Cluster B’s- What to expect after the break-up Part I

24 Nov

Exploring your new-found freedom from the dysfunctional relationship can be filled with anticipation and excitement. Likewise, it can be filled with  frustration, confusion, cynicism, ,and you’ll feel like you’re back on an emotional roller coaster!  What you are experiencing is a different sort of emotional struggle, i.e., remaining  low self-esteem, poor physical health,  hatred, unsuccessful dating and dating fear, level of cynicism towards the opposite sex is most likely at an unhealthy levels, etc.  So the basis of this article is to guide you though the realities of what to expect from yourself and your abuser post dissolution.

In the beginning.. “THE X”

By now you understand that your former spouse/ significant other’s personality disorder is a life long condition and will typically get worse as they age.  If you were fortunate enough to escape without children involved, then the necessity to utilize coping skills will be very temporary, because you truly have nothing that binds or commits one another. Exceptions would be joint ownership of assets in an LTR Vs a Marriage.  Comparatively speaking, where post-dissolutions of marriage between two healthy personalities can work through issues, the unhealthy, high conflict personalities post dissolution always tend to remain in never-ending drama. This is due in part to the healthy personality not establishing solid boundaries from their former abuser. As there is usually a healthy personality involved in such dysfunctional former relationships, then it’s a matter of emotional discipline, emotional maturity, and learning coping skills.  As the former victim/abused, you must learn to be disciplined for the sake of your future happiness. One of the main reasons why one becomes a victim of abuse is a lack of discipline where it concerns relationship boundaries. A person may recognize some of the relationship dysfunction early on, however, tends to ignore the traits and characteristics of their mate. In essence, they are ignoring the boundaries that should have served them in the first place. Giving these emotional predators any “benefit of doubt” or “forgiveness”  is like giving them the rope to hang their victims. They prey on individuals that are forgiving, emotionally sound, and are romantics. It’s like “shooting fish in a Barrel” to them.

We’ve established that a former high conflict relationship without children, or investments is rather basic, you simply go “no contact.” This is not to say that it will be a “cake walk” in the beginning, because it will still require discipline. Everything still applies so pay close attention to detail. Here is the scary part, it doesn’t matter if the relationship was for months or years, your abuser believes they will always “own” you, that they will always have control over you, till death do you part! Their arrogance precedes them and believe all that they considered close to them during their lifetime can still be manipulated despite time.

All the perceptions and attitudes when one is in the abusive relationship MUST CHANGE in order to detach from the abuser. In other words, what you thought and believed then most likely has been weakened therefore, you will have to develop new and stronger patterns of thinking in order to successfully detach.

So many times after such a relationship is over, we tend to open our “emotional door” once more and the madness begins once again. This enables your abuser rather than disarming them.  The intent may have been good, and they may have given you a convincing or plausible story unrelated to the relationship in order to communicate with you. Giving the abuser a one inch crack in that emotional door is most certainly a mistake for they will take any opening that allows them to hurt you. Remember this too, successfully detaching will not  eliminate their behavior,because their dysfunctional traits and characteristics are virtually cast in stone. They will not change. So the importance of being disciplined in forming new perceptions, and attitudes towards the former abuser will serve in protecting all that is meaningful in your life. Sticking to your guns will initially piss off your abuser, so expect some new craziness to happen. Believe me, they will be digging deep into their “Bag of Tricks” to overcome their perceived perpetrator. Keep this in mind, they are capable of unimaginable and egregious behavior because your initiative of no contact has upset the very core of their being. Their nastiness can range from simple verbal attacks to being downright destructive. Do not underestimate them and be prepared for anything despite how well you think you may know them.

What the complete detachment and no contact process will create is and  “out of sight, out of mind” condition whereby pattens of behavior will change if appropriate measures of action are solid on behalf of the healthy personality involved. Otherwise, it can continue to be a “hell on earth.” Yes, it is up to you, because you must remember, they will never change!

If you were in a relationship with an NPD, most likely they will move on much more quickly than a BPD. NPD’s are more hurtful and damaging during a relationship Vs the BPD, however, the BPD tends to continue their madness after the fact.  BPD’s, Histrionic’s, Bipolar’s, have a variation in presence of conscience and emotion, therefore they struggle between reality and their perceived world. Whereas, the NPD has no presence of conscience, hence their ability to move on and seek a new victim or supply.

In summary, expect some continued craziness in the beginning of a break up, given time though, it will subside to a more manageable  level.  Do not engage or provoke your former abuser in any way, you are now in control, not them. Truth and reality are your abuser’s enemies because it sends their egocentric core reeling out of control, so stick to less emotional situations and resolves.

This is one of the most important aspects of your abuser that you must remind yourself of each time they speak, “they are masters of manipulation for the sake of self, not you, and not the children.”  Be disciplined in mind and heart to understand, your former abuser cares about no one but themselves. Remember too, just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they throw a little deception, manipulation, a lie or two, and you are now pissed off!  Amazing how easy they get you right where they want you!  Do not allow them to engage you this way, you are the better person, shame on them for doing this to you, and next time you will be a little smarter, right!  Life is too short to allow others drama and dysfunction to affect those they don’t deserve to be with in the first place. Always put your “thinking cap” on and make sound judgments when communication with your former abuser is necessary.

In my next post, we will talk about more strategies and coping skills to enable you in dealing with the likes of such dysfunctional individuals. In the meantime, no contact is your most viable boundary that can be initially implemented. There are other boundaries that must be set as well and I will provide suggestions where it concerns such personal boundaries.


8 Responses to “Cluster B’s- What to expect after the break-up Part I”

  1. parrobo December 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Very good article. As someone who has just broken up with an abusive partner and many times after the breakup have been involved with his mind games I found this article a true story of mine.

    • melove54 December 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

      Congrats on leaving your abusive relationship and thanks as well for the compliment. If you have not had the opportunity, there is a part II and III of this article. These posts relate to avoiding (coping with) further conflicts and prioritizing what is important thereafter, namely “self.” If there is anything at all that you may have questions about that I’ve not covered, feel free to ask. Again, congrats on leaving your abuser and best wishes. We’re here to help and suggest.

      • parrobo December 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

        I have read all the pages you have provided in this fantastic article. They all make good sense and sound like my story of life. Although I know that I am out of an abusive relationship, I miss him a lot. There are moments I feel like I cannot cope on my own specially I left him two weeks after the miscarriage. There are moments that I want to pick up the phone, call him and cry for hours to get out of the bottled emotions I have for the lost baby. It is extremely painful to carry on with my life with two losses. Currently it is only a day by day coping.

      • melove54 December 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

        I am so sorry to hear of your loss concerning the baby, and as well, I know how you feel where it concerns even the loss of, I presume your husband, maybe boyfriend? Either way, it is difficult, took me about 4 months of strict no-contact to get her out of my head. But I also had to realize the truth of what made me that way and to sort out the emotions and what it would have been like if I had indeed married her. From your perspective, it may have been a message. I do believe in the human connection, as well as things happen for a reason. If your partner is abusive, and you were raising a child together,..what would that have been like? Most likely a worse ” hell on earth” than you had before! It’s natural for you to feel how you do now, what’s difficult is to remain disciplined in your actions towards him. If he is not contacting you that is good, and it helps you remain N/C. It is not selfish to think of yourself at this time in your life, for right now self is all that matters in order to recover from the abuse. It appears you’re on the right track, so stand by and be true to yourself. Remember to redefine what you believe is love to you, compare it to how other articles you read define love, or true love. Decide what you believe from that point what you’ve missed and settle for no less thereafter. Remember this too, he created the facade your love to exist, was not real. Read some more of my articles and you will begin to understand that concept more. Keep in touch so we know how you’re doing. Take care and I hope the Holidays bring back some happiness in your Life.

  2. parrobo December 31, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    Dear melove54, I am quite overwhelmed by the grief after the breakup. This feeling sounds weird for my parents, friends and colleagues because in their opinion I should be grateful that I have survived an abusive relationship of almost two years specially after the miscarriage. They say that I should enjoy every single second of my life to bits after this relationship. I do not know why I do not feel like this. I had a tremendous joy and happiness for 24 hours after the breakup but later that fantastic feeling subsided and shock, trauma, sadness, fear, anger etc. started. This circle goes on and on and I do not know how long it is going to take me to get over him and that abusive relationship. Happy New Year in advance and hope this fantastic and comprehensive website grows even more in the new year.

  3. parrobo January 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Few times common friends (one or two people) have suggested that me and him should sit down and talk and have a peaceful closure. In their mind the time we have had together (nearly two years) should be valued by giving each other a fair feedback. I have tried to explain these people what I have been through but in their mind it is still a breakup and without a final peaceful closure we cannot get over it. Do you agree with this? I have to confess this kind of comments increases the temptation to find a way to improve the relationship but without him realising he needs professional help and support this is going to be a false hope.

    • melove54 January 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      Closure can be accomplished not so much through forgiveness as much as love can. Understand by virtue of what you have gone through, and despite all what he has emotionally and verbally spewed at you for two years, he is human. Therefore, in the sense of humanity, we should pass no judgment, and simply love our fellow human being. Keep this to yourself though, do not tell him that you love him, as he will take it the wrong way and continue a strong pursuit towards the relationship and I can assure you, he will look at this as your weakness towards him.

      I know this concept may sound a bit crazy, and I have at times stated, “do not let you heart overcome your intellect”, however, allow me to redefine that statement. You were easily taken advantage of by hime by virtue of your “heart”, which means you are a loving, and most likely a very intimate person. The heart will help you follow the proper path if you allow the intellect to come into play as well. Love does indeed manifest intellect. You know that old saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!” Doesn’t mean you should hate him, just realize your heart wasn’t being smart. Thus far, you have displayed heart and intellect via your comments, and that is all I have to go on. He has probably cried the blues to those mutual friends and that he wants another chance, etc. etc… Just a guess. And absolutely, false hope is a fair assumption when it comes to him changing his ways. What your friends do not understand is that he has duped them as well.

      Now realize too, I am accepting everything you say is fact about him, that he fits at least half of the cluster B criteria. And if it does, don’t even think about having a meeting because your emotions will run out of control and everything you have done for yourself thus far will reverse. If he truly realizes that he needs professional help, and cares for you more than any woman he’s ever been with, then he must do this on his own. As well, if he were to go through therapy, you must allow him to have significant time invested first before you ever see one another at any level of frequency. In other words, he must have time to heal before it can work, that applies to anyone, period.

      What you are going through is absolutely normal and I would suggest you asked yourself this:
      What is the attraction, what is it that you absolutely miss about him? Now, what I am about to ask you strictly concerns what over 90% of abuse men and women state about their abuser.. Was the sex incredible with him? You don’t to answer me, only yourself. This was one of the largest attractions and most huge common denominators of abusive relationships. Although sexual intimacy is about 30% of a relationship, sex in itself is only 10% of sexual intimacy, and intimacy itself is about 90% of the relationship! Do you see where I’m going here? Add it all up, and then you will understand that you may be looking at 10% that made you happy and 90% did not.

      Friends will never know what goes on behind closed doors, this is your life and without doubt is YOUR DECISION ONLY.. Use the heart wisely though.

  4. Layla July 17, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    Thank you for this site. I agree with the no contact rule for an abuser. I left my abuser after 13.5 years a month ago. I feel the ups and downs that others have described. To my knowledge, my abuser has not been diagnosed with a PD but I see many sociopathic and narcissistic tendencies in him. He wanted a child . . . He used that as part of his excuse to cheat on me. One of his many excuses that laid the blame on me. I could not see bringing a child into the world with him being so selfish. In 13.5 years, I tried to leave my abuser several times. He knows no boundaries but his own, and through this kept coming back to me. The time before the final straw was him cheating and moving in with his whore. After three weeks we decided to work on the relationship (the abuse had stopped for three years and I thought he had changed). During the separation he came back into the home whenever he wanted, showered, did laundry, stored his stuff even though they were going to move into a new place after a one night stand and a three week fling after he was kicked out. Like I said – no boundaries. This time it’s for good because he choked me and I called 911. I now have a restraining order and am waiting for my hearing in hopes for it to be permanent. I think this is the only way for him to know boundaries. . . And for me to no feel the manipulation that lets him back in. Of course it also helps that he walked out of my home in handcuffs late at night and less than eight hours later was planning to hook up with his whore . . . Whom he moved in with right away.

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