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Author Topic: Being Committed - What does it mean about us?  (Read 13841 times)
been there
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« on: April 03, 2006, 10:15:19 PM »

Just a few thoughts that have been going through my head lately.

Being committed, is not just to making a relationship work, but more about the people involved in the relationship.

I honestly believe that first and foremost, we need to be committed to ourselves. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. Making sure we are taking care of ourselves in body, mind, and spirit. This is necessary, it may involve some type of counseling and maybe some time alone to honestly look at our lives, it involves eating right and getting exercise, you get my point.

Secondly, if there are children involved, they are to be taken care of, regardless of anything else.

Third, is being committed to our loved one, This commitment is some what conditional, as they must be committed to themselves and to getting well(recovery). Personally, after Tina started therapy and working on her BPD, I was committed to walk along side and support when needed, but it was her walk that she needed to do herself for herself.

Finally is the relationship. IMO, all aspects need to be in place for a normal, healthy, and happy relationship. After all a relationship is 50/50.

Mark
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 10:30:59 AM »

I agree with you Mark and since you are coming from a much better place than I right now, I wanted to keep this bumped up too.

This is the area that is causing me difficulty right now, trying to work on myself, protect the kids and support my husband and his recovery... .it is exhausting... .

My spirit has taken quite an emotional beating in the past couple of years and I have spent almost 20 years living life for my kids, since most of those years I was a single parent and even with my current spouse to some degree I still am a single parent.  But, I am working on self-affirmation, doing therapy once a week, reading, drawing doing what I can to turn my focus to more productive things.  I am setting boundaries when it comes to the kids and rages... .and trying to make sure he knows that I care and am supportive of him and appreciative of the efforts he is making.

It is hard work on all involved... .but, I'll keep trying... .giving 100% to my 50% of the relationship... .
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 05:32:56 PM »

I must take care of myself, and only observe my spouse - as she rises & falls & whips around & changes direction - not unlike a open helium balloon when you let it go from your fingers.

Or like a chicken with their head cut off.  As a boy growing up on a farm, I witnessed (and was the executioner - sorry... .) of many roosters, when their time had come.  They would run headless and haphazardly around the barnyard, bumping into whatever was in front of them. 

And yes, leaving a stain of blood on whatever they hit.  Not unlike our BP's.

But when they came running straight at me, I was the most scared.

I am committed to have a satisfying life, with - or without - my spouse.  And I am committed to her as well... .but not the "blinded by love" committment I had from the beginning... .moreover the "educated by experience" committment I've had more recently.

Because our closest can hurt us the most.  Because their opinion of us, from those who are close to us, matters the most.

To be committed to my spouse unconditionally, yet protective of myself.  To preserve my self-worth, confidence, and pride.  And not let anyone ---- particularly my closest love, tear it down. Especially with spontaneous angry, critical words - which the spewer will most likely forget minutes later.

For even tho' they forget the verbal damage they have spewn - to those of us ill-prepared, can be carried by us for years.  We have to shield ourselves - practice & uphold our personal boundaries.

We are worth it.

Well said, "been there".




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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 09:42:14 PM »

I agree wholeheartedly with all Been There said. . .

I don't know if there is anything more to add.

It's all part of my Buddhist beliefs in general.  One must first and foremost be committed to themselves as Mark says.  You can't be a centeral, emotional healthy, nurturing parent, if you aren't a centered, emotionally healthy, nurturing adult.  You can be a centered, emotionally healthy, nurturing spouse, if you aren't either.

If you compromise your own emotional health you cross into enmeshment.  You become part of the problem, not a strong, empathetic support to help someone overcome their own problems.

And I thinks there is a lot to the idea of truly owning your own emotional health. 

I think the best we can be is our spouse's biggest cheerleaders.  We don't have the power to help them outright.  They have to want to help themselves.
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John Galt
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 08:18:38 AM »

Mark,

Obviously I agree.

I do wish to stress that we should take care of ourself IN a selfish way.

Selfishness is a virtue,and we take care of ourselves first, only then can we help others.

Like in an airplane,they tell you to put on your mask first in case of an emergengy,then your kids masks,right?

Same thing.

If we do not committ to ourselves first ,how can we ask for anyone else to committ to us,

Marc
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 12:11:33 PM »

I'm having a problem with this whole committment thing... .how do you stay committed and take care of yourself at the same time and stay in the relationship when the BP is so demanding.

and blaming

and goes between one day saying "I'll do anything to make this work" to

" You are making me the submissive one, you are calling the shots and you are holding all the boundaries and we can't do it until you meet me half way" 

Half way, i've been meeting her MORE than half way for a long time... .9 years to be exact and there have been some changes, small changes, but some... .which have played a part in my decision to keep working on it... .

but working on it seems to never be enough. she always asks more and more from me... .

so it sounds like you all are doing a good job of taking care of yourselves. I'm trying hard to do that but when I do what I feel like is really taking care of me, she says that I'm putting up walls, backing off, not being compassionate... .

what gives here how do you stay committed in the face of this BP behavior how do you keep yourself sane and centered.
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 11:09:43 AM »

Izzy, please reread what Mark has written... . 

He's not saying that you must stay "committed" no matter what.  In fact, he wrote:

Excerpt
  Third, is beimg committed to our loved one, This committment is some what conditional, as they must be committed to themselves and to getting well(recovery). Personally, after Tina started therapy and working on her BPD, I was committed to walk along side and support when needed, but it was her walk that she needed to do herself for herself.



The people here who are "successfully committed", meaning that their relationship is reasonable, not full of push/pull, back and forths, and abuse, all came to a fork in the road:  They were prepared to walk away unless the person got into and stuck with long-term, effective treatment.  They decided that the chaos that they lived in had to end one way or another.

To Mark and to many others, commitment isn't unconditional... .  If the lousy behavior and the abuse continues, the non finds the strength to walk away, no matter how much the non "loves" the BPD person, taking care of any children caught in the crossfire. 

There is nothing strong or good about staying in a lousy relationship with someone mentally ill.  If the other person doesn't get his or her act together, long-term, with effective therapists that they stick with, you must find the strength to leave... .  No matter how much you "love" the other person.  Many people here came to that fork in the road (like me), and their partner refused to get into effective long term treatment, continued to blame, and/or left effective treatment, stopped taking meds, etc.

It is a very difficult thing to leave a long-term committed relationship, but if the other person continues to be difficult and abusive and simply won't get into and stick with effective help, you have no other choice.  Unless you enjoy chaos and misery.  And, remember, Izzy, that words are just that... .  words.  If the person claims that they are working, getting help, have been in therapy for 10 years, whatever, and the abuse and blaming continues, they are NOT recovering. 
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 11:28:05 AM »

Thanks for the follow-up Joanna... .I see what you and the other posters were trying to say. I wrote my reply on Sat. when I was very angry at xBPD and angry at myself for not being able to figure all of this out, getting pulled back in, not taking care of myself and for being in something that is so difficult and heart wrenching... .not to mention mad that it was the weekend and there I was in pain and frustrated again... .not able to do the fun things we all like to do on the weekends... .

I'm so confused about the committment thing and how to balance my own needs in a "50/50" relationship... .when to stop at my 50%, how to deal with the rage that comes from her when I am trying so hard to stand strong in my own boundaries(which become ultimatums and really ugly things to xBPD).

one question to all of you is how do you stay centered/take care of yourself in the wake of upheaval and turmoil? How do you come away from a raging fit by BPD partner and not feel a million negative things... .for me, I can't hide it... .it effects me at work, at home, with friends, my throat tightens and hurts... .

livinginchaos, I also practice buddhism and this really pushes being able to sit in the moment and not react or get caught up in it all...

I'm seeing a T tomorrow and hope to begin working on really identifying my boundaries, what makes me want to fudge on them and how to stand stronger in my 50%... .

thanks to all of you for your help and support. I really need it and I know many others do too! Esp. from you seasoned veterans at all this BPD stuff. I was reading back through my journals last night and even though I knew about 3 years ago that GF might have BPD, I didn't really "get it" or accept it until I started sharing and seeing what others are going through... .
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 11:24:01 AM »

izzymae,

I fully understand what you are going through as I think I am having the same problems. It affects me at work and with other people too, I look at "normal" couples and wish I was one of them. The only thing I can offer you is to try to remember that this is not a logical person you are dealing with. You won't win an argument, and even if you do it will be thrown back in your face the next time.

I know how you feel, I often feel as if I hate my uBPDw because she has hurt me so much, and then I feel even worse when I think that she will do it again.

Above all, I have 2 lovely daughters and I know that I have to be strong and look after myself so that I can look after them.

R
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 12:28:16 PM »

hey LOL... .good advice

I have to keep remembering that this is not a logical person I'm dealing with. I am very logical and it is maddening to not be able to "figure this out"... .and now I understand that I should just quit trying to figure this out... .

I too look at "normal" couples and wish I had that too... .want that more than anything... .and sometimes when I'm at parties with friends and I'm the only solo one there, I feel like a failure... .why can't I make this relationship that I really wanted work? know what I mean? why can't it be simple and good and loving and ... .but I am beginning to understand all the reasons why... .and accepting that ... .slow small steps... .but I have to take care of myself first and foremost... .otherwise I'll be no good to anyone or anything in this lifetime! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2006, 12:05:31 PM »

Hi Izzymae

I thought I was the only one who has gone through frequent break-ups with the same person. Only difference is I was the one to do the break-up, not him. He just took off "because XYZ wasn't working out here" - you know, the victim of circumstance thing? Things would settle down, plans would be made then poof!, he would change the plan then tell me "well, we talked about it, I thought it was ok with you, why are you changing your mind now?" Argghh, maddening! We have broken up 3 times in 9 years. One time we were apart for 1 year, but he remembers it as he was just "somewhere else working". He moved back with him Mom twice to save her from his step father.

This time we broke up because of his infidelity. Pretty much the final straw for me. I haven't quite wrapped my head around the idea that it is over, somewhere inside i am still hanging onto something.

The grief group is a good idea! I just joined one and it has been helpful already. It is helping me say goodbye to *old* hurts from my past, I feel it will help me move forward and say goodbye either to the pain of the last 9 years and let go of him and our marriage for good or start over with him... .although starting over... .well, I don't know... .

I have read couples who come back from infidelity can be stronger than when they went into the marriage. Read books on it. But as with anything else, both partners have to be commited to serious change in themselves.

Ahh, ambivalence.

Thanks for this thread and your post, izzy. It helped me feel less alone in this mess.

Vic
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2006, 04:17:47 PM »

I am a newbie there myself, and the support and information has been great. Everyone here has been supportive and honest with me about my situation. My BPDh attempted to guilt me away from my friends as well  - "they use you, they are freaks, I don't want them in my house", but I stood my ground and kept them as friends anyway. I never went out with them, however, as he would make such a stink about me going somewhere when "he had to stay home, what was he supposed to do?" that I stopped going out with them. Once I started he would call and call, when I got there, where I was, when I was coming home. Until of course his affair and then I was allowed to do anything at anytime and whatever have fun, why aren't you going, etc.

I feel two people should discuss what thier boundaries are in a healthy way about anything... .friends, places to live, how many kids to have, how to raise kids, how to spend money... .or it isn't a partnership.

You don't deserve to be disrespected. No one does.

And yes, I too felt the same... .from anger to pity to love. I still feel those things even though he is gone and I am trying to decide my future.

You are not alone!

Vic
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 02:58:36 PM »

Mark:

I think you basically have a good beam on commitment.   Re: selfish?   Selfish is having no regard whatsoever  for others... .I like your take on selfish which is by taking care of our needs first we are then better able to direct our attention to others.   

Reading through quickly some of the posts I see and almost feel the exhaustion, because I know and have felt the exhaustion too of living with a person with a fragmented self... .i.e. Borderline Personality Disorder.   Although my wife is in subtsance recovery she has shown little interest in obtaining individual counseling.  Lurking deep down in her subconscious something there is accutely vigilant defending her from any introspection that cousneling might reveal about herself; that looking at herself  will be too much for her to take.   So her subconscious completely blocks out any cognitive confrontation with herself... .too fightening too scary.   Substance recovery by itself is an awful lot to ask from her, however she's doing well.   

The extreme, violent and bizzare behavior has quieted, but the fragmented self is still a prevalent feature. Two years into recovery and its still far from mended.   She exhibits every aspect of BPD outside of the violence.  It can be exhausting if I try take control or to carry her emotionally.  That is my Codependence.   However, I feel and recognize when I cannot carry the emotional or family repsonsibility load now and take the time to take care of myself.   

Having been in and learning about recovery of many sorts over these last four years I wonder how many of us were ACOA (adult chidlren of alcoholics or otherwise dysfunctional familes) and were "destined" by the very character flaws within us to be drawn into relationships with ill seriously persons such as BPs.   I did not know what a healthy relationship should be and still struggle with concept because it is alien to me.  This I attribute to my having been raised by a schizoid personality disorder mother... .dissociative fantasies and the whole works, and an abandonning father.   I knew nothing about how  a relationship should work or what it should be like.   So when I entered my relationship with my wife it was whirlwind wild and fantasitic, but the whirlwind part didn't stop... .it transformed in time from infatuated excitment to chaos, anger and destruction.    I was destined to be captured by such as person.  I had no choice in the matter.   Normal people made me uncomfortable.   

So now close to 30 years later I am learning to take care of myself, learning to know  and set boudaries, learning my weaknesses as an ACOA and a recovering alcoholic.   And you know... .you'd think that I'd feel cheated.   Angry that so much time had to pass before I could learn about life.  But I'm not.  I'm elated and joyous that finally I am free.   

One of the biggest helps to me in my recovery and in dealing with my BP wife of almost 30 years  is knowledge and professional counseling about the BP and how it works and will continue to play a part in our lives and our interaction.  But this knowledge and couseling  provides me with the tools I need to be able to properly and happily live  with the circumstances.   Not that circumstances are always easy... .they are quite simply not.   But its also not chaos all the time like it had been for many many years.   

So here I am.  Having run the gautlet, now learning and living life with a completely different perspective.

And I'm happy.

Pete
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 02:06:35 PM »

Broken:

I understand what you are going through.   You must take care of yourself, which means at this time continuing counseling and keeping your distance from a potentially dangerous situation.     Both my wife and I are in alcohol recovery at the present  time... .me for 4 years and my wife for two.   Those two years before she started recovery were the worst.   She was violent, self destructive, irrational, and fearful.   She is about half my size but I was afraid to go to sleep.   There were times she attacked me at night while I was sleeping.   She was/is classic BPD and its difficult at times to be committed to a relationship with her even while she is not abusing drugs or alcohol.   It was impossible to maintain a committment and relationship with her while she was actively abusing. While substances are being  abused, the BPD is magnified and the dangerous behavior multiplied by a large factor.   

Nothing positive will happen as long as he continues abusing alcohol.  And a bit of advice, it would be good for you to stay clear of substance use also.   You'll need a clear head to deal with the situation.   Even though you've moved out doesn't mean you are necessarily safe or free of him.  So be careful.

In my experience my wife had me terrified, and I'm a a big and strong man while my wife was less than half my weight.   One night while I was dead asleep she hit me with one of those very long  metal    Mag flashlights in the face. She accussed me of having had an affair with someone in my AA group.   My lip bled and I didn't know what hit me having been alseep.  I was in pain and confused.  I turned the on the light next to the bed, and there she was standing along side the bed with the flashlight in hand and her arm ___ed to throw it at me as hard as she could, she had a crazed look in her eye, and was yelling and cursing at me at the top of her lungs.  She made so much noise that she woke our  youngest daughter who came in to find me sitting in bed with my lip bleeding and her mother poised to attack.   

Both of us were able to settle my wife down and get her to go to sleep.   I couldn't sleep again.  I went out on the couch the rest of the night and everytime I began to nod off I forced myself awake because I was afraid she'd attack me again.  This was only one of many times I felt afraid to sleep.   I was always afraid she'd geta  knife.   Her behavior became very bizzare,  self destructive and violent.   When I'd leave the house to go to my AA meetings she'd beg and cry hysterically for me not to leave.  Sometimes she'd become frantic, other times she's throw a temper fit yelling ans screaming at me that I was always leaving her, or that I had a girlfriend in AA and all kinds of wild accusations. 

NO PROGRESS CAN BE MADE AT ALL WHILE A PERSON IS STILL ABUSING DRUGS OR DRINKING ALCOHOLICALLY.   This is an axiom.  So until your boyfriend gets serious and gets help for his drinking, you might as well forget any notion of his becoming a better person.  It simply won't happen. Actually he'll continue to get worse.  On the other hand if he does get alcohol recovery (I tried AA and it worked for me these past 4 years) and is serious about work through his recovery program, then there might be a chance that he might calm down like my wife did. You are probably right that he has a personality disorder, but diagnosis is difficult and psychiatrists will not conduct one (at least a psychiatrist that is worth anything) while the alcoholism is still active.  The reason for this is that often alcoholic behavior manifests itself exactly as BPD.  If the alcohol is gone and the behavior persists there's a good chance that a personality disorder is involved.   

To a great extent 12 step recovery can address/mollify personality disorders.   This has been the case with my wife.   One step at a time.

Pete



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WWW
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 07:45:58 AM »

i understand the commitment part i put in 4 years of understanding, trips to the therapist ,, bit my lip an awful lot to the point of i stopped being me... .

i had to detach from friend family

i had to learn to discuss and not be pissed from her antics

i had to change the way i talked and listen

i changed me... .

and after 4 years she changed nothing... .more pills and arsenal of pills from the pscych... .

so i think you have to reach a point when you look in the mirror and say what has happened to me... .im basically in love with her but who am i?

am i her guidance councilor

am i her lover

and can i do this forever while life passes me by and she feels comfortable with this... .im upset cautious , guarded,

and her lfe is happy... .?


you have to think

i made my choices

tonyc
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2007, 09:53:37 AM »

Hi-

I've only posted once or twice but was struck by a few things which apply to me bigtime.

Cam from Chaos mentions that we partners of BPs may have a tendancy to attract needy types.  I'm in my second problematic marriage, and it's become clear to me that I DO attract needy, broken partners.  My T suggests it's because they can quickly see that I am willing to nurture them; I wonder if more importantly, they can see that i am willing to sacrifice myself for them.

My BP has cut us off from my relatives completely, and from almost all of hers.  The few activities I am allowed are individual pursuits or things that are only attrcative to men; no treat of meeting someone in the course of pursuing my interests.

I believed everything she told me, and am only now starting to build a positive self image.  Doing so is enabling me to ignore some of the threats and screaming.  I think she senses something as well; her behavior toward me has altered slightly.
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2007, 02:45:11 PM »

I'm so glad to see this post still up here...


Washto, just one general comment about your post:  Yep, you may be attractive to someone like your wife, but there is also something about her that you are attracted to.  So what do you see in someone who is needy and broken?  I hope this is something that you are also discussing with your therapist.

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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2007, 12:13:01 AM »

I am a BPD. I have just recently discovered this (long story) and have been doing a lot of research including medication and therapy solutions. In all I have realized more then anything how awful it is for the non BPD living with a BPD. My husband and I have been together 26 years and he has been through hell and back with me and I have had to work through the guilt of knowing that. His survival was taking care of himself. I resented him for that at first but now I see how it has helped me discover the truth about myself. Because he kept his boundaries, I was forced to accept responsibility for my actions. Because he kept control, I was forced to deal with my feelings and accept blame instead of blaming him. I had to face the truth. Not easy at first and I got very angry and hurtful but when he said enough was enough and planned to leave, I broke from fear of abandonment and rejection and made the big step for serious change and I thank him for that every day. We are happier and finally feel like we have a "real" marriage. Now when I am anxious, stressed, sad, angry, irritable or whatever, I can just tell him and we try to deal with it together because I know he does love me. I might not be the norm, I don't know since I am new at this but from a BPD to a non BPD I say that you have to stand up for yourself and be firm as lovingly as you can and if you are dying inside because of a bad relationship with no hope in sight then you need to walk away. I am glad my husband did not but if he had, knowing now what I do, I would say that he deserved to do so. I would not take from me what he has taken from me. I am grateful he has loved me that much.

Bkd
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2007, 03:16:01 PM »

I'm reading Susan Forward's book on Emotional Blackmail and it's clearing a lot of the FOG for me. From most of the posts I read of the hooking in - pity me - guilt trip - back again - enable repeated behaviors - closeness - triggers - hate - rage. And round and round it goes. The airplane seat belt analogy seems the best one to me. A bit like M Scott Peck's definition of love. The conscious decision to extend oneself for the nurturing of oneself or another. The order is important. Love yourself. Do all the things you need to make sure you are emotionally and physically strong. And once you do you can choose whether to commit to doing it for another. A huge commitment when the partnership is someone with BPD and one that can only be done when they truly commit too. But as BKD's lovely testimony shows, similar to Rachel Reiland's message it can work out very positively. 
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2007, 07:23:51 AM »

Dear Bkd,

Thank you for writing - your insight was the "hope" I was searching for to remain committed to the on/off relationship I've had with my uBPDh for the past six years.

Our situation is a bit unusual, as we do not live in the same house. We both have homes close to each other, and for now that works well for me. (Since, he is a packrat there is no room for me at his house, anyway.)

It was a real awakening to hear your BPD-perspective reactions to your husand's behaviors:

His survival was taking care of himself. I resented him for that at first but now I see how it has helped me discover the truth about myself. Could you tell me the best example of this - the one that helped you the most?

Because he kept his boundaries, I was forced to accept responsibility for my actions.   When I finally stopped "trying to help him", he picked up the responsibility to take care of simple things like paying utility bills. It is a struggle to take care of every bill on time, but at least his electric and gas have not been turned off!

Because he kept control, I was forced to deal with my feelings and accept blame instead of blaming him. In my case, I still get blamed occassionally, but it has become easier for us to laugh about it. Can you tell me what I can say that will best get through to my BPDh that I am not a mind-reader and feel it is grossly unfair to be blamed for his unexpressed thoughts?

I had to face the truth. Not easy at first and I got very angry and hurtful

but when he said enough was enough and planned to leave, I broke from fear of abandonment and rejection and made the big step for serious change and I thank him for that every day. What steps did you take? Did you start T? My hubby thinks that is nonsense and refuses to even go to marriage counseling.

We are happier and finally feel like we have a "real" marriage. I want that in my marriage. I am so happy to hear it is possible!

Now when I am anxious, stressed, sad, angry, irritable or whatever, I can just tell him and we try to deal with it together because I know he does love me. Right now I have been split off as all bad, and there is no communication back, even though I have e-mailed and tried to keep things upbeat. Do you have any specific examples of how to show support and commitment when the BPD is shutting out the non?

Again, thank you for putting a human touch to the BPD mask - and for giving us loving spouses hope to hang in there and continue loving our partners through the tough times. It sounds like it makes a difference, after all.  Smiling (click to insert in post)



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"She's seen every branch on the Tree...now she's free."
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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2008, 09:50:48 AM »

Hi, everyone

This has been a couple of weeks of progress and good news, I think.

My dBPDh has been in DBT for 2.5 yrs now, and we separated in January. During this time apart, we have both had the space to start looking seriously at ourselves and our situation. He has had time to work on his skills alone, and in his group and with this awesome therapist. I have been working on my codep issues and taking care of me. Apart, we have been able to look honestly at ourselves and our marriage.

At this time, we are staying apart, to continue with our own healing. Our long term goal is to reunite, as healthy people.

He has gained huge insight into himself and his reactivity, and practicing  retinterpretations when he feels triggered. I believe he is making huge ground. I, on the other hand, have recognized myself as  a codependant someone who I have let take a back seat for too long, got myself into therapy and into classes just for me, because *I* want to do it. (They have NOTHING to do with marriage, mental health, or any other sort of rescuing! Smiling (click to insert in post)  )

  I wanted to share this here, with everyone, to ask for support and to offer it, as well.

Thanks for this board and what we do here!

  Steph
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JoannaK
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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2008, 09:57:28 AM »

Steph, that is good news, and I hope that he sticks with his recovery... .  and you stick with yours!  Despite the frustrations of so many who find their way here, many with BPD do recover and can eventually maintain healthy relationships.
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« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2009, 02:13:13 PM »

 It was thought this might be nice to post here Smiling (click to insert in post)

When we say we need to change ourselves, we mean... .We need to make ourselves healthy again.

We learn to communicate effectively...

We learn to set limits and define our own boundaries... and we learn to enforce them.

We learn to walk away from emotional dysregulation

We learn to allow the person with BPD their own feelings and lives and we allow the same for us

We stop trying to micromanage them, we stop trying to manipulate our lives to avoid unpleasent episodes, we allow them the space and time to regulate their emotions and we do the same for ourselves.

All of these things get us back on the track for emotional well being and also can greatly improve our relationships.

We certainly understand and support those that do choose to leave, yet this board is where we learn skills that  can improve us AND our relationships.

Steph
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2009, 05:23:37 PM »

Excerpt
one question to all of you is how do you stay centered/take care of yourself in the wake of upheaval and turmoil? How do you come away from a raging fit by BPD partner and not feel a million negative things... .for me, I can't hide it... .it effects me at work, at home, with friends, my throat tightens and hurts... .

alot of it for me is remembering he... is not me. most of the time his response to me is not really about me...

about a month ago... he had kind of a break down with paranoid stuff... long story... didnt go to work... didnt eat... didnt sleep for a few days. he didnt feel ok to drive... i offered to give him a ride if he wanted. his response was throw a pillow and say that im only offering so i can leave him there and he'd be stuck a 40 min drive from home with no way to get back...

that wasnt about me... or because hes normally afraid of that... he was feeling not safe in general... which meant everything was going to be a attack... no matter what i said... i could have said 'do you want a glass of water?' and hed have decided it was poison...

remembering that his stuff mostly is in his head... and not about me... makes a difference...
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2015, 12:52:45 PM »

My husband is a borderline . I feel I am in a roller coaster ride since my wedding. First 2 years were madening. I wanted to be out of this drama. But I stayed. Now after 8  yrs with 1 daughter I am staying. I did refer to this site some 3-4 yrs back . And it did give me courage to go on... .Lately all that drama has piled up so much plus BPDh behavior of blaining etcetc I came to this site again. I survive in BPD relation one must be strong  and should not take the blame and the drama seriously - this is wat I am not able to do... not able to detach ... .be insensitive... .Iwant to learn tools to make me take care of myself and my daughter.i need help. Just going crazy.no one can ever understand the plight of BPD's partner.
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2015, 02:59:49 PM »

My husband is a borderline . I feel I am in a roller coaster ride since my wedding. First 2 years were madening. I wanted to be out of this drama. But I stayed. Now after 8  yrs with 1 daughter I am staying. I did refer to this site some 3-4 yrs back . And it did give me courage to go on... .Lately all that drama has piled up so much plus BPDh behavior of blaining etcetc I came to this site again. I survive in BPD relation one must be strong  and should not take the blame and the drama seriously - this is wat I am not able to do... not able to detach ... .be insensitive... .Iwant to learn tools to make me take care of myself and my daughter.i need help. Just going crazy.no one can ever understand the plight of BPD's partner.

Hi Cinderella, thanks for posting. I actually started a post on this subject myself and it is on  the undecided board. Perhaps you might want to start a post on being committed  for yourself on the improving board? You're welcome to read my post although its dealing with very different problems. People here do understand the plight of the bp's partner. I have found that writing here really helps me deal with my problems in a way that nobody else can.
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2015, 04:58:23 PM »

Helpful to hear this perspective.  I have been trying to figure out what "Conditional Commitment" looks like and how to set that boundary, own it, and communicate it.   My focus has been on me the past year - what are the collateral affects or situations I can live with or changes I am willing to make.  I don't know what are reasonable conditions to set upon my BPDh.  When we were married, my condition was that we had to be in counseling and working on things... .he maintains going to counseling now and I leave that up to him.  He doesn't talk to me much about what happens there and he goes 3-6 weeks between sessions.

The other boundary that I have tried to set is no intimidation and no yelling and screaming.  Intimidation mostly got through after a separation.  Yelling has not because I don't think he realizes when he is yelling.

The other conditions and commitments I wonder about are family.  My mother and sister have very little respect or patience for my husband.  They may be close to requesting that he not come around them, even on holidays.  What kind of boundary do I set here? They are free to set their own boundaries but it does affect their relationship with me and vice versa.  My younger sister just told me that if I stay in a relationship that can sometimes be emotionally abusive that she will lose respect for me and may need to distance herself.  We are very close and that hit me hard.  What does commitment to husband vs. family vs self (and valued relationships) look like when they feel competitive? 

We do not have children... .yet. How do I articulate boundaries around children so that my husband understands?
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2015, 07:42:01 PM »

 Foolishwizdom, How long has it been since you have read Boundaries?    At first blush I think that you should focus on understanding and applying good healthy boundaries so you can "keep your side of the street clean".   Even more important is that you understand and recognize bad boundaries that are manipulative and unhealthy.  Boundaries liberated me from the bad dynamic my r/s was in.  Yes the other tools helped.  But if you asked what my number 1 tool was, I say Boundaries.  Especially once I saw boundary enforcement play out just like "the lessons" predicted, extinction burst and all.  Once I survived the first extinction burst, I knew I had power and hope back, and started building a healthy future.  Critical question  Are manipulative boundaries common in your FOO?   
 My younger sister just told me that if I stay in a relationship that can sometimes be emotionally abusive that she will lose respect for me and may need to distance herself.    

   Do you see the manipulation your sister is trying to put on you?    Most of us that show up here have "issues" from our FOO or parts of us that are missing and the pwBPD "fill" that void.   To affect positive change in our r/s we need to know what we bring to it and what we are getting from it (even if that look reveals dysfunction/unhealthiness in us)  Last few comments.  Focus on living boundaries vice communicating them.  Much more effective that way.  Less is more in communicating boundaries.  You don't set conditions on BPDh.  You only get to set conditions on you  You also get to determine if you allow you husbands yelling (and other bad behavior for that matter) affects you.  You control what you are exposed to.  You don't control what he does.  Consistency is critical here.   You only set boundaries about who you spend holidays with.  Leave your family to their own devices/decisions.  It really is that simple.    My second blush at your story is that you may be over complicating things a bit.  Boundaries will help you simplify.  Looking forward to discussions about boundaries.  If my first and second impressions are erroneous, please set the record straight.    

FF
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