Sorting Through The Aftermath Of My Ex-dpd Boyfriend

Hello to you all,

I've just joined this site in the hopes that I would be able to gain a better understanding of what transpired between myself and my ex-DPD boyfriend. I would greatly appreciate your insights/feedback as it has been a very confusing and painful journey for me along the way (not knowing about this disorder while with him) and our break-up has been excruciatingly difficult to bear and I still find myself riddled with doubts and struggling to find closure. I also thought you might be able to identify with my experience and appreciate hearing what life was like for me as the "dependee".

My ex displayed all the classic hallmark traits after googling this disorder. What struck me the most at the very beginning of our relationship was that he already was doomsday prophesizing about "the end" even before we'd really begun?!! He still seemed hung up on his ex-gf and even asked me to proof-read his poem about her (as English is his second language), which I thought to be quite an odd request when starting a new relationship?! I've gone ahead and copied the poem below because I think it reveals so much:

This is your life
I hate the fact you aren’t here
I hate the fact that I’m not there
The Pain the suffering striking my heart
How can I make my life not to feel like that?
Nobody but you been there for me
Standing on the top of the world
Seeing how birds are flying so free
Making way to the edge without looking back
One step closer to final showdown
Two steps to realize there is nothing to fear
Third step is feeling deeper than life
Forth step will take you further away, right to the bottom
Where no one has fear
Looking through window like looking through soul
All of your life how it has been
Regrets are flashing in front your eyes
It should have been better but this is your life

So as you can see, I think this poem clearly indicates his state of despair and how he was still very much hung up on her after we met and she was even still calling him and he then he would defer to me for advice on how to proceed with her??!! I finally told him that he was putting me in a very uncomfortable position and that he needed to make his mind up on his own and figure things out for himself. What I also found interesting was that they weren't even technically a couple-- she was involved with another guy in his circle of friends and he seemed to be secretly in love with her and she leaned on him for moral support. So he was there for her as the dutiful friend/confidant and then when he needed her to lean on/be there for him, she abandoned him in a time of need and he was heart-broken and devastated. It sent him for a huge tale-spin from which it took him over a year to recover until he met me supposedly...

I also found it odd that prior to meeting me (I am 10 years his senior), he never had had a girlfriend/relationship for more than 2 he was really "green" when it came to basic relationship stuff! I almost felt like he expected me to take him under his wing for his life "tutelage" with respect to how to be in a relationship, cooking and domestic chores, basic hygiene practices, laundry, shopping, basic etiquette and the list goes on and on. I told him that this only highlighted our age disparity and that I didn't want to be a mother figure in this relationship, but that I needed an equal partner and co-pilot. He was still living with his parents at this time, so we had to spend most of our time at my place and before I knew it he had basically assumed himself into my home/life to a point that was overwhelming bordering on smothering! I have never known anyone to display such clingy-/neediness before, it was as if he had velcroed himself onto me...I couldn't quite sort out in my mind what was happening at the time. It felt like he made me an extension of him, an appendage of sorts and that he had morphed himself into this identity with me that seemed different from when we first met.

There seemed to be a lack of clear boundaries in our relationship and myself being a very independent woman, I found it difficult being with someone who was so overly-dependent on me, so I began to articulate my needs to him and that I required some breathing space ....which set into motion a spiral of events that left me completely perplexed! I explained how it was important for him to establish his own identity in this relationship and gain some independence and get up on his own two feet (since he was still living with his parents and twin brother at the time). I couldn't help but sense his emotional "stuntedness" already early on (and I'm not claiming to be emotionally perfect myself!) and had this ongoing feeling of needing to "ween" himself off of me, otherwise he'd suffocate me. When he heard these words, he panicked and burst into tears-- these were tears I have never seen a grown man cry before. His sobbing was coming from such a deep, ephemeral place that it was painful and heart-wrenching to witness. He went on to refer to me as the "love of his life" and emploring me not to take a "breather" because he would die without me. I thought he was being melodramatic at the time, but now I fully understand where that was coming from. I felt so awful causing him such obvious suffering, so I basically acquiesed rather than upholding firmer boundaries with him. I still asked him to leave overnight and the next day I received sobbing voicemail messages, emails and poems from him. I was truly at a loss at what to do to reassure him, but felt a bit overburdened at the same time. I will need to take a break from this, but there is much more as we have close to 3 years of his history and I've only gotten through the first few months! Please let me know if you're interested in my continuing, if it helps to hear the "other" side of the story and do share any other thoughts/feelings you may have and/or identify with!

Many thanks!
Pupilindenial Pupilindenial
41-45, F
3 Responses Feb 27, 2012

I too have been in this very situation, we have now reconciled and are working through the issues of which there are many. I am learning to accept his condition and learning behaviors that are healthy for us both...not just him...I think its working

Thank you for sharing. I feel the emotions come through here and understand how you must have felt torn - on the one hand reaching out for your independence and on the other hand not wanting to feel like you were harming another human being. I would be very open to hearing you share more from your experience.

I can't quite understand everything but i do some it. It feels devastating when the person you love wants space, like your world is coming to an end. You try to convey all the time how the person you love means to you (sometimes it may feel over top) but you really mean it you want it said back to you and if it is said back sometimes what there saying is not enough (you want over the top). It breaks your heart because you don't really believe that they do love or that anyone truly does. It's horrible. You don't mean to be clingy, you don't want be clingy but can't but be. Sometimes other people feel like a threat, they are going to take the person you love away. You think they like or love them more. You should tell him that maybe he has DPD and to get help for it and it doesn't mean that he isn't loved it just because DPD makes you feel like your not. Nobody likes to feel like this and with help you hope it will get better.