How do you let it go?

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PearlBailey

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How do you let it go?
« on: October 26, 2016, 01:07:55 PM »
Hi all - looking for advice from anyone who deals with a partner with kids from a NPD/BPD ex.

I've been in therapy for a while to get over issues from my own escape from an emotionally abusive relationship. My current partner has two kids, from two different BPD exes (both tampered with birth control, he has all the luck). My SD biomom has her moments, but for the most part stays in her lane. My SS bio mom is a whole other story, and her crazy knows no bounds.

Even though she and my partner have not been together for over three years, she still propositions him on a regular basis. Even though the custody agreement states she isn't to be present at pick up, every week she tries to force my partner to come to her house to pick up SS. He always refuses and then she magically follows the order. When my partner tries to talk about issues pertaining to SS, she refuses and says she thinks there is really another issue my partner has. Basically insinuating he's still in love with her and just won't admit it. She's tried to contact me to say he's cheating (had to threaten an restraining order and block multiple numbers). I'm just absolutely flabbergasted that after three years the delusions are still so strong.

My therapist basically told me last session that this is what I chose, nothing I do will ever change the crazies so I have to just learn to live with it. To be the bigger person and rise above it. There will never be any cosmic justice AND a realization on their parts that their behavior is disordered. That my future in laws will always maintain some level of contact and civility because of their grandkids, which makes me feel like I don't matter or count at all. I'll always be the lesser and have to just keep my mouth shut because I didn't pop them out an grandkids. I get it but it doesn't make it any easier.

Has anyone been able to get to that higher plane of existence? :) Been able to not let them get under your skin? How did you do it? How do you handle it?

Any and all advice appreciated.

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thesanewife

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Re: How do you let it go?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 03:54:46 PM »
I'm the step mom so I'll chime in. 

When I met my H he'd already been divorced three years.  His ex was still manipulating the heck out of him though.  There was nothing physical between them, but any time she'd ask for a favor he'd drop everything and go help her.  This was even after she'd filed a restraining order against him!   :stars:  I was perplexed when I came in the picture.  It took me over a year and lots of research to understand WHY he kept falling of the manipulation and we have had MANY LOOOOOOOOONG talks about his need to stop bending over backwards for her, that we are his family now and that lines like, "But I'm the mother of your children...." don't mean crap anymore.  He was most definitely still WAY in the fog.

It bothered me so so much.  I was somewhat pushy and kind of took over the communication via email acting as him.  So every time she'd email asking for a favor I'd draft a response, have him look at the response, discuss if needed then send it.  Because I was an outside third party and had zero emotional ties to this woman I was able to look at it from a different perspective and I could see the manipulation like it was a flashing neon sign when my husband absolutely could not, but that's because he'd been married to this person and was in the FOG. 

I had to set my own boundaries with him to force him to set boundaries with her for my own sanity.  Sounds like your SO may or may not have some firm boundaries in place.  If he does not, help him come up with some.  I had to help my H come up with his.  He has to, and I mean HAS TO stick with those boundaries each and every time.  Here's an example:

For a long time my H had been allowing his ex to dictate if he could pick the kids up at his court ordered time.  She'd manipulate and ask him to come five hours later or if she could have them earlier.  Day after Thanksgiving when we were first married she was to turn the kids over at noon.  She refused.  I told my husband to tell her he was on his way to get them and he'd meet the police at her house.  She didn't believe him.  We called the police and they showed up and knocked on her door.  She was shocked that he'd actually stood up to her and it sent a clear message that he wasn't playing games anymore and if she tried to pull that crap the cops would be knocking on her door.  Sure, it made her really pissed and she went off on my H, but she's never pulled that again.

Another example: She'd constantly text my H. Most of it was just her need to insert herself into our lives or control H.  One night she became so abusive via text.  One of her threats when she was on a rage was "I'm going to block you."  He responded at my urging and said, "You know, that's not a bad idea.  We can't effectively communicate via text.  Please email me moving forward with any non-urgent items and here is a home phone number for you to call in case of emergencies."  We both blocked her from our cell phones.  She was flabbergasted and actually filed contempt of court because she was so angry (we were NOT ordered to unblock her because we provided mountains of text messages showing that it was not an effective form of communication).  She tried everything for a full year to get my H to unblock her....nope, not happening.  You abused, you suffer the consequences. 

Final example:
She wrecked her car and for a few weeks had no transportation.  We picked kids up and dropped them off at school on her days out of kindness.  She asked for a ride home from preschool graduation and my H almost told her no problem until I pointed out to him that this woman had filed a restraining order against him once upon a time and was not to be trusted.  I told him if she got in the car with him to expect she'd make up some story and file something against him.  It was like a light bulb moment for him....like oh yeah, why didn't I think of that? 

After three years of making him set very firm boundaries and most importantly ALWAYS stick to them, she has FINALLY started to back off. 

I used to physically get sick to my stomach at the phone ringing and I'd almost pass out if I knew we had to see her in public.  Three years in I am FINALLY happy to say she doesn't bother me one bit now, at least not in the way she used to.  No more anxiety at the thought of her.  I'm not afraid of her or her actions anymore.  Still don't trust her, but I'm like, "Bring it on lady!"  As long as you follow court orders and document everything you are safe.  We've been through CPS, contempt, verbal abuse, threats to beat me up, a false domestic violence report, a restraining order....the list goes on and on.  She's thrown all kinds of things at us and guess what?  NONE of them have stuck.  It's cost of thousands in legal fees, tons of stress and heartache and has almost ripped us apart personally.  it has not destroyed us though and has in fact taught us that we are stronger than her and stronger than her PD.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of this.  Stay strong.  Come here for support.  Keep seeing your T if that is helpful.  I have also read a ton of books on the subject that have helped me wrap my brain around the "why" in all of this mess.

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A_newlife2014

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Re: How do you let it go?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 01:25:56 AM »
 :yeahthat:

Dealing with PDs is a neverending slog of crap. Physically, yes, your only hope of possible change is making and enforcing boundaries. Mentally, learning to come to terms with it is that saying about accepting what you cannot change.

I think your T is right, although the part about "you chose it" is a bit judgey, and not terribly helpful, but perhaps it came across or was meant a bit differently.

I find that yet another drawback to PDs is that with normal problems, the typical response/solution is to avoid that problem, do something different, resolve it. ...... which is why NC is a typical and great "solution" to PDs. But for those of us mired in long-term, unavoidable relationships with them, typically through co-parenting, we can't avoid or fix the problem. We are constantly exposed to it, which means it is a constant stressor and we constantly complain about it, which tends to strain listeners' patience and empathy, who get sick of it. Which is understandable, because we're sick of it ourselves. But people don't understand that we can't leave or change it, and that we have little power to improve the situation, which is also irritating to people, because most of want to believe we have the power to control or change our circumstances, if try hard enough or smart enough.

But with PDs that just isn't true, and if other people haven't experienced it for themselves, they might not understand that.


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lightupthere

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Re: How do you let it go?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 08:51:29 PM »
therapists say that we have to learn to expect the dysfunctional behavior and rehearse how we are going to react to it. Easier said than done.
It doesn't come as a surprise any longer. But I guess the ' Bring it on Beotch' is the best attitude!  And wear your most flattering tight top and high heels when you see the skank.