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Think About It... Defending our boundaries is more than a response in times of conflict - it's a lifestyle. Learn how to get in touch with your values, define and communicate boundaries of those values, and defend against boundary busters. ~ Skip
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winning123
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2011, 05:03:25 PM »

1 year 6 months into therapy and 2 weeks without a episode. Wow after all the let downs seems to be getting better.Its hard for too hope this is gone but she seems to be dealing with things better...And me too I do not allow her to trigger me.
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« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2011, 01:06:06 AM »

Hello All,

Been a while since I posted on this board, just thought I'd pop by and give an update.

For those who don't know me, my story is soooo similar to many on this board. And firstly I would encourage anyone going through the troubles of staying with a BPD partner to come here often to know you're not alone and things can get better.

My BPDW has made huge strides with her illness. It still very present, especially in the form of severe depression, but other symptoms have been on a massive decline since she started therapy 2 years ago.

Things in our house have never been better this past year, sure we have our ups and downs like any normal couple would and she constantly struggles to keep mindful of her actions. But all in all we're moving in the right direction and finally in a good place.

Some things I learned through this process that I would like to share with the group is...


1) It takes all kinds of patience on your part to not react in negative ways when our partner outbursts. Some things shouldn't be tolerated, but remember that they have an illness and be extra mindful of your reactions as I found out the hard way can have all kinds of negative impact on your partners road to recovery.

2) Take care of yourself. Being with someone with this disease is extremely trying, and if you don't look after yourself then bad things WILL happen. Try to take up hobbies or find extra time in the day that is just for you.

3) When you follow the above advice, especially at first, things can get ugly. Oh god did they get ugly for us. This SHOULD be temporary. If after all the reading I've done on here from the help is that extinctions burst are brutal, but they should go away. I remember relaying a story on here about going skiing for a weekend. I thought it was the end of the world and might not be worth it. A helpful member on this board told me I would probably regret it then and later when IO kept putting my happiness off. Wow were they ever right. 1.5 years later and I look at that moment as a defining point in our relationship. Yeah things were bad for a bit, but I kept to my guns and had little outings for myself once a month. Slowly it became the norm, and now she actually looks forward to it LOL.

I would just like to thank everyone on this board for helping me through a tough time and let some of you know that there can be light at the end of the tunnel, it just takes a lot of work by both parties involved.

Thanks smiley

FatMike
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AlaskaBPDSO
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2011, 07:19:33 PM »

As a Newbie I am soooooooo glad to see this thread!

THANKS!   I needed this!
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« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2011, 08:27:06 PM »

 Doing the right thing     I'm have been on every one of these boards on and off for the last couple years or so...and very happy to be posting here this evening.  Someone on this thread made a very astute observation - they were right -  once things start "working", people tend to NOT come back.  I was thinking this morning that I really needed to get back on here and offer some hope to some of the other suffering souls on this board!  My BPDH had gone to T off and on, and is going to Psych on a fairly routine basis.  He has been put on a few different meds with varying side effects (some tolerable, some not so much) -  we worked through that - and some times ugly... There has been a particular medication that has made all the difference with MY husband,  and I'm not sure if I am able to name it on these boards, if you really want to know feel free to message me.  It is a commonly prescribed drug for depression.  Things have been very good since early June -  and I am not delusional enough to think life will be perfect!  But...I have noticed that he will start to "go there" at times, then he suddenly catches himself and gets it back together!  I am so proud of him and the improvements I have seen. Our kids have noticed those same improvements in their interactions with him too!   I just felt the need to get this on this board, so that people would know that it is POSSIBLE, that with the proper attention and treatment, that things can get good again!  I had actually contacted an atty and prepared for divorce - so this is a great turn of events for us!  I hope that life will get BETTER for each of you, in one way or another.
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champion
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« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2011, 03:39:40 PM »

I became a member of this site today.  I am a 33yr old man married to an attractive and intelligent host to BPD.  In addition, she has chronic migraine headaches which are debilitating and often require a trip to the ER for any relief (over 30 trips last year). 

My wife was diagnosed prior to our engagement and I must admit that I did a terrible job of recognizing the severity and, truthfully, the reality of BPD before asking her to marry me.  I thought she was simply concerne that I wasn't sincere in my affection for her and believed she would see how wonderful and loving I truly am.  I now understand that I had completely misled myself into denial of BPD's destructive nature. 

I would like to say that this thread has been exactly what I needed to continue my pursuit of a happy and healthy relationship with my wife - despite admitting to her that I had desires to leave her.

I would like to thank those of you who contributed to this thread for sharing your lives - and the lives of your loved ones - for the sake of others.  I long to write my own success stories here as well...thanks to you I am finding faith that such a future is possible.     
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karmamiles
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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2011, 08:55:01 AM »

It's been a long time since I've been here to read or post.   This community was so helpful for me during some really difficult times over the past 4-5 years.  Reading about everyone's experiences, successes and failures, was so helpful as I took stock of my own relationship with a BPD. 

In a nutshell, my BPD and I stayed together and things have been "incident-free" for over a year.  That's NOT to say we haven't fought or that I haven't seen indications of his BPD tendencies.  I've just learned ways of responding to him and interacting with him that balance my needs in the relationship along with (what I think is) a realistic understanding of who he is.  That seems to be a major key to figuring out whether you can sustain a relationship with a BPD - whether the degree to which their behavior requires you to change (and it does) is acceptable to you and not harmful to you or anyone else.  If you imagine concentric circles, it's that sweet spot in the middle with the overlap.  I imagine some relationships have that and some don't.

I might stick around here and see if I can help others...so many here helped me.

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Hugo

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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2012, 09:21:17 PM »

Before praising the usefulness of the BPD Family Lessons and Techniques, I should probably make a few things clear and recap some information:

I'm a gay male in a monogamous relationship of 2.5 years with a diagnosed BPD partner whom I call MP, which stands for "My Partner."

I've never before been in any short- or long-term relationship with a BPD person, diagnosed or otherwise. All my short- and long-term relationships ended for very mundane reasons, such as my not wanting to move to, and spend the rest of my life in, semi-rural Wisconsin. (I'm a dyed-in-the-wool born-and-raised Big City ethnic kind of guy who doesn't like snow.)

About six months ago my relationship with MP reached a crisis-type level of dysfunction which had mostly, if not exclusively, to do with MP's rage marathons and hair-trigger high-decible temper. We took a mutually agreed upon "time out" lasting almost one month.

MP's prestation of BPD is pretty much confined to rage. There are no problems with infidelity, financial impropriety, sexual-identity confusion, disappearing, controlling my time or friendships or family interaction, or out-of-the-blue threats to end the relationship.

Were I to compare my relationship with where it was two years ago, I'm practically living in a Garden of Eden of Miraculous Tranquility. It is difficult for me to describe just how very, very, very crazy my relationship with MP was two years ago.

Were I to pinpoint the Greatest Significant Change in my relationship with MP, it would be that I truly, sincerely, absolutely, unequivocally, let go of my relationship with MP. Which is to say, I completely surrendered all my expectations and preconceptions about my relationship with MP, and completely accepted my relationship with MP as it was and as it is.

My reasons for adopting "radical acceptance" were that MP is brilliant, adorable, affectionate, humorous, creative, trustworthy (in terms of loyalty to me and in his social interactions with others), and reliable.

Since the amazing turn-around in our relationship following our "time out," there have been some regressions, set backs, and "explosions."

What is significant about these events is that, unlike two years ago, they were self-limiting. In the past, MP would routinely work himself into rage-a-thons that could last two- to three days.

MP's "explosions" are now much less explosive, last for one- to two-hours, and afterward he is entirely amenable to talking them through and resolving them.

In addition to my Greatest Significant Change of "letting go," the most important, and difficult, changes have been:

* Setting Boundaries: And I've set them as calmly and clearly as possible. I say, "We are not going to yell at each other about this," and, "I'm not going to talk with you until you lower your voice," and, "It is intolerable for me to persist in a relationship where every disagreement is a discussion of what a bad person I am."

* Setting Goals: Part of my "letting go" of my relationship with MP was my expressing to MP that our staying together indefinitely was not inevitable. I said, "We've been together long enough for both of us to decide whether this is a desirable long-term relationship. If we can't both of us together find a way of getting along that it is tolerable for both us, then we will need to find a way of ending the relationship that is tolerable for both of us."

So, tonight, to make a long story short, we had an out-of-the-blue "explosion." Two years ago, this would have lasted two- to three-days and would have involved a great deal of intolerable disruption of our day-to-day life.

But tonight, it lasted less than one hour.

The difference was:

* Affirmation: I acknowledged that I understood MP's feelings.

* Boundaries: I acknowledged MP's feelings and said that I was willing to talk about them only if he did not raise his voice.

* Letting Go: I acknowledged MP's feelings, said that I was willing to talk about them if he did not raise his voice, and that while I acknowledged his feelings and was willing to speak about them if he lowered his voice, such explosions were not part of what I could tolerate for a long-term relationship.

End result:

MP quietly and patiently listened to what I had to say. I asked MP to hug and kiss me to demonstrate that he not only understood what I said, but that I had said it out of a sincere expression of my love for him and a sincere desire that we be able to agree together that ours was a long-term relationship.

MP hugged and kissed me and asked me if I would like to play Scrabble with him, even though he was sure that he was going to "kick my ass."

I'm trying to be rational and healthy about my relationship with MP.

I'm trying as hard as I can to make good and healthy decisions about my relationship with MP.

I've completely, sincerely, and entirely "let go" of my preconceptions and expectations for my relationship with MP.

The BPD Family Lessons and Techniques really do work.

But the usefulness and success of the BPD Family Lessons and Techniques carry with them an implicit warning:

To the extent that the BPD Family Lessons and Techniques are useful and successful, they will take you to a new and unfamiliar place not only in your relationship, but also in yourself.

In my opinion, for "radical acceptance" to work, for the BPD Family Lessons and Techniques to be useful and successful, you have to be willing to let yourself go to uncertainty, which is to say emotional and spiritual and psychological places you are not able to anticipate or foresee.

Any and all feedback is, of course, very welcome.

 
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CodependentHusband
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2012, 11:42:12 PM »

End result:

MP quietly and patiently listened to what I had to say. I asked MP to hug and kiss me to demonstrate that he not only understood what I said, but that I had said it out of a sincere expression of my love for him and a sincere desire that we be able to agree together that ours was a long-term relationship.
 

lol. I'm sorry, but I had to chuckle about this just a little because I was picturing how my dBPDw would have reacted to me saying the same thing at the wrong time!  grin Honestly though, I think that this is GREAT! And I think that I might try it with my wife at precisely the right time.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I can echo what you say about the effectiveness of the tools and advice here. Just a few months ago, my dBPDw was spiraling out of control and I was right there with her. It literally felt like we were doing a tandem parachute jump and our parachutes had failed... I really thought it was over (and it still might end someday, but, like you, I have learned to "let go").

I have also found radical acceptance to be the most beautiful thing for ME as well... Sadly though, even though I honestly put forth a LOT of effort to get where I am with it, I don't think that it is possible for everyone. Like you, my pwBPD doesn't seem to have some of the traits that I would find particularly disturbing such as promiscuity, heavy drinking or drug use, etc. She does also seem to be able to demonstrate some pretty impressive loyalty to me, considering just how real and deep the anger for me can get at times (it's 100% REAL to them... I know I'd be just as loyal to her if I were that mad, but it is hard!). Another aspect to radical acceptance that I think is important is that some nons simply may not be able to actually get to that level of acceptance... Your analogy of "letting go" is really good, and I think accurate to what it feels like.

I also found out something interesting through another thread that I think is worth mentioning here... In addition to radical acceptance, emotional distancing is also effective, and almost a prerequisite to radical acceptance, in my opinion. I say that because one of the hardest things for me to accept has been the lack of intimacy (up to and including sex) in my marriage. I'm finally in a good place in accepting this... I can do what I always wanted to do, but could never pull off before when I set out to do it... not pressure her for intimacy. I have found though that I am accomplishing this by erecting my own walls. My current challenge is figuring out how to lower those walls without becoming enmeshed to the extent that we once were... I can't keep them at the current level, and I don't know exactly what to do next... Time, practice, and patience will tell!


Hang in there, and I'm so happy that things are improving for you and your partner!
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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2012, 10:46:07 AM »

Wow, my original post from two years ago is on the first page of this thread. Time does fly. Since then, things have continued to get better for myself and my partner with BPD. She's doing well at a good job, she's got friends and a social life, her singing is going well. I have much more time to myself, time to write, and to feel just like Me. It's really great most of the time.

Though she still hasn't completely conquered her aggression issues in regards to me when she's upset, most of the upset these days is actually caused by me and my issues. I spent many years before her and with her not being honest about my feelings, keeping the bad feelings hidden inside, and now that I'm in therapy and really working on these things, I can be really reactive. My partner now gets boundaries and I still have trouble remembering not to be so "helpful." I'm learning from her and me and my therapist about being compassionate to myself and working through my feelings with many of the DBT skills.

smiley
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waitaminute
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« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2012, 05:29:27 PM »

Maybe minor success ... but success anyhow.

On line with my long distance BPD GF. Writing about the marriage visa. She has been stereotypical ... we MUST start it soon  ... to ... why are you rushing me? I have emphasized that it takes many months. Starting the process does not require her to commit to anything. But it simply gives her options. Right now we have no options. She is there and I am here and there are government laws that will ensure that is the case until we get a visa for her. She has asked me to help her get the forms and photograph she needs just for the initial forms. I have tried but she then back pedals and she doesn't come through. So the latest date we have agreed on is to submit the forms by July 3rd.

But today she says "we should apply July the 19th and then maybe we will fly together to the US by the third week in August". So I say ... If we wait till mid July to apply, it will be September or October at the earliest that we fly here. She says "You know I do not feel well. I am stressed. Why are you so impatient? I do not have to do anything. I do not like your style. "

So I begin to use SET.

I tell her that I want to try to ease her stress. (S)
I told her that I can see that she feels like she is under pressure. (E)
I told her the government process takes several months at best and that is how it works. (T)

It totally diffused the situation. She said she would get me what i need to file before July 3rd. We will see. But at least this conversation didn't go down the drain smiley


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