My Ex can’t let go…

Get Over You

Get Over You (Photo credit: Rovxz)

What is it about the end of a relationship that some people just cannot accept it is over and move on?

My ex has this problem.

Initially we agreed to stay friends after I left, but it didn’t take long for this to become a problem and so we decided to stop all contact. Then there have been a few times where as much as I would have preferred not to I needed to contact him, such as when I needed my inhaler and realised it was still at his place. And of course I had a little ‘panic’ where I thought I had made a huge mistake and wanted him back.


All in all it was the best decision for us to break up and having contact after was a bad idea.

Yet, he just won’t let go. He seems to think he is the most important person in my life, the only person who cares about me and that he has the right to know every intimate detail of what I am doing.

Worst of all I keep letting him, I give him all the information he wants when he contacts me. I don’t know why, well, I guess I do, it’s because he has this way of manipulating me into telling him everything in one way or another. Sometimes I tell him because what he is saying to me makes me think I need to ‘prove’ how well I am doing without him, other times I tell him things because I want him to see how badly I am doing, and yet other times I tell him things to rub his nose in it.

The thing is that however nicely he starts out his communication it always ends up the same way – he triggers me, he pushes my buttons, upsets me, winds me up and infuriates me. Just like he did when we were together.

He makes out like no-one else cares about me, that I need him, that he is the only one I can trust. But none of this is true, lot’s of people care about me, I don’t need him, and there are lots of people I can trust.

I don’t need someone who says offensive things about my friends, about me.

So, why does he keep contacting me? and why do I keep responding?

Whenever it happens it causes me to dip and drop off my recovery slope, which is slippery enough anyway!

Surely he has no reason to keep interfering in my life? He has moved on for goodness sake, he has a new girlfriend (which happened very quickly after I moved out considering I was the ‘love of his life’ who he cannot live without). I’m sure if this girl knew that he kept doing this she wouldn’t be happy. I could tell her, but I haven’t.

I left him for a number of reasons…

  1. He is/was the biggest trigger for my BPD. I can’t really explain how he did it or what he did, but he had this way of manipulating, controlling and provoking me that left me feeling I would be better off dead and everyone better off without me, and I would self-harm, feeling useless, worthless and alone. He still makes me feel like this now when he gets in touch. People know I have been in contact with him because I slip back into that frame of mind when it happens.
  2. I cheated on him. And knew I would again, sure he ‘forgave’ me and took me back, but it was not fair to continue a relationship when I knew I was looking elsewhere for the sex he was not providing. There may have been a bit of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ to this element of my decision to leave, but regardless what I thought/hoped might happen with this other guy, staying was not the right thing to do.
  3. I felt trapped, controlled, manipulated. he has often asked me to explain how he controls and manipulates me, I cannot put my finger on it. I just know it was happening. I wasn’t ‘myself’. I was doing things and being ways that were ‘expected’ of me and not what I wanted to do.
  4. I didn’t feel that he really wanted me. Sex was a big issue, I spoke to him about it many times, he made me feel unattractive, like sex with me was a chore. It wasn’t until I was leaving that he suddenly wanted sex all the time, luckily I saw this for what it was, a way to try to get me to change my mind and stay, that wouldn’t last if I did.

I know I haven’t helped the situation by responding and the times I have contacted him. But, generally it is him that keeps on coming back to try to be part of my life, when really what I need is for him to stay away.

I don’t need someone who contacts me being nice (to get in) and then proceeds to abuse and insult me (he called me a ‘coke-head whore slag’ the other day!).

Why can’t he just stop it? Leave me alone and get on with his life with his new girlfriend?

I thought it was supposed to be us BPD ex’s that were the problem, trouble-makers. Hmmph another myth! I’m not the one who has sat outside his house late at night waiting for him to come home (yes, he has done that). I’m not the one who has sent text messages to his friends when he won’t answer me anymore (yes, he has done that too). Yet, somehow I still seem to be labelled as the bad one in all this.

Sorry, but I am just trying to move on, and heck I haven’t even moved on so far as to enter another relationship, but he has. So, if he has moved on enough to do that then why, why, why does he still seem so adamant on forcing himself back into my life. He claims he does not ‘want me back’ yet he behaves like that is exactly what he wants. Or is it a ‘I cant have you but I’m going to make damn sure no-one else does/can either’ thing?

I really hope that he stops because it is making my life so much harder. Every time I start to get some where in my personal recovery from BPD he knocks me back down a peg or two. Is he just punishing me for leaving him? Does he want to make sure I don’t get well enough to live a happy, fruitful life without him.

I guess it could be any or all of these things. Whatever it is I cannot let him keep doing this to me. I have to stop it. I have told him as much now I just have to wait and hope that he does not contact me again after the latest time I have told him to back off. Let’s see how long it lasts!

Have you had problems with an ex that can’t let go? how did you handle it?


87 comments on “My Ex can’t let go…

  1. Damn, sounds tough Sharon… I hope things work out one way or another with him. Sounds like you are much better off without him.

  2. sharon a superbly heartfelt piece of writing-control i think is the word i would use about your ex.
    if he lived with you for a even a short while he would have worked out that you can be vulnerable,changeable,loe self esttem.lonely,longing all traits of bpd and he knows how to use these emotions to firstly try and control you and secondly to hurt you.
    he wants to think you will be there if ever he wants you or to use you,you say he is in a new relationship but he could be using you as a safety net,keep you in his sights and if his relationship goes wrong he will manipulate you into thinking he only ever loved you and that you need him.
    hope that helps a lttle sharon

  3. It’s sounds like he knows he pushes your BPD buttons and so he does. Obviously I don’t know him but it sounds a bit like a power game for him and if he understands BPD well enough he knows that we BPDers will always struggle with standing our ground. I had problems with an ex not letting go. Actually it went on for years because I wasn’t strong enough to stop it. My only suggestion is that you do all you can to stand your ground, and also just cut all contact with him. You might need to tell your friends what you’re doing so they don’t end up accidentally feeding into his games. I really feel for you because I know it is so hard to deal with for us, even when you know you don’t want him back. Sending big hugs and hoping he gets the message fast and backs off.

    • Thanks Cate, I think it is some kind of power/mind game. All my friends are aware of the situation and I have cut all contact, I was hoping to avoid changing my phone number but it looks like I might have to :/

  4. Definitely sounds like it was a toxic relationship for you.
    I have been the one who can’t let go. I left my exhusband during a manic/anxious time in my life… and ran straight into a new relationship. Biggest mistake I ever made. I am crying as I write this because I would give anything to go back and fix my mistakes… If he asked me back, I would be with him in a nanosecond.

  5. Write your ex’s name on a piece of paper, or better still a photo of him, (must be just him and not the two of you together!) then burn it in a suitable fireproof container. Take the ashes and in your garden/local park/suitable outside space scatter them to the four winds. As you do this visualise as accurately as you can this man disappearing from your life forever. Hopefully this spell will work for you.

  6. i know what your going thru its so hard to make decisions but you have made the write one am sure you are feeling better for it, with bpd sufferes its take a lot longer than other people because of our emotional turmoil but be strong and talk to your friends good luck

  7. I am going through something similar. I never really opened up to anyone before my last relationship so when my BPD caused us to break up my impulsivity didn’t allow myself to really wrap my head around the fact that I really had pushed someone to their breaking point. With that said, I’m not good at showing vulnerability so aside from reaching out every now and then, I really haven’t communicated my thoughts to him. I think about it constantly though. He was a recovering alcoholic, had been sober for 7 years when we met. I wasn’t ready to get what to where he was nor did I think I had a problem. We broke up last September and after a whirlwind of bad choices, I just got my first DUI last Saturday. I’m trying to make sense of it all by making an account of my thoughts and reaching out for support. Thanks for listening. xoxox Heidi

    • I so understand this! I fell in love with a guy even after I promised myself I would not get involved again (abandonment issues), and I was just so intense that I pushed him to the edge. He was also an ex coke user and alcohol abuser…I pushed him to the point where we took a break, i pushed and eventually it was a break up and now I’ve had to watch him spiral back into coke and alcohol…and he wrote off his car whilst drinking and driving the night before last… I cannot help but blame myself for pushing this beautiful soul into destruction. He is lucky to be alive. I know he must’ve had some weaknesses of his own in order to spiral down like he has but I feel like I had a helluva lot to do with it. I also stopped my medication and then drank and partied for just over a week. Also not eating and have dropped 6 kg’s in about 2 and a half weeks. I’m getting help though, have agreed to be admitted to a clinic for a 2 month program. Have you asked for help? I hope you are finding your feet again xxx

      • I have asked for help, I’ve been on a waiting list since my diagnosis in 2010. In the end I had to help myself and have been improving greatly since I ended that relationship, the last few weeks have been a struggle but I am still working hard and managing to maintain my recovery. I hope your time in the clinic helps you 🙂 xx

  8. Sharon, He is controlling you in his own way, by pushing buttons, don’t speak to him. Don’t take his calls, when he contacts just let it be if you answer say Im sorry cant talk right now just walking out the door and hang up.

    I had a relationship similar at one point and I really didn’t want to be a bitch but in the end I had to be and once I was, he went away. Left me alone and I was able to move on…

    You will have to be strong and not let him push your buttons.. my ex was also controlling but I too had a hard time explaining how. I think more by making me not feel good about me and using guilt and acting like anytime I did something without him or that he didn’t like he was a victim and I was horrible. So I ended up without friends and distancing from family and being a very lonely person. They know they are doing it but its hard to explain there fore they can deny it and put you on the spot and feel ok about what they do..

    so I suggest you just dont let him in, no conversations, no contact!

    take care of you!!

    • Thanks Shauna, I do keep saying no more contact but then he will find some reason to need to try to reopen communication, hopefully I have finally reached a point where I have closed off all options for that… time will tell I guess!?

  9. How are you doing Sharon? I hope you’re OK. Haven’t heard from you in a few days?? Xx

    • Hi Quiet, I’m doing okay thanks, I’ve just been empty of words :/ I think it’s starting to come back now (just as I’m due to go on holiday!) I should be back to posting regularly once I get back from my holiday 🙂 How are you doing? xx

      • I was worried about you.

        Have a GREAT holiday. You deserve it.

        Me, I’m flat on my face in hospital again. Have been here since Tuesday.

  10. I never had that problem as I never had an “ex”. I am married to the first one I met 😦
    I expect that to happen when I will manage to leave ❤

    • It’s confusing and soul-destroying, I’m sure he is playing games with me trying to keep me on the edge so I will feel I need him and come running to him whenever I have a problem and also so he has me to ‘fall back on’ if his current fling doesn’t work out :/

  11. I came out of a relationship with a girlfriend of 2 years who i suspect has BPD. I knew nothing of BPD but there are two many similarities in our relationship and stories i have read on BPD support sites. I just read your blog above. My partner would male similar comments to your first three above. I have been accused of being co trolling and manipulative yet she could never explain how or when. She cheated on me amd could lie to my face without hesitation yet tell me she wanted to have my babies and how amazing i was. I kept contacting my ex after she abruptly ended it woth no real explanation looking for answers and hoping for some open honeat communication. Cant speak for you ex but i can honestly say i never set out to control mine. I simply thought we had a relationship where we could communicate with each other – having both expressed a desire for a lifetime future together. In my case my ex had a new guy to run off with and i am the one reluctant to get involved with anyone despite it being 6 months since we parted.

    • Sorry to hear about your situation, I think my way of seeing things is quite common amongst BP’s but most struggle to give it words (hence how helpful people find what I write). I hope you manage to get over this in time 🙂

  12. I dont devalue what you say in any way. And i have learnt a great deal from your posts. I am just hurt that in my relatioshipp my partner could not articulate things when we were together and find a way for us to work things through. Despite all the ups and downs in our relationship (a good part of which related to her continued involvement wit an ex) i still think of her as the love of my life. Am sure how i dealt with things triggered things in her. Things i didnt understand at the time but have come to terms with through reading blogs like yours. And they were done with the best of intentions – like trying to reassure her i was there for her in a way she used to say she wanted. But since we split she said the things i said were too much and i clearly triggered a sense of engulfment. Sad thing is that she had in me a man who genuinely wanted to support her through difficult times. She told me that i was only the second person she had ever told of the abuse she suffered from a friend of a relative when she was younger. Her sister was the other. She had never even said anything to her parents with whom she seemed to have a fairly good relationship with. She didnt ask for the things which brought about the way she deals with relationships but she did end things very abruptly with no real effort (my view at least) to try to work through the problems she saw. I didnt say to her that i wanted her to be my wife without meaning that i would be there for her through thick and thin. She will never come back and we will never have the calm open conversation i hoped for. I would give my right arm to do so but contacting her begging for that has just pushed her further away. Suspect that will remain the biggest regret of my life for a long time. Thank you for your blog. It does help me to understand if not take away the pain.

    • I hope the pain eases with time. I think my ex probably feels much the same way as you do about our communication and I know that even now in many ways he still wants me back r to at least be part of my life, something I struggle to deal with as at times I am happy to have contact with him, but other times I wish he would never contact me again!

      • Well i hope it doesnt come to what my sitiuation did. I am packing up my life and moving to the other side of the world giving up my career and my house to get a fresh start and to be with my family. I hoped she would meet one last time to say goodbye and wish each other well. She ignored my requests. I asked her (by email only) just to acknowledge and say no if she didnt want to meet. I had the police called on me. Nothing nasty in my messages just a desire to part on good terms. Maybe i should not have needed that closure. I really felt i did. She obviously wants me to fall into the never contact again category. So she will have her wish. Anyway will have the olympics as a nice distraction soon. That shouldkeep my mind from going over and over things for a week or two. Thanks.

      • I have to be honest sometimes when my ex is not being so ‘nice’ in his contact (as he isn’t always polite and friendly, sometimes rather nasty in fact) I have come close to contacting the police myself for harassment, especially if I have told him to stop contacting me (which I often do) but I wouldn’t do it for something as simple as a polite email. I am finding however that this can be typical of other relationships not just BPD’s as my daughter is having similar up’s and downs after her break-up and neither her or her partner had BPD – maybe the BPD just exacerbates it even more? Hope you enjoy the olymipcs and it helps distract you 🙂

  13. Thanks Sharon. I wish i had a better understanding of what she was going through at the time though. I dont think she could ever articulate it in the way that you can Damn shame really as i did love her very much, still do. If only i had a Tardis and had this understanding earlier. She is beautiful and high functioning amd doesnt get very close to friends so with a ready source of replacements i suspect she doesnt really have to face things often. She can recylce her exs who are always smitten with her and she can make new friends easily (she is always a joy to be with socially). Neber wanted to co trol her just love her and get close to her. Am off the rollercoaster now. Funnt thing is that i have always hated rollercoasters and said i would only get on one if she accepted my marriage proposal before we got on. Hopefully her new guy will be better skilled at managing the ups and downs. There are certainly not some of the stresses in their relationship that caused so much damage in ours (the ex that she kept going back to but who has now completely moved on). Thank you once again. This blog does help to heal a very broken heart

    • No problem, glad to help. I think I articulate it better here than I could vocally, part of the problem with me and my ex I guess, he didn’t read what I wrote about living with BPD until it was too late (I was already moving out) and of course his sudden attempts to satisfy my needs were seen (by me) as just short term changes designed to again control me, make me stay, and if I stayed it would not be long before things lapsed back to how they were before, so I refused to let his changes affect my decision (although it was very hard not to!)

  14. I suspect my ex feels very much the same. Dont really know as she just cut me completely from her life and rejected all my attempts to talk things through. Real struggle to get past this one.

  15. chris so sorry you are having to go thru this i hurt my ex husband so much didnt know i was a bpd sufferer until it was to late for the marriage i went into another relationship it was ok for a while then the cracks started now i want to go back to my ex, they call this splitting. i do feel your pain i dont want to hurt anyone but its this horrible illness i wish you could of had that last talk with her, she will probably want to when you move on with your life. good luck for the future

    • Thanks.

      I dont think she will know for a long time. I dont like to use the term enablers but i dont know a better word for it. She has plenty of them and people warm to her quickly so she will have ready supply of people walk into her life to replace those she has discarded. I dont know the man she is with but i imagine he is much more like her ex boyfriend who would not commit or get emotionally involved like i did. Having someone more emotionally disconnected is probably a much safer option for her. I really need to cut and run so she can never hoover me back. It would be utterly devastating to go through this again. I loved her with every ounce of my being. I wanted to be her life partner and father to her children and i feel like i am nothing more than something she stepped in and wiped from her shoe. I certainly did things wrong but i will never understand why aomeone who expressed so many times a strong wish to marry me and have a family could just walk off to someone else without once sitting down and saying ” i am concerned about … In our relationship, and i wpuld like to discuss how we can work through that “. The modern world with all the time and other pressures is tough enough. Why cant people sit down and talk rather than just leaping from one thing to the next.

      I know people with bpd dont ask to be the way they are anymore than somwone with an illness does but it is utterly woul destroying when they split you black. Cant speak for others but it has made me question my sanity, created enormous anguish and i know it os a very long road back for me to be able to trust someone else and engage in a close relationship. As a 38 year old gu who really wants nothing more than to be a good husband and have a family of my own that is very difficult to deal with. I hope i can heal in time to make that happen

  16. I hope your guy is stronger than me Sharon. All the push/pull all the “i wamt your bies” get out of my life has destroyed me. It really has. Why is it beyond people to sit amd talk about problems rather tham just run off when you have supported them through so much to build them up just to have your own confidence and self belief destroyed. Yes i got stressed about things yes there were difficult times to which i contributed but never ever in a million years having been so supportive of all the stresses in her life cpuld i imagine being dropped like a stone, bring wiped like some bad atink on her shoe. I gave myaelf completely to her and am now a shell of the man i was and am. And for what. For her to run off to a guy who i suspect would never ever be there for her in the way i was and would have been. It destroys lives and often those of the people who really cared. Not sure i will get through this one. I hope other partners are stronger than i feel right now. Chris

    • I know that despite having a new girlfriend my ex has and does feel at lot of the same things you have said about feeling destroyed and not being able to get over losing me, his GP put him on anti-depressnats and I know that they are the main thing that has helped him since I left, have you spoken to your GP? maybe you need a bit of support yourself? I hope you will get over this, I’m sure you will in time even though it doesn’t feel like it at the moment xx

  17. Sorry the Last couple of replies have been a bit of a rant. Dont want to hijack Sharons blog. I have turned what i think is justifiable anger at being let down by someone who promised me the world but who betrayed me time and time again. Why i think i could not get through this is beyond me. Just had the most cathargic moment of my life. The £11000 engagement ring that she picked out and wore happily is now at the bottom of the Thames. For too long i turned the angst of her issues on myself. I was willing to support her but if she cant ackowledge how the push and pull the” i love you” and five seconds later ” it is all too much” the hours listening to her every problem and not a second spent listening to the impact on me, damaged me to my core that is her problem. Her new boyfriend can deal with the fallout in years to come. I am moving on with my life. Sorry for the rant Sharon. I have learnt a lot from your blog. I shall stop posting. My relationship with my bpd ex was a disaster. But wont let it ruin my life anymore. She never had the courage to admit the impact on our relationship. She didnt asked to be abused as a child but she had the choice not to abuse the man who loved her and supported her. You can clearly see from my responses just how much this one messed me up. Well no longer. Am on the long path to recovery now.

    Good luck to all and thanks for the responses to my posts above

  18. Honestly he sounds like he has a disorder himself. NPD comes to mind with his shitty verbal abuse. No one should have to deal with that. No wonder you cheated, he’s an ass.

    • Thanks Mike, actually you’re not the only one to suggest he has NPD, the mother of his gf before me said that too and others have suggested similar…

  19. hi showard76, i would like to ask u somethin about bdp. my ex has bdp and when we broke up she started to paint me black but sometime she reply bck to my txt msg but always mean to me but the thing that i wanna know is why she added back 2 of her ex on fb ?? like she not supposed to paint them black already ? cause im wonderin if she went back to them, maybe it could happens to me one day …. like they says about bdp when they paint u black its forever. ??

    • It is true we do tend to paint people black if they have hurt us (real or imagined) but it’s not always forever. Your ex may or may not have painted her other ex’s black which may be why she added them on fb. She may come back to you one day, but you need to think about wether you would really want that or if you are better to move on 🙂 best wishes whatever you decide 🙂

  20. oh alright thx u

    and when they come back, do they come back as a friend or they still want somethin with u?

  21. oh alright, its just too hard for me right now. im only 23 and i never been in that position with a girl, never knew about bdp until now, im just traumatized about everythin, and the hard part is how can she forget about us so quick, i know its a bdp thing but its just hard to believe it, the last time i had a txt msg from her, it was a link of a song that we used to listen together but before that i tried to txt her but she never reply bck, and when she txted me the link i tried to talk with her but she didnt say anythin and she sent another link of a song talkin bout love, i wonder if she miss me even if she painted me black … or still thinkin bout what we did together

    • If she is sending you texts like that she hasn’t painted you black and is missing you at times. She is probably confused and uncertain as to whether she made the right decision or not and so tests you to see what your response is, but then panics and goes silent again. This pattern could continue for some time or she may reach the point of deciding either to stop or to connect with you again properly. It must be hard to have her blowing hot and cold though, hope you are holding up okay?

  22. oh i see, but now she stopped. i guess she goes silent again, its just confusing cause i dont know if she gonna stop for good or try to connect with me again properly, hmm its kinda hard to deal with it, ive been in depression for 2 month and still in depression now, i feel like she took a part of me even if i dont love her as much, i still care and miss the time we shared together. i just dont understand how could she just moved on so quick, it seems like everythin is alright for her while im the one whos suffering so much and i overthink too much thats my problems

  23. Sharon, why do BPDs think of their Exes as “stalkers” when all they seek is closure…sometimes years after the fact?

    • Seeking closure is fine, but when they won’t let go it becomes a problem. Years after the fact someone shouldn’t still be seeking closure, by then you should have just accepted it ended there may be no simple explanation that is the case in any relationship regardless of BPD. To hang on clutching for some answer that may not exist and pestering the other person is just stalkerish behaviour. I don’t think this is just limited to BPD’s thinking, I’m pretty sure any other person would feel the same…

  24. Thanks for your reply. This isn’t an ex, btw…it’s a friend ive known for 20+ years I had a falling out with…basically I paid for a laywer to spare her from prison about a year ago (she has a serious drug problem, in addition to bpd). The laywer got her off with 90 days plus a year long drug rehab program (instead of 5 years)…i’m sure you know how the story goes…got discarded like a used sandwich wrapper after she got there and she found a new bff…changed her phone number, email,. I also never saw a penny of the $7k I loaned but, whatever but I have a good job, dont really care about that…I did what I did out of friendship…not because I expected to be owed back something….I moved along with my life and we have had no contact in a year and a half. Last month, a mutual friend discovered she is back in jail on a probation violation. I know I should probably hate this person for what she put me through but I cant…ive known her since childhood, and, know with bpd how much she suffers…hates herself..self harms….has tried to kill herself more times than I can count… even if we cant be friends, I would feel awful if something did happen to her… I also feel really guilty for my part in how things ended…my behavior really was horrible..I guess I was just so hurt and angry…and it weighs on me. I really am not looking for a friendship…more closure and amends. Whats done is done, but would she see it as stalking if I were to send a letter to her there? Should I just leave it be? If something happened I would regret it forever knowing those were my last words….

    • I guess in the circumstances it wouldn’t hurt to send her a message of support, I would recommend against raising any of the issues about the money or anything that could be seen as negative as she is clearly still very ill with her BPD etc to end up in this situation. I would focus on positive things like apologising for your own behaviour and guilt, this may give you the closure you desire in itself? I wouldn’t expect a reply though, if you get one that’s good, but chances are she won’t respond but you will have been able to have those better last words that you need should anything happen, cause she will read it even if she doesn’t reply… 🙂

  25. Thanks, Sharon…your advice really is invaluable! Would telling them you still care about what happens to them (even if you can’t be friends) be too much of a trigger? I guess I don’t want to make it worse on her…or have her think i’m a stalker.

    • I don’t think saying you care would be too much of a trigger, or stalkerish but it may be disregarded. I hope the letter helps you even if it doesn’t get through to her while she is in this bad place xx

  26. Those non boards all tell me “who cares, she’s crazy just run” but I think thats really harsh…particularly when I know I kinda f*cked up too…

  27. She wrote a nice letter back…said she cared also, and that what happened was water under the bridge, but she does have issues trusting me. Giventhe nature of bpd, if I do want this person in my life, I have to accept the coming and going,right? Is there at least a way to make it less explosive? I really don’t know how to relate to my friend, in a way that doesn’t make her split me or freak out? Any suggestions?

    • That’s great news! tbh I think she will have trust issues with everyone but will only admit that to those she feels safe to admit it to (a privilege to be one she admits it to!). Until she is better yeah the coming & going, up’s and downs, black and white will be something to live with and tolerate if you want her in your life. Making it less explosive is difficult, it is as they say ‘walking on eggshells’ when someone has BPD :/ learning as much as you can about BPD so you can recognise what things trigger her so you can try to avoid them is probably the best you can do along with finding out off her what she needs when she goes off, would she prefer you to stay and give her a hug, or keep out her way, talk to her or wait for her to talk to you? we’re all different for me if I get upset it’s best to leave me alone as hugs, kind words and sympathy just encourage me to wallow in it and actually make it worse, don’t go away though as then I’ve been abandoned, just stay put, stay quiet & let me have my cry then when I’ve calmed down I will come to you appreciating you were there in physical presence for me but without adding any emotion to the turmoil I was already battling 🙂 Hope this helps? x

  28. I sent a supportive reply back, thanking her for her letter. I also told her it was up to her whether or not she wanted to stay in touch, but I really did want her in my life….please tell me how I can be a better friend. I also left my new phone number. No response. I feel like an idiot.

    • Hey, don’t feel like that, you did a wonderful thing and if she doesn’t see it then it is her loss! You’ve left the door open for her, she may just not be strong enough to walk through it at this point in time… never feel like an idiot for doing what you know in your heart it right 🙂 xx

      • Why would she even bother to reply then ? Was this a way to bait me into responding so she could shut me down? Does ending a letter with “take care of yourself” typically mean “f*ck off” in bpd speak?

      • It’s hard to tell depending whether she is currently splitting or not, but I would expect that if she was splitting you black and bad she wouldn’t have responded at all or would have sent a nasty reply, a nice reply suggests she was not in that place at the time but it is possible that she has since changed her mode of feeling hence not replying again. I don’t think ‘take care of yourself’ would have been meant as ‘F*ck off’ if the rest of her letter was nice and polite it should have been a genuine wish for you to take care. It is just a shame that we can switch so quickly from that niceness of a positive reply to not responding to the next letter, a clear sign of the turbulent whirlpool of confusing, intense emotions with BPD 😦

  29. Thanks for the helpful advice, Sharon. We have exchanged a few letters and calls while she is confined and, while she seems happy to be talking to me, she already seems to have one foot out the door again in terms of keeping me in her life. We both agreed we have a poor way of relating to each other, and that needs to change …she seems happy to talk to me right NOW, but goes silent with regard to having any communication with me once she is released back into the real world. We don’t live in the same place so its not like she’d see me all the time …but yet something as simple as “it will be so nice to talk to you again on a regular phone” is met with silence …the most she can offer is that she will call or text to let me know shes out”. I have known my friend forever, and I love her to death, but am so afraid of getting attached again only to see her leave once I’ve outlived my usefulness. I wonder if she simply views me as a pleasant distraction while she is confined and then plans to take off again soon after…last time she left me I was sick with a brain tumor, but I still helped her from my hospital bed…she claims she was “busy” at drug rehab, and that is why I did not hear from her for a year and a half . (I know its likely because she split me black, then forgot about me.) .

    I know I have done things which have hurt and violated her trust….but she appears to not understand or care how deeply she has hurt me and violated mine. There is very little in the way of emotion…not once has she even asked how I am feeling or anything…the one time I did bring up my health issues, she went silent…this really hurts and bothers me, particularly when I’ve always been there to support her through some really serious health issues.

    I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here… but I just don’t know what to do with this…I love my friend, but don’t get the feeling she really cares back (not, at least, to the extent I do). Some of this is my fault…in the past I have been unrealistic with regard to her BPD, and what she can and can’t handle (something that needs to change on my part) so she’d freak and push me away. I apologized, and told her I want to remain a part of her life (after she is discharged) but had no expectations; the ball was completely in her court. She said nothing, and has made no promises communication would even continue beyond her incarceration. Sharon, I don’t even know what to think.

    Do BPDs even realize when they’ve hurt someone? Do they care? I have cried over this for a year, and my friend seems very unaffected. Perhaps I am being used?

    • Sorry to hear things are not going too well 😦 I think being so deep in her BPD she is unable to detach enough from the hurt she feels to see that which she has caused herself, I know when I am unwell with mine I get like that so suspect that is where she is at the moment. We can recognise and do care about hurting others, sometimes far more deeply and strongly than non-bp’s but there are times when we just can’t see it because we are too hurt and damaged ourselves. There is the possibility that yes, you are being used, unfortunately some BPD’s do fit the stereotypes (giving the rest of us a bad name) and are manipulative, liars who use other people to fulfil a need then discard them like used tissue, I sincerely hope this isn’t the case, but admit there is a chance 😦

  30. Wanted to give the perspective from the other side of things.
    Split with my BPD girlfreind of 3 years (she ran), its hard to explain how much damage the relationship caused me emotionally.
    After the initial high of this amazing relationship, I had my personality taken apart over 3 years. It was subtle and probably not intentional but its no less damaging.
    When she left, I was exhausted, depressed and suicidal, when we met I was happy and fun.
    In my opinion anger comes from fear, and in my case I felt like she’d taken my personality and I would never get it back, very frightening experience, trust me.
    I thought I wanted her back, but in reality I wanted myself back. I said some horrible things, completely out of character by the way.
    I don’t don’t the ins and outs of your relationship, but I think you should bear that in mind. Black and white thinking, idolisation and devaluation are incredibly hard things to be on the receiving end of.
    Just my view, all the best and good luck.

    • Sorry to hear about your experience. Each person with BPD is very different, for me getting out of a relationship where I was being controlled and manipulated was important for my recovery. I had not seen just how much he actually created a lot of my BPD behaviours, pushing buttons to make me react, and as the BPD type who internalises the feelings and takes them out on myself he could then play the ‘rescuer’ and ‘save me’ – all part of the manipulation, keep me trapped in the BPD cycle… but I fully understand how some BP’s can be the one’s doing that themselves…
      Best wishes and good luck to you too, I hope you are managing to recover 🙂

  31. No disrespect…but you are rationalizing your behavior…while he was trying to cope with the loss by finding another woman…you shattered his life…you made excuses for leaving while he tried to make it work… say he controlled you yet you don’t know what is the actual trigger and simply said “can’t put my finger on it” which makes no sense…

    • I couldn’t put my finger on it then, but it can take a long time to understand what it is and I have since figured it out, he would control and manipulate me by grinding me down… to try and explain that one scenario after we split up, he came round to see me (bearing in mind he now had a new gf) and and he wanted to have sex with me, it took me two hours of saying No and asking him to leave before I finally managed to get him out the house (yes, I should never have let him in in the first place!) but it was then that I realised that was one of the ways he had always played with my head, keep on at me until I give in to him – only this time I didn’t! Does that make more sense now?

  32. And yet, if a guy is nice to a woman with BPD – doesn’t manipulate, control, or ridicule, and shows that he loves her – he will still trigger her and she will likely still do the things you describe doing (rub things in his face, make it out as though you’re better off because you separated, etc). I’ve been there. It’s Lose-Lose.

    • Not necessarily, my new boyfriend is very loving and has not triggered me at all, although I am now recovered… and non-bp’s can do all this too…

  33. Well, this story is really all over the place showard76, you claim to be understand your condition, yet can’t understand why your ex is behaving the way he is. If you truly understood your condition, and presuming you do actually have what you think you have, you will know exactly why, and you shouldn’t be blaming him for the way he is, you after all have helped put him there.

    I know where that guy is in some ways, because I have been married for 8 years to a BPD, and I can tell you, it is the most horrible place to be. My wife and I are separated of 4 months, and living in the same house until it sells. Everything is in my name and I pay all the bills too, yep, I put myself here I know, and should have got out a very long time ago when I first saw the signs in the first few months.
    Possessive, controlling, needy, jealous. Telling me about how her other ex’s had been unfaithful or abusive in some way. This of course left me explaining who had just called me on the phone when she asked each time, or who had just text me, or where I was going and what time I would be back.

    As time went on, things got much worse, I could no longer go out with my friends on my own, see my family on my own because she said that all I would be doing would be talking about her and putting her down, if I was late from work I would get it in the neck about having enough time in that 15 minutes to be seeing someone else, really, the list goes on and on.

    It became that any free time I had, I had to spend with her, but here is the real killer. I have 2 daughters to a previous 20 marriage and I love them dearly. She accepted them at first, even though she had never had children of her own, but once we were married after 4 years, they were no longer allowed to stay one night every other weekend, in fact they were no longer allowed to stay over at all.

    They were just 14 and 16 at that time, and my wife told me they were stealing from her and disrespecting her. I had words with the girls and they said it wasn’t true. I asked my wife what they had stolen, and she said she couldn’t find a pair of her knickers and some of her makeup had been used. I told the girls off and told them this was never to happen again, but I was still told they couldn’t stay over again, and that if anytime in the future they needed to stay over for ANY reason, that I would have to move out and get a place of my own for them to do that.

    It turns out, the girls were basically competition in the eyes of my wife. Competition for my emotions, my hugs, my kisses, and my time. She hated that they didn’t have to make any effort to get these things from me, it was effortless for them. What she didn’t see was that I wanted my children and my wife, I didn’t want my children more than my wife, I wanted them all, I wanted us to be a loving family. This was never going to happen.

    I had an accident in work and received a huge payout, so my wife decided that could no longer stand being near her father in the same town, and wanted to be as far away from him as possible, so we moved 50 miles away. Not the hundreds or thousands of mile that she wanted, as I managed to actually successfully refuse to move that far. As it turns out, I was again fooled. I say fooled, but that isn’t really quite fair, as I knew deep down she other reasons, and that was to get me as far away from everyone else as she could, especially my daughters who live with their mother. But, I again PUT HER FIRST. Notice I shout that out, because these were the words she would use constantly.

    This last year, I have grown tired and ill for not being able to see my children, my family, my friends, without a fight that would lead her to through huge amounts of the most horrible words and at me and even ending the relationship 5 time in the last year because I dare start to make demands to see my children. I told her in the summer that the next time she ends the relationship because I dare ask to see my children or family, and that I dare argue back, it will be the very last time she ends it.

    Well, four months ago I told her that I would like to make arrangement to see my daughter in a couple of weeks time for 4 hours in an afternoon. She ended the relationship on the spot. Within the first week she begged me to take her back, but at the end of her begging she told me that I needed to see a shrink and that I should say sorry for what I had done. I did not take her back under those terms, but I would have considered taking her back if she would have been prepared to work together equally with me to put things right, and maybe even both together see a specialist.

    This was never going to happen, as I can’t remember her ever saying sorry for anything since we have been together, it has always been me to say sorry. It is now four months, and yes, she has turned cold and heartless, as if I never existed. As though we never ever had anything. Basically, she never had real feelings of love for me in the first place, she just loved having this hunky handsome guy on her arm  and someone to pay the bills.

    You must not have a go at the men or women struggle to let go of their controllers, they can’t help themselves, they have been conditioned to be like that by their ex, they really don’t have any choice. And let me tell you as a sufferer, if you are the BPD/Control Freak/Narcissist, or whatever you want to call yourself or other call you, you are really not all that great to us, we just can’t let go, we are like prisoners who have been looked after by a guard and have grown an attachment to.

    We care, we are caring people, and that’s why we feel like we do, and that’s how you managed to do your work on us. If were anything other than caring, you would never have had this effect. I am sure you have all heard of Stockholm Syndrome, but if not, look it up, it is basically the same thing.

    I have lived an unhappy life for 8 years with my wife, but not able to let go, because underneath I do actually feel I have loved her, and still to this day, I feel the same. But, as stunning, funny, sexy, as she is, she is troubled and in a very bad place that she will never see. If you think you are like this, then there is a good chance that you are not in a really bad way. These people will never admit to being like this, and will blame everyone else instead.

    I hurt on a daily basis, fighting with my emotions, wanting her back so I don’t have to hurt as much, but I know that all I will be having back, is the torture of living a life of misery with her, completely under her control, and I may even lose my children as a result. So for me, I would rather suffer a year or 2 of this horrible pain, instead of the rest of my life with it, and I will never take her back, ever. I will always care inside for her, but that’s it. I am looking forward to a normal life, a happier life, a life I can share with my children and future grandchildren, she has done her worst, and I am on my way.

    She made it even easier for me last week, by saying in these words “if your children disappeared of the face of the earth tomorrow, I might suggest we give it another go”. My eyes filled up on the spot, it was horrible, I felt sick to my stomach. I only saw them once every few months, and that was with a fight first.

    As far as justifying cheating, there is, and will never be any excuse for that, never. If you feel you need to sleep with someone else, then end the relationship you are in first. Don’t put the blame on someone else for something you want to do like this. Disrespecting another caring human being who loves you like that, is despicable.

    • I think you are attacing the wrong person here! Just to clarify, I was officially diagnosed, there is no ‘think I have’ about it. I am now recovered and was still unwell at the time of writing the post. He was the one who was horrible to me, he was narsiccistic and made my illness worse, you think BPD is bad try living with a narcissist! Yes, my behaviour was not great either but if anything he encouraged and aided it to make me worse, to control me. Escaping him saved my life and I have fully recovered such that my therapist says I would not be diagnosed with BPD now as I exhibt none of the characteristics at all. I take it you failed to read that he continually cheated on me the whole time. So, please clarify how I am despicable for diserspecting someone who ‘claimed’ to love me but was in fact abusing me the entire time?

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