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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Objectifying the romantic partner  (Read 37435 times)
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« on: January 02, 2009, 08:42:32 AM »

A big task in my continuing recovery from BPD has been to realise my tendency to objectify other people in my life. What does this mean? Well, partly it has to do with the famous dictum "never treat others as merely means to an end, but always as ends in themselves."

We all know neediness is at the core of BPD and I think it has much to do with how people with BPD look at the world and at people. Distrust of others' motives (especially if the person with BPD was sexually abused) lends a coloring to all personal interactions: fear is a self-centered emotion, a defense mechanism. So if someone with BPD is driven by a deep and intense need to be loved while at the same time fearing the object of that love will go away or will hurt him/her, then it's easy to see that s/he will tend to view another AS an object, if that makes any sense.

Neediness and fear are all about what is happening to the person, and they leave little room for empathy or even awareness of anyone else's needs. In the same way as a person with NPD uses others as ego-gratifying objects that feed their "narcissistic supply", a person with BPD uses others as an outside means to comfort themselves and to perhaps even give themselves worth, which they believe they lack.

Just some thoughts on the subject - didn't know if anyone had experienced objectifying behavior from their BPD partner. It might help to understand why this happens, and then how we all can move towards extinguishing this tendency, though of course the hard work has to be done by the person with BPD. But there are probably good ways the Non-partner can support this growth while still respecting their own needs and boundaries.
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 11:19:36 PM »

So you are saying that we can be viewed more as objects who serve a need, than as people who should be cared for and respected? yeah, I can see that when my uBPbf is dysregulated and in total defense mode, but when he is calm then he is very considerate and kind - and it seems to be genuine.

I know that validation has made a huge difference in calming him down - I wonder how our beginning to take care of ourselves by taking time outs will impact their thinking. Will they learn to see us as deserving if we refuse to accept poor treatment?
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 09:21:25 AM »

Thanks, united, for clarifying the situation: I often forget to acknowledge that people with BPD don't ALWAYS behave a certain way. You're right when you say a BPD partner has times where they are compassionate, empathetic, kind, etc. - and that it is genuine. Most of the people I know with BPD, from the BPD forum, have big hearts and care very deeply for others.

What I should have said is that in times of distress (dysregulation like you said), the tendency is to forget the needs of the other person (for respect, for understanding, for being listened to) and to come from a very self-centered, almost animalistic place of fear and neediness. THis has been both my experience and my observation of friends and my uBPDxbf. They (we) forget ourselves in our fear of rejection/abandonment and can emotionally regress to a very child-like approach to others, which is fundamentally self-absorbed in its own wants. Unfortunately this state can be pervasive, due to things like well-entrenched defenses and habit. Personality disorders are often so much a part of the person that they aren't even aware of them.

But the "steady-state" objectification probably applies more to people with NPD, tho I have limited experience with that besides one bf (G.) whom I thought had those tendencies. I have compared him to my BPD bf (R.) with this metaphor: R. is like a  wounded bear caught in a trap, striking out because he is hurting; G. is a crocodile, coldly predatory, striking out only to feed himself.

Validation is helpful and I'm glad to see you've had success with that method, though I do think it might be distrusted in a person's early recovery. Being acknowledged and heard is important to us all. I don't know what the reaction to the non-partner's self-care would be; my first thought is that of course it would trigger abandonment fears and perhaps lashing out in retaliation for "taking away" your love and support. I imagine it would be very difficult for an early-stage recovery person with BPD to understand the complexity of the relationship, since there really is a black & white dichotomy prevalent in our thinking: you're good when you treat us nice and we are getting what we want from you, but you're bad when you don't give us what we want.

Well, this is all just supposition on my part, and I could be way off base. I'm trying to extrapolate from my own experiences, and of course people with BPD aren't all the same, right? There are underlying similarities in behavior, although how each individual responds will of course vary depending on their distinct personalities and life history.

I just know how helpful it has been in my own growth to start valuing other people not for what I can get from them, but for who they are - flaws and all. It's been a joyful discovery and has enriched my life and that of the people I love. What better could I ask for?
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 09:47:58 AM »

Oceanheart   xoxox

So glad you are posting... xoxox

Quote
R. is like a  wounded bear caught in a trap, striking out because he is hurting; G. is a crocodile, coldly predatory, striking out only to feed himself.

Since DB was likely a combo NPD/BPD I think I got a bit of both here...pretty ugly to be on the recieving end of that kind of objectification.  My needs simply did not exist, only his needs/wants/feelings...I only served a need, I really didn't exist in his world for any other purpose.

It is a dificult thing for the Non to completely get their head around and it's great that you can post so intelligently and help give us some understanding from the other side.

PS - You sound well...and I'm very glad to see you on here.
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 01:30:29 PM »

Validation is helpful and I'm glad to see you've had success with that method, though I do think it might be distrusted in a person's early recovery. Being acknowledged and heard is important to us all.

My dBPD wife definitely didn't trust validation when I first started doing it. She started to like it pretty quickly, though.  Maybe the strong need for it overpowered the distrust of it; I don't know.
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 09:56:10 AM »

elph!  xoxox

So nice to be back. You know I can't keep away from you folks, you mean too much to me (even if I do wander off at times for long periods). Hope you are doing well, too!

yeah, the sad thing about non-partners is that they themselves are intelligent people and approach BPD behavior with a mentally-healthy viewpoint. But sadly that isn't effective since people with BPD aren't acting in a "normal" way: we have real and actual cognitive distortions - our thinking is not rational. Of course, this is worse in stressful times, but like I said above, it also permeates everyday life and interactions because it's part of our personality and way of being in the world (not that we can't change, tho).

So someone who does not have BPD trying to understand BPD behavior is a little like having German as a native language but trying to communicate with someone speaking Klingon  grin There's gonna be some things lost in translation...
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 10:13:47 AM »

 What a great discussion!

In speaking with my H ( also recovered from BPD), he says what OH says..when he was "out there emotionally" he was in a base, primitive state of fear and emotional agony. He would see me as a person to be terrified of..what I would do to him...yet would reach out and demand in his way, for me to "make it right" by screaming, yelling, thrashing, fetal position...etc etc. He said it was impossible for him to see me, as a wife, friend, lover, support person..but yea, as an object, usually an evil one, or as someone who could take away the agony. When he was not dysregulated emotionally, he saw me as who I was in his life, as a person..

Interesting!

Steph
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009, 10:56:08 AM »

I too, am very glad to see you back here Oceanheart  xoxox

Your words brought (bring  grin) a lot of insight into things that help me stay compassionate and loving, even in the face of the lion...

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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 08:31:54 AM »

Steph, I feel for your H. How sad that he was so emotionally crushed by his fear, but I'm really glad to hear he is recovered -both for him and for you.

Quote from: Steph
He said it was impossible for him to see me, as a wife, friend, lover, support person..but yea, as an object, usually an evil one, or as someone who could take away the agony.

That last part is crucial, especially in terms of a person with BPD's recovery efforts: looking outside for sources of comfort is unhealthy and as long as the person with BPD continues to do so, they cannot heal and move towards "normality". So much of our emotionality is externalized when we are dysregulated or feel threatened. The only way to not become so afraid/needy of others is to learn to become dependent on ourselves. Yes, comfort needs to come from those we love, too, but ultimately we are ALL alone and must have the inner strength to take care of our own emotional needs. I think that's a way to stop objectifying others: by getting what we need from within ourselves and then getting what we want - not in a childish "I WANT it!" way, lol - from loved ones while still respecting their boundaries and wants/needs.

I can't say I've had the exact experience as Steph's H because to protect myself I had chronically isolated most of my adult life (for example I didn't date nor have sex for 5 years - sorry if TMI). I've never had a serious relationship past 6 months, tho of course all of my many 2-month "relationships" were so intense I felt like we'd been together all our lives  rolleyes

Oh, but when they left...what I needed was taken away, wiped out. I remember the relationship break-up that precipitated my breakdown that led to my recovery left me literally sitting on the floor, with no energy left to even move, feeling as empty as a cleaned-out oyster shell. What gave meaning to my life was gone, and so my life had no meaning. A hurricane was approaching and I remember wishing it would hit my house and blow me away.

I am now full of myself  grin I should say I'm full IN myself. I get my emotional support primarily from inside, and then if I want a little extra comfort - as all humans need from time to time - I allow myself to be vulnerable around people I can trust, and I ask for help. But I never demand it anymore, or feel that primal rage at those who "deny" me it.

united, I am very glad to be back here and will stay a while this time. It makes me happy to know I can help, and like I've said before partly the reason I post is to pay kinda a debt I owe for the pain I have previously put into the world. But also because you all ROCK! I wish you personally continued strength in the face of that bad-breathed roaring...

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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2009, 11:26:33 AM »

I remember many times when he was upset and it took me awhile to figure out why he couldn't let something go - it was because he was waiting for me to make it all better for him somehow. He would say "make things go back to normal", like I had a magic wand to wave that would take away all the anger and hurt he had created around him 


*hi-jack*

I shouldn't have said lion, since isn't donkey married to the dragon with little dragon/donkey babies now?

Dragon actually is a better description of his temperment anyway...

*hi-jack over*
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 07:05:37 AM »

He would say "make things go back to normal", like I had a magic wand to wave that would take away all the anger and hurt he had created around him 

It's amazing how child-like this is. Kids think parents control the world, are super-people, and invest in them magical powers of power. Behavior like his highlights the regressive emotional nature of BPD, eh? Maybe recovery is just finally growing up...

Yeah, that dragon-btch sure did have some temper-tantrums in the one movie, didn't she? Not calling your bf a woman or anything (that'd be too much of a compliment, grin )
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2009, 09:43:40 AM »

Maybe recovery is just finally growing up...

I would like to think so...
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2010, 04:11:11 PM »

Thanks for the bump, Joanna.

A friend whose description of her spouse sounded very BPD-like needed to discover this place, so just today I'm sending her the link to FtF: you all are such a wonderful community of caring, understanding people - who have BEEN THERE -  it would help her with the pain she's going through, even if he doesn't turn out to be BPD, just to feel heard. She will, no doubt, be welcome.

I hope everyone is doing well in this New Year/New Decade   and that everyone is also experiencing positive change (Spring must come, even after a hard, long, bitter winter!)

For myself, just recently my parents remarked how an incident with a friend of mine who didn't want to go to a social event with me hardly fazed me, when not to long ago I would have taken it personally and gotten mad at him and withdrawn because of feeling rejected. Instead, I said, "too bad, it would have been fun to go." I realized he had his own preferences and motivations and instead of trying to change them or getting mad because they didn't match mine, I just accepted it, with calm disappointment. It's nice to think I'm still making progress day by day, regardless of stopping formal therapy 2 years ago (my T and I agreed I was ready).

I really do feel like I've grown up and can only continue to get better as I take on more adult responsibility. May the joy and grace of personal growth be in your lives today!

oceanheart/Marni

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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2010, 11:10:16 PM »

Hi oceanheart, smiley

Interesting discussion. 

The 'childlike' behavior explains so much of BPD.

And I was thought about how the continual process of "growing up" can help all of us!  Thanks for the reminder.

Take care,

Foiles

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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2010, 11:41:01 PM »

My BPDh is very childlike.

When he used to get really upset/disregulated he would say if he only could show me how bad I was I would suddenly see it his way and do good. Even though I hadn't done anything at all to him.

He would get triggered by a stranger and totally flip out and I would try to rein him in and then he would turn all the anger at me.

Now if this starts to happen instead of me becoming the enemy he sees me as on his side, the trust is built and secure now and nothing really escalates anymore.

The tools I learned here changed our relationship. I still see the BPD behaviors but now he seems to be in more control of them and is way more trusting of me and us than ever before. I will not be abused by anyone esp him.

He does seem to idolize me too much though. At night while sleeping he will wake me up to tell me all sorts of wonderful things which I LOVE but I wonder if that is part of the disorder too? He used to do this before we got better together but it was tainted by the constant insults and huge fights.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2010, 09:37:32 AM »

...ultimately we are ALL alone and must have the inner strength to take care of our own emotional needs. I think that's a way to stop objectifying others: by getting what we need from within ourselves and then getting what we want - not in a childish "I WANT it!" way, lol - from loved ones while still respecting their boundaries and wants/needs.

I can't say I've had the exact experience as Steph's H because to protect myself I had chronically isolated most of my adult life (for example I didn't date nor have sex for 5 years - sorry if TMI). I've never had a serious relationship past 6 months, tho of course all of my many 2-month "relationships" were so intense I felt like we'd been together all our lives  rolleyes

Oh, but when they left...what I needed was taken away, wiped out. I remember the relationship break-up that precipitated my breakdown that led to my recovery left me literally sitting on the floor, with no energy left to even move, feeling as empty as a cleaned-out oyster shell. What gave meaning to my life was gone, and so my life had no meaning. A hurricane was approaching and I remember wishing it would hit my house and blow me away.

I am now full of myself  grin I should say I'm full IN myself. I get my emotional support primarily from inside, and then if I want a little extra comfort - as all humans need from time to time - I allow myself to be vulnerable around people I can trust, and I ask for help. But I never demand it anymore, or feel that primal rage at those who "deny" me it.[/b]

Oceanhart, I could've written those words myself. I also sometimes think i might as well die so I can stop going thru this.  I'm just now facing the feeling of emotional emptiness you described, and am realizing that in fact, I am and always have been, an emotionally dependent person, never being able to be without a partner for more than... a few months at most. Always filling the emptiness inside with someone or something (all unhealthy). These days, as I deal with yet another break-up... I finally get to see this very clearly.  My (codep) recovery work while incredibly helpful, is leaving some gaps, unanswered questions, things I feel need to be resolved before I can move on into a healthier way of life, one that is filled from within rather than from the outside. I realize that I don't know how to take care of my emotional needs, how to even begin to do that.  I suspect that therapy will be the way to find some of those answers. Thank you for your very insightful posts.
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 11:59:01 AM »

I am so new at this. My significant other is so angry and hurt because I have tired to defend myself. We are dating although he has let me know that I will never be his partner. He means the world to me.  That being said, how do I help him? What do I do when I inadvertanly do something that sets off a rage and retreat. I do love him and when he is not triggered our time together is wonderful. He is a great man. But I am always doing something that distroys the peace. I took a personal day today from work today. I am hurt. I have been asked once again to return his personal items, which I will do later today. He has asked that I pick up the frew things that I have left over his place. As I learn about BPD I do understand what is going on to some extent and he also is in of therapy. We do not talk about BPD and I would be weary about bringing it up, but he has told me about his insecurities and what he needs from me. I think I am strong enough to see through the putdowns and blame, but how do I address his is attacking me? A simple "can I call you tomorrow because I am not sure what my plans are?" can cause such turnoil and anger from him. I will always be doing something wrong in his eyes and I never know when something I do or didn't do will hurt him. Help? al*welcome*
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 10:14:10 PM »

My uBPDh will often comment on how nice or sexy I look or comment on parts of my anatomy or say he finds it hard to look at me because it makes him feel aroused. At other times he will just withdraw and shutdown and if I ask what is happening he will say it is because I am so hot ! I am not a supermodel so these comments make me feel objectified and I think that is because he rarely comments on my interests, character or other personal qualities and also criticises and makes indirect negative remarks about the tidiness or cleanliness of the house, which is not up to his standard.
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2011, 12:35:22 PM »

ZulaMama,

What you said totally hit home with me... my bf does the same thing...  He's always commenting on my body (in a good way:P) and totally into me in that way, and yet is constantly criticizing everything else about me, particularly my intelligence and maturity... and also nitpicks the cleanliness of our apartment and complains at me about it all the time (he's a stay at home dad and I work full-time, by the way...) 

It can be so confusing sometimes... And sometimes I totally feel "lucky" to have him, because I feel like no one else would be so accepting of my very unnattracive body (I am quite overweight)><  When he compliments my body, I feel uncomfortable...  Like this morning... one minute he's complaining about how he can't sleep and blaming me for him getting fired from his last job... then he goes and smokes a cigarette and when he comes back in he's telling my daughter (21 months old) how "hot" mama is and grabbing my ass>< lmao  I think HE's really confused lol

But yeah, sometimes I definitely feel like an object... that either meets his needs or doesn't, and when I don't I better watch out:P
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2011, 10:31:18 PM »

A made the remark to a close friend a few months ago that, my uBPDh only sees me and our kids as the "things" he has to put up with in order to have financial stability.  While I don't know or can't understand how and if he does objectify us, there are times when I'm convinced he only sees in me what I can fulfill for him. 

And yes, sometimes its sexual, I guess it all depends on what he's feeling.  And I'm not saying I don't mind the compliments there...

Confusing...very!
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2012, 05:55:13 AM »

Objectification is an interesting topic and very hard as a non to get your head around.

My stbx uBPD/ uNPDw sees herself as the victim. Part of her rejection of me involve not just devaluation but dehumanisation of me. In her eyes so long as I was present she saw me a monster. Feeling became facts. I made her feel bad and therefore in her eyes I was bad. This allowed her to project all her negative feeling and shame about herself onto me. She certainly did not think about me as being hurt, she does not see it that way. My feelings did not come into it. If anything she felt that she had the right to treat me badly because of how I made her feel about herself. 

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=147008.0

Once out of sight and no longer the object of her attachment I doubt she thinks of me at all.


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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2012, 12:33:56 PM »

I think the following article explains this process better than anything I have ever read. It come from an unternationally renowned expert:


   

3 Levels of Emotions found in Borderline Personality-John G. Gunderson's

(tm)_ on: May 26, 2011, 02:43:20 PM (tm)
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2012, 05:54:09 PM »

WOW. That's exactly it.  Idea

If only I could give this to some other people so they could understand... but I know even then they would not.

Thank you for posting this article.
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« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2012, 01:12:49 AM »

I find this thread so insightful and helpful.  I don't know if anyone can answer this at all but I will put it out there in case there is someone who can answer it and in case it might also be helpful to others.  What is the primary behavioral difference between BPD and NPD?  It would seem while the motivation is quite different the behaviors are very similar.  If I am wrong my apologies.  I hope someone can illustrate how the behaviors differ or are distinguishable between these two diagnoses.
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« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2012, 01:20:53 AM »

Oceanheart   xoxox

So glad you are posting... xoxox

Quote
R. is like a  wounded bear caught in a trap, striking out because he is hurting; G. is a crocodile, coldly predatory, striking out only to feed himself.

Since DB was likely a combo NPD/BPD I think I got a bit of both here...pretty ugly to be on the recieving end of that kind of objectification.  My needs simply did not exist, only his needs/wants/feelings...I only served a need, I really didn't exist in his world for any other purpose.

It is a dificult thing for the Non to completely get their head around and it's great that you can post so intelligently and help give us some understanding from the other side.

PS - You sound well...and I'm very glad to see you on here.

Elphaba...your post opened my eyes so much.  I never even thought of the man in my life as having both NPD and BPD!  Thank you that would explain so much.  My needs do NOT exist to him at all!  I am beyond an afterthought.   His issues are so multiple and so complex it is extremely difficult to know how to navigate these waters.  Yesterday his insensitivity triggered a major meltdown for me and I am hating myself today!  I work so hard to be level headed and just find nearly impossible to forgive myself when I fall into the snares and react...especially when I OVER react!  It's a relief to have found this particular thread.
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« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2012, 02:38:32 AM »

Oceanheart   xoxox

So glad you are posting... xoxox

Quote
R. is like a  wounded bear caught in a trap, striking out because he is hurting; G. is a crocodile, coldly predatory, striking out only to feed himself.

Since DB was likely a combo NPD/BPD I think I got a bit of both here...pretty ugly to be on the recieving end of that kind of objectification.  My needs simply did not exist, only his needs/wants/feelings...I only served a need, I really didn't exist in his world for any other purpose.

It is a dificult thing for the Non to completely get their head around and it's great that you can post so intelligently and help give us some understanding from the other side.

PS - You sound well...and I'm very glad to see you on here.

Elphaba...your post opened my eyes so much.  I never even thought of the man in my life as having both NPD and BPD!  Thank you that would explain so much.  My needs do NOT exist to him at all!  I am beyond an afterthought.   His issues are so multiple and so complex it is extremely difficult to know how to navigate these waters.  Yesterday his insensitivity triggered a major meltdown for me and I am hating myself today!  I work so hard to be level headed and just find nearly impossible to forgive myself when I fall into the snares and react...especially when I OVER react!  It's a relief to have found this particular thread.

The two are considered to coexist in ~40% of pwBPD (Randi Kreger).
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riptapart
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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2012, 02:46:31 PM »

I think the following article explains this process better than anything I have ever read. It come from an unternationally renowned expert:


   

3 Levels of Emotions found in Borderline Personality-John G. Gunderson's

(tm)_ on: May 26, 2011, 02:43:20 PM (tm)
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2012, 01:53:43 AM »

Thanks for the confession/comment, Oceanheart, about objectification.  I DO see how the BPD person can be seen as treating others in this way, although I do think that the feelings run deeper than  this.  When a person is not emotionally mature, they often remain in an egocentric state of mind, and treat others as less than themselves.

About the neediness factor...  Something that has helped my husband and I TREMENDOUSLY in softening his blow outs, and even avoiding blowouts, is for me to stop and ask him to clarify his exact feelings.  Often he appears angry and scary to me, when really he is feeling vulnerable, humiliated, desperate, afraid, hurt...  As soon as he clarifies these feelings, I am there for him.  For all you BPD peeps---neediness is fine for some of us (at least it is for me; it is a base emotion that I support).  Cruel defensive and intimidating anger is the control part I can't handle myself. Clarifying feelings in the middle of an argument is crucial.  When a person is in a high state of suffering/pain, they usually function from an egocentric place.  The key in my relationship with my husband is to reassure him, constantly... 

I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it IS, but he is worth it.
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« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2012, 10:20:10 PM »

Ah, "Perfection" became my middle name. I was the person who was so perfect that I could fix his life and his kids.  The moment I asked for help, as it's his life and kids,  the anger would erupted.  I now know why: I'd destroyed his image of me.

When he's in good functioning he's a delight to be with.  There are times that I clearly compliment him for doing something well that he hears as criticism.  This is going to take work on my part.
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »

Interesting that so many BPD partners DON'T insult us for our sexual appearance/attractiveness, yet feel entirely free to assassinate our characters and hurt us in so many other ways.  I wonder if this is because the sexual bond is so strong, that they know if they break this there will be no safety net to grab on to.  Making love can truly keep a bond tight and help couples relax enough to begin to heal and repair issues. 
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2013, 02:55:48 PM »

Instead of being gas-lighted, a light bulb has gone off. "as long as you are doing what i want, you are good. if you are not, then you are bad." totally hit home with me. that is exactly how i have been made to feel. one time i made the mistake of telling my husband that i felt like his slave, which i do. now that you've explained that i've been objectified, it makes sense why he behaves the way he does. Thank you, Oceanheart!
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pari
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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 10:09:11 AM »

This is so true.

I feel like I am center of his world, center of affection when he is in good mood and doormat when he is angry. He would make me feel like a queen when in good mood, load me up with compliments which feels great because I have never been so appreciated all my life and I see honestly in his words and eyes. Often if he is mad at something else, it comes out on me. I have even pointed it out to him. May be because we spend so much time together, so he vents it all out on me. Sometimes I do feel like an object or toy in his life which he keeps to entertain himself.

We are going through a rough phase these days. Hence, everything I do/write/say is always wrong. sad

It helps to know that this is not unique to me.  :smiley

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« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2013, 05:18:55 AM »

Maybe recovery is just finally growing up...  

This triggered me today because I remember my ex saying "I know what you're thinking. . .why don't you just grow up"

As for 'objectifying' (before I considered a PD). . .well I certainly felt devalued but what was most obvious is he turned into another person in his attitude towards women.  He became very objectifying of women full stop. . .in a sexual way.

He slept with multiple women, I believe he was using porn extensively. . .and our sex life became more 'porn' like.  He made crass and vulgar comments towards women. . .and once he saw me out with a friend and when approaching us shouted out "hey ladies, get your tits out".  Something, over 13 years I had never seen before to that extent although I must admit I always wondered if there was a dark side towards women in him.

He once wrote. . ."I turned into the man you wouldn't want me to be, and the man I don't want to be" . . .extremely sad




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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2014, 08:56:44 PM »

TMost of the people I know with BPD, from the BPD forum, have big hearts and care very deeply for others.

What I have learned through my UBPD boyfriend is that he feels perhaps too much for people and the general condition of suffering. I think this is partly where all of the dysregulation comes from. He is able to empathize deeply because of his own suffering that he carries daily inside himself in a world where he feels generally rejected and invisible. Yet, the root always seems to be that he feels love for everyone and everything but alienated by people's actions that say the opposite of their words of love.

Consequently it is very rare when he tells me he loves me because he feels that the entire planet is a hypocrite when it comes to love. He feels people just say the words and live in action the opposite to what love is. So I hear him say that very rarely to me...  but when he does say it I know he means it.

Then there are the rages without filter spewing the worst possible insults and accusations so as to make the non want to leave. He doesn't see this as verbal abuse, in fact after he calms down in his mind he views what just occurred as just being expressive and venting. It is as though he doesn't have true recollection of the gravity of his behavior and is inflicting upon me the very thing that causes himself agony over the hypocritical condition of people and how they treat one another. A sort of double standard where he is taking that all out on me for some feeling of being dejected that he uses as an excuse.

It is so complex that I can hardly wrap my brain around it.

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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2015, 11:28:08 AM »

I think that the situation below is a result of the idealisation that can be so strong in a BPD, often about love.   The person the BPD loves becomes a "love object", and because love and a loving relationship is idealised, the whole idealised construct is at risk when a behaviour by a partner is less than ideal - the BPD feels "let down" or even that "love has been betrayed".


"Consequently it is very rare when he tells me he loves me because he feels that the entire planet is a hypocrite when it comes to love. He feels people just say the words and live in action the opposite to what love is. So I hear him say that very rarely to me...   but when he does say it I know he means it.

Then there are the rages without filter spewing the worst possible insults and accusations so as to make the non want to leave. He doesn't see this as verbal abuse, in fact after he calms down in his mind he views what just occurred as just being expressive and venting. It is as though he doesn't have true recollection of the gravity of his behavior and is inflicting upon me the very thing that causes himself agony over the hypocritical condition of people and how they treat one another. A sort of double standard where he is taking that all out on me for some feeling of being dejected that he uses as an excuse.

It is so complex that I can hardly wrap my brain around it."
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« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2015, 01:59:21 AM »

My BPDh is very childlike.

When he used to get really upset/disregulated he would say if he only could show me how bad I was I would suddenly see it his way and do good. Even though I hadn't done anything at all to him.

He would get triggered by a stranger and totally flip out and I would try to rein him in and then he would turn all the anger at me.

Now if this starts to happen instead of me becoming the enemy he sees me as on his side, the trust is built and secure now and nothing really escalates anymore.

The tools I learned here changed our relationship. I still see the BPD behaviors but now he seems to be in more control of them and is way more trusting of me and us than ever before. I will not be abused by anyone esp him.

He does seem to idolize me too much though. At night while sleeping he will wake me up to tell me all sorts of wonderful things which I LOVE but I wonder if that is part of the disorder too? He used to do this before we got better together but it was tainted by the constant insults and huge fights.

I can totally relate to this. It's like I don't care what he thinks of me after he's verbally abused me. It's almost as if I want him to stop talking. I wish he could see how little I care what he thinks of me after he's verbally abused me but if I would try to point this out to him, he wouldn't want to hear it.
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« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2015, 02:05:42 AM »

TMost of the people I know with BPD, from the BPD forum, have big hearts and care very deeply for others.

Oh I can totally relate and frankly I am sick and tired of it all. How are we and why are we supposed to care about these people?

What I have learned through my UBPD boyfriend is that he feels perhaps too much for people and the general condition of suffering. I think this is partly where all of the dysregulation comes from. He is able to empathize deeply because of his own suffering that he carries daily inside himself in a world where he feels generally rejected and invisible. Yet, the root always seems to be that he feels love for everyone and everything but alienated by people's actions that say the opposite of their words of love.

Consequently it is very rare when he tells me he loves me because he feels that the entire planet is a hypocrite when it comes to love. He feels people just say the words and live in action the opposite to what love is. So I hear him say that very rarely to me...   but when he does say it I know he means it.

Then there are the rages without filter spewing the worst possible insults and accusations so as to make the non want to leave. He doesn't see this as verbal abuse, in fact after he calms down in his mind he views what just occurred as just being expressive and venting. It is as though he doesn't have true recollection of the gravity of his behavior and is inflicting upon me the very thing that causes himself agony over the hypocritical condition of people and how they treat one another. A sort of double standard where he is taking that all out on me for some feeling of being dejected that he uses as an excuse.

It is so complex that I can hardly wrap my brain around it.

I totally understand it and frankly it makes me want to stop caring. How and why are we supposed to care about people who are so abusive?
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« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2015, 09:38:29 AM »

So you are saying that we can be viewed more as objects who serve a need, than as people who should be cared for and respected? yeah, I can see that when my uBPbf is dysregulated and in total defense mode, but when he is calm then he is very considerate and kind - and it seems to be genuine.

I know that validation has made a huge difference in calming him down - I wonder how our beginning to take care of ourselves by taking time outs will impact their thinking. Will they learn to see us as deserving if we refuse to accept poor treatment?

Hi united for now

I totally agree with your question and would like to  know if there is any answer / solution / fix. I know that in order to take care of my uBPbf I first need  to take care of myself. So when we fought two days ago, I decided  to take some time-out and had  a spontaneous get-together with some close friends. When he found out, that triggered another episode. I can see that he views it as betrayal, and he said that I must be false as I couldn't possibly have been sad after the first fight if I was busy organizing a "party" as he called it. But how else am I supposed to have taken care of myself?  I don't know how to validate his feelings in this situation. Any advice would be welcome!
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« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2015, 04:11:11 PM »

So you are saying that we can be viewed more as objects who serve a need, than as people who should be cared for and respected? yeah, I can see that when my uBPbf is dysregulated and in total defense mode, but when he is calm then he is very considerate and kind - and it seems to be genuine.

I know that validation has made a huge difference in calming him down - I wonder how our beginning to take care of ourselves by taking time outs will impact their thinking. Will they learn to see us as deserving if we refuse to accept poor treatment?

Hi united for now

I totally agree with your question and would like to  know if there is any answer / solution / fix. I know that in order to take care of my uBPbf I first need  to take care of myself. So when we fought two days ago, I decided  to take some time-out and had  a spontaneous get-together with some close friends. When he found out, that triggered another episode. I can see that he views it as betrayal, and he said that I must be false as I couldn't possibly have been sad after the first fight if I was busy organizing a "party" as he called it. But how else am I supposed to have taken care of myself?  I don't know how to validate his feelings in this situation. Any advice would be welcome!

I've experienced that kind of thing too and I would say don't engage with his feelings, just go on about with your day. He's going to need to emotionally regulate himself. You could just tell him you understand he's upset you went out with your friends and you're sorry he's having a hard time. There's a great acronym in SWOE called JADE, don't justify, apologize, defend or explain. I try to live by that.
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2016, 07:43:43 PM »

I just know how helpful it has been in my own growth to start valuing other people not for what I can get from them, but for who they are - flaws and all. It's been a joyful discovery and has enriched my life and that of the people I love. What better could I ask for?

Hi Ocean.  Thank you so much for your openness on these forums.  I have read many of your posts and feel like I am learning so much about my exBPDgf's perspective, and it is helping me to heal from our breakup. 

I have some question for you if you don't mind...

When did you know you were using people in this way?  Were you always aware you did this or was this something you learned in your recovery process? 

When you have the stresses that lead to an episode of dysregulation and this behavior comes out in you, how long does it take for you to realize it - and what is the best way someone in your life to deal with it effectively when it happens?

Thank you, again, for all you post.
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« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2016, 04:36:56 AM »

Hi!

This has been very useful and helpful. I've had a relationship with a PwBPD for almost exactly a year, and I've had all manner of things that have confused the hell out of me. The idea of objectification seems to make some sense.

I'll put a few of these out there and see if you can make head or tails out of it.

One of the biggest issues I had was that she always kept me at a certain length from her. We met online, and she lived in another state, so physically we were apart anyway. She showed all the signs of interest... We were flirty, she would be in contact everyday, shared stories about our lives, BUT...

She didn't want to give me her phone number, or arrange to meet in person. We talked a lot about being intimate, but when I had a chance to visit, she simply avoided the question until I told her I had to make a decision, and then she made up a bunch of reasons why she wouldn't know if she'd be free and wouldn't want to commit. So I didn't go.

Since we met online, she had been using a different name. She told me her username was her real name, which I was pretty certain it wasn't... And I was right. In December, after we'd been in a relationship for a couple months officially, she finally told me her first name when I was offering to help her because she needed money to get her car fixed. She didn't tell me her last name, although I leather it later when I got a receipt from PayPal. I didn't tell her I knew it. She also said outright that she was worried I was offering to send money so I could learn her name.

She came home for Christmas and we made plans to get together, but she had her best friend come along to a dinner. I was okay with it. I figured she had been that reticent already and if it would help earn her trust, then why not?

I finally got her phone number and address in March. I was going to send her some things I had gotten from a friend of mine that I thought she'd like. When I asked for her last name to put on the package, she lied and gave me a fake name.

Later that month, she came home for spring break. We had discussed getting together, but she never made any plans. We finally had a big blow up when I asked about meeting and she had plans for everyday. She had also not told me when she was coming or going, and I thought she had completely filled her schedule and was trying to avoid seeing me. I made an ultimatum. She didn't respond, and we were through. That was Tuesday

In Saturday she went to a sex club, met a guy, played with him, gave him her number, saw him the next day, called him regularly on the phone, talked all about the encounter on social media (there was no indication I was alive on social media). Obviously this made me feel terrible. My feeling was that she saw me as a creep or stalker or something.

Me managed to sort of reconnect afterward. I had been clued in by someone that she sounded like she might have BPD, so I started learning about it and trying to use the tools.

At one point, some friends of mine accosted her for her behavior, which had gotten reckless and reprehensible. She said that since they were my friends that somehow I was the reason. She acnowlwdged that I had done nothing wrong, and that it was unfair, but she decided she needed "space", which was just another word for punishing me with the silent treatment. She said she cared about me and it was going to be hard on her too, but she needed space and "silence".

After 6 months se reached out, told me I hadn't been forgotten, and that I was still on her kind. We've been in some contact ever since.

Last week, she was telling me that she was extremely stressed bc she was strapped and had to move in with her mother (the things my friends had said had apparently caused her to leave her job and move back here over the summer). Since her birthday is today, I told her that I would take her to dinner, give her a little money, maybe fill up her gas tank. She agreed. It would be the first time we had ever been together alone.

The day we were supposed to meet, she waited until an hour after we were supposed to be together to give me some excuse about a friend going through a breakup and asking if we could do it the next day. Since she had agreed to meet Thursday, I had made plans Friday, so that wouldn't work. I told her so, asked her to just meet when she could. She said that I was trying to "control how she spends her time", that she thought the meeting was "flexible", and that she "wasn't obligated. (She) hadn't signed anything"

So I guess I'm wondering if you can shed any light on why this might be happening? She actually talks to me now and will tell me about how stressed she is. I guess it's kind of good hat she trusts me with that, and with other personal information. But I have a really hard time not feeling deeply hurt about the fact that she will seemingly do anything to avoid me... But a guy in a sex club? Oh, he's fine! Completely trustworthy. She doesn't seem to get how much that bothers me.

I don't mind being someone she talks to when she is stressed, but that's not the relationship I want with her. I know that, before I found out about BPD and how to use some of the tools, I pretty much did everything wrong. I was very invalidating, JADEd a lot, and I'm sure she feels stressed and judged talking to me... But she keeps talking to me and bringing me back into her life.

I told her, after she flaked on dinner, that I was unwilling to be what I had been before. I would not accept a "text only" relationship with her. If she wants me in her life then we communicate like normal people. (I used DEARMAN, so it wasn't as harsh as what I just wrote). She wrote me back yesterday, kind of apologized and told me about something else that was stressing her out. We talked for a few minutes, and when I said something that mentioned that I had feelings for her, she had to go to bed. That was fine, as it was late. I felt pretty good about th exchange.

Only she didn't go to bed. She "dirty talked" with some guy for another two hours and bragged about it on social media. That didn't make me feel great, but at least by reaching out it seems like she knows that she was rude. And since my message was very clear, hopefully she understands that it has to progress because doing otherwise affects me.

Anyway, if you can shed some light on why she might be treating me this way, I would really appreciate it... And if you know how to escape the"stress guy" ghetto so I get to be someone she wants around at other times too, that would help.

Thank you for your posts, though. They've been a real help opening my eyes... Also, I've told much of this story on the relationship board. They suggested I might be able to find answers in other parts of the site, which is why I'm asking here.

But again... Thanks for sharing your story and your POV! It has meant a lot to me in just the few hours since I found it!

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