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My on/off rollercoaster relationship - Love, eggshells and rebounds


TheSuit
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Hi, it’s quite embarrassing to actually be writing on a forum with my car crash of a relationship, but I think I just need some strangers to slap some sense into me. I apologise in advance for the long post!

 

I started dating a co-worker the second half of last year. I’m in my 30’s, she is late 20’s. We hit it off at work and the attraction was undeniable. She told me about how all her ex’s were abusive in some way, shape or form, and described quite a horrific past. I’ve always been stable in relationships (I can count the number of fights on one hand for 13 years worth of relationships), and at the risk of sounding big headed, am a decent catch (sorry, I know that sounds awful). I didn’t anticipate any drama. 

 

We started casual dating in September and she was very keen, very quickly. I am someone who is quite cautious in actually committing so wasn’t quite ready (looking back I still wasn’t fully over my 6-year relationship which ended mutually 12 months earlier). My new partner was perfect on paper; intelligent, charismatic, adorable, sexy, beautiful. My male colleagues were all besotted with her. However I noticed a lot of red flags really early. She was a NIGHTMARE when drunk, she was argumentative, should would gaslight me, and would react to situations in ways I can only describe as ‘odd’. Most of our ‘arguments’ would start over things I hadn’t even done. I was looking at her funny, I was being ‘off’ or moody with her (I wasn’t at all), I wasn’t showing her enough affection. The following day she would worship me, telling me I’m the best guy she’s ever been with, she loves me (she said very early, I took 6 months), and was terrified of me leaving her. I understand that by not asking her to be my girlfriend earlier may explain some of the negativity or her insecurity. This won’t have helped. I did make it official in Feb time, but it made no difference to her stability or behaviour.

 

This led to a behaviour pattern where she would break up with me every 4-5 weeks for inconsequential things. The first was November, then the end of December, then March (we separated throughout January). It happened 6 times that I can remember (embarrassingly I’ve lost count). Each time she would leave for me ‘not loving her enough’, then reappear, chastise me for not chasing her, then beg for me back. I always kept my cool and told her I wasn’t letting someone use breaking up with me as a way to seek validation.

 

She had tried counselling in the past but both times the professional cancelled on her after one session. She had felt let down. I talked her into going back and she started a new program in May.

 

The pattern continued until she split up with me again at the end of June. This time I didn’t take her back. My head felt like it was in a blender. She had spent months breaking up with me, telling me I didn’t love her enough, she wanted to be worshipped, and I didn’t chase her when she left. This was interspersed with absolute idolisation and adoration. I didn’t know who I was getting when I went to see her. I treated her really well, but I accept I’m not the most ‘simpy’ partner. I do a lot of nice things and gestures, but I’m consistent rather than explosive. I have always been described as ‘thoughtful’ and ‘caring’ by previous partners, whereas I think think she wanted more ‘wow’. I’ve never been complained at as a partner in the past, so this relationship obliterated my confidence.

 

She begged and pleaded, but I stood my ground. She laid it on quite thick that I was abandoning her now she was finally getting help. I felt truly awful, as I could see her point entirely. Over the next 2 months I tried not to lead her on and committed myself to learning about what the hell had happened in our relationship. It felt like a car crash, but an exceptionally fun one. She was anything but boring, and made me feel euphoric highs and dark lows. As shallow as it sounds, it was easily the best sex of my life. I was addicted to her and the dysfunction.

 

As I started researching, I came across something called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It fit like a glove. Absolutely all of my relationship summed up on a page. There is a spectrum of it apparently, and my ex (if she has it, I can’t diagnose obviously) was certainly a high functioning one (appears normal to others but has significant issues regulating her emotions). I started to read up on it and started feeling guilty. Her reactions and responses were born from fear rather than true feelings or hatred. All the content I read suggested BPD could me managed through psychotherapy, but not ‘cured’. I started hoping that her counselling sessions may help calm her behaviour. She was telling me she was learning to deal with her emotions, but everything I read said the strong reactions and feelings that they always want ‘more’ will never truly go away. I was terrified of forever feeling my partner could just ‘switch’ and no longer care. I never gave up on the relationship, and couldn’t let her go. I didn’t tell her this as I didn’t want to be cruel if I fell the other way.

 

2 weeks ago she discovered I was going for a mini holiday for a week (not partying, just relaxing). She text me saying she still loves me, was dying in a ditch, and was getting better. She did however say I ‘wasn’t her friend’ and ‘not to talk to her in work’. She was clearly struggling and I just wanted to go back to her but had doubts. I was still unsure at this point but was leaning towards giving it one last go. My friends and family were against it, but I love her and everyday apart from her when she was getting help was killing me. Love was never the issue in our relationship, I just didn’t trust her. I didn’t trust she wouldn’t just break up with me again for no reason, nor did I feel secure in light of the fact she was forever telling me my affections weren’t enough. Stupidly however, I did believe she loved me. She was so passionate and sincere. My friends told me to go on the holiday and come back with a decision.

 

Fast forward to last week and I decided to approach her for another try. My rationale was her therapy course had finished, and my intention was to allow that so she had a clearer understanding of herself and the situation. It had also given me time to reflect on my own behaviour (not being as ‘obvious’ in the way I told her I loved her). When we spoke she still looked at me with adoration and I thought I had a chance. Things had changed somewhat though as now the break up (in her mind) was instigated by me (it wasn’t), the time apart had been my fault (it was to an extent), and I had lost her trust in not being there to support her through her therapy (I see her point). She didn’t seem to grasp that I was hurting too, and needed that time to reassess why the relationship was failing. Completely out of nowhere she tells me that her ex (father of her child) had contacted 2 weeks ago her hoping for another shot. This is a lad she spent over 12 months complaining about and describing as a waste of space. She was always emphatic that there was nothing there. Without wanting to sound obnoxious I’ve met him and seen him let down her and her child so many times. She can do so much better. Anyway she basically said she reluctantly agreed to go out with him, initially to mask the pain I had caused her, and because he was ‘giving her things I didn’t’ (I’m taking that as he worships her). She said she is not attracted to him per say, she sees him more of a brother/friend, but she feels she owes it to her daughter to try to make it work. She was hoping the feelings would ‘grow’. She feels chemistry with me, not with him, but I abandoned her when she needed me. She can never get over that.

 

All of this knocked me for 6, and honestly, I handled it like an idiot. I lost my cool, told her she wasn’t being fair on him, she couldn’t have loved me if she’s ‘moved on’ (her words) in 6-8 weeks, and I was fuming that it was ‘him’ (someone who has been a constant in our relationship for 12 months). Obviously my reaction has pushed her closer to him. When she first told me I took it well. She then messaged me saying she was confused and still thought of me on the dates she had been on. Once I stewed on it for a few hours I gave her a piece of my mind and ruined it. She’s sent me loads of abuse back and is 100% right. I have no right to judge her decisions, I chose not to be with her, and she can do what she wants if I abandon her for 2 months. I’m so disappointed in myself for my reaction. After months of being dignified, I completely did my own legs in one evening. 

 

Sorry for the long message, I think I’m struggling more dealing with my pathetic reaction this last week than my initial decision for space. Ultimately it was the space which ‘lost’ her, and is the reason she moved on, but I can forgive myself for that as I needed it to heal/process/improve. The reaction though just wasn’t me, and I hate myself for it.

 

I do still want to try to sort this, but I know the whole thing was a sideshow. I’ve idealised the notion that we have both improved. My feelings for her and her daughter are real, but I accept that the 2 months absence completely undermines that in her mind (she said she can no longer trust me). I still can’t get away from the fact that if she ‘loved me’, she would be back dating her ex 6 weeks later. It feels like a rebound, but I know I have no right to say that (and it’s pretty irrelevant anyway). 

 

I’ve decided to take the back seat now. I foolishly made her a book last week detailing who she was and why I loved her. In her last message she said it was lovely, but I know it was a mistake. I gave it to her before I found out about her going on dates with her ex, and my rationale was to show the ‘fight’ she always accused me of not having. I also felt as a ‘dumper’ (even though I wasn’t), I needed a decent gesture to show her how sorry I was. She always complained she didn’t know who she really was, so it wasn’t a huge declaration of love as such, it was more of a book about her and why I missed her (I’ve completely sold her up the river in this post with only bad qualities, she was gorgeous in many ways when she felt secure). As ridiculous and pathetic as that sounds, the book was quite cool and I’m not massively ashamed of it. I think I did overplay my ‘wrongdoing’ at the end, which will have amplified my mistake in her mind. 

 

 

I think I am also struggling as being honest, I don’t think I did TOO much wrong. I didn’t cheat, I treated her well, I didn’t break up with her (or even intend to). I just didn’t get back together with her when she asked. Maybe I could have shown more doting or ‘fight’, but I certainly showed her love when we were together. I may have spent too long processing, but there was a lot to think about. She says I couldn’t of loved her as I would have stood by her from the start of I did. I see her point, but I was hurting.

 

Although I will still have to see her in work, I know I’ve said my piece and need to step back. I think I just need some critical feedback for my own behaviour so I don’t make similar mistakes again. If anyone thinks I do have hope, I’d be keen to hear it. Likewise if you think I need a slap, feel free to give me that too 🙂 Any insight would help me as I’m not functioning well. 

 

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time.

 

P.S. I think I’m a mix of avoidant attachment and codependent. It’s a bloody nightmare!

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Just to add, I sent her a way OTT apology after my rant. She picked out the one line from it she didn’t like and accused me of blaming her. I really wasn’t, at all, I was explaining my actions. Either way it went down like a led balloon…
 

I really have shot myself in the foot in every way possible this week 😅

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You shouldnt put that much blame on yourself because what you met is very self-destructive person. For example

33 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

She told me about how all her ex’s were abusive in some way, shape or form, and described quite a horrific past.

you could have run away for the hills just after this sentence. Past as the past, but if all your exes were abusive, chances are you are attracted to that kind of behavior. Which means that you could have been most wonderful guy in the world, worshiping her and all, and you still wouldnt be enough for her. That kind of person wants drama, somebody to fight for her(even literally), and she would probably be more contempt if you yelled at her. Because in her twisted mind that would mean you care. Hence why all the drama and break ups. Her getting back to that ex was inevitable result of her self-destructive cycle. There was nothing you could do there but run for the hills. But you didnt and saw what happens when you offer a person like that alternative. She seeks dysfunctional behavior by herself or else she isnt happy. You blame yourself, but her behavior or even condition(if she has BPD) is not your fault and is on her dysfuntional ways. So, be happy you dodged the bullet there. Block her and next time dont ignore huge red flags like now. 

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46 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

You shouldnt put that much blame on yourself because what you met is very self-destructive person. 

Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. I agree with a lot of what you said, it’s just hard to move on from. Unfortunately I did sometimes end up snapping and shouting back at her, I found it hard to process and accept so much criticism. ‘Fairness’ is one of my main core principles so abuse for stuff I hadn’t done really got my back up! 
 

The sad thing is, I know this relationship is bad for me. I carried a led weight around in my stomach for much of it, but when she was happy she was intoxicating. It is like a drug. Her daughter truly stole my heart. Seeing my ex at work everyday (she sits 15 ft from me…) is torture. I’m ashamed of myself that I’m watching ‘how to get your ex back videos’ for something which has been (at times) so toxic. I just keep kidding myself that with her therapy she will be better. I’m chasing the dragon but it seems as though I’ll never know. 

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8 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

she was intoxicating. It is like a drug

OP.  The disturbed and the deranged can be very exciting people, and can produce a high in the "other" much as a drug does. But drugs are poison. 

You cannot expect anything even approaching stable behaviour from her.  She cannot give what she does not possess. You are trying to take something out of an empty bag. 

Think of yourself and your own sanity.  Keep away from her, and from anyone similar who crosses your path in future.  There are delightful people out there, who are kind, entertaining, steady, and non-destructive. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Is the arm candy worth all this?

If she's such a monster, be careful since at any point she can claim sexual harassment at work.

Be professional and leave her alone.

Yea I see your point mate, but there is no chance I’ll start harassing her. I barely spoke to her for 2 months whilst she tried her best with me. Her issue with me was I didn’t care enough (I went no contact to heal and work out my thoughts. She, understandably, took this as me being completely done. I didn’t know what I wanted. Head = blender). 
 

Me actively reaching out to her only lasted 2 days last week. She knocked it back and maybe I wasn’t expecting it. I have no intentions of contacting her about it again, as I said my piece (albeit in a terrible way). I’ve since apologised for taking it badly and wished her luck. It just hurts I guess that people move on so quickly. 
 

I think I just needed to get some perspective from others, so thanks for the advice 🙂

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56 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

OP.  The disturbed and the deranged can be very exciting people, and can produce a high in the "other" much as a drug does. But drugs are poison. 

You cannot expect anything even approaching stable behaviour from her.  She cannot give what she does not possess. You are trying to take something out of an empty bag. 

Think of yourself and your own sanity.  Keep away from her, and from anyone similar who crosses your path in future.  There are delightful people out there, who are kind, entertaining, steady, and non-destructive. 

 

Thank you. She could be so, so sweet, and incredibly vulnerable. She would then turn in an instant. I think I’m just terrified that this therapy has turned her now into the perfect partner, and I’m upset with myself for not giving her that chance now she’s having it. As I say, I’ll likely never know now, all I know is at the time I couldn’t handle any more. I suppose this tells me it was meant to be this way, as the only way to have avoided it was to put myself in a position I didn’t feel comfortable with back in June/July. 

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7 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

It just hurts I guess that people move on so quickly. 
 

 

3 hours ago, TheSuit said:

It felt like a car crash, but an exceptionally fun one. She was anything but boring, and made me feel euphoric highs and dark lows. As shallow as it sounds, it was easily the best sex of my life. I was addicted to her and the dysfunction.

 

Be so very thankful she is gone. She would have eventually wrecked your life, brought you down with her. Make no mistake about that. And she'll move on quickly many many more times.  Stability is not on the agenda of such people. 

Try not to ruminate OP. Therapy cannot and will not turn her into a "perfect" anything.  Indeed it is doubtful she will even continue with therapy. Therapists/psychologists are known to refer to such people as "heart sink patients".  Eventually, and often, such people end up being committed to in-patient treatment. 

 

Edited by LaHermes
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First off, how could YOU inflict pain on her 'suffering due to a BU', when she was the one doing it?

 

14 hours ago, TheSuit said:

She said she is not attracted to him per say, she sees him more of a brother/friend, but she feels she owes it to her daughter to try to make it work. She was hoping the feelings would ‘grow’. She feels chemistry with me, not with him, but I abandoned her when she needed me. She can never get over that.

Uh huh, this is why she wants to give it another shot.?

As for all she says to you, is is always laying guilt and all about them.. notice this?

I do not feel there is any 'love' here.  That takes time to 'build' and into something real and deep - between a couple.  IMO, you two barely got off the ground. 

 

15 hours ago, TheSuit said:

like an idiot. I lost my cool, told her she wasn’t being fair on him, she couldn’t have loved me if she’s ‘moved on’ (her words) in 6-8 weeks, and I was fuming that it was ‘him’ (someone who has been a constant in our relationship for 12 months). Obviously my reaction has pushed her closer to him. When she first told me I took it well. She then messaged me saying she was confused and still thought of me on the dates she had been on. Once I stewed on it for a few hours I gave her a piece of my mind and ruined it. She’s sent me loads of abuse back and is 100% right. I have no right to judge her decisions, I chose not to be with her, and she can do what she wants if I abandon her for 2 months.

No, no , no!  This is how SHE wants you to see it!  It's pathetic behaviour.. Manipulation, guilt, you name it.

SHE has messed you up good.. Listen to the one's standing back, watching all of this ( your friends/family)!

15 hours ago, TheSuit said:

I’m struggling more dealing with my pathetic reaction this last week than my initial decision for space. Ultimately it was the space which ‘lost’ her, and is the reason she moved on,

Again, No.

You are not pathetic.  She was the one who kept pulling away ( the numerous BU's). Push and Pull. - Uncertainty, yet leads you on again & again... And, YOU accepted it.

 

15 hours ago, TheSuit said:

I may have spent too long processing, but there was a lot to think about. She says I couldn’t of loved her as I would have stood by her from the start of I did. I see her point, but I was hurting.

Exactly.. a LOT to think on... for sure.

Tell me.. do you honestly see this woman as anything near 'stable'? No. Then it would never have worked.

 

15 hours ago, TheSuit said:

I’m not functioning well. 

I can see why! 😕 .

I am pretty sure you were so much better and yoruself BEFORE you got involved with her.

You now, need to let your life calm down some and heal from all of this.. drama.

Seriously, she needs to get herself much better than this in order to be 'able' to function half normally in a relationship.  But, as you learned, she can't.

For your own sanity, stay away from all of this!

You cannot, nor would you ever be able to 'prove yourself' to the point she'd accept you.

YES, there was so much wrong here. I really hope you see this soon and that there was NOTHING you could have done to 'make her happy'.

So... you back off.. leave her alone to her own mess and focus on YOU.  No more contact needed.. no more drama.  You NEED your own sanity.

 

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19 hours ago, TheSuit said:

As I started researching, I came across something called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It fit like a glove.

I can relate, OP. One my exes is diagnosed BPD (by two different doctors, as he "didn't believe" the first one), and I recognized the cycle immediately. We certainly cannot armchair diagnose your ex, but there are plenty of indicators present based on your description. I can tell you that without proper, long-term, consistent and intensive treatment, it does not get better. My ex absolutely refused treatment (he did not accept the diganosis) and wants to hear nothing about his mental health. I wished him well and walked away forever. No regrets.

However, more importantly than figuring out what's up with her is figuring out what's up with you. There is something deep inside you that needs to be addressed, something that motivated you to stay in this chaos and dysfunction for too long, something that is still attracted to it. Unless and until you work out what that is, you wil find it incredibly hard to move on. Maybe you were still aching from your last break-up and the highs of this relationship soothed those wounds - temporarily. Whatever it is, it badly needs your attention. 

When you move on from her, believe me, you will thank your lucky stars for getting out of this. 

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6 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

First off, how could YOU inflict pain on her 'suffering due to a BU', when she was the one doing it?

 

Uh huh, this is why she wants to give it another shot.?

As for all she says to you, is is always laying guilt and all about them.. notice this?

I do not feel there is any 'love' here.  That takes time to 'build' and into something real and deep - between a couple.  IMO, you two barely got off the ground. 

 

No, no , no!  This is how SHE wants you to see it!  It's pathetic behaviour.. Manipulation, guilt, you name it.

SHE has messed you up good.. Listen to the one's standing back, watching all of this ( your friends/family)!

Again, No.

You are not pathetic.  She was the one who kept pulling away ( the numerous BU's). Push and Pull. - Uncertainty, yet leads you on again & again... And, YOU accepted it.

 

Exactly.. a LOT to think on... for sure.

Tell me.. do you honestly see this woman as anything near 'stable'? No. Then it would never have worked.

 

I can see why! 😕 .

I am pretty sure you were so much better and yoruself BEFORE you got involved with her.

You now, need to let your life calm down some and heal from all of this.. drama.

Seriously, she needs to get herself much better than this in order to be 'able' to function half normally in a relationship.  But, as you learned, she can't.

For your own sanity, stay away from all of this!

You cannot, nor would you ever be able to 'prove yourself' to the point she'd accept you.

YES, there was so much wrong here. I really hope you see this soon and that there was NOTHING you could have done to 'make her happy'.

So... you back off.. leave her alone to her own mess and focus on YOU.  No more contact needed.. no more drama.  You NEED your own sanity.

 

Reading what you say is hard to argue with. It’s brutal, but I agree with 99% of it. I think I know deep down the way I acted should have been more than enough for her. I may not have bombarded her with adulation, but I most certainly looked after her and made effort. I think that may be why I feel the way I do, even though I did so much good, I can’t accept (or believe) she can still paint me as ‘not enough’. Maybe my ego is bruised and I’m desperate for her to see I AM the guy/catch she thought. It feels pretty pathetic to say it out loud. But when speaking to my mate the other day he said I care too much what other people think. 
 

For what it’s worth, I did love her. I know I haven’t painted her brilliantly, but she had the ability to make you feel wonderful. Maybe that is why I’ve found it so hard to move on from, even though deep down I know it’s wrong. It feels a bit like a trauma bond. In my line of work I’m often exposed to abusive relationships. I never understood why people found it so hard to leave. This experience has certainly opened my eyes.
 

Re her loving me, I believe she thought she did, she said it constantly, and 50% of the time was unbelievably loving. It just made it all the harder when she ‘split’ and hated me. 6 weeks after break up she was dying in a hole, describing her pain as making her unable to breathe. These last 2 weeks (unbeknown to me) she said she couldn’t take the pain anymore, so accepted the invite from her ex (he’d been asking her constantly since week 3). She said she wanted the pain to go away, and his adulation eased that. Whether I’m being blind or not, I don’t think she really likes him. I think she is using him, which makes me question her for obvious reasons. She said she has been up front with him and said she isn’t over me, but his response was he ‘didn’t care’ and would risk the pain to get her back. This ‘fight’ is what she said she always wanted from me (because I treated her well, I never felt I should have had to ‘fight’ for her, as the BU’s were generally for bullsh*t reasons). 

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3 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I can relate, OP. One my exes is diagnosed BPD (by two different doctors, as he "didn't believe" the first one), and I recognized the cycle immediately. We certainly cannot armchair diagnose your ex, but there are plenty of indicators present based on your description. I can tell you that without proper, long-term, consistent and intensive treatment, it does not get better. My ex absolutely refused treatment (he did not accept the diganosis) and wants to hear nothing about his mental health. I wished him well and walked away forever. No regrets.

However, more importantly than figuring out what's up with her is figuring out what's up with you. There is something deep inside you that needs to be addressed, something that motivated you to stay in this chaos and dysfunction for too long, something that is still attracted to it. Unless and until you work out what that is, you wil find it incredibly hard to move on. Maybe you were still aching from your last break-up and the highs of this relationship soothed those wounds - temporarily. Whatever it is, it badly needs your attention. 

When you move on from her, believe me, you will thank your lucky stars for getting out of this. 

Rightly or wrongly, I mentioned BPD and asked if it came up by her councillor. She said no, he had said she was fine and fixed, and it had been a pleasure to watch her grow. She believes she is fixed now, and has control over her destructive behaviour. I don’t believe it, but wanted to. That’s why I approached her for another try.
 

The councillor she went to can’t give diagnosis’ due to not being qualified, and I worry that my ex maybe didn’t mention her behaviour to him which raised my suspicions of BPD (she always denied or ‘forgot’ any wrongdoing in ‘fights’. Everything was my fault and I constantly ‘overreacted’. One thing I know I’m not is confrontational, I just want an easy life). Of the 9 symptoms she genuinely displayed all of them. She was abused and neglected by her parents in childhood, regularly ‘split’ me as being ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’, and lived by the idealisation-devaluation-discard-hoover relationship pattern. I’m almost certain she has it, which is why I spent 8 weeks learning about it and asking myself if I could live with it. But I need to forget about this now, it’s not my problem anymore. My ex believes she is fixed now, as she’s learned ‘self love’ through her councillor. Who am I to say she is wrong, I no longer know the girl she is now as I withdrew. For me, self love doesn’t require a new partner to heal her breaking heart to take away the pain, but maybe I do their relationship a disservice and she has these feelings. Again, not my problem anymore. 
 

I know I have issues. I’m co dependant, I hold onto people way longer than I should. Perhaps I’m looking for something that isn’t there because I’m desperate to be happy. I’m mid-30’s, have no kids, and am watching all of my friends building families. It just feels like it’s never gonna happen. My most recent ex seemed to tick all the boxes, I just can’t accept that she was wrong for me. I likely blamed myself. I was desperate for it to work this time. It makes it all the harder because the girl at work is incredible, that’s the girl I fell in love with and is the girl the whole world thinks is perfect. But behind closed doors she turned into someone else. I think I wanted to ‘rescue’ her from her bad life. Now I couldn’t do it, and I’m just another ex who ‘let her down’ and was ‘not enough’, I’m struggling to accept it. I know that sounds awful and is based on ego. My feelings were real though and I was desperate to give her what she wanted.
 

I am undoubtedly worse off after this relationship mentally. 

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4 hours ago, TheSuit said:

For what it’s worth, I did love her. I know I haven’t painted her brilliantly, but she had the ability to make you feel wonderful. Maybe that is why I’ve found it so hard to move on from, even though deep down I know it’s wrong. It feels a bit like a trauma bond. In my line of work I’m often exposed to abusive relationships. I never understood why people found it so hard to leave. This experience has certainly opened my eyes.

Yup,  agree with this.. Trauma bonded.

Nasty experience to go through, I know 😕 .

Sad to learn of so many 'unstable' people out there, that are just so unable to 'give & take' properly.. But they can really mess you up!

Either way, you have experienced something out of the ordinary, so now, you are aware!  I know a cpl people like this... and is best you do NOT go back to that!

None of this was good for you.. and you need time.  Time to deal with it & work through it.

Was all very unhealthy on you.

 

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5 hours ago, TheSuit said:

I am undoubtedly worse off after this relationship mentally. 

Understandable, OP.  The unstable and unhinged can do a number on you. You get drawn into their unfortunate twilight world, where there are strobe lights alternating with pitch blackness. It is no place to inhabit.

She was wrong for you for all the reasons set out in the posts on here.  You can't build something on quicksands. 

5 hours ago, TheSuit said:

Perhaps I’m looking for something that isn’t there because I’m desperate to be happy. I’m mid-30’s, have no kids, and am watching all of my friends building families. It just feels like it’s never gonna happen.

Desperation is never good. And happiness cannot, not, be provided by an external source, like some kind of transfusion.  You must find that happiness and stability within yourself.  Then you must look long and hard, with care, at the type of partner you want in your life.  To start with, someone down to earth, stable, steady, able to stand on her own two feet......

There is a book: "Why do I do That" by Dr. Joseph Burgo. You might like to give it a go. 

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She hasn't changed a bit. She's still doing the same manipulative behaviors she always did and you're still falling for it.

I presume the sublime sex is a big factor, plus how she stroked your ego when she wasn't berating you and breaking up with you over and over.

I suggest you look into codependency.  You seem to feel she is more valuable than you are. And you seem to fear being unloved. Codependents are this to a tee.

You could go back to the exciting roller coaster with the great sex but you will have to accept the extreme lows and not complain about them because you know what you're signing up for. She is not "fixed" and likely never will be.

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18 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

She hasn't changed a bit. She's still doing the same manipulative behaviors she always did and you're still falling for it.

I presume the sublime sex is a big factor, plus how she stroked your ego when she wasn't berating you and breaking up with you over and over.

I suggest you look into codependency.  You seem to feel she is more valuable than you are. And you seem to fear being unloved. Codependents are this to a tee.

You could go back to the exciting roller coaster with the great sex but you will have to accept the extreme lows and not complain about them because you know what you're signing up for. She is not "fixed" and likely never will be.

Yes when reading up on BPD I realised I have codependent qualities. It’s mad because I also have an avoidant attachment style. I was single for 7 years after my first girlfriend for fear of getting too close. I actually spoke to a professional about it. In a stroke of pretty bad luck, my early natural reactions to run from this relationship I wilfully fought against for the first 6 months. I made myself stay in it, despite the red flags, as I felt I needed to prove to myself I could get over my attachment style. I picked the wrong girl to fight this with. Because I invested so much into this, and put up with so much crap, I think I’m clinging on just so it wasn’t all in vein. 
 

My friend can’t get his head around how I’ve been in the relationship. Usually I’m pretty ruthless if I see a red flag. I think I’ve overvalued her because I work with her every day and on paper it was the perfect fit. I think I’m in love, but maybe it is the idea of her I have the feelings for. Jesus this girl has mucked me up 😅

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15 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

Jesus this girl has mucked me up 😅

Sorry, but no she didn't muck you up. You were mucked up to begin with and have never fully addressed and dealt with your issues. As such, there is no surprise that you latched on to someone who is toxic af. Like attracts like kind of a thing. Not saying that you are toxic, but rather that mucked up attracts mucked up. She is disordered, but then so are you in your own ways.

If I were you, I'd block her from my life and put in serious work into getting with the right therapist and getting your own head screwed on straight so that you can be a good partner and find a healthy relationship in the future. Think like a good year's worth of concentrated work on yourself and not just some few b$tch and moan sessions on the couch. Your relationship history is swinging from one extreme to another extreme and there is nothing healthy about it. You need to figure out where balance is.

Overall, you fell in to the classic trap where she is hot in your eyes and also a damsel in distress you can rescue because you are not abusive like all the other guys were. Big ego trip that indicates you are pretty insecure deep down. You are still surprisingly oblivious to the fact that she is the abuser and the common denominator in her so called horror life story. In fact, I'd bet good money that not a single guy she dated was ever abusive to her. You are quite literally experiencing how psycho this woman is and ....still can't seem to connect the dots. Why is that?

 

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54 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

Sorry, but no she didn't muck you up. You were mucked up to begin with and have never fully addressed and dealt with your issues. As such, there is no surprise that you latched on to someone who is toxic af. Like attracts like kind of a thing. Not saying that you are toxic, but rather that mucked up attracts mucked up. She is disordered, but then so are you in your own ways.

If I were you, I'd block her from my life and put in serious work into getting with the right therapist and getting your own head screwed on straight so that you can be a good partner and find a healthy relationship in the future. Think like a good year's worth of concentrated work on yourself and not just some few b$tch and moan sessions on the couch. Your relationship history is swinging from one extreme to another extreme and there is nothing healthy about it. You need to figure out where balance is.

Overall, you fell in to the classic trap where she is hot in your eyes and also a damsel in distress you can rescue because you are not abusive like all the other guys were. Big ego trip that indicates you are pretty insecure deep down. You are still surprisingly oblivious to the fact that she is the abuser and the common denominator in her so called horror life story. In fact, I'd bet good money that not a single guy she dated was ever abusive to her. You are quite literally experiencing how psycho this woman is and ....still can't seem to connect the dots. Why is that?

 

You’ve hit the nail on the head there. I actually went to therapy for my commitment issues last year. I thought I had worked through them, as it was always to do with running away. I guess I was that committed to showing I could stick it out this time, even though I knew it was wrong (my friends and family were forever telling me I was too ‘picky’). I know I need more work as my behaviour and tolerance for this relationship is actually 10000 x worse than anything I’ve done prior. I’m not usually a doormat, and have had 2 LTR’s which were without issue (7 years and 6). One ended because she met someone else, the other decided she didn’t want children (which was actually the harder break up to get over as we both still loved one another).
 

The therapist said I’m a perfectionist and feared commitment. He told me to accept that no ones perfect, so give people a chance before giving up. I think I took that advice a bit far in this instance. I subconsciously did want to save my most recent ex. When she told me of her childhood, it broke my heart and I wanted to show her a new life. Trauma bonded, ego, infatuation, manipulation, I probably fell foul of it all. I am definitely taking some time out. 
 

Thanks for the harsh words, it’s what I signed up to hear to stop my delusion. 

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1 minute ago, TheSuit said:

He told me to accept that no ones perfect, so give people a chance before giving up

That would apply in the case of someone who does not have severe mental health issues. 

And I agree here with DF

1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

You are still surprisingly oblivious to the fact that she is the abuser and the common denominator in her so called horror life story. In fact, I'd bet good money that not a single guy she dated was ever abusive to her.

You see you are applying sane parameters to what was an insane enmeshment with an unstable person. 

Yes, do take some time to yourself, and maybe spend some time in the company of steady, stable and grounded people. 

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1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

You are still surprisingly oblivious to the fact that she is the abuser and the common denominator in her so called horror life story. In fact, I'd bet good money that not a single guy she dated was ever abusive to her. You are quite literally experiencing how psycho this woman is and ....still can't seem to connect the dots. Why is that?

 

Only thing I’ll disagree with, I do know she’s abusive. My mates have been telling me for months. I just made excuses for it in my head and thought if I just find a way to get through to her she’d change. She didn’t, there is no way through. I can see that now, I just need to get it into my skull. 
 

Re her being abused, her last boyfriend certainly used to physically assault her. I’ve seen the pictures, and he was convicted of it at court. In a weird turn of events I also know his (the ex’s) previous ex gf who he hit too. I can’t comment on the other ex partners though, including the one she is with now. 

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I do understand OP. The unhinged are very good at putting on the "Mask of Sanity" at the outset. People can be fooled, although there are always, always, small signs that something is not quite as it should be. 

18 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

I just need to get it into my skull. 

Absolutely. There is nothing you could have done.  She is a case for the mental health professionals.

Unfortunately, she will hit on other men, and they may be deceived at the outset by the (far too obvious) charm, the technicolour, the fireworks, the fairground music, so to speak. These unfortunate people inhabit a different world Rationality and down to earth conversation is quite meaningless to them. 

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23 minutes ago, TheSuit said:

The therapist said I’m a perfectionist and feared commitment. He told me to accept that no ones perfect, so give people a chance before giving up. I think I took that advice a bit far in this instance. I subconsciously did want to save my most recent ex. When she told me of her childhood, it broke my heart and I wanted to show her a new life. Trauma bonded, ego, infatuation, manipulation, I probably fell foul of it all. I am definitely taking some time out. 

..... Relationships that are 7 and 6 years respectively take some serious commitment.... Food for thought here......

You seem to have the opposite problem of over committing to the wrong person for too long and then taking a long time to recover and not committing at all during that time. Sort of like a pendulum swinging too far to extremes in either direction. You've got to work on settling into that happy middle ground - learning what healthy looks like and learning when to stay and when to let go when it's actually warranted.

Also, there is a huge difference between wanting perfection and recognizing deal breakers and setting the person loose. You kind of have to sit down with yourself and figure out what is a deal breaker and what is an easy to tolerate flaw for you personally. Keep in mind, that everyone is different on that. What do you need to be happy with a partner and what you would simply like but are OK on compromising on. Literally sit down and make a list and every so often, review it and rethink - is it still applicable or does your life/dating experience teach you something else and you need to add/subtract accordingly.

 

 

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