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Chosen Relationships / Re: Help! Which Disorder? Fixable?
« Last post by Shell92127 on Today at 08:23:31 AM »
You may need to spend time apart to find your strength. Do you live with this person? Shouting, swearing
and pushing are all ABUSIVE. You are being abused and this is not ok.
 :no: :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown:

I was verbally, emotionally and physically abused for 15 months. We did not live together and had several breakups
during that time but I always allowed him to sweet talk his way back into my life. I was in a deep FOG until I began
learning about personality disorders. I kept hoping he would change. I finally found the strength to get out May 1st.

You got some good advice from ilovecoffee.

Whether you stay in THIS relationship or not please read up on behavior change requests and validation.
I would also say get clear in your own mind your definition of love & your partners'. Have a discussion
about this!


A definition of love I like is this: when your partner's needs rise to the level of your own needs.
and you would not do anything to intentionally hurt them.

In a good relationship you're supposed to get along, be happy, feel safe with them, have interesting conversations, minimal fighting, respect for each other, enjoy each other's company, deeply care about the other person, can see
sharing your life with them, enjoy being with them, want to travel with them, would stand up for them in times of conflict, can trust them, support them in times of sickness and need, can defy the odds with each other and believe problems can be resolved and all will turn out ok.

I think that these are necessary to have a very good, healthy relationship.

“Love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the wellbeing of one’s companion.”
— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Love includes steady affection, attention, respect, cooperation, caring, making sure your partner feels consistently
cared about and tolerance.....


 Relationships have to be balanced.  A Behavior change request [ BCR ] helps with balance.

A behavior change request is a positively phrased, very specific, measurable, doable behavior that we would like from our intimate partner—instead of the behavior that we find so frustrating.  Harville Hendrix says criticism has NO place in a love relationship.

Granting someone else’s requests helps heal us and make us more whole.  It forces us to overcome our own resistance and discomfort, since our partner’s needs are often what is most difficult for us to meet, which is the very reason why Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen Hunt call the process “stretching.”

One interesting and unexpected thing about granting your partner’s behavior change request is how it expands and enriches you. 

Here is what Hendrix’s and Hunt’s says to do :

Here’s how the process works:  On paper, list a frustration you have with your partner.
Then describe what it is you want instead, specifically identifying what you want your partner to do differently. 
Example: (list frustration behavior), I feel…, then I react by…, to hide my fear of… I want (your long-range desire). 
 Specifically I would like (state the corresponding behavior change request). 

Here is an example from Hendrix and Hunt :
  “When you ask me a question and then answer it yourself, I feel angry.  Then I react by getting harsh and opinionated to hide my fear of being ignored.  I want to feel heard and valued by you.  When you ask me a question, please wait for me to fully answer it before you respond or state your opinion.  I would like to tell you that I am finished before you start talking.”
What does it mean to "validate" someone?
Validation is an effective communicate technique for anyone, really, not just people with BPD. Someone is being invalidated when they're being ridiculed, ignored, judged, or told that they or their feelings are"bad" or"wrong"—even in a subtle way.
Validation, on the other hand, is to acknowledge the feelings involved whether or not you agree with them. It is not praise or agreement; merely an acknowledgement and reinforcement that you understand their feelings. For example, if your spouse is angry at you for supposedly flirting with a cashier:
Validation:"I can see you're angry at me because you thought I was flirting with someone. If I had done that, that would be aggravating. However, that wasn't what I had in mind at all."
Invalidation:"Don't be angry, I wasn't flirting with that person!"
It is critical you understand that validation is not agreement with the person. In the example above, the speaker didn't agree that he or she was flirting. Validation is about listening and reflecting a person's emotions. It has nothing to do with whether those feelings are valid.
Eight Signs of a Healthy Relationship

TRAITS OF A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP Traits of Healthy Relationships

A list of what makes for a good relationship could be quite lengthy and might differ from couple to couple. But here are some characteristics mentioned over and over by marital therapists. Ask yourself what's important to you and whether or not your current relationship meets your needs on a scale of 0 (not there at all) to 5 (high).  This isn't a quiz; just something for you to think about as you look at the whole relationship.

1. Respect for Each Other: In a healthy relationship, couples need to make compromises. But neither partner should ask the other one to change things about themselves central to who they are or what they want out of life. Respect is also about treating each other in the way you'd like to be treated, even when you're angry and frustrated. Other signs of respect include caring about the things that are important to your mate and recognizing that differences are OK.

2. Support and Empathy: In a healthy relationship, partners are there for each other with warmth and affection through both good times and bad. Even when their opinions differ, supportive spouses try to see things from their partner's point of view. Without keeping track on paper and pencil, people in workable marriages attempt to be there equally for each other. Otherwise, partners can get burned out.

3. Communication and Sharing: Honest, direct communication is a key part of any relationship. The ability to share your thoughts, feelings and desires in an open and honest way are essential to the level of intimacy and connectedness the two of you share. People are not born knowing how to best communicate and send the right non-verbal signals. It's a skill that can be learned like any other—if the two people are willing to learn.

4. Mutual Trust, Honesty, and Fidelity:  Honesty leads to trust, which leads to feelings of safety, probably the most important ingredients in a happy marriage. Trust paves the way for the confidence to share your feelings, emotions, and self with someone else. When someone lies to us, it erodes trust and drives a wedge between the two people in the relationship. Because trust provides the foundation for nearly all relationships, the bond is threatened.

5.Enjoying Time Together and Time Apart: Jose and Maria (from the beginning of this chapter) enjoy many common interests and hobbies. But that's half the picture. Couples also need space for other friends, their own interests, and private time alone. This shouldn't be threatening to well-adjusted partners—after all, they'll want some time to themselves, too. When people don't have enough of their own space, they begin to feel trapped and suffocated.  HCP tends to be enmeshed.

6. Fairness/Equality: Relationships marred by power and control struggles lose their intimacy because you can't afford to be vulnerable with someone who might use it against you. When one or both of you are enmeshed in a power struggle, the simplest decisions (e.g. where should we go to dinner?) become fraught with angst and conflict. It often takes a therapist to unveil the real issues beneath the predictable fights.

7. Connection/Intimacy: Emotional intimacy and connectedness happens when we feel loved, accepted, and safe to reveal who we really are, warts and all. The safer we feel, the more we're willing to share. The rewards are great; it helps us get to know ourselves and it may be the closest we can get to another person in our trip on planet Earth. It is the essence of being loved.

8. A Mutually Rewarding Sex Life: The sexual relationship works well and is satisfying for the both of you. This may mean striking compromises about frequency of sex, who initiates, and so forth. Neither partner should try to force the other to do what is beyond their comfort level—although it's also a good practice to try new things you and your partner might enjoy.
I was taking an awesome combination of Wellbutrin and Lexapro.  With a little tweaking my Dr. found the right dosage so that NOTHING bothered me.  The only emotion I could feel was when I saw a sad Disney movie.  The problem was I could overlook all the bipolar, borderline and alcoholism that was swirling around me.  And I also slept A LOT.  Even with all the meds I was still extremely depressed.  They only helped me from sinking even further into the abyss.  They were just keeping me afloat.

I knew that things were never going to get better so I took myself off the meds (and this might sound weird) so that I HAD to face what he was doing, saying and how it was affecting me.  It was AWFUL but I know it as one of the things that finally got me to point where I began to plan my exit strategy.   The other thing was finding this online support message board!

Once he was out the door and I could finally take a deep breath did I go back to my doctor and ask for refills.  I couldn't stop blaming myself for allowing the situation to get so bad.  I know it wasn't rational, his mental illness was too much for anyone to handle but self blame was part of my PTSD.  As if I should have paid closer attention to the warning signs.

Anyway, the meds can be helpful and there is nothing wrong with a little help to clear the PD cobwebs from your mind.

((( hug )))
Dealing with PD In-Laws / Re: What I have got in my head right now.
« Last post by clara on Today at 08:14:51 AM »
he does not attempt to change their minds, he validates himself.

I absolutely believe this is the best advice.  And I believe that by doing this, you reflect back to them your indifference to their attitudes, which may make the situation worse, but also returns your power.  What they seem to want more than anything is complete subjugation of your identity to their view of you.  Put the blame back on them where it belongs.  You don't have to respond to garbage accusations.  They want you caught in the cycle of ruminations because that maintains their power over you. 
Dealing with PD In-Laws / How much is enough?
« Last post by Jo_k on Today at 08:07:00 AM »
Last week I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I do not want to get into details, but it's a direct consequence of my anxiety when PDMIL ruined our civil wedding. I was pregnant and had already too much on my plate. It was the first time she showed her true colors, before that I was just perfect in her eyes. I'm a very straightforward kind of person, so not standing up for myself from the beginning due to cultural norm and due to amazement at how I became the scapegoat from a golden DIL, took its toll.

We have organized the religious ceremony in less than a month. FIL is in the hospital vey ill, he was on life support for ten days and now he's slowly recovering. These are the two reasons why I don't cut her off, effective immediately.

DH wants to keep a good relationship for himself with both his parents. I have no problem with that.

However, he wants me to keep some contact with his mother, who has gravely mistreated me, and her enabler, FIL. He says he wants me to have the 'bare minimum' level of contact, just for his parents to see our baby. Thankfully he has accepted that the baby and I are a package deal. We live 3.5 hours away by plane, so the 'bare minimum' DH suggests translates to once per week we spend there, maybe 3 times a year. We went there for Easter, saw them almost every day but only for an hour every time, just to support FIL before his surgery. The problem is that my parents live in the same city, otherwise I would just avoid the place. We have also agreed with DH that once FIL is gone, I cut MIL off without any pity about poor, lonely MIL.

Yesterday we had another discussion with DH. I asked him what is more important to him, my health or keeping his mother happy. He replied my health, but practically he wants to keep his mother happy, thus he's asked for 'the bare minimum' of contact. Obviously we are not on the same page.

How would you go about it? Please keep in mind that I need to keep stress level vey low. So I'm thinking, maybe keep the 'bare minimum' of contact DH purposes? Then there will be issues ahead, but maybe it's better than all the backlash I'm going to face from DH and everyone else in case I go no contact? I have already decided that a decision is to be made after the wedding and not earlier.

Thank you for your input.

Dealing with PD In-Laws / Re: Rabbit hole, still exists, deep and wide
« Last post by all4peace on Today at 07:59:02 AM »
Thanks for the recommendation. I can't find that in my local library system, but I'll try to do more research to figure it out.

Uninvitation, there is a staggering lack of empathy. All energy and words from them are focused on preserving their image of themselves, no matter how much their behavior and words do not match. I've asked Dh to consider just stopping giving them so many words in trying to explain our position. It's frustrating, exhausting, circular, pointless.

I'm trying to cut the cords to let them go, but they don't want to be let go. They want to hold on tight while harming us and swearing up and down they're full of love that is not once expressed in any kind of positive action.
Separating & Divorcing / BPD/NPD and the courts
« Last post by Whiteheron on Today at 07:55:59 AM »
There is a link floating around the common behaviors board that I had a chance to look at last night (thanks ilovecoffee!). I sure wish I had seen these before I filed - they wouldn't have changed my mind, but I would have been better prepared to know what was coming from stbx. She accurately describes stbx, his traits, his characteristics, how he will behave when involved in the court system.

Here are a few of the links I saved as they were particularly relevant to stbx. There are so many more I need to watch. I am actually considering sending a few links to my L so she can better understand what we are up against. It would be worth the fee.

borderline raging

BPD and psychotic thinking

magic thinking and rewriting history (a big one for me because stbx is doing this in his affidavits)

smear campaign (stbx is also very actively engaged in)

There was another that was extremely relevant, but she does mention a former political candidate at the end and I didn't know if posting that one would violate any rules.

Anyone else feel these are accurate? Or has anyone else deal with this kind of behavior (complete fabrications and utter nonsense?) when divorcing your PD?
My uNPDexh was on something approximating a 6 month cycle as well except he never actually left since he had nowhere to go!  This went on for 7 years and I was the one to finally leave but at the time we were legally separated and had been for about 6 months but were living together because guess what--he didn't have anywhere to go plus he really didn't want to leave, just wanted me to know that he could at any time.  (BTW we managed the separation by giving his parents' address as his address).  So for 7 years I lived in this state of being forewarned about his impending departures.  He was sincerely shocked when I left without much notice because he apparently assumed he could play this game indefinitely.  And naturally I left without much notice because I knew enough by then to know that if I told him what I planned to do (rather than just doing it) he would go into the "pull" aspect of his PD. 
Exercise the short term it makes you feel more tired but in the long run it helps with everything-mood-stamina-better sleep.
So even if all you can to to start with is walk for 5 minutes, start there and build up.
Taking Zoloft, learning to meditate, yoga stretches, writing in my journal, talking with a close friend, dancing, swimming, walking with my dog, reading and
doing volunteer work - all these things also help me.
Common Behaviors / Re: I think he may be a sociopath??
« Last post by Whiteheron on Today at 07:45:45 AM »
Oh Siren, that's just awful. mine isn't that bad - I think he just dabbles in sociopathy (are there covert sociopaths?), not full blown like yours sounds. I fear the more he is pushed towards the truth the more traits he will exhibit. He does have a separate set of lies for each facet of his life, but as far as I'm aware hasn't lied about the big things - like degrees, job, college (where I met him).

waking, that sounds familiar - bored witless when the conversation didn't revolve around him or something he could use, mood swings, getting amped up (still does, especially when he submits a new document to the court).

redfish- i actually yawned reading the article...guess I'm in the clear  ;)
I almost discounted the sense of smell thing until it mentioned that they can have good sense of smell - just not be able to tell the difference between smells - that is stbx. dark triad is scary, then again the stories about your ex are pretty scary. There is a link going around - youtube videos of Kris Godinez. She does talk about the dark triad: not sure if she mentions it here, but she does mention it in a bunch of her videos about malignant borderlines/narcs. I'm finding her to be very helpful - she's opening my eyes as to what I'm dealing with and what I can expect in a court battle against stbx. It's not pretty. I'm thinking of sending my L a link to a few of her videos. It would be worth paying her to watch a few, just so she can understand what she will be dealing with in court.
Chosen Relationships / Re: ST prior to a vaca
« Last post by vonmoot on Today at 07:45:30 AM »
Liftedfog, I often find that uPDw will tone down or behave in public more so than at home when no one else is there to see or hear her.
That could explain the "normal" behavior at the airport.  As much as they seem out of control, they really do know what is right / wrong or acceptable / unacceptable behavior and they can control it to an extent when they need to put on the mask for the outside world.
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