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Author Topic: Husband broke up with me during a split (advise needed)  (Read 185 times)
bluebutterflies

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« on: May 23, 2022, 06:44:09 AM »

Hey all, first time poster here.

Long story short context: 4.5 years together, married for half a year. He's pretty much everything I want and love in a partner, supportive, loving, kind, etc etc. I think he has bpd so he's undiagnosed.

What happened: A month ago I said something that was a bit blunt (I asked if he's ever googled how to make me orgasm, I know I know) but he took off into bed. I apologised immediately but he said he needs space. He's assumed a quiet bpd, so he just stays in bed or goes to work during splits. We had a flight to vacation yesterday and I tried so hard to get him to pack but he was in his split and got mad at me if I tried to do anything. So I went to my vacation because I didn't know what to do. Arrived here, and he sent me a long message saying that hes upset at me for "taking his vacation away from him" and wants a divorce, and to never see me again.

I'm just shocked. He's only "despised me" or devalued me once before but he was able to get out of his split to realise what he was doing. Whenever we debrief about his splits, he emphasises that he wants to be with me and that he has no idea what he said or did, always apologising. I tell him of all the things hes said and hes shocked.

So I'm stuck here in a foreign country for 2 weeks. Debated going back but feel like I should give hi space. I haven't responded to his long message nor do I think I should. We were in the process of getting therapy but then this split happened.

I just would love to hear other people's advise + stories so I can stop crying. Will he come back to me?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 06:49:44 AM by bluebutterflies » Logged
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Notwendy
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2022, 07:28:35 AM »

I am sorry you are dealing with this. However, in a way, this situation seems to be a perfect storm. I understand why you don't see it this way but I think there are some elements to this worth noting.

PwBPD have difficulty managing their feelings, so they may project them on to someone else, blame someone else, act out, rage, say mean things, and feel like a victim. Often the partners take on a role of managing their emotions for them- such as walking on eggshells, accepting blame that isn't theirs, not doing things they want to do to avoid conflict. Not saying how they feel to avoid conflict.

One change the partner needs to make is to let them manage their own feelings. Also to not engage in circular arguments or JADE ( defending being accused when there is nothing to defend. One step to do this is to disengage, remove yourself from the argument. That can be hard to do when living in the same space. But you have found yourself in a different country! He's alone to deal with his feelings and you can't do anything about it- from this distance, except to spend your vacation on the phone with him- and I suggest you don't do this and let him manage his feelings himself. Leaving early would also reinforce his behavior.

PwBPD lack healthy boundaries and to co-exist you need to have your own boundaries, even if he doesn't like that. Also, if you were to give in to his demands and behaviors, you would be enabling the behaviors you don't want and also keeping him from learning from them. You didn't do that. This seems to be how it played out.

You said something he was upset about. He manages this by sulking, going to work- good! that is how he manages his feelings. He may need the space to do that.

He then refused to pack and go to vacation with you. A real life lesson is if you don't get ready for a trip and get there on time- well you don't go! Had you stayed behind, he would not have learned this. You kept the boundary. If you don't pack and get ready- well you don't go. You tried to get him to pack, but he's a grown man. He knows what to do. He didn't do it and you let the consequences be what they are. This shows you have not relinquished your boundaries and that's good.

He's likely going to react to missing his own vacation by blaming you. Sometimes when you act on a boundary, there's an extinction burst- the behavior gets worse. Nobody here can read minds, but his anger and divorce threats may be his acting out his own anger at the consequences of his own behavior.

Whatever he accuses you of or blames you for- keep in mind that this is his own doing. Don't fix this for him. If he wants to join you, he can get a ticket and travel to where you are at. If he wants to stay home, that's his choice too.

Your responses should be as non reactive as possible. Sometimes not responding is reactive too. One idea is to send one daily update so he knows you are safe. Please don't let him ruin your vacation. Since you are travelling alone, you need to consider safety- don't go out late at night for instance. However, whatever plans you did have- go ahead and do them. Go on a tour, see the sights, go to a museum, try out new foods, ( I don't know where you are but do the things you can do there safely ). Set the tone and schedule for your communications.

" Hi honey, I arrived here safely. I am sorry that you feel this way and wish you were here with me. I will send a text to update you every day at 9 am your time. The other times I may be out of cell phone range.  Love you."

He may send rage texts, threats, whatever. Keep to your reply schedule. The first line is a validation that you understand his feelings. You do not have to respond to the threats.

"Hi honey, I understand you are upset and I am sorry you feel that way. I miss you. I am keeping safe. I will text tomorrow at 9:00 am your time. "

What may happen- by not being reactive one way or the other, you let him deal with his feelings. If this is an extinction burst, he will likely cool down. I think you both will learn something from this time apart. For one- two weeks out of an entire marriage is not enough of a stressor to end a stable marriage. If he's truly decided to divorce you over this, then I think there's learning in this for both of you. If he is committed to the marriage, he will do his part. I know this is a scary situation for you, but it's also an opportunity that you would not have if you were not in it- because he did face the consequences of his behavior and now has to deal with his feelings.

 I hope you can enjoy yourself while you are there.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 07:34:47 AM by Notwendy » Logged
bluebutterflies

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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2022, 08:20:22 AM »

Thank you so so so much @Notwendy for responding. I feel so much better and relate and agree with all that you wrote.

I felt such horrible guilt when going on that plane. We met in this country that I'm in and this was our first time going back together. However, he's still in a split so anything I did made him upset (like getting his passport). Before I've yelled at him to get up to go to family function but this time there's too much stuff to do to prep, I couldn't just drag him on a plane.

You're right that I need to enforce my own boundaries. I'm just so sad, everything reminds me of him.

And I'm especially scared that he's 100% serious about the divorce and never wanting to see me again. I'm hoping its not (and hes always told me that he doesn't mean what he says in splits), but I've read about people splitting black on someone, even a loved one, and never speaking to them again.

One question, do you really feel like texting him daily is helpful? In the past I've done something similar, just reminding him that I love him a few times a week but I was never sure it was helpful. Our messages today were me going "you can still come, we have time" and him being like "you took this (vacation) away from me" and me being like "I love you, I'd love for you to join me etc" and then he responded to that last one with a long mean essay about the divorce. So I'm hesitating in responding further because it feels like its escalating and he needs to calm down.

Last question, you mention that he's an adult and is capable of doing xyz. However when he's split, he's not himself, and he's just in bed all day on the phone. He's like a zombie. I know that doesn't excuse his behavior but he also isn't "himself" either. So that's why I have a hard time blaming him, whereas I am blaming the illness.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 08:26:37 AM by bluebutterflies » Logged
Notwendy
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2022, 08:59:11 AM »

I think some kind of schedule is helpful. This way he knows when you will contact him exactly and also gives you the space to not respond right away each time he texts. You can always say "hi honey can't text back now but will text at 9 am tomorrow".

You can set the schedule. If daily doesn't work, then every other day or whatever one you wish.

I don't think it's about "blaming" him or the illness, but more about not enabling him by taking care of his feelings for him. If his way of coping is to lie in bed - then that's what he does. BPD is on a spectrum but in general, pwBPD are still responsible for their own behaviors and can learn from natural consequences. As long as the behavior isn't seriously harmful to someone, or someone else, letting a person experience natural consequences is how they learn.

For example: if someone has been drinking too much, you do not have them drive home. They might hurt themselves or someone else.

However, if someone doesn't get ready for a trip in time or gets to the airport in time to board the plane- the natural consequence is that they miss the plane. They then learn to be more vigilant about planning next time. If you were to take on this task for them, then they would not learn this.

Just having BPD doesn't mean a person isn't capable of learning this way. However, it's a spectrum and each situation is individual.  If they are so severe that they need more constant caretaking and supervision, then this needs to be considered on an individual basis. If they are in danger of self harm or harming others, they need professional help ( calling 911 if necessary).

I understand you are fearful he might divorce you. Marriage is an agreement. Each person can make the choice to divorce. While you may not want him to do that, he still has the choice to make his own decisions. It would be understandable to be upset if he did choose that. However, take a broad perspective- if he's going to divorce you over this incident, then how strong is his commitment or ability to honor that commitment? I would say from what I have read here is that for the most part, these threats are not followed through on, but sometimes they are. However, you can't control what he chooses.
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bluebutterflies

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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2022, 09:33:10 AM »

Thank you so much @NotWendy. Seriously you do not understand how much your responses have truly helped me understand and learn.

While I am happy to continuously non-reactively text him, I am still unclear on the purpose. What is the purpose of texting someone who is in a split and sees me as evil only? What is the purpose of me potentially receiving hurtful messages from him? I understand it was an idea, I just want to make sure it's worth whatever may come out of it. And I specifically ask because he said that we are "We are done and I don’t ever want to see you again" and I worry that texting him will cross his boundaries and make him hate me more.

He has told me in our debriefs that while he will try everything in his power to get out of a split, what I can do is just continue life and focus on myself. I just need to give him space to process. I think that's why this split has been 1 month long, because we live together.

I'm hoping that losing this important trip will truly finally push him to do therapy. And it's true, I cannot control anything that he does. I just know that the real him wouldn't ever react or want to divorce me. So the idea of him divorcing me (in a split state) would hurt so much because it means the disorder took over. But I guess I will just see what happens.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2022, 10:06:23 AM »

If he has told you, specifically to not contact him, then I agree to not contact him and do not answer his texts.

The purpose of a non reactive response is to not swing to either extreme in the form of an emotional reaction. One is to text constantly "please please talk to me I need you" or to be "well if he's going to act that way, I am not going to speak to him" - either is an emotional reaction that can add to the drama.

However, if you do not contact him in response to his request "do not contact me" then of course, respect that boundary. This too, is natural consequences. If someone tell someone to not contact them, then this is the response- to not contact him.

What is the point of you continuing to receive hurtful texts? You have no control over what he texts or doesn't text. All you can control is how you respond to them.

The point of a schedule is to not get into responding to a lot of texts all the time. Let's say he would text 100 times a day. Your response is " I will contact you at 9 am tomorrow" and then do not respond to other texts. It's a boundary on your time. It says " I am willing to be in contact with you at a certain time ( and not all the time).

But if he's not texting and told you to not contact him, then no need to text him on a regular basis.

Yes it would be hard if he divorced you but consider the long term of this. If this is something he's going to divorce you over, then how stable is the marriage? Marriage is for the long run. Can you assure there won't ever be stresses between you? No two people are alike, and so there is bound to be conflict at times. What he chooses is going to reflect how committed he is. Wanting to be married to you only when things are great and you don't ever upset him may not be a realistic expectation for either of you.
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bluebutterflies

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 03:02:25 AM »

Thank you so much @NotWendy.

He hasn't specifically told me not to contact him but the whole "you need to move out by June 9th, I won't be here, leave the keys, we are divorcing, I never want to see your face again" feels like he is implying that I shouldn't contact him?

Unfortunately I already reacted by calling him twice and he didn't pick up (before I wrote here). During the split he wouldn't "see" my messages but it felt like after the first text he sent, he was actively monitoring to see if I could respond, as I could see he was active and he "saw" my calls. Perhaps that's the manipulation coming out, so he can rage at me if I respond? This is why I am hesitant in responding.

I have another question. How would I know if he were to split me black? I know it's not something he can control, but we've been together for 4.5 years and with how deep our love is, I still don't quite get how one could be able to split black on someone they love. I've researched this but reading from you is so nice and helpful.

Another question. In the past, he's sorta tried to break up with me within a few splits of a month. He would type things like "I feel we should break up" or "I guess this is it" and I would just say "no we are not breaking up". The first time was after I yelled at him and he raged back and sent me a similar but not as long of a mean text (this was bedore I realised it was a mental illness). Is it helpful that I say "no" to his requests to breakup? When we debrief after the splits, he's always maintained that I don't listen to anything he says.

How long do you think it could take him to calm down and get out of this split? I know you can't predict the future but perhaps in your own experience? The longest we went without talking was 1.5 months but it was self blame so he never inflicted anything on me. This time it was triggered by what I said. It's been 1 month and 1 day. His blowup was yesterday.

In the meantime I've decided to stay for the full two weeks. I have a hard time managing my appetite, but I've signed up for online therapy and will go see some new cities. It's been hard but I'm taking it one hour at a time then one day at a time.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 05:55:23 AM »

Sometimes I worry that the title for the board "reversing a breakup" might give people the impression that it's possible to have control over someone else's decision to break up. We can only control our own feelings, not someone else's.

I think the intent is to have us look at our own reactions and responses. While it may be one person with BPD, it's often that two people are matched in their own dysfunctional interactions. We can look at our own parts of the situation, but we can not predict the outcome of the other person's decisions or control them.

These ideas "walking on eggshells", enabling, giving up things we really want to do to avoid upsetting the pwBPD can lead to us losing a sense of who we are, and also reinforcing their behavior- the behaviors we are unhappy about. A partner can arrive at these boards distressed at a break up, or also very unhappy in a relationship. The goal then is to see if it's possible for them to reclaim some of their own "self" and reduce the enabling behavior and see if the dynamics level down a bit to where it's workable.

Separating the person for who they are from the mental illness would lead to dismissing and excusing behaviors that they are still accountable for. PwBPD are still accountable for their behaviors. They may have difficulty regulating their emotions, but for the most part, they are considered legally competent. Someone who would not be responsible for their behaviors might be a small child, or someone with severe intellectual disability or a psychosis where they are hallucinating. PwBPD have normal intelligence. They can learn from their behaviors.

Although pwBPD have difficulty regulating their emotions, consider that even a child can learn from natural consequences. If a child forgets to bring their homework to school- the consequence is facing the teacher. This is a lesson that will remind them to bring it next time. While we don't let people cause harm to themselves or others, regular learning from the consequences of behavior is how people learn. If a child hits another child in grade school- they get sent to the headmaster's office. If a teen doesn't pick up their clothes from the floor and bring them to the washer, well- they don't have clean clothes to wear. A child may have a tantrum if they are frustrated but we let them deal with their feelings. Your H may be upset that he missed his trip- but this isn't your fault. He did this.

What keeps the people involved with them from accepting this is our own fears. Fear of someone being angry at us, fear they won't love us and so we do all we can to avoid upsetting them so they won't be upset with us. The problem is- that doesn't work, because the "upset" for them is often internal and they are projecting that on to someone or someone else.

The Karpman triangle was helpful reading for me. When someone projects/blames, they are feeling like a victim. When we enable or soothe them, we are rescuing them from their own feelings and in addition, rescuing ourselves from how uncomfortable we feel over this.

I get the picture that your H was sulking and not communicating and you had this trip planned. He wouldn't come out of his mood and get ready for the trip, so you went without him. The fact that you did this shows you have a boundary - if you don't get ready for your trip with me, I will go anyway. This is good. What he may have wanted was for you to give up something you invested in- miss the trip for him. You didn't do this. Now he's reacting to that with more of the same behavior ( extinction burst ). How long this lasts or if he chooses to break up, it's not possible to tell. But think about if you didn't go- and stayed to try to get him out of his mood? This would reinforce his behavior and you would miss your trip. Now, what happens when you want to do something and he doesn't want you to and so goes into a sulky mood? Appeasement can bring a temporary relief of the conflict but is not a long term solution.

It's good that you have decided to stay, sightsee, and do some interesting things on this trip. Self care is important. Try to do some nice things for yourself. You may not have an appetite- this is understandable. Even little things- pick up a magazine to look at, watch something good on TV- get a special coffee or tea. I agree, if he said he didn't want to see your face, and didn't pick up your calls - then let him be and don't contact him. My suggestion to schedule the texts was assuming he was texting you all day long but with him not communicating and telling you he doesn't want to see you- I agree to not contact him. That's natural consequences too. If he says to someone to not contact him, then they won't. Take this one day at a time.

The splitting black/white can be cyclic, or not. Hard to know, and also for how long, it's not possible to tell. BPD is a spectrum and each person still makes their own individual choices. I think it's great you scheduled therapy sessions. Take care of yourself for now.
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bluebutterflies

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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2022, 07:57:23 AM »

Thank you @NotWendy <3 for responding. If it's too much, no need to respond further as I don't want to burden you. I've been enjoying our conversation and your responses and re-reading them a lot.

I understand all that you say, it is just so hard to accept. I logically know that he is a functioning adult and is capable of making his own decisions. You mention his sulking, but it is more than that. When I see him, and from what he's told me, it's like he's in a disassociative state. He growls when he drops something, he doesn't like sunlight, and it looks like it physically hurts him to even move sometimes. His voice is monotone. He can sometimes forget the entire split and when he's in the split, it's like the world is upside down for him. He tells me in our debriefs that he tries to fight it so hard and seeing me as evil brings him so much pain. So it's really hard for me to accept that he is still responsible for this when he truly feels like he cannot control anything. And as for not what would happen if I want to do something and he doesn't and would sulk, that's truly never happened unless it's a split (which he has no control over I believe). He's such a loving husband. (I'm not trying to argue, just trying to put all these puzzle pieces together).

And I also understand that I cannot reinforce his behavior, but I so badly want to respond and apologise. Because in the past when it has gotten this bad, I gave in and apologised. He said he wasn't sure if he could forgive me but over time things went back to "normal." And when we de-brief, he again cannot believe he acted like this. I right now so badly want things to just be better. And I do understand that I cannot lose myself in this. Fortunately I have very strong emotional regulation (for the most part Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)) and a very high sense of self esteem because I've gone through so much PLEASE READ in my life. I feel like I can handle this but I understand that this can wear anybody down over time. I don't know. You're right in that what I have right now is fear, and that fear is losing the love of my life. I guess we won't know until I go back home.

It makes sense that he needs to learn the consequences of his actions. I'm also partially worried that if he discards me forever, that he'll move onto someone else, and never fully understand the consequences of his actions. I guess that's on him though and not me. We've just built the strongest relationship either of us have ever had so it would be hard for me to accept that it's suddenly over.

When you mentioned that this is a "perfect storm" and that this is a "extinction burst", do you mean that in the sense that we both needed to go through this to determine what is truly next in the relationship? He's tried to break up before but not this dramatically. I'm honestly so sad that I'm trying to find hope but also be realistic about this situation.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2022, 08:40:53 AM »

An extinction burst is part of behavioral theory. Recall the Pavlov dog experiment. The dog presses a button and gets a treat. Then it changes and there is no treat. The first thing the dog tries is to push the button more. This works with all living beings - humans too. So when one stops reinforcing a behavior, the extinction burst is that the person may increase behavior until they realize it doesn't work. ( no treat for the dog- eventually they stop pushing the button).

In your situation, you didn't reinforce your H's rejecting behavior by staying behind. The possible "extinction burst" is that he's increased it for now.

By the "perfect storm" - in the dynamics between two people, there's the person with BPD and a partner who serves to soothe their feelings but this also reinforces these dynamics between both people. The other (and hopefully unwanted) side to this is that if we soothe someone else's feelings for them- we actually keep them from learning how to do this on their own- which is what we want all adults to be able to do- self manage their own behavior. Because you are so far away- this is the opportunity I called the perfect storm because it keeps the two of you from engaging in this pattern- and there's the opportunity for growth here.

And the risks, ( that he will move on to someone else) which you fear, but all change in dynamics comes with possible risks and benefits. Posters come here wishing their BPD partners would self regulate better. On the other hand, if you want this pattern- to be the one to soothe him- his emotional caretaker, then it's your choice. Keep in mind that being of help to someone is different from enabling. Enabling feels like helping but if it keeps the person from their own ability to self regulate- is it really helping?

To decide this, take a perspective of what is in someone's best interest. Let's say a 4 year old wants cookies for dinner. The parent says no. The child then has a big temper tantrum. What is the decision that is in the child's best interest? Soothe them by giving them a cookie? Let them deal with the tantrum because cookies are not a nutritious dinner and they need to learn to self regulate their feelings?

While any advice here may address common patterns, keep in mind that all pwBPD are unique individuals and it's a spectrum. There can be additional issues that "coexist" such as substance abuse, or infidelity, or depression or these can be absent. Dissociation can happen but how long can vary. It seems the two of you have worked out your parts in helping him debrief. If this works for you, then it does. Please take any ideas or suggestions here as just that. We are all lay people sharing what we know but take what works for you.

What struck me as different in your post is that- you took the trip. This shows that you have held on to your own individual position and from what I know about such relationships - this is a different quality than enabling. There's another side to a relationship with BPD- the partner- who may lean towards enabling to manage their own fears- but does it help the situation overall? ( you are the only one to answer that). Now, you are on your own, facing your fears- and it's scary, it's tough, but also a chance to look at them.

But you are the one to judge your relationship the best and what you wish to do in relation to your H's feelings.



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bluebutterflies

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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2022, 01:02:54 PM »

Thank you so much @Notwendy.

I have researched extinction bursts and everything you mentioned and have just been learning so much. It's been soothing my heart and rereading your messages has been so helpful. I definitely do not want to be an enabler or to be his caretaker. He needs to do his part. It's just difficult and I know I won't have answers for a while. But I will do my best to not continue this cycle that I know I have done by apologizing to him in the past.

I have a few more questions. In the past, we were LDR for quite some time and during his splits, he had to manage them on his own as we were LDR (even when he told me to never contact him again, he came back a month later). The times where he split and we were together irl, it was turbulent, but we were not tied to a lease or we're not married. There were always deadlines, the biggest being he had to fly back home.

Now that we live together and he's been split for a month and a few days now, I'm wondering how to honour his boundaries from his message. To note, he said: he is finding someone to deal with the divorce papers, he doesn't want to see my face again, his despise for me has been growing stronger to the point where it's gone too far or he can't turn it off, he won't be in the apt when I come back, and that the keys need to be in the mailbox by June 9th.

I kinda doubt he will leave because he's financially strapped and tied to the lease (though my name isn't). So with these requests (all embedded in a rage message), do I follow through assuming there is no conclusion? I did message him saying that I do not want to divorce but respects his decision and that I love and care for him.

I feel that right now we are both in a perfect storm, but I am unsure how to ride this storm when I come back. I understand I am prepping for the worst, but I need to do so or at least understand from others.

What truly frightens me is that now I am remembering that he broke up with his last gf of 1 year, a few days before we began hooking up. He moved out immediately and I don't recall why they broke up. I am so scared he is doing the same; and I understand I must face my fears. He has also mentioned cutting off people when they've done something wrong (I brushed this aside, I assumed the best).

In the past when he said we should break up (like once or twice) I just said no. But he had sent no threats or boundaries.
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2022, 04:53:45 AM »

Logistically first- if your name isn't on the lease, then he's the only one obligated to it, and it's up to him to break it ( and pay the penalty ) if he doesn't. If he isn't able to do that financially, then he probably plans to stay there.  What his message sounds like is that, when you come back, he won't be there at the time, and you need to move out by the 9th and leave your keys in the mailbox.

If this is his intention and he's on the lease but you aren't- then I don't think you can stay there if he won't allow that, so you need some place to stay. Do you have a friend or family member you can stay with for a short while? There really isn't a lot of time for you to search for an apartment. If you have furniture, it should be easy to get a storage unit for it.

This is the logistics and may or may not happen. He may change his mind or he may not. But in the case that he means it, you need to have some place to stay and should consider a plan for that.

I think you have responded appropriately- you have told him you don't want to split up. His next decision is really up to him, and even if it's understandably not what you want, I think having a plan of what you would do if he did follow through is important. I would not suggest a long term one as it's hard to know what he's going to do, but staying with a friend, or family, or short term stay hotel/lease is an option. Either way- if he leaves and breaks the lease, or stays and insists you leave, you need somewhere to stay.

One thing you brought up is the question of - is this his pattern? To break up over conflicts or painting someone black, cutting people off, and would he do that to you? I don't think it's possible to know if he will until you see if he follows through with what he said. I do think you should plan for that if he does - so you have some place to stay.

What is interesting is that an LDR creates space at times. It's different when two people are living together all the time. Marriage is an adjustment for any two people, even people without a disorder have to work out living with each other- people have different habits and ideas of what they like. The commitment of marriage leads them to work out their differences- one doesn't walk out the door at a conflict. The question is- can your H manage the day to day living situation with someone else? Can he resolve differences with someone else in a different way than walking out? I don't think it's possible to know what he's going to do.

I know it's hard to be wondering, but all you can do is take this one step at a time. Have a back up plan of where to stay if he follows through with his plans. If he chooses to go through with a legal divorce, that's his decision. You don't have to do this for him- he has to follow through with that plan.

You asked about boundaries and boundaries are a reflection of our own values. How to honor his boundary?

There really isn't anything you need to do for him. He stated a plan, and now it's up to him to act on it, or not. On your part, what is needed is a plan to take care of your basic needs, such as a place to stay.









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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2022, 07:05:17 AM »

Hi blue butterflies and welcome,

I don’t have much to add to all not Wendy’s wonderful advice. I just wanted to say, I’m thinking of you. I think you are so brave to go on the vacation on your own and this was absolutely the right thing to do. Have you read, “stop caretaking the borderline or narcissist”. I highly recommend it and you can get in in audiobook too.

My own story is completely different, but your husband sounds very similar to my wife. This is a brief version of the past 15 months for us: My wife had forbidden me from taking photos of our children and/or sharing them with my mother. My Mum was devastated about this. As I could see a horrifying future where my mother died thinking I didn’t love her, I decided to take a stand, and announced to my wife that I would be taking and sending photos to my mother. No amount of explaining why this was a kind and reasonable thing to do were of any help. But I was willing to risk my marriage over this..

My wife responded much as your husband has, and told me our relationship was over for “disrespecting her wishes”. We continued to live together but she completely withdrew from me emotionally and physically. One of my first posts on here I think was titled, “my wife has turned and I can’t get her back”.

This is a story of hope. Don’t give up just yet. After a couple of months, I found this website. I read books, and gained so much advice from the wonderful people on here. I started changing how I spoke to my wife, and how I behaved around her.

Our relationship is now better than ever. My wife knows nothing of how much I have learnt, and has not been working on any self-improvement herself. (Why would she? Lol). But she now treats me with more respect and is generally more sane.

I wish you all the best.
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“Maybe I’ll get it right next time…” from “Estranged” by Guns N’ Roses
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2022, 08:20:29 AM »

Dear @NotWendy. You have asked so many great questions that I am thinking a lot about and cannot answer them all right now. By the way, I just want to emphasise to you that I am reading all of your responses. I looked back and saw that some of my responses seemed to ignore what you wrote, but please know I am taking it alll in 100%! Smiling (click to insert in post)

Jumping back to behavioral science, to make sure I am understanding correctly, my understanding is that my H must experience the consequences of his actions in order to learn how to control himself next time, like the Pavlov experiment. For example, if I were to not listen to him and just stay in our apt, that may not be good because I am still appeasing to him. Or it means that I am breaking his boundaries. However, moving out is doing what he asks, even if it means he can possibly throw another tantrum.

I also feel unsure because even though his name is on the lease, we agreed that this was our apartment. What if I ignore his request and stay? Or does any of this logic just go out the window when trying to respond appropriately to these situations?

The last part of his rage text was "For when you return I won’t be here and I expect you to be out of the apartment by June 9. Leave the keys in the mailbox. I will have someone take care of the divorce papers. We are done and I don’t ever want to see you again."

My understanding also is that a lot of pwBPD often threaten their loved ones because they want to self sabotage but also hurt their loved ones in the meantime. Like it is a way to hold power, and testing you. I understand it in that he may not actually want me to move out or divorce, and is testing whether I will do it. If I do follow his demands and move out, it means I don't care about him. Thus I am utterly confused.

Additionally, leaving my keys there would be so difficult. There's so many logistical things like what if I forgot something, packages are coming, mail for me, etc. Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

(kinda just ranting here, I know you may not have legal advise. I might be spiraling). The unfortunate part of that scenario is I just moved to his country and am waiting on my visa, which only my H will get the news via his email as he is a citizen. I also know only 1 person here, and not very well. If I were to go back to my origin country, I cannot enter again until my visa is approved. Staying and risking not knowing that I potentially got denied, means I am illegally staying. This is so difficult.

The other unfortunate thing is that as mentioned, he is assumed a quiet uBPD. So he just doesn't talk to me all day and is in bed, zombie-like. So there is a high chance I will just have to go home and go from there, as I doubt there will be any follow up message for me to go from. I'm pretty sure he will be there as well.

-

@thankful person

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have not read that book but I will do so. I am so glad that you have decided to take a stand—it is quite difficult and scary, but so brave. I do feel like taking this trip reminded me how strong I am, and I needed that reminder. Having so much support from here means so much to me.

It means so much to me that you shared your story. I spend hours on forums and it's difficult to find success stories, until I stumbled here. I do believe that my H is worth fighting for, at least until either of us don't want to anymore. What I'm learning the most about is how cyclic this behavior is and will continue to be, unless I reinforce my own responses and boundaries, because that is all I can do really. I am so glad your wife is treating you with more respect! <3 Take care and feel free to share updates.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2022, 08:38:48 AM by bluebutterflies » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2022, 12:40:35 PM »

I understand it in that he may not actually want me to move out or divorce, and is testing whether I will do it. If I do follow his demands and move out, it means I don't care about him. Thus I am utterly confused.

I'd be confused too. We mostly assume people mean what they say, so it's hard to say he doesn't mean this.

With the push-pull, it's not that they don't mean what they say. It's that they are upset and say what they mean in the moment while they are feeling upset. Once the "bad feelings" have been projected, they don't feel bad and then don't feel the same as when they said that.

Probably every married person has had moments where their spouse, or parent, or child, is annoying. But people with good emotional regulating skills know better than to say something hurtful. We know the consequences if we say it- we can hurt the feelings of someone we care about. If we said something like that at work, we could get fired, so we have constraints. PwBPD may not.

The way I am looking at this ( and you know your H better so I could be wrong) is that he's not testing you. My "read" on this is that he was very upset in the moment and said this. Once he cools down, he may not mean it. I just can't predict what he will do after saying this. We can't read minds. But the pattern generally is that, they cool down and then it's expected that everyone will forget what they said.

The suggestion to make a plan for where to stay if he does go through with this is different from you taking action to carry out what he wants. If he wants a divorce, if he wants you to move out, that's on him. Your job is to take care of you, so the suggestion for a contingency plan ( that you may or may not need) is so you are not left without a place to stay. I don't suggest you move out for good, sign another lease or leave. It would be a temporary situation if you have no choice. Basically an emergency plan that you hope you don't ever need.

Your other option - to just stay anyway- you could do that if you think it's better to do that. Personally, I'd have a hard time staying physically in the same place while someone is telling me to leave, but I have friends in town who have guest rooms in their houses. On the other hand, your situation is a bit more complicated in that, this is a new place for you and you don't really have anywhere else to go. It's not as if you are near friends or family and can go sleep in a spare room if you get told to leave. I also don't know the marriage laws in your area - it may not be legal to kick a spouse out who has nowhere to go. I don't think you can just put your spouse out on the streets. I have no legal expertise at all, and it may help to look at the laws where you are so you know what they are, but my guess is that he won't follow through on what he said.

This is why we all have to look at our own personal situations and do what is best for us in that situation. I think the main thing is- you do not fulfil his wishes for him (whatever they are) because leaving isn't what you want to do. He is responsible for taking action himself.  If he wants a divorce, he needs to get a lawyer. If he wants you out of the apartment, then he has to kick you out. On your part- you need to take care of yourself. If he gets a lawyer, then you need to get one to represent you. If he kicks you out, you need some place to stay. You can be clear about your feelings. "I love you and want this to work out" but it's not possible to control his. For the time being, do nothing to either end the marriage or divorce- just wait this out for now. He may very well cool down. You just need to know what to do if he did go through with it.

Can he have space in the apartment? Is there a spare room? If he remains serious, it's then a discussion about reality. "Honey, I hear what you wish me to do. I wish you didn't feel this way but I will do what you have asked me to do. At the moment, I have nowhere to go as I just got to this country. If I return to my country, I will lose my visa. I need to get a plane ticket. Please give me some time to make arrangements. I will stay in the other room while I make these plans. I can be out of here by July 15 ( or whatever day works for you).

Then go about your business.

I can't predict what he does but from what you tell me, I can guess. If he's the quiet type, is that when you get back, he will be there, and be moody. You will act normal, and never bring that conversation up again. Eventually he will snap out of it and pretend it never happened.














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