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Still having trouble coping after relationship with BPD traits...

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whywearelaughing

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Hello,
I posted several weeks ago about my ex-boyfriend who I suspect had BDP traits, particularly in romantic relationships. The more I've read about BPD, the more sure I'm becoming that this was the pattern with him. The first several months were pure bliss. We were incredible together. In hindsight, I think he showed signs of enmeshment as he would always say "same heart, same mind" since we agreed on so many things. He told me even then that my positive reactions had such a strong effect on his mood. He always told me I was his "favorite person" but I didn't understand what that meant at the time. He also told me he was "very stubborn" but I didn't know what that meant at the time either. I had never felt so loved and understood before.
Then, he told me he felt rejected when I told him one night that I was too tired to be intimate but promised to make it up to him the next morning (and that I loved him). This became such a huge issue to him that the next morning, he picked a fight, went completely MIA (ignored me for hours) and got drunk in daylight. Then, he proceeded to go back and forth between telling me we were done and that he wanted to marry me for the rest of the day. Until he got a text from another girl and told me he wants to be with her. And when I left, he called me 184x and guilt tripped me. He also sort of conveniently forgot that he had brought up another girl. And said that he couldn't understand why I was mad at him... He also told me that he wouldn't let me ruin his understanding of me (?).
I kept trying to make it work because I was completely in love and couldn't understand what had happened. The next few weeks he would yell at me whenever I would't give in to his demands. I told him that was not acceptable. After a few weeks, he decided not to yell anymore but instead would give me the silent treatment (which was worse!). We broke up for a few weeks and then I reached out to him. He said he knew I would (why?). The next several weeks, I could already feel him pulling away. He would blame me for things that I had nothing to do with at all. He never saw his defensiveness or fault in anything. Every minor disagreement was like an enormous deal. If I was upset about something (like work, family, etc), he was supportive but very quick to try to change the topic (as if he couldn't handle conflict at all). If I was upset about something in our relationship and brought it up even kindly, he would basically tell me it was my problem to deal with. When he wasn't feeling well, he had no problem leaning on me and was super sweet/connected. As soon as he would feel better, I felt like he would go back to doing his own thing and our relationship started feeling like it was less and less of a priority. And then it ended. He told me he was "going on another date" that same night but that he would have preferred to be with me. Why did he feel the need to let me know that? Seems so vindictive.
I even called him a couple weeks later and he told me that what we had was really great but that he doesn't know who I am at this point since we hadn't talked in a while. I was like it's been 2 weeks??? I asked if he preferred I don't call him again and he said, "Well, it's nice to hear from you but you know how strongly I feel about not being friends after dating." I also asked him if we wanted to try one more time and he said "we already tried that." I said I know but what happened? To which he replied "you were there." So I dropped it and told him he meant a lot to me and I send positivity his way. I have no intention of going against his wishes to stay out of contact.

I have so many questions I was hoping someone would help me shed some light on (the bold ones I especially keep going back to):
Did we actually agree on a lot of things or was that not real?
Was the personality he showed me in the beginning real at all or just a mirror of my own interests/beliefs?
Do some people with BPD actually tell their favorite person that they are their favorite person? Is "favorite person" ever consistently used by someone that does not have borderline traits?
How does someone with BPD "decide" that this is the time to shift from all positiveness to suddenly seeing their partner as horrible for the first time (such as the sudden change)? If I hadn't resisted intimacy with him that night, is it likely that a similar behavior would have still occurred at another point in time? Did he always have uneasiness and just chooses when to stop hiding it?
At the same time that he went MIA the first time and was getting drunk, he was texting with his brother as his normal self. Does this mean that he could be completely mean/uncaring to me but still act completely "normal" around his brother? Isn't that a choice then to be mean to the FP?
What was he trying to achieve with bringing up other girls? Was he trying to be hurtful? Or was this his way of letting himself know that even if "I left," this other girl would fill my spot? Is that what he was likely doing behind the scenes as soon as we had our first fight? With this behavior, would there have been high likelihood that he would have cheated if we had stayed together (or is this unfair to assume)?
How can someone be so good at the silent treatment and think it's ok?
Did it even matter that we started dating again after those few weeks or had he already started pulling away after that first fight so that nothing I did would matter after that?
It felt like he went from having a very anxious attachment style to a dismissive-avoidant one. Is that typical?
How did he have a several year relationship before me? I keep wondering how ours only lasted 7-8 months when he had one of 2 years prior to that? Did he not expose his full emotional side in that relationship until much later?
Was his reaction to our break-up to protect himself or had he already moved on at that point?
Do people with BPD show that side much earlier or later depending on the person/relationship? I'd really like an answer to this question.
I really still believe he's a good person and has good intentions. I believed with the bottom of my heart that he really is a good, caring person so this was so hard to watch. Which leads me to the next part...

It's not that I want to continue this relationship because I know better and recognize the negative effects this pattern would have on me unless he got help (he is now in therapy, though I don't think he recognizes the BPD traits - Side note, I did tell him that he reacted that first fight like someone who has BPD and he just said mm hmm... which made me wonder if he wasn't surprised or just trying to be a good listener). I am having a really hard time letting go of the couple I thought we were together. It feels like I see him in everything because we talked about doing SO many things together. And every time I go on a date now, I think about how he would react with such good listening, such attunement to what I needed and such good affection that everyone just pales in comparison. I feel more alone than I ever have because I felt like I had found someone who really got me and having that taken away is so painful. And on top of it all, it feels like I'm carrying so much pain because I loved him and respected him truly unconditionally and he just became mean. I assume once he got therapy, he probably would never reach out again? You think he would reach out even before then? Any suggestions on healing past this?

Thank you in advance. I appreciate you all that are willing to share because my friends/family don't understand why I can't just snap out of this since they see it so clearly.
 
4EVRHSP

4EVRHSP

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Hi there

As a person who's been diagnosed with BPD I can offer you some insight into what has happened. The thing about BDP people is that they have extreme oscillations in emotions. Good things are great, bad things are beyond comprehension and when it comes to personal relationships this is absolutely the case.

I have a slew of broken friendships where I am always the leaver because the other person betrayed my trust and my belief in them. In reality, though, I know now after many, many years that my expectations were simply far too high despite the fact that when I give, I give everything from myself to that friendship. Yet again, this is far too intense for regular people and puts me squarely in the BDP box.

It sounds like your ex boyfriend was like this. Not being able to see things in a regular timeline and skipping from one point to another haphazardly without compunction. This is classic BPD but at the same time, I don't want to wrongly diagnose him so i will delay any claims that he's BDP. To answer your questions in the post from a BDP diagnosed individual :

Was the personality he showed me in the beginning real at all or just a mirror of my own interests/beliefs?
It was real for that day. It was real for that moment. As for the definitive personality of a BDP, they are ever shifting and changing depending on the situation. There are times and situations where they feel like they can have an 'anchored' personality, but again it's hard to say when this is.

How does someone with BPD "decide" that this is the time to shift from all positiveness to suddenly seeing their partner as horrible for the first time (such as the sudden change)?
They JUST DO. There is no way of predicting or trying to be two steps ahead of BPD people. Their agenda does not make sense or follow a logical order. It's simply what they feel on the day they wake up.

With this behaviour, would there have been high likelihood that he would have cheated if we had stayed together
I don't know about cheating but given the unpredictable and erratic nature of most BDP's, nothing should surprise you.

Do people with BPD show that side much earlier or later depending on the person/relationship? I'd really like an answer to this question.
Don't feel as if you could've done something to prevent this situation from arising. We can't live our lives trying to predict the future in order to direct a situation into an area that we want it to go. That's impossible. You came into the relationship and felt a sense of trust and warmth very quickly which was reciprocated by your ex boyfriend.

The question of later or earlier is again not something that follows a logical pattern. 'Normal' people tend to go slower in things, whereas BDP people have no issues with rushing into friendships or relationships. This is a very common BDP trait. As for revealing themselves and their BDP sides, BDP's tend to do this when they feel like something has penetrated into their inner sphere. And this is where it gets vague. This can be a good and bad thing. The point is is that they feel like they've been impacted in some strong way and they need to retaliate.

That 'fast' connection feeling can be very addictive and i know first hand as I love intimacy and connecting with people and have made friends very quickly my entire life. But in hindsight, I know that it's better to take things slowly even if things feel super 'right' at the time.
 
megirl

megirl

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I know for me cheating would be unacceptable to me.
My husband was my only. I certainly would never be interested in anyone else.
The issue for me was more that I believed without a doubt I couldn't live without him, he was my one and only I believed. That's more about fear of abandonment.
I also don't think vindictiveness is a trait of BPD.
Being vindictive I believe is more of a choice, I dont believe its a trait of BPD
People with BPD don't like hurting others and are likely to be overly empathetic to other peoples feelings.
One can have BPD and yet outside of the disorder they can be a vindictive person in general.
We tend to have intense relationships, I always seem to think the world of anyone I meet, give the relationships huge amounts if attention and energy,then when i stop giving, buying gifts meals out etc all the time then when I am in need they drop me like a tonne of bricks. I'm going to be happy with the people I have in my life and stop being so outwardly giving.
I have had a lot of 'needy ' people in my life who are just that way because it works for them.
I fear hurting others, as I know what its like to be hurt. So for cheating I dont think I could actually live with myself for doing that,its against what I believe in
 
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whywearelaughing

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Thank you for your responses and for sharing. I appreciate it. Sorry I got a little carried away with the length!
I am not trying not to diagnose him with BPD either as I actually don't think he has the full personality disorder but am careful to say I think he has some traits, particularly in the way he handles romantic relationships.

I think what's hard is ironically the opposite of what most people with BPD feel. I still care for him very deeply. It doesn't seem like me being in his life right now is healthy for him and probably for me so I am respecting his wishes to stay out of contact. That being said, it's so hard to connect with someone so deeply, feel like you get each other on truly a different level and then just become complete strangers again. I know I'm not the only one troubled by this kind of break-up with someone with BPD traits but perhaps because we parted ways just when things started being more chaotic? Maybe that's why it's harder? Maybe because I tried hard to convince him I wouldn't leave but then he left me instead at the first sign of me "not being perfect"? And then called it incompatibility? We weren't incompatible. It's confusing.
 
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whywearelaughing

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For what it's worth, I hope people that do have BPD traits can read this and know that they actually, truly are loved and care for. Even after the fact.
 
4EVRHSP

4EVRHSP

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For what it's worth, I hope people that do have BPD traits can read this and know that they actually, truly are loved and care for. Even after the fact.
This made an impact on me, thank you
 
megirl

megirl

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Thank-you for your lovely posts.
I can see you love him dearly,that must be just as hard for you, as I know with me I loved my husband so very much, then I would self-destruct,saying he doesn't really love me or even hates, I would say you're like my ??Mother etc.
He dealt with a lot,many people couldn't he could have left me many times but he chose not too, as he could see the true 'me' Ann then the other side, the personality shift. He could see some of my triggers one being quite clear cut contact with my mother.
He did truly love me as you do yr partner. I can see both sides at times.
 
4EVRHSP

4EVRHSP

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That being said, it's so hard to connect with someone so deeply, feel like you get each other on truly a different level and then just become complete strangers again.
I've always believed that to get to the super amazing parts of human nature and connection requires to go somewhere deeper and darker.
 
megirl

megirl

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I do feel for you as you are hurting,so I am picturing myself and my difficulties with things from my husbands angle.
Trying to :hug:
 
megirl

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If I can help with any questions I will try.
The automatic response for me can be on the defensive side,even though I dont mean too,
 
megirl

megirl

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I know (ok I can see it now x) my ex-husband would be really quite distressed when I was in a bad place, it wasn't easy for him either he suffered as well I do know that xx
 
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