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Author Topic: Is it 50/50 when it comes to problems in a relationship?  (Read 5139 times)
Hope123
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« on: January 23, 2009, 12:49:36 PM »

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .more like 95/5.  

I know I'm not perfect, but gosh, do I try hard.
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Red Raven
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 01:51:58 PM »

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .more like 95/5.

Hopie,

In a relationship we both are 100% responsible for what we bring to the table as individuals.  We are 100% responsible for our own actions, emotions, what we do, what we say.  Worse is that we are 100% responsible for our expectations as well as interpertations.  As is the other person a 100% responsible for theirs.  This here is why communication is so very critical.  A lot suffers when like in my situation it was a long distance relationship.

What I think your getting at is the neediness of the other, the temper tantrums and the rapid cycling.  The immaturity when the other person tries to make you responsible for there stuff.  It happens, a lot.  I am guilty too!  Just ask my exBPDgf.  It does become a lot to bare.  We all do make bad decisions but if we don't learn from them that's the problem.  The person now has to take ownership of the decision, thoughts, emotions etc.  Not to discount triggers.  My exBPDgf is the queen of trigger pulling.  She knew just how to do it to.  i think she actually got bored as the sport was lost, then I stopped playing.

Key word here Hope is Boundaries.  I think I saw you are reading SWOES.  Pick up Boundaries in Marriage by Drs Cloud and Townsend.  It is Christian based and it is chalk full of wisdom.

Yeah the other can be really the needy one, the uncooperative one, the extremely high maintenance... .it is up to us to set our limits, up to us to stop enabling, up to us to draw that line.  I wish I was able to do that more with mine.  Maybe she would have respected me more and would be my BPDgf and not exBPDgf... .
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Padfoot
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 03:24:25 PM »

Seems to me that a healthy relationship should be 50/50.  Mine certainly wasn't healthy -- so maybe 66/33 works in some sense.  But really it comes down to one thing:  if you continue to make the same choices, even though you know it never, ever actually gets better (in a long-term sense), then you are 100% responsible for the way your life is.   

That's a harsh thing to hear, but it also means your 100% capable of changing your situation.
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rethinking
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 08:58:17 AM »

I don't think there is any way that 50% of the problems in my relationship were my responsibility.

I don't think a person with BPD that has not recovered can have a healthy romantic relationship.

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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 09:17:40 AM »

We went to 4 marriage counselors - two during our marriage, two after we separated.  Two men and two women.  All chosen by my ex.

All said that problems are always 50/50.  They all also said "Good morning" and "Would you like some coffee?".  Those are just polite things they say - they don't mean "Objectively speaking, this is a superior morning" or "I really care about your feelings toward coffee".

Saying that problems are always 50/50 makes no sense at all.  It's just a way to get both parties to consider what they can do to fix things, and that's fine.  But if one party has a pattern of bad behavior - behavior that no one should tolerate - and refuses to take responsibility for that behavior - then he or she is 100% responsible for that.  And if you are in a relationship with an untreated BPD sufferer, that is probably the case.

But it might not help to argue about it, if a therapist or someone else is insisting that problems are always 50/50.  It makes you sound like you won't take responsibility for whatever changes you need to make - and we all can find some way to improve.
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reneeth
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 11:47:18 AM »

We all bring personal issues to a relationship, so an 'issue' (not willing to use the word -problem), be it ours or theirs that effect the relationship need to be dealt with 50/50, in that it effects both parties.  There needs to be understanding, respect and communication--- than mutual agreement in how to deal with it , and responsibility to act on those agreements.

The problem for me was, in relationship to the BPDex, was all of these steps were only partial by the ex.  In the beginning we could talk, agree and follow thru on things.  Then came the breakdown in all of these areas, at different times and the manipulation/disintegration of dealing with things became more and more to the points... .there was no more 'working on things' they were too broken.  

I own 100% of my issues in life, and so does the ex... .

reneeth
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 01:14:27 PM »

When you are dealing with a BPD, it is 100% their problem... .there is no chance for a normal discussion.  They will blame and rationalize and refuse to take responsiblity.  I have never had a fight with anyone like I have with my husband, not rational, not normal, no chance for resolution.  There is no marriage, because marriage is a partnership, the illness causes a deep self focus and no chance for a fair resolution.  The fault I find in myself is being here, and having any attempted conversation with someone that is obviously not capble of having one, and refuses to get help.  This runs in his whole family... .unbelievable holidays.
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steev

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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 02:33:14 PM »

I dredged this great letter from a wise individual named "stressed in Cleveland" from about 2 years ago addressing this very subject. Made so much sense to me because I feel like I have been banging my head against the wall with 5 different couples therapists the last 13 years.

So many of us have persisted for months, years and even decades (24 years in my case) with intimate partners who have personality disorders. Often on this forum, we have asked, "Why?" There are many answers: excessive optimism, timidity, religious convictions, fear of the unknown. But there is a big factor that has mainly been overlooked.

You what I think a big part of the problem is? It's the advice from magazine articles, experts on TV, self-help books, religious leaders, advice columnists and so on ad nauseum all saying exactly the same thing: marriage is about compromise. Meet each other half way. It's all about communication. Every problem is 50-50 between spouses. If you go to the library or bookstore and read self-help books and marriage manuals, it is all you will hear. Turn on the TV and hear Dr. Phil or Dr. Brothers and that's all you'll hear. Pick up a magazine or newspaper and read the relationship articles or the advice columnists, and it's the same deal. It's no wonder that when you try to cry on the shoulder of a friend or relative, you get the same refrain: "You're to blame at least 50%. You need to communicate your feelings to her and meet her half way. Compromise."

This is great advice when both partners are sane. It's TERRIBLE advice when one partner has a personality disorder! The non-PD partner compromises and gives up half of what they need in exchange for peace and cooperation. But no peace or cooperation ensues, just more chaos and crazy non-negotiable demands. Then you communicate, and once again agree to give up half of what you want. You know where this is going. You end up with none of your needs met while living with constant complaints and criticism.

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SoCalGirl
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 09:10:35 PM »

After reading the post by "Stressed from Cleveland", this stood out to me:

"Families with borderline wives work very differently. The husband is expected to do all the "traditional" duties of the wife, but under her supervision. The wife creates all the rules for the household and puts in no effort. Often, she doesn't even work outside the home and neglects or emotionally abuses the children."

My exBPD's mother is EXACTLY like this- she works but she WORKS FROM HOME. Her husband is an extremely submissive, quiet man who does EVERYTHING underneath her supervision, they even have a business together- he is the worker, SHE IS THE BOSS! Even if you just saw them together in public without knowing them, you would KNOW that he's this "weak", quiet man while she's this fuming-looking woman ready to criticize anyone. She even creates ALL the rules and IS KNOWN for being a domineering person by people in their community. That explains what is passed on!
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 08:32:12 PM »

Glad to see people were still reading my posts years later! All of this is still true by the way. You can read all this bad advice on the Huffington Post Divorce section.
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 09:34:42 PM »

It can't be 50-50 ever, because the non usually gave a 110% trying to keep the BPD content. While the BPD only gave when they thought it would benifit what they wanted or needed. So its really simple to see that nothing with a BPD is even, we give, they take until we're used up!
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 09:32:32 AM »

Eight years down the road since discovering this site, I am now fully convinced that instead of the 50:50 split of responsibility for relationship problems claimed by cliches and the usual self-help gurus, the truth is closer to a 100:0 split. How do I know this? I am in a wonderful relationship with a woman who divorced a depressed man, which I suppose makes her a non as well. In any event, both of us were married to people incapable of returning our love and caring. We have both found that being with a normal partner is like night and day. Everything we did before and got nothing but contempt for is suddenly appreciated. Neither I nor my gf behave in any way that is fundamentally different from how we treated our previous defective partners. Yet instead of constant abject misery the result is satisfaction and happiness and genuine intimacy.

Neither of us can think of anything we did wrong in our failed marriages. Neither of us feel like we have major personal issues that we need to "own" in order to move on. Our only problem was that we were duped by manipulative partners who lacked normal human emotions such as empathy.
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GreenMango
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 11:12:55 AM »

Bowen "family systems" theory sheds a little light on this question.  

The theory was developed by Murray Bowen, M.D. in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, when he was a psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic. After his time at Menninger’s, he moved to the National Institute of Mental Health, to Georgetown University Medical Center and finally established the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, D.C.

An individual’s overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation. People select ... .  partners who have the same level of emotional maturity. Emotional immaturity manifests in unrealistic needs and expectations. ~ Murray Bowen, M.D

To me, the question after exiting a relationship is not "who is to blame" as much as it is "how emotionally mature am I?".

For me, there was some emotionally immature thinking that lead me to embrace the relationship in the beginning. There was emotionally immature thinking on my part that help create the push and pull we experienced and the make-up/break-up cycles.  And to be honest, there was emotional immaturity in my processing of the break-up.

My ex had issues, no doubt, and for a while, I let that obscure the fact that I had some growing up that I needed to do.

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briefcase
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 12:14:29 PM »

I agree that a lot of "standard relationship advice" is often not helpful in a BPD relationship because it's based on the faulty assumption of two emotionally capable partners.  BPD is a real mental illness and people with the disorder have real limitations that get in the way of some standard advice.  As we all know, BPD (or any mental illness) is a game changer in a relationship that can't be "fixed" with standard relationship advise.  Mental illness has to be treated professionally, we can't "communicate" or "date night" it away.    

But, I don't think the 50-50 adage should be rejected or dismissed.  I think it does apply in a BPD relationship as well as a non-BPD relationship.  

As I have always understood it, the 50-50 rule refers to apportioning responsibility, not blame.  We are each responsible for "our half" of the relationship dynamic, no matter what strengths or limitations our partner might happen to have.  In a sense, each partner is 100% responsible for his or her half of the relationship dynamic (good, bad or ugly).  It's not about assessing blame.  It's more about owning our role in the dysfunction of the relationship (which might have included weak boundaries, low self-esteem, emotional immaturity, fear of confrontation, etc.--not saying all these apply, just examples of things that we might have brought into our "half" of a dysfunctional relationship dynamic).  Something attracted us, and kept us, in an unhealthy relationship.  We played some role.

IMHO, its a little too easy to just say "it was all her fault" and I was "her victim."  It's also black and white thinking.  I played a role in all the dysfunction (problems) of my marriage, as much as I sometimes hate to admit it. I had few and weak boundaries, I was invalidating and argued, I tried to fix her and rescue her.  That stuff belongs to me. 

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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 01:44:36 PM »

An individual’s overall life functioning is linked closely to his level of emotional maturity or differentiation. People select ... .  partners who have the same level of emotional maturity. Emotional immaturity manifests in unrealistic needs and expectations. ~ Murray Bowen, M.D

To me, the question after exiting a relationship is not "who is to blame" as much as it is "how emotionally mature am I?".

For me, there was some emotionally immature thinking that lead me to embrace the relationship in the beginning. There was emotionally immature thinking on my part that help create the push and pull we experienced and the make-up/break-up cycles.  And to be honest, there was emotional immaturity in my processing of the break-up.

My ex had issues, no doubt, and for a while, I let that obscure the fact that I had some growing up that I needed to do.

The flaw in your reasoning here is that you assume that all the BPD traits and other flaws were revealed at the beginning of the relationship. My relationship issues started 6-8 years into the marriage. Before then things were going well. I have talked to a number of people who knew The Sickly Puppetmaster and I when we were courting so many years ago. None of them thought she was a problem. Not a single person warned me not to marry her. She charmed the socks off of everyone we met.

There is nothing wrong with my picker. I did not seek out damaged goods. Sometimes people change. Change dramatically and permanently. People can break bad.
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MaybeSo
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2013, 02:27:18 PM »

Stressed in Cleveland, a personality that was experienced as normal for 8 or more years, that suddenly became symptomatic of BPD is very unsusual. To have a personality disorder, there needs to be a style of relating that is pervasive over time, usually showing signs in adolescence and early adulthood, and is stable over time unless in treatment. A sudden and dramatic change in personality is very uncommon unless something else is going on, head trauma, depression, etc.

The logic that GreenMango applies from family systems certainly aPplies to the majority of us posting, if not specifically to your unique situation. Most of us easily identify red flags very early in the r/s that we chose to minimize or ignore, often due to our own unadressed issues.

In any event, pervasive and stable personality disorder, or something else more organic that prompted a dramatic and debilitating change, we are still ultimately 100 per cent responsible for our responses, choices, our growth, the meaning we apply to our suffering in this life, and our own happiness.
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Matt
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 03:15:29 PM »

Following up on Maybe's note - I think the way I experienced it is the way most of our members remember it, more or less... .  

Before we were married, I knew my wife for many years - we worked together and had the same friends - and everybody thought she was great.

But looking back, there were signs.

Her ex-boyfriend - who she kinda-sorta cheated on with me - a guy who worked for me and who I considered a friend - told me, "Watch out."  I couldn't get him to say more, but looking back, I'm sure he saw BPDish behavior and just didn't know how to tell me.

There were also outbursts, but I didn't think too much of them - she was having a bad day, etc.

Then she lied to me about birth control - before we were married - and got pregnant.  She knew I would marry her, and I did.  As soon as she got pregnant, her behavior began to change, and shortly after we got married, it got pretty bad.  By then I was trapped.  And it got worse over time.

So... .  is my "picker" busted?  Yes, it is, or at least it was.  I made choices - like not taking personal responsibility for birth control - that put me in that situation.  And I overlooked signs that were pretty clear as I look back.  (She created a big scene at our wedding, which caused problems in my family that remain today, many years later.)

I think there are signs, and I think our pickers are broken.

I think my BPD ex is 100% responsible for her choices, such as the choice not to get help even when she was diagnosed and ordered to get therapy by the court.

I think I'm 100% responsible for my choices, such as leaving birth control to her, and overlooking problems I didn't want to see, and pretending that things were getting better when they really weren't.

I just don't buy the 50/50 thing, but maybe that's semantics.  We're all 100% responsible for our own choices.
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 03:35:45 PM »

I'm replying mainly so I can keep up with this thread, which is extremely interesting to me.

I spent a great deal of time trying to follow marriage advice that didn't apply to living with someone with bipolar with psychotic features, ASPD, and NPD. It's almost comical (except that it sucked). My desire to change myself isn't altruistic and self blaming--it's sheer terror of inserting myself into something similar--or even worse--again.

Like others here, I found myself "compromising" percentages over and over until I was compromised out. And was actually relieved to hear my T say "compromise is over-rated. Just like in politics, compromise means no one is happy".
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 04:35:20 PM »

<N.B. I had a post back in 2006 likening compromise in a relationship with a BPD to negotiating with a terrorist.>

The only red flag I should have paid more attention to was the high prevalence of mental illness in her family. The old fashioned question parents used to ask "Is there any insanity in the family?" was probably a good one.

The BPD symptoms started as an outgrowth of postpartum depression. The depression didn't recover as our son grew to be a toddler and in fact got worse. The depression brought friends along with it --anxiety, phobias, building up to panic attacks and rages and mild psychotic episodes. The BPD symptoms were just the icing on the layer cake of mental issues. She was high functioning enough to earn a master's degree in social work with a 4.0 average from one of the top programs in the country. She even attended a seminar on BPD for social workers and took copious notes.

I think my BPDw is a unique case in many respects, including her 100% recovery from full-blown BPD symptoms. But the remaining character disorder issues still make her intolerable to deal with.
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 05:09:25 PM »

There is nothing wrong with my picker.

I was responding to the OP and sharing my self awareness and what I learned in my personal self discovery journey so far.  Thanks for sharing what you have learned.

Thanks Hope123, this is a good thread.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 12:27:51 PM »

I think my BPDw is a unique case in many respects, including her 100% recovery from full-blown BPD symptoms. But the remaining character disorder issues still make her intolerable to deal with.

Unique perhaps, but there *IS* a wide range.

My wife did have occasional episodes even at the beginning of our relationship. At the time we called it being depressed. There were a few other Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  as well--for example, she did isolate me from some friends successfully. Looking back they do resemble BPD, although pretty mild. Things like that came and went a bit over the years; I think there was a strong hormonal component in her case--being on birth control pills made it much worse. After she stopped them, irritability was sure a part of the monthly cycle. But overall things weren't too bad. Around when she was pre-menopausal, she hit full-blown BPD, and things got a LOT worse for me.

I started using the tools around here, and she did some HARD work on herself... .  and now I would say she doesn't come close to meeting the criteria for BPD. I'd say her improvement took place over a year.

As for relationship problems being 50/50: I don't think that assigning blame is useful. I do think that both need to put their full effort into solving the problems for success. The tricky part is that when one person is badly disordered, their "best" doesn't look like very much, especially compared to the "best" an emotionally healthy person can do. Heck, it doesn't look good even compared to the "best" a horribly co-dependent non can do Smiling (click to insert in post)
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 01:11:43 PM »

Not buying it. I regret nothing I did over 27 years of marriage. I regret much of what she did. I did one thing wrong: I married someone who would become intolerable 8 years later after developing severe postpartum depression.

Excerpt
This is a phrase I sometimes proposed to my exuBPD and she wholeheartedly agreed. For her, it was kind of validation, setting a limit to her responsibility and leaving me wide open to discussion on what is considered 50%.

At the time of our breakup, my ex tried the "you're responsible for 50%" line. I refused to go along and offered no apology for finally sticking up for myself.

Excerpt
"I like cooking and it makes me proud I can cook for you. And you like being cooked for as it flatters you. And you will sit in kitchen and do pleasant talk. And we will exchange ideas and communicate. And I will feel validated because you would spend time with me during an action I like and because I want to prove myself. And we'll wash the dishes together after all."

That's lovely and it perfectly describes the relationship I have with my present gf. With my ex the exchange would be "I'm not cooking for you or our son. You two can cook your own damn meals. You better do all the chores on the list I gave you and do them right. And don't bother me in my office." The way I see it, she created 100% of the problems and I was the only one doing any work in the relationship or in the house, for that matter.

Excerpt
2) Relationship is a social interaction of two individuals expressing individuality towards a common, yet ultimately selfish, goal. We all want our relationship to succeed, we strive for it, but at the bottom of it we are not Samartitans and want our success as a couple so that we can fulfill our own need. Nothing wrong or immoral with that IMHO. However, this interaction clearly falls under Nash game theory (Google) meaning the ultimately best solution is impossible without playing the game in a manner you take account of other player's welfare. In other words, you might be responsible for 50% but you are in effect responsible for 100% because any other option would diminish the 100%, which is below optimal.

Again, that's lovely and it fits with the healthy and positive and intimate relationship I currently have. But as for my ex... .  she devoted 100% of her effort toward making me feel bad while avoiding any work whatsoever. That was her "best solution". She could never be happy unless I was miserable. This is called being spiteful, and it's included in game theory.

Excerpt
However, in a BPD relationship, I firmly believe that in proposed model non-BPD would contribute 75%+ to 100% of relationship, creating an impossible strain, invalidation, and aftereffects expressed in so many stories here.

Right. So your theorem is correct but it only applies to healthy relationships. Fortunately, I am finally in one.
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 02:52:35 PM »

I regret nothing I did over 27 years of marriage. 

Wow.
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 02:58:09 PM »

I regret nothing I did over 27 years of marriage. 

Wow.

Certainly there is nothing I would have done differently. Certainly there is nothing I could have done that would have made her happier. She was happiest being miserable and making everyone else around her miserable.

Some people think we create an alternative universe every time we make a decision. In all of those millions of alternative universes, there is none where The Sickly Puppetmaster is happy.
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 05:39:55 PM »

I interpret the 50% 50% thingy and the 100% responsibility for one's own stuff as the ability to draw and enforce iron clad boundaries.

Yes, this person is a complete douche. Yes, he or she abused the kindness of perhaps a kind person. But what law in the universe says you have to put up with this abusive, toxic feces? If you know this person makes you feel like sh!t, you have every right to defend your precious assets and tell them to go to hell and stick it.

Kindness is a precious, precious asset, people. There are not enough kind, competent people in this world. Think of the game "lifeboat"---who would you really want on your lifeboat? Very few people.

So if someone treats these qualities cheaply, you need to dump them like a rotten egg ASAP. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 10:08:45 PM »

Stressedin Cleveland, there's still the question of why you stayed for that long (hey--not pointing fingers... .  I stayed for 18 years!)

Here's something that I finally got pounded into my pointy little head--a healthy intimate relationship requires genuine and sincere emotional interaction. Every day. Mentall ill people are not capable of this. In some ways, the "50/50" idea just doesn't apply in this situation, because it isn't a level playing field.

You either leave and go find someone who can give you what you want out of a relationship, or you try to find a way to adapt to the unlevel playing field that doesn't subjugate your own values and boundaries, self respect, and self worth. Perhaps that is possible for some people, but clearly not for all of us.
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2013, 09:54:38 AM »

Stressedin Cleveland, there's still the question of why you stayed for that long (hey--not pointing fingers... .  I stayed for 18 years!)

I stayed because I was blackmailed. Leaving marriage to a BPD partner is totally different for men than it is for women because of our family court system. To overgeneralize just a little, women get automatic custody and automatic alimony payments on top of child support if their spouse earns more than they do. The disordered spouse almost always earns less, and often refuses to work at all.

My wife told me many times, starting early in her illness:

If you ever divorce me, I will take you for every cent you have and you will never see your son again. You'll wish you had never been born.

I knew this was not an idle threat. She has made good on her promise now, 14 years later. She has dragged out the divorce for two long grueling expensive years and just a few days ago she put in a demand to the court for alimony in an amount that is 800 dollars a month greater than my take home pay! She wants to take every cent of my earnings and then some!

At our last hearing, the judge gently suggested that my wife's request was not mathematically feasible. The opposing attorney suggested that I could go into credit card debt to finance the alimony payments.

All of this would have been much worse if there had been a custody battle on top of it. Possibly I could have filed the day my son turned 18. But he would have had to drop out of college. The legal expenses have exceeded what I was paying to support and educate him. I filed the day after my son's college graduation, 4 years later. He has since finished his master's degree and is earning more than his old man.

I did the right thing for my son, I think. I functioned as a single dad and my dysfunctional spouse stayed out of the way holed up in her room. I lived like a single dad who had a crazy relative in the attic. My son left home the very first day the dorms opened up and only spent one night at home after that, and that was only because he had driven 800 miles that day. He has been in no-contact mode with his mother for a year and lives thousands of miles away on the West Coast.

 
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« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2013, 10:07:45 AM »

The original post:

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .  more like 95/5.  

I know I'm not perfect, but gosh, do I try hard.

Hope, your comment "Gosh do I try hard" - what is it that you are trying, right now, and how is it working?

What other approaches have you considered?

I think this is a very good forum for brainstorming about what's working and not working, and what has worked (at least kinda) for others.

This specific board - Family Law, Divorce, And Custody - usually here we focus on those topics.

Are you getting helpful ideas, or is there a topic maybe we can help with?
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« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2013, 11:20:21 AM »

Saying it's "always 50/50" seems kind of simplistic to me.  It's never 100/0 either... .  but it.could be 90/10 for sure.  Seems to me as a secondary non that most people involved with pwBPD might make good partners with other nons, certainly far better than their BPD exes allege.  My SO has his flaws, as do I, but by and large, he's a loving, considerate partner, in contrast to.the abusive monster his BPD stbxw makes him out to be.

When one person has BPD, their issues are bound to cause more than 50% of the problems, IMO.
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« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2013, 11:46:11 AM »

Saying it's "always 50/50" seems kind of simplistic to me.  It's never 100/0 either... .  but it.could be 90/10 for sure.  Seems to me as a secondary non that most people involved with pwBPD might make good partners with other nons, certainly far better than their BPD exes allege.  My SO has his flaws, as do I, but by and large, he's a loving, considerate partner, in contrast to.the abusive monster his BPD stbxw makes him out to be.

When one person has BPD, their issues are bound to cause more than 50% of the problems, IMO.

I agree with you and disagree with Matt. Taking responsibility for someone else's bad behavior is not insightful, it is enabling.

When I started my hiatus from here in 2007, I might have copped to a 90/10 split of dysfunction versus my ex-wife. But today I maintain it's 100/0. To back that up:

1. I have no psychological disorders or problems, as confirmed by formal and informal testing and by diagnostic interview. Maybe that sounds arrogant to you, but hey there have to be some normal people or psychological disorders would be meaningless. For more info, see the testing thread on bpdfamily here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=128254.msg12211729#msg12211729

2. I am in a very healthy and happy intimate relationship with a partner who is also psychologically normal in every respect.

3. My other relationships in life at home, at work and with relatives are all free of major conflicts and drama and are not exploitative.

4. My marriage is the only high-conflict relationship I have ever had in my life, and did not become high-conflict until an exacerbation of post-partum depression occurred 8 years into the marriage.
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« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2013, 12:11:23 PM »

I agree with you and disagree with Matt. Taking responsibility for someone else's bad behavior is not insightful, it is enabling.

Did anybody here say that "taking responsibility for someone else's bad behavior is... .  insightful"?
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« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2013, 01:49:04 PM »

If you ever divorce me, I will take you for every cent you have and you will never see your son again. You'll wish you had never been born.

I knew this was not an idle threat. She has made good on her promise now, 14 years later. She has dragged out the divorce for two long grueling expensive years... .  


 

Stressed'

You had an emotional affair and it appears that you left her for this women. Women (and men) get really violated by this and can get pretty testy.  Ask any divorce lawyer or family law clerk will they will tell you.  This is the unintended fruit of the tree you planted.  And laying claim to 0% responsibility for the conflict in your life right now is not reasonable.

Be honest with yourself. If you were "so fearful of her blackmailing you that I stayed married for 27 years", the worst thing would be to leave her to pursue an emotional affair - that would make any divorce contentious.

We are not beating you up for your life choices as we would all need to beat ourselves self up first, but we are saying "face the facts".  

Your divorce will go better if you let go of your victim status, accept that you are going to be beat up a bit by the family court and the emotional injury you inflicted, and manage this like a business situation.  Anything else is going to make it worse.

When this is over, the assets will be split and you will walk off with your new girlfriend and she will be alone and starting life over at 60.

The original post:

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .  more like 95/5.  

I know I'm not perfect, but gosh, do I try hard.


Thanks for bringing this back around Matt.  To the OP, I understand that studies show that in high conflict divorces, each party blames the other party for starting and driving the conflict.   It helps to see this and realize that while you can't make anything better (you can't stop the other party), you can "not make it worse".

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« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2013, 02:35:50 PM »

I don't think my SO has 0% responsibility for the failure of his marriage or for the high conflict divorce, but it's not 50% either. I can't speak to the marriage because I wasn't there, but in the divorce, he is about 25% to blame for the conflict level. In three years I have never seen him START a conflict with her, not once. But the way he responds to her provocation and bad behavior escalates it and keeps it going. I think there was a similar dynamic in their marriage. If she had been able to be reasonable about the divorce, it would have been a low-conflict, amicable affair because I do believe that was his intention.

We have a healthy relationship and prior to his BPDstbxw, he had other healthy ones.

I don't think anyone is ever 0% to blame, that would imply you always handled everything perfectly... .  
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« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2013, 03:05:19 PM »

I'm just not sure this is valid math at all.

If you have 100 apples and a keg of beer, what % of the total is red?

Answer:  That's a stupid question.

I don't think it makes any sense to try to figure out what % of a two-person problem belongs to each person.

I think all you can say is, "I'm 100% responsible for what I do and say, and don't do and don't say.  And the other party is 100% responsible for what she does and says, and neglects to do."

You can't add them up, or divide them, or whatever.  Math doesn't work like that.
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« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2013, 03:24:31 PM »

You had a affair. Women (and men) get deeply violated by that and can get pretty testy.  Ask any divorce lawyer or family law clerk will they will tell you.  This is the fruit of the tree you planted.

I think you have me confused with someone else. There was no affair. I had a platonic friendship only.

My STBX and I agreed to divorce in May 2011. I had hired a lawyer. We took off our wedding rings and she suggested we were free to date other people. I had a date with my platonic friend the next day.

I can understand why you make the mistake --there are a lot of nons who have affairs during long sexless relationships. I did not. To tell the truth, I might have had an affair if I met the right person but it turns out that very few decent women are interested in relationships with married men. So no, there was no affair. Only a clean and honest break.

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« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2013, 03:31:25 PM »

I'm just not sure this is valid math at all.

If you have 100 apples and a keg of beer, what % of the total is red?

Answer:  That's a stupid question.

I don't think it makes any sense to try to figure out what % of a two-person problem belongs to each person.

I think all you can say is, "I'm 100% responsible for what I do and say, and don't do and don't say.  And the other party is 100% responsible for what she does and says, and neglects to do."

You can't add them up, or divide them, or whatever.  Math doesn't work like that.

OK, I think we can agree 100% on everything you said there!

I was trying to say that I am only responsible for my own actions. None of my actions were dysfunctional.

When I see people obsessing over what they might have done differently in a dysfunctional relationship I become very concerned that they are beating themselves up unnecessarily. The dysfunction belongs to the dysfunctional partner. Even if you were provoked into behaving badly yourself (I do not think I was), you can be an entirely different person with a healthy partner.
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« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2013, 03:37:20 PM »

I guess that's where we're different.  I don't beat myself up - I know I did my best, at least most of the time, and I've forgiven myself for the mistakes I made.  But I definitely made some big mistakes, and I think it's important to look back at those, and learn from them.

One thing I've seen very clearly here, trading stories with everyone, is that we tend to repeat things.  Either cycle back with the same person, or find someone else with some of the same characteristics, and repeat the relationship with some variations.

Seeing our own patterns of behavior - and sometimes we see them most clearly through the eyes of others here who are helping us - and then working to disrupt those patterns and replace them with better ones - that's the big journey most of us are on.

(But this "Family Law" board isn't usually so deep.  Mostly on here we talk about the specifics of the legal process.)
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« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2013, 04:08:28 PM »

Matt, I see a lot of people on here beating themselves up. You seem to be doing that, but maybe not. I apologize for the misinterpretation.

I agree that if someone is recycling (H*o*o*v*e*r*i*n*g as we used to say) or attracting troubled partners over and over then they need to examine what they are bringing to these dysfunctional relationships. But no one should assume that a non is a recycler. Some of us are one-time victims. I know I'm not the only one here.

Just as there are high functioning pwBPD and low functioning ones, there are high functioning and low functioning nons.
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« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2013, 05:19:45 AM »

I think the blackmail point is very valid. Certainly DH was told pretty much the same thing and knew his exBPDetcw meant it. As it turned out he ended up a pauper in Texas before she finally stopped the financial stuff. We still are very careful if we travel to the US to make sure no one can spill the beans as to where we are. The woman is nuts and has a gun license (thank you Georgia), carries a concealed weapon and is a good shot.

DH often wonders too why so long but the reality is he stayed to make sure the kids were ok. The divorce then took over 4 years. I think remembering the reason for staying and that it was worthwhile helps.

Another thing that happens and this happened to me too, is that a BPD can overwhelm you with work and responsibility and while you are drowning in all that mess time passes without being aware of it because all you can do is barely keep your head above water.

In my case my marriage lasted 23 years - I ended up working 7 days a week running a family business and doing another job on the side to try and make ends meet since exBPDh one day just stopped working, doing all the housework, taking care of 2 kids 6 and 10, one of whom was disabled and required a lot of work.  I just never surfaced long enough to realise there might be options and when I did finally understand I was weeks away from collapse, I didn't have the emotional energy to add one more thing, never mind a divorce. Fortunately exBPDh walked out on us "to teach me a lesson" and I took a deep breath and never looked back. I'm still blamed for "leaving him when he was sick". And by the way I think that when a person deliberately makes life as difficult for the other person as they possible can - my exBPDh said he would and did, then that is evil. Owning 50% of that, like Matt says, is a stupid question.

DH's exBPDetcw told him she was going to have him broke and in jail and eventually threatened to kill him (which is when he left - that night). Owning 50% of that is also a stupid question.

That doesn't mean that in hindsight there weren't red flags. We discussed this recently and came to an interesting conclusion. We are both baby boomers. In our generation and our parents' generation, mental illness was not discussed much - in fact in the previous generation it was hidden. Certainly my exBPDh's family history in hindsight shows mental illness but it was so deeply hidden, a lot didn't come out until after we separated. My D's issues too point in that direction. But because of this, our parents had no real basis for warning, nor did we see issues as mental illness - after all there were really no points of reference as most severe cases were shut behind closed doors.

In my case BPD didn't come out until some time after we were married and not really until the birth of the oldest child - 12 years into our marriage. Prior to that I knew there were some issues and we were thinking adhd until I realised some of this cycled - then he was treated for bi polar, all of which were present but BPD on top of it.

The reason BPD started was until then I had concentrated on my husband and gave him 100% attention. Once we had a child, that diluted somewhat and then around that time, family illness started to happen - probably makes sense - we were in our 30's, parents were ageing. By the time my youngest D was about 2 and her disability was making itself felt, exBPDh went totally off the rails. At that time both sets of parents had illnesses that were serious - my father dying 4 years after that.  Once that happened in the marriage with a BPD, I found that the attention that necessarily was divided started the downhill stuff. From that time on my ex declared war - everything was my fault and that justified punishment.

I have to agree with Stressed in Cleveland - DH and I are both nons - DH and I met on the board years ago. We have been married for 3 years and agree - we treat each other the same way we treated the BPD's in our lives. In our case we appreciate each other and have a great relationship. I'm not saying there aren't fleas.  Actually there are - you can't be in a relationship with a BPD for 40 years and not develop some communication issues (mostly blocks to communication).  However we went into this knowing that would be the case and promised we would work on them when they happened. So far that means on occasion we have had to talk to each other about things that were bothering us. But guess what - no rants, no payback etc. Just working on it. It's great to be able to communicate about the difficulties as well as the good things without consequences later.

Oops - wrong thread. Sorry.

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« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2013, 06:32:01 PM »

Excerpt
a personality that was experienced as normal for 8 or more years, that suddenly became symptomatic of BPD is very unsusual.

Hi - I think in long term relationships it's not as unusual as you may think. A lot of us who have been in very long term relationships - +20 years had years where things were pretty good - I don't think we are all masochists  Smiling (click to insert in post). However, a more relevant description in our cases could be the boiling frog syndrome - often discussed on this board years ago. A lot of had felt the heat slowly turn up and didn't realise it until we were in hot water and by then leaving was going into the frying pan.

All of us are different. My exBPDh was high functioning. DH's was less so but had moments of sheer brilliance. Plus each of us has different views and circumstances that colour our view - ie it's different having a 2 year old child than an 18 year old in the mix.

Rose
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« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2013, 06:45:20 PM »

 " Something attracted us, and kept us, in an unhealthy relationship.  We played some role.

IMHO, its a little too easy to just say "it was all her fault" and I was "her victim."  It's also black and white thinking.  I played a role in all the dysfunction (problems) of my marriage, as much as I sometimes hate to admit it. I had few and weak boundaries, I was invalidating and argued, I tried to fix her and rescue her.  That stuff belongs to me.  "




Helpful.  thank you


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« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2013, 04:34:13 PM »

also... . can't it be said that anything anyone does to you repeatedly, you are in some way responsible because you let it happen? We always have the choice to exit a situation, or relationship.  It's hard, when we want to be with someone... . but I think we need to accept responsibility, not just for how we treat people, but for how we allow people to treat us.
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« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2015, 02:34:13 PM »

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .more like 95/5.  

Outside observers who are unfamiliar with BPD might try to say it's 50/50 or it takes two to fight, etc.  However, in a relationship with a pwBPD, I think 95/5 is fair.  If the pwBPD knows she has BPD and doesn't tell you (and you as the Non have no idea what's happening) I think it's fair to say that it's 99/1 or even 100/0.  The Non will make mistakes, but without knowing what the heck is going on how is the Non not going to make mistakes?
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« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2015, 03:23:12 PM »

As for relationship problems being 50/50: I don't think that assigning blame is useful. I do think that both need to put their full effort into solving the problems for success. The tricky part is that when one person is badly disordered, their "best" doesn't look like very much, especially compared to the "best" an emotionally healthy person can do. Heck, it doesn't look good even compared to the "best" a horribly co-dependent non can do Smiling (click to insert in post)

You know, I don't think "assigning blame" is what's at the bottom of the 50/50 question.  I think it's more the intense way that many of us have examined ourselves every way from Sunday to figure out if there was something "more" we could have done to salvage the relationship - or if there was something that we needed to "fix" within ourselves that we missed.  This really points towards our underlying, nagging fear that perhaps we really WERE the reason why the relationship didn't work! Especially in the beginning months, we are haunted by questions such as, 'was it me?' 'Is there something else I could have done?'  ':)id the relationship with this person that I deeply loved end because of ME?'  

As we come out of the FOG, I think we all become aware of how much we bent over backwards - to forgive, to understand, to nuture, to take responsibility - all to no avail.  I honestly would have done A LOT to make my r/s work - but that doesn't matter because SHE wasn't able to participate in an emotionally healthy, adult relationship because of the disorder - and that's the crux of the matter. And that's where the 50-50 falls apart - there's NOTHING I could have done to change that fact. I can't take 50% responsibility for a disorder that exists 100% apart from me.

Were there problems in the relationship?  Sure, EVERY relationship has problems.  :)id I cause problems in the relationship?  Of course, I'm human and imperfect. We both brought our 'stuff' into the relationship and we both caused problems at different times.

But this is the thing:  it's the RESPONSE to the problems that make or break the relationship.  If you respond to relationship problems by emotionally exiting instead of working things out then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.  If you engage in chronic lying instead of honest communication, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship. If abandon your commitment and seek sexual relationships with others instead of working things out, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.

The original poster asked, is is 50/50 when it comes to problems in the relationship? Perhaps the answer is yes - we all bring our 'stuff' with us into a relationship.  But there is not 50/50 responsiblity when it comes to solving the problems in the relationship. Most of us have put 110% effort to that end, because our SO with BPD are not able to do this in a consistent, healthy, adult way.
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« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2015, 03:28:17 PM »

As for relationship problems being 50/50: I don't think that assigning blame is useful. I do think that both need to put their full effort into solving the problems for success. The tricky part is that when one person is badly disordered, their "best" doesn't look like very much, especially compared to the "best" an emotionally healthy person can do. Heck, it doesn't look good even compared to the "best" a horribly co-dependent non can do Smiling (click to insert in post)

You know, I don't think "assigning blame" is what's at the bottom of the 50/50 question.  I think it's more the intense way that many of us have examined ourselves every way from Sunday to figure out if there was something "more" we could have done to salvage the relationship - or if there was something that we needed to "fix" within ourselves that we missed.  This really points towards our underlying, nagging fear that perhaps we really WERE the reason why the relationship didn't work! Especially in the beginning months, we are haunted by questions such as, 'was it me?' 'Is there something else I could have done?'  ':)id the relationship with this person that I deeply loved end because of ME?'  

As we come out of the FOG, I think we all become aware of how much we bent over backwards - to forgive, to understand, to nuture, to take responsibility - all to no avail.  I honestly would have done A LOT to make my r/s work - but that doesn't matter because SHE wasn't able to participate in an emotionally healthy, adult relationship because of the disorder - and that's the crux of the matter. And that's where the 50-50 falls apart - there's NOTHING I could have done to change that fact. I can't take 50% responsibility for a disorder that exists 100% apart from me.

Were there problems in the relationship?  Sure, EVERY relationship has problems.  :)id I cause problems in the relationship?  Of course, I'm human and imperfect. We both brought our 'stuff' into the relationship and we both caused problems at different times.

But this is the thing:  it's the RESPONSE to the problems that make or break the relationship.  If you respond to relationship problems by emotionally exiting instead of working things out then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.  If you engage in chronic lying instead of honest communication, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship. If abandon your commitment and seek sexual relationships with others instead of working things out, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.

The original poster asked, is is 50/50 when it comes to problems in the relationship? Perhaps the answer is yes - we all bring our 'stuff' with us into a relationship.  But there is not 50/50 responsiblity when it comes to solving the problems in the relationship. Most of us have put 110% effort to that end, because our SO with BPD are not able to do this in a consistent, healthy, adult way.

Very well written.  I agree 100%.
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« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2015, 03:32:01 PM »

As for relationship problems being 50/50: I don't think that assigning blame is useful. I do think that both need to put their full effort into solving the problems for success. The tricky part is that when one person is badly disordered, their "best" doesn't look like very much, especially compared to the "best" an emotionally healthy person can do. Heck, it doesn't look good even compared to the "best" a horribly co-dependent non can do Smiling (click to insert in post)

You know, I don't think "assigning blame" is what's at the bottom of the 50/50 question.  I think it's more the intense way that many of us have examined ourselves every way from Sunday to figure out if there was something "more" we could have done to salvage the relationship - or if there was something that we needed to "fix" within ourselves that we missed.  This really points towards our underlying, nagging fear that perhaps we really WERE the reason why the relationship didn't work! Especially in the beginning months, we are haunted by questions such as, 'was it me?' 'Is there something else I could have done?'  ':)id the relationship with this person that I deeply loved end because of ME?'  

As we come out of the FOG, I think we all become aware of how much we bent over backwards - to forgive, to understand, to nuture, to take responsibility - all to no avail.  I honestly would have done A LOT to make my r/s work - but that doesn't matter because SHE wasn't able to participate in an emotionally healthy, adult relationship because of the disorder - and that's the crux of the matter. And that's where the 50-50 falls apart - there's NOTHING I could have done to change that fact. I can't take 50% responsibility for a disorder that exists 100% apart from me.

Were there problems in the relationship?  Sure, EVERY relationship has problems.  :)id I cause problems in the relationship?  Of course, I'm human and imperfect. We both brought our 'stuff' into the relationship and we both caused problems at different times.

But this is the thing:  it's the RESPONSE to the problems that make or break the relationship.  If you respond to relationship problems by emotionally exiting instead of working things out then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.  If you engage in chronic lying instead of honest communication, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship. If abandon your commitment and seek sexual relationships with others instead of working things out, then you are 100% responsible for the failure of the relationship.

The original poster asked, is is 50/50 when it comes to problems in the relationship? Perhaps the answer is yes - we all bring our 'stuff' with us into a relationship.  But there is not 50/50 responsiblity when it comes to solving the problems in the relationship. Most of us have put 110% effort to that end, because our SO with BPD are not able to do this in a consistent, healthy, adult way.

Very well written.  I agree 100%.

Thank you Tim300 - it was very cathartic to write all that out!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2015, 04:06:43 PM »

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .more like 95/5.  

I know I'm not perfect, but gosh, do I try hard.

The reason it's 50/50 is because they behave that way and we allow it... .And allow a little bit more... .Then a little bit more... .Then etc etc.

We do not get to tell a person how to love us. We get to choose if we participate in the way they love.

You can't be prepared for BPD, it's a life lesson for those naturally predisposed to rescuing, accepting bad behaviour, they are attracted I us precisely for these qualities no we participate fully in the dance because it feels familiar. It is 50/50, however, they participate in exceptionally wounding and cruel behaviours, in many cases we are only guilty of trusting the wrong person and I'm not into guilting myself on this. I made a mistake. I won't make it again.
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« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2015, 05:15:28 PM »

I know the right answer is yes, it's 50/50.  We are equally at fault for the problems in the relationship.

But I keep feeling that, and sorry, it's really mostly him... .more like 95/5.  

I know I'm not perfect, but gosh, do I try hard.

The reason it's 50/50 is because they behave that way and we allow it... .And allow a little bit more... .Then a little bit more... .Then etc etc.

We do not get to tell a person how to love us. We get to choose if we participate in the way they love.

You can't be prepared for BPD, it's a life lesson for those naturally predisposed to rescuing, accepting bad behaviour, they are attracted I us precisely for these qualities no we participate fully in the dance because it feels familiar. It is 50/50, however, they participate in exceptionally wounding and cruel behaviours, in many cases we are only guilty of trusting the wrong person and I'm not into guilting myself on this. I made a mistake. I won't make it again.

I understand what you're saying - I really do.  But I can honestly say that I have never been in another helping/rescuing relationship in my life.  And I'm in my 50's.  To a large degree, I was blindsided.

Did I stay?  Yes.  I was very much the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water.  And there was a child involved.  But I could have never imagined the degree of dysfunction - I had no idea it existed.
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2015, 05:22:18 PM »

Me neither! I can't understand many things, people who cut themselves to ease pain, I could never understand that but there is some more literature on that and I'd encountered it. We are encouraged to forgive, offer nice things, be kind as kids, we can't imagine someone would self sabotage a relationship and lie to us. Even when it's happening. I think the slow boil frog is about the mark for most of us.
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2015, 08:09:46 PM »

A relationship has a beginning and an end. It has a life. A romantic relationship has a life that is defined by the combination of two people. It definitely takes two people equally willing to have romance. Just as long and short define each other, two people together define a relationship.
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« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2015, 08:27:10 PM »

My therapist told me you can't reason with an unreasonable person . That is so true but I am responsible for not engaging.
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« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2015, 12:51:08 AM »

Sounds like something Dr phil would say an it is so wrong it is not funny you will never fix many of your partners problems nor do you have resposibility for the actions of your partner you do not own people ( even half ) but they own there problems even if you have to deal with the fallout and you can choose to help them ( if they even want your help )
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« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2015, 12:59:06 AM »

With a reasonable mind anything can be reasoned with. Make the mind sharp. Be reasonable even if everything else is unreasonable.
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« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2015, 07:50:11 AM »

Just read an interesting article called "From Promise to Promiscuity" about the underlying reasons for an affair. I found this paragraph enlightening in the context of this 50/50 conversation:

"While the landscape of illicit love has been shifting, the therapeutic world has remained fairly fixed in the belief that affairs occur because something is radically wrong with the marriage... .But there's evidence that in almost two-thirds of cases, marital problems are the effect, not the cause, of extramarital involvements. Further, affairs themselves skew perceptions of the marriage. Once infidelity has occurred, partners tend to look back on their primary relationship and see it as having been flawed all along—an attempt to reduce cognitive dissonance... .

Affairs, says Washington, D.C., psychologist Barry McCarthy, are "the absolutely best example of behavior being multicausal, multidimensional. There are many contributing factors. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the marriage. The most common reason for an affair is high opportunity. People fall into affairs rather than plan them." Another very common cause of affairs, he observes, is that "people do not feel desired and desirable in their marriage, and they want to see if they can be desired and desirable outside it." For others, he notes, the affair is a symptom of a mental health problem like alcohol abuse or bipolar disorder.

Or borderline personality disorder... .

www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201206/promise-promiscuity
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« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2015, 02:46:16 PM »

When a partner blames you for 100% of the problems and sends you to therapy (and even expects you to go to a couples' communication class by yourself), then where is the equity in that?

As Matt's comment said early in this thread, just stating something, even if it sounds good, doesn't make it true. Feelings aren't facts, and opinions are exactly that. I accept what I owned, but I'm not willing to own something she won't accept.
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
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« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2015, 09:17:51 AM »

Hi all and happy new year,

A really interesting thread filled with lots of great opinions.

In the end does it really matter how the percentages of blame / responsiblity work out?

Does it serve any useful purpose to quanitfy blame?

Whether it's 90/10 60/40 or 50/50 for most of us the outcome of these relationships is the same.

I went into my relationship with a lot of optimism, niavete and considerable baggage of my own.

I tried my best, but I made lots of mistakes and did and said things that I regret.

At various points during the relationship and after it finished I've struggled to accept responsibility for my own choices and actions, but I realise that if I don't I'll end up stuck in the same place repeating the same patterns

I take some self respect from the knowledge that I tried my best, that I didn't cheat or betray or that I wasn't violent etc

But I'm not blind to my mistakes and I acknlowedge them and try to address them because I want to learn and I want to avoid making the same mistakes again.

To be blunt I think anyone who thinks that are blameless / faultness in a relationship is delusional

JHK, really interesting article about infidelity and I completely agree with your point about resolving issues.

Successful couples avoid blaming - a waste of energy and an exercise in futilty - and work together to resolve problems.

I remember trying to discuss this with my ex,  trying to convince her that it wasn't about blaming her or me for our problems, I just wanted to find a way forward together

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