Bunch of things that will make my life worse, and I feel safe assuming where she is going, doesn’t need them at 11 at night.

I’m hiding in my bedroom. She yelled in here that she needs the window curtain in here too. I took it down with tears in my eyes. She sees this and immediately spouts off : “oh! You must be happy! This is what you wanted all along!”

Man... I still don’t understand. I can look at this logically, and even emotionally to some extent, she’s an asshole. There’s no beating around the bush about it. But I’m still sad for her. And I’ve been stuck here forever. What a nightmare.
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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2021, 01:36:56 PM »

She ran out of angry packing energy last night, and I assume slept on the couch.

She’s up this morning, opening my bedroom door without a knock or permission, taking my keys without asking (I assume for the mail key). She is content to put ‘her’ shower curtain back up for a shower, and to use her hair dryer. By her logic of taking the curtain down, that’s my shower/water/electricity (I pay 100% of the bills, she isn’t on the lease here). Maybe a minor example, but that’s my point of this post. How on earth did I let things like this go for so long? From minor incongruities like this one, all the way up to screaming at me for nothing, saying she wishes I was dead, and physical violence?

On the flip side, I worry this all broke something good in me. I’ve looked at codependency:  I don’t think it’s a description of me really. Perhaps mildly. Maybe I’m wrong, and codependency answers the questions in the previous paragraph. But I still feel like my kindness, empathy, patience has all been destroyed by this.
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2021, 11:46:07 PM »

And right on cue:  we are back to her apologizing. Saying give us one more chance. It will be different, promise! And just like always I half believe it.

I’ve never been even close to this drained, emotionally and mentally. Even physically at this point.

I’m having a hard time staying calm with her now. I want to explode at some of it. I also still don’t want to damage her even more. Still no clue how to navigate this.
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« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2021, 01:21:14 AM »

Schlaff, take a deep breath. Now another one. Self care for a little bit. What makes you happy? A cup of hot coffee in the morning sun? Some good music and a cold glass of something as the sun sets? Sleeping until the cows come home? Do it. Now more of it. This too shall pass.
What you have done is a truly brave thing, a kind thing. You are a good man. You have chosen to let compassion guide your actions and tried to do the right thing. Yes, I know about co-dependency too and have had the same thoughts you have. At the end I decided not to let fear of codependency to stop me from trying to do what I thought was right.  Like you, it depleted me. There is the broken heart suffering of the end of the relationship that one doesn't even get time to grieve because one is so caught up in supporting. One's own needs come last, just like they did in the relationship. Still, I don't regret doing it. It means something to be the slightly saner one - the obligation to live morally.
Breaking up while trying to remain supportive friends is hard. It took every last resource I had to make it work, and indeed at some point we end up where you are: drained. It is the worst of both worlds, you still have the dysregulations, but not the intimacy. The only thing that kept me going was my conscience. You will discover it gives you sufficient strength.
I personally think last night was a breakthrough. I suspect she has been staying with you in the hope that you will get back together. Now she realized that it isn't so, but is still hoping  against hope/grappling with denial. The best way to complete the realization on her part is through your actions. Just like in your relationship you had to set some boundaries, you have to do so in this new friendship. Don't let her replace her window curtain. Tell her to finish the packing. She has to learn that every action has consequences. She started the move, let her complete it. This will give you a chance to deal with the emptiness that arises. That emotional work should not be postponed anymore.
My therapist once said to me that depression is suppressed rage. That turned out to be true. As much as you want to be supportive, the best thing you can do for both of you right now is deal with your anger and grief. We are here for you.
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« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2021, 03:32:29 AM »

Thank you for your words.

You’re right, of course, that I needed calm, and to consider that this will pass.

And, we did get a calm talk in. I was clear the entire time, this relationship is over. There’s two choices:  friends or nothing. I tried to be brave, kind, and good about it. I fear I could’ve done better. On the other hand, I struggle still, with the thought that maybe I need to be more... harsh, or firm. 

For instance, I’ve learned through her actions and reading other posts, BPDs tend not to follow through on things. She indeed has paused her moving out, and gone into apology-mode. I don’t feel emotionally good about your suggestion to tell her to keep packing, even though it might well be the best call. I have about 14 hours to think on this. I intend to be as clear as I can about any decisions I make at that point, when she gets off work.

Still kinda stuck on what the right decisions are. I’m also quite certain my indecisiveness is/was part of our problem all along the way. Part of me wishes I could just tell her to get lost, and part of me wishes I had the tolerance left to give her another chance. Both of those choices feel wrong, though, yet the middle ground is perhaps the worst outcome. Friggin impossible.
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« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2021, 04:32:33 AM »

You are so welcome  Smiling (click to insert in post) Schaff, you are almost there. Having lived so long in the middle ground, believe that you can make it the last little bit.
Look, if the completing the move boundary feels too much, imagine something in between. Yes, you will still feel unsure it is the right thing. No worries. If you have managed six months in that liminal space, you can manage a few weeks more.
What I am saying is that in a sense it doesn't matter where the boundaries are, as long as there are some. It is not OK what she did. Essentially she is a friend and a roommate. It is not OK that any friend or roommate behaves like that. She has to get it. Apologies are one thing, that is nice and many don't get that far. My expwBPD rarely apologizes, it would have made our life so much easier if she could. But at the end of the day, "sorry" is borne out by actions.
How about she purchases a new set of window curtains for you? Makes her own set of keys? Anything that makes sure that what happened never happens again. Or starts contributing to the bills? Puts money in a jar or cleans the bathroom every time she dysregulates?
The link between these actions and the big picture is that you can spend hours arguing about the fact that you are over. It doesn't really get you very far. What I found was that boundaries helped me think of myself and my mental wellbeing. I had to think about what was needed to make the relationship livable for me. And with each one expwBPD became more disinclined to make the sacrifices  necessary for us to be together. It was too much for her, and that was her right to be honest about it. I appreciated that, and friendship was really a good bargain for me. Like you have benefited- at least you get half the week in peace and quiet. Now to take it forward to the next step.
In short, find a boundary and stick to it. Enforce it between dysregulations. In the short term it will buy you some peace of mind. In the long term, it will prove wonderfully effective in getting her back on her own feet and out of your life asap.

Would I get back with my expwBPD if she healed and was ready? Like a shot. Still, in the meantime betweentime she needs to heal and so do I. So to grieve the old relationship fully and lay it to rest is necessary work. Your friend needs to be able to do that on her own. Next time, take another walk and let her call her therapist.
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« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2021, 10:01:37 AM »

Thank you for your words.

You’re right, of course, that I needed calm, and to consider that this will pass.

And, we did get a calm talk in. I was clear the entire time, this relationship is over. There’s two choices:  friends or nothing. I tried to be brave, kind, and good about it. I fear I could’ve done better. On the other hand, I struggle still, with the thought that maybe I need to be more... harsh, or firm. 

For instance, I’ve learned through her actions and reading other posts, BPDs tend not to follow through on things. She indeed has paused her moving out, and gone into apology-mode. I don’t feel emotionally good about your suggestion to tell her to keep packing, even though it might well be the best call. I have about 14 hours to think on this. I intend to be as clear as I can about any decisions I make at that point, when she gets off work.

Still kinda stuck on what the right decisions are. I’m also quite certain my indecisiveness is/was part of our problem all along the way. Part of me wishes I could just tell her to get lost, and part of me wishes I had the tolerance left to give her another chance. Both of those choices feel wrong, though, yet the middle ground is perhaps the worst outcome. Friggin impossible.

Firm and indifferent. This is the only way to be in the situation. Here is the sad thing...you care, you are nice, you mean well, but it also leaves you vulnerable to being manipulated. How this disorder works it makes you a mark and emotional prey. The best thing you can do is work on you and invest in you.

Stand up for yourself and don't take any sh*t and under no circumstances do you make any concessions. The first time you give in, the first time you show emotion you lose. You have to hold the power for you. You deserve to be happy and never let another person dictate your happiness.

You do not need to be harsh. Being harsh honestly will just keep you trapped in the loop. By being firm and indifferent you are able to show poise, maturity, and confidence.

You are responsible only for yourself and your own feelings and emotions. The disordered person has to choose to get better. Even if you lead a horse to water that doesn't mean you can make the horse drink. Remember that. You have done your job. You are a good person so have the kindness and strength to choose yourself and move on.

Want better, expect better, do better!

Cheers and best wishes!

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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2021, 12:33:34 PM »

Mmm yes I did need reminding I need boundaries, and firm ones. Thus far I’ve failed there. Told her the day I moved in here: “there will be no loud fighting. None. Period.” It happened anyways. And obviously that’s why I’m mad. Will set some firm boundaries today.

A word on her apologizing:  from the start of our problems, she *never* apologized. For anything. This was before either of us knew what BPD was. We would fight, or she would wrong someone else, and just... feel bad about it? And bottle it up and be even more abrasive? Rather than apologize. This progressed slowly into apologies, but really awful ones. Like when a mother tells her 4 year old to do it. Full of tone, indignation. For a while I thought, well this is something. A step. I kept pushing. “This is not how sorry works”. It’s still often how her ‘apologies’ come.

However, as of lately, it’s like she knows damn well, a real, actual, sincere apology is the only thing to talk me back of the edge. And I don’t blame her much there, I told her as much once. When I said it years ago, I believed it, that things are okay as long you sincerely apologize later. I hope to believe that again, honestly.

For now though, it’s been too cyclical for too long. ‘Sorry’ is just a part of the same cycle. I agree it’s borne out by actions.

Sorry, I’m kinda replying to both of you and mostly just ranting some more haha. I do feel better this morning.

My plan right now is to outline my boundaries clearly, in written form. Gonna ask her to go over them with her therapist.
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2021, 01:52:28 PM »

Great idea Schaff! Well done. If you could teach her to apologize who knows what the future holds...
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« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2021, 03:06:42 PM »

Boundaries set. I don’t know how to be more clear in outlining them. It’s in writing (for the second time) and we spent a couple hours of me asking her if there’s any questions, if anything in confusing. And this is on really very simple things.

1: loud fighting. Zero tolerance in the apartment.
2: if she melts down and starts packing again? She keeps packing
3: personal space. If I walk away from her because we are arguing, she has to let me. If I want alone time, it needs to be okay.

Boundary 1, I have little faith she won’t cross. Big part of it is because sometimes when we are fighting, she doesn’t even realize how loud it’s getting. How nasty. I try to explain, but... I can’t get through.

Boundary 2, I worry is vague. She will find some other way to be overly dramatic and cause negative result to my life. Dunno what to do there.

Boundary 3, we had problems with this even a little while happy. I love cuddling. But I absolutely cannot sleep while cuddling. And sometimes I wanna sleep. Also I’m very introverted, independent. I like my space. I love alone time. She is the exact opposite, always always wants company and contact, even while asleep. And if she’s not getting it? I must hate her. Compound this with BPD traits, and that we are broken up? Been tough on her. But this is a boundary I need to somehow enforce.

Of course, we aren’t cuddling or anything. That would be a bad mixed signal. But, there’s times when I need more space, physical and emotional. Think I need to work this out more myself
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« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2021, 10:25:14 PM »

Schlaff,

It sounds like you want to better the relationship. You would get better support on the Bettering Board, and also learn from the lessons there,  like setting boundaries.

You can always come back here  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2021, 12:28:35 AM »

Yeah, originally (and now, I guess) I was unsure which sub forum to go to. I want to better our relationship as friends, via detaching more.

I mean, we’ve been broken up half a year, and we’ve been over it 100 times, this isn’t a break, we are broken up. But she’s stuck. I dunno.

Will read some threads in that section though, maybe get some more insight.
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« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2021, 01:02:52 AM »

Well done, Schaff! I think those are great boundaries  Way to go! (click to insert in post) well written, clearly expressed and impossible to misunderstand.
Look, I think the biggest problem is the dysregulations. This is about the point where you discover that the same problems that broke up the relationship are the ones that are going to  bedevil the friendship. See this as an opportunity for solving them. Obviously you are not done with relating, and that is OK. I found sticking it out and all those recycles really helped in making the recent parting easier. I had worked through so many things before during previous cycles. Although one is never done with the pain, it seems, each successive working through makes the next one easier.
Yes, those of us that choose to retain a friendship end up posting on both boards. When you work at bettering the friendship, by all means post on the bettering board. You will receive good advice there.  When you need to work on detaching, we are here for you on this board.
Lots to discuss here. Consequences are good, having set your boundaries, use the time while she is thinking through them, consulting with therapist, etc, to figure out consequences. You must expect that she will boundary-test, so be prepared.
The good thing about the friendzone is you are freer to walk away when it gets bad or to confront her, gently, with the inevitable consequences of her behaviour. You are no longer obliged to consider her interests before your own. I found that freedom exhilarating, and interestingly, it is helping me improve our interactions.

From a very practical point of view, being the lover of a pwBPD almost invariably causes depression and PTSD, from the constant abuse. The friendzone is safer, we get time off to collect ourselves, and so I have noticed that the safer I feel, and the more time I get to work on my mental health, the better I am able to work the tools and avoid/prevent/redirect dysregulations. This works!  

Yesterday we had a big breakthrough, I said 'I need to discuss something difficult, do you think you are able to handle it?" Halfway through the discussion I could see her starting to trigger, I said "come we give it a break and get back to this some other time." She calmed down - self-awareness, which is a big step for her - and we were able to finish the discussion which was, by the way, about a boundary I needed to set. Looking back, I could see how all our previous failures to prevent conflagrations gave us the practice we needed to get to this moment. Very happy, though it was tough getting there Smiling (click to insert in post)

So see your friend's triggering as an opportunity to work at your conflict resolution skills. You can't change her, but your behaviour can play a big part in preventing dysregulations or lowering their intensity. Many people here speak of how surviving a BPD relationship helped improve their skills in relating to other people, so it is never time wasted. A difficult road but worth walking.
Here's a great tools workshop which can help (from the bettering board) :
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=139972.0

If you want to give a specific example there, for instance, the most recent rage, you will find people are happy to talk you through it and think up other ways it could have gone, given a different set of responses.

Keep up the good work. We are here for you.    
 
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« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2021, 12:47:10 AM »

Correct, I am very much involved.

you still are.

thats okay, but not being clear on your goals is tripping you up.

youre posting on a breakup board about how to navigate transitioning into a friendship, while going through a breakup, and a breakup with a person who has maintained hope and some level of dependence, while youre trying tools to improve the relationship, and while youre struggling as well.

Excerpt
Boundaries set.
...
It happened anyways. And obviously that’s why I’m mad.

there are no boundaries, schlaff. what you listed are house rules you would like to see happen, with a houseguest youre trying to break up with. my above description is what the boundaries are. they are very blurry. that is why things are complicated.

boundaries work best as a lifestyle approach. boundaries in this case really means behaving only as friends, or a couple, or hard fast committing to a breakup (you can work toward a breakup with the intention of being friends, but those are precisely the boundaries to work to get clearer on).

but on the other hand, youre trying to do that while youre struggling with her words and actions. to have an intimate relationship with someone with bpd inherently means youre going to be on the receiving end of some nasty stuff. thats going to take its toll. coping with it is a skill youre going to need if a friendship, or being part of her support is the path you are choosing. it is difficult to do in the best of circumstances. it is exceedingly difficult to do when youre trying to detach from the wounds.
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     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
Schlaff

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« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2021, 12:55:35 PM »

@once removed

I hear you.

It’s a bit more complex than just full on kicking her out and wanting absolutely nothing to do with her, ever, period. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how *anything* is blurry, though.

Again, maybe I’m on the wrong sub forum? My goal is indeed to detach. Fully, if necessary. Only a bit more, if we can make a friendship work. I’m not trying to be rude, I legitimately am asking for your help here:  How exactly am I not clear?

Relationship = over
Friends=maybe:  here’s some basic ground rules if she wants that to work. 

How do I set better, clearer goals? How do I set better boundaries?
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Schlaff

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« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2021, 01:02:00 PM »

@khibomsis

Thanks for that link!

Man, this is something I used to just instinctively know. I was once the most calm, laidback, patient person I knew. This relationship has really damaged that. The time leading up to the break up, and a few months afterwards, I worried I’d never get it back. Kinda realizing right this second, that that’s a silly idea.

I get to choose if I can regain my prior mindset, of old laid back, patient, tolerant, empathetic me. Might be hard, might need some help, like that link. But I can get there.
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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2021, 01:53:02 AM »

OR, I hear you too. I realize that it is much easier for me to do the friends while breaking up thing long distance, it resolves itself into one, maybe a couple of calls a day. Which is far from the stresses and tensions of having to live with her. It leaves me plenty of time to deal with the reality of my CPTSD and examine the deep baggage I brought with me into the relationship. This is working that way, from the only point of view that really matters to me: 1 week no dysregulation  Way to go! (click to insert in post) Talked her off the ledge a couple of times, but getting better at that too. Each time she invokes her self-awareness and with time I am hoping that she will learn to de-regulate herself. For me, the important thing is that she gets healthy. I can't possibly see the relationship as being more important than that. In fact, I wonder if we had reached the point of becoming each other's triggers.  
Those tools really work Schaff. They may take years and lots of pain to acquire but they do.  Keep us posted on how it is going. Are you managing to implement them?
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