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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives  (Read 3473 times)
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Posts: 398

« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2015, 02:10:28 PM »

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation:

I'm 15 months out of a 3 year r/s with uBPD/NPD ex gf.  We met online in Aug of 2010 and I had never experience such an intense start to a r/s and was sucked in quickly.  She is/was high functioning and very intelligent along with being extremely emotionally immature and addicted to chaos.  There were red flags abound regarding lies, triangulation, contempt for family and friends, significant emotional issues with her kids, abandonment issues, significant jealousy towards my teen daughter, lack of empathy and unstable emotions.  She was a hot wreck and I was there to take care of her.  I was hooked and the addiction was in full force.  Things started to wear on me after about year one and she began to devalue me when I would attempt to enforce healthy boundaries.  I attempted to leave the r/s three times, but again the r/s addiction was tough and I wasn't strong enough in my will to stay away.  The r/s went on for nearly 3.5 years and was an emotional roller coaster.

2 - Turning points:

We had a failed couple's T attempt in early 2012 and the T saw my ex individually for a few sessions before my ex abandoned the process completely.  The T told me of her feelings that my ex was possibly both BPD and NPD, and she suggested strongly that I leave the r/s.  Although I stayed in the r/s, that was the beginning of the end and I continued individual T.  In the late spring of 2013, my D was diagnosed with an eating disorder and spent 8 days in the hospital.  My ex gf was attempting to support me, but her need to have uninterrupted access to me was interrupted and she began to act out increasingly more often.  I witnessed some pretty sick stuff that today I wouldn't tolerate for a minute.  Then, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in Oct of 2013 and my ex had one of her worst rage outbursts while I was in the throws of dealing with my Mom's health issue.  Then, within about four weeks there was the first rage outburst that included physical abuse towards me and this was repeated a few weeks after.  By early Dec of 2013, I left the r/s for good and enforced strict n/c even with her and her kids renting a house on my block.  I could no longer deal with the emotional and physical abuse, and had the strength and will to walk away for good.  I had to take control of my life and understand that I allowed all of this to happen to me.

3 - Outline of your recovery/healing process:

Again, I began individual T back in 2012 and continued until Aug of 2014.  During the post breakup period, I wrote down 18 typed pages of all the craziness that went on during the r/s and shared it with my T and three close friends.  "Secrets are for the sick" and I needed to surround myself with people who would help hold me accountable for my actions moving forward (i.e. not going back to my ex).  My T was fully centered on "me" and issues from my childhood.  My T was also centered on my values and how my values are used to help make all the major decisions in my life.  I enforced strict n/c and thankfully my ex moved away in mid 2014.  My life centered around me, my daughter, my family, my career, renovating my 110 year old house and other activities I love to do.  My recovery/healing process was extremely difficult and lonely at times, but it helped me restore the most import r/s in my life = me!

4 - A short discussion on what you have learned: so many life lessons!

Again, my values are there to help direct me and help me make decisions in my life regarding parenting, dating, money, career, etc.  Most importantly, my relationships should reflect my values.  In other words, I will be happiest and at the most peace when I am living my values.  I also learned that I must take care of myself first so that I can be my best for those around me.  Additionally, chaos happens but should not be the rule.  Lastly, self love and self acceptance resides in me and not through validation from others.  Lastly/lastly, I forgive my ex gf from what went down although that doesn't mean I could ever trust her or have any kind of r/s with her.  More so, I forgive myself for staying in the r/s way too long.  My love was real and my intentions were good.

Additional note #1: I am so grateful to have learned the lessons and gained the wisdom from this past r/s.  Growth happens when we are stretched or pushed up against a wall.  I truly look at life differently.

Additional note #2: I'm in the next chapter of my life and started a r/s with a fabulous non PD lady about 5.5 months ago.  It started out slow and I'm enjoying our time together more and more as time goes by.  There are literally no red flags and none of the chaos that I experienced in the past.  I truly appreciate this person in my life and am amazed at her wisdom and kindness.  Maybe the old adage that "you attract what you project" is right on.  Healthy r/s are out there! 

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 2212

« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2018, 08:34:50 AM »

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation:

10 months of mostly NC out of a 3 year relationship, friends for 6 months prior to that.

My ex BPD diagnosed but didnt tell me until 2 months in, had escalated emotional intensity from the start, although I had already brought my own feelings of deep infactuation and heightened adoration for the rapport we had previously as friends. It became reciprocated and the relationship felt excellent up until out of nowhere I discovered her cheating. Alcoholism and recreational drug use were a major interplay and I put those factors - I think accurately - into a lot of her behaviour. They were the conduits that disinhibited the worst of the negative behaviour, other than that my ex was engaged in therapy intermittently and both of us tried hard to support each other. There were times that I tried to leave but felt a strong pull to return, she made it easy and on one particular serious attempt to leave and going NC, she stalked me and I went back for the last season and stayed for about 3 months last summer. Negative behaviours were rare and it made it difficult for me to fully detach, I felt strongly enmeshed emotionally and had hope that in the long term id overcome the issues that came in cycles.

Turning points

eventually it became too much, the triangulation, painted black, painted white, some alarming behaviour started that id not experienced so much previously such as destroying property, editing photographs of us with mutilating graphics, stalking intensified, hacked phone, email accounts, paranoia of infidelity although except for twice in the relationship I went elsewhere when I had clearly broken up with her. Put downs, derogatory comments, cryptic messages, gas lighting, and starting to talk badly about me to mutual friends, work colleagues, it started to come together at its zenith as the perfect storm and I decided to leave and go completely no contact, I ghosted her because I felt staying in any sort of dialogue wouldnt have worked. I had also changed during the previous split up, had time to reflect and had read online about BPD. Whilst the time together was excellent, I had started to guard myself more than before and prepare myself to start expecting a polar change.

3 - Outline of your recovery/healing process:

It has been an incredibly longer route than id expected, I suffered a great deal physically and mentally, but it prompted me towards establishing a support network in the form of my family, trusted friends and I started my account here. I couldnt help but spend my days in the aftermath, ruminating, having intense conflicted emotions, combined with suffering a feeling of great fatigue. It had impacted on my job which I left, I started drinking as a coping mechanism. I started on anti-anxiety meds, I was still getting stalked online, so I shut down all my accounts and that led to feeling more isolated. I applied to start a new career and this helped channel my thoughts away from her, made a new social circle of friends, and it became easier as each day went by. I started to experience a range of emotions that i had carried during the r/s but never allowed myself to, didnt feel safe enough to.

4 - A short discussion on what you have learned: so many life lessons!

the biggest life lesson was to reach out to others, before I met my ex I considered myself a strong, independent person and would not consider getting help, so i had developed a high amount of self confidence in dealing with problems myself. I look back and think that I could have done far better and dealt with situations by reaching out to experienced people that were available to help. Trust issues have increased, due to the height of emotional enmeshment I also let my trust towards my ex get to a reckless place, I did so out of a "feeling" rather than of what was safe or rational and it ended up causing me more problems where she took those opportunities to levearge against me. I had been too open, and reciprocated her apparent boundary less open ness. Ive learned also an appreciation of how complex it is for someone suffering from a disorder, a great deal of empathy and a feeling of strength and renewed confidence that I can appreciate the advantages, the joy that the relationship brought and at the same time acknowledge the downsides. I gained over time a more complete overall picture than just limiting my perspective to highs and lows, and have mentally averaged the relationship out, it seems to have helped doing so. Looking forward I have optimism of being succesful at finding a partner that is a better match and to deal with difficult scenarios better when they arise. 10 months on from the end of the relationship im amazed at the things ive achieved, beyond getting back on my feet, im in a better place than before I had met her, it has shown me just how limiting the r/s had been on my broader life goals beyond the high emotional intensity the relationship had to offer as a substitute.
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