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Author Topic: Ending a relationship  (Read 696 times)
livednlearned
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2022, 12:59:14 PM »

I’m still fairly new to all of this so I didn’t know what fear of engulfment was, but after reading about it I can assure you I’ve never felt that from her.

If she experiences fear of engulfment, it wouldn't be with you. Yet.

Not until you were fully available and pursuing a real relationship. The appeal of an affair is that neither of you are available. The guardrails to real intimacy are in place. Remove a guardrail and that's when fear of engulfment would build.

I’mShe does make comments about how she just wants her husband to leave her alone sometimes and not smother her, so she may be feeling that from him.

This would likely happen to anyone occupying the role of primary relationship.

You cannot engulf her because you're the outsider.

You could very well be right about how I stabilize her marriage - certainly I give her things that her husband does not, like attention, compliments, excitement, etc

She may be getting these things from him. Many pwBPD (and many of us from dysfunctional families of origin) triangulate others in order to stabilize relationships. Telling you what she doesn't get from her husband sets you up to be the guy who rescues her. If you're codependent, you'll find it intoxicating to be her white knight. This dynamic is captured in the Karpmann drama triangle.

That’s probably what will eventually happen to be honest but it’s so hard to let go.

Given what you're shared here, it sounds like having a third leg on the stool (affair partner) is part of the way she copes with her BPD symptoms. Being with her probably also means accepting that there is a good chance she will set this dynamic up again. If she did leave her husband, which assumes you are getting an accurate portrayal of what actually goes on in her marriage.

I'll give you an example of how distorted reality can be for someone with BPD.

I have two adult stepdaughters. One is 28 (not BPD). One is 25 (BPD).

My husband and SD28 (not BPD) had a big argument when she moved in with us during grad school.

SD25 (BPD) was also living with us for the summer between semesters at college.

After the argument, H left the house to cool his jets. SD28 (not BPD) left to do the same.

SD25 (BPD) came out of her room and called her BPD mom. I was in my home office and she didn't realize I was there. She told her mom everything that happened between H and SD28 (not BPD) except in her retelling of the story, this all happened to SD25 (BPD).

Meaning, SD25 (BPD) either recognized that the argument was between her sister and her dad, and lied (to get sympathy). Or, she genuinely believed (felt) the argument happened to her.

Both are possible with someone suffering from BPD.

Everything that happened in our home was shared with BPD mom, and of the things I overheard, much of it was either not true or deeply distorted. SD25 lived in a different reality than the one the rest of us occupied in the home.

Some examples:

SD25 to BPD mom: They make me cook meals for them.
Us to SD25: If you want to learn how to cook let's show you how.

SD25 to BPD mom: They never include me.
Us to SD25: We're going out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

SD25 to BPD mom: Dad told me I'm immature.
H to SD25: Here are some things I think are helpful to know as you become an independent adult.

Does that make sense?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 02:59:48 PM by livednlearned » Logged

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kells76
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2022, 04:01:33 PM »

Excerpt
this is about what you are trying to get that you don't have, but want, and whether this path will realistically lead you there, knowing what you know

Excerpt
Being with her probably also means accepting that there is a good chance she will set this dynamic up again. If she did leave her husband, which assumes you are getting an accurate portrayal of what actually goes on in her marriage.

Stepping in again, first to say Hello and we're glad you're finding this space helpful to work through your thoughts and feelings.

Secondly to highlight what LnL said.

I hear you mentioning that sometimes you just want to run away with her

There's a way you would want that to go. What is it? What would you want or hope to happen? Might be helpful to spell it out here. I wonder if part of what you want/seek is something like "We would be committed to each other and only each other" -- let me know if that is off base.

And then it may be really important to ask yourself:

(a) Do I really think that being with her, that what I want or hope for would happen?

and

(b) Why do I tacitly think that she would never do to me what she is doing to her husband?

(b) is a really important question and it might be critical to discuss consciously and out in the open.

I wonder if you can articulate some beliefs or perceptions about yourself, that might contribute to the thought that -- "it would be different for us" or "once we're together, it'll be just the two of us [forever]"

While I don't have personal experience with affairs, I think I can safely say that it is a cognitive distortion to believe that someone who has an affair against someone else, with you, would never have an affair against you, with someone else.

Lots of food for thought -- again, I think I'm reading you right that you're up for some "straight talk", so keep us posted if you have different needs.
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DallasCowboy

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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2022, 06:56:42 PM »

Thank you both for this!

Our relationship has been very much a “live in the moment” type of relationship where we just try to make each other happy each day. We both know that we can’t be together for real anytime soon, which is hard for both of us, so we just try to make the most of it. But obviously things go off the rails quite a bit, which makes me question why I’m doing this in the first place. Many days it’s clear that my life will be worse without her in it, but then when things are bad, all I want to do is get out and have some serenity in my life.

Sure, she could cheat on me if we ever had a real relationship in the future, but I’m not even thinking about that right now. I just want to take this one day at a time and make the most out of what we have, without losing my mind.

I’m not looking for anyone to to tell me “here’s what you have to do here”, but all the feedback I’ve received so far has been a huge help and I really appreciate it!

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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2022, 08:26:22 PM »

I hear you mentioning that sometimes you just want to run away with her.

Is this reality?

Knowing already that she has real issues, consider what may happen...
  • Does her husband know?
  • Do her children know?
  • Does your soon-to-be-ex know?
  • Do your children know?
  • Is there anyone this affair is fair to?

It has been noted here that after a failed relationship or marriage, especially one with a acting-out behaviors such as NPD or BPD, it is not wise to jump quickly into another relationship.  Yes, your marriage is ending, though evidently not due to dysfunctional PD issues.  The principle still applies, the word for it is a rebound relationship.  Even with the best intentions, they often fail too.

You need to allow yourself time to recover from your current relationship even if it wasn't a dysfunctional PD one.  However, your marriage isn't even over yet and here you are mired in a really problematic... Karpman triangle, probably more.
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Manic Miner

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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2022, 03:11:48 AM »

It has been noted here that after a failed relationship or marriage, especially one with a acting-out behaviors such as NPD or BPD, it is not wise to jump quickly into another relationship.  Yes, your marriage is ending, though evidently not due to dysfunctional PD issues.  The principle still applies, the word for it is a rebound relationship.  Even with the best intentions, they often fail too.

You need to allow yourself time to recover from your current relationship even if it wasn't a dysfunctional PD one.  However, your marriage isn't even over yet and here you are mired in a really problematic... Karpman triangle, probably more.

Is there some article about that, to read further?

I do know what you are pointing at, to decompress and restart normal activities, thoughts to form and flow, wounds to heal.

But I was like, if I find a girl and we notice that we match together on a lot of activities, have much in common and like each other, why should I stop that from progressing? I mean, I could recognize a bpd/npd behavior from space now. All phases. I'm not the person that falls in love and loses himself in someone else. Never was.

Make no mistake, I have no affairs, but I was thinking about it a lot and daydreaming if my marriage falls apart and we separate. Could be that I'm missing the point. That's why I asked here about post-breakup articles.
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kells76
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2022, 09:26:02 AM »

Excerpt
Is there some article about that, to read further?

Manic Miner, and others tracking with this thread, you can start here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=69783.0

and see what you think about that workshop on "When are we ready to start a new relationship?"
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livednlearned
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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2022, 02:07:57 PM »

obviously things go off the rails quite a bit, which makes me question why I’m doing this in the first place.

That's a great question. It's probably the most important one to ask and the hardest to answer, but worth its weight in gold if you can drill down and figure out what's going on!
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