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End this toxic cycle!


Breaks and Breaking Up It happens to most everyone at some point in life! Share your experiences!

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Old 31st January 2018, 1:30 PM   #1
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End this toxic cycle!

Hi everyone. This is my first post, even though Iíve been here for years.
Iím a 40 year old mom divorced five years ago. A year after my divorce I met a man when I was least expecting to fall in love. He was consistent, and stable and loving, and everything I was missing in my marriage. A year after we started dating, he moved in with me and my kids. He helps with bills, chores, and is an excellent male figure (better than their dad) for my boys.

Besides the good stuff... we have broken up and reconciled at least 7 times in the last three years. All initiated by him, after an argument. His MO is to leave when things get tough, and list all my faults, and deny anything good about me or our relationship. When he leaves I feel debilitated and depressed and desperate to get him back. All is good until heís stressed and I push the wrong button, then itís rage and flight all over again.

Three years have passed and my eyes are now open to the toxic cycle we are living through. I read the book ďattached ď and realized that we are engaging in the insecure avoidant love trap. Everything in the book describes our relationship to a t.

This man (45) also has debt, a temper, drinks a lot, and is sexually compulsive. Meaning he wants sex a couple times a day and still masterbates to porn.
As I write this I realize heís not exactly a prize...
I want to break up this cycle. I suggested therapy but he says he doesnít have time for it. Iím in therapy myself working on my insecure attachment and relationship anxiety. Iím so scared of how my kids will be hurt since they love him. Also scared that I will break up and get weak and take him back again! Can anyone relate to this or give me some advice? Iím feeling so worried and scared.
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Old 31st January 2018, 3:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletS View Post
Hi everyone. This is my first post, even though Iíve been here for years.
Iím a 40 year old mom divorced five years ago. A year after my divorce I met a man when I was least expecting to fall in love. He was consistent, and stable and loving, and everything I was missing in my marriage. A year after we started dating, he moved in with me and my kids. He helps with bills, chores, and is an excellent male figure (better than their dad) for my boys.

Besides the good stuff... we have broken up and reconciled at least 7 times in the last three years. All initiated by him, after an argument. His MO is to leave when things get tough, and list all my faults, and deny anything good about me or our relationship. When he leaves I feel debilitated and depressed and desperate to get him back. All is good until heís stressed and I push the wrong button, then itís rage and flight all over again.

Three years have passed and my eyes are now open to the toxic cycle we are living through. I read the book ďattached ď and realized that we are engaging in the insecure avoidant love trap. Everything in the book describes our relationship to a t.

This man (45) also has debt, a temper, drinks a lot, and is sexually compulsive. Meaning he wants sex a couple times a day and still masterbates to porn.
As I write this I realize heís not exactly a prize...
I want to break up this cycle. I suggested therapy but he says he doesnít have time for it. Iím in therapy myself working on my insecure attachment and relationship anxiety. Iím so scared of how my kids will be hurt since they love him. Also scared that I will break up and get weak and take him back again! Can anyone relate to this or give me some advice? Iím feeling so worried and scared.
Couple questions:

Are you still living together?

How old are your boys?

What "set's him off" when you guys argue? What type of button is it that you think you are pushing?
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Old 31st January 2018, 4:15 PM   #3
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Consistent, stable, and loving ultimately do not sound like what you've described he is or your life is with him coming and going--and it doesn't sound like it'd be best for your boys either. You are deserving of so much more in your life and your love--and your boys would benefit from a better role model. I think you know do know what is best but you are finding it hard to implement. Perhaps truly think of what God wants for us in our families--a loving husband treats his wife as a treasure. I am praying you can financially afford to move on to a better life for you all. I'm sorry for what you're going through, truly. I'd suggest being honest with your boys about why it's important to move on and how he is not the man they should grow up to be. If you need any free resources that will help you, please let me know and I'm happy to provide you links/numbers that may be able to help you.
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Old 31st January 2018, 5:22 PM   #4
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Go to therapy on your own... it will help you to understand what you can do differently.

He doesn't sound like a good role model for your kids.
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Old 31st January 2018, 5:39 PM   #5
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Your boys may probably love him because they just see the surface of who he is and maybe in your eyes you believe he's good a role model because the only person you can compare him to is their not so great dad. That's the best you think they deserve because he's somewhat better than their father?

He drinks, he rages, leaves you every few months, has a temper, financially irresponsible -- yes, he's no prize, even to your boys. And what are you teaching them as young men in terms of how a woman should be treated and how adults should function healthily in a relationship? What are they learning?

Your kids will mature in time and understand why you did what you had to do. That's just a temporary transition. Staying with this man under the pretense that your boys love him is going to cause permanent damage to all of you.

If you can't leave for yourself, focus your motivation on giving your boys a more stable, balanced and healthy life/environment. Let that be what drives you.

Go to therapy for yourself. Best to focus on your own dysfunction as to why you choose to stay in a toxic relationship and expose your children to it.
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Last edited by Zahara; 31st January 2018 at 5:44 PM..
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Old 31st January 2018, 6:14 PM   #6
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Your kids will be worse off if you keep him around.


Get them re-involved with their dad if that is possible. Sign 'em up for Big Brother / Big sisters so they have other healthy consistent adults in their lives. Get them involved in after school activities so they don't have time to miss him.


Good luck with your therapy.


This merry go round won't stop until you get off it.
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Old 31st January 2018, 7:24 PM   #7
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Scarlet, you're describing some of the red flags for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The behaviors you describe -- i.e., irrational anger, controlling demands, easily triggered temper tantrums, lack of impulse control (excessive drinking), black-white thinking, always being "The Victim," and rapid flips between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing you) -- are classic warning signs for BPD.

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your BF has the full-blown disorder (only a professional can determine whether his symptoms are so severe as to constitute full-blown BPD). Rather, I'm suggesting he might be exhibiting strong symptoms, regardless of whether they meet 100% of the diagnostic criteria.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletS View Post
We have broken up and reconciled at least 7 times in the last three years. All initiated by him, after an argument.
BPDer relationships are notorious for having multiple breakups. A BPDfamily survey of about 460 such relationships found that nearly a fourth of them (23%) went through 10 or more complete breakup/makeup cycles BEFORE finally ending for good. About 40% of the BPDer relationships experienced at least six breakup/makeup cycles before ending. And 73% had three or more breakup/makeup cycles before finally ending. See "Results" at BPDfamily Breakup/Makeup Poll.

Quote:
His MO is to leave when things get tough, and list all my faults, and deny anything good about me or our relationship.
These rapid flips between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing you) is a behavior that arises from "black-white thinking." If your BF is a BPDer (i.e., exhibits strong and persistent BPD traits), he is too immature to be able to handle strong mixed feelings, ambiguities, uncertainties, and other gray areas of interpersonal relationships.

Hence, like a young child, he will categorize everyone close to him as "all good" (i.e., "white" or "with me") or "all bad" (i.e., "black" or "against me"). And he will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or action. And a day or a month later, he can flip back just as quickly.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so, I would suggest you also read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Rebel's Thread. And Sal provides a concise and insightful account of what it's like to live with a BPDer for 23 years in his 3/16 post. If those descriptions ring many bells and raise questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you. Take care, Scarlet.
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Old 31st January 2018, 8:43 PM   #8
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I suggest you look into attending some CODA or Al-Anon meetings if there are any in your area. It will help you understand why you've remained in this toxic cycle, help you find the strength to get out, and help you evolve so that you don't make the same mistake next time.

You likely won't be able to do it alone. Take advantage of the support that is out there.

You can do it.

Best of luck.

Last edited by Soundman; 31st January 2018 at 8:47 PM..
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Old 31st January 2018, 9:29 PM   #9
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I understand. I'm in a very similar situation. I'm also a divorce mom. I met somebody and he too was a great figure to my kid. He did a lot for her and she was even sometimes calling him daddy...There were a lot of fantastic time and I never really experienced that before. On the other side he had step out of few time of the relationship, like he broke up for insignificant things without really the intention. I would always try to communicate and work it out. At some point I wanted to put a stop into the cycle. I asked him to give us time, a NC for a month so he could made up is mind and stop letting me going through a roller coster of emotions. For whatever reason, he didn't really accepted a break and he actually quickly changed, it was all wonderful and I was so happy... later on, he even proposed to me...well then a month after he did proposed, he did it again and it was worst. Started arguing, twisting my words, I could do nothing to stop it. I think I saw it coming slowly in his attitude, I didn't wanted to face it and I was stressed. I'm trying to be strong now, I don't want to get back because I know it's not healthy. I have no idea what he is thinking right now and I fight myself to not reach out. I had made plan to leave for this weekend to make sure I don't fall back to see him if ever he tries. My daughter is alright, she'll miss him but I'm her rock so she kind of understand the situation and knows I will always be here for her and we'll be happy, we want to be happy and be treated well. I'm sure your kids will understand too. Be strong.
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Old 1st February 2018, 4:42 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate the support! We are still living together. My boys are 14 and 12.
When we argue, he leaves the room. If I follow him and want to continue the conversation...thatís when he explodes. My boys have heard us fighting a couple times, but havenít really seen anything explosive or volatile. Itís usually when we are alone.
Every time I try to leave him I start
To panic. Yesterday I decided to finally ask him to leave once and for all, then as soon as I did I got weak and begged him to stay. Iím so embarrassed by my weakness.
None of my family or friends like him. They have all seen the cycle and beg me to leave him. Why canít I break this cycle? I feel like such a loser.

I go to CODA, SLAA, therapy... none have given me the strength to ask him to leave. I can afford the rent by myself, but would be depleting my savings.

How do break up with him and not go back with panic?
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Old 2nd February 2018, 12:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downtown View Post
Scarlet, you're describing some of the red flags for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The behaviors you describe -- i.e., irrational anger, controlling demands, easily triggered temper tantrums, lack of impulse control (excessive drinking), black-white thinking, always being "The Victim," and rapid flips between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing you) -- are classic warning signs for BPD.

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your BF has the full-blown disorder (only a professional can determine whether his symptoms are so severe as to constitute full-blown BPD). Rather, I'm suggesting he might be exhibiting strong symptoms, regardless of whether they meet 100% of the diagnostic criteria.

BPDer relationships are notorious for having multiple breakups. A BPDfamily survey of about 460 such relationships found that nearly a fourth of them (23%) went through 10 or more complete breakup/makeup cycles BEFORE finally ending for good. About 40% of the BPDer relationships experienced at least six breakup/makeup cycles before ending. And 73% had three or more breakup/makeup cycles before finally ending. See "Results" at BPDfamily Breakup/Makeup Poll.

These rapid flips between Jekyll (adoring you) and Hyde (devaluing you) is a behavior that arises from "black-white thinking." If your BF is a BPDer (i.e., exhibits strong and persistent BPD traits), he is too immature to be able to handle strong mixed feelings, ambiguities, uncertainties, and other gray areas of interpersonal relationships.

Hence, like a young child, he will categorize everyone close to him as "all good" (i.e., "white" or "with me") or "all bad" (i.e., "black" or "against me"). And he will recategorize someone from one polar extreme to the other -- in just ten seconds -- based solely on a minor comment or action. And a day or a month later, he can flip back just as quickly.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so, I would suggest you also read my more detailed description of them at my posts in Rebel's Thread. And Sal provides a concise and insightful account of what it's like to live with a BPDer for 23 years in his 3/16 post. If those descriptions ring many bells and raise questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you. Take care, Scarlet.

Wow even after coming out of a relationship with someone with BPD I still have been so blinded I wouldn't have spotted it in this post. It's a terrible mental illness probably the worst imo, and even worse for someone living with the sufferer. Op if he does have these warning signs run, take that from someone who went through hell and is still going through hell coparenting with someone who has this as well as many more other mental disorders. I will never ever date someone diagnosed with BPD, unfortunately I made a child with the man and still have the constant ups and downs with this illness. Take a look at what she posted and if you see any similarities please run, it will be what is best for everyone involved.
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:02 AM   #12
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So I read all about BPD and am 100% sure this is whatís going on. Iíve been aware of this now for a couple weeks. Last week he went out of town for work and for the first time in a long time I felt peaceful and glad he was not home.
This morning he flipped out and started screaming at me over a stupid comment I made that he didnít like. When I tried to calm him, he told me he doesnít even know why we are together.
I took this as an opportunity to let him pull his normal bs and leave. I was happy to see him go. I canít change this man and Iím tired trying! Thank you for your wisdom and support!
He has to come back at some point to take the rest of his stuff. He also owes me money. I will have to see him again but Iím done being in the relationship. He burned me out!
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:31 AM   #13
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Scarlet, thanks so much for returning to give us an update. I'm glad to hear that you found the BPD information helpful. Given your decision to leave your BF, I offer several suggestions to help you through the painful transition.

As an initial matter, I suggest you NOT tell him that you suspect he exhibits a strong pattern of BPD symptoms. If he is a BPDer, he almost certainly will project the accusation right back onto you. Because that projection will occur entirely at the subconscious level, he likely would be absolutely convinced -- at a conscious level -- that YOU are the BPDer. If you want to tell him anything at all, simply encourage him to see a good psychologist (not a MC) and let that professional decide what to tell him.

Second, if you want to read the best-selling BPD book (targeted to abused partners), I would recommend Stop Walking on Eggshells.

Third, I suggest you start participating (or at least lurking) at BPDfamily.com -- the largest and most active BPD forum focused on the spouses and family members of BPDers. It offers a dozen separate message boards on various BPD issues. The one that likely will be most helpful to you is the Detaching from a Failed Relationship board.

Fourth, while you are at BPDfamily.com, I suggest you read the excellent articles in their resources section. I would start with Surviving a Breakup with Someone Suffering with BPD and the article, No Contact: The Right Way. Another good article is Pain of Breaking Up at the Psychology Today website.

Fifth, for tips on how to establish and enforce strong personal boundaries with a BPDer, I recommend an online blog by a psychiatric nurse. It provides 20 tips to nurses on how they can best deal with obstinate BPDer patients. It is located at BPD on the Behavioral Unit.

Finally, Scarlet, please don't forget those of us here on LoveShack. We want to keep trying to answer your questions and providing emotional support as long as you find our shared experiences helpful. Moreover, by sharing your own experiences here, you likely are helping numerous other members and lurkers. Indeed, your thread has already attracted over 500 views. Take care, Scarlet.
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Old 6th March 2018, 6:24 PM   #14
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Iím so grateful for the support here. Im sure my friends and family are tired of hearing about it. I read ďstop walking on eggshellsĒ and a lot more info online.

Iím ready for the recovery part. Thursday afternoon he is coming to take the rest of his stuff. We also have to discuss the money he owes me and how we will handle the business we started together. We invented a product and are equal partners. We expect to receive it by the end of this month. Iím not sure what to do here. I was thinking of asking him to give me a royalty on the sales or something. I know working together is not possible. I could also have him give me my part of the investment back and just consider all my work and time a loss.

I told my kids about the breakup. My youngest cried, then cheered up when he realized he could now eat chips in my bed without my boyfriend getting mad!
He had all these pet pieves and things that annoyed him. I on the other hand am more mellow and easy going. Although every few hours I get a sinking feeling in my stomach when the reality hits me...Iím still glad his grumpy attitude is somewhere else!
I need to know how to handle the business stuf. Ugh I should have known better than do start a business with him
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Old 6th March 2018, 11:58 PM   #15
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A girlfriend like this just left me 10days ago after i endured everything like what u described above. And no remorse from her. My advice to you is leave now before he makes that decision for you. If i had known i would hve left my gf and shut the emotional unavailability out. She never says her mind, excessive flirt, unremorseful, never apologizes ,emotional blackmail, serial liar, i can go on n on but u get the point. What m trying to say is people like dat never change and they take advantage of people like us who care. You need to kick him to the curb so he can go and let life treat and teeach him a valuable lesson. I told my gf tht if ur willing to checkout from a 3yr and 2month relationship and do an emotional shutout, you will loose long term and i know this within my bones, But as usual she will never listen. To be honest even its only 10days but even if she came bck now, i will throw her back out immediately without any remorse. Now ive got a lot of self improvement and projects on myself i am focusing on from getting a great body hsape to changing my wardrobe to my business exppansion goals. So dont worry u will be fine, get out now dnt try saving it cause he will never. Instead he wil suck ur emotions dwn and drag u to his level. HE IS A NARCISSIT. Goole that term and learn. Goodluck

Last edited by ikoro0003; 7th March 2018 at 12:00 AM..
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