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PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship...do I leave now things are getting better?

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seancrm

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In a nutshell, 3.5 years in a relationship with my partner. She is undergoing DBT at the moment for BPD. In 3.5 years I've been through isolation, manipulation, gaslighting, physical abuse and all sorts of other terrors. This has lead me to councelling, anti depressants and the diagnosis that I am now codependent on her. So now I'm the crazy one - or so she'd have me think.

My partner is now 34 and desperate to have kids, before it's too late. She told me she was leaving me and we agreed to take a month apart. She has moved out.

In this past month, she has been attending DBT and there is a noticeable change in her behaviour, and I have really been getting back to being myself and getting stronger, although I miss her greatly.

My psychologist has now diagnosed me with PTSD as a result of the relationship as I'm still experiencing the odd nightmare and exhibiting fearful behaviours.

The problem is, it's just about decision time...do I commit to her and have a child? I really do love her and if this "new" her sticks, we'd have our happily ever after. Or do I just let her walk away. The thought of letting her go makes me feel empty and her being with someone else would be really upsetting.

Otherwise, I could be committing to a lifetime of abuse, if she goes back to her old ways. She really does not want to be like that and she is trying so hard, but I just can't stop thinking about all of the "incidents".
 
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katwomyn3

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If you have children together, you also have to think about how your children will be affected by this dynamic in your relationship. And that means both of you. Do you feel at a place in your life where you want children, and if you can be a good parent to your child(children)? Or is this decision stemming from wanting her in your life? Regardless of her recovery and how she is working to take this step in her life, you cannot gage this yourself. If you want children with her, how will work together to be a positive influence on your children's lives, and what will you both be willing to do when things go bad? Going into therapy as a couple will be beneficial prior to making this decision. And being honest with each other out loud can help broaden the scope of this decision and the possibilities you will have to face.
 
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bpd2020

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Causing gaslighting, manipulation, isolation, physical abuse are not symptoms of somebody having BPD. To me it indicates somebody who is abusive. I am so sorry your partner has caused you PTSD. In my opinion you deserve so much better. I would never even consider having children with her. It can be really hard to walk away from a relationship as we feel lonely and wonder if we will ever meet anybody else. I would end the relationship and take time to heal. I think being with somebody abusive can wear away a persons confidence and make them believe that person is the only one who would be with them. This is not true.
 
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seancrm

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Both of your points are very valid. The truth is, we are both desperately ready to be parents. I'm 33 and she is 34 so clocks are starting to tick. If I decide to start again, I could be pushing 40 before I become a dad.

Maybe kids will fix some of our issues. I understand her frustration and disconnection from me as I have always been unwilling to commit to her as a result of her behaviour. Kids will fix that. If things go bad, I guess we could split? I know more people than not whose parents are divorced and remarried.

I'm just so so scared, that she may exhibit these behaviours in the future on our kids, possibly anyway - I'd hate to have to take them away from her for their own protection. I also live on the other side of the world from my family. Kids would commit me to staying here, and not being there for my mum (only child). So many burdens and big decisions to make, and I just can't make them! But if I don't act soon, I will lose her!

I really don't want to start again.
 
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bpd2020

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Children will not fix any of your issues. I would think carefully about bringing children into the world when you do not have a solid relationship. I come from parents who did not get on and it was horrible for me to be raised in that environment. 40 is not too old to be a dad. There is every chance she will show these behaviours to your children. I believe people need to be stable to bring children into this world.
 
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SunnyDaze

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Honestly,if you think things are bad now watch what happens when you bring kids into the mix @seancrm

I'm sorry to be so blunt but you are deluding yourself if you think it would make things better.
 
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khuang

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As someone who escaped an emotionally abusive relationship, it is really up to you if you want to leave or not. If your partner has a habit of starting therapy and then suddenly quitting when she is starting to get better then you should leave immediately and cut off all ties with her because it won’t be long before she goes back to being abusive. If she decides to stick to treatment and starts becoming a kinder person then I say give her a second chance. Your safety is far more valuable than the relationship and any physical belongs you might lose if you choose to leave but only you can actually make that call. Follow your instincts.
 
JessisMe

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Perhaps it would be helpful to read back what you are essentially saying:

“My partner of 3.5 years has been extremely abusive to me in our time together. Because of this I have not wanted to commit to the relationship. I want to have kids with her because we are both getting older and I think having kids would make me commit to her even though she is abusive and has only shown change in a few weeks therapy which may or may not last.”

Does this not seem crazy to you? Why would anyone want to commit to someone who has caused them PTSD? If you are going to be a good parent you first and foremost have to make choices for the child that is in their own best self interest. In what way is being born into a broken family marked by extreme and excessive abuse and lack of commitment in the child’s self interest? Before you even think about bringing a child into the world you need to first consider if you and your partner are in a position to be a good, stable parent and right now you are not. xo, j
 
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khuang

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Kids won’t fix a relationship full of problems. The worst case scenario is that they end up being targets of abuse as well and no child deserves that. If a relationship already in trouble then no number of kids will solve the problem and would just be adding gasoline to a forest fire.
 
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seancrm

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Thank you all for your honest replies. It's a really difficult time because things seem to be improving, but I have been clear with her for a long time that we need a good period of happiness and stability if we are going to have children. I was raised in a single parent/only child scenario so I really appreciate how important it is to have both parents present.

She is considering her needs (which is good) and feels her maternal clock is ticking very fast now, so she needs a decision and to know we are headed for children, or to leave so she has time to start again before too late.

For the most part, she's the most unique and sweetest girl I've ever met, and I love her dearly, but I just can't get past previous incidents so quickly, even if she is showing progress. At the same time, I don't want to lose her if she is finally becoming that awesome girl I know she is - but without the abuse. Either way, I have to make a decision, which sucks. If only she could have been the girl she is currently for the last 6 months, before giving me this ultimatum.
 
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bpd2020

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I fail to see how she is a sweet person if she abused you so badly you got PTSD. I think in abusive relationships we can remember positive times and this confuses us with who the person really is. Usually when we first meet people they are nice and this is what attracts us to them. It is then they show their true colours and we cling on to the memory of when we first met them.
 
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khuang

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I fail to see how she is a sweet person if she abused you so badly you got PTSD. I think in abusive relationships we can remember positive times and this confuses us with who the person really is. Usually when we first meet people they are nice and this is what attracts us to them. It is then they show their true colours and we cling on to the memory of when we first met them.
This is extremely true. While I still remember when the woman that abused me was still nice and caring before she started to drink daily, I realize that I’m far better off staying away from her. I kept making excuses for the abuse to everyone including my therapist by saying that I deserved it for doing something wrong. I honestly believe that the alcohol created the change in her but I think the person I used to know is gone and I can’t make her come back ever again because this woman refuse to stick to any treatment plan and will quit as soon as she is starting to feel better. She didn’t even seem to notice that her behavior after drinking literally drove everyone who tried to support her away. Sometimes you need to recognize when something is a lost cause, cut off all ties with it, and leave it behind in the past.
 
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seancrm

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She is almost like two different people - she can be so so sweet, but is also extremely volatile. She will often take things the wrong way, think the worst and over react. This causes treading on eggshells like behaviour. She also makes many accusations, especially in relation to other women, thinking that I may be looking etc. when it certainly is not the case.

Most of my fearful behaviours are a result of "if I don't do this, she might" or "it's easier to just ...than have her complain or have an argument". She can be extremely negative and reactive.

Here's a memory - she bought some boots which had a defect. I tried to return them to the store, but was told by the Manager that they would not refund, only swap. She then accused me of being weak and she would "have to do it", marching into the store and causing a scene. She then assumed my not getting a refund was a result of fancying the girl working in there (very abusively). I now avoid the shop at all costs, in case I get the same accusation.

On the other hand, it was my birthday last week and she really went above and beyond, spoiled the hell out of me and made me feel very valued and loved (sweet side).
 
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bpd2020

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She sounds really abusive. To accuse you of being weak and then accuse you of fancying the staff is totally abusive. So what if she gave you a nice birthday? She is not consistent in being nice. I really think you are confused as she can be nice at times. You deserve somebody who is always kind and does not make you fear her reactions.
 
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