National Eating Disorders Association

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ImConfused12
Broken up with. So many questions

Hi all, I was broken up with with my by my ex who is anorexic and I'm having trouble coping and I was hoping to get some answers to help me understand better.

My gf had been struggling with anorexia since her teens, she also was a victim of sexual assault. she always told me even before we dated that she pushes people away and that I wouldn't want her as a girlfriend. Eventually we ended up dating and her anorexia seemed to be relatively under control. Our relationship for the most part was great she would tell me I was the best boyfriend she ever had and that she was so in love with me and everything seemed fine.

Well about 2.5 weeks ago she started randomly talking about things in our relationship we needed to fix or we would need to end it, this kind of caught me by surprise since she never mentioned these issues before.

So we both had a conversation and spoke about things that were bothering each other and agreed to work on them. After that things seemed to be great we seemed more in love than ever.

So she randomly texts me one night while was out drinking and randomly ends it. I was shocked and devastated. First she cited that she couldnt get over the things bothering her in our relationship, then started talking about how this time of year (when her sexual assault happened) that she becomes withdrawn and pushes people away and that right now shes numb and wants to be alone and that she feels she's slipping back into her anorexia and doesn't want to drag me down. Then proceeds to tell me how I can do so much better than her and shes doing me a favor. And we've been broken up since ive been a mess and she just doesnt seem to care even when i reach out to her. I love this girl ive had a hard time dealing with it. I begged her to let me help her and how much i love her but she just keeps saying she needs to be alone and how depressed she is. Im having trouble accepting the end but more importantly im concerned about her health, i love this girl and couldnt live with myself if something happens to her regardless if we're together or not and know nothing about this disease or what to do. I guess what i wanted to ask is..

1. Is it normal for people with this disease push people away when they get too close?

2. Is there anything i could of done to prevent this? Did i not make her feel wanted enough?

3. What should i do moving forward? I want to help her and be there for her but she says she needs to figure it out on her own. Its so hard to sit back and do nothing, but i want to respect her wishes at the same time, this time last month we were talking about being together forever and one month later its over and she seems like a completely different person.

Sorry about the long post. Im just not sure what to do any more.

BobJ48
Confused 12.

Hey there. I'm glad you took the time to write.

" Our relationship for the most part was great she would tell me I was the best boyfriend she ever had and that she was so in love with me…"

And you know, I bet she meant every bit of that. So yeah, welcome to the world of EDs.

1. Is it normal for people with this disease push people away when they get too close?

Yes, it's super common, unfortunately. I worked on another site for the partners of people with EDs for almost ten years, and this was absolutely the number one thing that guys would talk about. Things would seem fine and affectionate, and then the pushing-away thing would show up.

2. Is there anything i could of done to prevent this? Did i not make her feel wanted enough?

No, I don't think there was a lot that you could have done. And to the contrary, the fact that you did make her feel wanted may have been part of the problem. Oh they will never get better, and just become a burden on you. You'll always have expectations that they won't be able to fulfill. They hate themselves and are simply not deserving of love. Thoughts like that, combined with a big dose of depression, all too often result in the sort of withdrawal you're seeing.

3. What should i do moving forward? I want to help her and be there for her but she says she needs to figure it out on her own. Its so hard to sit back and do nothing, but i want to respect her wishes at the same time,

It's true that she needs to figure this out, but at the same time, the nature of ED thoughts that people find themselves having often works against them gaining a rational view of themselves and their situation. If they don't have someone to bounce their thought off, I mean.

I know this doesn't answer all of your questions, so I hope that you'll keep writing ?

ImConfused12
Hi there, thank you for your

Hi there, thank you for your response. I spent about a week after our break up pleading to let us fix the issues we did have and let me help her. All her answers were short, she didn't seem to care which broke my heart. I was hoping to give her a few days to think things through. When she broke up with me she couldnt give me a specific reason, her reasons were 1) shes not capable of loving anybody including herself and just feels numb stemming from the ED and it being the time of the year of her assault and that she didnt want to drag me with her 2) she said she couldn't get over little things that went on during our relationship (bickering w each other at the bar, which most of the time stemmed from her being hammered drunk, but also other little things that she held inside and told me were fine until the final week of our relationship and which we sat down and agreed to fix them on both sides). And after that things were great for a few days then she officially out of nowhere dumped me over a text message while she was out drinking 3) she told me that she loved me but wasnt in love with me. Which was absolutely devastating, a month before that she would talk abouy how im the last guy she ever wants to kiss and love.

A few days later she let me come over to get closure in person. I was an emotional wreck and she showed absolutely zero emotion. I left and she sent me a text saying she never meant to break my heart and how i deserve better and sometimes these things just happen.

Anyways after a few days of not contacting her she posted a snapchat story ( i deleted her off of everything else) of a song called Thank U, next. Im not sure if she was trying to get a rise out of me or what but it worked and i messaged her and she started talking about how she was mad that i said i couldn't be her friend because i wanted to be together last time we talked and that when you love someone u should be there for them. But ive done nothing but try to be there for her and she barely speaks to me.

So i talk to one of her good friends and try to get some clarification and they told me she holds things in too long and eventually the relationship got too toxic for her. Like we had some disagreements but all relationships do, but she didn't even give us a chance to fix them.

This shocked me, because for the most part we had a great relationship i felt like. But anyways he said to give her her space so thats what ive been trying to do. However then i find out she's been hooking up with some other guy. Not even a week and a half after we ended.

I just have no clue how she can move on so fast, or how this all fell apart within a month. I haven't reached out to her and have no plans on doing so. Im just having trouble supressing the feeling that i wasnt good enough or couldn't make her happy. Maybe it wouldn't of mattered. Any advice to try to make this all make sense would be much appreciated

BobJ48
Numb, but in denial.

"...and just feels numb stemming from the ED "

"..she let me come over to get closure in person. I was an emotional wreck and she showed absolutely zero emotion."

"...and that when you love someone u should be there for them. But ive done nothing but try to be there for her and she barely speaks to me."

Just to say, this lack of emotion and "numbness" is also *very* common among people with EDs. People with EDs often speak about how much they hate emotions, how much they wish they could just shut them off and etc. But yes, in regular breakups, people don't normally go numb like this. It really is an ED sort of thing, and you're seeing it in it's full glory I'm afraid.

" However then i find out she's been hooking up with some other guy. Not even a week and a half after we ended."

Yes, how about that huh ? But what do you think the odds are that she's told this fellow about her ED ? Pretty darn slim, I'll bet. So yes : This is your big disadvantage, and why she needs to keep an emotional distance from you : It's because she *did* tell you about it.

By hooking up with this new guy, she's trying to tell herself that everything actually is fine, and that she truly can move forward with life as though there's no problem. So yeah, it's part of a denial and avoidance thing I'm afraid. If somehow she does manage to keep this guy in the dark, it's quite likely that she'll then find herself wanting to break up with him because "he doesn't care about me enough".

So yes, what is it going to be with her ? Will she be able to tolerate a partner who knows and cares, without going numb and having to push them away, or is she going to get pissed off and dump on a clueless partner who doesn't seem to care enough ?

This is a quandary she's going to have to work out for herself. Because if she doesn't, she's going to remain a hazard for any good- hearted guy that she hooks up with.

I'm not sure what you can do to help with this. Because if we're going to be effectively supportive of someone, they pretty much have to provide us with something to support, and she's just not doing that at all.

If it were me, I'd try and pretend that I'm reasonably concerned, but at the same time, accepting and unflustered. Because any emotion of your own that you seem to be bringing to the situation is simply going to unsettle her more I'm afraid.

Keep writing ?

ImConfused12
Thank you for the response, i

Thank you for the response, i want to reach out to her again but she has not been receptive and im trying not to come off as this clingy ex and hope that she eventually comes to her senses. Have a feeling im going to be disappointed.

BobJ48
The future

First off, I want to apologize if some of my responses came off too harshly. EDs effect some of the very nicest people, and can cause them to no longer be themselves. The best parts of her that you saw in the beginning are likely to be her true self, but as you have seen, trying to live up to the demands of an ED can throw even the nicest of people into some pretty dark mental places. When EDs are labeled as "mental illness" one really can begin to characterize the sorts of effects they have on our loved ones as an illness of the mind. The person finds themselves confronted all sorts of mental quandaries and dilemmas, and in their attempts to deal with them, can find themselves going down some pretty convoluted emotional pathways. Paths that can effect their ability to have healthy relationships in just the ways you've been seeing.

Our own frustrations and feelings of helplessness are normal, and to be expected, and really can throw us into an understandable tizzy of our own. But rarely do these responses add anything positive to the situation it seems.

My sense has always been that if we can set forward a stance of calmness, where we seem confident and with our feet solidly on the ground, rather than allowing ourselves to seem whipsawed by the latest challenging aspects of their behaviors, that's really going to be our most helpful and effective position. Even if we have to fake it a lot of the time.

At the same time, no one can be blamed for seeing situations like these as bad business, particularly if the other person doesn't seem willing to confront their situation, and take steps to get better. "Taking some steps back" is not really a betrayal of the concern we have for the person I believe. In the end, we also have a certain obligation to take care of ourselves, and finding a proper balance in regards to that aspect is an important part of our responsibility as well.

ImConfused12
What are your thoughts? I

What are your thoughts? I have a long letter i typed out but i was hoping silence would maje her miss me so i was trying to make no contact for awhile

ImConfused12
Maybe I should just leave it

Maybe I should just leave it alone for a while and give her time to think things through and miss me?

BobJ48
Give it some time.

Yes, I'm not sure that you want to send that letter. It's just going to keep things stirred up would be my guess.

Stepping back, and letting her draw her own conclusions on her own may be the better path.

If she is into drawing conclusions, that is, which to be honest, some people aren't.

In the mean time, see if you can put some emotional distance between yourself and the situation. I know from personal experience how hard that can be though. Our partner does some outrageous and hurtful and unreasonable thing, and it's natural for us to want them to come clean with us - A desire that is understandable, but which can keep us mentally engaged in ways which are not always good or healthy for us.

Who knows how things will turn out, but I think there's a point where we need to realize that while we can still think of a dozen things we want to say to them, the truth is that they can pretty much imagine what we think already, and we have already done as much as we can reasonably do, and that any changes we see are really going to be up to them.

If any of that makes any sense.

ImConfused12
She contacted me today and

She contacted me today and asked me why I deleted her and started saying she missed me. Would I be weak if I agreed to meet up with her and see if we can talk things through?

BobJ48
Meet Up ?

If it was me, I know that I'd probably want to meet up. Just out of curiosity if nothing else.

I'd worry about the ways that she's treated you though. Hooking up with that other fellow : Somehow that didn't work out, and now she wants to come back to you ? You don't want to be her fall-back position, is what I mean.

It will be up to you to decide what you can put up with though. Because really, healthy relationships should provide both parties with reliable happiness, ease and comfort, rather than being an emotionally exhausting drama. It can be easy to be sucked in by that part, as I know from my own experiences. We can find ourselves wanting to play the rescuer too, which often doesn't work out so well.

Any relationship can have it's issues of course, but for our own sense of overall ease, one doesn't want them to be the main feature of the thing.

So keep those parts in mind, OK ?

ImConfused12
We did meet up and talked for

We did meet up and talked for about an hour, we agreed to take things slow and try to work on them. The week of Thanksgiving week is a tough one for her as it is the week her SA happened years ago. She said she needs to get through this week and doesn't want to see or talk to anyone. I want to respect her wishes but I just feel like if you love someone then you should want them there for you during tough times. Idk I just feel like everyone is starting to look at me as this clingy ex when in reality she is the one who reached out to me. I'm not sure what to do anymore I just feel like I keep getting Walked on. But I want to make it work, idk what's wrong with me I dont know what to do.

BobJ48
Problematic...

The thing about trauma anniversaries is really common I've found. Lot's of victims begin to get anxious when certain dates roll around, so the fact that you're seeing that from her is not at all unusual. I'm with you on our desire to help, but for people in her situation, I think a lot of them don't even know for themselves what might help. So they chose to go through it alone. If we have the chance to write to them, things like "I know things may be kind of rough now" are probably the best things we can say. Rather than " I know you'll be fine" or other reassurances of that nature.

But yeah, we can begin to wonder how we are being pictured, when our care and attention seems to be problematic. Are we overly clingy ? Are we acting like some kind of stalker ? It helps us when they can reassure us about this, but that's something we can't always count on, when they find themselves in difficult head-spaces like this.

It's like I may have said earlier, they need to provide us with something to support. Something where we can be assured that our support will be welcomed. As you are finding, it can be difficult to be sure about that, when things are in a confused state like this.

In any case, I believe we bring our best intentions in situations like these, and if you begin to question yourself, I think that's an OK idea to draw reassurance from. Even if in the end, things don't work out at all.

ImConfused12
Well she came over on Friday

Well she came over on Friday for an hour and we got some things off of our chest, said we love each other and we decided to try to work on things but do it in baby steps, especially given the fact this week is a bad week for her. So Saturday things were fine until night time. I texted her that I was going out to the bar with my friends and I guess she was at this bar but told me we should keep things casual because she was very drunk and hadn't told her friends that we were going to work on things. This kind of felt like a slap in the face basically insinuating that I had to pretend to just be essentially a stranger all night.
I proceeded to send multiple texts to her expressing how upset I was and how stupid this made me feel, she proceeded to ignore them and when I tried to talk to her she started yelling at me and telling me she wanted to take this in baby steps. This has been an issue in terms of our relationship meaning whenever I see her out she is hammered and has barely ate so she's almost impossible to talk to or handle. She has been like this alot the last couple of weeks.
Anyways I respect her wishes and walk away and her friends try to take care of her (I offered to help).
But then later in the night she sees a girl I hooked up with in the past (before her) that she dislikes come up and talk to me and snaps on me via text.
Fast forwarding to the next day we text on and off and she talks about how lost and depressed she is and she just doesnt want to talk to anyone and about how she said we need baby steps and I'm trying to just jump back into a relationship and she can't just do that, etc.
So I stop texting back because she claimed she wanted to be left alone and she texts me again last night saying shes sorry abd just in a dark place and asks if I will come over and stay with her because she doesnt want to be alone.
So of course I do, and everything was fine we didnt talk much just kinda cuddled up and slept. She did have bouts during the night where she would start like kicking in her sleep like she was having nightmares but I tried to help her through it.
So this is kind of where we're at now, I have alot of things running through my head. Is she going to be ok? Is this something that has any chance of working out? What should I do moving forward?

BobJ48
Erratic behavior.

Hey Bud,

This all sounds really tumultuous to me, and one of those situations that might benefit from setting some boundaries. If you know what I mean by that ?

Personally, one boundary I'd set would have to do with her drinking. If she's drunk at the bar, I'd not talk with her, or go to meet her there. As you've seen, her behaviors are unreliable when she's drunk. I know that you'd like to have her company, and be able to talk with her, but from what you've said, things can get out of hand and almost nothing that you can rely on ever happens when she's in this drunken condition.

I'd also set a boundary around texting her. Say what you need to say, and then have that be it, rather than sending her even more texts if she doesn't seem to respond in ways that reassure you.

Sure, this is not a situation in which you have lots of reasons to feel secure about things. I understand that part. So it may seem like the only way to clear things up is to keep barraging her with messages. But really, you've already told her what you need to tell her I think. She should know what your feelings and intentions are by now, without you having to repeat yourself, or constantly fish for reassuring answers from her.

It's true : She really does seem to jack your feelings around a lot, so it might be good to put in place some of the boundaries I mentioned above. No dealing with her when she's drunk, for one, and cutting back on the texts, while keeping the ones that you do send succinct and to the point.

You may find that steps like these cut back on the chaos. Which is something you don't want to find yourself enabling.

ImConfused12
Update

Hi Bob,

So we ended up starting to see each other again. Not official but starting to hang out, being intimate, not see other people, etc and to take it slowly. We agreed to put all things in the past and put equal amounts of effort in. Things seemed to be going great for the most part, when we were together we cuddled all the time, she told me how much she missed me and waking up next to me and how i was her best friend and even eventually even started mentioning hypothetical stuff like the future and stuff like marriage and kids and stuff. All this lasted about 2 or so weeks. We did have little things we argued about over text, probably the one that happened the most was i felt like she wasn't putting any effort in, i always had to make the plans or ask to hang and all this. She would also start doing things to me that she was upset i did to her during the first time we dated. I just wanted her to try more, i changed my life around and was proving it to her and she changed nothing.
So she went out of town Saturday night and stopped texting me after 7 PM, then went out all night without bothering to text me back. So at anout 1 AM i send her a few messages telling her i was done and how this was one of the things she said she broke up with me for the first time we dated.
Anyway she calls me the next morning and seemed concerned that i was really done. I told her no we squashed it and made plans for her to come over that night, which she eventually sent me a text saying she couldn't.
So the next morning and the next night i responded to her texts very short , because i was a little annoyed, we'd barely talked eventhough she was texting me first ut took foreverfor her to respond. So Tuesday morning came i mentioned to her it was bothering me and she sent a long text saying that she doesnt see this progressing into a relationship and that she cant see it like she used to and all this. I asked and asked for a reason and all she could say was thats just how she felt. Then i mentioned her bringing up the marriage stuff just days before and all that. But she just kept saying she cant see this progressing and maybe too much damage has been done. And that was yesterday we havent talked since.
Obviously this is my biggest fear because i went out on a limb to let her back into my life after she reached out to me and asked. Now i just feel blind sided again.

Was i being too needy wanting her to try harder? Like did i push her away? Just days before things seemed great i was so optimistic.

My mom seems to think she's just manipulative and likes to play games due to her low self esteem. Its just killing me because i changed everything for this girl and was everything i wasnt the first time i was this time and it makes zero sense. She didn't even try to make it work and mentioned nothing wrong until started being short with her which annoyed her. Any thoughts?

BobJ48
Yet More erratic behavior

Hey IC12,

Yes, her behaviors kind of seem like an ingrained pattern. You can make changes yourself, and hope that she'll do the same, but your attempts at change don't seem to be making a difference. Even the talking you did - It seemed fine at the time, but it turned out that you could not count on her feelings remaining the same, in any sort of way the you can count on, or provide you with a sense of stability within this relationship. Perhaps I'm wrong, but this kind of does seem like a pattern, and something that you might expect to continue in the future ?

It may be that some of this was said to you while she was drinking ? Some folks can find their personality changing when they drink, so that may be part of it. But it could come from mental instability too. Like one moment she views you as this person she might marry, but then later, without a whole lot of particularly negative stuff happening, then she doesn't feel that way at all. Sure you may have been short on the phone, but that is something that's not exactly this earth shaking event, and yet look at the effect it had.

Personally, I'm not seeing that as mindful manipulation, it seems more of a mental situation on her part. Like mentally she tends to see things in all or nothing sorts of terms. Rather than there being any sort of in between, like it can be for most people. I'm not sure how that lines up with what you've seen from her before, but it's something to keep in mind while you are trying to figure this out.

If that's what it is, it's possible that suddenly she'll think you are wonderful again…until once again she doesn't. Which is how it can be with people who's minds operate in this all or nothing sort of way.

I may be wrong about all of this, but if she does tend to think of things in these terms, It is a mental style which can make relationships awfully unpredictable, just as you have been seeing.

Bob J.

_admin_moderator
Resources

Thank you so much for sharing. We're very sorry to hear about your ex girlfriend's struggles with anorexia and that she is a victim of sexual assault. We understand how difficult this must be for her to struggle with and for you as well. We do want to provide you with some resources if you would like to pass them onto her: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN): www.rainn.org or (800) 656 - 4673. 

Savedbygrace
mentioning sexual assault

i thought that topic is taboo on here. It doesn't seem fair that one person is able to mention it, but i can't. please be more consistant with either letting everyone talk about sexual traumas or no one. thank you.

_admin_moderator
Hi savedbygrace

Thank you for your concern, and we do want to keep the forums clear of material that may be triggering to others, such as explicit details of a trauma. If you find a post to be triggering to you, you can always report a post to a moderator by emailing [email protected]tingdisorders.orgAs for the forums, we want users to be able to mention an issue they may be dealing with ("a trauma, "eating disoder thoughts", "withdrawal from laxatives") so that other members are able to lend support.

Samsara1993
Trying to answer your questions

1. Is it normal for people with this disease push people away when they get too close?

I think so. I've been dating a woman with an eating disorder for almost three years now, and intimacy has always been a struggle for her (not just sexual intimacy, but also intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy). Eating disorders love secrecy. The more secret the eating disorder is, the more it will be able to harm her without anyone else standing up for her. Think of the disorder as a little monster that is trying to protect itself. The monster probably helped your ex cope with something difficult at some point in her life, but the longer she relied on it for help, the stronger it got. It thrives on being unquestioned, hidden, and, most of all, on pretending to *be* your ex girlfriend.

2. Is there anything i could of done to prevent this? Did i not make her feel wanted enough?

I'm no expert on relationships, and I don't know all the details about your own situation, but based off of what you've written here, it sounds like she didn't dump you because of anything that you did to her. It sounds like this is about something she's struggling with internally. If her disorder is making her so ill that she believes pushing loved ones out of her life will make her feel better, then that's something that she has to come to terms with, not you. You didn't make her eating disorder (or her sexual assault) happen to her and, as much as you might want to, you can't make it go away either. She has to help herself. Recovery is a very personal journey, and it's not your journey. After re-reading your post, it sounds like you might be taking some responsibility for her well-being. I think that's very noble of you, and I think it shows that you love her very much, but I also think it's something to be careful of. You are not responsible for her actions, and it's really important to remember that in hard times like these.

3. What should i do moving forward?

I think you should do just that... move forward. It sounds like your ex needs to do some recovery on her own. You said she mentioned that she needs to figure it out on her own, and I agree with her to a certain extent. On the one hand, I don't think isolating yourself from others is helpful, but on the other hand, I think that her recovery is a very personal matter and it's ultimately something she has to deal with herself. No one else can do it for her, and I'm hoping that's what she meant.

Regardless, I'm sorry to hear you two went through this. As I said, I've also been dating someone with an eating disorder for a long time now, and I can empathize with the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness over these horrible diseases. Just remember that you are not responsible for her actions or for her own health when it comes to her eating disorder, and don't forget to take care of yourself as well. The door might be closed on this relationship (for now), but many other doors have just opened for you as well. Take this time to reflect on who you are as a person and what you want out of your own life. Your ex will handle herself for the time being.

ImConfused12
Just wanted to update real

Just wanted to update real quick, so it's been about 6 months since I last posted. And honestly not much has changed. I ended up trying to move forward, I went silent on her. And every couple of weeks when she doesn't hear from me she'll send me a long text apologizing saying she knows she needs to get help and how much she cares, etc. This kept happening and we sparingly hung out every once in a while (probably not a good decision on my part).

Anyways what would usually end up happening is she would say all these things to me and then I would see her out at a bar we both tend to frequent on the weekends, and she'll act like she wants nothing to do with me. Like I'm some kind of ex that can't get over it. When she's the one constantly reaching out to me. And then a week or so later I'll usually hear from her and it's the same things over again.
So fast forward to about a month ago, I was starting to move on, we hadn't talked in like a month. She started messaging me sad country songs that reminded her of us, and another text trying to initiate conversation. I ignored them. Anyways I ended up being downtown that weekend and she came up to me and asked if we could go talk. So we did, she was telling me about how she finally started going to counseling, how much better things were getting and that she feels like she didn't give me a fair shot last time and she wanted to start hanging again to see if we could work on some things. I unfortunately gave in again, but I told her that she is going to need to be the one putting the effort in this time, because she always said all these things and her actions didn't match up. Anyways we end up hooking up, going to eat the next day, things seemed to be fine.

So she texts me first the next day, we talk for a little, conversation is fine. Next day she texts me again, we talk for a little. She stops responding. The 3rd day I ask her what the heck is the deal? She says she stopped responding because I was being short (which I wasn't) and that she understands that she needs to put the effort in but I can text her first too. And then proceeds to tell me that she can't promise this will turn into a relationship and all that. I told her that I wasn't anywhere near ready for a relationship with her, because things like this have always been an issue, she would say one thing then the next day it's like a complete 180, all the time. So she stopped responding, we haven't talked in almost 2 weeks. I saw her out last weekend and walked right past her and didn't acknowledge her. But I can't help continually feeling like I did something wrong. And I feel like every time I move forward and she pops back up I give in because I want to believe she is going to go back to the way things were in the beginning. I can't figure out how I'm supposed to feel, what I'm supposed to do. Was hoping for some advice....

BobJ48
Confused - Black and White thinking.

".. what would usually end up happening is she would say all these things to me and then I would see her out at a bar we both tend to frequent on the weekends, and she'll act like she wants nothing to do with me. "

Um yeah. That's kind of crazy-making, isn't it ? Sometimes you're the good and understanding fellow who she wants to be with, and then other times everything is your fault and you're shunned. And how long has that pattern of behavior been going on for ? And how effectively have your good intentions been able to change it ?

It's not uncommon for people to have varying feelings about things, but as perhaps you are starting to notice, this feels kind of different than that. Because from all you are saying, it sounds the same way to me too.

So nobody is a therapist or psychiatrist here (Which is not really true, because NEDA is loaded with them…but that's another topic ) but some of this sounds a bit like Borderline Personality Disorder. The classic book on the subject is titled "I Hate you, Don't leave me" which is a reflection of the abandonment issues and tangled and flip-flopping inner feelings that people with BPD often deal with.

" she would say one thing then the next day it's like a complete 180, all the time. "

Well yes. Which sounds like an example of Black and White thinking. One day you are the good guy, and the next day your not. One days she feels one way, and the next day just the opposite.. Often without a lot of it having to do with your own actions, and without too many gray areas either. Because as you've seen, you can try this, and you can try that, and not much of it seems to have much effect how she thinks about you.

Unless she senses that you might be leaving for good, that is. And then the abandonment fears start to eat at her, and you end up hearing from her again.

In any case, perhaps it's not BPD, but people with that condition often struggle with EDs as well. If you notice a lot of impulsivity on her part (rushing out and having sex with that.guy for example) then that's often a part of it too.

Again, there's no way to tell, but reading up on the subject might give you some insights and things to think about, even if it's not what she has.

Bob J.

ImConfused12
She said her therapist said

She said her therapist said he thinks the stuff shes gone through has made her hypersexual, which was hard to hear. I kind of want to send her one last message about how i feel about the whole situation. But i feel like silence may effect her more than giving her a long message. What are your thoughts?

BobJ48
What things ?

"She said her therapist said he thinks the stuff she's gone through has made her hypersexual…"

Does she mean the sexual assault experience, that happened to her at some point in the past ? If people have had traumatic events in their past, that could be the outcome I suppose. Stuff like that can mess a person up. When I hear about people who are in all sorts of trouble, a huge percentage of them have a trauma or abuse history.

Did she seem like that when she was with you ? Or when she first met you, I mean?

Even if that's true, it can still be a form of impulsivity. Impulsivity which can cause a partner to be unpredictable, and relationships to be unstable as well.

You'll have to see what you think about sending her a note. A person can want closure it's true. But think about "boundaries" too, OK ?

Are you really committed to cutting things off, and what will you do if she tries to come back to you ?

Which from what you've said, is something which might be likely.

ImConfused12
Yea she said that her

Yea she said that her therapist said she had trauma induced hypersexuality. She was always worried when we dated if her sex was good enough and was always asking me that made it seem she mightve been insecure that i didnt emjoy it.
She told me some of the guys shes hooked up with since we broke up have been because she got drunk and had a one night stand because she wanted to feel sexy or something. Idk
I guess im just trying to figure out if i should just keep silent and see if that changes anything since anytime i sent something long in the past it never made her behavior change for more than a few days. Just trying to figure it out

BobJ48
"Feeling something"

It's true, people can involve themselves in things simply to "feel something", or to try and reassure themselves in some way.

And yeah, it's not clear what your approach should be. Should you get in touch with her or not.

I mean, when you get right down to it, if a person cares about us, they'll make an effort to get in touch with us. If they know we would welcome the contact,, I mean. And really, it seems to me that you've made it clear to her that you do care, so…how much more proving of that should a person have to do ?

Anyhow, just some thoughts.

ImConfused12
Saw her Saturday night, she

Saw her Saturday night, she showed up to the bar i was at with another guy.....obviously i was pretty devastated. Didn't try to talk to her or cause a scene, just kind of casually made my way to the back door and got a cab home. It's been a difficult past few days for me. I just dont understand, i really dont. Anyway just wanted to give an update.

BobJ48
Another guy...

…who I can almost guarantee does not know what her story is. Which is what makes him more attractive than you.

That's the part to understand, I think., when trying to make sense of this.

But yes, I can see where it would be upsetting to see her. We like to believe that when we care about people, it's a positive thing. But if our concern involves an important issue which they'd rather not look at, and which they wish to avoid, then they don't always see it that way.

Try not to get down on yourself for this though. Because really, caring about people is not something we should berate ourselves for, particularly in this day and age.

ImConfused12
I guess I'm just curious if

I guess I'm just curious if she brought him there to purposely make me jealous since she knew id be there...idk i cant understand why i care so much about someone who constantly hurts me and doesn't even seem to care. She spent the night at my house a few weeks ago and now this. None of it makes sense. If i didnt always see her out it wouldnt be as hard

BobJ48
Why.

"I guess I'm just curious if she brought him there to purposely make me jealous since she knew id be there."

OK, not to get down on women, but for some of them (and guys too, for that matter ) they see it as personally affirming when they don't let anything get in the way of what they want to do ! Which…to some degree is probably an OK way to look at things, but from a more mature standpoint, most people would think twice about things like this if they knew it was going to make other people feel bad. They could have gone somewhere else, but they didn't. So yes, not particularly mature on her part. Keep that in mind, OK ?

" i cant understand why i care so much about someone who constantly hurts me and doesn't even seem to care."

Well yes. And if we had known from the beginning that someone was going to treat us this way, then we probably would not have been drawn to them in the first place. Right ?

But once things start going sideways, I think there's a part of us that REALLY wants to understand why the other person thinks it's OK to act like this ! So our brain sticks around, hoping that at some point we'll finally get some kind acceptable resolution.

Which doesn't sound like it's ever going to happen. The whole thing sounds like bad business to me. Sure, at some point she may try and draw you back in, because she understands that you're vulnerable and she may be the sort of person who's uncomfortable without a fellow who pays attention to her.

But I think that you'll want to be on guard against that, unless you want to be put through all this again.

It's quite possible that I'm reading the situation all wrong of course. How does it sound to you ?

ImConfused12
Im not sure. Theres no rhyme

Im not sure. Theres no rhyme or reason for anything she does, she tells me she wants to work on things then two days later flip flops. She'll text me first and respond a few times then just stop responding completely. And now a few weeks later she showed up with that guy. I just cant figure out what the hell is going on? Is she like this because of her disorder? Or is this just who she is now? Everyone keeps telling me i deserve way better than what she's put me through and i agree but everytime she reaches out i still give in. Because i can't help thinking about all the good times before all this stuff. Idk she used to be such a kind caring person and now its like she doesnt care about anyone but herself

BobJ48
She's just like this, I think.

" Theres no rhyme or reason for anything she does, she tells me she wants to work on things then two days later flip flops. She'll text me first and respond a few times then just stop responding completely... I just cant figure out what the hell is going on."

No, I think you've pretty well laid out what's going on. And what's going on is that...she's the sort of person who acts in the ways that you've seen that she acts.

Granted, this is *not* the sort of behavior that we expect from most folks, but on the other hand, it is indeed the way that certain people behave. I could give you some examples from my own experiences, but I won't. But I will say that I had the same reaction ; What the heck is going on, and how is it that they can act that way ? The answer being that this is indeed how they act, and you probably can't expect any different, or any sort of apology either.

I suspect you may have heard what others have said. "Gee, she sounds kind of flakey". That can sound overly simplistic I know, but it's kind of how most people would see it.

Does this mean that she is a bad person ? I don't think it has to mean that at all. As you said, at one time she was a kind and caring person. Which was exactly the same as my friend was. I thought I had hit the jackpot, she was so terrifically nice to me. At the same time, maybe it's a role that they are trying to play ? Not maliciously, because I don't believe that, but more that there are…inconsistencies, I guess you could say.

And now this other fellow, and what feels like more erratic and inconsiderate behavior.

Folks like her would probably tell you that they are simply trying to get from point A to point B, like the rest of us do. And in a sense they are. But at the same time, there are probably a number of things that they just aren't prioritizing. Other people's feelings, for one, and where this sort of behavior is likely to take them, for another.

Again, you might want to look into Borderline Personality. People use that term as a perjorative sometimes, but it's a real thing that otherwise-nice and well-intentioned people can have. And it often gets them into the sorts of trouble that you are seeing. "I had this nice relationship with this nice fellow, but then I screwed it up". You'll often hear people with BPD say that. EDs are often an aspect of BPD too, with the BPD being the more important aspect.

But yeah, your puzzlement is a common thing too. Even though I have a lot of experience with this, when I was with my friend I was puzzled too. And "Oh she's just flakey" was never a satisfying explanation, even though it was probably the truth.

BobJ

ImConfused12
She posted a pic with the guy

She posted a pic with the guy and made sure I'm able to see it....ouch...i guess thats that

BobJ48
Picture.

You'll have to see what you think about that.

It clearly seems thoughtless, but as you said, it's also possible that she only is concerned with herself ( which is kind of in fashion these days ) and doesn't mean anything at all by the fact you are able to see it.

Again, this is not the way most people behave, but some people do. Even though the inappropriateness of it is hard to accept.

Anonymous452
Recently broken up with

Hey guys this is my first time doing this sort of thing but lately I’ve been confused on whether what I’m doing is right or somewhat wrong. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about 3 years and have known about her ED from the beginning. We broke up about a year ago but found our way back to each other. Except this time I had lost about 15 pounds of weight and not ate as much as I used to before. She’s mentioned it a few times that I needed to eat more than usual and has gotten angry about it. About three weeks ago she was institutionalized at the hospital and recently was let out. She came over to my house and we had sex afterwards the topic of food came up and she suddenly got really upset. I took her home and unwilling to talk to me she later texted me saying she needed a break from us. We ended up talking about it the next day and proceeded to tell me that she is letting me go because i trigger her because of my weight loss and eating habits. She tells me that she wants nothing to do with me and will not get back together with me unless I gain weight and look how I used to before. I’m motivated to gain weight and all but I have this feeling that maybe I shouldn’t go back to her and that doing this is irrational. I love her and I want to be with her but I can’t help to think this is a weird ultimatum and that her ED has gotten much worse than before and that I’m possibly making it worse. What do you guys think? Opinions?

dittoditto
Agree With You

I think you already have the answer to your question. In my opinion only, it is just as easy to love an emotionally and mentally healthy person, and that is the person with whom you will have an emotionally and mentally healthy relationship. So, that is my vote.