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Should I walk away?
September 8, 2005
5:22 pm
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Longstreet
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Been in a relationship with a woman for a year & a half. We broke up in March and got back together in late April & have been in counseling. I thought things were getting better but I realize now that she sees me as having all the problems which is not true. My own therapist said it sounded like she had Borderline Personality Disorder. She came from an extremely abusive home life. We fight pretty much continuously because she is very passive aggressive and I feel, very critical of me. Any attempts at defending my actions are seen as me being mean to her and not communicating. I feel like all I do is apologize for not being enough for her. After yet another brief vacation where all we did was scream at each other, I said I am calling it quits. That after 1.5 years, I just am not ready to move in together and that I want to be accepted for who I am today, not someone she wants to make over. I feel like she is suffocating me and that I have to be hypervigilant all the time to please her. Does anyone out there feel like this? I am sad the relationship is over, but glad to be free from the stress of always worrying about her moods and criticisms.

September 8, 2005
5:35 pm
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gingerleigh
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Should you walk away? Your own post screams the answer... YES!

September 8, 2005
5:45 pm
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Anonymous
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we can't give you that answer - it has to come from within.

I think tho, you are looking for validation for feeling like you want out - and yes, it surely sounds like you should get out - based on what you tell us.

there are two sides to every story, we don't have hers - but in the end, if you want out, because you feel like you are being mistreated, that's all that truly matters.

don't feel guilty for wanting out - you tried - but you can't meet her expectations - no matter how realistic or unrealistic they may be.

this is not a good fit for you and it looks like it's time to move on.

I hope this helps.

September 8, 2005
5:52 pm
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geminismiles
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It sounds like your g/f doesn't love herself very much which is why she may be so criticle of you all of the time. She may not think she's worthy so in turn, is going to make you feel like nothing you do is right. You have the right to be treated with love and respect. Allow your self to grieve your loss and then take the necessary steps to take care of you. You are making the right decisions - keep posting here, you'll will find a lot of support to get you through this rough time (((((((hugs))))))))

September 8, 2005
5:59 pm
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Longstreet
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Thank you everyone for the supportive threads. It's very hard to walk away, but I know in my heart of hearts that I would always be on edge with her, always worried about what mood she was in, what I was wearing, did I have enough make-up on, how much I weighed, how often I made sure we had sex, how well I put together the weekend plans to avoid her criticising me. She's a wonderful person, but I always felt like I had to constantly, and I mean constantly show her how much I loved her. If I didn't email her every 2 hours or so, she would accuse me of ignoring her, if I didn't want to come over, I didn't want to be with her. It was like a full time job, just worrying about keeping her happy. She could be very generous but I felt like I was being pulled into a web and couldn't get out. I will miss the good things but really want to be with someone more laid back that accepts me for who I am, not who she wants me to be. The issues certainly aren't all mine.

September 8, 2005
10:16 pm
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HOLLY BERRY
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IF YOU FIND YOURSELF WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, YOU MAY CUT YOUR FOOT.

This isn't a proverb, most likely the eggshells may crush, but what you are walking on right now is much worse, and much less fragile than eggshells. SO.....you could really hurt yourself.

Don't fight this....run....I know from experience it probably will only get worse, not better. If it is any consolation, which is really a sh**ty way of looking at things.....she will one day realize her mistake, and you will have moved on. You don't want her to feel pain, but you are much more important than she is....how you feel about yourself wins over how she feels about you. Maybe someday she will be happy, but I doubt it. I know you will be happy, you are searching, and in your attempt for the goal, you will find happiness.

September 9, 2005
8:47 am
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Longstreet
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Holly,

Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean the world to me. Walking on eggshells describes it perfectly. My counselor told me she thought it sounded like my ex had Borderline Personality Disorder. She came from a very abusive childhood and has done very little to deal with those issues. So I think they come out in the relationship, the constant fear of abandonement, continual need for reassurance, perfectionism and neediness that is beyond what I have seen with other people. Mix that with incredible generocity, lots of financial support and you can get a picture of what my life was like. She was either showering me with gifts and offers to take care of me or sobbing that I had yet again hurt her or neglected her in some way. I felt like I had to measure every word carefully because it mean either pleasure or pain to her. It was so stressful. I just would love to talk to other people who have experienced this. The sad part is that in the end she blames me for not wanting to move in and continue the relationship. She doesn't see how her constant criticisms prevent me from taking the next step. She just says I have commitment issues, which is not true. I just am afraid to commit to a life together where I have to be so on guard all the time. I wish so much I could get her to see that my actions are a result of HER actions. It's so frustrating. Thank you so much for listening. It helps a lot.

September 9, 2005
9:07 am
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Anonymous
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unfortunately, you can't change how she sees things until she is ready to see the light on her own.

my ex pulled away from me - I am not borderline personality, but I am codependent and many of what you described are things I did to my BF's.

my BF is walking on eggshells, but not cuz of the criticism anymore, but because I DID criticize before. And he is worried about making a bad move now - only time will heal this with us.

I saw the light - but only because it slammed me in the face one too many times - after enough ruined relationships - a person will be asking "why me?" - and if they are willing to find the answer, it will be given to them.

until then - they won't see it. You could give her literature on CODA, you could buy her books - but until she is ready to accept her responsibility in the failure - her part - it won't mean squat to her.

and that's unfortunate.

but the good news is - you see it - and you DO care about her - and maybe someday when she is ready to come to you and ask why - and hear the truth - you might be able to show her the way - and not blame her totally - but show her her part in it - bring her here - whatever.

bottom line is - you can't do it until she is ready.

you are doing the right thing by trying to help yourself and make sense of it and get your life back together, even if it's not the easiest thing to do.

September 9, 2005
9:35 am
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Longstreet
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Thank you Alicat. It's soo hard to walk away. I am 44 years old and thought I finally found "the one". She's beautiful, intelligent, financially well off and very generous. How can you not fall in love with that? My mind only wants to remember the good things right now and beat myself up for ending it. But the truth is that she's a terribly insecure person and every move I made was intensely scrutinized by her to see what the hidden meaning was. We had so many stilted phone conversations, weekends together where I felt like I was constantly being assessed in her mind as to how much I loved her. Every plan I made had to be perfect or she would say I didn't care about her or was uninvested in the relationship. That is so not true. There was just no pleasing her unless I was constantly showing her to excess how much she meant to me. It was exhausting. I wasn't resistent to moving in together, I just didn't bring up the discussion and she flew into a rage on a business trip I tagged along on, telling me I had commitment issues. When I tried to stop her and suggest she wait till we got home and were at our counseling appt. she cried hysterically that I wasn't communicating with her. No matter what - I was always making the wrong choice, always doing something wrong to hurt her. I feel terrible and that's not how love is supposed to feel. You're supposed to feel stronger when your partner is around, not cringing in fear of the next thing she says you did to hurt her. I am soo sad because I really, really wanted this to work out and now I have to start all over again. Thank you for listening.

September 9, 2005
9:43 am
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I wish there were more men like you out there!!! You tried - you really did. And it is hard to let go of the image you fell in love with. But you are doing a good job of balancing that reality with the REAL reality - what REALLY happened and how tough it really was.

there was no balance. there was no good to outweigh the bad - or if there was - not enough.

you tried hard - and got criticized at every turn - and that's just not fair - you deserve better.

are you still in counseling? I think it would help if you were - just to help "purge" these emotions and help you get ready to move on and be open to any new chance that comes along - help you open your heart to someone who can give you what you need. Someone who can hold your hand while you "look" again and help you spot the red flags or warning signs. Help you feel strong and confident again, after your esteem was totally shot down for all the stupid things she THINKS you did wrong. Sometimes, no matter how much we KNOW the other party isn't right, we let ourselves doubt ourselves anyway - cuz we love that person and maybe on some level they might be right.

you are doing the right thing - don't doubt that - and if you want to continue to come here to vent - have at it - I think it helps us too - cuz we see how the "other half" feels. I am not in a relationship with someone who drinks or has any addictions. He has his FAULTS - but no addictions - he too is trying - but is walking on eggshells and under pressure - and hearing your story helps me see what my codependent actions can do to an otherwise healthy partner.

thanks for sharing with us

September 9, 2005
10:11 am
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notsoperki
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Longstreet...you are soooo not alone. I was in a similar relationship for 1.5 years until I FINALLY FINALLY could not take it anymore. He would constantly make me feel like I was the main source of all his problems. After all his threats of suicide (sometimes just for defending myself against his accusations) I felt like I had officially hit rock bottom when I felt like my words were being smothered and all i felt like I had left was my fist. Never hit him or anything but man was I tempted. I'm not a very witty person and he would wind me up and I would become tongue tied and angry.

When I was able to finally end it he would call me at 5:30 every morning calling me a bitch and how could I do this to him. but after a short while I told him that he is not to contact me again so i can begin to heal and return to the person I once was.

It has officially been a year since and I think I've spoken to him maybe 4 times. (never civil) but with someone like that you can't expect that it will ever be anything close to civil. YOU CAN"T FIX THEM!! I tried..but their problems are so deep they have to want to fix them. They'll realize these issues sooner or later when they have been through numerous relationships.

My night in shining armor found me back in march. given it isn't an easy relationship because of my issues now but he's supportive and loves me. The best thing is is I didn't go looking for him..he found me! Someone will find you before you know it. Open your eyes and start looking...that will help you to initiate your first step to move on.

September 9, 2005
10:23 am
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Longstreet
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Thank you Ali and Notsoperki, I really, really appreciate the support. I feel like I'm going crazy right now, blaming myself, wondering what I could have done to fix things. But the bottom line is exactly what you say, she has to realize her contribution to my reluctance to move forward and she can't see how her abusive childhood plays a part in creating a situation where I need to constantly prove my love. How long is the right time to hang in there? We were in counseling, but I felt like it became me as the focus, my reluctance around sex and moving in. She just thinks I have control and commitment issues and nothing is farther from the truth! All I want is one solid relationship for the rest of my life and she thought she was providing a safe harbor but in reality she was creating a stressful situation for me where I had to be hypervigilant all the time otherwise she would criticize me for not showing her how much I loved her. I felt like every day was like a first date, where you have to be super attentive, on your best behavior, not show any cracks. It's totally stressful. I just wanted to be myself and relax into a long term relationship. Every time I did, she'd punch me in the head (figuratively), with some new hurt that I inflicted on her. I just feel defeated. Like I tried so hard to make her happy and thought I was doing a good job and all she would say is that I can do better. How defeating is that? It's a relationship, not a job! I just want someone to love me as I am today with my flaws and all. I'm so broken hearted!

September 9, 2005
10:33 am
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Anonymous
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I wouldn't make an effort to "hang in there" at all.

just be there when/if she comes back to you for ADVICE - guidance - answers.

she may not.

but sometimes when we fail enough times, we go back and start evaluating what happened and are finally ready to hear what the other person has to say, even if we dont like what we hear.

I am not suggesting waiting for her at all.

just keep these thoughts filed away someplace - so you can sit down like an adult and talk to her about what you saw and felt and how you think she can get help.

carry on - move on - continue to focus on you - when/if she is ready, you will be ready to have healthy communication with her.

sorry if I confused you.

September 9, 2005
10:33 am
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notsoperki
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there is no definite "how long should I stay?" it is at the point that you know you just can not handle it anymore. You have to take care of yourself because you have become a figment of her. You are what she has molded you into.

how did we allow ourselves to get that way?! we'll never know..but you have to suck it up and go after what you want before it's to late and you have regretted staying as long as you did.

You never know when your time is up on this earth do you really want to spend them wishing you were with someone else or wishing you were somewhere else all-together?! it's a tough realization but you really have to think hard about this one!

what would you tell you're son or your best friend if they were in this same situation. Confide in your friends and family...let them help you get back on your feet again.

September 9, 2005
2:35 pm
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kathygy
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This woman dose not sound so wonderful to me. So what if she has money and is generous? That's not enough for a healthy love relationship. What is most important is how she treats you and how you feel when you are with her. In both cases the answer seems to be very tense and very frustrated, certianly not loved. It sound slike this woman has been badly damaged in her childhood. Its going to take a lot of work and time for her to heal that IF she chooses. I wouldn't wait around for one minute. You have no control over what she thinks. Let it go. Focus on you, on what you want in a relationship and how you want to be treated. Does she live up to any of this? I doubt it. She lacks the capacity. Move on to someone healthier who treats you with love and respect. You deserve so much more.

love,
kathy

September 9, 2005
4:50 pm
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Longstreet
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God you women are all soo right! I sent her an email today saying that I think that while couples counseling was helpful, the root cause of many of our problems is her unresolved childhood issues which create an emotional void that no partner, no matter how loving, can fill. She sent a reply saying how good she was to me in the relationship and that she has done all sorts of good things for me. I said that determining how "good" she was, wasn't the issue, it was her continual criticism of me and what she felt I lacked in bringing to the relationship. That I was tired of always having to say I'm sorry and that's not what love is. I haven't heard back so I'm assuming she's not interested in working on her issues. Funny thing is she says I'M controlling, but her continual assessment of my "performance" in the relationship and urging me to "do better" is the most controlling actions of all. I know in my heart it needs to be over. I'm just so sad because I thought she could be the one. But she's too damaged to see anything except herself as a continual victim. God bless these posts. I would go crazy without you!

September 9, 2005
5:04 pm
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Anonymous
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just be careful of these emails - she may be engaging you into a guilt trip you don't deserve.

sometimes we simply cannot make our "defective" other halfs see what the problem is. she will be in denial until she is ready to see it and accept it and find a resolution herself.

you pointed it out, now time to back down - or you may end up in a conversation back and forth until someone is hurt badly (probably you) or until you go back out of guilt.

we have to accept we can't change anyone and trying to point out their faults is only going to backfire. our intentions are good, we want to see them get help - but in the end, it's not our jobs. we can try - but for what?

spend the time and energy on you - you know your path - take baby steps down it and spend your energy on positive things to improve your life.

it's hard not to look back - come here when you think you need to - I have had these people talk me off the ledge a few times and I am told I have helped others here too. there is healing here - especially when you see you can help someone else off the ledge you were just standing on yourself.

have a great weekend if I can't get back here!

September 10, 2005
12:30 am
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Longstreet
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Thank you Ali. I did email her back and forth this evening and it was just like you said. I told her how badly I felt like I was failing to make her happy and that it felt like I had to be perfect all the time and that I thought a lot of the problem stemmed from her abusive childhood and that the relationship could benefit from her addressing this long overdue issue. All she said was, "well what are YOU going to work on? The issues aren't all mine". I am so devastated that her first concern isn't how hurt and inadequate she makes me feel but that it had to be tit for tat before she would make a move. So I said don't bother, if making me feel like I'm not to blame for her insecurities and jealousies isn't her first priority, then she doesn't have to worry about working on it. That if she couldn't just work on her stuff and hoped it benefitted me and the relationship - period, then don't bother even thinking about it because it's not a poker game where everyone anties up. So I said good bye and that sometimes love just isn't enough. I am broken hearted and feel so lost. Please tell me I will get past this. This site is so helpful, having someone to talk to and really listen. You are really, really kind to help a stranger in desperate need. Thank you and have a good weekend.

September 10, 2005
3:20 pm
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Dear Longstreet,

I am so glad I stumbled across this thread, while poking about the website. I read all of your postings. They make so much sense to me. Your girlfriend is classic borderline personality disorder. It is tough for anyone to truly understand, unless they have tried to love someone with this mental illness. They have very distorted thinking. In essence, they are overwhelmed and driven by highly unreliable feelings, particuarly fears of being abandoned or betrayed. They are unable to trust anyone. Thus, they are very controlling. To sum it up, BP's are unable to reciprocate love because they are incapable of providing the emotional safety any partner would need for true intimacy. It is all about THEM AND THEIR FEELINGS. And if Truth does not line up with their faulty feelings, they will change the Truth to fit the feelings. Weird, but true.

I will be staying in touch with you. I applaud every hour that you are able to resist contacting this woman. I know how difficult it is. I am in the same boat, trying to resist calling my abusive, BP boyfriend who raged and raged at me this morning.

If you have any valium, take it. And get therapy to help yourself recover.

God bless.

September 12, 2005
10:25 am
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notsoperki
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Longstreet
How was your weekend?! It is amazing to read what you are going through because it sounds EXACTLY like the situation I was in. It was always me who had the problems, I was the headcase...so he made me feel. But I am stronger now then I have ever been because of what I went through. I know how to stand up for myself now and not take crap from people. You will one day feel empowered too!! I always looked past the "Red Flags" before because I just wanted to experience a relationship..but now I notice the "Red Flags" right off and I make the choice to stay or leave. It's not that you or this woman are bad people it is just that maybe you don't mix well and you are ment to continue on to find the "ONE". Best of luck to you!

September 12, 2005
10:33 am
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revelation
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Longstreet....for just a brief minute I actually thought you might me my ex, I was thinking....Oh Jeez...he's found this site!

We just broke-up, you describe probably what he would describe although not quite so bad.

He had his faults too...
I'm working on myself, I'm in counselling.

September 12, 2005
11:55 am
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Longstreet
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Thanks Not/Rev, I wonder if I should have stayed and tried to work on it with her. But I felt so defeated and blamed all the time for not meeting her needs. I don't think she realizes her contribution and how her behavior was what I called "the lead domino" towards all the issues she said I had like fear of intimacy and bad communication. If you feel like you have to measure each word carefully, how can you feel relaxed and intimate? How can you be the one to push the relationship to the next level? So she accused me of being uninvested in the relationship but the truth is, I was afraid of upsetting the apple cart all the time and to move into her house (she owns/I rent), would be more scary than joyful to me. The thought made me feel trapped. So how can I stay and work on it with her? I think due to severe childhood abuse (her sister tried to commit suicide twice), I think she has a long road ahead of her and she pointed the finger at me to say my issues were also causing problems. I just spent 3 months in coda meetings and individual counseling (where my counselor suggested my ex has BPD), so I feel like I'm sort of ok for now as far as introspection goes. I don't know if I should have stayed and tried to help or should I have left like I did? My heart is breaking into 1000 pieces.

September 12, 2005
12:04 pm
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revelation
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I know your heart is breaking, but until she realises that she is part of the problem in your relationship (And I think she probably needs help from a councelor for her insecurities) this is going to keep on happening and both of you will be more and more hurt....

September 12, 2005
12:06 pm
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notsoperki
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she has to want to change...I had to give up on mine because he didn't see that he had his own problems. The issue is these people don't know they have problems until they are with someone so to them it's the cause of the other person because they're fine when they're alone...you can't change her. the best thing you can do is get happy yourself. I was with my ex for 1.5 years but the thought of moving in freaked the crap out of me. i thought that the moment I did that than i would never been seen again. I would have been kept under lock and key. It is no way to live. You are caught in that addiction circle...when THEY give it's the greatest feeling in the world because you're finally excepted..for that moment. then you get shit on again...waiting for that great moment to come around again. Don't allow yourself to get trapped. I know your heart is breaking but think of what you REALLY want and how much you have to give to that person who will give it right back no questions asked! Stay strong. She is not worth you energy if your not worth hers..and that is what i'm hearing from you! Look at the red flags and LISTEN to what you're saying!! you can do it! you know the right choice.

September 12, 2005
12:31 pm
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Longstreet
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I completely agree with you. My head knows it's the right choice but my heart is broken. When I was "accepted", she would shower me with gifts/attention but then her mood would slip and she would be on the edge of despair. She would get quiet, withdraw and keep telling me it was because I was hiding some feeling that she was picking up on. Truthfully, I'm a pretty even keeled person, temperment-wise. But after so many nudges of someone saying, "I know something is wrong with you" and me wracking my brain to come up with something or stand my ground and say nothing is wrong, you feel like you're being looked at under a microscope and going crazy when actually, you just feel pretty ok. Does anyone understand what I'm saying? I felt so SCRUTINIZED all the time! Like my every breath had some meaning to her. I'd like to think I'm that complex, but most of the time, I'm just pretty normal. The only thing I was hiding was my desire for her to get off my back all the time about some hidden agenda she felt I had. Then the fights would start. It was a vicious cycle and she always felt she was the caring one for asking what was wrong and not taking no for an answer. I told my best friend, it felt like I was trapped in a corner with someone walking towards me with a straight-jacket and hypodermic going, "There, there, you'll be ok" and me screaming, "Wait, I'm the NORMAL one!" Can anyone relate?????

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