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Author Topic: Amicable break up with hope of re-uniting in the future?  (Read 840 times)
desertsession

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Relationship status: Broken up
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« on: January 07, 2021, 06:44:12 AM »

My partner of 3 years has decided she wishes to move out and end the relationship.

She has, multiple times in the past, told me that she sees the relationship as 'not working' and that we are 'incompatible'. I believe myself to be in a more mentally-stable and emotionally mature stage of my life, and believe that fundamentally, our relationship is good. At least, an extremely solid base.

We have normal problems that I would expect of any relationship - ones that I would also expect to be able to communicate and work through. However, we do struggle to communicate as things I say can be spun around on me or totally misunderstood and I will spend longer trying to return to my original point than making progress on it.

On the occasions she has previously blamed 'the relationship' for states of unhappiness, she has entered 'fight or flight' mode and gone to stay with her Mum. I have always allowed this, using the opportunity for space to consider my wants and needs and, to an extent, allow her to 'come to her senses'. These occasions have never lasted more than one week, and I have always moved forward with an attitude of 'we are a team, we work together through these issues' and 'you cannot continue to put me in the position where I am frightened that you're ending things'.

I do consider these events to be along the lines of 'I hate you, don't leave me'. In a way, running away to seek re-assurance that I do infact love her. After a few days have gone by she will enter a mindset of 'I don't want to feel like this anymore'.

On this occasion, with a much shorter fuse, I called her bluff and told her that if she wanted to leave, she should 'get her things and F off' - very strongly worded and I do regret the phrasing. But, my stance is that I have continued to stand by this person for 3 years and accepted the flaws that come with her. However, the cycle repeats itself and naturally, makes me question whether I have a future with her. On this occasion, I saw no other alternative than to say 'go ahead'.

3 days into this episode, and she has moved into an apartment around the corner, owned by her Dad. It is unlikely to be a long-term solution. We are yet to separate our belongings, as I have asked for space in order to get my head together before we reconvene to discuss the logistics.

Yesterday, she acted emotionally and irrationally and it upset me a great deal. I called her out on it and told her I wouldn't continue to communicate with her while she spoke to me in that way. Thankfully, since then, she has granted my wish for space.

She is not officially diagnosed with BPD, though she believes she has it. I would also tend to agree that she matches with the majority of the symptoms, but not to a hugely extreme level.

Ultimately, while the separation is not what I want, I do believe it to be the best, or only possible outcome for the time being. She has not been on her own for longer than a few months since her teenage years. We did manage 3 years, whereas beforehand she had never managed longer than 2. I believe that in the last 3 years, I have taken steps to help her understand and begin to deal with her MH issues and potential BPD, but it has obviously not been enough.

My desire is for the separation to be as amicable as possible. I am rooting for her to use this time to tackle her issues head-on. In this event, I would be more than happy to consider trying again with her in the future.

My concern is that, I understand she will be having a torrid time in her mind as we continue through the separation. I'm having a hard enough time. I'm worried that she will cause irreparable damage on the way out as a way to make the split easier and justify it to herself.

In general, she is a tender person who hates conflict. Are there any steps I can take to minimise my own suffering during the separation and ensure that we do not end up as enemies?

TL:DR - I accept that my partner and I need to be apart for at least a period in order to focus on ourselves. I hope she will put the same effort into herself as I will myself, though I know this is out of my control.
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2021, 03:35:32 AM »

its not clear to me, the outcome you want to see (you do say you dont want to separate but see the benefit in it).

part of it sounds like you are fed up, and mostly done.

part of it sounds like that, but you struggle with what her version of events, her narrative of the relationship will be.

part of it sounds like you want to reconcile, albeit in a healthier fashion.

correct me where im wrong, but been there  Being cool (click to insert in post)

if its the second? let it go. none of us really have any control over how an ex looks back at a breakup, and for what its worth, most of us, after grieving, tend to gain some semblance of balance.

if its the first or the third, or both?

be all in or all out. simpler said than done, i know, but in my experience, theres no other way to be.

what i mean by that, is that the status quo isnt working, and both of you are losing your love.

first and foremost, take her seriously when she says the two of you are incompatible, and by that, i mean, learn to understand, specifically, and as clearly as you can, what that means (from her perspective and from yours). because two people can love each other very much. they can be together a very long time. and they can, ultimately, be fundamentally broken and incompatible. people with bpd traits will go back and forth between extremes. youre the best person in the world and then the worst. you have to learn the balance between taking that seriously, and understanding the extremes your loved one lives in. but language like "we are incompatible" can be a different kettle of fish. think about it. it may not be obvious, and the two of you may see things very differently. has she ever been specific?

second, i see a lot of my approach in yours (and my own relationship was just shy of three years). you dont take a lot of  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post). at the same time, you get caught up in the minutia, in the moment (easy to do with a difficult loved one). walking on eggshells is not your idea of a good time.

and you arent wrong; you need thick skin, you need the willingness and ability to walk away, and you dont want to just submit to abuse. but its like loving someone with special needs. it takes grace, finesse, malevolence, and skill. you can learn this. it will likely make an enormous improvement.

lastly, and importantly, while anything from a cooling off period, all the way to a trial separation can be healthy, the two of you separating for days, a week, whatever, when conflict reaches a boiling point is probably, ultimately, not sustainable, and something you want to redirect into another(s) coping mechanism. it means that conflict never really get resolved, but swept under the rug, and the more you do it, the more one or both of you grieve the relationship and work past the reality of actually breaking up.
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desertsession

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Relationship status: Broken up
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2021, 05:55:18 AM »

Thank you very much for your considered and lengthy reply. I really do appreciate it.

Excerpt
its not clear to me, the outcome you want to see (you do say you dont want to separate but see the benefit in it).

I have always come at our problems from the point of view of 'we stick this out together, and we work through our problems' because that is my stance on what a committed relationship should be. However, I am indeed fed up with repeated short separations as they leave me feeling anxious and dent my confidence.

Excerpt
part of it sounds like that, but you struggle with what her version of events, her narrative of the relationship will be.

part of it sounds like you want to reconcile, albeit in a healthier fashion.

I do contest her view of how the relationship is, believing it to be fundamentally good and healthy - at least on my side. Trust has never been a problem for me, I believe her to be loyal and haven't had reason to question it. I also believe her to be a good person, whose judgement and ability to see things as clearly as me is clouded by her illness. I appreciate that I can't change her mind on this, or force her to see it my way - although I have tried to reinforce it.

At the moment, the closest of the 3 is that I'd like to reconcile. However, I accept that to quickly jump back in, if she was to show remorse or regret in the next weeks or months would likely be a mistake, unless there is evidence that she has made progress in the time since the separation and isn't asking from purely a place of loneliness.

I accept that in its current state, the relationship needs to end, but that doesn't mean I don't hope that this can change in the future.

Excerpt
be all in or all out. simpler said than done, i know, but in my experience, theres no other way to be.

I have written her a letter, setting out my feelings. It is not a letter of desperation, but I feel it's one of balance and fairness. I express my sadness that we've not been able to work through things together, apologised for my part in recent arguments. I have empathised with the battle raging within her head and told her I am proud of the progress she has made in the 3 years we've been together. I believe it's the first time in her 30 years that she has been able to self-reflect enough to acknowledge that she has a problem, and made steps to address it. I wish her well in her journey to find happiness.

Excerpt
first and foremost, take her seriously when she says the two of you are incompatible, and by that, i mean, learn to understand, specifically, and as clearly as you can, what that means (from her perspective and from yours). because two people can love each other very much. they can be together a very long time. and they can, ultimately, be fundamentally broken and incompatible. people with bpd traits will go back and forth between extremes. youre the best person in the world and then the worst. you have to learn the balance between taking that seriously, and understanding the extremes your loved one lives in. but language like "we are incompatible" can be a different kettle of fish. think about it. it may not be obvious, and the two of you may see things very differently. has she ever been specific?

The only specific she has ever been able to provide to back up the incompatibility is that we 'disagree on stuff'. Now as far as I'm concerned, we disagree on normal relationship things. What to watch, what to do at the weekend, whether I've done my chores to a standard she is happy with. She says she can feel taken for granted if I do not help around the house.

She has used examples of previous relationships where there was 'no conflict, no disagreement'. I have told her that I care enough about my own, and her feelings, and the growth of our relationship that I deem it far healthier for me to be able to bring up things that I wish to be improved.

Excerpt
second, i see a lot of my approach in yours (and my own relationship was just shy of three years). you dont take a lot of  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post). at the same time, you get caught up in the minutia, in the moment (easy to do with a difficult loved one). walking on eggshells is not your idea of a good time.

It is difficult, but I also know the importance of my own happiness, and recently it has taken a knock. I believe I could be happy with her, but recognise only with some self-reflection on her part and a desire to make further progress. I have read that setting boundaries is important to pwBPD and, though badly worded, my 'get your things and F off' was in response to her threatening another of her short-term separations.

Excerpt
but its like loving someone with special needs. it takes grace, finesse, malevolence, and skill. you can learn this. it will likely make an enormous improvement.

Please help me with where to start here. I used to be a temper driven, hot-headed person before I met her, but having learned from past experiences, managed to get away from this to a more logical way of thinking. However, logic rarely works with her. I have always been willing to put in the effort to improve my ability to react to these situations in a way that is healthier for her, and me.

Excerpt
it means that conflict never really get resolved, but swept under the rug, and the more you do it, the more one or both of you grieve the relationship and work past the reality of actually breaking up.

I totally agree. Many issues, that again, I believe to be 'normal relationship stuff' (the chores, regularity of intimacy, trust) have resulted in conversations that haven't progressed past a point of misunderstanding or black and white thinking on her part. My desire to avoid conflict where possible has often led to things being swept under the rug.
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desertsession

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Relationship status: Broken up
Posts: 36


« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 03:20:52 AM »

She has softened in the last days having acted emotionally and irrationally for the days before that.

She was meant to collect the bulk of her things yesterday before returning with family to help move some bigger items today.

I made myself scarce yesterday, and received multiple messages along the lines of:

'I will come soon'
'I will come when I've been shopping'
'I will come now, not sure if you're home'

She text multiple timed during the day,  even asking if I was free for a call - despite saying there was 'nothing left to talk about' earlier in the week.

I kept things amicable and business like, saying I would come home as she was getting her last things in order to say goodbye.

Her demeanour yesterday was much different, and suggested uncertainty on her part.

When I returned to the apartment, she had taken very little - moved some things around.

It feels very much as though she has pushed one button too far and, having called her bluff, I have forced her hand in going through with something she is unsure if she wants.

I'm extremely anxious about the day ahead and any support or advice will be much appreciated, thank you.

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grinandbearit

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Relationship status: Living together
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 11:21:39 AM »

Hi desertsession. I don't have any advice for you but I support the moves you are making and your level-headed (at least mostly) way of making them. I'm reading this thread with interest because my situation with my uBPD live-in partner has a lot of similarities to your situation, and just today we finally agreed upon a move-out date for him. "Agreed" is perhaps not the best term since I chose the date and he agitatedly pulled out a previous Notice to Vacate I had given him (yes, we've been through this twice before now) and hurriedly changed the dates, signed it, and had me sign.

My feelings about our r/s and my hope that we could make things work if we each take time and space apart to do some personal reflection, healing, and learning sound a lot like the ones you describe. My worries that he will simply continue to blame me and paint me black as an excuse to move on without doing any work on himself also sound like the sentiments you express. He already asked me if I wanted the many photos, cards, and mementos I gave him over our nearly five years together (nearly four living together), and I expressed that since they are his, I don't want them. He replied that he will burn them. I know that this is rashness, hurt, and immaturity talking, and I didn't rise to the bait, but it still stung as he knew it would. Also like you, I know that I cannot control whatever story he chooses to tell himself, and the only work I can guarantee will get done is my own on myself. That doesn't mean that I won't hold a kernel of hope that he'll make the effort and begin to see things more rationally with time and balance.

In short, I'm here simply to say that you're not alone, that you're taking rational and brave steps to benefit both your partner and yourself in the short and long term, and that I'll be following your story as it unfolds--as much as you decide to share of it, anyway. Thanks for your post.
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desertsession

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Relationship status: Broken up
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 04:50:49 PM »

Re: grinandbearit. Thank you for your message of support, I hope you'll find my DM incase you'd like to share your journey with me on a more regular basis and we may be able to help each other through this.

An update, today she collected her remaining belongings from our apartment. I told her that I would be out during this, as she was bringing her Mum and Brother to help and I felt this would have been a difficult situation for me to be in. I said that if she wanted to let me know when she was collecting her last things, and alone, I would be willing to return in order to say 'goodbye'. I thought the finality of this was important so that she knows that this is different from our previous short separations.

It seemed to me that she was frightened by this finality as she replied with 'I've got a lot to do, so don't bother'. I'm learning every day not to take statements like this personally.

I waited until she had left, at which point she divulged she will be keeping the key until the tenancy agreements etc. are resolved. I deem this to be unnecessary, as she has now left our home to me. Instead of falling into a disagreement about this, I'll email our letting agents in the morning to inform them that she has left, and to arrange retrieving her key.

She seems to wish to talk 'when I'm ready' about the tenancy agreements and final monies, though I am confident that this can be finalised through the letting agency and I don't feel that I need to take any money from her at this point. She owes me half of an outstanding utility bill, but I would be glad to write this off on the understanding that I will receive the full security deposit upon leaving the apartment.

It is interesting to me that she wants to discuss this, but wasn't willing to hear my goodbye.

---

There have been further developments in the time I've written this post, but I have had an exhausting day so will reflect on the more recent events and update tomorrow.

Thanks all for reading.
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desertsession

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Relationship status: Broken up
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 07:10:03 AM »

Excerpt
I have written her a letter, setting out my feelings. It is not a letter of desperation, but I feel it's one of balance and fairness. I express my sadness that we've not been able to work through things together, apologised for my part in recent arguments. I have empathised with the battle raging within her head and told her I am proud of the progress she has made in the 3 years we've been together. I believe it's the first time in her 30 years that she has been able to self-reflect enough to acknowledge that she has a problem, and made steps to address it. I wish her well in her journey to find happiness.

I am pleased to report that my letter was found during the move, as I was worried it might not be.

I also received a reply, via text. While it was the most positive communication we've had all week, given that her actions are often impulsive, childish and carried out without much thought, I think the care, thought and overall meaning that went into my letter deserved a longer response time.

Excerpt
Thank you for your letter.

Unfortunately the feeling I get from it, the understanding of how much I mean / meant to you, has come far too late. Actions speak louder than words and I’m so sad to say that the inaction caused me to feel that you didn’t appreciate me at all in the last few months.

My inaction was pulling back in self-preservation after she said she didn't love me anymore. When she says that actions speak louder than words, my actions over 3 years have been to stick with her, help her to seek help, and in this case... write a 5 page letter and not a long text.
 
Excerpt
Though you may not believe me, I am heartbroken too. Today was very tough - but I’ve been putting on a brave face.

Knowing and remembering what we had at the start is hard, I just wish we could have kept that up but I know it was a honeymoon phase and a very different time in our lives.

I am sorry for my part in the breakdown of our relationship in terms of the issues with trust and repeated threats to leave, perhaps the first time I should have gone through with it and we wouldn’t be where we are now. I’m going to continue to work on my mental health with some time to myself.

I took positives out of this section. The acknowledgement that she's also hurting, which hasn't been apparent this week with her emotional and impulsive behaviour, and a small apology for her trust issues. Also, the promise to spend some time by herself. Though this remains to be seen, I'm pleased that the intent is there.

However, the 'looking back and feeling sad about how it turned sour' is not a true reflective state, with a view to improving her relationships in the future.

Excerpt
You may not believe me when I say I hope you’re okay, I know you’re probably hurting a lot but I also hope there’s a part of you that feels some relief, or knew that this was coming and in some way agree it’s for the best. I want you to be happy as much as I want myself to be.

I’d hate to never speak again but if that’s what you need, I’ll respect that.

Again, to take the positives, an acknowledgement that I'm hurting. This section shows that I mean a lot to her, and is maybe worried about the finality of this situation.

Overall, while taking the positives, I don't feel that this is a response that matches the effort and reflection of my letter. I guess when hearing a new song for the first time, it takes repeated listens for the message to sink in. I hope that she'll return to my letter in future moments of reflection, or that its contents will remain in her mind for a time and allow her to ruminate.

I'd like to know if anybody else has an opinion on the contents of her reply.

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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 12:31:11 AM »

I do contest her view of how the relationship is, believing it to be fundamentally good and healthy - at least on my side.

isnt this the definition of conflict?

when in conflict, inherently, both parties do not see eye to eye, and they tend to see their side as clean.

resolving conflict, if possible, begins with really understanding where the other person is coming from, and then moving toward solutions.

Trust has never been a problem for me

people with bpd traits have inherent trust issues. it is a very different view of the world. its unfortunate, but to love someone with, and be in a relationship with, someone with bpd traits, its important to face with eyes wide open.

I hope that she'll return to my letter in future moments of reflection, or that its contents will remain in her mind for a time and allow her to ruminate.

I'd like to know if anybody else has an opinion on the contents of her reply.

take her letter at face value. they are the words of someone who has at least partially grieved the relationship, does not feel heard, and has determined it is best to walk away.

it is rare - very rare - that breakup letters are read as intended, or that they come off as we intend them, and that is not unique to a relationship with someone with bpd traits, but two people that are on very different pages.

as to why she is avoiding in depth discussions, this is very common. it is a big emotional lift, not fun for either party, and she may feel either not ready, or that there is little point, or both.

my point in all of this: if you want her back, i dont know if "calling her bluff" is a helpful approach.

you seem to be reading into this that its not really what she wants, and that tough love will make that clearer. her actions, from where im sitting, indicate the opposite. if you want to reconcile, switch gears.
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desertsession

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Relationship status: Broken up
Posts: 36


« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 03:53:28 AM »

Excerpt
you seem to be reading into this that its not really what she wants, and that tough love will make that clearer. her actions, from where im sitting, indicate the opposite. if you want to reconcile, switch gears.

Thank you. Please help me to understand what a better approach to this situation, from my side, might look like.
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 01:46:08 AM »

truth be told upfront: it is possible it is too late. thats always a possibility when trying to reverse a breakup; i dont want to give false hope.

what im going to say wont immediately sound terribly helpful, because there are not a lot of overt "get her back" style moves you can play, or that would be wise to play.

the bottom line is that the two singlemost important things you can do are:

1. stop the current approach
2. learn/understand where she is coming from, and, if given the opportunity, make her feel heard.

to do that, you will need to tackle, and i encourage you to do so in an in depth way here, how the relationship broke down, how it got to this point. that will also be essential in the event you reconcile, if you want to stay together.

if you can do that, and she can see it, it will be the single most attractive thing to her that you can possibly do. but it is not something that you can fake, and it is not something you should try to go out of your way to "prove" in order to win her back. in other words, dont beat her over the head with how you get it, send a bunch of apologies, try to force heartfelt talks where you profess a lot of thoughtful words, that kind of thing. i see that happen all the time.

number one, thats not necessarily really getting it, it comes off as defensive and not hearing the other person, but number two, its likely all she will feel is vindicated; too little, too late.

so while there isnt a lot in your immediate power to do (what not to do is more important), odds are pretty likely that at some point, her resentment is going to come back out, and she will want to vent it in some form (shes kinda been doing that but it also sounds like she wants space for now). it remains to be seen whether she is past the point of no return in her grief, but thats not the same thing as being emotionally past it, and when thats the case, there is always a chance.

the good news is that when and if that happens, all you have to do is listen. really listen. actively listen. not be defensive or dismissive. not argue. reflect back what youre hearing (if appropriate). ask validating questions (if appropriate).

this will be hugely important in not only that situation, but everything i am talking about when it comes to understanding her perspective and how the relationship broke down: https://bpdfamily.com/content/listen-with-empathy

i get, believe me, that the problems in the relationship are not all yours, and you certainly do not want to make the case to her that they are. you have a perspective, and its a valid one, and she has a perspective, and its a valid one. and the problem is that your two perspectives are at odds, and the only way to reconcile them is to begin to see them as she does, as well as how an outside perspective does, and figure out how to marry the three.

there is also a part of you that isnt so sure about staying in the relationship, especially as is. thats important, and i know first hand how that can kind of go out the window when youre on the receiving end of a breakup. looking at this from every side, really breaking down what broke down the relationship will also give you perspective on whether this is something you want to, or can save.

so, after reading the listening with empathy article, i would encourage you to start exploring the following things:

Excerpt
She has, multiple times in the past, told me that she sees the relationship as 'not working' and that we are 'incompatible'.

at what point in the relationship did this start? was there anything that seems to have led up to it? were there particular things that occurred when she made these claims during your relationship?

Excerpt
I believe myself to be in a more mentally-stable and emotionally mature stage of my life,

do you mean compared to her, or in general? where is she in her life? any possibility she feels insecure over this?

Excerpt
However, we do struggle to communicate as things I say can be spun around on me or totally misunderstood and I will spend longer trying to return to my original point than making progress on it.

while i think everyone here can vouch for this, and it isnt what broke you up, specifically, you will benefit enormously from learning the communication tools here, for so many reasons.

Excerpt
These occasions have never lasted more than one week, and I have always moved forward with an attitude of 'we are a team, we work together through these issues' and 'you cannot continue to put me in the position where I am frightened that you're ending things'.

this is a strong move. the running off would be something you would ideally want to nip in the bud should you reconcile. how did she respond in the past?

Excerpt
Yesterday, she acted emotionally and irrationally and it upset me a great deal. I called her out on it and told her I wouldn't continue to communicate with her while she spoke to me in that way.

what happened? what was said?

while this might in many cases be a strong move, it could also present the sort of opportunity im talking about to listen, and make her feel heard. its appropriate (and can be helpful) to wind things down if shes losing it on you or speaking abusively, but in the current circumstances, a more subtle approach may help. but the details matter a lot.

Excerpt
I have taken steps to help her understand and begin to deal with her MH issues and potential BPD, but it has obviously not been enough.

can you say more about what this has entailed?

Excerpt
Her: Thank you for your letter.

Unfortunately the feeling I get from it, the understanding of how much I mean / meant to you, has come far too late. Actions speak louder than words and I’m so sad to say that the inaction caused me to feel that you didn’t appreciate me at all in the last few months.

You: My inaction was pulling back in self-preservation after she said she didn't love me anymore. When she says that actions speak louder than words, my actions over 3 years have been to stick with her, help her to seek help, and in this case... write a 5 page letter and not a long text.

take what she says here at face value, and this is why i warn that listening and showing that you get it is not about confessing how horrible youve been (im assuming you didnt do that in the letter) and how you "see the light"...because thats the response youll get. words, 5 pages or otherwise, will get you nowhere.

now, this is pretty important. what inaction? what pulling back? what happened when she said she didnt love you anymore? this is an enormously significant part of what you are going to need to break down.

i encourage you to reread that post, with her letter, and your perspective on it, as if you were a neutral third party, the best you can. it is the clearest possible illustration of what different pages the two of you are on.

i know i asked a lot of questions. take them on (or not) at your own approach.

my own take on all of this: it sounds like a fairly typical slow breakdown of a relationship, not unlike my own. it isnt clear what the persisting issues were - partly because im hearing your side of it and not hers, and partly, significantly no doubt, that shes not the best at communicating what the issues were as she saw them (this is not uncommon for a person with bpd traits, and its why the skills and tools taught here are so vital) - but it is clear that there were persisting, unresolved issues that broke down the relationship over time. it is very telling that she suggests you might have felt relief and seen this coming. it means that for some period, she has been grieving, and coming to see a breakup as inevitable, and she assumes you have felt the same because she sees it as that obvious.

it is clear from her words in that letter, and in your words about pulling away, her saying she didnt love you, that things finally came to a head more recently and blew up (what is not clear but very important is what exactly transpired). the "f this, then leave" response was not some fatal mistake that if you could do it over, would have saved your relationship. at best, not doing that might have only delayed the breakup. it did, i suspect, cause a short term over reaction on her end (not important), and push her to follow through with what she had been considering doing (very important). it was her "over the edge", but importantly, although you may regret it, i suspect it was yours, too.

your letter was not heard, especially the way you intended. its okay, and it didnt hurt your chances here, or anything. those sorts of letters never are heard, and weve all written them. when two people breaking up are on such different pages, it just comes off as once again stating our perspective and not hearing the other persons. it is both good and bad that she didnt argue any of the points. good in that theres no resentment or pushback, so nothing you said touched any nerves or anything like that. bad in that it indicates shes letting go of the need to be heard (alternatively, its possible she barely read it). it mostly just means its not an approach you want to take again.

and now the two of you are doing the awkward dance of trying to be amicable, on very different pages, with very different resentments, and you are conflicted, and she is grieving though it is not clear how far into that process she is.

what do you think?
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 07:56:21 AM »

Incredible, articulate and thought-provoking response, once removed. Thank you.

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She has, multiple times in the past, told me that she sees the relationship as 'not working' and that we are 'incompatible'.

at what point in the relationship did this start? was there anything that seems to have led up to it? were there particular things that occurred when she made these claims during your relationship?

3 months in, she wrote me a letter saying that she didn't feel that she was right for me, asking how she could ever compare to my ex of 6 years (I was on my own for 8 months after this, and felt ready to give again by the end).

Her previous relationship was one of 2 years. They bought a house together, but soon after, he told HER that he didn't love her anymore. I wonder if in their 2 years, he'd not been as willing to try to communicate his feelings or try and show the empathy that I have, and by this point that had started to wear him down.

It was during their break-up that we began to talk. One occasion I remember vividly (as it makes me think of now) was an Instagram story she shared, looking upset sat on the stairs - a bit like the 'feel like pure **** just want him back' meme. Looking back, it was obviously an attempt to seek validation from others, or a response from the ex.

I remember, despite not really knowing her at this point, replying to it and suggesting that she should take it down, that it wasn't sending the right message, and that she could talk to me if she wanted. I feel like I was the only one to do this, instead of messaging her just with 'are you OK?' and that it resonated with her.

It seemed clear that she had ruled out ever reconciling with him, due to the stress he put her through with getting back out of the mortgage. Over the last 3 years, he has occasionally tried to reach out to her, but she's always been open about it and swatted him away like a fly.

I'm aware that I could potentially be classed as a re-bound. However, I'd argue that the fact we made 3 years (her longest ever relationship) would say that we have definitely had something genuine and real, even if I can see that it was born from a place of me 'saving her from heartbreak'.

My best answer to this would be, at a guess, that she has said these things when she feels misunderstood by somebody so close to her (me).

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I believe myself to be in a more mentally-stable and emotionally mature stage of my life,

do you mean compared to her, or in general? where is she in her life? any possibility she feels insecure over this?

Compared to her, I believe myself to be more emotionally mature, objective, stable. But I guess that is easy to say about somebody with BPD. She is 2 years older than me, and in some senses I am immature (not so good with money, like to stay up late playing video games).

She turned 30 in October, which I believe could be a very big factor in feeling insecure about where she is going and what she is doing with her life. I think she relies on 'the next big thing' to make her happy (new job, buying a house, going on holiday, or even buying a new bottle of gin) but these obviously are nevr going to be a magic fix.

She has always expressed doubt about her direction in life. She's unsure if she wants kids (I put this down to never having had stable relationships), she gets stressed easily at work, and believes herself to have put on excess weight.

I've encouraged her to seek active hobbies, with me and on her own.

I also think she is doing just fine in life. I would consider her to be successful in her career, even if she would always like to be further.

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However, we do struggle to communicate as things I say can be spun around on me or totally misunderstood and I will spend longer trying to return to my original point than making progress on it.

while i think everyone here can vouch for this, and it isnt what broke you up, specifically, you will benefit enormously from learning the communication tools here, for so many reasons.

I agree. I can already see the benefit in not using words like 'but' and sometimes accepting difference in opinion.

I probably have been very guilty of putting my feelings across to try and make her see and empathise with them, but have been accused of 'gaslighting' and 'invalidating her feelings before'.

I find it really difficult not to come down to her level when arguing/debating.

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These occasions have never lasted more than one week, and I have always moved forward with an attitude of 'we are a team, we work together through these issues' and 'you cannot continue to put me in the position where I am frightened that you're ending things'.

this is a strong move. the running off would be something you would ideally want to nip in the bud should you reconcile. how did she respond in the past?

100% - and on the last occasions, I told her that it can't happen again. Now, you see why this time, I had to follow through with my promise that if she is going to walk away, she is walking away and that it is goodbye. I hoped that would be enough for her not to.

In the past, she has stayed with her Mum for around one week, while playing what I would call 'games' on social media in what look like attempts to either prompt responses from me, pass off to the world that she is 'good' and having fun, seek validation on things from others (such as this week, a post saying 'it is OK to feel sad about making the right decision').

I have always refused to participate in responding or playing these games. In the past, this cycle ususally ends when she realises that in order to get me to respond, she'll have to reach out. She tends to do so emotionally/angrily.

Example 1: She text me once saying 'if you're going to break up with me just do it'. I had never mentioned wanting to, had made it clear that I didn't want to, so this was a big surprise. She had broken down at work (nearby) and said she was in a really bad place. I invited her to come home from work, and she broke down. I reassured her that I hadn't been wanting to leave her. She then said 'I don't want to feel like this anymore' which I took to mean that she didn't want to be at the mercy of BPD.

Example 2: The last time this happened, again a week apart and games on her part. I was having a really tough time, waiting for her to come home, hoping that she would and that we could work things out. I re-tweeted a text helpline I had used during the week, as it had helped me and I also hoped she might use it herself.

This prompted a text from her 'Why are you tweeting about text lines and not making sure that I'm OK?'

This time, I made clear that I shared it because I had really benefitted from it, and hoped others (including her specifically) might also. I told her that social media is not real life, and that I had been suffering that week. It seemed at that point, that there was some realisation that I DID care, and was sorry for putting me through it. She came home.

So far, this break-up seems to have played out EXACTLY as those short separations have, but more serious and with proper steps taken like actually moving out. The behaviour is currently the same, and I had promised myself not to tolerate that anymore. Yet, it seems she is still asking herself 'Why I don't care?' and trying to provoke responses.

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Yesterday, she acted emotionally and irrationally and it upset me a great deal. I called her out on it and told her I wouldn't continue to communicate with her while she spoke to me in that way.

what happened? what was said?

After 'take your stuff' and 'I've decided to move out', she wrote a list of items to split between us. At first, I didn't want to discuss this list and she had included things like her taking the bed, which I disagreed with. I asked for a couple of days of space, to gather my thoughts so that we could sit down like adults and discuss the separation and posessions.

This conversation never happened. She emailed our lettings agency to ask about steps to be removed from the tenancy after 1 day. Their email dropped into my inbox like a divorce settlement, and I text her to explain that I was upset and angered to have had their email without talking with her first.

After this, she seemed to get the impression that I was preventing her from collecting her belongings. What I did say, is that I didn't want her coming in and out after work every night, as and when she pleased, as this would be stressful for me and that - and that having moved out, she owed me some consideration re: getting her stuff.

On this, she began threats such as 'if you don't co-operate I will send my brother round', and later, the police. I knew these were empty threats, and reinforced the fact that she was very welcome to collect her belongings and that I wasn't standing in the way. She called me 'disgusting' and said 'it proved she had made the correct decision'.

I told her I wouldn't respond to these messages as I was 'exhausted', and they seemed to soften her. I maintain, I did absolutely NOTHING to damage my integrity in this break up. Other than my letter, I have made it as easy for her as I can to walk away.

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I have taken steps to help her understand and begin to deal with her MH issues and potential BPD, but it has obviously not been enough.

can you say more about what this has entailed?

Upon recognising that she may have some form of depression, a few months into our relationship, I began to buy her some resources to try and help. This began with simple things like daily gratitude journals and prompt cards for us to ask each other questions. She would start the journals and seem to be doing well before giving up on them, likely feeling hopeless.

I then suggested therapy. To begin with, I took her to see my own therapist, but it quickly became apparent that she felt my therapist was on 'my side' and working in my favour. I recognised this wasn't going to work, and she began looking for her own. She has tried a couple in the last 2 years, even having a spell paid for by her Dad, before finally finding one this year who seems to have helped... a little.

Only in her time with me did she discover what BPD is. I remember the day she sent me the diagnosis, how hopeful she sounded that she may have cracked 'what is wrong' and I thought she was so brave. I told her I was really proud of her.

However, in her time in therapy, she has not had any DBT, and has been reluctant to bring BPD up with therapists for fear of being stigmatized or invalidated.

For Christmas and birthdays, I have always bought really thoughtful gifts to try and help. Recently, a really high end oil diffuser to help relax in stressful situations, and a SAD lamp to apply her make-up next to in a morning, for a dose of 'sunlight'.

In general, I think I have played a part in her recognition of her potential BPD and its treatment.

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Her: Thank you for your letter.

Unfortunately the feeling I get from it, the understanding of how much I mean / meant to you, has come far too late. Actions speak louder than words and I’m so sad to say that the inaction caused me to feel that you didn’t appreciate me at all in the last few months.

You: My inaction was pulling back in self-preservation after she said she didn't love me anymore. When she says that actions speak louder than words, my actions over 3 years have been to stick with her, help her to seek help, and in this case... write a 5 page letter and not a long text.

take what she says here at face value, and this is why i warn that listening and showing that you get it is not about confessing how horrible youve been (im assuming you didnt do that in the letter) and how you "see the light"...because thats the response youll get. words, 5 pages or otherwise, will get you nowhere.

I promise that I didn't confess to anything in the letter, aside from not understanding how to help better and how my actions can play a bigger part in that than I realise. It was my final attempt at allowing her to see how real my feelings are for her, despite the setbacks we have reached.

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now, this is pretty important. what inaction? what pulling back? what happened when she said she didnt love you anymore? this is an enormously significant part of what you are going to need to break down.

i encourage you to reread that post, with her letter, and your perspective on it, as if you were a neutral third party, the best you can. it is the clearest possible illustration of what different pages the two of you are on..

OK. Given that her previous attempts to walk away have played out in a way that suggests they were prompts for me to reach out and remind her that I DO love her. After each, I've made clear that I don't think it's the way - as it impacts on me, really breaks me up, and dents my confidence in a future I was always so hopeful of.

In mid-November, the 'I don't love you anymore' conversation began to go the same way. I have begun to recognise these conversations from others, and I try to set a boundary by saying 'I don't want to talk about this, we're going in circles' (instead of getting to the bottom of the issue at hand, usually small)

Upon hearing those words, they were obviously devastating. I knew, from mid-November onwards that we would need to really sit down and talk (January, was when I was going to write a heartfelt letter reaffirming my love), and that hearing those sorts of things is not something I want.

Mid December and she tested positive for COVID. She was ill, but not dreadful (bad flu). However, she has suffered from post viral fatigue for months in the past and was terrified she would get 'long covid'. I knew that I wasn't looking after her in the way I have in the past, or would like to have been doing. I knew why, because I was still reeling from her remark weeks earlier.

This is what I would say she means when she talks about my inaction. I spent a lot of December doing my own thing, and we spent less time together. I stayed up late playing games and would sleep in later than her in mornings. I do understand why she would feel that I no longer cared, but this was never the case. I was just in pain from what she said and unsure what to do about it.

She recovered, and Christmas period got underway. It was an underwhelming Christmas, much less close than we have been before. On Christmas Eve, and NYE, she made comments about really small things that I thought didn't need to be a big deal - and they spoiled both evenings. I remember feeling very miserable on both, and knowing that wasn't right. Hence, I feel now that my heat of the moment 'get your things and F off' was actually what I wanted to say in November, but couldn't.

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it is very telling that she suggests you might have felt relief and seen this coming. it means that for some period, she has been grieving, and coming to see a breakup as inevitable, and she assumes you have felt the same because she sees it as that obvious.

This is enlightening, and also quite sad. I feel I haven't been given the opportunities to address issues that I believe every couple would be familiar with and expect, because they haven't been communicated to me very clearly at all. This explains our differing viewpoints between my 'I think this is a good, fundamentally healthy relationship' and her 'it's been inevitable for some time'.
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 07:58:36 AM »

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the "f this, then leave" response was not some fatal mistake that if you could do it over, would have saved your relationship. at best, not doing that might have only delayed the breakup. it did, i suspect, cause a short term over reaction on her end (not important), and push her to follow through with what she had been considering doing (very important). it was her "over the edge", but importantly, although you may regret it, i suspect it was yours, too.

This is comforting to know. I agree.
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 10:48:13 AM »

She was in contact this afternoon, she sent me the following link:

https://medium.com/borderline-personalities/should-you-go-no-contact-after-a-bpd-breakup-30d77fff55ee

The accompanying message was:

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Something to bare in mind.

Won't bother you anymore but would have appreciated you letting me know you are no longer willing to discuss anything in order for us both to get closure and move forward.

Take care.

I responded with:

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Just to be clear, the link you sent me suggests you want to stay in contact, but on the other hand you're deleting me from social media. Those are mixed messages and very painful ones at that, if you could start being clearer about what you want from me, please.

I believe there is to be a long reply in store this evening.
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 03:13:38 PM »

more in depth reply later tonight when im off work.

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Just to be clear, the link you sent me suggests you want to stay in contact, but on the other hand you're deleting me from social media. Those are mixed messages and very painful ones at that, if you could start being clearer about what you want from me, please.

this is where listening with empathy is critical. shes not going to just "start being clearer about what she wants". but the message is classically bpdish, and fairly clear at the same time.

this is an insecure persons way of saying "thanks a lot for ignoring/forgetting me, asshole".

its needy. its a pull, covered up with a push.

dont play into that by being reactive or defensive, see it for what it is. from her perspective, your response is throwing your hands up, putting it back on her, and it will leave her feeling needy and rejected.  she will feel similarly to the way you felt when you gave her your letter: shut out and not heard.

do not, in general, think of your loved one as a small child, but perhaps remember that if this was a small child, you wouldnt be flustered, youd be cool and benevolent.

the same is true for deleting you on social media. while its painful and shocking and maybe you take it to mean shes done and exorcising you from her life, set your pain aside and see that its just acting out.

i might have said something like:

"i read the article, thank you for letting me know.

im sorry if ive seemed distant, i was trying to give you space.

id love to talk when its a good time."
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 04:19:49 PM »

Thank you. I look forward to your reply. I'm learning every day.
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2021, 03:24:40 AM »

After a little unhelpful back and forth yesterday feat. some of the following:

'I deleted you as you didn't seem to want to be in touch'
'What I wanted was some closure'
'You know it's difficult for me to feel ignored, even if I made the decision to walk away'
'If there's nothing left to say, let's say goodbye'

After another message from her a bit later regarding our joint bank account, I decided to try to leave things on a better note with some help from my work mentor. He suggested I use a factual statement that could not be pulled apart.

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'Whatever has happened between us, I really care about you'.

Another lightbulb moment for me, was to realise what a fantastic way this is to approach any conflict in life. In any argument with a friend, family member or partner, I'm sure everyone would love to be re-assured like that. Something I will know for the future.

Her reply this morning:

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I care about you too. I haven’t left because I hate you and want to see you miserable, please don’t think that. I want you to be happy as much as I want that for myself

It's nothing she hasn't said before already this week. However, an astrology app that I use for a little comfort told me this morning 'They're telling themselves stories right now. Listen to them without saying whether you agree or disagree'.

Therefore I left it with 'I appreciate you telling me that'.

The same app, we both use it, and it allows you to add friends and see information about your compatibility, etc. Would just like to make clear, I don't live by what it says, but it can be very comforting in times like this.

It sometimes prompts you to write a message into the app, that the app will choose to serve back later. You can write these short notes to yourself for encouragement, but also to others.

When I'm prompted to write a message to my pwBPD, it usually says 'she wants truth, be honest with them' etc.

I woke up this morning to the following message, served to me by the app:

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'I am here and I love you, appreciate me and I will always be around'

I am 100% certain that this note is from her. I only have a handful of connected friends on the app. The difficulty is knowing when this message was sent, but in my experience it tends to deliver the message within a week.

Although she has been unable to tell me herself, at the moment, this message implies that she is feeling misunderstood, unheard and appreciated. It tallies with what you have said to me, once removed.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2021, 04:09:21 AM »

okay. thats a lot of important detail we can work with, im glad you shared it.

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3 months in, she wrote me a letter saying that she didn't feel that she was right for me, asking how she could ever compare to my ex of 6 years (I was on my own for 8 months after this, and felt ready to give again by the end).

my own relationship was just shy of three years long. she had a boyfriend of i dunno, half a yearish, before we got together. she wouldnt share much at the time, but it ended badly, and i since pieced together that it wasnt even a clean breakup, the guy wasnt even sure they were broken up months after we got together. i kinda swooped in as it was happening.

my ex was also very insecure about my prior exes, one in particular in the early days. i wouldnt say thats a "bpd thing"; ive been pretty insecure myself about a new partners past relationships, and a number of members here have reported feeling insecure about their bpd loved ones past or present relationships. but its certainly not uncommon...people with bpd are inherently insecure, tend to compare themselves negatively to others, and can be especially prone to jealousy. i cant tell you how many texts i got telling me to "go  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) so and so".

i would hardly reduce your 3 year relationship to being a "rebound". i might suggest that you entered the dynamic of what i call an "unresolved previous relationship", and that probably played a bigger role in the relationships early days, if less the latter days, than may be obvious, though the more you look back, the more obvious it may be.

the thing i learned from my own breakup is that there was always more boiling under the surface than i was necessarily privy to. you were with someone who was simultaneously grieving a relationship, and, frankly, it sounds like, trying to bypass that grief. you were also with someone inherently insecure and prone to seeing others as having nefarious motives, and/or to project their own past experiences upon (which we all do, with a filter, to lesser or greater extents). and you were with someone who signaled "more of this please", and that can invoke powerful feelings.

in laymans terms, unbeknownst to you, it was a rocky foundation for a relationship, and its not at all surprising that at three months (roughly the point at which the vast majority of relationships end), some of it boiled to the surface, nor is it surprising that the guy showed his face from time to time. even if she swatted him away like a fly, if you think back, you might see other acting out behaviors occurred around those same times.

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(not so good with money, like to stay up late playing video games).

did she ever object to or raise any of that?

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Compared to her, I believe myself to be more emotionally mature, objective, stable. But I guess that is easy to say about somebody with BPD. She is 2 years older than me, and in some senses I am immature

Upon recognising that she may have some form of depression, a few months into our relationship, I began to buy her some resources to try and help

there are really fine lines when it comes to supporting a loved one with bpd...or depression, or anxiety, or any mental illness, really.

the literature suggests we accept the role of "emotional caretaker" as well as the emotional leader. that generally speaking, we are the healthier party, and/or we should do the work of becoming such.

at the same time, the literature suggests that seeing ourselves as superior (not saying you do) or falling into a "one up" dynamic is a sort of codependency death trap.

bpd involves (if not revolves around) the simultaneous fears of abandonment and engulfment. the fear of abandonment tends to manifest itself in more obvious ways. but our loved ones have a way of presenting the best version of whom they think we want them to be (and again, frankly, we all do, to lesser or greater degrees). the problem is that its not always an accurate reflection of who they are, and they begin to resent themselves for the change, and then, ultimately, us for "making them do it". they can feel, psychologically, as if theyre in bondage. this, likewise, manifests in acting out behaviors.

what does that mean for you?

it means there are fine lines when it comes to supporting your loved one.

a lot of folks have run into some trouble when it comes to encouraging their partner in coping, in goals, in their own learning and/or sharing about the disorder.

think about it. if you had a disorder and someone offered you books or resources, gave a lot of advice, you might begin to sense that they saw it as something that defined you. and you might even rebel against that notion. when that happens, you tend to see conflict over the prescribed roles.

in laymans terms, resist being your loved ones therapist; it puts you in a one up position and them in a one down position, and they can feel that, and they will resent it, and i get the sense that underneath it all, the two of you are fighting over this even now. the role of being an emotional caretaker is a complex one. this article on what it takes to be in a relationship with someone with bpd lays it out well: https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/what-does-it-take-be-relationship

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I probably have been very guilty of putting my feelings across to try and make her see and empathise with them
...
I find it really difficult not to come down to her level when arguing/debating.

we have all been there. im the guy that hates double standards, who initiated or participated in an awful lot of double standards to try and make my ex see where i was coming from.

it can be learned. it will always challenge you. you will never always get it right.

learning not to JADE is the best first place, and youre going to need it especially in the short term: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=280750.0

when we are JADEing, we arent listening with empathy.

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100% - and on the last occasions, I told her that it can't happen again. Now, you see why this time, I had to follow through with my promise that if she is going to walk away, she is walking away and that it is goodbye. I hoped that would be enough for her not to.

i do. the lesson is, if youre going to be prepared to deliver tough love, or ultimatums, or otherwise walk away, be prepared to follow through. if it is primarily to teach your loved one a lesson, you are almost certainly putting yourself in the position of regretting it. that applies to her, too.

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she realises that in order to get me to respond, she'll have to reach out. She tends to do so emotionally/angrily.

that tells you a lot. shes doing that now. what it means, where shes at in terms of the relationship isnt necessarily clear.

its a good idea not to over react, or chase, or be punitive for that matter, when it comes to our loved ones acting out behaviors...just dont get too caught up either way, let them hit baseline.

at the same time, its important to see that sort of thing as about the best she can do in terms of vulnerability, and respond with benevolence. give her an easy in.

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Why are you tweeting about text lines and not making sure that I'm OK?'

shes pretty much doing the same shtick now.

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This time, I made clear that I shared it because I had really benefitted from it, and hoped others (including her specifically) might also. I told her that social media is not real life, and that I had been suffering that week.

this is JADE, and it also may be condescending. if you are telling your loved one that social media is not real life, at the end of the day, you are talking down to them. thats the real distinction when it comes to supporting a loved one with bpd. people with bpd want to be seen for who they are and unconditionally, consistently (read: not without boundaries or consequences) loved. teaching them who or how to be is the death trap.

this is your number one "in", in terms of connecting with her and reconciling the relationship. shes doing the same shtick. change your response. catch her off guard. shes now in a place where she will respond best to benevolence and hearing her. correction or defensiveness will push her away.

Excerpt
So far, this break-up seems to have played out EXACTLY as those short separations have, but more serious and with proper steps taken like actually moving out. The behaviour is currently the same, and I had promised myself not to tolerate that anymore. Yet, it seems she is still asking herself 'Why I don't care?' and trying to provoke responses.

overall, i would agree with this. its hopeful. she is not emotionally done (not the same as being past the point of no return). but her words and actions suggest to me shes at her wits end. the worst case scenario in all of this is that she is done, having a hard time, using old coping mechanisms, and you reinforce that. this is why hearing her, and making her feel heard, is your strongest possible card. if the relationship is on and stays in a downward trajectory, youll just be getting back together in a way that makes the next time more likely to be the end. you dont want her to come back to you out of weakness, or vice versa. you want to attract her based on the premise of a new, very different relationship.

Excerpt
This conversation never happened. She emailed our lettings agency to ask about steps to be removed from the tenancy after 1 day. Their email dropped into my inbox like a divorce settlement, and I text her to explain that I was upset and angered to have had their email without talking with her first.

After this, she seemed to get the impression that I was preventing her from collecting her belongings. What I did say, is that I didn't want her coming in and out after work every night, as and when she pleased, as this would be stressful for me and that - and that having moved out, she owed me some consideration re: getting her stuff.

On this, she began threats such as 'if you don't co-operate I will send my brother round', and later, the police. I knew these were empty threats, and reinforced the fact that she was very welcome to collect her belongings and that I wasn't standing in the way. She called me 'disgusting' and said 'it proved she had made the correct decision'.

this is an escalation and furtherance of the conflict, on both ends. primarily, do not react to every acting out behavior she makes; the situation does not call for that. their letter, i assume, is just standard procedure. at the same time, her effort might have been just her trying to get your attention. in that situation, it might make sense to say you received a letter from the lettings agency, and asking if you can get together (in whatever setting) to talk about it. be careful in any of that not to send the signal that youre cool with all this, its what you want, which is probably how she took it and why she escalated. for example, on some level, she may have wanted you to beg and plead and profess your love, which as ive stressed and cannot stress enough, would not necessarily be the right move where a cool and calm "hey, i got this, whats up, what do you want to do" might be.

Excerpt
I don't want to talk about this, we're going in circles' (instead of getting to the bottom of the issue at hand, usually small)

i usually heard that i was silencing her and she was "allowed" to ask questions  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
This is what I would say she means when she talks about my inaction
...
I feel now that my heat of the moment 'get your things and F off' was actually what I wanted to say in November, but couldn't.

i think youre dead on, and have a good read on it. she said some deeply hurtful  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) and you pulled back. the same happened to my ex and me. id encourage you to think hard on this. it sounds like there was an extended period of growing apart. there was a time where the resentment on both ends boiled to the surface (it was not simply about this time) and you pulled away from each other. how much of it is what you really wanted, but are struggling with the reality of? in all of this, you want to reach a point where you are sure that there is a solid "going foward", "new version", very different relationship path, vs both of you coping with the finality and the loss.
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2021, 04:23:33 AM »

Excerpt
Thoughts?

my overall assessment is  Paragraph header (click to insert in post)

you dont want to invest in false hope or reading what she is communicating in a self serving way and lose sight of whats really at stake here.

what is clear is that shes not emotionally done.

what that means is not clear.

thats the good news and the bad news.

when someone is reverting to the same shtick, it means they arent emotionally done...there are lingering feelings, whatever that means, even if theyre primarily of resentment (its better than nothing). as ive said, that doesnt mean youre past the point of no return (while it doesnt sound like shes emotionally done, she is using stark, black and white, past tense, grieving language). it could mean that shes having a hard time and inappropriately leaning on you as a coping mechanism. and it could also mean that shes screaming, louder than ever, to be heard. it could even be both.

the point, i think, is not to search for signs that shes regretting her decision and secretly wants you back. it sounds to me that shes as close to done as she has ever been, regardless of if she professes her love and wants to come back within the next hour. youre looking for hope, and it exists, but reconciling, and not just reconciling but on any kind of sustainable basis, are going to come as a result of you showing her that a new, more attractive version of you and the relationship are possible.

these things, and if she sent the message the app sent, scream of begging to be heard:

Excerpt
'I deleted you as you didn't seem to want to be in touch'
'What I wanted was some closure'
'You know it's difficult for me to feel ignored, even if I made the decision to walk away'
'If there's nothing left to say, let's say goodbye'

how did you respond?
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 06:00:42 AM »

Excerpt
i would hardly reduce your 3 year relationship to being a "rebound". i might suggest that you entered the dynamic of what i call an "unresolved previous relationship", and that probably played a bigger role in the relationships early days, if less the latter days, than may be obvious, though the more you look back, the more obvious it may be.

I would agree that there is a lot of unresolved heartbreak in her life.

Excerpt
did she ever object to or raise any of that?

Staying up late - she would have preferred for us to retire to bed at the same time I think. But also important for me to have my own space, and have always been a night owl whereas she gets tired, so I felt this was the best time.

Money - potential conflict of life goals, as she desires to buy a house whereas I'm only in the position to rent. I have debts that are not insurmountable by any means. I recently, after promising to address it for so long, sat down with her and we made a budget for me to get in a better position.

Excerpt
at the same time, the literature suggests that seeing ourselves as superior (not saying you do) or falling into a "one up" dynamic is a sort of codependency death trap.

I think I've fallen down here, even as recently as last week, by trying to point out that I've done everything in my power to help her get better - considering myself to be the superior one perhaps.

I'm starting to understand now, for all the times I have tried to explain out of a situation, re-assurance and a hug would have been a much better option for me.

It is very easy to see the social media act-outs for what they are, and while they have hurt, to be able to see this does allow me to detach slightly and understand that they have zero reflection on me. To have had this insight during moments of emotion during arguments in the past, would have been a big help.

Excerpt
give her an easy in.

change your response. catch her off guard. shes now in a place where she will respond best to benevolence and hearing her.

Do you have any further examples that may help my specific case, now that you have some further details?

Excerpt
you dont want her to come back to you out of weakness, or vice versa. you want to attract her based on the premise of a new, very different relationship.

100% this. Things have repeated an unsustainable pattern for so long, and this does strike as our first real chance to do something different about it.

Any further examples of methods to attract in this scenario would be appreciated, especially as I firstly thought NC for a period would help us gain some clarity, perhaps make her realise she missed me. I'm seeing a different side to this too, that any ignorance or her not feeling heard, which NC may worsen, may not be the way to go.

Excerpt
how did you respond?

'Don't ignore me, I have BPD'

I apologised for not responding to her previous message, that I was not ignoring her and thought she would appreciate her space.

Then, 'to be clear, there are mixed messages coming from you re: this article vs. deleting me from social media. Please be clear'

'I deleted you as you didn't seem to want to be in touch'

'If I had thought it would be easier, I'd have done that myself. It looks like you are trying to cut me from your life'

'What I wanted was some closure, rather than a letter and no response to my reply. You knew the letter would upset me.'

'The letter wasn't written to upset you. Often when we argue, I get so mixed up it was the only way I felt I had left to be heard. Wasn't sure how to reply to your interpretation of the letter so thought it best not to, as there weren't really any questions for me to answer'.

'I'd have preferred you to acknowledge it and let me know you needed to be out of contact with me. You know it's difficult for me to feel ignored, even if I made the decision to walk away. I didn't do it to hurt you'.

Of course I'm hurting right now, you've walked away. I haven't said I don't want contact, but you walking away and removing me from social media leave me feeling it's you who doesn't want contact with me. Why would you want contact with someone you don't love anymore?'

'I don't think I interpreted it wrong, I got the feeling it was all rosy and romanticised and made me feel really sad we were no longer that version of us. I just wanted closure, rather than to be ignored. If there's nothing left to say, let's say goodbye'.

'Agree to disagree'.

Then after the message regarding bank accounts, was the decision to send the message that I cared for her, regardless of what has happened, and her reply to that and potential message via the app is where we are now.
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 06:18:09 AM »

An additional thought. I think I have come at this for a LONG time from the perspective of: 'I understand her better than anyone, why can't she see it?'

But I think I'm starting to realise 'I might never understand her, but that's also OK'.
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2021, 12:34:03 PM »

Excerpt
how much of it is what you really wanted, but are struggling with the reality of? in all of this, you want to reach a point where you are sure that there is a solid "going foward", "new version", very different relationship path, vs both of you coping with the finality and the loss.

I have had a dreadful afternoon. I think the realisation has hit me, very hard and square in the face, that to 'let her walk' is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have been crying for 3 hours.

I want a relationship with this girl, more than anything I've ever wanted. I truly believe we both have a lot of love to offer one another, but as we have been uncovering, there are ways I can now see that I could have acted differently in order to support her better.

Yet, I accepted in its current state, things could not continue.

I am now stuck in a very hard place, between wondering if I've made the biggest mistake of my life, wishing I'd known about this forum and its teachings sooner, and knowing that I've TRIED, with an endless supply of love.

Please help me.
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2021, 02:45:03 PM »

Excerpt
I am now stuck in a very hard place, between wondering if I've made the biggest mistake of my life, wishing I'd known about this forum and its teachings sooner, and knowing that I've TRIED, with an endless supply of love.

i dont see any signs of fatal mistakes that dealt the relationship a death blow. you did the best you could with what you knew at the time, and youre doing so now.

i also dont see signs that any of the issues between the two of you are fatal. there dont seem to be, for example, major values clashes, which are one of the more difficult things to overcome.

that gives you better odds at getting on a better trajectory should you reconcile.

Excerpt
Do you have any further examples that may help my specific case, now that you have some further details?

its hypothetical, so all of the same general advice still applies. there are going to be chances and opportunities to listen, and to make her feel heard. it remains the best card you can play. i know it doesnt always work this way, but if you have an opportunity to post contact from her before you reply, we can help craft a response(s).

in general, i would say dont defend/over explain your actions when shes confrontational like that.

shes kind of trying to force some sort of conversation. it might help to just say something like "what do you want to say? im listening." (personalize it, in the wrong context that could sound dismissive). give her the opportunity to say whatever it is she wants. i would tend to suggest not only not arguing, but not really stating your case or giving your version at all; rather, saying something to indicate you want to take some time to take it in and think it over, and bringing it back here.

its still probably best to let her initiate conversation unless theres a need. shes complaining about no contact, but thats more about her struggling. if you start initiating conversation, it will be awkward, forced, she wont know what to say, she may be distant, it will just suck.

Excerpt
I have been crying for 3 hours.

hang in there  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) . nothing has fundamentally changed.

to be clear, she knows you dont want to break up, right?
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2021, 03:42:52 PM »

Today's really taken it out of me. I tried to go to the supermarket for some food but the idea of buying and cooking for one overwhelmed me. I got into the car, started to drive home, began screaming and crying and had the first panic attack of my life.

I have also just seen on her IG stories that she has taken the ltd. edition Scrabble board she bought me for Christmas at the end of our first year. It belongs to me and I'm very upset.

It's something I would like back, she should not have taken it.

Excerpt
to be clear, she knows you dont want to break up, right?

She knows I have never wanted to, but this time I called her bluff. She moved out and we're currently in stalemate.

By all accounts she's still playing this game of hers, and it's tearing me to pieces.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 03:57:32 PM by desertsession » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2021, 04:30:42 PM »

let yourself feel it all, but dont let it lead you to act.

It's something I would like back, she should not have taken it.

dont act on this either, right now. it may have been in anger or to get your attention.

in fact, i would also stay very, very far away from her social media for the time being. literally anything you see will make you feel worse.
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2021, 05:03:58 PM »

I won't act. I fully agree it's been taken to get my attention.

Why should I let somebody treat me like this? I'm a caring, considerate, giving person.

There is currently an imposter in my ex's body, doing everything she can to taint my memory of her.
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« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2021, 03:41:50 AM »

Excerpt
The Scrabble board meant a lot to me - I will always be very appreciative of the gifts you bought for me.

An appropriate text to mention the gift? I am trying to act on the basis that I can’t force anybody to walk through a door, but I can open doors. This message opens 2 doors, to do the right thing or the wrong thing, without already piling on the guilt, and invites her to think about the decision she made.

Equally, I’m still angry about this and believe I could/should be being firmer about what is and not acceptable. But I guess this comes down to ‘let them fall’?
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« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2021, 11:31:16 AM »

Today's update:

Excerpt
Why have you blocked me on everything?

It's a really **** time for both of us right now and taking the time to think is important. I haven't blocked you, i'm just taking a breather from it all.

Excerpt
Ok, sorry.

It would be our 3 year anniversary tomorrow.
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« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2021, 04:24:44 AM »

Anniversary today. She's already posted to IG one of our songs - again likely for a reaction but at least it's a positive post instead of the negative ones.

Any tips to get through today? What/not to do?
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« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2021, 07:37:34 AM »

Equally, I’m still angry about this and believe I could/should be being firmer about what is and not acceptable. But I guess this comes down to ‘let them fall’?

save it. you dont (i assume) need the scrabble board any time soon. that was done in a moment of hurt/pettiness/anger. let it die down, youll get it back.

Excerpt
Why have you blocked me on everything?

It's a really **** time for both of us right now and taking the time to think is important. I haven't blocked you, i'm just taking a breather from it all.

what actually happened here? why does she think you blocked her?

Excerpt
Any tips to get through today? What/not to do?

within reason, id put a kabosh on talking much if at all about how im feeling, and personally i try to stay far away from social media when im in a situation like this.
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2021, 09:12:25 AM »

I've temporarily disabled my social media accounts, just to stay away from it. She's since not really posted anything that could be classed as aimed at me.

I think we will both feel sad not to hear from the other today but that it's probably for the best.
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