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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: Divorcing and trying to cope with hostility, blaming and pleas to come back  (Read 172 times)
Corakind
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorcing
Posts: 2



« on: August 31, 2020, 09:09:06 AM »

Hi BPDFamily,

I found my way to this site after reading very helpful books by Beverley Engel and Randi Kreger.

I am English, and divorcing my ex-partner, who seems to me to show traits of BPD - even though she is a trained psychotherapist.  We have been together for ten years, tried couples counselling twice, and for the last four years I believed her mood swings and hostility were caused by PMDD. However, she has now completed all available treatment for this condition, and things have got worse rather than better.

I left our home two months ago, after my ex-partner abruptly stopped talking to me, moved into the spare bedroom, started doing cooking and laundry only for herself,  and sent me a very hostile email (from the spare room) listing all my many faults and stating that being with me was "mental torture". She did this while I was off sick at home with stress and anxiety, and she did it because I asked her why she had locked the bathroom door.

There have been many, many incidents like this, but this one proved to be the breaking point for me. I am living temporarily in a family member's house, and have tried to keep the separation and divorce process as amicable as I can. In English law, one person must be blamed for the divorce, so I tried to persuade my ex-partner to blame me (as she had so much to say about everything I do wrong), but she refused. So I am having to blame her: for her mood swings, constant criticism, week-long hostile silences over trivial incidents, and general refusal to communicate. This is not going well!

Over the last two months, she has delayed the divorce process as much as possible (we are still at the beginning), refused to allow our house to be valued or put up for sale, emotionally blackmailed me over our dog, told me she will do anything to change (while not taking responsibility for anything she has done, or even acknowledging that she has hurt me), pleaded with me to reconsider the divorce, suggested I must be having an affair, left a bag of mouldy and out-of-date food with my belongings for me to take, been cooperative, then completely uncooperative, asked for my help, been sarcastic and mocking, told me I blame other people for my own problems and, after receiving my divorce petition, that I am full of venom which she always knew was there.

This is taking a very heavy toll on me. At times I feel racked with guilt, even though she has treated me so badly, because I remember her good side and know she is genuinely suffering. I am also afraid every time I have to go near our home for anything, and every time I receive an email or text from her. Sometimes I'm happy, because of the freedom of living on my own after so much criticism, then feel callous for being happy. I am anxious most of the time, go from positive to despairing, from certain to self-doubting, and wonder when this will ever end. I would like to cut off all contact for my own sanity, but the more I do through the lawyers the more expensive it will be. I also feel I have to liaise with her over arrangements for caring for our dog.

I am seeing a therapist, have the support of friends (who I kept seeing despite her dislike of them) and family, and am reading a lot of useful books, including 'Splitting' by W A Eddy. I would really just like to hear from anyone who has been through a similar experience, and how you coped with it all. It's bewildering, and being at the receiving end of so much hostility and blaming, mixed with emotional blackmail and grief, is very difficult to cope with.

Thanks, and best wishes to everyone.
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DiscoDave

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Broken up
Posts: 26


« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 11:50:59 AM »

Welcome Corakind,

I hope you find this a useful place to gain feedback and perspective on your current woes, I certainly have.

I can certainly empathise with a lot of what you said and the kind of treatment you are/were subjected to.

I am also in the UK, I find that BPD tends to be more widely acknowledged by our US cousins but less well known here. I am curious given the profession of your wife is she familiar with BPD? Could she spot it?

I ask because the psychotherapist I am currently seeing to help deal with the fall out of my uBPDX didn't seem to have a clue about it. When I suggested to them that I think my ex displays traits of BPD I was met with a blank stare.

It seems the initiation of divorce has perhaps called your partners 'bluff' given the response. Would you consider reconciliation or do you feel you completely want out?
 
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Corakind
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorcing
Posts: 2



« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 02:17:18 PM »

Hi DiscoDave,

Thank you. Ironically, my ex-partner does know about BPD, and often mentioned it in relation to her clients. I didn't know what BPD was, so I was surprised when I came across it while reading about people with Jekyll and Hyde behaviour, and realised that many of the traits applied to her.

I wouldn't consider reconciliation (although I do feel sad about that), partly because of the hostility and spitefulness I've experienced since I left, but mostly because I know any reconciliaion would be quickly followed by increasing tension and criticism, and then another week-long silence filled with aggression and vicious emails and texts, because I didn't put a yogurt pot in the bin, or said I just wanted toast for dinner. I really cannot do that again, my self-esteem and self-confidence were at rock bottom when I left.
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Lucky Jim
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 6119


« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 02:46:41 PM »

Hey Cora, I'm sorry to hear what you are going through, yet admire your resolve to get out of a negative situation.

Excerpt
emotionally blackmailed me over our dog,

Those w/BPD will use F-O-G (fear, obligation and/or guilt) in order to manipulate you.  It's a form of arm-twisting.  My suggestion is for you to decline to react to her attempts at manipulation, at which point she will likely raise the ante and threaten something worse, which I also suggest you respond to in the same fashion, by not reacting.

It's hard to do, but I suggest you hold your ground during this transition.

LuckyJim

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2020, 04:31:29 PM »

I am English, and divorcing my ex-partner, who seems to me to show traits of BPD - even though she is a trained psychotherapist.

Most if not all get into the business to figure themselves out. Everybody at some point show traits of everything. Its only when they dominate ones life they become an issue.

We have been together for ten years, tried couples counselling twice, and for the last four years I believed her mood swings and hostility were caused by PMDD.

So she has only been menstruating for the past 4 years? is it possible that whatever is going on, has just gotten worse? or possible maybe you are now noticing more? Interesting to opt for the couples therapy. She should know this is fruitless and just creates triangulation. So things were great up until 4 years ago?

However, she has now completed all available treatment for this condition, and things have got worse rather than better

Possibly the wrong treatment. Many get misdiagnosed.

after my ex-partner abruptly stopped talking to me, moved into the spare bedroom, started doing cooking and laundry only for herself,  and sent me a very hostile email (from the spare room) listing all my many faults and stating that being with me was "mental torture".

Have almost had this same, exact, very thing, happen to me in a BPD r/s. It was her own intimacy fears, pushing me away, but not too far. This would spike her abandonment fears. She was trying to punish me for not doing what she expected. We spoke alot, yet later I got text wanting to have sex. Just as peculiar, and expected to some degree. The intimacy fear she experienced was "mental torture", just not created by you, it was her own doing. A sliver of truth.

I left our home two months ago,

This would spike abandonment fears to the max, if another attachment isnt available. How have things been since this event took place?

I am living temporarily in a family member's house, and have tried to keep the separation and divorce process as amicable as I can. In English law, one person must be blamed for the divorce, so I tried to persuade my ex-partner to blame me (as she had so much to say about everything I do wrong), but she refused. So I am having to blame her: for her mood swings, constant criticism, week-long hostile silences over trivial incidents, and general refusal to communicate. This is not going well!

Good for you, removing yourself is the start you need. Things are much more distorted in the battle, as opposed to looking from the outside in. Clarity becomes easier. BPD doesnt play the persecutor role very well, (but they still do from time to time) they are most comfortable as the victim. Its not going to be amicable, obviously. So maybe expect the unexpected, the illness can be vicious, stand clear as much as possible. So maybe from now on, its going as expected.
This appears its going to be drawn out.

This is taking a very heavy toll on me. At times I feel racked with guilt, even though she has treated me so badly,

This would be FOG (fear, obligation,guilt) only this is yours to investigate. It will subside and at some point needs to be addressed. BPD has just exposed it. Somebody shouldnt feel guilty, for being abused, should they? These words she speaks of, need to be ignored. Slivers of truth wrapped in distortion.

because I remember her good side and know she is genuinely suffering.

This is your reasoning for feeling guilty?...Maybe she is suffering from BPD and what you remember is mirroring?

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=131343.0

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=220520.10

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=326872.0

Sometimes I'm happy, because of the freedom of living on my own after so much criticism, then feel callous for being happy

The happiness is genuine. The callous is false. This also will change with time.

. I am anxious most of the time, go from positive to despairing, from certain to self-doubting, and wonder when this will ever end.

Being anxious will also subside in time. The divorce will delay this. Expect the roller coaster ride, its mandatory unfortunately. Hold on.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=138154.0

I would like to cut off all contact for my own sanity, but the more I do through the lawyers the more expensive it will be

I did for the duration of the divorce. It was worth my sanity as recovery was able to start earlier.

I also feel I have to liaise with her over arrangements for caring for our dog.

This will be the excuse for contact from one or both parties. Detachment is much easier without this exchange. It could be beneficial later I suppose, but maybe not so much now.

I am seeing a therapist, have the support of friends (who I kept seeing despite her dislike of them) and family, and am reading a lot of useful books, including 'Splitting' by W A Eddy. I would really just like to hear from anyone who has been through a similar experience, and how you coped with it all.

This is great news. You just need to become a little more grounded. Learn to help others, that help themselves. I wish you well, Peace


















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